Now Playing at the Music Bar below:

Selfish (Chillout Version) - Sunset Daze

Don't Fear the Reaper (Cover) - The Beautiful South

Clarity (Neon Sky Remix) - Zedd ft. Foxes

Alive in Paradise - Tiesto & Dyro feat. Krewella

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

National Heroes Zoo-Day

Continuing the long weekend here in Manila, the family decided to go to Ark Avilon in Tiendesitas. This would be the first time our youngest son would see his favorite animals up close.

Although he was scared of the real tiger, he kept asking me to go back to it.

One of the many birds in the Ark Avilon Aviary

The Arapaima Fish. They were like mini-sea monsters, and they went wild when we threw in the chicken heads.

Kodak moment.

Feeding time.

And finally, some fish foot spa for Kian.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Garage - Low Budget Lounging

Another stressful week at work. Check.
Long weekend. Check.
Injured my pinky finger in a bad loss yesterday, and wants to dwell on it. Check. (We almost had that Team Aquino)
Ready to drink. Check.

But wait, no Goose, no Johnnie, no Jose, no Absolut, no budget.

It's been awhile since I last had drinks at The Garage, and I wouldn't let this pass. So what's on the drinks list...

Antonov Vodka with C2 Apple Juice

Boracay Rum Cappuccino on the rocks

For the pica-pica, there were no beef tapas, no hungarian sausages or cheese platter, and no spicy salami. On the menu was just Boy Bawang cornick, Growers peanuts and Nagaraya nuts. And to cap it off, we went to Hassan's shawarma and steaks.

Not bad for a low budget lounging. I'd still take it.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Going Medieval

The rain has been pouring the past two days, had to even cancel our overnight stay in Mandarin Hotel. (The family was planning to have the kids go swimming but the weather has been terrible.) Will just probably go mall-hopping since I would expect that a lot took advantage of the long weekend due to the holidays on August 29 and 30, so I am guessing the likes of Megamall and Greenhills won't be too crowded.

But if that won't work out and I have to stay home, I bought 2 new sets of TV series, Game of Thrones and Camelot.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

How Much Do You Make an Hour?

How Much Do You Make an Hour?
- Author Unknown

With a timid voice and idolizing eyes, the little boy greeted his father as he returned from work, "Daddy, how much do you make an hour?" Greatly surprised, but giving his boy a glaring look, the father said: "Look, son, not even your mother knows that. Don't bother me now, I'm tired." The boy insisted, "But Daddy, just tell me please!? How much do you make an hour?"

The father finally giving up and replied: “Twenty dollars per hour." Then the boy asked, "Okay, Daddy? Could you loan me ten dollars?" Showing restlessness and positively disturbed, the father yelled: "So that was the reason you asked how much I earn, right?? Go to sleep and don't bother me anymore!"

It was already dark and the father was meditating on what he had said and was feeling guilty. Maybe he thought, his son wanted to buy something. Finally, trying to ease his mind, the father went to his son's room.

"Are you asleep son?" asked the father. "No, Daddy. Why?" replied the boy partially asleep. "Here's the money you asked for earlier," the father said. "Thanks, Daddy!" rejoiced the son, while putting his hand under his pillow and removing some money. "Now I have enough! Now I have twenty dollars!" the boy said to his father, who was gazing at his son, confused.

Then his son said, "Daddy, here is twenty dollars, could you sell me one hour of your time?"

I make it a point that no matter how tired I am, how angry, frustrated and stressed out I may be when coming home from work; I still find time for my kids. I work to make a living, and my family is what I live for.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Featured Clips of the Day: MTV Awards Promo

The Hurt Locker vs Justin Bieber

Leighton Meester vs Laughing Gas

Dirt Shampoo

Beat'Em Up Babes of the Day - Sucker Punch

Baby Doll, Sweet Pea, Blondie, Rocket and Amber, are some sort of an elite commando unit in a war-torn fantasy dream world, sent on several missions to retrieve items that would help them escape a mental institution in real life.

From gargantuan samurais, zombies, orcs, dragons, and robots, they exemplify combat indestructibility and annihilate all that stands before them.

