Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Best Music of 2007 - The Top 10

I've just made a queue of them on my Media Player. So here are my ten most-loved, most-played, most heads bobbed to-songs of the past year:

10. Stolen by Dashboard Confessional
So what if this is a departure from the acoustic set, and employs a full band? There's still as much emo going on as with their previous favorite, Vindicated.

9. Better Days by The Goo Goo Dolls
I do have a certain liking for songs that lead to a swelling denouement. This one starts mellow, wanting, and ends that way, swelling for a complete overture. Love it, and will always remember the nights I spent on a bus crossing Vietnam.

8. Last Request by Paolo Nutini
Yes, the "Breakup Sex Song" scores high on my list. Paolo Nutini offers much on his album, from drawls, to whispers, I hope he stays for some time.

7. Glory Days by Just Jack
A friendlier, more sober version of The Streets, I remember this song being played one late night on MTV - with changing shirts and easy beats, it was a late addition to summer soundtrack. Still, it was my wake up alarm - nothing says good morning like this song.

6. Wait For You by Elliott Yamin
Hands down my favorite American Idol contestant; and the only post-AI song that I liked. It's a great song with honest lyrics and a likable voice. He teams up woth Mary J. Bllige and Jason Nevins for some wicked remixes too.

5. First Time by Lifehouse
How can I resist Lifehouse? It's a happier, less somber new track and a world tour on the way. I do hope they swing by Southeast Asia.

4. Rescued by Jack's Mannequin
Though this should really count for last year, (Jack's Mannequin had 2 songs in the Top 20), this one takes the cake for 2007's cathartic expression of solitude. Look for the acoustic version.

3. Grateful by Julianne
The only OPM of this year, and well deserved it is. It's the lightest, feel-good song all through out 2007, and a much needed change from everything emo, R&B, and electronica. I remember listening to this song while walking on a peaceful late afternoon by the beach.

2. Starz In Their Eyes by Just Jack
You can so tell I loved Overtones. I repeat, it's a great, great album, though it feels like it's spoken word, but with lyrics that take on a skewering commentary like this, what's not to like? Plus, spins by Ashley Beedle, Trophy Twins and Boss Boss make this satirical ditty much more interesting.

1. My Love (Linus Loves Remix) by Justin Timberlake
Yes, Futuresex/Lovesounds was definitely one of the better releases of 2006 that carried over to 2007. Justin and Timbaland brings in their neo-R&B sound that makes the whole album interesting.

However, this win is not only for the duo, but for the remixer as well, Linus Loves. He cashed in on famous songs by Gossip, Mika, Jamelia and Kelis. Good dance music, and definitely one to be remembered. Wouldn't have loved My Love if not for this wicked remix.


So that was my list, and do vote on the poll on my sidebar, I'd like to hear what was your song of 2007.


Just to summarize my year-end countdown, here they are:

The Sign by Ace Of Base (1994)
One Sweet Day by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men (1995)
Ooh Aah...Just A Little Bit by Gina G (1996)
Semi-Charmed Life by Third Eye Blind (1997)
Wishful Thinking by Duncan Sheik (1998)
You Get What You Give by New Radicals (1999)
One More Time by Daft Punk (2001)
Yellow by Coldplay (2002)
Breathe by Michelle Branch (2003)
Ocean Avenue by Yellowcard (2004)
Hard to Beat by Hard-Fi (2005)
Move Along by All American Rejects (2006)
My Love by Justin Timberlake and Linus Loves (2007)

I'm still looking for the song from year 2000.
Friday, December 21, 2007

The Best Music of 2007 (Part 2)

Here's Part II of the list. Should've updated it a day ago, but what the hey. Let me take this time out that I wanted to include Daft Punk's Around The World/Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger (live) to the list, but since it's not exactly a new song, I can't. On a related note, it is time to announce Kanye West's blasphemy for duplicating the song. Hehehe.

Drat, that song from Transformers almost made the Top 10. And yes, too much pop in here, I think.

11 Before It's Too Late - Goo Goo Dolls
12 Stay With You - Goo Goo Dolls
13 All Good Things (Come To An End) - Nelly Furtado
14 I'm Ready - Jack's Mannequin
15 All My Friends - LCD Soundsystem
16 Lying Is The Most Fun… - Panic! At The Disco
17 9 Crimes - Damien Rice
18 Clothes Off - Gym Class Heroes
19 Rewind - Paolo Nutini
20 Let Love In - Goo Goo Dolls
21 For You I Will - Teddy Geiger
22 Signal Fire - Snow Patrol
23 Disco Friends - Just Jack
24 Jenny - The Click Five
25 Til The Dawn - Dawn Sidora
26 Summer Love - Justin Timberlake
27 Do It - Nelly Furtado
28 Let Go - Boys Like Girls
29 Samson - Regina Spektor
30 It's All True - Tracey Thorn
Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Best Music of 2007

Hey hey! It's time for the best music (my list of course) of 2007. Which songs got overplayed in my music player, which ones were on constant repeat in my CD player, and ultimately, which song will remind me most of the year that was. Any ideas who the #1 song will be? Here is the rest of the list - I'll be flagging a song everyday until the new year (will be editing this post daily). In the meantime, here is the partial list. Do post a comment if you like any of them.

31 Typical - Mute Math
32 Here (In Your Arms) - Hellogoodbye
33 Fidelity - Regina Spektor
34 So Simple - Stacie Orrico
35 Beautiful Liar - Beyonce/Shakira
36 Rootless Tree - Damien Rice
37 Grand Canyon - Tracey Thorn
38 Whatever It Takes - Lifehouse
39 Just So You Know - Jesse McCartney
40 These Walls - Teddy Geiger
41 Lovestoned - Justin Timberlake
42 Tell Me Bout It - Joss Stone
43 1 2 3 4 - Feist
44 What Goes Around…Comes Around - Justin Timberlake
45 Walk Away - Funeral For A Friend
46 D A N C E - Justice
47 Apologize - Timbaland featuring One Republic
48 Face Down - Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
49 Lil Star (Linus Loves Remix) - Kelis featuring Cee Lo
50 Makes Me Wonder - Maroon 5
Monday, December 17, 2007

Stupid ATMs Were Closed Over The Weekend

It had never really sunk in to me until I bought a bag. Or maybe the credit card bills haven't been forwarded yet. I'm going backpacking for 3 weeks and the day I leave is fast approaching. Most of the pertinent things have been taken care of, like a visa, and plane tickets, but I'm still scampering for accommodations in Sydney. Drat the hectic holiday season and peak travel times for Australia. Oh well, I'll find something - CouchSurfing, come to my rescue!

