Archive for the People Category

Women and Shopping………..

Posted in Introspection, People with tags on December 27, 2012 by otakujade

Let me just point out that this does not apply exclusively to women…its just that more women have discovered the therapeutic value of shopping  than men. Contrary to what most people believe it is not all about the money or buying…it’s more about taking your mind off your problems. It’s redirecting your thoughts into something more productive and fun. Yes, it does involve money, it’s an expensive therapy but what therapy session isn’t?

But instead of wallowing in your problems, for a short time at least, the shopper is able to take her/his mind off  his/her personal problems. The decision making process of trying to decide which color to buy or what looks good or not, what is a smart buy and what is not, whether to buy or not….those are simple things but it allows you to forget about the hurtful things even for just a while and allow your mind and your heart to heal a little, to rest a little and get off the stress a little.

Shopping therapy doesn’t have to be expensive…you don’t even have to buy anything, just window shopping would do just as well. You don’t have to buy anything at all but at least it gets your mind off your problems.

However, if you’re one of those what I like to called lucky unfortunate women(those who’re married to wealthy jackasses for a husband) then I wouldn’t recommend shopping for you. What I would recommend buying  real estates and purchasing them under your children’s name or an alias that way jackass wouldn’t have any claim on it…hahaha! Yeah, I’m a vindictive bitch sometimes…especially when I’m angry.

But really, it honestly helps to take your mind off things and think of other things. It may not be for long but at least it gave you a breather enabling you to look at the problem at a different angle or even at the point of view of the other person.

I cannot say that it works for everyone, but as for me and my sister…it’s a good therapy. She and I have gone through some very tough times in our relationships and shopping always helps…especially when we do it together. It’s also our way of bonding and helping each other out of rough corners. Thank you, sis..


Bob Ong and Eros Atalia: Great Authors of a New Genre

Posted in Books, People with tags , , on November 28, 2012 by otakujade

I don’t read a lot of Filipino written works. Di naman yun dahil ako’y coño or anything to that effect medyo mas comfortable lang talaga ako sa English. Sabihin na lang natin na I can explain and express myself better on that language. Pero nakabasa na naman ako ng ilang akda sa Tagalog, una karamihan mga klasikong akda lang tulad ng Noli Me Tangere, El Filibusterismo at yung Ibong Madaragit ni Amando Hernandez. Highschool pa ako nun pero dun ko umpisang na-appreciate ang mga tagalog master pieces. Tapos natuto akong bumasa ng mga alternatibong akda ni Lualhati Bautista, halos nga ata lahat ng librong sinulat nya nabasa ko.

Then out of the blue, inabutan ako ng ex-boyfriend ko (na ngayo’y asawa ko na) ng ibang librong gawa ni Bob Ong…at yun ang nagging umpisa ng mahaba-haba ding istorya ng pagsunod ko sa mga librong gawa ng misteryosong author nay un. Misteryoso kse walang nakakakilala sa kanya (maliban na lang siguro sa kanyang publisher).  Until now naman I still follow Bob Ong, tuwing may bagong libro na gawa nya bili naman ako. (Sorry kung mukhang pa-sosyal  ang dating ng huling sentence na yun, if it means anything ako rin mejo na artehan sa dating nun pero sabi ko nga mas comfortable ako sa English so panigurado Tag-lish ang labas ng blog na ito). Sana walang maasar…hehehe!

Anyways, a few months ago I learned that there’s another author that writes almost the same way as Bob Ong, at this time tahasang nakabalandra ang tunay na pangalan ng author. Not that it would make any difference to me as a reader, wala lang gusto ko lang i-mention, bakit ba?

So the author is Eros Atalia. Tuwa ako sa pangalan nya kasi mahilig din ako sa Greek myth at unang nakatawag sa akin yung pangalan nya. Sa Greek kasi sa ilang di nakakaalam Eros means Love. Si Eros ay anak ni Aphrodite or mas kilala silang mag-ina sa tawag na Cupid (Eros) at Venus (Aphrodite). Oh ayan, tapos na ang Greek myth lesson. Anyways, curious ako sa akda nitong si Eros Atalia…lalo pa at yung unang nakita kong libro nya eh yung “Ligo na U, Lapit na me”. Oh di ba, very wholesome ang dating? Hehehe! Pero promise, di sya ganun ka-wholesome!

