Friday, March 24, 2006

food trip

One thing I like about working in a non-profit organization is the travel opportunities i.e., we get to be invited to far-flung places in the country and attend seminars or conferences abroad. Last week, for our company R&R my officemates and I decided to embark on a culinary journey in Laguna.

First stop is Villa Escudero in San Pablo City. For 885 pesos you'd get to enjoy riding the carabao cart and hear Pinoy kundimans; ogle at the antique life-size santos in the Escudero family museum; rafting at Lake Labasin; and most of all gorge on Pinoy food at the Labasin Falls!

riding 'sexy', the carabao

stuffing myself with inihaw na tilapia, pork bar-b-q, kalderetang baka, itlog na maalat, pancit canton until i passed out. yes, hang me for i'm guilty of gluttony

marker for the dam and power plant

one of the first hydroelectric power plants in the country

After an afternoon stroll around Villa Escudero, we proceeded to the town of Liliw, which is famous for tsinelas! But we did not go there to stockpile on flipflops, we were after native delicacies such as espasol, broas, apas and otap.

For supper we chose Kusina Salud. It is located in Barangay Santa Cruz in San Pablo City. This quaint little restaurant is actually the country home of renowned designer, Patis Tesoro. The ground floor is the restaurant while the upper floor is where Patis and her son stay. During our visit Patis was entertaining some Spanish-speaking people.

Must order food at Kusina Salud: sinigang na isda sa miso, binagoongang baboy, pako salad and the sinful leche flan!

If you're not sure what to order just ask the chef, Paul Poblador, Patis' son-in-law. He's quite friendly.

entrance to the rustic and charming Kusina Salud

a visit to Kusina Salud is a reminder of a long gone era.

a painting of youthful sabungeros will greet you
at the reception area of the restaurant

remember your lola's TV set?

Asian-inspired decors

it's like eating at your country cousins' home

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

beh buti nga

I was channel surfing last night, when I chanced upon the George Bush-Helen Thomas exchange during the presidential press conference at the White House. It was clear that Dubya was verbally clobbered by Thomas. She was relentless in her attack against Bush who was obviously upset with how things turned up. It was supposed to be HIS show. He was there to convince the American people and the world that he knows what he is doing in Iraq and he is IN CONTROL. To the millions of viewers last night, it was clear that three years after the invasion Bush is still not sure why he went to war.

For those who missed it, Helen Thomas 'outed' Bush and showed the whole world he did not know that Iraq and Afghanistan are two different countries. Nagmukha syang tanga.

Here is the exchange:

DUBYA: Excuse me, excuse me. No President wants war. Everything you may have heard is that, but it's just simply not true. My attitude about the defense of this country changed on September the 11th. We -- when we got attacked, I vowed then and there to use every asset at my disposal to protect the American people. Our foreign policy changed on that day, Helen. You know, we used to think we were secure because of oceans and previous diplomacy. But we realized on September the 11th, 2001, that killers could destroy innocent life. And I'm never going to forget it. And I'm never going to forget the vow I made to the American people that we will do everything in our power to protect our people.

Part of that meant to make sure that we didn't allow people to provide safe haven to an enemy. And that's why I went into Iraq -- hold on for a second --

HELEN THOMAS: They didn't do anything to you, or to our country.

DUBYA: Look -- excuse me for a second, please. Excuse me for a second. They did. The Taliban provided safe haven for al Qaeda. That's where al Qaeda trained --

HELEN THOMAS: I'm talking about Iraq --

: Helen, excuse me. That's where -- Afghanistan provided safe haven for al Qaeda. That's where they trained. That's where they plotted. That's where they planned the attacks that killed thousands of innocent Americans.

