The Delicious Essence!

A good online friend started exploring his “healthier” side by going vegan. Yup, everybody seems to be going vegan nowadays. I also have a college friend who’s a vegetarian. No beef, no chicken, no fish… just the thought of it sends chills up my spine. Veggies and fruits are all well and good but a life without meat is just…


Aaaanyway, lately, I’ve been developing my fifth taste.

You might say…

“Fifth taste? You’re talking crazy Jigs! There’s only four types of tastes! Sweet, Salty, Sour and Bitter! You’re stupid! I’ll never read your blog again!”

But wait, there IS a fifth taste. You do have the basic Bitter, Sweet, Salty and Sour, and the fifth is UMAMI. There isn’t really an English word for it, but essentially, UMAMI is the savory taste found naturally in meat, poultry, seafood and some vegetables. The UMAMI taste itself is subtle. Most people wouldn’t even recognize it. It Enhances the taste of other flavours and brings everything together. It’s amazing, believe me, when you can recognize and manipulate UMAMI. It’s like UMAMI is the soul of a dish.

UMAMI isn’t just in the taste. It is a combination of taste, smell, color, temperature and appearance. But let’s set the record straight, UMAMI is not MSG. MSG has been touted as a flavor enhancer which is kinda what UMAMI is. However, UMAMI is the natural occurrence of the delicious essence found in foodstuffs (meat, cheese, tomatoes and mushrooms to name a few), which is far better than its synthetic counterpart. I have never used MSG as an ingredient and never will. MSG is the quick and cheap way to attain that savory flavor.

Enough about that…

UMAMI is something that is not unfamiliar to us. I bet, after reading this short article, you will start recognizing what UMAMI is, and what it tastes like. It is an integral part of the whole dining experience. So, I try my best to maximize the UMAMI of any dish I make. Let me say though, UMAMI is something Vegans can appreciate too. Just a bite of a ripe tomato and you can taste UMAMI.

This is basically my Meatyball Surprise dish. What’s the surprise? UMAMI! LoL! Not really! You just have taste it for yourself! Oh wait, you can't! Hehe! Anyhoo, I have two reasons why I’m showing you this dish. One, it's because it has a great UMAMI taste thanks to the beef, the tomatoes and the parmesan cheese which makes this meal amazing! And two…

It's just to show all those VEGANERDS what they’re missing! Mwahahaha!

P.S. VEGANERDS are “non-practicing vegans”- people who are vegans just because they want to be cool!

For more information about VEGANERDS and those “non-practicing vegans” ask PAOLO.

Advertising: The Life of Trade*

Other than my Cooking, Photography, and Movies, I am also quite fond of Advertising. Being a Business Management student, I recognize the significance (or insignificance) of marketing in any industry. It takes a lot of creativity, expertise and instinct in creating a good and persuasive ad.

Marketing takes up a good percentage on the budget of the whole management process. Marketing answers how the product should look, how much should it cost, where to sell it and how do you advertise the product.

Advertising has been questioned in the past for spending so much of a company’s limited funds with no guarantee of a return on the investment. In spite of this, companies spend millions to make sure that their product is “out there.” Great advertisements are memorable, effective and of course, persuasive.

Right off the top of our heads, we could think of great companies who continuously create entertaining ads like Pepsi, HP, Nike, Sony, and Apple. Do you remember Sony Bravia’s mesmerizing and colorful commercials? How about Pepsi and their endorsers? And who could forget the recent hit of Apple’s “I’m a Mac and I’m a PC” ad campaign?
This is an ad campaign against child slavery. They placed life sized images of chained children on revolving doors.

Viral Ad campaigns create great effect with minimal effort. Do you remember Dove’s Ad Campaign Evolution? A great form of promotion which conjures emotion from their customers. and contains a deeper message. Other memorable video ads are Budweiser’s croaking frogs, and the Energizer Bunny (the first ad that stuck in my head).

On to my favorites: Print Ads! Instant impact is what print ads aim for. Unlike TV commercials – which are repeated constantly on different shows on different channels – a print ad has to grab your attention in just one glimpse in order for the customer to see their product. The ad has to be witty, simple, and attractive. Fascinating isn’t it? You can just imagine all the creative ways companies and ad agencies have already thought of in order to get you to buy a product.

A great ad from Sony for their Micro Vault Tiny

Lately, Ambient Ads are the in thing for advertisements. Placing ads around a customer’s daily routine is what Ambient Advertising is all about. It is outside of the media and can be commonly seen on buildings, roads, and structures at a certain locale. They are visually attractive and invoke curiosity and surprise. Some of the best in this category become attractions or modern sculptures.

Creative use of the steam for a coffee ad.

A wonderful ad from HP

M&M's as buttons for doorbells!

Fun use of the hot blowers in comfort rooms for a hot sauce ad.

Advertisement is fun, creative and mentally challenging. Some ads can be so beautiful and creative that they are considered as today's form of art. It is the principle focal point at which makes a business or a corporation seem more accessible and attuned to the needs of its target market.

*a quote from the author Calvin Coolidge

Finally! A Post! It's A Meme Unfortunately...

