Wednesday, June 21, 2006


Our day three in Sim City. I'm still overwhelmed with the magnanimity of this event. Cool mobile phones, drool worthy mp3's, notebooks... this is Alice in Wonderland for the tech geeks. I didn't have time to check the gadgets because we were really busy covering for Motorola. But I'm not regretting anything. As it is, the Moto Communicasia camp already takes a wallop.

Colour is the new innovation for Motorola this Communicasia 2006. The Razor is still there, the Slivr is still the thinnest chocolate bar, and Pebl, still the zen inspired wonder, take the spotlight in this year's Singapore Expo. But what makes this interesting for tech savvy consumers are the colors that will soon be available in the market. Electric Baby Powder Blue, Bright Fuschia, Matte Melon Green and Pumpkin colored phones will take your breath away. They did to me.

I'm now sporting the new pumpkin colored Pebl phone thanks to the cool guys of Moto. It's actually my first Pebl, I was toying with the idea of getting one before but I kinda hesitated because I felt that it was a bit too girly. But I drooled the first time I saw the pumpkin colored one. It's so slick and so masculine chic... very Danny Boyle's Trainspotting orange if you want to get the feel.

I'm still a fan of Razor (heck, I still feel that the Razor is the best ever invented phone in history, and I will still use it as my everyday phone, but my new baby Pebl will give me that extra kick if I want to dress up and be that glorified fashionista wannabe).

Color my world seems to be the battle cry of Motorola. And when everyone is racing to deliver new (read: somehow redundant) techie innovations, Moto decides to paint the town orange. I welcome this move from HelloMoto... after all, style and form will always take the center stage.

Amen to that.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Drooling I was, but I can't help it. It was after all the grand eyeball of gadgets. Every major player in the I.T. industry was here to strut their stuff to big time consumers, major vip's and the media in every corner of the world. I was actually humbled and priviledge to be invited. Our sponsor, the mobile giant Motorola, invited 3 other people from the three broadsheet newspapers, another from the glossy magazine and a coleague and I to cover for DTOUR.

We actually arrived a day early just so that we wouldn't miss the launch the morning after. It's such a great group, my very own motley crew that consists ofpeople from Motorola, the PR agency and the other print people - The challenge is to cover the event in different angles -someone from lifestyle, someone from business and someone from the I.T. page, were then invited. The make up of the group is such diverse that it was such an interesting bunch.

After depositing our stuff in the hotel (I checked in at a budget youth hostels tha last time I was in Singapore , so the 5star Mandarin Suite that was provided for each and everyone , was definitely a welcome break), we all prepped ourselves to review the itinerary . The first agenda was the dinner, and the Singaporean chili crab was just too hard to resist. Their version of the sweet and sour chili crab where in you'll dip your bread (pandesal-like) in to the sauce is definitely to die for. I can't wait to go back home and try to recreate this delight.

The night slowly became a food trip of some sort. The chili crab was complemented by the Singaporean Shark's fin soup. The satay with their peanut sauce was just immaculate, I've never tasted something so good, not even comparable to the satays from Banana Leaf Curry or Penang (the best satays I've tasted back home).

Just when I though that it couldn't get any better, out came the dessert. The Mango-Sago- Pomelo, the concoct totally blew me away. Sweet, sour and bitter and with the right kick, I think they've added some rum or something. I'm such a food freak, I can humbly say that I'm very much well versed in the food category especially after working for two cooking shows and a lifestyle magazine show where in we do reviews of the best restos in the metro every week. I eat everything but it's quite rare that I go out of my way to recommend a good food or something - these Singaporeans really know how to satisfy the most disserning tastebuds (yabang, hehe).

The idea that Singapore nightlife is bland is slowly becoming a thing of the past. After the great dinner, we checked out some of the chill-out spots that's still open on a Monday night.

We ended up in En Lounge. En-lounge is perhaps one of the cosiest clubs that I’ve been to, to be honest this is my first official visit to En-lounge, I remember I dropped by there last February but only to pick up a friend. Despite its mature crowd, En-lounge gives people a fresh but laidback appeal, a place where good music mixes with good atmosphere. It became very big right after the brit K-Klass performed there.

K-Klass is perhaps one of the most hardworking producing groups that have come out of the British house scene in the 90s. Having worked with artist such as Bobby Brown, M People, Kylie and New Order etc etc... I saw them in Camden when I was still in studying in London. As a matter of fact, they were one of the very first groups that introduced me to house music. Going back to En-Lounge, the vibe is great, the music superb, overall, a really good club to unwind... a great way to end the night.

Tomorrow, the grand eyeball of gadgets... can't wait for Communicasia.

