Thursday, October 30, 2008

Deluge? Our Country is Worth Saving

I see pictures in internet of modern updated replica of Noah's ark. Seeing that I think of the great flood, animals walking in pairs to Noah's ark......Would this deluge happen again, will we be saved again?

“Incredible, a miracle,” my sweetheart said. He’s referring to the bag of bed sheets forgotten yesterday morning by my sister at one of the Chinese stores in Divisoria, retrieved the next day. We did not even have a numbered card to prove that the bag was ours. My sis had bought so many stuff and decided to buy a big sack bag to put everything together. In the process, she forgot to put inside the bag of bed sheets, the raison d ’etre of our Divisoria trip. “That’s a story worth telling over and over”, my sweetheart said.

I just can’t get over this happening in Divisoria, the place refuted to have so many pick-pocketeers, jewelry and bag snatchers……

And I have experiences to prove that true too. When I was young, about ten years old, I used to go with my aunt shopping for her buy-and-sell business. She would buy beautiful and colorful fabrics to be sold to her co-teachers at St. John’s Academy. She would also buy vegetables to be sold to her neighbors at SSS village, Marikina. After Divisoria trip, each of us carried five or more heavy bags. I guess backpacks were not invented at that time yet, he, he. Anyway, that’s so typical of many shoppers coming out of Divisoria. There’s just too much goodies in Divisoria, you can’t stop shopping until your wallet gives up.

My aunt always warned me, "guard our bags", as she bought more stuff. So I would stand there beside her, while she haggled, and that’s another feel-good experience – you get to negotiate the prices of just about anything and you go home feeling satisfied you’ve had a good deal haggling a P250 priced-goody to P200, until you heard your friend haggling it down to P150! Anyway, guarding our eight bags and listening in amusement as my aunt haggles, at one time I saw about three of our bags mysteriously moving! Nobody’s pulling it in sight, so I looked, mesmerized by their movement to my far left. “Hoyyyyyy”, I heard the store owner shout at a child street beggar. I was dumbfounded, the boy beggar had a two- meter-stick with a 1 ft curved wire at the end, he’d used to pull some of our bags. I felt so stupid at my naivete and slow-thinking about bags moving mysteriously on their own! Fantastic, very resourceful, ain’t he? The beggar boy/thief scampered away from us as and business went on as usual.

Another time, about nine years ago, I went back and forth between Manila and Bacolod as my eldest daughter continued her studies in Bacolod while my youngest daughter and I settled in Makati. That was after the jump, err, I mean after my ex husband and I separated. I traveled, sailing on Negros Navigation or Super Ferry ships instead of flying Philippine Airlines or Cebu Pacific. Ships are far cheaper plus sailing gives me more alone time when I badly needed it. The ships dock near Divisoria, adding to slower traffic. Once, I befriended a fellow ship passenger, a young woman, who like me was badly in need of cash. So we battled it with ship, tricycle and jeeps instead of airplane and taxi cabs. The traffic was so bad at Divisoria, it moved snail-paced for at least 30 minutes. We were talking with each other non-stop when all of a sudden she ran and chased, shouting and asking for help at the same time, as her gold necklace was snatched by a young man. What guts, she’d outran him and yanked from him her necklace and went back to the tricycle with us, everyone around congratulating her. I wonder too, nobody called the police to report such events. Oh yeah, that was because you see no police in sight. That’s how bad Divisoria was before. Yesterday, policemen were all over the place, and I even asked one of them where to wait for jeeps going to Quiapo. He advised to take the jeeps crossing Avenida and walk forward to Quiapo. No way, Jose. We walked further and found a jeep going to directly to Quiapo.

Divisoria’s look has changed over the years. There was Taborra St. before, where my aunt shopped for beautiful and cheap fabrics. There was also Ilaya St. where we bought cheap vegetables and fruits. I can’t figure where they are now. There is the popular 168 Mall now and the Divisoria Mall, full of goodies, nice and cheap. My sister and I, both bargain hunters, went to 168 Mall and looked around for nice curtains and bed sheets. She bought 3 pieces of short curtains from a heap of bargain items for only P85 each. That’s a real bargain! I bought 8 pcs. of salad bowls for P29.75 each. I know they’re not much of a bargain, but I pictured colorful green of lettuce and red tomatoes and maybe bits of yellow corn kernels against the black color of the bowl, and I could not resist, have to buy these salad bowls!

