Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas 2009

Above everything else, Christmas is about! Kidding, (kinda)it's about family! So off we went to Lucena to spend Christmas eve and Christmas day at Wowa's home with the relatives.
We left Manila at 9am and got to Employees around 1pm because of some crazy traffic in between this place and that but we were so relieved to eat lunch and relax a bit before the 7pm anticipated mass. We tried chatting with Kuya Nicky and family but the internet was understandably congested.
We were incredulous when Wowa told us to get dressed at 5:30pm because she wanted us there an hour early(!) and found the chapel practically empty. One of the more fascinating quirks of their parish is that when one arrives, one must get a piece of padded foam whatchamacallit in green or red which one will kneel on during mass as they don't have those long wooden pews with the accompanying ledge for kneeling. These padded foams also serve as a "reserved" sign that one can place on the seat for your relatives who are still dressing up. And to be fair, Wowa was right, anyone who arrived on the dot at 7pm would have been hard pressed to find a vacant seat anywhere.

At 9pm, Wowa distributed the gifts but no one was complaining! We eagerly tore off all the pretty gift wrapper to exlaim in delight and await the thrilled expressions of each other. We really missed our other family members who were not there. We then watched Kimmy Dora! Then we called up Tita Gina and Tita Luday on Wowa's Magic Jack phone.

The next day, as jeeploads of kids and adults came by to greet us "Namamasko nga po" as we handed out candies, snacks and coins,we eagerly waited for Kuya Alan and family and after greeting each other profusely we exchanged gifts and again came the squeals and the laughter. I gave Nico a Ben 10 toy but I was worried that he may already have the "spidermonkey"figure and we all know what a bummer that can be! So I bought him a really cool "foldabot" book,too. Guess what? He already had a "foldabot" but he did not have a "spidermonkey"! Whew!
We then chatted with Kuya Nonong and family...too bad we couldn't reach Tita Chuchie and the Jurlanos. We tried! And we really miss you all ! Hope you had a good Christmas as well!
After Tito Dante's merienda, we went to Wowo's grave to pray the rosary and bade each other goodbye. I was really hoping we could have Christmas dinner at Rose and Grace, a restaurant by the road famous for serving a hot refillable bowl of bulalo and crispy tawilis but we were disappointed to find they were closed for the day. It was Christmas after all. Luckily, ChowKing was open and while they didn't have bulalo, the hot food and fast service was certainly most welcome!
So now, the Von Trapp family singers would like to greet you all "Merry Christmas!!!" and if that's not enough, how about a dance number from Kuya Alan?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

digital arTshirt

I've given in and gone commercial! I can't make handpainted shirts for mass production so I've made digital copies! Check 'em out

Monday, November 23, 2009

new komiks haul

my recent acquisitions --all filipino komiks!
I've heard a lot of good things about 12 by Manix Abrera of the Kiko Machine comic strips and I was curious as to why Gerry Alangulan called it the best of Komikon 2009. My mom bought this for me as my xmas gift and while some may say the minimalism is "gawang tamad" or lazy work, I'd say he used the barest of features so that everyone could relate to his 12 chapters which are 12 silent movies on print. Manix has a vibrantly twisted imagination. I really don't know where he gets his ideas. My favorite would have to be the one about how not dissecting a frog almost changed the world.

Trese: Mass murders by Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo is book 3 of the Alexandra Trese series. The X-files-y treatment of Pinoy monsters and urban legends hooked me early on when it was still an online comic. This installment reveals the origin of the kambal and how Alexandra became the bad ass warrior she is. The first 2 books were episodic and involved more otherworldly creatures so my sister was a bit disappointed that the new one only had 1 major villain. My main gripe is how even as a young girl, Alexandra is so stoic, her personality is impenetrable. I'm not saying get her a loveteam, but I'd love an insight, what's beneath that stony facade? Fortunately, the creators say they're not done yet. Maybe the next book wil delve into the 3 lost years of Trese's life and maybe more?

Underpass is a book that I bought without knowing what it was about. Turns out it's a horror/suspense anthology featuring some of the best in local komiks:

Sim by Gerry Alanguilan is a cautionary tale that contrasts with the bright, colorful panels that remind me of Tintin. Is this the reason writer/artist Gerry doesn't own a cellphone? :)

Judas Kiss by David Hontiveros, Budjette Tan and Oliver Pulumbarit is a more complex story of sexuality, relationships and guilt but sadly, the use of colored markers detract from the story. Watercolor or colored pencils with a restrained palette might have worked better.

