Wowed by Biblioteca Vasconcelos

If you don’t know me yet, and though I don’t look like one, let me tell you that I absolutely love books and reading.  That is why when I travel, there is always a book that I would bring along with me.

So when I heard that there is a unique mega library in Mexico City and even though it is not included in Tripadvisor’s the top 15 destinations to visit in Mexico City, I know that this would be a place that I have to check out.

It’s Biblioteca Vasconcelos!  I didn’t know really what to expect.  But when I walked in, I literally let go of a massive gasp.  It was so loud,  a bunch of quiet people inside the building knew that there is an elated first timer who has just entered.   

This place is unlike any other places that I have been to.  The architecture is incredibly unique and it is not just like any other library but unlike any other place I have ever seen!  And the more entire I went, the more incredible it becomes.

After the first initial wow impression, the next thing I noticed is just the sheer scale and size of the building.  The uniqueness is that you would see people around: beside you, beneath you and above you.  Some of the floors are actually thick translucent glass.

Biblioteca Vasconcelos opened in 2007 and has over half a million books.  It got its name after Jose Vasconcelos who is a Mexican philosopher, a former presidential candidate and was also the president of the national library of Mexico.   

I noticed that the walls are transparent and that the floors seem mismatched.  It also have very intricate staircases and balconies, it reminds me of the movie Inception in a scene where things were folding on to each other.  I really felt like I was in a sci-fi novel.  It gave me the feeling of being set in the future which not many equally awesome buildings could do.

Biblioteca Vasconcelos is called a mega library because it is actually 5 libraries merged into one.  And each one library is dedicated and pay homage to Mexico’s great thinkers.

One thing that really takes center stage inside this library is the massive white whale skeleton done by an artist named Gabriel Orozco.  The whale’s skeleton, fitted onto a metal armature and inscribed with granite rings and circles, hangs suspended in midair.  It seem visible from almost all sections and every point within the library.

The library is so massive, there are tons of areas where people can sit and work.  Entrance of course is for free and there is free wifi.  And what is best is that Tripadvisor seem to have yet discover this place as one cool tourist destination. 

If you are a book lover like me or an architecture fanatic or just want to see a really unique place within Mexico City, then Biblioteca Vasconcelos is definitely worth a visit.  

Waw as is WAW!

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Calum Scott Don’t Know

Calum Scott don’t know that I belong to the multitudes of British Got Talent viewers who was so moved when he sang his audition piece and celebrated along when he got the Golden Buzzer as bestowed by Simon Cowell.

Calum Scott don’t know that I definitely identify with his audition song “Dancing On My Own”!  And if I am going to sing that song, I will be like him.  I will definitely not change the pronouns in the lyrics.

Calum Scott don’t know that the first time I heard his song “You Are The Reason” was through my Spotify while I was travelling in Turkey.  He of course doesn’t know that I am one of the responsible blokes why such a song has so many airplays in Spotify.

Calum Scott don’t know that we actually have a lot in common.  We both love our family so much.  Both of us are momma’s boy.  Both of us are assiduous HR practitioners.  And both of us are attracted to the XY chromosomes.  

i was with my sister… waiting for calum as the theater starts to get full

Calum Scott don’t know that I am such a fan and did some unthinkable efforts so that I’d be able to see his first concert here in Manila.  And I was super happy when he sang my personal favorite “What I Miss Most”.  He was super adorable that night! My favorite part was when we at the audience were singing along with him. 

Now Calum Scott knows…

Ngayon alam na nya!

Wow Morisette!

The Filipino translation for the word “beast” is halimaw.  And halimaw is how I would describe the strength, depth and power of the singing voice of Morisette Amon during her participation in the recent Asian Song Festival held somewhere in South Korea.

This kind of a Filipina beast simply slayed it!  This was such a phenomenal performance.  Her pure talent is out of this world! And she looks absolutely gorgeous in that video!

What is so surprising with this number is that I was less impressed by her whistling capability.  Maybe it’s because a number of good singers can do the whistle.  I was more impressed and surprised by the unique squeaking sound that her voice makes.  That is so rare and exclusively Morisette.  That squeak would most probably be the most beautiful squeaking sound that I’ve ever heard.

World klas ang lola mo!

Stregato Gelateria: A Gem in Balanga Bataan

It is starting to become a habit that every time I and my colleagues got to spend an overnight weekend adventure out-of-town, we would first have to dine in a well-liked or budding restaurant or coffee shop. Part of the adventure is to scout and google the nicest food joint that our destination can brag about.  And when we have chosen one, we would agree that before proceeding to our final destination to check-in we would have a detour by having either a breakfast, a brunch or a lunch in our chosen eatery.

On our way to Las Casas De Filipinas De Acuzar in Bagac, Bataan for an overnight weekend, I and my colleagues stopped over the agricultural city of Balanga in Bataan.  We had lunch at Stregato Geleteria, a cute and charming Italian-inspired diner right in the middle of the city (right beside The Plaza Hotel and at the ground floor of Galeria Victoria Mall).

cute!