Monday, June 19, 2006


Again am packing my bags because I am flying to Singapore in the next few hours to cover Communicasia for Studio 23. I haven’t been into one of these events but I’ve heard that it’s such a big thing in the I.T. world. Last year my fellow producers from DTOUR were sent to cover for Samsung. I really don’t know what to expect but being the techie geek that I am (I always believe that I’m a geek-at-heart), I’m already hyperventilating with excitement on the chance to check out the best that the I.T. world has to offer.

I can’t believe that it’s also the Great Singapore Sale, damn, just when I’m trying to save again and rebuilding my egg nest. I’m such an impulsive buyer and I don’t know how I’d be able to handle this. Well, I’m leaving my ATM card and I’m really just planning to bring some cash for emergency.

Singapore is slowly becoming my comfort place. It’ll be my fourth time this year to go there and my perception of it as an antiseptic city is slowly wearing off. I’m actually slowly liking the city every time I go there.

The food is such a major turn on. The curry, the laksa, the satay’s, the mythical Singaporean Hainanese chiken rice... mouth is already watery just by thinking of the hawker food stalls that I’ll be visiting… damn forget the diet thing. Life’s just to short to be restricted.

Food and Gadgets… aahh… damn just too hard to resist… I’m sure that this will be another great trip…

Love La DolceVita.

Saturday, June 17, 2006


Last Thursday, I kinda jammed with the cool members of Kala in the house of their bassist, JP Tanchanco. I was asked to produce a feature on local musicians who use the internet to expand their audience. I haven't seen JP in a year, the last time I saw him was when he gave me a copy of a rough recording of his band's single Jeepney. Low and behold, a year later, not only is Kala the most promising band in the market today, their single Jeepney has been on the top chart for almost six or seven weeks now.

The single is really great, a mixture of bossa manila and the 70's bubble gum funk of the likes of Hotdogs and Rico J. Puno. But the single is no copy cat, it's actually a whole new genre on its own. The music is bubble gum but is edgy at the same time. I interviewed the band for two hours and they kinda played unplugged for the camera.

I wanted to see them in action, I haven't really seen them performed live so I didn't think twice when they told me that they'll be playing at Saguijo for the Kerplunk Anniversary. I blocked it off my schedule and I waited eagerly to see not just KALA but the other bands as well...

I really miss the indie music scene especially after I left for my journey. The last time I was banging my head at the mosh pit was almost a year ago for the Terno Augogo stint. I miss the energy and the community and how the bands would play on their top of their lungs for their appreciative audience. I mean this is not like Cueshe in ASAP, this is the real deal, bands playing raw and unapologetic.

So you can just imagine what a treat it was to see Urbandub, ChicoSci, Greyhoundz, Neruda, Angulo and Kala in one venue. I arrived with another indie band enthusiast friend Art to check it out. It was almost impossible to get in by around 10pm, there was a mammoth queue but that didn't deter us from going inside. The testosterone filled Saguijo was again a delight, the thick atmosphere of enthusiasm gave me the best hit ever minus the tabs or the charlie. It was such a natural high, a few bottles of redhorse after and I was already floating.

Kala then played and though the audience wasn't as much as enthusiastic compared to the other bands that played especially since their set was right after Urbandub, their music was a blast nonetheless. Maybe it was the crowd, but their music really stood out, and that's in a good way though I think. Their new version of Southside, remixed no less than by Brian Cua if I'm not mistaken, is the best chill out track I've listened to next to the Floating remix of Hed Kandi.

Kudos to their other singles like Pulis Pangkalawakan (definitely a homage to Shaider generation and not to people who's minds wander whenever they get the hit) and Piso-pisong Paraiso (Apparently no drug reference) and Manila High (Umm... again about natural high). Kala's so addictive minus the pharapernalias. I ended up with my pinoy indie music scene fix ad I'd definitely want to get some more.You can always visit their website at, defintely worth the click.

Sunday, June 04, 2006


I did some DVD watching binge with a couple of friends the other day. I haven’t had the chance to do a film marathon in a long time so watching with Mark (a fellow film buff) and his partner David was a welcome break.

I brought BEE SEASON (borrowed from Charles, another film buff friend) and Mark just recently got THE DOUBLE LIFE OF VERONIQUE. I was so excited because I’ve been looking for a copy of DOUBLE LIFE OF VERONIQUE for the longest time now. I saw it exactly a decade ago, my professor before from film school showed it to the class for our lighting classes and I remember that I enjoyed the movie very much.

It tells the story between two girls who are both called Veronica. They are very similar in terms of their characters. They are of the same age and they are very identical, the other one is living in Paris and the other is living in Warsaw. One day though, the French Veronica goes on a trip to Warsaw and by chance her Polish counterpart sees her and the plot of the movie thickens.

