An Aborted Grandeur Illusion for a Halloween Costume

When a friend relayed that he read my recent blog post about my Osaka flight cancellation, he knew that one of my agendas in going there was to celebrate and attend again the big Halloween street party in Osaka. He then asked who would I be this time if my Osaka Halloween attendance pushed though.  I simply responded King George.

I have been the Riddler and an Indian Warrior in the past Osaka Halloweens, but I was really looking forward to being the mighty and loony King George this year.  But when my friend further asked why King George, I told him that we Filipinos seem to secretly yearns for a king and has the weird fascination towards noble families.  Though our country is not under a monarchy, we are so in love with kings and queens!

crowned prince of the twisted! hahaha!

 Here in the Philippines, every primary or grade school seem to have coronated their little prince and princess.  Even rich and affluent people featured in society columns in the past were tagged “royals and royalettes”.  And when people are elected to a public office, they have to go around with a whole battalion of body guards to signify how important they are, waving their hands to their constituents as if they are kings and queens of their barrio or little municipalities. 

Classic examples are the effective portrayal of the late dictator Marcos and Imelda who depicted themselves as the modern king and queen of the Philippines.  This outrageous couple thought that it was their obligation to the people to live a fabulous imperial-like lives for the poor. Hahaha!   

Also, we are so fascinated with grand majestic coronations, that we look forward to the annual coronation of the queen of the universe (Miss Universe pageant) and we go extra crazy if the crowned winner is from the Philippines!

Now that I will not go back to Osaka, my friend still further asked what then should I do during Halloween? I told him that as a message to myself, I will have to settle singing the song “You’ll Be Back” by King George in the Broadway musical Hamilton. Hahaha!

You, who would you be this Halloween?

I Miss Going To The Movies

Do you remember when was the last time you went out, go to a cinema and see a movie?  I miss doing that.  It is so long ago that I no longer can recall what was the last film I saw inside a movie house.

For me, going out to watch a movie is some sort of a social activity.  It’s like having a mini-party that is to be attended either by a bunch of friends, family and even strangers.  No thanks to the ongoing pandemic, I have yet to get inside a cinema and have this mini-social activity done this year!

Yeah, I too is a Netflix subscriber, but I miss the fun of falling on queue outside the theater, the buzz of selecting which time slot to watch at the box office or the angst of running in a hurry because the film is about to start.  I also miss the delight of selecting what to binge and snack on – chips, burgers, hotdogs or a pail of buttery popcorn.

stuck at home, gone grumpy and mad… i wanna go to the movies!

Going to the movies is a perfect social activity for it hits all-encompassing purposes of having an enjoyment, relaxation, stimulation and a sense of belongingness.  But this social communal pursuit seems dying.  Aside from the fear of catching the deadly bug, human beings now prefer watching at the comforts of their home.  Yeah, I know that watching movies at home is more convenient, safer and cheaper but it misses the mark in terms of us being social beings.

I’m betting my skinny butt, count forty or fifty years when people evolved and become solitary species, those cinemas can be considered dead, extinct and a thing of the past.  Young folks by that time would be so shocked to find out that movie theaters run and existed and they would innocuously utter “ridiculous people of the past are so weird?!

Enough said.  I want to be that weird dude of the future and I definitely miss going to the movies!

Grocery Shopping the Silly Traveler Way

My country has the longest and strictest pandemic lock down in the world.  And because of prolonged quarantining, I realized that there has been somewhat a number of gains from this experience.  People now can enjoy a much cleaner air; folks has established closer relations with other family members; while some has realized how inept and incompetent their elected government officials were. 

On a lighter note, my being on a lock down made me a little nifty, thrifty and dreamy at the same time.  It has actually controlled my illogical retail therapy.  Case in point is my grocery shopping.  I no longer buy unnecessary stuff and I have gone basic, essential and primary.

The nearest grocery store from where I live is too short to have a ride and too distant to be considered a walking distance.  I chose the latter when I have to go there.  And since I have to limit my going out, the quantity of my grocery buying would basically be good for 2 weeks.