Katumbas by David Hontiveros and Ian Sta. Maria is the best realized story of the bunch. The dark colors gives the right atmosphere to this somber work.

The Clinic by Budjette Tan and Ka-jo Baldisimo. From the same team that gave us Trese, the tone is very much like it in that Budjette shows the dark side of an otherwise ordinary celebrity doctor to the stars to show how monsters might survive in the present day. Here, Kajo steps away from the dark shadows of black and white to revel in glorious color. But I must admit, I prefer his Trese work which look more mysterious yet stylish.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Wowo at Jon's birthday party

Here's something from 1990, a betamax video of Jon's birthday party! We didn't have a video camera then and only borrowed one from our neighbor. Thank God I was still able to have the tape converted to DVD. I think we were supposed to send a copy to the States but in the analog age, it was harder to make copies so this was never sent.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

quick trip to lucena

Went to Lucena to visit Wowa and also to visit Wowo a week after All saints day to avoid the traffic. Above is Tito Dante preparing pasta puttanesca. Wowa is busy arranging flowers my Mama bought for Wowo.
The sun had already set when we arrived but Wowa said the flowers were quite lovely...

...and expensive so we didn't leave them there.

We just left the ones not in the vase for the grave and Wowa would just bring the rest home near a picture of Wowo.

Here's a quick pic of Tito Dante's puttanesca. We only put a little sauce as it was a little salty because of the anchovies. Still, very delicious and much appreciated as we went back home! Thanks Tito!

Merry Christmas!!! Wow, they got their tree up already!

nostalgia alert!...just took a pic of my he-man sticker that's still on my cabinet before they peel off like that small sticker of a he-man vehicle at his feet. kinda looks like he-man had an "accident" no? that constipated look doesn't help, either.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Manila Ocean Park

Went to the Ocean park yesterday to avoid the crowds but forgot that since it was the sem break of Ma, Twinx and Jon, it would also be the vacation of the rest of the schools. We arrived along with a busload of other visitors from the province(possibly Ilocos) and some cadets from I don't know where...
The place is huge and I imagine would be more relaxing to see at a quieter time. They have lots of different freshwater and sea animals on display but one of the most interesting for me was the water sourced directly from nearby Manila Bay. It was murky but could still sustain mussels and barnacles.
The best thing about the park for non-divers is that one can get to see up close all these huge fish and corals even if you're afraid of the water. Entrance fee is P400 and while the mall with all the restos are open till 9 pm, the park is only open till 7pm on weekdays and 8pm on weekends and holidays. There are restos like Pancake House and North Park at the entrance and I advise you eat up before the tour because once you get out to eat, you can't go back in. We spent an hour and 30 minutes touring the place and reading the trivia posted near each aquarium. Would've stayed longer if we weren't hungry.
Fish meet ham. Ma goes all dramatic with Nemo playing the role of fish.

Shark eggs. Look like aliens

This was Twinx's favorite fish because of its forever pouty lips.
The glass arch we walked through had all sorts of fish swimming around us and made me feel like I was in Finding Nemo.

A shark checking out a baby being bottle fed beside the tank.

Mama was not a fan of the noisy visitors. hehehe

The exit leads to the second floor where they have the souvenir shops and food stalls like Chowking and Makansutra, their Asian themed resto. Above are the drinks we ordered: Bandung with chichow, P90; Longan drink, P90; Chcocolate dinosaur, P90(tastes like Milo) and the calamnsi and sour plum, P45. I liked the Bandung which is rose syrup with milk and gulaman.Our first meal to arrive was the Hainanese chicken and we were so hungry we all dug in! Liked the rice cooked in broth but a tip to all would-be diners, servings are small and pricey. Also, ask if rice is included in the order. Most of our ours did not have rice, which is sold at P20 each.

Chicken pandan and catfish and green mango salad.

Laksa-noodles in spicy coconut milk soup. I liked this.
Tom Yum-spicy and sour soup that tastes like sinigang

Chicken satay, P135. Comes with 2 minuscule blocks of rice.

Bagoong fried rice, P140. Satisfying if only there was more beef.

Funny story: My dad was shocked to see 2 cadets holding hands while touring. Turns out they were female cadets who had really short haircuts.
Trying to be Aquaman

Tip: they're really strict with time here. While the fish spa lasts only 20 minutes, they close by 6:30pm so Twinx was really disappointed she wasn't able to do this.

All in all, a worthwhile experience especially if you have a sense of wonder. And maybe you'll learn something, too!

