Tuesday, February 28, 2006


One of the restaurants that the SO has found is Tanjia on Telegraph Avenue in Oakland CA. If you look at it from the outside, you probably would not even enter the building. After all, there are no neon signs to attract you. The paint on the building is chipping away and the neighborhood looks sketchy. That is why I never thought of going to this place. But the SO has tastebuds to fulfill and satisfy, so off we went.

As you enter, you are greeted by a tent that has been pitched to cover the entire room. Yup, it's a big tent. You can not see the walls or any of the dining section. It's one big tent. The chairs are little ottomans that you sit in. If you are lucky, you can sit on the benches by the wall. If you sit on the ottoman, remember to move around for the rest of the evening to get the blood circulating. Otherwise, at the end of the evening, you might be paralyzed.

The food is delectable. You eat with your hands but you can ask for forks. The meat falls off the bone. It has to since you eat with your hands. Whenever we go, we try to just order something that we have never ordered before. Actually, most of the food is served family style in one big platter. For the last dinner with my brother, we ordered the "Kingly Paradise" menu, for a minimum of three people.

We were served the hot and tasty lentil soup. Very good with the right balance of salt. And, if you dipped your bread in it, Whala!!! Dinner by itself. I almost forgot to mention that with the bread, you get a small platter of bread spreadables - eggplant, carrots, cous-cous or hummus. But the soup was followed by the filo dough with chicken. I thought that this was a dessert because of the powdered sugar that was placed on top of the baked dough. But again, it was really good with the mixture of the soft meat and the crunchy baked dough. Up next was the platter.

The platter had beef shish-kabob, seafood section with shrimp cooked in garlic, a vegetable section with carrots, a chicken, and some lamb. As the SO would say, it was GYNORMOUS.

But that was not the only highlight of the evening. There was also a bellydancing. For me, it has been hard to look at bellydancing. It is so sexual. But looking at it now, I realize that just with any other dance, it is an art form. Our bellydancer was a mid-thirtysomething Caucasian woman who danced well. In fact, the SO actually danced belly dancing with her at the end. It was hilarious. The SO wanted me to dance, but how could I? I was in the middle flanked by the brother and the SO. Hahahaha. The dancer also asked my brother to dance, but he was a little too shy about that.

One of the more difficult dances was the sword dance in which she balances a sword on top of her head and moves around. I had previously seen this dance and it was very difficult. The one that I saw had the dancer spinning. I don't even know how she did that one.

So if you are in the bay area, go to Tanjia. You will not be disappointed.

4905 Telegraph Avenue
Oakland, CA (California) 94609-2011
Phone: (510) 653-8691

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Marcos, the Great Dictator

A lot of Pin@ys just don't realize how good Marcos was. Examine what is going on in the Philippines, and you will realize incompetence. From the government that is continuously fumbled by Gloria Arroyo to the rebel leaders in the military who can not have a coup attempt without everyone knowing it, the Philippines is in a sad state of affairs indeed.

When Marcos declared martial law, he bribed all the military to go with him. He even got them Rolex watches to commemorate the deed. 31 silver dollars? No way! We are talking synchronized watches!

Which lead me to point out that one of teh problems of society is that we no longer have professional rebels, leaders, whatever! All we have are wishy-washy politicans and rebels who can't decide whether to go for the gold or try to get a certificate of merit.

Hoy! Pilipinas! Bumangon ka! Kunin mo yung mga magagaling! Ibalik ninyo sila musa sa Saudi!!!!

Christening and Baptism

Yesterday was the baptism of the twin nieces. I was not there for the baptism of the first one. No money and no time and too much stress on the job, if you can believe that. Now, with my newfound outlook on the way things work, HAHAHAHA.

The baptism was held at St. Leo in Oakland. The church allowed for private baptisms. I suppose that there are not that many parishioners here as anywhere else. In other places, there are mass baptisms. Ten to twelve families are present. Imagine…. with Pin@y ninongs and ninangs, that is a ton of people!