Maganda yung libro, masaya at makatutuhanan ang istoryo. Isa sa pinaka-gusto ko sa mga ganitong akda eh yung pagiging makatutuhanan nya. Galit kung galit at malaswa kung malaswa ang lengwahe but that’s what makes them so different from other authors out there. They were bold enough to go against the norms and I love that. Sa akin lang, more power to both Bob Ong and Eros Atalia for the genre they chose.

Ang pinag-iba nga lang ng dalawang author na ito eh yung kanilang phasing. Si Bob Ong yung tipong author na iga-grab agad ang attention mo, mag-lull ng konti sa gitna only to pump up the interest once again at the end of the book. Actually, it’s a good things since it keeps you interested and keep you coming back for more. Mahilig din si Bob Ong nga clip hangers at the end of each chapter.  At the end you feel content with what you’ve read.

Si Eros Atalia naman, picks up the phase slowly but as you read along it gets better and better and really grab you at the middle and carry you through to the end. The end result is that you feel the closure of the story. Pwede di masaya, pwedeng nakaka-disappoint but at the end of it that’s what makes a book good (in my humble opinion lang naman) kasi nga it evokes a feeling on the reader. May naiiwan sa iyong emosyon at di lang ang pakiramdam na tapos ang libro – ano ngayon?

Di ko masabi kung sino ang mas gusto ko, di ko rin gusting i-try nai-decide. Basta I like them both, mas sanay nga lang ako sa mga akda ni Bob Ong sa ngayon kasi mas matagal ko na syang sinusunda, pero malay natin ilang libro pa at pantay na sila ni Eros Atalia sa isipan ko. Wide reader naman ako, I can like them both at the same time and be complete happy with that fact.

Advice ko lang kung gusto mo si Bob Ong, safe din i-try yung mga akda ni Eros Atalia…you will enjoy it. Promise.

Monkey Majik – Magic!

Posted in People with tags , , , , on November 9, 2012 by otakujade

Once again my love for all things Japanese led me to another great discovery – – –  I found Monkey Majik! What is it? It’s a band, but not just any band’s a Canadian-Japanese hybrid band. I can almost see the question in the faces of most of you.

Monkey Majik is called a hybrid band because it is composed of members from two different races/nationality.  First and foremost allow me to clarify that this is a Japanese band – they live and work in Japan and do sing Japanese songs. The band is consist of two Canadian brother, Maynard and Blaise Plant who act the band’s vocalists and guitarist; the other two members are drummer Tax (Takuya Kikuchi) and bassist Dick (Hideki Mori).

Monkey Majik made their first major album release “Thank You” in 2006. The album hit gold standards with 97,000 albums sold during its initial run. “Around the World” reached No. 4 on the Oricon charts and became the theme song to the Japanese television drama, Seiyūki, or Journey to the West. It sold a total of 164,299 copies in Japan, becoming the 62nd most-purchased single of 2006 in the country. (information from Wikipedia)

In just a one year period the band was able to release 3 more albums with their 4th Sora wa Maru de propping them as true Japanese icons. The band continued their success album after album release and in 2009 they were ushered in as Canadian-Japanese Ambassadors in honor of the 80th Anniversary of Friendship between Canada and Japan. With all these successes I’m truly amazed that I have not heard of them until recently but then again the band was successful in Japan and had not as of yet reached that status of being “idols”. Besides, they were serious musicians and professionals but they do not have the studio backing that most idols have.

In 2011,  the great Tohoku earthquakes and tsunami hit Japan and devastated Sendai, where the band members maintain their base and still live. In response to this disaster the band members regrouped and then went to help their people with clean-up, restoration, and rescue. Their kind actions were documented by MTV Japan and later broadcast as a part of the band’s “Send愛” (“Send Ai, Send Love”) movement. Later, a concert was held in Sendai under the Send愛 label, benefiting those affected by the Tōhoku disasters, featuring Monkey Majik.

The band, even after mainstream success, is still based in Sendai, located roughly 350 km from Tokyo. This is contrary to the majority of musicians in Japan, who often move to Tokyo after mainstream success.

What is so appealing about this band, aside from their heart, is the unique quality of their music. It’s truly a west meets east sound. And it’s even more wonderful seeing them – it’s like you see this blond Caucasian man singer Japanese songs and you’re amazed at his every word.  The Nihongo lyrics were sung so beautiful and the English was just perfect. Plus, I guess I have always been partial to pop music so I love that their songs aren’t noisy or sleep enducing.


Heroes of Olympus (Book 2): The Son of Neptune

Posted in Books, People, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on November 9, 2011 by otakujade

The Son of Neptune is the second in the series of the Heroes of Olympus in which Rick Riordan has graciously given us back the characters we have come to love and feared we will miss after the end of the final book of the Camp Half Blood series – the Last Olympian.

