Monday, February 18, 2013

New beginnings

It's been more than a year since I last attempted to revive this blurb, er blog. A lot has happened since then. New people, new single hood, new condo, new realizations, new mornings and nights, and a new chance of a better life.

A lot has changed, but one thing didn't: I'm still here.

So, what now?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Mobile Blogging now?

As if my constant Instagramming (and subsequent cross-posting to Twitter and Facebook and even Foursquare) wasn't enough, I came across the Blogger app for iPhone. So there. Let's see how this mutha werks using my ancient blog archive.

Ohmy. I haven't posted here in over a million years. Must I start again? I don't even have time to finish cramming in my tiny brain all those work stuff which I have to memorize for the road shows abroad.

I remember having the luxury of time to blog 2-3 or even more posts per day. What I would've given back then for mobile blogging. 

And this fucking keypads are killing me. Thank god for wireless keyboards, albeit ridiculously pricy.

What now?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Monday, February 23, 2009

RECIPE: Pesto-Butter Spread

If, like me, you're one of those people who are constantly ambushed by visitors who invite themselves to dinner or lunch or any other meal in between, you'd of course need time to prepare a "surprise" meal...while in the mean time needing to shut their mouths so you could concentrate on your cooking. And when they're already hungry when your ingredients are just starting to thaw out and still a few hours more before food's ready, this recipe's a good one to keep them semi-full and have them stop complaining. Just make sure you have wheat bread (or any variant would do), baguettes or pita bread ready to spread these onto.


And, oh...make sure to prepare this WAY IN ADVANCE...as Ate Vi says, "you can never can tell" when these (unwanted--hehe) visitors would pop in and you'd need to serve this quick appetizer.

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You will need: fresh basil leaves (young leaves preferably), extra-virgin (yeeeeah) olive oil, half a block (or whole, depending on your need) of butter or solid margarine, salt and pepper to taste
You will also need: a blender and some ice cube trays (try those fancy shapes just for fun)

FOR THE PESTO: Put enough basil leaves into a blender. Add at least half a cup (yes, I said at least...so feel free to throw in the whole freaking bottle) of extra virgin olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Blend ingredients until you get a gooey consistency--ensuring, however, that they don't end up looking like Gerber goo. (You may end up making a lot of this pesto, so make sure to save some in the fridge. This makes a really good pasta sauce, too)
Now that the pesto's ready, melt the butter/solid margarine in a teflon fan over low heat. Careful not to burn it or to make it dry up--or it won't solidify again....EVERRRRRRRRR. Remove pan from the stove. (Note that you can also melt the butter in a microwave-safe bowl, you lazy ass boi)
Add enough pesto mixture into the melted butter. It's not a perfect science...so just stop when you see a good amount of the greens mixing with the yellows.
Spray ice cube trays with cooking oil in a can. Pour mixture into tray and put the trays into the chiller (not the freezer, duh). In about an hour, it should solidify into a good firm form. You can keep it there or pop them out and transfer into plastic or non-stick containers.
These keep for up to 6 months as long as they're in the fridge. Serve as spread with bread, or melted as dips.
Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Race to the Top

[[Feature article in the upcoming issue of Hamilo Post: Official Newsletter of Pico de Loro]]

The idea of traveling on foot up the mountains never really appealed to me, especially after I've injured my left kneecap almost two years ago. So when I got a call to join a trekking exercise with friends at Pico de Loro Cove in Hamilo Coast, I was not exactly fired up. Little did I know that, hours after the day was over, I would still be babbling about it...fondly.


We left Manila just as the sun was peering from the horizon. We hardly felt the two and a half hour drive, thanks to banters about office anecdotes, and comic relief from the kitschy and quirky 80’s decade. But that's a totally different story!


We knew we had arrived at Hamilo Coast when we passed by the majestic landscaped entrance and guardhouse. After a short drive of scenic, winding roads, we finally reached the Pico de Loro beach. When the trekking team was complete, we began the hike to the peak—walking on pristine white sand and passing through dense mangroves to reach the foot of the hills. The Hamilo Coast estate management (HCEM) staff who doubled as our guides, gear caddies, security, and first aid crew led the way through a lush growth of trees wild plants, dried leaves, and twigs. The idea of being in the midst of the wilderness, disconnected from the chaos of the city (though mobile phone signals were unbelievably strong) and in communion with nature was more than enough impetus to drive us higher up into the highland. Not even the thought of running into forest snakes (which we were told as very unlikely) or even encantos (nature elementals) stifled that strong impulse to reach the top. At some point, we were all quietly striding through the trail, all in awe of the sense of peace and quiescence of the woods.


