11.24.2008

swirl

my nights are endless
undulating silken rivers
flowing through these veins
intoxicating, alluring,
like late-night coffee talks
I take with you

in slumber I swim, up
your body’s highest peak,
wrestling the tides like a fish
in love with the moon;
to hang your picture
aglow with the stars--

frame your face
with the ebbing of the aurora
immortal for all to see--
like the dotted gods of the night sky;
ancient greek watchmen
gaze at steadily

you sip your cup, smiling
as you watch me wade
through this, my sea of lucid dreams
in between more sips
we swirl; undaunted even
as dawn crawls her steady pace

she finds me awake,
giggling, shaking
caffeine-busted veins
smelling of me and you
and night time fishes too.

note : this also appears in my poetry collection. click here for more.

one, two, three.. drop dead!

i just gotta blog this one.

i saw kuya bodjie at the mrt!! hehehe. i was this close *makes that thumb and forefinger action thingy, with matching squint at the left eye for exaggeration*, this close to dropping dead at his feet, convulsing with unexplained happiness at seeing my childhood hero just a few feet away from me. hehehe. those who grew up in the 80s watching batibot just might share my elation, witnessing something close to a phenomenon, that of seeing kuya bodjie sit (lucky he was able to, hehehe) amidst the everyday mess that is the mrt ride. really it just seemed yesterday, watching kuya bodjie tell a story, contorting his voice to be "in character", and delighting at how creative and imaginative he was with the drawings and sketches he did to complement the story he was telling; and the "batang batibot" just clapped like eating his next burger is dependent on it.. of course, with "batang batibot" i mean me, glued to the tv singing "bangkang papel" or "kapit bahay nyo", some 20 years ago, hehehe.

ah, time flies really quickly. now, the batang batibot is a tired employee caught in the daily grind of his life, riding the mrt and anxious to go home to start a half-remembered yoga routine, half remembered because nowadays blogging took up most of his "awake" moments. hehehe. and then this happened. feels like i'm like a kid again. the moment i saw him until i alighted at my train stop, i felt giddy--like a kid learning to ride his first bike; i've never been so starstruck like this. having worked in a media organization before, it has been a common thing for me, seeing tv personalities on a daily basis; passing mr famous singer smoking in the corridor before he goes on air, you catch a strange whiff and you get to decide that his fart smells exactly like yours...so what's the big deal with kuya bodjie? the kuya bodjie experience is different because he comes from a time in my life that is removed from all these worldly gentleness you are now reading. i mean, it was a time when gentle was really gentle, ya know. hehehe. so there.

watching him sitting and fiddling with his celfone, i observe that he's gone considerably old and tired-looking--not like the very animated, youngish kuya bodjie lost in the telling of his tale, we knew from way back. now thinking it over, maybe that was the character and this was the real kuya bodjie pascua--serious and haggard, just like everyone else; silly of me to believe everything the headwriter wrote. then again, it just entered my mind, writing this, that maybe its not kuya bodjie but just someone who happened to look like kuya bodjie. hehehe. no wonder no one in the mrt car was making a big fuss out of it, staring and oggling at the poor man like i did.

ah, i'm just tired, ya know. this is what a tired gentle mind is bound to make up, sooner or later. :)

photo credit http://zshali.multiply.com/journal/item/160/Ibalik_ang_BATIBOT

11.19.2008

i love your blog!

hello dylan!! nakapost na po ang badge of love na natanggap ko from you for everyone to see!! salamat!!

The rules of the award are:


1. The winner can put the logo on his / her blog.
2. Link the person you received your award from.
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4. Put links of those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs of those you have nominated.

I am passing this award to: Oliver, Popoy, Abou, Jamie, Ron, Yas, Spongebab, Salingpusa at marami pang iba kaso mahirap magtype at magkabit ng links hehehe.

To those I've nominated:

Uhm, tara, pizza tayo, libre nyo!! hehehe.

naked scribbles

yay! just finished moving my poems from the old site i've been using to host em, over now to blogspot, my new home in the net. over the years i've managed to write poems that capture gentle in his naked moments. these are some of them. i now present to you...

