Friday, August 31, 2007

Notting Hill Carnival

scareeeez don't drink and dance (on the balcony)
Carnival in August? That's even weirder than carnival after Lent. On Bank Holiday weekend, the last one before Christmas, Caribbean beats resounded throughout the whitewashed Notting Hill neighbourhood. The theme was related to the Abolition bicentennial.

honorary bobby rawr
Day 1
After the initial disappointment with the Children's Carnival (not worth waiting more than two hours for, as we did), we made our way through the sound systems. So that's where the party is at! People were dancing and having a good time (often with illegal substances wafting through the air). There were very good live performances as well, including the beautiful Ava Leigh. Didn't catch the names of the other artists.

And the jerk chicken at Mr. T's was the best chicken I've had in a long time.

Security was good; bobbies everywhere. There was one thing they didn't think of, though: rubbish disposal. No bins anywhere! When you're expecting a million people, you need more than just a few trash bags.

glitter the first man to march
Day 2
More people turned up for the Adults' Carnival. The Paraiso School of Samba started off the parade, and very well at that, with the works: centurions, devils, and all sorts of inexplicable manner of headresses and costumes as wide as the entire street. The 25-minute lag between them and the next group was just too long. Even though the next gaps were shorter, the enthusiasm of the crowd wore thin and it became too boring.

There should be warnings about the sound levels because they can be permanently damaging. Even with my earplugs, I sometimes still cringe because of the heavy bass.

More photos in my Flickr photo set. Also guestblogged at one of my fave travel-on-the-cheap reads, Europe String.

Bank Holiday Dance Weekend

half of couple # 69
Everyone had an excuse for some to don their dancing shoes and dresses. Interesting characters: a woman in huge pearls and red lipstick, three seniors dancing together, two bald men in sleeveless shirts and art directed beards, a portly skinhead with an earring and a tattoo, a man with only one arm, a pair of old trannies, man couples, the dance teacher and her female partner.

The Mayfair quickstep was fun because everyone knew the steps and the music sounded Irish. Ballroom to Shania Twain's "Man I Feel Like A Woman"? Rhumba to Annie Lennox's "No More I Love Yous"? I could only shake my head. The DJ had a queer sense of humor.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Jubilee Market incident

I thought it's only in Pinas where they have many spellings for my nickname.

"Excuse me! Excuse me!" the woman hollered at me. "If you want to take photos, ask," she said sternly. Ashamed, I turned off the camera. "But you may," she smiled, her voice softening. I took this shot and thanked her, still embarrassed.

Accompanied the Spanish girls on their souvenir hunting expedition in Covent Garden.

covent garden market would you like to keep an insect in your pocket? my team a victorian carousel in covent garden

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The shopping monster strikes again

More blackmail material from Bob. But it's Jerome's song and that's why it's all Fidel.

Watching this makes me feel so vakloosh. In furnace, mega-straight the hair of the girlash. Wish!

Girlfriends and the tripod

Didn't intend to post these initially, until I found something in common in all of them (other than me). These shots were made possible by the mini-tripod Sally donated to me (xie xie!).

With Sally on her last night at Cass Hall.

Visiting Kat. Does being with a preggy woman make me look pregnant? Don't answer!
Sitting between Ceci and Mel makes me look even darker.

One regret: not taking a photo with Marian, Eka and Masako. Agh!

Food, fresh food

elsey & bent
Borough Market is a food lovers' dream. Smoothies, mushrooms, olives, breads and pies, cheeses, meats, and produce, all side by side. I didn't know which brownie Chisom was raving about, but now I know so I promise to buy one next time. I went during lunch hour, so there were City folks lining up for sandwiches.

green market under the bridge
borough market parmigiano!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Fresh Faces@Watch This Space

I'm glad I didn't have to catch the eggs, like this couple from the audience did.

Watched two street theatre shows from the National Theatre Circus Graduate programme: Full Twist, Matt Pang and Revital Gottshalk's funny and sweet love story, and Excuse moi?, Matt Pang's solo restaurant routine. Matt, dance with me!

