Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye 2008, Hello 2009!

2008 passed like a blur for me. Started it off with 16 plane rides in January and then I don't really remember anymore what happened till November. I remember though that I was hospitalized in November and so I guess 2008 was definitely a BUSY one. At least I remember what happened this month. I just worked, stayed at home and did not attend any party (by choice!). Inasmuch as the whole year was a flurry of activity, I managed to hunker down and celebrate Christmas simply, just family and very close childhood friends. 

I failed miserably with the priorities I had set for 2008. I'm not even pasang awa and I guess I won't list any new priorities just yet for 2009 (well maybe tomorrow when I feel like it). At least I can say I managed to learn how to edit videos and so to celebrate that one bit of accomplishment I present to you an experimental vlog. Watch how I get abducted by a virus and brought back to the age of dinosaurs (oh noes!). Makakabalik kaya ako?



Happy new year! 

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Mall of Asia (front of SMX Convention Center)
November 28, 2008 to January 11, 2009
Tickets: 
Adults - PhP400
Children (under 1m) - PhP350
Family Package (2 Adults + 2 Children + 1 free ticket) - PhP1,600


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

MMFF Review: Iskul Bukol and Tanging Ina Nyong Lahat

Every year I try to watch a couple of the Metro Manila Film Fest movies. I don't remember though if I managed to watch any last year, but I do remember doing a movie marathon once with my childhood friends and we ended up cross-eyed by the end of the third movie. It's fun though and you should try it. 

I've watched two movies so far this year: Iskul Bukol and Tanging Ina Niyong Lahat.

Iskul Bukol
major head slap ala Plurk

I was forewarned by Sweetie about a not-so-good reviews on Iskul Bukol, but I felt guilty about changing plans since my high school friends wanted to watch it. I watched Iskul Bukol when I was a kid and thought it would be great to see them again. I remember I used to laugh a lot at their antics and thought that Miguel would appreciate the show too.

Less than 5 minutes into the movie Miguel was already elbowing me and I was yawning. The movie was very predictable and had all the elements of a TVJ show. Scantily-clad girls, goons, toilet humor, lots of chancing, carabao English and green jokes. The punch lines were just so 80s and old, some of it still made us laugh though. We finished the movie though since we weren't really set to do anything else. 

Tanging Ina Nyong Lahat
ROFL

I originally wanted to watch "Baler", but the titles changed over the weekend so since it was still early we decided to watch another movie and chose Tanging Ina Nyong Lahat. I watched the first movie with my parents when it came out and it was really funny. I was worried though that the sequel might not be able to make me laugh the same way the first movie did. 

Unlike Iskul Bukol, I was hooked five minutes into the movie. Aiai and Eugene's tandem is a powerful one and I ended up laughing along with the audience. I also love how the movie managed to tackle important issues (national and family) in a light way. There was also a smattering of movie and telenovela spoofs, but if you're not Kapamilya you might want to watch some videos about their shows (Caregiver, Maging Sino Ka Man etc.). 

Be merry! Watch Tanging Ina Nyong Lahat!

And tomorrow I shall watch Dayo! Here's the video blog I did a few months ago when I got the chance to visit Cutting Edge Productions when they were still making Dayo. Notice that I had an uncanny resemblance to Ana. 

 

My original post about Dayo is here.

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Monday, December 29, 2008

An Apple a Day on ABS-CBN "Upload"

I dozed off after watching a few segments of "Upload" on ABS-CBN last night since I was quite tired from the trip to Tagaytay yesterday. I was quite curious about the show since I was contacted earlier this month by ABS-CBN News, they wanted to interview me about a video I uploaded in my Youtube channel. I've been terribly shy about getting interviewed and have been shying away from it for more than 2 years now. 

Anyway, I was awakened by a call (and loads of text messages) at around 11:30 p.m.. Sweetie said that the spoof of the McDo TVC we did a few months ago was shown in the feature. I was mortified! Among all the videos I have online, it's the one video that I've wanted to delete for many reasons.  (Well this video was directed by my bestfriend, I edited it).

