Monthly Archives: January 2006

[4] Hear Mass in the Shrine of Our Lady Of Manaoag (yes, the one in Manaoag, Pangasinan) and then stop by Baguio for a quick shopping trip — all in 24 hours!

Things I plan to do in Manila

My Mom introduced me to the Manaoag quickie trip in 1995 when I took the Bar Examinations.  We would take a bus from the Dagupan terminal at midnight, find ourselves in Dagupan at around 6AM, take the jeep to Manaoag (which was a good half hour away only), be there for the 7AM (or was it 7:30 AM mass) and then double back and be home in Manila by 12NN.

The last time I visited was in Thanksgiving after the results came out.  (I passed despite the fact that I wasn’t able to enter a formal review program except the pre-week reviews.)  This time I’d like to visit again and do it the Sunday after I arrive since Alan won’t be around yet (he follows us the Thursday after since he can only stay 2 instead of the 3 weeks Angel and I will be there).  Instead of going back to Manila, though, I want to visit Baguio City and shop for some knitwear, some goodies (postcards, strawberry jam, ube, vegetables, souvenirs?) and then head home to Manila that same evening — all in 24 hours!

Baguio holds a special place in my heart because I had spent many of my young summers there.  I don’t even plan to go far — just walk down Session Road, maybe visit Mines’ View Park, Burnham Park, and save the market for last so that I won’t be lugging too many things around until just before we board the bus again. 

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Feedback on Blink

Tintin paid me another visit and wrote this about “Blink,” the book I’m currently reading:

Blink sounds interesting. I don’t know, though, if there is a copy available in our local National Book Store. There is only one NBS here in Bacolod and their collection is pretty anemic. :(

It’s not your run-of-the-mill non-fiction because it’s not exactly a self-help book and neither is it historical, but I find it interesting because it presents everyday things we do in a new light.  It doesn’t give you that big wow but it makes you think “Oo nga noh..”..  — that sort of read.


Tintin paid me another visit and wrote this about “Blink,” the book I’m currently reading:

Blink sounds interesting. I don’t know, though, if there is a copy available in our local National Book Store. There is only one NBS here in Bacolod and their collection is pretty anemic. :(

It’s not your run-of-the-mill non-fiction because it’s not exactly a self-help book and neither is it historical, but I find it interesting because it presents everyday things we do in a new light.  It doesn’t give you that big wow but it makes you think “Oo nga noh..”..  — that sort of read.

I would think the book is already available there in the Philippines because I know it’s been around a bit.  I can see you have a special liking for books like me.  I hate wading through the bargains in Barnes and Noble here (the bookstore which NBS’s Powerbooks is trying to copy) because it makes me want to snatch up a dozen books which, even at rock bottom prices would still cost me a bundle, so I try to keep away from them.

Reading, I believe, is a good way to relax and jog my mind at the same time.  It does both for me whatever I’m reading.. be it a new magazine, one of the free dailies here which publish news stories in concise versions but which give you a sense of being connected to everyday happenings nonetheless, or one of the books I find the time to lug around or open as a bathroom reader.  (Looking down in embarrassment at that admission.. LOL)

I try to read both non-fiction and fiction and have particular interest in political biographies.  I have at least 1 book on Nancy and Ronald Reagan and I think 2 on Bush.  I have yet to read Guilliani’s LEADERSHIP (forgot about that) but I think I’ll do that after Clinton’s MY LIFE.  I never finished Hillary’s book because I found it too “monotonous” as if she was reading it to me.  I didn’t find myself getting involved in that reading.. I heard it but could not see it in my mind’s eye.  So before I got bored to tears, I put it down and now it’s tucked away somewhere in my bookshelf.

My fiction reading list is rather predictable because I have a list of favorite authors whose works I try to follow.. Tom Clancy, John Grisham, Richard Bach, Leo Buscaglia.  I do read other authors like Ann Rice (and I gave up after reading Lestat which is around book 5 or 6 of the Vampire Chronicles..).. J.K. Rowling of course, and very funny writers like Bill Cosby.

I’d rather buy and keep the books than borrow, and although I’ve gotten more discriminating about the books I lend out in recent years, I’ve lost a lot of good books because I lost track of who borrowed what.  I do check out the more popular books but do not necessarily base my decisions on what to read on them.  (I’d go broke if I did!)

When I left for New York in 2000, I gave away my modest collection of books to friends who appreciated reading like I did.  I had to part with a hardcover copy of Colin Powell’s autobiography MY AMERICAN JOURNEY among other things but I have steadily built up my library here with the addition of a few books every year. 

Bacolod’s NBS may not be that well stocked but you can probably have them order a book for you from the main office in Manila.  Try that as a possible option.  Good luck with the read!