Burlington House courtyard

The sculptures in the courtyard are entitled The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth But Not the Mineral Rights. Witty.

Went in to see the John Madejski Fine Rooms, which are free. The exhibits there are At Home: Portraits of Artists from the Royal Academy Collection, which is essentially Royal Academy artists painting fellow RA artists, and The Body Politic: Anatomical Drawings by Benjamin Robert Haydon, which has a sculpture showing musculature, cast from a dead prisoner's dissected body. Haydon was "the most controversial artist of his day" and "committed suicide on 22nd June 1846 in front of an unfinished canvas".

Mediatheque shorts

Short films from the British Film Institute's collection (50% of which seems to be gay and lesbian films, dunno why).

Borderline (2005) A distorted look at London.

The Crane (1992) Jude Law, 15 years younger, as an unlucky young man who flips burgers then becomes homeless.

Cubs (2006)
Love the color. Makes you feel awful though.

Dance Lexie Dance (1996)
Described as "Billy Elliot Meets Riverdance". And that's exactly what it is.

Les Bicyclettes de Belsize (1968) Yellow outfit, yellow bike? A Frenchified Hampstead musical.

Sundial (1991)
One-minute film on the Canary Wharf Tower when it stood alone.

Monday, August 27, 2007

EU picks 16 Filipino students for scholarships in Europe

There are 16 new Erasmus Mundus students from the Philippines this coming academic year (I think there were more of us last year). If you're considering getting your Master's, consider Europe. Check out the list of programs available here. Spread the word!

The European Commission on Wednesday announced that 16 students from the Philippines have been chosen to receive Erasmus Mundus scholarships for the academic year 2007-2008.

Ambassador Alistair MacDonald, head of delegation of the European Commission in Manila, who hosted a reception for returning and departing Erasmus Mundus students today, said the 16 students are among the 1,825 students worldwide who availed of the scholarship for the upcoming academic year.

He said that the Erasmus Mundus programme offers a splendid opportunity for Filipinos to pursue high-level studies in the European Union.

The ambassador also noted that a total of 63 Filipinos have so far benefited from scholarships under the Erasmus Mundus programme, beginning with the academic year 2004-05.

"Like their predecessors, these sixteen new awardees will be able to earn their Masters degrees in Europe, and be ambassadors of goodwill between the Philippines and the European Union," he said.

The selected students will study in Europe for one or two years to obtain a European masters' degree and they will follow their courses in at least two higher education institutions from two different countries in the EU, giving them the opportunity to familiarise themselves with European society, culture and languages.

"The Erasmus Mundus programme promotes the EU as a centre of excellence in learning, and serves as the external wing of the Erasmus programme, which promotes student mobility within the European Union," McDonald explained.

The program provides EU-funded scholarships for third-country nationals participating in Erasmus Masters Courses as well as giving scholarships for EU citizens studying at partner universities throughout the world.

It will have a budget of about 190 million euros per year for the coming five years, 90 percent of which goes into scholarships.

These scholarships are open to third-country nationals of high academic qualifications whose enrolment in an Erasmus Masters Course has been accepted by the University Consortium offering the Course. (PNA)

Books books books

Tired eyes? No, just too many books!

It's not obvious that I've been reading quite a bit since I arrived in London (courtesy of two new library cards). Of the books I've gone through these past weeks, probably the only one that will be familiar to you would be Deathly Hallows.

My only reactions:
1. Good for you, Alan Rickman. Did you know all that when you said yes?
2. Thanks, Jo.

And I still haven't seen OOTP!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Gallery@Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House

Admission is free on Mondays from 10am to 2pm. The building itself is worth a visit, with the beautiful ceilings and fireplaces.

Favorite pieces: Rubens' portrait of Jan Bruegel's family and Seurat's portrait of his mistress powdering herself. Other notable paintings (for me): Van Gogh's self-portrait with bandaged ear, Gainsborough's portrait of his wife and Degas' Two Dancers on the Stage, which is printed on my bag, though very different in color.

