I Am... Not Yet...

I was in the middle of cleaning up my files when I saw Meredith Brooks' Bitch. In the song, she enumerated her many facets as a woman/lover. So that got me to thinking.

Every human being has multiple facets resulting from roles played or choices made. Some lingering, some disappearing - but an accomplishment nonetheless that's forever cherished/kept. Thus inspiring this little listing game: I Am... Not Yet...

The rules are very simple. List down all the things that represent who you are (I Am...) and will be soon (Not Yet...) because despite differing paths, we cross at the same roles. Enjoy the list and wait for my tag. Looking forward to your posts. I hope you'll enjoy reading my list as much as I posted them. =]

I AM...
  • A woman
  • A daughter
  • A sister
  • A sister-in-law
  • A friend
  • A niece
  • An aunt
  • A cousin
  • A cousin-in-law
  • A godmother
  • A goddaughter
  • A student
  • A trainor
  • A bridesmaid
  • A consultant
  • A bookworm
  • A movie buff
  • An audiophile
  • A couch potato
  • A choir member
  • A closet dancer
  • A cook
  • A foodie
  • A fan girl
  • A branch head
  • A manager
  • A shoulder to cry on
  • A good listener
  • A communicator
  • A writer
  • A chess player
  • A cyclist
  • A traveler
  • A hopeless romantic
  • A photographer
  • An activist
  • A thrift shopaholic
  • A school play actress
  • A fighter
  • A one-man cheering squad
  • A handy helper
  • A poker player
  • A blogger
  • A planner
  • An interviewer
  • An accidental joker
  • A chatter
  • A team player
  • An unrequited lover
  • A researcher
  • An organizer
  • An employee
  • A mall rat
  • A medical patient
  • A class treasurer
  • A registered voter
  • A cocktail drinker
  • A gadget freak
  • A proud Pinay

  • A girlfriend
  • A fiancee
  • A bride
  • A wife
  • A mother
  • A grandmother


xoxo, l.p.

The Tip Of My "Haul" Iceberg

To say this post is long overdue is an understatement. I've been debating on how to approach this post: do multiple installments, classify posts according to type of hauls. However, my need for brevity overrules sometimes so here's my attempt to keep this post simple but jampacked. So here goes the tip of my haul iceberg...

Some tip of the iceberg, huh? Actually my entire haul stash can hardly fit one big storage keeper box. I cleaned up my room yesterday and you can just imagine the shopping bags I had to throw out. Even my mother had a fit.

If you'll look at the picture carefully, most of my hauls are Twilight-related. If my previous posts don't hint to that, I am a full-fledged and, may I say, damn proud Twilighter. Combined with my collector attitude, it's a match made in heaven even if my wallet says otherwise. However, even with my need for Twilight, it didn't stop me from purchasing other items as well. Like shoes, CDs and DVDs for instance.

Here comes the juicy part (I hope): my long-awaited haul list. Let's begin with...


The arsenal of Twilight books I have can make one bookstore really happy. I didn't buy in any other store except there. Hint: I can live in their Fort Bonifacio branch. =]

I have a total of 14 Twilight-related books -- 11 of which were all bought here in the Philippines while the other 3 were a gift from my handsome (naks!) cousin from Australia. Here's the rundown:
  • Hardcover copies of Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse & Breaking Dawn (4 books)
  • Softcover copies of Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse & Breaking Dawn (4 books)
  • The Twilight Illustrated Movie Companion (1 book)
  • The Twilight Movie-Tie Versions, both trade and masss market paperback (2 books)
  • Softcover copies of Border's Special Editions of Twilight, New Moon & Eclipse (3 books)
I also purchased other books as I was bracing for my long holiday. I can't wait until I can crack them open.
  • The Host by Stephenie Meyer
  • Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling
  • The Chronicles Of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
  • The Complete Works of Jane Austen
  • Expeditions Prose by Fully Booked
  • Harry: A History by Melissa Anelli
  • London Fields by Martin Amis
  • The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  • The Eight by Katherine Neville
  • The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
Also, since I like buying dictionaries too, I also bought (don't laugh) a copy of the Tournament Edition dictionary for Scrabble. You can see it in the picture above, still in it's original packaging. I can't wait to open it during New Year's Eve for a traditional Scrabble game with my family.


Over the last few months, I've purchased every conceivable US and Local publication that has a Twilight feature on it or it's two stars (Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson) on the cover. Here are the magazines I've purchased:
  • Entertainment Weekly (July 18, November 14 3-Cover Special, November 21, December 5, December 19, December 26)
  • Vanity Fair (August 2008 and December 2008)
  • InStyle Magazine (December 2008)
  • Rolling Stone (December 11, 2008)
  • Teen Magazine (Winter Edition 2008)
  • Teen Vogue (December 2008)
  • People Magazine's Sexiest Men Alive edition
  • Ok! Magazine Philippines
  • Fudge Magazine (I got a free Twilight poster with this! Teehee!)
  • Candy Magazine

CDs & DVDs

This is perhaps one of my few hauls that's not Twilight-dominated, and least numbered I guess. Hahaha. With the advent of digital downloads, I hardly buy these anymore. The only reason why I still buy them is because of the special features. I love Gag/Blooper Reels in DVDs and extra stuff in audio CDs.
  • Twilight The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack CD (Must-play tracks here are Mute Math's Spotlight, Paramore's Decode, Muse's Supermassive Black Hole and Iron & Wine's Flightless Bird, American Mouth.)
  • Twilight The Score CD
  • Up Dharma Down's Fragmented CD
  • Up Dharma Down's Bipolar CD
  • The Kills' Midnight Boom CD
  • Kung Fu Panda DVD
  • Ratatouille DVD
  • The Prince & Me DVD
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End DVD


Last on my haul list are a few girl items, a Twilight-inspired messenger bag and a Twilight 2009 Calendar.

