Monday, May 31, 2010

MacLaren 1-2

What a shocker. Red Bull Racing were on course for another Red Bull 1-2 finish and Mark Webber on his way to a third win in a row. But instead, in a surprising incident with his teammate Sebastian Vettel, everything goes wrong. During the 41st lap, Vettel tries to overtake Webber and manages to take the inside line and edge ahead. But somehow he turns into the right and Webber doesn't budge, which leads to a Red Bull collision leaving Vettel out of the race and Webber dropping to third.

The gates were now wide open for Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, who opportunistically snatch 1st and 2nd respectively. There was a lot of excitement a few laps later when Button makes a run for the lead and takes it temporarily before Hamilton fights back. The two cars came dangerously close to one another at the turns but didn't do a repeat of the Webber-Vettel debacle earlier in the race.

This result allows MacLaren to edge ahead of Red Bull in the Constructors Championship by a single point. It also gives Hamilton his first race of the season and allows Button and Hamilton to narrow the gap with current drivers championship leader Mark Webber. Should be interesting to see what happens in Canada two weeks from now.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Allison returns to "So you think you can dance"

Season 7 of 'So you think can dance' will be an All-star season, with 12 past contestants rejoining the cast. I'm especially looking forward to the fact the all-stars include Allison Holker from Season 2, who is one of my favorite contestants from the show. Here's the season 7 preview:

uploaded in youtube by user FoxBroadcasting

The new format will feature 10 new contestants performing with 12 SYTYCD all-stars. Instead of the previous process where contestants were paired with each other and each pair picks a dance style to perform out of a hat, the 10 new contestants will pick one of the 12 all stars to perform with. I don't know if it'll be shown in one of the cable channels here, but AXN is currently airing Season 5 (it aired Seasons 6 and 4 previousl) so maybe after that, they will show the All-star season. I'm really looking forward to it.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

My new health regimen

Around November to December of last year, I kept getting sick. I'd have tonsillitis one week and be on antibiotics, then once the tonsillitis cleared, I'd have pharo-laryngitis which required a completely different set of meds. I'd be heading to the clinic every week and at one point, my blood pressure was pretty low. My CBC results indicated I was anemic so my doctor advised me to start taking vitamins that are high in iron content. I went to the drugstore to compare different multivitamins and I decided to start taking Centrum.

However, Centrum doesn't have very high Vitamin C content. I figured that if I was getting sick all the time, I needed more Vitamin C. And antioxidants. So while in the supermarket, I stumble upon Berri, a brand of juice that has a lot of vitamins. One of the variants, breakfast juice with antioxidants, had 150% of the required daily allowance of Vitamin C, while another variant, breakfast juice with fibre, had 200% of the Vitamin C RDA. So while it wasn't all that cheap, I figured that drinking one glass of Berri a day along with Centrum would help me get healthier.

I can't really say I'm all that healthy now, but so far this year I haven't gotten sick for prolonged periods of time yet (knock on wood...) I'm guessing that my new health regimen has something to do with it. I'd sometimes drink Harvey Fresh apple juice (apple juice is known to be high in antioxidants and has good vitamin C content too) or Del Monte Fit 'N Right (which has 100% RDA of Vitamin C and L-Carnatine which is supposed to help burn fat LOL) instead just so I don't get tired of drinking the same juice all the time. All these drinks and the vitamins impact my budget for sure but if it helps me stay healthy, it's definitely worth it.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A tribute to Simon Cowell

I never thought it would happen, but some of my favorite idol contestants were on the same stage to pay tribute to Simon Cowell, who was making his final appearance on American Idol as a judge. Check it out:

video uploaded in youtube by user AmericanBestTalent

I loved seeing Fantasia, Bo Bice, Elliott Yamin, and Melinda Doolittle on the same stage at the same time. It's just too bad that they had to sing a sucky song LOL. (I do wish, though, that Tamyra Gray, Anwar Robinson, Camile Velasco, and Mandisa were also there.)

American Idol will definitely not be the same without Simon Cowell.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Is it the heat? The stress? Or my new fabric conditioner? I can't really tell. But about a couple of weeks ago, I started to getting rashes every evening. Sometimes I'd have the rash on my legs, other times on my arms, and other times I'd have it on my back.

