Monday, July 31, 2006

Welcome to the UK

Attended the British Council's Welcome to the UK Seminar last Saturday. I found the content realistic, practical and much more personal than the PDF guides online.

For info on studying in the UK, visit the British Council Philippines and educationUK.

I'm putting up the two cuddly beefeater keychains pictured above for adoption. I think I have enough keychains for my luggage keys. Any takers?

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Is that Hugh?

Lucky, lucky puppet.

I'm not really a fan, but I must commend this performance. Nevermind if he plays gay very well (too well--type in "hugh jackman tonys" and "the boy from oz" in the search videos box). Like Wolverine, this role is kick-ass (high-kickin' and ass-shakin').

Billy Crystal is Billy Crystal, but since he doesn't always do it, I nominate Hugh Jackman for Oscars 2007 host!

Violent reactions are welcome.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Go Flickr

I've finally come around uploading my photos to Flickr. For starters, here are Boracay and Tagaytay Highlands photos. The Beijing/HK set should be up next week. I've only posted less than 50 photos and I've already exceeded my limit for the month. I guess I should limit the size to something like 500x375.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


My mom said that if I ever get a scholarship, she'd treat my officemates to lunch. And so she did. We ate at the executive dining room of her office yesterday, braving the rains and the risk of being splashed by passing vehicles. Typhoons make crossing one little street so hard it makes you think of taking a taxi.

I was very happy (and full) with the appetizer and dessert buffet–salads, sushi, sashimi, and sweets. When we got back to our office, my officemates surprised me with a gift (with packaging that can expected from the resourceful Cleone–cellophane rosettes, ribbons, japanese paper). It brought tears to my eyes. When Cindy picked out the black F&H vest, she didn't know that I had wanted it for several months (except I'm too kuripot to buy it). I guess we're on the same wavelength. ("It's Raining , it's Raining ...")

Photo courtesy of Patricia

Friday, July 21, 2006

Winter wish list part 3

I don't have black shoes. Actually, I do–a pair of Auztralian flats, but they're already falling apart and I don't even walk long distances at work. I need something heavy-duty, something that can withstand sub-zero temperatures. I need boots.

Two very important considerations:
1. I am somewhat flat-footed and need non-slip soles.
2. I can't walk in heels.

Enter the riding boot. Low heels, warm, sturdy. Perfect, except that I can't find them here. The pairs above from shopbop and NET-A-PORTER, both pricey fashion-forward e-tailers, cost ten times what I'm willing to shell out. Mikee and Toni, tell me your suppliers. Otherwise, you'll find me at Portobello and Camden Markets before classes begin.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Catching up with the Dreidels

Met up with my high school barkada last night at Heaven and Eggs Eastwood City (chosen out of my curiosity). Unlike other barkadas, we didn't hang out in each other's houses or go out on weekends. We had other circles of friends and didn't share much apart from good grades. We were more like groupmates who bonded over dissections, Trig projects and the occasional video requirement for school. We harmonized to Billy Joel's Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel) and danced to The Blues Brothers songs only because we needed to. But somehow, it stuck. Eventually, each of us went to Ateneo, had a boyfriend in college and then broke up with them. We pick up the story from there.

By next year, I'll be in Europe, Jamie in Japan, Bianca in the States. Anne will probably still be in Manila, but who knows if Australia beckons. We'll meet once more this year for Bianca's birthday, just before I leave. But the message will still be the same: go and find your happiness.

I can hear the voice of a big American nun with a crutch calling us in class. Dree-duhlz!

In case you're wondering what it is, it's the title of a Don McLean song, an indirect translation of a now-defunct TV show that used to be very popular. Go figure.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

(I don't miss) Makati

Every time I go back to our very own little Manhattan, I don't feel anything. Maybe it's because I had not spent enough time there, so there's no sentimental ek. I only worked in Makati for two months as a telco intern, eight months in an ad agency. I used to look out at the Manila Bay sunset from our 34th floor office window. Beautiful. But now there's no sadness, no regret, nothing at all.

The MRT ride down EDSA offers little inspiration (although it had spawned countless ideas before). The walk down Ayala Avenue is quiet, with drizzle on my umbrella the only rhythm apart from my steps.

I hope that the next time I enter the CBD, I will emerge with a visa. That would at least brighten up my day.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

West Enders

There are two musicals running in London that I'd willingly pay full price for: Wicked and Billy Elliot. Both are adaptations--the former, of a book, and the latter, of a film. I have the Original Broadway Cast recording of Wicked and we have a copy of the Billy Elliot movie (my mom loves it more than I do). I think it's safe to say that I'm a fan of both.

Wicked will be in previews by the time I get to London. Rent star Idina Menzel is as green as it gets as Elphaba, the role she originated on Broadway. Australian Adam Garcia returns to the British stage as Fiyero. While I love Norbert Leo Butz's voice, I think Adam wins out with better looks and, well, a better name. I was thinking I'd catch Wicked in 2007, as tickets should be hard to come by, but when I found out that Idina's playing only until December, I think I'll have to wait out in the cold outside the box office for ticket returns, even if they're for SRO previews.

