Archive for June, 2011


Movie Review: The Tree of Life

She leaned closer. Her ears straining to hear the introduction. She shushed me with a meaningful look as I continue munching popcorn with the stamina of an Extra Joss-induced college student cramming for his useless term paper. I tempered the mastication. Embarrassed but curious, I noticed her date slouched and unmindful of the narration. The girl stopped listening after ten minutes. Her date moved a bit to stretch his legs then his arms.  I am not sure if this is the perfect date movie but I feel it is going to be a long and silent taxi ride for this couple. Same goes for the fifteen courageous or misguided souls inside the theater last night. I cannot help but note their complaints and reactions after sitting through an unusual film. It validates the strange effect of art in general and films in particular to an audience of different purposes  and intentions.

Tree of life - at least of the religious and philosophical kind – refers to the interconnection of all life. Like the circle of life. Since it is some sort of a religious motif, almost all religions have their versions of the tree of life. It underscores the need to respect one another since the interconnection reflects a deeper relationship among all life forms. Cannes Film Festival winners do not figure much in local cinemas so it is quite surprising Terrence Malick’s latest polarizing movie is accessible to the Filipino audience. Is it the Brad Pitt factor? Is it it a change of mindset? Or did some film distributor made a mistake in his drunken stupor?

I am torn. Should I consider this movie a triumph in film-making because Malick decided to expand a simple drama with his questions on life and God? Should I call it a dick-act of epic proportions as Malick tries to impress with beautiful images but could not keep things simple and elegant? I am torn. But I am thankful such artists still exist. To rile and touch emotions at the same time is not a manageable job. There is a part of me hankering for a shorter film; stripped of the dream sequences and scenes of evolution. But then there is something delightful in dinosaurs; romantic in rock formations; surreal in school of hammerhead sharks; and thoughtful in soaring trees, interspersed with human life.

Removing these will make the movie just like other run-of-the-mill dramas set in a certain period. I do not think Malick falls under the run-of-the-mill directors. Some people just do their thing. Some people are huge dicks to impose their vision to us and expect positive reciprocation. Such dicks. Such artistic dicks. 

It is not the best movie. Not the best Malick movie. I clapped (Jessica Chastain and  the child actors are brilliant.); criticized (The hell is beach scene all about.); listened (Narration is delivered in soft voice as if telling the audience to lean closer like that girl in a horrible movie date in front of me.); laughed (Dinosaurs! Chastain sliding ice cubes to wake her kids. Then her offspring exacted revenge with a fat lizard.); smiled (The eldest kid comforting his father after losing his job.); sneered (Sean Penn is doing something.); waited (…for the film to end.) and wondered (…if the general audience will like it.) as the film started, progressed and ended.

I am still torn but I am thankful. 


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Food: Adobo Rice with Crispy Adobo Flake Toppings

Senator Chiz Escudero is the special guest of Kris Aquino in the pilot episode of her newest morning show, where the popular legislator shared his so-called other side. Part of the reveal is a demonstration of his cooking skills. ADOBO RICE WITH CRISPY ADOBO FLAKE TOPPINGS. Just the name of the dish screams Filipino comfort food. Adobo + Rice = Filipino Comfort Food. It is safe to assume that most people were transfixed on the banter between Chiz and Kris as there are several Facebook and Twitter requests for the Adobo Rice recipe. The official Twitter account of the program posted that the recipe will be featured in the upcoming issue of Aquino’s magazine. As I was checking the stats of this blog, several hits can be traced to Google searches for the recipe. There is indeed a consistent and insistent public demand. Information needs to be shared. Go. Read. Cook.


  • 1/2 kilo ng baboy (pork), adobo cut
  • 2 ulo ng tinadtad na bawang (chopped garlic head)
  • 1/2 cup suka (vinegar)
  • 1/2 cup toyo (soy sauce)
  • itim na paminta (black peppers)
  • seasoning na may sili (chili)
  • mantika (oil)
  • dahon ng laurel (laurel leaves)
  1. Lutuin ang karne, palambutin hanggang sa magmantika. (Cook the meat until tender.)
  2. Ihalo ang toyo, suka, black peppers, laurel at bawang. (Mix the soy sauce, vinegar, black peppers and chopped garlic.)
  3. Pagkatapos takpan ng ilang minuto at ihalo ang bigas. (Cover for several minutes and mix uncooked rice.)
  4. Kumuha ng ilang piraso ng karne, tadtarin at himayin. (Set aside several pieces of adobo for the toppings. Chop and shred it.)
  5. Sa isang kalan, igisa sa mantika ang hinimay na karne hanggang sa matusta. (Saute in oil util shredded meat achieves desired crispiness.)
Kris Aquino: “Mahilig ka ba talaga ka ba sa kitchen?”
Chiz Escudero: “Nagsimula akong mag-aral sa isang foreigner last year, pero komplikado ang mga tinuro niya.”
Kris Aquino: “Eh itong dish na ito?”
Chiz Escudero: “Ah eto, natutunan ko sa kaibigan kong si Reggie Aspiras.”
Kris Aquino: “She’s super talented!”
Kris Aquino: “Wait. Inuna mo ang toyo? ‘Di ba, they said na inuuna ang asim?”
Chiz Escudero: “Inuunti ko muna para matantiya ko ang tamang kulay.”
Kris Aquino: “You love adobo?”
Chiz Escudero: “Yes and tinola. Kaya ‘yon ang una kong pinaturo.”
Chiz Escudero: “Kukuha tayo ng ilang adobo at ‘yon ang ipa-fry na pang-toppings.”
Kris Aquino: “You have knife skills ha.”
Chiz Escudero: “Actually, mas masarap kamayin kaya lang mainit.”
Kris Aquino: “This is so unique.”
Chiz Escudero: “Papasa ba sa ‘yo?”
Kris Aquino: “Uulitin ko ha, this is very unique. Sa dinami-dami ng cooking portion na na-taped ko sa Boy and Kris and Today with Kris dati, ito ‘yong first time na na-experience ko ‘yong rice, ‘yong bigas, niluto sa adobo itself.”

