Frankly speaking

18 10 2014

THE VITRINE had literally vanished from my field of view with the intensity – and it has to be said, some semblance of a most deep longing – at which I stayed transfixed at this then newly unveiled time teller.  The debate in my head had drowned the sales associate’s repeated enquiries (“Sir, do you want to try it on?”), limiting my multi–tasking to only gazing at the object’s rather unusual dial with a consuming, tempestuous, fervent desire I had only read about in books.  Until then.

The limited edition "FRANK GEHRY with FOSSIL" GH–1011, with a solid titanium case and a mirror dial

The limited edition “FRANK GEHRY with FOSSIL” GH–1011, with a solid titanium case and a mirror dial

Yet, I passed up on the opportunity to strap it on – the limited edition FRANK GEHRY with FOSSIL wristwatch.  The year was 2004.  And it has turned out to be a regret that shall haunt me through these years, especially since it has proven to be so elusive, inexistent even in the deepest recesses of the connected cyberspace.

It was as if I was living with a frazzled fate built upon the thought that I shall never come across such a beautiful ticktocker ever again.

Fast forward to 10 years hence, an assignment in the City of Trees, a fateful visit to Google, and a serendipitous tickling of the keyboard.  I secured the find, breathless in anticipation all throughout the three–day wait for the auction to close, and with the reckless abandon I would channel at karaoke, blurted out. “the search is over.”  Haha!

I have the utmost respect for architects, and clearly for their collaborations with mainstream brands.  Frank Gehry the American–Canadian famous for the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, among many other works that include his house in Santa Monica, California, is at the pinnacle of my list.

A recent feature on Singapore's The Straits Times, "HEAD OF THE CURVE" by Natasha Ann Zachariah brought Frank Gehry – and the wrist watch he designed for FOSSIL – back to mind.

A recent feature on Singapore’s The Straits Times, “HEAD OF THE CURVE” by Natasha Ann Zachariah brought Frank Gehry – and the wrist watch he designed for FOSSIL – back to mind.

 

One of Frank Gehry's more recent projects is for Louis Vuitton!

One of Frank Gehry’s more recent projects is for Louis Vuitton!

Finding the FRANK GEHRY with FOSSIL GH–1011, with a solid titanium case and a mirror dial, felt like an accomplishment.  I wore it first to the opening of The Amazing Spider–Man at the downtown Edwards Cinemas, and then tucked it away in its box.

The watch comes in a most beautiful metal box!

The watch comes in a most beautiful metal box!

 

Don't you just love all the things they put on the back of the watch?  I mean, except when it's an automatic and an exhibition caseback.  Haha!  Notice that this says, "solid titanium case"?  That's why it looks hefty but is nowhere near heavy at all.

Don’t you just love all the things they put on the back of the watch? I mean, except when it’s an automatic and an exhibition caseback. Haha! Notice that this says, “solid titanium case”? That’s why it looks hefty but is nowhere near heavy at all.

 

The inscription on the casual center bar metal buckle is just a lovely touch.

The inscription on the casual center bar metal buckle is just a lovely touch.

 

I saw this wall at Edward's and couldn't help but scream, "I blend!!!"  Haha!  Ok, the proper caption here is that the first time I wore the wrist watch was to the opening screening of The Amazing Spider-Man.

I saw this wall at Edward’s and couldn’t help but scream, “I blend!!!” Haha! Ok, the proper caption here is that the first time I wore the wrist watch was to the opening screening of The Amazing Spider-Man.

I had long professed that for me, the wrist watch is my ultimate material expression of the highest regard I could give someone.  So I would be the least surprised if I’d give this away.  The thrill of the find – after all – had been satiated.

I find that the beauty of this design lies in the imperfection of the handwriting, which to me is the art that is really endangered ("Tell me, when was the last time you wrote something by hand?  Signing the credit card receipt doesn't count!").  I just love Gehry's "signature" and the way the hour markers really have the handwritten feel.

I find that the beauty of this design lies in the imperfection of the handwriting, which to me is the art that is really endangered (“Tell me, when was the last time you wrote something by hand? Signing the credit card receipt doesn’t count!”). I just love Gehry’s “signature” and the way the hour markers really have the handwritten feel.

Copyright © 2014 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.

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Of a lady, iron and a speech

11 04 2013
Margaret_Thatcher_Headline_00

The headline. 09 April 2013. Singapore time.

