Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Dreaming dreamy dreams

The fall season is here and so is my respiratory allergies. And to top it all, it's during this time of the year when I feel more melancholic. I'm melancholic, restless and dreaming dreamy dreams-- I want to go somewhere in style; fly first class and stay at the minimum 4-star hotel or go like this.
But right now all I can afford is this. Well, that's why I said 'dreamy dreams'.

Monday, September 27, 2010

The East, The West, The Sex

In this book The East, The West, The Sex, the author Richard Bernstein mentioned that there are two kinds of men: One who does one thing to a hundred different women, and the kind who does a hundred different things to one woman. Yeah.

Don't get any ideas--I have no need to read a manual about sex or that this book is a sex manual, but rather a study and observation by Bernstein of the powerful erotic pull the East has always had for the West. Though Bernstein defines the East widely, covering North Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific islands, I am more interested in the part about Asia-specifically the Philippines. I know men from all over the world comes to the Philippines to vacation or to meet their pen-pal and eventually marry them, but I didn't know that there are actually sex tours arranged by local travel agencies. This is one book I have enjoyed reading for my research because the author vividly draws out the human interest in each anecdote he told.

One particular story of Bernstein was that of an American man -heavy set, gout afflicted, well beyond middle age and accompanied by a young slender Filipina who was at least forty years younger than this man. She held this man's arm to support him while he hobble into the restaurant and Bernstein observing from his seat felt a "powerful repulsion for the man for his being unwilling to grow old with more dignity,for his being an old lecher who clearly had bought the companionship of his Filipino girlfriend." No, the author was not jealous but he was voicing out what you and I would be thinking watching that scene. And after we have come down from our high horse, we probably have our own questions too, like what Bernstein asked: Is the Filipino woman taking care of that gout-ridden American more pitiable than others forced by circumstance to perform unappealing labor --like living beside garbage heaps salvaging things from the refuse to sell? And the answer might just be another question: Which foreign assistance is better? Foreign assistance through sex or foreign assistance through the government which doesn't get to the people anyway?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Cantonese Mooncake?

This is the Cantonese skin mooncake. But mine cracked and I'm not happy. And what's worse is, you have to wait 3 days to cut this to let the skin absorb the oil from the filling. So it will be 3 days before I'll know how this really taste. Oh well. I would have preferred lotus seed paste but can't find it.

It looks pretty after you unmold it but after it's baked,the design flattens. But I know there's a trick to make the design stay because I've seen them sold at the store, at $4.95 dollars each! Whoa!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Moon Cake

I have been wanting to use my mooncake mold that I bought over 10 years ago. Today, I could not be persuaded to do anything else but try it.

The flakiness of the skin depends on the rolling. I've just learned that today. Tomorrow I'll do better and will do the flattened version. I will also try the Cantonese mooncake before the week is over.
Click pictures to enlarge
Here's where you can get the recipe and more instructions.

I'm hitting a wall

I used to thrive on deadlines and pressure. Yes. But that was several decades ago and right now just seeing these two words is enough to send me into a full blown panic attack. Last November when I quit my real job so I can write my book, I justified it by telling myself that I'm not really abandoning work, but rather I'm simply venturing into something more grand and important.(Anything that concerns me, myself and I is grand and important) So I set myself a deadline. I said I had to be finished by July this year so "I can go back to work."

Well, I'm not done writing and I'm not inclined to go back to work. EVER. In fact, I don't want to do anything anymore. NOTHING. So now, I've set a new goal: To do "nothing" and expect to be paid for it. I'm just rambling here because I'm hitting a wall and I'm frustrated as hell. I wish I'm hitting a wall like what Chat's cat is doing, like this.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I Will Rise

If you're exultant and intoxicated from too much happiness (if there's such a thing) or if you're incapacitated by pain and sorrow, don't worry it too will pass.

Video Courtesy: TheWord

There's a peace I've come to know
Though my heart and flesh may fail
There's an anchor for my soul
I can say "It is well"

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

There's a day that's drawing near
When this darkness breaks to light
And the shadows disappear
And my faith shall be my eyes

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

And I hear the voice of many angels sing,
"Worthy is the Lamb"
And I hear the cry of every longing heart,
"Worthy is the Lamb"

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Why He Didn't Call You....