I dunno though if I should be happy or not about my video getting shown on TV. I feel embarrassed. I'm not mad that it was shown on TV (they could've told me though since they already contacted me, grrrr!), I'm just really embarrassed since I wasn't ready for it. My friends said that it was okay and quite funny and that the video was clear. Right. And one of my friends said that he watched it via TFC. 

OMG. 

Yeah, yeah, I'll probably get over it after a few days. 

But until then I think I'm going to bury my head first like an ostrich. 

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A New Look

I kinda got bored with how my blogs look like, so I changed some things a bit. I'm not yet happy with the header here on An Apple a Day. Hopefully I'll get inspired and manage to fix it up soon.

An Apple a Day








And here's a new blog I've been meaning to put together since 2007!


Friday, December 26, 2008

The Christmas I Got Slapped


Our parish priest was an hour late for mass on Christmas morning. He was the only priest left in our parish since all the others went home to their families. Martyr po siya. He said he just wanted them to be happy that's why he allowed them to go, so he ended up tending to all the masses in the parish. He's still quite young that's why he can handle everything, but he gives the best sermon (and we usually spend about 90 minutes in Church with him every Sunday). It's like being slapped every single week, and I mean that in a positive way.

Today (since I'm still up even though it's the 26th already) he gave a very important reminder that Christmas is not about YOU. It's not about sulking in your room singing Pasko na Sinta Ko or ranting to your best friend that your still a member ofSMC (Samahan ng Malalamig ang Pasko). Or for those who are sad because their loved ones are away. Christmas is not about that, it's all about Jesus. His birth. His coming. His BIRTHDAY! 

See that's why I feel like I'm being slapped awake whenever I get a chance to listen to Fr. Ramon's homily. All these years I had mistakenly equated Christmas with MY own happiness. There was even a time I dreaded Christmas coz I was also a member of the SMC and was just plain unhappy with how things were going in my life. 

Fr. Ramon proceeded to tell us that during Christmas you HAVE to be happy. Because you have EVERY RIGHT to be happy. It's the time to celebrate His birth. Remember when you were a kid how happy and excited you were. Helping Mom decorate. Eating half the food in the kitchen even before it's served. Staying up waiting for Santa Claus. Going to Cubao to watch the puppet show/display on the mall's frontage (it's in Greenhills now). Driving down Ayala just to see the lights. Learning how to wrap gifts. Carolling. 

When I was a kid everyone in our street put an effort in placing Christmas lights and lanterns. The number has been dwindling through the years. And I think only about 3 to 4 houses placed Christmas lights outside (we almost didn't). Fr. Ramon said it just goes to show that people have forgotten what Christmas is for. 

I was teary eyed when we stood up to sing "Angels we have Heard on High" once again. I felt like a huge burden was taken off my shoulders. I finally realized what Christmas is really for. 

Happy Birthday Jesus! Thank you for being there despite all my you-know

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Oh and Fr. Ramon saluted all the couples who attended the mass together. I noticed that most of those who attended mass this morning were indeed senior citizen couples who are still very much together after all these years. That's one of my dreams. 

Here's my Mom and Dad on Christmas Day. They will be celebrating their 49th wedding anniversary next weekend.  


And this is me just being a kid again.


I hope I managed to make my boys really happy this Christmas. One got a gadget (a pen tablet and I guess I'll blog about it over at YGT). The other one got this uber cool Optimus Prime die cast thingy (original Transformers and not from the movie, collector's item the clerk said, I'm glad my best friend's husband helped me get it). 



And guess who got it! Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas! It's Christmas!



I'm so happy that I'm spending Christmas at home. We originally planned on spending it somewhere else, but I kinda vetoed it due to work and my health. I've experienced celebrating Christmas in other countries and it was just plain depressing. I just can't bear not being home for Christmas.

A friend of mine buzzed me earlier and asked, "How's Christmas in Manila?" I told her that Manila is the place to be during Christmas. 

Why?

1. We have the longest Christmas season which usually starts in September when radio stations start playing Christmas songs and malls start decorating for Christmas (skipping Halloween!). 

2. We go out of our way to decorate our homes (and workstations/rooms... even our blogs!) and usually hang a parol (Christmas lantern) out front. We also have the belen which some place in their garden or under the Christmas tree.

3. We even have special Christmas food! There's puto bungbong and bibingka and hamon! And a whole lot of other food we only prepare during Christmas like chicken galantina, special salads and a gazillions of pastries!