*drum roll...* ta-daa!! gentle's naked scribbles!! hehehe.

from now on, will be using blogspot for my online poems.. clicking the link in the side bar will lead you to the gentle goodies. feel free to indulge. :)

ano daw?

watching darren aronofsky's the fountain is like watching a chef or a performance artist at work. you just have to love the intensity and thought he has given to the crafting of this movie. the story is grand--bordering on the "biblical" grand as a good part of the plot deals with man's quest for the tree of life; yet the movie has the feel of art house cinema to it, in that it veered away from the ten commandments style of presentation with expensive elaborate sets and archaic dialogue; choosing a contemporary, simplistic, bordering on the silent and spare treatment of concepts instead--more like a chef's masterful concoctions spread over white porcelain plate. sumptuous.

the film moves seamlessly over three timelines in human history : spain in medieval times, the scientific present, and the new-age, distant future. through all of these, the audience is anchored to the character of tommy (in hugh jackman's most un-wolverinistic screen incarnation to date, hehehe) a man whose love and devotion for his wife izzie (rachel weiss) made him embark on an adventure of a lifetime three times over--past, present and future. now, how grand can that be? grand i say. the movie, for instance, finds jackman's past incarnation tomas, in the heat of a battle with natives in a mayan jungle. this finds interesting contrast with an all-too-realistic tackling of the present where we find tommy as a surgeon-cum-geneticist in a quest to find the cure for izzie's rare and fatal disease. past present and future meld as vignettes overlapping each other, like in a symphony building up into a crescendo where we find tom, the bald new-age astronaut in tai-chi master garb, aboard his bubble ship (interesting, interesting concept) on the way to xibalba, the mayan underworld where the souls of the dead go. interestingly, xibalba is also a star on the verge of exploding. in izzie's writings (she kept a notebook where she scribbled ideas for a novel; this was where the characters of tomas the explorer and queen isabella, her alterego, materialized) she tied mayan concepts with biblical ideas like the tree of life. the film ends with images of the new-age tommy's bubble ship colliding with xibalba, (suggesting a reunion with izzie's immortal soul) artfully juxtaposed with tomas the explorer's finding of the tree of life atop a mayan pyramid.

watching the film for the first time can be a headache. aronofsky obviously intended this piece for second or third viewings for all the concepts to sink in, and for new discoveries to be... well, discovered. the film used actors sparingly, as weiss and jackman, with the addition of ellen burstyn as boss to the present-day tommy, pretty much delivered the philosophical expositions on life, loving, dying, and acceptance. now that is no small feat for an obscure, never-heard of film, or for any film, in that regard. what the production saved on actors' talent fees, it splurged on special effects and computer-generated sceneries; rendering the technical aspect of the movie at par with other recent hollywood undertakings.

conclusion : the fountain is an art house piece one shouldn't be watching with popcorn on hand; its meant to be savored gourmet style.

photo credits : http://www.canmag.com/news/4/3/5562

11.17.2008

the case of the cyber doppelganger

gentle with friends

Ever checked your facebook to see that somebody posted pictures of you, tagged you in a huddle with a bunch of other partyphiles, all teeth for the camera, hair gel and everything; you smile, wondering when were these taken, and whose event was it? Who was with you; or the better question would be, who dragged you, knowing all too well you don’t really dig parties unless of course, you were there with somebody. You slowly scan the faces; not a single soul register a glimmer of recognition, then you stop—realization hitting you that you’re not even looking at yourself. Yes, same smile, forehead, eyebrow, haircut; he even dresses like you do, but nope, you know deep down inside that it isn’t you. Cold sweat start to form in beads round your forehead, trickling slowly as you stare in horror at gentle having a great time at the party with “friends”. What do you do?

It’s still an ongoing case, having just notified the person who tagged ‘me’ with ‘my set of friends’ of her serious error. I told her with all the diplomacy my gentle little heart could muster that her ‘gentle’ looks the part, but nope, sorry she just made a booboo. Its easy for her to make the mistake she did, as I really don’t know her personally. She just requested to be added to my friends list some months ago; and being the gentle person that I am, added her, with no foresight at all that she’ll go cute on me and tag the next person she sees looking like me as ‘gentle’ without even having met me. The nerve! What scares me is what if the person who currently has the ‘gentle’ tag possesses a criminal record? Just imagine the consequence of getting your name mixed up with someone.

But because the foregoing line of reasoning is not in line with the gentle image, I told her with all gentleness that what she did is unfair to the person she tagged, not giving him the chance to shine in the biz and be eventually known for his qualities. I empathize with him, the second-rate-trying-hard gentle, knowing fully well that having a larger shadow looming before you is a curse in show business. Hehehe.


Abangan ang susunod na kabanata.

grave matters

Day 2 of my aunt tita’s wake finds mr. neighborhood grave digger busily haggling with my aunts and uncles on prices of certain services you dear reader wouldn’t even think you’d be finding yourself interested in, say, in two weeks time. Hehehe.

