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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Only Way to Fly

For nine years, whenever my company sends me to the US, I always go by Northwest. This time though I'm flying via Korean Air. I heard that their service is good. I'm excited.

I have a 12:20 am flight so I had to be at the airport 3 hours before. Allen, Kuya Tony and his wife accompanied me to the airport. Got there a few minoots before 9.

I weighed my luggage and the personnel there told me to do sumpthin about the excess weight. Crap! I opened my luggage and took out my Diesel gym bag. I put my soft blanket there along with 2 rubber shoes. I also brought out my HP book. I re-weighed and it's now otay.

I requested for an aisle seat. I'll surely make multiple trips to the restroom. The guy behind the counter asked me if I'm otay with an emergency exit seat. I said, "yes".

Each seat has its own monitor. You can watch movies and short films, play video games with fellow passengers, watch flight info, and listen to music. I watched "Blades of Glory" starring Will Ferrell and Jon Heder. It was a hilarious movie.
As for the food, I got some Korean dish for breakfast. They have this small tube where you can squeeze out some spicy stuff. Unlike Northwest, red wine here is free. Sweet! They also serve this pizza in a box.
Inside their bathrooms (they have one lavatory exclusive for the ladies), they have some skin moisturizer or perfume (I didn't try it out).

Manila to Seoul, Korea takes about 3 hours. They have an hour time difference so I reached Korea around 5ish. The airport is clean. They have motion-detecting escalators. For awhile there I thought they have defective escalators like in most MRT stations in Manila ;oP

My flight schedule to Dulles, Washington is at 10:50. I tried to catch some Zzzs. It's hard though when you're flying solo. I don't wanna oversleep and miss my flight!

Korea to Washington takes 13 hours. I watched "The Number 23" first. It's hard to watch a serious Jim Carrey. "Disturbia" was next. Shia LaBeouf (pronounced as "Shy-ah La-Buff") is the kid to watch out for in Hollywood. He's recently in the blockbuster film, "Transformers", and will be in the next Indiana Jones movie too.

I wanted to watch a third film but decided to try a documentary called "The Power of Hugs". It showcased Juan Mann, the guy who started "Free Hugs" in Australia; twin babies (one's health improved when their nurse placed the other inside the same incubator; the healthier baby offered her sister hugs); a father who didn't have time for his eldest daughter (their relationship changed when they began hugging everyday); and a marriage on the rocks saved by hugging sessions.

I tried their games.
They have Tetris, Golf, Yahtzee, Black Jack, and a memory game. Wouldn't it be more fun if you're like playing Doom?! You can play by yourself or find a fellow passenger who's not snoring or eating.

I caught sunrise at 30 thousand feet ;oP
Arrived at Dulles airport before noon. I thanked God for a smooth ride, no delays and no freakin' turbulence. I really enjoyed the flight.

Ruthie & Pattie picked me up. Had lunch (somebody cooked a delish beef sinigang and some shrimp) at Unit 103. Mark helped me carry my luggages up on the third floor. He also brought some Key Lime cookies from FL.

Did my laundry, arranged my closet, and took a warm bath.

For my first night, I chatted with Boy & Mike. I didn't know that I had to bring them some cigs so I shared my Gudang Garam with 'em. We each drank a bottle of Miller Lite (in a plastic bottle!). Ahhh, it's sooo good to be back in the US.

Monday, July 30, 2007

See You Soon, Butter

I went upstairs and fed Butter. Today's the day that I'll bring Butter to her new house. Ate Zeny, our neighbor, offered her house to be Butter's foster house. I dunno how long I'll be assigned in the States. Butter needs to be taken care of.

While playing with my dog, I can't help but cry. I told her that I didn't wanna give her up. I hugged her. She kissed me back.

After lunch, I carried Butter to her new house. Along the way, she kept licking my ears. She's wondering where I was taking her.

Butter's new caretaker is a guy named Albert. I instructed him that Butter likes to eat pan de sal and she eats only meat. I brought her water bucket and the cloth where she likes to lay down.