On my way to the loo, I end up buying a zoom lens for my camera. Let me calculate thate - if I use for 4 days, will get me views of a $200 seat for the price of $20...times four! Okay, so it's skewed reasoning, but it's the only monetary way I can justify the cost of the lens I picked up this afternoon. (Strange, I was Scrooging to avoid the 10-peso toll for lounge toilets, so I had to use the loo near the lens store. I save 10 bucks, but I get coaxed into buying the lens.)

Speaking of shopping distractions, I was looking for a dentist yesterday, and saw a large sign that said "CDs as low as 5 Pesos!!!!" Yes, I count exclamation marks. Like a moth to a flame, I swerve 3 lanes, at my personal risk, ire of other drivers, and possible apprehension by the MMDA. Of course the 5-peso CD was never going to by my taste, but I did find great bargains. The most expensive CD I bought was 150, with the cheapest being 50 pesos. It was a chance for me to collect the great electronica complations, and an opportunity to sample the newer indie artists introduced by the hit ex-show The OC. Here's a list:

1. Bloc Party - Silent Alarm Remixed and A Weekend In The City
2. Spoon - Gimme Fiction
3. The White Stripes - Get Behind Me Satan
4. The Perishers - From Nothing To One
5. LCD Soundsystem - Sound Of Silver
6. Telepopmusik - Milk Angel
7. The Best of Moloko - Catalogue
8. The Best of Underworld - 1992-2002
9. The Best of Prodigy - Our Law 1990-2005
10. Thievery Corporation - The Cosmic Game
11. The Best of Basement Jaxx
12. The Best of True Faith - Memories Are Cheap

By the time my wallet was needing a refill, all the ATMs needed one too. Oh well. I'll hopefully last another weekend.
Thursday, December 06, 2007

Some People Never Learn

My stupid laptop crashed again. This time, she took no prisoners - all my photos are gone. All the music I had archived is gone. All the emails that I have saved for work are gone. And this stupid PC hasn't been with me for a year.

Folks, avoid the Compaq NC6400 like a rat-infested plague. It's a guaranteed lemon.
Monday, December 03, 2007


Tsk. Gimme a few days to write a decent entry. Just been so busy - my "baby" is due this December, but alas, she will be finished on January. Busy ironing out all the kinks there.

Also been busy finalising all my plans for that Aussie trip - lucked out as all plane tickets (free ones) have been consumed. Must have to shell out major moolah to get to Sydney. Also, couldn't get a couch in Sydney!! Drat, double drat.

There. A few days - gimme a few days. Also, let me plug that there's a CouchSurfing party on Saturday, December 8. Hope to see you guys there.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Fruits and Fishes

So, in a matter of weeks, I had my next CouchSurf. I really did not mean to host this time, but how can I resist hosting friends I've met before? And it doesn't help my cause that she's a lovely Lithuanian lady. The upside is, my parents were forced to do some research - where is Lithuania?

After a night of partying and drinks, we headed out for Batangas. On the way there, a mandatory stop at Tagaytay was definitely due. My friend was vegan, and like a moth to a flame, she was immediately drawn to the fruit stalls leading of to the ridge.


I really should be doing profile photos of my guests. Hehehe.


It was my first time to snorkel, and in order to preserve the novelty of the experience, I decided to defer diving to a later date, and perhaps with another guest. Still, snorkeling and feeding the fishes was a great activity, if you're a fan of nibbling (pervert!) fishes.

And oh, my camera died on me; and this was the last photo I took.

Monday, November 12, 2007

I Just Want To Blog Right Now

I may be dizzy from being too tired, I may have loads of work-related issues I have to deal with, and hordes of blog entries that need to be written, but I just want to say that right now.

As a friendly reminder to myself, I mnus remember to blog about my snorkelling experience, my 3rd CouchSurf hosting duties and a some other things.


As a fortune cookie to end this short entry, I saw this motivational slogan largely written on an elementary school wall: "Be proud, you are a teacher - the future is in your hands!" Strange, that's the first time I saw that the motivation was for the teachers, not the students.
Monday, October 29, 2007

Radio One: 40 Years of Remakes

Honestly, remakes suck. Correction, remakes that do not pay homage to the original, while representing the current singer aren't worth listening to. Though fitting to the description, "emo," "acoustic" and "bossa" remakes have been prevalent so recently, that I think my ears would bleed if I have to endure one of them in a bookstore again. Too much of the bandwagon, I guess.

So I discovered a collection of old pop songs from the last forty years, one per year - interpreted by today's more popular acts. It's nice that *most* songs on the album were popular enough to catch the mainstream consciousness, and the artists featured try not to duplicate the actual songs.

Who's in there you ask? The Klaxons, McFly, Foo Fighters, Lily Allen, Kaiser Chiefs, Amy Winehouse, Paolo Nutini, Keane, Mika with Armand Van Helden, The Raconteurs and more. And who did they cover? The Beatles, Sting, The Rolling Stones, The Stylistics, Madonna, Cat Stevens, Britney Spears, and Ace Of Base. There's a lot of great interpretations in there, but if I would pick a handful of songs to force you to take a peek at the album, it would be Careless Whisper (George Michael), No Diggity (Blackstreet), The Power Of Love (Huey Lewis and The News) and You Sexy Thing (Hot Chocolate).

However with such a varied array of choices, there are some disappointments. My supreme letdown was Your Song (Elton John) as interpreted by The Streets. There was really no Mike SKinner doing that song, worse, he's better of singing, or speaking garage. Mutya Buena did a pass on Tracy Chapman's classic Fast Car, but I personally prefer David Usher's 2004 version better as it offered a more electronic departure from the acoustic original.

Ooh, it's all new (sort of) music all over again here: Radio One
Thursday, October 25, 2007

Maybe I Can Fix My Car Now

So I ended up buying a bookcase from IKEA. Yey, but it took up all my baggage allowance - boohoo you, no goodies for you. Surprisingly, it only took 15 minutes for a Luddite like me to build a bookcase.

How did I do it? I bought myself a box of tools from IKEA as well, laid out all the materials I needed, and the manual was pretty easy to follow. No words were in it though, everything was illustrated. A bolt here, a nut there, a little pounding here, and voila, a bookcase. Look at the smug smile on this carpenter to be at the end of the picture series.

Here's the fitted out bookcase, with books (duh) and IKEA accessories (picture frames, lamps, pencil holders) I got from a year ago. Isn't that neat!