Zombie Battle Scene:

Samurai Fight:

Monday, August 22, 2011

Elements Bits: Sucker Punch


Emily Browning - Baby Doll
Vanessa Hudgens - Blondie
Abbie Cornish - Sweet Pea
Jena Malone - Rocket
Jamie Chung - Amber

The story starts when young Baby Doll is admitted in a mental institution by his abusive stepfather, who even coerces with the institution's lead orderly to lobotomize Baby Doll so she would not remember a thing. The mental institution is actually a front for underground exploitation of young girls who are groomed to become showgirls for their so called "high-rollers".

But Baby Doll has plans of her own, and seeks the help of the other girls to escape the institution. They need to secure 4 items to successfully bolt out of this nightmare, and by doing so they need to distract certain key individuals, in which the only way to do it is when Baby Doll starts to dance. (For some reason, those who witness the said performance are caught in a trance.)

The movie then shifts from the real world to a war-torn fantasy world that illustrates how the girls portray an elite combat unit and are sent on several missions to secure the said items. And this is where the action starts.

Sucker Punch is a CGI-rich type of movie, from Zack Snyder, the director of 300 and Watchmen. So expect to be awed by the graphical fight scenes and computer generated artwork.


Elements Bits number 1:
Perseverance. In order to achieve our goals, one must have the motivation and determination by completing certain tasks. On some occasions we actually lose hope or focus and tend to just abandon the current situation. But some of us are very persistent even to a point of stubbornness, just to get that sense of fulfilment in achieving a particular goal. Or like me, I may persevere to prove a point.

Elements Bits number 2:
Selflessness. Would you be willing to step down, stand aside, sacrifice your own dreams for someone else? Are you in a state wherein you've unlocked your 10th Insight and know what your human destiny is.


Memorable Quotes:

Dr. Vera Gorski: "You see, your fight for survival starts right now. You don't want to be judged? You won't be. You don't think you're strong enough? You are. You're afraid, don't be. You have all the weapons you need. Now fight."

Wise Man: "If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything."

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Adidas, Adidas, Adidas

After 3 grueling weeks of office work, by chance, I took advantage of the mega shoe sale at the Mega Trade Hall in SM Megamall, as my reward.

I'm not an Adidas fanatic, it just happened that I didn't see any Nike designs that I liked, (There was one, the Cortez, but it didn't have my shoe size.) or even with the discount it still carried a 4k to 5k tag price; and Puma didn't have anything nice either.

So it had to be Adidas.

Adidas Campus

Adidas TR 2010 - Germany

Adidas Blindside 5

World's Most Amazing Hotel Pools - by Sean O'Neill and David Farley

In my early years up to my adoloscent life, I wasn't really a fan of taking a dip in the beach or in any swimming pool for that matter. But I sure would want to spend hours lounging in these majestic and peaceful pool settings...

 Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, Cap d'Antibes, France

 Hotel Caruso Belvedere, Ravello, Italy

 Qasr Al Sarab, Abu Dhabi.

 San Alfonso del Mar, Algarrobo, Chile

Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur, India

For more Amazing Hotel Pools, click here: World's Most Amazing Hotel Pools


Last week, we had dinner at Whistlestop along Jupiter St. in Makati, before watching the musical play Sweet Charity.

It's been years since we last ate here. A couple of decades ago, there was one branch in Eastwood, actually, there was no Eastwood City during that time! (It was a field of long stemmed grass shoots.) It was the time when the "blackouts" stretched for as long as 6-8 hours from 9:00pm onwards, and Whistlestop would be filled with residents from the nearby villages. It was like going to a celebrity event since a lot of actors and actresses where actually hanging out there up to the wee hours or once notice was received that the lights went back on.

My favorite was the Morning Heavyweight; Corned Beef Hash, Fried Eggs, Garlic Rice and sliced tomatoes. Nothing fancy really. On other days, it was the the Whistlelitto - beef salpicao in a bun or the Nasi Goreng Fried Rice and an order of Calamares. (But they no longer serve the Calamares). They also used to have the Whistlestop Iced Tea, which was really refreshing.