It's my second go round as a ninong. The first was in the Philippines when I was barely in my teens, maybe 12 or 13. Now for the second go round, I am hopefully wiser and smarter.

Lunch was served at East-West Ocean Seafood restaurant in Alameda, where the food is great and plentiful. That is where my wedding banquet the evening before was held. The menu on the books were shrimp with mayo, broccoli beef, chow mein, peking duck, spicy chicken, and fried rock cod fish.

Afterwards, we trekked to the SO's parent's house to regroup as the parents of the twins went off to money group.

I took care of the nieces. One of them C was crying a whole lot. I ended up placing her on her chair and then singing to her. That calmed her down for a few moments. But later on, hunger got the best of her. Only milk was the pacifier. The other twin V I managed to feed some milk. It was funny because she knew exactly that it was food. She grabbed the bottle as much as a six-month old baby could grab. Bwahahahha. "Give me that uncle!" And E the eldest, I ended up changing her diapers. That was a true sign of love I tell you!

I also continued with my experience of speaking with Caucasians to get rid of my colonized mind. I realized that one does not have to fear them. One can only try to understand them. So in that vein, I spoke and "hosted" Bob the father of my brother-in-law. A very interesting man who taught for 37 years at Marquette in Wisconsin.

For dinner, it was off to Fenton's where the food was ice cream and the portions were great.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Life and all of Its Glory

Life & Its Glory

Last night, I was supposed to go to Japantown to run some errands. Instead, I got out late to finish a report. Then I figured out that I could wait for the SO to leave her French class and then we both go to Japantown and have dinner there. It's part of the lesson that Tuhan Joe Arriola taught me. I need to build special events and memorable moments every day, every week and every month so that the marriage does not falter or fail. It is up to each individual in the marriage to carry the burden of expectations and disappointments. It is also up to them to creat edifices commemorating said love.

To wit, I decided yesterday as I was driving from work to home to cook dinner. So off to Safeway where the shopping list included: portabello mushrooms, mint, hot chile sauce, Padrinos chips, celery, baby carrots, some chicken wings and chow mein and bread. I broiled the portabello mushrooms for 11 minutes. I had placed on the mushrooms some cheese and olive oil. In a bowl, I had crushed some mint leaves; WOW, the aroma was amazing! Added olive oil and chile paste and Hoisin sauce. Then I placed that mint concoction on the mushroom before grilling. Can you say freaking noveau cuisine??? I think SO!!!

Life is wonderful and it keeps getting better and better.

Also had a Toastmasters meetings where I hosted the table topics. I sang the theme song from "Love Boat", but not the whole version because someone was averse to it staying in her head for three days. I asked the speakers to speak about long-stemmed roses, chocolate, first date and memorable dates. I mentioned the pscyobitches from hell whom I knew. And it was great pain and therapy for everyone involved!!! Woohooo!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Conyo Seur

I got an e-mail from Conyo Seur who I can only guess is a Pin@y in Washington D.C. He suggested that I visit his fledging site. Now normally, I would pass up the opportunity. After all, I am my own search algorithm. However, Conyo has a very unusual Pin@y sex site that I figured Conyo Seur is the Pin@y Blog of the Day for the 21st of February in the Year of the Pin@y.

Please be warned, the site discusses sexual material in a frank and direct way.

A + Educational Coaching

I have started a new phase in my life. This is why I have been absent for a few weeks. I have been concentrating on my new career as a businessman. I have started A+ Educational Coaching. The business involves my coaching high school students and college students to the next level of their career path. If they want to attend Berkeley or go to medical school, I serve as a personal counselor who suggests to them the steps that they need to take.

As Hillary Clinton said, "It takes a team to get by in this world." I sort of changed some words from her "It takes a village to raise a child." Funny, I remembered that my teacher pointed out that Hillary did not mention how the village should raise the child.

