Review: The Mortal Instruments – City of Bones Movie

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It’s been a while since I wrote anything after trying to do a (unfinished) recap of a movie that I sent a friend. I haven’t forgiven myself for not finishing that recap, but it wouldn’t be fair if I missed writing this review.

First things first. The Cast. Is. Perfect. Everybody did a great job.  Jaime Bower is Jace, whether it is on or off camera. Cassie (Cassandra Clare) even said so herself. Lily Collins made Clary look better. As I have stated before, I am not such a big fan of Clary’s character but Lily made her look stronger, braver and less whiny so that is a big plus in my book. Kevin Zeger (Alec Lightwood) , Jemima West (Isabelle Lightwood), Robert Sheehan (Simon Lewis), Aidan Turner (Luke Garroway/ Lucian Graymark), Jonathan Rhys Meyes (Valentine Morgenstern)  and Godfrey Gao (Magnus Bane) completes the rest of the cast perfectly. I couldn’t and wouldn’t imagine replacing anyone of them. Godfrey should have been given more airtime though. How they managed to cast such beautiful people all in one movie didn’t hurt one bit.

Second; the pacing. Yes, it was a bit fast on the first part of the movie but I have no complaints there. I did find myself saying “Wow. That was fast!” during the first part of the movie but I was able to shrug it off and just enjoyed the movie. I think the way they paced the first part of the movie was necessary to give way for the more important details towards the end.

There were changes in the movie as expected like who killed the demon who attacked Clary’s mom. Why? Well, Clary killing the demon in the book was the ONLY thing she has done aside from whine and blame everybody around her and be basically what Alec said: dead weight. I think Lily deserves an award for making Clary actually bearable if not likable. What I wished they haven’t changed is Simon should have turned into a rat.  Yes he was bitten but was not turned into a vampire (yet). I don’t know how they would explain that in the next movie but I’m hoping it does get explained well. Rants and negative reviews on this part, I do get. I did wish they didn’t show that Simon will eventually turn into a vampire this early. That should have come later.

But I love that my favorite lines from the book was included in the movie which all came from Simon.

The latter part of the movie was a whirlwind for me (given that I have read the book). Maybe it was because it has been a while since I have read the book and couldn’t remember much but I think some scenes were incorporated in the movie that should have happened in the next part of the series. Then I remembered watching an interview with Lily where she admits that there were scenes that were incorporated in the movie to make it work and I agree on some points. Clary’s ability should have been revealed in the next installment but it worked fine for me. At least it showed why Clary was an important part of the story. And what she is really capable of. When I was reading the books I couldn’t help thinking why Clary was important in the series aside from the fact that Jace needs a girlfriend to keep it interesting. Clary drawing new runes this early was a big improvement for me.

Revealing some details from City of Ashes and City of Glass did get a lot of negative reactions from the fans (simply because it was NOT a part of the City of Bones book and it ruined it for them) but I do get where the director is coming from and why he decided to show some parts of the next books in the first movie. Imagine the movie NOT giving a hint that Clary and Jace were NOT siblings. It will totally ruin the series for non-readers. I know this because I almost stopped reading the series if I weren’t able to ignore that uncomfortable detail. As I have stated previously, Alec, Magnus, Simon, Isabelle, and Luke helped me through until I reached the third book and being able to  confirm that fact that they were really not related. It was a bit dragging for me while reading and was glad that hints were dropped this early in the series.

What made the movie confusing for non-readers was not being able to explain some things like how the silent brothers were able to speak with their mouths sewn shut among other things.

My advice: Go watch the movie and if you haven’t read the book, read it AFTER watching the movie to help you through some questions you might have. It will definitely  be easier that way. Cassie created a wonderful world for us and it would be a waste not to give it a shot. The movie wasn’t perfect and as loyal to the book as the fans would wish but it was a good one. It made one bitter medicine (aka incest) go down smoother. Please don’t let the negative reviews stop you from entering the amazing world of Shadowhunters.

Cassie is a great writer and has earned my love, trust and respect for being brave enough to confront issues that may raise a lot of eyebrows. I would classify her style as an acquired taste. A style I definitely “get” and love.

Review: The Full Monty

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Atlantis’s Productions presents The Full Monty! Get ready to laugh and enjoy great music.

Before watching the play, I tried to watch the movie and I lasted for about 15mins before I decided that the movie wasn’t worth my time. The movie made me skeptical about the play and I was so happy to be proven wrong.

