Archive for May, 2009

Got this from one of the articles at Good Housekeeping. If you want to know your body mass index, here’s how:

Multiply your weight in lbs. by 705. Divide this number by your height in inches twice. If your BMI is:

below 19 – you are underweight
19 to 25 – you have a healthy weight
26 to 29 – you are considered overweight and are most likely to have an excess of body weight
but not necessarily body fat
30 to 39 – you are obese and have an excessively high  proportion of body fat
over 40 – you are extremely obese which can increase your risk of death from any cause by 50% to 150%


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My First Taste of Durian

I have always been curious about the fruit, the spikes are simply attractive and it always looks fresh compared to the other fruits I see in supermarkets. Why do some people consider it as the king of fruits?  No offense meant for those people who love eating durian but I guess that like balut, it is an acquired taste. Exotic taste, exotic smell – that’s what they say!

Cost of one durian fruit would probably buy you  about two kilos of banana, two or three pieces of sweet Washington apple and about one-fourth kilo of fine, seedless local grapes. That’s how expensive durian is and it is now in season.

Our friendly neighbor gave us a few pulps with the seed on and she told me that I could tolerate the taste later on, it’s the first bite which would probably turn you off. Well, I tried it – I just could not place how it taste really, somewhat creamy and at the same time tangy. Give me durian candies  anytime and I would appreciate it more!

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Four good-looking guys from well-off families. A poor but smart girl who is an easy target for bullies.  She fights back, she could hold her own.  An obedient child, takes family problems seriously, would do everything to make her family happy.

They say that Boys Over Flowers is the latest craze on prime time TV. Everyone is raving about it, everyone is talking about it.  It’s the Korean version of the original Japanese manga Hana Yori Dango.  I haven’t watched the latter much less the anime version of it so there is really no point of comparison.  Taiwan did a similar adaptation of this drama series a few years ago which catapulted the Taiwanese actors and actress into fame.  Remember Shan Cai? Dao Ming Se?  Didn’t they even come over and were featured as guests on Philippine TV?

For two straight days, Nissa and I played couch potato to the hilt.  She was on leave for a few days and she bought a DVD version of the series.  And in between taking care of my hyperactive 5-year old niece, we managed to finish the whole thing.  So relaxing to watch something like this.  It consists of 25 episodes, has good English translation except in the last two where it was obvious from the quality of it that they were just lifted from or just copied perhaps from the TV version.  Even the names of the characters were changed.

Boys Over Flowers is still being shown on ABS CBN.  I initially watched the two episodes last Sunday in a two-hour replay and the voice over is quite good.  But can you resist watching the DVD uninterrupted by several TV ads?

They are known as the F4. Why they were called such (it’s Flowers Four actually) still baffles me.  But never mind, the Korean actors are much too good-looking than the Taiwanese ones.

Meet Koo Hye Sun playing the role of Geum Jan Di, the fearless high school sophomore who was ridiculed, laughed at and bullied. She earned a scholarship in the most prestigious  school in Korea, where students are sons of owners of big conglomerates and grandson of a former president.  She is the hope of her family to make their lives better.  She is a lovable character and a good actress too.  She is the Korean version of Shan Cai.

Lee Min Ho as Goo Joon Pyo is very effective as the heir to the Shinwa Group of companies.  An arrogant, spoiled brat and the leader of F4.  He learned to adopt to the lower bracket of society when he met Jan Di and became her love interest.  With a mother as stiff as a pole, (the typical askance look, raised eyebrows, rigid stand) who would sacrifice her two kids in favor of the Shinwa group.  Joon Pyo could be charming at times, at most, he is full of angst, though in the end, he did become a very responsible individual.

Kim Hyun Joong is Yoon Ji Hoo, a Zua Ze Lei counterpart. He is, oh so good-looking. Of all the characters in this series, I like him the most.  In real life, he is a member of a boy band so it’s not surprising that he could play the violin, piano and could really strum the guitar.  He plays the best friend of Jan Di –  the soul mate, the guy who is always there, the understanding character who has a secret liking for the former but still managed to play the BFF (pardon the term) till the end.

