Friday, March 30, 2007

Shopping in Manila

Cebu Pacific allows 20 kilos of luggage only but I exceeded it to 31 kilos on my flight back to Bangkok. I paid 3300 pesos for it and most of my luggage is my DVD collection. Here is a picture.

Actually, I wanted to write about shopping in Bangkok and shopping in Manila. I wanted to know if Filipino salespeople can handle a person who can only speak and understand English. I was not able to do this at DVD stores because they know my face (I am a DVD addict). I was able to do this experiment when I was looking for a new cellphone and speakers for my family's desktop computer.

I spoke English only and the salespeople were not surprised. Most of them replied in English and only one replied to me in Tagalog (but she did understand what I was talking about).

In Bangkok, salespeople would just stare at me and then look for an interpreter. Most of them (including the ones working in Siam Paragon, the most expensive mall in Thailand) do not have an idea what I am talking about.

Most of the salespeople in Manila do not have university degrees. They have high school diplomas only and yet they can speak quite fluently. I honestly thought that Filipino salespeople will disappoint me before this experiment. I am really proud of our English language proficiency.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Missing Manila

I miss my family more now than when I left Manila last May. It is just sickening. My life there is so easy but do I want that?

No. I am a man who likes challenges and who wants to get the most from this world.

I will miss my parents, uncles and aunts getting old. I will miss my nephews and nieces growing up. I will miss seeing the swift development of Pasig. I will miss my friends as well.

Anyway, this is my life now and I am starting to realize how much I can do.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Mall of Asia

I think SM Mall of Asia is the biggest mall in South East Asia. The mall itself is at least three times as large as Bangkok's Siam Paragon. But it is not finished yet and the whole area is at least 8 times the area of the Thai mall. It makes you wonder why Siam Paragon is advertised as being the biggest in the region.

There are tons of nice structures built all over the complex. Here is the biggest:

This is another one featuring a native game called "Luksong Tinik":

It is hard to capture the immensity of this place but one amazing thing about this mall is it stands on a reclaimed area so it has an amazing view of Manila Bay. I just hope that this structure won't sink like the others:

Here is a Thai restaurant:

Here are pics of the interiors:

I have a 360 degree video of the place. Just email me if you want to see it.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

My Alma Mater

On my first day in the Philippines, I went to my Alma Mater, University of the Philippines.

Here are some grafittis:

Here is the most important sculpture:

This is the Sunken Garden that is rich in protein. Ask me in private if you want to know why:

This is a sculpture near the entrance:

Here are some trees:

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

300 (movie)

I really do not understand why some critics say it resembles gay porn. They must be having a hard on while watching this movie. I am so gay and yet I cannot find the images sexually arousing. I must say though that they are fine-looking lads.

I am surprised to see some familiar actors beefed up for this movie. They must have consumed tons of protein supplements. But then of course, everything is enhanced by makeup as well.

It is not only the men that are visually arresting but the cinematography as well. Every scene is breath taking. I must say that this is even better than "Sin City" although these two films should not be compared.

All of the actors are impressive especially Vincent Regan as the warrior-father. He is so intense in the last part of the movie.

Hmmm now I remember that butt shot. How I wish there were more light.

First Manila visit

So many things have changed. So many things have stayed the same. There are so many things that I believe would not have changed had I stayed in Manila.

Am I happy that I made the move? Yes.

Do I regret it? Not really.

My family and friends here in Manila have each other. It does not matter how much things would change. They have each other for support. While in Bangkok, I am alone.

I will miss seeing my nieces and nephews grow up. I will miss my dogs. I will miss my family as they go on with their lives without me.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Queen (movie)

Will I insult people if I admit that I slept in some parts of this movie? Perhaps, I was tired. Maybe, I was bored.

One thing is for sure, the lead actress was very good and elegant. Some of the actors are distracting though. I wonder why they picked up that horrible American.

I should have given this a miss. It may be good but it is forgettable.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Silent Hill (DVD)

Silent Hill, the PS1 game, is my favourite of all. It was twisted, exciting and scared the shit out of my mother and my sister while I was playing it. It was impossible to play this game by myself because it was really creepy.

I did not watch the movie on the big screen because I was afraid I would get disappointed. The movie is not as scarey but it was not disappointing. For a fan like me, it was so nice to see many familiar elements from the game.