4. Kris kringle/monito-monita is something we always have in offices. Year-in, year-out you have to get something long, something green, something hard, something soft or whatever crazy theme HR or the Christmas committee can think about. 

5. The newbie dances! I'm so glad that I work remotely since I've just had enough of those annual newbies-must-dance-and-look-dumb thingies. I got transferred a lot in different companies and I found myself practising for those thingies each and every year. 

6. Who can forget the traffic? `nuff said.

7. Endless parties and reunions. It's the time of the year where you just really need to see everyone and you find your calendar filled-up with parties and reunions. I kinda skipped it this year and will just likely catch up with friends in January.

8. Shopping! Aside from malls there are tiangges where you can get great gifts! And don't forget to go to Greenhills!

9. Gifts! Gifts! Gifts! It's the time of the year where you get lots of mugs (LOLz!), frames or shirts! To avoid this, what my friends and I usually do is come up with a wish list and just coordinate what we buy. We've been doing it for several years now and it works!

10. Christmas carols, especially local ones always give a warm, fuzzy, happy feeling.

I do hope you have a Merry Christmas dear friend! 

Monday, December 22, 2008

Back to Back to Back

Photo by JayDJ

Last December 1 I got the chance to watch the "Back to Back to Back" concert of Side A, Freestyle and MYMP at the Araneta Coliseum with Sweetie (special thanks to Titikpilipino.com and Viva Records!). It was a rare chance to see all three super-loved OPM bands in one show and the venue was really jam-packed.

I had wanted to scream along with other fans, but I had a bad cough back then and all I could do was wave my hands. Aside from the hits of the three bands, Michael of Freestyle brought the house down with his rendition of "Give Love on Christmas Day" ala Michael Jackson (at age 5). It really brought a great feeling to everyone and was a good way to mark the beginning of Christmas (since it was December 1). People also started dancing when Leevon (Mica's newest crush) and Joey Generoso of Side A  made everyone stand up. I stood up as well and ended up dancing a bit. 

It was really a great night and I hope next year I'll get to watch more concerts!

Other concerts I watched this year:
MYMP (a surprise Valentine gift!)
and a whole lot of other shows by favorite Filipino artists like Richard Poon

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Singapore Plurk Fiesta

During my trip to Singapore a few weeks ago I managed to meet some new friends. It all started when I buzzed Ederic and Jonas for a meet-up since they both promised to meet me if I was going to visit Singapore. Eventually we decided to see if there were other Filipino bloggers/Plurkers who were free to meet-up. 

We met all met up in Bugis Junction Mall. Jonas and Ederic were in front of McDonald's and we finally met Leonard and Alex. Jonas, Leonard and Alex are all working in Singapore, while Ederic was there for training. 



My grand plan was to grab some of my favorite mee-goreng across the mall. I was so disappointed to find out that the food area was gone! So we went back to the mall and hung-out at the food center for almost 5 hours! Time flies when you're having fun! 

Well Singa-berks! Till next time!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Manila's Twitter Elite

I was minding my own business and going through some twits when I saw Budjette's twit about "Manila's Twitter Elite".

And guess who's number 1?




I never thought of myself as elite. So I just kinda giggled when I saw the page with the grades (my grade is 98.7). 

Now I feel conscious about what I twit about... Chocnut anyone?

Friday, December 19, 2008

My Christmas Wishlist

I was blog hopping and noticed that a lot of bloggers had their Christmas wishlist posted! So I thought I'd make one for myself too.

Some of my wishes though are intangible:

1. I want my old Darna self back. I'm getting a whole lot better now, but I know I could be better (still no-thanks to the doctor who gave a wrong diagnosis! Grrr!).

2. Bathroom accessories. I had my bathroom renovated last month and it's pretty bare right now. Also needs a fresh coat of paint, but I'll have to be away before that can be done.

