Saturday, January 31, 2009

Filipino Bakehaus (Adelaide)

We were on Commercial Road in Port Adelaide and Peter was looking for his special honey harvested in Kangaroo Island. After parking our car, I was stunned with what I saw. It was a white van with letters "Filipino Bakehaus in Asian Grocery". My fingers raised on my phone keypad and talked to the shopkeeper.

Yes, there is a Filipino bakery and grocery in Adelaide! I literally jumped for joy after seeing the familiar biscuits, curing powder and anti-deodorants. My jaw dropped when I saw pan de sals and ensaymada. The three of us gorged on the sugar-drenched ensaymada buns.

But that is not all--they have a freezer. When I opened it, I saw tocino, longganisa, carps and milk fish! Oh god almighty, they have milkfish!

So if you want to cook Filipino dishes everyday, just go to 98 Commercial Road, Port Adelaide. Their number is 8241 1311. Maybe, I will see you there.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Adelaide CBD's Museums

My friend Peter Holmes was here in Adelaide last week to visit me and Steven. It was his first time to have a vacation here so we had a lot of things to show him.

There are some decent-sized museums in Adelaide's CBD. There were paintings of Hans Heysen but I was not allowed to take photos of them. We also saw a few stuffed animals some of which are from the Philippines. like the flying lemur, the mouse-deer, the macaque, the pangolin and many others.

There was a section for Southeast Asian artefacts but they do not have any from the Philippines. Maybe, they should have a statue of the Great Dexter Mejia.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Is this hell?

I know that Australia is just a huge lump of desert sand but I did not know what hot is until today. It went up to 45 degrees Celsius (the highest in 70 years). As I am writing this, the gauge says 36.5 degrees Celsius. It is fucking 10:30 PM already!!!

I have drawn down the blinds and closed the door. I walk around the flat naked. Why am I still perspiring?

Thank God Steven loves going to the beach. So we have been going to Tennyson, Semaphore and Maslins almost every night. We just wade in the water and watch the sun sink in the water. Life can be very tough!

Adelaide's Greek Festival 2009

I have a couple of Greek friends  but I still know very little about their culture. When I learned that Adelaide will have a Greek Festival, I immediately dragged Steven along.
It was held on a warm day on Semaphore Beach. The venue was smaller than I expected but the entrance is free so it was OK.
Tons of dark-haired people were talking, smiling and drinking. People talked to us in Greek and we replied in English. Not surprisingly, more people talked to Steven in Greek because he has dark hair.
There was a platform built for dancers and the men looked really handsome. Some of the audience danced with them. One of the female dancers had the male part and we guessed it is because they were not able to find a male Greek dancer. I wonder if they would do the same thing if they needed a female Greek dancer.
I wanted to have some Greek food but they were really expensive. We settled for fried soybean bread drizzled with honey and cinnamon. We savoured the calorie-enriched treat on the grass.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Barack Supports the Gay Community

Here is what I read on the official US President's website:
Support for the LGBT Community

"While we have come a long way since the Stonewall riots in 1969, we still have a lot of work to do. Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us. But at its core, this issue is about who we are as Americans. It's about whether this nation is going to live up to its founding promise of equality by treating all its citizens with dignity and respect."
-- Barack Obama, June 1, 2007

Expand Hate Crimes Statutes:
In 2004, crimes against LGBT Americans constituted the third-highest category of hate crime reported and made up more than 15 percent of such crimes. President Obama cosponsored legislation that would expand federal jurisdiction to include violent hate crimes perpetrated because of race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or physical disability. As a state senator, President Obama passed tough legislation that made hate crimes and conspiracy to commit them against the law.

Fight Workplace Discrimination:
President Obama supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and believes that our anti-discrimination employment laws should be expanded to include sexual orientation and gender identity. While an increasing number of employers have extended benefits to their employees' domestic partners, discrimination based on sexual orientation in the workplace occurs with no federal legal remedy. The President also sponsored legislation in the Illinois State Senate that would ban employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Support Full Civil Unions and Federal Rights for LGBT Couples:
President Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples. Obama also believes we need to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions. These rights and benefits include the right to assist a loved one in times of emergency, the right to equal health insurance and other employment benefits, and property rights.

Oppose a Constitutional Ban on Same-Sex Marriage:
President Obama voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2006 which would have defined marriage as between a man and a woman and prevented judicial extension of marriage-like rights to same-sex or other unmarried couples.

Repeal Don't Ask-Don't Tell:
President Obama agrees with former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff John Shalikashvili and other military experts that we need to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. The key test for military service should be patriotism, a sense of duty, and a willingness to serve. Discrimination should be prohibited. The U.S. government has spent millions of dollars replacing troops kicked out of the military because of their sexual orientation. Additionally, more than 300 language experts have been fired under this policy, including more than 50 who are fluent in Arabic. The President will work with military leaders to repeal the current policy and ensure it helps accomplish our national defense goals.

Expand Adoption Rights:
President Obama believes that we must ensure adoption rights for all couples and individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation. He thinks that a child will benefit from a healthy and loving home, whether the parents are gay or not.

Promote AIDS Prevention:
In the first year of his presidency, President Obama will develop and begin to implement a comprehensive national HIV/AIDS strategy that includes all federal agencies. The strategy will be designed to reduce HIV infections, increase access to care and reduce HIV-related health disparities. The President will support common sense approaches including age-appropriate sex education that includes information about contraception, combating infection within our prison population through education and contraception, and distributing contraceptives through our public health system. The President also supports lifting the federal ban on needle exchange, which could dramatically reduce rates of infection among drug users. President Obama has also been willing to confront the stigma -- too often tied to homophobia -- that continues to surround HIV/AIDS.

