Sunday, December 30, 2007

My Favorite Things

One of the best things about Christmas is the gift-giving. We're all in such a festive mood that we don't mind taking out loans (aka using our credit cards) so we can make friends and family happy. I especially like unexpected gifts from people who are under no obligation to give me anything; and by obligation I mean only the kind that one assumes once a person picks out my name from a fishbowl for kris kringle.

Although I appreciate even a humble Christmas "hello" for a gift, I cannot help but like some gifts more than others. This Christmas, I especially like the following:

A puff-sleeved black dress that my sister gave me.

What is especially likeable about this dress is that it wasn't bought in a mall. My sister, who will not give me anything unless she is sure I will use it, actually showed this to me before she had it wrapped. She said she bought in a night bazaar for almost nothing, which makes it all the more special because it looks sosyal-in. Yikee. She got it also in white, but that one she'll have to sell to me, because my next birthday is still ten months away and well, she'd rather sell it to me than use it. Why, oh, why not?

A baby record book from our friend Grace.

This came with a card that said "To Pao and Gladi". We thought it was something innocent for the house, like a table runner or a shower curtain. But nooooh. It turned out to be a devious and scheming baby record book whose cuteness is designed to make possible parents like us temporarily forget about vaccinations, baby formula, diapers and college expenses. We'll use this next year maybe - next year being two days from today.

Super absorbent towels from space given by our friends Carlo and Carla.

Ever had one of those moments when you come across an object and you say to yourself: "This is way too cool. Why didn't I think of it first?". We had one of those moments with the Aquazorb. The packet says it absorbs 5x its weight in water on contact. These are just perfect for those trips where you're not sure if your "hotel" provides towels for guests or even when they do, you're sure you don't want to take the risk of using the "towels" the "hotel" gave you. Aquazorb gives you all that you need from a regular bath towel, while occupying less than 1/10 of a regular towel's luggage space. Way too cool.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Friday, November 9, 2007

Viva Vintage - Online Vintage Clothing Store
I had no idea there were so many ukay-ukay stores online! I went crazy last night browsing through dozens of multiply sites offering pre-owned designer bags, shoes, and my personal favorites, vintage-inspired clothing as in this online vintage store.

Ayan tuloy, my very own online garage sale is now in the works, especially to brighten up an otherwise dreary career. In the meantime, you must visit Viva Vintage. Their clothes are tasteful and reasonably priced. While I don't appreciate the stocks that they have now, I'll certainly keep on visiting their site to possibly buy me one of those lola dresses that I so looove.

The Case for Christ

Genre: Religion & Spirituality
Author:Lee Strobel
The Case for Christ is a very badly written book.

Its author, Lee Strobel, is a journalist turned lawyer who set out to prove the lie that is Christianity so he could reclaim his saved wife into the folds of disbelief. It actually took me a while to get hold of this book because it apparently sells fast and/or only a few copies of it are imported into the country at a time. So imagine my pain when, after exerting so much effort to locate it, I found in my hands 308 pages of uninspired paragraphs. Oh, the agony.

Really, I have seen college theses more skillfully written than The Case for Christ. Mr. Strobel just travelled North America, scheduled conversations with experts on Christianity, and then transcribed those conversations into a book. While cute narrations were placed in between transcriptions, The Case for Christ is actually just 80% quotations. The author contributes none of his own insights on the divinity, sanity and reality of Jesus Christ , and whatever statements he made in the book were parroted or paraphrased sentences from interviewed resource persons. I at least expected a few pages of inspiration. But you will again get none of that from Mr. Strobel, who seems to have decided to tell us what he was told and leave it at that.

And so, like I said, The Case for Christ is a very badly written book...that must nonetheless be read. It will at least get you started on asking questions you probably already thought about but, like me, were just to lazy to look up. Like, just how reliable is the Bible? Did Jesus Christ claim he is God? If so, could he have been crazy? Could Jesus have feigned his death and accordingly, his resurrection? And thoughts of a similar (or of a more excommunicable) nature.

If only to pique your desire to get to know God, I recommend reading The Case for Christ. I can lend you my copy, but you must promise to read it all throughout.

Try it.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Fantastic Four

It was an otherwise ordinary day for Pipo last Friday. He woke up early as he was accustomed to, and, after doing his usual "deed" in yesterday's newspaper, spent most of his morning watching Cartoon Network.

