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: www.nebab.com. 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.
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