After having my nails done in Menage Salon Gateway, I discovered a neat-colored nail polish: The Face Shop's RD303 nail color. I fell in love with it's dark red tint that I bought that shade in their BHS branch along with a nail remover and a clear polish to go along with it. Now, I bring it along when I have my nails done with my regular manicurist. I also bought a couple pairs of shoes: a pair of black open-toed heels and a pair of black & white patent ballet flats.

I wouldn't end this post without something Twilight-related again, would I? In the picture above, I also bought a Twilight-inspired messenger bag in the color of Alice's Porsche (wee!) and a 2009 calendar exclusive to Borders. I love the quote on the messenger bag: only a vampire can love you forever. From now on, it'll be my official bag during local Twilight-related happenings.

Whew, that was a long one! Hope you enjoyed the post. Here's to 2009 and plenty more hauls ahead!


xoxo, l.p.

Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire

The moment I hum or sing this song out of the blue immediately signifies that the Christmas spirit has descended upon me. Of all the numerous carols out there, this has got to be my all-time favorite because of its simplicity and warm vibe to it. Although the lyrics depict Christmas on the other side of the world, it never fails to elicit happy feelings from me. So, instead of trying to compose my Christmas greetings for you readers and fellow bloggers, I'd rather you imagine me singing this song from the heart and in tune as my long-time friends can attest.

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire
Jack Frost nipping on your nose
Yuletide carols being sung by a choir
And folks dressed up like Eskimos

Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe
Help to make the season bright
Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow
Will find it hard to sleep tonight

They know that Santa's on his way
He's loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh
And every mother's child is going to spy
To see if reindeers really know how to fly

And so I'm offering this simple phrase
To kids from one to ninety-two
Although it's been said many times, many ways
Merry Christmas to you!


xoxo, l.p.

Sixteen Days Of Bliss

In my haste to blog about my night in the taxi-foresaken place last Friday, I forgot that one of the reasons where I should probably be busting out of my seat in glee then is that it also marks my last day in my beautiful work cube. Yes, I love my work cube but I was also gearing for those sixteen days of being trapped inside my clutter-filled room. I'm staring at the endless shopping bags containing unread books and other what-nots, which reminds me that I owe a good friend several helpings of haul posts to illustrate how ridiculous the last few months have been for me on the wallet front. Some of these sixteen days will be purging days: clearing out old bills, brochures and papers that can be sold in a junkshop. Some will be devoted to reading; some to continue writing my fiction.

I kicked off my first day with a party with a group of fifty-something Twilighters. It was a fun afternoon of games, raffles and new faces. There were a couple of hitches with the venue but nonetheless, happy faces of new friends were enough to keep everyone going. I had a quirky fan moment when I met a resident and uber-funny/smart blogger in the Pinoy Twilight universe. I got my new set of merchadise from the US and a new wave of pins to add to my growing collection. First batch, whew. I can't wait until January arrives. I capped it by eating a belgian waffle ice-cream dessert with four friends while musing about the party highlights and trading downloads.

Now, I'm home-bound at least until tomorrow. Thus, I can't wait to start cleaning up so that my reading and writing days (blogging included, of course) will commence. I'm busting out on my bed in excitement for what the rest of my sixteen days shall bring. Posting this blog alone is enough to make me terribly giddy about the days to come.


xoxo, l.p.

New Nails, WiFi And Taxi Woes

Okay. So I kind of need to do this Twit-like blog since I've passed so much time already in CBTL Boni High Street. I've done abolutely everything to keep me occupied: browse my regular sites, drink my fave ice-blended drink, stare at my newly-painted blood red nails, pick-up the package from a good friend in Fully Booked... However, I'm trapped. Of all the days I could think of to do these things is on the last weekend before December 25 hits. I'm having a Scrooge moment here since I lucked out on getting a taxi at 10:30 p.m. which is unbelievable by my standards. Now, I feel for my 'rents who are now stuck in C5 just to fetch me from this suddenly taxi-foresaken place. The only thing that keeps me occupied now is a fellow Twilighter who came from the US to spend Christmas in the country while staring every so often at my mobile phone to see if my 'rents are close already enough for me to log out and walk towards my designated waiting area. Good thing my laptop battery is still pretty much in good shape.

But for some inexplicable reason I kind of feel giddy doing this -- like I'm a novelist or screenwriter who just passed time inside a coffee shop while waiting for an inspiration to come through. If only to close my day at that thought, it'll be perfect. Well, sans the lack of taxis and my 'rents in traffic. I get to live a fantasy that I thought I can't do even for just one teensy hour.


xoxo, l.p.

Eight Days, Eight Tickets, One Movie

I've been holding off my thoughts about one of my most anticipated movies of the year, mainly for two reasons. First, I could hardly contain my excitement about it. And lastly, I want to be able to wear off the effects of the movie on me enough to provide an objective view about it. Part of the challenges in reviewing a book-to-movie adaptation is assuming a point-of-view that rightly deserves it. For many occasions, I was able to treat the movie separate from the books and enjoyed it. However, for some inexplicable reason, this didn't apply. Never have I felt so personally invested in a movie that somehow merely becoming a plain movie critic couldn't encapsulate my sentiments about it. For the first time, I feel compelled to bring in my thoughts as a fan of the books as well. And maybe, it'll be a good thing... I think.

