felix felicis

felix felicis: February 2013

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Today I snapped and I learned something tough

Words can either give life or destroy relationships, hence the caution to think first, and then think again before you speak. Once you spew things out, it'll be difficult to retract. This is especially true when the message you intend to convey is loaded with disappointment or anger.

Secondly, choose carefully the people you talk to. Bad choices would often give you an ill advise and leave you with negative vibes. It wouldn't solve anything, rather it would blow things out of proportion. 

Finally, find a friend who would ground things for you, especially  when bad feelings cloud your judgment. People should not speak too much or make decisions when they're mad. Usually, these are the things we regret when the situation is settled. 

If, in the end, you confided your negative feelings to the wrong person, then find a way to prevent this from becoming a seed of discord. Be brave enough to tell the person you feel bad about the disappointment you have harbored. It is important that you are able address the issue at once or rumors might spread, making everything worse. If they feel a bit bad, at the very least you honestly told them how you feel. Hopefully, it would also show that you are willing to resolve the issue before it escalates into something much worse.

Again, choose to think before taking action and be careful with the words you use or you might end up bungling the message you wish to convey. 

I leave you with King Solomon's wise words: "Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin (Proverbs 13:3)."

I learned a tough lesson today. If I choose to be happier, I resolve to be more careful with the words I use, the people I speak with and the important relationships I have forged with people that really matter.

I think I feel better now. Good night. :)

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Friday, February 15, 2013

Looking for something warm in an otherwise cold valentine (char)

From www.collider.com

Wednesday was full of windang and warla moments, hence the decision to watch a feel-good movie just to cap off the night on a better note. I’ve always thought of watching Jonathan Levine’s Warm Bodies after seeing its charming trailer but no one’s available to accompany me. Of course, I could always choose to watch it alone, being the semi-wallflower me. But then again, in hopes of sharing future pop culture references and quotable quotes from the movie, I deem it better to watch it with a friend. So when Kuya Paulie asked me to accompany him, I said yes right away. Ate Anna tagged along. Haha.

As said, the movie banks on its charms and supposed unique storyline. It’s branded as a zom-rom-com (i.e. zombie romantic comedy for those who don’t know yet) based on Isaac Marion’s novel of the same name. The story begins with a narration from the movie’s central character, R (Nicholas Hoult)—a highly unusual zombie. He walks the audience through—from the epidemic that wiped almost all of mankind, driving the uninfected to live holed up in a walled community while the undead are left roaming outside their stronghold to the ruins of that once glorious world. He doesn’t anything from the life he lived before becoming undead. The only thing he remembers was that his name begins with R. He’s tired and bored of everything so one day, together with his undead best friend, M, and a band of other zombies they set of to look for food. They found their prey in an abandoned laboratory—a gang of teenagers looking for supplies in the zombie side of the world. In a matter of seconds, the zombies ate their fill of flesh; and in that same moment, R gets an unusual feeling after seeing one girl firing madly at them—Julie (Teresa Palmer). The rest of the movie follows how R saves Julie from his fellow zombies and how they might actually find a cure for the undead.

The movie’s plot definitely takes to heart Rihanna’s We Found Love in a Hopeless Place. The idea of falling in love with a vampire (read: Bella and Edward) and eventually transforming yourself into one just so you’d be together forever was already unbelievable, let alone developing warm, fuzzy feelings for the undead. It just doesn’t stand. But of course, Warm Bodies’ witty plot gives us something to think about. I can’t help but feel for R—he’s lonely and he needs a more ~responsive company. Everything around him is bleak and grey and the only hope he found was a breathing and sentient human being. Immediately, he shares his world to her and eventually changes into something better—something he thought only the living can feel.

While there are clear allusions to William Shakespeare’s immortal love story of Romeo and Juliet, I think what made Warm Bodies a better movie was the fact that it did not bank on cheeseball moments and cliché lines. We would always know that it’s a love story whose characters are bound to get their dose of happy endings by the time the credits roll. And of course, in times of dire need, love would always be the ready answer. But I thought the film’s relatively fresher delivery in terms of storytelling and script gives it an edge over other fictional love stories of the same genre.

I also felt that the feet-thumping soundtrack adds some spark to the movie. It doesn’t overbear but careful, it’s going to be your LSS for the rest of the week. Hahaha. Or that’s just me. Anyhoo, my favorite song/s from the movie was Delta Spirit’s Yamaha, Bon Iver’s Hinnom, TX, John Waite’s Missing You, Bruce Springsteen’s Hungry Heart and of course, M83’s Midnight City. You might want to listen to them, so I’ll be posting the videos here too.