Waiting for her body’s arrival last Friday fresh (!) from the funeral service which the family contracted, I let my thoughts wander off to very grave matters to pass the time. Her recent death, among others I know of, made me think of my own mortality. Events like this make excellent platforms for contemplating on the meaning of life and how we should live each moment that pass us by. With this realization came another. All of us cannot be brad pitts with perfectly chiseled features no matter how hard we strut our stuff in the catwalk. Corollary to this, is the acceptance that we must learn to find our place in the sun—or the klieg lights, if we strive to be in the movie industry—so as not to aspire for lead parts if our talents dictate that we be relegated to just playing bits. Hehehe.

You could say i was dreamily contemplating a carefully structured plan for showbiz domination when a rather loud but incoherent voice burst my bubble. It came from a lanky man wearing a black t-shirt, with rather gaunt features; pretty much sporting the marilyn manson look. he was already in the heat of the argument, defending his stance from the crowd assembled before him. The thing in question, after much fine-tuning, eventually became clear : how much is the family going to pay him, to smash open my uncle’s burial vault so she could be joined with his remains in loving eternity (how sweet, really). His asking price is Php 700.00, to which an aunt reacted, hoping to settle at much lower price. His voice in the vernacular, now getting louder, then replied “the price I’m asking for is only fair; it’s no easy task, smashing a vault open—you get all the dead gas goodies wafting through your system, and that is no laughing matter”. Watching mr. grave digger in an animated conversation was like looking at a corpse druggie come to life. From where I am, It looked like he just inhaled or downed something and proceeded to go about his order of business for the day. He milled about, looking every inch like the expert, and proceeded to knock on her wooden casket, like a jeweler biting gold to ascertain the karats. He then continued “it’s my asking price, take it or leave it. It’s a high-risk job compared to regular grave digging; now priced at Php 1000.00 per grave”.

I was having a grand time, making a mental note of the various prices; I never thought dying can be a good hunting ground for the enterprising. Later in the afternoon, one of my grandmothers from the web of interrelations / intermarriages characteristic of a barrio life came to visit, with another story in tow that brought the running talk on the price of funeral services. Sparing you of the juicy little details, I gathered that a basic service—coffin, embalming, lights and carriage to the church and later on to the cemetery—costs about Php16,000.00. now that’s a bit too pricey in a rural setting, isn’t it? No wonder she was fury incarnate just talking about it; recounting how they (their family also had a recent death) had to haggle for much reasonable price offerings from a competitor in the business.

“wow”, I thought to myself. If they just knew of the economy prices in metro manila (I use to live right next to a funeral home, hehehe) they’ll surely do a triple cartwheel. If memory serves me right the promo goes “6,000.00 sa matanda; 4,000.00 sa bata”. Well, that’s a bargain, isn’t it?

11.15.2008

take a bow

“We die, rich with lovers and tribes; tastes we have swallowed, bodies we have kindled and swam up like rivers; fears we have hidden in, like this wretched cave”.
--Katherine, from the movie “The English Patient”

an aunt just died. went home for the province for her wake, spending most of the time at our not-quite-ancient ancestral house. She’s the second one in the brood of nine to take the final bow in this greatest show on earth called life. She’s a terrific cook. I’ll miss her delicious ginataang gabi. My fond memories of her doesn’t stop at cooking, though. At a tender age, she has piqued my interest for history; she’s the family historian, you know. The research-like quality that went into her recounting of our family tree, going as far back as their grandparents always amazed me—who married who, who has had an affair, and with whom; the gritty stuff that would make showbiz moles in Showbiz Central seem tame hehe. She used to run a piggery on the back lot, when I was still young and our family were still living near our ancestral house. I’d be tirelessly following her routine for the day, the curious child that I was—cleaning the pens, feeding the pigs, even to playing the nurse come birthing time for mama pig. You could say my early career in detective work did not end there. I’d even shamelessly follow her to her room where she was caring for my paralyzed uncle. Realizing in adulthood that she might have been pissed off with me, following her around like that back then, she never showed it if she were; she was careful to explain why my uncle has to be taken cared of, in simple terms that a nosy child could understand :). She led a difficult life, but she was a real strong woman.

Then she suffered a stroke. For four years she did not leave her sickbed. It pains me, every time we visit her, to see a very different person from what I so fondly recall in my childhood. Maybe its sadistic of me to even expect a bit of smile from her lips, knowing how hard its been for her; but somehow I’m still missing my old auntie tita—the one with the easy smile every time I follow her.

