the wedding-monthsary: almi + kim

Almi and Kim got married on Nov. 14 in Talisay, Batangas. There were debacles along the way (loud construction outside the church, tardy priest, strange homily, sudden heavy rain during the reception) but it was perfect. Love is a beautiful thing. Just ask the newlyweds, who remained in good spirits even as rainwater drenched one of the tables. For better or for worse, indeed.


View in Club Balai Isabel from the bride’s quarters.

The rooms are nice! I’d like to return here. Not necessarily to get married haha.

This is everyone! Photo from Kate.

Photo from Andrea.

PS The very creative Almi made most of the – collaterals? I don’t know what word to use – for her wedding day. Witness this madness the creativity here, starting with Day 100.

the awesome post-birthday weekend

Some people I know celebrate their birthdays for a week, even a whole month. I just eat a lot at home on the day, and then it’s business as usual.

This weekend, though, felt like an extra helping of blessings for my new year.

Friday, the completely unexpected GeekFight win

I’ve heard of GeekFight, and I have friends who have joined GeekFight, but I have doubts about my geek trivia skills. I know some things, but just basic info, certainly not the esoteric ones that get asked in hardcore trivia shows like this.

J found out that the Committee GeekFight for Nov. 9 is themed “Power of Myth” – Philippine myths, Greco-Roman and Norse myths, religions ancient and current – and he seemed to have great faith in my knowledge, which of course made me more nervous. I almost backed out the night before, thinking of the hassle of driving to Quantum Cafe and finding parking on a Friday night and losing. 

Well, I’m glad we went because we won.

The Modron Squadron!

We won! On our first game! It’s hilarious how our attitude changed from “It’s okay we’ll just wing it let’s just drink beer and have fun” to “MOTHERFUCKER WE HAVE A CHANCE TO WIN THIS SHIT COVER THE FUCKING WHITEBOARD”.

In the D&D universe, “Modrons resemble geometric shapes with humanoid limbs and represent a living, physical manifestation of law without regard to good or evil.” (Wiki)

Twelve teams fought in “Power of Myth”.

A highlight from the event:

Q: How is the monster from Cloverfield classified by the DOD?

Someone answers: Isa syang class-S na halimaw.


Needless to say, I had a fun Friday night.


Before the game, we tried Quantum Cafe’s food. These are really good:

Full Shroom, pizza on whole wheat (PhP 190)

Kare-kareng gulay! (PhP 220)

The kare-kare comes with sinantolan instead of the usual bagoong, but it’s a fun alternative.

I’d like to return to Quantum Cafe just to try the other dishes.

Saturday, Bwakaw, UP date

We weren’t able to catch the Cinemalaya and commercial run of Jun Lana’s Bwakaw, the Philippines’ entry for the Foreign Language Film category at the Oscars, so I was overjoyed to find that the UP Film Institute was going to screen it for a week. We caught the Saturday 1 pm screening.

Bwakaw features a heartbreaking performance by Eddie Garcia as the aging homosexual, Rene. It is a beautiful, sweet, affecting story told with grace and control. It has the elements that can very easily allow it to lapse into a cloying melodrama – a dying dog, a lonely old man – but it never does. Instead it finds brightness in a sad life, and inserts humor in the most absurd situations. (How incredibly funny is it to see Gardo Verzosa constantly fanning himself?) And something must be said about the amazing cinematography: J said the film is so immersive that he half-expected to find himself in San Pablo after stepping out of the Film Institute. I agree. The people I saw the film with had this look in their eyes after the show, like they had just been clobbered over the head. Maybe they were expecting the same thing, the San Pablo of Bwakaw: wind-swept trees, unpaved roads, an old man with a dog in his arms riding a tricycle home.

I loved the final image of the film: Rene walking up a path and disappearing into the trees. We are not told where he is going, but at least now we are sure he is going somewhere.

Am I glad I got the chance to see this film on the big screen.


After lunch at Chocolate Kiss, we headed to the Christmas bazaar. I got these beauties:

Bracelet (PhP 70), ring (PhP 100), peacock-cock-cock earrings (PhP 100)

While in UP, J kept hiding his cell phone screen from me while texting. I wondered about that. He usually even lets me read his texts.

We got to their house, and found out why:


J was with me in Bulacan, and noticed the conspicuous absence of cake during my birthday. So he asked the family to buy me a cake, and more besides.

My thanks to J, J’s ma, his Tita Jo, and the rest of the family for the surprise dinner party!

Sunday, something new for my nails

I regularly have nail polish applied to my toenails, but not to my nails, because I’m a klutz and I chip them easily, sometimes even as soon as I step out of the salon.

So I tried UV soak-off gel nail polish, which the advertisements (and my friendly neighborhood salon) promise will last for two weeks. Mani-pedi using UV gel nail polish is more expensive than using acrylic nail polish. Mine cost PhP 550 at B&W Beauty Salon.

It’s more expensive in the bigger salons, I’m sure. (Some salons, I heard, offer the service for PhP 500 just for the manicure.) That’s a con, but the pros are 1) the polish will last longer, and 2) it dries instantly. No need to ask someone else to open your can of soda after meeting with your manikurista.