Delta Spirit- Yamaha

Bon Iver- Hinnom, TX

John Waite- Missing You

Bruce Springsteen- Hungry Heart

M83- Midnight City

There’s a lot to love in Warm Bodies. Or maybe I just like R too much. Hahaha!

They’re still in theaters, so you might want to catch it for your post-Valentine cheber. Hahaha!

Happy weekend everyone! J

Who wouldn't love this guy? (Photo cred: ScreenRant)

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Monday, February 11, 2013

Sundays are good days.

Sunday just got loaded. But it was all fun and worthwhile, so no problem there.

We had to wake up at 3am yesterday for the Red Cross Million Volunteer Run. Papa won’t be able to bring us there because the van is still in the repair shop. It’s still dark outside and we’re riding the jeep that would take us to CCP. When we got there, all the other lanes are closed due to the Red Cross Run so we had to walk until we get to World Trade Center because that’s where 5k runners will begin their race. The program started at 6AM so we had to squat on the islands for an hour or so. When it began we all thought the emcee would immediately signal the gun start, but no no no. We had to listen first to Chair Dick Gordon and Migz Zubiri and other personalities present. That took 30 minutes. By the time the run begun, the sun was already up. Huhu. Anyway, we still ran as fast as we could so by 7.30AM we’re back at home to prepare for church. We finished the race by 7.10AM but we ended up going home by 8.10AM because we scourged the whole Grandstand to find Beth and Ephra. THERE’S JUST TOO MANY PEOPLE DURING THAT RUN! Plus there are two finish lines so the plan to meet up there as soon as we’re done was botched. T_T Tel and I + our cousin who, thank God, has a phone, were able to see each other. Bet and Ephra got together and went home when they weren’t able to find us. We saw each other at home. Gaaaah. We thought Bet would get lost in the sea of people clad in red. It would be disaster. Hehehe. We still had enough time to prepare for church. J

After church service, I rushed to Malugay to attend Craft MNL’s Handmade Screen Printing Class. I was five minutes late but because there are only two of us attending the workshop they waited for me to come. Hahaha. I got lost! Within the vicinity that is. I didn’t know that Craft was just behind B-Side. Hahaha. Anyhoo, I enjoyed the whole workshop. I was able to screen-print the handwritten design I did. Hahaha. My cartoonish handwriting will now be forever etched on that ivory-textured paper. I can even frame it! Hahaha. Also, I get to bring home my screen and squeegee as well as the prints I did on both nice paper and newsprint. J I bought a bottle of emulsion just so I can easily start my new hobby soooooon. Hahaha.

Because of the nice artsy vibes I had that day, I went straight to The Link (beside Greenbelt) to view the installation arts exhibited for the 2013 Philippine Contemporary Art Fair. Yesterday was its last day so I already took the opportunity of being in Makati. There’s an entrance fee of PhP100 for adults and PhP50 for students. I paid 50. Hahaha.

The exhibit place was The Link’s sixth level parking lot. Amazing. The supposed car sections were turned into small viewing rooms for various collections and/or themes. There were paintings—small to large to super huge—murals, sculptures and assemblages. They’re really nice to look at. I took pictures of everything that I liked and those that really piqued my curiosity. Hahaha. I promised Mama I’ll be home by 5PM, but I ended up finishing the fair tour at 6.30PM and got home at around 7.45PM. I haven’t had ok lunch that day because I was rushing to Makati so I took bought a huge burger from one of the makeshift food stalls in front of The Link. Apparently, they also have their version of Weekend Banchetto there. To appease my parents for coming home later than expected, I bought them brownies. Hahaha. I hope they’ll like it.

Weekend this week was great. I had so much fun and I found myself productive. Aside from the artsy-fartsy stuff, I was also able to finish another project for my “raket” + finally decided on pursuing the design I had in mind. Win or lose, I’ll submit it. I hope we’ll wing that competition. Hahaha. TGBTG!

Good vibes for this week. J

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It was an ok Saturday.

Classes last Saturday weren’t quite boring. I just felt too sleepy because the night before, we were singing and hugging an adorable and chubby kid from Ate Vi’s house. He’s just too cute not to include in this blog post.

