"and in the end it is not the years in your life that counts... it is the life in your years....."
This is something FUN I got did because I was TAGGED in one of my accounts... the rules were simple just write 10 RANDOM Facts about myself.... I chose the TRAVEL theme as I could not think of anything fun and interesting to write about... thought I would share it here too... you might want to try it, it will be a fun trip down memory lane am sure.... and maybe you can share with me some of your funny TRAVEL moments:
1. Took a 3 hour hiking trip up an active Volcano in Guatemala... in the rain.... and...
2. Coming back by bus, back to the city, we were held up by bandits with biiig guns.... no one got killed or raped... they just took our money and left us alone... survived both!!!
3. Have always been LUCKY about SEEING STARS at airports: Takeshi Kenishiro In Bangkok, Harry Connick in Vancouver... Chris Isaak in Los Angeles.... Jeremy Northam & Gavin Rossdale in London....
4. Not really knowing the German language, I worked for 2 months one summer at a produce stand in Cologne, Germany. All I had to say was GutenMorgen, Danke & Auf Wiedezehein.... it helped that the owners were parents by the boy I was dating at the time... I could not get fired.... hahahaha
5. Arriving soooo late at nite in Mumbai (Bombay) we had to sleep at the Train Station - to wake up and see lots of BIIIIG RATS crawling about.... ICKY!!!
6. I have survived two of the biggest world earthquakes - the one in CALIFORNIA on Oct 17, 1989... and the one in Taiwan on Sept 20, 1999
7. First time I went out to a club in Manila, i thought I was getting picked up by -- even bought me a drink... after an hour of hanging and talking - the person started quoting me prices...LOLs!!!
8. I slept with 100 people for one nite -- hahahaha... it was the only time I have stayed in a YMCA (KYOTO, JAPAN) where you pay big bucks to sleep in a room with 100 other people... LOLS!!!
9. In Madrid, I was accosted by GYPSIES who would not leave me alone till I let them read my fortune - for a lot of money!!!
10. In Xiamen, upon our arrival late at nite, we were accosted by female prostitutes while we looked for a hotel... they literally cornered us... thank GOD it was a HOTEL - so we ran in not caring how expensive it was.... just wanted to get away from the ladies....
Sunday, June 29, 2008
"and in the end it is not the years in your life that counts... it is the life in your years....."
Friday, June 27, 2008
well folks, it is that time of the year again... the time to show your pride... to raise those rainbow colored flags.... to hit all the White Parties.... and to just CELEBRATE one's sexual orientation and sexual identity!!! we all know it as Gay Pride.
I will always remember all the fun times I have experienced, in San Francisco of course -- where the event is celebrated, not just by the Gay Community but everyone one else -- Straights, Gays, Bis... young and old.... locals or tourists.... this year btw, SF GAY PRIDE celebrates on June 29th with special guests: Cyndi Lauper, Crystal Waters, Kat DeLuna & Inaya Day... am surely SAD that I will be missing those acts.... plus hanging our with friends - old and new.... and just having a really good ole time....
Unfortunately, this year I am staying put in Taipei - Darn Work!!! and ironically, 10 Years of living here and I have yet to see or experience Gay Pride here... somehow I just never know when it is or am never around.. well, no matter - just wanted to WISH you all a FUN & SAFE celebration in your parts of the PRIDE world......
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Attended a Special Screening of the DREAMWORKS' animated film, Kung Fu Panda, tonite... not one I would have gone to see (especially since I knew it would be dubbed in Chinese) -- but since it was a special screening with a few entertainment activities before the screening - thought we should just go for it.... besides it was at the Miramar - which is becoming a FAVE hang out of mine....
Am sooo glad we decided to.. some stars - who did the voices for the characters - was in attendance and were interviewed on a special stage... including American Born, Taiwanese ACTOR/SINGER/IDOL Will (Willbert) Pan - a fave of mine for over 5 years now... so it was a GREAT nite overall....
actually ended up liking the film - yes, i had to pay even more close attention as i needed to hear the dialogue better so I can comprehend better... it was not too hard as the dialogue was - pretty much simple and easy... the movie is for kiddies after all....
see more photos here...
plus this fun music video is the one we saw in MANILA last month - super fun & cute!
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Came across this song a couple of days and it stuck on me... last song syndrome.... I guess it is one of those oldie but goodie song... am really not familiar with it, nor am familiar with NYOY VOLANTE, a Pinoy Singer ('cept for his other song, NASAAN KA NA) but am loving the simplicity of the song and his heartfelt vocals....
so here it is again... figured I might as well BLOG it -- so it is always here -- ENJOY!!!