My sister asked for queen-sized bed sheets and was told they’re for P895 a set, consisting of a flat sheet, fitted sheet and two pillow cases. “There are just about the prices at SM Iloilo”, she whispered. “Let’s go and compare the prices with small stalls outside the mall”, I decided.

And what a deal we had. She was able to haggle the prices as low as P300 a set for the queen–size set mentioned above. She bought 2 sets, and also bought 2 more sets of double-sized sheets for only P200 each. Earlier, she bought one queen size sheet set for P320. I urged her to look somewhere else, and true enough we were able to find better deals! We bought Christmas decors too. We were carrying three bags of goodies each when my sister decided to buy a sack bar to put everything together as we still plan to go to Quiapo for more bargain hunting. That’s when she forgot to put one bag full of sheets inside the sack bag. After going home she sent me a text message telling me of the missing bed sheets. I had given up hope she could still find them, so I advised her to charge everything to experience and go back the next day to buy another set of bed sheets. My sister, the ever optimist, hoped and pray she could retrieve the bed sheets and she did!

I related this to my husband and he too was incredulous, although he had a similar experience before in a small grocery store here near our place. We bought stuff inside the grocery store – toothpaste, flour, etc. when something distracted us and we left without getting the change from our P500 bill. We went on to buy vegetables – cucumber, tomatoes, onions, etc. Sweetheart reached out for his money clip and noticed a P500 bill missing and realized we have not gotten back our change twenty minutes earlier from the grocery store. We went back to the grocery store, and all they asked was our sales stub, and voila, they gave back our P400 change. Isn’t life wonderful.

There are stories worth telling over and over. I asked my sweetheart, "So if God would send a deluge again, Philippines is worth saving for its few good men, isn’t it?" He answered, “it certainly is, darling”.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Coyote Ugly

"That's an oxymoron", my sweetheart said, referring to the name of the bar we are passing by at Angeles. "A coyote is an ugly animnal, you don't have to add ugly", he explained.

"Their (bar) girls are actually prettier than those of the other bars", he defended the girls too.

"And what about the bar girls at Garfield's", I asked, reading the sign, "Garfield's, where the beer is warm and the girls are cold".

"Oh, the beer is actually cold, but yes, the girls are also cold", my worldly sweetheart patiently explained.

You see, my sweetheart lived in Angeles City, Pamapanga, for four years, starting 2001, until we met in Makati in 2005. I gave him an ultimatum, "Give up your 'girls' (about four of them) and maybe we'll have a future together". And he did. He gave up his Angeles apartment and settled in his rented condo unit in Makati so we could get together anytime.

But we visit Angeles, for my sweetheart has lots of friends there. Angeles has changed much through the years. After the SM Mall opened, Angeles became one of the mall places to be. Thanks to Mr. Henry Sy, Angeles is not only the "city of angels" for the old fogeys from all over the world, now it's also a place for hanging out for the local young, "angels" included.

Of course Angeles' "blow-job street", or Santos St., is still there, but new businesses like internet cafes,gift shops, bar/restaurants, hotels, motels, small shops came to thrive there too. I was told that in Santos St. the girls give the best blow jobs ever, and cheap too. But that was years ago, when Clark Air Base is like a little America with its American goodies available everywhere, better hospitals, western standard restaurants, etc. After the U.S. Troops left, the place looked god-forsaken. Now the old and new businesses thrive side by side. Young and sexy scantily-clad girls still ply the street in their stilettos or platform sandals, looking around for gigs. They are the freelancers. Many stand in front of the girlie bars and call/hug/kiss their gentlemen patrons to come inside (them) the bar. And wohoooo, there are more trannies than ever, with their heavy make-up, pouting lips, sturdy legs in higher heels than the female hos. I still rate the trannies in Thailand number one in beauty, though.