But last Friday (Nov.2) was also Pipo's 4th birthday. In celebration of four wonderful years of always having someone greet us at the door when we come home, we decided to take Pipo for a stroll in Tiendesitas. Pipo was apparently happy that he was able to get out of our apartment for once. Nevermind that I had to put him in a gym bag and cover his face with a towel so we can get past the security cameras in the lobby.

After our late lunch at a coffee shop in the SM Hypermart, we took Pipo to Chairo Pink - a pet grooming salon owned by our friend Michelle Pascua - for a visit. It turns out Ate Michelle was there, so Pipo the birthday d-o-g scored a free nail trim and a rockin' new outfit.

Pipo was having a blast peeing on every vertical thing we passed, including lamp posts, garbage bins, potted plants, legs of what seemed to be very expensive wooden tables and the like. But he became uncharacteristically quiet when we passed by this pet shop where all the other dogs seemed to not like him. In hindsight, maybe they were just jealous of Pipo's rockin' new outfit. (See Video)

Five hours later, Pipo looked like he had enough fun for the day. (He also looked dehydrated from all the peeing that he had been doing.) So we took the birthday boy home, where he spent the rest of the evening lounging around, perhaps contemplating the true meaning of life.

Happy Birthday dawg!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Deal or No (Big) Deal

I was having lunch in Glorietta 2 yesterday when the explosion occured. I thought the 'thing' that literally shook the walls of our restaurant was an earthquake. But then the crew from the kitchen started running out with cement debris on their faces, the lady in front of me started crying, and the security guards began ushering us out of the building, at which point I figured, "Now is a good time to leave."

We half-walked, half-ran through the crowd, passing two injured men on the way, until we reached the office space where one of us parked his car. All the while, my office mates were calling people (their loved ones, I suppose) to ask where they were and/or tell them that we're fine. I, on the other hand, casually strolled along and, while everyone was short of panicking, found myself saying, "Ibig sabihin ba nito walang court ngayon?".

I texted (not called) my dad and Pao about it, but only 10 mins. after arriving at the office. I had a cup of coffee shortly afterwards and then got back to my research on "grounds to discharge a patient from a hospital".

It is, of course, true that I was sitting less than than a hundred feet away from the center of the explosion and could very well have DIED yesterday. But the interesting, and quite disturbing, point about all of this is, I seem to not care. Yesterday to me was just another day. Perhaps something to blog about, but really no big deal.

On our way back to the office, my boss observed that my reaction to the whole thing could either be a sign of good mental health or of an impending mental illness. Eitherway, I lost the ability to empathize and I'm just afraid I permanently lost my heart.

(Image taken from the Associated Press at :

Saturday, September 8, 2007

All Systems Reverse

My world has turned upside down. At half an hour before midnight, Pao is still in his office while I'm already at home browsing very mundane pages on the internet.

In my busier moments, I'd sometimes wish that Pao's job were a little more stressful. That way, my conscience will not bother me when I stay late at the office because I'd know that Pao is still also not at home. After all, fairness demands that a busy husband be barred from raising workaholism as against his equally busy wife.

Coming home to an empty house, however, has made me change my mind. A busy day is apparently not as fun when no one's around to idly wind it up with you.

Off off to bed I go.

Quite clever, I am.

Surprise of all surprises. Pipo seems to have forgotten how to bark. My theory is that he is yet to realize that this house is now his home. His territorial instincts have thus not yet kicked in, so as to cause him to ward off every person who even attempts to look at our front door.

Occasionally, Pipo will react to footsteps from the floor immediately above our bedroom with muffled barks. It's a good thing I've been using the ringtone of a barking chihuahua for the last month. Now, Pipo's muffled barks should be conveniently mistaken by our neighbors for my ringing mobile phone.

Ah. In the words of Master Yoda, "Quite clever, I am."

Friday, September 7, 2007

Our Wedding Website
Pao and I (mostly myself) started a blog shortly before we got married to document our wedding preparations. Since we got the web space for free, we thought the site would disappear immediately after our wedding date. To our pleasant surprise, however, the site is still up and running. Reading it now feels like reading a scrapbook that I made several months back. Boy, was I be-atch. For those planning to get married, or are hoping to get married soon, I especially recommend the "Diary" page, where you'll discover how seemingly hopeless yet memorable organizing a wedding is.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Resident Evil

There is a new resident in our home by the name of Pipo Zamora. As many of you know, "four-legged pets" are not allowed under the by-laws of our condominium, so Pipo technically qualifies as contraband here.