This is a GREAT song for people who are in love.... celebrating anniversaries (^_*)... etc.... here's the simple yet beautiful lyrics:
It's right that I should care about you,
and try to make you happy when you're blue.
It's right, it's right to feel the way I do.
Because, because, I love you.
Give me one kiss and I'll be happy,
just, just to be with you.
Give me, give me a chance to be near you.
Because, because, I love you.
It's wrong to say I don't think of you,
'cause when you say these things
you know it makes me blue.
Give me one kiss and I'll be happy,
just, just to be with you.
Give me, give me a chance to be near you.
Because, because, I love you.
Because, because, I love you ...
and am not sure if this is the ORIGINAL but here's one of the older versions I just found when googling the song:...
and am not sure if this is the ORIGINAL but here's one of the older versions I just found when googling the song:
M. Night Shyamalan, the writer/director of such hits as Sixth Sense, The Village & Signs, is back with his newest project in two years, The Happening.
A movie that started off with so much promise of an environmental disaster of great proportion ended up being such a let down of a movie. It is not to say that it did not have it's moments... actually so many of the opening scenes were sooooo disturbing I can understand why it did not sell well here in Taiwan. At the showing I caught, an elderly couple even walked out of the theater. At their shocking best, some scenes were so disturbingly so -- I cringed at the edge of my seat and turned away from the screen..... be permeating this invisible monster through the entire movie and making his very first R Rated film, the director boosts the fear factor and delivered some of the scariest moments I have seen in a horror movie. The cast includes Mark Wahlberg, Zooey Deschanel, John Leguizamo, Ashlyn Sanchez, Betty Buckley.
Unfortunately, overall, the edge-of-your-seat horror and shocking images instilled in the audiences minds are the only things the movie has going for it... Mark Wahlberg did the best he could and Betty Buckley, as an old creepy - loony woman, stands out... but everyone else seems to be NOT affected by what is HAPPENING.... and some acting was downright mediocre.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
aaah the WONDERS of Flickr.... for about $20 a year one can actually store hundreds of photos in one place... It is a GREAT way to keep a Virtual Album of special memories... and share them with family and friends from all over the world....
Try It - it is quite simple.... and you can go the Non-Pro way - NO FEE - just to see how you like it first... it is more LIMITED but at least you can get the feel for the service... it is a part of Yahoo btw....
On That Note - let me share with you all - My Flickr!
Sunday, June 22, 2008
McDonalds Premium Toys for the SUMMER OLYMPICS 2008 in BEIJING.
(I just got these cuties the other day as I happen upon them when I had the craving for a CHOCOLATE SUNDAE... not sure how long the promo has been going on for McDonalds here in Taiwan, nor how long it will continue for.... they are about 3 inches in height.... and the box part that they are standing on (attached to) is a STAMP...
"All major religious traditions carry basically the same message, that is love, compassion and forgiveness ... the important thing is they should be part of our daily lives."
"Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion."
"My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness."
-Tenzin Gyatso, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
Friday, June 20, 2008
Could it really have been 10 years already since I first set foot here in Taiwan? How come it still feels like it was only a year ago?
Lately I have been going through my old negatives - which is way too much... unorganized... and everywhere.... am trying to get them all organized, getting modern and high tech by converting/burning them into CDs.... loooong ordeal and costly but am happy am getting to do this... as am able to see so much old photos -- seeing places I have been... things I have done... and of course, the best part of all, people I have met over the years.... old and new friends... forever friends....
One of my latest find is one of the negatives from my first visit to Taipei back in 1998... have not moved yet... it would be a year later when I made that move but you can say it was a precursor to what was already brewing... My sister, who was still FAT then (hahahaha!) and my Aunt (Tita Mita) joined me visiting David for a few days....
With David as our tour guide -- we were able to see soooo much.... we walked everywhere... much to my sister's dismay as she is more used to being driven around... shopped a lot (both my sis and aunt must have gone back with a suitcase full of clothing, fabrics, and of course, true to their form - JEWELRY - Phillipe Charroil & Jades)... and ate a lot... and as an added bonus, when DAVID took me to the place where they film lots of TV Soap Dramas, we ran into one that was being shot and I got to even take my photo with the main star, a famous actress/model whose name escapes me now... she was gracious when I asked her -- in ENGLISH of course, as I did not know a word of Chinese then except for XIEXIE (Thank You)... Of course 10 years later my comprehension and extent of Chinese command has grown... now I can also say BUKEQI (Your Welcome)... hahahahaha....
Taiwan has been good to me... and living with David all these years had its own share of ups and downs... but for the most part we have been happy and blessed... and meeting his family who welcomed me as if I was one of them from the very beginning is just really touching.... not forgetting to mention all the friendships I have made here through the years... might not be much - but they are all REAL!