Written and Directed by Krzysztof Keislowski, it was definitely one of his monumental works. It was acted by the then unknown Irene Jacob. The movie totally blew me away. It had a very good premise; people apparently, are very connected to each other more than they think it’s possible. I mean there are five billion people in the planet, what if by chance, not in a parallel universe mind you, someone is actually living the very same life that we’re living. It’s very interesting indeed.

The next movie was THE BEE SEASON. I was also excited to watch it because I enjoyed reading the book almost a month ago during my long travel. It was in fact one of my comfort books. It was faithfully adapted but for some reason, the film version didn’t work as well as the book. The film turned out very cold, too cerebral, and a bit scattered.

The movie tells about this dysfunctional family that gets entwined with spelling bee competitions and Jewish mysticisms. The esoteric novel was very clear with its subjects but in the movie version, even though all the elements were there, we really don’t get the point what the family is going through.

And so when during the highlight of the movie, when the family slowly breaks down, we really don’t get to empathize with them. We’re completely more baffled with the ethnicity that was presented to us…our unfamiliarity with the Kabbalah, the over romanticized treatment of the Hare Krishna, and anachronous take on Hinduism and Judaism. In the end we really don’t know why we’re presented with all these elements… we didn’t get the longing of faith and direction of our characters.

I still love the book though, and I’m actually re-reading it again just to get more insights about the characters. It’s ironical because I enjoy reading books but not as much as watching movies. Film is and will always be my first love. It’s my passion and definitely my medium of choice.

When I was traveling, I usually would call the day very early, especially when I was trekking up in the mountains or when I was in the small towns of Laos and Cambodia were HBO was non-existent. There’s really nothing much to do when the clock hits six in the evening. No cable television, so we usually just ended up getting drunk and pissed.

Books became a good source of entertainment; I’ve never read so many books in so short span of time - Myla Goldberg’s BEE SEASON, Mark Haddon’s THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT TIME, Lauren Weisberger’s THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, Augusten Burroughs’s RUNNING WITH SCISSORS, J.K. Rowling’s THE ORDER OF THE PHEONIX, and Dan Brown’s DA VINCI CODE.

I would usually read two to three books in the same day, one book in the morning, a different book in the afternoon and another in the evening. I would never finish them of course but I would usually do the same order of reading the following day. The books turned out to be my alternative to TV programming. And since they have different genre’s – memoirs, suspense, comedy, pop culture I always had a great alternive fix for my movie rush.

I was surprised then from learning that all of the titles that I’ve read are already in Film Production. I knew that DA VINCI and ORDER OF THE PHEONIX were being filmed already but it never crossed my mind that some of the titles would end up in the big screen. I’ve seen DA VINCI and though I enjoyed the movie, I enjoyed the book a lot better. I like it that in the book, I was solving the mystery with Prof. Robert Langdon, and that I was learning different things with him. In the movie though, I was really just a spectator. They had to put all the details in a 2 hour movie, and I didn’t have time to breathe and digest all the information that I was getting.

The same thing will happen with THE ORDER OF THE PHEONIX I think, being the longest book in the series with over 700 pages, I don’t know how Hollywood will be able to adapt the book for the movie. Five hours will not even do it I think, there’s so many cool things that have happen to our dear Harry Potter and it will be a let down if some of his adventures will be omitted in the movie version. They should maybe do it in two parts, but as we all know they are all racing to finish the entire series before the actors outgrow their characters. They’re kinda getting too old for their roles.

I can’t wait to see THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, I’m sure Meryll Streep and Anne Hathway will be able to pull it off. Judging from the publicity stills alone it’s definitely gonna be a hit... and boy, I wasn't really too happy when I learned that it was Streep who get's to do the part of the boss from hell but judging again from the pictures she's just so perfect.

Another favorite, and now one of my best picks, RUNNING WITH SCISSORS is a memoir of Augesten Burroughs while growing up in the suburbs with his alcoholic father, a delusional poet mother, the family shrink and the shrink’s bizarre extended family. With a tagline like BRADY BUNCH ON VIAGRA – you definitely can’t go wrong with this memoir/ novel.

Lovers of the John Waters will love this American family satire. It’s one of the most disgusting and the funniest books I’ve ever read. There’s this part where in the shrink asked his children for some stool sample believing that by studying the shape of the stool, he’ll be able to predict whether they’ll be having a lucky week ahead.

And the ensemble will definitely be a front runner come awards season – Gwyneth Paltrow, Brion Cox, Annette Benning and Joseph Fienes, and not to mention Augesten Burroughs will be played by the “indie-it-boy” of the moment Joseph Cross.

I can’t wait to see all these movies and I’m glad that I was able to read the books first. I definitely will be watching the movie as it is but then again you can’t help but compare which medium worked better. Having said that I’m pretty much open-minded.

Happy reading and happy watching!!!