Monday, June 27, 2011

The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber

I got a call from a friend this morning asking me if I had nothing to do tomorrow night and if I wanted to watch this. 

The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber Manila
Photo from here.

Since it's free and I had nothing better to do, I said yes. I'm not really into musicals but then, what the heck. It would do me good to be exposed to certain artsy-fartsy stuff once in a while, right? I just hope I don't fall asleep during the show.

Performances are from June 24 to July 3 at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP). For ticket info, visit Ticketworld.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Matabungkay: Bella Beach Resort

While drinking on a Friday night, some friends and I had a brilliant idea of going on an overnight beach trip. Doesn't matter where, as long as it's only a couple of hours drive from the city. Since everything was last minute, we never had enough time to research on accommodations so we ended up in Bella Beach Resort. They offered us a standard room  that can supposedly fit 4 people for P4,500. Our expectations weren't that high, but of course, since the price was comparable to beachfront rooms in Boracay, we were a little bit hopeful that it would be nice and comfortable. Imagine our disappointment when we saw the room. It had one double bed, a TV a bathroom and some space for the extra mattresses. The mattresses that they brought in turned out to be plain air beds which were uncomfortable according to two of our companions who slept on them.

Bella Beach Resort Matabungkay Room
Our room complete with the air beds.

Bella Beach Resort Matabungkay
Karaoke machine is in front of the hut. Some guests bring soap
and shampoo  to take a shower beside the pool.

The resort also has a karaoke machine for rent which drove us mad. To get away from the wailing and the screaming, we decided to rent a "balsa" for a couple of hours for P500 (it's around P1500 for the whole day). Money very well spent indeed.

Getting on the Balsa in Matabungkay

View from the Balsa
From here, you can still faintly hear the sounds from the karaoke.  

Another thing that was quite disappointing was the food. Great that you can eat at the resort but then it was a bit overpriced. A single-serving of pork adobo costs P300 and it wasn't even good. I mean, it's adobo. Why does it have to cost that much? I would've opted to eat at a carinderia outside the resort but we couldn't find one. Beers were reasonably-priced though so there's that at least.

Anyway, I wouldn't be recommending this one to my friends.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday, June 3, 2011

Words and Phrases a Real Man Must Never Use 

I chanced upon this article while searching for anything by Lourd de Veyra. I only heard of him recently, and I must say, I'm quickly becoming a huge fan because of his wit and sarcasm.

Anyway, as I was reading this article, a few male friends immediately came to mind so I thought I'd share :)

Lourd de Veyra: Words and Phrases a Real Man Must Never Use
Lourd de Veyra | Published: 2010-03-26 19:09:02

Because, in the end, words are all we have, said one very, very dead poet. Last year, the editors of the online incarnation of the world's most subliminally gay magazine, FHM, asked me to list down words and phrases that a real man must avoid. Here is an expanded version of that.

"BONGGA"–Increasingly becoming the most evil phrase invented in recent linguistic memory. Two syllables with the greatest damage to masculinity.

"ONE MARGARITA, PLEASE"–Nothing corrodes at the heart of manliness than a silly cocktail glass with salt around the rim and a sickeningly bright liquid that resembles diluted urine and bearing almost zero traces of alcohol.

"CUTE NG BAG MO"–Or just about anything that involves the word cute together with any piece of fashion-related accessory. Shameful minus points for familiarity with French and Italian labels and the words "fake eyelashes."

I'M ON A DIET–This, along with "no rice," "diet Coke," "brown rice," and that crime against all logic and decency, "vegetarian chicharon."

CARBS–What, afraid you won't get your own giant Bench underwear billboard on Edsa?

WORKOUT TAYO, DUDE–If brotherhood is truly global, then we must have the decency to avoid inflicting on fellow members of the species such frightening words.

"ROBERT PATTINSON"–Interchangeable with "Edward Cullen." The fact that we are even familiar with him is indicative of the cracks in our fortress of manhood. Minus 50 macho points for any man who can provide spirited discourse on the Twilight series.

SPA–When the correct term should be "massage parlor."

SALON–There was a time when the world turned on its tranquil axis and men got haircuts from barbers–in barbershops. It was a time of harmony and peace: rusty scissors and murderously sharp straight razors were used, and talcum powder, rubbing alcohol, warm towels, and an assortment of mysterious burning liniments were slapped on napes, necks, and faces. There were no such things as "creative directors," "senior stylists," "shampoo and blowdry," and other silliness.

"BORA"–Ugly, lazy contraction of that noisy, overcrowded island with uglier reggae music and Starbucks. Takes on more emasculating levels when the "R" is not rolled.

