Wednesday, December 26, 2007


For the year-end issue of Arts & Leisure, the New York Times film critics wrote about their favorite films of 2007. At left is an image from "Colossal Youth," Pedro Costa's film about a man in Lisbon whose wife kicks him onto the streets. Manohla Dargis chose the film, which still doesn't have distribution in the United States, after seeing it at the Cannes Film Festival. She writes, "Shot in digital video, it is a cryptic, arresting work that reveals its mysteries slowly." (Photo: (Pedro Costa/Luso)

A. O. Scott, Manohla Dargis and Stephen Holden all include "There Will Be Blood" in their list of favorites. The film is a psychological study following several years in the life of an oil baron, played by Daniel Day-Lewis. In reference to the movie's themes, Mr. Scott writes, "Genuine, rigorous pessimism about human nature still has the power to shock." (Photo: Melinda Sue Gordon/Paramount Vantage)

Remy and Emile are brothers in Brad Bird's "Ratatouille," about a rat with a desire to be a chef. A. O. Scott writes that the animated movie "demonstrates a bracing integrity in its commitment to the highest ideals of art." (Photo: Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios)

Viggo Mortensen, far left, stars in "Eastern Promises." The movie, set in London’s expatriate Russian underworld, is one of Ms. Dargis's top choices for the year. (Photo: Peter Mountain/Focus Features)

Michael Cera, Jonah Hill and Christopher Mintz-Plasse in "Superbad," a comedy about a night in the life of three high school kids who try to procure alcohol for a party. In her review of the movie, Ms. Dargis writes, "The young male actors in 'Superbad' look as pleasantly, sympathetically real as they behave. They’re at a total and happy remove from the musclebound cartoons of prime-time and action-flick reveries." (Photo: Melissa Moseley/Columbia Pictures)

Marcus Carl Franklin stars as Woody, a young musician riding the rails in Todd Haynes's experimental biopic "I'm Not There." The movie tells the story of Bob Dylan's life and career using six different actors to play aspects of his persona. "I'm Not There" was a favorite of both Mr. Scott's and Ms. Dargis's. Mr. Scott writes, "Though there’s a lot of Bob Dylan’s music in 'I’m Not There,' Mr. Haynes is not simply compiling golden oldies. You hear familiar songs, but what you see is the imagination unleashed — the chimes of freedom flashing." (Photo: Jonathan Wenk/Weinstein Company)

A scene from "Persepolis," Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud's animated film based on Ms. Satrapi's graphic novel about growing up in Iran. The film is one of Stephen Holden's top picks. He writes, "This French animated film offers an autobiographical account of Iran’s troubled history from the days of the shah through the Islamist revolution and the Iran-Iraq war. The same history translated into a live-action drama could never be depicted with the clarity and forceful drive that bold, simple animation encourages." (Photo: Sony Pictures Classics)

Frank Langella stars in "Starting Out in the Evening," about a retired teacher who develops a relationship with a younger woman. The film is one of Mr. Holden's top picks. Regarding Mr. Langella's performance, he writes, "Resignation and an embattled nobility vie for precedence in his sad-eyed visage." (Photo: Annabel Clarke/Roadside Attractions)

Josh Brolin stars in "No Country for Old Men," chosen as a top pick by both Mr. Scott and Mr. Holden. The film, based on Cormac McCarthy's novel, tells the story of a man in a small Texas town who finds a suitcase of cash and is hunted by a vicious killer. Mr. Scott calls it "a densely woven crime story made more effective by a certain controlled stylistic perversity." (Photo: Richard Foreman/Paramount Classics)

Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman star in "The Savages," a top pick from Ms. Dargis about a brother and sister who must reunite to take care of their ailing father. Ms. Dargis writes, "There isn’t a single moment of emotional guff or sentimentality in 'The Savages,' a film that caused me to periodically wince, but also left me with a sense of acute pleasure, even joy." (Photo: Andrew Schwartz/Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


LRT1 tracks, Gil Puyat Station

There's a pall over the household this Christmas season. I feel it, my cousins feel it except probably for my dog, Turnip, and my Yaya. It's still a month away from today, but we're already preparing for the first death anniversary of my Mom. Christmas was definitely not the same without her. The house would have been alive because of the gifts she would normally prepare for practically everyone in her office. I have accompanied her on many occassions in choosing unusual gifts and I have definitely ran out of patience during these trips ( I have no patience for shopping except perhaps for DVDs). Mom is a very difficult shopper. She will not stop until she is satisfied with an item.