We had to take Pipo in at the risk of eviction, mainly because my dad is no longer in good terms with our household help Manang Rosie. If Manang goes, Pipo goes with him. Far be it from my father to clean up after a dog.

Of course, Pipo will bark at and/or bite anything that moves. We had to assure one too many visitors in San Juan that he's been vaccinated and that the "wound will heal soon enough". He's a feisty little nut, considering that one could easily just pick him up or tell him "kamot" in a distinct sing-song tone and he'll surely lie on his back to collect his belly rub.

We were thus surprised to learn that Pipo did not blow his cover on his first day at the Zamoras. He did not bark and, according to Manang's report, would only occassionally sniff at the main door for corridor pedestrians.

So far, so good, so far.

For more on Pipo, visit his website.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Abandon Ship

Went to a dinner party last night hosted by an adorable German-Pinoy couple, in celebration of their 1st year anniversary in the Philippines. The sight of so many foreigners made me ask, once more, why so many of us Filipinos would give an arm, a leg (and several liters of blood) to leave the country while so many foreigners scramble to get Philippine appointments, which I was told are prized in the diplomatic community.

The answer I came up with is fairly simple. Foreigners generally love it here because, with their minimum six digit incomes, they are considered "haves". Dito kasi sa Pilipinas, masarap maging mayaman. Where else can you hire household help for US$50 a month, watch a movie for less than US$3, buy a decent handbag for less than US$10, or drink world-class San Miguel beer for less than US$1? Life is a ball in the Philippines IF you have money to spend.

Meanwhile, in pursuit of dreams of becoming mayaman, the rest of us struggle through 18-hour work days. Like our parents and their parents before them, we join the rat race. Exhaustion forces us to see, however, that the "race" is actually just a wheel in a hamster cage. It leads to nowhere. In fact, it's sole purpose is to amuse those outside the cage with the sight of running hamsters who don't know any better.

I observe that there are only two ways by which one can cross over to being a "have" in the Philippines: (1) by business; and/or (2) corruption. When a Filipino like myself is not good at either, can she be blamed for wondering whether there is something more promising for her outside the cage, er, the Philippines?

Ten years ago, the younger me would have called the present me a disgrace, among other unpleasant invectives. I sincerely believed that there was hope for the Philippines and that, in my generation, corruption will finally be rejected for the malady that it is.

But the younger me had not yet felt the frustration that comes with dealing with the Philippine government. She did not work weekends and late nights for just enough to pay off the rent and several other monthly bills. She actually had no cause to forsake the Philippines. I, on the other hand, am beginning to think that I have good cause to abandon ship.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Kalderetang Sapatos

This is me in my early attempts to cook food for my brandnew household. The blob on the plate is my version of kaldereta - kalderetang sapatos. Sobrang tigas nung karne nito, we needed to use a butcher's knife to cut the meat into smaller digestible pieces. Production number!

I have since learned to cook (a little). Once in a while, I will "pull a Rachael Ray" and put together a meal from whatever is in the refrigerator combined with whatever condiments are on top of it. The meals I come up with are usually a success, owing to the rule that I self-learned, thus:

Do not tell anyone what you're cooking until after the plate is on the table. For all you know, your intended porkchop may turn out tasting like adobo, which happened to me "early in my career" as a wife. If no one knows what your meal's supposed be, your failure of a porkchop may be a successful adobo, ergo, everyday cooking will always be a success for you!

Eureka. I should be able to look fashionable in yellow rubber cleaning gloves and I'm all set.

Too Many

- are the number of hours Pao spends playing his PSP (Playstation Portable). I don't mind. It's actually an interesting piece of self-destructive device, which allows you to spend your days pretending you're a cab driver in downtown Los Angeles* while successfully avoiding actual human contact.

I've also gotten into the habit. I find it convenient to have something to tinker with while waiting for my case to be called in court, waiting for my flight to board at the airport, waiting at the gas station for the gasoline guy to finish re-fueling our car, and generally, while waiting. Unlike Pao, however, I will not stay up until 4 A.M. on a weekday because "I need to beat Federer in this game.** It's the finals."

Men are attached to PSPs because they share a lot of things in common: Both are easy to turn on (no assembly required). Both can be engaging in large doses. And both can be pretty frustrating if you have no idea where you're going, so you're just pressing on all the buttons in the hopes of getting it right.