If there was one thing I realized after reading Son of Neptune – its the fact that I am a bonafide Percy Jackson fan! *blush* I have read the five books of the first series and then moved on to read the first book of the Kane Chronicles – the Red Pyramid. Sadly, I found out that I actually refer Greek myths to Egyptian myths, it’s probably because I like the free-spirit and independent Greeks to the stoic and comformist Romans, I’m not sure; and that I like Percy Jackson over and above all the characters Rick Riordan created.  I guess it must be because of all his characters Percy was the one with the most developed personality. He did have 5 books behind him, more than enough time for Rick Riordan to fully develop him into a believable character. Add to that the fact that among all his characters Percy seemed have that solid combination of smarts, a bit of teenage angst and humor.

I read book one of the series, The Lost Hero, but even though I am, as a reader, is reunited with Grover and Annabeth and the book was exciting in its own way but even then you always feel like you want to know where Percy. I mean, I personally, kept expecting a clue to appear as to Percy’s whereabouts. I mean, even if he was not in the book the title still feels like it was referring to him, right? Although, now I realized it might also refer to Jason Grace as he was lost too, but whatever to me it means Percy being lost.

So needless to say that I thoroughly enjoyed book 2 of the Heroes of Olympus series..and I can’t wait for the next installment which unfortunately won’t be coming out until next year. Hmp! It’s like I’m back to waiting for Harry Potter again.  I must admit that as a character Harry Potter was better developed and a lot darker than Percy Jackson but somehow..Percy is filling the void that Harry left behind. I still miss Harry and I really wish there would be more books written about him or relative to the Potter series…BUT that’s a completely different story and blog all together. For now allow me to stick to Percy Jackson.

Book 2 (Son of Neptune) began almost exactly where book 1 left off. Almost because, in the first chapter of the book we were informed of what had happened to Percy in the last 8 months. While Jason Grace was running around with Grover and Annabeth trying to stay alive while the forces of Gaea came after them; Percy was asleep. Yes, he was put to sleep by Hera in her personality as Juno in order to keep him alive and when he woke up he had lost some of his memories (again a work of Juno) in order for him be open enough to the training by Lupa. After training for some time with Lupa, Percy was allowed to leave the wolf’s haven and go out in search of himself. Apparently, the lost of his memory was actually to keep him safe, and the same thing was done to Jason Grace however Jason was not put to sleep. I do not understand yet the reason for the difference in their treatment but what was clear what that it had to be done so that they would be safe from the other camp.

It was all Hera/Juno’s master plan. The exchange of heroes was need to unite the two forces and in turn have them help to save Olympus. Apparently, the Greek camp and the Roman camp hate each other with a vengence and that a member of the opposing camp would most probably be harmed if they happen to come across members of the other camp which was sure to happen considering that Percy was taken to the San Francisco where Camp Jupiter is and Jason Grace was taken to New York where Camp Half Blood is.  It is important to note here that the gods and goddesses seemed to be a lot more mellow and rational and less whimsical in their Roman state than in their Greek persona. Ares actually made a point of talking to Percy and he actually cared about his children as Mars; and  Hera was able to set her hatred aside and determined to help Percy in any way she can in her persona as Juno.  Percy naturally was apprehensive of the changes and continued to be so until the end of the book.

Now as we saw Jason team up with Anabeth and Grover, Percy the amiable guy as ever was able to team up with two exciting (or were they exciting because they were with Percy?) in any case he teamed up with Hazel (daughter of Hades) and Frank Zhang (the son of Mars). Both characters have very interesting and dark backgrounds which only add to the allure of the book. I am be getting ahead of myself here but it just seemed like Riordan seemed to write more exciting scenes when he write with Percy than with his other characters. Honestly, Red Pyramid nearly put me to sleep.

I will go into details of what happened in the book as I would really like whoever is reading this review to go out and read the books for themselves. However, I will say that it was an exciting and beautiful ride. The ending was satisfying enough as all the major issues in the book was resolved but it left some one bigger issues that needed to be resolve in another book. I mean, you feel contented and yet you can’t wait for the next installment. At least that’s how I feel.

Remembering Rizal…

Posted in Books, People, Random with tags , , , on June 19, 2011 by otakujade

I have always been an admirer of Dr. Jose Protacio ‘Rizal’ Mercado y Realonda or simply Jose Rizal. I was 7 years old when I first heard his name…it was part of our history lesson of course to learn first and foremost the ‘nationals’ – national tree, national flower, national anthem, national fruit, national bird, national animal…and of course national hero. However, it was in my 2nd year in college when I truly began to appreciate our national hero and I have been a great admirer of him since then.