On this particular night, we ordered the Chili Cheese Sticks for starters, and the Pork Sisig and Hainanese Chicken Rice for the main course. The cheese sticks were really spicy, I had to take out the green peppers later on as it was too much for me. The pork sisig was delicious, it was not the traditional sisig, it had like small bits of chicharon in it. (Yup, cholesterol level surely went up this time) but I'm really having dinner there again one of these days.

Unfortunately, I don't have pictures of these dishes...hmm maybe it's time to get me one of those Nikon cameras.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Featured Clips of the Day: Discover Card - Peggy

So what kind of customer service does your credit card have...




Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Circumstantial, Substantial, Documentary

The past two weeks have been very exhausting for me at work. And it’s not because of any extended hours rendered or clearing tons of workload, but there are certain tasks that may be considered as mentally draining. And when the mind is fatigued, the body reacts as well.

So what is it? Disciplinary Cases.

Handling a case is not that easy as just deciding if the employee is guilty or not. There are analytics involved such as trying to understand why they committed such act if indeed found liable, auditing and reviewing pages of data and evidences and how it can be prevented in the future, trending, mitigating and aggravating factors to consider.

I always base my recommendations on the facts and evidences in a case. There are several types of evidences but in my line of work, we just usually have the circumstantial, substantial and documentary evidences.

The challenge for me is that when evidences presented are merely circumstantial. There is little to build on and when validation is done, it does not yield any concrete findings if the alleged act can warrant a disciplinary action. Circumstantial evidence usually implies that there may be a violation committed but does not in itself prove it. It is often just backed up by probable reasoning.

Ideally working with Substantial and Documentary evidences should be a case closer, but unfortunately there are rare occasions when these too can be inadmissible or lacks merit in a case investigation.

Substantial evidences are often considered as undisputed and overwhelming, wherein a particular alleged act can be proven beyond reasonable doubt based on the validity or authenticity of the data or evidence. Documentary evidences are usually presented in any type of media form. May it be a written statement, a video recording, as long as it is a medium by which factual and accurate information can be preserved.

Doing a thorough sweep and analysis of the evidences can be taxing enough, and there is the duty of serving the notices to explain and eventually termination letters to the accused. How would you handle terminating someone who is a friend either professionally or personally? That’s just one of the things that make this job emotionally and mentally torturous.

I’ve been called the judge, jury and executioner, been labeled as the Terminator, perceived as a messenger of Death, and branded as the Harbinger of bad news. I have to live with those impressions for as long as I am in this field. What saddens me is that HR practitioners try to build a reputation as being someone who you can run to in times of trouble, grievance or pretty much anything under the sun. But unfortunately it is overshadowed by the judgment that we are a police force that does not protect and serve, but rather to punish and execute.

It is a burden sometimes that carries over for a couple of days, bothering me in a sense that as much as I don’t want to be serving any notices or memos, the evidence does not lie. It may be contested but the burden of proof now lies with the accused.

I am fair, just and unbiased, and I let the circumstantial, substantial and documentary evidences speak for itself.

Investigation may be likened to the long months of pregnancy, and solving a problem to the day of birth. To investigate a problem is, indeed, to solve it.
- Mao Tse-Tung

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Featured Clip of the Day: Movie Trailer Voice-Over

Have You ever wondered who owns the voice that does one of those movie trailer belongs to Hal Douglas. And below is a hilarious spoof of the trailer for the movie The Comedian starring Jerry Seinfeld.

Comedian Movie Trailer

Monday, August 15, 2011

Elements Bits: Under Siege 2: Dark Territory


Steven Seagal - Casey Ryback
Katherine Heigl - Sarah Ryback
Everett McGill - Marcus Penn
Eric Bogosian - Travis Dane

Casey Ryback, a decorated Navy Seals captain turned cook, takes a train ride with her niece for a vacation but the train is later on boarded by mercenaries with the plot to acquire a top secret satellite that can fire particle energy through the subterranean crust of the earth to create earthquakes.

Casey must now stop the terrorists before they unleash the energy over the Pentagon and wipe out the population of Washington and everything within a 100-mile radius.

