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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Mama's Special Gift

Mama's artistry is unrivaled in our family and I feel it's unfortunate that none of that has rubbed of thoroughly on any of her kids, maybe except Vic, who can take great pictures.  This beautiful bib necklace which I gave to a good friend of mine is a testament of her artistry and because of it, we wish that Laura and Dylan can also find that artistry in themselves, since it's worth treasuring - since that talent can give back so much to the world!

Lovin' Life Through Hip Hop

I can say I am really lucky to have a BFF in Mabel who also loves to dance Hip Hop.  It's not exactly an activity someone in their 40s would do but it has been something we have been doing for almost ten years now, thanks to the talented instructors we have met in Fitness First ABS.  

One of them is Genesis and today, we danced to his unique hip hop choreo once again, albeit, even if just for an hour and a half.  I had to adjust though to Gen's 'different' style of 'counting', which is not counting, just going with the beat of the music - a style which is not used by most of the instructors I know.  Syncopated steps can turn off many gym goers but for hip hop addicts like us - it was pure heaven!

Anyway, it was great to see many familiar faces there including several of our Northberkz friends who came to have a Jammin' good time as well.  It was a good thing though that I did not do Body Jam anymore since my body is not strong enough to do all of those exercises for more than three hours!
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Friday, December 28, 2012

The Comedy 'Raising Hope', My Favorite Show for the Week

A comedy tops my favorite program for the week.  It was the first time I watched Raising Hope and the episode I watched was pretty funny.  It talked about flirting and how adults normally flirt, just to satisfy their ego.  In the episode, both the Mom and the Dad flirted with the neighbors and the cafe waiter - and the fun starts from there!

Here are my favorite shows for the week ending December 28, 2012

#1 Star World - Raising Hope - cute daddy

#2 Star World - The Next Top Asian Model

#3 Nat Geo - Locked Up Abroad - Prisoner of Love  

#4 CI - On the Case - Judy - violent husband - pinasunog house nila

#5 CI - A Slip of Fate - Lyn - killed her husband

#6 Bio - Airline USA - Evelyn loka loka

#7 Diva - Prime Suspect - toddler pinatay

#8  Star World - Masterchef - Felix eliminated

#9 Discovery - Solved - David Castor suicide - antifreeze 

#10 Bio - Airline USA - may naheart attack

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Miss Universe 2012 My Top TV Program this Week

I wasn't able to watch too much TV this week due to the busy Christmas season.  I was only able to watch five shows this week.  At the top, unsurprisingly, is the live telecast of this year's Miss Universe.  

Here are the five TV shows I watched for the week ending December 21, 2012 -

#1 Star World - Miss Universe telecast

#2 Star Movies - The Beach

#3 Star World -A Gifted Man - a baby is abandoned

#4 Star World - True Beauty

#5 ABS-CBN - Storyteller
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Friday, December 14, 2012

Yummy Food At Wildflour!

pumpkin pecan pie

steak and egg
Thanks to my Francophone friends, Wendy and Andy, I was able to sample tonight the delicious food of Wildflour, a supposedly French bakery and cafe.  The truth is I don't ever remember eating anything delicious when I was in Paris so I am not really the right person to ask about French food.  

Anyhow, I enjoyed the food that I chose tonight.  The steak and egg was delicious, especially that the rice, which they called kimchi rice, was spicy!  And the meat was tender and juicy!  The desserts were very sweet and perfect for me.  My most favorite was the pastel del tres leches, followed by the peanut butter banana cream pie, which was really tasty as well.  The creme brulee was also good and the pecan pie too, which was not too sweet, which suited my friends' tastes as well.

Too bad that if I wanted to eat here, I'd have to suffer through an hour and 45 minutes of traffic, driving from Quezon City to the Fort. So well, it's going to be sometime in the future before I eat here again.
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The Amazing Race Finale is My Favorite TV Show This Week

 The 2-hour finale of the latest season of the Amazing Race is my most favorite show this week.  I was one of those who were very surprised to see the Beekman boys win - considering that they did not even win one leg of the race!  Talk about being real underdogs!