I went on two dates this year, and it about killed me. It's too much work! The first one used the word marriage in every sentence and how he could see himself marrying me. Duhh, I could see that too. And why not? After all,I'm a very good catch.I wanted to tell him this but I was afraid he would believe me and stalk me until I married him. Not that I am against marriage, but when I asked him to list down his properties and he only listed two --a wheelchair and a handicap equipped van, of course I have an aversion to marriage.

The second one forgot his hearing aid. And God knows I don't have the patience to repeat words to you if you're older than 2. We women like to say that we don't like men staring at our breasts on the first date, (I think it's ok after the first date, or we'd wonder why you don't.) but believe me, I'd prefer that over him focusing on my lips.

If you don't believe me that dating is hard work, then tell me why there are people who make their living advising men and women how to behave during the dating period. Read this.

Friday, September 10, 2010

I'm What?

This is not new to me, this is exactly how I feel every day.

So I joined Facebook . And now I'm narcissistic too? Here read what the experts are saying.

Friday Sept 10

I'm now working on the final draft of my book. And as Anne Lamott says, "It's not a book unless it's out of your computer." The other day, a friend gave me this mug, as if this would help me get cranking. I don't have writer's block now, my problem is wrapping it up. And God knows, how much I really need to finish this book, so I won't have this hanging over my head for another year. This book is 14 years in the making...(at least in my head.) As soon as I finish this, I want to live in Asia for a few months for a bigger project. This book will be on Amazon by December, that's a promise to myself.

Taking a break from writing and trying to see what I can do with this dough.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

The Filipino Today --By Alex Lacson

The Filipino today By Alex Lacson :

After the August 23 hostage drama, there is just too much negativity about and against the Filipino."It is difficult to be a Filipino these days", says a friend who works in Hongkong. "Nakakahiya tayo", "Only in the Philippines" were some ofthe comments lawyer Trixie Cruz-Angeles received in her Facebook.There is this email supposedly written by a Dutch married to a Filipina, with 2 kids, making a litany of the supposed stupidity or idiocy of Filipinos in general. There was also this statement by Fermi Wong, founder of Unison HongKong, where she said – "Filipino maids have a very low status in our city". Then there is this article from acertain Daniel Wagner of Huffington Post, wherein he said he sees nothing good in our country's future.Clearly, the hostage crisis has spawned another crisis – a crisis of faith in the Filipino, one that exists in the minds of a significant number of Filipinos and some quarters in the world.It is important for us Filipinos to take stock of ourselves as a people – of who we truly are as a people.

It is important that weremind ourselves who the Filipino really is, before our young children believe all this negativity that they hear and read about theFilipino.We have to protect and defend the Filipino in each one of us.The August 23 hostage fiasco is now part of us as Filipinos, it beingpart now of our country's and world's history. But that is not all that there is to the Filipino. Yes, we accept it as a failure on our part, a disappointment to HongKong, China and to the whole world.But there is so much more about the Filipino. In 1945, at the end of World War II, Hitler and his Nazi had killed more than 6 million Jews in Europe. But in 1939, when the Jews and their families were fleeing Europe at a time when several countries refused to open their doors to them, our Philippines did the highly risky and the unlikely –thru President Manuel L Quezon, we opened ourcountry's doors and our nation's heart to the fleeing and persecuted Jews.

Eventually, some 1,200 Jews and their families made it toManila. Last 21 June 2010, or 70 years later, the first ever monument honoring Quezon and the Filipino nation for this "open door policy"was inaugurated on Israeli soil, at the 65-hectare Holocaust MemorialPark in Rishon LeZion, Israel.

The Filipino heart is one of history's biggest, one of the world'srare jewels, and one of humanity's greatest treasures.

In 2007, Baldomero M. Olivera, a Filipino, was chosen and awarded asthe Scientist for the Year 2007 by Harvard University Foundation, forhis work in neurotoxins which is produced by venomous cone snailscommonly found in the tropical waters of Philippines. Olivera is adistinguished professor of biology at University of Utah, USA. TheScientist for the Year 2007 award was given to him in recognition tohis outstanding contribution to science, particularly to molecularbiology and groundbreaking work with conotoxins. The researchconducted by Olivera's group became the basis for the production ofcommercial drug called Prialt (generic name – Ziconotide), which isconsidered more effective than morphine and does not result inaddiction.The Filipino mind is one of the world's best, one of humanity's great assets.

