<b>Beyond Pink Stripes</b>

Random musings, stories, snapshots, and reviews from the "little" girl with several abandoned blogs who suddenly finds herself inspired to scribble once again after coming into her senses and realizing that there's more to LIFE than PINK STRIPES.☺

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Grave of the Fireflies: A Retro Post

Since it's a long weekend for us here in the Philippines, (thanks to All Saints Day and All Souls Day strategically falling on a Thursday and a Friday, respectively), here's a movie recommendation from me. 

If anybody wants to watch a seriously overwhelming film with a story that's sure to bring about heart constriction to any viewer, well then this is definitely the one. This is an old film, by the way, so I guess the only access to this would be youtube or other video supporting websites.:) 

I was really affected after I watched the movie way back 2009 that I could NOT not write even just a simple review and post it on my previous blog. There are actually 2 versions, one done in live action and the other, animated. I have not watched the animated version so this review is that of the former.

Correction: There are 3 versions of this movie so it can get quite confusing looking for links. The initial release was in 1988 and that was done in full animation. Two live action versions were made after, first in 2005 (the one I've watched) and another in 2008. Thanks to a friend, Mr. Valdes, for pointing this out.:)

Have you watched Grave of the Fireflies? How has it affected you?

Heartbreak Scare: Of Halloween and Love: A Retro Post

Exactly 5 years ago, I posted this. And now, all I want to do is travel back time and scold my younger self for entertaining such thoughts. It's so mushy to the point of being yucky LOL!:)

Anyway, the guy being referred to in this post is actually my Hubby now. The relationship is, of course, not perfect but it's definitely far from "doomsville". 

Please share with me the agony of revisiting this post haha. Let's look back to this day, at this time, 5 years ago.

Oh well, so much for being mushy and for Halloween! After all, there are more significant celebrations in the Philippines that come after the 31st of October --- All Saints Day (November 1) which honors saints and their inspiring transcendence to holiness despite being sinners themselves and of course, All Souls Day (November 2) which commemorates the beloved departed.:)
Have you been heartbroken?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Eating on A Shoestring Budget: Taipei Edition

When in another country, I could skip shopping for clothes or souvenir items, but definitely not eating!:)

Sharing with you photos of some cheap "tastebud delights" which I have tried in Taipei 2 years ago.  I bet these could make one "burp" even on a shoestring budget. 

Oyster Omelette at Shilin Night Market.
Thanks to our Taiwanese pal MICHELLE for  accompanying us.
Price: NT$ 50 
Ice cream! Big big serving!
I couldn't really tell its flavor  but it's sweet
and it had a  sherbet like consistency yummmm!
Not even the freezing air could stop me from eating this.
See my cropped happy face?:)
Price: NT$ 10 only:)
Some sort of que-kiam at Shilin Night Market as well.
Again, thanks MICHELLE!:D
Price: NT$ 50
Grilled Corn with Spices. A bit Mexican to me.
If I remember it right, this costs under NT$20.
Deep Fried Chicken Cutlet. Hot and spicy.
Another street food that's big in serving.
Eaten with rice, it's filling enough to serve as lunch, or dinner perhaps.
As snack, I  surmise that this could be good for 2 people
whose appetite's not big as mine haha.
Price: NT$ 20

But no, I did not have the guts to try STINKY TOFU (fried or grilled tofu with a, well, stinky odor due to fermentation, hence the name haha) The Boyfie then Hubby now tried one and he loved it! However, he wasn't able to take a picture because he was busy devouring it and teasing me at the same time to have a taste of it.

Now I'm getting hungry reminiscing those above and all that I have eaten in Taipei. I'm outta here.^^
Have you tried any, or even localized version, of the dishes above? How did you find it?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Pinay Ukay Fashion on the Streets & Hallways of Hong Kong

Who says being cheap cannot be fashionable? In fact, being able to put together a gorgeous getup, from head to toe, amounting to just a few bucks (less than P500/$12 perhaps?) is something I consider as a talent.:)

Now, where else would I go if I want to score lovely clothes without breaking the bank? 

"Ukay" comes from a Filipino word "halukay" which translates to "rummage" in English. This kind of shop in the Philippines sells pre-loved clothes, bags, shoes and other items mostly from other countries like the United States. Most "ukay-ukay" are not air-conditioned and   items are just everywhere that sometimes there's hardly space to move especially if there are a lot of people spanning the whole shop and searching through endless rows, columns or piles, turning items up and down (hence, the term "ukay"). But hey, with the unbelievably low price tag, it's worth the sweat, muscle pain (ok, I'm exaggerating haha) and all the time and effort. With extreme patience, one may even be lucky to own unique and authentic designer/branded pieces.:)

Over time, I have collected various pieces from Ukay-ukay shops. What's good is that these have not just remained in my closet but I have actually put them on and taken them to places. 