Friday, October 23, 2009

pls. vote for my sis' pic!

hi all, pls. vote for my sister's pic at

You'll need to buy some mentos products and keep the receipt to register and vote till Nov. 21. Just go to the gallery section > click on the still camera button and look for the pic of the giant madre.
What's in it for you? Voters' names will be raffled and will get a chance to win a Sony Vaio, a Sony PSP or an ipod shuffle!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

wowa illustration

this is something i made in illustrator and photoshop for my grandmother's 75th birthday.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Manila hit by typhoon Ondoy

30 days worth of rain fell in just 6 hours on sept. 26, 2009. more than hurricane katrina in the united states. most of manila and rizal province was submerged. pics from various websites. this is from peyups. a picture of the ayala underpass completely underwater.
after the flood from pinoydvd. large slabs of asphalt broken up by flood in quezon city.

and this is a video of the flood that devastated UERM hospital. if you're like me, one of the lucky ones who were spared, please help.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

working with illustrator CS

here's something i made with adobe illustrator. it's ogie and michael v. in their new movie. i was inspired by the awesome and stylish work of chip wass and i once asked him for advice. he said he always drew on paper and pencil first before finishing it on illustrator.

Friday, September 18, 2009

some new shirts

here are some things I've been busy with: Above is a handpainted shirt of Wonder Woman typing the very Sex & the City lines "I couldn't help but wonder..." I've gotten requests for this shirt but I think this will go to my mom.
And this is a shirt my uncle asked me to make in remembrance of the death of Tita Cory. I designed this myself and was very lucky to find a good t-shirt printer here: They're fast and the print quality is amazingly clear. And unlike the digiprint t-shirts I had made last summer, these shirts retain their sharpness and color after washing. I'm thinking of designing a wonder woman shirt and have it printed like this na lang to accommodate my friends' orders. Handpainting just takes too long!

Mojacko recommends: Last Supper # 3

Just watched Last Supper No.3, an indie film that won Best Film at the Cinemalaya fest. It's a dark comedy that doesn't resort to slapstick like Kimmy Dora but it's still funny just the same. A critic said something about Schadenfreude, delight in someone else's misery... and this was definitely the case with poor Wilson, a naive assistant in a TV ad who went through 3 years of suffering because he lost a tapestry of the Last Supper and the owners sue him. He goes through his own Calvary as he deals with the slow machinations of the justice system , from corruption, red tape and even the death of a judge! What' s truly shocking is that this was based on a true story! I do hope more people get to watch this so they don't have to go through anything similar.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Mojacko recommends:Kimmy Dora

You'd be crazy to miss Kimmy Dora, starring the very talented Eugene Domingo in the dual role of Kimmy and Dora! Eugene is not a comedian. She is an actress! Ariel Ureta is pitch-perfect as the twins' father.And of course, Joyce Bernal is back in her element in a rip-roaring comedy with heart. I was expecting laughs but was suprised by tears, too. Eugene masterfully portrays Kimmy's pain and vulnerability so effortlessly that the audience couldn't help but sympathize with the bitchy character!

I hear the movie's a hit even if it's a small film and this is great news for Pinoys looking for good movies. Go and watch it, now na! It's the ultimate stress-buster!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

visiting tita cory at manila memorial

Last Saturday, we were all at home at the same time so we decided to go to the Manila Memorial park in Sucat to at last visit the grave of 2 Pinoy heroes, Cory Aquino and Ninoy Aquino. We thought that by now, we would probably have the park all to ourselves, but when we asked for directions, the guard said a lot of people were already there. In fact, another guard said that a lot of people still come everyday!
Balikbayans were having their picture taken and while I said a silent prayer I again wondered at the simplicity of the grave where Ninoy and Cory lay. No marble, no gates.While other people would have made grand mausoleums in their own honor, the Aquinos would have gone unnoticed if not for the people gathered and the various offerings on their tombs. This was a cute drawing probably made by a schoolkid As seen on TV...a charcoal drawing...Masyado yatang pinaganda si Tita Cory kaya di na kamukha...

When we left, more people were arriving to pay their respects, to say thank you, to promise to always remember how great the Filipino can be.
Jon says there's a new meaning to T.G.I.F. = Thank God I'm Filipino!

Afterwards, we went outside the gates of the park to look at the souvenirs on sale (It's like the park had become a tourist spot!)

That's Twinx trying out a shirt...

...and us hanging out at a pizza resto, all infected by the yellow fever!


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