It breaks my heart to see her staring at me. Cried once more.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Harry Potter & the Order of Phoenix

Thanks to Table, I now have the latest and final HP book. I'm planning to read this tomorrow. Got me 16 hours to kill ;oP

I also found out from her that if you watch the movie at an IMAX theatre, there's a 20-min 3D scene. That convinced me to watch it at MoA. It costs 400 bucks though.

As for the movie, it doesn't quite make an impact on me. All I can say is Luna looks like Dakota Fanning.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Dinner with Barkada

When I found out that I'll be going back to the US in 2 days, I got mixed emotions. For one, I'm really excited to go back to the US. Extremely short travel time to and from work is a BIG plus for me. I'm also planning to save up for the rebuilding of our house. I don't think I can save money with only my salary in the Philippines. The per diem really helps. That means less shopping for me though.

I'm kinda sad too because I'll be leaving Butter behind. I'm pretty sure that I'll be crying buckets on Sunday.

To celebrate my flying back to the US, I invited some friends to have dinner with me. Ogz hasn't celebrated his birthday yet so we decided to have a double celeb. It's been awhile since we last visited MoA so that's the plan for tonight. Traffic in Makati especially on a Friday will give you headache. That's also the reason why we chose not to dine in Makati.

Along the way to MoA, we spotted some lovers. Kendz wanted to shout at them, "Niloloko ka lang nyan!" ("He's only fooling you!"). I wanted to shout, "Puke lang hanap nyan!" ("He's only after your toot-toot!"). We had a good laugh.

We had sinigang na sugpo, pork sisig, grilled pusit and grilled liempo for dinner. I miss eating out with my barkada. Too bad Aedner and Boyette couldn't join us.
Before heading home, I got me a ticket to the HP movie for tomorrow. I think I'm the only one who hasn't seen the latest Harry Potter movie yet.

Friday, July 27, 2007

On Birthdays and Farewells

A big shoutout to my big brother, Arnold. He's celebrating his 37th birthday today. Minus 3 and I'll be that age in September ;oP I'm happy that he's got a good career now and a healthy family (adorable kids). Kuya's now working as a resort manager of Boracay West Cove. The next time you visit Bora, please check out the West Cove. He could give you good rates!!! Just a little trivia, the woman in the intro is my sis in law, Angela.

Today, we had a little party at the office. It's Eric's despedida party. I was tasked to create the presentation/vid. I asked the help of Ogz and Aedner.

As usual, Joy, Ogz and I hosted the event. There's an issue about the food 'cause we spent like 10K on food like barbecue, siopito (small siopao), fishballs and cheese sticks. We could've ordered food that would really satisfy our hungry stomachs.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Long Travel

It's my first time to be sleeping in our empty house last night. We already took out unnecessary items, old clothes, old toys, other scrap and all the stuff in Dad's room so the house is almost literally empty now. I made sure that I locked the doors and fed Butter before going to sleep.

Woke up at 8. Drank coffee and ate Lance's leftover choco cupcakes. Took a warm shower and left the house before 9.

I reached Makati around 11.

It takes about more than 2 hours from home to work and then 3 hours to go back home. I spend a total of 6 hours just for traveling. So different to the 5-min drive to our apartment in Ashburn, Virginia.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Back to Work

Woke up at 3:30 am. I will go with Kuya & family to drop 'em off at the airport. Mom instructed me to take care of Butter. I kept telling her I will.

Reached Cebu Pacific around 5:00. Asked my pamangkins to kiss me. I kissed Angela, Mom and hugged Kuya.

I asked our neighbor/driver to drop me off at EDSA so I can take a cab going to Makati. I reached the office at 5:50. It dawned on me that I don't have my proximity card anymore. I knocked a few times and Felix appeared with a mug of coffee.

I grabbed myself sumpthin to eat at Jollibee. I missed the longganisa meal and hot choco so I ordered 'em.

Next stop was Makati Med. My doc decided against my taking another Urinalysis since I don't have fever nor blood in my urine. He just advised me to have another X-ray. Still, they couldn't find anything broken or torn.