Rhoda and I rushed to Carlos P. Romulo Theater to watch the play after our yoga class. We knew that we’d be late but decided not to get all stressed out over it, applying what we learned in class: “Let it go. Let it be.” We got in and presented our tickets 25 mins later after the show started. Guess what? We got free upgrades! See what you get when you don’t stress over things and just let them be? ^__^

Anyway, when we found our upgraded seats, I was surprised to see that the scene was just right where I stopped watching the movie. Tthe scene in front me was a lot more funnier and entertaining which is the complete opposite of the movie when I decided to stop watching and sleep instead. Am I lucky or what?😀 I felt that I didn’t miss so much from the play and even got upgraded seats!

The Full Monty is about six recently unemployed men. Jerry Lukowski (Mark Baustista) was just kicked out by his wife for not being able to support his son and being out of a job for a while. Trying to find a quick way to earn cash to be able to continue seeing his son, Jerry convinces his best friend, Dave Bukatinsky (Jaime Wilson) to put up a strip act and go up against the famous Chippendales when he learned that their wives pay up a good deal of cash to see men down to their underwear.

Dave and Jerry recruited four more men to complete the act: Malcolm MacGregor (OJ Mariano) a suicidal bodyguard living and taking care of his mother, Harold Nichols (Arnel Ignacio) as their supervisor from work and a dance instructor. The four of them found Noah “Horse” Simmons (Marco Sison) and Ethan Girard (Nino Alejandro) during auditions.

The rest of the cast are Ima Castro, Jay Valencia-Glorioso, Sitti Navarro, Ciara Sotto, Steven Conde, Ralion Alonso, Altair Alonso, and Hans Eckstein.

The story revolves about the insecurities of these six men; one tries to be prove himself to his son and wife, another is dealing with his weight, he believes that his wife won’t love him anymore if she finds out he doesn’t have a job, one  struggles with his age and another with his sexuality. It was heartwarming to see these men help each other with whatever they were going through and help them get over with insecurities.

The highlight of the show was during the performance of Jerry’s group when they decided to bare it all and go Full Monty to increase the level of competition against the Chippendales. Like the end of the movie (as I have heard from Rhoda) Jerry’s group takes their underwear off and the lights go out, Atlantis Productions stayed true until the end. Jerry and the gang ripped their briefs out the exact moment the lights go out and the only thing you could see were their silhouettes. Haha. In case you’re wondering, the strippers came out for the final bow wearing robes ( I don’t think they’re wearing anything underneath).

I truly enjoyed the play and was determined to not watch the movie and keep the memory of the play with me instead. Even Rhoda agreed that the play was way better than the movie. Did I get my money’s worth? Yes, and not just because of the free upgrade. The show was entertaining and everyone of the cast did great. I even searched for the soundtrack of the play and is playing as I write. Yey!

23. Try Anti-gravity yoga

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My brother joined Rhoda and I when we decided to try Anti-gravity yoga at Beyond Yoga at BCG. Like our TRX Suspension training, we first experienced Fly Fitness which is usually practiced by regulars, for first timers it would be better to try Fundamentals first. Since we were already there in class, Teacher Paulo introduced himself and the anti-gravity hammock to us.

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My new love. The Anti-gravity hammock. Made out of 12ft x 9ft synthetic fiber.

The first thing he taught us was to trust our hammock. If you are doubting that the cloth could hold your weight, don’t. It could carry more than 1000lbs. Yep. Perfectly safe. Don’t forget to remove any jewelry before mounting your hammock so that you don’t snag yourself or the hammock.  Next, he taught us how to properly mount our hammock and said “Hi! And I’m sorry. Later you’ll understand why.” Oh my, that didn’t sound so encouraging…

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The first pose we learned was called The Womb (see left, top most picture above) it may not look pretty but it is a very relaxing pose and i became a quick favorite. I was a bit disappointed when we needed to change poses because I wanted to stay in the womb a bit longer.😛

Next pose: The Inverted Monkey Pose. For the first two sessions, this pose hurt a lot. Only on our third class which is a Fundamentals class did we learn that the hammock was placed higher than where it is supposed to be that’s why it hurts. The hammock should be just where your low-rise jeans end before you do any inversions. Trying this pose for the first time was a bit scary. I know the hammock would hold but I just cant help it. It took a few seconds before I was able to let the hammock go and place my hands on the floor, palms facing the ceiling. During our Fly Fitness classes, Paulo made us do inverted crunches. In wasn’t able to do a lot of crunches because the hammock was really hurting my back. What you have to remember in this pose is NEVER to try to push on the floor to hold yourself up. During our Fundamentals class, Teacher Roxanne made another student stop her inversion. She told us that pushing on the floor will create slack on the hammock and you’ll end up hitting your head on the floor.

