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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Operation Smile - Philippines


The wards in the hospital where the missions are held are designed to be really kid friendly. They have posters of cartoon characters, coloring books, toys, even DVDs!


Some of the wonderful staff who help during the missions FOR FREE. I think Operation Smile is as much about the volunteers as it is about the children whose lives are changed forever because of this non-profit organization.



Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Operation Smile - Philippines


I was fortunate enough to be able to go to an Operation Smile mission here in the Philippines. Operation Smile is an international non-profit organization that focuses on providing free reconstructive surgery to children (and adults) with facial disorders such as cleft lips and palates.

Stay tuned for more pics tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

There's the grub!


This dish is actually more appetizing than it looks. Sisig is a favorite Filipino dish made out of parts of a pig's head and liver and seasoned with chilli or calamansi, which are like little lime fruits. It's fantastic, especially with a cold beer.

Monday, November 1, 2010



This is a replica of our iconic Jeepney, as seen at the Manila Ocean Park. Why oh why there are ginormous cockroaches on top of it, I have absolutely no idea.

Sunday, October 31, 2010



"I often think the night is more alive, and more richly colored, than the day." - Vincent Van Gogh


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Drive Safely Powh!


How do I even begin to explain the concept of Jejemon that is currently terrorizing Manila? Let's see. Jejemon is a culture, a lifestyle confined to certain social brackets. It is derived from the phrase "jeje" which is a Frankensteined term for "hehe" (as in "Yes I admit I have a Justin Bieber CD, hehe!") + the word phenomeNON. Hence, Jejemon. It refers to a way of speaking but it is so encompassing a concept that it refers practically to a whole way of being.

In the jejemon culture, certain words have a way of evolving. Words like "hehe" mutates into the word "jeje", or "hello" into "eow!" and other such monstrosities. Jejemon must have started through texting. Manila is the texting capital of the world after all. So a simple "Kamusta ka na?" which is Filipino for "How are you?" becomes "mUztah na U?" with matching mix of small and large letters. The word "po" which is a respectful term in the Filipino language, becomes "PoWh." (See example above) It's a tragic concoction of awful spelling, terrible grammar and horrendous usage of both the English and Filipino language.

It must be very confusing for my non-Filipino friends, but let me go on.

This is the simplest way I know how to explain the jejemon culture: no self-respecting Filipino will want to be called a jejemon. Trust me.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My future neighborhood


The Central Business District, where I work, is about an hour away from where I live. Forty minutes if I'm lucky, and twenty if I'm super lucky. Most days I wonder why I chose to work here, when the commute is a nightmare, but some days, I think it's not so bad. It's actually pretty. I can jog, everything's accessible, and it's relatively cleaner compared to other places. Which is why I'm moving in one of the residential places around here (har har). More on that in the coming weeks!