Monday, March 30, 2009

Bubbles' 27th at Kai

Another Late Post. We spent Bubbles' 27th birthday at Kai, Greenbelt 5.

Being avid fans of Japanese food, we decided to try out something more authentic than the usual suspects in Japanese food. For its ambience and location, Kai elicits the elegant atmosphere. What's good is that despite the traditional and elegant feel, it does not cost a fortune to savor its sumptuous Japanese dishes.


For our starter, the birthday girl ordered her favorite Salmon sashimi.

My lady ordered the Soft-shell crab tempura. At first I thought how can do your turn a hard-shelled crab into a tempura? Will you take off the skin? Will you eat the meat? It turned out you're going to eat the whole thing! From the name itself, the crab had an ultra soft, crunchy shell, you wouldn't even notice that you're already eating its claws! I'm 27 and things like these still amaze me! ugh!

We tried the Wagyu Beef cooked in stone. It was a fun and delicious experience having to cook your own roast beef using a heated stone.
At first, it was all her while I sat there taking pictures, amazed at how a stone so small could roast Wagyu beef into a succulent, delicious treat!

I needed to give the cooking a try so I switched places with my lady as she took the pictures while I did the cooking.

Thank God for self-timer
I'm definitely coming back to try out the other dishes. To my lady, thanks so much for the brithday treat! Zhu ni shengri kuai le! (Wait, that's Chinese!)
Kai Japanese Restaurant
Greenbelt 5
Makati City

People of the Philippines vs. Boyet Fajardo

Who is Boyet Fajardo in the first place?

According to newspapers, Boyet Fajardo is a renowned fashion designer, famous for having made gowns and dresses to talents like Maricel Soriano. But who is he, really?

The bottomline: Even if you're someone as "famous" as Boyet Fajardo (or so he says), or you're just simply Juan de la Cruz, even if you're dead hungry, without sleep, or have just arrived from a very long flight, you have ABSOLUTELY no right to insult your fellow Filipino.

There are no excuses for Boyet Fajardo's behavior towards Duty Free employee Marvin Fernandez. It is unbecoming of a Filipino, unbecoming of a human being. What separates us from animals is that we have the conscience, ethics and manners to treat others with utmost respect. Without it, we're just as good as the boars, the bears and the snakes.

Wait, who's Boyet Fajardo again? Probably that was the same question asked by the Duty Free employees when Boyet Fajardo ask the question "di mo ba ako kilala?"

Be it here or anywhere else in the world, never ever treat your countryman unfairly. Let the divine, legal and social laws bring forth proper justice Marvin and any other innocent, plain, clean-living Filipinos who are being oppressed, disempowered and exploited by people like Boyet Fajardo. Let it also be a lesson to all other primadonnas out there.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Cho's Birthday at Felix Bar, GB5

Another late post. We celebrated Boss' 2008 Birthday at Felix Bar Greenbelt 5. Let the pictures alone tell you how sumptuous their food is. :)

Care for a Merlot?

Not just beef
Beef with a slice of Foie Gras...

Burger with a Twist

Go seafood


Happy Birthday Boss! :) Thanks for inviting me to this wonderful dinner.

Felix Bar and Restaurant
Greenbelt 5
Makati City

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What The?!

Sa nangyaring ito, basang sisiw tayong lahat...

Latest Sworn Statement of Suzette "Nicole" Nicolas, the victim in the Subic Rape Case, was taken from