So if you dear reader need advice on college or medical school applications, consult with me, your guide to success!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Geron Busabos

From the internet:

Geron Busabos, Ang Batang Quiapo (Geron, the Vagabond). 1964, Emar Pictures. 2-1/2 hrs.

Director: Cesar Gallardo. Screenplay: Augusto Buenaventura. Cast: Joseph Estrada, Imelda Ilanan, Bebong Osorio, Oscar Roncal, Vic Andaya.

Flashback to the finest film performance of Philippine President Joseph Ejercito Estrada as a young actor 34 years ago. Estrada?s role as a tramp established the archetypal Filipino action hero: an essentially peaceful person drawn to fight against violent forces to champion the downtrodden and humble folk. Estrada sincerity disarms, endearing him to the movie-going public and providing him with a springboard to politics.

FAMAS awards for best actor (Estrada), picture and screenplay

• Imelda Ilanan (real name: Angelina dela Cueva, 1964 Miss Philippines International search candidate; not the same contest won the same year by Gemma Cruz who became the country’s first Miss International): Ang Dayuhan (1968); Asedillo (1971) and Bontoc (1979).

Imelda Ilanan's daughter is Maricel Laxa.

Monday, February 06, 2006


Nic Tiongson the dean and professor at the Dept of Mass Comm in UP Diliman is teaching a class in Philippine cinema at Berkeley. We met Nic about four years ago at Pusod in Berkeley. This time around, we are trying to watch the movies.

The first movie that was shown was Malvarosa. In case you are wondering, malvarosa is a plant that has one flower. The movie Malvarosa was a classic melodrama from LVN studios. The script was derived from a serial comicbook.

In many ways, this movie reminds me of the teleserye like "Annalisa" and "Flor de Luna". There were a lot of tragic events which precipitate into a happy ending. The main character is Rosa the youngest daughter of the family. Rosa has five brothers. Four of them were useless pieces of lint. The fifth was the only one worth anything and that was because he’s studying.

The eldest brother is a good-for-nothing womanizer who manages to impregnate and have three children from three different women. Now, the amazing thing is that
even I am more handsome than Melacio, the first-born. But, he manages to fool three women. There is a classic moment in the movie when all three women go to
Rosa’s house so that they can leave their children to Rosa. Did you get that? Yup, the women did not have any money to raise their children so they were going
to leave their children.

The second brother is Alberto who grew up to being called to the church. But, the one fault of Alberto is that he can’t ignore the neighbors talking about
his family. He is constantly taunted by the townspeople and this led to his utter and complete frustration. He ends up trying to rape the woman of his dreams. He then committed suicide.

The third brother is Leonides who is as dumb as a rock. All he does is eat and drink. This guy is classic in his uselessness. After the second brother died, he goes nuts and challenges people in the restaurant. In his death scene, he is shot by a soldier while trying to take a peek out of the window.

While watching the movie’s tragedies, I became physically exhausted. After a while, no character was safe. If they were on the screen, they were going to die or have something bad happen to them. And that was only at the half-point mark.

By the time the fourth brother Vedasto comes up, he’s willing to set-up his sister to a slimeball rich guy just so that he can get a job in the factory. What a sleazeball. We have here a candidate for hell level 3.

The acting is somewhat rudimentary. Shouting and anger passes off as acting skills. There are painful moments where one of the actors seems to have
forgotten his lines. The movie is choppy owing to the fact that the movie was derived from a comicbook. The dialogue is plain and simple.

The great parts are as follows: The movie showed the expectations of a woman’s role in Philippine society in the 1940’s and earlier. The caricature of men is
most likely accurate. The overwhelming role that religion played in society is portrayed most painfully. It made me cringe to hear Rosa say that you can not criticize parents because they are the incarnation of god on earth.

The sexism is absolutely boiling over from the movie to reality. There were many times where I had to wince and groan at the stupidity of the sexism. But, I know in my bone that there was a large kernel of truth in this movie.

And of course, the last scene involves the house burning to the ground. Talk about a lot of tragedies.