Yes, I miss my friends and family (both in the USA and Philippines) while living here all these years... but I can honestly say that, I feel, time flew by sooo fast with all that I got to do... accomplish... see...., and experience living here..... and that even given the chance to think things over, I would have done exactly the same and make the move here...
all these photos even made me remember something a dear friend, Richard Yep, said to me during my first months living here: "Rudi, you are one of the few people I know who has the GUTS to move to a totally different country - not even knowing the language..." I took it as a very NICE COMPLIMENT and it made me feel then, what I am still feeling now when I think back to his words - PRIDE!
Proud that am able to manage through, no matter what I do, or where I go... Proud that am able to stand for the decisions I make in life... make the most of them... and just live life....
Thursday, June 19, 2008
My family sent me an old issue of this gossip star magazine,
YES! Pinoy Edition.... I did not understand it at first, why they would waste their PESOS in mailing me the mag.... so I flipped through the pages... and right away I spotted their reasoning.... an article on Dennis Trillo (a Filipino Movie Actor) and his new condo... They (my family) have always known that I like Dennis ever since I saw him play a drag queen in a Judy Ann Santos movie that they dragged me to see one XMAS.... and I believe he WON lots of awards and accolades for it - deservedly so....
Anyway... it seems that we had so much in common when it comes to decorating our condos.... as seen on the photos here... above is his bedroom (photo courtesy of YES!) and below is my bedroom.... notice the similarities:
1) Green Walls
2) Mirrored closets
3) bed covers are not only similar in design... they are also similar in colors.... beige with brown circular patterns....
4) the BEST part of all, his CONDO is also in the MANDALUYONG area.... I wonder where? am guessing that it is the GA Towers right along EDSA....as some stars are already residents of the building......
maybe I will BUMP into him one of these days and we can discuss bedrooms...... GUDLUCK to me!!! hahahahaha
so anyway, wala lang, just made the BLOG so my family's effort and mailing pesos, do not go to waste.... hahahahahaha
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
in keeping with the BUTTERFLY theme....
*Butterfly X Bliss*
"Like a butterfly, BLISS itself is a force that cannot be caught, but rather must be accepted as simply whimsical."
So I cannot help but wonder - to whom are these separations easier to: "the person who leaves?" or the one who gets left behind?" is there an easy answer to this? or is it truly that no matter who leaves and who gets left behind - if both feels the same - then both equally suffers.... and can the strength of these feelings truly overcome these long separations??? withstand the temptations??? and overcome other desires caused by loneliness???
If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.
And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, (love) is not pompous, it is not inflated
it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury,it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails. If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing; if tongues, they will cease; if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing
For we know partially and we prophesy partially, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things.
At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known.
So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love...
Recently, a good friend here in Taiwan, turned us onto the Korean Soap Drama, The Coffee Prince -- it tells the story of mistaken sexual identity that resulted in lovers' confusion.... It reminded me of a Chinese Folklore that I heard a while back with the same premise but with a more tragic ending, The Butterfly Lovers. This is sooo famous that is has been done as an Opera, various movie incarnations, soap operas for the television, and even animation. It is one of the BEST Chinese stories I have ever read. Here's a brief Synopsis... an Easy Fun Read HAPPY WEEK Everyone!!!.
Long ago in China, at a time when girls were expected to stay at home and learn household work while the boys went to school, a girl named Zhu conceived a desire to study.
Her family was wealthy and Zhu was pampered but her father did not want to go against tradition. When she pestered him he told her if she got admission into a school he would not stop her from studying. He was confident that no school would admit a girl.
But Zhu was resourceful. She disguised herself as a boy and managed to get admission into a school in the city of Hangzhou, where her aunt lived.
Every morning she would put on her disguise and go to school.
There was a boy named Liang in her class. The two were drawn to each other, and in course of time became good friends. As the months and the years passed they became inseparable companions, and Zhu realised that she was in love.
She wanted to stay with Liang the rest of her life. She thought of a plan. She told Liang that when they finished school, and he had got a job he should come to her house and ask her father for her sister’s hand.
Liang readily agreed. He too did not want to lose Zhu. If he married her sister they could continue to meet.
After finishing school, Liang lost no time in taking up a job, and when he had saved enough to get married he hastened to Zhu’s house.
Zhu saw him coming, and was overjoyed. It was a year since they had parted and she had missed him terribly. Unable to restrain herself she rushed out shouting, “ I’m your friend, as you can see I’m a girl, I cannot live without you!”