Like I said, I did the tourist thing in Singapore - the landmarks were all too familiar, the people came in droves, and all cameras were busy clicking. Sentosa, Merlion Park, Esplanade, which were all teeming with Indian tourists having their day off from Deepavali and Hari Raya.

Everything is almost walkable in Singapore, which is cute, but still tiring. I lost 5 lbs from walking all day, but maybe that's just because I took my weight in the 9th floor of the park I was staying at. I'd like to think it was from all the walking.

So, let's just do a rundown of the pics I took:

Excuse me!

This is me trying to squeak in between the "ribs" of a dragon. Nice job Sentosa architects, how authentic. Good job for me too, I actually fit in between.

I know it's here somewhere....

Surely I could be missing some important landmark here....


Watch out! Behind Me!


Here I am taking advantage of unsuspecting tourists. But hey, he started it.

Egg chair! Shotgun

What happens when you put 3 guys together in a rain-soaked morning in Singapore? Why, spend loads of time in IKEA, yey. Here's one of us enjoying a wacky seat. That's craziness that those Swedish meatballs can't cure. *drool* Swedish meatballs with gravy and cranberries *drool*


But that's not to say I totally wasted my camera for nothing - I took nice pictures too. They're here - . Here's one of my favorites: The dolphin show in Sentosa just wasn't my cup of tea, and I was already extremely exhausted by that afternoon. I yawn, looked up and saw a great view:

Looking up
Friday, October 19, 2007

The Singapore Soundtrack: Jack's Mannequin

I think it's the first time I went on a trip not carrying headphones - and admitting that music is an integral piece of every trip, it felt like I was travelling for a week with only 2 days' worth of underwear (ooh, bad analogy). It was also the first time I was travelling with friends - never really backpacked with a group before, but this trip was really all about becoming a tourist, and not a traveler.

Back to the music, who could resist HMV? Aside from the fact that it was just two doors away from the flat where I lived, it had racks and racks and racks of CDs that were screaming "Take! Me! Home!". Fortunately for my wallet and quickly depleting EQ, I brought a list. I had to pass on Frou Frou's and Jewel's debut albums (30 SGD each!), but brought home the double-disc retrospective of Garbage, and finally Dizzy Up The Girl by The Goo Goo Dolls.

However, the Singapore Soundtrack honors go to Jack's Mannequin - last year's discovery, thanks to One Tree Hill (there is some good coming from that show, I just realised). Their only album so far, Everything In Transit, is a breath of fresh air. Not the cliche type, but the one that makes you feel you're in a rush swimming and you run up the surface to gasp for air. The music is a persevering alchemy of piano-rock that continuously pounds you with its percussions and almost-spoken lyrics.

Everything in this album is great! Piano-punk at its most listenable.

Just as a background, Jack's Mannequin is fronted by Andrew McMahon, a leukemia survivor, and this was the first record after his recovery. If I was on the verge of dying, and miraculously banished my disease, I would not be singing the "praise-be" of gospel, nor moping away self-pity with an "I could've died" anthems. I'd probably be like this: a little chirpy - walking with a spring in my step, but a the same time, a little drugged, rabid and continually shouting phrases. Strange, I know, but give me a break.

I've talked about the single The Mixed Tape, as it was in the best songs of 2006, so I'll skip that one. There are a lot great singles in the album - McMahon writes lyrics as brilliant as Carraba from Dashboard Confessional, but less wounded. He talks about long distance relationships, a destined love, and weeping alone. MY favorite has got to be "I'm Ready", a spirited morning song, laced with spoken dialogue. Imagine a bunch of lyrics just flying out, someone talking, all while Jack shouts "I'm ready!". Perfect wake up song.

Oh dear, I've written yet another long blog entry, but I know it's worth it. If you're looking for a burst of piano-rock energy, a chirpy happy melody, and forlorn lyrics, Jack's Mannequin is your guy.
Whoops, wanted to mention that. Just got in SIngapore last night, on Hari Raya, and well, it was pretty fun. The weather is not really too cooperative, as the rains choose to pour right smack our walking tour. To pass away the time, I ended up buying a bookcase from IKEA. Drat. Will let you know how that goes; seems like a job for Toolman Tim...
Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Save The World (Part Two) - Live Simply

This is part two of sharing tips on helping Mother Earth breathe a little bit easier.

5. Skip the bag - Paper or plastic? How about none of the above? Skip the bags, and feel better. FGF: 7/10.

6. Check your tires - Proper tire inflation can aid in better mileage by around 3%. FGF: 7/10.

7. Plan a right-turn route - Whenever practical, avoid making left turns; the time spent idling while waiting to turn burns fuel and costs millions each year. If you plan your route correctly, you can easily avoid the left-turns and stop lights. FGF: 3/10.

8. Plant a tree. FGF 9/10.

9. Live simply - We can't all buy carbon offsets, drive a hybrid, live in a green building, but we can learn from the Buddhists: Live simply. Meditate. Consume less. Think more. Get to know your neighbors. Borrow when you need to, and lend when asked. FGF: 10/10.
Sunday, October 07, 2007

Save The World (Part One)

Last April 9, Time Magazine published an issue called The Global Warming Survival Guide - 51 Things You Can Do To Make A Difference. They list down things we can do to help the environment, and I saved that copy to share here in my blog.

Time rates these little acts of kindness to Mother Earth on three criteria: impact, time horizon, and feel-good factor. I'm picking out the easier things to do, with a high feel-good factor(FGF). Come on, make yourself feel better, by knowing your making the environment feel a wee bit better too.

1. Work at home - My favorite, haha. Seriously, if not required, why bother going to the office, waste parking space, gas, and contribute to the 2-hour jam at EDSA? FGF: 9/10.

2. Open a window - Hot in the house? Instead of running the AC, why not spend quality al fresco time with your folks at the porch? FGF: 9/10.

3. Pay your bills online - This one I just did. If you have constant internet access anyway, why bother getting (often delayed) billing statements in your pigeon hole? View and archive them online, then bank-permitting, pay the bills without leaving your desk and save paper, and courier incidentals in the process. FGF: 8/10.

4. Don't standby, shut it off - Instead of leaving TVs, DVDs, and computers on standby, shut them off if you don't mean to use them anytime soon. A maximum of 75% of all electricity consumed in a house is from appliances on standby. How much more for a cube farm? FGF: 4/10.

To be continued...
My mind is speeding right now, so I'll be brief. Or lacking coherence; you decide.

My boss made me go home yesterday for a stupid, worthless meeting. Missed out on a weekend in Sagada, drat.

Had a CouchSurfer drop by the weekend. Had loads of fun, and got to go to Baguio.

Here's my guest framed by the gates of San Agustin

Needles! Lovely 20 degree weather!

