Saturday, May 30, 2009

Not Marriage Material

I did came back from my vacation happy, relaxed and refreshed, but as I hurriedly got back into my usual life, some unexpected news hit my face with a splat. Sorry, it was more of a THUD. When I heard about the news, I couldn't breathe and that unexplainable pain was there again. I had to put on an unaffected face and told my friends I am absolutely fine, but deep within, my heart felt like a wobbly, melting jelly served on a sizzling platter. My ex got engaged. ("That SOB got engaged," was how it sounded in my head.)

How could someone, that you've been with for years decide to break up with you, but marry a girl he only knew for a year? I can't fathom any explanation to this, and I felt sick thinking that maybe I wasn't marriage material. It sucks, but it's a plausible explanation. I am going through some emotional turmoil right now; it's not as bad as it sounds (really), but I've been unable to concentrate on anything. I went from super high to super low, so if I don't update my blog for a few days, blame it on that SOB ex.

I'm so sorry for the language. Chocolates, anyone?

Friday, May 29, 2009

Facing Singleness

Yes, millions are terrified of facing singleness. To avoid it we settle for less, hooking up and staying in stale relationships. We marry, divorce, and do it again. It's a vicious little cycle. In desperation, we read books on finding a mate, and when that doesn't work, we read books on how to live alone and love it. Sadly, neither approach solves the dilemma because being single is not a condition to be cured. Being single is natural, as natural as being together. One is not better than the other - they are complementary. (Judy Ford, Single: The art of being satisfied, fulfilled, and independent)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Travel: Venice

For me, Venice is my favorite place in Italy. While Rome sizzles like a barbecue grill during the summer, Venice's water canals and highways keep the city cool throughout summer. Dining al fresco is perfect in this city. Whether you'll be content with a pizza or just plain bread dipped in olive oil, you can't avoid being amazed and entertained how a city can be utilizing canals instead of streets.

Riding a taxi boat as we sailed underneath this bridge to another.
Just another street canal...
We stayed at a camping site and slept in one of those cute cabins.
St. Mark's Square
I love how houses have flowers hanging from their balconies.
Taxi? Anyone?
Let's go for a gondola ride.
St. Mark's Basilica
Part of St. Mark's Basilica
This photo reminds me of the movie "Italian Job."

Monday, May 25, 2009

Travel: Barcelona

If you talk Barcelona, you talk architecture. I really enjoyed Barcelona and I was amazed at how stunning and fun this city is.

The Gaudi Dragon Fountain

Mosaic ceiling at Park Guell

Walk this way and tilted walking not allowed.

Entrance to Park Guell

This is one of the buildings you'll see at the park entrance.

What a strange looking window - Casa Batllo

My favorite Guadi designed house, Casa Batllo, located at the Illa de la Discordia (Block of Discord)

A closer look at the Sagrada Familia Temple entrance

The highlight of my trip, the Sagrada Familia Temple - another design by Gaudi.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Travel: Florence

I am grateful I was given the chance to study in Rome. It was an exceptional opportunity to learn about Italy's history, culture, language and people. But what made studying there fun was the out-of-town trips I took during the weekends. Florence is quite small but definitely alluring. The city is best discovered by walking, shopping (there's a huge open market while I was there), eating gelato, and of course, dining. Here are a few photos from my weekend trip to Firenze.

Piazza della Signora - other statues adorned the piazza

Piazza della Signora

Santa Maria Novella

The River Arno

Hiked all the way the top of Piazalle Michelangelo

Ponte Vecchio Bridge

Facade of the Duomo

Florence Duomo or Cathedral

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Devoid Of Enthusiasm

For the past few days, it’s been a struggle to get out of bed. I feel devoid of enthusiasm. I thought that since I just had a wonderful weekend catching up with a high school classmate, trying out that new Filipino restaurant at Gaithersburg (lovely buffet), and absolutely enjoyed watching “Angels and Demons” at the theater, that I’d be more alive this week. I feel the entire opposite. Monday and Tuesday went by like a blur. Today, I'm having a hard time keeping my thoughts together.

Is there such thing as having too much fun? Or are these the classic symptoms of old age? This is one reason why I’ve always decided against reviving my dead social life because whenever I get my social schedule rolling, I feel the need to hibernate for the next few weeks or more. I am starting to be convinced that at this stage, being anti-social is not bad after all.

