Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Never Trust Your Husband

Since I've seen tangible proof, i.e. our plane tickets, that we're really going to the beach this Holy Week, I asked Pao to bring home a maxi dress from Bangkok for me.

In my defense, I wasn't even the one who solicited the pasalubong. It was Pao who asked if I wanted something from where he was. So I thought, well, those maxi dresses I saw in Greenhills look pretty nice.

The instructions were fairly simple. A maxi dress looks like a daster, except longer. Also, try asking if the dress is meant for wearing to the beach. If the answer is yes, then that is it. Pao seemed to know what I was talking about as I never got any more questions from him. It's a wonder then, why, instead of a maxi dress, this monstrosity boarded the plane to Manila:

Eeek! I can see through the cheesecloth. Ano ito? Pelikula ni Gloria Diaz?

But God is good. Sometime before Pao's flight back home today, an angel whispered to a good samaritan's ears to buy a sunny happy maxi dress for a hardworking employee named Gladys who's left in the Philippines. The good samaritan(s), a.k.a Dr. Neric Acosta and his wife Prof. Carina Chotirawe, heeded the angel's advice and bought this fantastic maxi dress for me, straight from Jatujak:

Heaven sent really; saved me from all the tears I would have shed had I opened Pao's MBK plastic bag first. (Thanks very much! Spread the love!)

The moral of this story is, never trust your husband or any man for that matter, to pick out something that you actually intend to wear. You will not like whatever it is he's going to buy. Words related to fashion, dysmenorrhea and breast-feeding get lost in translation in their heads. Might as well save yourself from the disappointment.

If, by any chance, the man in your life actually knows how to pick out clothes that you'll like, you're in trouble. Ask Carmina. I'm sure Rustom knew what colors looked good on her.

Monday, March 30, 2009


It's so difficult to keep track of John Lloyd Cruz when he doesn't have any movie showing. He's just so private with his personal life, it makes me wonder if he even cares for me at all.

It's a good thing he's featured, along with what I now know to be the "Kanto Boys," in ABS-CBN's 2009 Summer Station I.D.

Nevermind Anne Curtis in her yellow bikini or the half-naked Marc Nelson. The more important portions of this video are those of Lloydie dancing in his uber-updated cropped white pants.

Girlfriend Liz must be giving our hero some dressing tips, as these pants are straight off Thom Browne's Fall 2009 collection.

Way to go Lloydie. Also loving the Edu Manzano sockless shoes: Dahil alam naman nating lahat na ang tunay na lalaki, hindi nagmemedyas.

Here's Another Secret

I take advantage of the times when Pao is away to do Gladi things - things that I like to do but Pao doesn't, like staying at home all Saturday just watching TV and going to the bookstore.

Yesterday, I stumbled upon National Bookstore P.O.B (Previously Owned Books) where I spent a good hour rummaging through books that don't at all look like they're "previously owned." Prices start at P30, while some coffee table books on architecture and business sell for up to 70% off.

Of course, you'd have to manage your expectations before going. You don't go there expecting to find Murakami, Palahniuk or Jeffrey Sachs at bargain prices. You go there to take home books that will occupy your time but will not make any significant contribution to humanity, or books that you'd like to read (in secret) but will not be made to pay P350 for.

For example, I got this book by Melvin Burgess titled "lady: my life as a bitch," about a seventeen-year old girl who gets turned into a dog. There's a sticker on the cover that warns "Parental Advisory: Explicit Content," and a review on the back cover reads, "It's original and challenging and incredibly rude." (Price: P50)

And then there's what I think is my best buy by someone called Susan Maushart titled "Wifework: Men Get One Thing From Marriage That Women Never Do - Wives." The book's blurb partly reads, "Becoming a wife will erode your mental health, reduce your leisure, decimate your libido, and increase the odds that you will be physically assaulted or murdered in your own home." Hmmm. Should be interesting... (Price: P50)

An hour later, I brought home four books for a total price of P180 or just the (approximate) equivalent of two issues of Yes! magazine. (You know why I know how much Yes! magazines cost.)

So if you're into explicit content, incredibly rude writing, and such revolutionary theories as "if family life is to be saved, wifework would have to go," I suggest you pay P.O.B a visit. It's at the 2nd floor of National Bookstore, Quezon Ave.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Vacation Wanted

I never understood why adults made such a big fuss of the Holy Week. My parents did not like traveling, or traveling together to be precise, so Holy Weeks for my sister and I consisted of three days of The Ten Commandments reruns, and later on, Eat Bulaga Lenten Specials. Remember, cable and the internet were then nonexistent. So without ABS-CBN and GMA7 airing, we were left with absolutely nothing. Radyo lang meron, pasyon pa ang palabas. Gad.