"HINDI KAYA NG POWERS KO"–Nothings screams "Darna!" with more passion and silver glitters.

"GREEN TEA MOCHA FRAP WITH EXTRA CINAMMON"–God designed the male species specifically to avoid the consumption of overpriced drinks with pointlessly intricate ziggurats of whipped cream and chocolate.

"THINGIE"–Is it the insufferably cute sound? Or do you say to yourself, "There goes a sensible human being?"

"FAVE"–Sometimes, attempts at terseness tend to misfire.

"INTERIOR DESIGN"–Le Corbusier chairs? Mediterranean walls? Minimalism? Vintage decoupage screens? Mark Hampton? Muji storage shelves? Why, the cave is our natural habitat--and Orocan its only sensible furniture.

"TOTE"–Used in a sentence: "I tote I saw a pussy--not pussy cat. Just pussy."

"LET'S PARTY!"–Manly men will get drunk, stoned, laid, beat the crap out of each other, swim in vomit, tossed unconscious into a cab, and wake up in a strange sidewalk somewhere in Montalban. But they will never, ever fucking party.

GOSSIP GIRL–Self-explanatory.


Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Blogger's Traumatic Bali Experience

So now, being a Filipino automatically makes you a drug-trafficker/mule. Read the article below on how Indonesian immigration detained two Filipina travelers because of mere suspicion.

My Traumatic Experience as an Alleged DRUG TRAFFICKER in Bali Indonesia By Chyng Reyes

For first time readers.. 
My name is Chyng Reyes. I graduated with a degree of Electronics and Communications Engineering in a state university in Intramuros. I work in a BPO company in MoA complex as part of Systems Development team. Im a blogger who frequently travels. And Im an individual who has never taken prohibited drugs.

Pinay Blogger Alleged Drug Trafficker in Balimga BINTANG-ero kayo!

My friend Dyanie and I planned an SG-Bali trip for our birthdays. We took Airphil's Manila-SG flight last May 26, 2011.

Dyanie was held in the Immigration simply because she cant present her company ID. She was suspected na mag-paiwan sa SG to work, and never return to Pinas. This experience alone was heart pounding- though it's only a matter of being approved and being declined to fly to SG. So what more if it's a matter of life and death...

Last May 28, we flew from SG to Bali via Airasia.
Airasia's airbus was full of different nationalities. But Dyanie and I were the only Filipinos on board. We landed in Denpasar airport at almost 11:40pm. We lined up in the Xray machines for our luggage to be scanned.

The moment the officer saw my passport - he carried my luggage. He asked me "is this yours?" I said yes. What could be wrong with my luggage.. The officer scanned our hands too. We don't have any idea what's that for so we asked him. He answered "secret".

After he scanned our hands with that stick, he looked at me and said "come and follow me." He looked to Dyan and said "you also."

omg. what's wrong?!
So in front of all passengers of Airasia that night (na malalaki ang katawan, at yung iba may tattoo, at sila pa yung mukhang harmful kesa samin), kami pa ni Dyan ang mukhang may drugs! We followed the officer because we dont have a choice. We obeyed him, as if we already did something wrong. All other passengers were staring at us..

syet.. anong meron sa bag ko. at anong marks ang nakita nya sa kamay namin? kinabahan ako. this isnt just the usual immigration thing. this is something serious!
We entered the holding room. There were 3 officers inside. 2 males and a lady officer. "Meet my Filipina friend. She was caught hiding packs of heroins in her luggage" said the officer. Sabay turo sa picture frames sa wall nila. It seemed like a gallery of drug traffickers from all over the world. He reminded me that DEATH is the PENALTY of those drug traffickers.

Paksyet. It's matter of life and death in the hands of these Indonesian Police Officers..

They offered something to drink but we refused. 
Yoko nga, baka dahil jan sa drinks na yan magkaron pa ng drugs substance sa katawan namin..
"Do you know her?" asked the officer as he was pointing to the girl in the picture frame. - I answered no.
"Did you take drugs?" - Of course not!
"Did you have drugs hidden in your body?" - What?! Never!

nagpanting yung tenga ko. galit na galit ako. at the same time nalungkot. bakit ganun, tagged na ang pinoys as drug traffickers dahil sa kasalanan ng iilan..
"Let's check your bag".
The officer searched my things thoroughly. I was just looking at him. He checked every compartment of my luggage too.