When I went to Hong Kong last July, I brought with me a handful of stuff from Ukay. Who knows though if the clothes originated from Hong Kong and were just brought to the Philippines for selling? Nevertheless, I still love all of them.:) 

Here are some of my HK snapshots wearing those great Ukay finds. 


Oh-so Comfy and Casual
Top with Wave Print (P100)
From Day to Night Look
Asymmetrical Dress (P150);
Wooden Wedge Sandals (P250)

Pretending -To-Be-A-Student-at-HK-Poly-University Look :D
Pink Mini-Dress with Wired Tulle Underskirt (P150)
*Improvised Pink Tie's actually a Ribbon Belt from another dress

Milk Tea Model? LOL
Blue Sheer Top (P80);
Black Wedge Shoes (P250)

and so far, my favorite among all...

Chiffon Dress (P150)
 Wooden Wedge Sandals (P250)
More photos of me just walking around. :D
    Close-up shot of the print. The figures actually look like 
    limbless people, some kinda weird yeah but I still love
    the dress to bits haha :)
I just love this shot (thanks to the Hubby). 
This would have been perfect, if not for that extra men behind me grrr :D

Neon Pink Plush Sandals! (P250)
*Accents: Gray Tights from a market 
in Taiwan; Luggage from Racini

But wait there's more! This particular shoes which I also got from Ukay wasn't part of my HK wardrobe but I like it so much that I might as well show it to everyone.

Pretty footwear huh?:)
Have you tried Ukay-ukay shopping? How was the experience? Have you found anything worth showcasing?

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Long Live Mabuhay Singers!

Last night, I had a wonderful musical and cultural experience brought about by KKK (Kantahan, Kainan, Kasiyahan), a dinner-concert fundraiser for the construction of San Jose de Ampid Parish (SJDAP) church in San Mateo, Rizal. 

The concert was "traditional Pinoy" in nature, with palm leaves, bahay kubo, banderitas and senior citizens (hehe) very evident at the venue. It started off with folk dance performances by SJDAP parish workers - Youth Ministry, Knights of the Altars and Finance Council, followed by a choral medley (Mamang Sorbetero and Kalesa) courtesy of SJDAP Music Ministry and for the main act, there came to the spotlight one of the country's seasoned singing group called THE MABUHAY SINGERS.

For youngsters (including those from my generation teehee) who might have not heard of them, I have sought help from Mr. Wikipedia to introduce The Mabuhay Singers

The Mabuhay Singers is a group of singers from the Philippines that was formed in 1958. Some of the members went on to become soloists like Cely Bautista, Raye Lucero, Naning Alba, and the late Rene Evangelista, among many others.

The Mabuhay Singers recorded more than 100 albums; some were released internationally. The albums contained traditional and modern Filipino music in major languages of the Philippines, and some songs in English and Spanish. In 1973, the Philippine Records Association awarded a citation for the group for their best-selling albums.

The Mabuhay Singers, donned in elegant red Terno and dashing Barong Tagalog, performed a whole lot of Filipino songs, the lineup consisting of kundiman and other folk songs, traditional Christmas tunes plus some pop songs which were popularized even before I was conceived.

Mabuhay Singers doing what they do best - singing and wowing the audience the Filipino way.
Photo taken during KKK concert at Ampid, San Mateo, Rizal

Honestly, I did not expect that I would really be able to immerse myself in their music   since I was actually directing the program and doing some last minute troubleshooting. Besides, watching cultural shows is not really on my list of favorite things to do nowadays. :D But I was mistaken because after the grand finale, I realized that I did not only savor each moment but I was brought to an unexpected cultural reawakening through music. 

The impressive vocal harmony, amazing artistic prowess and funny antics of The Mabuhay Singers made listening to the songs like Kung Ako'y Mag-aasawa, Sinisinta Kita, Rosas Pandan, Pamulinawen, Hahabol-Habol, Balut, Bakit Ikaw Pa (originally sung by Didith Reyes), Pandangguhan, Ako ay Pilipino, Pilipinas, Ay Ay Ay Pag-ibig (rendered alongside SJDAP Music Ministry) etc. very enjoyable and interesting. The songs, some of which I have only heard for the first time, took me back to the old times when courtship was still an art, when husbands and wives only fight over undercooked rice, when traditions were still celebrated and when colonial mentality has not yet prevailed. 