It was only when I joined the workforce that I began to appreciate the Holy Week immensely. Only a salaried employee can appreciate the fact that you get a ticket out of your chair in the office for four straight days once a year. You don't even have to file a leave form. No days get taken out of your leave credits. No one calls you on your office mobile to ask about work. No 9 to 6s, no computer screens, no Board presentations, no high heels. Super super great.

It's so sad, though, that I thought about the awesomeness of the Holy Week only recently. I've been preoccupied with a purchase that I forgot to book a vacation far, far away from Manila. Now most of the cheap flights are taken and most hotels in the interesting places are booked. We have nowhere to go. Wala na! Waah!

Pao said that he'll make arrangements for a trip to Cagayan De Oro-Bukidnon-Camiguin in two weeks. I don't know how that's possible considering that he's not even in the country. Bahala na siya dun. Whatever magic he's cooking up has to work. It's been six months since I've last  been to the beach. My ice-cold San Mig Light-liempo combo is haunting me in my sleep.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What the Pack?

(Same blog, new title*) Pao does some traveling for work. I've gotten so used to him coming and going that I don't really bother helping him pack anymore. My husband's an expert packer (Wahaha). He can pack for a trip to anywhere in the world in minutes. He just clears the bed, skilfully lays down the clothes that he'll need, and packs away (Wahaha, still laughing.) Just like that.

Tonight, while he was packing his stuff, Pao asked for my help. As always, I said "No way compadre" but I helped him anyway.

It's a good thing I bought what I thought was a useless piece of Home TV shopping implement a few months back. All I had to do was place Pao's shirts on the darn thing right side down and then fold here and there. The results are amazing. You get folded shirts of equal sizes all the time. Mel would be so proud.

While helping Pao pack, I learned  that unlike moi, the wife of Pao's officemate C does not need asking. She just packs C's things for him. As in, everything's set when C gets home from work. All he has to do is pick up his luggage and leave.

This raises several questions in my head. How does C's wife know which shirts and how many pieces of underwear he'd like to bring? If C's wife has to travel for work, will C reciprocate the gesture and likewise prepare his wife's things for her? Where is justice in all this?

Knowing how it is between husbands and wives in this day and age, I'm guessing C does not, and will never, pack his wife's clothes for her. It's just the way it is. The bright side is, in case C and his wife get into a big fight, wife can always pack sandos and bermuda shorts for C on a December trip to Brussels. Ah, sweet, sweet revenge.

* I decided to change this blog's title after posting it, as a social experiment. Let's see...

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Confessions of a Shopaholic

Genre: Comedy
First off, let me issue a sincere public apology to Pao for making him watch this movie. His workweek was just too tiring for him to care what theater I was dragging him into. I, on the other hand, should have known better.

I'm not sure if I should even put this in writing, but yep, I read the book. It was oh so forgettable that I forget how it even ended. I remember the scarf episode; I don't recall the scarf being green. Whatever.

The only good thing that came out of this movie is that I discovered Hugh Dancy. Too bad he's engaged to one of my least liked actresses of all time, Claire Danes. Ayos lang. Hindi naman tayo seloso.

Anyway, the line "I was once stalked...by a dog," isn't even funny.The actress who played the secretary who said this line should never be allowed to make another movie EVER.

Confessions of a Shopaholic was so bland, I can't bring myself to even call it a feel-good movie. I watched the movie, and I am NOT feeling good at the moment.


Friday, March 20, 2009

Nerds Rock

Here's American Idol 8 contender Anoop Desai, singing Angel of Mine with what looks like his highschool choir - matching vests and way coooool button pins included.

Kuya Germs

I try not to be squeamish about things. I did have Taiwanese fish nibble on my feet sometime ago. I had to dip my feet into a fish tank for that. I also ate those worms in Balaw-Balaw, Angono some months back. I lost a couple of nights’ sleep, but I’m over that now. Those worms were gummy anyway and, from what I Googled, quite nutritious.

But I must admit to being Mysophobic once in a while. For example, I do not like people eating out of my plate no matter how chummy or married we are. At work, I will seldom (and only if forced) offer my food to other people. I also have the habit of looking into a drinking straw before using it, for fear that it may be dotted with cockroach eggs inside. I read this over the Internet, so I’m thinking it must be true.