New condos and hotels are all over Angeles, you'd wonder if all of them have good business. Let's admit it, Angeles is well-known for its bars and young girls from the province. A contrast to the jaded bar girls in Manila. In Angeles, my sweetheart claims, that many of the bar girls are "pure-hearted", like they came direcly from their work in rice fields to the bar, and most of them think that they came to Angeles just to party and have fun. Hmmmmnnn, maybe the reason why my sweetheart was not able to choose the "one" among the four he was having before. Walang itulak-kabigin, puro busilak ang puso. (Everyone's perfect, can't decide who).

We tried the place with the new sign - entertainment nightly with comedy bar. Ok, my sweetheart who is a stand-up comedian himself was enticed. We went inside, and by golly, I've never seen as many trannies as these in my whole life - all looking tough and greedy for my sweethearts assets (especially his waist bag).

We asked what time the comedy starts, and we were told "any minute now". I asked again if the comedy is in Tagalog or English, and was answered, "if there's a foreigner in the audience, the comedy is in English".

Unfortunately the comedy is on us. After ordering one San Mig Light beer for my sweetheart and one Cali for me, the waiter came with two bottles for each of our orders. We were informed that they double the initial order....and could we please sign our chit. "F**k", my sweetheart responded and we were ready to go. They quickly changed the policy and gave our proper orders. Shit, you can't pull a fast one with my sweetheart. He's a Las Vegas man and a New Yorker too, even when he's born in Pittsburgh. To make the long story short, we were treated to trannies lip synching to Rihanna's songs and other nigger music. The highlight of the night being the "fashion show" of young macho men...and at one time they gyrated their bodies too, as if they were wiggly worms, trying hard to look macho at the same time. But they could not fool me. They're all bakla (transvestites)! I bet the finale of the night is when they take off their clothes. We could not wait anymore for the f***ing comedy, this is already a comedy of bullshit. Ughhh, that was real coyote ugly. Their sign did not say anything about performing trannies. Syet talaga. (F******g shit).

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Foxy Boxing

Yes, Virginia, we have foxy or sexy boxing in a girlie bar nearour place.

The emcee said, aping Chris Buffer in a constipated voice, “on the right corner”………. hold it, where's is actually the right corner? The emcee is a he woman, wore a polo shirt with loose trousers. Inside the round counter were young sexy dancers needless to say, surrounded by ogling customers, mostly males. Everyone made noise, either hooting, cheering, laughing or gossipping. The noise reached a higher level when a sexy boxer with super short shorts and barely there top went inside the ring. Okay, did not ask anymore who's in the right or left corner. This boxer had a blue plastic mask with matching blue gloves.

Again, the emcee announced in her constipated voice, “on the left corner wearing red gear, weighing 150 pounds”……I was about to protest to the he woman, the 2nd boxer may not be as sexy as the first one but she definitely weighed less than 110 lbs.

Anyway, who cares, bring it on!

The Round 1 girl sashayed inside the "ring" to the beat of Manila Girl with lively voice of Myra of Put3ska. BTW, Myra is now known as Skarlet, the Jazz performer. She's done now with rock and roll, although she says she's still a rocker at heart. Skarlet has a bar, Ten o2 located at Timog Blvd., cor. Ybardolaza in Quezon City, Philippines, of course. Have you seen Skarlet compete with other singers for Music Ikon of Asia? Skarlet has a distinctive jazz style, at par with Ella Fitzgerald, but Vina Morales won over all the singers with her overwhelming stage presence and sexy get-up. That's what youth and taut body could do for you. Okay, let's get back to boxing.

The Round 1 girl removed her sexy bikini top, fingered herself, gyrated, did the split, I am getting bored.

On on!

"On with the **d-damned boxing", my sweetheart shouted. I believe he's done with staring at jiggling boobs.

Tingggg, that's Round 1. The cat fight, umm, the boxing started - Imagine Gina Carrano with her fist fights but in slow motion. Still people seemed to enjoy - the laughed, betted against each other. Ayyyyyy, boxer no1's left boobs fell to the floor, I mean her bikini top fell. "That's a Kodak moment", observed my dear husband. More hoots. She fixed her boobs inside the bikini top and got on again with the fist fight.