Annex A

I, SUZETTE S. NICOLAS, of legal age. Filipino, a resident of Zamboanga City, after being duly sworn in accordance with law, hereby depose and state:
1. I am a Bachelor of Science graduate, major in Management Accounting, of the Ateneo de Davao University. Soon after my graduation, I took up nursing in 2004 at the Ateneo de Zamboanga City and at the same time assisted in managing our family owned canteen located inside the military base of the Southern Command. My mother was a civilian supervisor of the Philippine Navy for 25 years while my deceased father was a Philippine Navy Officer.
2. Since our canteen also catered to American servicemen who stayed at the military base every time their vessels docked in Zamboanga City, my family came to know many American servicemen who would go to our canteen to eat and buy souvenir items. We treated them as family and we would go out of our way to talk to them, play cards and on many occasions, my mother would even cook special meals for them. They would even entrust their ATM cards to us to withdraw money for them from the bank. My former boyfriend, Brian Goodrich, is also an American serviceman.
3. After working in Swift Foods Inc. since January 22, 2007, I decided to quit my job as a Credit Accountant to pursue my studies in the United States through the help of my family, relatives and close friends. I know that they supported me so that I could finally move on after my tragic experience in 2005 in Subic, Zambales which led to the trial and conviction for rape of Daniel J. Smith.
4. Deep inside, however, I know that I may never be able to move on for as long as I continue to search for answer to so many questions that have lingered in my mind regarding the incident in Subic more than three years ago. Daniel Smith was convicted of rape because the court accepted my version that he took advantage of my intoxication in raping me inside a van that took us to the seawall located at the SBMA Alaba Pier at around 11:30 in the evening of November 1, 2005.
5. Daniel Smith’s witnesses said that while we were at the Neptune Club, I sat on Daniel Smith’s lap and that we kissed each other passionately. I remember that before I met Daniel Smith at the Neptune Club, all I ate was a slice of pizza at the Grand Leisure Hotel. After the pizza, everything else was alcoholic drinks from vodka sprite, B52, Singaporean sling, B53, long island ice tea to bullfrog all of which I drank bottoms up. I do not recall Daniel Smith having ordered any alcoholic drink for me. My drinks were all paid for by Chris Mills who invited me to go to the Neptune Club.
6. I had no opportunity to deny in court that I kissed Daniel Smith but with the amount of alcoholic mixed drinks I took, my low tolerance level of alcohol and with only a slice of pizza all night, it dawned upon me that I may have possibly lost my inhibitions, became so intimate with Daniel Smith and did more than just dancing and talking with him like everyone else on the dance floor. Looking back, I would not have agreed to talk with Daniel Smith and dance with him no less than three times if I did not enjoy his company or was at least attracted to him since I met him for the very first time on the dance floor of Neptune Club.
7. When I danced with Daniel Smith for the third time, my companion, Chris Mills has already left Neptune Club since he had to catch their curfew time at the military base. The lighting was sufficient for people to recognize each other and other marines were with their Filipino partners drinking, dancing and enjoying each other’s company and kissing and hugging among partners was a common scene.
8. With the events at the Neptune Club in mind, I keep on asking myself, if Daniel Smith wanted to rape me, why would he carry me out of the Neptune Club using the main entrance in full view of the security guard and the other sources? Why would the van park right in front of Neptune Club? Why would Daniel Smith and his companions bring me to the seawall of Alaba Pier and casually leave this area that was well lighted and with many people roaming around? If they believed that I was raped, would they have not dumped me instead in a dimly lit area along the highway going to Alaba Pier to avoid detection?
9. I told the court that Daniel Smith kissed my lips and neck and held my breast inside the van. Recalling my testimony, I ask myself now how could I have remembered this if witnesses told the court that I passed out and looked unconscious when I was brought to the van by Daniel Smith. How could I have resisted his advances given this condition? Daniel Smith and I were alone on the third row of the van which had limited space and I do not recall anyone inside the van who held my hand or any part of my body. What I can recall is that there was very loud music and shouting inside the van.
10. If the travel from Neptune Club took only several minutes and with the driver of the van trying to beat the curfew time of his passengers, how could I have instantly regained my consciousness and talked to the people upon reaching the seawall of Alaba Pier? When people gathered around me at the seawall, everyone seemed to have drawn the conclusion that I was raped except for one who called me a bitch.
11. Based on the account of SBMA police, I was very hesitant to board the mobile police car that brought me to the headquarters for investigation. I was so confused and the first thing that entered my mind was how would my mother and boyfriend react if they learn that I was last seen with Daniel Smith and that a condom was seen on my pants after Daniel Smith left the van? I was scared of losing not only my American boyfriend but the chance of living in the United States. In fact, I did not immediately tell my boyfriend that I was raped by Daniel Smith. All I said was that something bad happened to me.
12. I expect many sectors to question my motives in executing this statement more than three years after the incident. However, as I practically grew up interacting with American servicemen in Zamboanga City who treated me and my family very well, and thinking over and over again how I may have conducted myself at the Neptune Club, I can’t help but entertain doubts on whether the sequence of events in Subic last November of 2005 really occurred the way the court found them to have happened.
13. My conscience continues to bother me realizing that I may have in fact been so friendly and intimate with Daniel Smith at the Neptune Club that he was led to believe that I was amenable to having sex or that we simply just got carried away. I would rather risk public outrage than do nothing to help the court in ensuring that justice is served.
SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN TO BEFORE ME this 12 day of March 2009, affiant exhibiting to me her Philippine Passport No. PPO845449 bearing her photograph and signature, issued on 18 Feb 2005 at Zamboanga City and valid until 18 Feb. 2010.
Doc. No. 37
Page No. 9
Book No. 1
Series of 2009
Notary Public for Makati City

