Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Elha sings Chandelier in Little Big Shots

I first saw Elha Nympha perform Sia's Chandelier on the US version of Little Big Shots hosted by Steve Harvey. I was completely blown away by her performance (as was Steve Harvey and pretty much everyone else who saw it). I'm guessing her video reached France too and the people there must have been equally impressed because Elha was asked to guest on the French version of Little Big Shots too. Watch her performance on that show:

video uploaded by Little Big Stars FR

She's a few months shy of turning 14 years old and yet her control, composure, and power are absolutely stunning. She has backed up her win the second season of The Voice Kids Philippines with consistently amazing performances over the last two years. I wish Elha continues to develop her incredible talent and that she reaps even greater success in the future.

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Kim Fajardo finds her long-lost uncle

This is such an amazing story. A post about a man named Alfred wanting to go home to Batangas went viral on social media. It was noticed by the family of Kim Fajardo, the setter of the National Team and F2 Logistics and the ex-setter of the DLSU Lady Spikers. She then posted this on twitter:

After more than three decades, could her family have found their long-lost relative? The next day, she then tweeted this:

I can't imagine what the parents of Alfred must have felt after losing him and after 32 years, I'm guessing they never thought they would ever find him again. This reunion with Tito Fredie must have been tremendously powerful and bittersweet. While social media has its cons, it's great to witness the amazing miracles that can happen when it is used positively to help make a difference.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Super Blue Blood Moon

This extremely rare event was a trifecta of lunar phenomena. The first, most common, one is the supermoon, which is when the moon is closest to the earth so it looks bigger and brighter. The second is the blue moon, which is simply the second full moon in the same month. The third is the rarest: a lunar eclipse. This happens when the earth is exactly between the sun and the moon. As such, the moon falls completely behind the earth's shadow, at which point is gets its red color, hence the name blood moon. As such, January 31 allowed the world to see the Super Blue Blood Moon.

I actually almost missed it. I saw something about a the moon on social media earlier that day but I didn't pay attention to it. So I was busy sorting stuff out at home when my friend sent a message to our chat group and said that the moon was really beautiful. I commented that I kinda felt too lazy to get out of the building to look at it (I couldn't see it from my window) so he sent a photo that he took using his phone and the moon looked distinctly red. I don't recall ever seeing the moon red and I was instantly excited. I immediately headed down and looked at the moon and it was indeed beautiful.
 I'm not sure when we will experience the next Super Blue Blood Moon- some say in 150 years, some say in 20 - but I am pretty happy that I got to see it this time around.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Kuh Ledesma covers "Unchained Melody"

This version of Unchained Melody is actually the first one I heard. My dad had a cassette tape of Kuh Ledesma's album Feeling which includes her song Help Me Forget and 10 covers. It wasn't until a few years later when Ghost came out that I discovered the original by the Righteous Brothers. Listen to Kuh's take on this beautiful song:

video uploaded in youtube by sokuhro

I have always loved, and still love, Kuh Ledesma's voice. It's distinct and instantly recognizable, effortless, soothing, and has such a gorgeous and pleasant tone. She still is one of my favorite Filipino singers. Listening to this brings back memories of the late 80s when I used to play this cassette a lot. I wish it gets re-released as a CD or digitally so I can listen to it again. For now, I guess youtube will have to do.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Bake Cheese Tart now in the Philippines

Bake Cheese Tart from Hokkaido opened in Manila recently. I got to try this cheese tart during a recent trip to the mall and I have to say, the hype is real. :) It is on the expensive side but it is oh so absolutely worth it!

I learned about Bake from my friend who told me that she doesn't really like Pablo but she loves Bake. When I saw Bake at the mall, I remembered that conversation o I decided to buy one. It is expensive at P95 per tart but the moment I took one bite, I knew that it was P95 very well spent. It was so unbelievably good!

It was so good in fact that I got 7 more boxes. 3 for me and my family and 4 to be given as birthday gifts (I had planned to get my friends something else for their birthdays but after trying this cheese tart, I knew immediately that it would be a much better gift than my original plan LOL).

As I mentioned, one cheese tart is P95. A box of 6 is P540. The box that they put the cheese tarts in is also pretty cool because the bottom level pulls out of the box.

