Archive for November, 2010

Musings on Harry Potter and some

It’s 6:30 AM. It’s warmer this morning, if I can call 37 F  (  4 C ) warm, considering that in Lake Tahoe, California, about an hour from our place, the temperature is   – 2 F (  – 20 C ).  I wonder how things are in Dakota, Minnessota, and Idaho. Oh, and in Michigan ! ( or is it Missouri?  Hello , Kyoki ! It’s just 37 F here in my neck of the woods !  Jealous ? Haha. )

Oh, I’m sorry. I’m digressing again. I’m supposed to be musing on Harry Potter Deathly Hallows, Part 1.  I prefer to muse and just give my 2 cents worth of thoughts on my all-time favorite book, Harry Potter, rather than write a ” review” of the film. I definitely cannot write an objective review because, for sure, I’ll be one extremely biased  critic. I love the books. I love the movies. Harry Potter can do no wrong, as far as I am concerned. 

 Ah, let me correct that last statement. The Half- Blood Prince ,the second to the last in the series , has a pretty complicated plot. This is the book where the author explains  in great detail the concept of  horcruxes .  So why the director or the writer of the movie focused  more on the romance between  Harry and Ginny and Ron and Hermione rather than on Snape, who is the half- blood prince, and most importantly, on said horcruxes,   is , in my opinion , incomprehensible. The director lost the opportunity to tie so many loose ends that would lead to the finale. But, that’s all water under the bridge now. So, when I went to watch the movie last Friday,  I did not set my expectations on high.  But, surprisingly, Deathly Hallows Part 1, was, to say the least, pretty good and well-made, and , at least, to me, emotionally gripping. Dumbledore and Snape are gone. The three friends, Harry, Ron and Hermione, are truly alone now, and are well on their way  searching  for the remaining horcruxes. However, did the movie explain what those horcruxes were ?  You see, there is just no way any one who has not read the book could possibly understand  the existence of horcruxes, and , to compound it all, it is only in this last book that the existence of the Deathly Hallows is  first revealed. Even to a Harry Potter fan like myself , who has read each book at least five times,  that revelation  totally stunned and floored me. The first thought that came to my mind was, ‘ Why did the JKRowling  introduce such an astonishing plot so late in the game ?  Thinking back, I now realize  it was a brilliant decision of the author  to not  add to the confusion  and clutter our already befuddled  minds.

So, what exactly are horcruxes?  ” Horcruxes  are magical objects that hold a piece of a man’soul. ”  Making a horcrux is the ultimate and darkest spell  a wizard  can do because he must kill in order to make it. Tom Riddle, aka Lord Valdemort/ You-Know-Who , a brilliant wizard,  is able to split his soul seven times, making him invincible, and almost immortal . In other words, Lord Voldemort cannot be killed unless the magical abjects  where he keeps his souls are found and destroyed. And what are these horcruxes?  1. Tom Riddle’s diary which Harry Potter had  inadvertently destroyed in Chamber Of Secrets when he was just 12 years old. 2. The Gaunt Family ring. The Gaunts are Valdemort’s own family. In later books, I forget which one, we see Dumbledore wearing the ring. I don’t remember how he got it, though. 3. Slytherin’s locket.  In Order of the Phoenix, the trio are cleaning up Sirius’ ancestral house ( Sirius is Harry’s father’s bestfriend, and Harry’s godfather ) when they find a locket that cannot be opened.  In Deathly Hallows, they learn that Prof. Dolores Umbridge, ( yes, that evil, evil woman ) is in possession of this locket. 4. Hufflepuff’s goblet. I don’t remember why Tom Riddle needed to use this goblet to keep one of his souls. As expected, he had to kill the owner, a descendant of the House of Hufflepuff  in order to further split his soul.  5.  Ravenclaw’s diadem. A diadem is like a royal headband. We first saw this when Harry went to the magical Room of Requirement to hide Snape’s Book of Potions. Harry took a bust, put it on top of the book and put the diadem on top of the bust to mark the spot where he hid the book. Harry did not know the diadem was a horcrux. 6. Voldemort’s snake, Nagini   7. And , not surprisingly, because people have speculated and discussed this to death, Harry himself  is a horcrux ! !  Valdemort inadvertently made Harry a horcrux when he tried to kill him. But due to Harry’s mother’s sacrifice and love for Harry, the killing spell backfired on Valdemort, and instead of killing Harry, he was unintentionally made into a ” living”  receptacle of  a bit of Valdemort’s soul. 

I am glad to see that the movie Deathly Hallows has basically remained true to the book. One thing I notice though, the writer seemed to have given up explaining the complex events non- readers might not know about.  I also feel very strongly that the movie should have put scenes of  the Dursleys departing to hide from the impending war among the wizards and muggles. The books and the previous movies always begin with the Dursleys, and in this last one, it is just right that they show them again for the last time.  That good-bye scene with cousin Dudley and Aunt Petunia is, in my humble opinion, one of the most touching part of the series. They are, after all, family, and  Harry’s last true connection to her beloved mother, Lily.

Over-all rating,   5 stars.

I am a big Harry Potter fan,so I guess that rating of 5 stars doesn’t really count. * grins*

However, I am a big fan of the Eragon trilogy, as well. But I give the movie adaptation of the first Eragon book a big , fat  ZERO.  It’s the most horrible movie adaptation I’ve seen so far.

Well, this is all for now. I hope to continue discussing Harry Potter, and the objects, the deathly hallows on my next blog.  They are such an integral part of the story,  it would be remiss of me not to talk about them  in my next harry Potter musings. Bye, and peace.

Thanksgiving Day frenzy

It’s 6:05 AM. I just got back from my  after Thanksgiving Day shopping that we Americans call Black Friday. There were news of stampedes everywhere, especially at WalMart, Sears, Macy’s ,and Nordstrom….. well, the usual big department stores…… fortunately, nothing like that happened at the mall we went to, even if there was a Nordstrom and  a Macy’s in there too. Anyway, my sister, her friend ( who slept over ) and I went out at 3 AM, in temperature of 26 F, which is about – 2 C to you, Celsius users. It was freakin’ cold, but nothing would keep us away from this unbelievable and amazing once-a-year sale, ha ha, that’s according to promo come – ons …………. to actually go in freezing weather and shop was self- induced.  ( ^_____^)

Now, about the Thanksgiving Day preparations………………..

