Tuesday, March 29, 2005
i love ilocos!
I spent Holy Week in our wonderful province of Ilocos Norte. Yep. And there are so many reasons why I still love going there, even if it takes 12-hours of butt-numbing cruising. I will attempt to crunch them into a non-boring post, and intersperse it with snippets of my blogless vaca...

the food.
On a trip to Ilocos, you cannot miss the empanada of Batac. Order a double special - that has two longganisas and an egg with the veggies. Or, you could be like Chips, who ordered a double-double (two longganisas and two eggs). You likewise need to try the bibingka or rice cake from The Sisters (yes, that's the name of the store) in the town of Baay. It's just around 15 minutes from the big bridge connecting two mountains in the town of Santa. There's also the special chichacorn or crunchy corn in Paoay (try that of Nana Rosa's). Then you can go on and try dipping all sorts of fruits into sukang iloko. And then there's Chips' favorite, Igado. I honestly don't know how they prepare it, but it's basically meat and liver with pepper, peas, soy sauce (i think) and a whole lot of oil. Yummy.

the sights.
Just the drive to Ilocos already pushes the vacation-mode button. Utter relaxation and stress release. Cruising through La Union and Ilocos Sur will already give you a great view of the ocean, may it be sandy beaches or coral formations. Speaking of corals, do make a short stop in Currimao. It's not exactly a glamorous beach, there are just nipa huts and you can just park your car by the side of the road. But the sight to see here is of the dead corals now above sea level. You can climb up a high mound of them and dive into a deep trench below. Sans the trenches, you have a seemingly endless floor of corals to step on (water would only be up to your ankles) and from afar you'd look like you were walking on water. And of course, there's Pagudpud. When we were kids, we'd have a Foz Family trip to this beach. No resorts, no nothing. It was just us, a couple of other families, good food and the sea. We regret not having bought land there. Who would've thought that it would boom into what it is now. There's also a lighthouse on the way to the beach, where you can take in the complete view of the ocean. If you're going for a naked beach effect, drive around 30 minutes more from Pagudpud. Several towns up and down the winding road, make a left turn when you see a little sign that says Maira-ira. A hidden cove amidst the mountains. Absolutely beautiful. No major resorts yet, and you just need to pay 20 bucks entrance fee per person then just pitch your tent on the sand. On this trip, be sure that you've got a patient driver and a trusty car (SUV or AUV preferably). Drive beyond Maira-ira, you end up on the hanging bridge that goes into the province of Cagayan. You'll see big waves crashing as the South China Sea meets the Pacific. Magnificent.

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big feet at pagudpud

beach bodies (sucking in stomachs)

Now let's go to the churches. We did the bisita iglesia on Holy Thursday and took Chips around the old churches of Ilocos. During the trip up north, you'd come across of course Agoo and Manaoag. Then you've also got Vigan. I'd recommend stopping by Vigan on the way back, so you don't have to lug around all the beautiful wooden items when you travel farther north. In Ilocos Norte, make the Paoay Church a must. From there you can also stop by Malacanang of the North to get a great view of the lake and Fort Ilocandia. Also stop by the one in Laoag and behold the church's sinking bell tower. Another must? Our town, Dingras. The old church there is documented to be the longest church in the Philippines. Drive past Dingras and into the town of Solsona to find the church of St. Anne and Sarrat, another beautiful church where Irene Marcos was actually wed.

the family.
I love being a Foz. Chips finally got a taste of (almost) the whole family in our natural habitat. Boisterous and absolutely carefree. We tease each other like crazy. Everyone knows what's happening with everyone. If you have a boyfriend, the whole family wants in on the hows and whens. The girls are domineering but sweet, and the boys are just as malambing (affectionate). We're also a very, very talkative and noisy bunch. My grandma was telling him: if you wanna back out, back out now. Hahaha. She also says (and I think this aptly describes us)... "hindi kami mayaman pero mayaman kami sa puso" (we're not rich but we're rich with love).

Ilocos will surely be a place my kids will also grow up in.