Late in the afternoon of Thursday, I received a forwarded sms from my sister telling us that our aunt passed away. Earlier in the week I originally scheduled a one-day leave from work hoping I’d get to spend a longer time with my family in the province. It seems its gonna be with the whole extended family after all. I spent the whole of yesterday in our ancestral house, talking with cousins, uncles and aunts--every little nook of the house bringing back certain memories that I halfly remember from way back. It was late in the afternoon when she was brought and finally arranged in the receiving room of the house, resplendent with embroidered curtains, carpet and bright lights from the funeral service. When the men who brought her opened her coffin for the first time, I looked and saw a familiar face. Older maybe, but the familiar, easy face. I uttered a silent prayer thanking her for the memories.

Rest in peace, auntie.

11.13.2008

tuliro

an officemate who knows of my addiction to yoga (well, by now who doesn't?) excitedly showed me a yoga article in the philippine daily inquirer that came out the other day. knowing beforehand that its appearing on a newspaper of general readership, i pretty much know what to expect--not quite lengthy, two to three pictures, the bulk of description being more of the studio that probably paid to be featured rather than focusing on the asanas (yoga poses)--just a tease, not really delivering the goods. well, turning the page i was surprised; as to the pleasantness or the unpleasantness of it, i urge you dear reader to go on, and find out for yourself. hehehe.

the article, by tristan choa is curiously titled "can yoga and competition go together?". the blabber brain in me already has a ready answer, just looking at the title, but my heart whispered, "go on, gentle... read; don't be carried away--for all you know its just a catchy title". following my gentle heart, i read--sentence upon sentence dealing with asana and all things yoga flowed ; all the while marveling at the the lean and toned physique of the model who graced the pages, first in standing bow, the next one in full upward bow pose.

the verdict? uhm. compete? to prepare for a possible inclusion of yoga to the olympics? uhm.. ah.. why?

been practicing yoga for 3 years now. its an on and off practice but it still is one, no matter how sparse it could be at times. i value my practice for the strength and flexibility benefits i get from it despite choosing not to dabble with the whole religious mumbo side; you won't see me knotted in pretzel with mala beads wrapped around my neck, chanting mantras dedicated to shiva, thats for sure (tho i have mala beads, just for the sheer joy of owning one, hehehe).

back in the days when i still attended yoga classes, i was introduced to ashtanga, the more athletic type of yoga that would have you sweating profusely by the bucket because of the internal heat generated by the pace of the practice. it was also sometimes called athletic yoga by some teachers, and fittingly so, because its meant to complement any athlete's chosen sport. put side by side the more meditative branches of yoga, you can say its the freak, man! whatever the case, practicing ashtanga alone, with just your breath to keep you company, retains yoga's meditative qualities--every breath and movement is a step toward a more relaxed state of being, if you just put your mind into it. having said that, i was aghast reading tristan's article, stating that there's an international initiative circulating to petition the International Olympic Committee to include yoga as a demonstration sport; the upcoming Philippine Yoga Asana Championship on november 24 could possibly prepare potential yoga athletes for the big event, should the committee happen to give in to the petitioners.

this isn't really meant to be an i-hate-you article. yoga die-hards could run to the event like mad cattle for all i care. i'm just registering my opinion in this, my corner of the blogosphere. as to the initial question if i was pleased with what i've read, uhm.. its good that yoga is being given a fair amount of exposure nowadays, so that's a plus point to my "pleasantly pleased" vote. but reading the article, and especially going through the mechanics of the competition (eg. that you have to finish performing certain poses for a certain number of minutes), well its a big swish to the negative side of my scale. sure, yoga teaches you to compete, but it should be with yourself, not on how long you'd be able to hold a pose compared to others. so, uhm... yup, not pleased.

11.12.2008

camwhore

A good friend from my previous work who’s into photography recently asked me to pose nude for her. To which the camwhore in me immediately said “yes, oh yes!!!”. A few minutes later—reality sinking in—i asked her by sms if she was really serious with what she said. Without batting an eyelash (just judging from the speed with which I received her reply), she said yes, and that she’ll inform me when the time comes (worked out the venue, proper lighting set up, the works), adding that I can’t back out on her, now that I’ve said yes.

Sigh—the price you have to pay for having such delicious (!) body. Hehehe. But seriously I’m alarmed, not with the photoshoot—confident that I can easily shake her out of her delirium either by force or by charms; that I’m not Mr. Body Beautiful and therefore should be dropped from the shock (!) list immediately—but because the whole sms conversation is a big arrow pointing to something I’ve been neglecting lately : my yoga and mat workouts.