If you grew through the 90's I'm pretty sure you've seen at least one of the many action films of Steven Seagal. In real life, he holds a 7th Dan black belt in combat Aikido, and unlike other martial arts fighting styles, where you tend to rain a flurry of punches and kicks, Aikido is using your opponent's energy and body weight in executing several choke holds, body throws, and locking up on him to incapacitate him. His style was so much different from the Bruce Lees and the Van Dammes, the reason why he was probably a hit during this era.

Check out this scene from Hard To Kill. Action starts at the 2:00 minute mark.


Elements Bits number 1:
Technology is dangerous to our privacy. "Weather satellites" (as how they claim it to be), that can look down on us at a very detailed magnification, or a particular web browser update that logs personal information, mobile phone tracking system, or concealed miniature video recorders, there are just some of the hundreds of ways on how technology can be used to invade our privacy.

No wonder some folks would like to live in the mountains or far off places where technology cannot reach them. (Though I know a couple of folks who can keep out of touch or remain hidden even in the highly-populated Metro.) We would just have to exercise prudence in how we keep a part of our lives privy only to ourselves.


Memorable Quotes:

Travis Dane: "Chance favors the prepared mind."

Casey: "Nobody beats me in the kitchen."

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sweet Charity

Last night, was a Sweet Charity Saturday. We got to watch the musical play of 9 Works Theatrical (Who also introduced RENT last year), at RCBC Plaza featuring Nikki Gil, Kris Lawrence, Shiela Valderrama-Martinez, Ciara Sotto and surprisingly in the cast was Sheree, who was once part of the Viva Hot Babes.

A love story/comedy production about a dancer who unfortunately, always gives her love to the wrong man. I extend my congratulations to my buddy Lorenz Martinez, who is the Assistant Director in this light and bubbly musical experience.

You can still catch the performance as they will have shows till the end of August. To inquire about the tickets, you can contact TicketWorld at (63 2) 891-9999.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Be Unsinkable - by Lead Out Loud

Be Unsinkable

At times life brings us challenges,
How you deal with those challenges determine how long the pain will last.

It doesn't have to be so "hard",
It's OK to feel the sadness, anger and frustration,
Release it.

Don't resist what is happening,
It will only last longer...
Accept it.

You may be unable to see the bigger picture right now,
Have faith...Believe...
It's all happening for a reason,
This too shall pass.

Learn the lessons,
and grow.
Great things are waiting for you around the corner.

The journey will be worth it,
Be patient.

Be unsinkable and be happy.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Elements Bits: The Company Men


Ben Affleck - Bobby Walker
Tommy Lee Jones - Gene McClary
Chris Cooper - Phil Woodward
Kevin Costner - Jack Dolan

A couple of years back, almost every country may have been hit by the recession in the United States.

Huge global enterprises downsizing, financial institutions going bankrupt, and mid-sized companies folded up. Several companies around the world had to adapt and make drastic changes to ensure that they stay afloat with the industry they are in and to be at pace with the competition.

The Company Men tells the different lives of men who strive to support their families after being part of a redundancy exercise at their previous employer. All were not spared. Even the characters of TLJ and CC, (Gene and Phil), who are senior executives in this major corporation, were eventually fired.

The movie shows what the struggles are in finding a job, how Bobby (Ben Affleck's character) must lower his pride by taking a position with lesser pay or even two levels down from his previous job title, and eventually ending up working as a carpenter for Kevin Costner. (Bobby's brother-in-law) But it was not that easy for Gene and Phil since they were pushing beyond their golden years already, and although they are seasoned and well-experienced, the market demands for younger, more robust individuals for their companies. And hard labor was definitely not a viable option for the both of them.

Watch how one overcomes unemployment while another one loses hope and explores the thought of ending all his miseries, how one never gives up and continues what they have been doing for so many years. How each family show their support in times of need.


