Thursday, January 31, 2008

Ewan ko kung bakit, pero tawang-tawa ako sa joke na 'to. Ang corny naman.

A man goes to his doctor and tells him, "I've had the song 'What's New Pussycat' stuck in my head for weeks, and it's driving me crazy."

The doctor says, "Well, I think you may have Tom Jones disease."

The man says, "I've never heard of that. Is it rare?"

The doctor says, "It's not unusual."

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Thundercats are go!

I wanted to write about Juno, because it was such a funny, clever, well-made movie with great performances with all actors, but everyone else already beat me to it. But, three things:

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

















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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Iloilo diary

I really, really was planning to do updates regularly throughout my trip, but for the last week or so, I stayed in remote places where there was no Internet connection. Then I went to Boracay, where there was Internet, but given the choice between going online to blog (and catching up on work and checking my email) and drinking beer on the beach, well, it wasn't much of a choice really. It wasn't until today, back in the office, that I was able to go online for an extended period of time.

But I do have lots of stories scribbled away, so I figured I'd just write up a really long post about my trip, Pancit Canton style. Speaking of which, is it weird that I get a bit thrilled when I stumble upon blog posts that mention the old site. Also, a couple of weeks ago, I saw this weird entry in my site's logs:


Patay tayo diyan.

Anyway, here's what happened over the past weeks:

January 9 to 10 - Iloilo City

After Bacolod, I went back to Iloilo to my tita's place. Didn't do much during my first day back, except to watch TV. I got a kick out of watching the guy who anchors the local Iloilo evening news. I think they just hired the person who looked most like Mike Enriquez.


I also went to a couple of La Paz batchoy joints. Ted's Oldtimer La Paz Batchoy was the big player, with the chain having an outlet at every mall and public place in Iloilo. I went to their old shop just outside the La Paz public market:


Then I tried Ted's new competitor, Deco's Original La Paz Batchoy, at its outlet in Gaisano in La Paz. Like Ted's, the restaurant has been around for a while, but a businessman (who happens to be a cousin of a cousin of mine) bought the restaurant and has also turned it into a chain. Their outlets are really nice and offer free wi-fi. The batchoy is awesome too, and you can get unlimited refills of the broth:


On the evening of the 10th, I met up with my Tito Roland who took me around Iloilo's nightspots. Now, here are a couple of things you need to know about Tito Roland:

  1. He gets around the city in a motorcycle.

  2. 2. He likes his Red Horse beer, and he matches each bottle of my San Mig Light with a Red Horse 500ml; and mind you, I can put it away, too-- I think I had nine bottles that evening.

The night started out promisingly enough. I even began to entertain the thought of buying a motorcycle, because it's just so much easier to get around. By the end of the evening though, I was already quite certain that I was going to die a horrific death in the backstreets of Jaro.

Anyway, we ended up okay, and we were able to go to a couple of, er, interesting places, even though we didn't stay long in any one place. The most, er, interesting place we went to was this club in the second floor of the building that had rooms for rent in the ground floor. I don't even remember the name of the place, we really didn't stay long -- maybe Kwan could tell you. It was like a really, really poor man's version of Genie/Goodlife.

January 11 to 13 - Carles, Iloilo

At first, I thought the town of Carles was in the middle of absolute fucking nowhere. I was wrong; looking at the map, it was the edge of absolute fucking nowhere.


The plan was to go island-hopping once we got there. Unfortunately, the weather was so bad that we couldn't risk going on the pump boat, so we were stuck hanging out in the resort with nothing to do.




It just so happened that on the evening of the 19th, there was a dance (baylehan) at the baranggay's basketball court. I was hanging out with the resort owner, William, and he was trying to get me to go to the event. It was, apparently, a very very big deal for the people there, and William even had a table reserved for him, so he really wanted me to go. Our conversation went like this:

William: "Sama ka na, masaya yun!"

Me: "Naku, wala akong hilig sa ganyan eh, tsaka medyo nilalagnat pa ako."

William: "Meron tayong isang case ng beer dun..."

Me: "Tara na, lakad na tayo, baka gabihin pa tayo eh!"

William: "...kaya lang, Eagle lang ang iinumin natin dun."