Thanksgiving Day is always the last Thursday of November.  Wednesday I went to school, but there were so few of us the teacher just cancelled our afternoon Physics Laboratory class, and gave 10 pts bonus to us who came. That’s Physics! I need all the points I can get. Thank you !

Lucky for mom. I was home early to help her prepare the food for our Thanksgiving dinner  the next day. But, I turned out to be the main guy, and mom was just there to assist me. (~.^). I wrapped the lumpia ( eggroll) and the turrones( wrapped , fried banana ) all by myself, and while resting, I made potato salad and marinated the pork spare ribs. Sis prepped the 20 lb turkey for baking the next day, that was all. I stayed up the whole night, literally , all my lonesome self in the kitchen, frying the turrones at 4 AM and cutting and slicing the ingredients for the other dishes, and washing up all the pots and pans. I am a martyr, I know.

Just before dinner at 6 PM, I cooked my specialty, ” Potato Surprise”. I made up that name, but there’s really nothing surprising about the dish. It’s just ground beef with chopped ham, olives, raisins etc, and topped with mashed potato, is all.  But, I was so tired that as soon as it was cooked and the oven turned off, I left it there, to keep it warm just before dinner, but forgot to serve it. ( ^_^)”    Anyway, dinner was buffet, not a sit down dinner. We had 3 guests , so there wasn’t enough space at the dining table. Since it was buffet, I just brought my food in my room and ate there. I ate very little. I couldn’t eat the food that I cooked.

Here’s a picture of last night’s dinner, sans my Potato Surpise.

Believe it or not, we forgot  to put  out the chinawares, plates and salad plates , so look, paper plates !!.They look odd with our crystal water goblets. Ahh,  that’s how a 20 lb turkey looks like.

Aside from forgetting the chinas, mom couldn’t find the white tablecloth that we put under the lacy one, so she just used a white bedsheet. You can see the under tablecoth is extra long. ( ^__^)

So, Thanksgiving Day is over, thank goodness. It was rather hectic, although, come to think of it, there was no reason for it to be so, after all, it was just family and three other guests. Ah, but we didn’t forget to thank the good Lord for all the blessings we received this year. That’s the most important reason for celebrating Thanksgiving Day.

So, bye for now. Peace !

You Know You’re Married to a Filipina If….

I showed the article ( a list, actually ) to my mother and older sister. They found it hilarious, and at the same time, annoying…. just a bit. My mother tells me the list is exagerrated and full of generalizations, and most probably , the Filipina wife comes from a small town, and if so, the list is probably true. ( 9__9). I’m  now having second thoughts, but , I’ll be brave and post it anyway. Here it comes! Aaaargh!

The list starts with a note ,” this is written by an American guy who loves his wife despite the numerous irregularities “.

1. Your refrigerator is full but you cannot find anything that you recognize.

2. Instead of a dowry, you got the whole bill for the wedding and the honeymoon.      ( Okay, a little explanation here……… in Philippine culture, the groom or the groom’s family pays for the wedding, unlike here in the US. It makes sense, though. It’s like, ” you want to marry me? then pay up ! hahaha ! Come to think of it,  the bride’s parents paying for the wedding seems like they are over-eager to marry their daughter off. It feels wrong. My mother says the man and his family ( and siblings ) go to the girl’s home, and ask for the daughter’s hand, and for the girl’s parents’ approval. The girl’s parents usually ask how their son’s going to support their daughter, where they are going to live….. (^_^)….after which, both sets of parents discuss the wedding. Meanwhile, the bride and groom are silent, and can only speak when spoken to. (~.^) In Phil. culture, this is what they call ” pamanhikan”, and this is merely a formal meeting between 2 families.

3. All her relatives think your name is ” Joe.”  ( Mom says, ” definitely small town girl” . Small town folks call Americans “Joe”. ^__^ )

4. The instant you are married, you suddenly have 3,ooo relatives you can never tell apart. ( ^________^)  True.

5.Your house isn’t really on fire, you’ve just got a very charred  fish on top of the stove burner. ( Majority of single Filipinas do not cook . They have maids and their mothers do that for them. My mother said her first rice turned out like porridge, and her chicken adobo was like chicken soup of vinegar and soy sauce,< adobo should be a little dry with just a small amount of sauce left from the juices > and one time, she sauteed garlic,etc and meat, then watched TV, then , to her horror, the food on the stove burst into flame because the meat was so charred it turned into  charcoal . She forgot to add water or broth to the meat she was cooking )

6. Your in – laws take 10 years to acknowledge your existence, and to call you by something other than ” that white guy”.  (^_^)

7.Your phone bills are composed of international and calls that last 3 hours each. (  LOL….. $ 12 /hour…. we have that on our bill, too. )

8.Your first Christmas present is some funny looking, baggy, see-through shirt made out of lace doilies. ( Meh. It’s common formal dress shirt for Filipino men. Clothing material is made from pineapple fiber. It’s very delicate clothing material and very suitable for the tropics. ) Here’s a picture of Barong Tagalog, a Filipino formal attire.


9. She sweeps the yard with something witches fly on. ( LOL ! We have that too, and it’s so convenient to use. It’s made from the dried midribs of coconut leaves.