Elements Bits number 1:
What are you willing to sacrifice? You will probably recognize the drama of the movie since most of us may have experienced this once in our lives. The reality of giving something up, such as a lifestyle you have had for many years just to be able to put food on the table. Living within your means. It's not about maintaining a certain social status anymore by still paying expensive memberships in prestigious golf clubs and mortgages for vacation houses along beaches and in the countrysides. You have to face reality and go down to the bare necessities so you can be able to provide for your family.

Elements Bits number 2:
Jack of all Trades. It doesn't hurt to learn a few tricks here and there. If there are opportunities or training available for you to be able to broaden your skill set, it's best you grab it. It also doesn't hurt to be able to do the grunt work. This way you are well-rounded and can be considered as an asset and an integral part of the company. Worst case scenario, if you are part of a redundancy, you can easily shift from one department or position to another with your diverse sets of competencies.


Memorable Quotes:

Gene: "Well, what is the criteria for getting canned this time? Gary Hunt's put on a few pounds, maybe we should let him go. And I hear Jill Carter has cancer, we could save a bundle on her insurance premiums, hmm?"
Paul: "I'm confident all of these dismissals will stand up to outside legal scrutiny."
Gene: "What about ethical scrutiny?"
Paul: "We are not breaking any laws, Gene."
Gene: "I guess I always assumed we were trying for a higher standard than that, Paul."
Bobby: "I will win. Why? Because I have faith, courage, enthusiasm."
Bobby: "We work as hard in here everyday as we did trying to get a job, we are gonna be all right. What's the worst thing they could do? Fire us?"

Restaurants to Watch a Sunset - by The Daily Meal

Surely, having a romantic meal at these restaurants is more than enough, but why not top it off by savoring it while the sun sets at the horizon...

 The Oasis, Lake Travis, Texas

 Plantation House Restaurant, Maui

 George's at the Cove, San Diego

 Sundowners, Key Largo, Florida

Sunset Terrace, Asheville, N.C.

For more information, click here: Restaurants to Watch a Sunset

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Elements Bits: Just Go With It


Adam Sandler - Danny Maccabee
Jennifer Aniston - Katherine
Brooklyn Decker - Palmer

Adam's character, Danny, bails on his wedding day because he overheard his fiancee discuss with the bridesmaids a couple of disturbing facts about the real reason for marrying him. He ends up in a bar and hot a chick sits beside him and drops her purse, so Danny tells the girl that you dropped your purse, but the girl lashes out to Danny thinking that he was trying to do some pick up lines. And the girl notices that she indeed dropped her purse and saw the wedding ring on Danny's hand. So the girl asks about the wedding ring but Danny didn't want to sound like a loser bailing out on his wedding day, so he concocts a sad story about how he does so many things for his (imaginary) wife and is not appreciated. The girl then feels sorry and viola!! Danny ends up bringing home the hot chick!

This now gave him an idea on how powerful this One Ring is.

Present day; Danny is a successful plastic surgeon who has Jennifer Aniston as his secretary, Katherine, who is divorced and has two kids. So Danny continues with the charade of picking up girls and women, using different sad stories about his make-believe marriage, but one night he hooks up with Brooklyn Decker without using any of the One Ring stories. They end up making out and the next morning they talk about how this could be a good thing, so when Brook D asks how she can contact Danny, he said that he has one of his calling cards in his pants pocket. But instead of the card, Palmer (Brook D's character) pulls out the wedding ring. So Palmer feels disgusted and tells Danny never to see her again.

But Danny tries to reconcile things with Palmer, but instead of telling the truth that he uses the One Ring to pick up girls, he lies even more and tells Palmer that he is indeed married but is in the final stages of a divorce because he caught his wife cheating on him with another man and is hooked on some kind of purple colored pills. This pacifies Palmer and Danny thinks he is in the clear, but to his surprise, she asks Danny that she wants to meet the so-called ex-wife. So Danny ask Katherine (Jennifer Aniston) to pose as his lustful and drug-crazed divorcing wife.

And this is where the chaos starts. Sooner and later, the lies kept piling up and they all ended up taking a vacation in Hawaii, along with the 2 kids of Jennifer Aniston, who by now is the make-believe children of Danny and Katherine.