Third pose is another inverted pose. I didn’t catch the name of the pose, sorry. From the Inverted Monkey pose, you just have to unwrap your leg from the hammock and touch your feet with both hands. At first, I didn’t have problems with the pose. But when we needed to switch legs holding us up, I got a little scared when my left leg was the one wrapped in the hammock. I needed to grab on the hammock and was only able to let go when I’m sure that my leg could hold me. Haha.

Next pose in the picture above is called the Angel’s Wings pose. After our second class, I asked Paulo for a simple pose for beginners and this was what he taught me. We also did this pose on our Fundamentals class.

The Star pose was taught during our Fundamentals class. Your hands must be placed on your chest, Rhoda was just using her hands to cover her face because she looks like Pucca in all inverted poses. Hahaha. This pose may look hard but it really isn’t. But the Swan Dive Pose looks scarier. It is basically the same pose only with your feet together. What’s going to hold you up if your legs are together? The Hammock. Trust me. I was able to do it, so can you. ^__^

The last pose above was taught during our Fly Fitness classes and only my brother managed to get the pose.

Overall, anti-gravity is so different from the yoga I used to know. I was used quiet classes where only the yogi master was the one talking in the room and there are minimal interactions with the other students. In anti-gravity we are encouraged to laugh and make side comments. This could be a little stressful compared to other yoga practices because of the fear that you’ll fall on your head. Just listen to your yogi master and you’ll be good. Teacher Rox taught me alot during your Fundamentals class. Trust. Big word, but that is all you need in anti-gravity yoga. Trust yourself. Trust the hammock. Trust your teacher. At the end of the Fundamentals class, we congratulated ourselves for doing something good for our body. We also learned that we grew 1/4 of an inch which will last for only an hour. Ha!

I will surely miss the hammock.

New mantra: “Let it go. Let it be. It’s done.”

Beyond Yoga:

http://igobeyondyoga.com/

Meshwe: The taste of my childhood

Just like every kid who grew up or at least stayed in Saudi Arabia long enough to enjoy their food, I have missed the taste of the food I grew up eating. And ever since our family came to live here, I can say I haven’t had a taste of a real shawarma. I don’t know whose idea it is to put onions and cabbage and wrap it  bread together with beef or chicken, add some white watery sauce and call it shawarma. Obviously not someone who had tasted the real deal.
I stopped looking a long time ago and thought I that the chances of me getting a bite would mean, I’d have to visit to Saudi Arabia again. Not until I saw a post from a friend claiming she found a place selling exactly the same thing we grew eating. If this came from someone else, I would have dismissed it immediately. But since it came from a very reliable source, I just had to try it.

After watching Ironman 3, I convinced Rhoda and dragged my brother to try the place my friend recommended.

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We found Meshwe at Il Mercato. They are open only on Fridays and Saturdays, 5PM – 4AM. As we approach the stall, I can smell the shawarma and got real excited. Initially, I thought the shawarma would be pricey if it is authentic, but their prices were very reasonable and the owner was very accommodating. She asked we were lived in Saudi and where we went to school. I found out that Chef Nathan Mounayer was a schoolmate and was just a year ahead of me. Though, I couldn’t remember him, his face did look familiar.

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We each ordered a shawarma (Pho80) and Rhoda got a shawarma plate (Php140) as pasalubong for her parents. Nathan’s mom and I chatted while our orders were made and even offered to take our picture inside the booth.

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from left to right: Me, Chef Nathan, Yummy Chicken Shawarma, Jei (my brother) and Rhoda

 She also recommended we try the chicken fingers with Arabic fries (php125) claiming it tastes like Al Baik chicken. I got so excited that I think I was jumping with joy. My brother was so young back then that he didn’t have a clue what we were talking about. He cant remember eating anything called Al Baik and was silent the entire time.

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Chicken Fingers and Arabic Fries

Our shawarma was done and we found seats. A few seconds later, our chicken fingers came. We had one chicken finger each and dipped it into the garlic sauce. I was waiting for my brother to react when he tasted the chicken, he gasped and said it tasted like Broast chicken. I laughed and remember that Al Baik chicken was called Broast in Jeddah and Al BAik everywhere else in Saudi. It was nice to know that your taste buds could still remembere a certain kind of flavor you tasted more than a decade ago. I quickly explain to Rhoda what was happening while we enjoyed our chicken and garlic sauce. The fries were a little soggy but the flavor was still there. I’m taking Rhoda’s word that the seasoning and spices used were just right even if you aren’t used to the Middle East cuisine.