Ang lakas ng kaba ng dibdib ko. I knew he could frame me up. At wala na kong laban if that happens. Nasa teritoryo nila kami.Ansama sama ng loob ko. Dahil lang Pinoy kami, instant suspect na agad kami.
After he messed with all my things and found nothing, I asked the officer what could be wrong and why was he checking us. He just answered "because the 2 of you are beautiful girls."

putangina mo, nakikipag-cooperate kami sa inyo. naabala at napahiya na kami kanina pa. kaya sana sumagot ka ng maayos kung may tinatanong kami.

For the 3rd time, we went outside the holding room to scan my luggage. I was really very nervous (and irritated). I could imagine him almost saying that he found something in my bag. Remember, he was holding my bag all the time. I never had the chance to touch it again..

you dont trust us. and we dont trust you either. the feeling is mutual. ang advantage lang, nasa Indonesia tayo. at kayo ang may authority.

Now they looked to Dyan. The lady officer asked her if she was hiding drugs in her belly. Of course she answered no. The other officer ordered a body check on her.

as narrated by Dyan: 
Gusto ko man magsabi ng ayoko ng body check, wala akong nagawa. Bansa nila yan. So sunod lang ako sa gusto nila. Pumasok kami sa Body Check Room. Inikot ko yung mata ko to check if there are surveillance cameras. Tapos ni-lock ko yung pinto. Tinanong ko si lady officer kung bakit namin to ginagawa. May 3 pinay daw na nahulihan ng drugs sa loob ng tyan nila. Sympre di ko alam kung totoo nga yun. Pinahubad nya ko ng damit. As in HUBAD lahat. The only body part na hinawakan nya ay ang tyan ko. Pero nakaka-harassed pa din. Wala naman siyang nakitang kakaiba.

no offense pero meron ba silang extensive training na by just touching a body part malalaman na kung may drugs dun? ang hirap maniwala. they cant even speak straight english to start with. mayabang lang sila. pero wala silang masyadong alam.
Now back in the holding room, and I was with the other 2 male officers. They started bragging that they captured all of the drug traffickers in the picture frame. Im still not sure what will happen next as they never told us anything.

What now!? gusto nyo lang may mapatunayan kayo at may madagdag kayong picture jan sa wall nyo?!
Im so proud of Dyan. She went back in the room and still didnt breakdown. I knew I will start crying too if I see her terrified.
pero sa totoong buhay daw, sobrang takot na nya na masesetup kami.
Dyan said I dont look scared at all too. I just look very irritated.
pero sa totoo lang, nafi-feel kong anytime sasabihin ng officers na may nakita sila sa bag namin.. at di na kami makakauwi ng Pinas. =(

After 1.5 hours, they finally let us go. Wala silang nakita. They thanked us for being cooperative pero di ko pinansin yung hand shake offer nila. Galit na galit ako. Pero alam ko bawal ako magsalita. Hindi rin sila nagsorry sa abala na ginawa nila. Para san pa, wala na kaming gana na pumasok ng Bali. Sirang sira yung bakasyon namin dahil sa ganitong pagwelcome nila sa Pinoy.
Sabagay their sorry wont be enough. Kulang yan sa kahihiyan, sobrang takot, trauma, at paranoia na inabot namin dahil sa kanila. Ang sama sama ng loob ko. Putangina nyo!

We met the hotel driver who's been waiting for us since 11:40PM. We finally went out of the airport at 1:30AM. I thanked the driver for waiting for us. He wasn't surprised that we were the last to go out. Sabi nya, kapag Pinoy chinecheck daw muna.

Ah ganun..
Dahil lang may mga Pinoy na drug trafficker, lahat ng Pinoy drug traffickers na agad?!

Sa sobrang takot ni Dyanie, she cried to sleep that night. Tulala. Di nagsasalita.
Sa sobrang galit ko, di ako nakatulog. I started vomiting. Hinika din ako sa sama ng loob.
Wala pa kaming 2 oras sa Bali pero gustong gusto na namin umuwi ng Pinas. Sirang sira ang bakasyon namin.

Putangina nyo! Naging praning na kami everytime may police kaming makikita. Or everytime dadaan kaming xray, paulit ulit muna naming pinapagpag ang bawat damit namin - oras oras - just to check na walang naisingit na drugs sa gamit namin. We're so traumatized that we wont be planning to go out of the country anytime soon.

Pinay Blogger's Traumatic Bali ExperienceDEATH for DRUG TRAFFICKERS
and it wont matter if the DRUGS found is really yours
ako na ang praning

We swore not to go back to Indonesia again. We already suffered a lot. We regret the day we entered this country.
And if you are planning to go to Bali too, well good luck. The next suspect could be you.
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