Me: "Bah... walang kaso ah!"

If you've never been to one of these things, well, it's quite a sight. It's the sort of shindig that only happens every so often, so the whole baranggay was there, with people whose ages ranged from 4 to 80. When we walked in, cha-cha music was playing and there was a middle-aged couple who were enjoying themselves a *little* too much. I mean, it wasn't freaking, exactly, but only because there wasn't any grinding happening.

The music was as eclectic as the crowd, which included the town's vice mayor and the municipal administrator. Apart from cha-cha music, here are some of the songs that played during the evening:

It was also the first time I'd tried Gold Eagle Beer, and I didn't think it was that bad. It certainly tasted like it was watered down, but that meant you can drink it lukewarm without puking. For a moment there, I was even a little jealous of William. Living quietly at the edge of absolute fucking nowhere, drinking cheap beer till the sun came up, it's a hell of a life.

January 13 - Side trip to Estancia, Iloilo

Two towns away from Carles was Estancia, which was the seafood capital of the province. The town's public market was right next to the sea, and it had a charming quality to it. I went in to buy some dried fish and squid for pasalubong, and had this exchange with the vendor:

Me: "Ne, pila di sa danggit?"

Her: "380 per kilo."

Me: "Diri sa lukos?"

Her: "480. Preska na ya."

Me: (thinking) "Taena, paano magiging fresh yan, eh dried pusit yan."

Anyway, I ended up buying a whole bunch of dried fish and squid, as well as a week's worth of rights to use the line 'Daing for my love'.

January 14 to 16 - Passi and San Enrique, Iloilo

I made a quick pit stop at a tito's place for dinner after getting back from Estancia (more beer!), before going back to Passi the next morning. Another tito of mine owned a grocery in Passi, where I'd hang out in the bedroom upstairs and watch cable, and in the evening we'd go back to our family's old house in San Enrique.


About the only interesting thing that happened during this time was I had a case of the hives, which I figured I'd gotten from higad while drinking at my tito's farmhouse in Iloilo. A couple of days and lots of anti-histamine later, however, the allergy still hadn't gotten better. They decided to bring me next door to an albularyo, who concluded that I must have disturbed a nuno sa punso. He whispered his magic into a piece of ginger, which he gave me to keep tucked under my shirt. After our session, I drank another tablet of anti-histamine. That same afternoon, my allergy was gone.

January 17 to 20 - Boracay

There really wasn't anything interesting that happened in Boracay, which was perfectly fine by me.


(Tomorrow: pictures from Ati-Atihan)

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Friday, January 11, 2008

This post is brought to you by the letter b

Gusto ko lang malaman mo
kahit malayo ako
at hindi mo ramdam
at tila nakalimot na
Walang araw
na hindi ikaw
ang laman ng aking isip

(The blog will return to regular programming shortly. Please stay tuned.)


Wednesday, January 09, 2008


A couple of days ago, I took a short jeepney ride to Silay, a town next to Bacolod which is most famous for its old houses and structures. The town government calls their place the Paris of Negros. It's a nice enough place, but yeah, whatever.

(I got there late in the afternoon, and it had just drizzled, so the pictures aren't very good. I mean, even less so than usual.)







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Camera envy

While taking pictures at Silay the other day, I was struck with camera envy when Pon brought out her SLR camera. She told me that it was a Nikon D-40, that she got it from Quiapo at around Php25,000, and that she got it off the recommendations of photographer-friends who swore by it. She also told me that I could probably get a unit right now at around Php20,000.

I decided to do a little research, and found out that people call it the gateway drug to the world of digital SLR cameras. I found out that it was also very affordable, going for cheap at, and if you paid a bit more, you could get a great deal with extra lenses and tripods and shit over at eBay.

Now, I'm a frugal person, all things considered. Afterwards, I started talking myself out of thinking about buying the camera; after all, I never really go anywhere, I never really do anything particularly interesting, and I don't really know how to take good photos. I usually do a good job of talking myself out of making financial commitments, which is why I don't have any of that frivolous stuff other people enjoy (gym memberships, iPods, iPhones, Macbooks, expensive cellphones, girlfriends, etc).

