Saturday, January 31, 2009

cows, bulls, and more...

One of the things I like best when is Kaohsiung is walking down to the Cultural Center... about a 15 minute walk from The Wus home... there is always something ahppening there... live performances, hip hop dancings, and various exhibitions.... this time we happen upon a cool art exhibition and the focus is to welcome the Year of the OX -- so all art posters, paintings & illustrations are of various cows, oxes, and even (the CHICAGO)bulls.... took a photo of some of my FAVES to share: CLICK HERE

Friday, January 30, 2009

so long ratsu... hello you cows....

Happy Niu (OX) Year!!!
"Niu" is Chinese for Cow... so it is fitting as we welcome in the Year of the OX!!! Hope you are all fine and having fun... staying safe...

A week later, and am so sure, at least, 3 KGS heavier, we are back from Kaohsiung where we celebrated and welcomed the Year of the Ox!!!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Hong Bao Na Lai!!!

Literal translation for this Chinese saying is: "RED ENVELOPE GIVE TO ME"!!! As most of you know, RED ENVELOPES means $$$ - these are given at various Chinese Occasions, most especially, during the Chinese New Year! Mostly given to the young ones, unmarried relatives and good friends, and to parents by the off springs who are already in the working field. Since i do not fit in any of these categories and add the fact that am a "waiguoren" (foreigner) - I really do not get them... Wu Papa gives me one each year - possibly not wanting for me to feel left out... but I do give it back, with added $$$, of course -- don't want to lose face...HAHAHAHA... NOTE: The money in the hong bao is intended only to give some joy to the young recipient and is an expression of good fortune represented by the red paper. It is considered rude for the recipients to open their hong baos in front of the givers.

I love the IDEA for these red envelopes - they signify the transmission of Good Fortune and Good Wishes, but what I love most about this tradition are the various "hong baos" that circulates during this time... cute ones... sophisticated ones... advert ones... etc... I have accumulated a few of these over the years... and I love each and everyone of them... Sometimes, they do come in GOLD, too!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Holy Cow, Batman!!! It's A Cow Invasion!!!

Wednesday afternoon, I took time off in the middle of the day to check out the Cow Parade Exhibition in Taipei. This Global Phenomenon, Cow Parade, has been around for quite some time now and have been shown all over the World. It is the first time it has come to Taiwan. And what PERFECT TIMING -- as The Year of the Ox is just around the corner... am also glad that I have taken the time to see it as it is only running till the 1st of Feb. Would hate to have missed this one... upon arriving to the venue, Hua Shan Yi Wen Xhiong Xing Museum, I was already greeted by a few life size cows surrounding the area... then giant posters of the Exhibition to truly entice passers by and exhibition goers... I knew right away it was going to be a FUN EXHIBIT!!!

What a GREAT Exhibition -- even if you are not into cows... Colorful, Creative, Artsy, Inventive, and FUN!!! It will be sooo hard to choose a FAVE as there was just way too many GREAT ones -- I say GREAT as all of them are GOOD... All cows exhibited are done mostly by local artists - famous, not so famous, and wanna bees... am told that various well known artists/designers were invited to participate; while design students were ask to submit their entry and the chosen one goes on to realized their design sketches...

It was GREAT that I was able to hook up with a couple of curators, I call them Cow Buddies, as they were so kind to walk me through the exhibitions and answer a lot of my questions - in Chinese and English. They made it much easier for me to make sense of it all.. and Jenny even was kind enough to snap a few photos for me - as my cam battery died towards the end.

4 Large rooms of cows... in their different splendours... some of the Highlights for me are the following:
-Coming across Miss Fashion Queen, done by a local clothing designer friend, Goji Lin
-Running into a studio where HK artist and Illustrator, Lee Chi CHing, was working on his special cow. He was kind enough to invite me in, so i was able to talk with him, photograph his cow before it got put on display, and snap a few photos of him in action.
-The fact that unlike most exhibitions where photo snapping is prohibited - it was very much welcomed here.

It would be GREAT to have one of these for my collection - I would LOVE IT... At the end of the Exhibition run, some will be returned to the designers, some as permanent exhibit at the Taipei 101 (a big sponsor for the exhibition) and some will auctioned of to benefit various local charities -- sadly, am sure they will all be out of my budget...

