Monthly Archives: December 2006

A Merry Christmas, of sorts.

So Cathy is gone for the holidays with her family, and I’ll be off with my family. We tell ourselves that it will be our last time to spend Christmas with them before we tie the knot. Is that right? I guess I just hate this feeling of not having her by my side over the holidays. Is that right? It’s ok, by this time next year everything will feel just fine.

When I feel bad, there are two things I turn to. Music and chocolate. And judging by my bowl full of jelly, I gotta give up on the chocolate…for now. One good thing I can look forward to is more downtime to read. With work, I couldn’t even pick up ‘The Tipping Point’ by Gladwell. I had read his second effort in ‘Blink’ and loved it. Now that I’m officially on holiday, I can find time to read before I go to bed. I would also like to finally finish ‘Perfume’ by Patrick Suskind. At least before the movie comes out, which looks phenomenal (check out the trailer below, thus breaking this blog’s YouTube cherry. Sorry, that sounded wrong).

Honey, if you’re reading this I love you, I hope you’re having a wonderful time with your family and I miss you terribly. Have a Merry Christmas everyone! I’m off to eat me some snickers!

Perfume – The Story of a Murderer (Das Parfum) Trailer

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C is for washer

We had our company Christmas party yesterday at
Bed Space and the retro theme added an extra layer of fun for everyone. Darna showed up, along with several mod girls and high-as-a-kite hippies and we basically laughed ourselves silly through each group performance (it’s a Pinoy party after all, so we put on a show!). Although our group didn’t win in the performance division (a deserving Austin Powers inspired group bagged that price), I did manage to snag the best costume award! I was perfectly happy with getting the sash and colored printout saying that I won… but there was a cash prize to be had! Woohoo! It couldn’t have been possible without the priceless contribution of Pepper Roxas, who searched her storage/closet high and low for that afro wig (thank you, Pepper!). I was channeling Nia Long in the remake of Alfie.

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In addition to winning the couples gift wrapping contest (timed and with only one hand – GO TEAM JC!), Jay came away with the best raffle price of all: a washing machine!!! Can you believe it? At first we were like, “As in a real one?!?”  We’ll be needing that next year. 🙂

C is for washer! Jay won a washer!!! Jay, Nei and Ms. D

This is teamwork.
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Jay and I agreed that it was by far the best company Christmas party that we had ever been to.  We were practically crying watching our programmer and sales manager do the sexy body roll. It was insanity. 

Fong’s winning group – Dred, Ana, Aileen, Fong & Joy (disco ball rented from the I love you store)
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p.s.
Jay had a costume too but due to unfortunate and unforeseen circumstances, he left it in his car. Long story.

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Lomo Lovin

The pics turned out great!

“love of my life… you are my friend… love of my life.. on you I can depend…” – Erykah Badu & Common

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Mag Rack at Solidaridad
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Tree at ATC
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A cure for a drabbydrab day
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Jay and I are kinda cheesy with our lomo love 🙂 Oh well, there are worse things to be accused of. Since he got me my LC-A+, he’s always reminding me to take it with me everywhere I go so that his LC-A has a companion, aka fartner. But lately I’ve been a bit too busy to just whip it out and shoot from the hip, so to (lomo)speak. But the camera is there, lying in wait within the deep abyss that is my white work bag, right next to my deodorant, vaseline, notepad, book, work receipts case, car keys, pashmina, toothbrush… aduh. I should really listen to Jay’s advice – carry a smaller purse so you’re not compelled to stock up for a natural calamity! 🙂 But if you need a vitamin C toner and face revitalizer in the middle of Ayala Ave traffic, I’m your gal.

Anyways, hope you enjoyed the pics!

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Family Christmas Lunch

This past Saturday, Dec. 9, Jay met members of  my extended family (from Oriental Mindoro) at our yearly Christmas lunch, which my parents have been hosting for the past 5 years. For the second year in a row, it’s been held at the Bellevue Hotel in Filinvest/Alabang (my parents are definitely ‘south’ people). It was supposed to be at the Palms Country Club up until last week, when my mom realized that it would be much better in an indoor setting with a dance floor so people can (ballroom) dance. But of course there was ballroom dancing!

Coincidentally, Jay’s paternal side of the family is also from Mindoro, but from Occidental. I’ve been told that the difference was made between Occidental and Oriental for purely political reasons (more municipalities = more politicians), so they basically just cut through the locales surrounding the Halcon Mountain Ranges. Jay’s mom, however, is from Pangasinan (Lingayen), and my mom is from Lanao del Sur (Marawi City).

