Sunday, November 06, 2005

My Greek Attempt

I am no cooking expert. In fact, I am a kitchen idiot. I morph into a 3-year-old whenever I am in the kitchen. With a knife or a laddle in hand, I say "Hey, can I brush my teeth or comb my hair with this?"

Lo and behold! Some ancient spirit possessed by earthly body! I found myself making Greek dinner for my family! I am no longer like a 5-year-old... but err... like a 9-year-old. Not bad, ei?!

I was so proud of myself I took a picture of my "creation" and posted it here. It's called Souvlaki -- Greek Sandwich. I also had Greek Salad on the side. My favorite was my tomato wedgies, onions and crumbled Feta cheese... heavenly!

Now I shall summon another spirit to take me to the kitchen again and whip up another dish. Hmmm.... I've been to Bollywood last Friday night. I need some Indian chef spirit to possess me this time... Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

As Clouds Kiss the Mountain

I found comfort beneath a drenched tent
Till morning dew dripped onto my forehead
One more minute, I said

I savor this moment of freedom
Atop a mountain, miles away
Away from the metropolis -- full stress and dismay

I open my eyes and sniff the scent of pine trees
I feel the rocks at my back
Still as cold as my heart

I crawl out of this passing refuge
I felt my heart skip a beat or two
I took a long deep breath, could he now be taking one too?

The wind brushed my long black hair
Blowing hard like madness
Blowing away my sadness

In a blink of an eye
Clouds blurred my sight
I was like walking in the clouds – what a delight!

One more blink of an eye
Clouds vanished into thin air
Clouds kissed the mountain’s cheek in swift flair

But this mountain I envy
Why I have no clue
But I know that as clouds kiss the mountain I remember only you

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Distance by Evan and Jaron

The Distance
by Evan and Jaron

The sky has lost it's color
The sun has turned to grey
At least that's how it feels to me
Whenever you're away

I crawl up in the corner
As I watch the minutes pass
Each one brings me closer to
The time when you'll be back
You're coming back

I can't take the distance
I can't take the miles
I can't take the time
Until the next time I see you smile
I can't take the distance
And I'm not ashamed
That I can't take a breath without saying your name
I can brave a hurricane
And still be standing tall when all the dust has settled down
But I can't take the distance

I still believe in feelings
But sometimes I feel too much
I make believe you're close to me
But it ain't close enough
Not nearly close enough

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Comfort Food

It was not until recently when I understood what Comfort Food really meant. I have been very depressed lately; bear hugs and shallow jokes were not enough to cheer me up. Though I feel blessed for having a lot of friends who are always by my side, I wanted more... I wanted something simple yet powerful enough to make me smile and forget my pain.

As I walked past too many two-legged omnivores/carnivores/vegans/or-what-have-you in the mall, I knew I needed to sink my teeth into something, you know, comforting. Funny but my stupid craving brought me to Chowking. Yeah, I must admit, it's one of my favorite fastfood. Yes, thanks to steamed kangkong and bagoong, I felt happy! Truly comforting. Here's a short list of my comfort food from the top of my head:
  • Chowking's Kangkong with Chinese Bagoong (Shrimp Paste)
  • Kinilaw na Nokus (Surigaonon for squid)
  • Dried Nokus and Danggit
  • Inihaw na Talong (Broiled Eggplant) at Bagoong
  • Ansuhan (Surigao's crushed and fermented shrimp paste)
  • Jollibee's Choco-mallow Pie
  • Jollibee's Coffee Jelly
  • Shawarma from Makati Jolli-jeep or wherever for that matter
  • Fried Tofu
  • Jollibee's ChickenJoy
  • Wendy's make your own salad
  • Raisins
  • Champoy (I used to have this as a reward everytime I ace an exam in grade school)

And oh, craving is probably an understatement. I felt I needed food to make me feel a lot better. Like how clownfish Nemo finds comfort within the stinging tentacles of a sea anemone.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

EVERYTHING by Lifehouse

EVERYTHING by Lifehouse

Find Me Here
Speak To Me
I want to feel you
I need to hear you

You are the light
That's leading me
To the place where I find peace again.