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Feedback on Baclaran

From Mrs. Ging:

You know what !? I am surfing around, and when I got there in your blog and read these about just only saying ” [3] Do my Novena at the Baclaran Church and visit Baywalk with Mom.” Just reminds me of the olden days when was still in the PHILIPPINES. I really also miss it going to Baclaran church. And after that mag-lalakad kami ng daddy ko sa tabing dagat at mag-aarkila ng bisikleta. Sa Roxas blvd.

Mrs. Ging, actually, naunahan mo lang ako.  I had put in my 3rd item to do when I go home to Manila without being able to post.  Weekends, you see, are always busy for me.  Plus the fact that my DSL connection is ever so fickle puts a dent on my “blogtime.”  (My dear hubby is ready to make the jump to another mode of connection soon.. can’t wait!)  See, I’m putting together a list of the things I want to do, places I want to visit, people I want to see when I go home to Manila in end April this year.  I have three weeks and like the last time I was there, I intend to make the most of it!  These are like little reminders to myself about the things I want to do so I can actually do them.  Thanks for visiting once again..

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Feedback on “Kutob”..Hunch?

Tintin asks if Kutob isn’t actually “hunch”.. I agree.. it’s the same context — but I would frame “hunch” more in terms of a thought being more of a “guess” that can be explained.  A foreboding is more “ominous”.. I think I’m starting to muddle the whole concept here and to think I failed to open the book at all during the weekend.  (Got too busy!)

But either word (hunch or foreboding) would word, just that in the context of Gladwell’s BLINK, “foreboding” seems more apt.

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Feedback on Siopao and Nora Daza’s cookbook

Here’s a post from a new pal on the web, Jerome, on my second “to do” when I go home this April:

Dear Pinay New Yorker,

Don’t forget the siopao for the “masa” of Kowloon House and that from the historic Ma Mon Luk! (thinking about it made me hungry *tummy roars like Mufasa in “The Lion King”*). Anyway, thank you for your comment about my blog as quoted in Jher’s blog about our reason for blogging. Thanks! Read your blog where you posted the Nora Daza cookboo(k) and it brought me back to the day when I was 8 years old where my mom gave me the same book for me to learn how to cook. My menu range has come a long way. Thanks for the blog! I will find time to read more of your blog and keep you company in stylish New York (even if, as Joey Albert sings, “…a million miles away from you…” hahahaha! Hey, I hope you link me too. Jher linked your blog on mine (as in I gave him my password so that he could tinker on my blogspot. yes, i’m a techie idiot). Cheers, my dear!

Jerome, the pleasure is mine.   (I hope you saw that I posted the link to your blog on my blog roll even before I responded here..)  So I guess that makes me your 6th devoted blog reader?  (Referencing your post on Avenue Q..LOL)

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[3] Do my Novena at the Baclaran Church and visit Baywalk with Mom

Things I intend to do in Manila in April 2006

I have always been a devotee of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.  I used to make it a point to go to the Redemptorist Church in Baclaran there every Wednesday even during those days when I was attending law school in HV Dela Costa Street in Makati back in the 90s.  My Mom, the original devotee in the family, had taken to bringing me along during her Wednesday devotion when I was younger, and she would hand me a novena so I could pray along.

I regret that I failed to visit in December 2002 when I went home last, but I will definitely go there my first Wednesday when I arrive for the my three week vacation.  I still pray the novena but have found it a challenge to pray it weekly.  I often end up “forgetting” until the next morning that I should’ve prayed.  I am on my third week now and will hopefully get to finish this.  (And yes, I know, I have to finish my cross stitch project of Our Lady of Perpetual Help soon.) 

I feel so truly blessed because every time I pray for any intention, even before the 9th week is here, I find myself switching to a novena of Thanksgiving because I get an answer to my prayers. 

My bestfriend Fe and I used to go there together whenever we could manage it and our devotion to Mama Mary is something we have in common.

I will never forget the overpowering emotion you cannot help but be swept away in when you hear the throng of people sing in one unified voice, and you see the sincerity in the face of the people who beseech our Mother for help.

I used to write my petitions long hand, but thanks to technology, the last time I did asking for a healthy baby, I did it via e-mail on the Redemptorist Website.  I have a very spirited Angel now to show for my prayers, and I will give thanks again in person when I go home with Mom.




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Scrapbooking, a Haircut, Laundry, and a trip to the Dollar Store.. even got to shine my shoes!

It has been an action-packed weekend so far.  I’ve done some major progress in my Paris scrapbook, I got a much-needed (long delayed) haircut today, washed some new comforters I got, got some supplies, took a trip to the dollar store and I’m still awake at 1:13 AM as Alan is doing a marathon of the shows I taped for him.

I warned him I didn’t get to fix the room as I had hoped to although I did do two batches of laundry both weekends he was out.  Alan usually does the laundry when he’s here so it felt so “weird” doing it this time around.  Just goes to show I can do it if I have to.

Angel was so happy to see his Dad he was feeding him his cheerios as I watched, a little envious, but happy to see how father and son were just inseparable after two weeks being apart.

