spitting image

December 30, 2016

I enjoy lechon like most Filipinos.  I really like Cebuano-style lechon because it suits my tastes (or maybe I’ve been brainwashed by my dad over the years).  Most people favour the pig’s skin or rind (what eventually becomes the crackling) but I enjoy the ears, brains and trotters but IMHO the best meat comes from the cheeks.  The best lechon I ever ate was prepared by Estos (I wonder where he is now) stuffed with two stuffed chickens. That said, I’ve yet to taste the Stuffed Lechon at Pepita’s Kitchen tucked away somewhere in Magallanes Village.

It’s partly hedonism but I’m hoping other like-minded individuals can also follow their own bliss.

clusterf**k

December 30, 2016

At business school, I was taught about clusters and diamonds.  Given the “horrendous” traffic in the Philippines, I think we need to consider other models which may co-exist with these.  Sure, zoning is a definite constraint but we need to plant local opportunities:  where “quality” jobs are available nearby instead of the CBD (where people need only travel within or to directly adjacent municipalities or towns).

This might spell a boost in employee productivity and this will definitely improve the quality of life of people.  A ‘win-win” as it were: we need to move away from “zero-sum” thinking.

This may not be in line with “conventional” wisdom but we need to try something different.

an unexpected journey

December 29, 2016

been under the weather lately and it’s caused me to reflect.  Haven’t done my daily exercises now for three days as I’ve been feeling really bad (it helps keep my body weight at a level I can physically manage and releases my endorphins to help me cope).  Living with an unnamed neurological condition for nearly nine years (with relatively stable symptoms) and my recent health issues has reinforced that control is an illusion and that I better make hay while I still can (not to be overly dramatic but more realistic).  Admittedly, it’s hard for me as it’s not my personality and I was brought up to place other’s needs before mine (so much so that I don’t REALLY know what I want).  It’s not easy but I should endevour to put my and my family’s enjoyment first (even if it runs contrary to the delayed gratification I was earnestly taught).  Everything considered, I will continue to set aside funds like I  previously learned to manage money.  Enjoyment shouldn’t be an excuse to shirk responsibility.

rogue’s gallery

December 23, 2016

I finally saw Rogue One earlier today.   This is a spoiler for some so I suggest those that haven’t seen it yet stop reading now.

I understand why they had to call it “A Star Wars Story” and they did not have the usual scrolling introduction as it happened between Episodes III and IV.  It was a much needed explanation and closed the loop as how the Rebel Alliance acquired the schematics (and more importantly the in-built and purposely engineered flaw) of the Death Star.

Chirrut is more than a token character with a disability (which is an indicator of how far society has come – there’s still a way to go but the “representation” may have not been that welcome a few years ago).  It isn’t surprising that he was blind (echoing the parallel when Luke was training to use a light saber onboard the Millennium Falcon).  It reminds me of Erannon of the Blade, a character I concocted back in college for an Advanced Dungeons & Dragons campaign after reading the Rogue’s Handbook. I even wrote a monologue for him – sheesh!

Rogue One as a title seemed arbitrary to me – it’s just anything penciled in by the writer in the script could have been used.  I was just hoping it was more meaningful (and not as serendipitous as it seemed).

Star Wars is ostensibly a space opera (as previously described).  It may not be everyone’s cup of tea (oh, the sacrilege!).  It personally means something to me (as I suspect it’s held deeply by others) but I know enough that it holds no significance for others (no matter how hard you try to convince them).  IMHO, it’s a binary fight between good and evil – just like The Lord of the Rings series – so I understand why it doesn’t appeal to some.  Ever notice Sci-Fi does have penchant for dystopian futures (a lesson that we have the power to choose to avoid this bleakness)? Star Trek seems more hopeful to me – I don’t mind it but I prefer Star Wars (does it surprise anyone that Episode V:  The Empire Strikes Back is my favourite one?). And I always felt there was an “artificial” dichotomy but I digress…

The “main” characters had to perish because they aren’t part of the storyline.  It was finally good to see some diversity on screen but I’m not a real PC stickler – with the changing demographic in America it’s no real surprise although women seem to be visibly underrepresented.  In any case, does it advance or is necessary in the grand scheme of things?  In my mind, it may have not been the greatest Star Wars film (it was certainly better than all of the prequels) but it’s a story which definitely needed to be told.  This isn’t really a review but just a few of my thoughts.

i was thinking Roderick but typed Richard instead by mistake.  I don’t want to be accused of spreading post-truths.

they showed the Christmas classic, Die Hard last night.  I rewatched it because I like the movie.  Too bad most people know the late Alan Rickman only as Severus Snape and aren’t familiar with the iconic villain,  Hans Gruber.  I really like the film (as evidenced by the number of times I’ve seen it –  I’ve watched all sequels which, IMHO, fall  way short) but I prefer the book on which it was based:  “Nothing Lasts Forever” by Richard Thorp.  I’m such a nerd.

two out of three ain’t bad

December 17, 2016

Teague Ezard is one of my of my favourite chefs (long before he appeared on Masterchef Australia –  although in fairness, they did introduce me to a number of chefs).  We recently tried Ezard while we were in Melbourne because we really liked the food at Black in Sydney.  Both were good but we preferred the latter.  Will try Gingerboy the next time we go back to Melbourne.

Almost had to cancel our booking due to uncontrollable circumstances but managed as I was insistent since Rockpool and Guillaume’s closed this year. When I can, will try to eat at restaurants on my list given the opportunity (and make plans for others).

Studying and living in Australia reinforced in me the notion that you like what you like.   I’m not a fan of the term: “guilty pleasure”.  I believe enjoyment is personal and shouldn’t be a social construct of what is deemed “hot or not”(understanding fully since I was also a teenager).  I consider trendmakers and influencers (and even role-models to a certain extent) as starting points and it is, ultimately, up to your own tastes or what you derive pleasure from (or what you believe). You and not external sources should decide (although they can be invaluable guides).  It’s important to find individuals you can relate to at some level.  Maybe it’s “easier” for me since I was never part of the “in” crowd.