Since my buying is of enormous measure and I decided to walk so as to get some sun, a little cardio and pretty good amount of fresh air along the way, I cannot just carry it from the grocery store to my place of stay.  I then decided to be a little smarter.  I resolved this thru the use of my very well-travelled l.u.g.g.a.g.e!

my haul! fresh eggs & frozen meat products were placed in a separate eco-bag of course… never in my wildest dream would i place garlic & onions in my luggage! hahaha!

recently went to s&r membership shopping store (and brought along my luggage)

Yeah, since the pandemic has bunged me up from travelling, I decided my inactive and sedentary luggage to be of good use. My using it actually helped me a little in lessening my silly craving to go for an international travel.  I would just have to pretend that my walking to and from the grocery store were like the moments when I would do a flight transfer from one international airport terminal to another strolling along my heavy check-in luggage. Hahaha!

my empty well-traveled check-in luggage… waiting for the capsicum, green beans, oats, potatoes, cabbage, & a lot lot more! hahaha!

Stay safe everyone!

Tocando Em Frente

I can’t remember the number of times I wrote that the sound of the Portuguese language seem to be the most emotive and most passionate.  I don’t know anybody from Brazil nor Portugal but every time I hear someone speaks this language, I feel nothing but awe and amazement.  There must be something in the resonance and reverberation of the Portuguese language that stirs my nerves and neurotransmitters to get impassioned, kindled and go raving.

you? what language your don’t speak and understand yet move you? comment down below…

I felt this weird feeling again when I recently saw a YouTube vlog post of a well-admired social media content creator who used a touchy background music in his wedding video.  And upon researching about the song, I was not surprised to find out that the song was in Portuguese.

I don’t understand a single word of the jingle, yet it moved me.  Here’s the poignant and moving song entitled Tocando Em Frente as sang by Anavitoria.

2020 New Year Advice: Moisturize!

While the internet is now bombarded with New Year predictions and resolutions, I want to instead give an advice to all folks this coming New Year.  I only have one word (repeated 3 times) as an advice. It’s “Moisturize! Moisturize! Moisturize!” 

I want all human beings to look good and look young for the rest of the New Year! So moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!

But seriously, aside from its awesome aesthetic benefit, the act and process of skin moisturizing can actually be multi-yielding.  The rubbing of cream on your skin can be paralleled to being a “Me Time” concept.  It is an opportunity to have time for yourself so as to reduce stress and restore energy.  Thus, moisturizing is one circumstance of thinking and caring for oneself. It can be a way to enrich ones self-esteem!

can’t imagine a world without moisturizer!

Moisturizing cream does not simply fall from the heavens or can be picked incessantly from a fruit bearing tree.  These pricy facial serum, night creams and body lotions are not basic human needs.  These may actually be the last item you may want to buy out from your hard-earned money.  Thus, you need to have extra money to moist and nourish the largest organ of your body.  Therefore, my one-worded advice can be construed as folks needing to work harder this New Year to earn the needed extra gravy for your skin. Work hard!

Lastly, the end result of moisturizing can make you feel good.  And when you feel good, you can effortlessly establish inner confidence and upbeat attitude which will eventually exude and radiate to other people.  You can then be a channel of positive thinking and optimistic attitude this year.     

So follow my advice, “moisturize, moisturize, moisturize”.  Because if you do, I am so sure, you will be happy and laugh the loudest at the end of the year! Hahaha!

Christmas Socks From Miggy & Gabby

I love receiving gifts and I had loads of it this Christmas!  This blog post would become too long if I am to actually list each awesome gift one by one.  Let me nevertheless show my heartfelt appreciation by extending my sincere thanks and gratitude to all of you amazing people.  You know who you are.

But have you ever contemplated on which gift you receive this Christmas as the weirdest and most eccentric?  The gift that is so bizarre it makes you laugh and chuckle because it is so you?  I got one this year!

got my face printed on those socks! who on earth would think of doing that?!

hahaha! perfect fit!

My nephews Miguel and Gabriel gave me the weirdest looking pair of socks this year.  Both of them I guess knows that I have the strange tendency for an excessive egotism and high-level of self-adulation! And as soon as I opened their gift and saw what it was, I was laughing so hard!  These pair of socks is so me literally and figuratively!

Thank you Miggy and Gabby.  I looove it!

