Baguio Pictures

I know you’ll request for the pictures we took up north. Although you’ve asked that I send it via email, it’ll be humanly impossible for me to load all 211 of it, 10GB at a time. I still have a life to live you know. So I’m routing you here in my page instead. It’s both easier for me and you’ll be able to grab it just as effortless as if it was in your email.



I was awoken by my mobile phone twittering and vibrating across my bed stand. I reached out with my eyes closed and with difficult resolve, I opened one eye with a lid that felt like weights.

“Congratulations, you won”.

It was 7:42 in the morning and I remember hitting the sheets around 3am. This is supposed to be my weekends (within a weekday), why are they interrupting me?

No race today, so I’m nonchalantly shoving anything that relates to work. Besides, the planes will fly with or without me. But I was already rather tweaked. Rissa, my friend and officemate, will never be a bother especially with nonsensical messages. So what is she so happy about? Was it the lottery? Was it the brand new Porche I saw at the show room? I don’t remember joining any raffle. But wait …

And I woke up with a start, sitting on my bed wondering what she was talking about. I grabbed my phone again which I unknowingly shoved under my pillow.

I won the photo contest. Un-bah-leee-vah-ble! The picture is now streamed in every PC in the company as a screensaver. I made the unlikely happen. Me and my passion for inanimate objects, like books, slugged it’s way around and got the 2nd most highest vote amongst numerous entries – that seem to spell professional camera, skilled photographer and studio shots. What’s most amazing is, the rest spoke of lurid celebration of love (which is the theme of the contest); the one I have spoke of mute affections none too strong to stand against love for family and friends. The one I have played with the good lighting of my room and my mobile phone flashlight. It was all too simple.

2nd_place Love Shots Photo Contest

My head is now throbbing. Shooting up in bed like that is never right. But at least, I am now beginning to remember what exactly I was aiming for when I bought my camera.

Currently listening to The Fear by Lily Allen via Monster Radio RX93.1

Got Vibe

Like everybody else, I like a lot of things. Music being one of them.

Growing up, I imagined my life to be a little more musical. Not the Broadway busting a note in the middle of the street type of thing, just as simple as me mastering an instrument or two. I tried my hands on piano, guitar and drums but nothing really stuck because I was dyslexic (self diagnosed). I realized through age, that I could just run to radio to get my fix.

Recognizing this thing about me, I realized I haven’t bought a CD for ages. I think my last purchase was Franz Ferdinand’s album. I was cleaning my room when I saw my old CD case containing perhaps around 20 different albums. It suddenly came to me, I used to be so nuts in getting the latest album. I remembered, when Tower Records was still around, I’d order and harass them for the latest Morrissey or Bloc Pary record. Those were the days, days before I still had guilt over stream music and download. I remembered to be the coolest chick in school after owning a Prodigy Fat of The Land album. I can’t remember how many times it was borrowed so they can make mixed tapes for their significant other – most burned, Smack My *itch Up, I wonder why. I’ve changed so much in the course of a very few years.

It used to be a trip down the nearest record store and two hours of pacing up and down the rows and rows of albums. I live for those moments of search. It’s almost comparable to finding the best blue jeans or sneakers and using it over and over until it can’t be used any longer. Should I take home U2 or the Super Furry Animals? An astute judgement was in need before I bring my choice to the cashier. Lest I waste the money I’ve been saving for two weeks to something I won’t listen to. But truth be told, I usually just hazard a guess and I almost always bring home the right one (ex. Matrix Part1 Soundtrack – whom my cousin Gary borrowed but never returned).

Ahh, those were the good ol’ days.

I now recommend stream music. My favourite radio station is LA’s Kiss FM, Pandora and LaunchCast. In a day like today, I’ll just be clicking my mouse to get to the music that suits my vibe. For the longest time, I work with music on the background. That, I think, has been constant since I realized that Magic 89.9 was so rad – I was maybe, twelve or eleven years old. Fast-forward to teen hood, I had a chance to work with the company. It was quite cool still.

Earning my maturity, I gained an appreciation for the classics. I think you’ve read me ramble several times about it. In case I’m in need of contemporary arrangements that has a touch of orchestra, I click for Film Scores in my LaunchCast. I like it a lot.

And when I’m tired but still pushing for a few errands before the day ends, I put up some acoustic performance in the mix. Unplug is what I think we use to call them. Have you heard of the new piano rendition of Lily Allens The Fear? So neat.

Music is a perennial ingredient of my life. But I’m no Joaquin Phoenix. I’m staying a listener.

Currently listening to Grand Torino By Jamie Cullum via LaunchCast Radio

Confessions Of A Shopaholic

confessionsBecky has a problem … she’s legally broke.

