Rizal’s Mona Lisa Smile

Today is Rizal Day.  Let me then post my personal favorite among the numerous photos of the ultimate Pinoy henyo and hero, Jose Rizal.

This is one unusual photo of Rizal which bears his Mona Lisa smile.  It is unlike the usual photo of Rizal which is mostly serious, tensed, unsmiling and oftentimes nondescript.  In this photo he looks happy and seems to have done something naughty.  I specially adore the hoity-toity vibe on his pretty face in this photo.  He looks cool and definitely hip!

what's on his mind...?

what’s on his mind…?

Another remarkable about this photo is that you can actually generate and formulate various thoughts and ideas (similar to the Mona Lisa) on what is on his mind while the shot is being carried out.  It’s a simple yet mysterious smile that can conceive millions of interpretations.

Ampogi ng lolo mo!

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Fa lala lala lalalala!

me seated on santa's chair

me seated on santa’s chair

Fa lala lala lalala!

or is it

Fail lala lala lalalala!

You need not worry that on the night before Christmas there will be no big bearded fat  man who will jump in at your window, grab you and puts you in a red sack. Though I told Santa I wanted you for Christmas…  He refused!  He told me I have been so naughty this year.  Nevertheless…

Joyful holiday wishes and warm greetings to all of you!

Here’s a Christmas song/video of my favorite band this year…  I hope you rock the Christmas night away…

Maligayang Pasko…

Best YouTube Video Reaction On This Year’s Ms. Universe Pageant

photo of the now "classic" 2010 ms. universe pageant reaction on youtube

photo of the now “classic” 2010 ms. universe pageant reaction on youtube

YouTube again is now flooded with clips that demonstrates Filipinos euphoric reaction while watching the Ms. Universe pageant.  Common in all these jubilant and ecstatic emotional bursts is especially evident when Ms. Philippines is announced as part of the cut of top 16, top 10 or top 5.

This serves to confirm that beauty pageants no matter what it brings to the country’s economic or cultural growth is a big deal in this part of the globe.  In the Philippines, Ms. Universe pageant can be equated as the Superbowl of America, the Mardi Gras of Brazil, the crowning of a monarch in Great Britain or the TV appearance of Kim Jong-un in North Korea.

People around the world would again wonder how come it takes some time before it is uploaded on YouTube.  The answer is simple, the Philippines has to slowest internet web loading in the planet.

These usually funny video clips loaded on YouTube is now a staple in the Philippines since the country’s representatives for the past 3 years has landed on the top 5 of the pageant.

janine tugonon & olivia culpo

janine tugonon & olivia culpo

But for this year’s version of video clips some were not the usual rapturous reaction but nevertheless remains hilarious.  This is especially true when on the final spot of the competition, the Filipina beauty whom everybody expected to win because of a grand performance during the night and supposedly sealing the crown on her head with a very intelligent answer was not announced the winner.

For me this year’s epic funny video comes from these two hopeful yet surprised earthlings (uploaded by Alma Gloriana) who evidently are not living in the Philippines (the Philippines have yet to have a winter season).  Look at how this two drop their jaws on a very simultaneous manner.  It’s an epic of a clip!

“Uhhhg!” Hahaha! Napa-NGA-NGA si Ate’t Kuya!

Thank You Lou & Greg

the oreo-cookie-look-alike mayan calendar

I would like to personally thank two people who were responsible for the calendar that the world is now using.  Aloysius Lilius, the Italian astronomer and physicist who invented the solar-cycle-based Gregorian calendar and Pope Gregory XIII who approved on this calendar that bears his name.

It’s been all around the news for the past months that according to the Mayan calendar, tomorrow will be the end of the world.  Can you just imagine what we are now doing in case the Mayan calendar is the one that proliferated around this planet and the one we earthlings are using?  Today must probably be nothing but chaos.

Thanks Lou and Greg.  Because of you two, I’m not packing my bags and ready to go to either Venus or Mars since the world will not end tomorrow.  Nevertheless, December 21, 2012 will be dubbed as the most widely-disseminated doomsday tale of human history.

Tuloy ang buhay. May pasok bukas!