While we had to stop every once in a while to take photos, we would grab every opportunity to soak in the beauty of the forest around us. It was quite a hike, and because I hardly touched my breakfast before the trek—how smart was that?—I started feeling weak. (I’m diabetic, so hypoglycemia started kicking in.) Everybody in the team, especially the HCEM staff, was very helpful: they offered water, a bite from their yet untouched Egg McMuffins from breakfast, and even helped carry my backpack. Using their two-way radios, the HCEM staff were even kind enough to be able to contact ground personnel to get my medication, which I had left in the van. Fifteen minutes later, I was back on my feet and we headed up again.


Three or four stops later, we finally reached our target—one of the numerous observation decks scattered in the mountaintops of Pico de Loro Cove. The view was astounding. No immobilizing--and not because we had acrophobia, but because you would best be completely still to absorb the magnificence of the view from the top. The surrounding mountains made us feel miniature with its majestic stretch; the lapis lazuli sky almost kissing its reflection on the tranquil waters; and the cool sea and mountain breeze embracing each other, muffling the heat of the scorching sun. For an amateur trekker like myself, this hike was utterly challenging, even daunting…but surveying the grandeur of God’s creation like that from where I was, it was definitely worth all the trouble.


We took a couple more photos on the observation deck, while at the same time imagining how spine-tingling it would be to experience the zip line (from the deck rushing down to the beachfront) once that amenity is completed. Below—luminescent flags along the shore, the unsullied powder white sand, the unruffled strides of the almost Lilliputian people enjoying the sun, and the sea competed for our attention. Since it was already noon, we decided to head back down to have lunch.


Less than thirty minutes later, we were back to where we started from—barely a quarter of the time it took for us to climb the highland. We enjoyed a feast of local delicacy, which the staff personally prepared for us. We also toured the cove’s marketing and visitor’s center—Pico Point—an architectural wonder that was like a big tree house perched on a steep cliff near the beach. After which, we spent a very relaxing moment lounging under a tent on the shores of Pico de Loro beach. All the aches we endured during the trek seemed to disappear, just sipping some iced-cold teas and vodka, and staring at the vastness of the cove itself.


In a few hours, we called it a day and headed home but not without passing through the town proper to feast on some glorious local specialties such as the renowned halo-halo and pork barbecue from Aling Seling's. The drive back to Manila was slightly longer due to the weekend traffic, but was still enjoyable and seemingly fast—what with stories of the day's trek, the gastronomic treats, and of course...more fun conversations and 80's trivia!


If I were to be invited yet again to join this spirit-stimulating, endurance-challenging, and nature-tripping experience, I will do this trek again in a heartbeat.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ube Ba 'Ika Mo?

According to Wikipedia, The Color Purple is a 1985 drama film directed by Steven Spielberg. It is the eighth film directed by Spielberg and is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Alice Walker. The film tells the story of a young African American girl named Celie and shows the problems faced by African American women during the early 1900s; including poverty, racism and sex discrimination. The character Celie is transformed as she finds her self-worth through the help of two strong female companions.

It stars Hollywood big names (then almost virtually newbies) Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover, Margaret Avery, and Oprah Winfrey. With such a powercast, you would think these actors would try to "outdo" each other...but the entire ensemble makes the story work so seamlessly that you don't think of them as Whoopi or Oprah but as the very submissive Celie or the emotionally explosive (er...even implosive) Sofia.

This movie almost didn't win any award--especially in the Academy Awards. But to hell with those award-giving bodies. In my heart of hearts, this movie is one of the most moving, emotionally-contagious, and edge-of-seat-gripping movies I have watched. And thanks to the ever-dependable uTorrent client, I was able to grab hold of an ΓΌber-crystal-clear copy of the DVD.

Here are the links for download--in iPod Movie format. Enjoy!

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5

Monday, January 19, 2009

Ang Tunay na Copy-Cat

Since I've been posting versions of popular songs or timeless classics, I figured, what the hell...might as well post the more contemporary, alternative, funky covers of recent and not-so-recent hits--all with spunk and a kick in your gut.

Here's my collection of the best hits from BBC Radio's Radio 1 Established and Live Lounge (massive collection from different volumes which I've gathered all this time), which I aply called BBC Radio 1 Explosion (enter Menudo..."...My love for you.. Lalalalalalalala"). Tracks included in this "Best Of" collection are:

Athlete, If I Ain't Got You
Biffy Clyro, Umbrella
Bloc Party, Say It Right
Corinne Bailey Rae, Sexyback
Daniel Beddingfield, Somebody Told Me
Foo Fighters, Band On The Run
Franz Ferdinand, What You Waiting For
Girls Aloud, With Every Heartbeat
Gossip, Careless Whisper
Groove Armada, Crazy For You
Hard Fi, Toxic
Jamelia, Numb
Just Jack, Lovefool
Keane, Dirrtylicious
Keane, Under Pressure
Keane, With or Without You
Klaxons, My Love
Klaxons, No Diggity
KT Tunstall, Get Your Freak On
Maximo Park, Like I Love You
Mutya Buena, Fast Car
Natasha Beddingfield, Somewhere Only We Know
Natasha Bedingfield, Chasing Cars
Natasha Bedingfield, Ray Of Light
Natasha Bedingfield, Scientist
Orson, Push the Button
Paolo Nutini, Rehab
Pigeon Detectives, The Power Of Love
Razorlight, Englishman In New York
Stereophonics, Nothing Compares 2U
Stereophonics, You Sexy Thing
The Automatic, Love in this Club
The Enemy, Father And Son
The Feeling, You're So Vain
The Kooks, All That She Wants
The Streets, Your Song
The Zutons, Valerie
Will Young, Dontcha
Will Young, Hey Ya!

My personal favorites include those of Natasha Bedingfield, Keane, Corrine Bailey Rae and Jamelia.

Download here:

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

You're Nothing But a Second-Rate Trying Hard Copycat!

Reposted from Maita's Email. BWEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHE (pa-intro lang ng "Because if it's from Seiko, it masss be gooood!")


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The Top Twenty Signs That You're Watching A Pinoy Movie

1. Sasayaw sa likod ng puno ng buko pag nasa beach yung scene. Alternate pa 'yung mga ulo nila.
2. 'Yung kontrabida yayakap sa bida, sabay taas ng kilay at ngingisi.
3. Uuwi ang bida na may dalang pancit sa kanyang nanay na si Anita Linda. Tatawagin nito ang mga bata para kumain, at kakamustahin ng bida ang pag-aaral habang kumakain ng pancit. Biglang may titigil na sasakyan sa harap ng bahay at pauulanan ng baril ang pamilya! Mamamatay si Anita Linda, at sisigaw ang bida ng "Inaaay!" at mangangakong ipaghihiganti ito. Moral lesson: Ang pansit nagdadala ng malas - nakakamatay.
4. Pag may magkaribal na babae, yung mabait deretcho ang buhok at may bangs. Yung salbahe, laging kulot.
5. Sa pinoy action movies, ang bida hindi nauubusan ng bala.
6. Sa pinoy action movies, kapag tumakbo ang bida, sa lupa lahat ang tama ng bala ng kalaban.
7. Kapag may angry mob na pupunta sa bahay-kubo ng manananggal, si Vangie Labalan ang laging lider.
8. Alam mong moment of truth na ng bida kapag sinabi na niya 'yung title ng pelikula.
9. Ang tawag ng kontrabida sa mga goons niya, "Mga bata."
10. 'Yung nakababatang kapatid ng bida habang naglalaro ng bola, mabibitawan at mapupunta sa gitna ng kalsada. Tapos may darating na sasakyan, tapos itutulak siya ng bida. 'Yung bida naman ang nasa gita ng kalsada. Biglang may sasakyang darating. Ang bida, ico-cross lang niya arms niya covering his face tapos sisigaw 'yung kapatid ng 'kuyaaa!' ... Next scene nasa ospital na sila. Simula na ng drama.
11.. Kapag bakbakan, hindi nasasaktan ang bida, pero umaaray siya pag ginagamot na siya ng leading lady, at kasunod na ang love scene.
12. Kapag sinabi ng kontrabida ang masama niyang plano sa bida, ang sasabihin ng bida: "hayop ka!"
13.. Ang bidang babae, pag katulong ang role, siguradong magiging anak ng amo niya sa ending.
14. Ang nanay ng mayaman laging may pamaypay na pangmayaman, at ang nanay ng mahirap laging naka duster.
15. Ang hideout ng kontrabida, parating mansion na may chicks sa pool.

16. Ang mga bida sa drama, pag nakatanggap ng masamang balita, laging may pinto sa likod nila para puwede silang sumandal habang nagi-slide dahan-dahan pababa, tapos todo iyak with matching uhog.
17. Pag di nahuli ng mga goons ang bida, sasabihin ng boss sa kanila, "Mga inutil!"

18. Laging nakakapulot ng baril na may bala ang bida kapag kinakailangan niya.
19. Laging mas maganda ang yayang bida kesa sa kontrabidang anak ng amo niya.
20. Pag ang ending ng movie ay song and dance number sa beach o resort, ang huling frame, tatalon ang buong cast... sabay freeze.
PWEDE BANG PADAGDAG???
eto.....eh yong bidang gurl maliligo sa beach...ng naka-blusang itim! WAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Adik sa Pinoy Movies

Reposted from Maita's Email. BWEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHE (pa-intro lang ng "Because if it's from Seiko, it masss be gooood!")