Anyhoo, the class wasn’t boring because… there’s food! Classmates were discussing the Ancient History of West Asia and they found it fitting to serve West Asian cuisine too—there’s an Iranian version of biryani and samosa and a Turkish version of shawarma. Shawarma’s thin slices of meat (usually beef), onions, tomatoes and lettuce rolled in pita bread and slathered with peppered mayonnaise (ata).  Biryani’s like fried rice: it has meat, green peas, carrots and raisins. Of course the curry flavor is always there. Samosa, on the other, is like empanada, but instead of meat, it has spiced mashed potato, carrots and other spices I’m too lazy to identify that time. Hahaha. The served food has its perks but what made me awake during the whole three-hour class was the lively discussion we had.

After classes, I went to the mall for some weekend banking stuff and also to check out a few materials for my handmade screen printing class the next day. I got home early so I had enough time to dabble on the art bag design we’re trying to work on. Until 7.30PM, I was drafting designs only to CTRL + Z them all over. Gaaaah, my creative juices that night weren’t cooperating. I was both watching a few scenes from Wally Bayola’s biopic featured in Channel 7 and surfing the net for possible design inspirations. By 9PM, 9.15PM I switched channels to catch TV5’s Kanta Pilipinas to support our friend and churchmate, Kuya Allan G.! He didn’t perform but we saw cameos of him shaking hands with fellow contestants. He’ll perform next week! :D I'll still have to ask his permission if I'm allowed to post a snippet of his originally-composed song here in my blog. It's really good so I'd like to share it to everyone, but as I said, permission first. Baka bawal. Hahaha.

10PM, I was redoing everything to bring to life the design I had in mind. I was doodling things again, this time with direction, form and substance. It looked nice. I slept peacefully. Hahaha.

Friday I was trying out sketches in Illustrator.

Saturday I'm doodling in Photoshop.

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Friday, February 8, 2013

Weekend at Chinatown

Because we're too hipster to go to Binondo on a Chinese New Year.
Places filled with history and culture had always perked the curious side of me. That’s the reason why despite the dingy nature of Manila, I’ve always clung to the nostalgia of its glorious past. For one, the oldest Chinatown, probably in Asia or even in the world, is a place I look forward to visiting. Its semi-dark allies and narrow ins and outs make for an urban adventure. My parents have always brought us there for the usual Chinese food fare and then in high school, when I learned the ropes of public commuting and Manila traffic, my friends and I would usually sneak to Divisoria via Binondo. I forgot it on college because we chose to seek refuge from the different eateries along Teresa Street.

And then, just last year, after reading several blogs sharing their awesome gastronomic experience in Chinatown’s hole-in-the-wall restos, I decided to give it a try. The first trip was with my siblings, I made a blog entry for that. The second was with Ate Fina and Ate Anna. It was a bit of a let-down because we weren’t able to really roam around. The first culprit was were all tired from our own morning activities but second because my two companions wolfed down a big bowl of congee each. So much for the supposed food trip. Hahaha.

The third trip was much better and extra special (naks). We’re celebrating Kuya Alvin’s and Manay Joy’s birthdays plus we have a tour guide. Awesome! The foodies were me, Ate Fina, Kuya Paulie, Kuya Fids, Ms Jeni of UNDP (who has a very nice camera, I must say), Manay Joy, Kuya Alvin and his friends. All in all, we finished 11 restaurants and snack places—from Binondo’s heart in Ongpin until the relatively far Soler Street which was near Recto Avenue na. The photos below would tell the whole story for me. 

For more photos, you may visit my photoblog at www.kyemeruth.jux.com. J

Chopstixx mastery level: Still amateur but taking ground. Hahaha.
Team Binondo goes wacky in front of Dong Bei Dumplings in Yuchengco Street.

Peach cheber at Cafe Mezzanine.
Interior. Cafe Mezzanine.

The famed Halo-Halo at Cafe Mezzanine. According to Kuya Alvin, this is their bestseller. 
Cafe Mezzanine.

Team Binondo in front of Cafe Mezzanine.

Binondo's busy lane.

Chinese Holland. The happy hopia. 
Welcome to Chinatown! 
Chinese stuff by the bangketa.

Kiat-kiat. This is would make a nice Christmas tree. Hahaha.

Bahay kubo and non-bahay kubo gulay on carts.

The Hiding Place. Historians said that the original manuscript of JP Rizal's Noli Me Tangere was kept here. The said house is owned by Higino Francisco, one of the supporters of the revolutionary forces during the Spanish era.

The place is now an apartment and is flanked by small stores below. Sorry, the manong never left the frame.
Office people showing off their yummy fried siopaos. We're along Benavidez Street yata.

Along Benavidez. If I'm not mistaken.

Salazar Bakery at Salazar Street. Also famous for its hopia variants.

Tikoy overload.