I may have overcompensated to the point of being dugyot* today.

Early this morning, I met an officemate at the lobby doughnut shop. We each bought an iced tea. Well meaning that she was, she handed me a straw with her bare hands. Not accepting it was not an option, as I may offend her if I did that. So pano, damage control na lang tayo: “Should I place the contaminated portion up or down? Germs in the iced tea or germs in my mouth?” Nanalo si germs in the iced tea. I should just have pretended to drink it. But I couldn’t think that fast under pressure. Damn it.

Also, while I was buying caramel apple after lunch, I saw one of the sales ladies still putting on her socks inside the stall. It appears that she just reported for her shift. The same sales lady prepared and sliced my caramel apple. Wahhh! She did wear plastic gloves, but still, she had her hands on her socks, and, and…her feet five seconds ago! On hindsight, I should have just asked the other sales lady to prepare my caramel apple. Or I could have just chucked the caramel apple in the nearest trash can. But it all happened so fast. I couldn’t think that fast under pressure. Damn it.

World, these are the stupid stupid things that I did today. I may not be able to sleep tonight. Pero okay lang naman di ba? Wala naming namamatay sa germs. O meron? Damn it.

*Dugyot is Ilocano for dirty only to a far greater degree.

Yes or No

(A knee-jerk reaction to K's blog.)

Hmmm. I haven't been reading about this issue as much as I think I should, but just for the heck of it, my sentiments are -

First, Nicole disappoints me. I hoped she could just be consistent. Was she violated or not? Kung hindi, she should not have filed the case (and followed it through to the end) in the first place. Kung oo naman, what is she doing retracting all her previous statements? So many ka-women-an women empathized with her and marched the streets at the time to support her cause. Sayang lang ang pinagsususunog nilang American flags at nagastos na pintura paggawa ng placards.

As to the American serviceman's lawyers, they were just doing their jobs when they prepared the new Affidavit. It was anyway Nicole's choice whether to sign it or not. There's especially no reason why special mention should be given to the Notary Public who notarized the Affidavit. That s/he may have been a UP Law graduate is beside the point. Notaryo siya eh, so if Nicole says the Affidavit is written of her free will, the notary must attest to that. If the Affidavit turns out to be false, then the notary would not have been the one who lied. That would be Nicole.

I think lawyers are lambasted, often unfairly, because they are measured against erroneous expectations. It's not healthy for a practicing lawyer to start weighing right versus wrong. A lawyer's job is to figure out what is legal and what is not. Right and legal are not the same. In fact, they are often on opposite ends. If a lawyer must do what is right all the time, he must rethink his practice; otherwise, hindi mo kakayanin at mababaliw ka lang.

I, thank you. Bow.

(What is this we're talking about? Read about it here.)

Monday, March 16, 2009

History Repeats Its Face

When I moved out of my parents' house two years ago, I placed all my baby pictures in small cardboard photo albums that I got from National Bookstore. My parents weren't much of picture-takers, so all evidence of what my childhood was like fit into three cardboard albums. I placed all three on top of my dresser in our new place, to make sure they were always in my line of sight.

I thought I lost all my childhood pictures when we moved back into my parents' house a year ago. There were just too many boxes to pack and unpack at the time that I lost track of where my cardboard albums were. I prepared for the worst and tried to justify my loss by thinking that memories are far better than pictures and, so long as I don't get Alzheimer's in the future, I'm going to be fine.

Luckily, our Manang found my cardboard albums under a desk in her room yesterday! Whoopee! I missed my baby pictures so much that I spent most of the morning going through them. Tignan niyo ha, tatatlong album lang yan ang tagal ko pang pinagbububuklat.

I found these pictures of me and my sister, taken when our parents were struggling newlyweds who lived in an apartment in Sampaloc, Manila near the riles (Filipino for railroad track as in "Home Along Da Riles.") Notice my shaved head, which my mom says they had to do because I had scabs on my head. Teehee.

It's amazing how my sister and I look A LOT LIKE my nephews, AC and Gab. We tried to recreate our photos yesterday with AC and Gabby as our unwilling models.

I swear, if my sister and I were boys, we'll look exactly like the kids do now! So strange.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Love Me Again (Love Down Under)

Genre: Drama
About Piolo, he's not my type. I'd pick John Lloyd's boy-next-door-na-may-konting-tiyan look over Piolo's chiseled abs any day. I don’t get why girls go gaga over Piolo. He looks way too much like a movie star for my taste.