Today, I noticed frown lines on my face. What gives!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Travel: Sagada

Sagada is my mom's hometown. Although I grew up far from it, since I was born and raised in the province of Kalinga, this place has always been near and dear to my heart. I visit Sagada whenever I visit the Philippines, and enjoy the peace and relaxation I find in this beautiful place. The following photos were taken in the summer of 2007.

A dog relaxing

St. Mary's Church

I love how the houses were built on the side of this mountain

A view of the town

Sagada Weaving


Rice fields

Harvesting Cabbage

Hanging coffins

"Adi tako bokodan di gawis"

A carved gecko on the top lid of a wooden coffin

Lucky you live here

This was the beautiful sunrise that greeted me. At this time, I was on my way down to Bontoc to catch my bus ride to Kalinga.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Ms. Pangilinan Declared An "Unwelcome Visitor"

I wasn't expecting this. In fact, I was ready to move on and forgive, but I was surprised to read this at the ABS-CBN News website. The city of Baguio declared Ms. Pangilinan as an "unwelcome visitor." Living outside the Philippines, this is the first publicized incident, that I know of, about a Filipino comedian delivering an offensive joke about Igorots. I mean, there are good and bad jokes. Ms. Pangilinan's joke was offensive and a really bad one. I have spoken to some friends back home, and apparently, some comedians have been making similar jokes for a long time, they just haven't been caught.

I honestly feel bad for her. On the other side of the coin, I feel empowered that the Igorots, as a community, and Baguio, as a city, have the power to convey a powerful message - putting down someone's ethnicity is not acceptable and is not tolerated. For the Igorot community has come a long way fighting and correcting the stereotypes and misnomer attached to their name. As a public figure, Ms. Pangilinan is responsible for her actions, which she has openly admitted and recognized. She is indeed commendable for admitting her mistake and apologizing publicly for her offense. I do hope that she will find peace within and find a way to bridge the gap with the people she hurt. As for me, I wish her well and I think the lesson has been learned.

Below is a reprint of the news article.


Despite her numerous apologies, Candy Pangilinan was declared an "unwelcome vis[i]tor" in Baguio City after she cracked a joke that implied that Igorots are not people.

In a special session held by the Baguio City council on Friday, Pangilinan was declared "persona non grata" by a majority vote. Councilor Tomas Balisong, currently the acting vice mayor, said that the declaration was in reaction to Pangilinan's "ethnic slur."

Pangilinan's joke, which was heard during her stand-up comedy act held in SM Baguio last Saturday, was: "Tao po ako, hindi po ako Igorot."

This drew strong criticisms from the Igorot community. "It is a slur, an insult to us Igorots," said Atty. Jose Molintas, a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Almost all the Baguio Councilors approved the motion passed by Councilor Greg Bagbagen declaring the comedienne an unwanted visitor to the summer capital. This also banned Pangilinan's movies from being shown in the city's theaters. Only Councilor Galo Weygan, also an Igorot, abstained from voting.

Many Baguio locals supported the move, saying they were deeply insulted by Pangilinan's comment. "Dapat maramdaman niya ang maging isang Igorot para alam niya ang sinasabi niya," said Annie Domiguay, a Baguio resident.

The full article is here.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Travel: Rome

In preparation for the movie "Angels and Demons," I'm posting some photos I took while I was studying in Rome. I was quite disappointed to know that some parts of the movie were shot at Sony Pictures Studios (Los Angeles) since Roman Catholic officials banned filming inside the churches; this is in lieu to the Catholic officials finding "The Da Vinci Code" offensive.

Rainy day outside the Pantheon

Fontana de Trevi (Trevi Fountain)

Roman Colosseum at sunset

Vittorio Emanuel

Interior of St. Peter's Basilica

Swiss Guards at the St. Peter's Square

Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel

This is the east wall - The Last Judgment by Michaelangelo

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Pangilinan's Apology

I was browsing the Dap-ay Forums at Baguio City Online when I came across "Tao po ako, hindi po ako Igorot" (I am a person/human, not an Igorot) as one of the forum topics. Apparently, these words were uttered by Candy Pangilinan during a pre-Mother's Day show at SM Baguio as a joke. According to Jemz, a forum member, Ms. Pangilinan blurted her comments twice, and although she did apologize at the end of the show, the damage has been done. Clearly, her comments have offended some members of the Igorot community, including me. (To read comments on the forum, click here.) In her blog, Ms. Pangilinan issued an apology and explained that what she actually meant was "Igorot statue" but failed to say the word "statue."

