Browsing Date

November 2009

Harry Best and Shabang

Music By November 30, 2009 Tags: , , , No Comments

This morning I woke up, picked up the baby, went to her play room which is my work room that I have stayed up the night before tidying up, picked up one of old CDs and popped it in my player.

I don’t know why I did that. I just did. I just thought this morning I would love to listen to this CD I bought for P99 at an obscure music store at the top level of Gaisano department store of Market!Market! three or four years ago.

This is the unassuming CD of Harry Best and Shabang, inserted in, not even a CD case, but cardboard.

Yes, Caribbean music.



I’m For Real
Cool De Fire
Gonna Make It
Deep Purple-I
Just You
Feet on the Ground
Allez za za
Kaiso Reggae

You’ll feel the sand between your toes as you enjoy the authentic Carribean sounds of Harry Best and Shabang. Their engaging lyrics and melodies set to the infectious rhythms of Calypso, Reggae, Zouk, and Soca, and highlighted with the indigenous sound of steel drums, will take you on a virtual vacation.

Yes, the sound of steel drums is wonderful. And boy, do I need a vacation. Even if it’s just a virtual one. It would be a real one this weekend though, so I’m looking forward so much to that. (Hello Bohol!)

What’s the secret to the Shabang’s charm? They can be romantic, as in “I’m for Real,” mystic, as in “Deep Purple-I,” or rebellious, as in “Gonna Make It,” all in a relaxing spirit of fun.

Shabang’s music has been featured in many Carribean festivals over the years. Most noted are their international hit songs recorded by Calypsonian Arrow of “Hot Hot Hot” fame.

Harry Best, Shabang’s Leader, is an accomplished singer, songwriter, instrumentalist, and recording artist from the Carribean island of St. Lucia. Dexter Bruce, a native of Trinidad and Tobago and a veteran steelpan-player, formerly of Our Boys Steel Orchestra, brings a special radiance to the Shabang sound. Bass player Ed (Mac) McCarver is the pillar of the band and Tyrone Gray, also from Tobago, is the drummer.

Here is Harry Best singing a pensive calypso from St. Lucia on the power of the Imagination.

And here is another :

It’s wonderful to have music like this. It’s wonderful for listening to every now and then. I don’t really know why I bought it then. I think I thought  Carribean music is just great and that P99 for some obscure band’s music is not too bad. I bought this CD along with a “Moods of Nature: North Shore Sunrise” CD…. with the tag line of “The natural sounds of the morning beach combined with the smooth piano stylings of Benny Weinbeck.” Hahaha!!


Harassed and Exhausted but Spoiled

Family, Musings By November 29, 2009 No Comments

This past week has been very, physically and emotionally, exhausting for me. A lot of things happened this week. For some of the important occurrences, one could say, “I saw it coming.”

Ryan going out on a business trip is not something new. He has been going for years. What is different is now we have a baby. I used to not mind his going away. It meant I was going away too. If he was going on 20th for example, I’d book a flight somewhere for 19th and make him drive me to the airport. If he was coming back on the 29th, I’d book mine for 30th and make him pick me up at the airport. Now I can’t go anywhere because I can’t bring the baby to other places just like that, especially by myself. So I stay home.

Staying home in an apartment by yourself, to take care of your seven-month old baby all on your own, without any help from any other family member on any or both sides, and with an insensitive and inconsiderate maid who sleeps earlier and wakes up later than you do is not easy.

Friday I finally snapped my thinning patience and yelled at the maid who instantly packed her things. When it comes to maids (even if I have only had one of my own in my entire life.. the ones my parents had over at our house through all the years of course do not count) I am never one to say or ask, “No, don’t go.” In fact, so enraged was I that  I even had the urge to throw her bags out my gate. An urge quelled by other things of course.

So harassed and exhausted was I that I made a distraught call to the husband who was in the middle of a crazy “Black Friday” sale to tell him that if I had wanted to become nothing more than a housewife, I wouldn’t have taken up graduate studies. That if I had wanted to be a single mother, I would have just gone home to my parents or back to El Nido where I could have a real job and I would be surrounded by a lot of people all the time that I never have to spend a single day taking care of a baby all on my own and nary a person to practice my social and communication skills with.

A hysterical me found myself asking when is it exactly that I would be able to rest? When was the last time I could say I have had a good night’s sleep? I haven’t had a real straight sleep in seven months. I haven’t had a real ME-time in seven months. I keep saying I need to go to the spa for a good massage perhaps but I don’t ever make it. Taking care of a baby, though tremendously rewarding, is also exceptionally tiring. My back used to hurt because I breastfed all through the day and all through the night even as I slept. Now my back hurts because I have to carry around a 20-pound baby. I keep saying one day I’m gonna make it out of the city by myself and have some me-time in some beach in some island somewhere even for a day or two. Just like old times. But I never make it. I cannot be away from my daughter for long periods of time. Not because she demands it, but because I just can’t. I keep wishing I could but I just can’t.