[Cue in Full Moon by The Black Ghosts. LOL. Sorry, couldn't resist including this bit.]

Okay, by now you're probably going to ask me if indeed, I watched Twilight eight times. Yeah, I did and I'm proud to say that. After screening it for the first time (much thanks goes to my Totally Cool Pals), I never got tired of it, so much that I wanted to experience the movie in as many ways as possible. How? I did say eight right? Well, here's how it went down:
  • I watched it in an advanced screening reminiscent of the LA Premiere aura (Day 1);
  • I watched it with a heterogeneous crowd of office mates on regular film format (Day 2);
  • I watched it alone, laying comfortably in a La-Z Boy chair with a generous helping of popcorn and drinks (Day 3);
  • I watched it during my first ever visit to the newest addition to the Ayala chain of malls up north with a handful of Pinoy Twilighters, one of which I successfully convinced to mentally close her ears in one pivotal scene (Day 4);
  • I watched it in digital format with my movie buff friends who treated me to the best seat in the house where we all literally fell for Edward, err... Rob (Day 5);
  • I watched it in digital format again, but alone this time because I couldn't believe that it took me that long to fall for Edward, err... Rob (Day 6);
  • I watched it with three of my Totally Cool Pals in digital format wherein one of us screened it for the first time and we both gave the same apple rating (Day 7); and
  • I watched it with another Totally Cool Pal in digital format who was supposed to join the day before but got sick (Day 8).
It's been 3-4 days since my last screening and my excitement for the movie has worn off a bit enough to lay down this review. During my first screening, I was asked if I were to rate it out of 10 apples where 10 is the highest, what would it be? I gave the movie 7.5 out of 10 apples, which is a passing rate in my book. This despite constantly nitpicking during the entire movie (so sorry, CdL, since you were getting the brunt of my side comments while we were exposed to cute squeals behind us).

Why 7.5? Well, it was a good adaptation, I think even a faithful one. Operative word: good. It retained most of the key plots of the book, as Melissa Rosenberg (MR) said, a condensed version of it. Adapting a 500-page novel, especially one with a built-in and highly expectant fan base, is no easy chore. I liked that MR and Catherine Hardwicke (CH) exercised some liberties to make the movie as palpable to non-readers. This became apparent when I screened the movie for the second time as they couldn't stop talking about how good/great the movie was despite their lack of knowledge of the series. My barometer: they didn't squee when Stephenie Meyer, the author, appeared on screen.

The most notable one for me was bringing in the Nomad threat earlier, when in the book, they appeared towards the last few chapters. Another notable but successful deviation was bringing in Victoria (excellently played by Rachelle Lefevre - she gets 10 apples in my book) during the prom to suggest a looming danger to Edward and Bella, which created that LOTR effect among non-book readers. I have heard a lot of people say "bitin" once the credits rolled thus, making that deviation effective. Some minor deviations like the gadgets used by Bella (Mac book, iPod, Nokia cellphone), the Volvo C30 (which became the surprise, scene-stealing star in all of the 4 minutes it appeared), the tres chic Nike house as the Cullen mansion, and the Cullen's Crest (nice one CH, nice one) contributed to the visual feel of it. The action sequences were very visceral; I was flinching a lot during the confrontation in the ballet studio especially when I watched it in digital format. I think the right actors were beautifully matched to their characters. I could see and feel CH's signature in the movie. My love grew with every single screening. However, I did rate the movie with a 7.5 and that may leave you to wonder what's the 2.5 for me, which didn't change even after eight screenings.

The major issues I had with the movie can be found in two key scenes. First is when Edward saves Bella from being crushed by Tyler's van. The image above is from that scene. My issue is that they didn't use any F/X to illustrate Edward's vampire speed when he leaped over Bella's truck. They used it generously in other scenes (i.e. Edward opening Bella's door when she first visited the Cullen's mansion), why not in this one? I mean, any human with a 20/20 eyesight, like me, wouldn't miss Edward's human-style leap-frogging. Unless he had Hiro Nakamura's or Piper Halliwell's time-bending powers that I didn't know of, that bit made the scene all wrong for me.

The second is the fact the neither Edward nor Bella say the words "I love you" to each other in the entire movie. Sure, there were many scenes illustrating that their love grew over time. I didn't even mind that they glossed over the thick dialogues in the book for more subdued yet suggestive scenes and indirectly-phrased declarations ("I only dream of being with you forever."). Shoot the hopeless romatic in me but there's nothing more wonderful than hearing those three little words to seal it all in. Stephenie Meyer never found it corny to say "I love you", is it corny now for typical American teens to say it? Well, to quote Iris Simpkins, "I like corny. I'm looking for corny in my life." Saying "I love you" might be corny for some but sure is hell not for me.

Other minor faux pas, which can be found in Twilight's movie pages in IMDB.com and MovieMistakes.com, took a piece of the 2.5 but among the endless sites that pointed out what lacked in the movie, only the one posted by ReelzChannel.com got my earnest agreement and a big "Hell, yeah!" after I completed reading their list. I differ on their number 4 and 6 though since I did like the subtleties of its presentation in the movie. But, that's just me.