So if you are in Taiwan between now and Feb 1st, be sure to check it out... A FUN Day Is Guaranteed!!! If not, hope you ENJOY the photos I have taken here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

"I Knew Him When..."

well, this one tops my Springtime Travel Itinerary -- for sure!!!

Watching Mr Obama's Inauguration on TV earlier today (feeling Patriotic here)... and was admiring Michelle Obama's gown -- Lo and Behold, all of a sudden I was getting emails from friends telling me that the gown is done by none other than a very good friend, Jason Wu -- actually one of my very first friends upon moving to Taipei.

Am not one to drop names but this one I cannot pass up on -- as am more excited and elated for The talented Mr Wu, himself! WHAT A COUP AND ACCOMPLISHMENT -- AND VERY MUCH WELL DESERVED!!! BRAVO!!!

Go Go Go Mr Wu... and Pls Do Remember Us - your Loyal Friends!!!
You can see more of Mr Wu's designs here: Jason Wu Fall 2008

Feast on a "Spoonflower" of Fabrics

As most of you know, I collect just about everything... travels always entails perusing through the Antique shops, toy stores, and fabric shops... love seeing what's new and exciting... and of course, true to my nature, what's RETRO...

Today I got an email from a good friend in New York, Mike Dawson, he entered a design a fabric contest through SPOONFLOWER, a site that helps and encourages one to create/design your own patterns... Was just going to take time to see the entries and log in my VOTE - instead found myself going through pages and pages of fun, creative, artsy, gaudy, colorful design patterns... I LOVE IT ALL!!!My Friend, Mike's entry to the current contest.
If you ask me, this is such a wonderful idea -- perfect for those who are sooo particular when it comes to their curtains, beddings, etc... I mean, how often do we go in search of the perfect patterns to match our home needs... This place will certainly fix that. Check It Out and be sure to VOTE for my friend's entry -- LM by Mike Dawson: Spoonflower

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Mileage Code

Staying TRUE to my Horoscope for 2009, decided to take the PLUNGE and GO FOR IT! Armed with enough mileage to use with ANA, David and I booked our vacation for this year... this is our DREAM VACATIONS -- David stopping by for culinary pilgrimages, while I do my own in Holy ones in Seville and Rome... The VATICAN here I come -- FINALLY!!!The ITINERAY for this APRIL TRIP goes like so(FUNNY HOW THESE THREE LITTLE CODES MEANS THE WORLD TO ME):
TPE-SIN (Singapore)
SIN-SGN (Saigon)
SGN-BKK (Bangkok)
BKK=MXP (Milan)
MXP-LIS (Lisbon)
LIS-SVQ (Seville)
SVQ-LIS (Lisbon)
LIS-LYS (Lyon)
LYS-ROM (Rome)
ROM-FOC (Frankfurt)
FRA-PVC (Shanghai)
PVC-TPE (Taipei)

-- all these stops for 65,000 miles per person... of course, all these could not have been POSSIBLE without David's SAVVYINESS on airline routes & mileage requirements... never ceases to AMAZE me how he can come up with the routes that he does... making sure that our miles will be used the BEST and MOST to our advantage... even the ANA Reps were AMAZED!!!

So this is one trip am totally looking forward to... let me know if you have suggestions of cities to see, delicacies to try, along our route....

Monday, January 19, 2009

..and she calls it YOGA!!!!

Early evening yesterday, feeling refreshed from our 2 hour SWIM/WATER SPA, David and I walked over with Liya by the river so we can witness her different YOGA stances, photographed them, and hopefully learn something... well, we did not learn anything really and to date, am still awaiting from LIYA the names of her different stances... don't think she would appreciate the names I would give these poses (spread eagle stance, rear entry stance, etc... So Liya, Better get back with me with those names ASAP!!))
On the walk back -- we happen upon this tractor that's always fascinated me,,, and it so happened that it was abandoned right in the middle of the park... No one around... so what am I to do?? I jumped at my chance right away, of course, and tried it on for size...and a light in me flashed!!!

YOWZA!!! I found another job possibility, if ever I want a real career change.... just IMAGINE, no need to dress up... am out and about, soaking up the sun and smelling the fresh air... and I get to HANDLE BIIIIG MACHINES... MANLY?? Yes!!! and just the way I like it!!!
Rest of the Photos Here: Jan 18th, 2008

Sunday, January 18, 2009


...on our walk yesterday, I came across a giant poster covering a building soon to rise -- and the captions was stuck in my head all day and all nite long.... so glad I got to take a photo of it to share...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

On A Clear Day You Can See Forever!!!