Been growing cute and cuddly again especially in the mid section. Now, a little cute and cuddly-ness is a-ok, but not with the rate i'm going. hehehe. if you knew me back in college, and high school and elementary days (hehehe) you can testify to my overflowing (pun intended) cuteness then; and i am not in anyway aching for a reunion. Note to myself : blogging is fun, but puhleease gentle… exercise naman! Hmpf!

11.11.2008

randominatrix on the road

ever heard of barangay talaga? hehehe. its one of those barangays you'll pass by going up north ; the founding fathers of that place must have been very sure when they were coming up of a name for their barangay.

another one on names, consider amai pakpak somewhere in mindanao (i think). it used to go by another name, until the powers-that-be in that place came up with a resolution changing some letters in its name to make it more palatable to tagalog ears. clue, it used to be am*i p*kp*k, hehehe. this bit of info came from somebody who handles this sorta stuff in my place of work so if there's somebody passing by who might take offense, sue him! hehehe.

a flawless advertisement recently flaunted lorna tolentino in one of its EDSA billboards with the tagline "beauty becomes her". there's no question that lorna is beautiful; i just wish the person who cooked up the ad would have some bit of originality in his bone. anybody passing by who's a sucker for movies would immediately connect the meryl streep starrer "death becomes her" to it. would you want that to happen, especially if your promoting an aesthetics center?

sabi ni dodong

"Sa buong kasaysayan natin, wala na tayong ibang ginawa kundi ipaglaban ang karapatan natin bilang tao. Kung tutuusin, dito natin napapatunayan ang ating kakayahang manaig sa anumang balakid. Ngunit parati na lang nating itinatanong: "bakit tayo?" Bakit pa kailangang dumanak ang dugo kung napakasimple lang naman ang ating mga hinaing. Hindi malinaw ang kasagutan. Ang maaari lang nating gawin ay ihanda ang sarili, ipagpatuloy ang pakikibaka... at manalig."
--Dodong kay Ada.

mabuhay ka, carver. i dedicate this piece by dodong to anyone going through tough times. it sure makes waking up in the mornings a little lighter in the heart, and gentler in the mind. :)

ay labs et!!!

lady in the water is not your typical shyamalan movie in that you don't get those trademark "twists" that started with his debut movie "the sixth sense". its also not a die-a-minute wonder like "the hapenning", or the eeriely quiet and lacking "unbreakable" that had me screaming "wtf!" at the end of the movie for sheer frustration. its a piece of wonderful storytelling that just shines with warmth; from the brilliant acting led by dallas howard and giamatti down to the wonderful support cast that played a crucial role in delivering the unfolding story (its a group effort, really); the deft direction by shyamalan himself, who knows what he wants from the beginning and from this vision, crafts a neat little gem of a movie that's deceiving in its simplicity; worth mentioning too is the wonderful technical crew that carried out the photography, sound, and computer animation requirements of the film, making it one seamless piece of storytelling.

the movie is about Story, a water nymph, a mere child who gets lost from her group, when one time they visited the land dwellers. Story is part of the narf (they call themselves that) populace whose mere presence inspire us people to dream of big things for our race--you might call them muses / angels that make our writers write beautiful songs, poems, pieces of literature that become reading stuff of the the future US president. its quite a mouthful really, but shyamalan managed to play the high drama in simple terms, beginning with a cartoon-like telling how it was between the narfs and the land dwellers (us) in the olden times. as the movie deals with the idea of the story itself--with the power of storytelling--its quite heavy in that its packed with myths; things taken from old chinese stuff (the authenticity of the narf legend i leave for you to research or just take mr. shyamalan's word for it). whats astonishing is that shyamalan managed to treat it like a bedtime story, with all the heavy details fading into background as live action takes place--computer generated creatures replacing the ideas we initially come to contact with--as we the audience get transported in his created world of the narf. its not so much lord-of-the-rings-y, being an entire world unto itself; the narf world intermingles with our tangible world, which makes the story all the more palpable and potent.

Story (the lady this time, not the idea; i hope your not confused, hehehe), having just lost her way gets stranded with the cleveland heep (giamatti's character), an apartment administrator, but before that, was a doctor who stopped practicing his profession because he wasnt able to save his family from being killed. in the course of Story's stay with cleaveland, he gets more and more intrigued by story's character and the deeper he studies (consulting a chinese tenant familiar to the narf myth), the more "opened" he becomes to the alternate reality existing side by side ours. wanting to help Story--whose actually the next narf queen, it turns out--reunite with her kin, cleaveland manages to form a support team from among the tenants who'll stage a most ambitious attempt to stage the rituals needed for Story's successful return to her world.