Tingggg, end of round 1. The boxers were given drinks, massaged and psyched up against yhe opponent.

Okay, round 2. A new girl circled the ring, she's the Round 2 girl, Japanese-looking with the facial expression of a fighting cock. I like her, not really pretty, looking feisty with a lopsided grin. She was a comedienne gyrating to Santana's Samba Pa Ti. She took out a lollipop inside her skimpy shorts, showed it off to everyone, inserted it inside her gina and licked it. I raised my eyebrow when she came over to us and placed her lollipop in my husband's drink. Dave considered his drink wasted and ordered another one.

Tinggg, boxing time again. They exchanged lots of slow motion punches, made faces with each other and with the customers. the customers ordered more drinks.......The chubby boxer in red gear was sucking wind. Punch, duck, punch, duck...ooops, she almost fell off the ring.

Tingggg…..end of round 2. Break again. Chubby boxer looked like she wanted to go home and sleep.

Round 3, This is it, the last round. This was the fist fight ala Manny Pacquaio vs. the Golden Boy. May the best girl be short timed tonight. (Short time, meaning paid to go out with the customer for at least 3 hours). Screams and laughter…Ayyyy, the red boxer lay giggling at the counter, the referee counted 1, 2....she stood up and punched the referee. Yayyyy!!

Tinggggg. End of round 3, end of fight. Intermission first before decision. Sultry dancer was on stage. Pinay beauty, wearing very pale lipstick but I can't see her face..... it's covered by her oily hair, yukkk. Did she put on too much leave-on conditioner? Alluring she became when she started dancing. She wore white fishnet scarf for her top and matched it with white lace t-back. They like Santana's music here. It's the same music that I use in working out - belly dancing while imagining myself as good as the Egyptian belly dancers in Saudi Arabia.

The winner – judged by the audience' claps and guffaws and show of love in any form. Are you for Blue gear or for Red gear Boxer? I am kind and considerate, so with much sympathy, I voted for the chubby boxer in red gear who was seated on the counter, two ft. away from me--- I showed my caring by clapping with my trigger-fingerd hands. Blue gear boxer was declared the winner esp. when the Arab/American customer kept shouting Blue gear, Blue gear, Blue gear like a sort of mantra......

In short, we watched 3 fights. I had to laugh at the last Round girl, who was dancing and splitting but when she noticed that her favorite cutomer arrived she went to him, gyrated in front and around him, had him sniff her gina, then actually sat on his face while she was holding on to a rope from the ceiling. She totally forgot about her Round 3 card. My sweetheart said, ”this girl is not so focused in her job”…..”Yeah”, I agreed, “she got distracted”.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

How to Drink a Tequila Shot

I am a Tequila expert......joke. In some occasions, Tequila is served in our small barrio.

The first time I took a tequila shot was when I was a freelance photographer assigned to take pictures of a resto/bar for a magazine. I was with my editor- we went to Ayala Mall, Alabang. It was a classy place, with Mediterranean theme. We have to experience the ambiance of the bar to be able to write about it in our magazine. A rock and roll band performed while we sampled their food and drinks. I remember myself and my editor gulping Tequila shots to get the feel of it. I think I had three shots. It made my head spin, and okay, in order to conform with the young crowd, it enabled me to be not so self-conscious in nodding my head to the beat of the loud rock and roll music. Recently I learned there's a proper way to drink a tequila shot. Here's how it is done:

1. Slice the lemon (about 8 slices) or lime or
calamansi (slice it in half).

2. Pour a shot of tequila in a tequila glass.

3. Lick your hand - the area between the thumb and forefinger, sprinkle salt. The reason why you lick the area is you moisten it to hold the salt better.

4. On the hand of the licked or moist area, hold between your thumb and forefinger the lemon slice or the lime or calamansi. With the other hand, hold the shot of Tequila.