Anyway, I decided long ago that I will not decorate the house this year even if I have enough tivoli lights to light up the house inside and out (excess lights from the St. Scholastica event). My Yaya, however, won't have none of it so when I was out of the house from December 21 and 22 for weddings I had to arrange, she decided to put up the belen with garish red tivolis to booth.

Awww. Malungkot na nga daw ang pasko, 'di pa mag-lalagay ng decor. Oo nga naman.

Anyway, I decided to go to work on Christmas eve. Logged in at 8PM and exited at 6AM feeling all groggy. No season's greetings in the office, the office didn't bother to send food for those doing the graveyard shift, and I snubbed the potluck. My Uncle, who works for the Senate, kept my Yaya company while I was out.

Please forgive me if I am given to drama these days. Despite the trials that we went through this year and the past years, we are still thankful for so many things. One, that it's all over. My friends keep reminding me that Mom is already in a far better place, where pain and sadness are non-existent. Second, that we have friends who saw us through the trials even if they were experiencing trials of their own. Third, that business was good this year and it's bound to get even better in 2008. I may have to make a major decision in February that will totally change the course of my life, but that really depends on a lot of things. Complications, complications.

I have a loooong To-Do List for next year. Resolutions are out. To-Do Lists are in. All least the items come with a target date of completion (if you are obsessive-compulsive enough!). I pray to God for a better year for me and for everyone close to my heart.

May we all have a truly merry CHRISTmas.

Friday, December 14, 2007


First of all, I’d like to congratulate my dear friend, Jerome, for finally receiving his circa-1950s Pearl River TLR. Only God knows how much he got it for (and in great condition at that) so I expect to be one of the first to be shot with this old, er, new toy of his. I already am scheduled to be shot at the side door of the San Agustin Church, that beautiful door that is facing a lonely street in the Walled City. Hmmm, what to wear, what to wear, what to wear.

Anyway, as a sort of present for me this Christmas, Jerome said that he read in the LOMOMANILA forum that there’s a shop in RFC (that old smelly mall near my place) that sells vintage lomo and stuff at very low prices. Wenonamangayon, ‘di ba?! As I do not know Adam from a Leica lens, everything would just look old cameras to me. Somebody daw got a lc-a (that’s a lomo cam; I’ve seen some photos it makes. They are fantastic!) from there for only Php 1,500. I don’t know if I should be excited. Anyway, Jerome said whoever bought that was “pakshet, a lucky son of a beech!” I guess Jerome really meant business. He further texts, “Hay naku. Join in the addiction! Php 1000 for a lomo cam? 4K for a vintage TLR? Ugh.”

Mapuntahan na nga! All this craze over old Russian cameras is making me dizzy.

Anyhoo, on related events, I would like to ask for forgiveness from Ruby for missing out on all of her activities with LOMOMANILA. Sorry talaga. Busy-busyihan ang Lolo mo. In fact, I haven’t even hanged out with the Jeromes for over a year now or thereabouts. Some friends I haven’t seen in years. Text text na lang, ‘ika nga.

This blog sends its wishes of good luck to Maui as she competes in the Asian Idol in Jakarta! Yipeekayee! You go, girl! Show them the stuff Pinoy singers are made of! (UPDATE: Talo si Maui).

Here’s an FYI. Merriam-Webster Dictionary has declared WOOT (ueah, spelled just like that) is the word of the year. It’s similar to yehey or yahoo, an expression of joy or something to that effect. Now, it’s up to you to process this useless piece of information.

Today, December 14, we also remember the 70th anniversary of the Rape of Nanjing.

Saturday, December 01, 2007


This is being Ricky Villabona, super low-end style. These are no Kate Spades, but they're cute and are pretty useful around the house or when going to Divisoria or the nearby supermarket. And guess what, I'm giving away some for Christmas! They are called sakonites, but I'd rather call them e-totes. Environment-friendly totes. I got these from Oriental in Clark Field.

