Monday, July 24, 2006

click and win!

i'm joining my fourth photo contest.

last year, i took a plunge into the world of photography. of course, i'm no professional (just look at my camera. haha.). but i'm learning. and i've learned a lot.

the first contest i joined was the January 2006: Unforgettable Faces for the
Digital Photo Forum, a site for amateurs, hobbyists, and pros alike. and i won! :D never mind that i wasn't the only winner. at least i was one of them. and the prize? a copy of the book, 267 Simple Tips for Sensational Photos, by David Peterson, a professional photographer and the owner of the forum. i haven't read through all the topics yet (maybe i should just print it out...) but i already used some of the tips here.

the second contest was still with DPF. i didn't expect to win here (and i was right) but i joined for personal reasons. it was my tribute to
Miggy, our puppy who was stolen a few months ago.

i feel fortunate that i took
shots of him while he was still with us. and whoever took him better make his deed worth it for our loveable pet - or he'll pay dearly! (that is, if we still find him)

my last two contests are for
Photodoto, a great site dedicated to anything and everything about photography by one of my favorite and admired Flickr photographers, John Watson or fd, as he's more popularly known (yes, he's the guy who makes those fantastic Flickr Toys)

the theme of the most recent
contest for Photodoto is Adventure. the entries are amazing! and so are the prizes! i'd be extremely happy to win a one-year Flickr Pro account. of course, a gift card isn't too shabby, either. hehe. :D

for all you Flickristas out there, join us! the more, the merrier. who knows, you might just snag that $250
B&H Photo gift card.

good luck and happy clicking!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

News Schmews


2006 World Cup final match between Italy and France was amazing! I'm sure the audience paid a fortune to get prime seats in the Berlin stadium and, man, did they get their money's worth! my only wish was that i was there to celebrate with them.

penalty shootout aside, the highlight was undoubtedly the Zidane head butting incident.

what the heck was that all about? was this a Ginebra-(insert any PBA team here) game?? (my apologies to all Jawo fans :D) i waited for any flying coins or bottles but the crowd held their dignity (at least while in the stadium). now, the association is investigating the captain's, uh, unsportsmanly conduct. my sister told me that, apparently, Materazzi provoked Zidane by saying something that bordered on the French team captain looking like a terrorist (oh, this isn't a PBA game, it's a junior high football match!!). but, of course, this could be entirely false so i better lay off on the childish side comments.

anyways, whatever it was, Zidane ended his career in style

and the Italians still had their last laugh. while carrying that golden cup, too.


*check out the website for more amazing

Rocking On With Supernova

Dilana, the intense rocker chick with the big, raspy voice is my automatic favorite after watching the pilot episode of Rockstar: Supernova. her rendition of Lithium (Nirvana) was spine-tingling. and she did not disappoint with her own arrangement and performance of the classic, Ring Of Fire by the legendary Johnny Cash. she really is one of a kind.

it would be cool to have a female vocalist for Supernova, right? :)


knew it!

Chris Daughtry just signed up for a record deal with Clive Davis' production company. he actually beat Elliot and Kat to that oh-so-coveted record deal (i left Taylor out because, hello, he is the reigning American Idol).

it's truly gratifying to know that Chris' talent didn't go unnoticed. he was even offered a spot as Fuel's vocalist but he declined (a smart move, if you ask me). he's currently forming his own band and working on his album, which will be released at the end of this year.

rock on!

More Than Meets The Eye

the Transformers are back!

i can't believe they're finally making a
movie (not a cartoon) of my all-time favorite childhood cartoon! i'm so excited to see the whole gang in their CGI glory. check out imdb for the complete cast list.

who were your favorite Autobots? i was always fond of
Jazz, Ironhide, and Bumblebee (and they're all in the movie!!). the only Decepticon i liked was Starscream, and only because he was funny everytime he was pissed off by his boss (shudder) or Optimus Prime and his guys. will the Dinobots make an appearance? who will prevail in the end? will there be a sequel? will Laserbeak be a CD instead of a cassette tape? (hey, they better catch up with the generation, you know)

July 4, 2007 is such a long wait!

Captain Jack Is Back!

and, boy, is he back!

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest just broke box office records with the biggest opening in history. our favorite swashbuckling anti-hero just bumped Spiderman off the plank.

i actually thought Superman would reign in the charts but i guess my Spidey senses needed fine tuning.

and speaking of the Man of Steel...

Look, Up In The Sky! It's A Bird! It's A Plane! It's Superman...And His Girlfriend

sorry to disappoint all the
Brandon Routh fans out there but the star of Superman Returns is taken.


ok ladies, you can stop screaming/crying hysterically now.

Courtney Ford is both his on- and off-screen partner, the lucky gal. she and Brandon are starring in the indie flick, Denial.

hmm, i wonder how she's taking his sudden rise to heartthrob status. of course, if she was me, i wouldn't mind. much. :D

she looks Asian, no? weeelll, maybe i still have a chance if, you know, things don't work out between the couple...oh wait. she's chinky-eyed.

oh well, a girl can dream right? >:)

Monday, July 03, 2006

3 Weddings and a Robbery

June is a month of firsts for me:

1. first time to attend three weddings in a month,
2. first Baguio wedding,
3. first time to attend two consecutive weddings of couples in the same circle of friends, and...
4. first time our house was robbed.

read on...