I also saw a threat in Iraq. I was hoping to solve this problem diplomatically. That's why I went to the Security Council; that's why it was important to pass 1441, which was unanimously passed. And the world said, disarm, disclose, or face serious consequences -

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

the war in Iraq in numbers

Three years ago yesterday, under the pretext of the 'War on Terrorism,' the United States invaded Iraq. Since that fateful day in March 2003:
  • More than 2,300 American soldiers were killed.
  • Close to 36,000 Iraqi women, men and children were also killed.
  • Hundreds of billions of dollars were spent. This humungous amount of money could have been spent to:
  1. build 2,242,728 housing units for the poor people of Africa and Asia
  2. fund global anti-hunger efforts for 10 years
  3. fund world-wide AIDS programs for 24 years
  4. ensure that every child in the world was given basic immunizations for 83 years.

I think now is time for the United States to withdraw from Iraq and let the Iraqi people manage their own affairs.

Free Iraq.
Stop the War.

Source: BBC and National Priorities Project

Friday, March 17, 2006


Did you know that:

  • It is estimated that one-fourth of women worldwide are physically battered.
  • In India, 6,200 dowry deaths were reported in 1994 - or an average of 17 married women were killed daily for failure to make dowry payments to the husband's family.
  • 85 million to 114 million women and girls have undergone female genital mutilation worldwide; each year an estimated 2 million more girls suffer the practice in Africa, Asia or as immigrants or refugees in Europe and North America.
  • Each year, 1/2 million women die from pregnancy complications and 100,000 from unsafe abortions.
  • From 1/5 to 1/2 of women worldwide experience domestic violence during marriage.
  • In several countries, testing for genetic defects is used to determine the sex of an unborn child for the purpose of aborting females only.
  • Women represent 2/3 of the more than one billion illiterate adults who have no access to basic education. The majority live in rural areas.
  • On average, by age 18, girls receive 4.4 years less education than boys.
These are some of the depressing facts about the world's women. It is time that we do our share to alleviate the plight of our mothers, grandmoms, aunts, sisters, and wives. Women's issues are not only about women; they affect all of us. Let us give them the love, dignity and respect they deserve. We should not be obstacles for their advancement.

Happy Women's Month tune, pau, kareen, risa, hazel, yohwee, detski, daglens, corinna, daphne, elaine, kitte, amor, teenax, odette, jane, bem, che, anie, leya, tatcee, angging, mai at sa buong kawomenan!

Statistics from Women of the World and Worldwide Status of Women.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

mean girls in kimono

I bought a pirate DVD copy of Rob Marshall's screen version of Memoirs of a Geisha last January 2006 in Bali for 10,000 rupiahs or approximately 50 pesos. Due to heavy workload, frequent night prowls with Mr. Steady Lang, and the quick turn of events in the political scene i was not able to watch the DVD until last week.

So on friday night i bought me two mc chicken sandwiches and a big bottle of pop cola and loaded the copy of Memoirs of a Geisha in my player. Thirty minutes into the film, i was suddenly reminded of that Lindsey Lohan monster hit in 2004, Mean Girls. Memoirs was a waste of a good material. Yes, it was visually stunning; the Geisha dance left me breathless. However, much of the film focused on the cat fights between Sayuri (Ziyi Zhang) and Hatsumomo (Gong Li).

Rob Marshall was not able to recreate into the big screen the magical and mysterious world of the geishas. I don't know if this is the right term but Marshall 'americanized' the film. Although I did not live in the depression-era Japan I am sure that the Japanese during that period did not talk or bahave that way. The cat fights were outrageous. Where was the subtlety and discretion?

Although Gong Li's performance was enchanting her character in the movie was reduced to a bumbling, jealous old fart. In Arthur Golden's book, Hatsumomo is a more savvy and formidable opponent. Zhang and Michelle Yeoh's talents were completely wasted in this film. I wonder why Zhang was even nominated? Dancing in a 12-inch platform shoes dressed in tight-fit kimono perhaps merit a nomination. If that is the case then the Academy should have given the Oscar for Best Actress to Charlize Theron for her ridiculous look in Aeon Flux (hey i liked the cartoon but the movie was beyond awful)!