10. Her idea of classy, expensive champagne is Asti Spumante. ( Well……. depends where she comes from……. city girls nowadays know fine dining and they drink wine. I know. I’ve been there )

11.The rice cooker is on 24 hours a day and makes up 50% of your electricity and food budget. ( I don’t know about that. We turn off the rice cooker as rice burns easily. Maybe it’s the ironing that makes up 50% of electricity. Filipinas iron everything, bedsheets, pillows, table napkins, handkerchiefs, and * cough* cotton panties, * cough * < grandmas’, okay?>

12. On your first trip to the Philippines, you have 18 giant boxes weighing 1000 lbs each and your ” carry -on ” luggage requires a small forklift truck. ( ^______^)

13. The same boxes are over filled with things that cost a dollar each, and the worst thing is, you find that the same stuff you’ve been hauling halfway around the world are available at all the stores there at half the price. ( Hahahaha ! True , so true ! !  We learned a lesson when we went there this summer , lol ! )

14. All her pajamas look like they were worn by the Dalai Lama and they became too faded and discarded them ( Maybe Filipina wife is too frugal…. although, I myself have this old , baggy, faded, Micky Mouse T shirt, with a hole in the armpit, that I still use for sleeping. ^^” )

15. The first time she’s pregnant you have to go out at 4 in the morning looking for some type of greasy sausages .  ( Mom said she craved and dreamt of banana split fudge when she was pregnant with me. ^^ ” )

16.You buy a $500 freezer so she can store 200 pounds of Spam and corned beef that was on sale. (  Spam in a freezer? lol )

17. Everything in your house is bought on sale, even if you don’t need it….. that it’s a ” Bargain” is all that matters. ( ^____^)

18. Your daughter gets her ears pierced when she’s 2 minutes old, but your sons don’;t get circumcised until they’re 21. ( About the sons….. mom says it isn’t true. Filipino male babies are cicumcized right after birth, if it can be done right away. Otherwise, it’s done when they’re old enough…. and done during summer vacation because the newly circumcized boys have to wear skirts while they’re healing. LOL )

19. The only ” white meat” she likes is YOU, and that is, if you’re lucky. ( Eh? (^__^) )

20.Her favorite sauce is ” patis ” < fish sauce >. Non- Filipinos call it turpentine. ( ~.^)

21. She actually thinks bowling, golf, and billiards are real sports, and are more important than baseball and football.

22. You were married 5 years already before she explained to you that ” Aray !! ” ( Ouch ! ! ) doesn’t mean ” Oooh, baby” !  ( LOL )

23. She and the kids are always saying ” Daddy made utot ” ( means, Daddy farted ) and you still don’t know what it means, and they think it’s pretty funny. ( Alright, in Philippine culture, farting in public is taboo, a no – n0, and usually frowned upon. If  you’re a guy wooing a Filipina and you fart in her presence, you’re toast ! LOL )

24. In summer, she goes to the movies just for the AC.

25. Her homeland has more megamalls than islands. ( ^____^) True, LOL !

26. Before every holiday visit to the Philippines, her sisters sends you a 10 – page fax made up of ” bilins ” ( Wish list ) and it says ” Suggestions only “. ( LOL ! ( ^___^)…. …… …. They will also send you paper outlines of their feet, to make sure you get the right size for their Nike sneakers, lol )

27. Her friends are named Chinky, Girlie, Boy and Bimbo, and NO! , you’re not allowed to smirk . ( when you get introduced to them for the first time, lol )

28. You are the only one within a 200 mile radius with several dvd players and televisions. ( Here, at home, we have 6 dvd players and TVs…… a 46″ inch in the family room w/ dvd, and one for each bedroom, and in the garage, where we watch while exercising /running on treadmill. ^___^’  )

29. She’s done her best job planning a surprise party for you if she manages not to tell you 2 weeks before.

30. She cleans her closet by throwing all the crap into your closet. ( Well, Filipinos never throw anything away. ^^’ ) 

Here’s a video of some Filipino ” native ” dances. Click it and enjoy watching.






You Know You’re Filipino If 4

I have posted the following images on my previous blogs, but I’m reposting them so you’ll have an idea what I’m talking about being Filipino.

Here’s one . Filipino students taking exams….. with that odd contraption on their heads, there’s no way they can cheat.


The next one says , roughly translated, ” Please, it’s gravy, not soup. Thank you.”


1. You don’t know the meaning of travelling light.

2. Your second piece of luggage is a Balikbayan box. ( Balikbayan means ” returning countryman ” . It is a 20×20 box that can hold 50 lbs of stuff, the weight allowed per luggage. A passeger is allowed 2 luggages )

3. You’ve mastered the art of  jumping up and down on your suitcase to double capacity.

4. If there are four of you, you’re seen at airports  next to eight boxes.

5.Your total luggage always requires a small forklift.

6.You insist that custom officers who open your luggage repack everything ” just the way it was.”

7. You unpack and repack luggages in public in international airports.  (^___^)  The required weight per luggage is 50 lbs. One of our boxes exceeded the capacity by 4 lbs. Mom and I unpacked the luggage and stuffed 4 lbs of  the excess into our purses, right there at the airport.

8. You feel compelled to give ” souvenirs” to all your relatives and friends. ( A souvenir is not a   keychain. It’s one can of Hereford Corned beef, Taster’s Choice Instant Coffee, one big can of Tang Orange Powder, a bag of Snickers, and for the favorite nephew, a pair of Nike sneakers, or anything with a check on it, and for the favorite young niece, a branded purse, bought from Ross, hehe, or something from  Victoria’s Secret. )

9. You drive a car which proudly bears foreign license plates to publicize your latest travel destination.


1.You respond to a “Hoy, ” Oy ” or “Pssst” in a crowd.

2. You always answer ” It’s quite near”, no matter the distance , when asked how far away a place is located.

3.You can use ambiguous words like ” kwan” and ” ano” in one sentence and yet be perfectly understood by other Filipinos. ( The watchamacallit jumped over the watchamacallit. )

4.You refer to your Mercedes Benz as the ” Chedeng”.

5. Goldilocks is more than a fairy tale character to you. ( It’s a very famous and popular bake shop)

6.You refer to anything old as ” pre-war “. ( WW2 )

7. You love to use the following acronyms:

     CR ( Comfort Room or toilet)

     DOM (  Dirty Old Man)

     KJ ( Killjoy, a party pooper, a wet blanket)

     TNT ( Tago ng Tago, literally, hide and hide, a person who hides from immigration authorities )

     KSP ( Kulang sa Pansin, translated as lacks attention or needs attention, or craves attention….. ” Ignore that child’s tantrums.. she’s just KSP ” )

     OA ( over-acting, over -reactive, full of drama …. ” I can’t stand that actress in the movie… she’s so OA “)

     MU ( Mutual Understanding….. in a courtship, this is the situation before a boy and girl formally get together as BF and GF… ” Are you together ? No, we’re just MU. He hasn’t confessed yet, but he knows I like him, too.”) (^_^)

    TL ( True Love ) ” He’s my TL , now and forever.” Awww !