A lot of people question the choice of Jose Rizal as the Philippines’ national hero simply because he was not involved in the ‘Himagsikan’ (revolution) or that he didn’t take up arms like many of our national heroes like Andres Bonifacio. However, as my Rizal professor (sorry sir but I completely forgot your name) once said, Rizal may not have taken up arms like Bonifacio but his influence through his writings, discourses and other peaceful means, extends beyond age, borders and culture. Rizal was an intellectual. He is one of the few people in this world that can claim to be both a polymath (a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas) and a polyglot – someone with a high degree of proficiency in several languages. Although many of the scientists in the past are polymathic…few intellectuals can claim to be polyglot. Now, we call people who speak 2 languages (like most Filipinos – English & Pilipino) as bilingual; we call someone who speaks 3 languages as trilingual (some Filipino are such – English, Pilipino then  either Spanish, Japanese or Chinese); and we call people who speak more than 3 languages but not more than 6 multi-lingual. Polyglots are conversant and fluent in more than 6. Rizal, however, is conversant in 20 languages and 7 local dialects.

Aside from his many intellectual prowess (he was an inventor, an opthalmologist, a scientist, a philosopher, a writer, an ardent traveler,  a poet, and an artist), Rizal also lived a very interesting and colorful life. I have always wondered why when they make a movie out of his life they always center on his political exploits or they sought to put color into this part of his life when in fact Rizal’s life is already as adventurous and colorful as anyone could ever wish life to be.

His life is one of the most documented of the 19th century largely because vast and extensive records made by and about him. Most everything in his short life is recorded somewhere, being himself a regular diarist and prolific letter writer, much of these material having survived.

His European friends kept almost everything he gave them, including doodlings on pieces of paper. In the home of a Spanish liberal, Pedro Ortiga y Pérez, he left an impression that was to be remembered by his daughter, Consuelo. In her diary, she wrote of a day Rizal spent there and regaled them with his wit, social graces, and sleight-of-hand tricks. In London, during his research on Morga’s writings, he became a regular guest in the home of Dr. Reinhold Rost of the British Museum who referred to him as “a gem of a man.”  The family of Karl Ullmer, pastor of Wilhelmsfeld, and the Blumentritts saved even buttonholes and napkins with sketches and notes. They were ultimately bequeathed to the Rizal family to form a treasure trove of memorabilia.

However, being incurable romantics as the Filipinos are, we are greatly fascinated by his many loves.  Historians like to called them “Rizal’s dozen” when it fact there were only 9 women with home our national hero was linked to.  And in order of their connection with Rizal they were:

Segunda Katigbak
Segunda Katigbak was his puppy love; Rizal’s first love. She was from a prominent family from Lipa, Batangas and was sent at an early age to study at the best school in Manila at the time – the Colegio de la Concordia. There she became friends and classmates with Rizal’s sister Olimpia. Rizal became very infatuated with her and wrote her many romantic letters. Unfortunately, his first love was not to be because Segundwas engaged to be married to a town mate- Manuel Luz.

Rizal wrote of his first love: “Ended at an early hour, my first love!  My virgin heart will always mourn the reckless step it took on the flower-decked abyss.  My ilusions return, yes, but indifferent, uncertain, ready for the first betrayal on the path of love”.

Leonor Valenzuela                                                                                                                                                                                                                   After his admiration for a short girl in the person of Segunda, then came Leonor Valenzuela, a tall girl from Pagsanjan. Rizal send her love notes written in invisible ink (salt dissolved in water) that could only be deciphered over the warmth of the lamp or candle. He visited her on the eve of his departure to Spain and bade her a last goodbye.

Leonor Rivera
Leonor Rivera, his sweetheart for 11 years played the greatest influence in keeping him from falling in love with other women during his travel. Unfortunately, Leonor’s mother disapproved of her daughter’s relationship with Rizal, who was then a known filibustero (someone who goes against the norms, a radical, a free-thinker; during the time of the Spaniards a filibustero in the Philippines is someone who goes against the teaching of the catholic church).  She hid from Leonor all letters sent to her sweetheart. Leonor believing that Rizal had already forgotten her, sadly consented her to marry the Englishman Henry Kipping, her mother’s choice.