The Filipino is capable of greatness, of making great sacrifices forthe greater good of the least of our people.

Josette Biyo is anexample of this. Biyo has masteral and doctoral degress from one ofthe top universities in the Philippines – the De La Salle University(Taft, Manila) – where she used to teach rich college students and waspaid well for it. But Dr Biyo left all that and all the glamour ofManila, and chose to teach in a far-away public school in a rural areain the province, receiving the salary of less than US$ 300 a month.When asked why she did that, she replied "but who will teach ourchildren?" In recognition of the rarity of her kind, the world-famousMassachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States honoured Dr Biyo a very rare honor – by naming a small and new-discovered planet in our galaxy as "Biyo". "Dr. Josette Biyo is currently the Director of the prestigious educational institution for high school Pilipino students under the umbrella of DOST - The Philippine Science High School - Iloilo Campus"

The Filipino is one of humanity's best examples on the greatness ofhuman spirit!

Efren Penaflorida was born to a father who worked as a tricycle driverand a mother who worked as laundrywoman. Through sheer determinationand the help of other people, Penaflorida finished college. In 1997,Penaflorida and his friends formed a group that made pushcarts(kariton) and loaded them with books, pens, crayons, blackboard,clothes, jugs of water, and a Philippine flag. Then he and his groupwould go to the public cemetery, market and garbage dump sites in Cavite City – to teach street children with reading, math, basicliteracy skills and values, to save them from illegal drugs andprevent them from joining gangs. Penaflorida and his group have been doing this for more than a decade. Last year, Penaflorida was chosen and awarded as CNN Hero for 2009.Efren Penaflorida is one of the great human beings alive today. And he is a Filipino!

Nestor Suplico is yet another example of the Filipino's nobility of spirit. Suplico was a taxi driver In New York. On 17 July 2004,Suplico drove 43 miles from New York City to Connecticut, USA toreturn the US$80,000 worth of jewelry (rare black pearls) to his passenger who forgot it at the back seat of his taxi. When his passenger offered to give him a reward, Suplico even refused the reward. He just asked to be reimbursed for his taxi fuel for histravel to Connecticut. At the time, Suplico was just earning $80 a day as a taxi driver. What do you call that? That's honesty in its purestsense. That is decency most sublime. And it occurred in New York, theBig Apple City, where all kinds of snakes and sinners abound, and a place where – according to American novelist Sydney Sheldon – angels no longer descend. No wonder all New York newspapers called him "NewYork's Most Honest Taxi Driver". The New York City Government also held a ceremony to officially acknowledge his noble deed.

ThePhilippine Senate passed a Resolution for giving honors to theFilipino people and our country.In Singapore, Filipina Marites Perez-Galam, 33, a mother of four,found a wallet in a public toilet near the restaurant where she worksas the head waitress found a wallet containing 16,000 Singaporeandollars (US $11,000). Maritess immediately handed the wallet to therestaurant manager of Imperial Herbal restaurant where she workedlocated in Vivo City Mall. The manager in turn reported the lost moneyto the mall's management. It took the Indonesian woman less than twohours to claim her lost wallet intended for her son's ear surgery thatshe and her husband saved for the medical treatment. Maritess refusedthe reward offered by the grateful owner and said it was the rightthing to do.

The Filipina, in features and physical beauty, is one of the world'smost beautiful creatures!Look at this list – Gemma Cruz became thefirst Filipina to win Miss International in 1964; Gloria Diaz won asMiss Universe in 1969; Aurora Pijuan won Miss International in 1970;Margie Moran won Miss Universe in 1973; Evangeline Pascual was 1strunner up in Miss World 1974; Melanie Marquez was Miss Internationalin 1979; Ruffa Gutierrez was 2nd runner up in Miss World 1993;Charlene Gonzalez was Miss Universe finalist in 1994; Mirriam Quiambaowas Miss Universe 1st runner up in 1999; and last week, Venus Raj was4th runner up in Miss Universe pageant.I can cite more great Filipinos like Ramon Magsaysay, Ninoy Aquino,Leah Salonga, Manny Pacquaio, Paeng Nepomuceno, Tony Meloto, JoeyVelasco, Juan Luna and Jose Rizal. For truly, there are many moregreat Filipinos who define who we are as a people and as a nation –each one of them is part of each one of us, for they are Filipinos like us, for they are part of our history as a people.