8. Instead of ” I beg your pardon”, you say ” Huh?”

9.You say ” hand-carry”, instead of carry-on luggage.

10.You say ” shades” instead of sunglasses.

11. You refer to power interruptions as ” brownouts”

12. You call the waiter, ” boss” or ” brod”.

13. You say ” for take-out, instead of ” to go.”

14. You refer to the refrigerator as the ” ref”.

15. You say ” canteen” or cantina, insteadn of  cafeteria.

16. You say ” rubber shoes” instead of sneakers.

17.You say” ballpen” instead of ball point pen.

18. You greet one another by  raising your eyebrows or tossing your head.

And may I add,  you also greet a neighbor or a friend you see on the street with ,” Where are you going.” (  And much as you want to say ” it’s none of your business”, you know a Filipino will always find that reply extremely rude, and so, you are compelled to answer something ambiguous like, Oh, just around the corner, or to the store, or any response is okay, after all, the greeter is not really interested  in where you are going. It’s  just a form of greeting, Filipino style.

                To be honest, when someone asks me ” How are you?” , I am always tempted to reply with ” Do you really care how I am ? ” But I guess this is another topic.

Also, I have intentionally left out a great deal  of stuff from the book because I find some them already irrelevant  , out of date, and quite frankly, not true anymore. Filipinos nowadays say toothpaste, instead of Colgate, tissue instead of Kleenex, and soft drink or 7-Up, or whatever brand they prefer, instead of Coke.

And may I reiterate…. the author of this series is Neni Sta. Romana – Cruz. The title of the book is You Know you’re Filipino if…. A Pinoy Primer, Published by the Ilaw ng Tahanan Publishing, Inc. 1997

The statements in closed parentheses are mine, and not of the author’s. Buy the book where you can find it.





You Know You’re Filipino If, Part 3


1.You’re always late. ( This is what we call the Filipino time …. if you want a Filipino guest to come at 12 noon for lunch, invite him/her at 10 AM )

2. You’d rather be caught dead than arrive at a party on time.

3. You can’t throw anything away.

4. You say ” Maybe” or ” I’ll try” when actually you mean “No”.

5. You have a ready answer for every question, no matter how ludicrous, because you don’t want to say, ” I don’t know.”

6.You beat around the bush, use euphemisms, and resort to third parties when conveying unpleasant news.

7.You cope with a serious situation by turning it into a humorous one.

8.You’ll go into debt for a celebration. ( Filipinos love Fiestas. Households prepare food, and it ‘s usually an “open house”, meaning uninvited and strangers are welcome to partake of the food.)

9. You can sing and dance at the drop of a hat.

10. You love ballroom dancing and karaoke. ( Mom was into ballroom dancing when we lived there… she had a favorite Dance Instructor, a young handsome guy who was gay, and yes, we have karaoke here in the US , my aunt’s gift when she came here to visit us.)

11.You have a high threshold for pain and suffering. ( Filipinos just shrug off natural disasters.)

12.  You take to the streets during a coup d’etat to satisfy your curiosity and buy ice cream, peanuts, cotton candy and cigarettes from vendors while ducking machine gun fire.

13. You like everything imported.

14.There are always 3 or 4 pairs of slippers deposited at your doorstep. ( ^_____^)

15. You prefer to sit in the shade than bask in the sun.

16. You use an umbrella in fair or foul weather.

17. You NEVER discuss the weather.

18. You believe in chivalry. You still hold doors open for, give up your seat to, and carry the bags of women and the elderly and assist them when boarding or alighting from vehicles.

19. It makes you uncomfortable to be praised or flattered.

20. You ask people you have just met how many children they have and what their spouses do for a living. ( and more often than not, they ask how much your husband earns )

21. You always ring the doorbell twice, assuming that the first ring was not heard.

22.  You let the phone ring twice before answering, lest you appear overly eager. ( ^_^)

23. You don’t know the meaning of angst.

24. You love to laugh at yourself and at others.

THE WAY WE DRIVE  ( Oh my gosh)

You’ll never believe it unless you’ve experienced  driving in the Philippines.

1. You hang your left arm out the window and wave your hand to signal a left turn.

2. You hang a rosary on your car’s rear view mirror.

3. You tail an ambulance just to beat the traffic.

4.Your car chirps like a bird, ,plays a tune, or simply attracts attention  when you put it in reverse.

5.Your car horn can make at least 3 different sounds.

6. You can squeeze in 15 passengers into your 5 seater car without a second thought.

7. You keep your car seats covered in plastic.

8. You think traffic regulations are recommendations, not rules.

9. Signs like ” No Left Turn ” or No U Turn apply to everybody but yourself.

10.You think a yellow light means  ” Step on th e gas, you’ll make it ” and the guy behind you is counting on you to do just that.

11. You drive where there’s space, even if it means converting a 2 lane road into a 4 lane road. ( I swear  it’s even more than that. @__@ )

12. You know the rules of the road:  In the event of an impasse, the driver to first achieve an eye contact with the other driver has lost his nerve and must give in.

13.You know that no last minute manuever on the road is considered presumptous.

14.Your ability to create your own parking space in a totally jampacked parking lot puts Houdini to shame.

THE WAY WE DRIVE ( The real one )

1. When greeting a Filipino driver, slowly open your window and be prepared to greet the other driver with…. “Tang na mo, bobo ! ( slang for “your mother is a slut, moron” ) . However, if you have already been addressed by the other driver, respond with a joyful “Tangna mo rin, gago”!

2.If another driver on another lane turns on the turn signal, do not let him go into your lane, instead press the accelerator and drive next to him. The fellow driver will probably ” greet” you and you know what to do.

3. On Traffic lights…………. these are considered artifacts by Filipino drivers.  a ) Red light means  it gives permission for 5 to 6 cars to go through. b) Green light means reduce speed to allow 5 to 6 cars pass through their respective red lights.


You’re a Filipino If,Part 2


1. You shower several times a day in summer. ( Humidity is terrible…. skin is so sticky.)

2.You use Vicks Vapor Rub as an insect repellant. ( ???)

3.You have ageless skin, due to high humidity of the tropics.

4. You eat a full meal more than 3 times a day.

5.You think a meal is not a meal without rice.