Omens and symbols. The Chinese are known for the different animals that bring good fortune to their lives.

Seafood Pancit for looooong life.

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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Going Indian on a Saturday

I had the chance to participate in the celebration of the foundation of the Indian Republic today at the Asian Center. Saturday Prof required us to attend the whole-day event as an equivalent for our supposed three-hour class. I was planning not to but curiosity won over laziness. Plus, I was absent last week and Prof might really check today’s attendance—better not to risk the precious slots for allowed absences. Hahaha.

I thought the whole event was fun. There were a lot of firsts for me a while back. It was the first time I really sat in a seminar with a speaker talking about Vedic philosophy, good and bad karma and reincarnation. Even if I did study those in our Asian History class, I never really took things to heart. Perhaps because it was a different religion or perspective on life and all; or maybe I just found it too mystic before. I wasn’t able to hear the whole talk because I was late—but the latter part of the discussion was quite enlightening. For Hindus, it is very important to gather all forms of good karma because it will determine the next body one will be bringing to life. Also, a balance of good and bad karma does not cancel things out. Again, good karma must outweigh the bad—ideally, people practicing such belief must do good all the time and avoid bad activities.

There were also discussions on finding your soulmate and how souls transcend from one realm to another. The teacher (i.e. speaker) told us that there are an infinite number of souls in this world but only a few are on our realm. A lot of them are left in the spiritual realm waiting to find another body to welcome them. Souls, like human beings, are also awarded free will. They are free to choose whether to reside on one body to another or not at all.

After the seminar, veggie lunch was served to all the participants. I was hesitant at first because the last time I tried magic meat at a certain vegetarian fastfood, I gagged and almost puked. Epic fail on my first attempt. Today, I tried it again and yes, I succeeded in finishing my food! I ate the highland rice and the vegetarian curry. My classmates, Ruby and Angelo, backed out of the eating challenge. Haha. I must say that the curry is similar with the usual chicken curry we cook, except that there’s less “umami” or “linamnam”. I’m thinking it was because of the meat used. But overall, I thought it was good food. Second attempt = success. Vegetarian cause = 1, Emy = 1.J

During lunch at the AC grounds, we’re treated to Indian music and dance performances. The sax was just amazing. Here are a few clips (they’re quite long).

We also had our hands painted with Indian-inspired designs. Cute.

And then, there was the Kirtam Yoga thing. We listened to their Hare Krishna chants for almost an hour. The chant began with slow beats—the flute made us relax. The upbeat part of the repetitive chant brought almost everyone to their feet to dance. I did not. Hahaha. It was a nice thing to watch—everyone’s like Jai’Ho-ing and Hare Krishna-ing with their arms flailing up and down and their feet trying to match every beat played by the percussions.

After the whole dancing affair, we headed out of the auditorium and watched the cooking demo at the grounds. Within an hour, the chef was able to whip out six different Indian dishes—there’s the basic veggie curry, the Pinoy curry or Kare-Kare, plus a veggie bagoong (salted black beans or tausi), banana blossom salad (in coconut cream), dahl soup (monggo lang talaga yan), chutney (caramelized pineapple), and the samosan (Indian empanada). I wasn’t able to line up for the free taste but I guess I already have an inkling of how the food will taste because of how it smelled when it was cooked. There’s the usual curry taste with a hint of chilli and coconut-ish flavor. And then of course the pungency of the turmeric and mustard seeds adds another level of flavor to the dishes made by chef.

Free yoga classes were also offered but the slots were already filled, plus I don’t have yoga materials. Before I went home, I bought a beaded prayer necklace which looks like the rosaries used by Catholics. I also took home free Hindu-themed books given by the Hare Krishna org.

By the time I arrived at our house, I was surprised I’m not yet hungry. Hmmm, was it because of the lunch? I wouldn’t know. But one thing’s for sure, my mind was full today—I really learned a lot especially appreciating another culture that was foreign to you before. I’m looking forward to more events like this. Hahaha.

Next week, we’re back with Saturday Prof and her endless storytelling session class. Gaaah, sana mabusog siya sa meals para di makasingit masyado sa discussions. Hahaha!

Good night and enjoy the pictures! J

So much color.

Bas reliefs.

Upper photo: Indian mascots; Left: A copy of the Vedas; Right: Vedas enclosed in a chamber.

Indian band playing Indian music and dancing signature Indian moves. How Indian. :)

I think this is Krishna in varied forms. Haven't checked.
AS201A classmates. They're trying to do the Indian pose but failed. Hehe

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