5. And do the following in succession : Lick the salt, drink the tequila shot, then bite the lemon or lime; or lick the calamansi. Swish it around in your mouth for a couple of seconds and then swallow.

6. Enjoy, but if only you're in legal age, and in moderation.

You could also drink the tequila straight, meaning no salt and lemon, lime or calamansi, especially if it's expensive, it is smooth.... "Quality Tequilas are like quality Scotch. They aren't meant to be gulped, but rather sipped and savored".

Thanks to WikiHow at sa for Drinking Tequila

Here's a set of classy tequila glasses to impress your friends - a set of Riedel Ouverture Tequila Glasses at a very good price.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Mateo (Mexico City)
This review is from: Riedel Ouverture Tequila Glasses, Set of 4 (Kitchen)
. . . this glass and, of course, a good tequila. As a resident of Mexico for four years and a tequila obsessive, I have tasted over 70 different tequilas ranging from $5 to $175 per bottle. Riedel's is the only glass that has allowed me fully to smell, taste, and enjoy tequila, and the only glass recognized by the consejo regulador de tequila, Mexico's FDA of the tequila industry. In my quest to enjoy the best tequilas at the lowest prices, I have purchased cheaper wine flutes and just about every other glass that I have been able to find that resembles the Riedel shape; all, however, has been to no avail: This glass's singular construction is unmatched for tequila. Unfortunately, these glasses are not created equal: I have owned 16 of these glasses, and, from time to time, I come across a poorly finished glass--an unsightly stem seam, a rough lip. Moreover, this glass confounds all attempts at describing the color of tequila. Finally, these glasses are not cheap, nor are they very strong--my two-year-old son and I have managed to break twelve already. Nevertheless, this is, at least for the moment, the only way to drink tequila.

For those in search of the perfect tequila, I would like to share some recommendations after having spent thousands of dollars in my own search.

But before I begin, I wish to urge all tequila drinkers to give serious consideration to boycotting Cuervo and Sauza. These U.S.-owned megacompanies have bought up a huge amount of the agave in Mexico and have consequently had an inordinate influence on the production and price of agave, with Cuervo being especially destructive. Competition has become very difficult for other, less financially powerful producers, who have been going out of business/selling off. Depressing to me was Cuervo's recent acquisition of Don Julio, whose 1942 is among my favorite tequilas. Before you buy from these behemoths, consider what they have done to the Mexican farmers, smaller tequila producers, and the ever-rising price of tequila.

Now, on with a few recommendations. Keep in mind that price has been an object for me, and that I have done most of my tasting in Mexico, so I have not been able to try some of the very expensive tequilas or tequilas that are export only. Also, note that I have not included tequilas that are impossible to find in the U.S. In no particular order, then, my recommendations are:
1. Azulejos anejo Difficult to find, but worth searching out, this tequila is among the most flavorful and best-balanced (i.e., between agave and oak) anejos that I have tried.
2. Don Julio 1942 anejo. Okay, it's owned by Cuervo now, it's a bit overpriced, and its flavor strays from agave, but the exceptional complexity is mind-blowing).
3. El tesoro de Don Felipe anejo (At $36-40, a strikingly pure- and full-flavored anejo, this tequila is more readily available in the U.S. than in Mexico).
4. Chinaco reposado a solid, pure tequila, and arguably better than the over-the-top oaky anejo; this tequila has an artesanal flavor).
5. Casa Noble reposado (I was able to buy this for around $40-$50 in Mexico until, like an increasing number of tequilas, it apparently became available only as an export and no longer in Mexico; this tequila sells for around $60 in the U.S. This tequila probably has the best nose of any I've sniffed; unfortunately, however, this tequila has one of those house flavors that permeates every tequila that its fabrica, La Cofradia, makes, and that not everyone will necessarily like).
6. Corazon anejo This is one of the better middle-priced tequilas, notable for its balanced and complex flavor, which edges out Don Felipe's).

Product Description
This elegant slender glass has a lengthy stem and is designed to lift fine Tequila to the level it deserves. Devotees can now appreciate Tequila in it's own glass and give it the respect of which it is worthy...


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