My impartiality towards the Piolo is the reason why I dreaded watching Love Me Again - here comes the second title - Love Down Under. Contrary to general impressions, I do not watch just any old Philippine movie. I have standards. First, the movie has to star John Lloyd Cruz. Second…well, that’s about it.

I didn't like Love Me Again because I don't particularly like horseback-riding women with big breasts. That role was played by Angel Locsin. While she IS a better actress than KC Concepcion, exposure to even a few minutes of KC’s acting would reveal that it isn’t much of a compliment if somebody says, “Mas magaling ka naman kay KC.”

I like Angel, mostly from second-hand stories of how pleasant she is in real life. But in this movie, she tries too hard to be the cowgirl that she just doesn’t cut it. Also, hooting and tooting in my opinion is universally irritating irrespective of how heavenly the hooter’s and tooter’s body is. Here, Angel just hoots a lot.

The storyline I could have written in grade school. The characters are patterned after the usual "accident in the family-girl has to be OFW to fend for family-boy gets left behind story" except this time, girl and boy are – get this – cowpersons.

Piolo delivered somewhat because he was often half-naked or at least wore sleeveless shirts to show-off his defined biceps, but that’s about that. Like I said, I’m not a fan. So without John Lloyd Cruz, even with Piolo’s six-pack and Angel’s angels, I’d say I’m just thankful the movie finally ended.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

1 Life 2 Live

I did not know Francis Magalona personally, but I was one among many who listened to Gotta let ‘Cha Know on Mr. Magalona’s first Philippine rap album Yo!. I idolized him so much that I wore long-sleeved plaid shirts around my waist everyday in the spirit of Mga Kababayan Ko. This is why I've been shedding tears spontaneously since Francis Magalona passed away last Friday.

I am surprised that my sadness is shared by my sister Gene, who couldn’t care less about the Philippine music scene, much less rap music. Now she’s telling me that she knows all the tracks in Yo!. At 32 years old, my sister skillfully RAPPED (gasp) Cold Summer Nights in front of her kids just to prove her point. I do not know if her kids will ever recover from that.

It appears that in 1990, when I was 10 and my sister & I shared a room, I owned a cassette tape of Yo! I played it over and over again until my sister’s ears bled. I played it until she memorized all the tracks in her sleep. She’s been a closet fan of Francis Magalona ever since.

Yesterday after breakfast, Pao and I decided to pass by FM’s clothing store in Broadway Centrum to look at his shirts. I previously did not know that FMCC existed. Since it was a Sunday, I expected the visit to be quick and purposeful: Buy a shirt, go home. I was wrong. This is what the line looked like to the clothing store.

Pao and I waited in line for about an hour before we got in, but the wait was enjoyable. You know from eavesdropping on other people’s conversations that FM was genuinely loved by his fans. A young family (around our age with a 3-year old son) was in front of us in the line. Tag-team sila sa pagbili ng t-shirts. Husband chooses first while Wife takes care of Child. Wife chooses second while Husband takes care of Child. Wife chooses clothes for Child. They were interesting.

The man behind me (in black above) asked us to please choose shirts quickly because he’s still going to Greenmeadows for FM’s wake. He pleaded with utmost sincerity: Bilisan natin kasi bibisitahin ko pa si Idol.

Pao and I bought a shirt each. I don’t even know when I will be wearing mine. I just wanted something to bring home to remember Francis Magalona by.

Like I said, I only knew Francis Magalona to be an artist, husband to Pia Arroyo, dad to eight kids. Plenty of artists passed away before him, but I haven’t been this grief-stricken through those years.

Maybe it's because he was young like us. He had simple dreams for his family. He had dinner with the kids. He took the wife out to dinner occasionally. He tried out a lot of things – photography, business, showbusiness – and excelled in all of them. He left a legacy. He had uncomplicated plans for the Philippines. He loved his country, and his country loved him.

Francis Magalona lived forty-four years when he passed away on March 6, 2009. Yun naman ang  forty-four years na sinulit. Kita-kits.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The name's Bond. Gladi NeBond. Zamora.

I'm loving my recently acquired vintage watch, circa 1950s. I love the fact that a watch so old (almost twice my age) still keeps good time. Because really, how many of us would still be functional, socially or career-wise, fifty years from now?

I also love the fact that I get to wear the same type of timepiece as James Bond. Omega Seamaster. Pogi di ba? Kahit yata si Tsokoleyt magsuot nito, gagwapo.

Out of curiosity, I took my new old watch to the watch store near our office and had it appraised. Turns out it's worth 3x the money I paid for it. Cheapskate.