6.You use your fingers to measure the water you need to cook the rice.

7.You don’t need a knife to cut your food.

8. You think sandwiches are snacks, not a meal

9. You feel compelled to greet anyone who sees you eating with words ,” Let’s eat.” ( and you are compelled to eat too. It’s considered rude to refuse the food being offered to you.  My brother once told us he has a co-worker whose little sister ‘s best friend is a Filipina,  and everytime his sister attends a party at her best friend’s house, he volunteers to pick her up and sees  to it he comes early as he is sure he will be invited in to eat.  Also, I used to have birthday parties here , and parents who came to pick up their kids were always invited in to eat, and they usually did.  I realize now it’s just Filipino culture.  )

9. You always cook too much.

10. You never take the last morsel of food on the table , but offer it to your guests instead.

11. You always leave a room at the dining table for a couple of unexpected or uninvited guests.

12. Your dining table has a lazy susan in the middle.

13. You bring ” lunch ” to work everyday. ( My dad and sister do )

14. You keep your stove covered in aluminum foil when not in use. ( ^_^);;

15. You recycle bottles into water containers and store these in the fridge.  (^_^)”

16.  You wash and reuse plastic cups, plastic spoons and forks, and aluminum wrappers. You also love recycling paper plates by covering them  with wax paper.  (^____^)

17.Your pantry is never without  cans of Spam, Vienna Sausage, corned beef, Hunt’s Pork and Beans, and sardines. (^_^)

18. You always leave a morsel of food on your plate at a party lest you appear famished.

19. You throw a party, and everyone is fighting to chop the crunchy skin off roasted pig, called ” lechon”.

20. You can’t enjoy a meal without ” patis” < fish sauce>, soy sauce, vinegar with lots of minced garlic, catsup, or sauteed bagoong < shrimp paste > (^__^)

21. Your tablecloths are always stained with soy sauce and other seasoning circles.

22. You love sticky desserts and salty snacks.

23. You eat fried chicken with lots of catsup and eat unripe sour fruits with salt crystals.

24. You eat fried Spam and hotdogs with rice. (^__^)

25. You enjoy chocolate rice porridge called ” champorado” for breakfast. (^__^) < It actually tastes good . It’s rice porridge with chocolate, milk and sugar>

26. You eat purple yam ice cream. ( It’s so yummy)

27. You like sweet spaghetti. (^________^)

28. When dining out, you always fight over who will pay for dinner, with everyone wanting to pay for dinner.

29. You love to eat, yet you manage to stay slim. \(^_^)/

I wonder why the author didn’t add one truly Filipino habit….. that of giving away party food to guests as their ” take away” food. Even our non _ Filipino friends know of this, and they , in fact, already expect something to take  home…..

You Know You’re Filipino If…..

I have this little book my cousin gave me. In fact, I have 2. I gave the other one to my sister’s boyfriend  who is a white guy, so he’ll  know what he’s in for….. or what he’s getting into, if he does marry sis. Hehehe…. Poor guy.

The author of the book is Neni  Sta. Romana -Cruz. Mom said the husband, Elfren Cuz was a good friend of hers in the Philippines, but she ‘s never met the wife, the author.

Well, here goes…. ( some are quite embarassing though, so I may just leave them out… (~.^)


1. You’re related to everyone. ( Haha, that’s true ! !)

2. Your middle name is your mother’s maiden name. (  Well, my middle name is my mother’s last name before she married my father. For example, before she married Dad, she was Julie  Encarnacion Santos, so when she married Dad, she became Julie Santos Iglesias, and  I’m renxkyoko Santos Iglesias. By the way, these are fictitious names. )

3. You’re parents call each other ” Mommy” and “Daddy”.  ( Not my parents, and all of the Filipino parents I know )

4.You have uncles and aunts named Boy, Baby or Girlie. ( blushes , coughs, yes! )

5.You have relatives with the letter “h ” slipped into their names, as in Jhun, Bhen, Sahmeeeeh ( LOL, I don’t know about that but mom says only gays working at beauty salons do that…. she knows of Bhoy )

6. You have relatives and friends whose nicknames consist of repeated syllables, such as Jun-jun, Ling-ling, John-john  ( Yes ! I’ve met a Len-len  )

7. You call the parents of your friends and your own parents’ friends,  ” Tito ” or ” Tita”.  ( nods…. )

8. All your children have 4 or 5 names. ( I have 4…. blush )

9. You greet your elders by touching their hands to your forehead. ( nods, yes, or kissing them on the cheek )

10.  You always kiss your relatives on the cheek whenever you enter or leave the room. ( nods…. there was a lot of kissing when I was in the Philippines )

Befor I continue with No.11, here’s some music for you to listen  to, a rock band named Parlor Mob. I was introduced to this group by Rob, a friend from UK



11. The prospect of sending your parents to a nursing home is inconceivable. (  nods…. someone who wants to marry  me should be told he’s also marrying my parents, hahaha )

12. You abide by your parents’  house rules even if you’re over 18. (   * cough*  yes   )

13.You live with your parents until…. at times, even after…. you’re married. ( In the Philippines, yes, it happens…. here in the US, I  don’t know…… but I know my parents will be saddened  when that time comes )

14. You think nothing about hosting a houseful of visiting relatives for weeks on end…. and can still smile about it. (  LOL… last year we hosted 3 relatives from the Philippines… they stayed for one month )

15. You’ll sell, borrow, beg, or steal the  last cow to send your children and siblings to university. ( So true….. parents will sell their farmlands, jewelries, mortgage homes  to pay for their children’s tuition )


1. Your house has a distinctive aroma . (  Hahaha…. it smells of adobo, or something being sauteed, or worse, shrimp paste we call bagoong, .. non Filipinos describe it as  dead rat or rotting fish…. that’s why we spend so much on Glade and aromatic candles )

2. You can’t build a house unless you first bury religious medals and money at the site. ( nods… mom said they threw silver coins into the foundation before the carpenters covered it with cement )

3. You decorate your living room wall with your family’s  framed diplomas, certificates and plaques. ( not in our house, but I’ve seen Filipino homes with these stuff )

4. On your living room wall,you display a shield bearing ” The Weapons of Moroland “, alongside a giant wooden rosary wooden ” tinikling ”  dancers. ( No, not here in the US, nor in our house in the Philippines, and I’ve not seen these in any of the houses I went to back there……. on second thought, I think I saw a giant wooden spoon and fork in my aunt’s kitchen’s wall , hehe )

5. You decorate your dining room wall with giant wooden spoon and fork, and a framed picture of the Last Supper. ( about  Jesus’ Last Supper…. uhm, my aunt gifted us with a Last Supper, carved from wood ( ^___^) “”

6. You keep your furniture wrapped in its original plastic wrapper/cover.  ( I’ve never seen one like this. )

7. Most of your home decor / furniture is made of wicker. 

That was my room in the Philippines…. thats wicker furniture you see there.