the baddies are a mingling of maquettes and some computer magic which do not really rival the feats of lord of the rings but for all intents and purposes serve to propel the story in the right direction. the wolf-like characters are menacing enough to make you grasp the edge of your seats whenever their presence is intimated on the screen. the monkey-like creatures who judge the baddies in the narf world make a brief but grand appearance, all the more advancing the dreamlike quality of the movie; add to that the wonderfully eerie rain drenched night shots captured onscreen by cinematographer chris doyle.

the movie, besides dallas howard and giamatti, are peopled not with hollywood stars but with actors (bob balaban was very entertaining in his turn as the movie critic and sole tenant to be killed by the wolf-like baddies) that lend this studio-financed enterprise an independent feel to it. and oh, heroes' noah gray cabey makes a sterling performance here, too, as the reluctant symbolist in Heep's ensemble of Story's supporters. the symbolist is supposed to decode what should be done by the other tenants--the "protector" protects, the "healer" heals, etc.--in specific points in the unfolding drama in Story's return to the narf world. he takes the commonplace occurences and reads the "divine" from them.

the movie too, is like that. its filled with symbolisms that start out as commonplace and will not hit you right away when you first watch it. subsequent re-watching would make you appreciate lady in the water all the more for its many layers. what originally started as a simple bedtime story could be accessed on many levels and this is where shyamalan really succeeded as a director, nope, i must say, auteur. i love what he has done with this.

photo credits :
http://ladyinthewater.warnerbros.com/photogallery/photos.html

11.10.2008

lasang intsik

I have long been meaning to write something about a place I have so much reverence for. So many times I’ve formulated words in my mind to describe the place but I haven’t reached so much as the last sentence of the first paragraph to really have a kickstart in the grandiose way of introducing the place. Its ironic that in these waning hours between the waking and the dreaming (I downed 2 bottles of red wine and 1 of the apple wine, with my brother-in-law and nephew—his initiation to drinking, decided by his dad tonight) that I am able to write something about Wah Sun, the ultimate Chinese restaurant ever. Hehehe.

Wah Sun stands in Florentino Torres St., in Sta. Cruz, Manila, in the outskirts of Ongpin, the Chinese settlement in the Metro that began alongside the flowering of the Spanish era in Philippine history. Wah Sun itself is not really that old, well at least not as old as its sister company, Los Ambos Mundos, which claims to be the oldest Spanish restaurant in the Philippines that my friend shattershards pointed out during one of our pig-out sessions in said place. The place collects lotsa old write ups from newspapers, and one did a feature on Ambos Mundos stating its origins. i really don’t have complaints bout the place—it serves the best paella in town, but because I am a certified Chinese resto guy, Ambos Mundos goes a notch down in my ranking of the best restaurants in the Metro to Wah Sun, the ultimate place to be for Chinese foodies like me.

One of my first and fondest memories of going to Wah Sun was with my dad, when the whole—and I mean extended family (aunts, uncles, and cousins)—still have the means, and the energy of going to excursion/ field trips to the big city. Being the provincianos that we are, it really is an event for the whole extended family to shop in SM malls and have lunch in unheard-of restos that my dad gets to decide on, being the only ManileƱo in the group. It is only later that I learned from him that the place was also passed on to him by my grandpa who was the first Wah Sun die hard fan in the family; well at least, to my knowledge. Now that you’re salivating profusely, and enough introduction has been said (!), consider these :

Pata tim so soft and tender that the meat slides of with ease from the bone the moment you slice a piece of it with the cutting knife. And of course there’s the sauce: delectable mushroom and cabbage brown sauce, poured generously onto the meat; White sauce to match the green peas-quail egg-shrimp mixture, the name of which I forgot (because its in Chinese), but in every bit scrumptious that you’ll forget even your own name. then there’s the lechon-asado plate, a mixture of the two basic dishes livened up with pickled green mango slices on the side. Partner up any dish by ordering their chorizo-laden special fried rice; or try having a go with their crabmeat fried rice—fast becoming a favorite on our recent visits to the place. Still have to order (makes a mental note) their special pancit canton, but if memory serves me right, it’s the ham and liver sauce again that spells the difference. Thick and yummy.

Got your mouths drooling now for a taste of Chinese cooking? I sure did. Slurp, slurp!