Jay was a trooper! He said hello to everyone, tried to remember everyone’s names and happily took pictures with his D50. We spent a greater part of our first hour looking through our family tree (starting from my great, great, great grandparents!) and when it came to my immediate family, Jay pointed and said, “Hey! You and I will be here next year.” 🙂 It makes me really happy to think about that.

A Few of the next geners: (top) Kathleen; (bottom, L to R) Mibelle (cut-off, so sorry!), Mirelle, Dette, and I
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The men in my family have been known to make ‘outsiders’ feel uncomfortable at first (and the women known to be Feisty with a capital F). But I guess because Jay and I are already engaged and because they know that he had asked for my parents’ blessings first, everyone warmed up to him instantly (what’s not to like, right?). My Tito George has already invited us to go to Puerto Gallera from Calapan with him, so I think we’ll take him up on that offer in late January. I think it’s his way of making sure that he really gets to ‘know’ Jay before we get married. Tito George is a gentle giant (he’s about 6 feet and 2 inches), never without a smile and is always game to hangout with the young ones.

Tito George and Baby Shelley
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Ena, Ariel and Alyssa missed the lunch cos Ariel’s lola’s 100th birthday (wow!!!) celebration was on the same day, and (Dette’s)Andrew had a work event. But we’re all getting together this Sunday for our own mini Christmas lunch/Ena’s birthday lunch. 🙂 Even if Christmastime is usually a logistical nightmare, I lovelovelove getting together with friends and family over yummy food and laughter. Sounds cheesy but it’s what being back in the Philippines is all about and was definitely something I missed while I was in the States.  I know it’s going to be different with Jay by my side and if we were to move away from the Philippines I know that I won’t feel as lonely as I used to.  But wherever we may end up – in the States, Europe, here in Southeast Asia… we’ll see what opportunities come up and where God guides us, but for now, we’re happily enjoying the strength and support of family. 

 Jay thinks it’s endearing how much my dad likes to make speeches (he hit the mic about 3x that day…), and before the party ended, he announced Dette and Andrew’s engagement, as well as Jay and I’s engagement.  We stood up and waved to everyone like beauty pageant contestants – good thing Jay’s shirt was still tucked at that point. 

L to R: Lolo Max, Lola Agring (my dad’s dad’s [Lolo Roding, RIP] sister and a favorite Lola of mine), Me, and Jay – you can’t tell here but Jay’s shirt was tucked and he was wearing a proper belt with a gold buckle! Cute.
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Tagaytay and (digital) shots of The Boutique Bed & Breakfast

Yes that’s right – Jay got me my very own LC-A+ and it went on its very first out of town trip to Tagaytay yesterday! Nax. I can’t wait to see what the pics are like. I think half of the beauty of lomography is that you’re shooting in film still so there’s still that processing time where you’re forced to wait in anticipation for the outcome. And then half of it is that the pictures, more often than not, come out looking like a crayon box just exploded on it.

This is one of my fave shots of Jay and I (after our trip to Pangasinan in October). It’s the image I used for his happy 1 year anniversary card (as of October 16 🙂 but I just gave the card to him last week because we’ve been uber busy and I’ve been uber sick:

The Jaw (me) and The Ngusoh (Jay)
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We went to Tagaytay to feature a new hotel in town, The Boutique Bed & Breakfast (click here to read the Click The City article; clipcast video will be broadcasted on Dec. 20 so you can really see what the entire place is like). It’s a neat spot with a unique concept and we were lucky enough to be able to chat it up with the operations managers/owners (or ’boutique keepers’), Allana and Happy

The lovely boutique keepers/owners
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First of all, it’s the only boutique hotel in Tagaytay. And then the whole modern/contemporary/Scandanavian feel is mixed in with a very Pinoy sense of hospitality. Upon check-in, you go into their little ammenities boutique and you get to pick-out your own lotion (we picked aloe vera), shampoo, conditioner (milk and honey), room scent (grapes), etc., from their own line called ‘Pamper Me.’ I was in heaven inhaling all of the yummy scents.

Our ‘Pamper Me’ basket
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Each room has an LCD screen and ours happened to be quite a monstrosity, much to Jay’s content 🙂 We watched ‘The Emperor’s Club’ (with Kevin Klein) and a little of Clooney’s ‘Confessions of a Dangerous Mind’ (kind of dragged a bit and was too much for an overnight work trip). And of course, my guilty pleasure, the Tyra Banks show 🙂

The LCD monster
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The king-sized bed
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The place had wifi everywhere and it’s definitely a hotel where you can go to escape but you can be accessible and (internet) connected, for better or worse. Their outdoor area is lovely and they have an awesome view of Taal. It would be a great place to throw a shindig of some sort, like an outdoor party with a DJ… hmmm…. I wish they had a little pool area. Then it would be like Kudeta in Bali!