And it's a bowlful of laughter from then on. Danny trying to claw himself out from the grave he dug with all these lies. So, will Danny just go with it and try to maintain the deceptions or will he let the stack of bricks come crumbling down with the truth.


Elements Bits number 1:
Divorce. Is it really that easy? Like a reset button that you can press anytime when things are so messed up beyond repair, so let's punch it in and start fresh. (I will not go into the legalities of this matter.) Of course, there are indeed a couple of serious grounds for it to be consummated just like in the movie when the alleged ex-wife committed adultery. But can irreconcilable difference really hold water? Hmm.

Elements Bits number 2:
Using an unsuccessful marriage or relationship as a scapegoat. Really?
Both men and women may tend to do so, trying to be the chivalrous knight but always unappreciated or the damsel in distress. Maybe trying to win the hearts of others by ranting how the worse half has destroyed their lives and why they can't move on. (But not really to pick up men or women in a bar? Does that even really work towards the opposite sex who are single? Sympathy? Pity maybe?)

Elements Bits number 3:
White Lies. Telling the truth will not set you free, but telling the lie will not hurt the other party either. It's like adding gasoline on a campfire when your intentions is to really put it out but you really can't, so you just have to be tactful and contain it. Harmless, painless, if you manage to pull it off, yet still a lie. So here's a situation, would you lie about something if it meant saving a life? If you tell the truth that person dies. What say you?


Memorable Quotes in the movie:

Danny: "I love your smile. That smile is the magic. It starts my day...that smile."

Katherine: "Are you there? Do you understand?"
Danny: " I guess."
Katherine: "It's an awful lot of guessing coming through this phone. I've been divorced, I have two kids, I don't have time for guessing."

Maggie: "The first rule of improv is always accept the information. If someone says something, just go with it. No negating."


Babe Battle:

   Jennifer Aniston           or       Brooklyn Decker

Movie Reviews

It's no secret that I love watching movies. I even post on this blog what were the recent ones that I watched, and I do have a huge collection. I don't have a specific movie genre, I actually watch them all. From brutal bad-ass action to cheesy chick flicks to hair-raising horrors.

When people ask me if the movie is any good, I don't really have a straight forward answer. It's because I am not really a movie critic and I just love watching them. I usually answer by saying, "Well if you're into comics you would love the Marvel collection." or "If you believe in aliens you would appreciate Contact."

I was actually always scared in doing a movie review. I feel like I'm not qualified for it. (If there is such a thing.) But it recently popped into my mind...oh what the heck, let's give it a shot.

But unlike other movie reviews wherein you would discuss entirely about the plot, how the acting was done, screenplay, supporting cast, and all those, I was just thinking of making it light and with a twist by sharing my thoughts and opinions on how the Elements of the movie, it's bits and pieces, would actually play out in the real world. (Of course without giving away the ending or including spoilers along the way.)

So, my first two projects are the movies "Just Go With It" and "The Company Men".

So...wish me luck. Will be posting the reviews soon:

Movie Review: Just Go With It
Movie Review: The Company Men

Featured Clips of the Day: Video Game Commercials

Oops...wrong game


We want your Weapons

PS3 Job Resume

Gran Turismo Cars

PS3...Good for the Family

Multiplayer Madness

I will repeat myself several times when asked about my justification as to why I am so eager in playing these online multiplayer games in the PS3 and PC whenever I have the free time to do so...and that's because I never had these type of interactive games when I was a kid and it's a good way for me to relieve stress, so please let me be.

I just enjoy playing cooperatively and competitively with other online players around the globe. I don't consider myself as the champion of champions of online gaming and in fact I consider myself as a forever NOOB. (A term used in the online world as you being referred to as a newbie, someone who lacks intelligence and common sense when playing the game.) I was actually kicked out by a host yesterday in a game I was playing because my character was excessively dying so soon and so many times.

That's because I play for competitive fun and play occasionally, I don't really build a career out of it. If you see my Call of Duty user profile level at 50, that is just because I've been playing for quite some time now and is not a reflection of how good I am.

I alternately jump from one game to another, but below are the titles that have kept me raving about online gaming.


Game On!!
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