Another set of wicker furniture, small seating area between bedrooms

8. You keep a Sto. Nino shrine in your living room,. ( No, Sto. Nino is baby Jesus. But I’ve seen one in our cousin’s house  here in the US , haha )

9.Your house has a ” dirty” kitchen and a ” clean ” kitchen.  (  We don’t have that here in the US, but in the Philippines, yes ! A dirty kitchen is where  Filipinos do all the cooking and is usually located outside the house. The clean kitchen is just for ” show “, no oil splatters, no weird smells.

10.You recylcle plastic shopping bags as grabage bags. ( A big YES ! )

11. Your kitchen table has a vinyl tablecloth. (^__^)

12.You own a ” Footsteps in the Sand ” poster.  ( shrugs )

13. You use the finest things you own only when there’s company. ( shrugs )

14. You have a piano no one plays. ( Hahahaha ! We have one here  that no one plays. )

15. You keep a tabo ( water scoop ) in the bathroom . ( LOL )

16. You use a halved, dry coconut husk to polish the floor.  (  nods, in the Philippines, Yes. I ve seen that stuff. It polishes the floor with floor wax real well… ( ^_^)

To be continued !

This is all for now.  Bye, paalam, sayonara, Tchau, adios, adiue, an neyung, zai jian. Peace !

M.Pacquiao, Philippine boxer, wins again

It was quite an exciting fight,and this time, I managed to watch without running away and hiding in my room, haha. But I did cover my face the whole time, and peeped through my fingers covering my face. Frankly,  I don’t really like boxing. I think it’s such a brutal sport. It didn’t help seeing  Manny Pacquiao’s opponent’s face  all smashed up early in the fight, and , they say,  he’s in fact going to retire after having his optical bone shattered . To his credit, Pacquiao said the referee should have stopped the fight as  this is not what boxing is all about. I agree 100%.  Watching these 2 fighters slugging it out, and my family and 9 guests yelling and shouting with such delight, I had visions of Roman spectators doing the same thing, urging  gladiators to fight to the death.  Having said that, I have to admit I am elated he won. He is, after all, a Filipino, like myself. I just wish another Filipino would accomplish something as great in a, uhm, less brutal fashion,  ( 6_6)’, let’s say, in science or in the arts.

Ah, Harry Potter !  You bet I’m going to go to the cinema and watch it on big screen. < laughs > Okay, I know I’m too old for this, but I’m still interested  to see how the main actors have grown through all these years. It’s sad  Daniel Radcliff  is vertically challenged, ahaha, but I still feel great affection for the guy. Not swooning  anymore, though.  ( ^__^)”

But, what’s this ? Is this just a part of the hype or is this an honest – to goodness modern day Quidditch sport , in real life ?   I can’t believe something like this is going on in America. This is just ridiculous. Well, a Quidditch World Tournament is ongoing somewhere in New York City with 46 teams competing. Don’t hold your breath. They are not flying…. they just run around with broomsticks tucked between their legs .  For real, I’m not kidding. I’ve seen the video. But here’s one …. Harvard students practicing the sport. And they look so serious  and earnest too…. well , good for them. I wish them luck !  Ahahaha !


What is Quidditch?  It’s a sport in Harry Potter books, much like a basketball, except the players fly.  Indulge me and read on. Hahaha !  < clears throat> So, okay, there’s a goalpost, like basketball’s basket, a Quaffle that is made of leather, (  shaped like a football ) and the Golden Snitch, that walnut – sized thing that a Seeker has to capture , alone, while his teammates try to score on the goalposts. Usually, the best flier in the team becomes the Seeker. Harry Potter is a Seeker, the youngest , so far, in Quidditch history. * coughs*. The part of a Seeker has supposedly the most glamorous role in the team, but at the same time, receives the worst injuries.  ” Take out the Seeker! ”  is an opponent’s team battlecry. It’s difficult to score a goal, and  if the Seeker  catches  the Golden Snitch, it’s game over, since it’s worth 12 points.  Okay, enough…. < bangs head on pillow >

Yes! I am now officially a Geek !  I’m taking off my * coughs * glamorous *coughs* Muggle outfit, and now donning my Gryffindor  robe.

Well, this is all for now. I’m off to reread the last book in the series, and hopefully, get to see Harry Potter this week, and write my $ 0.02 worth , and you bet it’s going to be a good one, no matter what. Bye and peace !

See the World in a New Way

What you knew is no longer


Anime Review: GHOST HOUND

Year: 2007

Episodes: 22

Buy at: Sentai Filmworks

What is there to say about Ghost Hound. Its scary for one thing, tormenting for another and nicely animated. At times, people may find something in common with the four main cast characters, as well as the branching characters as well.

Taro Komori, a 14 year old boy with a dark past. When he was a little boy, he was kidnapped along with his older sister. Only he survived. With the incidents of the past tormenting him, Taro begins to experience O.B.E. (Out of Body Experience) In his travels, he dreams of his dead sister, trying to recall the last words she spoke.

Makoto Ogami, a distant relative to Taro. He is hesitant to be near Taro, due to incidents of the past resulting in a suicide of Makoto’s father, where Makoto himself found the body. Makoto also has O.B.E. With that he is able to find answers that he’s been looking for, only to be more lost in the darkness of an occult.

Masayuki Nakajima, a transfer student from Tokyo. Being a new student, Masayuki crashes into the lives of Taro and Makoto, bringing up the kidnapping as the main subject. All in truth, he wanted something to do to forget a suicide he witness. One that was caused by himself by bullying a student. With his run ins with the two, Masayuki too, gains O.B.E.