(Games mentioned in this Blog are:
* Crazy Taxi - Goal: Drive for as many passengers as possible. Pedestrians need not be avoided. No one dies in the game. You can just run over people and no one will bleed.
** Virtual Tennis - Goal: Beat Federer in the finals.)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Proposed Legislation

I stepped on a gum at a restaurant tonight. It may again just be due to my lack of sleep, but I thought at some point that whoever spit that gum out MUST be made to scrape it off my shoe, chew it again and dispose of it properly. Really, how hard can it be to wrap your gum in paper before throwing it away? That's not rocket science is it? Must someone else be bothered by your lack of common courtesy?

I thus propose that gum-chewing be regulated in this country. Only individuals with IQs above 250 may be licensed to chew gum. Only individuals with high-enough emotional quotients may be allowed to chew it more than once a month, in any case, not to exceed three times.

Unlicensed gum-chewers shall be made to scrape off hardened gum from street pavements by way of community service. Licensed gum-chewers who violate the terms of their license shall forever be banned from chewing gum.Gum retailers who sell gum to unlicensed gum-chewers shall be made to sing songs by Jessa Zaragoza - in public.

Respectfully submitted. Grrr.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Sino si Bob?

I find myself using my new surname more often nowadays. It's so much easier! I am amazed at how easy it is to call for pizza now. I don't even have to spell my name anymore, they just magically get it right the first time: "One four seasons pizza for Gladys Zamora." Very commonplace.

I still sign all professional documents using only my maiden name though. Everything written has to be with Nebab, or Nebab-Zamora. The guard at our apartment calls Pao, "Paolo Nebab". The name actually appears in our utility bills. Haha.

To some degree, I guess I miss my maiden name. It was easier to engage in small talk with a surname such as Nebab. All I had to do was pretend I was Pakistani, or Arabian. Even without any effort on my part, people will invariably ask me where the Nebabs are from or who "Bob" is. Gladys ni Bob. "Sino ba si Bob?".

A vanity search on Google will turn up several Nebabs around the world, all of whom are directly related to us. Really, I personally know Nestor Nebab, lawyer from Hazlet, N.J. and Emmanuel Nebab, Anesthesiologist from Rome, NY. And then there's this mysterious website dedicated only to Nebabs: Why, in heaven's name, would anybody want to put that up?

Anyways, since my sister and I are both married now, the Nebab family name is in danger of extinction, at least in this country. I will continue to carry the name, which has endeared itself to me through the years, but I can't say the same about our kids who will legally be Zamoras all their lives. The thought actually saddens me. Goodbye ni Bob. Sniff.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Blades of Glory

Genre: Comedy
Starring Will Ferrel and John Heder.

I completed my monthly movie-quota this week because of the typhoon. Things at work, or anywhere else for that matter, unexplainably slow down when it rains, which makes unproductive work like watching movies all of a sudden excusable.

Anyway, I had a blast watching Blades of Glory. It has no artistic value whatsoever and its plot is emptier than my wallet on the 26th day of every month, but you will roll over laughing at Will Ferrell; not at Will Ferrell's lines or at Will Ferrell's excellent physical comedy, just AT Will Ferrell. He's just so dang funny!

The movie is short enough (about an hour and a half) to leave your insanity intact. It's the kind of movie you ought to TRY after an exam or when the world is turning against you, as when you lose an arm or so.

Paano Kita Iibigin

Genre: Romance
Starring Regine Velasquez and Piolo Pascual-Nebab.

The weather has brought out the Pelikulang Pilipino fan in me, so we bought ourselves a DVD of this movie. The storyline is surprisingly all-original: Martee (Regine) is a single mother who works at a call-center. She loses her job because of a "breakdown" at work, and eventually gets herself and her son evicted from their apartment. She takes a free vacation to Zambales, in a resort owned by Lance (Piolo). Lance used to be a big-shot businessman until his drunk-driving led to the death of two of his cousins and his wife. Now he's just a washed up alcoholic who sleeps half-naked most of the time on the beach.

The writing by Vanessa Valdez is excellent. I have not thought this well of a Pinoy movie since Mumbaki and Muro-ami and well..."You Got Me" starring Toni Gonzaga and Sam Milby.

A word of warning, however. My good opinion of "Paano Kita Iibigin" may be due to the fact that I generally lower my expectations when it comes to Filipino flicks, which in turn, makes me easier to please; and then there's also my twisted sense of humor to consider. Nonetheless, I suggest you TRY it, even if only to see Piolo shirtless in wet denim jeans.