A good collection of Impressionists and Post-Impressionists among the bequests, including a number of Gauguins and Cezannes. There are also several small Tiepolos and Kandinskys, and a large Goya and Botticelli. The exhibit of Lucas Cranach's Adam and Eve shows the delicacy of the almost tapestry-like 16th century work.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Getting closer to a dream orchestra in Iloilo City

I made a wish in one of yesterday's posts. It wasn't far-fetched after all. There's hope in reverse migration. Read article here.

Other bits I read in PDI:

Josh Hartnett shot a movie on Mount Diwalwal (and Carmina asked to speak to him via mobile on her birthday)

Yam Laranas is shooting The Echo in Toronto with the father of Madonna's daughter.

Iza Calzado (also in The Echo) will be in a film with Ken Zhu set in Batanes.

Elliott Yamin (AI) is coming to Manila in September.

Ces Drilon, Pinky Webb and Willard Cheng of ABS-CBN’s late night news program, “Bandila,” earned an Emmy nomination (the Philippines' first) for its report, “The Subic Rape Case Promulgation: Guilty!” Congrats, Wi!

Someone else's eyes

Friends' chubby-cheeked portraits of me taken months ago.

Why are you so happy? Amsterdam canal cruise, by Indi

What is it with you and boats? Viking sailing, by Selin

Stolen by the lake! At Malin and Francesco's party, by Jörg

Girl shot inside the European Parliament! Interview mug, by Tau

The Malu Fernandez issue

A lesson in journalistic responsibility, dignity of labor and simply, respect.

While it is tempting to do a recap from a cultural studies point of view, enough has been written about this, so I will hold my tongue, pen and keyboard. Regardless, this scandal, if you want to call it that, is still worth mentioning because it concerns OFWs and, should I say, class relations. For updates, or even the entire story, scroll from the bottom up at Pinoyblogosphere and make your way through the entire array of reactions.

One last thing: fight insults with reason, not with more insults. Karma or no karma, we have to be more mature than that.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Escape to South Bank

Who says only the pros can create art at South Bank? Graffiti artists and skater boys rule part of the underside of Waterloo Bridge.

The Press Photographers' Year 2006: in pictures at the National Theatre had depressing war photos balanced by some humorous ones. A Pinoy made it to one photo: Danila Alipon of the national sepak takraw team was caught in mid-air playing againes a Korean player during the Asian games.

A number of exhibits at the British Film Institute: Cut, Fabric and Design showcasing the work of costume designer Shirley Russell; Lynette Wallworth's interactive Hold:Vessel 2, where you take a glass bowl and "'catch' falling projected images of astronomical and underwater life"; and Thomson and Craighead's BEACON, which shows random as-it-happens web searches every minute.

The most striking display was Antony Gormley's standing man sculptures (modelled after himself) in the street and on top of different buildings. This was part of his exhibit at the Hayward Gallery. I counted 19, but there are 31 in all.

Play and fight

Tocar Y Luchar is a documentary film about the children's and youth orchestra system in Venezuela. I was teary-eyed half the time I was watching it at the Royal Geographical Society. Can we get Filipino philanthropists to support a program like this back home? Trailer here.

I heard the Proms encore of the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela conducted by Dudamel via BBC Radio 3 online. "Totally spectacular," according to the commentator.

I love the look on conductor Gustavo Dudamel's face as they play Lenny Bernstein's "Mambo" from West Side Story. Madness!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Shall We Dance? by Ragroof Theatre

A free performance at Watch This Space outside National Theatre. The show is based on interviews with older people about the dance hall era. The Brighton-based troupe delivered less dance, more theatre--light entertainment perfect for a cloudy afternoon. The Charleston Chasers were supposed to play music of the 20s and 30s, but it rained. At least I caught them rehearsing and that was fun enough.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

With a tourist's eyes

A blue gumamela? In London? I didn't realize that when I took this.

Though I'm technically no longer a tourist, I still see London with tourist's eyes.

sweetings out of a storybook columns in the thames tavistock square horse guard clock tower the george skull guitar tower of london westminster abbey