Got my Aussie visa this morning - but I couldn't purchase Oz Open tickets. Darned things are all sold out.

Almost got a heart attack from trying to work too hard. My project is going downhill.

Oh, you might want to try the deluxe bus from Victory Liner - they're 29 seats in one bus, with stewardess service and snack. The bus comes with a loo. As of today, the schedules are:

Lots of space!

MNL-BGO: 1315h, 2315h, 0015h
BGO-MNL: 1015h, 1115h, 1315h, 2315h, 0015h

Take a leak with a view! Make sure you aim well though...

Travel time is roughly 5.5 hours, and the ride is 600 pesos.

I better shut up now, because my head hearts, I mean hurts.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Best Songs Of 1998

Here's the last of the list I was able to recover. Just some notes: there's an OPM! It's got my favorite All Saints song, I'll just add notes on what else was on the list. I really thought my #1 song in 1998 was from New Radicals, You Get What You Give was #1 in 1999.


25. Madonna – Ray Of Light
24. Robyn – Do You Really Want Me
23. Hungry Young Poets – Torpe
22. Lisa Loeb – Truthfully
21. INOJ – Time After Time
20. Run DMC vs Jason Nevins – It’s Like That
19. 911 – All I Want Is You
18. Mono – Life In Mono/Silicone
17. Green Day – Time Of Your Life
16. Pras/ODB/Mya – Ghetto Superstar
15. Eagle Eye Cherry – Save Tonight
14. All Saints – If You Wanna Party (I Found Lovin)
13. Texas – Breathless
12. Paula Cole – Me
11. Massive Attack/Tracey Thorn – Protection
10. Orbital – Halcyon & On & On
9. Janet Jackson – Everytime
8. Duncan Sheik – Reasons for Living
7. Alana Davis – 32 Flavors
6. Chantal Kreviazuk – Leaving On A Jet Plane
5. Stars On 54 – If You Could Read My Mind
4. Texas – Put Your Arms Around Me
3.. Aqua – Turn Back Time
2. Mariah Carey – Breakdown
1. Duncan Sheik – Wishful Thinking
Saturday, September 15, 2007

Best Music of 1997

So my list of 1996 was pretty lame. Well it sounded good way back then, so no regrets. Now, I’m coming back with the list of the succeeding year, the year I graduated from high school, and the one that marks my entrance to university. Memories, hordes of them!

25. Robyn – Do You Know (What It Takes)
24. Leann Rimes – How Do I Live
23. Sneaker Pimps – 6 Underground
22. Fiona Apple – Criminal
21. Allure – Head Over Heels
20. Janet Jackson – Together Again
19. Sheryl Crow – Hard To Make A Stand
18. Garbage - #1 Crush
17. Spice Girls – Who Do You Think You Are
16. Puff Daddy/Faith Evans/112 – I’ll Be Missing You
15. Robyn – Show Me Love
14. B Real/Method Man/Coolio/Busta Rhymes/ LL Cool J – Hit Em High
13. Boyzone – Isn’t It A Wonder
12. Hanson – Mmmbop
11. Changing Faces – G.H.E.T.T.O.U.T.
10. INOJ – Love You Down
9. Matchbox 20 – Long Day
8. The Braxtons – Only Love
7. Mariah Carey – Honey
6. Whitney Houston – Step By Step
5. Sash! – Encore Une Fois
4. Texas - Say What You Want
3. Bruce Springsteen – Secret Garden
2. Jewel – You Were Meant For Me
1. Third Eye Blind – Semi-Charmed Life

Stuff that are elevated to classics that came from this era were Paula Cole, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, En Vogue, Lightning Seeds, Daft Punk and Meredith Brooks. Do you remember Size 14, White Town and Artificial Joy Club? They sang Claire Danes Poster (an innocent sounding song, but not really), Your Woman and Sick & Beautiful respectively. I’m going to look for these.
Friday, September 14, 2007

I Got Featured In A Newspaper!

I've been CouchSurfing for some of my travels, and a journalist decided to write about it. Of course, my story was the most interesting, and totally deserved opening dibs. Haha. Check it out: Horse, anyone?
Saturday, September 08, 2007

The Best Songs Of 1996

I can’t exactly remember what I was looking for, rummaging through old folders and drawers in our garage, but I stumbled upon an old folder from my Humanities class. (While I’m at it, thanks to Mida at for being a great lit teacher – there were stories from James Joyce, Maxine Hong Kingston and Kazuo Ishiguro in that wonderful folder) Anyway, a really strange find was this: a yellowed printout of a list of all the songs that I loved, three year’s worth from 1996 to 1998. Imagine that, songs from a decade ago. I had a habit of writing them down so I can pick them up on CDs later, but then again, who had money in high school?

In the previous entry The Best Songs of 2006, I talked about this, and not having a medium for keeping them. Well, well, well. Time to change that – and to have a full nostalgia effect, let’s have them as a series of posts! So let’s start with the oldest of the list, songs from 1996. They’re ranked, and embarrassing the list may be, I hope you find songs that like from it as well, and remember them good old days.

25. Mary J. Blige – Not Gon’ Cry
24. Total – Kissin’ You
23. Everything But The Girl – Two Star
22. Alanis Morissette – Head Over Feet
21. The Bodeans – Closer To Free
20. Mark Morrison – Return Of The Mack
19. Joan Osborne – One Of Us
18. Oasis – Don’t Look Back In Anger
17. Keith Sweat – Twisted
16. Spice Girls – 2 Become 1
15. Babylon Zoo – Spaceman
14. Whigfield – Close To You
13. Monica – Why I Love You So Much
12. Duncan Sheik – Barely Breathing
11. Spice Girls – Wannabe
10. The Corrs – Runaway/Love To Love You
9. The Tony Rich Project – Nobody Knows
8. La Bouche – Be My Lover
7. Boyzone – Father And Son
6. Alanis Morissette – Ironic
5. Mark Snow – X Files
4. Squeeze – Heaven Knows
3. Robert Miles – Children
2. Mariah Carey – Always Be My Baby
1. Gina G – Just A Little Bit

Okay, okay, it’s a pretty embarrassing list, when you look back at it. Hey, it was the first time this countdown was conceived, and I was yet to refine the music I listened to. And did I say that that’s only the Top 25 of a hundred songs? Others floating in the list include Prodigy, Bush, The Beautiful South, Ash, Fugees, The Cardigans, Ocean Colour Scene, and Underworld. You might want to catch up on that. Meanwhile, there are songs in the list that I have to search for, because honestly, I forgot what they sounded like.
Thursday, September 06, 2007

US Open 2007: Men's Quarterfinals

Federer vs Roddick
I've seen this one before - way too many times that it's actually embarrassing for the American. All right, it's a rematch of last year's final, but the head-to-head of the two couldn't be any more lopsided. Roddick has been working well through the draw, agressively taking the initiative against his opponent, and King Roger looking vulnerable by losing two sets already. Still, the defending champion knows when to step up his game, and against Roddick, on a night match in Ashe, is the stage to break the hearts of the home crowd. Four sets.