Mommy Magic

My mom is going back to the States next week so we had lunch at my sister's house to get things in order  before she leaves. There were a handful of roll overs, fund transfers, passbook updates and bill payments that had to be made in the interim. While my mom skillfully divided the work between my dad, my sister and myself, I arrived at the enlightening conclusion that my mom performed the job of at least three people all these years and she made it seem so effortless.

Ten years ago, my parents would have food prepared on the table when I got home, and would have given me allowance for gas and clothes and all the other useless things that I thought I needed. All I ever did was study, which was why I took all of these things for granted, never once wondering why or how food got on the table in the first place.

My world has since gone on reverse. Now I feel it is my responsibility to see to it that my dad is taken cared of, that bills in San Juan are paid on time, and that all my obligations as wife to Pao are accomplished. How I plan to go about this while trying to prove myself a worthy lawyer is beyond me. There could be some magic involved here. A chant perhaps that wives and mothers all over the world secretly share so they get 30 hours in a day, while the rest of us get 24?

My mother drivers me crazy most of the time. She will tell me to do something at least 5 times every time, which turned out to be counterproductive since I now have the skill of only pretending to listen when she speaks. Nearing her trip away from us, however, and only recently getting a glimpse of the life that she lives, made me realize what an amazing woman my mother really is.

Fly on the Plane

There is not much you can do in Cagayan de Oro city when all you have is a day. The province is famous for whitewater rafting, but the trip to the river takes at least an hour from the city and unfortunately, all I had was three hours of overpriced car hire hotel service to get to court, get the hearing over and done with, and go back to the hotel.

After finishing my (monkey) business at the Justice Hall, I had just enough time to visit the local parish, buy ham, the famous camiguin pastel and a handbag. My "shopping spree" gave me very little satisfaction, especially because I could just as well buy the pastel and the handbag in Market! Market! in Taguig, and the ham from the Pioneer Supermarket in Pasig. To add to my pathetic visit, I spent a good two hours looking for contact lens cases at the mall because I thought I left my case at home.

I spent the rest of the day working in my hotel room and waiting for my return flight home, occasionally looking out my hotel window to see this wonderful view of the firewall of yet another mall (Robinson's). What a sad, sad tourist I turned out to be.

Thirty-six hours later, the only interesting tale I got from this trip was the sight of a fly on the plane going back to Manila, which gave birth to an interesting train of thought: Does this fly's parents know that he's gone? Does he intend to go back to Cagayan de Oro on the same plane? When he does, will he brag to his friends that he has seen Manila? Will he tell his family that Manila, too, is a bore? Why am I assuming that the fly is a 'he'? Am I wrongfully assuming that women flys certainly will not travel alone? Where am I? Yey! NAIA!

I hope to go back to Cagayan de Oro to experience the province in all its splendour. In the meantime, I shall withhold all judgment and just enjoy my oro ham sandwich in the comfort of my home in smoggy NCR.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Bubble Tea Cafe / Carwash

Living without household help has its disadvantages, one of which is having to go to the carwash to ward off organic things that are starting to make themselves at home in your car. I especially do not look forward to going to the carwash for two reasons. First, I think it's such a waste of time to just sit on a bench while your car gets its act together. And second, my shoes inevitably get wet because said bench is often located beside the timba where they get the water.

Bubble Tea Cafe / Carwash along Kalayaan Avenue in Q.C. addresses both concerns. It's an odd combination, but the idea is pretty simple and in my opinion, a showing of sheer genius: Bubble Tea feeds you while they wash your car. At hindi ito karinderya na libreng kape lang ha. It's an actual airconditioned cafe situated accross the garage where they wash your car, serving japanese fastfood and milk tea in a variety of flavors!

We tried the tonkatsu sandwich (P130), roasted garlic with shitake mushrooms in cream sauce pasta (P130), hot almond milk tea (P65) and cold strawberry milk tea (P70). I'm not a fan of the food because they taste like my cooking (which is to say, not good at all) but the milk teas are fantastic. The "bubbles" that come with the cold teas are actually just sago, pero with a twist because they come in different sizes.

With a minimum purchase of P100 in the cafe, you get 50% off on your carwash fee. So we paid only P40 for good ol' Bertha's bath. I recommend you TRY it on a weekend, however, or whenever you can take your sweet time eating your merienda, because it took them quite a while, i.e. an hour and a half!, to finish washing our car.

