Sunday, November 30, 2008

Love @ first site + JCDC vs. LEGO + I love you but...

Cuteness works. And so does love.

OgilvyOne Worldwide made this interactive love story for a Greek chocolate brand: Love @ first site. It's like an interracial summer fling movie, complete with soundtrack. Your mission is to bring Petros and Joanna back together. Ang babaw ko, but it's also kawaii! The leads are good-looking, alright, but I wish they were better actors. Interesting that everyone has a British accent. I must have tried all the dead ends first before advancing to the next chapter. The product placement doesn't happen until the end, so you can forget the cheesiness. But is it love? Nah.


Jean Charles de Castelbajac's LEGO fashion show is kawaii. The Devil herself is in the audience!

[via Adverblog]

Or maybe it is love but [insert pet peeve here]. I love you but... picture book. It's funny when you agree, but it hurts when it applies to you. My greatest pet peeve here? The comma should be before "but", not after it.

[via Trendhunter]

Saturday, November 29, 2008

San Carlos City, Negros Occidental, part 2

Being a city girl all of my life, I tend to forget how beautiful my country is.

Choco Hills river
Ceres bus mountains and clouds
rice terraces Bacolod
stream interesting church

Most of these were taken on the bus because the best sights were in between Bacolod and San Carlos City.

I couldn't stop the bus for a photos op, except for this, taken on a wiwi break.

an unexpected waterfall

Friday, November 28, 2008

San Carlos City, Negros Occidental, part 1

Mt. Kanlaon from the plane to Bacolod

Now for a bit of domestic travel.

Another Hotspots feature in Masigasig, in time for this month's Pintaflores festival. I always have a photographer with me, but that doesn't stop me from taking my own photos.

three trees pang-desktop
Pintaflores dancers
bahay kubo, kahit munti

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Epilogue: Sampai bertemu lagi

If you were my high school classmate, you'd remember this: "Selamat pagi, nona-nona yang manis. Silah kan duduk." I suppose you can pick up a good number of grammar rules of Malay from those two sentences alone. And I'm glad I listened to 45 episodes of the Learning Indonesian podcast, though I remembered little. The look on the face of W when I was able to count from one to six in Bahasa was priceless.

My handbag, my luggage for four days (my high school bag), and the orange bag for everything I picked up in Jakarta. Traveling light is one of the most valuable lessons I learned from Erasmus Mundus!

a sign at the airport toilet

Back at the airport, we spent the longest time thinking about what to do with our rupiah. V and I were able to get the last two dollar bills the money changer had in hand.

The seven gates of the airport are not enough for all the passengers waiting for their flights. We had to sit on the floor because we were not allowed into the gate until the previous flight had fully boarded.

On the plane, the middle-aged foreigner beside me refused to eat his food and offered me his Kitkat, which I accepted. We touched down before 6am. The pink sky reminded me of what D said about the sky in the Philippines. The colors are unlike anything she had seen in Hawaii, where she grew up.

I am officially loving dots

When I took this photo of an Indonesian mask in September, I didn't expect that I'd see many more so soon. If I come back to Indonesia, I would like to see Bali, Prambanan and Borobudur. For now, I'll just have some PICNIC Dodol Garut, as delicacy made of sticky rice, coconut and cocoa powder.

So long, Jakarta.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Random street observations

one for you, one for me
one for you, one for me

The skyscrapers in Jakarta are not so close together, so they look much taller. I compared Metro Manila buildings to Jakarta and found them to be comparable in height. The UOB building (below right) is J's favorite.

Disruptive street advertising is a little extreme, but as long as nobody gets hurt, I suppose there's no harm done. This campaign had a guy on stilts on the the pedestrian crossing, along with some other accomplices with some kind of skit.

The street vendors are outside the city center. Like in Manila, they sell newspapers and food. I didn't see anything unusual enough to report.

The aesthetics of these wedding greetings are tacky hands-down, but the weddings are not. I caught glimpses of two weddings at Balai Kartini on the same day. I was ashamed to take photos, so you will just have to trust me on this. In the morning, there was a massive explosion of colors but still very elegant. In the evening, there was a lot of white and gold, but still very beautiful. Weddings in the Philippines are so Westernized and subdued. I guess we aren't after fanfare like they are. Here are the drummers outside the venue.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Fast food, Indonesian style

KFC here offers a variety of things I had never seen at home, including pudding, perkedel, salsa chips, mocha float and lychee float (above right). The lychee float is just lychee syrup, 7-UP and soft ice cream. It would have been alright if not for so many ice cubes. KFC french fries here are regular fries, unlike the thick, darker fries we have.

Yes, CFC is the fake KFC. They also serve chicken and Pepsi products. We ate at CFC in TMII. I had the Nasi Ayam Goreng (Fried Rice with Chicken). V had noodles and she was disappointed that it was the quick-cooking kind (think Lucky Me).

In food courts here, there are sinks for washing your hands. I saw a girl eating rice with her hands, so I guess it is something that is still done here.

Green Sands is their Cali. A friend said that the Indonesians aren't big on softdrinks. I'm not sure if that is true, but I guess there's always tea and coffee because they grow them.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Transport in Jakarta

In many ways, Jakarta is like Metro Manila, only with more people, much fewer English speakers, and a Muslim instead of Christian majority. It's also hot, humid and rainy, with flash floods. They also have many malls.

But the traffic here is something else. Think pre-MRT times. They're trying to implement a busway system patterned after Bogota, Colombia, but it seems that the service is not enough for all the people. At least there is some order in the way they queue and pay because there are covered walkways and stations like this one (below). The red-and-yellow buses (bottom) are usually packed.