Liang was dazed by the revelation, but soon recovered and caught Zhu in a warm embrace. Suddenly everything had fallen into place. Now he knew why he had felt such a strong love for Zhu.
Zhu took him to her father who listened attentively to what Liang had to say, but when the young man asked for Zhu’s hand, he shook his head.
He told Liang that Zhu had already been promised to another man, a wealthy merchant. Nothing that Liang said could make Zhu’s father change his mind.
Liang left, shattered. He felt frighteningly alone. The thought that he would never see Zhu again filled him with pain. On the way, he collapsed and died.
When Zhu learnt of Liang’s death she lost all desire to continue living. She pretended to agree to the marriage arranged for her on condition that the wedding procession passed by Liang’s grave.
As the wedding procession neared the cemetery the wind began to howl and the sky grew dark. Zhu jumped down from her palanquin and rushing to Liang’s grave threw herself on it, sobbing uncontrollably.
A peal of thunder suddenly rent the air. The next moment, a bolt of lightning hit the grave, breaking it open. Zhu leapt into it.
The storm subsided as quickly as it had started. When Zhu’s relatives reached the grave and peered into it, all they saw at first was an empty coffin. Then out flew two butterflies, dancing as if they could not believe they were together.
And as the people standing around the grave watched in fascination and bewilderment the two lovely butterflies flew out of sight.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Growing up in America, I developed my love for Foreign films at a very young age... I believe it stems for my LOVE of traveling; discovering new cultures...seeing new places..... and hearing different languages... they all seem and sound sooooo exotic to my ears..... and I figured, i I cannot travel to those faraway places, I could at least experience them through the art of movies.... PURE ESCAPISM.....
In the 80's it was all about EUROPE - SPAN in particular for me... telenovelas.... Almodovar films.... Chayanne, Alejandro Fernandez, Luis Miguel & Miguel Bose..... then I got to live in SPAIN and everything was 100 times much more beautiful as I already had pre conceived notions of what I would like to see, try, and eat.....
Then in the 90's it was time to turn my eyes into ASIA - Japanese & Chinese.... life was filled with animes, kung fu / fantasy films.... Wong Kar Wai artsy films.... Korean & J POP music.... soap operas.... food.... and now am living in Taiwan and traveling to JAPAN & CHINA at least 3 X a year.... so everything is a bit easier. too.... streets to navigate.... things and people to comprehend.... and so much more....
Living in Taiwan though makes it a bit rougher at times... most everything is in Chinese... though I can speak & comprehend it pretty well (thanks to numerous Chinese flicks and Mandarin Music) I cannot read Chinese.... Foreign movies are subtitled in Chinese... and for the most part - NO ENGLISH... so my trips to see foreign films are a bit limited to those of Chinese films only....
yesterday though, I was really itchy to see something FOREIGN besides a Chinese movie - I was in luck, The Orphanage, from SPAIN was playing and it was going to be in SPANISH with Chinese subtitles.... so I knew it was going to be work to understand but nonetheless a very good & exciting challenge.... am was I glad I did.... though I understood maybe only 75% to 80% of the dialogue - it brought back, and actually revived, my love for everything foreign....
and so I have decided, I MUST make it a habit to see more foreign films as often as I could... and not just HOLLYWOOD Blockbuster films... even if I have to resort to buying the DVDs...
am even beginning to develop an appreciation for PINOY films.... if only I can get over the long kissing scenes.... and the the even longer crying scenes..... lols!!!
and for my REVIEW of The Orphanage:
I decided to be more adventurous and go see The Orphanage
-- produced by the GREAT Spanish director, Guillermo Del Toro... though I knew it was going to be a bit of a struggle as it is in Spanish with Chinese subtitles, I just could not let it pass by without seeing it... I just knew that it would be another classic ghost story that does not involve gore and dismemberment to scare you. Definitely not perfect but a good antidote to the schlock put out by Hollywood! If I have to compare it to anything from Hollywood, I would got with The Others starring Nicole Kidman... which incidentally was also directed by another talented Spanish director.
It is a ghost story set, as the title suggested, in an old haunted orphanage building. The house is lived by a family of parent and their adopted child, incidentally, the mother used to be one of the girls from this very own orphanage. It starts with the little kid making comments about seeing and playing with other kids in the house, which cannot be seen by the parent. The director has led us by peeling layers of clues in uncovering the mystery of the orphans who used to inhabit the house. The movie is quite scary in the vein of the Sixth Sense or The Others complete with it's own surprise ending. This film also resembles some of Del Toro's, the executive producer, style (like last year's super cool, Pan's Labrynth).
