Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Making the snowman

Saturday morning had the heaviest snowfall I have seen so far. Here are the neighbors putting Frosty together.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Frokost (lunch)

On the last day of the Danish introductory course, our teachers treated us to a traditional Danish lunch. You can't see the food here, only a few of the international students who have been my classmates for the last two weeks.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Home improvement

Rasmus and his sister brought in a chair, a table, a coat rack and a bookshelf last week. The table and the bookshelf haven't been assembled yet (the screws for the table were forgotten and a special screwdriver for the bookshelf is needed), so here's what I've got plus a few more hangers.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Cooking it up with E

In time I will graduate to more complex meals, but I think that depends on what's available at Netto (the cheapest supermarket in town). So far my best dish was pasta with white sauce, but that was because the sauce was already perfect by itself. My typical menu plan for the past two weeks:

Fruit (apple/banana/pear)
Rye bread with honey or jam
Instant oatmeal or cereal with yogurt or milk

Pasta with prepared sauces (white/red/pesto/sundried tomato)
Rice and tuna or chicken

I stock up on pork and greens at the canteen during lunch. I've had a lot of help in the kitchen lately (more on that later), so I think I'll be able to make some curry soon.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Is it the weather?

In college, we had to read Søren Kierkegaard's text on despair. And oh, how we despaired over it. Living in Kierkegaard's country makes me understand him a bit more. Just imagine being homeless this time of the year. Now that's despair.

Yesterday, the snow was starting to melt, but this morning, there's a thick, fresh layer of snow everywhere. This coming week, we'll have a mix of rain and snow.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Hey mama!

Happy, happy birthday to mom, my number one cheerleader (and moneylender, hehe)! You're the best shopping buddy and the most DIY nanay I know. Here's to many more years of good health!

Happy birthday to Cindy as well!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Statens Museum For Kunst

Went to Copenhagen last Sunday. From Nørreport station, I went into the Botanisk Have (Botanic Garden), hoping to find a way out on the other end (I did not). I'll come back when the weather is better. It should be lovely.

There is really something about me, men and museums (see September 23 and 28 posts). I was a few meters away from the intersection of SMK when a Danish man approach me (looked late 30s but I can't really tell).

MAN: Hej!
ME: Hej! (keeps walking)
MAN: Can I ask you a question? Hvor kommer du fra?
ME: (stops walking) Jeg kommer fra Philippinerne
MAN: Ah, Philippinerne. Could I buy you coffee? Lunch?
ME: Ah,no. (embarrassed smile)
MAN: Why not?
ME: I'm going somewhere.
MAN: Where?
ME: There.
MAN: Museum?
ME: Yes.
MAN: You're very beautiful.
ME: Thanks. (blushing)
MAN: Have a nice day.
ME: You too.

I think I put the accent wrong on Philippinerne, a dead giveaway that I don't live here. Karmi had warned me about the Danes being very liberal. (A Filipino student I talked to at the Norwegian Embassy said that even bestiality is legal in Denmark.) Anyhow, regardless of the country, I would have said turned down an invitation on the street. But I must admit the lunch offer was tempting because food costs so much.

The museum was cool. There's a lot of Danish modern art and older European art. My favorite part is the wall of Dutch and Fleming paintings. Still lifes galore.

There was one particularly memorable video called Family Sha-La-La, where this group of people dance to Sha-La-La (clap-clap-clap, Sha-La-La in the morning). I wasn't familiar with the artist but I suspected that she was Pinay. True enough, Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen is from the Philippines.

Sunday being family day, all the parents were walking with their kids. There was a special talk by Sebastian Klein at the museum especially for kids. I couldn't understand him, but he was so funny, like a one-man radio play.

I went to Sankt Annæ Kirke, where 90% of the churchgoers were Filipinos. A bus full of chatting Pinays is an interesting sight in København.

Am glad that the days are slowly starting to get longer. But man, it's -8°C out, feels like -14°. What am I supposed to wear?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Let's go to Roskilde part 3: Roskilde Cathedral

Roskilde being an ancient capital of the kingdom of Denmark (or the Nordic Union, as our guide told us), Roskilde Domkirke is where the kings and queens of Denmark are buried.