Miyako Komagusu, A young girl who see’s ghost and the O.B.E.’s of the boys. Her power is so strong, that a spirit can posses her at times. Taro feels he has a connection with the girl, thinking she might be his sisters reincarnation. When an occult found out about it, their eye’s set on the girl.

Many more characters enter the game, bringing the primal fear creeping up in the dark corners of the room. This anime will have you question things. About the process of being human. Is normal, normal? Or is our brain’s so fragile that people see what they want to see, to find or hide from the truth.

Watch Ghost Hound on Youtube or Buy the DVD. it’s a Must Buy.

Cell Phone Bills….

Ah, the wonders of the Cell Phone. I would rather leave it then take it with me, cause I have no real use for it. The only people I call on it are my family and two friends. That’s it. Why, the other friends like to Chain-mail me to death and I don’t use my cell phone for anything else but to talk. No internet, I do take pictures and movies, but that its. Well, my bill is low and I like it. The thing is, Mom and Dad do the same thing. My little sister on the other hand…..calls her friend in the UK….no joke. I am half temped to post his number all over to get him smashed in repeating phone calls from people from all over the world.

The call’s for one month From America to UK….$1,200. HOLY CRAP!

At a stand still what to do. Mom’s on edge, I think she may kick my sisters bumb. I’ll get to that later, but I want to know what will happen to this guy? In the UK I mean. Should I waste money and call him, tell him to pay the amount needed? Cause $1,200 for a bill, means less Christmas with the family.

Also, my sister, who is 18, still in High School, has no job, thought the cell phone was free and that she didn’t think the would be that much to call someone over seas. For real, are people in that age range that idiotic? I mean, when I was 17, I was out of high school, working at a job (a bar) and going to college. Like WTH.

So people, heads up when you have a joint cell phone bill. Look at who the other people who are calling, or else you will get burned by the bill.

ahahahahaha, other then that, my day is going well.

A little bit of political musing, and some random ones

Veterans’  Day today. No school. \^^/

Nov. 2 was election  day here in the US and yep, I voted, and I have a sticker to prove I did.  Nationwide, the Republicans won , took the Lower House, and they’re now the majority, but California, being a true Blue state ( meaning, Californians always vote Democrat ), stayed Democrat, and put up a brick wall to stem the tide, ha ha . Well, actually, the whole Pacific Northwest put up the wall…. California, Oregon and Washington. I voted straight  Democrat, and most of the Propositions I voted for also won, except one. I voted for legalization of marijuana, LOL !  Last ime, I voted for legalization of marijuana for medicinal purpose, and it passed, but this time, it’s for pleasure, so it went down the drain. Everybody expected that. I voted Yes for the heck of it. I knew it was gonna lose anyways. California also said Yes to gay marriage.  Ah, good  thing Jerry Brown won as Governor. His opponent, Meg Whitman, former CEO of ebay spent $ 142 M of her own money, but she is one scary lady, and Californians shivered, and so she lost, depite the avalanche of  political ads depicting her as the savior of California. I hope Jerry Brown reverses Arnold Schawzenneger’s forlough policy . It’s been going much too long already, more than a year now, wreaking havoc on my family’s finances. This policy imposes a 3 day a month no pay vacation. That slashes about  700 dollars off my father’s paycheck every month.

I  just watched this movie about Darfur. What the @#!$%^&* !  Did that really happen? I’ve heard of  Darfur in Sudan, but never paid attention to it. I was more aware of the wars in Afhganistan and Iraq, and Palestine, so Darfur got off my radar. Geez. That was ethnic cleansing at its worst. Well, ethnic cleansing is the worst because they are all countrymen, and they kill each other. The Hutus and Tutsis in Rwanda, for example. Geez. How could they even differentiate one from the other?  The accent? I know this is a horrible thought but I’d much prefer the good, old fashioned foreign invasion…… (e_e) * sweats *…. Okay, erase that. That statement is in bad taste.

I didn’t have Physics Lab yesterday so I was home early, at 12:30 PM. Oh and I went to a friend’s birthday party last night. She’s been a friend since elementary. Uhm, yeah, it was fun, but, I don’t know, high school parties were more fun, I think, because we were all a bunch of  crazy idiots then, and we did stupid things, like a food fight. And now that we’re all grown-ups, we’ve suddenly gone just a bit formal and serious, talking about money and university life. A few years from now, I reckon we’ll be talking about our marriages and our children, and a few more years, about arthritis and muscle pains…..then, a few more years, it’s who’s still alive and who has passed on….. what a sobering thought.  < shakes head >

Oh, by the way, this one here is a video of a rock band from the Philippines. My brother has a cd of this group. Uhm, I guess they’re okay. They’re singing in Filipino language , and yeah, that’s how the language sounds like. I think I speak the language fluently, but I can’t  understand half  of the lyrics. (^__^)””



Although, there’s no school today, I’m not going to laze around and do nothing… I have long exam in Math tomorrow.

Mom and I went grocery shopping at Walmart yesterday. A friend just called it a NaziMart. haha   !  He was right. I mean, WalMart is huge, but, sadly, it has killed off all the stores near its vicinity. Target nearby is struggling to survive. WalMart can afford to keep their prices really low , but we try to shop at other places too even if the prices are a few cents higher just to level the playing field. Not that it’s gonna help them…… I think the government should find a way to stop WalMart’s massive expansion. It leads to monopoly, and  we don’t need  to be a genius to know that monopoly is evil. 

I’m cooking today…. it’s mom’s own concoction we call potato surprise. It’s 10 AM, time to cook, so I need to get off  the computer,  go to the kitchen and cook something delish for  the family. So I say, bye for now, be good, be nice, paalam. Peace.




Make my day

Just for my listening pleasure………….

Dad is buying a new mailbox with lock and key. The mailman has a universal key that can open mailboxes with locks. I guess that’s the best solution.  Open mailboxes are just not safe anymore.