Here are my favorite shows for the week ending December 14, 2012 -

#1 AXN - Amazing Race finale 

#2 Jack TV - Big Bang Theory- marriage of the nerd in space and Dorothy

#3 CI- Born to Kill - John Wayne Gacy

#4 CI - Wicked Attraction - A Mother's Love 

#5  Jack TV - American Horror Story Asylum - Jessica Lange leaves

#6 CI - On the Case - A Mother's Nightmare

#7 Nat Geo - Locked Up Abroad - Busted in Bangkok 

#8 Bio - Ghostly Encounters - Dominica / blair witch

#9 Universal - Law and Order - vampires, blood draining

#10 Lifestyle - The Conversation with Amanda de Cadenet - Zoe Saldana

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Excited to Dine In at Mom and Tina's Bakery Cafe's South Triangle Branch

My good friend Marian suggested that we hold our barkada's get-together in Mom and Tina's Bakery Cafe in Libis, near Tiendesitas.  I admit I was not familiar with the resto because I rarely venture that far anymore, since the Tomas Morato-Timog area already has a surfeit of good places to eat.  

Anyhow, we trekked to the cafe mentioned and it was just in front of SM Hypermarket in Libis.  If you're coming from QC, like me, just make a U-turn when you see SM and head back to the QC direction.  It's about 300 meters away from the U-turn.  Parking can be a problem though but I was lucky when I arrived. There was one available parking space for me - and it was only 4PM!  However, I'm sure they have a system for that, valet service maybe something else, since there is another restaurant beside it!

Anyway, I love the coziness of the place!  The staff also reserved a place for us (we were about 15-ish and it included some kids!), which was cool, since they said they normally do not reserve tables on weekends.  (Very grateful for the reservation, really!!)  Well, all told, our get-together was a success since we had good food (reasonably priced as well) and a venue where we had great conversation!  Now that I've heard that they have a new branch near ABS-CBN, I'm kinda excited to check out the place!
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Miss Universe 2012: Miss Brazil - Last Year's Top 10 Countries and Who They Are Sending This Year

Last year's runner-up Priscila Machado was Brazil's bet for the crown.  This year, they have sent Gabriela Markus -

Miss Brazil 2012 

Miss Brazil 2012

Miss Universe 2012: Miss China - Last Year's Top 10 Countries and Who They Are Sending This Year

Miss China 2012

 Miss China 2012
Luo Zilin, last year's Miss China, placed fourth runner up.  This year, they have sent Ji Dan Xu.

Miss Universe 2012: Miss Angola - Last Year's Top 10 Countries and Who They Are Sending This Year

Angola only joined the Miss Universe pageant in 1998.  Leila Lopes was their very first Miss Universe.  This year, they sent Marcelina Vahekeni.

Miss Angola 2012 

Miss Angola 2012

Miss Universe 2012: Miss Philippines - Last Year's Top 10 Countries and Who They Are Sending This Year

Miss Philippines 2012

 Miss Philippines 2012

Shamcey Supsup was third runner up last year.  This year, our bet is Janine Tugonon.  Good luck to her!  She has very big shoes to fill in as Venus Raj and Shamcey reached the top 5 the past two years!

Miss Universe 2012: Miss Panama - Last Year's Top 10 Countries and Who They Are Sending This Year

Miss Panama 2012

 Miss Panama 2012

Sheldry Saez, last year's Miss Panama, reached the top 10 last year.  This year, they have sent Stephanie Vander Werf.

Miss Universe 2012: Miss Ukraine - Last Year's Top 10 Countries and Who They Are Sending This Year

Miss Ukraine 2012

 Ukraine 2012

Last year's Miss Ukraine, Olesia Stefanko, placed 1st runner-up.  This year, they have sent Anastasia Chernova.