If you're seriously into the culture of geishas then ignore the movie and grab a copy of Golden's book. However, if you like exotic chinky-eyed girls pawing at each other then go watch Marshall's Memoirs. Good luck. Happy purring.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

free risa

(My chairperson, Risa Hontiveros. Photo from

Today’s arrest of our Chairperson, Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel demonstrates the continuing harassment leveled against progressive legislators and individuals by the immoral and illegal administration of Mrs. Arroyo. The arrest is an evidence of unrelenting attacks against the democratic ideals of the Filipino people with or without Proclamation 1017. Mrs. Arroyo has simply no respect for our freedom and human rights.

We are also appalled by the barbaric way that the authorities manhandled Risa. According to our leaders, Risa was dragged, pulled and shoved by policewomen in civilian clothes. It is unfortunate that this uncivilized action was adopted against Risa by the policewomen on the celebration of the International Women’s Day. However, we cannot blame them. We know that they are just implementing the orders of the number one violator of human rights in the country, Gloria Arroyo.

There is no doubt that repressive measures will intensify but the Filipino people will not be cowed. We can feel the anger rising among us. It is brewing. History has shown that repression begets revolt. And we will, soon.

Pandayan para sa Sosyalistang Pilipinas
Room 203, Center for Community Services,
Social Development Complex, Ateneo de Manila University
Loyola Heights, Quezon City

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

word cloud

i saw this entry from tasha's shoe collection and liked the word cloud. it turned out that she discovered it from abaniko's blog. word cloud summarizes what i have been writing in this blog for the past few months.

so thanks to tasha and abaniko. oh, to get your own word cloud go to this site.

Monday, March 06, 2006

yo! motherbaker

it was friday night and i had nothing better to do except to vegetate in front of the boob tube. i planned to watch a marathon of old 'friends' episodes. i needed something to keep me from throwing bombs at MalacaƱang to drive out the evil sorceress living there.

in just two minutes of watching the wacky world of 'friends' i was in another universe---one where gloria and her lying and cheating gang do not exist. i was rolling on the floor laughing my head off when suddenly mr. steady lang texted me and invited me to join him at the opening of mikee's exhibit at the farflung gallery in cubao. it was supposed to open last february 24 but then gloria had a vow of messing up our lives and issued the infamous PP 1017 so mikee decided to move the launch/opening on march 3.

mr. steady lang and i agreed to meet at the coffee beanery in gateway mall at 830 pm. he arrived late, as usual. in all the years i have known mr. steady lang he never arrived on time. never. we extracted ourselves from the caffeine zombies and walked nervously towards marikina shoe expo where farflung gallery is located.

mr. steady lang: ang dilim pala dito.
twistedman: oo nga. parang di friday.
mr. steady lang: we're just a few meters away from gateway and it looks like we're in a different part of the city.
twistedman: mukhang anytime merong haharang sa 'yo para magsabi ng holdap.

then, a furry thing came out of nowhere and leapt onto the pavement in front of us. we froze in our tracks and yelped. it stared at us. we stared back. sixty seconds later the cat nonchalantly crept behind the wheel of a parked car. we exhaled, stared at each other and chorused: "you're a wuss."

we arrived at the farflung gallery five minutes later and went straight to the bar. we drown ourselves with pints of beer and never uttered a single word to each other for the rest of the night. by the stroke of midnight i dashed out of the gallery and passed out into oblivion. i never had the chance to see up close mikee's works. they said the collection was good. if you have the time go check out "my mother is a baker,' a collection of watercolor paintings at the farflung gallery, marikina shoe expo, cubao, quezon city.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

protest action for the rich

For all you 'sosi' activists out there, enteng of e-mandirigma and black and white fame has just devised a great way to show your disgust against PP 1017 of Gloria Arroyo: flash mob/protest at Starbucks.

why starbucks? why not figaro, which is pinoy-owned? why not jollibee? dodo said they asked the same questions to enteng and here are his replies:
1) ang pakay ng ganitong uring alternatibong pagkilos ay mahikayat ang mga middle class na di pa gaanong kumikilos, lalo na sa mga rally; at
2) mas kakaunti ang starbucks outlets kaya't sana'y mas maiipon ang mga tao at mapapansin, kaysa kumalat sa napakaraming jollibee (na mungkahi ngiba) o mcdo.