One television viewer Tweeted Kris and shared, she replicated the recipe using chicken instead of pork. Verdict: it tasted good.  Start cooking some Chiz Escudero Adobo Rice. Might be the secret to his patented rapid-fire manner of  speaking.
Note: Photos are screen captures from this site. THE BLOGGER OWNS NOTHING AND COPYRIGHT GOES TO KRISTV AND ABS-CBN.

live-blogging: senator chiz escudero on kris tv

9:25AM Office! STILL EARLY. Reading the latest Pulse Asia report on the awareness and performance ratings of the top five government officials. Three out of the 5 officials has a MAJORITY APPROVAL RATING: President Benigno Aquino, Vice President Jojo Binay and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.

9:30AM Here goes. Introduction to Kris Aquino’s newest talk show. Showing some clips from her past programs. I remember watching her first talk show in Channel 2 RELIGIOUSLY. “Reach out/And talk to me…” Gah! The things I do before.

9:32AM Kris wearing a red and black dress…and I think periwinkle stiletto heeled shoes? Far from her mint green and fuchsia clothes before. Remember her matrix-inspired trench coats in the first episodes of Pilipinas Game Ka na Ba (I like game shows. I still remember the question and answer of the  first jackpot winner. Question: Ano ang pangalang ginamit ni Arnold Schwarzenegger sa kanyang unang pelikula? Answer: Arnold Strong

9:35AM Kris demonstrates her carrot juice morning routine.

9:36AM Oooh. Kris loves the color violet. We have something in common! Roilo Golez too! 

9:37AM “…maituturing si Chiz na isa mga mukha ng bagong pulitika.”

9:38AM There goes the senator in his patented white with black accents shirt. “Chiz ihanda mo na ang sarili mo. Kumi-Kimerald lang tayo.” — Kris (The senator is giggling like a high school student.)

9:39AM The English translation for kinikilig is? Yep. I do not think there is a proper translation for such a term. So, “Kinilig ang live audience nang inabot ni Kris ang baso ng carrot juice at table napkin sa Senador!”

9:42AM The senator wakes up at 5:30AM.

9:43AM Escudero twins prefers books in the vernacular. (Just learned Rachel Weisz and Daniel GOT MARRIED.)

9:44AM Kris and Chiz making a charcoal deodorizer (for freezers and cars not underarms), people start screaming!

9:46AM Charcoal Deodorizer. Baking Soda. Garlic-Chili Spray. Pandan Leaves. The Boss is bordering obsessive-compulsiveness. (Baking soda is good for cleaning stuffed animals.)

9:47AM “Basta may butas, ipasok niyo lang ipasok.” — Chiz on the D.I.Y chair (Do not get other ideas.)

9:48AM “Hindi. Dahil hindi ko masyadong nababantayan. Pero ang pinagbabawalan ko, iPad.” — on her television habits of his kids, Chesi and Quino

9:49AM “In fairness, may tiwala ako sa iyo dahil uupuan ko ang ginawa mo.” — Kris on the D.I.Y chair

9:53AM The senator will cook Adobo Rice with Crispy Adobo Flakes Topping. (Kris plugs her cookware line. Last week, I bought a gift wrapper. The brand? Sharon Cuneta. SERIOUSLY. Nice patterns though.)

9:55AM “Gusto mo mas maitim?” — Chiz on (I hope) the adobo cubes

9:56AM Explain to me laurel leaves and Bicolanos. Need to ask our household back in the province. Ever had fried chicken with laurel leaves? I HAVE.

9:57AM “Kinikilig ako! @itsmekrisaquino and @SayChiz been smiling since the start of the show!” — Team Chiz Lizzie (Hi Liz!)

10:00AM Loving the TWITTER COMMENTS!

10:06AM Tree-planting at La Mesa Eco Park. HOBBY of the senator. According to him, commercialized and chemical-based fertilizers should be used 2 weeks after planting the seedlings. But organic fertilizers can be placed

10:09AM Butanding season is from DECEMBER-MAY. “Ayokong maging parang Boracay ang Donsol na parang puro na lamang foreigners ang may-ari.” — Chiz Escudero

10:10AM Chiz revealed he failed in English. Has to do something with verbs. Kris related that she failed Filipino; the first time someone in her family received a red mark. (First time I failed? Math 11, 2nd semester, freshman. Retook it on a summer and got 1.25 (and I still believe it has something to do with the teacher because I cannot for the love of life fail College Algebra.)

10:11AM “One time, I saw you on a social occasion and nagulat ako – you drove yourself.” — Kris Aquino (I am adhering to a life lesson I learned from a former teacher, “Just ENJOY Kris. It is easier to find happiness in her than hate her all the time.”)

10:16AM “Tulad mo at ng ilan, maraming pinagdadaanan ng pagsubok. Kung anuman ang kahihinatnan noon, panahon na lang ang makakapagsabi.” — Chiz on the rumors

10:19AM “Alam ko kung bakit nachi-chismis tayo, dahil “Chiz” ako at “Miss” ka.” — Chiz Escudero

10:20AM “Sinabi mo na 15 years from now, tapos na ang pulitika. So ibig sabihin ba noon, iniisip mo na ang 2016?” — Kris Aquino (…and she encouraged the audience to support the senator!)

10:21AM “Kung may isang bagay na natutnan ko sa iyo ay ang pagiging totoo at ang pagiging simple. Dahil ako talagang hirap na hirap maging simple.” — Kris Aquino (I remember her declaring in Morning Girls (the one with Korina Sanchez), that she is not SIMPLE girl. She should take the Complicated Girl Index Test.)