Nathan’s mom came over and asked us how the food was. We smiled and thanked her for bringing the food we knew from Saudi here in the Philippines. She was sweet enough to give us a tip, she may have noticed that one chicken finger each wasn’t enough to satisfy us, and told us to buy Jollibee’s Chicken Joy and she’ll sell us the garlic sauce next time we come back.

When she left, we attacked our shawarma… For a moment, I thought my brother and I were back in Jeddah until I heard a voice saying “Ang sarap!” and saw Rhoda. The large chunks of chicken, fries and pickles with the garlic sauce. It was perfect! Rhoda said that the pickles had a lemongrass flavor. I hated pickles and lemongrass, but I love their pickles. Rhoda later learned that they make their own pickles. Wow. Halfway through our shawarma, we were already planning on how to get our hands on the garlic sauce and pickles they were using by applying as OJTs or franchising (I asked and it seems that they are not yet ready for it yet). Haha.

With very full and happy tummies, we came back to the Meshwe to pick up Rhoda’s pasalubong. My brother and I were planning to buy shawarmas for our parents when we remembered that Mother’s Day is just around the corner. We plan to come back with our parents and celebrate Mother’s Day there so they could order whatever they want. Plus one bucket of Jollibee’s Chicken Joy of course. Haha.

I don’t think Rhoda will ever eat another shawarma again (like my brother and I), unless it came from Meshwe.

Dear Meshwe, I could never thank you enough for the wonderful experience of bringing me back to Jeddah in every bite. We will be back soon. Again and again.

Review: The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

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I waited for the series to be finished simply because I am just bad at waiting and chances are I would have forgotten what I have read when the next book comes out. So instead of the individual books, I’d like to focus more on the three main characters as I see and understand them them and some concepts that became much more clearer to me in this series than The Mortal Instruments.

Will Herondale. The startling resemblance to Jace Wayland/Herondale’s character is not very hard to notice (plus Alec Lightwood’s good looks). The good guy pretending so hard to be the bad one not to look cool but to protect the ones he love. I never liked these type of character before because I find them so hard to sympathize with. These characters could be frustrating at best that I start to root for other characters in the story. But not Will. With Clare’s magic at creating very real characters that it’s so easy to believe and understand him that you wanted to hug him tight until the bad dreams go away. He was described as noble and a complete gentleman. Again, Will being noble and holding his feelings back to make others happy would not have the same effect if it weren’t for the situation he, Jem and Tessa were in.

James “Jem”  Carstairs. A sick and dying drug addict who is also Will’s parabatai (more in this later). Yes, he is dying and I have accepted then that this sweet boy will make me cry for so many reasons and I was right. It was very difficult for me to read the several parts of the series because the tears wouldn’t stop falling. Anyway, given the situation he was in, I never looked at him as weak and incapable of protecting the people he loves. Neither did I think that Will or Tessa or anyone around him loved him out of pity. Between Will and Jem, Jem is so much easier to love since the other one kept pushing people away while Jem welcomes everything with a bright attitude. If I ever felt pity for anyone, it wasn’t for Jem. My heart went out to Will and Tessa, seeing how much they both love Jem and is willing to do anything (like reaching into the fire for the much valued drug making him live or voluntarily giving yourself up to the enemy to save his life). Only during rare moments did we see him sulk and wish to have a longer life, but that didn’t last long. On the moments that count, he was the smart one making sound decisions and accepting his faith as a given not because he has lost hope, rather, he reminded me how precious each moment in life is. When he was twelve, he was told he’d live for only a year if he’s lucky but as things turned out, he lived longer than that and that much was enough for him. Well, until Tessa came into his life…

Tessa Gray. A girl who had exceptional talent in shape-shifting because of the blood that runs in her veins. Because of her talent, she is wanted by the enemy to make the Nephilim disappear. Like Clary, I didn’t feel much for her but I were to chose, I’d choose Tessa over Clary any day just because she could kick ass better than Clary. What’s interesting for me is her love for Jem AND Will. Even before I read Clare’s post on why or how come one person could have more than one great love, Tessa never appeared like a bitch to me even if she claimed to love both boys equally. For some weird reason, Clare convinced me it was possible though no other story I have read, watched or heard was able to do otherwise. I understood how much she loved both. I didn’t join Team Will or Team Jem, as I would have done in any other books with love triangles involved. I was pretty much contented with the way things turned out in the end. I believe Tessa is one lucky girl to have found two great loves, though I believe she’d have more loves and heartbreaks, like Magnus Bane, being immortal and all…

