So I finally finished F.H. Batacan’s Smaller and Smaller Circles, and I will be writing a proper review soon. I’m happy with how it turned out, though a part of me feels like the second part is rushed. I’ll think about the book some more before I write my review. I’m starting to read Paula McLain’s Circling the Sun and Ha Van Thut and Tran Hong Duc’s A Brief Chronology of Vietnamese History. The second book is really engrossing.
The September issue of my Monocle subscription came in the mail while I was in Hanoi, thus pressuring me to finish the July/August issue. I finished the March issue of Scout magazine, which had an excellent article on spoken word by Alfonso Manalastas. And what a coincidence, I watched an amazing spoken word performance by Words Anonymous at the Starbucks Teavana launch I attended yesterday.
I’m behind on my deliverables at WIM (as always), but I like my stories on Vilma Santos proposing to set up LGBT help desks in all Philippine National Police (PNP) stations, Nick Joaquin to be published by Penguin Classics, and Lady Gaga’s return to music with “Perfect Illusion.” I don’t like the song that much, but she has achingly beautiful vocals on it. It doesn’t top “Born This Way,” and let’s face it: nothing can top the cultural impact that song had in 2011.
This beautiful performance of Madonna’s “La Isla Bonita” in the 2008 Sticky and Sweet Tour. It’s considered as the highest grossing tour by a solo artist, breaking her own record in 2005 for the Confessions Tour.
This week, I watched the second fashion film for Stylin’ September, a series of fashion-related films I’m watching this month. I chose fashion because as editor-at-large Candy Pratts Price once declared, “September is the January of fashion.” After I kicked it off with Who Are You, Polly Maggoo? (1966) last week, I watched Blowup (1966), a British-Italian film that follows Thomas, a fashion photographer patterned after David Bailey who thinks he witnesses a murder while shooting. Blowup is just as strange as Maggoo.
After catching parts of The House Bunny while I was in my hostel in Hanoi, I watched it again and found it completely hilarious. It’s a light watch, but I like how Anna Faris portrays Shelley, a Playboy bunny who gets kicked out and lives in a sorority of misfits. I’m thinking of watching it again.
Of how I will be able to catch up on my deliverables. There are so many! It’s a good thing I’m working full-time for WIM now so I don’t have to worry about anything else… for now.
Excitement. I’m going to Hong Kong tomorrow for Ocean Park’s Halloweenfest. I also covered the launch last year so I’m excited to see how this year will be different. The small gap between my trip to Hanoi (I got back Friday morning) and my trip to Hong Kong (I fly Monday morning) is the cause of my delays, but I’ll find a way. I always do. And oh, it’s also the cause of the rushed quality of this week’s TSC, and why I didn’t have one last week.
That I will finish my deliverables (this has been my wish for virtually all my TSCs).
That I will have fun in Hong Kong!
Hanoi. The city is beautiful and vibrant. It’s filled with French colonial structures (even in run-down neighborhoods), and the food is both delicious and affordable. A highlight from my trip is the meal Anthony Bourdain and Barack Obama had in Bun Cha Huo Lien. I had bun cha (a grilled pork and noodle dish), a fried spring roll, and Ha Noi beer for P180. I will be posting a series of articles about my trip called Hey Hanoi! Watch out for that!
I’m also loving the new Starbucks Teavana collection, which the coffee chain launched yesterday in a branch in Quezon City. I had a great time seeing some of my friends (including Irene, a writer from the Philippine Daily Inquirer who I went to Ocean Park with last year) and trying out the teas. For the whole-leaf tea, I love the Youthberry, an interesting mix of acai, pineapple, mango, rosehips, and green apple. For the iced shaken handcrafted drinks, I’m torn between the iced shaken black tea with ruby grapefruit and the matcha and espresso fusion.
After the launch, I went back to Alabang to attend the birthday party of Louise, a good college friend. Her husband Ian threw a surprise birthday party at McDonald’s. It was a reunion for our barkada, too, and it’s funny to think that our conversations now revolve around marriage, children, and their future love lives. Ah, ageing. Gotta love it.
I was on my way home when Jen called me inviting me to have wine. I haven’t seen Jen in ages, and I could never say no to wine, so I went back to Alabang and hung out with her for seven hours. We even had Jollibee at 1AM. I love this woman so much.
To finish my deliverables, heh.
To pack for my Hong Kong trip.
Overwhelmed. All I need to do is take bite-sized pieces.
Doing Good vs Doing Nothing. An incredible read.