  • “Ang pogi ni Chiz Escudero.” — @gizzelle
  • “Watching KrisTV. Kumi-Kimerald lang talaga si @itsmekrisaquino at @SayChiz. Kilig!” — @marifaTWEETS
  • “Bakit ako kinikilig kay Chiz? Mali! Makaalis na nga.” — @zyracuenco
  • “Iba ang kilig ng audience!” — @romanleoreyman
  • “Kilig Francis ‘Chiz’ Esucdero ako!” — @mar3st
  • “Ang sweet ni Chiz Escudero at Kris Aquino.” — @abscbnupdates
  • “Bagay si Chiz at Kris!” — Aiko Melendez
  • “Oh yes, I can attest to that. Every single day. Senator Chiz Escudero has at least 3 radio interviews as soon as he wakes up.” — @mindanaoan
  • “Bakit ako naka-smile nung lumabas na si Senator Chiz Escudero? LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.” — @djhamerabag
  • “Super kilig kay Chiz Escudero at Kris Aquino!” — @ummazna
  • “I’m learning from @SayChiz! Guys watch! Other side of our senator! — @romanleoreyman (Super fan!)
  • “I don’t know why but I feel so kilig watching @itsmekrisaquino and @SayChiz together.” — @ibapa
  • “Di ko to ma-take. LOL. ‘Ipasok lang ang dapat ipasok.’” – Senator Chiz Escudero @SayChiz - Dear Sir Chiz, I haven’t had coffee yet!” — @mindanaoan (Another super fan!)
  • “In fairness, kinikilig ako kay Kris Aquino and Chiz Escudero.” — @ArthurPena
  • “In fairness, naiiyak na ako sa kakatawa kay @itsmekrisaquino at @SayChiz sa KrisTV.” –@nettekulet (Team Chiz member and Archuleta fan represent!)
  • “Kinikilig ako kay @SayChiz and @itsmekrisaquino Ayieeeee!” –@iamsashaefierce
  • “Patawa ‘tong si @SayChiz on KrisTV. At in fair, nakaka-kilig sila ni Kris!” –@nicopoli
  • “Hindi ako pumasok ng maaga para sa KrisTV I think @itsmekrisaquino and Chiz Escudero could be a great couple! Moreover, a power couple!” — @erickhabijan
  • “Galing talaga magsalita ni @SayChiz! Parang may deliberation lang sa Senado.” — @THEjamesHAROLD
  • “Gusto mo yung maitim — Chiz Escudero. Para ba kay Junjun Binay?” — @abscbnupdates
  • “You know there is something wrong with you if you’re crushing on a politician. PS: it’s Chiz Escudero, okay leave me alone.” — @callesorbetes
  • “I don’t know why but watching Kris Aquino and Chiz Escudero is highly amusing to me. I am giggling like a high school girl.” — @carlaavanes
  • “Shucks! Parang masarap Adobo Rice with Crispy Adobo Flakes ni @SayChiz! Recipe and Instructions please. @itsmekrisaquino @SayChiz @darlasauler — @xolindseywarren
  • “Watching KrisTV newest morning talk show ni @itsmekrisaquino on @abscbn guest si Sir @SayChiz!” — @pinoy2com
  • “Nakaka-aliw ang outdoor chikahan nina Chiz Escudero at @itsmekrisaquino. ” — @abscbnupdates
  • “Watching KrisTV before going to the office, it’s Senator Chiz Escudero on the spotlight.” — @akidquival
  • “Nagutom ako sa Adobo ni Senator Chiz Escudero.” — @itzmepauline (Me too!)
  • “The whole time na nagsasalita si Chiz Escudero, nakatitig lang si @itsmekrisaquino.” — @abscbnupdates
  • “Bongga magsalita si Chiz Escudero.” — Mico Del Rosario
  • “In fairness, makulit din pala si Chiz Escudero.” — @yontefian
  • “Kakakilig si Ms. @itsmekrisaquino and Senator Chiz Escudero. Kaloka!” — @itzmepauline
  • “Chiz: Chiz ako, Miss ka! Eeeeh! Chizmiss! Playing with words! ‘Yan na ‘yan ako! Bagay tayo, Chiz Escudero!” — @kokoluvsjohnnyd
  • “I’ve always admired Chiz! So intelligent! Best first guest ever!” — @jaidzp2
  • “If Kris Aquino will fall to Chiz Escudero; I don’t blame her though because the Senator is a man to keep.” — @lecar0527
  • “Chiz Escudero is one charming man.” — @kitsuneMD
  • “Cute ‘tong si @SayChiz.” — @aziegavs
  • “Eh kung tumakbo si Chiz Escudero nung eleksyon, siya sana iboboto ko.” — @cocomarfil (For a moment, I froze from utter delight because I thought the Twitter account is “Coco Martin.”)
  • “Kinikilig ako kay @itsmekrisaquino at @SayChiz.” — @direkrickyrivero (Got this from Kris TV Official Twitter: “A text from Direk Ricky Rivero: Pakikalat naman na hindi ako nagti-Tweet. May gumagamit ng pangalan ko. Thanks.” There ought to be a legislation against social networking impostors. )
  • “Just watched Kris TV. At may bago akong crush, itago na lang natin sya sa pangalang Chiz Escudero. Llove his wit.” — @cruisegirl78
  • “I love Senator Chiz Escudero, sobrang simple niya.” — @itzmepauline (potential Team Chiz member)
  • “Crush ko na ulit si @SayChiz! Hahaha! He looks so boyish, galing magluto at mukhang masarap magmahal! Hahaha!” — @margienatividad
  • “Ganda ng first episode ng KrisTV with my favorite pilitician, Senator Chiz Escudero.” — @call_me_dianne
  • “@itsmekrisaquino sagad to the bone ang kilig niyo ni sen. Chiz Escudero love it.” — @welikeRyanBang (Is this Bang’s fans club’s official Twitter account?)
  • “Chiz at KrisTV” 15 years from now he’s gonna teach again. I want to become a student again after 15 years.” — @fernyjen
  • “Ang cute lang ni Kris at Chiz eh! Mga banat eh.” — @alainski
  • “Gosh! Kinikilig my yaya while watching Kris and Chiz. Bagay daw sila! — @tinadaniac
  • “Mutya: Itong si Kris mai-in-love kay Chiz. Ako: May asawa’t anak si Chiz timang!” — @ronskidoki (Hahaha!)
  • “Ang naiisip ko getting ready si Chiz for the next election; vote getter kasi si Kris.” — @httpsniffer (Chiz and Kris are the most trusted endorsers during the recent presidential elections.)
11:10AM I AM HUNGRY. Yep. No breakfast. Lunch is still less than an hour to go. Adobo rice…

Movie Review: Green Lantern

This is one of the suckiest comic book adaptation I have seen in a long time. I ended up composing the previous sentence fifteen minutes or so before the movie ended. Seems its suckiness has to be cemented as quick as possible. Right off the bat, the film  had problems in the movie trailer department. Just like the other green hero, Green Hornet, this Ryan Reynolds-starrer had an early trailer misfire. Fans of the comic book felt Hal Jordan was depicted like a total jerk and an incurable as*-hole. He is not. Based on the comics that I read (Yep. I read it.), Jordan is a tortured soul turned reckless fool. The as*-holeness is a bit incorrect.