I was forc- I mean asked to do this meme. I delightfully obliged because of two valid and convincing reasons. One, my blog is about to die and I need to resuscitate it. And two, it's about movies! It's gonna be fun. So my answers here are off the top of my head and I wrote the first thing that came to mind.

1) One movie that made you laugh

"Kung Pow: Enter the Fist" - as crazy, stupid and retarded the movie may seem, this movie made my jaw, ribcage and stomach hurt!

note: "Dracula: Dead and Loving It" came a close second

2) One movie that made you cry

NONE. Call me cold-hearted or just plain mean but no movie has ever had the honor of making me cry. Not "Life is Beautiful," not "Titanic," not "Anak," no matter how heart breaking the movie got, I have yet to shed a single tear.

note: There is one movie that I remember recently that ALMOST got me misty-eyed. "The Pursuit of Happyness" (the bathroom scene)

3) One movie you loved when you were a child

We basically grew up with Disney and Aladdin was a favorite. However, I remember vividly my love and fascination for the movie Nightmare before Christmas.

4) One movie you've seen more than once

Currently, it's "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street"

5) One movie you loved, but embarrassed to admit it.

"The Brady Bunch Movie." Also, "The Master of Disguise"

note: may I be forgiven for my lack of sanity.

6) One movie you hated

Epic Movie, Date Movie and Meet The Spartans - what disappointing parodies!

note: "Son of the Mask" was gawd awful too!

7) One movie that scared you

As an adult, The Eye kinda scared me. As a kid however, Nightmare on Elm Street scared the crap out of me. I was so afraid to go to sleep, it wasn't funny.

8) One movie that bored you

"The Hours" - to quote Liz Lemon of 30 Rock, "The Hours?! They should've called it The Weeks!"

9) One movie that made you happy

"Grindhouse" - technically, that's two movies, but they both were awesome wicked cool!

10) One movie that made you miserable

"Queen of the Damned" - I like the movie, don't get me wrong. The fact that it was based from an Anne Rice novel means I'll most likely like it. It's just that it didn't live up to the novel and its full movie potential. It could've been better, alot better. And I hated knowing that.

11) One movie you weren't brave enough to see

High School Musical

note: . . . . . . .

12) One movie character you've fallen in love with

Akasha, from "Queen of the Damned"

note: Also probably any role Mila Jovovich has portrayed.

13) The last movie you saw

On the silver screen: Speed Racer - It left a bad taste in my mouth

On TV: Superstar - on HBO

14) The next movie you hope to see

Either "Narnia: Prince Caspian" or "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull"

There! That wasn't THAT painful, was it? And you got to learn a little bit more about me. Do this meme if you have the same reasons as I do. Tell me about it so I can know a bit about you too.

May 9th

My 2nd year...

Can't believe it lasted this long...

It's still fun...

“I’m not a Religious Person, but I have Faith”

I hear that line uttered more and more each day. It may not be exactly in those words, but in every different occasion, they mean the same thing. I even hear myself uttering those same words at times. Now, I find myself asking a question. Is the approach to Religion, and Faith in general changing? Is it adjusting to fit today’s environment or is the traditional ways too slow for the speed at which life operates? Adaptation or Antiquation?

You have proof on both sides. There is adaptation because there are those who apply religion and faith to the current situation of a community. We hear praise songs that have a modern beat to it. We also hear stories related to our daily lives. Religion promotes self expression and can also create a for of support system for an individual. And as always, it is a goal to do what is right and what is good as much as possible. Of course, I can not say this for everyone. However, there are still youths today who, not only have a strong faith, but also knowledgeable of their religion. They are the ones who shape their belief as to better apply to their lives.

On the other spectrum, there is also an evidence of antiquation. Kids nowadays do not know their prayers. What’s worse, many have unlearned some of their traditions. I barely know a handful of people who can pray the rosary. Also, a once a week mass has become more of a chore or even an inconvenience than a time for reflection and worship. I also notice that there is a lesser need for traditions, ceremonies and such. I mean, a good amount of them have become nothing more than novelties. I’m just glad that my family remains steadfast to our traditions and what they truly mean. I don’t want to get too cynical about this whole thing so the less examples the better. This is just me, contemplating on yet another all-too-serious topic which is completely over my head. I’m glad so few people read this blog. I probably won’t get any FYI-retorts.

But, there is one thing I know, times are changing, it always has been. Now it’s up for Religion to catch up to people’s faith.

P.S. This is a chaotic post. Too ambiguous and lacks detail. Well, these are just things I needed to sweep out of my attic. It’s up to you if whether you find something you like in the garage sale.

On A.C. and My First Restaurant Review!

Last week was my brother’s graduation. Congrats to him and all that. I scouted for a few restaurants where we can celebrate his achievement. Despite the fact that I virtually know the economical hotspots of Angeles City AND even though I did do a market analysis of Angeles City for its potential for business growth, I honestly was surprised at the sheer number of great restaurants popping all over the Metro. Angeles City is set to become Luzon’s center for commerce. This is all because of the new super highway being built where Angeles is right smack-dab in the middle and the opening and further development of the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport. Isn’t it obvious with all the new malls populating the vast landscapes of Clark, San Fernando and Nclex? Why, even the Ayalas have begun building an Ayala Mall in Angeles. Land Developments - both commercial and housing projects - are everywhere. Xevera, The Enclave, The Lakeshore, Angeles City and Pampanga in general has become a real estate developer’s dream nowadays. As this shift becomes more apparent A.C. will only continue to prosper and hold true to its title being "the heart of the north."

