Archive for November, 2008

Read the book out of curiosity, watched the movie out of curiosity.  Well, we all know what happened to the curious cat.  Thankfully, cats have nine lives. 😀  If it wasn’t obvious from the post title, I’m referring to Twilight, the book and the movie.

The dreamy, forever-a-teenager part of me liked Edward (I’m a sucker for vampires…uh, no pun intended).  The love story was ok.  It’s like Sweet Dreams with a twist, which that part of me could again relate to.  But that was it.  The vampire bits were ok also, but nothing unusual.

The one thing I wanted to see in the movie was the way they would render Edward in the sunlight.  The author wrote it to be spectacular, so I was expecting nothing less in the movie.  I was sorely disappointed.  Even fake diamonds glisten better!

Twilight simply broke my streak of good books and movies since summer.  Well, what else should I have expected?  I’m no longer a teenager. 😀  I should probably restrain some of my curiosity next time.

Why isn’t it over yet?

It’s been two days that I’ve woken up to the ongoing terror in India.  I have a soft spot for the country since the place and the culture has always fascinated me.  It’s one of my must-visit places.  In fact, I very nearly made it back in early 2002.  All that was lacking was the final itinerary and the plane ticket.  My godmother from New York was supposed to bring me with her on a pilgrimage to Calcutta and a tour of the other cities/provinces.  We were supposed to join a group of American Catholics.  But then 9/11 happened and war broke out in Afghanistan.  It wasn’t prudent for Americans to be in the region at that time, so our trip was cancelled.

Now I fear that the face of India is changing with the spate of attacks in recent years.  And now these horrifying events that I really hope would just end.

The End of an Era

It was an aunt’s funeral today. She was my mom’s 88-year-old second cousin, though the relationship between our families has always been close. She lived 2 houses away from us, at the corner of our block. My friend Minmin jokingly refers to that area as the “Bermuda Triangle” ever since I told her how the three houses on that intersection (the fourth structure is a chapel, so it doesn’t count) contains at least 2 spinsters.

Well, all four siblings in my aunt’s house were unmarried.  One was a long-time widow with no kids so she has always been informally counted as an “unmarried”. They were all considered as the “elders” of our neighborhood, the ones who were treated with utmost deference; those who don’t really know them were always intimidated.  Even I would sometimes be scared of them. They were the ones we always saw in the chapel during Simbang Gabi, the novena during the fiesta, and the regular Anticipated Masses, always seated in the same pew.  Whenever my cousins and I walked into the chapel or any gathering we would immediately looking for them for that “courtesy call”.  It was considered a slight if you failed to do so promptly.  Whenever they were around, I felt like I always had to be on my best behavior.  They had a way of making me feel like I’m still a small child even when I’m all grown up.

And now, with the passing of my aunt, they’re all gone.  It’s going to feel odd to walk into our chapel again (especially in the coming Simbang Gabi) and not see my aunt, the last one among her siblings to be a formidable fixture in our neighborhood.   There are still other “elders” around, but it would never be the same.

Leaping to Leopard

I’m finally doing it. I’m currently in the process of cleaning up my harddrive and backing up all my files (In CDs! I have no external drive) in preparation for the OS X Leopard upgrade. I’m now doubly glad for getting the iCreate Philippines issues since they’re full of Leopard tips and tricks.

I haven’t really seriously thought of upgrading to Leopard, until my Mac mini “broke down” again a couple of weeks ago. Yep, that was in quotation marks, because it made one of its “miraculous” recoveries again. I turned it on last Saturday, resigned to the fact that it would still be stuck at the gray screen during startup. When the startup chime didn’t sound, I knew it was still hopeless so I just left it for a while to get a glass of water. To my surprise, the Apple logo finally appeared on the screen, the Mac continued to boot, until I finally saw my desktop again!  A few tests and clicks showed that it’s business as usual.  And the startup chime has been sounding again since then.

Anyway, now that the Mac’s ok again, I’m still going ahead with the upgrade. I might increase the RAM (since I was saved on repair cost) and I’ll definitely upgrade to Leopard. I’m excited because of all the major improvements from Tiger. Next step would be iLife ’08. Can’t wait to use the much-improved iPhoto and iMovie.