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me and my man (yeaaahh)

dezphaire strapped in @ 12:22 PM   6 walked through

Tuesday, March 22, 2005
another guy thing
Another installment of the guy things series. I think there really is something fishy going about the in-betweens of a guy's heart and his stomach...

Chips walks in the house one morning to pick me up.
Breakfast (spam, specifically) is set on the table.
BIG bear hug for me.
And a little kiss good morning.
Still hugged, he says. "Do you have ketchup?"

It's the spam, really. It's the spam that did it.

On another (high) note, I'm just so psyched this week. Ilocos is but a day away. I can't concentrate on work. After going on a team bonding rampage in Enchanted Kingdom just last Sunday, every inch of me just went phlump. Yes, just me and unmotivated me. I'd write another post on that EK thing but that would be too long... but the gist of it all was: we got our two bosses screaming and drenched on the Rapids, a copywriter praying for his life on Anchors Away (the swinging ship), and our creative director very satisfied and proud of himself on the Roller Skater (the kiddie coaster). All right. Back to work.
dezphaire strapped in @ 9:18 AM   6 walked through

Tuesday, March 15, 2005
some enforcement
Security in this country is a big pretend game. Okay fine, they've got dogs, inspections and all those scanner thingies. Not worried about the dogs really. Because by nature, their senses are hundreds of times more than that of ours. Even if they seem malnourished and just lounge around, I'm sure the senses are working. You can't really disable eons of evolved animal instinct. But then again there are the humans. They have these wonderful "inspections" at every entrance that just have the word "inconvenience" written all over it. Okay, I'm bitter. And I have reason to. Because I don't think sticking a stick into a bag helps anyone. For one thing, they don't inspect clutchbags. Like a weapon wouldn't fit in a clutchbag. Duh. I doubt if these inspectors even know what they're looking for. They're just pretending. That said, I shall consider it a waste of time aka inconvenience.

Now since we were on the sticks - it's an observation that there seems to be levels or ranks with regard to these inspectors. The entry position being the one with the basic stick. The stick could be in a form of a drumstick or some splinter of bamboo. They are stuck into the bag and just shuffle your things around. I guess a bomb or weapon would produce some other kind of shuffling as opposed to just normal bag-things. The higher position would be those with the beeping radar-scanner thing. The black paddle with the yellow branding. It beeps. To everything that it comes close to, it beeps. There are some inspectors that would insist that you open your bag for them to stick the radar in. Question is - if it's a radar, isn't it supposed to be able to do its job outside of the bag? DUH. The kinda-higher position is then the one with the radar thing plus a stick. Now I have no idea what added value the stick gives at this point. You already have an electronic gadget. The rationale of having both devices still to be determined. I think the top position is the one with the doorframe scanner. I have greater trust in these gadgets because I've seen them work on the Discovery Channel. The only question I have is why the guards by the scanner would still have sticks. But then again the stick may as well be your SOP inspection gadget. Whatever.

How about when they inspect cars? They ask you to open your trunk, take a peek, then just close it. Do they have any criteria as to what is threatening and what is not? What if the bomb was in my shopping bag? There are also those who have what appear to be like rear-view mirrors mounted on plumbing tubes. Talk about makeshift. I don't know if these are legitimate inspection gadgets. And I have no idea as to what these things do. Do they even give them enough visibility on the underside of the car? We wouldn't know.

Another useless brain nibbler up for discussion, if anyone would want to take such discussion up. Entertaining, this sense of security we have. It may be false, but entertaining.
dezphaire strapped in @ 2:55 PM   8 walked through

Monday, March 14, 2005
huh, me?
I respond to two names. Unlike some people with nicknames, these aren't exactly interchangeable. My boss can't imagine calling me by my real name and I don't think my parents would ever call me by my nickname. To my co-workers and college friends (and some of my highschool friends) I am called Fozzy. And then to Chips, his and my family, and the rest of my friends, I go by my real name... (drumroll please) Anna. Yep. Can you fathom that. People who get to know what my real name is usually just stare at me with a raised eyebrow. Especially my clients. They come back to me with a big, bewildered "what?!?!".