You are the strength, that keeps me walking.
You are the hope, that keeps me trusting.
You are the light to my soul.
You are my're everything.

How can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?

You calm the storms, and you give me rest.
You hold me in your hands, you won't let me fall.
You steal my heart, and you take my breath away.

Would you take me in?
Take me deeper now?
How can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?
And how can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?

Cause you're all I want, You're all I need
You're everything,everything
You're all I want your all I need
You're everything, everything.
You're all I want you're all I need.
You're everything, everything
You're all I want you're all I need, you're everything, everything.

And How can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?
How can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?

How can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Ang Unyon in CA

You guys... I miss us. Remember those days we spent all of our time together whether at work or at play? For months we painted the town red and adopted it as our own playground. Now, we have each moved on. One has been travelling to Europe; the other has been happily working for a Swedish IT company; another is working in the US; yet another is happily teaching and working for a state university. I have gone to other places too and have explored new hobbies. Still, I am proud of us. [Picture taken February 1, 2001 - San Bernardino, California]Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 28, 2005


by Coldplay

Come up to meet you, tell you I'm sorry
You don't know how lovely you are

I had to find you
Tell you I need you
Tell you I set you apart

Tell me your secrets
And ask me you questions
Oh let's go back to the start

Running in circles
Coming in tales
Heads are a science apart

Nobody said it was easy
It's such a shame for us to part
Nobody said it was easy
No one ever said it would be this hard

Oh take me back to the start

I was just guessing
At numbers and figures
Pulling your puzzles apart

Questions of science
Science and progress
Do not speak as loud as my heart

Tell me you love me
Come back and haunt me
Oh and I rush to the start

Running in circles
Chasing tails
And coming back as we are

Nobody said it was easy
Oh it's such a shame for us to part
Nobody said it was easy
No one ever said it would be so hard

I'm going back to the start

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Monday, August 22, 2005

Max's is timeless

Max's is timeless. Posted by Picasa

I remember going to Max when I was a kid, and on special occasions throughout my school years. Now that I am not as young anymore, I still go to Max's for their chicken. Though, last night, I went to Max's for their KareKare. I was not disappointed. We also had chicken sisig and I am still raving about it to my workmates till now.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

YELLOW by Coldplay

by Coldplay

Look at the stars,
Look how they shine for you,
And everything you do,
Yeah they were all yellow,

I came along
I wrote a song for you
And all the things you do
And it was called yellow

So then I took my turn
Oh all the things I've done
And it was all yellow

Your skin
Oh yeah your skin and bones
Turn into something beautiful
D'you know you know I love you so
You know I love you so

I swam across
I jumped across for you
Oh all the things you do
Cause you were all yellow

I drew a line
I drew a line for you
Oh what a thing to do
And it was all yellow

Your skin
Oh yeah your skin and bones
Turn into something beautiful
D'you know for you i bleed myself dry
For you i bleed myself dry

Its true look how they shine for you
look how they shine for you
look how they shine for you
look how they shine for you
look how they shine for you
look how they shine
look at the stars look how they shine for you

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Playful Meerkats

Adorable meerkats at the Toronto Zoo. [My favorite, di ba Bey?] I took this picture when my cam's LCD viewfinder died on me. Now, this is what I call Blind Photography... Hee hee Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Unattached for Six Months

It had been six months of gadgetry freedom. Please congratulate me. :-P

This bliss ended last weekend when I finally got myself a mobile phone unit. I am starting to miss those days when I need not worry about charging that noisy piece of metal. Not that I don't like gadgets; it's just that maybe, sometimes, we have to get ourselves unattached to these things. It's not new for me to hear people say they feel naked when they do not have their cellphones with them. That sounds crazy, but it's true to many! I am just proud of myself for having endured that long.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Sky is the Langit

The skies of Niagara at a little past eight in the evening. Posted by Picasa

Monday, June 27, 2005

Kiss my white ass

Kiss my white ass [Lakeshore, ON] Posted by Hello

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Who you lookin' at ei?!

Who you lookin' at ei?! [Scenic Caves, Collingwood ON] Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Feathered Freaks Invade Toronto

At first, they left signs on the shore...