However, I don't want to end my thoughts on a sour note. I haven't shared my favorite scenes in the movie. These moments left me wishing that I have Michael Newman's remote control in the theater if only to replay them over and over again.
  • Edward and Bella coming in Forks High School officially as a couple. This takes the number one spot for me. Simply because I've guessed and secretly hoped that Mute Math's Spotlight would be the background music for this bit way before the movie was released. And boy did CH make my hopes come true! I liked the fact that Rob had that James Dean aura while trying to share what their schoolmates thought about them and Kristen being conscious in the process.
  • The vampire baseball. Perfect, perfect, perfect! Muse's Supermassive Black Hole was spot on for this. My love for Jasper Hale/Jackson Rathbone increased ten-fold. I mean how cool can he get with the baseball bat... LOVE! And Alice Cullen's/Ashley Green's graceful ballerina form as she pitches, I'm impressed. Total JackAsh-er! Hahaha. Rob and Kellan's reactions after falling from their mid-air body slam was heartwarming and adorable. The bonding off-camera was very apparent as this is the only scene where majority of principal cast members were together. Imaging shoot that in Portland's highly unpredictable weather.
  • Edward and Bella talking in the restaurant after the Port Angeles incident. I read in one of the many behind-the-scenes articles that Rob Pattinson stopped the shooting which concerned CH and decided to pull him away for a short talk. He admitted to feeling that he was falling for her (whether he refers to the character or the actress playing it, I'll never know). CH said to Rob, "then fall." And I felt that on screen when Rob as Edward said "I don't have the strength to stay away from you anymore." Neither do I Rob, neither do I. Just enough to yearn saying the line "then don't" back at you. *sigh*
  • Charlie, Renee, Billy and the Volvo. All the scenes that featured those four characters are repeat-worthy for me. Yes, I consider the Volvo as a character. Charlie flicking his shotgun -- major flashbacks to traditional Pinoy flicks with meet-the-dad sequences. Renee asking if Bella was being safe. Billy being "down with the kids." And the Volvo in full drift mode, if that's not a solid advert I don't know what else is. I want to have that car, or Alice's Porsche Turbo. In yellow, of course. But red for the Volvo. Personal reasons. =]
  • The prom. Much thanks to Kristen Stewart, Iron & Wine's Flightless Bird, American Mouth is now a solid contender for the most played track in my mobile phone. I am in love with that song and coupled with that scene speaks romance in volumes.
  • The montage before Bella woke up in the hospital. If only to hear Let Me Sign by Rob Pattinson.
  • The B/W end credits. Very CH. Radiohead's 15 Step is another most played track contender. It was also apparent that there were tons of footage that didn't make for the final cut but was used creatively. The headshots/profiles used for the Cullen men (Carlisle, Edward, Emmett and Jasper) were all gorgeous and pause-worthy if only to stare at it for as long as you want.
  • The kiss. I don't need to elaborate on this. I'm going to my happy place as I remember it in my head. *sigh*
Whew, that's some lengthy review. And that sounds like a haiku. LOL. I cannot wait until the DVD comes out and replay the movie over and over again like any true-blue Twilighter.


xoxo, l.p.

Letting Go For A Dream Fulfilled

au revoir! à la prochaine fois!
joyeux noël! bonne année!

Those where the last sets of French phrases that I've heard from Clement and my classmates. December 6 marked the last day of my French class for 2008. We'll be resuming our classes in January next year. By then, I would've enjoyed my upcoming 16-day vacation wherein I'll surrender to my ever-growing pile of unread books and do some more writing. I have tons of things to blog about - movie reviews and hauls, just to name a few - but somehow, it'll feel inappropriate if I didn't blog about someone that mattered to me who I happily yet sadly surrendered to a dream that was fulfilled also on December 6.

When I got her text message saying that it was her last night in the Philippines, I felt sad. We've been friends since 2001. She, along with two other ladies, were as close as we could get. Our bond was forged by our love for training and our animosity towards one of our teammates. Then came issues of the heart and home. I was the lone single person and the youngest among the four of us. I was also the last to leave the company by 2004. Since then, we became witnesses to each other's life stories -- weddings to childbirths, new jobs and credit woes, getting bigger or slimmer -- sometimes silently, sometimes actively. The last time the four of us met was in January and we ate in our favorite restaurant. By that time, my brood of pseudo nephews and nieces grew by a fold. However, what didn't change is that I was still single but they were happy for me. Despite our apparent differences, we jelled together. And by now, one of us has already arrived in the United States to be with her husband. It was a dream of hers for as long as I could remember. I'm happy for her. But how do you say goodbye without shedding a tear or two? Trying to put on a brave face when, in fact, you absolutely feel sad?

I am in tears while I'm writing this because I'm terribly missing her. Everything about her. The last time I saw her was when we ate lunch with both of our mothers and her daughters last September. Since then, she spent her last few months in the country in her hometown of Olongapo. I got her farewell text message last December 5 and hit me hard enough since I know I'll never see her again unless I decide to pay her a visit which only God knows when.

Somehow, I'm glad that I didn't get to say goodbye to her in person or over the phone before she left because I know she'll be depressed to see/hear me in tears. Same goes for our other two friends if they see me this way, simply because I don't hold the cry-baby torch among the four of us. The one who left bore that torch. Perhaps, the three of us who remain here will pass it amongst ourselves, just to keep it lit.

Time can only tell what this milestone will do to our friendship. Hopefully, it'll be stronger across the distance. For now, all I can just do is to let go.


xoxo, l.p.