Outdoor Area
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We ventured out for dinner and ended up at Carlo’s Pizza. That whole area with Kitaro, Starboockoos, Henlin, etc., was virtually empty and Jay and I relished in the peace and quiet of it all over pizza, pasta and mushroom soup. We were so happy just to be away from Manila’s mayhem, even just for a night. And even if it was for work. That’s the great part about our job… we get to meet a lot of interesting people and we get to see a lot of neat places when we’re on assignment.

But when we’re in Makati, Jay sees my back all day because he sits behind me in his editing hub.

Jay at Carlo’s Pizza
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The anticipation is killing me. I want to see what my lomo shots look like! But I have a couple more shots to go. Until the next… Sampai lagi… Hasta luego… Baboosh.  Clearly I’m tired.

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That Spirit of Christmas

Its only the first week of Christmas and we’ve already exchanged gifts. I couldn’t keep it any longer, the excitement and anticipation of seeing Cathy’s reaction to her gift was starting to become unbearable (also because I wanted to check out the gift itself as well). For my birthday earlier this year, Cathy got me a Holga 120cfn medium format camera, which started my whole photography/lomography craze. Easily the best birthday present. So I tried to return the favor and got her the new LC-A+. I love the idea that we both have our own LC-A’s and when we go on trips we can just snap away and compare photos later. But believe you me, it took all of me not to hand over the camera.

Not to be outdone, Cathy had a gift for me as well (courtesy of the Raymond sisters who brought it all the way from the US&A). Dave Chappelle’s Block Party DVD. It took awhile for it to show up on DVD after the movie released, but when it did I promised myself I would own a copy. But somewhere between the limited amount of quality DVDs in the Philippines and the limited amount of pirated DVDs in the Philippines, that promised got pushed towards the back of my mind. I was overjoyed when Cathy handed it over (inside I screamed like a school boy), I immediately popped it in the DVD player to watch.

From Him.
From Him.

From Her.
From Her.

In case you can’t read the marquee, it includes names like The Roots, Kanye West, Common, Erykah Badu, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Jill Scott, and the reunion of The Fugees. Oh, and its also a film by Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Science of Sleep, the upcoming Be Kind Rewind). And look at that cover art! Classic.

That spirit of Christmas is in full effect!

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Jen’s Wedding in Vegas

Here comes the bride!
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The Giveaway
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Jen and Yogi
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Sometimes you can have your cake and eat it, too
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As we mentioned in our first post, Jay’s sister, Jen, is now Mrs. Jen Lara Patagoc.  She and Norlynne got married ala Vegas style at the Tropicana Hotel.  Her empire-waist tulip dress in white was made by Norlynne himself!  And in case you’re wondering (don’t lie, we know you are) – no, she’s not preggers, it’s just the dress style (think Derek Lam and Zac Posen). 

Despite the rock ‘n roll locale, it looks like it was your good ole fashioned Filipino wedding, complete with relatives in-tow, some ‘dancing-dancing’ (to be said with a Pinoy accent) and of course, the giveaways!   Jen’s maid-of-honor was Yogi (Mila) Collado, her sister through-and-through ever since she could remember, and her ring bearer?  Norlynne’s nephew, Rizal (aka Rizzie).  She had a red theme goin’ on, hence Yogi’s red dress and Jen’s red platforms (which you can’t see in these pics but when she sends me her pro shots you can see them there).

Jay and I realize that we’re blogging more about other people’s weddings than our own (wedding planning, that is)!  That’s cos it’s still a bit early and the bulk of our planning will likely start in January.  But it will come soon enough 🙂  Right now, it’s just been a blessing to kind of vicariously enjoy everyone else’s unions 🙂

My parents, who get invited to a gazillion weddings a year, take home all sorts of souvenirs, programs and mental notes for Jay and I, which is nice cos then we have templates for the missalette, reception program (if we even have one…) and those kinds of details. I feel like right now, my dad is the one who’s really into asking me all these wedding-related questions that I don’t yet have the answer to… he’s excited, I guess. 🙂

Anyways, to anyone interested in having their wedding ceremony at The Tropicana, click here for more info.  Hope you enjoyed the pics from Jen and Norlynne’s (or ‘Noc,’ his nickname… I think).

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