My doc told me to buy 120 mg of Arcoxia--a painkiller for arthritis. I went to Mercury Drug and bought my meds.

At work, I was reunited with my friends and officemates.

My first assignment: create a presentation/video for Eric's despedida party in 2 days ;oP

Monday, July 23, 2007

Last Night with Kuya & Family

I'm supposed to go back to work today but my back is still achin'. I couldn't move much. I'm thankful that the family is still here.

I just played Wii with Lance and Fiona (I call her "Fiong-Fiong").

Before going to bed, Fiong-Fiong massaged my hands and fondly fan my face. I will miss all of them. Too bad, I can't go to Bora with 'em.

A Visit to Daddy's Grave

I silently prayed for Daddy's soul today. I also asked God to take care of the family. Mom's going with Kuya and family to Boracay on Tuesday. I'll be all alone in Bulacan. Hopefully, I get to be sent back to America for more work.

We visited Dad's grave today to offer some prayers and give him flowers. Mom cried again.

I used to be excited going home after a Sunday mass because I know good food is waiting for me at the table. Dad's an excellent cook. Sadly, I will never taste the most delish adobo in the world.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Wii with Lance & Fiona

Last Tuesday, I tried setting up the Wii so Lance & Fiona could play. I was shocked to find out that I lost an important piece--the sensor bar. Kuya tried to find a replacement at a local mall. Last night, he called me and asked about the bar. He found a store that sells a wireless sensor bar. I thought, "Hmmm.... interesting". I just advised them to tell the vendor that we should be able to return the item once it doesn't work for us.

Well, to cut the long story short, the wireless sensor bar that costs like 500 bucks indeed works!

Lance and Fiona enjoy playin' Rayman, Tennis and Boxing. Fiona beats her Kuya Lance in Boxing. Fiona gasps heavily & loudly. She keeps looking at her Kuya too while punching her imaginary opponent.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Severe Lower Back Pain

I can't believe the lower back injury that happened years ago still haunts me today. After my quick shower yesterday, I bent over to put on my left sock. A shooting pain instantly made me cringe and drop to my knees. I thought, "Oh my God!" It's not the best time to have this type of injury again.

Last year, I broke down in sweat & tears when it struck me for the nth time. I dunno why it always happens inside my bedroom. I shouted at mom and dad to help me because I couldn't stand anymore. Any movement will cause the pain to immobilize me.

Dad bought me a lot of painkillers. I had to go to FEU hospital with Mom & Allen for the treatment of this back pain. They found crystals in my urine. I had to be x-rayed too. It was such a tough experience.

This time, Kuya, along with Angela & Fiona, accompanied me to Fairview General Hospital. They checked my urine first. The doctor found no anomalies. They asked me to get an x-ray. Again, they found nuthin'. They just gave me painkillers, good for 5 days.

Whenever I lay down on my left side or try to stand up from lying or sitting down, the pain strikes me. Not sure if the painkiller is helping me. I stopped drinking coffee and soda to cleanse my system too.

I'm worried because in 4 days, the rest of my family is goin' to Boracay and I'll be all alone here in Bulacan. Can't BE like this.

From an Angel on High

Weep not for me
now that I have passed.
Remember the laughter, the affection, the joy
not just the recent tears.
Cherish the memories, our hopes and dreams.
Hold fast to the love that we shared.
Be happy with the time we spent together
and being anew.
For I am not really gone,
I am closer than ever before.
As the morning sun rises
and throughout the busy day...I am with you.
Until the setting sun disappears on the horizon
and we watch the day turn into night...I am here.
You may feel a faint breeze stir round your head, while you slumber
as I gently kiss your forehead, "Good night."
The stars that shine so brightly in my heavenly sky
help me watch over you and keep you from harm.
I am the wind in the trees
and the song of a bird.
I am moonbeams in a midnight sky
and a glorious rainbow after the storm.
I am morning dew
and freshly-fallen snow.
I am a butterfly flying overhead
and a puppy happily at play.
I am a smile on a stranger's face
a gentle touch
a warm embrace.
Listen to the wind for my message of love.
Watch the sun rise and set in the sky with me.
Feel my essence encircle you with warm memories.
Open your heart to know...I am not gone.
Reach deep into your soul...You will find me.
I am here.
Have no fear.
I am with you,

Thank you, Linda, for this poem.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


If you wanna know how you will look like as one of the characters of Springfield, then click here and upload your photo.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Ninth Day

After praying for the departed soul of my Daddy, we shared our dinner with the families of Ate Fely, Joy, and Che.