Davydenko vs Haas
This could be a even match, and people should really now pay attention to the quiet Russian. This should go the distance, with last year's semifinalist Davydenko equalling his best New York finish.

Djokovic vs Moya
The draw is really testing the heir apparent of Federer, and I'm just hoping Nole's youthful physique holds up. He's fairly lucky that Nadal was dumped in the previous round, but, taking it one match at a time, should focus on defeating a resurgent Moya. Straights sets win is needed here for the third seed.

Chela vs Ferrer
Injury aside, it's not too surprising that Ferrer defeated Nadal in R16, but what is intriguing about that match, was he made the #2 seed work hard for every point, and eventually winning them. Ferrer is not just a dirtballer, but an established player on hardcourts as well. He has the better pedigree against Chela in winning big matches, and should eventually prevail in four.

Semifinals and Final
The semis should only be a formality, and will only lead up to the matchup we've been waiting for all summer (US summer, at least): Djokovic vs Federer. They split the two Masters Series in the US Open Series, but Nole bagged an extra one in Miami in March. Plus of course, that win over Nadal and Federer in Montreal. This should be a mouth-watering encounter, and will definitely be a treat. I'm betting on Federer (surprised?) to bag Slam #12, and an extra million bucks from the US Open series.

3-slam haul, yet again! Plus a million bucks! Sweet!

Watch out, I'm coming soon!
Wednesday, September 05, 2007

US Open 2007: Women's Quarterfinals

A fairly odd opening week for the women's draw, with most of the second half shaken by teenagers from the eastern European bloc (BLR, UKR, POL, HUN). However, all the big names have come out, on the top half of the draw. Here's a summary of the final rounds for the ladies.

Justine vs Serena
This is the third consecutive slam that they're meeting, yet I haven't seen much of the drama that this matchup promises. Then again, the upper half of the draw is filled with big names, and how appropriate that these two meet again. Ive been betting on Justine on winning their meetings, and so far, I haven't been wrong - both Serena and Justine ravaged through their sections of the draw, and this is the first major test for either. Third time lucky for the Australian Open champ? Nah, but I'm still looking for that tight three setter.

Jelena vs Venus
To semi-quote little sister Serena, how could a six-time Grand Slam champ have so many doubters? She rallied to win her 4th WImbledon, and has been on a rampage since. After shaming Roland Garros finalist Ivanovic in the previous round, she'll do pretty much the same with the other Serbian in straight sets.

Agnes vs Svetlana
In a rematch of last week's Mew Haven final, Agnes leads the EET (Eastern European Teens) brigade, and manages to go beyond 4R. She retired from last week's match, but with the stakes up a notch, there will be a contest right here. Expect her to to fight from the baseline, but inexperience to get the best of her. Two sets to the 2004 champion.

Anna vs Shahar
Ever since the Israeli almost prevent Serena to win Melbourne, I've been a fan of her. She hits the ball solid, tugs at every point, and has that ferocity laced with naivete to charm the hell out of me. She will subdue the quiet Russian in three.

Semifinals and Final
Two straight slams for Venus? That depends on Justine if she learned her lesson well not to falter in the semis. Their SF meet should've been the final at the All England, but this encounter at Flushing Meadows should make amends for that. I'm flipping a coin in favor of Justine, and crossing fingers for Shahar Peer to debut in a Grand Slam final.

Third time lucky!

A debutante at Flushing Meadows' Final Night
Sunday, September 02, 2007

US Open 2007 Fantasy League Update

Final Scores!

A fairly different result from last Wimbly FL. Maybe it's the new rules. Still, congratulations to the 700 Club, choco4me and *c.s.i.*!
Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Coverage, Where Art Thou?

I am in a panic mode. Solar Sports, curse you for not bringing the US Open. You and your crummy programming execs. I hate you to bits right now.

Since they will not be carrying the last major of the year, it will be the first slam since US Open 2000 that I will miss. I remember sneaking into my aunt's house to watch tennis in 2001.

Fuming mad right here.
Sunday, August 26, 2007

US Open 2007

Women's Singles
Defending Champion: Maria Sharapova

Quarter I

With top seed Justine Henin leading the charge in this section of the draw, there is an air of Wimbledon 2007 nostalgia, or should've/could'ves right here. Justine should've won her semis match against Marion Bartoli; and could've lost her match against Serena at the quarters. Don't fret, as they're all here, in a mix jumble of sorts. However, our surprise Wimby finalist might not make it past Lucie Safarova.

So there we go, for the third Slam in a row, it's the game's most mentally tough player, against the game's most powerful and determined player. Under the lights of Arthur Ashe, and 50th year since Althea Gibson's win, the stars are definitely on Serena's side.

QF Match: Justine vs Serena

Quarter II

Hey, whatever happened to the Russian Revolution of 3 years ago? Right now, all I hear is Serbia. I don't see an upset coming the way of the world #3, Jelena Jankovic, who, surprise, took a week off and skipped the Pilot Pen warm-up (*gasp*). Things may not be as as easy for the new world #4, Ana Ivanovic (Ana! Marry me!) as a showdown with Wimbledon queen (yet again) Venus Williams lurks in R16.

QF Match: Jelena vs Venus

Quarter III

For the second straight Slam in a row, Martina Hingis has been gifted a rather benign draw. Her section only toughens up in the 4th round, when she could probably meet Svet for a place in the quarters. The upper half isn't as brutal either. Nadia Petrova has been having a so-so year, and Daniela Hantuchova withered after her 2nd title win in Indian Wells. But, these are my predictions, so a bias is only expected. It's time for my ladies to suck it up, and took a shot in winning a slam.

QF Match: Daniela vs Martina

Quarter IV

Maria's only test in this section is going to come from Nicole Vaidisova, who after 2 years, has yet to make an strong impact in the big tourneys. She's been taken over by Anna and Ana. Watch Maria and Nicole slug it out in the 4R, and I think bonus points should be awarded for every point when they don't look at their coaching box.

It's going to be fairly quiet affair on the other section of the draw as the underestimated Anna C work her way through the draw. Watch out for her, a breakthrough is definitely in the offing.