3. Shelves for my books! 

4. Some CDs... Bugoy's new album and some other OPM CDs.

5. Frames! I want to re-decorate my basement and I'm planning to decorate it with as many photos as possible. 

I guess that's just it, I don't really fancy having expensive stuff. Less is more. =)

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Now, I know why bloggers have been posting their wish list! It's because of Melo's contest! Join na nga rin ako hehehe :D

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tales of the Pigsa

It starts like a pimple, then becomes a small lump, then you find yourself in pain because of an angry red hardened mound. It shows up on your back, in your kilikili, elbow, on your butt cheeks, or worse in between it. That small angry mound would actually bring you to your knees because it is very painful and if untreated. And then the mound progresses and an "eye" appears and you basically just have to wait until it bursts, unless you you do the bottle-thingy (and I don't really want to describe what that is about). 

The Pigsa, in Western terms it's called a boil.

(I don't have any photos of it sorry).

Now you might wonder WTH I'm blogging about it. LOL. No, I don't have one now, but I experienced it as a kid and for some strange reason last night's telebabad with the Sweetie veered towards the P-word. So we ended up talking about it for awhile.

When I was a kid my Mom and I stayed in Bicol for a few weeks to clean-up my Mama Lola's house. She passed away a few months before so we were tasked to clean-up the house and re-paint it. That was the time that I got a pigsa on my elbow. And then on my kilikili! It was a very painful summer!

Anyway, I realized last night that I don't really know how the pigsa comes about because they gave me the following reasons when I was a kid:

1. You don't eat vegetables.
2. You have dirty blood.
3. Because you did not take a bath! 

Argggh! 

So I did a bit of research and apparently a pigsa is a skin abscess and according to MedicineNet.com it can be caused by prolonged travel (because of sitting), ingrown hair, a splinter or even a cut. 

Now the mystery has been solved after 2 decades. LOL. 

Did you ever have one?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Are You Happy?


I am!

So, are YOU happy?

It was Fr. Hilarion who asked the question this morning during his homily. He asked it again and again until everyone answered back. The sermon was all about why you are happy and it made me realize a couple of things.

I've been through 5 weeks of hell. Well, hell for me is being unwell and not being able to do what I usually do. I've been feeling really sad about it too, but thank God my real doctors are back and I'm feeling so much better now. No thanks to the doctor who made a wrong diagnosis when I was in the hospital, I would've probably been in tip-top shape 3 weeks ago if I managed to take the right medication. But, I'm just glad now that I'm (almost) back to my cheery and perky self, I hope though that all the pain would be gone soon.

I'm also happy because I have a loving family, Sweetie and a bunch of really crazy friends who hovered around the past few weeks. And mind you I could get really cranky when I'm sick and I'm just really glad that they put up with me. And I believe that's what is really important in life coz you can do without all those material things, but you cannot do without your family and friends. That would be a really lonely life. Sniff, sniff, sniff.

And it also made me remember an old friend who said that in his province they have to show-off to show their status and wealth. We had an argument about that and it came to a point that he told me I had no ambition. He was then pushing me to buy a car and buy other stuff. I'm a very prudent person especially when it comes to buying things. I buy only when needed (a very important lesson I learned from my Kuya). 

Eventually I parted ways with this friend of mine because he had very different beliefs (and he betrayed me). I can only shake my head now because I got news about him selling his soul, just for money. Well, I hope eventually he'll realize that happiness and wealth is not about having all the latest gadgets or being able to buy material things. 

The gold of happiness is in relationships and not material things. That's what Fr. Hilarion said this morning and I hope you guys are happy too.

Bee happy!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Telenovela Roll

During the times that I do watch TV I watch telenovelas too and when I got sick the only thing you can just do is watch TV. 

My favorite TV channels are ABS-CBN, Discovery Channel, National Geographic and Myx. I left Miguel control the remote more often than not and just watch what he watches. He doesn't watch telenovelas though and would rather sit in front of the PC to watch Youtube videos or study apps by following tutorials.

So the past few nights I thought about writing a blog post about the telenovelas I've been watching (and have decided not to watch). I'm bad at remembering TV channels so I'm usually stuck on ABS-CBN after dinner.

Telenovelas are a lot like sushi, don't you think? They come in different flavors:

1. Dyosa - I didn't like Dyosa when it started, but eventually the story kinda changed and it became charming. My Mom though said that she doesn't understand why people just keep getting kidnapped or zapped every other day. 