Anyway, before I get a whole lot further off topic, I picked a restaurant which has become famous for its amazing ambiance, menu and location. This restaurant, scenically situated at The Holiday Inn’s rooftop offered a Brazilian inspired motif with international fares. An award winning restaurant, Rodizio is a true dining experience. To get to the restaurant, you take an elevator straight to the top of the hotel. The moment you step in, you are welcomed by a stunning winery and bar (it’s the bottom picture). You take a short right turn and you’ll see the restaurant itself. The interiors are very beautiful. And the ambiance at night is wonderful. However, if you want to appreciate the view outside the deck, lunch time would be much better.

(click for a larger image)

Some say you can instantly tell the quality and taste of a restaurant’s dishes based on their house bread. And I think that is true. Rodizio’s house bread had a slightly crunchy exterior and the inside was warm and fragrant. It was lightly salted and had herbs ixed into it. It is definitely one of the best house breads I have ever tasted. The whole party partook of the restaurants meat and seafood buffet offering. Everyone started off with some chicken and mushroom soup which was delicious. You can taste the strong flavor of the mushroom, but it did not over power the chicken at all. Their salad bar was also very pleasing. All the vegetables were fresh and the dressing was amazing. The seafood portion of the buffet consisted of crabs, shrimps, mussels, and some Japanese dishes like sushi, maki, sashimi and more. I loved the seafood. One thing that was different was, everything was cold. My family was not used to eating shrimp or crab like that. It was still delicious though and the temperature only added a different dimension to the taste.

For the main course, each had the option of rice, mashed or baked potatoes for a side dish. I asked for mashed potatoes. It was okay, it needed a bit more salt and it was not as flavorful as I had hoped, but I didn’t want to be filling up on side dishes anyway, I was here for another purpose. LOL! After they served the side dishes, four waiters arrived carrying various grilled meats. One had two metal stakes with sausages (one chicken, one pork) impaled on them. Another had chicken teriyaki, another had pork ribs and another had flank steak. Each waiter passed by each plate and placed a portion of what they were carrying. In no time at all, my plate was already overflowing with all the different kinds of meat. Let’s analyze them one by one, shall we? LOL! The sausage, was too salty. I did not care for that at all. The chicken teriyaki was divine, tender and succulent, and the flavor was perfect. The ribs was good, nothing exceptional. The steak was very tasty, but a little tough.

As everyone fell silent while enjoying their meals, waiters would constantly come back to check on our side dishes and meats, just in case we wanted more. You see, in Rodizio, they had this small wooden block (you can see it in one of the pictures) that’s color green on one end, and red on the other. I was told that as long as the green part was on top, the waiters will just keep on serving you meat. If you’ve had enough, just turn it over so that the red part is on top.

On to the final course, dessert. The buffet was complete with its own dessert station. It had a chocolate fondue fountain, crème brulee, fruit slices and a myriad of cakes. I didn’t know where to start, but thanks to my sweet-toothed sister, I tried the fondue first. From marshmallows, to strawberries, to small butter scotch brownies, we bathed them chocolate fountain. Very good…need I say more… From the cakes, we took slices of the chocolate cake, the blueberry cheesecake and the mango chiffon cake. I didn’t like the chocolate cake and the mango chiffon was unimpressive, but the cheesecake…The cheesecake was so dense that it almost had the texture of a pound cake. It was not too sweet and the blueberry on top was the best compliment. It was the best cheesecake I have ever tasted... Ever! And finally, we managed to find some room for a bit of the crème brulee. It was a bit too rich for me and the caramelized sugar on top was nonexistent.

All in all, Rodizio was everything I heard it was and more. The wait staff was pleasant and accommodating, the ambience was perfect and the food is delectable. It completely surpassed my expectations. So, for all you out-of-towners visiting Angeles City, be sure to visit Rodizio at the Holiday Inn.

!Boo! Archuletta and Castro !Boo!

I love discoursing with people, especially if both of us have good insight on the topic at hand. These kinds of discussions have given life to several of my posts. Some of them being my post on Mainstream, Being an Irregular Student, and The Top 10 Jologs Songs. I can talk about almost anything. I have fun exchanging thoughts about movies with Shinji, My chats with Juice are not only engaging but also informative. (Last time we chatted, we talked about Business Ethics!)And of course I can depend on Rex for a stimulating conversation on just about anything!

Lately however, I’ve been having fun arguing with Mr. Fishbowl with our short YM chats.

We have similar POVs but we also have so many dissimilar likes. I don’t know, I just somehow manage to like things he doesn’t seem to. Therefore, we have a good time back sassing each other about them. It’s fun because he manages to make fun of me and my likes while I’m completely nasty towards his. A good current example would be our short cynical discussion about our AI bets…

paolo m: i'm gonna miss American Idol today.

paolo m: darn! i wanna see David and Jason. Those are my top 2

paolo m: i hate David Fuck'n Cook

Jigs: he's my bet!! :D

paolo m: i hate you… you just ruined my day

Jigs: Then my job here is done…

paolo m: why do you like him? He's a loser

Jigs: he's cool!

paolo m: oh c'mon. he's a dork

Jigs: and he's arrangements to the songs are great!

paolo m: ok ok... everyone of them can sing. Jason and David are cool and humble

paolo m: David is just an arrogant fuck. Lolz! I love cursing him

Jigs: Puh-leaze! Your David is just milking his naivete!