Green Lantern is one of the most important superheroes in the DC universe. He is one of the founding members of Justice League. That is the Justice League! But these seem lost to the filmmakers. Might be thinking, “Green Lantern should be accessible to most people. Emphasize his human-ess. That worked well for Spider-Man.” Yeah. If he WAS Spider-Man! But he is not. He is Hal Jordan. He is the first human Green Lantern. One of the greatest Green Lanterns of all-time. He is the chosen one. He carries the ring of Abin Sur. He is our guardian. Our protector. Do I need to go on?

If the filmmakers got him WRONG then it is their seldom DUTY to up the ante and make the rest of the movie bearable. But it is boring as hell. I kept waiting for the credits to roll so I can start pounding the little Nokia E63 pad for a blog post draft. Still the movie continued chugging to snoozerhole that I whipped out the phone and started punching one hapless letter after another. That boring.

There is no possible reason a film about Green Lantern to end up a total bore. Hal Jordan does dogfights (I begged for Tom Cruise to make an appearance and grab the pilot seat because that has got to be one of the dullest dogfights of all-time.) in his real work. Green Lantern has his corps and the Planet Oa in his superhero time. I am calling it as sad case of laziness. Good material but bad execution. This is not the first time a comic book material is adapted on-screen. There are a number of blueprints to choose from but instead, it decided to take a shortcut. Read: 3-D-fied it. Add  a smattering of laughs. Condensed historical beginnings. Do not forget the abs. Put a romantic angle. Some enlightened realizations.Voila! A superhero film. No one is willing to take risks nor put some time to think things out. No one. Poor Green Lantern.

On paper, the cast screams, “Yeah!” Ryan Reynolds. “Yeah!” Peter Sarsgaard. “Yeah!” Tim Robbins. “Yeah!” Angela Bassett. “Yeah!” Mark Strong. “Hell! Yeah!” Hold it. Angela Bassett?! “Hell. Effin. Yeah.” Uhmm…the glorious Ms. Bassett? I guess her agent thought this is a good idea. So stunned to see her crack her face on-screen. That or Robbins getting incinerated. 

So let us start discussing more important matters. Like BLAKE LIVELY.

Blake is beautiful but forgettable. Her gorgeousness is not strong enough to sear her alluring strength  to the memories of moviegoers. She is too stiff. Too made-up. Too packaged. Offers nothing special. Just a face to ogle at. There is no x-factor. Nothing. Her fake lashes in the movie ranges from distracting to disturbing. It is a bad thing if people notices such things instead of one’s acting. Or if a blogger finishes this paragraph first before the rest of the post. 



Food Trip: Los Banos Part I

1999 or 2000? I cannot remember. Our retreat has to be one of our high school highlights but for some reason, all I remember are the astonished faces of the Canossian sisters during meal time. Breakfasts meant hotdogs. Plateful of red ones. There are 48 of us in our class; 5 males and the rest of are females. I can tell some of the nuns are thinking: “Gone?! The hotdogs are gone? Just like that??!” Yes. Gender differences do not exist in our section when it comes to eating. I am quite thankful that such pattern continues in all the groups I have been part of, including college friends, graduate school dormmates and workplace colleagues. Speaking of college friends, our group had a get-together last June 18 in UP Los Banos or Elbi to most alumni. I cannot remember the last time I have been  there so the food establishments left and right is just delightful. It is not hard to imagine Elbi as a foodie paradise. The landmark of the road leading to the campus is Jollibee and the last thing one sees is as one enters its premises is McDonald’s near the main  gate. In between these fastfood giants are bakeries, cafes, kiosks and a smorgasbord of eateries. Is the food scene in UPLB better than UP Diliman considering there are iconic places in the latter such as Rodic’s? Been living near UP Diliman for the last 5 years, and I came up with the conclusion that in terms of food, UPLB wins but in terms of FebFair and Christmas-related activities, UP Diliman is the clear winner. I guess it has to do with the place. One ride from UP Diliman and its off to Trinoma or some other malls. But Elbi is a different animal. The shopping centers are smaller and offers limited choices so the mom-and-pop eateries continue existing despite numerous competitions. Andrew Zimmern has a thing for stubborn food places or establishments refusing to die in the face of globalization. Students are one of the reasons the Papus remain strong: cheaper and more accessible. If schedule permits: RETURN TO YOUR COLLEGE CAMPUSES AND EAT. Eating more than nourishing and replenishing nutrients. It is a form of social bonding. Trust a group of sociologists to argue in such a manner.


The contribution of Italians to the fascinating sphere of duos is pizza and pasta. A couple of words denoting feast and carbo-loading. It is not surprising rice-addicted Filipinos have taken a liking to pasta, as seen in the various Italian restaurants throughout the Philippines. It is the sauce-dependent cousin of our staple carbo food. Apparently, there are several pizza-pasta places in Elbi. (Thank goodness, it is non-existent when I was still a student or else budgeting will make no sense.) Bonito’s at UPLB Grove is one of such restaurant. Pardon the ventilation because the food is REALLY GOOD. The menu gets high marks for noting their recommendations. Just a tip: it is not a bad thing to follow their recommendations because it is more or less a great choice.



Thick slices of potatoes and topped with generous amounts of Parmesan cheese served in a wax paper-covered wooden board. The sauce is dispensable. This appetizer is one of the restaurant’s recommendations. I just had to order it. Good decision.




Compared to the Primavera of Cibo this is  WAY CHEAPER. Yeah it is Cibo but still.  Like the usual Primavera, the dish consists of pasta and fresh vegetables. Onions. Carrots. Capers. Olives. Tomatoes. Lots of tomatoes. The icing on the cake? The serving is even bigger than Cibo. Is it too much to ask Bonito’s to create their version of Spaghettini Al Tris Di Formaggio? Please. Please. Please.




Too much ice.