The concept of Parabatai. An oath taken by two Shadowhunter warriors, binding them to each other as blood brothers and promising to protect each other. That didn’t mean much to me while I was reading The Mortal Instruments. During that time, it was a given for me to protect your blood brother during any situation, putting the your parabatai‘s welfare before yours. An old concept given a new name. That was it. But in The Infernal Devices, I have learned that there is no greater love than the one your parabatai gives you. It will be difficult to understand how three people could love each other equally. The love Will and Jem will never be matched “because he loved him as his soul”. Watching two boys who are both willing to give up anything for each other could be very very very heartbreaking. I couldn’t help thinking how these boys loved each other so much and not fall in love with each other. Haha. No wonder there are alot of fanarts going around, even on Clare’s tumblr (scan Will Herondale and Jem Carstairs tags and you should see more fanarts).  Even the parabatai oath sounded like wedding vows to me, though I know that having a relationship with your parabatai is forbidden, still…

The ending of the series was very reassuring for me. I had high hopes for The Mortal Instruments last installment and the start of the third series, The Dark Artifices and, of course, The Bane Chronicles.

As another fan of the series put it, “The Infernal Devices is not about ‘who’ to love, it is about  deciding ‘to love’.” And that pretty much tells it all.

Work that Body!

My brother wanted to try suspension training for a looong time (and this post will be quite long too). He convinced me to try it to improve my upper body and core strength which I desperately need if I wanted to learn to surf. 165559_184467488248917_3204969_n

I would say, we were lucky to try Kinematics at Cubao. Their studio was kinda hard to find at first since we are not very familiar with the area. We took the MRT station and got off at the Cubao Station. The studio is just walking distance from the station. Their studio is located at the end of North Road, inside the Scarlet Spa Compound. Just ask the receptionist where the studio is and you wont miss it!

We changed into our workout clothes (clothes I borrowed from a friend who runs) and found the studio a few minutes earlier than our scheduled time. We watched the different sets of exercise and I was ready to go home. It was just too much watching them, especially for someone who has no mind and body coordination. Tsktsktsk! Why did I let my brother talk me into this? Why?!

Before I had the chance to run and save myself, the workout ended and we were invited in by Stephen Paulino, our instructor for the day. We were interviewed and briefed about TRX. TRX is mainly composed of four parts: the anchor, the adjustable TRX rope, handle and foot cradle. Some TRX that can be bought in the market has a stopper and some don’t. The one we available at their studio had a stopper.

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Basic rules in using TRX:

1. The ropes must never slack during the entire session. The exercises will mainly use your arms or legs pulling or pushing the TRX. Your arms and legs will do a lot of work but your core will be used throughout the session (that is if your doing it right).

2. Never do a set with your TRX ropes crossed.

3. To avoid injuries like rope burns, do not let the TRX touch your skin.

4. Do not use the ropes to balance your body while there is tension on the ropes. The friction will damage the TRX. And we don’t want that!

Seems like four is a magic number for TRX; there are four sets of exercises catering to different parts of the body with a minute of rest in between each set.

After completing the fourth set, Stephen was surprised that we actually finished the workout. Most of the first timers quit before the start of the fourth set. I guess competitive blood runs in the family and quitting is not an option. Good job to both of us! ^__^ It was tiring but fun. Thank you, Stephen!

For the next two days, my triceps, biceps, thighs and calves hurt a lot with a little tinge on my core muscles. I guess I was doing a lot of the exercises wrong then. Hahaha. This was addressed during our second time. Our instructor was Jon, Stephen’s older brother who owns the studio at Cubao. Stephen has his own studio at Katipunan and takes over Jon’s studio during Saturdays.

Jon is big on getting the form right (just like my favorite yogi master). He told us that he teaches fundamentals – the basics of TRX training while his brother, specializes at advance training for athletes. O__O

I learned I was doing the planking exercises wrong and I am prone to getting my back into more trouble. Also, I had A LOT of unused muscles that is why I couldn’t get the forms right. I was laughing so hard when Jon was trying to imitate what I was doing wrong and failing. When I started, I knew it would be hard because of my limited arm strength. Boy, was I wrong. TRX will push you to use every muscle in your body! I needed to use most of those muscles for the first time in my life. O__O

I learned so much during our second session but I was nowhere near getting the forms right. It was so different from yoga but both very beneficial to your body. My arms and legs are still burning a bit when doing the sets plus I was tired from work.

My biggest surprise came after the workout. Jon told us that we wont experience the same pain after our first TRX workout and I was skeptical. I was expecting not to be able to get up the next day but I got up without any problems at all. Wow!

For our third and last session, I encouraged Rhoda to join us but she sprained her ankle and passed going to class. Stephen is the instructor for our third session. Some of the exercises were changed to spice up our training a bit. It was a bit harder from the first and second time. We got tired easily and Stephen told us we looked like first timers during the exercise. Come on! Side planking? I can’t even get planking right yet! And I missed some of my favorite exercise but he assured us that the new exercises he introduced caters to the same muscles used on the exercises he replaced.