Saturday, June 14, 2008
okay... I have been accused of FAVORITISM.... I DENY it, of course.... but maybe, just maybe, I am GUILTY (a tad bit!).... this is in regards to my nephews and nieces -- in particular my nephew, Ace.... it seems he always gets away with things with me... one bat of his eyes and I give in to his whims.... okay, not so much as to spoiling him with no ends... I am still sane enough (I HOPE!) to know where to draw some lines....
Not really sure what it is.... maybe it was because I was in the delivery room when he was born... that I even cut his umbilical cord... maybe it is because I see so much of myself in him... as well as when he was still a young boy - people would always mistake him for my son as we do/did look so much alike....
In FAIRNESS though, I would have to say that for the most part, he does not ask for too much... or ask for things a lot of the times.... that is why when he does, you cannot help but give in - if it's still within reasons... He never fights back...and just keep quiet when you are lecturing him... all of a sudden his eyes would swell up which would make me stop -- as I know I have already hit his limits....
Ace is always fun to be with.... always coming up with silly things and funny things for me, and everyone else to LAUGH at.... and he does not even mind making a fool of himself - in order to make people laugh -- to this extent, am very HAPPY and PROUD to say, that we are so much alike... here's an example of what am talking about... ENJOY!!!
NOTE: Ace is now 21, no longer a little boy... but I suppose, a part of me will always see him as that... and in a way, a big part of him is still like that... which I hope he does not ever lose.... He is currently on his last year at MAPUA University in Manila... taking up HRM.... He is even LUCKY enough to have found a very sweet, kind hearted GF in Gretchen -- who is now basically part of the family........
Friday, June 13, 2008
We always consider that it is a good thing to live a long life, and yet, many spend long lives sitting and complaining, watching television, describing mundane things, and wrests on the one thing they got to do in life and tell this story for the umpteenth time. And then we hear or read about the great achievers dying young, having lived their lives as full as they could. We feel bad and at the same time we celebrate the fact that they did so much in the little time they had.
As the great Taoist, Chiang-tse once wrote, even Death itself may not be necessarily bad:
"How do we know that to cling to life is not an error? Perhaps our fear of its end approaching is like forgetting our way and not knowing how to return home."
So before we start griping and praying to our own respective Gods to take away our trials and tribulations; to lighten up the tests that comes our way; to ease our heavy burden - we might want to closely examine what life has given us. How about looking at things a different way instead: that the "good" things are tests - an the "bad" things are gifts. Gifts to help us grow, problems to solve, situations to learn from and avoid, habits to change, conditions to accept, things to transform. All these so called "bad" things becomes opportunities to find Wisdom, Happiness, and Truth.
So for now... take the time to look closely at our lives and everything else around us, and LIVE! We might just find that Peace and Solitude we are seeking... the Love Eternal.... and all our wishes coming TRUE....
Finally, Jason Mraz is hitting the MAINSTREAM BIG TIME with the release of his studio album, "WE SING. WE DANCE. WE STEAL THINGS"... could not have happened to a more talented guy.... some of you might have heard of him... or his songs anyway... his version of The Cure's "I Melt With You" on the 50 First Dates soundtrack is a standout.... and he's been making the indie round for a few years now.... google him on imeem and you tube and you can trace back his musical roots... and hear/see his other songs... some of my FAVE: "Rainbow Connection", "Sleeping To Dream About You', & "I'm Yours" which is included in his studio album.... But possibly my most FAVE one by him is "You & I Both"... take a listen - the melody, the lyrics, and his delivery are just all great....
Monday, June 9, 2008
"True intelligence is all about knowing that you don't know everything -- be humble, and keep learning."
Yep yep.... another BDAY for me.... it is suffice to say that it will come and go - without so much as fun fare, celebrations or acknowledgements -- just like the past few years.... am pretty much used to it... and actually have come to welcome it -- not because am getting older so am trying to just forget the day -- or am I??? LOLs! It is mostly because I have accepted the fact that living so far away from most of my love ones - family & friends - makes it soooo much harder to celebrate the occasion... the last few years of living in Taiwan, less and less friends remembers my BDAY... actually last year, only a couple of my friends managed to remember to send their wishes.... and let's not even talk about my family -- with them, am to remember all their birthdays - but no one is ever expected to remember mine - and their excuse: I am so far away.... HAHAHAHAHA....
But I really do not fault anyone... nor do I even give it much thought... we all get too busy with our own things - work, family, life in general - so it gets harder and harder to keep up with everyone.... I do TRY MY BEST but am pretty positive I have forgotten to send a BDAY greeting or two here and there.....
NO DRAMA HERE really!!!! Just putting feelings into writing to mark this day.... LoLs....