A lot of things is going on right now and I post happy stuff in this site because after all, I want to project that I am living high and taking it easy. One would think my life does not have any privacy at all since I seem to blog all the time, but you would never know what really goes on in my life and I will not tell you either.

Today I was rewarded for all my efforts and hard work with a lot of things I have so wanted. Yes, things. I finally got a Sanuk sandals and a Bamboo tablet. I even got a Nine West sunglasses (which is going to be handy this weekend when we go to Bohol). Ryan finally got himself a point and shoot camera he has been wanting to have for months since he finds it tedious to keep lugging his heavy Nikon D80 around on business trips. That being said, the Nikon D80 is officially mine. Well, it has been mine for some time. The 50mm f.18 lens is mine. I keep thinking of selling my Olmpus E-500 since we hardly use it but I looked at it online to see how much it sells these days and it’s still at about $1000 with used selling from $400 and above. It has not lowered its price that much. I especially love the 40-150mm lens on it and I have a hard time parting with it. Maybe  I won’t.. but what is it gonna be there for?

Ryan even got me a balloon animals book and kit! A few months ago I saw an episode of MOMents where they featured a mom who made balloon decorations as a business on the side and I was sort of envious. No I did not want to put a balloon business but I wanted to be able to make balloon decorations too. We saw a kit at Shopwise once when we were shopping for book shelves but I did not really buy the kit. Ryan said when we were chatting on YM when he was there, “I got you something you at some time expressed a passing interest in,” and I wondered what that was. It seems to me I express passing interest in almost everything and anything, even the most mundane.

I am excited about making little balloon dogs and gators with Lia one of these days.

I am still tired. I am still in need of a good massage. I look at what I have now and I can’t say I’m not happy though. I have to be. These are good things. Some days we get the things we want but not the things we need. Still, is that not something to be thankful for? We know money can’t buy happiness but at least it makes up for some real hard time you have had to and will endure. I deserve these things too I guess. To mask the pain I have in my heart and soothe the pain on my back.


GK Onyx Online Bazaar

Advocacy By November 27, 2009 No Comments

My friend Tin is organizing the Gawad Kalinga Onyx online bazaar for the purposes of raising funds for GK Onyx’s scholars. We will be helping her out in her endeavors. 😉

Pre-orders are done through the GK Onyx Online Bazaar Multiply site and pick-ups as well as other sales will be done on December 12 at Terry Wong’s residence in Acropolis Subdivision, Libis, Q.C.

Havin Starbucks coffee at Seattles Best! ;)

With Tin havin Starbucks coffee at Seattle's Best Megamall! 😉 Photo credit: Preachy Mae Torres


Somethin to Look Forward To: Nine (Movie)

Movies By November 26, 2009 No Comments

Judi Dench, Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Sophia Loren, Stacy ‘Fergie’ Ferguson, Nicole Kidman, Kate Hudson

The star-studded cast of Nine, a musical loosely based on the stage show that was a hit on Broadway a couple of decades ago.

What you don’t see in the photo is the lead in the film – Daniel Day Lewis, who in this movie portrays a 40-year old Italian director facing a mid-life crisis that is stifling his creativity and leading him into a variety of complicated romantic involvements. The man is basically in crisis over the women in his life: wife, mistress, muse, the whore from his youth and even his mother. (I love you Sophia Loren). These are the very same women who come to his aid in fantasy and reality.

The screenplay, by Michael Tolkin and Anthony Minghella, is based on Arthur Kopit’s book for the 1982 Tony Award-winning musical of the same name, which was derived from an Italian play by Mario Fratti inspired by Federico Fellini’s autobiographical film 8½. Maury Yeston composed the music and wrote the lyrics for the songs.


From the director who gave us “Chicago”, Rob Marshall, this time gives us the musical film that is “Nine.”

Give me anything that combines film, musical, play, and Federico Fellini and I am definitely in! You don’t even have to mention Marion Cotillard who I am such a fan of. 😉

Click here to read more on the movie on IMDB.

Click here to read what Wikipedia has on the movie.

More importantly, here is the trailer.

Here is a better video, in HD. Embedding of this video is disabled. 😉

And here is one of the posters. 🙂


The film is scheduled to be released in the US on December 18, 2009, in New York and Los Angeles and open for wide release on December 25, 2009.

Credits to this site for some lifted information.

Credits to this site for the poster.

Here are some interesting trivia about the film.


Rockwell Powerplant Mall

Uncategorized By November 23, 2009 No Comments

It’s Christmas at the Rockwell Powerplant Mall. Just wanted to photo-document. Nothing much to say really, except perhaps that this was only the third time I have ever been to the Rockwell Powerplant Mall (first was with Ryan and his thesis group mates and second was when we did the Nestle Hidden Spring distilled water re-launch and I was doing a bit of P.A. work) and I didn’t even go inside. Maybe next time.