QF Match: Anna vs Maria


Men's Singles
Defending Champion: Roger Federer

Quarter I

Dare to bet against the Fed? Nope, I wouldn't. With the US Open Series trophy under his belt for the first time, this is the first US Open he's going to play with a bonus payout of 1 Mn USD. It's going to be Slam #12 already, apart from his 4th consecutive win at Flushing Meadows should that happen. Should Gasquet come up with the same magic he brought to overcome Roddick in London, Roger is definitely up to that test.

Can Andy Roddick defeat Roger Federer? The short answer is no, so it doesn’t help that they’re meeting in the quarters. However, Tomas Berdych is waiting in 4R – he’s been inconsistent lately, and may suffer an upset in the hands of Fernando Verdasco, so that kind of helps Roddick limp to the second week.

QF Match: Federer vs Roddick

Quarter II

Apart from seeds Blake and Davydenko, expect the other seeds to fall off the wayside. Murray’s in the draw, but will not last too long. However, expect to find Baghdatis to cause a stir, and watch his match up against Haas, then Blake. Pity his run ended in NYC on a sentimental note against Andre Agassi.

QF Match: Davydenko vs Blake

Quarter III

Novak “The Anointed One” Djokovic has already proven that he can contest Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for tennis supremacy. Of the past 15 slams, only 2 have not gone their way. It’s going to be a pinhole and flaming at that for Djokovic to show up and interrupt their party. Standing in the way are former champ Hewitt, who has finally found his form (most of it at least) to go deep in the draws; there’s Mardy Fish, though still struggling with injuries, can pull an upset from Robredo and land in the R16; or even Youzhny, who made the semis last year. Awkward, Novak opens against the hard-serving Croat Mario Ancic. Definitely a night match to see.

QF Match: Youzhny vs Djokovic

Quarter IV

It’s actually surprising that Nadal hasn’t gone past the quarters – was it the tough draw? Maybe not. This year, he should make it all the way to the semis, among his conquests will be Tim Henman, in his final Slam, David Nalbandian, who enjoyed a top 4 ranking last year, and went into freefall this 2007, and either Gonzalez or Ljubicic, Not really a solid draw there, so Nadal should close in on the gap between #1 and # 2. And then there’s Marat Safin.

QF Match: Gonzalez vs Nadal
Thursday, August 23, 2007


I recently went on a work-related meeting off the end of Batangas, and I took some pics. Just sharing, just before I go into full US Open mode.

Pink and Indigo Sky

Yellow Sunset

Shells In Bloom
Saturday, August 18, 2007

Addicted to Pho

The past couple of days, I've been craving for more Vietnamese noodles - yup, pho. Interestingly, I never really liked them before, prior to my trip there early this year, where these noodle stores were as ubuquitous as Jollibees here (or Starbucks in the Makati area).

The soup is a little sweet, thanks to the basil, but watch out for that chili sauce.

It's a perfect tandem to the stormy we've been experiencing lately, a steaming broth with gummy noodles. Slurp away, there are lots of Pho Hoa stores in the metro, and a Pho 24 in Power Plant Mall.
Monday, August 13, 2007

Thanks For Voting! Next Leg, Perhaps?

Guys, much thanks for participating in the polls. Just as a segue (and to tie up the last couple of posts), I went Lonely Planet shopping with the sale at Powerbooks. And here's the decision:

I have ruled out Korea. Not too thrilling I guess, and perhaps, it's time to get out of Asia.

I tried to put the European options together. And like a true blue planner, the costs have been put in, itinerary set, and must-sees chosen. However, my window of travel is somewhere in the 1Q of 2008, and the average temperature in Europe is somewhere at ZERO degrees celsius. Winter wear was not part of my calculated costs (aah, alliteration working wonders!). The perfect time to get there is July.

So that I don't forget, the itinerary is something like: AMS-MUC-VIE-BTS-BUD-PRG-DRS-BER-AMS. Aww, shucks.

So folks, that leaves me with one option left: Australian Open, here I come! I don't intend to stay there the whole week, just the first 3 days. It's a more reasonable option, thanks to Mabuhay Miles. This way, I'll get to see more of the country.


Im putting in another poll. I'm set to see their big cities Sydney and (duh) Melbourne, as well as Adelaide to visit my relatives. However, which city should I NOT miss?
Thursday, August 02, 2007


Come on, it's so cute. More on this later.
Monday, July 30, 2007

August is Book Shopping Month

August is shopping month for me. Book shopping that is.

I try to hold off as much reading as I can, because August is the month-long sale at Powerbooks. Also, it's the the month when the Manila International Bookfair happens. It's normally held at the World Trade Center, Buendia corner Diosdado Macapagal Avenue (

It's the time to renew magazine subscriptions (and pick up free back issues of other magazines, and freebies such as mugs, chairs and umbrellas).

My book list?
The Periodic Table by Primo Levi
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

I've already reserved Kurt Vonnegut and a bunch of related Lonely Planet titles (see entry below).
Friday, July 27, 2007

It's In The Works...

It's been fairly quiet here, and no new entries, but if you've noticed, there's a poll at the right, and your votes have been useful! I'll post another poll, but this time it'll be more specific, haha.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007

My Vacation Is In Your Hands. Sort Of.

I'm trying out the new widgets here, so I decided to have a poll... I'm planning to have a long vacation, and I need to save up for that. Say Jan/Feb next year? I really need a good break from work (stressful, yeah) but more importantly, it's more of a career break.

So, the options have been trimmed already. Out from the list is Morocco and Egypt, done already with SE Asia, China is reserved until after the Olympics, and Japan may be too expensive. You may have noticed that USA is not even in my long-list.

Anyway, it's a life goal for me to watch a tennis Grand Slam, that's why Melbourne is there; Central Europe to see the Bohemia and Prague; and northwestern Europe to visit friends in Belgium, Netherlands and Denmark. I'm skipping touristy France and Spain for future plans.

Help, anyone?
Hey, it's a rehash of my old blog - same template (copied, yes, lazy, I know). Sorry guys for the unanswered posts in the shoutbox, it got lost in the flurry of events.

I also lost the full bloglist, so just send me a message, so I can update my linklist as well.


In other news, congratulations Roger Federer! A perfect record in Slam finals outside Roland Garros. It's Slam #11 now, so watch out Pete. The Fed Express is coming sooner than you think.


Sigh, so many Wimbledon memories. And I'm not talking about tennis. More on this, if I remember, or if I don't get too lazy.
Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Posting Some Transformers Love

Finally, the movie of the summer has arrived. All I wanted with my summer movies is entertainment value: non-stop action, a healthy dose of humor, and a certain wow factor. Transformers delivers all that, plus more.