Indeed!!! Woke up today with the sun shining brightly, albeit still pretty cold, as it has been since coming home from the Holidays. Still we are HAPPY as it is not gloomy, cloudy, or worse, rainy... today's weather was really pretty much like San Francisco weather -- the kind I miss most in the winter time...

So David and I did our quick early morning errands and we decided to indulge Liya for a hike up the mountains right behind Taipei 101, Shi Sou San (4 Animals Mountain)... it was a nice hike with many many routes to take: steps for the elderly and not so keen on hiking on a regular basis... and the dirt route -- muddy and tough, as there are parts where you have to climb up steeply, pulling yourself on ropes... making one feel like they are really mountain climbing professionals... that's the route we took, of course, proving to ourselves we can still be pretty adventurous... LOLs....

It was a good hour hike each way.... and you do see people of all ages through the hike... plus the mountain is actually filled with different temples along the way... so one can find refuge, water, toilets, and even food, along the way.... and at the very top, one is rewarded with not just really fresh air but a spectacular view of the city, along with the Taipei 101... After the hike, we rewarded ourselves with a bit of Xiao Chi (Little eats) -- dumplings, dumplings, & more dumplings -- as we happen upon this 20 year old, family run, dumpling place... nice treat after a nice little hike...

And equally nice, was ending the day with lounging about the Eslite Bookstore right on the Taipei 101 Building... magazines from all over the world... books on just about anything.... and floors and floors of different kinds of specailty shops ranging from clothing to computer software and add ons, gift items and novelty items, funiture and my most fave of all, toys!!! So another hour was spent just unwinding here and enjoying all that Eslite has to offer...
More Photos Here

Friday, January 16, 2009

Gemini Horoscope for 2009 - Year of the Ox

In 2009 year, for the typical Gemini, a lot of travel is expected. (I LIKE THIS PART ALREADY!) If you have never been abroad or have not made long-distance trips, then during this 2009 year of the Ox, you are very likely going to do it finally. Traveling, as well as communicating with foreigners or people who practice a different faith or have other cultural traditions, this 2009 year of the Ox would help Gemini to expand horizons. Starting from the early beginning of the 2009 year of the Ox, Gemini would become even more inquisitive, any new information would be important for you.

The most stable sphere in the horoscope of 2009 year for the typical Gemini would be intra-family relationships. Here all would be exactly and precisely as the way you have planned before hands. (AMEN!!! IT's ABOUT TIME!!!) You can also continue this 2009 year of the Ox to modernise your home, to carry out major repairs or engage in the construction of a new home, garage or a country cottage. In general, everything involving real estate, home and family during the 2009 year of the Ox would be solved sequentially, evenly, thoroughly, although a bit slowly. However, it is better to do it with quality than to rush and then remake everything repeatedly. (ALL NOTED)

This 2009 year, your views over investments, possibilities of using other people's money, credit would change dramatically during this year of the Ox. That does not mean that this 2009 year you would take loans or make large investments, but events may induce you to do so or make you to reason out and analyze such opportunities. (DOES NOT RULE OUT SOMEONE ELSE HANDING ME A LOT OF MOOLAH! SO FEEL FREE TO SEND THE MY WAY)
Follow Your Own Zodiac Horoscope Here!!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

...almost forgotten.... boo hoo....

...could it be HOPELESS by now??? The PROMO RUNS till Chinese New Year only -- which is in less than 2 weeks!!!!

First it was the Holidays.... then the WEDDING.... got sidetracked by all those I completely forgotten about the FAMILY MART Premium Promo for this year's Chinese NY.... boo hoo....

Remembered it upon sptting the newest poster recently posted on the front of Family Mart shops. These two are the two added Special Premiums: a Lucky (clute little) Rat and a Lucky Ox.

Alas, so far I only have these two below... one I got to redeem on my own while the other was a given to me by Liya... and it is getting harder and harder to get those stickers as certain items bought cannot be redeemed for stickers... what to do? what to do?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Wedding Rituals 101

The whole 3 day event was soooo overwhelming for me - not only witnessing, but being a part of my very first Chinese Wedding... which is weird having grown up in San Francisco where many of my Chinese friends did marry -- but alas, Western style so it did not prepare me for what was to come....