There are other options: bajaj (larger tricycles, in orange, above), mikrolets (like our FX, light blue, above) and plenty of cabs. At night, if you're alone, insist on a Blue Bird or Pusaka taxi. The regular taxi fleet is made up of new Toyotas. The driver is in uniform and his ID is displayed on the dashboard. The trip is always metered.

The same group controls Silver Bird (for hotels), Golden Bird (limos) and Big Bird (charter buses). We've tried all of them (except for Golden Bird), and the driving and service are great. Cab flagdown rate is IDR 6,000. For cabs ordered by phone, the minimum charge is IDR 25,000.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

So young, so young

And now for something a little more personal.

My brother went to three funerals within a week. All of the deceased were in their early teens. [Insert Multiply tribute videos and comments of condolence.]

The past few days have been emotionally strange. High-low-high-low-high-low, like a roller coaster I wish I could get out of. But when you're strapped onto the seat, there's no other way but to enjoy it and take everything in.

I don't want to be morbid, but if I died today, it would be fine. I have not left anything unsaid, though there's so much that I want to do in this lifetime.

Enough of this diary mode. I'm going to paint.

Japanese in Jakarta

Quick! Mix it up!

I had not eaten at Pepper Lunch before, so it was cool to try it at Plaza Indonesia. The Pepper Beef is good. I had a Strawberry Mirinda to wash it down. It reminded me of Tempra at first sip, but it got better after that.

There are plenty of Japanese food choices in Jakarta. Pasta Waraku at Grand Indonesia Shopping Town displays their pasta in a very Japanese way.

Ended up having dinner at Poké Sushi. The name is unappetizing to Filipinos, but the food wasn't bad at all. I got the meal deal because it was still early. Really good for IDR50,000. Because they are still in their soft opening stage, the other meals are on 30% discount.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Saturday afternoon at the malls + One of the boys + Francine & her five husbands

Another break from the Jakarta posts (five more left).

After bonding with my mom over James Bond, we passed by a Macau tourism exhibit at The Podium's atrium, where I had this taken. Why I insist on wearing this stretched-out Primark pullover, I don't understand myself.

At Cheesecake, etc., we had a large pandesal with chicken filling, which was good but not as cheesy as Figaro's. Their cashew dome cake is chewy. Somehow, I did not find the marzipan-like ganache to my liking. I wanted my cashews crunchy.

Passed by Kisses & Co. at Robinsons Galleria, where I fitted this just to get a shot.

Kisses & Co., jeans tag

The fabric of the skinny jeans is good, but since it doesn't stretch, I found myself midway between sizes S and M. Still... Fierce! Fabulous! Filipinas! Mabuhay!


Friend 2 claims that I'm always surrounded by boys. Not really. Online, sometimes. Snippets of quotable instant messages from my guy friends this month, typos and all.

FRIEND 1: facebook daw pinakasikat ngayon e
FRIEND 1: will create some other time
ME: hahaha! peer pressure
FRIEND 1: pero gusto ko kasi ifrend si obama, meron daw siyang facebook

FRIEND 2: i should have listened to my art teachers and studied fine arts
ME: but you don't regret it naman, di ba?
FRIEND 2: i regret it, hahaha
ME: i can tell you, it's not too late

ME: ok naman pala ang jakarta
FRIEND 3: it's not that tourist-friendly though...
ME: totoo!

FRIEND 4: have you heard the prank call on palin
[four minutes later, after listening to it]
ME: now that's what you call diplomacy

FRIEND 5: sensya na
FRIEND 5: mapurol nako ngayun
ME: keri lang. we all lost a lot of IQ points after graduation
FRIEND 5: di ko na nagagagmit ang mga terms tulad ng jejune at obtuse sa isang sentence

FRIEND 6: "Kasi hindi mo malalaman kung ano ang tunay na kahulugan ng kasayahan, kung wala kang kalunkgutang nararanasan"
ME: memorized!
FRIEND 6: eh kasi...
FRIEND 6: idol ko kasi noon si Lualhati Bautista

FRIEND 7: I have no shame.
ME: i'm sure you don't


This mockumentary promotes the coolcapitals--Amsterdam, Antwerp, Valencia, Vienna and Zurich--by enticing you to be a European husband collector.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Mall culture

Sarinah Department Store has nothing special on the first two floors, but the upper floors are devoted to batik, crafts and souvenirs. The prices are higher than regular vendors, of course, but the brands are reputable.

Plaza Semanggi is a new mall in the city center. We had dinner at Celsius, a nice fusion place and I bought a shirt on sale at a store called Hardware. One thing I noticed was that there was a huge tarp of the model search and their sponsors were Tempra and Counterpain. I thought that was funny.

Plaza Indonesia is a cross between Rockwell and Greenbelt 4, with the supermarket at the basement and luxury brands on the ground floor.

Toilet cubicle floors in Indonesia are perenially wet, except in the better malls where they have the Toto Ecowasher. Here's a video showing how it works.

floor tile pattern

Grand Indonesia Shopping Town is Greenbelt 5 on a much larger scale. Think carpeted floors. It has the prettiest food court I have seen, very zen with wood panels (good luck on keeping the termites away). They have amazing concepts for certain areas. Their Moroccan wing beats that of Sunway Pyramid. That's also where my header image is from.

I just had to take a photo of Rafe New York's special shirt for Harvey Nichols. I like it, but it's IDR450,000. And one size-fits-all doesn't really work for me.

There are still some spaces that are vacant. What's the classy way to cover them? Black curtains, of course!

left: an optical shop with an interesting name
right: the local National