Five Months Past, Still Fun To Watch

With all the hype surrounding the release of Twilight, I was looking back at one of the videos I've ripped off when I noticed an update on one of the sites I frequent for the latest tidbits about the movie. That site is MTV.com. Known to most Twilighters for its Twilight Tuesdays segment and Twilight Dad Larry Carroll, it also featured one lucky fan named Laura Culpepper who became an intern/correspondent that covered some segments as part of the MTV Movie Awards pre-show activities last June 2008. Her conversation with Robert Pattinson (yes, conversation; their interaction doesn't feel like an interview to me) is by far my favorite among the slew of press releases as it was candid, funny and heart-warming in spots. So imagine my surprise when they got to bring her back to talk to Robert again, and the interaction is just priceless. I feel that they've somehow managed to "imprint" on each other as they act more like close friends. To think, it has been more than five months since their first meeting. I'll be showing the before and after interviews of the guest blogger/intern. Two notable differences: the hair and the seating arrangements. Enjoy the videos! Credit goes to MTV.com.

First Interview (Posted June 1, 2008)

Latest Interview (Posted November 10, 2008)

I know a million girls would trade for her spot (including me, of course). However, I've got to give props to her because she handled herself and both interviews well. Even during the Movie Awards coverage. She's obviously a fan but I never saw her flip, gawk or stammer. She laughs nervously at times, but who wouldn't be? Her questioning skills may not be Pulitzer-worthy but she's able to draw out things from Robert Pattinson that I think no one else does. And that in itself is a gift. For Laura, it's an experience of a lifetime. I hope she gets to do more of these kinds of interactions with Robert Pattinson in the future, once (and hopefully) Summit formally greenlights on the sequels. Now that's a progression I'm looking forward to seeing.


xoxo, l.p.

Sixty Pages And Counting

I was debating whether or not I should do this. But you only get to live once and I've promised a couple of people that I'll post a portion of it. Doing this is like free fall for me. I'm anxious about it but I'm equally curious to see how my writing fares.

For a long time, the things that I wrote were mostly poems and some short stories. Lately, however, I've been dabbling on fiction writing. I never realized how invigorating the experience feels. To date, only one person has seen what I've written so far and she's badgering me to finish it. I don't know why. I will not share my tale as to how and when this came to me. At least for now. Although I hope that someday I get to finish this tale and eventually have it published.

Selecting what to publish here was challenging as there are so many ways you can go to preview a story. I have a couple of titles that I'm playing with but I'm not comfortable using any of it yet. Well, without further ado, here goes my free fall dive. I promised only a portion but do tell me what you think. Enjoy.

To anyone’s eyes, it would seem like an ordinary day in the National Statistics Office due to the long cues of people. It would have looked terrible but already, ten million customers were served as seen from the overhead display that updated real-time for every completed transaction. The only time you realize that there was a difference is when you see how they were getting the information they needed. Everyone was holding a slim, translucent plastic half the size of a typical credit card. Each individual went inside one of over a thousand booths set-up on the floor to update their info. Usually, this process can be done in the comforts of their home. However, with the announcement of a minor glitch in their system, everyone was prompted by the government to renew as a precaution. Compliance was a must.

I took a quick glance at one guy who was reading today’s paper on his ultra-lightweight, tablet PC. He moved his hand over the screen as if to turn to another page. I saw the three-dimensional hologram flip over enough to catch the date before it disappeared from sight. January 1, 2108.

I got wary of the date. It felt like lead to me. I didn’t come to renew my information although I had the same plastic in my hands, a futile attempt to blend in. The whole process was unnecessary for me. I walked further past the renewal booths until I found what I was looking for: the archives section. Although I already knew the answer to what I was going to do, I still went in to satisfy my curiosity and my longing.

I sat on one of the inquiry tables inside, located a few feet from the door. The section didn’t get a lot of guests so Gio, the attending clerk, sat straight up the moment I took a seat across his table.

“Good morning, ma’am! How can I be of service today?” He asked.

“I’m looking for some information about a person.” I replied.

“Sure. Give me five seconds to draw up the system for you.” Gio straightened up his seat and moved his right hand, palm facing the 29-inch slim monitor perched upon his clean, wire-free, black fiberglass table.

“Ok, it’s up. Name?” He asked.

“Elysse d’Loire Austria.” I said, feeling strange saying my old name aloud. It has been a while since I used or been called that name.

“Date of birth?”

“Um… May 21, 1977.” Saying it felt even stranger.


“George Francisco Austria and Elaine Martinique d’Loire.” I said almost sadly.

Gio waited patiently as the computer drew up the search. He didn’t type over his paper-thin keyboard. The voice encryption feature of the system picked up on his questions and the details I mentioned. I could see a frown forming on his forehead 15 seconds after I uttered my parents’ names. He maneuvered his hand across the screen, as if he was flipping cue cards. I knew that he was quickly reading page after page of results. Pages of an old life.

“Hmmm… This is strange… There is a George Francisco Austria and an Elaine Martinique d’Loire in our database but no Elysse d’Loire Austria.” Gio moved his fingers on the screen, flipping on everything his research turned up on.

“Are you sure?” I asked in a rhetorical fashion.

“Wait, let me look at it again. Nope, no Elysse d’Loire Austria.”

“But they do have children right?” I probed further.

“Yes, six of them. Eldest is Orly, followed by Roanne who became a Martinez after marriage, Vernon, Leon, Madeleine who became Agustin after marriage and Louis, the Nobel Prize scientist. Wow, this is a very prominent family you’re researching! Rich as rich could get, and unbelievably talented. Often looked at as part of Filipino royalty. The parents died around 2020s and all of their six kids died during the 2060-2070s. The next two generations are still alive as far as the research can tell and are leading quite the privileged and philanthropic lifestyle. Any relation of the person you mentioned to them?”