I'm impressed with the dancing prowess of Liam Mower, one of the original Billys (and he's still at it)in Billy Elliot. After watching four different versions of Electricity on YouTube, I'm totally hooked.

What are the alternatives? A lot, actually, including several movies that became musicals (Mary Poppins, Spamalot, Dirty Dancing, Lion King, Footloose); musicals that became movies (The Phantom of the Opera, Chicago, Cabaret, Guys and Dolls, Evita, 7 Brides for 7 Brothers, Sound of Music, Rocky Horror Show); and at least one movie that became a musical that became a movie (The Producers).

Methinks I'd much rather like to see some Shakespeare over at the Globe Theatre. Then again, there's Avenue Q. A Lord of the Rings musical is also opening next year.

For musical theater fans (I am one, obviously), the video below needs no explanation. Two of the most prolific composers, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Stephen Sondheim play a parody medley of their own songs, Music of the Night from ALW's The Phantom of the Opera and Send in the Clowns from Sondheim's A Little Night Music as a birthday present for producer Cameron Mackintosh. They're not great singers, but four hands, one piano, and funny lyrics make up for the ho-hum vocals.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Winter wish list part 2

Today's trip to The Fort Bazaar was fruitful. I got two wool peacoats from Clothes Minded (+639178470426) for P1700 apiece. Not bad at all. I think I can do without the trenches for now (although there were some for spring). The heavier stock will come in September, I'm told.

I also bought thermal wear (P1400 asking price, P1100 last price) from another stall selling socks, gloves and thermals. They're more expensive than those at Greenhills Shopping Center (P1200 asking price, P1000 last price), but at least I don't have to go back to the tiangge. The socks and gloves at The Fort are more expensive, too. It's P550 versus P150 for gloves made of similar material. Good thing I know better.

Thanks to Cherry Uy of ShopCrazy for the tip.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Takeshi, don't!

There are Asian singer-actors better than Takeshi Kaneshiro.

There's the dependable HK-based Tony Leung Chiu Wai who can do drama (Wong Kar Wai's 2046), action (Infernal Affairs), or both (Zhang Yimou's Hero)–and still not take himself too seriously (My Lucky Star, Chinese Odyssey 2002). There's Korean superstar Rain (Bi), who is versatile and effective on TV (Sangdoo! Let's Go to School, Full House, A Love to Kill) and on the concert stage. Even pop poster boy Jay Chou's no-acting-required role in Initial D worked out very well.

So why do I like this Chinese-Japanese guy from Taiwan when his emotional range seems fairly limited? Watch Returner, Lavender, Turn Left Turn Right–all rather flat and one-dimensional portrayals.

I guess Takeshi's long hair becomes him most of the time, that's all.

But if there's something he should never do, it's to go back to singing and dancing. When I saw this, it took me only a few seconds to understand why he left his career as a recording artist for acting.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Thank you, Google Earth!

I found my schools via satellite imaging! For the University of London Institute of Education, I looked for the British Museum a few blocks away. Roskilde, Denmark is a compact town near Copenhagen, so the university campus wasn't hard to find.

Since I'm not familiar with Arhus, Denmark (it's a large city), I couldn't find Arhus U, my fellow Filipina CoMundus student Indi's home university. But I found U of Burgundy in Dijon, France, our host for Induction Weekend, and our hostel after tinkering with the search feature a bit.

I found my house, my office, an unfinished Hong Kong Disneyland, Manhattan in 3D, Sydney Opera House, and Beijing and the Galapagos Islands in different colors (different seasons, maybe?). Wherever in the world you are, Big Brother can see you.

Friday, July 7, 2006

Movies I want to see next year

Spiderman 3, my favorite superhero movie franchise so far, will open in May next year. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (somebody lend me the book!) will follow in July.

It costs around P700 to watch a movie in the UK. It takes six months to a year for foreign movies to be shown in Denmark.


HP photo credits

Sunday, July 2, 2006

Winter wish list

Zara and Mango are on sale. That wouldn't normally excite me because my budget has no allowances for splurging on Spanish imports. But I simply had to see if they had discounted winter clothes, so I went to Glorietta to see if I'd get lucky.

Nothing much there, just a few pieces for the cold weather at Zara–a hip-length off-white leather jacket for P5950 (pretty, but comparable to my raincoats) and a black trench coat (huge) for P4550. It is July after all, and the Spring/Summer collection must be disposed of.

I'll have to content myself with my recent purchases, a black hooded down jacket (P499.75) and a pseudo-fleece quarter-zip pullover (P249.75), both from Surplus Shop, and Thinsulate gloves from Greenhills (P150). Good quality, great price. I doubt I'd find anything brand new that cheap where I'm going.

Still hoping I'll find a trench coat and warm knee-high boots I can walk in.