There were a few more photos I wasn't able to include. Click on the Flickr widget on the sidebar to check out my photostream.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Let's go to Roskilde part 2: Viking Ship Museum

One of Roskilde's most popular tourist attractions, the Vikingskibsmuseet features five ships from the Viking Age that were excavated from the fjord. Interesting bits of history, with our guide trying to rid us of the Asterix image of the Vikings.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Let's go to Roskilde part 1: Trekroner

This is the area where I live. Around four out of every five trains that pass by skip our station. Almost middle-of-nowhere, but this will be my home for the next six months, the length of my stay at Roskilde Universitetcenter, my host university.

Was extremely lucky to get some sun, considering that it rains every day. (We're expecting snow this week.)

Today's weather
High: 0°
Low: -3°
Sunrise: 8:23 am
Sunset: 4:24 pm
Chance of snow 60%

Sunday, January 21, 2007

The scavenger's workday

Stayed in on Saturday to review papers and do domestic stuff (and save money). I hauled in 1) the chair I'm sitting on(looks good but bad for your back), 2) the dirty monobloc (tried to scrub it but I need a heavy duty brush) and 3) the wire sampayan with semi-broken legs (where i placed the camera) from the shed where people dump the stuff they don't want anymore. I think I'd rather use other people's trash than buy things I will have to throw away in six months.

Some friends have been asking for Denmark photos. Will post some starting tomorrow.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Manila, Manila

When I first heard this song by the Ateneo College Glee Club (recorded live on their Lux Oriens European tour)last year, I thought of making a video. Pero hindi ko na kinarir kasi wala akong oras mag-ikot sa Maynila. So I just worked with what I had. Borrowed a couple of photos from my brother. I think it's easy to tell which ones they are.


Friday, January 19, 2007

Unang araw

Nangayayat yata ako sa unang araw ko sa bansang ito.

I'm lucky that I have a mentor who picked me up from my airport and got the key to my room. When we got to my place, what I was afraid came true: there was nothing in my room. I did have a toilet and a kitchen, but other than that, it's just floor and walls. No bed, no table, no chair, no closet. We went through the contract and went back into Copenhagen. I had dinner with Rasmus and Shiu-Jene at their apartment. They had extra matresses and a sleeping bag I could borrow, so at least I didn't sleep on the wooden floor. There is only one light (in the bathroom), but the heating is good.

One note about Denmark: transportation is extremely expensive such that it brings London to shame. Because I went into Copenhagen, I spent in one day what amounts to two weekly bus passes in London. On the up side, I live beside school, so other than getting supplies from town (there is nothing in the area except dorms and the uni) or from the city, I don't have to spend on much besides food. Plus, the train and bus system seems efficient.

The settling-in process might take a while, but we'll see.

See the shadow of the plane in that little halo in the picture? One of nature's nice little tricks while flying over the English Channel.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Airport blogger

So so glad to have an Internet connection again!

January 14, 11pm GMT+0800
The two-hour flight from Manila to Hong Kong felt very long. As I still have over 5 hours of combined waiting time in airports and 17 hours flight time to go, that's not such a good sign. If you have a laptop and the airport offers free Internet, the logical choice is to go online. The battery's the limit

Airline: Cathay Pacific
Viewed: Mythbusters
Dinner: Pininyahang manok, fruit and calamansi juice

January 15, 7am GMT
Now that was a long flight to London Heathrow. With the entertainment system defective, there was nothing to watch on the personal TV. Thirteen hours with only the radio? I was able to sleep.

Airline: British Airways
Listened to: classical music and BBC Backstage
Dinner: Beef rice, salad and cheesecake
Breakfast: Filled croissant

January 15, 1pm GMT +0100

Finally arrived in wonderful Copenhagen. Love the airport. It doesn't feel stressful, everything seems so laidback. What scared me today was moving around a woman's jacket in the overhead compartment, causing her camera to fall on the aisle. It was a nice camera, probably a DSLR. I really didn't notice it. Good thing the lens didn't break.

No in-flight entertainment, just views of the Netherlands and Northern Germany. The baby of the woman beside was crying for half the flight. I felt for her.