Ate Fely cooked some palabok and lumpiang sariwa. Ate Zeny gave us some spaghetti. Kuya bought some ice cream for the kids. We also had Shiraz.

We capped the event with a videoke session.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Spring Cleaning

Old clothes, toys, dishes, plastic wares, and books went out the door today. We asked some neighbors to take anything that might be useful to 'em. The rest was sent to the junk shop.

Mom took care of Dad's room. I cleaned up my old study table. Ate Imelda went for the living room. Kuya took care of the garage and backyard. Angela did the laundry.

Tomorrow, we'll clean up the dirty kitchen.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Tremendous Support

My heartfelt thanks to all the people who helped us. Ate Fely for cooking for all of us. Her son, Allen, for being there when you need him.

Tita Zeny, Mandala Spa, and St. Therese flower shop for the flowers.

All our family & friends who helped us financially. We really couldn't do this without your help.

Friends & neighbors who shared their stories. They told me that Dad was so kind to all of them and that he helped so many people.

On Dad's side, thank you Tito Amado, Tito Boy, Tito Flory & family, and Ate Arlene & family. To all our relatives from Bataan and Batangas, thank you.

My Mom's relatives, Ate Aida, Lina, Marina, Amy & Imelda, for taking care of my Mom. Ate Ochie for being Mom's constant buddy.

Friends who took a small amount of their time to call me or visit me at the wake. To my Enterworks family, thank you for all your support.

All the people who visited us and expressed their condolences.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Last Night

Daddy has made a mark on so many people's hearts. Very evident by the amount of people visiting. Friends, neighbors, relatives, and families offered their support.

I was also reunited with my cousins, Andrew and Anthony. The former is the daredevil in the clan while the latter's got the passion for his studies.

Kuya Dennis was present. I found out that Erwin went back to Taiwan for more work.

Chris, Kendz, Jhie and Nikks kept me company through the night.

Friday, July 13, 2007

My Little Contribution

My target today is to get my money from my payroll account. Kuya informed me that we still need to pay the funeral home for the 8-day service.

Went to Makati with Allen. We first had lunch at Wok Inn. I miss their sipa and stuffed squid. I also bought some gloves and dust mask since we're planning to clean the house next week. I'm allergic to dust.

As per Nikks' advice, I went first to Racquel. She gave me a cheque courtesy of the company. We chatted for awhile. Norms joined us later.

I also visited Allen from the Ayala Wing. He's under the weather. Too bad he couldn't join his team, who went to Bataan to visit Aedner (his dad passed away too).

I went to see Mama Butch. Friends like Beng, Bel, Mon, Rene, Dax, Noel, Gentley and Max expressed their condolences. Mims and Dennis approached me too.

Butch gave me two envelopes containing money but I told her to give it to Kuya later. She, along with some officemates, was planning to visit the wake.

Went to UCPB to get my ATM card and withdrew some money.

Around 3:30, Jimmy, Jun, Lindsay, Je, Butch, Beng, Allen and I went back to Bulacan.

Thank you, TarayTina, for your contribution.

Later that night, Joy and Nikks paid me a visit. They just got back from Bataan to visit Aedner's family. After a few hours, Table and Ogz dropped by. By the way, Raz, Jojo and Boyette visited too a couple of days ago. Plus, Aedner, Chel, Beng, Lala and Neil called.

I'm really touched by these visits and thoughtfullness.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Reunited with Butter

Went home to Bulacan yesterday noon to take a bath and feed Butter. It's been awhile since I last saw my dog. I wasn't sure if she'll recognize me after more than 4 months of being away.

When I opened the door, I heard a bark. I then shouted, "Butterrrrrr!!!!". She wagged her tail and licked my hands and ears.