Even though it was more tiring than the other TRX classes we had, we didn’t experience any discomfort the following day. That’s good right? We hope we could come back. It was really fun. I miss TRX training already.

What I wanted in Kinematics TRX Suspension Training is the easy atmosphere. No pressure. No commitments, just show up whenever you want. The trainers (both Jon and Stephen) tries to develop a good relationship with all their students and try to really get to know them. At the end of sessions, I felt good meeting new people and felt at ease. Another plus for me is the variety of exercises in TRX. There is always something new to learn at TRX. I won’t advise you to go and practice TRX alone in your home after a few sessions in class. This extreme kind of training needs proper supervision to prevent you hurting yourself in the long run. And it is your trainer’s job to keep you safe during the training.😀

Yoga promotes improvements within your own self, and is meant to be practiced alone. This is completely fine with me and I loved the peace and detoxifying effects of yoga. But once in a while it is good to meet new friends who encourages you to push yourself to your limits. They tell you how to improve your form without passing judgement, much like yoga. Great group of people to hang out with. I will definitely try be back (hopefully, Rhoda will be able to join us next time). A new item to add to my list I wanted to do. The list is growing longer! @__@

Bakery Fair 2013

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Bilang mga ambisyosang mga ‘baker’ daw, pumunta kami ni Rhoda sa World Trade Center. Nagregister kami tapos pumasok na kami para mapanood si Ms. Penk Ching gumawa ng cake decors gamit ang gum paste. Ang galing. Grabe ang attention nya sa details.

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May display din sila ng cakes at breads. Ang gaganda nung mga cake, tipong hindi mo makakain kasi manghihinayang ka masira. Haha.

Discounted ang mga gamit pang bake at binalak namin bumili ng silicon pan, rolling pin at whisk dahil ang mura. Sayang nga lang kasi every two years lang daw ang bakery fair. Gusto ko ng silicon pan na butterfly!

Hindi lang mga mata namin ang busog kung hindi pati ang aming mga tummy naging super happy din. Ang daming free taste na mga tinapay, na heaven para sa mahilig sa tinapay na gaya namin. May time pa na hindi na kami makakuha ng free taste kasi dalawang kamay namin may hawak ng pagkain at inumin.😄

Natutunan ko na kung pano gumagawa ng uber sarap na coffee bun sa isang demo! Ang iisipin ko na lang kung san maghahanap ng biscuit flour. Hmm…

Konting ikot pa para sa paghahanap ng matcha powder at Bensdorp. Success kami parehas sa paghahanap. Sa wakas, makakagawa na ako ng green tea muffin, green tea mochi cupcakes at madami pa. Si Rhoda naman makakagawa na ng chocolate cake. Yey!!!

Hindi gaya ng Travel Expo, mabilisang ikot lang ang ginawa namin sa Bakery Fair kasi may lakad pa ako after. Mas bet ko ang bakery fair kesa sa Goldilocks Cake Expo na pinuntahan namin last year.🙂 Aabangan ang next Bakery Fair after two years!

Expo para sa mga kaladkarin

Kahit na wala kaming budget para magbook or magreserve ng package, pumunta pa din kami ni Rhoda sa Travel Expo sa SMX. Ang daming tao at ang haba ng pila sa mga airline booths. May nakita pa kaming familiar faces na nakapila sa PAL. Nakakawindang lang ng slight kasi sa US dollars yung prices ng karamihan ng flights. Hindi gumagana utak namin para magconvert. Haha.

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Ang unang booth na sumalubong samin ay ang Japan booth na nakalista na na yung activities nila for the whole day. Binigyan agad kami ni ate ng list ng activities nila at kinakausap ako kahit hindi ko sha naggets. Kaya umikot na lang namin muna at nagdecide na bumalik sa booth sa oras ng mga gusto naming activities.

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Nagpalista kami para sa picture with Hello Kitty, napanood namin yung Karate Demo, nasaktohan yung free taste ng Taiyaki, inantay ang Sushi making demo at Calligraphy Workshop. Pero ang main event (parang boxing lang?) ang pagpapapicture namin kay kuyang bishonen. Sumimasen, aniki… do you have? Hahaha. Pretty nya noh?

Kada ikot namin and dulo namin ay Japan booth lagi, parang may magnet lang na humahatak samin pabalik ng Japan booth. Hahaha. At hindi si kuyang bishonen ang dahilan ng pagbalik namin ha. Slight lang.