I was specially ecstatic with the creatures because they were more elegant and disturbing than the ones on the game. The lead being a woman is OK although I still miss the longing of a father for her daughter.

For a Silent Hill fan, this DVD is a must-have. For a horror movie goer, this should be seen on the big screen.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Correcting myself: on white expats in Bangkok

I just came from a date with Mr. SA with whom I have a big crush on. He is leaving tomorrow to his home country. He invited me to spend some time with him. Mr. SA goes to the same internet cafe where I go and we always talk there whenever we see each other. I thought that we would have sex on this date.

But we never did and it was fine. All this time I was bitching that Caucasians only see me as a prey but here is one guy right under my nose who probably see me as an equal. He told me more about himself than I expected. I got a raging hard on but it did not matter. Here is one Caucasian who feels very comfortable with me.

This encounter is very unique. I won't forget my day with Mr. SA and I hope to see him again very soon.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Brokeback Mountain (DVD)

I watched this movie when it was released in the theaters. I did like it but not that much. Thanks to technology, I was able to watch this movie again and appreciate it in a way I did not.

It is indeed a love story and thanks to the subtitles, I am now able to understand what Heath is saying. The sense of loss is very powerful and it perpetuates throughout the movie. It is a good movie but I just wonder when will Hollywood release a story with two men falling in love and having a happy ending. With straight stories, it is usually a happy ending.

The performances are very good. The two main actors are convincing but Michelle Williams and Valerie Planche are also very good.

The documentaries are nice but you cannot expect much because this is the single-disc release. I know that there is a 2-disc edition in the US right now.

I think this is very nice to add in my collection.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Lonely in Bangkok

I have learned not to write and send messages when you are emotional. I am fucking emotional right now and I do not care if anyone gets offended. This is my blog and I am going to say what I want.

I am lonely! It is extremely difficult to make friends here. It is hard to make friends with Thais because of the language barrier. It is hard to make friends with the expats (especially Caucasians) because rarely would they see me as a friend.

Why am I here? What am I doing here?

I should not complain because I am doing financially better. I have a great job. My employer is very good to me. I am living a very comfortable life and I can buy things that I need and some that I do not.

I am very confused. I do not want to hurt people. I care about someone and I cannot be with him. I do not even know if I should be with him. Perhaps I am thinking too much. How can I stop?

Charlotte's Web (movie)

I went to the movie house without expecting anything but to see Oprah Winfrey's face. I did not. I just heard her voice.

I am very much impressed with the computer animation in the movie. Almost everything looks real and sometimes it is hard to distinguish which is real and which are pixels.

I do not know if the movie is faithful to the book. I keep on telling myself that I would buy this book but I never have. The ending lacks some umph. There are parts which are good though and the best one was when Charlotte was dying. It is a very dramatic scene but it is not enough.

It is Ok to pass this movie.

Constant Gardener (DVD)

The first few times that I saw Rachel Weisz were in the Mummy movies. It was awful to see her face so pretty and clean while her character is doing jumps and fighting with supernatural things.

And then I saw her on Constantine, which has a bad story but her character is a bit more interesting. That is when I realize that she can actually be good.

And then I saw her on Constant Gardener. She is actually a talented performer.

I also liked the movie because of the director, Fernando Meirelles which turned out to be the director of another movie I like, City of God.

There are a few documentaries on the DVD but they are not really that interesting. The movie itself is good enough.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Power of saying HI

Yesterday, there was an older Caucasian man who was walking with me side by side. He kept on staring at me but never said anything. He went another way and he kept on staring. He is actually veryhandsome. I am sure it would have been nice if one of us said HI but nobody did.

It does not have to be a hook up. One can say HI to a man or a woman or even to a child. I think it would be nice if everyone has the courage to say HI. I remember one time when one kid said HI to me. It actually made my day because I needed it.

I do not think anyone can get into trouble by saying HI.

Rocky Balboa (movie)

I have read good reviews on this movie and it is good indeed. It has a very interesting and inspiring story to tell. I am very attracted to this movie because I grew up watching the Rocky movies and we Filipinos love watching boxing matches.

It reflects so much Sylvester's career right now, specifically his attempt to revive this franchise. But then it took a dramatic turn than an action-filled one.

I hate being sugar-syrupy but this movie really sends out a very positive message for those who want to achieve something against all odds. I know it won't get any nods from award-giving bodies but this is a story worth watching.