A CHILDHOOD spent in the 80’s meant hearing quite a lot about Mrs. Margaret Thatcher – mostly from the evening news and the national broadsheets.  Mommy, my maternal grandmother, would often talk to us about her.  Usually, in the same breath, she would make references to the Marcoses and the Reagans whenever she mentioned the 11–year resident of Number 10 Downing Street.

The headlines a couple of days back read, “’Iron Lady’ of Britain dies of stroke at 87.”

Love her or loathe her, her impact to her country’s politics, not to mention the world, cannot be denied.  Personally, I had made one direct reference to her by way of that speech I delivered at that United Nations conference for students that I went to as a 16–year–old high school student.

The speech opened with a direct quote from the lady herself.  Up to this point, 22 years from when I first delivered that speech, it is something that I can recite, culled purely from memory.

Rest in peace, Mrs. Thatcher.

Speech - Asian Children's Summit 01

The opening part of my now 22-year-old speech. I opened with a quote from the Iron Lady herself. My eldest brother helped me with this speech.

 

Speech - Toastmasters International Best Speaker 00

Three surviving “Best Speaker” pins from Toastmasters International. I must’ve amassed a total of at least five. All these were won for impromptu speaking. You’d draw lots (“your topic or subject matter”) just before you go up to the front to speak. Everything is timed. So you’ve got to have an opening, a body and a closing… all under strict time pressure.

 

Margaret_Thatcher_Headline_01

Thank you, Mrs. Thatcher. May you rest in eternal peace.

Copyright © 2013 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved





I heart SQ

21 08 2012

I always take photographs of the wing of the airplane I’m on. (Wing, Boeing 777-200 Twin Jet)

WHILE MOST of my Singaporean and Malaysian friends expressed concern about my family’s welfare when monsoon rains submerged 90% of Metro Manila, I had more pressing concerns in mind.  Mama had been ill – getting confined in the hospital twice in a couple of weeks, spaced less than 12 hours apart – and just like any child thousands of miles away, I knew I’d rather be home.

Fortunately for me, I always have a Singapore Airlines ticket ready for me when I am.

I was anxious the whole time during this trip.  But somehow, flying with Singapore Airlines felt like flying with family.  On the Singapore–Manila leg (SQ918), I got my favorite seat and almost instantly, I was already home, up in the air, 30,000 feet in the skies.

Since the flight wasn’t even half-full, I could be quick to charge the impeccable inflight service to be due to the low flight attendant-to-passenger ratio.  There was plenty of attention to be spread.  But having been a loyal Singapore Airlines passenger all these years, I know better that the service was just their usual – top notch and uncompromising.  Actually, the operative word here is “usual.”  Why?  It is because they have been consistent at this excellent service level that anybody will be quick to dismiss any new experience to be – there’s that word again – the usual.

But having my anxieties brushed away, even for the three and a half hours I was airborne, I couldn’t help but feel grateful to the inflight crew.  Hui Hui (I hope I got her name right) was especially helpful that I just had to write her a thank you note.

I realized I was wandering aimlessly when I reached Gate E20 and when I looked up my flight’s boarding gate, it was E8. I was way off! It was on the other end of the terminal. Hehe.

 

On the way to my gate, I had to take a snapshot of Gate E5. It’s my favorite letter and number.

 

Whenever I pass by a mirrored wall…

 

Finally, Gate E8!

 

Comfortably ensconced in my favorite seat, the first at this section.

 

My favorite seat

 

I can’t look at this emergency door – right beside a flight attendant’s takeoff/landing station – without having images of action movies in my head. Haha!

 

I get all the papers available by the plane door – Financial Times (FT) Weekend, The Business Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Straits Times.

 

The moment I get in my seat, I work on the disembarkation card and the customs declaration.

 

As you can see, I always have my favorite pens with me – the Parker from my good friend Jian Cheng and the Bic from Timothy.

 

Amidst turbulence, I had to write down a quote from the movie I was watching.

 

Tiger Woods was giving me the eye. “Finish your papers, eNTeNG!”

 

Time check!

 

All of my travel papers and stuff – passport, e-Ticket, boarding pass, EP – are organized in this Muji passport holder. This was one of the first things I ever bought in Singapore.

 

I always travel comfortably, which this time meant my red Zappi shoes and khaki Topman shorts. My top was my five-year-old custom fit Ralph Lauren piqué polo shirt.

 

After the movie “The Lucky One,” I caught up on an episode of one of my favorite TV shows Grey’s Anatomy. That’s one of my favorite characters, the feisty Dr. Cristina Yang.