Magnificence of Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood

One of the many highlights of my St. Petersburg, Russia adventure was the visit to the magnificent Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood.  This icon had so much history in it as well as an overwhelming visual treat!

glorious!

One unique attribute of the amazing interiors is that the design on the walls were not paintings but intricate work of fastening and gluing together colorful tiny-tiny tiles so as to create massive and extravagant mosaics.  As I enter, there was a spine-tingling sensation because of the visual indulgence that this church offers.

Though I did not have the time and facility to measure, I found out in my readings that the interior’s breathtaking mosaic covers a total of 23,130 square feet, considered to be one of the largest in Europe. Can you just imagine the amount of time, passion and creativity it took to create this massively handsome building?

unbelievable!

i don’t know but this brings chills in me

sensory overload!

stunning!

selfie

Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is not all appearances.  It was actually born out of an assassination that shook Russia.  This monumental structure was built on the very spot where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated by a group of revolutionaries who threw bomb at the Tsar’s royal carriage.  And in honor of his father, Tsar Alexander III built this insanely gorgeous-looking church.  Thus, making this beautiful building a marker of significant history.

Now, have a visual feast from the video I created.

Ibis Styles Singapore on Macpherson

Me and my sisters had a surprise long-weekend getaway for Nengkoy (my mother).  We went to Passion Made Possible, Singapore!  We unfortunately had a red-eye flight that requires us to arrive in Singapore around 1:00 AM.  Considering that it would only be for a short period of time until we check-in in our chosen hotel and me being an Accor member, we prompted to have our first night in an Accor budget hotel.  We decided to head to Ibis Styles Singapore on Macpherson.

usual ibis-style kind of a hotel hallway…

simple yet functional…

super nice… super clean… super comfy…

Our decision to stay at Ibis Styles at Macpherson area of the City State was a surprisingly pleasant experience.  Present Macpherson is like the city center of Singapore ten or fifteen years ago.  With the fast paced development in this part of the planet, I will not be surprised that after another 10 years, the seem-to-be suburb Macpherson section will be like what the city center now.

comfort indeed!

love the orange color…

our room number 2…

This Ibis Hotel branch in this part of commuter-belt-Singapore was exuding with fineness.  The room was surprisingly big for an Ibis-type of a room.  Its impeccable cleanliness, unsullied orderliness and warm service merits above average distinction.  Moreover, considering the bargain price of their rooms, the complimentary buffet breakfast is more than what I and Nengkoy would consider simple.

I have always been a fan of the Ibis hotels’ modern, minimalist and contemporary colors and designs!  Ibis Styles Singapore on Macpherson made my fondness towards Ibis to simply linger on.

Simple pero nays!

Cloying Made Me Do An Exciting Keto Meal

Cloying is a word.  The arrogant in me thinks that only few Filipinos know this word.  If translated in Filipino it is “nauuta”.  It is the sickening feeling you have when you already consumed large doses of super rich eats (like belly fat meats, heavy cake icings or crazy butter-laced sweets).   It is so nauseating, you feel like your head is growing and it will just burst anytime!

At this stage of my being on ketogenic diet, I think I am in the cloying period.  I am starting to get so gutted out by the limited food selections that I have to make.  But the irony and dilemma is that I don’t want to be kicked out of ketosis.   

Espousing on the basic thought of finding a silver lining in the midst of a difficulty, I decided to make my keto meal today a very exciting one!  I instead took time to stylize its plating and took tons of photos of it.

Let me start with my lunch today.  It’s my recipe but it’s Nengkoy who did the heavenly-delicious pickled shallots…

Grilled Rosemary-Marinated Pork with Spicy Mustard, Fresh Cucumber Slices and Nengkoy’s Pickled Shallots

My afternoon snack (and my final meal today) is even more exciting.  Thanks to Joe Duff, the Diet Chef for the Choco-Coffee Mud Cake recipe…

yum!

Choco-Coffee Mud Cake topped with Choco-Peanut Butter and Sweet Fresh Strawberries (Who doesn’t love the mix of strawberries & chocolate inside the mouth? huh!)

I totally enjoyed stylizing these! If not for my crazy cloying, I would have not done this.  Expect more of stylized keto meals in the future…

‘Yan ang mga nagagawa ng mga taong, NAUUTA!