I have two (2) extra of these Rembrant totes. A self portrait of the master ("Self Portrait with A Cap, Openmouthed", etching, 1630). It has a STOP AIDS NOW mark at the bottom portion.

This pink bag is for the girls at work. Nice, 'no? it could be kitschy, could be pop but they can use this for that short trip to the beach or the salon.


I do not know exactly what these were intended for (anyway, they are for books, plastic bric-a-brac or tetra bricks and, well, paper. Or so I think that's what the words mean), but you can use these to separate your dry trash or laundry at home or to separate your kids' stuff (toys, books, etc). These were issued by the City Council of Barcelona (originally) but reproduced in China.

There are Velcro strips so you can keep them together. If you want a complete set of these (I have 9 sets I am giving away), let me know ASAP. First come, first served.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


"51 years, 9 months, 4 days. That's how long I have loved you."

OMG. Gabrial Gacria Marquez's 1985 novel LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA is already a movie featuring Benjamin Bratt, Javier Bardem and Giovanna Mezzogiorno under the direction of Mike Newell (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Mona Lisa Smile, Donnie Brasco, Four Weddings and A Funeral). Shakira sings the theme song, Hay Amores!

I can't wait.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Sana may melon din. Jeanette told me may coffee-flavored milk daw sa SM. Wow naman!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Had a chance to see this film before BC left for Singapore/Malaysia. No pretentious reviews for you today, but this one was just painful to watch. It reeked of danger at every point but nothing prepared us for the far more dangerous thing called LOVE.

Keeping your enemies closer does have its risks.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


I like the poster. Very clean and balanced. Wish Ken had a better shot though.

By the way, I just saw HAIRSPRAY on DVD. I got bored (with apologies to the colored community). Maybe I just wasn't impressed with the songs. Story is okay though.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Ang hirap ng walang makausap.

Friday, November 16, 2007


I have a million things to do these days and I have been slowly making progress in striking out entries in my To-Do list. These past few days, I have been working on claiming certain benefits from the SSS. The guy at the counter asked why I was filing the papers only now. How does one explain depression to these people?

Anyhoo, I have a wedding coming up this Saturday (oh, that's tomorrow already!). It will be a double-ceremony thing - one civil, one Muslim. Rather confusing but clients are clients. Never make it appear that you are complaining.

I have been running dry in the creativity department lately because of a mixture of unexplained emotional swings that are blocking my ability to focus on what I am doing. I am starting to hate myself very much. My friend said I must see a shrink. She doesn't know I have been having suicidal ideation but what the heck. I cannot go before my yaya does, 'no. She will be terribly devastated. Besides, nobody will be brave enough to take care of her. One Uncle suggested that I bring her to a home for the aged so I can leave the house any time I want. The nerve. He should be happy his kids didn't have the same ideas.

I am very relieved though that I have finally spoken to a lawyer. Doing so has confirmed everything that i already knew. One, that selling the house in CDO is more complicated than I originally thought it would be. Second, I really have to start talking to my Dad. The legal implications of the sale (inheritance issues, etc) are going to be messy if not handled correctly.

I am still torn between letting go of the CDO property. Aside from the fact that I love that house, I am also wondering if the city where it is located is the place to do business in the future. Besides, I really don't know if I should stay in Manila for long. I mean, any longer. But selling the house has its pluses: I can start life anew and will be totally debt free. God, please help me. Only You know the best things to do.

By December, I will be having 3 or 4 weddings to make. I wish to settle some debts by this time. I have miscalculated in some aspects (I always miscalculate) and I have to focus on making sure I do not default in my payments. Learn from mistakes, Dylan. Learn.

Oh, yes. Last Tuesday, I got a call from this event coordination team who I worked with in my event at the Peninsula Manila and they have asked for some sample designs for a potential 500-guest event at the Makati Shangri-la in February of 2008. Of course I was overjoyed and inis at the same time because they called me on Tuesday and the client presentation was on Wednesday morning. The girl said, "Pasensya na kasi marami akong labahan (laundry) to do lately kaya I forgot to inform you sooner." Kaloka. Of course I was only able to come up with crappy drawings that I wish I will never have to execute or else it'd be the end of me and V.M.