Photos were taken November 15th when we went to the Global Pinoy bazaar.

Rockwell Powerplant Mall entrance

Rockwell Powerplant Walk

View of the sky from Rockwell Powerplant Mall

Rockwell Powerplant Christmas tree


Diving Balicasag Island, Bohol, Philippines

Bohol By November 22, 2009 Tags: , , , , No Comments

I wish I was the one who took this video or even the one in it, but no, I just had to be the one watching it all green with envy. Hahaha. I got to this video because Kristelle tweeted it this morning. Thanks Kristelle! This video makes me look forward all the more to our Bohol trip on December 5-8, 2009. That’s just two weeks away! Yehey!! I wish we could scuba dive too!


Rediscovering Indie Art & Brown Label

Design, Entrepreneurship By November 21, 2009 Tags: , , , , , 1 Comment

Indie Art & Brown Label was the very first booth we got to at the Global Pinoy Bazaar. I just went absolutely nuts. I loved everything about this shop. From the CD boxes to the pencil boxes to the journals, stationery, stickers and even the pins!

CD boxes at P350

CD boxes at P350

Book boxes at P250

Book boxes at P250

Hand carry pencil boxes at P180

Hand carry pencil boxes at P180

Blank Note Cards with Envelopes Set of 3, PHP 125

Blank Note Cards with Envelopes Set of 3, PHP 125

12 PPCS I love Tree Note Cards for PHP 170

12 PCS I love Tree Note Cards for PHP 170

(Clicking on the photos will bring you straight to the Indie & Brown Label site at blogspot.)

I was just about to take out my wallet to make a purchase of whatever but then.. I saw this!

Waiiiiit! I have this! I bought it at Powerbooks Bonifacio High Street December last year. I made it into my own baby journal. 🙂

I went home and looked for it in my book shelf. And here it is..

MDM journal cover

Dear baby...

I am so proud of myself! Sure I never got to finish the journal because we moved, I traveled for a bit so on and so forth.. But it was really wonderful to rediscover that journal. It made me sooo happy.

First doctor's visit

First ultrasound - baby journal

Here are the wonderful illustrations found within this beautiful journal.

MDM Journal Book Project

MDM Journal Book Project

Here are some photos I took myself. 🙂

last page - MDM Journal

Illustrated pages 2 - MDM Journal

Illustrated pages 1 - MDM Journal

Children’s Journal Book Project…

The MDM Design & Journal Book aims to support and sustain the “Yamang Isip – Children’s Journal Book Project;” designed as a simple, innovative means to engage individuals, particularly Filipino children, in creative writing and illustration to develop their compositional skills and enhance their imagination!

A unique book which features graphed, lined and blank sketch pages traditionally used by writers and illustrators constructed with the highest quality to last a lifetime.

-MDM Design 2008

Who wouldn’t love this journal?


Click here to read more on the The Journal with Creative License.

Click here to read more about the label that is Indie Art & Brown.

About the Label

About the Label

…And wow!!! Another reason to make my way back and again and again to Cubao Expo: the lifestyle and design store that is Heima.

Heima Store at Cubao Expo

Heima Store at Cubao Expo

Click here to go to visit the Heima Store website.


The Search for the New Phone is Once Again… On!

Technology By November 20, 2009 No Comments

For those of you who don’t know yet, I lost my phone. How many times do I have to say that? I lost my phone. I lost my phone. I lost my phone. I lost my phone last October 12. It slipped off my shallow shorts pockets in the taxi cab on the way home from the pedia visit in Marikina.. last October 12. So if you cannot get in touch with me, I have not been replying to any of your messages, my number cannot be reached, it is because I have lost my phone. 🙁 I lost my beloved Nokia 5310 Xpress Music phone with all my wonderful music and my three thousand messages in the Inbox and Sent folders since I do not delete messages. 😐


In the search for the new phone, I still wanted an Xpress Music phone of course. So, first on the list was the Nokia 5800 Xpress Music with the following features:

3.2″ 16M-color TFT LCD 16:9 touchscreen display (360 x 640 pixels)
Symbian S60 5th edition
RM 11 369 MHz CPU, 128 MB of SDRAM memory
3.2 megapixel autofocus camera with dual-LED flash
VGA video recording at 30fps
Dual-band 3G with HSDPA support
Quad-band GSM support
Capable GPS receiver and Nokia Maps 2.0 Touch
microSD card memory expansion, ships with an 8GB card
TV out
FM radio with RDS
Bluetooth and USB v2.0
Landscape on-screen virtual QWERTY keyboard
Proximity sensor for screen auto turn-off
Accelerometer sensor for automatic UI rotation and motion-based gaming
Office document viewer
OVI and MySpace integration (direct image and video uploads)

Ok so I was digging the touch screen feature, the Wi-fi, the 3G and even the 3.2 mp camera. The price is not too bad too for all those features. Only drawback was the fact that reviews all say its too slow with its 369 MHz CPU.