Considering how good this cheese tart is, I am surprised there was no queue when I was there. This is currently my favorite dessert and I will certainly have more of this in the future. There are two branches in the Philippines now, one at the Podium Mall and one at Power Plant Mall.

Bake Cheese Tart
The Podium: 18 ADB Ave, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong, 1550 Metro Manila
Power Plant Mall: R2 Level, Power Plant Mall, Lopez Drive, Makati, 1209 Metro Manila

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Australian Open 2018

We're just at the first Grand Slam event of the year and already, records continue to shatter. Roger Federer and Caroline Wozniacki were left standing after the dust settled, holding aloft the men's and women's singles trophies.

While both were champions, there was a stark contrast between their wins. This was Roger's 6th trophy in Melbourne, tying him with Novak Djokovic and Roy Emerson for most men's Australian Open titles (and with Novak for men's titles during the Open era). Even more mind-boggling - this is Roger's 20th Grand Slam singles title. That is just absolutely incredible!

Caroline, on the other hand, finally won a Grand Slam tournament for the first time. She beat Simona Halep in the final. Both players had been ranked #1 - Halep was #1 coming into the tournament and Wozniacki was #1 several years ago - but neither of them had won a Grand Slam event. In fact, both previously had a strong enough case for best female player never to have won a major title. We knew one of them was going to shake that title off. The winner would also be ranked #1 after the tournament. As it turned out, it was Wozniacki.

But let's talk about Roger Federer again for a bit. Not only is his Grand Slam haul of 20 the best among the men by a decent margin, it is only 3 short of the women's open era record held by Serena Williams and 4 short of the overall record held by Margaret Court. People have been talking about how Serena may eclipse Margaret's record and here you see Roger knocking on that door. Is he going to end his career with the most Grand Slam titles by an invidual, whether male or female? It will be interesting to see how the rest of his career pans out (and that of Serena's too as both of them are within arm's reach of that all-time record).

Saturday, January 27, 2018

January Get-togethers

My friend Jesse was in Manila for the Christmas holidays but she didn't have time to meet up in December. As such, we decided to meet up in early January while she was still in the Philippines. She wanted to meet up in BGC and she asked for Filipino restaurant recommendations so I suggested Locavore and she very readily agreed. Basil hadn't tried Locavore before and as he tried the Lechon and Oyster Sisig and the Sizzling Sinigang, he thought it was so good that he wanted to schedule our next visit to Locavore already LOL. After dinner, we went on over to Casa Italia (this combination of dinner in Locavore and coffee and dessert in Casa Italia is really a favorite of mine) where we all had gelato.

A couple of weeks later, I met up with my friends Mike, Reb, Martin, and Jane for a late lunch in Greenbelt. Martin had just arrived in Manila and was jetlagged so he suggested a late lunch since he might not have the energy for dinner and interestingly enough, a late lunch schedule worked best for everyone since Mike had work that morning and Jane was also sorting out some errands earlier that day. I suggested that we meet up in Bizu since I miss the food and dessert in this place. There was a whole lot of catching up since it had been ages since I got to hang out with all of them together. I had initially planned on ordering one of Bizu's solo cakes like their Samba or Roca but when I saw the Chocolate Souffle on their menu, I decided to order that instead. :)

Finally, Nenen and Suzanne came home to Manila since Nenen was celebrating a milestone birthday and she wanted to do it with her family and friends in Manila. We ended up dining in Your Local in Legaspi Village. This was the first time our group was meeting up over dinner in a place other than BGC so the change in scenery was quite refreshing. :) Your Local only has two dessert options but they said we could order coffee and dessert from Yardstick which was right next to it - I guess they have the same owner/s or they have some sort of tie-up? - so I ended up getting a salted caramel waffle and coffee from there. Our set of friends are scattered across Asia and North America - a lot are based in Manila and in Singapore and a few are in the US and in Canada - and in the last get-together, it was discussed that we should have some kind of grand reunion somewhere in the world. We continued this conversation over dinner while celebrating Nenen's birthday and while the options that were narrowed down are not the cheapest international options, we had some time to save up for it. :) I do hope it pushes through; if (when?) it does, it will be awesome.