Like, the Coolest Wedding Ever!


well, it was held in the Summer Capital of the Philippines. although i missed the occasional fog in Baguio City, it was cold enough for us city girls. :D

i went on a 5-hour midnight drive with Rica to Baguio City on June 2. while the rest of the bus population was asleep, i was twisting and turning in my seat, owing to a bad stomach and an aching back. sigh. i truly missed my bed.

meann and her family went ahead and spent the day sight-seeing while Greg, Jiji, and her mom took the midnight trip (like us :) ), except they rode the deluxe bus (unlike us :( ).

before the trip, rica already scouted for affordable hotels/inns. our first choice was Harrison Inn, where they had rooms for two for only 750 a night! unfortunately, the rooms were already taken when we got there. the receptionist wasn't sure if somebody will check out that early (we were there before 7 am) so we just decided to look for another hotel. finally after walking for several days (i'm exaggerating, of course. but it felt like that for both of us!), we checked in at La Brea Inn.

i was glad that we ended up there because the inn is right smack in the middle of Session Road - walking distance to the market, several restaurants (Don Hen, McDonalds, Yellow Cab - oh, this is right below us!), the Baguio Cathedral, and Shoemart!

since we were tired from our long drive and walk, we spent most of the morning our dreams, that is. haha! it was already past 10 when we woke up. although we still had time to kill (the wedding was at 2 pm), we didn't have enough time to go around.

so we finally decided to have a relaxing brunch at Chowking and lounge in our bedroom until meann picked us up after 1 pm.

the wedding was solemn and romantic.

we couldn't help but smile as choy (our college friend) said her vows. iba talaga pag kinakasal na, nagiging feminine bigla. hehehe.

meann and i joined the singles contest during the reception while rica took her sweet time and ended up never leaving the table (style mo bulok! :p) then we found out they upped the stakes (a 300 peso GC @ Gloria Jean's!). what can i say? this was the first time in my adult life that i wanted to win this kind of contest so badly! ah, what a cup of free coffee can a cruel twist of fate, the battle was already "sealed" from the start. the bachelors (mostly the groom's friends) wanted choy's older sister to win and did everything in their power to make sure that she did. oh well...we tried :)

for me, the highlight of the evening was definitely the chocolate fountain! haha! i'm such a chocoholic. hey, i wasn't the only one who wanted a taste of this sweet creation.

but you have to congratulate me because i was able to resist until the end of the reception,when there weren't people hogging the fountain. :D

the following day, rica and i spent the whole morning buying the expected pasalubongs (ube jam, peanut brittle, ube jam...) and touring the only Shoemart that is air conditioner free, thanks to Baguio's fresh air. now that's one pasalubong i'd want to bottle up and bring home with me!

Double the Fun

i just love attending weddings!

during the last weekend of June, i went to two weddings where the couples were members of our community, Servants of the Lord's Vineyard (SOLV).

saturday was Pam (a SOLV sister) and Ralph's wedding held at the very popular Manila Cathedral. it was my first time to actually enter the church - and i forgot to make a wish! (darn!). the minute i was inside, i felt like i was transported back to the Spanish era, where the friars gave their homilies in the pulpits, the men stood stiffly in the pews, and the women hid half of their faces as they fanned themselves demurely. the fact that their wedding was Filipiniana inspired only added to the whole ambiance. now, where did i place my maria clara???

everytime i attend a wedding, i make it a point to watch the bridal march. unfortunately, last saturday was also Araw ng Maynila and a big bulk of Roxas Blvd was closed off for the festivities. since the wedding and reception were both in that area, we had to brave the temporary routing scheme and the traffic. so, by the time we got to the church, Pam was already marching. ah well, at least we still got to see her back.

going to the reception area was another ordeal for us. we had to travel a narrow side road where the public vehicles also passed, making the traffic so harrowing. it was already around 9 pm when we got to the Ramon Magsaysay Hall, we were famished, and we didn't have a table! :O turned out that some guests didn't confirm and they ended up occupying some of the tables. thankfully, one of our friends from the entourage was able to arrange for another table for us - and we got prime seats! we were situated right in front, next to the restroom, and just across from the buffet table (which was the most important fact i took note of :D). a sister jokingly said that it is true that whoever comes last will be first.

the reception celebration was simple, touching, and so romantic. instead of the usual bouquet and garter toss, a prize was given to the oldest married couple. the cute pair are actually celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this month! wow, now that's inspiring. i loved the video presentation about the couple. and aside from the usual photo slideshow, they also had separate interviews with Pam and Ralph, each talking about how they met and fell in love. :)

this was actually the very first reception that i attended to where the couple donated their money to a foundation in lieu of souvenirs. i've read about that somewhere in a foreign website and i'm glad the idea is catching up in the Philippines.