My work process usually finds me in Dangwa where I can see what kind of flowers are available for what season so I know what will work best pero who has time to do that in a moment's notice? I didn't even have time to confer with my florists. Can't blame her though. Now I have to rethink new designs pronto to present to her client before it's too late. Imagine, a 500-guest list! That would mean 42 to 50 tables if ever! Be still, my palpitating heart.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


I am not given to saying the title of this entry but today, I have to say it out loud. After days of trying to get the chance to file for an SSS benefit in their office in Alabang, all my efforts at waking up early to get a number (the numbers for Counter 7 run out by 7AM, if you must know), the strong rain this morning downed the PLDT lines in the area and SSS - the mighty insitution which just turned 50 years old last month - went OFFLINE for the day.


Yeah, I know it's not just me. I mean, there were other folks too who came from remote barrios and boondocks of Laguna but what are the chances, right? Anyway, I was so tired today. Had to go around the metro for many things and I ended up at the Manila City Hall for my grandfather's death certificate (I didn't know he died in Manila until today). The city hall is a chaotic place, but if you want to survive it, you have to keep on asking for directions and what to do next para 'di ka magmukhang tanga. One rule to keep in mind when in government offices: BAWAL ANG MAGTARAY. Talo ka when you are pikon. The system has been like that for decades and there's no point in trying to argue your case with the staff. Get your requirements ready and complete and prepare to wait for hours on end. Keep your cool. Your number will be called eventually.

The thing with waiting is that whether you like it or not, someone will almost always strike a conversation with you and tell you his/her life story. You can choose to ignore at your own risk or you can just nod your head and smile once in a while. At least this will keep you from losing your sanity altogether.

Oh, and another thing. NEVER ask information from the blasted security guards. They are moronic and must be ignored at all cost. Not that it's their fault though.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


You know what? There are e-mails circulating in the office featuring several of our supervisors in the most unflattering of light. Many of them had their personal photos superimposed on groins or were topped with... never mind. One even had a court case story created to make him look like he was illegally recruiting people for the Middle East or something.
Sobrang evil talaga. The supervisors have released denials in their blogs. I was told it was the work of someone whose contract was terminated recently. Wow. Imagine the anger that roils within his / her person. Anyway, I am pretty sure his / her feelings and outpouring thereof were very much appreciated by many. :-)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


Cartoon by Toothpaste for Dinner

1. Name of the person who made you laugh last night? Nobody.
2. What were you doing at 0800? Still rolling around in bed..
3. What were you doing 30 minutes ago? Reading blogs while stuffing myself with Gardenia’s Black Forest.
4. What happened to you in 2006? I turned 31. It was very depressing.
5. What was the last thing you said out loud? “You aren’t a misanthrope for nothing!” – to Jeanette
6. How many beverages did you have today? Just water.
7. What color is your hairbrush? Black.
8. What was the last thing you paid for? The Gardenia loaf.
9. Where were you last night? What time?
10. What color is your front door? White.
11. Where do you keep your change? In a blue bowl that looks like it was bought in Morocco. When on the go, in a nice soft leather satchel.
12. What’s the weather like today? Rainy and sad.
13. What’s the best ice cream flavor? Pistacchio by F.I.C.
14. What excited you? The thought of dinner.
15. Do you want to cut your hair? Yes, tomorrow.
16. Are you over the age of 25? I stopped counting at 28, so yes..
17. Do you talk a lot? It depends.
18. Do you watch the O.C.? Heard of it.
19. Do you know anyone named Steven? It’s not spelled that way.
20. Do you make up your own words? Ate-atehan.
21. Are you a jealous person? No. As in NO.
22. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘A’. Aida. She owns the food stall in our office.
23. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘K’. I checked my phone just now. No match, eh.
24. Who’s the first person on your received call list? Jopie Lietgeb, my first cousin.
25. What does the last text message you received say? It was a long joke about learning English (i.e. Babaeng nakatayo sa ilalim: Misunderstanding). I am surprised I haven’t erased it yet.
26. Do you chew your straw? No.
27. Do you have curly hair? Every now and then. :-)
28. Who’s the rudest person in your life? I know a lot of them. There’s one sitting beside me as I write this.
29. What was the last thing you ate? Gardenia Black Forest. Ang kulet, ha!
30. Will you get married in the future? *rolls eyes*
31. Where’s the next place you’re going to? Wala pang Php 1 fare ang Cebu Pacific, eh. (Pobre!)
32. What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the past 2 weeks? I can’t recall. It was on DVD. I am accused of fastforwarding all the time so maybe I didn't notice it was good pala.
33. When was the last time you did the dishes? Yesterday.
34. Are you currently depressed? I was born depressed.
35. Did you cry today? The other night, yes.
36. Why did you answer this? I got tagged, eh. (Sunod-sunuran?!)