Before deciding to fulfill our dimsum needs in this steaming place, there has been some sort of discussion among the group. Papu’s or Siomai Food House? Both offers siomai. The former being the more popular one and the latter is the rising star. Yielding to the decision of our bloc leader is never difficult. He lives in Los Banos AND WE DON’T. So Siomai Food House or SFH. The argument is SFH tastes better than Papu’s ever since the latter decided to branch out and mass produced. The place is LITERALLY STEAMING from all the cooking siomai. There are several choices on the menu, including a fried version of their siomai, but the group stuck to a strict steamed siomai diet. 16 orders of siomai. That is 16 x 3 = 48 dumplings for 6 people.


3 pieces for Php17

Just the right size. No aftertaste. Real pork. So explain the B+ rating. I am not a huge fan of pork siomai because I prefer either shrimp or beef. Then there is the case of siomai wrapper that keeps falling off. Blame it on its hot-off-the-steamer nature. Several steaming siomai packed in a single platter – of course, some of its wrappers will depart the filling. But the SPICY sauce? Damn. Pass the sauce! Plus check out the price one more time. The Coke Sakto I bought is more of Coke Kulang in the presence of 48 pieces of dumplings.



One of the trends in UPLB is the emergence of the cafe culture. No Starbucks or Seattle’s Best but home-grown cafes. Boston Cafe occupies the first floor of a building housing several food establishments. As one enters the place, it is quite obvious that it tries its best to Starbucks-fied its ambiance. Required cafe music. Several couches and chairs. Nice lighting. Wireless Internet. Open 24 hours. Then there are Elbi touches including several copies of UPLB Perspectives and UPLB-related bulletin board. Three points missing: the aroma of brewing coffee, better ventilation and a more UPLB feel. It is too organize to feel like a real campus cafe. Like the academic freedom vibe of UPLB is missing. Better if the bulletin board also includes a freedom board where students can doodle stuff such as poems, messages and the likes. Since there is a conscious effort (Elbi sandwiches) to market it as a UPLB hangout despite the name (Boston Cafe?!) then it should go all out looking and feeling like one. But props to the wireless internet (though I was not able to check if it is working fine) and the 24 hour-service. Imagine Boston Cafe on a Hell Week. I bet it’s insane.



Is there doubt I will not order Elbiccino? A coffee blend named after UPLB. No doubt I will take a cup of it. So based on Elbiccino, how does UPLB taste? Bittersweet. Hints of caramel. Chunks of coffee jellies for a surprise end. I miss UPLB. There. I said it.


Note: a couple of months to go before Part II


Movie Review: The Hangover Part II

Just like the eternal and – admit it – nonsensical question, “If a tree fell in a forest and no one hears it, did it make a sound?”, it is also right to ask, “Is a so-wild-I-lap-danced-the-arresting-officer-drinking-spree still fun if one remembers nothing in the morning after?,” The second question offers a far more entertaining point of discussion and the essence of its philosophical blueprint remains. Admit it. Of course the obvious answer is NO. Waking up with a throbbing pain and fleeting memories is never fun unless someone or something clears things up. Then the fun and embarrassment begins.

That is the path Todd Philips traversed in The Hangover, the surprise R-18 hit flick. Question: does a material remains comic gold if it is remade for a second time? TRICKY. Based on the mental audience laugh barometer, The Hangover Part II rocked the cinemas over the weekend. Stu and Phil and Allan still has enough antics up their booze-soaked sleeves to entertain their hard-core fans. The format is the same and it CANNOT GO WRONG. Right? Uhm. I am not sure. Something tells me this is a mediocre repeat. I did laugh but still. There is a nagging feeling the movie  is just a repetition. Not even a sequel. It is not as good as the first but the kind of still entertaining bad. A lot better than the sequel movie about four Big Apple ladies in a Middle Eastern trip. Sarah Jessica Parker needs to evaluate her career path. 

Stu (Ed Helms) is about to get married in Thailand. His friends, Phil (Bradley Cooper) and Doug (Justin Bartha) along with their drug-spiking comrade, Allan (Zach Galifianakis), traveled 16 hours for the ceremonies Much to Allan’s displeasure, the Stanford pre-med brother of Stu’s bride is also on-board. (Still remember the first one? Good. It is just a REPEAT so I will stop here and not bore people with more details.) Better start a drinking game instead of a review.

I am serious. Dead serious.



  1. Gather friends after watching the movie.
  2. Pick a booze. The stronger the better.
  3. Print out the YES or NO checklist.
  4. Drink up EVERY TIME a question merits a YES.
I am so excited about the sequel.
  1. YES
  2. NO
The movie focused on Ed Helms because he did not get a big break like Cooper and Galifianakis after the first film.
  1. YES
  2. NO
Zach Galifianakis is better than Jack Black.
  1. YES
  2. NO
Ken Jeong is hilarious.
  1. YES
  2. NO
I like the TIGER better than the MONKEY because the big cat is a more outrageous choice than a primate.
  1. YES
  2. NO
I expected the movie to make fun of Buddhist monks.
  1. YES
  2. NO
  1. YES
  2. NO
That prostitute is a man. Stu is too blind not to see it.
  1. YES
  2. NO
A scene featuring the trademark she-males of Thailand is inevitable.
  1. YES
  2. NO
The film-makers are hoping to elicit laughter from a barrage of penis jokes.
  1. YES
  2. NO
Ed Helms look like an older Christoher Mintz Plasse.
  1. YES
  2. NO
Paul Giamatti?! The hell is he doing here?
  1. YES
  2. NO
Is it possible for Cho not to die from HYPOTHERMIA?
  1. YES
  2. NO
I like Stu’s song in the first movie than this one.
  1. YES
  2. NO
Fourteen shots? I am still not drunk.
  1. YES
  2. NO
Damn. This is like a cut-and-paste flick. Just use the first movie as a blueprint. Think of similar situation. You got a movie.
  1. YES
  2. NO
Justin Bartha has the best role here. Proper billing despite not doing ANYTHING.
  1. YES
  2. NO
It took sometime but there goes the song. “One night in Bangkok/And the world’s your oyster/The bars are temples but the pearls ain’t free/You’ll find a God in every golden cloister/And if you’re lucky then the God’s a she/I can feel an angel sliding up to me”
  1. YES
  2. NO
HOLY CATNIP! MIKE TYSON IS SINGING! He has one of the most incredible but confusing career of all-time.
  1. YES
  2. NO
He still managed to take photos despite a missing finger and a colossal alcohol content. You are killing me.
  1. YES
  2. NO