As a proud Igorot, I have to admit that some people refer or label us in so many "uncalled for" terms. I am glad that the Igorot community is fighting back and is fully aware that we need to uphold and defend the Igorot identity. If we dont' do it, who will. I am glad Ms. Pangilinan issued an apology. It was very careless and insensitive of her to say such words in a city known for its Igorot origins.
Here is a reprint of Ms. Pangilinan's apology, and click here to read her full blog entry.

Last Saturday, May 9, the day after my birthday, I finished my taping at 8:00 a.m. and left Manila to fulfill a commitment in Baguio at 2:00 p.m.
I am truly sorry because I uttered an insensitive statement during the event. I did not mean to hurt anyone, especially, our Igorot brothers and sisters. It was a careless remark and for that, I am truly sorry. The harm was done and regardless of my explanation and whatever my intention was when I uttered such words, any defense would not matter at this point. It was wrong.
I clearly remember that I did apologize for the careless statement I said during the show. Comedians have the tendency to go overboard and deliver lines, which they deem as witty and hilarious punchlines. But, sometimes, they can get reckless.
Truly, I am sorry for my mistake. I have learned a precious lesson, and I am sorry that I had hurt people in the process.
I delivered the lines incorrectly. I had no sleep that day and was very tired. In all of my shows, I try to make it a point that my audience would feel that I am a part of the entire group and that I am one with them, but I made a mistake this time.
If you were there and had finished the show, you would have heard me acknowledge my blunder. I apologized and explained myself. I even went on, uplifting the Benguet/Igorot Community.
I am very proud of their contribution to the society. I, as a person and a Filipino, would never intentionally discriminate nor disrespect my roots, my ancestors, and my fellow Filipinos. In summary, I pray that people would realize that I do not look down on anyone regardless of the race, heritage, or religion.
Again, I am deeply sorry.
I hope that you will find in your hearts to forgive me though I know it may be difficult to understand the context of why I said it. It was one major error, and may the Lord Jesus Christ forgive me, and give all of peace.
Let me post this quote again: "I am an Igorot. Let me be treated as I deserve—with respect if I am good, with contempt if I am no good, irrespective of the name I carry. Let the term, Igorot, remain, and the world will use it with the correct meaning attached to it." ( Jose Dulnuan)

Thursday, May 7, 2009


I snagged this tag from Kero. I like it because it's sort of a TO DO list which I really need to keep things in perspective. Feel free to snag.

Eight Things I'm Looking Forward To
  1. vacation at the end of May
  2. starting grad school this fall
  3. summer weekend road trips
  4. trying out that new Filipino restaurant in Gaithersburg
  5. going to see "Angels and Demons"
  6. baking cassava bibingka one of these weekends
  7. going to see the opera Turandot next month
  8. going shopping this weekend for a new bag
Eight Things I Did Yesterday
  1. picked up prescription at the pharmacy
  2. submitted board meeting materials
  3. fried marinated bangus for dinner
  4. washed dishes
  5. watched Shrek 2 and Polar Express DVDs
  6. prepared Mother's Day cards and letters
  7. took the Metro
  8. walked through the rain on my way home
Eights Things I Wish I Could Do
  1. go shopping with my sister and brother
  2. spend time with Mom and Dad in Hawaii
  3. become a home owner
  4. get to a healthy weight
  5. visit Greece, Turkey, London, Paris et al.
  6. become better in adjusting to changes
  7. stress less
  8. eat green mangoes with salt and vinegar
Eights Movies I Watched Recently
  1. Shrek 2
  2. Polar Express
  3. The Holiday
  4. Iron Monkey
  5. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
  6. Get Shorty
  7. Be Cool
  8. Journey to the West

Monday, May 4, 2009

Big Island Postcards

My parents are thinking of going to the Big Island this summer. I am so jealous. I was there in 2002 and 2005, but of course I want to go again. Here are the photos I took in 2005.
Rainbow Falls

Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, the site of Hawaiian settlements

Resting on Punalu'u's Black Sand Beach

Mauna Loa stands watch over the steam vents

Walking on lava...destination is where the smoke is

View of Hali na Pali

Exploring Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park

Waipio Valley