Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Krung Thai Restaurant in Marikina

To be quite honest, for me Marikina is not an obvious destination of choice for anything, even for shoes. The reason I've gone there fairly regularly is because Yuki's new excellent vet is there. Before then there was the very sporadic visit to Jenny's and Odessa's places and not much else.

After I found Yuki's veterinarian, I drove around the market and found a few cheap and cheerful places to get pretty much everything. I've always noticed this little place called Krung Thai restaurant but parking was so difficult at the market or I wasn't hungry enough when I get a parking spot that it took me over a year to finally try the restaurant.

Don't get me wrong. I adore Mommy Thai's canteen and all its incarnations, but Krung Thai Restaurant is equally charming, affordably priced and deliciously air-conditioned. The portions are enormous. Their glass of iced tea is enough to put out a small bush fire. The food tastes exactly like what one might get in Thailand. I've only been to the restaurant twice, most recently for my graduation dinner with Pedro, but I think the owner is actually Thai, and I wonder if the cooks are as well.

The one thing I like most about the place is that it's quite unassuming. It's a neighborhood restaurant where residents dine when they don't feel like cooking, and obviously a very popular one. The price is reasonable enough for a meal out not to become a splurge. And its a much better, healthier alternative to those pesky fastfood restaurants.

We thought about taking a few of our friends there soon. I can't wait to try their other thai dishes.

Krung Thai Restaurant
W. Paz corner M. Cruz Streets
Sta. Elena, Marikina City

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Master in Industrial Relations

What do you know, eh? Master in Industrial Relations, School of Labor and Industrial Relations, University of the Philippines Diliman. Finally

This year's SOLAIR graduation wasn't as fun as last year's primarily because I
graduated ahead of my friends who are too slow with their MA thesis. Serves them right for being lazy. Hehehhe.

The SOLAIR ceremony was actually quite sweet save for the rather blatant electioneering by our guest speaker, Hon. Cynthia Villar. Before the program started she instructed the staff to distribute 500 cardboard fans with Manny's accomplishments and pictures on it. Of course she re-told the story about Manny Villar spilling fish all over an office lobby and him not being embarassed to clean up the mess.

I suspect it's the only intersting Manny Villar story there is. Sure, says something about being brave and not being ashamed of who you are, although I would've preferred a story on how Manny Villar came to lose the Senate presidency and still bravely fights Ping Lacson on the Senate floor, but I digress.

After the ceremonies, the obligatory picture-taking. I only wanted a picture with my thesis advisers Dr. Theresita Atienza and Dr. Sani Yuzon, whose fault it is that I am graduating on time. Thanks, guys! And Pedro squeezed into the pic with Dr. Yuzon
happily shaking his hand. Don't they look pleased!

Thinking that I've never actually been to any University Graduation ever I thought I'd stay for the big one after our little do at SOLAIR. It was sooooooo long. And hot. Luckily, the SOLAIR seating area is shaded, but we had hundreds of honor students graduating this year that each one was called and given a medal.

It actually felt amazing being surrounded by thousands of UP students. Makes one so damn proud. Might be my first and last UP graduation so I'm glad I went.

After the big UP Naming Mahal song, we all dispersed and headed out of the campus. Pedro and I headed to a newly discovered Thai restaurant in Marikina (more anon) and had a lovely Thai meal.

God, I feel fat.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Rupert Everett's New Face

I'm all for a bit of plastic surgery if you really need it (and presumably can afford it) but I think we should draw the line between recapturing one's youth and evading arrest by changing your entire face until you're a completely different person.

I always thought Rupert Everett was very handsome, but now he's kind of like one of those cookie-cutter, anonymously good-looking guy you see in airports. It's just too disturbing.

What do you think?