You can reach Wah Sun restaurant by alighting from the D. Jose Station of the LRT, or by taking any of the Quiapo plying jeepneys and alighting at the Isetann Department Store. Cover a little bit of C.M. Recto and turn right to the street facing the old Roben Cinema on your left. Enjoy!

photo credits : http://celdrantours.blogspot.com/2006/03/carlos-recommends_30.html

11.08.2008

11.06.2008

sip ahoy!

my nephew fresh from his recent highschool field trip to manila together with classmates, approached me in my room, as i was about to write some reserve posts for this blog--not so much as asking, but in a rather declarative-exclamatory tone : "Ganun ba talaga ang presyo ng kape sa starbucks?!" [rough translation--is a starbucks coffee really that expensive?!]

i raised my eyebrow thinking to myself, "welwelwel... welcome to the real world, hijo" and said "well thats the way they put a price tag on these things in manila. why, did you order one?", i asked, wishing a lot of luck with the pocket money for the trip his mom gave to him, if in fact he did so. "nope, i just joined a group sip ; one of my classmates ordered a frap", came the reply. " "oh, rich kid", i thought to myself, immediately followed by "i hope my nephew really just took a sip, knowing his capacity--a 'gulp' might actually cover the act". hehehe.

i quite expected his reaction, having been raised in the province myself, where coffee is something you just mix with hot water and some powdered milk; you stir and enjoy that home-made goodness--one foot conveniently sitting side by side your butt cheeks on a dilapidated chair--right in the privacy of your cozy dirty-kitchen. nothing as fancy as enjoying it gourmet style in a posh coffee shop with soft jazz tunes playing on the background. i can just imagine his culture shock, seeing all these people around him ordering coffee with prices which you'd just wanna stab your chest with, and hopefully die in the process. hehehe. that was also my first reaction when i was still working my ass off as paid-slave-cum-G.R.O. in my first job (!) ; happy to report now that i could enjoy in full shining glory the different flavors of iced coffees starbucks could offer; or enjoy that unique full-bodied flavor of a figaro kapeng barako, or coffee bean and tea leaf's addicting frenchroast.

sigh, i miss my cafe societe days, when just lounging in coffee houses immediately gives me a natural high. now i'm way past that episode and can honestly say that a cup of coffee served by way of the vendo machine within the office premises can be as exciting and as rich tasting as the bold flavors of starbucks, figaro and cbtl. you just have to have the mindset of a coffee connoisseur; enjoying the unique subtleties each sip brings to you. i jokingly remarked to my nephew that sure, i'd bring him to starbucks and order one of the fancy coffees when his mom and dad finds time away from their busy scheds to bring him to the bustling metro.. but nah, knowing him, i know he's evenly comfy sipping a P16 hot chocolate bought from 7eleven convenience store, so why bother? hehehe. he's had a sip of the frap anyways--he can proudly say 'i know how a frap tastes like'. :)

photo credits : http://www.flickr.com/photos/shutterberry/4171623/

11.05.2008

ohmski and the randominatrix

checked my blog late this afternoon to find a pleasant surprise waiting for the green backseat : we were featured by ohmski label to the millions of poor souls who religiously follow his blog like air to their lungs. (!) gosh, what can i say? i didn't expect this kind of treatment, having just stumbled on his blog just a week ago. this is a rather fumbling attempt at duplicating what he did, featuring my blog ; and alas, i have to concede to his greatness and declare that his was a tough act to follow. i lay sprawled to his feet like a slave ready to be fed to the lions. thanks ohmski.
____

lawyers are usually refered to as people in the "legal profession" if so, i'm thinking is there such a thing as an "illegal profession"? imagine nosebleeding your brains out in college only to be tagged as being in the "illegal profession". hehehe.

mel tiangco's public service segment in 24 Oras is titled "Kapusong Totoo". Cue in the voice over saying "Mel Tiangco, ang inyong kapusong totoo". why oh why did they come up with that tagline! its like saying theres a "kapusong peke"! welwelwel.

ever notice the maybank yellow signage (the one with the tiger as logo)? who the hell thought of such?! needless sign if you ask me. of course there's a bank! the yellow of the signage pulls you in only to state the obvious that there is a bank in the vicinity. duh. its exactly like the mayfarm sign i passed by in tarlac, riding the bus going to the province. nosebleed!

11.04.2008

swallow me whole

night raven,

you sang me
to sleep
sweetly; i toss
in my bed, restless
wanting
you to want
me, wanting
your song spinning
in my head
always;

night raven,

you flew me dreaming
atop your perch--
your voice smiles,
beguiles;
sing me
your heart song;
and i will leap
without thought
or hesitation
to my welcoming ravine

but your heart song
is my devouring--
i dance, i spin
to your hearty croaks;

ravens do not sing

soon i must wake,
I know I should—
rain down
arrows on you;
tear down
your song’s
supple walls.

in the waking world
i hear
Sanity calling

and i’ll run, I’ll flee
your voice
smiling, beguiling;
in my head,
and heed her call

lest you,
darling night raven

swallow me whole


* a moving-on poem written for a friend.