At the very moment, I wanted to say yes. I stopped myself from doing so despite feeling a hollow pain beneath my ribs.

“No relation.” I replied.

“Ok. Do you have a chip with you so I can upload the data?” He asked.

“No, it’s okay. That won’t be necessary.” I said.

Gio looked almost frustrated, as if his efforts were lead to waste, but his better judgment of me allowed him to say otherwise. “Alright then. Is that all?

“Yes, Gio. Thank you!”

“You’re welcome, ma’am!”

I slipped through the doors faster than how I went in. Whether or not Gio noticed, I didn’t really care enough to the point that I didn’t see someone who nearly blocked my path, her cherubic face crinkled in disgust and frustration.

“Gem, you shouldn’t leave me like that… You’re supposed to be training me, remember?” She scowled.

Normally, I would’ve scolded such kind of behavior as she was nearly shouting. But no one really noticed or heard it, simply because no one could see us anymore. We both disappeared into thin air the moment we crossed paths.

“Sorry, Lexi.” It was all I could say at the moment.

“Don’t mess with me, Gem.”

I merely breathed a sigh to answer her.

“Hey, are you alright? Looks like you’ve seen a ghost.” Lexi inquired curiosity raging in her eyes.

“No, I’m okay. So where were we?” I replied, quickly dismissing my thoughts.

“My training. We’re supposed do be doing something simple today?” Lexi asked.

“Right. So have you seen what you need to do?” I asked.

“Yes, and she’s about to leave now. If I don’t get there in time, the fate of a future president will be in jeopardy.” Lexi said anxiously.

“No need to worry. You have plenty of time to do what you need to do.” I replied.

The both of us went out of the building. We re-appeared from thin air without so much as being noticed by anyone who was within the same area. Lexi saw her target and waited for the right cue. I stopped to wait from a distance as Lexi swiftly moved to pick-up the woman’s wallet just before she was about to sit on the passenger seat of her 4X4 hydrogen-powered SUV.

“Ma’am, you dropped your wallet.” Lexi mentioned.

“Oh, thank you, sweetheart!” The lady said, obviously in a hurry to board her car. However, Lexi was persistent. Good, I thought.

“I’m sorry, I couldn’t help but recognize you. Are you Monique Aguinaldo?” Lexi asked.

The woman looked flustered at the recognition and immediately placed her hand on her growing tummy. Ah, the future president, I mused.

“Have we met?” Monique politely replied.

“No, but I do recognize you. You’re much beautiful in person than in Tatler.” Lexi started to work on a chit-chat with the woman who was obviously getting irritated by the second.

“Patience Lexi.” I communicated to her in my thoughts.

“I know, Gem. You taught me well. It’s about time.” Lexi replied without turning her head towards me, while she continued her chit-chat with Monique.

All of a sudden, a flurry of commotion happened outside. Every single person were screaming for their lives as I heard a loud blast. Within that same moment, Lexi swiftly tucked Monique in the passenger seat, closed the door and glided back towards me. A broken bus door came through the air and landed on the ground where Monique stood nearly seconds before Lexi safely put her inside her SUV. The commotion didn’t stop and we disappeared again from everyone’s sight.

Both of us didn’t wait long enough to see Monique asking her driver to roll the vehicle forward in order to thank Lexi. We just moved outside to appraise the wreckage. Lexi saved one life in exchange for a hundred people who died and several who were injured by a bus that lost control along East Avenue in Quezon City.

“Hmm… That was cool. I don’t feel a thing now unlike the first.” Lexi declared while she was creating two small hurricanes with whispers of her breath and placed them underneath her feet for her to float.

I wish I could’ve reacted otherwise but after a hundred years of doing it, the deaths grew numb on me. I stretched my shoulders until a pair of feathered white wings twice my size appeared effortlessly on my back.

“It’s time to let the souls pass, Lexi. Watch me so you can see how it’s done. You missed this on your first try.”

I flew towards the middle of the wreckage. Fires were still eating up the bus but I hardly notice or felt anything. Not that I could, really, since I was never bound to this material world. I went in the middle of a growing crowd of luminous souls, those who died or about to but were ready to pass on. Using my right index finger, I drew an invisible line in the air and a stairway opened in front of me. Each of the souls ascended through the stairway where Peter and Judas were waiting for them to do the sorting. As the last of the souls ascended the stairway, I blew on the door and it closed immediately but not before Peter offered a kind smile and Judas winked at me. Lexi laughed. I pretended not to notice.


xoxo, l.p.

My New Hero Speaks

"Dave Petrakis is my new hero."
Melinda Sordino

In the indie movie Speak, Melinda Sordino (played beautifully by Kristen Stewart) was in awe of Dave Petrakis' courage to speak out his disappointment in Mr. Neck's classroom wherein he forces students to conform to his preferred teaching dynamics. Dave Petrakis is played by Michael Angarano whom I remember most for being Elliot (Jack's son) in Will & Grace. I was laughing my head off the first time I saw Robert John Burke in Gossip Girl as Bart Bass because he played Mr. Neck in this film. It was hard for me to differentiate Mr. Neck from Bart Bass and vice-versa because I hardly saw the difference; he was acerbic in both roles. While it would be a neat trivia to share that Speak is where Kristen and Michael developed their real life romance, my blog post isn't entirely about this movie. It's merely a backdrop. I do admit, however, that the movie and quote above did inspire me to make this blog. Hopefully it'll make sense to you why I chose that title to characterize my post after you finish reading this.