Here's a link to the audio recording of their performance of Pandangguhan to give everyone an idea on how they sounded last night.:D 

I am indeed very grateful and very much honored to be part of KKK's production team, but even more so to be given the chance to see The Mabuhay Singers perform in flesh songs that are distinctly Pinoy, and reminisce the culture that may have been forgotten, or worse, totally unknown to what I would call the "Gangnam Style" generation.

Here's my directorial outfit against the reddish set - dark jeans,  black tank top and
sneakers (well, initially until I  decided to change into wedge for additional height haha)

I will end this post by wishing that more young Filipinos would be given a chance to see, and more importantly appreciate, cultural shows such as this.:) Long live Filipino music! Long live Mabuhay Singers!

P.S. The english translation of "Mabuhay" is actually "Long live!"

P.P.S. The concert was organized in celebration as well of the 24th sacerdotal anniversary of SJDAP priest Fr. Pepe Pedraja.

P.P.P.S. God bless San Jose de Ampid Parish, I pray that the construction of your church would go on smoothly and everything will be done in no time. To the rest of the production team and the performers, 'twas nice working with you!
In the recent days, have you had any experience of cultural reawakening and appreciation?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Unrequited Love and Impacted Wisdom Tooth: A Retro Post

"Unrequited love is like an impacted wisdom tooth. Its growth is inevitable, forcefully pushing its way to the surface in order to get exposed. But there's simply no room for it, no proper place for it to fully erupt. And then it gets so painful and when the suffering becomes intense and recurring, one is left with no choice but to extract it out of the system." - goldabidz, Dec. 21, 2008, www.goldabidz.blogspot.com

Just to note, I was not heartbroken when I created this "quotable quote". LOL. I just thought of this analogy while suffering from extreme pain brought about by my impacted wisdom tooth. But it makes sense, right?:D
Which would you rather experience - Unrequited love or Impacted Wisdom Tooth?:)

First Blog Ever

Working on a new blog has drawn me to revisit my old blogs, most especially my first ever which goes by the title Gotta Goldabidz and the URL www.goldabidz.blogspot.com. 

Date Started: April 27, 2005
This blog remains to be very special to me because back then, it provided me the avenue to freely express my thoughts and sentiments. Browsing through it now, I can say that it is more of a personal diary which talks about the essence of life, well at least for me. There are not much commercial reviews nor advertisements hence, comparing it with the rest of my blogs, it is the sincerest and even the most profound of all.

For some reason, Gotta Goldabidz is now hidden from the rest of the online world but I have decided to share some old entries from the said blog (and possibly from my other blogs as well) which I think would be interesting and significant to readers out there.:)
Do you have an old blog? Do you revisit it often and how do you feel doing so?:)

The Silver Winter Jacket: A Travelling Love Affair

My fashion preference has never leaned towards the metallic side...until that Silver Winter Jacket came into my life.

'Twas in  November 2010 when I, together with the Hubby who was then the Boyfie, travelled to Taipei, Taiwan to visit our friend Yao. Both of us were first-timers in that country and so we did not expect that it would be very cold there. As in brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr....cold. Coming from a tropical country like the Philippines, the jackets that we brought were not enough to battle the freezing Taiwanese air.  

But we survived, hooooray! Thanks to the generosity of the Hsieh family who lent us winter jackets all throughout our stay. No, it wasn't that silver winter jacket yet. My initial cold buster was a bulky-off-white-with-fur-on-the-hood one. Honestly, I felt that it did not match my petite frame but how can I be choosy? I badly needed all the warmth I could get! I guess that time, I held on to the Comfort Over Fashion principle rather than the other way around haha. Off I went around Taipei with that bulky-off-white-with-fur-on-the-hood winter jacket and I was saved from turning into a frozen delight.:) 

'Twas not only cold, but drizzling as well, hence, the umbrellas.
Bulky Off-white Winter Jacket on the way to Taipei 101. 

After 3 days, we bade farewell to Yao and his hospitable family. One of the parting gifts given to me by his mom (whom we got as one of our godmothers when Hubby and I got married months after) was a Silver Winter Jacket. It was really a sweet gesture and I accepted it graciously even if the color wasn't something I was very fond of, not in my outfits anyway. Little did I know that it was just the beginning of my love affair with the Silver Winter Jacket. 

After 4 months, I had the opportunity to fly to Korea for business purpose. Prior to the flight, I was informed that it would be much colder in Seoul so I should bring a good coldbuster such as, well, a winter jacket. I initially bought one from a surplus shop but upon spending some time in front of the mirror, I realized it was waaaaay too big for me and wearing it made me look like the Marshmallow Man. 