Kim Bum as So Yi Jung and Kim Joon as Song woo Bin complete the four F4 characters. They also became best friends to Jan Di.

How could a Korean telenovela like this click to Filipino TV viewers?  Based on the previous Korean telenovelas that I have watched in the past, there is always that element of a love triangle but unlike the Filipino characters who play antagonist, being vindictive and revengeful, the Korean character plays the best friend, most of the time a shoulder to cry on and somebody who would wipe your tears away if and when you cry.  Are the stories realistic? Not quite, because the lead characters are always being portrayed as too rich, the elitist type who could do no wrong. The love interest is almost always portrayed as long suffering, belongs to the lower class of society and sometimes lead a hand to mouth existence.  The redeeming features of course are the lessons learned, that  triumph and success could only be achieved if the genuine desire to improve one’s lot is there.

Sometimes there are violent scenes which are only suitable for parental guidance but at least, they don’t show indecent exposure of body parts like they do in Mexican telenovelas (which I don’t watch anyway).  One thing I admire about Boys Over Flowers are the lovely scenery depicted in the series.  It was filmed in New Caledonia and in Macau.

All in all, this is something worth your many hours watching the 25 episodes. Be prepared for high drama for there are some scenes that really touch the heart.  It shows how important a family is and clearly emphasizes the importance of true friendship.  The musical score is very good.  I love all the songs and the music is oh so delightful, it fills the senses with wonder.

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If you think this is a review of John Grisham’s book, think again. My daughter Nissa brought this home from Palawan, a piece of bamboo about three feet long, probably filled with small pebbles or sea shells and sealed at both ends, with small holes all over. When it is overturned and the pebbles fall, there is a uniform sound like that of flowing water or a splatter of heavy rain. I was fascinated! It feels like having an inexpensive toy that you can play with. It surely is an ingenious way of making a rain effect. I don’t know if this is considered a musical instrument. They call it a rainmaker.

I have a wind chime made of various sea shells which I put in my garden. It was  a gift from one of Nissa’s friends. It also came from Palawan. When the wind blows, the shells create a sound like someone frying on a hot griddle. And this instrument reminds me so much of a cowrie sea shell that I used to play with when I was a child. Don’t you just love the sound of the sea when you place it close to your ear?

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Life in Our Neighborhood

Directly behind our house is a stretch of concrete road which is an undeveloped part of our subdivision. The people here in our place call it “the little runway”. Every morning,as early as five o’clock, you could see them dressed in sports attire either jogging or brisk walking or just simply taking a leisurely, unhurried walk. Sometimes, they come in groups, at other times, there are young children tagging along with their parents. It is a beautiful  sight to see. Last summer, the kids flew kites here, a sort of contest on whose kite will outlast the others.

I used to do my ten laps  a year ago, lately though, my early mornings are consumed tending  my small patch of garden. The funny thing is, the people here have now their own community of joggers.It’s kind of exhilarating to  take a walk early in the morning . I used to bring along my MP3 player or just turn on the radio of my cellphone  whenever I get the chance to join  them.

Life in our neighborhood has still that rustic touch, though it is in the middle of  the urban area. You can hear the sounds of tricycles at any time of the day.You can still enjoy exchanging hellos with your neighbor while doing your morning chores of watering the plants. Ortigas Center is just a mere twenty minutes away from our place.

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IMGP2308IMGP2330The Arch of Centuries
Fountain of Wisdom as seen from the top
The  Football Field
It was founded on April 28, 1611 by Fr. Miguel de Benavides, O.P. The Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas, the Catholic University of the Philippines. Simply known as UST but for us alumni and students alike, we fondly and affectionately call it Uste. 

UST is a private Roman Catholic University run by the Order of Preachers in Manila. It is the only Pontifical University in Asia. It is the only university (Catholic or not) to have been visited by two popes three times, twice by Pope John Paul II in 1981 and 1995 and once by Pope Paul VI in 1970 (I was in second year high school then).