She lost a few pounds (sadly) and gotten slightly bigger. Her nails are super long. Eeek! Her color is still white & cream combo. Mom told me that Dad gave her a bath last week.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Stepping Up

I really thank God that Kuya is here. He's been doing all the work since day one. He hasn't had any decent sleep since Saturday.

I dunno what I can do to help. I manned the graveyard shift with Ate Imelda.

Monday, July 09, 2007

What I'll Miss Most About My Daddy

1) Dad's cooking. I remember when we were kids, my Dad used to cook at least 3 dishes on Sundays. It's like a feast! Before I left for the States, he always asked me what meals I'd like him to prepare. Sometimes, my officemates benefit too from his excellent cooking 'cause I bring them some. I love his adobo, adobong pusit, fish with tokwa, asado, and beef steak. Kuya and I learned how to cook from him.

2) When Allen and I do our weekly grocery at SM, we make sure that we bring Dad 2 slices of pizza from Pizza Hut. He likes pizza so much.

3) Every noon, we hear kids shouting "Daddy Ben! Daddy Ben!" in front of our house. Dad likes to give these streetkids food and clothing. There's one time when he gave them a soap and he sprayed them water using our garden hose. 'twas a fun bath time for these kids.

4) When we were kids, Dad used to give this advice: to study hard, make the most out of the time while Dad's still strong.

5) Vicks would always remind me of Daddy. I used to apply Vicks on his back.

6) Coke Sakto. We never run out of these little suckers inside our refrigerator. We also love to munch on peanuts. He buys these small sachets of peanuts for 5 to 10 bucks and fill an old peanut butter bottle with 'em.

7) Daddy was fond of hats. I have a small collection myself.

8) I remember one of my friends commenting that I have a weird laugh. Dad had one too. He's got a wicked sense of humor.
Kuya and I inherited it.

9) Dad used to take me to school when I was in college. We wake up super early. He has this thermos of coffee and a wet face towel. Whenever he feels sleepy, he gets his towel and wipes his face. He would also ask either Mom or me to give him his caffeine fix.

10) Hope was his favorite brand of cigarette. We signed SOOOO many cigarette wrappers for the Hope & Winston Millionaires contest. Sadly, we didn't win.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Thank You, Daddy

I left Virginia thinking about my dad's illness. I called Kuya from the airport to tell him about my flight details. I wasn't expecting him to break the news that Daddy's gone.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Dad's Battle

Kuya brought Daddy to FEU hospital in Fairview. Last year, when I was brought there, I had a bad experience with them 'cause they wouldn't help you unless you show them that you have paid your bills already. Even the smallest medicine should be paid for first before they would attend to you. I warned Kuya about this. He just wanna get help for Daddy.

At the hospital, Daddy was complaining about the tubes. I guess his body was reacting differently to the meds being given to him. I remember some medicines hurt when they go through your veins.

At one point, one of the nurses made a mistake in the injection insertion. Kuya was asked to pay for their mistake.

Dad talked to Kuya about his wishes for the family. Dad wanted Kuya to take Mom to Boracay so she could spend her time with her grandchildren. He wanted us to take care of her. Kuya told him to be strong and that I'd be coming home soon. He just nodded.

Raden and Dennis, kuya's barkada, came for support.

The hospital asked Kuya to take Daddy to Malvar hospital for some reason. They told him that Malvar could help him more 'cause that's where a certain Dr. Borillo (Dad's doc) resides. Kuya was surprised of their strange request.

Kuya got irritated 'cause of some payment issue. According to the hospital, we haven't paid yet. Kuya showed them the receipt clearly indicating that we've already paid and we even had a refund.

Before leaving the hospital, Kuya noticed that Dad was in a vegetative state (unresponsive). When they reached Malvar hospital, the doctors there didn't wanna admit Dad. They checked his stats and were surprised too of the transfer.