Just a few hours ago, my brother and I finished watching one of Michael Moore's controversial documentaries entitled Sicko. I have a weird relationship with documentaries. For some reason, I find it rather hard to finish one because I always end up either being grossed out or terribly sad. That applied to Morgan Spurlock's Super Size Me. It's not that I don't want to hear the truth about things. It's the attachment I develop to discovering such truths scare me. For me, documentaries are like a slap in the face -- they really drill it on you that we're living in dangerous times, that this is not the best world to live in. It has the tendency to develop paranoia in people. I have long accepted the fact that these are difficult times but I'd rather keep an optimistic/pragmatic view on things. Imagine living your life being on guard 24x7, always laboring in fear of what will happen the moment you shove a French Fry down your throat. Will I die in a minute because of one small indulgence? However, I'm making an exemption for this documentary because it deals with an issue close to my heart -- health insurance.

For any corporate employee, health insurance is a big thing especially if your monthly salary -- after taxes, of course -- can't pay for premium health care. It was one of the main reasons why I accepted my current job because it afforded a good health insurance package for me and my parents. It's not absolutely stellar but it'll do especially since doctor consultations are expensive, even the tests and the medicines that follow after. Michael Moore's documentary exposes the state of health insurance in the United States. To sum it up, it's a profit vs. people issue. I was shocked to find out that accessibility to good health care is a problem. The list of pre-existing conditions alone was unbelievable. Stories of people who suffered from the system were featured; most of those stories didn't have happy endings. Loss of lives happened due to health insurance companies refusing to cover medical expenses. Even the simple non-declaration of a yeast infection caused one health insurance company to drop one of it's beneficiaries. Sure, maybe the person forgot to declare it. To err is human. But to drop off from the insurance completely and force the person to pay back the company because of this small thing? I have no words.

There were shining moments in Michael Moore's documentary but none of them are found in the United States. These are triumphs in Universal Health Care wherein countries like Canada, United Kingdom, France and even Cuba (!) were featured. People in those countries, rich or poor, didn't pay for anything. Their governments take care of all medical expenses: from consultations to tests and medicines. Even compensation for women on maternity leave! My love for Europe grew ten fold at the end of the documentary and made it more sensible to be the continent where I would work if I choose to go the overseas route. I was in tears when four 9/11 New York firefighters got free medical consultations, tests and treatments in Cuba of all places; they were even accorded a heroes' treatment by Cuban firefighters. Sicko makes you wonder what has happened to the country they call "The Land of Milk and Honey." Now, I fear for my friend who's migrating to the US with her kids in about a month to join her husband. How would they be treated there?

In the same breath as Melinda Sordino, I'd like to end my post with this...

"Michael Moore is my new hero."


xoxo, l.p.

Another First: City Of Ember

Part of the perks in our company is that you're entitled to watch their featured movie for each month of the year for free... Well, you would get a no-show penalty if you miss your designated screening for some obscure reason like *cough* last-minute conference call *cough* which is irritating considering you have to weather the lag-time while loading the registration page. That's my sad story with Prince Caspian. I've learned my lesson enough to swear that I'll register for the next available movie I can click my mouse on. Which I did with City of Ember. I didn't know what the movie was and I didn't even see a trailer for it. All I wanted was some form of redemption for my registration faux pas that I didn't care whether the movie sucked or not. Fortunately, this one didn't and I had a blast watching my first company-sponsored movie night screening with a few unexpected yet fun friends inside the cinema.

After doing some minor research, I found out that City Of Ember is a book adaptation! Hmmm... I guess I need to chalk that one to my reading list. It stars Bill Murray (Ghostbusters), Tim Robbins (Mystic River), Saoirse Ronan (Atonement) and Harry Treadaway (Control). City of Ember details the adventures of Doon Harrow (Harry Treadaway) and Lina Mayfleet (Saoirse Ronan) at the time where Ember is experiencing terrifying blackouts. Lina's discovery of the box that has been developed by the Builders of the city over 200 years ago shall be the clue that will prompt her and Doon to find a way out of Ember before it self-destructs. The 95-minute film was full of thrills and chills as you rally behind Doon and Lina in their quest to discover the way out of Ember. Acting-wise, I was impressed by the ensemble, especially Saoirse. I can't believe I missed watching Atonement (mental note: rent it when you have time). Gah, I missed a lot of good movies over the last few years. I should hit IMDB soon to get a list of movies I missed seeing. That's going to be some hefty list!

Aside from enjoying City Of Ember, I've learned that it's cool to take advantage of what your company provides to make your work life a bit balanced. So here's to my next free movie night feature this November wherein I got my confirmation just this morning. Yipey! And it couldn't be a more perfect movie to see on a weekday and on it's first day screening...

The movie I'm referring to? It's Twilight!!! Oh, how sweet November is.


xoxo, l.p.

Of Gray Boy Shorts & The Chosen One

I have no plans of posting anything today. But I couldn't resist my glee after seeing these sneak peaks. Move away folks, the inner fan girl is coming out. XD

First off, the second US TV Spot for Twilight. The movie is barely a few days/weeks away and if you weren't flooded by all the books that came out this month, here come the TV Spots. I chose not to feature the first one because it barely varies from the full trailer. But this... There are no words! The sexy gray boy shorts got me stumped. Credit goes to Everglow and Lion_Lamb for this jaw-dropping gem. =]

Lastly, the international trailer for Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince. I saw this over a friend's YM status but since video streaming is blocked in my office, I waited until I got home to see it. Now, I'm wishing that July 2009 is here. "But I am the chosen one." Genius! LOL.