Here's an Omega ad in Life Magazine, published 1955. I got it from one of those Omega forums. There's my watch, less the Saudi gold strap:

Sir Sean Connery wore an Omega when he played James Bond in the 1960s. Don't you just love this fellow? He looks so chivalrous and regal.

Meanwhile, here's what I think a regal me would look like...

The watch helps with the image. It sends out a clear message: I mean business, you guys. John Lloyd business. People should take me seriously from now on.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Bright Idea No. 1, series of 2009

Here's a picture of my cubicle at work. It has the usual office stuff - codals, reminders tacked with pushpins, papers here and there. Pretty bland and innocuous. But alas, what is this I see encircled?

A note from John Lloyd Cruz himself, which reads: "Dear Gladys, All the best! I LOVE YOU, John Lloyd."

Okay, I might have edited a bit. The note (which some unsupportive people tell me is actually just an autograph) really reads: "Blah Blah Blah LOVE, John Lloyd." The important thing is, we're feeling the love here. It's there. It just needs a little nourishing.

This need for "nourishment" brings us to my pressing concern. I've been Googling all over but I can't find a single decent John Lloyd Cruz fan site anywhere! How could that possibly be, when, on the other hand, there appears to be such an animal as sarahgeronimo.com.

I felt bad for Lloydie instantly. There are surely millions of people out there like me looking for the latest John Lloyd Superhero news and couldn't find any. I felt so bad for Lloydie that I actually registered iheartlloydie.livejournal.com in my name. Brilliant Idea No. 1, series of 2009: I should start making John Lloyd's website myself!

I'm thinking of chronicling John Lloyd's career before he was even Rovic in Tabing Ilong, to that interesting period where he dated this lady here. Okayyy.

...to the present where he's dating this classy lady here...

I may run out of material, considering that John Lloyd Cruz doesn't do too many movies in a year. But then he has those weekly apparitions in ASAP where he dances with Billy Joe. Maybe I could use those.

What do you think?

(Special thanks to my sister-in-law Ana, who got me my love letter from Lloydie. Now you know that thanks to you, I'm reminded of John Lloyd Cruz every waking hour of every day, except weekends and holidays.)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

You Changed My Life

Genre: Classics
So, who else has seen the new John Lloyd Cruz-Sarah Geronimo movie? Umamin na ang dapat umamin! Of course I'd seen it. Even if I didn't want to (which is highly unlikely) Pao would have forced me to watch the movie at gunpoint. He loves John Lloyd Cruz more than I do. Yes you do, Pao.

Thinking that the sosyalin or nagpapanggap na sosyal crowd would have steered clear of You Changed My Life, we agreed to watch it at Greenhills Promenade. Interestingly, the queue to the theater was long even at 10 'clock. Naka-LV lang ang mga katabi ko sa pila, pero pare-pareho naming pinayaman ang Viva nung gabing yun. Wahaha.

I loved Lloydie as usual. Especially the part where he's wearing an all-black ensemble and Rayban Wayfarers on his way to the company elevator. Just between us girls, John Lloyd Cruz IS the love of my life.

I also liked Sarah Geronimo, horrendous wig notwithstanding. There's just no female celebrity better suited to play the role of Laida Magtalas than she. However, I certainly did not appreciate the fact that Sarah clung to Lloydie like peanut butter on banana. I swear, tsumatsanting na itong Sarah Geronimo na ito! Most of her tsansings weren't even called for. Common, Sarah, play fair!

Speaking of parts that were unbearable, the "bebe" term of endearment made me want to gag. I would have walked out of the theater because of those, if I wasn't imagining Lloydie addressing me as "bebe" all the while. And then, there's the matter of again naming a movie after a 90s love song. What's next Viva? "Forevermore"? Oh wait, that's one starring Jericho Rosales and Kristine Hermosa.

I blame the keyboard

The reason why the blogging's been slow recently is because my keyboard's been skipping its Ms. I relied on an open Word document for a time and copy pasted my Ms as needed . But I stopped trying when the A got stuck too, seeing that there are just too many As in a sentence.

I'm now manhandling a foldable keyboard, and a really old laptop with several of its letters stuck. I had to pull out a desk lamp to make up for my dysfunctional Fn key, which sadly makes my monitor darker than the deep blue sea.

There are, of course, bigger problems in the world than my having to squint at my monitor in order to blog. But at the moment, my world revolves around the mystery of why my foldable keyboard has four Shift keys. I wonder.
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