Miss Universe 2012: Miss France - Last Year's Top 10 Countries and Who They Are Sending This Year

Miss France 2012 

France 2012

Last year's Miss France, Laury Thilleman reached the final 10.  Let's see how their contestant this year, Marie Payet, does!

Miss Universe 2012: Miss Costa Rica - Last Year's Top 10 Countries and Who They Are Sending This Year

Costa Rica 2012 
Miss Costa Rica 2012

Miss Costa Rica - Nazareth Cascante

Last year's Miss Costa Rica Johanna Solano reached the top 10.  Let's see who they sent this year - presenitng Nazareth Cascante

Miss Universe 2012: Miss Australia - Last Year's Top 10 Countries and Who They Are Sending This Year

I was a bit bored tonight and since I chanced upon a picture of last year's Miss Universe top 5 finalist, Shamcey Supsup, I decided to put here the same top 10 countries from last year and the candidates they have sent.  This will be in nine separate articles only though as Portugal, who had a top 10 candidate last year, did not send anyone this year.  Pity....

Miss Australia, Renae Ayris

Miss Australia 2012

Miss Australia 2012

Monday, December 10, 2012

Lessons I Learned While Watching This Season's Amazing Race

#1 Don't panic when faced with a frustrating situation.  Staying cool and think your way through the challenge really helped Josh finish the task way ahead of James and Lexi.

#2 It's not over til it's over.  This cliche has been played out time and again, but it really applies to this season!  I really though the goat farmers would get the boot after their 4-hour penalty in Russia - but fate had other plans for them!

#3  Don't trust taxi drivers wherever you may be!! The hippies lost their bag - and their passports when they left their bags with their taxi driver in Moscow.  

#4 Slow and steady can win the race.  If you watched this season, especially from the seventh leg to the final episode, you'd understand why!  The goat farmers never even won one leg - but they got the biggest prize!

#5 Don't give up, not in this type of race. You never know what's happening to the other teams.

#6  Timing is everything!  The Goat Farmers just came last in one of the non-elimination rounds!  Otherwise, they always came second to the last or at least, one of the bottom rung teams - till their fantastic win!

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Shocked by the Goat Farmers Win in Amazing Race 21


Brent and Josh, the Beekmans and the Goat Farmers (their description in opening titles) don't look like the team to beat when I first saw the eleven teams in this season's Amazing Race.  They were actually almost always at the back of the pack and when each of the 'weaker' teams were taken out one by one, I knew that they would be next already.  

This was probably when they were only six teams left - them, the twins, Chippendales, Trey and Lexi, the hippies and the fierce couple.  They were in Russia then.  When these guys had to undergo the four hour penalty due to their inability to finish the synchronized swimming leg, I thought they would be out!  But no, they hung on!! If you didn't watch this episode, find it - there's an interesting twist there!

When they weren't eliminated in Russia, I thought, ok, next leg, surely they're out since, physically, they looked the weakest among the remaining five teams. But again, a BIG NOOOO!!  In a strategic move, the three other teams trumped the fierce couple and booted them out!

So it was the three teams and the Beekmans in the final four.  However, suddenly, the Sri Lankan twins started to lose steam and got lost in France, so the Beekmans were very happy that they were in the final three!

And the rest, as they say, is history!  I just love the way, how calm Josh was in the final UN challenge!  He was just so calm while Lexi was having a meltdown already!!  Jaymes, Lexi and Josh were actually on the same boat and it was just how they reacted to feeling hopeless and clueless that made all the difference. It's really true, staying cool in the face of a frustrating situation can save you - and for these goat farmers - give them a cool million freakin' dollars!

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Friday, December 7, 2012

My Favorite TV Channels For 2012

 Starting last September, I decided to monitor what TV shows I loved watching every week, and what TV channels I mostly watched.  I ranked shows from #1 to #10 and gave 10 points to the #1 show, 9 points for the #2 show, and so on and so forth.  So the number beside each channel indicates the points the channel got for each show that appeared in my weekly top 10 list.