Sa Thailand booth naman, ito ang bumati samin.

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Pinanood namin sila ateng sumayaw at mag lip-sync. Magingat sa mga makikinis na nilalang na nakikita nyo. Pag nagsalita yan magugulat kayo. Nawindang kami na talagang yun ang pinromote ng Thailand booth. At pag napapicture ka, kukunin nila yung kamay mo at ilalagay nila sa waist nila. Toroy! At may free Thai massage din pala.

Lunch time na. Ni-try namin ang chorizo burger at mushroom fries sa Pablo’s.

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Winner ang sarap ng burger at mushroom fries! Sana may branches sila na malapit, kaso nung nagtanong ako, windang ata si kuya ang binigay sakin pang franchise na card. Hmmm…

At para hindi naman masayang ang pagpunta namin sa Travel Expo, naghanap na lang kami ng tour packages para sa Bohol namin this year. May nakita kaming kayak adventure na bet namin isingit sa hectic itinerary namin. Magagawan ng paraan masingit yan.

Napansin din namin ang Guam booth kasi may sumasayaw sa stage. Ang ganda ng mga kanta na tinugtog at sinayaw nila. Gusto ko matutunan yung sayaw nila na may arnis kasi parang ang saya saya ng sayaw at simple lang para sa mga taong gaya ko na walang mind and body coordination. And pretty ng isang dancer kaso hindi kami nakapagpapicture kasi kelangan umakyat sa stage at ang daming tao. Na-inspire tuloy kami pumunta ng Guam para maghanap ng magkapatid matutunan yung sayaw nila at sumayaw sa beach.

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Sa Japan Airlines (JAL) booth naman may games at face painting sila. Naaliw ako sa isang game nila gamit ang chopsticks. May 5ng empty mineral bottles and pingpong balls. Gamit ang chopsticks ilalagay mo yung pingpong ball sa ibabaw ng bottle 1 tapos ililipat mo hanggang mo sa bottle 5. May 1 minute ka para matapos yung game tapos may prize ka. Nagalangan ako magtry kasi hindi naman ako expert sa pag gamit ng chopsticks. Nung trial ko, kung saan saan napunta yung pingpong balls kaya hindi na ako nagexpect nung tunay na game na. Surprise! Natapos ko sha in 1 minute ng sakto! Haha. May prize ako!

Ang haba ng pila sa face painting at habang nagaantay kami ng turn namin, napansin namin yung mga staff sa Guam booth. After ng butterfly painting ko at Sakura painting ni Rhoda, nag sign up kami sa Guam booth at nagpapicture kila Kuya. Sign up para saan kamo? No idea. Basta nagsulat lang kami para makausap sila kuya at magpapicture. Paraparaan lang yan.😄

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Si Kuya na katabi ko, mabenta sa mga girls. Simula ng pagpila namin sa face painting hanggang sa pagkatapos namin, asa stage lang sha at nagpapapicture. Nung napagod naupo na pero nagpapaicture pa din. May kasama pang akbay ha! Ang haba ng hair!😄

After 6 hours, lumabas din kami sa expo at uminon ng milk tea dahil sobrang uhaw na kami kahit ang dmai naming busog.

Cobo: Awesome Possibilities

Cobo: Awesome Possibilities

Natuwa ako sa tagline nila na Awesome Possibilities, Everything is possible for one who believes. Ordinary lang yung tea nila pero ang winner yung sago nila. Magic sago na parang bubble wrap. Pag kinagat mo may juice sa loob! Bonggels! Ang galing. Kung malayo ang MOA para sa inyo, meron din pong Cobo sa Victory Mall sa Antipolo. Try nyo yung  Bubble Burst flavors nila. Dapat yung Bubble Burst ha. Yung iba kasi normal na sago lang.

Pauwi na kami ng madistract kami sa Chinese Painting Exhibition.

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Ang gaganda ng gawa nila, merong scrolls, fans at light lantern.

Pagod much pero super enjoy naman ang Travel Expo. Hindi ko alam kung pano ako nakatagal ng 6 hours na nakatayo. O_O

Post Valentine with Shakespeare

After talking about trips we wanted to take, animes we watched and missed during college, tennis, service management, Emily Owens and baking cream puff and how complicated macarons are made (and scheduling the much awaited overnight baking session at Mi’s kitchen), we finally arrived at the CCP Theater. We grabbed something to eat and got to the theater just before the show started. ^__^

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I have never read Shakespeare’s work nor did I have any idea about A Midsumer Night’s Dream when we bought the tickets to the show. Okay, maybe a little because of a movie I watched (or re-watched) but I don’t know how much of the movie I watched was loyal to Shakespeare’s work. All I know is that there is a flower that could make you fall in love with the first person you see. And… that’s it. Hahaha.