According to FEU, Dad only had pneumonia, asthma and TB. Very different from what the doctor could see from his present state. The doctors from both hospitals had argued about who will take care of my Dad. FEU had the facilities to take care of him better. Malvar also informed Kuya that they don't know any Dr. Borillo. Kuya didn't know why FEU insisted that Dad must be brought to a different hospital.

In Kuya's frustration, he asked the ambulance if they could take Dad back to FEU.
The ambulance told him that their route is only ONE FUCKING way. They cannot bring Dad back to FEU. If the problem was money, Kuya told them to take his ID and his photo. He'll do everything to pay for Dad's medicine. He won't run away.

FEU Hospital has a way also of not accepting sick people without money. Kuya overheard the guard discouraging the less fortunate people. The guard was telling them that if they don't have this much money then they ought to find another hospital because the first checkup or consultation costs a lot.

After a few minutes, Dad was sent to ER.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Friends & Family to the Rescue

My boss asked me today how my Daddy is doin'. I told him that he had a mild stroke and Kuya will take him to the hospital tomorrow. He asked me if I wanna go home. I asked him back if I could do it. Then he asked help from Linda to book a flight for me ASAP. Am leaving on Sunday at noon....

With Ate Fely and Che's help, Dad was brought to the hospital this morning. Mommy couldn't go with them 'cause of her injured foot. After a series of tests, the doctors found pneumonia, asthma and TB. He was given some meds. Instead of getting confined, he opted to just go home. I guess he didn't wanna spend a day inside a hospital room.

Tito Amado arrived and took care of the family. He bought them dinner and stuff.

Late that night, Kuya along with his family arrived from Bora. Daddy was so happy to see his grandchildren. He hugged them tight.

According to Kuya, Daddy requested to be massaged. His body felt cold to Kuya's hands. He couldn't eat much 'cause his throat hurts. Mom also prepared him coffee. Dad likes coffee.

Sad News from Home

When I picked up the phone today and checked my voice mailbox, I had this dreadful feeling that sumpthin's wrong. The message says that I need to call back home immediately 'cause dad got hospitalized.

I called Dad's number and after 7 rings, he answered. I thought he's in the hospital but he's back home. He couldn't speak clearly much. He said that he suffered a mild stroke and he got hospitalized this afternoon. I kept asking him questions just to test if his brain is functioning properly. He also said that his brother, Tito Amado, would come and visit tomorrow so he could accompany him to the hospital again. The doctor already gave him some meds.

He then gave the phone to Mom. Mom talked to me about her still pending pension. She still needs to submit some more forms. She also had a mild accident when a chair fell on her foot. It's healing now. Butter stays with her all the time too. She has grown big.

Called Kuya later on and he told me that he and family will leave Bora tomorrow so they could spend some time with Mom & Dad. Daddy would surely enjoy the company.

Please pray for my Daddy.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Happy Fourth!

We started late today. It seems everyone just wanna relax and sleep. Had my brekky at past noon already. Mark cooked his first pancakes & bacon.

Left our pads around 2:30. First stop was Marshalls. No good deals on clothes today so I went to the linen section. I found this super soft blanket from Liz Clairborne. I've been wanting to buy a soft blanket and I thought this is the right time to get it ;oP
Before we left Marshalls, I found this leak again underneath our van. Instead of risking another crappy incident, we decided to leave the van at the apartment. So we went back home and parked the van. With Mark behind the wheel, Wuthie, Pattie, Lizette, and I went to Dulles Town Center.

First thing that I had to do was to eat. I was so famished. I had rice with spicy chicken and some egg drop soup.
No good deals at A&F, American Eagle, Aeropostale, and PacSun. Found a cheap shirt worth 3 bucks at Disney store though.

Virginia issued a tornado watch today. The fireworks would start at 9:30 so we went home first and had dinner.

Around 9, we took two cars and proceeded to Leesburg. I was the navigator again of the first group. Told the guys to look for N King st. which would lead us to Ida Lee Park. Unforch, the rest of the group got lost along the way.

Parked our car and walked towards where the other peeps were goin'. Found a nice spot and took some photos. After taking some crappy shots, I decided to take a vid instead. That way, I wouldn't miss out on the good stuff.