And then I thought of that Silver Winter Jacket. It actually fit me perfectly, without the bulk. And with its material, I surmised that it would provide me enough warmth, again without the bulk. I also noticed that though it's silver, it's more matte than shiny. And so, it inevitably found its way to my luggage.

Silver Winter Jacket in
Seoul, Korea; March 2011

The Silver Winter Jacket did not fail me in Korea and I deemed that I did not look that odd at all wearing it so I decided to bring it with me the next time I needed it --- when I went to Hong Kong to spend New Year 2012 with the Hubby.

Silver Winter Jacket in
HK, Jan. 2012

At Avenue of Stars, HK

I can say that though it wasn't love at first sight, the Silver Winter Jacket now has a special place in my heart. The sentimental value would always be there of course as it was given to me by my Taiwanese family.

The Silver Winter Jacket has been to various countries --- Taiwan, the Philippines, Korea and HK. I wonder where it will go next? One thing's for sure though, I intend to keep it well-travelled.:D

Do you have a piece of clothing which you did not like at first but ultimately became a prized possession?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

ARTS and CRAFTS: Handmade Scrap Leatherette Pillow

One of the realizations that make me smile these days is the fact that I have always been in love with crafts, much longer than I have been with my hubby haha!:D I find it really satisfying  to save up materials on their way to the trash bin and turn them into something useful. Take for example, scrap fabrics. 

During our wedding preparations last year, hubby and I went to Divisoria to source out fabrics for gowns, souvenirs etc. Though we were not particularly eyeing for leatherette, I  insisted on passing by one shop selling such kind of fabric, out of fascination. I was able to collect a number of pieces which were given to me for free supposedly for swatching purpose. 

After the wedding, I had to do a general cleaning so I can throw away those which would not have much use as I embark on a new chapter of my life. Such action was actually a preventive measure so my hubby would not drown in my sea of stuff haha. 

Much to my resistance, I still ended up parting with a lot of things but when it came to my scrap fabrics, I dunno but I just couldn't let my hands shoot them into the trash bin (well, more of a trash sack haha). I knew I had to do something with them in order to make their "stay" with me justifiable.

Idea immediately struck me and I started putting the pieces together, sewing them side to side. I did not seek the help of Mr. Sewing Machine, mind you. I merely handstitched them using back stitch. With some cotton filling at hand, tadaaaaaan! scrap fabrics were turned  into a nice PILLOW!:)

It took me more than a week to finish this because I was also busy with other things. But based on my estimate, if the focus would only be on sewing, a period of three days, or even less, is enough to complete projects such as this.

So there, my "craft-y" mind saved the scrap fabrics from joining the rest of the garbage. And I believe that if they can only talk, they'd be thanking me profusely. Haha!

How about you, have you turned scrap fabrics into something nice lately?:)

INTRODUCTION: Some Sorta Confession

Since the 27th of APRIL 2005, I have randomly created blogs only to abandon them after some time. Several of these blogs have now been hidden in private especially the one bearing my first ever post about some heartache over a guy (makes me cringe just thinking about it!). Fast forward to the present times, I realized that I have already been through a lot of things and pretty much moved on with life. So after a long period of hiatus, I am really itching more than ever to put together words, tell stories, share reviews and simply make sense. 

Just a bit of confession here (more to myself actually), my blogging took a backseat not really because of the cliche-ish "lack-of-time-and-inspiration" reason. It was actually a serious case of laziness, I suppose. Haha.

But at the back of my mind, for my own sake, I did want to write. So there came a point when I told myself that I would blog again as soon as I get a really compelling inspiration to do so, something life-changing, something that would illustrate a dream come true, something that I have not experienced ever but would really want to...like...uhm...getting knocked up! And so that was it! I had a justifiable excuse for myself to let laziness brush off the urge to write until that moment of "finally-seeing-two-pink-stripes-after-peeing-on-a-stick" comes. 

It would have been an interesting introductory post on a new blog. I would stir up controversy by writing about how one of my hubby's little soldiers has successfully put down and conquer my Queen Egg's line of defense, or about infertility paranoia and how it has started to creep into my system despite the fact that the hubby flew away barely two months after our wedding and came back for good only after a year and two months. I would also express my extreme annoyance with people who endlessly asked me about being knocked up or worse, bugged us for explanation why I wasn't yet! Yeah, it would really have been a good (and mean at the same time lol) way to re-immerse myself into the world of blogging.

Yet as the days went by, with mommyhood seemingly unlikely to materialize anytime soon and the scribbler in me starting to get impatient, I have decided to focus on other awesome things which life has to offer and ultimately, write. 

So here I am, blogging anew as I embark on a new journey to a more awesome life. Welcome to my brand new (and hopefully last haha) blog. 

Beyond Pink Stripes.