I found out that it was much easier to understand old English if you watch the movie and read the book at the same time. At least that was Mi said, and I’m taking her word for it. I’m downloading the movie as I write (plus other of Shakespeare’s work).

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The 43rd season of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is performed by Ballet Philippines at the CCP Main Theater from Feb15-17, 2013.

For some reason, our tickets were upgraded and we got lower balcony seats. Yay!

Before the show started, Mi briefed us about the story, and explained each character as they gracefully come out the stage. I didn’t catch the names of the characters during the briefing but as the each of them materialized from the stage, I got to know them.

It may not be much help but here’s what I understood from the show (names were provided by Mi): The king (Oberon) and queen (Titania) of the faeries had a fight and Oberon told Puck (his assistant who doesn’t have a single bone in his body) to find the magical flower and make Titania fall in love with a human to disgrace her.

In the human world, Hermia and Lysander is in love with each other and wanted to get married but Demetruis was also captured by the beautiful Hermia. Helena, Hermia’s friend (or is that sister?) is in love with Demetruis. Hermia and Lysander danced with grace while Demetruis ignores Helena as she literally threw herself  at him. Poor Helena. She wasn’t as graceful as Hermia since she had to slump and follow Demetruis around. She looked cute and funny doing everything in her power to make Demetruis notice her.

Oberon takes pity on Helena and commands Puck to use the flower’s powers to make Demetruis love Helena. Puck got confused and used the flower on Lysander who Demetruis Helena stumbled into making him fall for her while Hermia is sound asleep. When Hermia wakes up, she sees Lysander gone crazy over Helena. She tries to get her boyfriend back but the magical flower is way more powerful than her. Cat fight!

Puck slithers into the stage to find another human being and used his powers to make him act like a donkey and used the flower on Titania. The queen of the faeries falls in love with a donkey-like man. Ha! The queen with a donkey man.

Puck realizes something went wrong and used the flower on Demetruis making him fall for Helena, who faints adorably when Demetruis hugged her. Hahaha! Oberon finds the chaos among the four humans and reprimands Puck. Puck makes the humans sleep, arranging them with their respective partners and using the flower on the men. Lysander wakes up and looks at Hermia who is still mad at him for going after Helena. He apologizes and Hermia took him back. Demetruis wakes up still in love with Helena. Yay! Good for you!

The lovers got married and Oberon lifts the love spell on Titania. She leaves the donkey man and returns with her husband to their kingdom. Puck removes the spell on the man, returning him to his old self.

The End.

The ballet dancers come out for the final bow. It was disappointing not to see Puck to come out last. He deserves that final bow. He was so graceful and we don’t know how he does all that slithering and sliding on the stage. He was so fun to watch. So full of energy.

Another first for me is to see the performers after the show. They came out the theater after us and stood on the stairs for the audience to take pictures. Oberon and the main casts sat down to sign the programs bought. I love how Puck jumps around the audience gathering around the stairs to take their picture with him. Still so much energy even outside the stage! It was weird seeing their faces up close though. All the glittering make up! And they don’t look like what I expected but they were all lovely to look at.

Definitely watching the movie to help me understand the story better.

You still have one more day to catch them. Go see Puck dance, jump and crawl around the stage. He radiates so much energy. I love it! You’ll love him too, I promise!

Hansel and Gretel

After work, the ‘asarin-si-Dulce ‘ gang gathered to watch Hansel and Gretel (special thanks to our sponsor – bawi kami next time, pramis!). Jenli had some errands to do and went ahead while we wait for the rest of the group and we just met her at the mall.

The gala will not be complete without Dulce’s famous words like “So shuree (so sorry)” and “kaladkarrrrn (kaladkarin)”. Hahahaha.

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Now, the movie. The scenery reminded us of Twilight and Del predicted an appearance of a character and we were laughing so hard when the prediction came true. The story was kinda predictable but the execution of the movie was bloody entertaining. The fight scenes were bloody good, so bloody good I had my eyes closed almost all of the time. If gory movies are your thing, then you’d love every second of this movie. I didn’t know that Hansel and Gretel is that kind of movie but I still enjoyed it, thanks to the great company I had (healing waters! But insulin works so much better than healing waters. Haha.). Keeping our fingers crossed for a part two!

My favorite thing about the movie is the weapons they used. I’m not really a fan of crossbows (if you’re using a trigger to fire your weapon, why not just use a gun? same principle but less bulky.) but I want a crossbow just like Gretel’s. Best weapon in the movie!

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