Sunday, October 30th, 2011
It’s a foreign concept but we embrace it just the same. Today is Halloween for the village kids- a highly anticipated community event when every kid on the block gets all dressed up for candy.
And aren’t they all such eye candies?
The early spider gets the candy.
'Good thing we were ready for the witching hour.
Nothing to pooh-pooh at.
Save me some candy, Darna!
Oooh, I'm so scared!
The best thing about Halloween is that it ushers in Christmas.
Oh, yes, it’s that time of year!
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Monday, October 17th, 2011
While Friday afternoon buzzed with anticipation for the coming weekend, it was quite different for us. An early Saturday call time was looming and decisions were still being made up to the last minute of the shoot preparation. So when somebody suggested dinner, we all jumped at the chance, hoping for some semblance of a “normal” Friday night.
You find yourself working with a bunch of people while all of Metro Manila was waiting to break free of the workweek and into the waiting arms of the much-hyped midnight madness sale and a relaxing weekend with their families and you try to make the most of it. Why not, right?
We wanted a decent dinner and our director wanted “just one bottle.” Luckily, we found out that the now very popular and always booked Romulo Cafe served “drinks.” A phone call assured us of a reservation for a party of six. Yes, a little lucky on a Friday night.
Romulo Cafe is at the corner of Scout Lazcano in the Tomas Morato area, a homey, well-lit place in a quiet residential neighborhood. Elegantly designed in black and white, it has former Secretary Carlos P. Romulo’s framed black-and-white photographs on the wall- one of the owners being a descendant of the former UN General Assembly Secretary.
It was a respite from all the phone calls and rehearsals and discussions.
We were there before the Friday night crowd arrived so we had time to savor the peace and the undivided attention of the wait staff.
And soon enough, we found ourselves relaxing and we began talking about former loves and dating and romance and having a past colorful enough to be told over and over again. Our soft-spoken director revealed his stern side while talking about his teen daughter dating that we ended up laughing the whole time.
The conversation was intimate, the mood casual and we were actually unwinding! It was probably the ambiance or the wait staff who served us yet remained unobtrusive or the food.
Filipino comfort food!
We started with this. A twist to Vigan longganisa and kesong puti.
Romulo Cafe’s renown, I believe, it owes to this old-fashioned chicken galantina. My favorite!
A different version of the pork binagoongan.
I think this is ginataang sigarillas but don’t shoot me if I’m wrong!
And we refused to go without desserts! Cheesecake
Now I’m hoping I can learn the art of writing about food. (‘Will get there.)
And so there was a drink as promised. (But not for our director who had a “bottle.”) I gathered it took the edge off a crazy week and even a crazier weekend.
But, good food and good company- a potent combination for making things all right.
Enjoy the beginning of another long week!
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Wednesday, October 12th, 2011
Or more accurately, come visit my school.
Let me indulge in a bit of nostalgia and revisit the Shopping Center of the University of the Philippines in Diliman. It was a sanctuary during my university days when I needed to get away from all the cramming. There was a Community Library right at the entrance near the UP Chapel where my best friend and I rented books- either trashy or mushy ones we could lose ourselves into before facing another demanding school day. The Community Library salesperson knew us so well she allowed us to check most of the books and read them right there. We used to play her and take all the Harold Robbins and lay them on the counter before her. We told her that the books automatically opened where the racy parts were. I think we amazed her with that antic! And secretly we thought she took home those books and just read the steamy parts.
Now that the technological revolution caught up with everyone, the Community Library ceased to exist. But its surrounding elements remained the same. And if you go to the Shopping Center nowadays, you will realize that it has become a microcosm of the country. It’s like walking into a true Pinoy community- may barbero, may bangko, may mananahi, may bookstore, maraming Xerox at computer shops, may botika, may pet shop, may prutas galing Baguio, may palabok at tapsilog at may CDs pa ni Bayang Barrios at Noel Cabangon.
And, once in a while, we stop by for some Pinoy street food. They’re all there in one corner.
Dirty ice cream, anyone?
Kikiam. Chicken Balls. Squid Balls.
Fishballs while you wait.
The best fishball sauce!
Tokneneng! To the uninitiated, these are deep-fried flour-covered quail eggs.
Green Mangoes. Peeled while you wait. Or halved and soaked in vinegar. Salted. Or topped with bagoong.
One hasn’t truly experienced the Philippines ’till he’s tried its street food.
Have a nice Wednesday!
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Tuesday, October 11th, 2011
Today I’ve had time to catch up on my reading. I’m taking the day off after giving up three weekends for shoots and to brace myself for yet another working weekend. It’s actually driving me crazy. Giving up one weekend is already such a downer, giving up four is to drive oneself to the edge of sanity. The only thing that keeps me hanging on is the thought that we’re realizing things that are beautiful.
It’s ironic that the book I’m holding is entitled Priceless, The Hidden Psychology of Value. Insightful and beautifully written, it’s proving to be such an entertaining read.
This part resonates:
“In the mundane act of naming a price, we translate the desires of our hearts into the public language of numbers.”
This part makes me question my perception:
“Consumers are like a sight-impaired person who can navigate familiar surroundings because he has memorized where the furniture is. This is compensation, not keenness of vision.”
We actually don’t know the price of anything. It’s perception that’s relative to something.
The price I’m being paid to do something is not the actual value of my contribution. It’s relative to how others are paid and how much I asked. I guess I’ll figure this out some more when I finish the book.
One thing’s for sure, though. You can’t put a price on passion and talent and heart.
And as I type this on my pajamas, having these few precious hours finishing a book and trying to say hello to you through this blog- utterly priceless.
Have a great week!
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Thursday, October 6th, 2011
The very first Mac that I bought was an iMac G3. A second-hand one from an art director friend. I was a copywriter raising two little kids and my husband and I couldn’t afford a brand-new one. From then on, our family graduated into a Macbook then a Macbook Pro and now I’m writing this on my Macbook Air. And while my youngest son now dreams of an iPhone 5, he’s had his fill of Apple products- from all the iPods to the last iPad. That’s why Steve Jobs’ passing is deeply felt in my family.
It’s really more than the technological breakthroughs. It’s the music. It’s the way we connect now. It’s the world getting smaller. It’s the chance to make oneself heard at a touch of a keyboard. And so much more.
Steve Jobs’ story is an inspiration. Born out of wedlock. Dropped out of college. Slept on the floor of a friend’s dorm room. And fired from his own company at 30, he went on to become an iCon of our time. His genius was truly remarkable that one is bound to examine if one will ever leave a legacy as huge as he did.
As my older son and I were driving home today, we asked ourselves what we could leave this world that will change life for the better.
It’s something worth asking, isn’t it?
Steve Jobs, iThankYou.
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