oh well. for those who are interested to join the flash protest tomorrow, 3 March 2006 please read the details below:

Designated time and place of flash protest for March 3:
Any Starbucks Cafe, 6 to 7 PM

Plan of action:

1) Wear black.
2) You and your friends proceed to any Starbucks Cafe near you anytime between 6 to 7 pm.
3) Buy a drink. Each person should queue up at the counter, instead of just one ordering for the group.
4) After getting your drink, take a seat or just stand up outside the cafe and hang out for about 30 mins.
5) When your group decides it's time to leave, someone should give the cue and everybody should do the "thumbs down" sign.
6) Disperse as peacefully as you came in

Suggested preparations:

1) Invite as many friends, or officemates, as you can
2) If you're an employer or a manager, invite all your subordinates to join you. Offer to "treat" them, if you can afford it.
3) Agree to meet in a place (not Starbucks), or if you're from the same office, arrange for carpooling
4) From the meeting place, proceed to Starbucks as a group. This will have more impact than just agreeing to meet at Starbucks individually
5) If you're staying in a city where there is no Starbucks, any other "cafe" or restaurant will do.

Forward this message to as many friends, relatives, colleagues, and egroups. I've also included below a brief description of the Black Friday Protest Movement, so those receiving your forwarded mail and hearing this for the first time will understand what we're trying to accomplish. Let's paint Starbucks BLACK on Friday.

From: Enteng Romano



The Black Friday Protest Movement was launched by eLagda on March 1 to give professionals, students, businessmen, and other sectors a venue to express their protest against the continuing and escalating acts of repression of the GMA administration as manifested in its series of proclamations - CPR, EO 464, and PP 1017 - all designed to curtail basic rights and oppress the people.

Patterned after the flash mob concept, the Black Friday Protest calls on people to gather at a designated time and place every Friday wearing a black attire as a symbol of protest. There will be no programs or speeches. Instead, people will be given specific instructions on what to do, and the whole exercise should last about 30 minutes at most.

It's safe, non-confrontational, and within the bounds of the law, even under a repressive one like PP 1017. The mere "flash" gathering of the people is the expression of protest.

Where will people get instructions?

Details of the Black Friday Protest action for the week will be published at its blogsite - every Wednesday evening. Those who would like to receive instructions directly can also subscribe to the movement's bulletin service by sending a blank email to

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

which wolfgang song are you


TwistedMan is Meckam! Thanks for this quiz Yowee.
Which Wolfgang song best fits you?

we will prevail!

It is highly ironic that while we, Filipinos, marked the 20-year anniversary of freedom from the Marcos dictatorship we suddenly found ourselves living under the shadow of the state of emergency, this time imposed by Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

I believe that the emergency rule will just give rise to increased human rights violations, leading to more violence, as evident from our experience more than 30 years ago. It is not only illegal; it is farcical as well. Why did Mrs. Arroyo put the country under the state of emergency when she, herself, believed that the ‘crisis’ is under control. We know that the real reason for the declaration of Presidential Proclamation 1017 is to keep herself glued in the seat of power. She is an illegal president and she has no right to govern us in any other circumstance.

I am also suspicious of certain provisions in PP 1017 aimed at muzzling our constitutional right to free speech and other civil liberties. The raid on the offices of the Daily Tribune and her lieutenant’s recent pronouncements seeking to censor broadcast media sent chills down our collective spines. These actions bring back painful memories of the Marcos brutal regime. It is a paradox that 20 years on, the Filipinos' cherished freedoms are again being taken away.

She must immediately revoke PP 1017. She may believe that she has effectively silenced us through PP1017 thus ensuring her continued stay in power but in truth she only accelerated her downfall. The people will not be cowed by PP1017, we will prevail. (In Photo from Akbayan.)