I was a kid of the 80s, and had a good collection of Transformers toys. Imagine my amazement in seeing these armor toys in full battle gear, falling out of elevated highways, and more importantly, morphing from the flashiest cars and meanest F22s to badass robots. Nostalgia factor plus cinematic enjoyment all rolled into one.

Throw in wonder boy Shia, foxy Megan, and a fantastic song from the Goo Goo Dolls in the mix, and we definitely have the crown winner for this year's best summer movie. I forgive you Michael Bay for having a soapy score on the action sequences, just don't do it again.

I still haven't finished adoring how good Let Love In by The Goo Goo Dolls, then they trump it with another great song. Here's the video for Before It's Too Late (take that Snow Patrol for cashing in on Spider-Man 3).

Final results

Interesting, both my unseeded picks are through to the third round. (Yey!)

More edits: Henin is out? What happened there? I go out for coffee, with Roddick leading 2 sets to love, and they both crash out. Oh well.

Congrats to our winner kapuso and the rest of the 700+ club! Apologies for stanleygoulden for a scoring error.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Random Rants While It's Raining

Yes, London rain strikes again, and it's delaying all the games over at Wimbledon. While we're waiting (or trudging through Vijay's reruns), lemme rant some more, and this time, it'll be random. Haha.

1. London rain!!! Oh. I'm already done with that.

2. My parents have been keeping me up late the past couple of night because of TV (ironic, I know). They've been watching 24 in real-time! All 5 seasons in my room!

3. Where the hell is that package I bought from Amazon? It's my first time to buy for myself, and have it delivered here in the Philippines. It's been two weeks, and I need to watch the 2nd season of The Office in a very clear copy, complete with bonus features.

4. Speaking of The Office, I can't find a complete Season 3! Anywhere! If anyone out there knows where I can buy, kindly point me that-a-way.

5. I've been downloading Saturday Night Live episodes. Hugh Laurie and Rainn Wilson were just fantastic, Jake Gyllenhaal's Dreamgirls was pretty off, and the season ender by Zach Braff (what took them so long?) was honestly a disappointment.

6. Work has been nasty the past couple of weeks. I want a vacation!!! I'm thinking Seoul to Pusan. Any recommendations?

7. I went to see my first play (my first musical ever) since Shakespeare's Comedy Of Errors. Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah: Ze Musical was downright brilliant. You know how hokey those song-and-dance ditties you see in Regal movies? They're definitely better in theater. The writing and music was definitely spot on.

8. I've been archiving my CD collection. I'm at 77% complete (of about 220+ albums). In a few days, all my music will be at my finger tips. Mwahahahaaaaaahaaaaa!
Monday, June 25, 2007

Wimbledon 2007

Gentlemen's Singles
Defending Champion: Roger Federer

QF Matches:
Federer vs Kohlschreiber
Roddick vs Gasquet
Davydenko vs Djokovic
Bjorkman vs Nadal

Notable matchups:
R3 - Federer vs Safin
R4 - Gasquet vs Murray
R4 - Hewitt vs Djokovic
R3 - Grosjean vs Nadal
R1 - Clement vs Mahut
R1 - Moya vs Henman
R1 - Fish vs Nadal

Federer's draw is fairly soft, in contrast to the bloody draw he had last year (yet he only lost a set at the final). I'm hoping the Kohlschreiber earns a spot at the quarters, the Germans make a pretty well representation on the grass.

Same goes for Roddick, with the mercurial Gasquet going heads-up against an injured Murray. Either way, a spot at the semis should be in the works. ETA: Whoops, Murray is out. I think I'll pick Gasquet instead.

The only other winner in the draw, Hewitt will be up against the rising Djokovic. This should have all the spectators crapping their pants over at Centre Court.

Nadal, on the other hand, has as tricky draw, and it starts on Day One. After Mardy Fish, a probable meetup with Grosjean could be an upsetting prospect.


Ladies' Singles
Defending Champion: Amelie Mauresmo

QF Matches
Justine vs Serena
Jelena vs Martina
Ana vs Amelie
Tatiana vs Maria

Notable matchups:
R4 - Venus vs Maria
R4 - Martina vs Anna
R1 - Sania vs Yaroslava
R1 - Tamarine vs Shahar

They met on clay, and they meet again on grass. Justine and Serena will again highlight the quarterfinals for the second slam in a row, and this time, it's Serena with the advantage. What a difference two weeks and a change of surface makes.

Martina, this is your ticket to the semis. But how is that injury? It's a fairly workable draw (apart from the fact that your in the same half as Serena and Justine), with your biggest test to be Anna C in the quarters. Hardworking Jelena would make it probably through the 4R, but after playing 10 weeks straight? ETA: Anna C wins in Dutch grass. Hope she's exhausted by now.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Looks Like I'm Staying

Remember the post a couple of entries below about setting sail and all that? Well that ship has sunk. I didn't get accepted to the job I terribly wanted, and before I go in a long, whiny, depressed, shotgun-to-the-head woe-is-me speech, I will say: I'm over it, you sick bastards. (Not you, my beloved readers, them, with their terse, and succinct rejection letters).

Pardon my French, just had to say that out. See, all better!
Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Hah! I Got A B!

My Lakbayan grade is B!

How much of the Philippines have you visited? Find out at Lakbayan!

Created by Eugene Villar.

Good thing I got to travel much during my Davao stay. Otherwise, I'd probably get a D.

By the way, nice job with this one, Eugene!
Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Six Weird Things Tag

Not once, but twice! So I decided to do a blog-tag where I will admit my weirdness (Way to go Sneexe and Lisa!).

1. I'm a music junkie. That's not weird, but I do have a database of all the music records I've purchased over the past years; organised alphabetically, sorted by Genre 1 (Rock, Pop, Soundtrack) and Genre 2 (Greatest Hits, Remix, Live). It also has a prerogative field Rating where (duh) I give them a score from 1 to 5. Only a select few get 5s. I'm somewhere around 220 original CDs.

If that's not weird enough, I have an annual music countdown. It started in 1995, peaking in 1997 and 1998 where I was able to rank 100 songs. There's an entry about the Best Music of 2006 somewhere here, and I'm currently compiling the list for 2007. So far, I have 30 songs for the year.

2. I am a product of what I watch. Therefore, I'm a little John Dorian, part Jim Halpert, yet mostly Seth Cohen. Sarcasm! Irony! Wit! Torpe!