Then they invaded this part of the continent...

Hail Toronto's new lords!!! Count DuckU and Countess DuckA

Sunday, June 19, 2005

The Greatest Gift

I heard mass today and I was not as drowsy as I used to. I just heard one of the best sentences ever. The priest, in his Homily, popped a question:

What is the greatest gift a father could give to his children?

[I held my breath.]

The greatest gift a father can give his children is to love their mother.

... Happy Father's Day to all the fathers I know ;)

Korean BBQ

Korean BBQ Restaurant at Markham, ON. Eat all you can, but cook it yourself first =P Posted by Hello

Sunday, June 12, 2005

My Urban Adventure

With my weekend clothes in my backpack and two maps at hand, I took a deep breath and said to myself, I can do this...

It was 3:00pm when I left my hotel room. It was hot. It was 31C. I walked two blocks to Matheson Boulevard for my first bus ride in North America. (Ye, I've been here for almost 14 weeks altogether and have always been pampered with the company car.) I did my assignment the day before by calling up the bus company and ask for the bus schedule within my area. I opened my notebook and I read bus#7 3:19pm. I was 10 minutes early. I was toasting in the heat of the sun when the bus arrived. I was thrilled! I wanted to take a picture of the bus entrance but I was too embarrassed to do that for now... Maybe later, I said to myself.

I took out my huge map and spread it like I had no seatmates. I'd rather look stupid than get lost, you know! (Despite the fact that I enjoy getting lost--but not this time, my relatives in East York are expecting me, in time for supper.) I realized how vast the airport was. It took a long time traversing the Airport Road alone. What I enjoyed most though, was seeing the Indian, Pakistanian, Iranian, Chinese stores and restaurants that lined up that road. International, ei?!

After 45 mins in my first bus, everyone took off at the Westwood Mall which is just more than 10kms north from my starting point. I took another bus from Mississauga Transit's bus depot (behind Food Basics). As per Customer Service's instruction, I should take bus#40 which departs at 4:00pm. I laughed out loud alone when the thought came to me that I had no watch nor cellphone. I peeped through my backpack to check the time... I was too embarrassed to have anyone see me check the time with my bulky desk alarm clock... Haha... I was soo desperate for a watch I just took it with me! With necessity comes ingenuity. Har har!

To this point I can attest that Canadians are one of the friendliest people I have ever met (aside from Filipinos, ofcourse). One lady, who was sitting beside me, asked if I need any help going to where I'm heading to. We chatted for a while and I felt better. She took off on the next bus stop. Then I realized I lost my purse. KIDDING! I am commuting in Toronto, not in Tondo or Quiapo.

After about 30mins, I found myself at the Islington Subway Station. Finally!!! My first bus took me north, while this second bus took me south. Funny, there should have been a shorter/faster way to get to the Islington station. I just convinced myself that the lady at Customer Service wasn't playing a joke on me. It was a Saturday. Bus routes change on the weekends and commuters don't have much choice.

I dropped a tooney and two quarters at the subway entrance. I patted myself at the back. I'm halfway through my urban adventure.

Riding the subway was a breeze. TTCwas easy to follow. There's just one long line from West to East of Toronto then right smack in the middle is a U-shaped train route going Downtown and North. (Way simpler than the NYC subways I heard of... like spaghetti.) At the TTC Subway, signs were all over. I am confident I will find my out. I particularly enjoyed our passage from CastleFrank to Broadview because we were over the Don Valley Parkway. There was sunlight. Then it gets dark again. After 2 more stops, I took off at Pape Station. Took bus#81 and sat beside a Chinese-looking woman who seems to be schizophrenic. She just laughed and talked boisterously, but she did no harm. I felt calm.

Then I made my first mistake; I took off one bus stop too early. I walked for more than a kilometer and missed the building I was supposed to take. I snapped pictures along the way then walked back. My aunt was teary-eyed to see my in one piece. She said she was so worried about me. I was sweating and quite exhausted myself. I found comfort in her arms and chugged a tall glass of cold water. Thank God I made it.

In summary, I took two buses, one subway, and another bus to travel from Mississauga to East York on a Saturday. It took 3 hours all in all.

