Saturday, March 31, 2007

Easter break!

I will most likely be offline until 10th April. I'll be back with lots of stories of Rome (the best/worst place to spend Easter?), so do drop by then. :)

Vi ses! (See you!)

Friday, March 30, 2007

At the end of the (birth) day

I did not sleep well the other night (again) but I managed to get through my last Buzzwords class yesterday because Nikolaj Stagis delivered an engaging lecture. In the afternoon, I made a short presentation on group blogs for Collaborative Communication. It went quite well.

Bopha was sweet as usual and gave me a Bag of Joy. After class, I started packing for my trip and then had a filling Chinese dinner with Hao, David (of IC/Gimle), Ivana and Simon S. at the Gray Tower (the three of them didn't know it was my birthday until they got there), then crossed to the Blue Tower to have some of the yummy cake Morgane and Melanie made. Eleonora, I know you're reading this. Thank you for inviting me over! :)

Thursday, March 29, 2007

the things you had yesterday...

have disappeared into the abyss
of past loves, promises, pain.
today hangs on the cliff edge
of now, swift and fleeting.
time makes us race to an unknown finish
but keeps the future at a distance.
hope burns for wanderers
waiting to be found.

Being a special day, multiple posts are allowed. Hehehe!


I don't remember the last time I had a real birthday party. Usually, I just have dinner with my family on my birthday. A few times, I was out of the country, so no gifts and no greetings either. How was it last year? If I remember correctly, I was at the office. Early in the morning, I received a personal e-mail that made me cry, a gay mother hen of an AE raised his voice at me (peace, man!) and then the team had lunch together.

A few minutes after midnight, it's just a few advanced greetings via e-mail and messenger so far. And something special Indi sent by post (a Moleskine--you remembered! tenk yu, ate!). I have more than 23 hours, 50 minutes left. We'll see what happens.

I'm older than all but a handful of students I know here. Maybe being Asian makes it not-so-obvious that I'm older, but I do get conscious about wrinkles now, particularly under the eyes (it's Adele's fault!).

A quarter of a century old. It's a good age to be.

Image: Hello Sea Pony by Amy Sol, acrylic on wood, 2007. Posted with artist's permission.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Making milk fun

Viral marketing at work: Get the Glass! It takes eons to load, though. But it's cute.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Maraming salamat! (Thank you very much!)

[photo (courtesy of Elodie) updated 9:03am]

On behalf of the team, heartfelt thanks go out to everyone who came to Asian Night. Hope you had your fill of culture (and good food)!

Thirteen days ago, I was talking to two Chinese and two Thai students at the library about Asian Night, part of the International Cafe series of Gimle and the International Club. Now it's over. But it will be in my mind for a long time.

Nevermind that Aom and I spent a total of five hours (spread over three rehearsals) learning and practicing the Thai dance, only to get a nervous attack (evidenced by a dry mouth). Nevermind that I only practiced the Filipino song with Hao the day before and that I wasn't able to sing "Tuwing Umuulan at Kapiling Ka" and did "Gaano Kita Ko Ikaw Kamahal" instead on a very high key, with, erm, interesting results. Nevermind that I stressed Bernd out because he couldn't get in touch with me because it took me so long to get into the costume (because we had a little trouble with the hairstyle-- which should have been much higher--because, well, my hair is too short). It also took a while to serve the food because we didn't talk about who would serve what. Excuses, excuses. We tried to multi-task too much (and that has been shown to impact negatively on productivity). But overall, things went well, many people enjoyed the night and I learned my lesson in project management.

I will probably be remembered as a Thai girl, but I received many compliments on the outfit (it's hard to believe that I'm actually smaller than Aom because the top was loose on me and tight on her), as well as for the performances and for the event in general. Mixing Hao's songs with my music picks turned out to be a good idea because at some point, people filled the dancefloor and it was so good to see them having fun. Of course, I did, too.

Still very much awake in the wee hours of the morning, wishing this photo didn't look so...Bobi has a better term for it and it's politically incorrect. Will try to ask for other people's photos and videos of the night and see if I can post them. :)

Monday, March 26, 2007

Roskilde Universitetsbibliotek

There's no paint on its walls. This fact will put off some traditionalists, but the bare concrete does not bother me. For me, this library, designed by Henning Larsen Architects (renowned in Denmark), is a structure of beauty.

More photos here.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

For your mp3 collection, part 5

(Trying to outdo London fog, aren't we?)