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More Bacolod food

Pagbalik ko sa Iloilo, tinanong ako ng tita ko kung anong ginawa ko sa Bacolod.

"Kumain," sagot ko.


Sikat yung giant cheeseburger ng Bob's. Ok naman siya.


Pag may burger, dapat meron ding fries.

Tapos nung gabi, pagkatapos kong okray-okrayin yung Calea nung isang araw, bumalik kami dun.


Nag-order ako ng Reuben sandwich. Hindi rin masarap.


Tapos strawberry ice cream shortcake, ok lang naman. Weird lang yung lasa ng strawberry jam nila.

Nag-aantay na lang ako na may mag-comment (probably si Karl), "Jaemark, taena naman niyang blog mo, puro picture ng sandwich."

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Drama king

Gusto ko lang ikwento, nung isang gabi, nag-ha-hapunan kami ni Pon. Kinekwento niya na sinabi niya sa nanay niya, bago siya umalis sa Iligan, na makikipag-meet siya sa isang kaibigan na blogger (ako) sa Bacolod bago umuwi ng Manila.

Dahil nagbabasa rin ng mga blog yung nanay niya noon, nagtanong ito, "Ano yung blog niya?"

Sagot ni Pon, "Yung Pancit Canton."

"Ahh," sabi ng nanay niya. "Yung ma-drama."

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Monday, January 07, 2008

Again, Bacolod pictures

More shitty amateur photography from yesterday:


Had lunch at a place called Calea, which Bacolod natives say has the best cakes in the whole island. The bratwurst and kraut I ordered was so-so.


The ice cream cake was a better experience. Then again, how can you put together ice cream *and* cake and not get something that's fucking awesome?

Afterwards, I went to the Negros provincial capitol, mostly to walk off my heavy lunch:


There were a couple of carabao statues, which was odd because (a) Negros takes a lot of pride in its sugar industry, not in their rice fields; and, (b) the dude walking with the carabao is naked.




The statue on the other end of that lagoon, on the other hand, features a girl, who is not naked. Neither is her carabao.


Between the carabao statues and the palm trees, the plaza is very UPLB.


There was a cool sculpture on display at the plaza's front gate, created by a renowned Bacolod sculptor whose name I stupidly did not bother to remember.


The Negros Occidental capitol in Bacolod.

Later, I went back to Calea to meet up with Luz to pig out again. I left my camera at the hotel, so I had to use my mobile phone to take pictures:

sansrival cheesecake pastrami

She had a pastrami sandwich, which she wasn't particularly happy with. Our pastries weren't much better-- we both found them too sweet. I hate to say this, but Calea's in Bacolod? Totally overrated.

Also had dinner with Pon last night, at Bacolod Chicken House, and I forgot my camera again. I liked the inasal from Lion's Park from the other day better.

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Sunday, January 06, 2008

Bacolod pictures

Spent the afternoon running around Bacolod. Because everyone loves shitty amateur photography on the Internets, here are some pictures:

san sebastian

This is the San Sebastian Cathedral, which is in the middle of the plaza. It's nice, but personally, I think there are a lot of churches in Iloilo that are much prettier.


They took down the belfry sometime in 1976, and the bells are now displayed in the yard behind the church.


Bacolod's city plaza has a cool memorial tomb for the unknown soldier. I couldn't get any closer because there were hobos hanging out at the base.


There are four fountains in the city plaza, all with a marine theme. The figure on the lower part of the photograph is a mermaid. I couldn't get closer because I was getting drenched.


Here's a billboard showing Bacolod City's mayor, Groucho Marx.


Now we're talking! I'd always thought that inasal was a little overrated, that there was nothing special about this certain type of grilled chicken (except that it was very dry). I sat down for a meal at Lion's Park near SM, figuring that at least I would be able to take a nice picture for the meal. Their menu claimed that they had the best chicken barbecue in town, a bold claim for a city full of inasal places. And it was fucking awesome! I'm going back there tomorrow.


A couple of hours later, it was dinner with Luz at a place called Lord Byron in a subdivision called Homesite. The ribs were great, crunchy like Lechon Kawali, and the sauce was nice too.

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