I didn’t take pictures of the procedure, but the UV machine looks like this:

I can’t make this a regular thing because of the cost. Maybe I’ll have gel nails for special occasions? (Once a year?)

My nails! So shiny!

I am loving, loving, loving my 26th year so far.

That’s true.

this weekend in food

Crystal Koo came home to Manila from Hong Kong, so she invited fellow writers out to lunch and coffee. We went to Sa Kanto in Podium. J and I had fun listening to the Alfars’ and the Osiases’ adventures in Hong Kong, Japan, Australia and elsewhere, Crystal’s adventures in teaching overseas, Tin’s adventures in acquiring a master’s degree in Creative Writing (ha!), and Charles various dramas (yes). There were so many stories that we couldn’t get a word in edgewise! And that’s a good thing! Of course we talked about other people’s relationships over coffee in Cafe Breton (the Alfars and the Osiases, unfortunately, had to run to get ready for the Palanca Awards) because that’s what writers do. Really.

Photo by Dean.

Only J, Crystal, and I ate a lot. It was a bit…embarrassing. Haha! Especially if you’re seated next to Tin Lao who ate such a healthy lunch of eggplants and steamed rice. We all loved the Dynamite, chili fingers stuffed with beef and cheese, and I couldn’t resist ordering Kwek Kwek. The main dishes were so-so, and Crystal wasn’t a fan of the pork adobo. Next time, we’ll just order all of the side dishes – and a glass of beer. Check out this review, with pictures.

Nagutom ako bigla. Heh.

Thanks Crystal for putting this together. Let’s do this again!

And thanks Charles for these goodies:

In other food news: I loved this unagi casserole from UCC.

Got these German chocolate bars from J. It’s filled with strawberry yogurt. Yum.

In writing news: I am trying my hand at writing poetry in Filipino. There are two posted online, but they are friends-locked.

My brain is tired. I wish I had more time to read and write.

a wedding, and other things

Mark, a friend from high school, got married one beautiful Saturday afternoon.

Entrance to Notre Dame de Vie Chapel.


Richard, subbing for June, as part of the entourage.

The bride.

Table 20 at the reception.

Best wishes, Mark and Roan!

On Sunday, we hiked over to Taguig to try the goods at Bar Dolci.

Inside Bar Dolci.

It’s not like I’ve tried everything, but I can vouch for White Chocolate Wasabi.

They also have macarons and jelly candy.

Some links for your reading pleasure:

Lower Myths is now on iTunes for US$2.99

My poem, “Amaranthine”, is live on the Philippines Free Press

Hope your weekend was as delicious!

updates galore

Life updates! Work updates! Bookswap updates!

Bookswap on April 14, where we met Kat’s friend Aych for the first time. I love doing this meetups with the girls (and occasional boy). Book nerds! Love it.

Kim and Almi weren’t present because they were celebrating their monthsary. Next time!

On April 18, J’s sister V gave birth to the cutest baby boy.

Proud uncle.

I realized then that it has been years since I last touched a baby. They’re so soft! (And so small!)

I told myself that I won’t blog about work, but this isn’t really work. The Marketing department had a team building activity at Stilts in Calatagan, Batangas on April 20 to 21. Not my first time here, but my first time to stay overnight. I’d like to go back sometime for an overnight trip with the family, or just with J.

I had fun, despite being generally cynical toward any kind of team activity.

Feeling at home.

First time to see Stilts at night...

...and in the early morning.

Office mates enjoying a quick dip.

Just look at the water! Beautiful.

We had a stopover in Tagaytay. Lunch at Dencio’s and we bought pasalubong from Amira’s and Rowena’s. J enjoyed some eclairs and ube tarts when I got home.

puerto del sol

Bolinao, Pangasinan for Maundy Thursday! We went to Puerto del Sol Beach Resort, which seemed to be located on the very edge of the Earth. To quote Almi, we were on the road for 15 hours, and at the beach for six. Crazy! It’d be nice to go on an overnight trip and avail their promo.

On the way to Bolinao.

Despite the long ride, the poor service at the resort’s restaurant, and the fact that our driver didn’t seem to have a sense of direction, the trip was worth it.

Just look at that.

Continue reading

February! How did that happen?

Anyway end-January we went to Vikings at Mall of Asia  for J’s sister’s birthday. Highly recommended. They have a wonderful spread.

Thanks for the treat, J and family!

On Feb.2, breakfast at Pancake House! We haven’t done this in a while.

Breakfast makes me happpyyy.

Coffee, cheese pancakes, and a Pinoy-style breakfast meal. The best.

Went clothes shopping and was horrified to find out that most slacks either 1) didn’t fit me or 2) didn’t fit me well. Who likes slacks? Tell me. I’ll stick with leggings and dresses if you don’t mind, corporate world.

PDI Research! It’s Almi’s pizza party. She asked us to wear something pink and bring a DIY crown, and me of the artistic persuasion took a crystal headband and wrapped it with a pink ribbon.

You can’t see it clearly here but Lawrence was wearing a Chief Justice Corona crown. Corona = corona = crown. And someone’s wearing a Loren Legarda calendar.

We’re ah tickled pink. Haha! Thanks for the pizza Ate Almi! :D