Consuelo Ortiga
Consuelo Ortiga y Rey, the prettier of Don Pablo Ortiga’s daughters, fell in love with him. He dedicated to her A la Senorita C.O. y R., which became one of his best poems. The Ortiga’s residence in Madrid was frequented by Rizal and his compatriots. He probably fell in love with her and Consuelo apparently asked him for romantic verses. He suddenly backed out before the relationship turned into a serious romance, because he wanted to remain loyal to Leonor Rivera and he did not want to destroy his friendship with Eduardo de Lete who was madly in love with Consuelo.

Seiko Usui (affectionately called by Rizal as Osei-san)
Osei-san, a Japanese samurai’s daughter taught Rizal the Japanese art of painting known as sumi-e. She also helped Rizal improve his knowledge of Japanese language. If Rizal was a man without a patriotic mission, he would have married this lovely and intelligent woman and lived a stable and happy life with her in Japan because the Spanish legation there offered him a lucrative job.

Gertrude Beckett
While Rizal was in London annotating the Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas, he boarded in the house of the Beckett family, within walking distance of the British Museum. Gertrude, a blue-eyed and buxom girl was the oldest of the three Beckett daughters. She fell in love with Rizal. Tottie helped him in his painting and sculpture. But Rizal suddenly left London for Paris to avoid Gertrude, who was seriously in love with him. Before leaving London, he was able to finish the group carving of the Beckett sisters. He gave the group carving to Gertrude as a sign of their brief relationship.

Nellie Boustead
Rizal having lost Leonor Rivera, entertained the thought of courting other ladies. While a guest of the Boustead family at their residence in the resort city of Biarritz, he had befriended the two pretty daughters of his host, Eduardo Boustead. Rizal used to fence with the sisters at the studio of Juan Luna. Antonio Luna, Juan’s brother and also a frequent visitor of the Bousteads, courted Nellie but she was deeply infatuated with Rizal. In a party held by Filipinos in Madrid, a drunken Antonio Luna uttered unsavory remarks against Nellie Boustead. This prompted Rizal to challenge Luna into a duel. Fortunately, Luna apologized to Rizal, thus averting tragedy for the compatriots. Their love affair unfortunately did not end in marriage. It failed because Rizal refused to be converted to the Protestant faith, as Nellie demanded and Nellie’s mother did not like a physician without enough paying clientele to be a son-in-law. The lovers, however, parted as good friends when Rizal left Europe.

Suzanne Jacoby
In 1890, Rizal moved to Brussels because of the high cost of living in Paris. In Brussels, he lived in the boarding house of the two Jacoby sisters. In time, they fell deeply in love with each other. Suzanne cried when Rizal left Brussels and wrote him when he was in Madrid. – “After your departure, I did not take the chocolate. The box is still intact as on the day of your parting. Don’t delay too long writing us because I wear out the soles of my shoes for running to the mailbox to see if there is a letter from you. There will never be any home in which you are so loved as in that in Brussels, so, you little bad boy, hurry up and come back….

Josephine Bracken
In the last days of February 1895, while still in Dapitan where he was exile on his return to the Philippines, Rizal met an 18-year old petite Irish girl, with bold blue eyes, brown hair and a happy disposition. She was Josephine Bracken, the adopted daughter of George Taufer from Hong Kong, who came to Dapitan to seek Rizal for eye treatment. Rizal was physically attracted to her. His loneliness and boredom must have taken the measure of him and what could be a better diversion that to fall in love again. But the Rizal sisters suspected Josephine as an agent of the friars and they considered her as a threat to Rizal’s security.

Rizal asked Josephine to marry him, but she was not yet ready to make a decision due to her responsibility to the blind Taufer. Since Taufer’s blindness was untreatable, he left for Hon Kong on March 1895. Josephine stayed with Rizal’s family in Manila. Upon her return to Dapitan, Rizal tried to arrange with Father Antonio Obach for their marriage. However, the priest wanted a retraction as a precondition before marrying them. Rizal upon the advice of his family and friends and with Josephine’s consent took her as his wife even without the Church blessings. Josephine later gave birth prematurely to a stillborn baby, a result of some incidence, which might have shocked or frightened her. Some historian claim that it was Rizal playing a joke on his pregnant wife which her to miscarriage however this claim was very verified.  He named the baby ‘Francisco’ after his father and buried him in a lot outside their home in Dapitan. 

…..I have decided that I will stop here for now, Rizal’s life is much too complicated and comprehensive for me to be able to do justice to our national hero in just one writing so I shall stop here now….and tackle his other exploits in my next blog…