Monday, November 05, 2007


An idea occured to me today while on my way home from a day of doing nothing lang naman but crisscross the whole of Metro Manila. Was lined up at the bank near my place at 9.30AM, was at the Civil Registrar's Office by 10.30, and then it rained. God. I had to be in Makati before 12NN pa naman sana.

Anyway, the heavens heard me and I was on my way to my Mom's former office pero barely made it there on time so had lunch at Greenbelt 1 and wait for 1PM.

I killed time by poring over design books at Powerbooks. I need some wild idea pronto for an exhibit I am designing. Needless to say (but I am still saying it), I just ended up salivating over the many books I cannot afford at the moment. Best of luck to the staff who'd be cleaning after me.

Went to Mom's former office, got the signature I needed, exchanged pleasantries with some people who pretend to miss her (why do i seem so Bitter Ocampo?) and then headed to Quiapo. I needed to get some capiz angels to ship to Bangkok. Uy, exporter na ba ako? Ha ha ha!

Anyhoo, after Quiapo (and boy, what a day it has been!), went to Raon to meet up with M.S. to pick up a CD and some further work so I can finish the teachers manual for that Grade III Science textbook that I worked on last year. I heard the textbook is now out. Wow, I can't wait to see my name on an actual textbook - a textbook that will be shaping the minds of Grade III students for at least 3 years (that's how long a textbook remains in private schools before it is updated)!

After Raon, got myself on a comfortable FX, paid for the entire front seat (so cheap) and headed for Alabang Town Center to deliver the angels. They will fly (how apt!) to Cebu tomorrow morning, and then on to Bangkok. Buti pa sila pupunta ng Bangkok. Hey! Capiz angels going to Bangkok - the City of Angels! Cute ng mga coincidences in this paragraph.

After ATC, had a quick dinner then went home to finish a letter, write a authorization letter for my lessee in Cagayan de Oro, and then catch my breathe at long last. My yaya says she is feeling so much better. She's had me on my toes for two weeks now. She's been very sick. Thank God for answered prayers.

Anyway, what was the idea that occurred to me? To sell my house in Cagayan de Oro, that's what. My friend there said that it might get a good assessment because it is well-maintained, is located in one of the city's oldest (and safest) subdivisions, the front door opens to the breeze that rolls down the Cugman hills, the phase II of the village is next to the scenic Macajalar Bay. You can see Camiguin Island from there on a clear day. The water flow in the village is strong and it never floods. There's a good carpark. Trash is collected regularly.

If a house with narra French-style windows, marble floors, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a unique floor plan (no cabinets in rooms), a nice front yard in a quiet setting appeals to you, let me know the soonest before I change my mind.

Sunday, November 04, 2007


I do not know why I am drawn to Des'ree even if she's got crappy lyrics (her LIFE was most maligned in the SUPERNATURAL album), yet her music is so nice to listen to, so alive (kahit sometimes it's so melancholic). Crappy music for crappy people. Anyway, she sort of saves people from committing suicide or do something similarly morbid. She's my counter to Chris Isaak. Then again, what's heaven for me could be hell for you.

Visit Des'ree here.