Nothing so earth shattering though, it was just one ritual after another -- and for a while there, it seemed like it was never ending... amd from talking with the Bride and Groom in between it all, they too, could not wait for the whole thing to be over with...

Wondering how I was going to BLOG this - not wanting for it too be as long as the wedding itself, I thought, the BEST way was to just do the PHOTO ESSAY for the events... so pls follow each links to the various albums - uploaded sequentially and here;'s hoping you will feel that you were witnessing it all in person - just as I was for the first time...
The Groom arrives in Kaohsiung to take the Bride from her parents' home to his home in Nantou. The Groom offers his gifts to the parents, the parents give their blessing and dowry to the Bride & Groom...

The Bride arrives in Nantou, the Groom's home... is welcomed by the Groom's family with some rituals, offerings, and blessings... The ACTUAL WEDDING and EXCHANGING of VOWS takes place...

A Couple of Hours Break - spent at the Nantou Museum for a bit of relaxation and Photo Shooting.

Reception Dinner in Nantou - given by the Groom''s family, and attended mostly by the Groom's family and friends...

Back In Kaohsiung for the BIG EVENT, given by the Bride's family. Over 400 guests, mostly the Bride's family and friends -- the party is almost a whole day's event.

Monday, January 12, 2009

An Afternoon Break @ Nantou Museum

In between Wedding Rituals... took a bit of a couple of hours break and headed up the hills from Shaun's home, to one of Nantou's Museums, Bair Tsang - I, for some photo shooting...

The museum is dedicated to local artists who sculpts using local products such as wood and metal... the Museum pieces had toured worldwide and is one of the city's pride and joy...

The founder and curator, and artist himself, was kind enough to open up for us privately for some photo shooting as the place is just grand and surrounded by beautiful sceneries -- perfect for some really beautiful wedding shots... oka, okay, by a professional anyway... the ones in the ALBUM are just the ones I snapped....It was a great way to spend a 2 Hour break before the Exchanging of the Vows commenced....

Click Here for More Photos

Sunday, January 11, 2009

10 Years - 'Nuff Said!!!

January 9th, 2009, not only marks the wedding date for Lyn & Shaun -- it marks 10Years of Togetherness, as well....

Time In A Bottle

If I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that Id like to do
Is to save every day
Till eternity passes away
Just to spend them with you

If I could make days last forever
If words could make wishes come true
Id save every day like a treasure and then,
Again, I would spend them with you

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them
Ive looked around enough to know
That youre the one I want to go
Through time with

If I had a box just for wishes
And dreams that had never come true
The box would be empty
Except for the memory
Of how they were answered by you

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them
Ive looked around enough to know
That youre the one I want to go
Through time with you

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Wedding Madness Ensues...

Tonite around midnite, we drive to Kaohsiung -- wedding gowns, decorations, Bride & Groom, etc., in tow... It will be a 3 day weekend long exchanging of vows and Chinese Rituals... as the schedule stands, Thurs will be filled with last minute preparations... Friday is for Exchanging of Vows in Nantou -- Shaun's familial place... Saturday is the biiiig event in Kaohsiung (with over 400 Guests!!!) -- Lyn's family home... and Sunday, the rest of the Rituals... again, that is how the schedule stands -- who knows what will actually happen when the time comes... Exciting and Nerve Wracking, if you ask me... and am not even the Groom nor the Bride... LOLs!!!

So that is our upcoming weekend schedule -- Hope you are all having a GREAT start of the New Year!!!
One of the many photos taken for the Wedding Invitations

So Long 2008 -- Hello 2009

So the first three days of 2009 also marks our last few days on Vacation in Manila... so glad it was spent just with the young ones - still on vacation... we just basically hung around, watching vids, swimming, walking about and discovering new places and eating places....

On the 1st, since we are not allowed to spend (some kind of tradition I am always told) - we cooked at home and then walked about the quaint little neighborhood of Tomas Morato district in Quezon City... it was truly my first time walking around the neighborhood... and boy am I glad we did!!! this has got to be my NEW/OLD FAVE area... lots of cute and nice little restos, cafes, boutiques to visit... can't wait to go back...

On the 2nd we shopped (as we are now allowed to) for presents (STILL) at various malls - and Manila never runs out of them!!! Then we went to see a really corny Horror flick @ Rockwell and did some cam whoring about afterwards....