As of December 14, 2012, here is the ranking of the channels that top my TV fare.  I am not surprised that HBO tops my list since I watched a lot of HBO TV shows earlier this year.

Here are my favorite channels for the year -

#1 HBO -84

#2 Jack TV -78

#3 Crime Investigation -69

#4 Nat Geo -60

#5 Bio - 59

#6 Diva Universal - 56

#6 AXN -56

#7 Star World - 47

#8 Star Movies -31
#10 Balls - 22

#10 Lifestyle -22

Velvet -20

Universal - 16 

History - 15

2nd Avenue - 15

TV5 Monde - 14 

CNN - 13

BBC World - 12

TCM - 10

PBO - 9

beTV - 8

ETC - 7

Talk TV - 6


Discovery -4

Red - 1

As Good As It Gets: My Top TV Fare This Week

The 1997 movie, As Good As It Gets is my most favorite TV fare this week.  I found the movie as touching as the many times I watched it in the late 90s.  I was watching it with Laura and I was not shy about shedding tears in just about the same scenes that I did 15 years ago.

Here are my favorite TV shows for the week ending December 7, 2012 -

#1 Star Movies - As Good As It Gets

#2 AXN - Amazing Race - the Sri Lankan twins ALMOST get eliminated!  OMG!

#3 beTV - Wedding Band - babysitting in a strip club

This was the first time I watched this episode and I enjoyed it a lot!  The scene where the strippers did the babysitting was pretty hilarious!

#4 Jack City - White Collar - two way mirror date 

This was another series which I saw for the first time this week.  I loved the scene where there was a two way mirror and another pair was dating on the other side!
#5 2nd Avenue Sweeney Todd 

#6 Jack TV - Grimm - death due to poison

This was another scary episode where one of the lead characters had to ingest poison to appear as if he were dead! 

#7 Velvet - A Gifted Man - lead character undergoes hernia surgery

#8 Jack TV - Big Bang Theory - in space  

This was another funny episode as one of the nerd characters trains for space.

#9 2nd Avenue - Hart of Dixie - breakup

Another cute episode from this series.  The two African-American characters break up.  Sad...

#10 Discovery - I Almost Got Away With It (Patsy Jones)

This documentary about this African-American woman who robs people and tourists in Miami shows this loud-mouthed crazy woman!

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Laura and Dylan Visit the UP School of Economics

Finally, I brought Laura and Dylan to the School of Economics where their Auntie Mimi and Lola Wen studied. Laura noticed how nicer the classrooms were there than in Eng'g. Hindi ko na inexplain sa kanya na this is actually a public school and like in life, the colleges of the 'richer' students have better facilities than those colleges with a more broad social class representation. O di ba, how ironic na na-observe niya pa ito sa college of economics!

Laura and Dylan Visit Their Lola Joy's College Haunts!

 During my college days (this was between 1988-1995), the Fine Arts (FA) students of UP Diliman used to to be housed in the Main Library.  So that's where I brought Laura and Dylan so they can see where their kikay lola studied. 
Mama said dito raw ang classrooms nila during her time (this was in the early 60s naman). Imagine, naabutan ko pa!! Medyo sad na nga tingnan ang library ngayon kasi nawala na ang Mountaineers (andaming hunks nuon sa tambayan nila!!) and nawala na rin ang mga quirky FA students!! I have seen their new college but no memories there e. At least ang Beach House andun pa sa likod, di lang nga ako dumaan.  I remember the Beach House, which is actually a restaurant, served the best barbecue in the university!

Revisiting Melchor Hall with Laura and Dylan


After picking up Laura and Dylan from Miriam College, their school, I decided to pass by UP Diliman to show them where their lolo and some lolas and aunties studied. Of course, the first stop was Melchor Hall and I asked Laura to read the name I pointed! I told him it was his Lolo Tony! Ang gulo lang ng Eng'g ngayon grabe, para ng palengke!
And they need IDs na to enter, terible!  Life used to be more simple back then!