Stregato Gelateria was one surprising restaurant.  First timers like us easily fell in love with the interiors and ambiance of the place.  And surprisingly, the service was pretty quick and the food were superb!

I particularly ordered the Slow-Cooked Roasted Pork Belly.  And that was indeed a winner!

slow-cooked roast pork! yum!

All of us agree that another impressive thing about the food is that the serving-size were just perfect.  The portion was not too much neither too little for its reasonable price.  Their prices were actually not reasonable because it’s unreasonably low!  With an endearing ambiance and flavorful food, Stregato Gelateria is definitely comparable and in the level of pricey diners and coffee shops here in Manila.

And since our tummy were not too full nor felt shortchanged we decided to order two slices of cakes – the mindboggling Ferrero cake and the marvelous Mango Crème Brulee cake.  One Tagalog word for their desserts… sarap!

sarap!
cakes cakes cakes!
a reason to come back
mga batang bagac!

All of us further agreed that Stregato Gelateria is a gem of a restaurant in Balanga, Bataan.  If given the chance to be back in this beautiful old province, I will definitely not miss eating at Sregator Gelateria.

Sarap sa Ingles… dilisyus (parang ako)!  

Katrina Velarde at Wish 107.5

Wish 107.5 is a Filipino radio station with a YouTube channel that features great singing talents among Filipinos.  It is a running proof and an amazing avenue to ascertain that Filipinos are among the most gifted when it comes to singing.

To prove a point here’s Katrina Velarde singing and nailing “Go The Distance” from one of my most favorite Disney movies Hercules.

rare talent, awesome talent
rare talent, awesome talent

The original song was sung by Michael Bolton, but Katrina’s version is better by a whopping distance!  I actually needed a minute to recover from such an enchanting yet powerful voice. Her talent definitely deserves to leap a very long distance!

Mala-halimaw  sa galling ang babaing ‘to!

A Retro Party Video That Deserves 680 Views

Does a person who signed-in or owns a YouTube account can already be considered a YouTuber or does it take a certain degree before someone be considered as one?  I for one owns a YouTube account and I have signed-in my account for more than 5 years already, but still, I don’t consider myself as a legit YouTuber.  For me, a rightful YouTuber is someone who has at least a couple of hundreds of subscribers, posts videos on a regular basis and the number of views of their videos are in thousands (if not in millions).

I have high regard and admiration to these group of internet geniuses.  I am continuously boggled by the fact that these YouTubers were able to tap and has been consistent in tickling the interests of the video viewing public. I have yet to grasp and discover their seemingly elusive formula.  And I’m clueless on how the hell they do it!  Like a pathetic old fool, I have been doing YouTube but one video has yet to reach a thousand views!

Anyway, let me post the latest YouTube video that I did with the help of my officemate (Rey Ferrer) who introduced me to a new world of video editing.  This video is about the recent company party that I organized.  With the hardships and challenges of organizing a company party attended by 680 people, this video I suppose deserves to reach at least 680 views.  Enjoy…

peace!
peace!

Kapag ang bidyong ito naging bayral, maanlilibre ako ng miryenda! 

The Association of Small Bombs: It is so good, I am pissed!

As soon as I finished reading the latest book I have just read, I texted my nephew this:

translation: I am appalled, I am annoyed, I am pissed with you! The book I borrowed from you is so good! Damn it! Hahaha!
translation:
I am appalled, I am annoyed, I am pissed with you! The book I borrowed from you is so good! Damn it! Hahaha!
powerful!
powerful!

It is because Luis, my nephew, was the one responsible why I got hold of a copy of The Association of Small Bombs written by Karan Mahajan.  Last Friday night, while we were at Nengkoy’s house, Luis bragged and showed me this book along with another novel whom he is excited to read.  He boasted that The Association of Small Bombs has been named Best Book of 2016 by Esquire, Time and Vulture.com.

Exploiting my being an elder to my nephew, I pestered Luis that I should instead be the first one to read it.  I eventually brought the book with me in my house and Luis, helpless and all, settled on reading the other novel.

And just this afternoon, like a time bomb, I could not hold on to my grief and wretchedness after reading this powerful novel.  I have to have an outlet and that is decanting these emotions through a text message.  I texted and blamed Luis on why I was feeling what I was feeling.  Hahaha!

me and my monster nephew, luis
me and one of my monster nephews, luis

This is the first book that I read this year and this book was so effective in zoning me out to a different level of sadness.  It is one of the most compelling books that I have read.  It is so captivating I finished the book in one and a half days.

The Association of Small Bombs will bring you to the dynamic insight on the effects of terrorism as well as to the unimaginable high emotions of being a victim of bombings and radicalism.  This book will make you discern that no one wins in terrorism.  And may you be the perpetrator or the target of a bombing plot, everybody ends up being a victim.

But seriously, I am so thankful to my nephew Luis for bringing into my life’s sphere this brilliant novel.  I will indeed return it to him so that he be able to understand the encompassing tragedy brought about by terrorism, extremism, radicalism or whatever synonymous word that people may associate terrifying bombings with.

Super galinng! Masoli na nga ang librong yan!