I’m using the budget earlier alloted for an iPod Touch.  Since the only things that it has that my new phone doesn’t are the touch screen, applications, and the bigger capacity, then I think it’s wiser to just spend the money on the Mac upgrade.  After 3 years, I guess it’s about time. 🙂

There are only two things (barring an emergency) that would make me willingly get up from bed at the crack of dawn – an early morning departure for an out-of-town trip, and a countryside, mountain or ocean sunrise.

One of my Dumaguete rituals is to rise at dawn, watch the sunrise at the Boulevard (in front of Bethel Guest House), take a solitary walk, and then have breakfast (again at Bethel). This has become my favorite part of the day in the city. I thoroughly enjoyed this ritual when I was there last month. While Jeff and Trish caught up on their sleep after sunrise at around 6 am, I walked the length of the Boulevard from the lighthouse up to Silliman Hall. I turned left there, stopping at the corner of Hibbard Avenue. There were practically no passing vehicles, so I was able to stand right in the middle of the street and take a photo of the Silliman University entrance. It felt so good to do that in an intersection that would otherwise have been busy at any other time in the day.

I walked back to the hotel, only to find Jeff and Trish still sound asleep. I tried going back to sleep as well, but I was too invigorated by the walk. I was also feeling the beginnings of a headache (which usually happens when I wake up earlier than usual), so I grabbed my book and headed to the hotel cafe. I ordered coffee and toast and had a great quiet hour just reading, seated at a table facing the boulevard. All that time I was thinking, “Ahh, this is the life!” 😀

I love photographing the sunrise at the Boulevard because of how all the elements come together – the sunbeams falling on the stones in the water, light falling on the silhoutte of the trees, the combined reflection of the glowing horizon and lamp lights on the water by the pier, and yes, even the dark clouds. I also like watching the city gradually come to life.  I love observing the locals, sometimes even imagining myself to be one of them someday.

All of these make it worth the very early start to the day.  Here are some images from my sunrise-watching and early morning walk:

Sunrise Boaters

Sunrise Boaters

Dawn Lights

Dawn Lights

Colors of Dawn

Colors of Dawn






Missing: Russian church

This CNN headline grabbed my attention:  Russian church missing, presumed stolen

How could a church go missing?  Was it made of such light material that people were able to lift it “Bayanihan” style?  Well, not really.  Apparently, it was an abandoned building that was dismantled and sold by the local villagers.

Apple Online Store Philippines


It’s finally here!  Pinoy Mac users have been wishing for this, and we got it just in time for Christmas.  Some of the items are a bit pricier compared to the resellers, but there’s the benefit of convenience.  It’s free shipping for items worth P3,000 and up.

This couldn’t have come at a better time for me, as I’m thinking of updating my Mac mini.  I’m going to compare the prices with the resellers, and if the online store is better or if there’s minimal difference, I’ll go online to try it out.  And I really want the free shirt that comes with every purchase (until supplies last) 😀

Now that the online store is here, I wonder if next in line would be a full-inventory iTunes Store Philippines (only sells apps as of now) and finally, the Apple Retail Store.  Crossing my fingers, but hiding the credit card, haha!  Keep repeating to self:  “Window shopping is just as fun!”

Aside from his campaign strategy which is a very good case study for us in the PR/Marketing/Advertising industry, Barack Obama is also a Mac user!  And I love that Pacman sticker right beside the Apple logo.  I hope he was really the one who placed that sticker there.

Sad Mac

My new Sony Ericsson phone crashed my Mac mini!  I got a kernel panic message the first few times that I connected the phone via USB.  The following day, the Mac didn’t hang, but it didn’t read the phone’s memory card either, so I restarted it.  Then…nothing!

Just a gray screen!  And the startup chime didn’t even sound.  Uh-oh.  But I’m hoping it will get its “service center phobia” again and work properly once I’m about to bring it in for repair, hehe.  If not…oh well, it’s due for an upgrade anyway and I might as well go all the way and finally update the OS to Leopard.

That’s the reason this blog has been mostly silent.  I’m just sneaking in posts when there’s a lull at work. 😀

McCain Concedes

CHANGE is here.  I can’t wait to see what changes Obama can really bring…and what his presidency would mean for the Philippines.