 

Dinner has landed!

 

I had stir fried fish in dry chilli and Chinese wine, seasonal vegetables and fried rice. For starters, I munched on a pasta salad of marinated seafood and penne.

 

For dessert, it was tiramisu “Ais Krim”.

The Manila–Singapore leg (SQ921) was full.  Getting yet another one of my favored seats was just half of the pleasant flight.  The other half was taken care of by the attentive, thoughtful crew.  I took note of one name – Lynn.  Again, I hope I got it right (her last name starts with H).

While some of my fellow passengers opted to drown the occasional turbulence with gin and tonic or Johnny Walker Black with orange juice, I chose to wash everything away with my favorite Campbell’s Tomato Juice.

By the second refill I heard the most beautiful words, “Would you like a whole can?”  I heard that in both flights.  I heart Singapore Airlines.

Before I knew it, it was time to go back to the Lion City.

 

NAIA was full! There lines everywhere.

 

As an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW), I had to fall in line to get my papers validated.

 

Ladies and gentlemen, the King of Pop!… “I’m starting with the man in the mirror…”

 

This flight was a bit delayed, but nothing disappointing. We were kept posted on the progress. By the way, it was raining when we took off.

 

For inflight reading, I brought a book from my bookshelf at home, Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster by Dana Thomas.

 

This show “Cupcake Wars” caught my attention.

 

Of the many movie choices, I decided on the 80’s classic Ghostbusters starring, among many others, the very beautiful Sigourney Weaver. I remember seeing this movie as a kid.

 

A young Bill Murray. I still think he should’ve gotten the Oscar for “Lost in Translation.”

 

Finally the food has arrived!

 

I had couple of these warmed rolls!

 

Dinner is served! – pork spare ribs with preserved soya beans (rendered like a most sumptuous sauce), chicken rice (yum!), and steamed seasonal vegetables (though the menu did say Chinese mushroom).

 

The spare ribs were actually served boneless. The meat was really tender, moist and flavorful. Having watched enough Top Chef, I know exactly the exacting skill needed to dish out such a scrumptious meal.

 

I fell in love with this smoked duck and green mango salad. I have to say, I was mesmerized by the tangy dressing.

 

I must’ve gone through three of these. I lost count. I wouldn’t be surprised if the flight attendant would decide to start charging me. Hahaha!

 

Back in Singapura! This was my first time landing at Terminal 3. The place is just breathtakingly beautiful!

 

The place is huge!

 

I turn into a kid in a candy store whenever I’m faced by this Visitor Information rack. I have to say, I get my fill of the latest. Hahaha!

 

Please proceed to Belt 41 to claim your baggage.

 

I said I had fragile stuff inside. Little did I know, my luggage would get this treatment. Haha!

 

My excel spreadsheets at work are always colorful. So I love looking at this flight indicator board.

 

I love taking the last flight out of Manila all the time. Because I arrive in Singapore to a taxi queue that looks like this.

 

This was the lightest I have ever traveled in years. But still I managed to pack in some stuff for some special people back at my second home.

 

Copyright © 2012 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved





The Dark Knight Rises – reviews in SMS

24 07 2012

Christian – You may have done it out of obligation. But I sure am so glad you did! (Clip from The Straits Times, Saturday, 02 June 2012)

 

THE DARK Knight Rises is easily the best superhero movie I have ever seen.

Not even front row, last-seat-along-the-aisle seating could take my concentration off of the screen.  Large nachos, a hotdog, and a liter of root beer did attempt to take full control of my synapses.  As did the sporadic manifestations of A-List, name-droppable actors that trigger “I know this guy!” moments.

But an outstanding movie cannot be reduced to the usual trip to watch images on celluloid.  The movie is brilliant, has a heart, and at a running time of 165 minutes, something I won’t mind seeing again.  And probably a third time.

My fave line?  “Do you think I care about what everybody in this room thinks about me?”  See, brilliant!

How my best friend, Batman, feels about the latest installment on his story. Hehe.

 

I’ve been told that my text messages are actually tweets – the “tweet longer” kind! Here’s the first portion of how I felt about the movie. Notice the number of recipients? I actually sent this out in five batches.

 

Part Two

 

Part Three

 

My colleague and friend Shuai got the blog “feel” of my text. Hehe.

 

A reply and a recommendation from Sonja, the original purveyor of really good, dare I say, “haute patisserie” cupcakes in Manila by way of “Cupcakes by Sonja” at the Serendra Piazza at the Bonifacio Global City..