I had a conversation once with a guy. He asked me if I liked Taylor Swift, the singer, and I said , yeah, I like 2 or 3 of her songs. Then , he said, females who like Taylor Swift are not women, they’re girls.  I was sipping coffee when he said that, and I almost spat out the coffee in my mouth.  The liquid could have damaged my laptop, lol. Wow. I didn’t know really know how I’d take that statement.  I asked him what he meant by that, but his explanation wasn’t clear, and I didn’t pursue the matter further. But it stayed with me the whole day . It was a bit disturbing.  I was like, I like Taylor Swift, ergo, I’m a girl ? But… but, what’s wrong with being  called a girl? I’m a girl ! But why did it bother me so ? So, okay, for one, female babies are not called women, they’re little girls. It’s allright to call female teenagers girls. But females who are out of teen age should be called women. ……………………….. ?………. I’m a bit confused. Maybe I don’t want to be categorized as a girl anymore. It kind of conjures up an image of silly, giggly teenagers. For one, I don’t giggle anymore. I smile like a lady, I grin, and most of  the time, I laugh like a hyena.    ……….. ……………. So, anyway, I get to talk to him again, and I ask him  what he means by that. He says, girls, like the ones depicted on Taylor Swift’s songs , are dreamy,  sort of emotional, need friends to get by in life, whereas, women, he says, can stand on their own. In other words, the complete opposite of girls.  @___@  ……………………….  Ahh, never mind. It’s 7 AM. I’m not in the mood for deep thinking right now. 

* coughs *   * clears throat *

Sisters, unite !  That’s why we  have to study, be focused, have a good career, and be self-supporting.  Wives tolerate abuse and cheating men because they have nowhere else to go, with no means of support.  So, okay, this is totally random. (^___^)  But, I just remembered my conversation with him…… he said men are instinctively polygamous.  Right.   That’s makes a lot of sense. That’s basic animal instinct.   Animals of male species prowl the grounds in search of  females of like species.  I get it.  ( ^_^)

But, when the tables are turned, do men get hurt too? Surprisingly, he said  yes, they do. How deep is the hurt, though, that’s the question. Do they bounce back in one day, two days?  Men have no idea about the pain and hurt they inflict on women when they reject or cheat on them.

Ahh, but don’t mind me. I’m just musing.  What do I know, anyways? At least I have something to talk about today. In fact, I’ve been staring at the monitor like a zombie for the past hour or so.  My thoughts are  so disorganized and too random at this moment to make any sense.

So, I say bye for now. Peace and goodwill to all MEN.  lol

Scam/Theft;Bank Account Frozen Again

Before I talk about the topic of scams and thefts, listen to this song first. Well, actually, it’s for my own listening pleasure, and has nothing to do with today’s topic.       (^_^)


That one is one fantastic song by Bonnie Raitte, released in 1995. The title is “Something To Talk About”


Well, here’s something I like to talk about. …. scams and theft. We have been victimized three times in 3 years, one each year, which sets me thinking, are we just one unlucky family? ( ~o^)

First case:  Mom was at the frontyard cleaning up when she saw a police officer knocking on our neighbor’s door. Mom being nosy and all that, she told the cop there was no one there, and ” is there a problem, officer?” , so the cop approached her and informed mom there was a series of thefts in the neighborhood. Meanwhile I was in the house when I got a call from a sheriff, so I called mom, who at that moment, was still having a conversation with the cop. The sheriff on the phone said they caught a man in the act of stealing mails from mailboxes, and in his possession was my parents’ checkbook. Minutes after, we got a call from the bank informing us they had frozen my parents’ bank account.Apparently, the sheriff called the bank first.

Second case: We have another house we are renting out. The tenants moved  out, so we had it listed on Craigslist as house for rent. Craigslist is worldwide so we weren’t surprised when we received enquiries from Canada, England, and South Africa. The most promising was the one from England. The person was so interested that he actually offered to send us a deposit and 2 months advance payment before he even checked out the house.  Two days after, we received a manager’s check  from England in the amount of  $ 7,000. We were all surprised  because the person was extremely trusting and the amount was  $ 2,900 over the agreed first payment. So mom emailed the person and the person emailed back and told mom there was a mistake and could mom send back  the $ 2,900 overpayment as that was for his airfare to the US.  Mom was immediately suspicious and told the person she would first deposit his check and if  the check was ” good”, meaning, money was transferred to her account, then she’d send him the money. The person didn’t respond anymore, and one day after mom deposited the check, the bank informed us that our account had been frozen and would remain frozen, pending some investigation. Apparently, this scam had been going on everywhere, and majority of the victims were like us who were renting out houses. It was really a stupid scam, but surprisingly, quite a number  actually sent money to the scammer.

Third case: This is the most recent…. it happened Friday last week. Last October 17, mom put 6 mails in our mailbox, and all were bill payments, including that for American Express, my parents’ main credit card company. Then , last Friday, dad got a call from the bank , informing him that there was a man who was trying to encash a check issued by mom, in the amount of $ 1, 394.00, and according to the bank, it was for a roofing service. Dad said to hold it because there was no roofing service done. Mom was not home when the bank tried to contact her, so the bank told the man they wouldn’t encash it until they got approval from mom who signed the check. The teller got the check # and compared mom’s signature to the one on the check and deemed it authentic, just the same. Last Monday, mom went to the bank, and was surprised to learn that the amount the man was trying to encash was the exact amount on her American Express bill. She then inquired if  checks issued Oct. 17 had come in, and bank said nothing had come in yet. In other words, the mails were stolen from the mailbox, ( that is a federal offense), and the checks were ” washed “….. according to the bank people, that’s how these scammers erase or alter whatever is written on the check. In this case, American Express was changed to the man’s name, and our AE’s account number was changed to ” roofing service”. The bank immediately froze our account prior to changing our account number, and advised mom to immediately contact American Express since our credit card had also been compromised. With our American Express account number , name, address and phone number already known to the scammer, he could easily make online purchases. Thank goodness AE said no recent purchases were made, and they gave mom a new credit card number. …. Whew !  By the way, dad went to the police station to file a report but the good folks there said they couldn’t file any report until they got an ” incident ” report from the bank.  So mom’s going to the bank tomorrow to talk to the manager. The cop said they’d go to the bank to look at the videos.

< shakes head>  At least, we’ve learned one lesson. Don’t put any mails in the mailbox anymore. How troublesome.

Well, this is it for today. Peace !