Don't forget to turn forward your clocks, people. More downloadables:

Creeping Lovely: "I'm Not Ready"-admit your shortcomings

Elizabeth Harper: "Let Me Take You Out"
-tuneful invitation

The Frames: "Falling Slowly"
-look for a cushion

Gregory Morris Group: "Baylight Lullaby"
-latino night

Lavender Diamond: "Open Your Heart"
-sunny vibe

Rosebuds: "You Better Get Ready"-bob yer head

Sugarplum Fairies: "Sugarfree"-somebody's standards

Sunset Room: "Nice to Meet You"-intoxicated introduction

The Whiles: "Emily"-farewell lullabye

The Whiles: "Will You"-a plea in a question

You could also listen to the artists of Saddle Creek Records at their website.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Pinoys at central station

Can it possibly get more Pinoy than this?

While I was waiting for Manong Tony at København Hovedbanegården, I was approached by two Pinay Jehovah's Witnesses who talked to me about global warming, which is the topic of the group project I'm working on. (Incidentally, two JW also knocked on my door a few weeks ago.) Manong's wife used to be a JW, so he recognized the Pinays. I got the biko I ordered from him when Kristine and Mariel arrived. It happened that Kristine wants to eat biko. Ah, the two degrees of separation.

Mariel (right) and Kristine (left) are Erasmus Mundus students taking up Lifelong Learning at the Danish Pedagogical University. They've been traveling a lot around Europe (Mariel's going to Madrid today, for example). They invited me to go with them to Hungary end-May. I heard Budapest is beautiful, but then I need a visa to go there. Hmmm.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Slovenian dinner

Maybe not perfectly harmonious, but it's always nice to have the guys wash up.

A small dinner gathering hosted by Simon L. I don't know what it was called, but the meal was similar to cake rolled into a log with cheese in between, topped with something sweet and brown sugar. Quite heavy, plus you don't need dessert. We also had fruit in syrup and a taste of a strong honey liquer.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The other Jesper Juul

I saw this ad for a parenting mag at the train station.

Win a visit from Jesper Juul?!?

I was thinking, one, why would you want Jesper Juul to visit you? Two, why is this in a parenting magazine? Then a Google search revealed that Jesper Juul, game researcher and assistant professor at the IT Uni of Copenhagen, shares his name with a family therapist/author.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Jeg tager toget (I take the train)

(Say "yay te-yuh towl")

Trains, again. Given that the rail system in the Philippines isn't sophisticated, trains continue to fascinate me, especially the double-decker ones. For such a small country, it has quite a lot of trains: InterCity, Regional, S-tog, Metro, plus Eurocity trains.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

A little bit of culture, part 2

We took the guided tour of the Royal Theater, which made me sentimental. I miss the costumes, the prod work, the inside jokes. Then I remembered that the Mirandolina outfit is still in my room. TA cannot tour without that. Hahaha! I then had dinner with Bopha, Elodie, Xiangnan, Irene and Hanna at Nena's, a cozy Spanish restaurant. We shared platos combinados, queso and ensaladilla.

Back at the theater, it was time for the premiere of American Mixture, three modern ballets. Planet Wonderful was set to LazyB's music (Facts of Life was my LSS/earworm), which I thought was excellent. The choreography made good use of the walls and window of the set. The projections were nice and the dancing felt very personal.

Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven is more abstract--a very technical piece that shows off the strength of the dancers. It is conceptual all throughout: the accompaniment is mostly chimes and live strings. I like the metal tubes hanging from the ceiling as chimes.

Rhapsody was quite cool because there was a great live band, Kira and the Kindred Spirits. I like the parts where the men would dance in unison because they looked very smart in slim back outfits and red belts. The way they used the set was innovative as well.

Dancing in sync is not the best point of this company, but Denmark is famous for ballet. Seems to me there are more danseurs than danseuses. Overall, it was a very enjoyable night.

Further proof that Denmark is really small... The person were talking about over dinner came to the theater and (to our surprise) sat in my row. That made someone really happy.

Monday, March 19, 2007

A little bit of culture, part 1

Passed by a St. Patrick's Day show and a Moslem demonstration in central Copenhagen. We braved the gales, standing outside the new opera house which wouldn't open for us. (Wind blows like mad in a country without a single mountain.)

Took a short boat ride to Nyhavn and had an hour to stroll along Strøget. Had to go on da jie (big sister) mode twice to look for Xiangnan ("Where are you?" "I'm in Christiania." "We meet at 4:15, not 4:50. Come here NOW!"). Someone's got to look after the lost di di.