2. I Love Betty La Fea - I'm a fan of John Lloyd, `nuff said. 

3. Kahit Isang Saglit - Best storyline and I think well done. Goes to show that when there's pressure to do really well we can do it. 

4. Eva Fonda - Christine Reyes is very pretty and sexy indeed, the show though for me is very violent and too sensual to be shown on primetime bida. So I just usually change the channel when this comes up. (If you're a fan, I'm so sorry, but that's just my opinion).

5. There's was this Korean soap that was a no-brainer, I think it was "Three Dad's and a Mom" or something. It was funny and when I say it's a no-brainer, I mean it's a show that you can just watch and laugh because of the engot things they do. 

Pinoy Fear Factor is not a telenovela, but looks like one coz there's drama to it compared to it's foreign versions. I guess this is so coz they're stretching it to fit a whole week. I also find it weird they decided to use many Spanish words. 

Well, this is what happens when your movements are limited. LOL.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

PacMan Wins vs. De La Hoya

I must admit I slept through the fight. LOL. I watched several of Manny Pacquiao's fights before and it always got me too excited. I did not want to get stressed so I slept.

BUT, I woke up just in time to catch the interviews after he was declared a winner. I admire both fighters for being humble when they were being asked questions that they could've used to make yabang. De La Hoya kept saying that he had nothing bad to say about Manny and that Pacquiao deserves all the accolades. Manny, on the other hand, also just said that he's just a boxer who'd train hard for any fight he has to do. 

Despite all the disappointment I've been feeling about Manny because he joined the political bandwagon (and lost), I felt proud. He is a Filipino after all and I'm sure he made a lot of sacrifices to win the fight. I just hope he doesn't run for any government position anymore. 

Congrats PacMan!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Professor A (a.k.a. Miss A., that's me!)

A few months ago my high school buddy (and 4-years laboratory partner) asked me if I wanted to teach. I said yes not knowing that I would actually start teaching a graduating class by September.

I did not know what I had gotten myself into. 

And I must say I have new-found respect to the teaching profession. It's not easy and very challenging. I found myself STUDYING and doing research. It would take me at least 3 hours to prepare for a 90 minute class. 

Because of my work I do a number of speaking engagement, so I stupidly thought that teaching a class would be as easy. I was wrong. Teaching a class is very different from going through a preso to an audience you will just see for an hour. When you teach a class there is a deeper commitment to engage the audience, because at the end of the term you will ask yourself, "Did they honestly learn something from me?"

I was out for three weeks because of my sickness and I realized after going back to teach that I missed my students. They were not as kulit as I expected. There was a good balance between brilliant kids and the lazy ones. And well from my desk in front I think I kinda know who's going to be ahead (well more or less).

I just hope though I won't be as sorely disappointed with myself since I feel I would've been able to give more to my students, but sometimes ya-know things just get really crazy. 

To my students, we have one class day left! Woohoo! or Awww? Hope you picked up something from me and good luck with your thesis!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Bolero Ka Ba?

Most of my non-Filipino speaking friends do not understand that question and it’s funny how they’d scour the internet just to find out what it means.

Thank God, Google now translates Filipino into many other languages or vice-versa.

I could honestly say that Filipino is one of the harder languages to translate especially since words can mean differently when you add “na” “an” “”han” “um” like with the word kain which can go as “kumain” “kumakain” “kainan” ‘nakain”. And our language evolves so much that Filipinos who left the country 2 decades ago probably wouldn’t understand the terms we currently use.

I was very excited when I found out about Google Translate. Before it had Filipino in it (first in Southeast Asia mind you!), I used it already to translate some emails I’d get in other languages (some of my friends like giving me a hard time) and whenever I do research I ran into websites written in other languages. It’s just a click away to translate!

I thought it was quite impossible to translate our language that easily. The Google translation tool though is not based on the work of linguists (there aren’t any people typing madly in the back-end to translate stuff you put in), but it’s a machine translation based on an algorithm and not rules. I’ve been reading “Planet Google” lately and it’s interesting to understand better how Google actually does it.

Google Translate provides us an easy tool to understand other languages and having Filipino in it is very helpful too! Although if you're going to be making marketing collaterals better have a linguist involved in it to be sure. 

So, bolero ka ba? actually asks, "Are you a gigolo?" Haha.