Jigs: And come on, Jason knows the ladies love him! That's the only reason he is still there!

paolo m: and david?

Jigs: David COOK, has talent!

Jigs: Plus, his brother has cancer man!

paolo m: you've been brainwashed… Come to your senses Jigs!

Jigs: I may be brainwashed, but you're heartless! Think of his brother!

paolo m: O c'mon David Archuletta couldn't sing for a year! And, david winning the competition
won’t exactly heal his brother

Jigs: Boo-freaking-hoo! Archuletta can’t sing for year! How tragic that is… You can't hate on a guy who dedicates his performances to his brother with cancer! Now that’s just heartbreaking.

paolo m: i dedicate his non-winning to his brother as well. Now we're even…

Jigs: Now that's just crazy…

paolo m: I know…

He’s funny, I’m nasty; he’s a bastard, I’m chaotic; he’s for change, I’m conservative (forever!); he likes Zac Efron, I loathe him. Yes, we have a multitude of differences and we constantly debate over them, but this weird comradeship thrives because of it. Personally, I think this is the stuff my friendships are made of…

So, got anything you want to talk about? Then just buzz me on my YM ID, and I'll do my best to chat you up and start a great conversation!

The Merlin Club

If you want to join, please visit Paolo's Blog. Thanks!

To Cook

In every family, there are those few people who you admire their knack for cooking. Be it your grandma, your mom or your bbq king uncle, you just can’t wait for the next family get together so you can once again savor their signature dishes. I am so lucky that I belong to a family that knows what good food should taste like. Only the freshest ingredients and never settle for mediocrity.

My Lola Mercy is one of the best cooks ever! But, I’m sure we all have grandmas who are the best cooks. She makes one mean Sisig, her Lasagna is out of this world and her Cherry Cheesecake is heaven! She also makes a wonderful Avocado Ice Cream.

If there is another person who can match, even top my lola’s cooking, that would have to be my lovely mother. Her Kare-Kare is addictive, her Chicken Cordon Bleu with a side of Cauliflower smothered with white sauce is mouth-watering, and her take on the classic Spaghetti is the best I’ve ever tasted (Italliani’s can kiss my butt!). My mom’s Escabeche is just…amazing (my dad loves it!).

“Voila! A pot pie. Wholesome, warm, healthy. That's, of course if you can live without the cream sauce. Personally, I can't. I mean, what's the point?

But there is one dish that every time I taste reminds me of home, and of my mom and my lola (because they cook the dish equally well). The feeling I get is kinda similar to the one Anton Ego gets after taking a bite of the Ratatouille. Lolz! At first, I didn’t want to learn how to make the dish because there was the feeling of comfort when somebody else cooks that meal for me. But then I realized, why not share the same feeling I get with the people who matter to me? It took time to prepare, but the result I got was completely worth it.

Lengua Con Champignon (drooling right now)

I know it’s a once-in-a-year kind of dish to eat because let’s face it, it’s not exactly figure friendly. But that only adds to the appeal of the dish, the desire for it. I’m so happy to finally be able to cook it and continue the family heritage of cooking excellence! Yeah! Lolz! You know, I wasn’t supposed to be the next cook in the family. It was my younger sister who got to receive all the training (being the constant helper during parties and meal preparations) from my mom, lola and aunts. I think it’s the passion that pushed me to learn how to cook even if it was all by myself. The kind that if I was asked, what do you want to do for the rest of your life, I would confidently answer, COOK. I’d probably be the first male cook in the family (but I do have uncles who can cook).They say, there are certain reasons why men’s cooking tastes better than women’s. One is that men aren’t so parsimonious when it comes to the ingredients. Another is that a woman’s emotion goes into their cooking which can be a pro-and-con kinda thing. I mean, based on my observation, male chefs right now are more popular than female ones. Lolz!

“I like to cook -- it's my meditation. One aims for perfection in one's life, but one doesn't find it very often. For me, this is about as close as it gets.”

But, I am just that, a cook. Not a chef. There are so many people who are good cooks, but so few who are good chefs. It’s become my dream to become a chef, but being a cook right now is satisfying in so many levels. However, being a cook, one of my weaknesses is baking. I don’t bake. If I did, then I’d be a baker. Lolz! Unfortuntely, not being able to bake limits my ability to create desserts. But that won’t stop a good cook! So here’s one of my favorite desserts that I’ve made in a while. I didn’t have strawberries so I used bananas instead.

Panna Cotta (with an extra, extra drizzle of chocolate sauce and slices of Bananas)

Tasty, delectable, scrumptious, saccharine, gastronomical, and luscious; some of the nicest, boldest, sexiest and best sounding adjectives are found when describing good food. They don’t have to be expensive, they don’t have to be gourmet, they don’t even have to be calorie laden. Good Food is whatever tingles your taste buds and gives you a feeling. Food, and cooking for that matter, is just as simple as that...