Our last day on the 3rd, we drove to Quezon City again to check out a culinary school.... and then went to The Fort/Serendra area to walk around the shops... check out what's new with ALESSI... and then we were treated by AMEERA for coffee and desserts at Conti's...

Over all, 2009 has been good so far...
More Photos Here

An Afternoon with the Rimandos....

2nd Visit to the Rimando's new home -- close family friends, but a lot more like, family...

As David did not get to go the last time, we decided to get together again for lunch so David can admire the beauty of the Rimandos' new abode.... and since the kiddies are all on vacation still for the Holidays, it was a GREAT time for an afternoon of lunch and just hanging out....

The house is just beautiful... a work in progress, as The Rimndos' put it... a TRUE Labour of Love, as it is their hard work, sweat and time spent on renovating the place.... one look around and I could not help but feel a sense of envy -- not just for the TRULY SPACIOUS HOME, but knowing that it is all done to their liking -- by themselves!!! Even the children Nico & Tricia had their inputs.... a WHOLE FAMILY AFFAIR!!!

David of course, spent most of his time with Sandy in the kitchen -- preparing our lunch... and mostly admiring the space and all the kitchen gadgets... the rest of us chatted and hung out, as we waited to be fed....

Also loved being able to see their 4 year old Lab, WACKY... and TRUE to his name, he is quite WACKY indeed... sooooo playful, friendly and smart... I mean, how many dogs do you know that barks when someone gives a FINGER! and he can do quite a few tricks, too... as far as the Rimnados are concerned, he is the third and youngest child in the house.... and I could not agree more!!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

cHeEsEcAkE, sISiG, & wEnShA

Dec 29th, 2008: A couple of firsts for me here....

It was Kristopher's BDAY, Nicole's BF..we decided to have them over at the condo and give him a little surprise treat.. actually, it was more an an excuse for us to make food.... David made SISIG & Brazo De Mercedes dessert -- from the pages of the KULINARYA BOOK... and Ace made his INFAMOUS Cheesecake which I finally got to taste, after many months of promises.... I was IMPRESSED.... it was so GOOOOOD (PWEDENG PWEDE NANG PANG LABAN, ACE!!!)that I treated them to WENSHA that nite..... but before Wensha we did get in a few more minutes of swimming....

Monday, January 5, 2009

XMas Day : Dec 25th, 2008

The day was spent at my Mom's house... my half brother, Pocholo, was there along with his dad... so it was a day of eating, chatting, bonding... Actually the first for me to spend the Holidays with my half brother... so it was good as I got to know him a bit more....Romy, Mom & Pocholo

In the evening, we decided to stop by EASTWOODS in Quezon City, to check out the CONDO and MALL that is just about to open.... it was a nice way to unwind, checking out the cool mall and seeing the GREAT LOBBY of the new Condominium...

Dec 25th Photos CLICK Here

XMas Eve : Dec 24th, 2008

So am back at work in Taiwan... actually, part work... part getting in the midst of all the wedding preps, still... that one is coming up this weekend but that's for another blog... for now it is all about last XMAS...

This year marks the first yerar that Ace, my nephew, took over KITCHEN duties as he prepared most of our food... of course, Nanay could not help herself, and still cooked and prepared some of the dishes.... the rest he let Ace took reign and just supervised....

We picked David up at the airport late afternoon... then we all had a bit of the apple pie, just to whet our appetites for things to come that nite... showered and got ready for the Evening Mass, very Catholic household here... it was a very lovely service... the Priest had a beautiful voice and sang most of the service... I Loved It -- always the best part of going to church for me, THE MUSIC!

The back to the house for our XMas dindin... so much food... and BEST of all, so much LAUGHTER -- as all XMasses should be.... after dinner, it was time to open up presents.... chatting and kidding about... then back to eating again.... and AS ALWAYS, david is the first casualty of the nite and went right to sleep in the midst of all the holiday commotions...

More Holiday Fun Photos Here

Thursday, January 1, 2009

we gave a "DAMN"!!!

Dec 30th, Give A Damn,a BENEFIT CONCERT was held at A.VENUE, one of the newest and hippest places in the Makati area -- boasting lots of different local band, both famous and infamous... two of them are my FAVES: CAPO & Sundown Caffeine.... David and I got to attend along with Ace, Ameera, Nicole, Gretchen & Kristopher...

The night was topped off by hanging and eating at the closest McDonalds...

Was a FUN NITE for me to be with the kiddies... hamming it up for photos, etc -- see more here....