-----------------------------------------------------

The Top Twenty Signs That You're Watching A Pinoy Movie

1. Sasayaw sa likod ng puno ng buko pag nasa beach yung scene. Alternate pa 'yung mga ulo nila.
2. 'Yung kontrabida yayakap sa bida, sabay taas ng kilay at ngingisi.
3. Uuwi ang bida na may dalang pancit sa kanyang nanay na si Anita Linda. Tatawagin nito ang mga bata para kumain, at kakamustahin ng bida ang pag-aaral habang kumakain ng pancit. Biglang may titigil na sasakyan sa harap ng bahay at pauulanan ng baril ang pamilya! Mamamatay si Anita Linda, at sisigaw ang bida ng "Inaaay!" at mangangakong ipaghihiganti ito. Moral lesson: Ang pansit nagdadala ng malas - nakakamatay.
4. Pag may magkaribal na babae, yung mabait deretcho ang buhok at may bangs. Yung salbahe, laging kulot.
5. Sa pinoy action movies, ang bida hindi nauubusan ng bala.
6. Sa pinoy action movies, kapag tumakbo ang bida, sa lupa lahat ang tama ng bala ng kalaban.
7. Kapag may angry mob na pupunta sa bahay-kubo ng manananggal, si Vangie Labalan ang laging lider.
8. Alam mong moment of truth na ng bida kapag sinabi na niya 'yung title ng pelikula.
9. Ang tawag ng kontrabida sa mga goons niya, "Mga bata."
10. 'Yung nakababatang kapatid ng bida habang naglalaro ng bola, mabibitawan at mapupunta sa gitna ng kalsada. Tapos may darating na sasakyan, tapos itutulak siya ng bida. 'Yung bida naman ang nasa gita ng kalsada. Biglang may sasakyang darating. Ang bida, ico-cross lang niya arms niya covering his face tapos sisigaw 'yung kapatid ng 'kuyaaa!' ... Next scene nasa ospital na sila. Simula na ng drama.
11.. Kapag bakbakan, hindi nasasaktan ang bida, pero umaaray siya pag ginagamot na siya ng leading lady, at kasunod na ang love scene.
12. Kapag sinabi ng kontrabida ang masama niyang plano sa bida, ang sasabihin ng bida: "hayop ka!"
13.. Ang bidang babae, pag katulong ang role, siguradong magiging anak ng amo niya sa ending.
14. Ang nanay ng mayaman laging may pamaypay na pangmayaman, at ang nanay ng mahirap laging naka duster.
15. Ang hideout ng kontrabida, parating mansion na may chicks sa pool.

16. Ang mga bida sa drama, pag nakatanggap ng masamang balita, laging may pinto sa likod nila para puwede silang sumandal habang nagi-slide dahan-dahan pababa, tapos todo iyak with matching uhog.
17. Pag di nahuli ng mga goons ang bida, sasabihin ng boss sa kanila, "Mga inutil!"

18. Laging nakakapulot ng baril na may bala ang bida kapag kinakailangan niya.
19. Laging mas maganda ang yayang bida kesa sa kontrabidang anak ng amo niya.
20. Pag ang ending ng movie ay song and dance number sa beach o resort, ang huling frame, tatalon ang buong cast... sabay freeze.
PWEDE BANG PADAGDAG???
eto.....eh yong bidang gurl maliligo sa beach...ng naka-blusang itim! WAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Monday, January 12, 2009

RECIPE: Cheesy Egg Turnover Omelette

Noooo, you haven't seen the last of the kesong puti experiments. And here's another one--a new twist to an old recipe: the omelette (aka Pinoy torta).

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You will need: eggs, milk, kesong puti, mozzarella (or any quick-melt) cheese, parmesan cheese, ground lean beef, eggplant, ripe tomatoes, onions, garlic, alagau (or any other herbs like basil, rosemary, or tarragon), vegetable oil, sesame oil, salt and pepper to taste


Slice the eggplants into diagonal strips, about a quarter of an inch thick. Do the same with the tomatoes. Chop the onions and garlic (cut for sauteeing) and your herb of choice (leave some for topping later). Sautee all ingredients (except the first five) in a hot Teflon pan using some vegetable oil and sesame oil (for taste) until tomatoes and eggplants are almost wilted and the beef brown. Set aside.


Beat eggs and milk until fluffy. Pour mixture into pan and cook until one side is golden brown. Flip. As the other side is cooking, layer all the ingredients in the middle part of the scrambled egg. Top with kesong puti, mozzarella and the remaining herbs. "Tuck" the filling inside the eggs by folding both ends--one over the other--and pressing tight to the pan. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.


Serve hot with my ice-blended apple-and-calamansi (How to make it? Blend apple slices and calamansi juice with shaved ice in a blender. Serve in tall glasses and swig until you get brainfreeze!). 


Use either ketchup or sweet chili as dipping sauce. Enjoy!