“You know, people can sleep, or they can gamble. Or they can even make love when they're miserable.

But I think that most people eat when they're happy. I like to see people happy…

P.S. Next time, I’ll tell you about how hard it is to take a good photo of food! Lolz!

P.P.S. Quotations are by Mr. Linderman of Heroes

P.P.S. I’d like to thank Paolo Mendoza for the letter “Z” in my Lolz!

A Diamond In The Rough

I found myself completely out of my element this month. Honestly, I have been delving into uncharted waters that have proven to be uncomfortable, challenging and at times unsettling. What I’m trying to say is, we all handle things differently. Our experiences and acquired knowledge gently shove us into these “comfort zones.” Humans, being a creature of habit cling to these situations because we find safety and competence in them. We avoid, fear even, those unfamiliar territories because we are stripped down to our barest. All our knowledge, all our experience count for so little that it scares us. It scares us to discover how ignorant or inept we are in the grander scheme of things.

I have been involving myself in activities I never imagined I would ever participate in. These activities may seem so provincial to you, but oh so foreign to me. I felt so deficient, so to speak. I was somehow barricaded to the world I chose to enclose myself in, and now, breaking out is unnerving. I sometimes get so paranoid that I think people think of me as weak or slow on the uptake. Maybe I feel this way because I can see that what comes natural to them is conversely as difficult for me. It gets to the point that you feel your introverted self creep in and think this would be much easier if I was left to my own devices, that I do not need anybody’s help. When in fact you do…

It can be disheartening, forcing yourself into a world which seems to reject the “staple-you.” But, I found out, there are those special few that know and see who you are, acknowledge that what you’re doing won’t be easy, and still stand by your side. Thankfully, I found those few who can get me through it all.

For the Diamonds in my life…I hope to become one…


Currently changing from one template to another. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Be Back with a more substantial post...

Please leave a comment so that I'll link you up!

My most heartfelt thanks to the most wonderful Juice! Couldn't have done this without you!

Till next post!

Goodbye Blog Break! Hello Summer Break!

As much as I like my recent posts, blogging has not been easy for me lately. Blogging has become somewhat of a chore. Not to say that I don’t like blogging anymore, it’s just that other things take more priority than blogging and they basically drain me of any enthusiasm to blog or even blog surf. I think I only have enough of an attention span for 5 or 6 blogs, before I get bored out of my mind. I somehow enjoy twitter because I get a quick glance of what’s happening to some of the bloggers I still read.

I wonder, since summer break is upon us, will this encourage a fresh surge of bloggers? Will the blogs once again be teeming with posts almost every day? When I started my blog, it was on a summer break and as I remember it, every blog I visited was - for a lack of a better term - teeming with life both from the blogger and the readers. Everyone was so inspired or maybe excited to blog, even comment on posts! Of course, reciprocity is the key.

Will it be the same? I believe after this coming week, everyone will basically have free time (not referring to the working class of course. LOL). There will be time for excursions, time for cavorting, and time for oneself. Lots of free time. And finally, even some time left for blogging.

I however, feel sad, well disappointed in the fact that there are thousands of dead blogs out there. No posts for years, and they just stay there to rot. These blog hosting sites should really clean them up. Some of those blogs even have good titles! LOL! A while back, at one point in my blog life, I wanted to change the name of my blog. And every name I wanted was taken. It was such a waste because all of those blogs’ latest post was around 2000 or 2001. I wonder if can request to have those blogs deleted…Hmmm…

Do you think blogs will come alive again because of the coming summer break?

so what if I like what millions of other people like?!

Is mainstream so bad? I mean, if you look at in a more liberal light, it can seem that way. You lose your individualism, and it’s as if you are being told what to like and what not to. You become like any other average Joe that’s trapped in this commercial sweatshop where nothing is unique anymore. We try to be unique. In fact, we at times desire it. Maybe by going against the current, or maybe by embarking on an original idea or event, or maybe by diversifying our awareness and delving into something unusual; we always think of ways to express ourSELVES.

Nobody likes to be like everybody. We want to be known for who we are and what defines us. But in the billions of people in the world, how different can we really be? Many say that there are no original ideas in the world anymore, only revisions of what has been. What are innovations but a construct of previous ideas. Everything is recycled. What you think is a distinctive and creative idea is but the influence of your environment and what you are exposed to. One cannot honestly say that the idea “popped” into mind without any form of an external coercion. Ideas are born out of necessity. A need to fill in a gap where a challenge used to lie. Would you have thought of that idea if it wasn’t for that necessity?

I am not stating a fact, nor is it a stand on the matter. These are just floating thoughts that needed to be poured out. What I’m trying to say is, if mainstream for you looks, feels, tastes or sounds good, and you will benefit from it, then why not follow the majority? Must we be always…differentiated? I think it was from Shinji’s blog where I read that it’s ok to enjoy Mainstream (at times) because it already is presumably good. And when I say good, meaning you’ll like it. Do not show prejudice to someone who is into the mainstream. If they find joy in it, then who are you to tell them otherwise?