11.03.2008

gentle's all-meat spaghetti

(serves 10-15 spaghetti-hungry family members)

ingredients:

3-5 tablespoons olive oil
onions and garlic, chopped (quantity subject to taste)
½ kg ground beef
½ kg Purefoods Tender Juicy hotdogs, sliced to desired thickness
2 pcs chorizo sausage, thinly sliced
1 kg del Monte Spaghetti
2 packs 750 g Del Monte Italian Style spaghetti sauce
1 pack 750 g Del Monte Filipino Style spaghetti sauce
1 pack 500 g Hunts Parmesan spaghetti sauce
salt and pepper to taste.
Kraft Eden cheese for garnishing

Procedure :

Heat olive oil in the frying pan, then sautee the onions, followed by garlic until golden brown. Put in the ground beef and let it simmer until all its juices come out; let it cook by its juice, with the meat’s reddish shade turning to white first and then to a light to golden brown. Stir in the salt and pepper, making sure the flavor is absorbed thoroughly by the beef. Throw in sliced chorizo and hotdogs into the mix, stirring for another minute until all the flavors congeal. Transfer contents to a saucepan to add up the sauces, let everything simmer for about 3-7 minutes (or 10, whatever… simmer to your heart’s desire).

voila, and its ready to be served. Garnish with cheese before eating.

This is my hearty version of the all-meat spaghetti I came up with some 3 years ago. Its kinda pricey and is certainly not for commercial purposes—if you are cooking for business, I suggest you look for alternatives to the brands I mentioned. :) the first time I served it, my nephew didn’t stand from the dining table until the last drop of spaghetti sauce was licked clean from his plate. Hehehe. So then it was decided that gentle’s all-meat spaghetti was going to be a regular fixture in the family dining table during special occasions.

My nephew specially requested it for this year’s all saints day remembering. playing the house chef, I quickly tossed in the ingredients hoping that everything will fall into place while busily arranging flowers we’re gonna bring to the cemetery on the side. Its good that I have mom to help me out, preparing the onions and garlic…I hate that part. :) Hah! Busy day.

11.02.2008

standing by my bedpost

In the thin line dividing wakefulness and sleep I saw her—standing by my bedpost facing my wardrobe cabinet—a short-haired lady aged approximately between mid 50s to early 60s, a bit taller than my mom and frail-bodied. It was past 5:00 in the morning, and I was just about to sleep after having arrived not two hours ago from the big city, to be in town at the start of the festivities for this year’s all saints day.

Ever woke up with a jolt after dozing off—you loose all muscle control as your eyelids go heavy with sleep only to be startled /brought back to the room you previously inhabited in wakefulness? Only this time she’s there, infused with light as if emanating from within her, preventing me to have a good glimpse of her profile. Nope she’s not Virgin Mary, I’m sure of that, just a regular lady I do not know. I wasn’t frightened though, not a bit… I just know deep in my heart that I experienced something that’ll stay with me my whole life.

Eating breakfast some 3 hours later, I blurted out my twilight zone episode with mom and sis. Both of them confirmed by my description that its inang ayong, grandma on dad’s side. Somehow I knew she was a relative, just needed confirmation. Wherever you are, inang, this one’s for you. Thanks for the visit.

beware : killer on the loose


pictures don't lie. :)

11.01.2008

sitaw, bataw...

patani!

i thank myself for not being a sucker for television, so i dont see her everyday. from unang hirit to susan tayo, the lass who made a name in survivor philippines is here, there and everywhere; busily hosting television segments patani-style that never fail to make me squirm in... uhm..i dont know.

the few times i switched on the tely, her eternally pouting lips (only, angelina jolie never looked this exotic, hehehe) never failed to leave me breathless (uhm.. in heart attack?). i cant say i hate her, it takes far more personal feelings for that kind of emotion. and i wont have personal feelings for patani, i tell you early on. hehehehe.

patani, who was in survivor philippines only for the "exfowsyur" confidently flirts with the camera side by side drew arellano; or hugs the limelight for one long segment in susan tayo, breezing through different beauty regimens. beauty regimens! the shows' segment producers must have had a grand time seeing patani deliver the lines.

even the blogs i come across talk about her incessantly, unearthing her now-famous friendster profile. hell, why cant they talk about me!! hehehe. (ayun naman pala!) ok, i'll admit it, its personal.

i hate you patani! :)