This case has spurred a lot of other peripheral issues relating to national sovereignty and diplomacy. And the person that brought all these up flew to the very country where her convicted rapist resides. I just can't seem to understand.

People say that it was the poor justice system that made Nicole give up. Others say it was the government. But we should also consider the fact that the Subic Rape Case is relatively faster than other criminal cases in regular courts. It involved an American Serviceman, and yet, he was convicted. A lot of boats have been rocked, a lot of feathers have been ruffled. And yet, in the end, it is the government's fault, so they say. I can't seem to understand this part as well...

What really happened? Now I, along with millions of other Filipinos, am confused.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Eraserheads: The Final Set

More than 10 million fans. Only 100,000 witnessed. And I'm lucky to be one of them.

Thank God for the excellent weather. For the mature crowd. For Ely's excellent health. For the Eraserheads' one helluva show.

Bubbles and I were positioned near the parking lot ticket booth at the Silver (1,300) area to have a good vantage point of the screen. Despite a sub-par hosting by the MTV VJs who just read their cue cards the entire time, the Final Set was a real deal enjoyment. The program which started with a short collection of Eheads' MTV appearances gave the crowd the added excitement. And when the countdown started, this time a lot shorter starting from the letter Z up to the traditional inverted E, the crowd just went ballistic! After that, we just had a fantastic time!

Set 1 started with the electrifying hit from their album "Circus", "Magasin" started like it was of a different tune. I really thought it was Toyang that they were introducing, until they started playing the familiar intro and hum, followed by a striking fireworks display! Then everybody just started cheering, and of course, singing with Ely as he started with: "Nakita kita sa isang magasin..."

Even the other members of the band had their share of the lead vocals, with Marcus Adoro doing a reggae version of the Cutterpillow hit "Huwag mo nang Itanong," while Raimund Marasigan left the drumming role and sang three hits, Alkohol, Insomya, and Slo Mo, in the first set. This was probably intentional, to give Ely's vocal chords a good rest, to ready him for the next two sets. Multi-talented Jazz Nicolas of Itchyworms substituted Raimund in the drums during his vocal stint, while he played the piano in the lounge version of "Kailan." He wore the shirt that said "Extra" with an inverted E. :)

Set 2 had a rather laid back atmosphere, with Ely Buendia sitting in his couch. He even bantered "Eto ang bago naming bahay." The crowd responded by cheering on to the next few tracks of the set, performed using acoustic instruments. Ely gave a good solid curse and a few funny tweaking of the lyrics when he sang the explicit version of "Pare Ko." They did a rendition of "Spoliarium" with a guitar distortion similar to the Beatles hit, "Strawberry Fields Forever." This is also when Ely performed a hidden track in Circus, the Lounge version of "Kailan." Jazz Nicolas of Itchyworms played the piano.