The last time I saw a fireworks display here in the US was in July of '99 at Michigan River in Chicago. 'twas super hot that day. Thank gawd it didn't raining tonight. No tornadoes too!

Now, let's talk about the fireworks display. It's always fun to watch fireworks. Different colors, different shapes. The images here resemble a heart, a Merry-Go-Round, a cotton ball, fireflies, an atom, a tassel, a Pokemon ball, a chicken drumstick on a plate, and a Smiley (a crowd favorite).

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

More Than Meets the Eye

When I was a kid, I used to have Bumblebee, Laserbeak, and Sideswipe (my first ever Autobot!). I remember when you rub the original sticker, it changes color. My dad didn't buy me any Optimus Prime but I remember getting a fake Megatron. After seeing the new released versions of our shape-shifting metal friends, I still prefer the 1st Gen models, especially Bumblebee!

Even though Lizette has already seen the film back home, she still went with us.
All 8 of us trouped down the Regal Theaters in Sterling around 9.

When we got there, I was informed that the 9:50 screening time ain't available anymore so we had to wait for the next one (10:20 pm). While waiting for our movie, we took some photos with the Simpsons, Silver Surfer, and Transformers.

The action-packed movie is filled with witty one-liners. The audience here reacted by laughing out loud or clapping. When the parents of Sam were asking him some questions, it reminded me of "American Pie".

I thought the reason why Bumblebee wasn't speaking in the movie is that Michael Bay couldn't find a voice talent for him. It's funny that the Transformers learned the language from the World Wide Web. I was waiting for one of them to say, "OMG!" or "LOL".

I wonder why Bumblebee couldn't transfer to a "healthier" car after he got injured? A Decepticon once did it when it transfered to the cellphone after being cut into pieces by Mikaela (Megan Fox).

Mmmm... Megan Fox was thrown in for the male viewers. She's very easy on the eyes, I must say. Josh Duhamel was the eye candy for the ladies.

It's fun to see familiar faces in the movie like, Fernando Sucre of "Prison Break" (Amaury Nolasco) and Aaron Pierce of "24" (Glenn Morshower).

How did Sam know that Megatron also has a hole in his chest too? After hearing Optimus' dialogue of sacrificing himself, I suddenly remembered Aslan of "The Lion, The Witch & the Wardrobe".

My favorite scene was when the Autobots were hiding from Sam's parents and you could see that Bumblebee was crawling like a baby.

At the end of the film, they showed the parents of Sam being interviewed. It was nice but it would've been more fun if they showed bloopers of the transformers themselves, like what they did in "Antz" =oP

Monday, July 02, 2007

Noise Complaint

Filipinos love to sing. I think there'd be a MagicSing for every household if it ain't so freakin' expensive. An alternative is this huge ATM-type of videoke system that you could rent for a day. Normally, peeps go for that option during town fiestas, a birthday celeb or a simple drinking spree.

We didn't have a fiesta, a birthday party or anything like that last Saturday. It's just one of those nights you wanna enjoy with your friends. I invited the peeps from the other apartment to join us for a night of singing and a few beers. Tomas, Pattie, Alwyn, Randy and I provided the entertainment.

Later that night, somebody asked me if we have cards. I brought out the cards and we played Pusoy Dos. All clean fun.

Two days later, I got an e-mail. A neighbor complained about our excessive noise. Ooops! I promised that we will be more considerate of our neighbors and be mindful of our noise.

Hidden Brook Winery

One of the things that I'd like to do one day is to visit a vineyard. I also wanna do some wine tasting. I'm so happy that both finally came true today.

Tomas and I had our brunch first at King's Buffet. Remember that our plan of eating Chinese yesterday didn't push through. I treated him some nice buffet lunch. I was surprised to see crabs in the menu. I grabbed some, along with my honey chicken, soup, veggies, and squids. Delish!

Afterwards, we looked for Hidden Brook in Leesburg. We took 15 North then turned right on Spinks Ferry Road.
Hidden Brook Winery has a nice log cabin surrounded by pine trees offering cool shade. I noticed that it's so peaceful and quiet outside that I could sleep
at their veranda while enjoying my wine.
There were 3 couples inside doing some wine tasting. I was so excited to try it myself. Tomas was driving so he couldn't drink. Nyah-nyah. It only costs 4 bucks for the wine tasting.