It was built in a 215,000 sq. meter campus in Sampaloc, Manila. The university was originally located within the walled city of Intramuros, Manila.

UST Main Building
Miguel de Benavidez Monument

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Another day bonding with the family. Being awake at 6 am is a little late for me. Hubby and I watched DVD last night so I missed seeing the break of dawn and the early visitors in the garden. Waking up as early as 5am gives you that privilege of hearing the twits and chirps of the maya birds as they hop to and from the branches of our avocado tree, it’s a sound echoing the promise of another lovely and great day. I wonder why as soon as the sun rises, they are out of sight, only to come back the following morning. The only time I don’t see them is when it is raining.

Listening and watching Fr. Joey Faller celebrating Sunday mass on TV is another great start. You can say, it’s a force of habit, it has been my regular Sunday routine, aside of course from the regular 9am mass which we attend at the nearby church.

This is the 6th Sunday of Easter. “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; remain in my love. You will remain in my love if you keep my commandments, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in His love. “(John 15:9-10).

Yes, Love is the word of the day- that much overused and abused word given meaning in a way people want it to mean. It’s love that makes poets in all of us and it’s love that makes us swoon and sing, it’s love that makes the world go round. And because love means a lot to different people, it gives several colors to our own existence, a kaleidoscope akin to a rainbow. And when things go wrong, love comes flying out of the window. Don’t get me wrong, I am not one of those people who are so cynical in their views about love. We can’t really choose people who comes to our lives but we can always choose those we want to stay because we know they are worth-keeping.

Fr. Alexis summarized his homily with these: that there are three kinds of fruits we reap from the gospel today, the fruits of peace, joy and presence. I was laughing out loud when he ended his homily with this story. A boy and a girl promised to love each other till the end. The boy wanted to go abroad so he could save and give a good life to his future bride. He promised to write everyday. The girl was so happy receiving letters from the boy and almost everyday too, the postman never fails to deliver the boy’s letters. After a while, the big wedding came, the girl was so happy when she married her postman. Haha, poor, poor boy, the story reminds me of the saying that goes,”ako ang nagtanim, nagbayo at nagsaing, subalit nung maluto, iba ang kumain”. And I thought, it’s good there’s the e-mail nowadays.

We passed by Ever Ortigas Mall before we went home, bought a few groceries and did a little window shopping. I told my daughter it was time to visit our friendly Booksale lady at the second floor. So we did, and I asked her if there were new titles in store. We were in a quandary on what to buy. We saw Jeffrey Archer’s The Eleventh Commandment, James Patterson’s Kiss the Girls ( I read from a blog at WordPress that he is the highest paid author nowadays), Nelson de Mille’s Wild Fire and a chicklit entitled Almost Perfect by Julie Ortolon. Oh yes, I saw a copy of Angels and Demons, another much-publicized book by Dan Brown but I was not inclined to read another book of his. One was enough to make me believe that he is not really that good an author. Nissa bought a copy of Da Vinci Code when it was spreading like wildfire among book lovers. What was all the hype, anyway? And do you know, Da Vinci Code was eaten by termites about a year ago along with some unknown volumes we had in our shelf? Perhaps, that was meant to be. You can’t really leave a bookstore without buying anything, right? That is almost sacrilegious to bookworms like my daughter and me, so we brought home Nelson de Mille and Julie Ortolon’s books.

By the way, I watched the initial airing of Boys Over Flowers. Wiki says that it s a 25 episode south Korean television drama adaptation from the Japanese manga Hana Yori Dango and the Taiwanese equivalent of Meteor Garden. I like the character of Ji Hoo, a calm, soft-spoken boy who plays the violin, piano and guitar. A boy after my own heart. Catch it on ABS CBN’s Channel 2. Shameless plugging!

You can read the synopsis of the story here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boys_Over_Flowers_(TV_series) Tags: and more books, ramblings

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