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.

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