I wasn't sure if it's because of the intense Manila heat. However, it has been intensely hot the last several weeks already and my allergies only started appearing a couple of weeks ago. So it can't just be the heat.

Could it be my new fabric conditioner? I had to buy a new brand recently coz I haven't been able to find my previous brand in months which leads me to think it's been discontinued. But if it is the fabric conditioner, why does the rash only come out at night? I mean, the clothes I wear to sleep are washed using the same fabric conditioner so I should have an allergy when I wake up as well.

Stress maybe? But I've had several patches of tough work this year and I've never had the allergy up until the last two weeks.

So if it isn't any of these things, then what could it be? Well, my conclusion is that maybe it's the combination of everything. In any case, after getting an allergy again one night, after about a week and a half of this, I decided to take a Clariting which helped my rash subside.

The strange thing? After that one Claritin, I no longer get an allergy each night. I'm not a doctor so I have no idea how to explain all this. But I am happy that I'm not getting rashes night anymore. :)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

"Untold" by Pete Francis

Here's a really good song from Pete Francis called "Untold".

video uploaded in youtube by user jramster1144

I watched an episode of One Tree Hill recently (I haven't really been watching this series much anymore) and in that eppy, a lot of cool and interesting songs were featured. It made me remember the great songs I discovered by watching this show. 'Untold' was featured back in Season 1 and I've been a fan of this song since then.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Jollibee on Glee (with spoilers)

So I'm watching the latest episode of 'Glee' on ETC and I see this scene were Artie gets off his wheelchair (a 'daydream' sequence, apparently) to perform the 80's hit "Safety Dance". Which kinda shocked me since I always thought that Artie used a wheelchair in real life. As I continue to watch, I quickly realized the surprises weren't over. "Jollibee" makes a cameo!

You can easily make out the big Jollibee sign at the top right of the screen just behind Artie and the rest of the crowd. It comes up a few times. Apparently the scene was shot in Eagle Rock mall in Los Angeles.

Was the product placement intentional or not? Some folks have opined that the "Safety dance" scene is reminiscent of the Jollibee flash mob promotional stunt done in SM Mall of Asia last year. Whatever the case may be, it really was a pleasant surprise to see the biggest local fast food chain on one of the biggest US television shows this year. :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Iron Man 2

Iron Man 2 has been such a major box office hit so far and it's still raking in millions as I write this but it took me two and half weeks to find my way to the cinema to catch it. I watched it on Sunday night with my mom and one of my nephews. I have to say, though, that apart from the action sequences - the one in Monaco and the one at the end - it was a bit of a let-down. I actually thought it was kinda boring. Considering that the action sequences really kicked ass and were so entertaining to watch, it was a pity that there weren't enough of them.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Record-breaking victory

What an incredible win! Rafael Nadal beats Roger Federer with a score of 6-4, 7-6 in the Madrid Masters final. Why was that win very significant?

  • It is Nadal's record 18th Masters 1000 title. Andre Agassi held that record previously with his 17. Roger Federer is only two titles behind with 16 so Roger could still take that record, but he is about 5 years older than Nadal.
  • Rafa's win also moves him back up to #2 in the rankings, which is just in time for the French Open. He is now assured of being seeded second which will hopefully bring Rafa a better draw.
  • He has now also won all three Masters titles on clay in the same year, the first time anyone has achieved this feat.
  • Rafa's head-to-head against Roger Federer now stands at 14-7.
  • He has a perfect 15-0 record on clay this year.

I don't want to think Rafa is a shoo-in for his 5th French Open title given that last year, Rafa was the red-hot favorite leading up to Roland Garros before losing to Robin Soderling in the fourth rounbd. Howver, his results on clay this year should definitely give him back a lot of the confidence he lost last year. Hopefully Slam #7 for Rafa is just around the corner.

Friday, May 14, 2010

An evening in Burgos Circle

Of all my sections in high school, it was my third year class that seemed to bond and get along with each other the best. Because of that, we had more than our fair share of get-togethers and parties, even when we weren't classmates anymore. We probably met up last as a section in our first few years in university. So it was pretty cool that we - or well some of us at least - got together again on Friday night.