Confessions of a Shoppaholic is Sophie Kinsella’s cautionary tale and New York Times Bestseller that speaks to women all over the world. It is comparable to Lauren Weisberger’s The Devil Wears Prada or Helen Feilding’s Bridget Jones’s Diary. It follows Rebecca “Becky” Bloomwood’s shenanigan as she goes deeper and deeper to her addiction. What makes this a comedy as opposed to the usual road of all junkies which is tragedy, is Becky’s ability to make seamless and funny mistakes one after the other.

Unlike the Sex in the City girls who have money to burn, our dear Becky is supported only by her measly salary as a journalist. And when her credit card bill earned a Debt Collector hot on her trail, things go awry. She starts learning to lie to her well meaning boss, who is also charming and pensive. With professional trust being broken, we slowly realize the good life Becky is destroying with her shopping addiction.

Movies like these are best enjoyed with girlfriends. The kind that are true to friendship and familiarity because we all know that some part of ourselves relate to the dumb idea of buying things we think we need – and we need someone who can sympathize. We are all vulnerable to be retail clueless sometimes. Although Confession’s is a celebration of triumph over addictions, it also celebrates deep seeded morals we learn in our formation years.

CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLICThe movie is riddled with sitcom-ish humour that comes across as insensitive to America’s current economic status. But hey, isn’t that what escapism is all about? It tried to bring the message across that too much retail, especially when you can’t afford it, is never prudent. It tried to charm us with numerous actors too big for their character – Isla Fisher (Becky) is adorable. It tried to make the best of post Oscar season/ pre Awards night with careless gusto to give people a break, away from depressing plot lines. It tried to be fashionable yet reminded us that we can buy education but never class. It tried to carry on its back the bestselling novel, keeping to most of what’s printed and embellishing it with a little Hollywood (setting was originally in London but was moved to New York). Confessions of a Shopaholic did try.

Flaky as it may seem, it is entertaining. It may not be the top burner, A-lister flick we are gunning for yet it is hilarious.

Ratings:  star2star3star_halfstar_21star_22


Gran Torino

Gran TorinoThe sheer juggernaut that is Clint Eastwood is enough to sell any movie.

Gran Turino is worth seeing because it stems from true emotions of a time long forgotten. A time when America had issues with race and a time where people can speak their minds of how other Colors run their country to the ground. Clint Eastwood’s craggy-faced Korean veteran character personifies the riffle-toting grandpa, which is both patriotic and extreme.

Walt Kowalsi (Eastwood) is now alone after his beloved wife dies. He’s closer to his dog Daisy than he is to his grandchildren. No one in the neighborhood likes him and he doesn’t like any of them either. He has a prized 1972 Gran Torino that everybody wants their hands on. He is also the only self respecting all-American in a neighborhood filled with Asians and gangs that threaten to break the already vulnerable structure. As an Asian, I wouldn’t want to be his neighbor, come to think of it, I don’t fancy being in his neighborhood.

By this time, loneliness slowly creeps in, in the most obscure way possible. He walks his days with a growl that speaks volumes of how the country he defended in his early life has fallen to an altered realism.  His opinion of the world is summed up by his encompassing scowl, period.

But when a gang bang threatens to trash his lawn, he steps to protect it and by this time, we know grandpa ain’t joking (“Get. Off. My. Lawn … or I’ll blow a hole in your face then go inside and sleep like a baby”). The next morning his doorsteps are filled with gifts and food. To his surprise, the Asians are thanking him for what he did the night before. He shuns them with a glare but none of that get’s to them, because as per tradition it’s not polite to look a man straight in the eye. The neighborhood can be pretty persistent but all their presents just end up in the trash. Try as he may the Asian’s starts to grow on him. He stricks a friendship with a young teenage girl named Sue and learns that her brother – who tried to steal his Grand Torino,whom he aptly calls “pussy” – is actually smart. As the days progress, he finds a common ground with his neighbors but still keeps to racial slurs.

gran torino clint eastwoodAnd then the story unravels to a turning point that narrows Walt’s theory of America to it’s truest idea. The truth is, he only wants people to be descent. The America he knows, fought for and worked hard for shadowed the real problem by his bigotry. He really doesn’t loath them, it’s what they do wrong that he despise. The direct, no-nonsense old man who has seen the failure of the system is now redeeming himself whilst redeeming the neighborhood.

The title is a humdinger of Walt’s idealized past. If he was in the old west, you’ll normally conclude him to be just one of them cowboy’s with hard principles. The film is endearing and at times funny because Walt’s insesitivities can simply come off as a joke. Although there are pitfalls in Thao and Sue’s acting, the rest of the movie is still very forceful. Perhaps having an iconic Clint Eastwood direct and produce the whole thing made it’s success certain.

Gran Torino‘s final act is too poignant to rationalize. The encompassing Marxism of the hero’s final fight was deep and sad. Yet it’s message carried it home and back.

Ratings: starstarstarstarstar_2