We’re all part of a certain “mainstream” anyway…

P.S. This post was brought about by a certain conversation with a certain self-professed “unique individual” who doesn’t follow anything “mainstream” according to him. Needless to say, the conversation ended without any real resolution.


Has this ever happened to you? You stroll around the city, walking past hundreds of different people, nothing out of the ordinary to speak of. Then you see it, a moment which will probably make your day and leave you in high spirits. Be it a baby trying to catch a butterfly or the man trying to make a living by performing in the street, during these moments, don’t you wish you had a camera with you?

Well, it happens to me often. I love taking photos especially if they have a story behind them. But there are those instances, unexpected events I would have loved to freeze in time. I found this great idea by Michael David Murphy. As they say, “pictures are worth a thousand words.” Then why can’t a picture BE words? A word by word account of the picture you missed…

Here is my first attempt. My own UNPHOTOGRAPHABLE.

This is a picture I did not take of a young girl picking strawberries in a field in Baguio. The fresh cold breeze blew constantly as the sun gently kissed the soil and the foliage. Sunflowers which lined the field faced and welcomed the sun eagerly. The young girl, dressed in blue, about 5 to 7 years old, rushed the field of strawberry plants, patiently choosing which strawberry looked best. She crouched down to get a better look and feel of each and every strawberry in front of her. Every time she found one she liked, she would pick it. Smell it. Then take a small bite... She took a bite of every one she favored, and put the rest in her container. The saccharine nectar of each bite would fill her mouth and at times drip ever so gently. A smile would fill her lips after every bite as if saying she made the right choice in picking that strawberry. Her mother who was picking beside her asked her daughter to refrain. The little girl heard nothing. She was euphoric in her deliciously red and green world, even if it was for just the moment, when she found her own little sweet rubies.

Cinematic Conversations: The Finale!

I really need to finish this list! “Way to milk the suspense Jigs!” LOL!

But before I go to my number 1, why not let the suspense go on just for a moment longer…

There were other actors who never made it to my list but still deserve proper recognition. Some of them are Christopher Walken, Helena Bonham Carter, Christina Ricci, Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, and Jake Gyllenhaal all are outstanding actors but didn’t quite make the cut.

There is another actor who recently got my attention. He’s a good actor with a few awards under his belt (one of them being an Oscar). He also has an excellent sense of humor and a good sport to boot. Movies like “Good Will Hunting,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” “Ocean’s Trilogy,” and of course “The Bourne Identity Trilogy.” I bet you already know who I am talking about. So, no further introduction will be necessary right?

Anyway, I saw this hilarious video of him with Sarah Silverman (one of the best comedians working today) a while back and it still cracks me up now! If you haven’t seen it, you should. They have this running gag on the Jimmy Kimmel Live. It’s great! Watch it and the other videos about it.

Jimmy Kimmel also made a video in response to this just to get back at Sarah and Damon. Watch it here!

On to the main event! So who really is at my #1 position? I think some of you have guessed correctly (No Rhea, it’s not Jack Black). Well, not 100% correctly, because I have a tie for 1st place! Wow…how exciting…..LOL!

1) Cate Blanchett

She is one of the most successful and influential actresses during her time. I’m just speechless when it comes to the great Cate. “Elizabeth,” “Bandits,” “Heaven,” “Veronica Guerin,” “Babel,” “Notes On A Scandal,” “I’m Not There,” and her mesmerizing performance as Katharine Hepburn on “The Aviator” are just some of my favorite movies from her. However, her other films are not in anyway lacking. She constantly delivers transfixing performances. Her beauty is much like her talent, unending and immaculate. I have to stop here, if I keep going, I’m just gonna babble and embarrass myself.

1) Johnny Depp

One of the most versatile, daring and amazing actors I have ever had the pleasure of watching on the silver screen. He is the kind of actor who acts for the sake of acting. He doesn’t do it for the fame nor for the huge salaries (but getting that doesn’t hurt). Having that kind of perspective leaves the door open for so many acting possibilities. And that is what Johnny Depp got. Eccentric roles like Edward Scissorhands in “Edward Scissorhands”, Ichabod Crane in “Sleepy Hollow”, Jack Sparrow in “Pirates Of The Caribbean”, Willy Wonka in “Charlie And The Chocolate Factory”, and the more recent Sweeney Todd in “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street” are critically acclaimed roles that seems like no other actor could portray. He was also great in films with more “conventional” roles like “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape”, “The Brave”, “Ed Wood” (I loved this film!), “Donnie Brasco”, “Chocolat”, “Before Night Falls”, “Once Upon A Time In Mexico”, “Secret Window” and “Finding Neverland”.

Phew! Quite a list. Quite. A. List. I hope I didn’t irritate you guys for waiting too long. I really enjoyed this 3-part post though. :P

Cinematic Conversations: The Sequel

Wasn't able to post this earlier. I went to Baguio this week. I will tell you about it next time. Thanks for the comments! Nice to know we have our similar tastes and different likes. Anyway, here’s Part two of my previous post. The upper half of my Top 10 Movie Crushes:

5) Emma Thompson

I have this certain affinity for British actors (and of course British films), and Emma Thompson leads the pack. Her beauty is simple and more “earthly,” while her acting is truly spell-binding. She can play roles from a serious inhibited role in Sense and Sensibility, to an eccentric wizard in Harry Potter to a peculiar but talented writer in Stranger Than Fiction. This two time Academy award-winner (for her roles in Howards End and Sense and Sensibility) is not only a brilliant actor, but also received praises for writing ability. I do recommend that you catch her earlier films like Dead Again, Howards End, and Remains of the Day; and her later films like Sense and Sensibility, Love Actually, Nanny McPhee and Stranger that Fiction. Oh! And did you see her in the HBO miniseries, Angels In America? She was just heavenly (pun intended)!