Okay so let's go into the evolution of the nickname. It started when there were four Anna's in my senior high class. They started calling me AnnaFoz (Foz, being my middle name i.e. my mom's maiden name). Then it became AnnaFozzy then it was beheaded and just became what it is now.

The two names are worlds apart, they say. And to tell you frankly, sometimes it actually puzzles me. Such that am I more of one or the other? They say Anna sounds too sweet, too feminine. It sounds like a nice little girl. Okay. I can be nice, really. Fozzy, they say is more fitting. It's neither here nor there, it's unique and curious. It fits the vile and sarcastic personality. I don't know if I should take either analyses of my names as compliments or insults. Whatever. It's some kind of identity crisis. It's not very hard, except when I'm with someone who calls me by one name and another person would call me by the other. It then becomes slightly confusing, in some internally quiet way.

Okay now this post is getting confusing too. As wayward as wayward comes. My writer self is on a crisis, I guess. But then that's another post altogether.
dezphaire strapped in @ 2:11 PM   4 walked through

Sunday, March 13, 2005
some bad air
After such a sleep-deprived week and a tiring Saturday, I woke up this afternoon to find my room with the likeness of a tornado's aftermath. My sister was doing some kind of mosaic project thing. You can imagine how messy that is. And a carpeted floor isn't at all easy to clean. I also find my desk riddled with corrected essays and yellow-pad notes. On it were also two cellphones and a glittery blue pen. Okay. So that was the scenario. It seemed like my desk at work.

I did not at all welcome the sight. As it was the sight that welcomes me almost every night I come home from a 14-hour work day. The only difference is that my sister wasn't strewn (in more appropriate tagalog terms: nakahalandusay) on my bed with the TV blasting like she was deaf. And thus allow me please to pour my angst on the age-old war of two sisters... their rooms.

I don't care if you guys think me as mean and irrational. I barged into her room, somewhat hit her with the door in the process, and picked a fight... What is your room doing. What is my room to you, your office? Do you want me to burn down your room? Is it the computer? I had your computer for so many years and I lived with it. You live with it the way I did. What will you do if I removed your access to my computer?

That was the end of the patience rope. She should be thankful that I held out for this long. I sat down, deleted her access. I concluded that this was the only thing she was after, given that she has her own phone line and she didn't want a TV. My mom even redecorated her room. Arg, the youth these days. What does the word suffering mean to them? Hindi manlang magtiyaga. Everything as they want it. I defragmented her computer already. I fixed the popups. If she wanted a faster one, she should take it to the shop and upgrade it. I lugged the thing to the shop when I needed to. I spent almost ten grand replacing the slow parts on what I'm currently using. The thing is, I don't really mind that she uses the PC and does her homework on my desk. The major thing is that SHE DOESN'T CLEAN UP. Net, she lets herself get caught. All those nights watching CSI and learning the value of eliminating evidence. So, unless she's got more brains to tidy up her crime scene, then she'll have to live without the P4 PC.

Okay. Fine. Since she's my sister and I love her anyway, I burned all her files into a CD and cleaned up her PC again. Packshet. What a way to start a Sunday.
dezphaire strapped in @ 3:20 PM   5 walked through

Monday, March 07, 2005
guy things
They may be Chips-specific, but I'll just lump them into a judgement call on the other half of the species. Some people may be able to relate. They may be consumer insights that advertisers could latch onto. To me they're little amusing tidbits that keep our relationship entertaining.

On being pampered.
Chips wanted to get a car wash. It rained the day before and his white car was riddled with those little muddy droplets. He felt dirty. Apparently the car is an extension of his body.

The carwash boy blows water onto the car with a high-pressure hose. Next came the soap.
"Ah. That feels so refreshing."
My brows furrowed. "So when they wash your car it's like you're taking a bath too."
"Yep." With a very pleased smile.
"Okaaaay." Strangely I don't feel the same way about my shoes.
The tires are by this time being soaked and sponged with soap.
"Oh oh... especially when they wash the tires..."
Okay. Here we go with the tires...
"... it's like a foot spa."