Hope you enjoyed it. See you at the movies!


xoxo, l.p.

A Day Of Firsts

Despite my weekday chaos, I still thrive in discovering my firsts. And, today did not disappoint. It's really true that age shouldn't be used as an excuse not to learn something new. I did learn more than a couple of things today and I'm damn proud of it.

One of my firsts for this day is French. Today marks Day 1 of my 10 Saturday sessions learning one of the most difficult Romance languages. My brain hurt a lot pronouncing most of the words -- mind you, it's hard to sound nasalized on cue. However, I enjoyed every bit of it. Although I was expecting it, I still enjoyed hearing the infamous French phrase in Lady Marmalade as an example in an exercise. I learned at least 15 conversational phrases and my table mates and I tried to even sing the alphabet song in French. Gah, listen to me talking like an absolute school geek. What can I say, I'm really a perpetual student hiding in a shell of a corporate-battered adult. I'm looking forward to the next session which is on November 8, which will give me about two weeks to practice what I've learned. Tres bien!

The next first on my list is Podcasting. This is with great thanks to my four, new Totally Cool Pals -- you know who you are -- who allowed me to tag along for the ride. From an avid listener to a podcast guest, it doesn't get any better than that. Especially if you're discussing about your passion for a certain black, white & red color-schemed book series which I'll further discuss on my succeeding posts. I wish I can get grasp the tech stuff behind it. Who knows, I might do a Peyton Sawyer or Erin Silver in the future.

The last first on my list is Technology. This is an ironic first because I always know that technology has a way of bridging a lot of gaps. However, it wasn't manifested in the manner that it did today for me. It was powerful yet overwhelming in some ways. The world becomes suddenly smaller for you with all the conceivable social network sites, instant messengers, blogging, etc. So far, I've created and maintained my accounts in relatively few sites and I don't think I want to add anything that would cause more confusion for me. Password management was never really my strongest suit.

To end this post, I'd like to quote this well-used statement.

When was the last time you did something for the first time?

How true can this get! Cheers to you, hope you enjoyed this post and always seek out your "Firsts" in whatever you do.


xoxo, l.p.

Gov. Sarah Palin On SNL

I'm going to blog about the two most odd subjects for me right now: Gov. Sarah Palin and SNL. Or rather, politics and American humor. Why odd? First, politics was never my favorite conversational piece. I always thought it was career path reserved only for those who can stomach it. Don't get me wrong, I'm not apathetic. I'm concerned in a not so rabid way. I just do my role a good citizen of the country. Whether or not our politicians take advantage of that to further their own personal causes is beyond me. I believe in karma and it can be a bitch when it hits you. Second, I have a love-hate relationship with American humor. Sometimes I get it, sometimes I don't. I can't bare to watch/finish a SNL show even if I tried although I like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. On this occasion though, I'm tipping my hat both to Gov. Sarah Palin and SNL for their October 18 show.

One of SNL's specialties is impersonations. It's nothing new to Pinoys because we have awesome impersonators in this country. However, in the midst of the US Presidential elections, who would've thought that this brand of comedy will play a lot to a candidate's advantage or disadvantage. The moment that Gov. Sarah Palin was announced as Sen. John McCain's VP, everyone suddenly turned to Tina Fey for their uncanny resemblance. Tina Fey's skits on SNL impersonating Gov. Palin were perhaps one of the most watched moments since the fall TV season began. People were looking forward to seeing the often intrigued VP-wannabe on SNL. And she did not disappoint. She appeared on SNL for two skits. Yes, two. And she was a complete sport. You can't help but be amazed at someone who can take a joke and have a laugh too. Check out the videos below and you'll see what I mean. Credit to NBC.com's Saturday Night Live official website.

Skit No. 1 - SNL Opening

Skit No. 2 - Rap

Wasn't that a fun watch? The viewing stats for these two videos ate already above the 100K mark. The first skit, above 200K! Whatever the results of the US Presidential elections would be, I hope it'll help the country be better especially with all the crisis it's facing lately. You can only hope for so much in your elected politicians. Just as long as they serve you and the country well, it's all you can ask for.

What can an American do to exercise their duty as a good citizen especially at this crucial time?

Get out and vote.


xoxo, l.p.

Last Quater Storm

It's now down to the last three months of 2008 and you'd think it's summer with the amount of US movies that any Pinoy buff would pay to see. Since I'm still enjoying my experiment of embedding videos, I'm sharing to you some trailers/teasers of the movies I'm looking forward to watching in the big screen. Trailers featured below are courtesy of MySpace.

When I first heard of Daniel Craig taking on the role of James Bond, I had some doubts. But after watching Casino Royale, I ate my doubts.

Anna Faris is perhaps one of the funniest girls I've seen on the big screen. Although her movie choices may not fare well with the critics, I'm looking forward to this movie simply for eye-candy and having a ton of laughs. This also marks Katharine McPhee's first on-screen role.

This is a remake of the 1951 sci-fi film and stars two of my favorite Hollywood actors: Keanu Reeves and Jennifer Connelly. I haven't seen the 1951 original but from the teaser I saw, I'm hooked.

I cannot stress how much I'm looking forward to this movie. This is perhaps my highlight film for the last quarter since I'm a huge fan of the books. It stars two of the most promising actors of this generation: Kristen Stewart (Panic Room, Into The Wild) and Robert Pattinson (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire). Twilighters of the world unite! =]

How about you? What movies are you looking forward to this last quarter of 2008? Sound off in the comments section.


xoxo, l.p.

Blogger Templates by Blog Forum