At the bar, I was given a wine glass and the lady behind the counter poured into it my first wine sample: Chambourcin, a red wine with a hint of cherry & chocolate. An instant favorite. It costs 20 bucks a bottle. I took some crackers after drinking it.
The next one was Chardonnay. Hmmm... so-so. Third one was Cabernet Sauvignon. Then I was given half Chardonnay and half Sauvignon.

Then came the dessert wines. First one was Vidal Blanc. Am not a fan of white wine but this totally converted me. Oh my god, it's soooo goood. It only costs 13 bucks a bottle! I told Tomas that I'll be getting a bottle of this.

Sweet Amber was next. I was informed to eat the Dove chocolates after tasting the wine. Then finish it with another sip of the wine. Mmmmmmmmm....

Late Harvest came next. I still couldn't get Vidal Blanc out of my mind.

After the last wine tasting, the lady asked me if I could sample another one from the list. I asked her to give me another Chambourcin ;oP
She then gave me my wine passport. She placed a stamp on Hidden Brook. Virginia has a lot of vineyards that I could visit! Next stop, Tarara!!!
Before we left the place, we looked for the actual vineyard and took some photos:
Next stop was Leesburg Premium Outlets. Tomas needs to buy some stuff. And I planned to check out some Bose speakers for my lappy.
Found Bose Companion 2, perfect for my laptop. Rich full sounds. I can't wait to try it!!!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Shenandoah Caverns

Armed with Tom's GPS and my printed map from MapQuest, we headed out southwest towards Shenandoah Caverns. Thank God the weather is good. It's an hour and a half drive so we entertained ourselves by singing along Tom's CD. We listened to JT's "Summer Love", Maroon 5's "Makes Me Wonder", Fergie's "Glamorous", and even, (would you believe) Ariel Rivera's "Minsan Lang Kitang Iibigin".
I was afraid to take pee stops so I didn't drink water much before we left. Tom refreshed himself with a big bottle of Gatorade. No bladder probs.

Reached Shenandoah Caverns around noon. We went inside the gift shop. Found a staircase going down the caverns but it was locked. We could hear some Tagalog being uttered so we're not the only Pinoys around.

Tom paid for our entrance fees, 22 bucks each. The ticket is good for 2 other attractions: American Celebration on Parade and the Yellow Barn. We then waited by the lift. Took some photos before we headed down the caverns.
According to our guide, who's all business and no fun, we'll descend 60 feet. Sweet!

The last time I visited a cavern was like 6 years ago. I went to Luray Caverns with Astur. The guide explained that we'll be seeing stalactites, stalagmites, blah-blah-blah. I was more concerned with what my camera can capture. A word of advice: don't wear light clothing when you do this. It gets cold down there.
Some stalactites are enhanced by dramatic lighting. In some areas where there's stagnant water, you could see some coins (& bills) thrown in for good luck. The guide said that they collect the coins every 3 to 4 years and donate them to charity.
One of the things the Shenandoah Caverns is known for is this bacon formation. 'twas featured in National Geographic. In Luray Caverns, they have an egg-like formation. Cool, eh?
There's this formation that they call the Cathedral and they also have a bishop ;oP
And then there's this very interesting stalagmite. What does it remind you of?
This is the perfect example where lighting makes a difference.
Tom and I would argue about how different our shots are from one another. In my opinion, I took better pics when he's my subject. He takes crappy ones when I'm his subject. He blames it on my camera.
We finished the tour around 1:30. Tom and I looked for a place to eat before we checked out the remaining attractions. I asked the lady behind the counter where the nearest Chinese resto is located. She referred us to Shun Xing which is like 6 miles from the caverns. Unforch, when we got there, the place opens at 3 on Saturdays. Crap!

We settled for McDonald's. I had my usual Ranch sandwich, nuggets, fries and coke.

Part two of today's events.

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