Friday, November 02, 2007


In loving memory of those who have gone ahead of us.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


It was 2AM and I was up working on my drawing board doing sketches for a certain event. I'm more creative at dawn when silence envelopes my surroundings. I also work better with yellow light than with white. Don't ask me why because I really don't know. The only distraction would be my dog, Turnip, who'd ask to be hugged and cuddled every now and then. Such a sweet dog (especially when he is asleep).

I think this was the same dawn that my Aunt had to be up early because she had to be on a trip or something. I really can't recall anymore. Anyway, I decided to make her breakfast. Heat water, done. Scramble eggs, done. Toast bread, teka!

I haven't been in the kitchen for a very long time now and my absence has dealt a severe blow to my culinary skills (or the lack thereof). Not only were the toasts toasted, they were charred beyond recognition. This all happened when I decided to retreat to the bathroom to do some more brainstorming (oh, I also am creative when in the bathroom. It helps me concentrate more) and one piece of bread actually decided to burst into flames (which gave me the burning desire to write this silly entry).

What a loser. Anyway, the eggs went well naman (they were a little bit dry though) but were good just the same. I toasted a fresh batch of pan de sal. Hmmm. Maybe I'm not that hopeless after all. Kitchen returnee's luck?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Friday, October 05, 2007


It's been years since the last time we had a wedding in the family (I can't even recall when the last time was) so imagine our excitement and joy when my Tito Mhel, the youngest of a long line of Yaps (Mom was the second oldest), finally tied the knot in Bangkok. Since we had very short notice, we didn't have time to prepare for the trip. Anyway, we hope to see them when they visit us in Manila. Congratulations, Tito and Best Wishes, Tita Mam!

Thursday, October 04, 2007


OH MY! *takes a deep breath*

The sequel to ELIZABETH, ELIZABETH: THE GOLDEN AGE, has finally been screened at the Toronto International Film Festival. Aside from the return of Cate Blanchett as the indefatigable Queen Elizabeth I, Clive Owens stars as Sir Walter Raleigh and oh, wow, wow, wow! Samantha Morton as – drums roll – Mary Queen of Scots! This sequel picks up where ELIZABETH left off and will feature the highlights of the rest of her reign.

Same director, Shekhar Kapur, who has only 9 films to his name (2 remain unreleased). So sad though that nobody is playing Cecil in this sequel as his character was very important during QEI’s reign.

Anyway, I am dying of anticipation.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Desperate Housewives character Susan Mayer (Teri Hatcher) let loose an insult to Filipino doctors here. This is the 1st episode of the 4th Season. My friend Mahros said a similar incident happened in ER long ago.

I hope that writers do not include lines like these in television shows. Totally uncalled for. Likewise, actors should also insist on NOT mouthing lines that put an entire community or country in a bad light.

Monday, October 01, 2007


I was on an errand when I espied these being sold on the streets of Divisoria. I just couldn't resist buying some because I was too overjoyed! These are something we used to eat as children in Pampanga. Bukayo (coconut marzipan) is made by simmering strips of young coconut meat in water. Molasses or brown sugar gives them that rich, very attractive color. They are then rolled into balls and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds (the latter are a fairly new addition, I think).

Children liked them because they can be very sweet, with the lethal combination of sugar, coconut and toasted sesame exploding in your mouth at every bite. I recall that there's another version of this - flatted into little cakes but are dry instead of moist like the ones pictured above. These were sold at Php 10/pack of 12 pieces.

More of my adventures here.

Friday, September 21, 2007


Fourplay: A Multi-lens Exhibit featuring the works of 14 lomographers, using cameras with 4 lenses -- the Supersampler and the Actionsampler, on 4 October - 4 November 2007 at Fili Deli, 5911A Matilde Street, Makati City (along Kalayaan Ave. near Rockwell).

See you there, guys! Thanks, Ruby, for the invite!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Photo by Dylan Gozum (Tagaytay '07)

The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference.
The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference.
The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference.
And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference.

- Elie Wiesel (October 1986)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Was in Tagaytay City many weekends ago to attend a house blessing. During a lull, I decided to explore the vacant lots around the village and found these pretty little things. It's lovely how even the tiniest of wild flowers can be so beautiful when seen up close.