the following day was Cindy and Dennis' wedding. actually, the same group of people i was with last night were also to this wedding. and then some. just based on the number of tables SOLV occupied that night, i can safely say that there were about 80+ guests just from our community alone. the couples were there, sisters from abroad were there, bros and sisters who i haven't seen for eons were also was definitely a reunion for most of us!

this time, i was able to witness the whole wedding march (yey!). their wedding was held in the Guadalupe church, again my first time to be there and yet i still forgot to make a wish. ah, i am getting old and forgetful by the minute...

i recalled the other weddings i've attended and i can't name one where majority of the people in the church were standing up and cheering during the march. none at all. i believe it was the most fun church wedding i've been to. :) not that we didn't respect the solemnity of the whole ceremony. everybody was just feeling the love and excitement as we watched our two good friends tie the know. and it was also the first time i cried when the bride marched (why did jane have to sing Ikaw while Cindy was marching?? why??). the closest i ever got to shedding tears was during star's wedding. of course, since i was the commentator, i had to control myself. nobody wants a bawling lector.

i finished the church ceremony with dry eyes (thank God, hehe) and spent a few minutes chatting with the brothers and sisters before we all headed to New World Hotel, which i just recently found out, is now Renaissance Hotel. since we had a good two hours until the reception, i helped out our resident wedding coordinator, Jackie, with the preparations in the ballroom.

the couple had around 400 guests, mostly family and friends (majority from SOLV). the celebration was a blast! i was a bit frustrated with my camera's night mode because it required either steady hands or a sturdy tripod (which i both did not have).

so i just let our photographer brothers, Elmers and James, do the job (makikikopya nalang ako ng pictures. hehe.). i did manage a few decent shots of my table mates and the other bros and sisters during the after party.

since this was probably the first time in years that most of us got together, we insisted that we have a class picture of sorts. although most of the couples left after dinner, we were still a big group. by the time it was my camera's turn, most of the people were either chatting with one another or posing at the other gazillion cameras around us. is it obvious who the owner of this camera is? i'm the only one looking! hahaha!

forget the fact that it was a Sunday and we had work the next day. we still danced the night away, thanks to Ramil's smooth dance moves, of course! :D

this photo by Elmer Medalla

i got home just before midnight with a big grin on my face. ah, i just love weddings :D

Cops and Robber

a few weekends ago, i remember that we (my sister and i) had an argument with papa about our gate. aside from the fact that it's pretty rusty already, we haven't been using any padlock for as long as i can remember. my papa was a bit upset about our request to have the gate repaired because we never had any problems before. so why change things? we live in an area where everyone knew everybody so papa always had that mentality that our neighborhood is safe.

well, it's safe...from our neighbors. but from outsiders, that's another story.

the wednesday after that, a thief broke into our house.

it was a blessing in disguise that i came home early. papa just left a few minutes ago and i was the first one home. when i got to our opened gate, i immediately spotted our missing doorknob. it was forced open!

something was definitely wrong.

so i ran back to the garage and called papa to confirm if he suddenly had a change of heart of improving our security at home.

nope, he never took out the doorknob.

fortunately, he was only a few minutes away from the house. after my call, he rushed back home. just as i suspected, there was somebody inside our house. we spotted a figure in the second floor.

in a heartbeat, papa rounded up the workers in our shop and told them to get any weapon they could find. so, armed with wooden planks, the men marched in front of our house. the commotion already caught the attention of our neighbors, who started trickling out to get a piece of the action. since we got the whole area covered, papa drove to the nearest police station and came back with three men in blue uniforms.

the thief was already outside the door. and much to everybody's surprise, it was a she. to be exact, it was a lady, who was stark naked, and had a glazed expression on her face.

naturally, everyone thought she just the decoy. after all, an insane person (and a woman, at that) couldn't have pried our doorknob off with a pair of scissors and a long piece of metal. so the police and papa searched the house for the real thief. after countless searches, they didn't find anyone.

who would have thought that this lady was the sole thief after all.

so, after commanding her to put on her clothes, they brought her to the police station for questioning.

i just realized the sheer brilliance of her modus operandi. because she apparently seemed mentally challenged, the police required the assessment of a psychiatrist if we want to press charges. if we can't prove she's sane, then there's no case. papa was so tired after the whole fiasco that he just gave up any plans of pressing charges. so, the thief was released after 24 hours. how unfair is that!

my mom was telling me that she saw a similar case in TV Patrol one time. a thief was caught while still in the house and when he was ordered to come out, he was naked and acted insane.

is this the new strategy of thieves nowadays? probably.

it's really frustrating that they can actually get away with it. is our justice system that naive and blind??? ok, i'm not even going there...

anyways, friends, i just pray this never happens to any of you. right now, papa already installed a new (and more sturdy) doorknob, with a matching dead bolt and barrel lock. i was tempted to launch into an "i-told-you-so" tirade but i decided it wasn't worth it.

anyways, take care, guys. oh, and don't forget to triple lock your doors!