The Top 10 Reasons Super 8 is Super

Spielberg and Abrams must be like that aspiring director kid in the movie, badgering their friends to star in their amateur projects. I imagine them scouring their neighborhood for possible shooting locations, experimenting with train models for special effects and wearing out their cameras looking for the perfect shot. There cannot be a better explanation for their success in the field of film-making and iconic status in the science-fiction genre. It is not surprising that their first big screen collaboration produced one of the most entertaining films in the first half of 2011. A cross between E.T.: Extra-Terrestrial (Spielberg influence) and Cloverfield (Abrams influence), the movie satisfies the need for a superior special effects-laden movie with a huge heart. It reminded of District 9 – the amazing film from the geek partnership of Peter Jackson and Neil Blomkamp – and though not as superb as the aforementioned movie, this one is still a must-see. Despite some dragging parts and a need for more action sequences, this film is still super for me.


I thought it is about  a GOVERNMENT COVER-UP involving a LAB-CREATED MONSTER. Spoiler: one of the all-capped phrase is correct and the other is incorrect.


Do not leave the theater in haste and check the credits out.


Zombies make all things better.


Looks like a mutant spider. I hate spiders. I hate the alien. Invading aliens must not be cute because it is so hard to overwhelm people with adorableness. Yeah. Sure, people will find their presence irresistible but they’ll be three minutes from turning them into pets or stuffed space creatures. Aliens should be mean killing machines.


Three words: collapsing metal cubes.


Cassette tapes. Bell bottoms. Midriff blouses. Hit song of Knack in the soundtrack. It is so mint!


Kids making movies. Kids taking care of their troubled parents. Kids deciphering government f*ck-ups. Kids taking on aliens. Smart kids. Thanks JJ!


Dakota Fanning has announced her intention to go to college. Moviegoers need not be alarmed as her career takes a backseat because her sister Elle will take the cudgels. She is so good! The movie made good use of her as a take-charge girl, part of an amateur film project. Watch her do zombie movies. Damn. Please investigate the air the Fanning girls breathe.


Steven Spielberg + JJ Abrams = Geek. Triumph.


The last thrilling Spielberg movie stars Tom Cruise before he terrified the couch of Oprah. No. Not the alien invasion remake. The other one. Mr. Spielberg it is nice to earn accolades and all via historical films and other Tom Hanks-related projects but I miss the adrenaline. Do more of these films please. I am sure a lot of up-and-coming and current SF directors are more than willing to clear the schedules for future collaborations. 


Live-Blogging: The NBA Finals 2011 Game 6

9:39AM WIN OR DIE. Dallas Mavericks leads with seven after a Shawn Marrion put-back.

9:45AM FINALLY brought the Starbucks tumbler I have been meaning to use in the office.

9:49AM LeBron James commits an offensive against – of all people – JJ Barea. The hell is he thinking?!

9:51AM Dirk Nowitzki makes a three-point basket gives Mavs a 6-point lead in the third chapter of the all-important Game 6. 72-56.

9:52AM James gets the ball but loses the ball in the fast break. Mavs last touch. Wade DOING all his best to give his team a fighting chance. He seems to be losing his temper after getting called an offense against Brian Cardinal. Keep it cool. Lazy Butt James is having another personal meltdown.

9:57AM Gloria Estafan rooting for Miami. Let us hear it from the original Miami Sound Machine! Gloria Estefan>Jennifer Lopez.

9:58AM Udonis Haslem sinks both freebies cuts lead to 5.

10:00AM Black coral probe in the Senate. Haslem rebound results to another offensive put-back. Jason Terry answers back with a high-looping drive. Looking for Tyson Chandler. He’s sitting in the bench after committing 4 fouls.

10:01AM Juwan Howard fouls Marion. Freebies. 76-71, Mavs.

10:03AM 58% foul-throw shooting for the Heat. Jason Kidd punishes them with a 3 on the other end. Score stands at 79-71 for the Mavs. James misses first but makes second freebie. Awful shooting.

10:05AM Twitter Trending: Dear Dirk. Sample: “Dear Dirk, with all these bricks, you could start working on a house for someone.” FUNNY.

10:09AM Erik Spoelstra emphasizing MENTAL STABILITY. Hoping James is listening. Haslem gets fouled. 81-73, Mavs.

10:11AM Wade making things happen. Drives strong gets fouled but misses a freebie. Cursed or something? 81-75, Mavs.

10:12AM Mario Chalmers fishes a foul on Nowtzki. Shooting freebies. SLOWLY CLIMBING. Doing it despite a mental fart from James.

10:13AM Wade is DOING EVERYTHING. But Barea SILENCES THE CROWD. Then gets the rebound on the end of the court. Terry steals the ball. Haslem fouls him.

10:19AM Stopping. Popping. TERRY SCORES. Double-digit lead. Heat turns the ball over.

10:20AM James MISSES EVERYTHING. Did not hit even the back iron. Mavs side: Barea whizzes past the defense for another basket.

10:25AM If James misses that offensive put-back, the Heat should sell his contract for a discount after the series.

10:26AM Nowitzki scores. Wade gets stripped. Velociraptor recovers the ball and scores plus a foul. Chalmers steals the ball. Forces a basket. Chandler blocks him. Mavs ball.


10:34AM The hell is Chalmers thinking? Nowitzki scores.

10:35AM James did not fought for the loose ball. Michael Jordan is LAUGHING SOMEWHERE. “He is supposed to inherit MY MANTLE?!”


10:37AM “LeBron is terrible!” — Joseph Yeo


10:40AM James bricks a three. Some fans are leaving the arena. The bloggers WILL BE HAVING A FIELD DAY.

10:41AM Dear Dirk: Congratulations!

10:42AM 18.8 seconds to go before LEBRON JAMES CRY.

10:43AM Chalmers hits a three after a Spoelstra time-out. Heat putting up some press. TOO LATE. TOO FREAKIN’ LATE.

10:44AM There it goes. MAVS ARE THE CHAMPS!