This afternoon, my commute back to Mississauga was less of a hassle. A distant relative I met last night advised me to take Westbound and take off St. George. I took another train going North and took off at Eglington West. I waited for about 10mins to take bus#32B, which had a female driver. Quite new to me. That bus was jampacked! I felt like I was commuting in Manila! There was no aircon and people around me were sweating... just like me. The bus route ended at Renforth so I had no choice but walk from there to Orbitor. It was a good 2km walk and I simply took advantage of the scenery. I took a few pictures I hope you'll enjoy...
Flowers by Eglington
That's our office, the rightmost building
Picnic table and the many trees that line Eglington

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Birds Parking

Seagulls likewise find parking at the niagara parking lot. Posted by Hello

Taken on my third visit to the Niagara Falls. Went there with a friend from here and with my college classmate who flew from LA for the weekend.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Thank God, we're different

One crazy girl plus two others make one crazy feat: to be strapped together and hung 50 meters above the ground and make a sudden free fall. Yup, we braved Canada's largest free-fall swing, the Xtreme Skyflyer™. We made it our grand finale after a day of rollercoaster rides in Wonderland. Woohoo! Allow me to quote my workmate on his take on rollercoaster theme parks... "They make you pay to inflict pain on you!!!" Hilarious!

The three of us were already strapped in apron-like suits when the operators of Skyflyer told us to move to the next tower so we could immediately take our turn. Crazy me, I agreed. My other workmate agreed (coz he's just as crazy as me). The other one doubted. She said, the other tower we're moving to may not have had other riders that day... in technical terms, it has not been tested yet for that day. And just like that, I told the operators we'd rather stay in our current tower and wait for our turn.

I am glad she doubted about taking the new tower. I am glad she thought differently from us. Had we chosen the new tower, we have no video to take home and show off to our friends. The "Skyflyers" in the new tower did not have their flights videotaped. (We did not mind paying another 10 bucks each to take home the video. It was worth it!)

Again, I am glad she thought differently from us. She is a QA Engineer, while we (my male officemate and I) were developers. She had the tendency to doubt and test first before fully trusting on anything. This has been helpful in our practical lives. As shallow as it may sound, I earned a better appreciation of our differences... whether it's our differences in tasks, talents, skills, ethnicity, attitudes, etcetera. It's God's way of telling us that we need each other. Thank God, we're different.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Peacocks and Men

Male peacocks are like men.

My workmates and I were having snack in the dining hall, when, by the glass window, a male peacock showed off its beautiful fan of long, colorful feathers. The kids were staring at it and were making peacock-like sounds. They were probably trying to confuse the feathered guy. Not too far away is a female peacock. It was plain brown. It was feeding on some seed of some sort near the boulders that separate her from the beautiful male; pretending not to notice the dozens of peacock eyes that seemingly stare at her, yearning for her attention.

Some men are like peacocks. They slyly attract women's attention by showing off their six-pack abs under a Lacoste shirt--one that can feed a poor family for one whole day. They tell you about their latest gadget and how they afforded it with their high-paying jobs (quote-unquote). Others manage to utter a litany of their titos and titas, cousins or barkada who are the current people in authority or were former bigwigs. But, the most interesting of them all, are men who pretend to be shy and softspoken, but somehow interrupts another male to make a statement... "I haven't been there before but is it like Hawaii? Coz I've been there man... twice!"

Male peacocks are beautiful. Some men are beautiful (inside-out). Therefore, male peacocks are like some men. Posted by Hello

Monday, May 23, 2005

The sun at 6:54pm

I took this a while ago from my Uncle's Car while at Eglington Avenue. It was exactly 6:54pm. This time of the year, the sun sets at around 9 in the evening. Posted by Hello