Empower Women to Prevent HIV/AIDS:
In the United States, the percentage of women diagnosed with AIDS has quadrupled over the last 20 years. Today, women account for more than one quarter of all new HIV/AIDS diagnoses. President Obama introduced the Microbicide Development Act, which will accelerate the development of products that empower women in the battle against AIDS. Microbicides are a class of products currently under development that women apply topically to prevent transmission of HIV and other infections.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Change is gonna come

Everytime I hear news about racial discrimination, I get emotional. Everytime I read articles on the history of African-Americans, I get emotional. Everytime someone tells me of a race-related attack, I get emotional.

My feelings do not only stem from the fact that I am not Caucasian. I have been a victim of racism far too many times and I still get affected just the same.

The Philippines have no history with the African-Americans and yet I can relate to their plight. Just because of the color of their skin, they were not allowed to be in certain places. They were not allowed to marry anyone they like. They were denied of rights that others enjoy.

I am quite happy that the United States of America now has a president of color. I refuse to say that he is black because he is white as well (that will be another discussion). Indeed, the time when we are judged by our character and not by our color is coming (Martin Luther King Jr.).

I just hope that time when we are judged by our character and not by our sexual orientation will come as soon.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Vera Drake (DVD)

I heard of this movie several years ago and when I saw Imelda Staunton in a Harry Potter trailer, I was reminded of this movie again. I was impressed with her amusing portrayal of the vicious Dolores Umbridge. But Vera Drake is very very different.

It is very refreshing to watch a movie that does not rely on fantastic effects nor booming orchestral music nor a playful script. This one just relies solely on acting. The performers were devoid of fancy make up and clothes. It is not only their voices that talks but also their bodies. It is very apparent that each actor knows what their character is about but Vera Drake is very striking. She has a pure heart that is dedicated to helping others and not thinking of consequences.

The theme of the movie may be controversial in some societies. As for me, I really do not have an opinion about this. I do not think I am in the proper position to have an opinion about this. I just believe that a person would know what to do with her body and not the people around her/him.

The DVD is awful. It does not have anything about the movie. For an acting student, this could have been a wonderful resource of information.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Long days

I have not written anything substantial for a long time and that is an indication that I have already settled in my lifestyle here. Days are long and slow for now but I am sure it will pick up in a few weeks.

Hot days are spent on the beach. Steven and I usually go to Maslin Beach where we can lay out under the sun with no clothes on. We can kiss and cuddle without hearing any distasteful comments.

Cooler ones are spent at home watching DVDs and cooking miracles in the kitchen. I never thought that I would be this good in cooking. I actually believe that my cooking now is a lot better than it was when I was still based in Manila.

I am currently applying for a teaching course here. Hopefully, I will get the offer in a few weeks so I can change my visa.

Thanks to everyone who has expressed support in all my endeavours!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Bunyip Monster in Murray Bridge

Last weekend, a straight friend of mine showed me Murray Bridge. It is 70 minutes north of Adelaide and it actually resembles Adelaide pretty much. It is popular among residents in the small towns of the northern part of the South Australian state because it has a lot of shops that are found in Adelaide.

My friend and I walked along the river bank and I found this huge heap of rocks that resemble a bunker. I went around it and found a coin-operated machine. It was the Bunyip Monster! It is an aboriginal monster and I admit I know very little about it.

I was told that sometimes they do not clean the water in the tank so the monster looks scarier with the muck running down its body as it emerges. It would be nice to see this at night.

Please post a comment if you have information about the Bunyip Monster

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Vandalised Cemetery

I do not know the name of this cemetery but it sparked my interest because it looks old and very desolate. There are many cemeteries in Adelaide and this one is only a few kilometres from our flat and I always pass by it on our way to the city.

A few months ago, many of the graves and tombstones were vandalised by some teenagers. They were never caught. Steven commented that people like that are the worst of the worst because those buried have no way to defend themselves from being violated.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

O-Bahn Buses in Adelaide

Public transport system in Adelaide sucks and it makes me consider (for the first time in my life) to learn how to drive. I have ridden buses and trams here. A few weeks ago, Steven showed me the O-Bahn bus. It is an ordinary bus that has some guide wheels at the side of it. It runs like any other bus on the street but there is a twist. It can also run on rails that were constructed solely for these unique buses.

The system offers a fast and safe ride for a few of the bus routes. It can be noisy but it is just cute to try this one out.

To read more about the O-Bahn, please click here.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Babel (DVD, 2-disc)

I saw this movie in a Bangkok cinema when it came out and here is my earlier review.

I know this movie represents different languages and how we are connected by our lives. For me, this movie is about abandonment. Chieko's mother killed herself. The bus left the American tourists. The nanny left her kids to look for help. And the young Moroccan kids leaving their innocence behind.

It is hard to know the quality of the video of the movie because the screen that I have is small. But judging from what I have seen, it is a very good transfer. The palette differences between the countries are very apparent.

The sound is very good. I am surprised that they were able to cancel many of the noises in the Japan scenes.

The second disc is very simple and yet it is very rich. I am impressed that the director took his time documenting the contents and editing this special feature. Because of this hard work, it really looked like a very decent TV special.

I got this DVD set from a discount store for only 5 AUD!!! I really think that they are phasing out DVDs here in Australia.