So we moved on to Nokia 5530 since my brother-in-law has it. 🙂


3.15MegaPixel Camera
Handwriting recognition
WMV/RV/MP4/3GP video player
MP3/WMA/WAV/RA/AAC/M4A music player
Stereo FM radio with RDS
70Mb Internal memory, microSD (TransFlash) card slot
GPRS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB Interface

Wait… its touch screen. It has a 3.15 MP camera too. It has Wi-Fi… but no 3G?! I want one with 3G, really I do!! No matter if it has a 434 MHz CPU. I still want my 3G!

So off looking for another touch screen phone with 3G. And here it is. The Nokia 5230.


2MegaPixel Camera
Proximity sensor for auto turn-off
Accelerometer sensor for auto-rotate
Handwriting recognition
WMV/RV/MP4/3GP video player
MP3/WMA/WAV/RA/AAC/M4A music player
Stereo FM radio with RDS, A-GPS support
Nokia Maps 2.0 Touch,
70 MB storage, microSD card slot up to 16GB
Bluetooth, microUSB interface

So it only has a 2.0 MP camera. I don’t really know why I care about these cameras when I have two DSLRs and a waterproof P&S, but I had not really appreciated the 2.o MP camera of my 5310 in the rare moments I had not had a choice but to use it. (Like we went to an impromptu swimming trip and forgot the SD card for the DSLR). Sure, it still says it’s touch screen.. but, wait, it says in there (click on the photo for more features) that it has 3G… but no Wi-Fi!! I still want my Wi-Fi you know?

Still just can’t have it all huh? Either you get fast 3G or fast Wi-Fi but not both. Unless you want the uber slow both. Too slow you’re going to want to throw your phone against a wall. Maybe if I wanted something that is not touch screen? I don’t understand why I would want a touch screen anyway when my hands are always icky. Hahahaha.

Moving on… How about the Nokia 5630/5730 Xpress Music?


3.15 MegaPixel Camera, Secondary Video Camera
Symbian OS
Stereo FM radio with RDS
256Mb Internal Memory, MicroSD card slot, 3.5 mm audio jack
Dedicated music keys
3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, micro USB interface

Wow, a 3.15 MP, enhanced fixed focus camera with LED flash! Hahaha. (Click on the photo to read full features.) 3G and Wi-Fi and N-gage games with a 600 MHz processor. It’s an Xpress Music phone too. I still have my N-Gage phone with me. It’s a collectible! Hahaha. It’s actually the one I am using now as I decide which new phone to buy. I do not want to talk on it while I’m out though because people just give me weird looks. Hahaha.


3.15 MegaPixel Camera, Carl Zeiss optics, autofocus camera with LED flash
VGA videocall camera
Full QWERTY keyboard with accelerometer sensor for auto-rotate
Stereo FM radio with RDS, 3.5 mm audio jack
Dedicated music keys
microSD card slot up to 16GB
3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB Interface
MP3/WMA/WAV/RA/AAC/M4A music player

Carl Zeiss optics for the camera huh? And a QWERTY keyboard. No touch screen but 3G and Wi-fi check! I am so loving that QWERTY keyboard though for what exactly am I gonna have a specific need for it I have no idea but I still want it! But wait… a 369 MHz processor?! No way. Really? No way! To heck with the QWERTY.  I want a  600 MHz processor! For the impatient me.


So I guess, I know what cellphone I’m going to get now. I am excited to use that Globe Tattoo sim card on my new 3G and Wi-fi enabled phone. Hahaha. I rarely use the Globe Tattoo device that we own, which we got for P2,500 last January by the way (dang it!), since we now have the Sun Broadband unlimited at Plan 799! Hahaha. I am loving Sun. 🙂

Here is a review from Yugatech by the way on this phone that I can’t wait to get my hands on! Here is another review from Techie and a really great review from GSMArena – a site that I got to because my friend Ver tweeted it. Thanks Ver!

I can’t wait to get a Nokia 5630.. a modified version of my old 5310 actually that my husband bought for me two years ago before it was officially released by Nokia Philippines (it cost P13,500 when we bought it in a store at that gadget place in SMNorth). I remember we were sitting around at Chocolate Kiss at Bahay ng Alumni in U.P., discussing and reading the excerpt for that play we were going to do at Bienvenido Lumbera’s Book Launch and I told Hazel Gutierrez I was looking for a new phone. She said go to this place in SM North. We went there right after and three hours later, I had me a new phone! Hahaha. I miss my old phone. I miss my friend Hazel (and her partner-in-crime Jon) too. 🙂