Set 3 contained the Eheads' most addicting tunes. It also featured a tribute to their close buddy in the music industry, Master Rapper Francis Magalona, by singing Superproxy and the chorus of Kaleidoscope World. It was reported that Francis Magalona is supposed to be the guest artist of this concert, and he was supposed to sing the rap portion of Superproxy. Unfortunately, he did not make it. The Eraserheads gave a good tribute to a good friend and a solid foundation of the Filipino music industry.

In this set, the band also gave a different twist to the first track of the first reunion concert, "Alapaap. They gave it a slower mood, with Ely starting the song from the chorus "Masdan mo ang aking mata..." The background sound of the winds gave a more vibrant trance-type twist to the song.

The "Official" Set ended with the band's most famous song, "Huling El Bimbo." Fireworks were lighted, while Ely symbolically ended a great era of Pinoy Rock Music by setting up on fire the famous sticker-clad piano seen in the cover of Sticker Happy. People sang along, cheered at the fireworks and Ely's stunt, while they reminisce all the individual memories tied to this song. The concert "ended with a bang! Ely Buendia then ended the set with the words "We are the Eraserheads. Thank you!"

As we were about to leave the jampacked premises, Raimund went back to the stage, saying he still wants to play! So he asked the crowd to call on the other members of the Eheads! Buddy then went up the stage, followed by Ely. Marcus was the last to get back. They then huddled in the middle of the stage to talk about their surprise set. Ely then announced that they are going to sing three more songs! They sang their first-ever single, Ligaya, Sembreak and Toyang!

Below is the set list:

Set 1:
Walang Nagbago
Maling Akala
Poor Man's Grave
Waiting for the Bus
Wag Mo Nang Itanong
Slo Mo
Set 2:
Julie Tearjerky
Wishing Wells
Fine Time
Pare Ko
Back 2 Me
Trip to Jerusalem
Set 3:
Kaleidoscope World (chorus)
Ang Huling El Bimbo
Bonus Set:

This is probably the best concert I have seen ever! To the Eraserheads, thank you for bringing out the best show ever in your careers. Cheers!

"Do be successful. Don't be famous." --Ely Buendia, in an MTV interview

Eraserheads: The Final Set
March 7, 2009
SM MAll of Asia Concert Grounds

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Francis Magalona: 1964-2009

Isang pagpupugay sa isang tunay na Pilipino. Isa lang siya sa kakaunting mga Pilipinong artistang nagbigay-halaga sa sariling kultura sa pamamagitan ng paglikha ng mga awiting may makabuluhang paksa tungkol at para sa "mga kababayan ko."

I have to admit I have been an avid fan of this man during his early days as a rapper. In fact, I still have in my archives the tape of Francis M's first album, "Yo!" Who would forget the famous dance step "running man" while singing along to the chorus of Mga Kababayan Ko?!

This, alongside nationalistic hits like Three Stars and a Sun, Kaleidoscope World, Ito ang Gusto Ko, and Nilamon ng Sistema, truly marks him as one of the most unforgettable artists in this generation.

To the Master Rapper, though you have left early in this world, you will forever be alive in the beautiful music and nationalistic attitude that you have imbibed in the psyches of Filipinos, young and old.

With this post, I have embedded Francis Magalona's last performance in Eat Bulaga, alongside good friend, Ely Buendia.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Eraserheads: The Final Set

Good thing there is a second installment to this unforgettable music event! I missed the first "final set" for reasons I could no longer remember. This time, I made sure I get a ticket! It's not that near though, I just got a silver ticket so I expect to see the ant-sized Ely Buendia donning his aviator shades and strumming his guitar, while avoiding all those scalps in front of me.

Rock on!

Eraserheads: The Final Set
SM Mall of Asia Grounds
March 7, 2009, 8:00 pm
Gates open at 3pm

What do you think is the best Eraserheads album ever?
a. Pop U!
b. Ultraelectromagnetic Pop
c. Circus
d. Cutterpillow
e. Fruitcake
f. Bananatype EP
g. Sticker Happy
h. Natin 99
i. Aloha Milkyway
j. Carbon Stereoxide

For me, it's a tie between Ultraelectro Magnetic Pop and Cutterpillow. :)