More photos and kuwento tomorrow.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The past week at Korallen

A mash-up of Carmine's birthday and the Greek night hosted by Flora.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Everywhere and nowhere

Was all over the place last Wednesday, a very fine day. I picked up a tourism DVD at the Philippine Consulate, had cheap Chinese takeaway for lunch, mailed my essays to London, bought groceries, and visited the Ministry of the Environment, City Hall and the European Environment Agency in Copenhagen, and in between strolled at Nyhavn and Kongens Have. Then I went to Roskilde to get more groceries, saw Hao's videos and had dinner at the Gray Tower, and finally went to Korallen for Carmine's birthday even though I had made no cake. The girls probably think it's unfair that I didn't do anything, but maybe if they knew what I was up to, they'd forgive me. Haha!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Bags of Joy

I occasionally have dessert after meals, a habit picked up from my chocolate-loving groupmates. Bags of Joy cost 10 kr (~P85) at the kantinen for 5 bite-sized packs of any combination of Mars, Twix, Snickers, Maltesers, Bounty and Milky Way. On the last Comm Theory seminar, my stomach rumbled so loud that Bopha got me a Bag of Joy during the break. Sweet! (But maybe I should try bringing fruit to class instead. Haha!)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Middle Ages Tech Support

Posting this so that you can

1) hear the Danish language
2) see Danish humor
3) feel better about your ICT skills

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

E-petition mo kay Tony

(The first buds of spring!)

It's populist, it's prone to abuse, it's online. Send a petition to your Prime Minister through the Number 10 Downing Street website. I don't know if it works, but at least somebody (the web admin?) knows you've got something to say. Why didn't we think of this earlier?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The welfare state

A few weeks ago, I asked my classmate Maike why she came to Denmark and plans to stay here. She said that despite the high taxes and cost of living, she thinks that there is a better future here than in her native Germany where there is high unemployment and graduates go from one unpaid internship to another but don't get hired.

There are pluses to living here. Healthcare and education are free. If you're Danish, you can study at university for nothing. But the system is never perfect. There are complaints about good medical treatment and facilities. Eventually, education might have to be paid for.

The Philippines cannot adopt a system like this simply because of the money it needs to finance such a set-up. Can you imagine all hospitals working like PGH? It would be crazy. It's hard enough to get most people to pay their taxes, even harder to get the taxes to work for the people instead of lining some guy's pockets.

I talked to one of the pioneer Filipinos here, a pensioner who came to DK 39 years ago and now shuttles back and forth from Pinas. According to him, the Pinay au pairs cannot get professional work here and can only stay for the duration of their contract (which explains why most of them are young). Life in Denmark is not as easy as it used to be, but there are plenty of jobs, he said. He encouraged me to keep studying. I said that I will, but I have no plans of staying here.

Immigration is a different issue. It's still very much a homogenous society, but that is slowly changing. I don't know how effective the law that prohibits Danes from marrying a foreigner below 24 years old is. There was a girl at the embassy in Manila who was saying that she just turned 24 and she can now go and marry her old Dane. But then that also happens elsewhere in the world, except that in this case it's interracial and somehow it looks suspect.

Many Filipinos would probably think the same way as Maike. Denmark might hold the kind of future they only dream of. But if you look at the 10,000-strong Filipino community here, most of whom are working just to send money back home, maybe they would still rather live where their families are.

(Took this photo in Roskilde weeks ago. We now get two-digit temps in the middle of the day. Yesterday I could walk outside in a jumper, no coat necessary.)

Monday, March 12, 2007

A long Saturday

I woke up at 6am, cleaned my room, then went over to Frederiksberg for our group meeting. We had lunch and talked about our project work. I didn't notice the time and was a few minutes late for anticipated Mass.

Back in Trekroner, I made a very quick Koka noodle dinner and went through some readings. I was nodding to sleep when my groupmates arrived just before midnight for Bettina's send-off party.

We walked to Korallen and found that some people were already leaving. Li served us some sushi he had made and we saw the beginning of his favorite Korean film, Once Upon a Time in High School (with Kwong Sang Woo- Les, have you seen it?). We went back to the party and continued hanging out until the trains to Copenhagen were about to run again.

The slideshow looks better with the sound (click on the speaker icon)

Sunday, March 11, 2007

For your mp3 collection, part 4

Say goodbye to winter and hello to more music.

Eclectic is the word. Like when Andrea Revel and Behavior work together, they don't quite sound the same (even Behavior's tracks here alone sound quite different from each other). So enjoy.

Andrea Revel: "Mile Zero"-smooth Jewel

Andrea Revel: "National Geographic Moment"-upbeat storytelling

Behavior feat. Andrea Revel: "Anywhere But Here"
-otherworldly jazz

Behavior feat. Andrea Revel: "Clap! Shake Jump!"-hip-shakin' fun

Behavior: "The Freeman"-sweet escape

Loquat: "Swingset Chain"-backward steps

Sirius: "Welcome in the Sky"-electro-wakeup call

Smokescreen: "California"-altered ode

Solid State Logic: "It's Not Over"
-rock rants

Universal Hall Pass: "Dragonfly"
-lilliputian soundgarden

The Wimhurst's Machine: "Magic Lights"
-firefly haven

Also check out

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Italian dinner by way of France

On International Women's Day, Anaïs donned a macho apron, and made spaghetti and tiramisu. My fave bit: seeing the guys wash the dishes.