 

The tickets have been reserved!

 

Arguably, one of the best – if not the best – movie experience I’ve had here in the Lion City.

 

Copyright © 2012 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved





Agot in the Straits

9 05 2011

Ms. Agot Isidro – Sandejas in The Straits Times!

EASILY, ABOUT ten pounds of my check-in luggage when I fly back home is allocated for stuff that I think only I can appreciate – local newspapers for every single day of my trip.

Aside from being a major capacity eater, newspapers make for excellent cushions for fragile stuff I have to bring back home.  Recently, I had peace of mind at 33,000 feet up in the air knowing that the precious big bottle of Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin Cologne I had to deliver to Friendship’s sister was ensconced safely in the protection of newspapers and newly laundered shirts.  Yes, I’ve got the art of packing down pat.

But the moment the luggage is opened, and the newspapers duly ackowledged for their valuable use in intercontinental travel, I still go back to the reason why I lug them around – all ten plus pounds of them – their contents.

On the 15 March 2011, Tuesday, edition of Singapore’s THE STRAITS TIMES, the life!. section carried a story on our very own “Filipino soap star” Ms. Agot Isidro.  I’ve known just how much Singaporeans have taken to the English-dubbed version of the smash hit “Tayong Dalawa” (The Two of Us).  But I still got a bit surprised that a local newspaper would allot space on one of its stars.

15 March 2011 edition of The Straits Times

I say just “a bit” surprised because Ms. Agot Isidro was the perfect choice to feature, she being one of our most beautiful, most stylish, and most multi-talented artists.  But the fact that she’s such a foodie – one of the aspects touched on in the article – seems to be what I now like most about her.

If hopping on a plane for a four-hour ride just so you could eat your favorite cuisine isn’t real passion, then I don’t know what is.

Tayong Dalawa (The Two of Us) is such a hit in the Lion city!

 

Copyright © 2011 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.





Up in the air

17 03 2011

The view is perfect at 33,000 feet up in the air.

TRAVEL AFFORDS me a couple of things – the chance to enjoy God’s creation in a totally different place, and the opportunity to not back off from any culinary adventure.  But lest my second declaration comes back biting me from behind, I will say that that one’s dependent on the destination.

And where I was headed to last Sunday morning – where I am for a couple of weeks – is nothing short of the mecca of good food.

Ready to go!

I arrived at the NAIA a good three hours before my flight schedule but the line was already quite long.  Of box office-hit proportions, I texted my family and friends.  At the check-in counter, my luggage tipped the scale at 34.5 kilos, about 50% more than my limit.  I didn’t make a sound as I let the officer spend all the time she needed squinting her eyes and furrowing her brows at the display that was screaming, “excess baggage!”

“Sige Sir, ok lang yan!  (Ok Sir, it’s fine!)“

Wow.  And she even got me my favorite seat, the window seat right beside the airplane’s right wing.  I don’t know if it was the new perfume I had on or the red shorts I decided to wear but I also breezed through Immigration.  Unlike in the case of Brother, there wasn’t a Korean boyband nearby that threatened to steal my spotlight in front of the Immigration Officer who asked nothing but this lone question, “How long?”

I stood aghast!  How dare he ask me about my chin.  Oh, he meant my stay at my destination.  Hahaha!

All my bags were packed. And this plane was waiting for me.

 

Ready to board!

 

My carry-on luggage

 

I could go a thousand miles on these shoes! I hope my great friend Michael agrees!

 

Beginning to taxi on the runway

 

5... 4... 3... 2... 1... and...

 

And we're off!

 

Time of takeoff. Singapore Airlines has never failed me. They always leave on time!

 

Bye Manila!

 

See you again in a couple of weeks!

 

The flight wasn't turbulent at all that I decided to make one trip to the restroom. On flights, I ALWAYS have my seatbelt on.

 

One of the wing's flaps begin to open up and extend as we approach Singapore and prepare for landing.

 

I see land!

 

The flaps fully extended to prepare for landing

 

So many trees!

 

Kudos to the pilot for such a smooth landing!

 

Our President on front page news in the Straits Times. They're all over the airport.

 

My welcome party! My Singapore-based friends shown here, each volunteered to pick me up. I'm so happy they're around. My very own "porter", the Boy Wonder, took this shot.

 

The Boy Wonder is the epitome of service. No tip needed! Hahaha!

 

Thank you my dear friends!

 

Copyright © 2011 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.