We were planning to have dinner in Henry's (by Good Earth) in Burgos Circle, but apparently there was a private party there that night so we moved to Mile Hi Diner. Nine of us made it - myself, Jan, Mico, Lawrence, Flo, Tricia, Elaine, Jackie, and Mitch - which is about a third of our section size. Not bad considering it's been nearly two decades since we sat in the same classroom for an entire school year. Needless to say, walking down memory lane played a great part in our evening conversation. We stayed in Mile Hi up until they started playing Barry Manilow songs - which we took to be a hint that we needed to go rather than a reflection of our age lol - and had drinks or dessert and coffee in Rastro (their creme brulee was really good but their cocktails are so-so), where we stayed until it closed.

Apart from Mitch, Elaine, and Jan (who I keep running into in different gimmick places in Manila lol), I rarely get to see everyone else who was there that night so it really was awesome getting to catch up. I also think it's really cool that I've been meeting up with a lot of different sets of friends in recent weeks. I do have a few more friends coming to Manila in the coming weeks, so my social calendar in May is starting to look pretty good. :)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Trilogy!

I got it! I finally got it! The Star Wars Trilogy on DVD!

And by Trilogy, I mean the original trilogy - 'Star Wars' (A New Hope), 'The Empire Strikes Back', and 'Return of the Jedi'. I knew Ray was coming to Manila in April so I ordered this DVD box set from Amazon a couple of months back and had them delivered to him so he could bring them to the Philippines (instead of me paying for the expensive international shipping costs).

I'm sure a lot of people who are used to the impressive visual effects of recent years will find these original versions clunky and uninspired, but these films used special effects that were ahead of their time. These are probably the films I have watched the most - maybe Return of the Jedi more than any other film - so now that I have the DVDs, I'll surely end up watching them a ton more.

(And despite the fact that people generally regard 'Return of the Jedi' to be the worst of the trilogy, it's still my favorite. :))

Monday, May 10, 2010

Halalan 2010

I feel bad. And ashamed. I wasn't able to vote. My name was deactivated in the Comelec list. Apparently I didn't vote in the last two elections. I know for sure I voted in National elections in 2004 and I missed the National elections in 2007 because I was in Sweden. So I thought it was just one election I missed. But I forgot about the Barangay elections in October 07. So two consecutive elections missed means my name was no longer in the list of voters in my precinct. Sucks big time! But well, it was my fault for not figuring things out better.

Anyways, it's good to see that for the most part, the first national computerized election in the history of the Philippines is going well. There was some violence that led to death (I still dream of the day when there is no more election-related violence) and a lot of cases where the machines didn't work. The lines were also incredibly long - people waited for hours before getting to vote - but it's great to see that the election turnout was still a pretty good 75%.

The great thing about the elections being computerized is the fact that the tallying of the votes is miles better than it was before. It hasn't even been 12 hours since the precincts were closed and about 70% of all votes have already been counted (unofficially though, but it means the official count shouldn't take anywhere nearly as long as it used to).

Hopefully, I sort out my registration status between now and the next election. Gotta make sure that my voice - however small - is heard.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day!

This Sunday was probably the first mother's day in recent years that my family didn't go out. This was driven mainly by the fact that my grandparents went to the province for the elections. So my mom and I ended up just going to church and then eating out after. We had dinner in Il Padrino Coffee and it was pretty cool because they offered a 20% discount on food items because of Mother's Day.

There was a small massage place next to Il Padrino so my mom decided to pamper herself and get a massage 1 1/2 hour treatment (for only P500! And it was traditional Pinoy 'hilot' so it really relieved the tension and tiredness in her muscles.) So while she was getting her massage, I ran some errands like buying food for Monday (so we wouldn't have to cook) and getting the dry-cleaning. I returned to Il Padrino to have coffee and tiramisu while waiting for my mom's massage to be done. Nice quiet calm day. Not a lot of these in recent weeks so I'm thankful. :)


I caught the awarding ceremony of the Spanish GP when I got home, and it's nice to see that Jenson Button managed a 5th place finish and still stays atop the Drivers Championship. Hope he gets another good result - maybe a win? - in Monaco next week.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

More catching up

This time, it's over Mexican food. Che arrived in Manila about a week ago to attend a wedding so we ended up having dinner tonight in Agave in Bonifacio High Street. Che had never eaten there before so she wanted to try it, and the menu is pretty reasonably priced so I was definitely okay with it. I woke up really late today which threw my schedule off, and this meant I was about 40 minutes late for dinner. When I arrived, everyone else was there: Che, Hannah, Raffa, Joh, Steph, and Me-ann who had to leave shortly after I arrived because she just got in from a business trip abroad and had to head home ASAP.