What we see and hear of the Filipino today is not all that there isabout the Filipino. I believe that the Filipino is higher and greaterthan all these that we see and hear about the Filipino. God has beautiful story for us as a people. And the story that we see today isbut a fleeting portion of that beautiful story that is yet to fully unfold before the eyes of our world.So let's rise as one people. Let's pick up the pieces. Let's ask for understanding and forgiveness for our failure. Let us also ask forspace and time to correct our mistakes, so we can improve our system.

To all of you my fellow Filipinos, let's keep on building the Filipino great and respectable in the eyes of our world – one story, two stories, three stories at a time – by your story, by my story, by yourchild's story, by your story of excellence at work, by anotherFilipino's honesty in dealing with others, by another Pinoy's exampleof extreme sacrifice, by the faith in God we Filipinos are known for.Every Filipino, wherever he or she maybe in the world today, is partof the solution. Each one of us is part of the answer. Every one of usis part of the hope we seek for our country. The Filipino will notbecome a world-class citizen unless we are able to build a world-classhomeland in our Philippines.We are a beautiful people. Let no one in the world take that beautyaway from you. Let no one in the world take away that beauty away fromany of your children! We just have to learn – very soon – to build abeautiful country for ourselves, with an honest and competent government in our midst.

Mga kababayan, after reading this, I ask you to do two things.First, DEFEND and PROTECT the Filipino whenever you can, especiallyamong your children. Fight all this negativity about the Filipino that is circulating in many parts of the world. Let us not allow this single incident define who the Filipino is, and who we are as a people. And second, DEMAND for good leadership and good governmentfrom our leaders. Question both their actions and inaction; expose thefollies of their policies and decisions. The only way we can perfectour system is by engaging it. The only way we can solve our problem,is by facing it, head on.We are all builders of the beauty and greatness of the Filipino. We are the architects of our nation's success.

To all the people of HK and China, especially the relatives of thevictims, my family and I deeply mourn with the loss of your loved ones. Every life is precious. My family and I humbly ask for yourunderstanding and forgiveness.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Remembering Los Cabos

The last two nights, I've been hanging out at Starbucks until midnite. Starbucks has bad coffee, but they have the highest caffeine, that's the reason why people go there. Whatever happened to the old fashioned coffee shops? Where they serve Lavazza or illy in ceramic cups? I love this one in Cabo,if only they serve it ceramic cups.

Next time you're in Cabo, stay at Casa Bella Boutique Hotel. Maria Elena, the owner is awesome. Momoy, the daughter runs the hotel and she is fantastic.The hotel is walking distance to everything; the marina, great restaurants and shops. Because I was there for a month, I rented an apartment instead of a room, my apartment was at the back of the hotel building which has a gate that opens next to the store The Tequila Factory. Carmen will give you free tasting all day long.
The courtyard.
My bedroom on the second floor.
The kitchen and living room.
If you go, tell Momoy I sent you, but don't blame me if she charge you double. Seriously, tell her you know me.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

A Perfect Woman

A while back, I heard this man on the radio, he was asked what his idea is of a perfect woman. He hesitated to answer, like there's no such thing as a perfect woman, then he says: "A perfect woman is one who can make love all night and at 2 a.m. turns into a pizza."

Well, come to think of it, he's right -besides fast cars, all a man wants is sex and dinner. Because really, have you heard of a man who complains of a dirty house? I used to tell friends that I'm afraid to remarry because I worry about cleanliness in a man --what if he leaves dirty dishes on the sink and leave it there until he can't find the faucet anymore? Well, that was when my standards were higher, when I could not rest and sit down if there's dirty dishes on the sink. Now, I leave dishes there until I find a man (to bring home). No, I'm not sloppy, I just want to make him feel at home.