Janine Tugonon: She Grows In You

janine tugonon

janine tugonon

Odd as it may seem, but I could equate Janine Tugonon, this year’s Philippine representative to the Ms. Universe pageant, to a Hot & Sour Soup.

At first sip of this Asian soup, you wouldn’t like it.  The hot and sour taste would swiftly burst into your mouth which could result to some contortions on your face.  But when you would have your second and succeeding sips you will start to realize that this soup is actually very tasty and delicious.  Your taste buds would simply crave for more.

Just like Janine Tugonon.  She would simply grow in you.

Here in the Philippines, at the early stages when Tugonon won the right to represent the Philippines in this year’s most coveted beauty pageant, a lot speculated that it is not going to be a 3-consecutive-year feat for the country (in 2010 Venus Raj placed 4th runner up while last year Shamcey Supsup placed 3rd runner up).

But after watching the preliminaries of Ms. Universe 2012, you would start to realize that the Tugonon-bashers in the past could actually be very wrong.  One YouTube commenter even wrote that there’s a bit of Raj, Supsup and Quiambao (1999 1st runner up) in her.

If you want to see what I mean, watch this goosebumping video and let Ms. Philippines grow in you…

Wow! The crowd’s gone crazy when it’s her turn!  I hope she won’t bring home the bacon for I wish that she bring home the crown. Hahaha!  Good luck Ms. Philippines!

May laban ang bruha!

Handwritten Notes In My Treasure Box

I don’t know but there must be something in my hypothalamus that bursts with uplifting joy every time I would receive a handwritten heartwarming note or letter from a friend or a relative.  The value of handwritten poignant thoughts directly conveyed to my inner being cheers me up in high spirits.

Maybe this is the reason why I have the compulsion to keep, store and squirrel away these letters and notes no matter how short the messages are and regardless of what sort of paper these are written on.

To hint on some examples, herewith are a few of the letters/notes that I have been keeping in my treasure box in which some heedless souls may already consider as trash…

chosen notes from my treasure box

few of the notes from my treasure box

this kid will be turning 12 early next year

this kid is turning 12 early next year

Of course two of my personal favorites…

thatcher, my niece's christmas letter last year.  i can hardly remember what she gave me but this letter will forever be remembered

my niece thatcher’s christmas letter last year. i can hardly recall what she gave me but this letter will forever be kept and remembered

luis' note when he was just starting to learn how to write (left was the front page, to the right is the meat of his "very precise" message)

my nephew luis’ letter written on a tiny sheet of paper when he was just starting to learn how to write.  (left was the front page, to the right is the content of his “very precise” message).  luis is entering college next year…

Or maybe I got this penchant attribute from my mother.  I can clearly recall when I was still a skinny kid when Nengkoy would make a décor-less scrapbook of all the Christmas Holiday and Birthday greeting cards she would receive through the years. These colorful greetings card she received were usually from my father who was then working in the Middle East, from my dear relatives based in USA and Canada (the Romasanta-s and the Pineda-s) as well as from her close friends working in various parts of the world.

Kapag ako sumikat, pwedeng ipang-myusiyum ang mga ‘yan.

A Grand Gourmet Experience

spirals1

spirals, sofitel manila

It was one unforgettable pre-Christmas dinner as well as post-birthday celebration of my nephew Denden.  I and my family were in Spirals, Sofitel Manila last night.   Spirals is the country’s biggest and widest array of culinary delights with 21 interactive Ateliers.

For me the best features in the buffet were the mouthwatering Chinese Dimsum; a raw bar of sushi and sashimi; the wide array of artisanal cheeses (inside the much raved about cheese room); the juicy steaks at Churrasco; the paneers and tandoori; and, of course the unlimited Foie Gras.

Though this was not my first time to dine at Spirals I still get so overwhelmed, I failed to take photos of the buffet.

the staff probably knew that i have a crazy noisy family we were billeted inside a vip room

sofitel staff probably knew that i have a crazy noisy family, we were billeted inside a vip room

me and nengkoy loved this bread...

me and nengkoy loved this bread…

a view from the hotel lobby

a view from the hotel lobby

No wonder Spirals at Sofitel this year was chosen as the Best International Buffet by the prestigious Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secrets (MBKRS Awards).

Burp…