4) Will Smith

Because of his latest films, no one can deny the acting aptitude of the great Will Smith. He has shown great versatility and has established himself as a bankable actor. He has kept himself out of controversy and has managed to keep his family together (happily I might add), unlike all the other celebrity couples. Independence Day, MIB, Enemy of the State, ALI, Bad Boys, The Pursuit of Happyness, and the recent I Am Legend show proof of Will Smith’s undeniable success in the movie industry. By the way, let’s not forget his rapper status! “Na na na na na na na, Getting Jiggy with it!” LOL!

3) Leonardo Di Caprio

2002 was for me the beginning of Leo’s serious acting career, anything before that was just a warm-up (Titanic is a cinematic phenomenon, so it doesn’t count. LOL!). And, from 2002 onwards, he could do no wrong. Gone are the matinee idol days and Leo-Mania groupies. Welcome the Oscars, Golden Globes and SAG awards. He has starred in one massive movie after another (Catch Me If You Can, Gangs Of NY, Aviator, Blood Diamond and The Departed) with no signs of slowing down. He is one of Martin Scorsese’s preferred actors and this is greatly advantageous to his career. Only good things are expected the new more impressive DiCaprio.

2) Natalie Portman

I know a lot of you are going “Whaaa?” Like Milla Jovovich, Natalie is one of those actors I’m just infatuated with. She is a lady with the smarts, the looks and the personality. Being a straight-A student, she was quoted saying, "I'd rather be smart than be a movie star." Fortunately, she had managed to be both by graduating from Harvard and winning a golden globe for her role in Closer. She is also one of the top geek crushes for her role in Star Wars! LOL! Her roles in Garden State, Cold Mountain, Closer, Anywhere but Here, V for Vendetta and Paris, je t'aime are just beguiling, mesmerizing and wonderful. You should also watch the SNL episode she hosted, she’s hilarious.

Oooops! The post got to long again! I’ll just tell you about my Number 1 Movie Crush in another post. ;P CAN YOU GUESS WHO???

Cinematic Conversations

The last post was disgusting right? Yeah, everybody noticed. So, in order to make up to you few who still actually read my blog, I’m going to blog about one of my favorite amusements, MOVIES! Let me first talk about my Top Ten Movie Crushes. Thanks to Paolo for getting my thought process going because we virtually fought over this list. Hahaha! He thought I was really “mean” and “technical.” Will you agree?

10) Shia LaBeouf

He is for me, one of the most promising young actors in the business today. He, as of late, has been doing one great movie after another and at the same time continuously delivering excellent performances in all of them. It started with “Holes” to “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints” to “Transformers” and now, the up and coming “Indiana Jones”.

Note: Paolo disagrees and believes Zac Efron should hold the title I gave to Shia. I say, it takes more than perfect skin and a singing voice to make an actor. If he can show some REAL range and BELIEVABLE emotion, then we’ll talk, but for the mean time, he should stick to his musicals.

9) Milla Jovovich

I just had to add her to my list. I can’t help but like every movie she makes, no matter how bad a few of them are! LOL! I’ve watched 50% of her films and I am yet to hate one (so don’t make me review her films! LOL!). I really find her beautiful and multi-talented at the same time (she even has a critically acclaimed music album). Even her small role in Zoolander was noticeable. I’m sorry guys; I’m just biased when it comes to her. As Juice would say, “Milla Jovovich is love.”

8) Christian Bale

What an intense actor Christian Bale is. He is so attuned to his craft that the most important aspect of a film for him is delivering an astounding performance. He is so disciplined that he has undergone severe dietary regimens to play some of his roles (e.g. The Machinist and Rescue Dawn). He is also known for his expert skill in different accents. My films of choice are “American Psycho”, “Harsh Times”, “Rescue Dawn”, “3:10 to Yuma,” “Laurel Canyon” and “The Prestige”.

7) Charlize Theron

Another lovely lady and she’s from South Africa! She won an Oscar for her incredible performance in “Monster” making her the first South African to win the said award. She followed that up with North Country and Aeon Flux, where she both got praises for her roles. She has that classic beauty to her which radiates every time I see her at award shows. Then she takes a complete 360 and completely transforms into the characters she portrays in movies. Film of choice would be “Monster,” “North Country,” “In The Valley Of Elah,” and “Battle In Seattle.”

Note: I sometimes get Charlize Theron and Scarlett Johanssen mixed up. Has that ever happened to you?