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Dream Food, Dream Book

Late this week, my workmates, a few friends, and I had dinner downtown. The place was a busy restaurant that serves Thai Food, one of my favorites. We had gotten there twice already but their food, for me is worth coming back. They challenge their customers: "How hot can you get?". They render this Chili scale in a funny way:
  • Mild - some dishes are already a bit spicy
  • Medium - a little kick
  • 1 Chili - nice
  • 3 Chili - Thai medium
  • 5 Chili - Watch out!
  • 10 Chili - Are you sure?
  • 15 Chili - Some like it hot
  • 20 Chili - Can get stomach upset
I tried 1 Chili last week, so I ordered Chicken Panang in 3 Chili! Whooohoo!!! I liked it. Though I finished last this time. Yummy. I will go back to Toronto for this! Haha. They are not paying me for this but if I got you curious about this food trip, it's at 335 Yonge Street. Try to visit their website Salad King. Sorry I can't tell you why they named themselves Salad King, they'd sound to serve just salad with that name, but in case you figured it out or heard someone figure it out, send me a message or post a comment. I would love to hear it!

The best part is yet to come.

I finally had a copy of the book I have been looking for, for months now. I'm so so so so thrilled to finally have a copy, incidentally, as I risked going into The World's Biggest Bookstore (Yonge corner Edward... walking distance from Salad King) - while my workmates had gas spasms waiting for me. The book is Diving and Snorkeling Philippines (Lonely Planet Pisces Books) by Heneage Mitchell

Diving and Snorkeling Philippines (Lonely Planet Pisces Books)

Sure I found it online but the shipping cost to Manila would be a rip off. I posted an email to diversions yet it seems like noone has a copy. I am just so happy that night... so happy and excited to finally take diving lessons as soon as I get home. I was smiling in my sleep.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

I tucked myself into bed tonight but...

I tucked myself into bed tonight but I can't sleep. My mind is still wandering and somehow wants to express itself. I could blame this to the can of soda I chugged an hour ago whilst having sushi with a workmate. He was right, soda right before bedtime would make me sleepless. Yeah.. yeah... so what?.. a little caffeine should not hurt... but here I am pounding like crazy on my laptop. Or maybe it's because of what I saw on TV half an hour ago. I still can't stop thinking about it. It was a reality show called "Naked in the House"... thought it was another sexually explicit show of somesort. [They are quite lax here in Toronto.] But it was intellectually and artistically stimulating! It's a competition for photographers of all levels. Each photographer were given, plainly the ff:

  • one beach house (filled with house objects with character... some old, some new)
  • one camera (an SLR ofcourse)
  • one lens
  • one roll of film with only 10 frames
  • one naked woman (she's gorgeous)
  • and 30 minutes - no artificial lighting, no assistants

Like each of the photographers, I crunched into thinking how to take great pictures only with these elements! This was a reality show and I witnessed each photographer's frustration (saw a lot of those), anxiety (one said nothing but "This was more difficult than I expected"), wit, talent, humor, punctuality (one came in very late - quite unusual for someone in North America), arrogance (one almost feels like he will end up winning), etcetera. At the end of the show, each photograph was hung on the walls of a gallery and were judged accordingly. Some of my favorites came out to be winners! There's this closeup shot of the naked woman smiling and very relaxed on a hammock. Her face was given more attention but with her right breast exposed, it looked more natural and liberating. The winning photo was taken by a student. She was young and very promising. Her shot was of the blue sky with some clouds (cumulus and some cirrus, I think) then the naked woman having her body face the camera (again, makes both her breasts exposed) but her face over her right shoulder, towards the same side of the sky. Simple, yet beautiful.

Now I realize I have a hint of interest in photography. Now I ponder, should I start developing this into a hobby? I remember putting up my own website hundreds of years ago. I filled it up with pictures of me and my travels, but I especially kept a small part of it for seemingly "artistic" photos - still life, contrasting colors, with my THEN high-tech sony cybershot DSC-S50... Circa 2000. I bought it for around 500 dollars in Circuit City. [There goes my first allowance in foreign currency in my whole IT career. Haha!] I still rememer those days. Those were the days when everyone kept asking me, what kind of camera do you have? Is it true that it does not have film? ... Now everyone has one. And mine has become bulky and obsolete, but, nonetheless, interesting!!! (Because of it's size, and it's LCD that swivels! I like that feature a lot.)

I don't know how to concluded this blog. I am just glad I can sleep now. My mind has spoken; now my body shall take over... and march into bed. Good night everyone!