Slept at midnight and woke up at 3am. Couldn't sleep again. Blame it on the coffee in the tiramisu!

Friday, March 9, 2007

How to make two attractive men unattractive

above: Rodrigo Santoro, director Zack Snyder, Gerard Butler
below: Butler as King Leonidas and Santoro as Xerxes

Two techniques:
1. Cover his face with hair. And then give him a headband.
2. Remove all his hair. And then pluck his eyebrows.

These techniques don't work for everyone, but for these two...! First, I was speechless. Then I wanted to swear. Then I wanted to scream "NOOOOOOO!" I haven't even seen the film yet. calls it "in so audacious that it scales the heights of high camp". I hope my reaction to the film stops at the speechless part.

hits US theaters today.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Legendary leggings

As far as photographic records show, I wore leggings in fifth grade, for the weird butterfly dance we had to perform for field demo day at school. At that time, leggings were already the height of kabaduyan--totally uncool.

I started using leggings again when I first traveled abroad with my mom and it's been a trip tradition ever since.

When leggings became fashionable last year, I was thinking, no one in Manila would take it seriously, even if the fashion editors were all for it. But then, there's diffusion of innovation. It was only a matter of time.

I brought a total of five leggings with me here: one pair I've had for 10 years, two thermal pairs and two pairs (similar to the ones above) from Landmark. They've been very useful, especially in negative temps when you really need two pairs under your jeans.

One day, I'll laugh at myself for posting this. It's only a matter of time.

Images from shopbop

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Francophone Night

French and Québécois students set up Francophone Night at Gimle last Monday. It started quite late, so people were hungry. I found it was slightly awkward to dance when our (French-Canadian) project supervisor was standing still beside me, beer in hand, but Irene and I just went for it.

It was nice that there were cakes for Viktorija's birthday. A not-so-anticlimactic end finish.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Ed stats

The Statistically Speaking "column" of the National Statistical Coordination Board has articles on the Philippines worth reading. One interesting piece is Dr. Romulo Virola's analysis of statistics on education.

Nothing surprising here, but sad considering you can see how we measure up to our Southeast Asian neighbors. A Pinoy-UK mailing list member has commented on the relevance of the statistics, which are (1) out-of-date and (2) do not show the vocational training that may be more suitable. At any rate, I think the figures still say something.

About the image
This is the public library at Roskilde. All citizens of Roskilde Kommune can borrow books, DVDs (limited selection) and computer games here.

Monday, March 5, 2007


Most stores in Denmark are usually closed on Sundays except for the first Sunday of the month, so I wanted to make the most out of it. Yesterday, I went window shopping on the pedestrianized shopping streets of Copenhagen. I started from Rådhuspladsen (City Hall Plaza) where there was a rally for Ungdomshuset the day before (I was not aware of this until I saw Indi's blog). From Frederiksberggade, I walked all the way to Kongens Nytorv with the ice skating rink and Nyhavn of the canals and colorful buildings.

The sun was out; the days are getting longer. Other than the works on the trains (so I have to change trains to Copenhagen), I wish weekends are always like this.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Gimme a mic

Skipping CDs and defective mics aside, karaoke night was a bit sentimental because it was Amanda's last night in Denmark. Her friends sang "Time of Your Life" by Green Day (a personal favorite--remember this video?)

There were some Danish "kids" with us. "How did they find out about this?" I asked Bernd. The library asked him for the schedule of events and somebody probably found out from there.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Sara's 21st

Truth be told, the first time I talked to Sara was the day before her birthday.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

I hate you, Enrico!

There are 9,000 students in my university, less than 10 of whom are CoMundus students. So Bopha and I were surprised when this big guy came to us in the canteen and asked "Are you CoMundus students?" Ang lakas ng pang-amoy. Pinoy nga naman.

I hate him.
His rent in Copenhagen is half of what I pay for my rent in Trekroner. His rent in Kassel was almost a quarter of my rent in London.
He has been to all countries in Western Europe except three.
He managed to do 60 ECTS in Kassel and 45 ECTS at RUC on his first term.
He is in Berlin now and will be in Luxembourg tomorrow.
He is spending the next five months in Germany.
He has not been back to the Philippines for two years.
He's just one batch higher than me in Ateneo.

I cannot be as super as him. Saludo ako sa iyo, Enrico. Idol!