6) George Clooney

I didn’t really like him in ER (he did however get Emmy and GG nominations for it) but I liked all of the films he was in (that I’ve seen of course), whether he be the actor, the director, the producer and/or the screenwriter. The multifaceted Mr. Clooney has done excellent movies in the past years and is best known for “Ocean’s Eleven” and its sequels. His eternal bachelor status has gained him quite a following among women. He has also received several awards and nominations for both his acting (“Syriana,” “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” and “Michael Clayton”) and directing ability (“Good Night And Good Luck”).

Note: George Clooney is my counterpart for Paolo’s Mel Gibson.

I have to stop here for a while. The post is getting too long. What do you think so far? Do you agree? Type in your thoughts guys! Would love to hear it! Top 5 will be posted asap!

P.S. Got new reviews in my other blog, INFLICKTED! Please visit and leave some comments! Tell me if you like or hate my reviews! LOL!

This is what stress can do

I’m dead! I can’t believe how busy I am! Dammit! Where’s my support system?! I think they’re busy too. I’m wasting away mentally. This is crazy. My face looks terrible. The eye-bags, the outbreaks, the pasty complexion, there’s no mistaking it! I’m stressed and on my way to a breakdown…

Aaaanyway, how are you guys? Doing well I hope! That’s good. Take care of yourself ok? You might catch a cold. Don’t forget to text me if you need anything.

Stress is making me do things I wouldn’t normally do. Right now, I can’t watch anything unless it’s a cartoon show. I personally prefer anime lately. I’ve been downloading Japanese cartoons non-stop! And no, it’s not the hentai kind! Weirdo.

Speaking of cartoons, anybody here a fan of the cartoon in Nickelodeon toon called “As Told By Ginger”? I saw this one episode where Ginger composed a poem which got her noticed. The poem is good, I really want to know it.

I’m also experiencing some mild bipolar disorder. Mood swings left and right, depressed and I don’t finish some things I started. I start reading a book and half way through it, I just set it down and no longer plan to finish it. One time, I started cooking some pasta but as I was waiting for the noodles to finish cooking, I completely spaced out and just walked out of the kitchen without finishing the meal I was making. It was a good thing it was just spaghetti, our maid took over the cooking.

I’ve also been dying to write a few reviews for a couple of new movies I’ve seen like I AM LEGEND, LARS AND THE REAL GIRL, BEOWULF, ENCHANTED, JUNO and ACROSS THE UNIVERSE. But I also don’t want to force myself to write a review and end up with something crappy and terrible. I promise to write a bunch of reviews soon. By the way, if you have any movies you want to be reviewed, just tell me and I’ll tell you what I think about the movie.

This is it for now. You know as I reread this post, I come off somewhat dumb! Haha! That’s ok, got no brain cells to spare right now. Hehe! Till the next time!

It's In The Blood

I’m Filipino. And like most Filipinos, I’m 25% or 50% (I’m not really sure, I have to ask my lola again) of foreign blood. Meaning, somewhere in my family tree, one of my great lolos or lolas was a foreigner. And again, just like some Filipinos, I’m not really sure which. I think it’s either Chinese or Spanish. Most likely it’s Spanish due to my last name but, the maiden name of my lola (the one I told you earlier about, remember? LOL!) is Chinese, so like I said, I’m not really sure.

Why am I telling you this? No special reason really. Lately, my mind has been filled with thoughts of whether or not my blood heritage has anything to do with my personally. I’ve heard countless generalizations about cultures and ethnic groups, both negative and positive. I realized, looking at myself and my life, I’m nothing like the Chinese, nor am I more of a Spanish due to my family name. But I do believe I am greatly influenced by a more specific and unexpected group that I belong to. I can’t believe I am more of a KAMPANGAN than I ever thought I could be.

I am not really your average Kapampangan. My knowledge of our culture is trivial and I barely speak our dialect. My residence is in Pampanga, but I virtually grew up in Manila. I am not at all that close to my Kapampangan relatives and as much as I try too fit in; it seems I am uncomfortably placed among them. Nevertheless, I try, and they welcome me as part of the family as they always do. It just seems that I am more of a regular Filipino than a Kapampangan. But one person helped me change that perception.

A teacher. Not really a Kapampangan teacher, but a person who was a proud Kapampangan. He is actually an accounting professor, and he spoke not a word of Kapampangan. He grew up at Manila and decided to stay in Pampanga with some other relatives. He is what I would call unconventionally proud of his being Kapampangan. He, like me knows nothing of Kapampangan culture nor can he properly speak the dialect, but he feels he inherited more from Kapampangans than any realized. He made me realize a more positive perspective regarding the matter.

Wow. This is a booooring post isn’t it? Then let me just summarize…

Kapampangans love to cook and eat, loud talkers (especially in groups), very hospitable, loves to party, lives a good lifestyle, lives beyond their means, family-oriented, emotional, head strong, straight forward, passionate, and of course good-looking. As general and maybe similar some of these maybe to others, they definitely stand out in Kapampangans, which I am proud to say I possess. I may not be culturally adept in some areas of Kapampangan cultures, but I AM unconventionally proud to be a Kapampangan.

Note: As I begun to write this post I was truly enthusiastic, but then, the power went out and so did my inspiration. When the electricity came back, I recovered my file but can no longer continue my train of thought. Everything that came out my mind was poop. So this post is completely ruined! Ugh! Nakakainis Talaga!!