When I got there, Hannah had just eaten half of her burrito and didn't want to polish off the rest of it so she gave the remaining half to me. I was planning to order either a burrito or an enchilada, but since I had half a burrito already, I decided to order the pork carnitas. Thankfully my free half-burrito was good because the pork carnitas was not such a good choice. I mean, it wasn't bad, but it wasn't the P240 I paid for it. I should've just ordered an enchilada lol.

Didn't really matter because it was the company that I was after. And as is always the case when I hang out with these guys, it was a lot of fun talking about anything and everything, and catching up on stuff. Raffa and Joh had to leave after about an hour and a half, so the rest of us decided to have coffee in Coffee Bean to cap the evening and catch up a bit more.

Most of us will be hanging out again in a couple of weeks because Me-ann is organizing a McDonald's birthday party for her nephew. Should be fun.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Catching up over Korean Barbecue

Ray flew back to Manila for the elections, but his schedule in Manila was so hectic that it was tough to find time to meet up. So when Marga organized dinner in Ye Dang Korean Restaurant in the Metrowalk area on Wednesday night, I definitely made myself available.

It was really good catching up with Ray and with everyone else there who I rarely get to see. Someone even commented that despite most of us being in Manila, we only manage to get together whenever Ray is in town, which was funny but (sadly) true. The World Cup is coming up in a few weeks though so there have been talks about getting together to watch some of the good matches together. (Not totally sure though if I'm up to it as the matches will be played at around 230am local time!)

To make the evening complete, the food in Ye Dang was also really good. The food was actually prepared Korean Barbecue style, which means it was being cooked in our tables by our waiters. I asked Marga how she learned about this place and she said that since Ray wanted to eat in a new place, she asked her uncle and he recommended Ye Dang. The owner is Korean so the food is definitely authentic.

A fun night complemented by good food. I have to say that a positive bonus to the elections on Monday is that a few of my friends who are now living outside the Philippines are coming home. I am supposed to meet up with a couple of other people in the long weekend who are here to vote as well so I am certainly looking forward to that.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Rome title #5!

Congratulations to Rafa Nadal for winning his 5th Rome Masters title in the last 6 years. This was a record-equalling win as he now has 17 Masters titles tying him with Andre Agassi who won 17 Masters Titles in his career.

It was a bit scary for a moment as Rafa was under pressure in the semifinals against Ernests Gulbis, who eliminated Roger Federer in the second round. Thankfully Rafa scraped through that match. In the final, he was tested in the first set by compatriot David Ferrer and kept things even after 8 games. But the two rain delays worked in Rafa's favor, who dropped only 3 games after the first rain delay to win the match 7-5, 6-2 and with it, his fifth Rome Masters title.

So after 11 months with no trophy, Rafa finds his footing once again on his favorite surface and wins two major clay-court events, racking up a 10-match winning streak. There is one more major event on clay before the French Open - Madrid - but it is still not sure whether Rafa will play in that tournament or not. I personally prefer it if Rafa skips Madrid to ensure he is fully fit for the French Open, but I will trust that he and his team make the right decision with respect to his match play.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Elliott Yamin back on Idol Gives Back

It's great to see Elliott Yamin back on American Idol. And once again, he makes a special appearance on Idol Gives Back, returning to Angola. This time, he goes there with Kara DioGuardi. Check out the video here.

uploaded in youtube by user dacrowe

I missed this when it was shown on TV so it's only now that I got to see it. The background music being played is Elliott's song called "Doorway" which is available as a bonus track when you purchase his full album "Fight for love" on Itunes.