I got my goodies.. my macarrons from Laduree, my Duplo as requested, the Geneva Starbucks City Mug (although he failed to get me the Paris mug as requested =(… ) and some extra presents like a bottle of Burberry Brit Red which was such a sweet gesture on Alan’s part although those things no longer surprise me.  He handed me a whole bag of other goodies which I haven’t had the chance to go through, but I’m just glad he’s back here. 


Mom cleaned the stairwell and I fished out three pairs of loafers that I had “forgotten” I had.. blame it on the fact that shoes are a seasonal thing here == and since I hide them in the shoe rack when not in use, I didn’t see them until I went through the whole rack today as Mommy was cleaning it.  Thanks to my COCC days in high school at St. Paul QC, I can actually take care of the shoes given the right brush and the time — saved me a few dollars doing the three pairs myself.

Quite an action packed day indeed.. I look forward to just chilling with Alan on Sunday..

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[2a] Chicken Pao at Kowloon

How could I have skipped out on this one?!!  Thanks for the reminder, Jerome..  I remember them definitely, but my preference was for their unique chicken pao which I totally loved with their very hot sauce.. Yummy!
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Much Ado about A Memoir that wasn’t really a Memoir

I haven’t even read the book A MILLION LITTLE PIECES – and to think it was on my list of books I was dying to get my hands on!

Let me tell you my story about this book.  I’m one of those people who absolutely love OPRAH WINFREY.  I do not catch her show religiously but I do watch when I can.  I try to read her magazine although I don’t buy it every month.  (It’s also a favorite gift to friends when I think of giving single copy prints on occasion.)  During one of the few shows I managed to watch, Oprah announced her Book Club pick of the Month which is the best endorsement any written work can get because those she picks shoot straight up the bestseller list.  It was even so dramatic an announcement because the author’s mother was in the audience although she had no idea Oprah was picking her son’s book, so when Oprah announced it, she screamed and totally lost it out of sheer joy.

It’s supposed to be a very searing and brutally honest account of a person who wallowed in addiction and recovered with such aplomb and drama that the book was just a book you had to read.

Then came the question on veracity of the things accounted in the book.  After Oprah had so dramatically endorsed the book, James Frey, the author, guested in her show and recounted his “experiences”, leaving without a doubt in people’s minds that indeed, it was a memoir.  Frey guested in Larry King’s show and said the same thing, and Oprah even called in to give her endorsement anew. 

The criticisms never stopped coming, and the accusation of the book actually being a work of fiction just wouldn’t stop.  This morning, I tuned in to one of the news programs where they were talking to a writer from one of the major dailies here in New York and the topic was Oprah’s withdrawal of her endorsement because Frey and his publishers owned up to the fact that the book was embellished and not all accounts were true.  (I had a feeling about this when they mentioned that one claim of Frey was having gone through a root canal without anesthesia.. hindi ka ba naman maloka!)

Oprah Tells Frey He ‘Betrayed’ Readers
Thursday January 26 4:50 PM ET on Yahoo

In a stunning switch from dismissive to disgusted, Oprah Winfrey took on one of her chosen authors, James Frey, accusing him on live television of lying about “A Million Little Pieces” and letting down the many fans of his memoir of addiction and recovery.

“I feel duped,” she said Thursday on her syndicated talk show. “But more importantly, I feel that you betrayed millions of readers.”

(Please click on the article title to get the full text from Yahoo News)

Poor Oprah.. I feel for her because the woman is just so magnanimous about her good will.. no wonder she is so blessed — but to be duped and used like she was, even the richest woman in America must hurt a lot.

I will still read the book but I feel rather dejected after sympathizing with Oprah’s disappointment.  It can wait.  Frey, I believe, is still a good writer — so good that people actually almost believed his fiction was non-fiction.

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I’m trying to find a translation for the word Kutob.  The Tagalog-English Dictionary I found on gives its English equivalent as “foreboding”.  Good enough. 

I’m on page 72 of Malcolm Gladwell’s BLINK, and the reason why I wanted to get the translation for kutob is because that is what the book is all about.  He tries to explain in very practical terms that this foreboding that we feel when we do something without explanation or irrationally is actually a result of an unconscious decision we make.  He tells us we should trust it more and try to maximize its use to help us improve our lives.  I’m getting there.  And how sometimes, the decisions we make in a snap are actually as well founded as those that we make with utmost deliberation.

I guess one of the better ways of illustrating this is how we sometimes feel ill-at-ease when we first meet a person.  Don’t you find it weird how sometimes, for no reason at all, you feel like you just don’t like this person?  Or how you just know something’s wrong with a picture without exactly knowing what?

It’s not that profound a subject matter and Gladwell writes succintly, but it’s definitely not your next read if you’re more inclined to read romance novels.  What I like about Gladwell is his illustrations are stories we can all relate to, and which give you that wow effect at the end when you realize that it was THAT simple.  Grab a copy if you can.. let’s read it together.

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