Photo shows Pao taking a sip of his almond milk tea. Hindi maasim yung tea, mainit lang, kaya siya ganyan. TRY it.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Olympic Village Sale

The Olympic Village Store in Robinson's Pioneer is on sale. Shoes and sporting goods from all sorts of brands - Nike, Adidas, AND1, Northface, Sandugo, kahit LA Gear meron - are at 30%-70% off. Unlike sales in Megamall and the dreaded SM North, the items on sale in Olympic Village are not damaged and/or very ugly goods. Even relatively new designs are on sale, in broken sizes nga lang, so swertehan din.

Sales clerks are quite helpful. Apparently, rubber shoes need to be bought according to their purpose and not by color, so the sales person kept asking me what sport I would need the shoes for. Hindi daw puwedeng "I would like blue rubber shoes" lang.

Anyways, after a long-winded discussion on ideal shoe types for running, hiking, badminton, cross-training etc., I ended up with nice BLUE shoes at 30% off, which also turned out to be RUNNING shoes. Puwede na din. Basta blue.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Inmates dance to "Thriller"
Inmates in Cebu make good use of their time by learning to dance. That's way more productive than wallowing about mistakes that cannot be undone. This video is pretty inspiring, even though it stars a man dressed in a pink halter top. Way to go!

The Case of the Missing Wedding Ring

One of us was bound to lose his or her wedding ring. It was just a question of who will lose it first. We answered that question last Monday when Pao exclaimed on our way home from work that he's missing his ring. I wasn't at all surprised and was only mildly upset. Now that I think about it, I was upset not at the fact of its loss but because it was a rather expensive ring that we had custom-made to Pao's specifications. Where will we get another ring like that?

The next day, however, the missing ring was found sound asleep in the pocket of one of Pao's shirts. The question now being, what was it doing there in the first place?

The plot thickens...

Go Nuts Donuts Cupcakes

I never got it with the Krispy Kreme hoopla as I am, and forever will be, faithful to the donuts that I married, Go Nuts Donuts. I understand this is a Filipino brand, which all the more makes buying dozens of it enjoyable for me.

Anywho, I tried their new cupcakes last week just to show my support for my donut-husband. The cupcakes, unfortunately, do not do it for me. The variety I got particularly tasted like cupcake from the bakery sa kanto, with chocolate and lily's peanut butter on top. It wasn't bad-tasting, it just wasn't good enough to carry the Go Nuts Donuts name.

At P35 each, TRY it just once and then forget about it. Your P35 will make you happier elsewhere.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Wouldn't It Be Nice

Would you quit your job if you won the Lotto?

Yes, but I'll just find a better job in the same profession.

Yes, I'll move to the Bahamas and be a bartender.

No, my job defines me.

No, I wouldn't want to be kidnapped so no drastic changes should take place in my life.

I don't have a job.

I've had very little sleep these last days, owing to lawyer-ly things that need to filed with courts and what-not. When I'm feeling this tired, I often find myself window shopping for new careers in my head. For example, would I be happier as a pianist, a writer or a kiddie party clown?

These lead to other interesting hypothetical questions, foremost among which is the question that's been in my head since I entered this profession: Wouldn't it be nice if I had just enough money without having to work? When that time comes, would I quit my job, move to Bangkok with Pao, raise happy Thai/Filipino-speaking kids and live the rest of my life planting rice?

I guess not. Sure I'll quit my job but I'll still practice my profession. Minus the burden of worrying about money, I'll have the luxury to choose the people that I'd like to represent, to really really study my cases, and still have the time to cook dinner for my husband and spend weekends at home watching The Buzz.

Ahh. Wouldn't that be nice.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

SM Prestige Members' Lounge

Buti na lang I took my friendly neighborhood SM saleslady's advice and got myself an SM Advantage Card, which I used to think useless. (My parents bought a home theater system and I used my card to document it; I only got P200 worth of SM gift certificates in return.)

Last Tuesday, Pao and I were introduced to the SM Prestige Members' Lounge in Makati. It's a surprisingly comfortable space open only to SM Prestige Cardholders. We used it while waiting for the "smell-anie marquez" in the MRT station to "diffuse", owing to the thousands of sweaty office people who use it to go home.