(photo courtesy of www.bestweekever.tv)

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Why Are We a Nation of Servants?

by F. Sionil Jose
from Philippine Star

Here we go again, some inconsequential columnist in Hong Kong takes a cheap shot at our unhappy country, calls us “a nation of servants” and immediately an uproar, and magma feelings of hurt are unleashed. Editorials, columnists, politicians are outraged — they demand apology as if one would really salve the bone-deep insult. It was the same sometime back when an English publisher defined “Filipina” as a housemaid. Such insults hurt profoundly but the pain fades quickly and soon after all that enraged outburst, we settle down to the same complacency, we continue sending more of our women abroad to be raped by Arabs, demeaned by Malaysians and Chinese, heckled by the Brits. What has our sense of outrage brought us?

Go to Hong Kong, to Singapore. Visit the Star Ferry environs in Hong Kong or Lucky Plaza, and Singapore’s Orchard St. And there, on Sundays you will see them, hundreds of Filipino domestics, yak-yaking, socializing on the sidewalk, having a pleasant respite from their work.

To the visitors, tourists and the natives, they are a piteous sight, illustrating so clearly and so well how this country has sank. As a Filipino, having witnessed such, I am utterly shamed. I do not blame our poor women for their sorry condition, for I know only too well their plight is the only way by which they can help their families at home and survive.

It is such a boring cliché now, but back to the not-so-distant past: Filipinas was the second richest country in the region, next only to Japan; our universities attracted students from all over Asia, and we had the best professionals, the most modern stores and hospitals.

And what was Hong Kong then? There were slums crawling up those hills on Victoria island, and slums all over Kowloon. Singapore as an English naval base was like old Binondo, with its small squalid shops and equally small houses.

But look at Singapore and Hong Kong now, then look at our country and people.

Sure, you can find in Makati magnificent mansions, the biggest luxury cars, the tony restaurants, skyscrapers. But elsewhere the ugly sprawl of slums, the very poor who now eat only once a day. We must ask ourselves that question, why we became “the hewers of wood and drawers of water” of the world. What happened to us, a very talented and heroic people with a revolutionary tradition?

Once we have answered this question, then we should no longer wonder why there is a continuing diaspora of our brightest people, of our women. It is then the time for us to be truly enraged — not at that Hong Kong columnist — but at the creators of this dismal miasma we call Filipinas. Do not kill the messenger who comes to us to tell the horrid truth about us. Ingest his message, then turn all that outrage, that vehemence, to the Filipinos who turned this beautiful country into the garbage dump of the region: the oligarchs, the Spanish mestizos, the Chinese Filipinos and the treasonous Indios who sent their money abroad instead of investing it here in industries to create jobs for our people. Then it is time for us to rail and condemn the crooked politicians who are the allies of these wretched rich who permitted the relentless hemorrhage of this nation’s capital.

Revolutionary tradition? Ask those rebels why, after 40 years, these leeches are still feasting on our blood!

Monday, 6 April 2009


Downloading movies is sooo easy (and still illegal) these days that I'm surprised people still go to the cinema.

I took the bastard out to Eastwood for a bit of airing because he's been ratty all week. Not his fault; it's just how he is sometimes. Luckily a seemingly good disaster flick is out.

I wasn't so sure about going to see Knowing. It sounded like a gay expression I heard from friends from UP. I'm glad we actually saw it in the cinema. The special effects were amazing. You need fantastic surround sound to actually feel the movie, and that's exactly what we had at Eastwood Cinemaplex.

CGIs have come a long way since Chuck Perez's Bagwis from the 80's no? I have to admit I miss the stupidly cheezy effects of yore, but we got to give credit to those fantastic computer techies for stimulating our senses to the brink of a seizure.

Unlike the earlier disaster flicks where Tom Jones, Liv Tyler and Will Smith survived, everyone died in Knowing. Everyone. Well, except for the chosen kids who were abducted by the creepy Scandinavian aliens and taken to a new world covered in barley. Those kids are going to start a new world with just the clothes they were wearing (which were made of hemp) and the rabbits they brought along for the possibly dull journey.

If they get bored enough they might figure out how to make beer from the barley available to them. And the rabbits might help them realize how they might populate their new planet. I sense a sequel.

Go and watch it!