Monday, January 15, 2007

If you only had time for one

I didn't have time to paint more, so my output for the month is just this one, which I finished the day before I left. I am not a fan of orange, but I am a fan of palette knife work, so seeing it up close makes me happy.

I just arrived in Denmark this afternoon. Kwento to follow. I have to fix the Internet connection at my place.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The people who have known you longest

...other than your relatives, of course. I think I'm lucky that I have had grade school classmates who became my close friends in high school and who I saw through college (and are still in touch). I'll see you all in December, girls.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Stuck in a creative rut

Every once in a while, you aren't satisfied with your work. Not career, but output. So what do you do? Just keep going. Or move on. It can only get better.

(Psyching up myself online. Hahaha!)

Friday, January 12, 2007

"We stand on a hill..."

Proof that even someone who has never watched a UAAP basketball game can still have school spirit.

This is the video that inspired me to make video slideshows. I hope somebody updates it eventually. For the sake of, ehem, balance, do look up the "I'd rather be Green than be Blue" video on YouTube.


Just when I thought the universe was trying to seriously impress me with amazing coincidences during my trip to Ateneo yesterday (a complicated story to narrate, so let's skip it)...

I finally get my accommodation contract after waiting three weeks. But it's completely in Danish.

I get my visa--wrong type, wrong validity. And the Norwegian Embassy is closed today. And I'm leaving on Sunday. Ahahaha!

That's how life balances it all out. Reminds me of graduation day--I lost my bag and everything in it, but from the moment my name was called until my coursemates' screaming died down, it was completely surreal.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


This New York Times article reminds me of Jim Paredes' Creativity class, which is the most practical elective I took in college.

If you've ever heard the song "Happiness" from You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown (you probably have--it was used for an ice cream commercial), that's just how it is. More often, it's the simple things that make you genuinely happy.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Two Filipina Fantines

After reporting last week that Lea Salonga will be playing Fantine in the Broadway run of Les Miserables starting March, PDI ran an article today saying that Joanna Ampil will also be playing the part in London beginning this month until June.

This news makes me feel so...proud. I guess that's partly because I saw Joanna as Eponine in Les Miz years ago, and she was really, really good. It also made me feel proud telling Ceci that the Mary Magdalene she was listening to in the London Cast Recording of Jesus Christ Superstar was Pinay.

I'm not the type to have pictures taken with celebs, but I must admit that I had a picture taken with Joanna at Clark during the Philippine Centennial. Though I've seen Lea in five shows or so, the most contact I've had with her is via e-mail, and that was for work, so I guess that doesn't count.

Thank you to Cameron Mackintosh, Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg for giving Filipino artists the chance to shine on the world stage.

Photo from

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Spot the difference

Me before and after London. That I was wearing the same shirt is a coincidence. That I took it on the same date of the month was not planned. I took a photo of myself wearing orange because I blended with the color scheme of the place. When I was thinking about where to eat yesterday, I remembered that I had my camera with me.

When I'm alone at Glorietta, I like eating lunch at Spaghetti Factory. Pasta is comfort food to me.

Four months later, I still part my hair on the same side and wear the same watch. But my hair got longer, I tied it back and wore earrings. Anything else aside from the waiters in the background?

Monday, January 8, 2007

Scenes from Saturday

Let the pictures do the talking. I used the Girls Night Out template, with somewhat funny results.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Text US and Canada for free

Send text messages anonymously, no registration required at What's the catch? I have no idea.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Another triumph by Zhang Yimou

I think it's safe to say, even without seeing it, that Curse of the Golden Flower is a hit. We haven't had enough of the Chinese epics (or Chinese corsets) yet.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Errand day

Accomplished a lot of things the other day. Met former teammates and chatted with ex-officemates, picked up cheques, bought a phone, called Danish immigration, went window shopping at Galle and quickly went around St. Francis Square. But the highlight of the day has to be Kel's special magic show for an audience of one. These are the souvenirs from that set.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Research scholarships

New Centenary Scholarships for Research Degrees at the Institute of Education, University of London

(For the issue of IOE Life pictured above, click here)

To be considered for any of the scholarship awards listed below, candidates should have received an offer of a place at the Institute of Education for entry in 2007-2008 academic year. Applicants for the scholarship who have not yet submitted an application to the Doctoral School for a place at the Institute should do so by 1 March 2007 ( Consideration for the scholarship will be contingent upon having received an offer of a place before the closing date for scholarship applications. The closing date for applications is 27 April 2007.