I'm not sure how you convert your SM Advantage to an SM Prestige card. But I suppose the mechanics are basically the same. Just buy stuff from Henry Sy and wait till the saleslady in-charge of the cashier issues you the silver card. No sweat.

Featuring...the SM Advantage Prestige Lounge!

Meet the concierge, who will graciously ask you if you or your companion would like FREE coffee, water, or C2 iced tea.

They have very comfortable chairs, courtesy of SM Home. We chanced upon a man sleeping on the couch to our right. I just wasn't sure if I could take a picture of him without violating his  human rights. So hindi na lang. Anyway, notice the reading material on the console table. In fairness, okay ang mga magazines nila saka updated. Hindi katulad ng parlor sa Proj.6, September 2005 pa ang issue ng Cosmo.

Tables are wide enough to hold short meetings in.

The restroom is clean.

They have handsoap...

...and eureka, toilet paper!

"Pao bilis, kuha na tayong picture habang wala pa yung guard."

Gladi: "Thank you Shoemart! Two thumbs up to you!"

Pao, taking the picture: "Isa lang ang nakataas na thumb mo."

Gladi: "Okay."

Friday, July 20, 2007

SanFo Treats' Caramel Apple

I take the doctor's advise to eat more fruits and vegetables seriously. On Tuesdays, when our car is color-coded, I make sure to grab myself an apple from SanFo Treats in Glorietta on our way to the MRT station in Ayala. Nevermind that the apple is covered in caramel, pink marshmallows, and milk chocolate. The majority of it is still apple, which should satisfy my minimum fruit intake for the week.

** I especially like the "Marshmallow Boulder" at P50 each. TRY IT!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Chef d'Angelo's Tiramisu Cheesecake

I'm a big fan of cheesecake and have tasted most varieties on the planet. I thought Chef d'Angelo's cheesecake was okay when I first tasted it during law school, when my culinary exposure was limited to isaw at Kalayaan and fishballs at FC. So, last week, after the usual tiring weekday run at work, I decided to relive my carefree life as a law student and went back to Chef d'Angelo to give their tiramisu cheesecake another go.

In a nutshell, it tasted like toilet paper soaked in condensed milk. (Not that I've ever tasted toiled paper before, but you know what I mean.) I cannot understand why Pao liked it so much. My suspicions are, he's pregnant. He's been gaining weight lately and will eat anything edible. Aha.

Two Weddings and a Siesta

The food in my cousin Dino's wedding was fantastic. Looking back, I might have overdone it with the butter sauce on my fish, which explains why I felt groggy a couple of hours later and had to go to bed.

On the other hand, I did get only three hours of sleep the day before. I had to finish reviewing a contract that was given to me on a Thursday afternoon and was unexplainably due on a Saturday. I could have finished reviewing the contract earlier, except that I didn't have a dress to wear yet to the wedding so I spent four hours of my Friday evening in Glorietta looking for a dress. The fact that I chose shopping over sleep says a lot about my priorities, which is to say, they are pretty messed up.

Due to my lack of sleep and Pao's constant need to oversleep, we went home after the Pulido-Lim wedding to take a much needed siesta. Two hours later, we were on our way to Paco Park, fearing traffic and threatening rains, to attend a classmate's wedding.

Fortunately, it didn't rain but only drizzled, which can only mean that the heavens are blessing this long overdue marriage. Marc and JP are just perfect for each other. Paraphrasing a message from their friend during the reception, their love is not the "I love you so much I need you to be with me all the time" kind of love. It is the "I love you so much we've gotten past that" kind.

Too bad I don't have a picture of JP in her charming Patis Tesoro gown. Anyways, knowing how lovely JP always is, you can imagine her walking down the aisle even in jeans and she'll still be stunning.

Congratulations you two and God bless your marriages!

The newlyweds, Dino and Mylene Pulido. Our apologies for the blurry pictures. Blame it on the butter...

Pigeon 1 to Pigeon 2: "Pare, ano to? Bakit pinaghahalik tayo?"

On our way home, in the dress that caused me "sleepless nights".

This is Marc and JP's equally charming invitation. They gave away useful bag charms for souvenirs. Now, why didn't we think of that?

Still Pao and myself at my cousin's wedding. We knew very few people there, so we had to take pictures of ourselves!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Dog Lawyer
A parody on the uselessness of a litigious culture. Extremely funny for lawyers, may be moderately funny to others. Fans of SNL will roll over laughing.
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