10:50AM David Stern presenting the Larry O’ Brien and the Bill Russell MVP. Dirk deserves it even of he bricked a lot of shots tonight. Rick Carlisle Oh. Mark Cuban requested the Stern to dedicate the their first championship to Mavs first owner. CLASSY.

10:52AM “This team has so much heart. So much dedication.” — Mark Cuban

10:53AM “I have an announcement: our owner is now available for interviews.” — Rick Carlisle. THEORY: Successful coaches has a CELEBRITY LOOK-ALIKE. Phil Jackson = Jerry Garcia. Pat Riley = Gordon Gekko. Rick Carisle = Jim Carrey.

10:54AM Dirk wins it.

10:56AM “I just can’t believe the journey.” — Jason Kidd. Congratulations. Your career did not Malone.


  • “Congrats Dallas!” — Maria Menounos
  • “Y’all gonna let me have it. Bring it. See @KingJames and @dwadeofficial this what happens when I believe. Still proud of y’all.” — Marlon Wayans
  • “Congratulations Dallas Mavericks.” — Donna Brazile
  • “Not your fault Spoelstra. LeBron just can’t do it.” — Boyet Sison
  • “The Decision is history. Let the Derision begin.” — Andy Borowitz
  • “Dallas! Kidd gets his first chip. Hell. Yes.” — Ali Peek
  • “Shunga mo, LeBron. Umuwi ka na!” — IC Mendoza
  • “Oh well. I’m happy for Jason Kidd. The Kidd is now a man.” — Paolo Valenciano
  • “Dirk, Kidd, Terry and Barea just showed everyone the kind of heart you need to have to win a championship. Congratulations, Dallas. 105-95.” — Chesca Litton
  • “Iiyak na si Dirk.” — Gabe Mercado
  • “Can I say that again? NO RING FOR THE KING. Mission accomplished. Thank you Mavericks.” — The Professional Heckler
  • “Dirk. Damn. So much respect for him now.” — Nic Belasco
  • “Congrats to my wife and her favorite, the Mavs.” — Ogie Alcasid
  • “People be sippin’ on that haterade. Don’t hate the player. Hate the team that didn’t win.” — Demi Lovato
  • “Congrats to the Dallas Mavs! They played with Inigo Montoya perseverance. Dirk has a kind energy. I LOVE RAISIN OATMEAL COOKIES!” — Josh Groban
  • “What an awesome NBA season. Didn’t expect the outcome to be like this. But that’s why I love the game.” — Brian Viloria
  • “Miami Cold.” — Matt Besser
  • “Still proud of you, Coach Spo! Heat will be back. Hopefully, wiser, stronger and tougher.” — Noli Eala
  • “Congrats to the World Champion Dallas Mavericks!” — Kenny Smith
Let us end this amazing basketball season with this video.
Jason Segel: “There is no way that LeBron will ever be Jordan. Call me when LeBron has six championships.”
Kid: “That’s YOUR ONLY argument?”



Post-script:  “In the movie theater, I put my phone on LeBron mode so it wouldn’t RING.” — YouTube user

…and a FUNNY blog post from The New York Times.


The Top 10 Things I Learned from 2-Day Sickness

Had to be a bumblebee. I had quite an encounter with insects this past weeks. Insect A bit the left leg and had it swelling for a week. Insect B then bit the right leg – just as the other one is healing – and had it swelling for less than a week. Since misfortune comes in threes, a third one bit the right arm. It started out like a small innocuous insect bit just near the elbow. Not minding it, I notice quite lat that it is getting bigger. Last Tuesday, I felt I was about to have a fever, so I left the office at around 6 o’clock and went straight home to rest. I woke up feeling feverish with a recurring pain in the right arm. Remembering the insect bite, I checked it up, “Uh-oh. I had this one before. Must be a bee. Bumblebee.” 1st bumblebee bite: still in grade school and our pollen-loving friend just smacked his solid frame to MY FACE. 2nd bumblebee bite: 2009, woke up with an insect bite in the left cheek. Saw a bumblebee whizzing past me. Cheek swelled to grotesque proportion. Yes. No one gets immune from bites but it made me think, “Me and bumblebees. The hell is that all about?” Feverish and bogged down because of a painful and immovable right arm. I called off work and nursed myself at home. Surviving 48 boring hours is manageable as  long as there is a phone signal, working television and several unread books. PAIN IS NOT AN ACCEPTABLE EXCUSE FROM NOT LEARNING SOMETHING NEW.


Deep. In one episode of Criminal Minds, the criminal in question is a white, working class, middle-age man turned serial road killer. In reality, he is an emasculated and tragic figure who cannot move one after his youngest daughter got killed in an accident. In his fantasy, he is the Road Warrior – a deranged SUV-riding, gun-totting madman. With that in mind, I reminded myself  that James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender are just IMAGINARY LOVERS. It is not true EVEN if it feels real.


Too much plastic. Too much Scotch tape.


Time to dust these books again. June has the power to do so. June 12 and 19.


Information from Food Paradise. Burger from their stores is ALWAYS BETTER than their microwavable products. The first and last time I had a Castle burger was in high school. Still craving for it.


Bill Simmons has launched a sports-pop culture site! Speaking of…


…in his first article, Simmons dissected the recent meltdown of King James during Game 4 of the on-going Finals. He said that the second meltdown (His first is against the Celtics in 2010.) of the basketball star has turned into an annual spring event. Simmons points out that a) the Decision made him a bigger but polarizing star b) he is not the “most important dude in his team” c) he shies from the clutch and d) Michael Jordan never had this kind of  moment in his career.


I still feel so sad.


…as the mental patient mother of the series’ resident geek. Our girl Jane deserves more roles because she CAN DO ANYTHING.


Watched her latest David Letterman interview. Described the latest bunch of potential Republican presidential candidates as sort of her Dickensian moment: “It is the best of times. It is the freakin’ best of times!” On Newt Gingrich: “He’s the gift.” On Tim Pawlenty: “Who?” On Rick Santorum: “You have to Google him.” Smart. Hilarious. Cool.


Since the right arm (more of the elbow) is swollen. I had to switch using the left in: tinkering with the phone, pounding the remote control, holding a book, opening the fridge, opening and closing the bottles. I got the hang of it so quickly that I had to pat my back…using the left uninjured arm. 