One award for 2007 is open to prospective full-time MPhil/PhD students in any subject area. Applicants should be nationals of the People’s Republic of China not currently registered on a research degree course at the Institute.

The successful candidate will receive a scholarship for three years of full-time study, comprising an annual stipend of £13,000 plus academic fee payment for three years, subject to satisfactory progress each year:

Sub-Saharan Africa
One award for 2007 is open to prospective full-time MPhil/PhD students in any subject area. Applicants should be nationals of one of the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa not currently registered on a research degree course at the Institute.

The successful candidate will receive a scholarship for three years of full-time study, comprising an annual stipend of £13,000 plus academic fee payment for three years, subject to satisfactory progress each year:

Doctor in Education (EdD) Scholarship

One award for 2007 is open to prospective part-time International EdD students. Applicants should be liable to pay fees at the overseas rate and should not be currently registered on a research degree course at the Institute. They should have received an offer of a place at the Institute of Education for entry in 2007-2008 academic year.

The successful candidate will receive a scholarship for five years of part-time study, comprising academic fee payment plus a stipend of £1,750 per annum for four years, subject to satisfactory progress each year and completion of assignments by the agreed deadline.

MRes Scholarship

One award for 2007 open to prospective full-time research students in any subject area. Applicants should be nationals of a non EU country and liable to pay fees at the overseas rate. They should have received an offer of a place at the Institute of Education for entry in 2007-2008.

The scholarship will cover the successful candidate’s academic fees for one calendar year and provide a small research training grant of £2,000.

MPhil/PhD Scholarships

Three awards for 2007-2008 academic year open to prospective full-time research students in any subject area wishing to undertake the MPhil/PhD. Applicants should be nationals of a non EU country and be liable to pay fees at the overseas rate. They should not currently be registered on a research degree course at the Institute.

The scholarship will cover the successful candidate’s academic fees for three years of full-time study and provide a small annual research training grant of £2,000. Continuation of the scholarship will be subject to satisfactory progress each year.

(Thanks to Joana for the heads-up)

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Help save the Theatre Museum

The Theatre Museum in Covent Garden is closing on January 7th. "We are not asking you for money or effort, just your voice," the website says. Please sign up. It only takes half a minute to fill out the form.

Photos taken in September 2006.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Three downloads

Great software. The best part: downloading them is free. Allow me to say describe them ala-T3:

A must for referencing. Whether you've got an essay or a dissertation, this makes things a bit easier. The 30-day trial is free. The full version is, of course, expensive.

Enough of IE. This is the original tabbed browser.

Never need MS Office again. Save your documents in PDF format. OpenOffice has a word processor, presentation program, spreadsheet, math function creator, database and vector drawing tool.

Monday, January 1, 2007

Who needs resolutions?

I think I'd rather set goals that are impossible not to achieve. :)

1. See more of Europe.
2. Meet more people and make friends-for-life.
3. Study. Hard.

New music
And while you're coming up with your own list, you may as well have some new music to go along with it. Here are 20 downloadable tracks from Salon. I'm not the target market for these songs, but I'll keep Susana Baca and Gilberto Gil's Estrela, Lambchop's Prepared, Väsen's Polska på övervåningen (Polska Upstairs), Final Fantasy's This Lamb Sells Condos and M. Ward's Post-War in my playlist.

New Year's Eve recap
As usual, we danced for my grandmother (it's her birthday). Mas benta, mas masaya. This year, we stayed away from Sexbomb and Vhong Navarro, opting instead for Kapag Tumibok ang Puso (Toni Gonzaga version--not my idea, for those of you who know the signficance of this song to me). My other female cousins did Babae Po Ako by Tuesday Vargas; the boys did Di Ako Bakla by Michael V. The younger ones did something from High School Musical. YouTube-worthy videos!

New shots

Uploaded some to Flickr.