On making a point.
On some mornings we take C5 and McKinley Rd. going to Makati. Of course, you pass by all the nice houses and get to see all the nice cars whizzing by. On this certain morning, we were graced by the semi-presence (because it was speeding past us) of a red Ferrari.

Chips turns his head then looks at me excitedly with big eyes (well, as big as his eyes could get).
"Hun, did you see that?"
"What." Groggily.
"D'ya know what that was?"
Furrowed brows. Again. "What."
"That was a Ferrari!"
"A Ferrari baby!"
"It was going too fast." Honestly, I just saw this red blur, having zero caffeine yet.
"That was a Ferrari!"
I couldn't count how many times I heard that word "Ferrari" that morning.

On integrity.
We take Obi-Wan to the National Bookstore complex at Quezon Ave. Chips was the one walking him as we went to Globe and to the Outlet Yard. You can't imagine how many people (mostly kids) were attracted to the unlikely duo (Chips is 5'11" and Obi is... a furball with a bell).

Back in the car.
"Chick-magnet talaga ang dog." He says.
Ahem. "Why, were there any chicks today?"
"Well, they were mostly kids... but still... it's possible."
Yeah, true.
"Hey, I know! Let's try a day I'll leave Obi with you in Eastwood..."
He drives, with an inquisitive look on his face.
"...and at the end of the day let's see how many girls you picked up." Laugh out loud.
Revoltingly... "Ano ka ba Hun! What are you talking about?!?"
Immediately followed by an "...okay."
Laughter fills the car.

Four years of that. Can you imagine. Hehe. And I love every second of it.
dezphaire strapped in @ 9:53 AM   4 walked through

Thursday, March 03, 2005
hell's pleasures
Watched Constantine. Drool. Saliva dripping to the floor from an open, gaped mouth. Couldn't help it. I like these kinds of guys. I absolutely love the character. Very morbid, sarcastic, and evil in an unaffected, nonchalant way. Sexy. It makes every little bone in your spine quiver. There's another resigned and stoic man to lust (oh, did I say that word?) over. I am grateful that they didn't do that lovey-dovey stuff. I am grateful that they had the un-cliche not-so-happy ending (but still somewhat redemptive). I so love that it gave me a taste of Keanu and Gavin as sexily conniving men all in one blow. And I love that he did the Bond-James-Bond thing but with spunk aka "asshole" (haha. that was cool). And now I want wings. Gabriel had beautiful wings. Even the store keeper had wings. I want wings. Oh no, wait. I want a Keanu.

Also, did anyone notice the demon who possessed that girl in the beginning. When he said his usual before-you-vanquish-me-I-need-to-say-something-threatening line. It was in Tagalog. I was like, wait... I can understand demon-speak? I guess to the rest of the world it sounded like some demonic gibberish. Right. That girl's a Filipina by the way. Lucky betch.

After watching the movie, I texted my big boss. She's mad about Constantine as well. I apologize for the language barrier, if ever. It's not the same if I translate it.

"Packshet ang gwapo talaga ni Keanu. Ang swerte nung girl na possessed sa umpisa at pinatungan sya."
"Ang swerte ni Lucifer. Nakap-kap nya dibdib ni Keanu, kasama pa baga!"
(I laughed a while, then another text from her came)
"Sana ako nalang yung sigarilyo nya."

Sigh. It will take a while before I get over this. I shall talk Chips into dressing in black pants, crisp white shirts and black ties until I do.
dezphaire strapped in @ 9:46 AM   6 walked through

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Location: Philippines

Sometimes bored. Most of the time oddly alive. Phobic of butterflies. Creatively suppressed. Hungry for coffee and shoes. This is my subconscious talking... at times interrupted by my reality.

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soundtrack of the moment
Jealousy, turning saints into the sea. Swimming through sick lullabies, choking on your alibis. But it's just the price to pay, Destiny is calling me. Open up my eager eyes 'cause I'm Mr. Brightside -- "Mr. Brightside" The Killers
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