Live-Blogging: The NBA Finals 2011 Game 5

9:25AM Clicked on the remote. Boom. Dallas leads Miami.

9:30AM Been out of the social media circuit because of a freakin’ insect bite so am not much into the game. Concern is more directed to the aching arm. Ouch.

9:40AM Putting on final facial touches, Wade goes to the locker room. Is he hurt? No. Please no. He is in full Michael Jordan mode these past games and it will be unfair for basketball fans to see him out of the Finals.

10:20AM Oooh. Vice Ganda has some cool-looking poses in the latest Preview magazine. Does not subscribe to this rag but thinks of getting one just to see the photos.

10:25AM End of first half. Dallas leads. Did not see the score but the arena is rockin’ so I surmise Cuban’s camp is in the driver seat.

10:30AM BREAKING NEWS: “Palabas na ng bansa ang bagyong si Dodong. Magkakaroon pa rin ng kalat-kalat ng pag-ulan sa Metro Manila at Luzon.” — ABS-CBN.

10:34AM “In terms of aggressiveness, siguro papasa siya. Pero sa outside shot, 0 out 4 si LeBron James.” — Manotoc

10:35AM Mark Miller starts things off in the second half with a game-tying three. 60-60.

10:36AM Shawn Marion with a go-ahead basket. 62-60, Mavs. Barea! 65-60.

10:37AM Miller is hot. Another three. 65-63, Mavs.

10:38AM Tyson Chandler taps ball for another offensive charge. Love his energy. On the other end, James posts-up(!) Dirk Nowitzki. Scores.

10:39AM Mavs score. Then James misses a drive.

10:40AM Velociraptor commits an offensive foul. 67-65, Mavs.

10:41AM Dallas needs to make their run NOW while Wade is out. There goes a BOOMING THREE from Nowitzki. 70-65, Mavs. (The German heard me.)

10:42AM Barea for three! 73-67, Mavs.

10:43AM Jason Webb is so generous to describe LeBron James’ game as ABOVE AVERAGE. His last three games are MEDIOCRE. So much for TAKING MY TALENTS TO SOUTH BEACH.

10:46AM Hell. Yeah. Barea. 75-69, Mavs.

10:47AM I have to give it to Velociraptor. He is more important in his team than James. Bron, a dinosaur is kicking your as*.

10:48AM Barea for the offensive rebound. The hell. Best Barea game so far.

10:50AM Another three from – surprise surprise – Jason Kidd. 78-71, Mavs. Heat turns the ball  over. Then quick dunk for Chandler. Spoelstra calls time. 80-71, Mavs.

10:53AM Checking news articles about the Boss. Missed doing this.

10:54AM “13 turn-overs leading to 21 points.” — Webb on Miami’s errors.

10:55AM Brian Cardinal is giving Rick Carlisle QUALITY MINUTES.

10:56AM Juwan Howard scoring inside. Howard scores and Bron is doing what?! And Wade is still doing all he can and MAKING SHOTS despite a painful lower back.

10:57AM Cardinal greets the floor again. Fouls James. Then he gets into a shouting match with Howard.

10:59AM Cardinal FORCES James to turn the ball over. 84-77, Mavs. Someone measure Cardinal and Chandler’s combined joules.

11:00AM Oh. Did I mention Nowitzki is NOT PLAYING during their run?

11:02AM Kidd ends the third chapter stripping James of the possession. MELTDOWN. MELT-DOWN. M-E-L-T-D-O-W-N.

11:08AM “Naloka naman ako sa blog na binabasa ko. Nakaka-distract ang kanyang mga personal photos. Ineng, dapat nag-Flickr ka. Hindi blog.” Barea SPINS. DRIVES. SCORES. END ONE.

11:09AM Ha. James turns the ball over.

11:11AM Nowitzki sinks both freebies. 90-83, Mavs. Heat scores. Cut leads to 5. Wade blocks Nowitzki then gets fouled on the other end. Gosh. Is James watching his friend PLAY LIKE A MAN?

11:13AM I like this ad of Summit bottled water. Haven’t tasted Chowking’s Chinese-style Chicken but my roommates said it ain’t that good. But the fastfood chain is REALLY marketing this one. Filipinos are one of the biggest chicken consumer in the world. Trivia: goat meat is the most consumed meat in the world.

11:17AM Killer THREE from Barea. Gives his team a five point lead. James then bricked a three.

11:18AM If James is TRYING to be a sidekick then at least aspire to be a GOOD one. You are killing me.

11:19AM Wade scores in a 2-on-2 fastbreak. 93-90, Mavs.

11:20AM Nowitzki shooting freebies. Sinks both. 95-90, Mavs. Spoelstra calls time. Harold Camping is on  a roll.

11:24AM Single point separation. Heat leads.

11:25AM “Isa pa. Inasawa na ni LeBron si Jason Terry.” — Manotoc. (Manotoc!)

11:26AM FINALLY SAW Pepsi’s ad, “Sa Akin ang ‘Pinas.” Damn. I miss B-movies. I miss local action flicks. Robert Gan Ledesma MAGPARAMDAM KA NAMAN!

11:28AM Smurfs!

11:29AM Wade is resurrecting his team.

11:30AM “Nowitzki. Seducing Chris Bosh.” — Gonzales (Boom!). Sulit na sulit ang tatlong ito if the Finals go the full route.

11:31AM Crucial turn-over from Nowitzki. 3:52 to go. 99-97, Heat.


11:34AM James bricks a three then Nowitzki slams one home. Back to Dallas. Then James commits an offensive foul.

11:35AM Kidd silences Heat. THREE! Bron bricked a three before that.

11:39AM Chandler blocks Wade. Bron drives(!) passes to Velociraptor. Gets fouled.

11:40AM “Hindi. Makaka-tres pa iyan.” — Dennis Macinas (Heat fan). Then Jason Terry hits a three. Ouch.

11:41AM James drives and scores. FINALLY he ditched taking three’s.

11:43AM Desperation Time.

11:44AM Wade misses a contested three. See? Heat still favors him than the other one. Terry makes both freebies, 112-103, Mavs.

11:45AM Wade should punch James in the face.

FINAL SCORE: 112-103


KEY STAT: Three-point shooting. Better shot selection. Forcing Heat to commit more errors.  LeBrick.

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