3. I'm an Amazing Race nerd. Sans The Family Edition of course. I think I spent one whole evening talking to my best friend about Seasons 1-10, plus All Stars. This included all the cast, order of elimination, places they visited, and all sorts of trivia. (We met again the following day to continue the conversation) My favorite season? The third one, won by Flo and Zach. I saw it 3 times a week (yes, that's the premiere and the two reruns) during its first run.

Must take a break from embarrassing myself........... there. Onwards!

4. My trademark photoshot wherever I go: I must place the camera on the floor, and take a vertical shot of me, and the landmark I'm at. My profile picture here serves as proof. More? Can you guess where I took them?

This one's easy! Carvings!This one should be pretty easy as well

5. I talk to myself. Really, like a full-blown conversation. With accents. In the car. There's also some singing involved; and hand-/finger-waving like a rabid Mozart or a drugged Italian.

6. I think that's enough. Scared yet?

Oh yes. I would pass the torch to AM, to my sister Michelle, Mida, Benj and Tanya. I hope you have the time (and enough sanity, courage, blah blah) to write down your little quirks. Allez!
Sunday, June 10, 2007

My Office Just Got Better!

Though an officemate of mine handed me five seasons of 24, and I laboured through the first season, I ended up being a fan (correct that, super-fan) of another show, The Office. Since one of the main sources of the laughs is an overblown ego, childish pranks, and crossing taboo matters, you know I'm talking about the American version.

Conjuring more pranks.

Anyway, I love the show!!! It's a big departure from the laugh-out-loud series Scrubs. Where Scrubs stands out as a floozy-dreamy, all-in-your-head sitcom, The Office is a can't-laugh, prudish, yet totally hilarious mockumentary. And I must say, that I am a Jim-Pam fan. They are so adorable together. In Scrubs, JD was an absolute jerk, while here, everyone is in torpe-land.

The famous kiss at the end of Season 2...

This would also drum up some close references to Dilbert and friends, but while the Scott Adams creation focuses on mocking engineers, skewering idiot managers, and the menagerie of office workers, the show is more on overconfident yet earnest bosses, clever office pranks, and blasting racial/gender/ethical decorum, all in the name of teamwork, motivation and whatever cliche you may have heard from HR.

I'm trying to practice how to do this. What do they call this? Grimace? Grin? Scrunge?

I've yet to finish Season 3, where a gorgeous Karen is added to the cast, so if anyone knows where to find a complete set, maybe you'd like to point me there.

Karen, I love you!


Recently installed WinDVD on my laptop, and well, I took some screencaps. Woohoo!
Friday, June 08, 2007

You Don't Know Jack

Just Jack that is. As a final salvo to Summer 2007 (too late now, I know), I chanced upon a really cool video late at night on MTV. It was Glory Days by Just Jack. It was so catchy that I literally went on a witch hunt for his latest album, Overtones.

The comparisons to Mike Skinner/The Streets are unavoidable - with easy beats, almost spoken word delivery, and a quick wit that matches it, I'm afraid the similarities end there. The cockney accent, acerbic commentaries, and rants on louts and geezers are definitely Mike's specialty. Jack on the other hand, focuses on lighter things, like having a good day, telling stories and disco people.
While you're thinking that he's just humdrumming daily news, he also provides inside perspective to celebrities and the pop music factory, to the ups and downs of relationships.

I was pondering on a weasely solution to a major boo-boo I did at work; my epiphany came when I was listening to the final song of the album, excluding the hidden track (which sounds more like LCD Soundsystem). The song was Spectacular Failures; yeah, the irony almost killed me.

Anywaaaay, so far it's this year's best "new" music discovery.

Now you do! It's pop/hip-hop/garage rolled into one...
Monday, June 04, 2007

2007 Roland Garros Quarterfinals

Justine vs Serena
Watch the drama unfold here! The winner here should be apt to take home the crown. Henin is definitely the favorite, yet no one should strike out Serena anywhere. Though Serena leads the H2H 6-3, Justine leads on clay, 3-1. Hope the crowd in Paris (and here as well) gets a treat, a thrilling 3 setter again, with drama, scandal, and hopefully, a pending three-peat for the queen of clay.

Jelena vs Nicole
Though Nicole has figured more here on clay as a semifinalist last year, and Melbourne earlier this 2007, I still would tip Jelena, the hardest working player on the WTA the advantage. Great spring results, and a steadier nerve would push the Serbian through in straight sets.

Ana vs Svetlana
Now this matchup would be my favorite of them all. It may not have the pedigree of previous champions, nor the nubility of the matchup above, but this is one square duel, with the Serb leading 2-1, the tiebreaker won last month in Berlin. I would cheer for Ana, it's about time that she figured in the important events. Three long sets.

Anna vs Maria
I'm honestly surprised how a limping Sharapova squeaked past a crafty Schnyder in the previous round - like I said, it hurts more to lose with tight score. Maria defeated Ana here in RG two years ago, but this seems like the opportune time for Anna to skip past Maria and make a SF debut. Straight sets for Anna.

I'm really torn on who to pick for the final, but let's cross fingers - Justine claiming three straight trophies in Paris, with Ana (single N) having wisp of glory as runner-up.

Allez Reigne du Roland Garros!
My first Grand Slam final!

Federer vs Robredo
All this should only be an exercise. Federer, all the way to the finals! Sure hope that Robredo gives him a good workout in three sets in preparation.

Davydenko vs Cañas
The hardworking Russian is looking for another SF appearance, and I'm crossing all fingers that Canas be avoided by Federer. Hahaha. Four arduous sets.

Djokovic vs Andreev
I hope that Federer's only heir apparent does not retire in the QF like he did last year. Also, it's nice to see Andreev go deep in the draw, and he could probably take a set off Novak.

Moya vs Nadal
Come on, no way veteran Moya can outrun and outhit the defending champion.

Watch history happen right here. 11th time lucky for Federer, as he finally completes his collection of trophies, and be the first man since a long long time ago to hold all Grand Slams at one time.

Roger Slam!
The streak is broken anew...
Saturday, June 02, 2007

Crash Memories

I initially planned to put a different entry on my blog, but something happened on the way home this afternoon. Northbound on Commonwealth, I saw a green Lancer (XFW 213) near Philcoa. The plate number seemed familiar.

Two years ago in January, as I was heading home from Starbucks Libis via Katipunan, a car swerved into the car I was driving, deliberately. The hit was on the rear passenger side, and due to the sudden impact, this caused my vehicle to cross the divider island, mowing down the trees. The result was 2 flat tires, a damaged rear, and a smashed front. Fortunately, I was able to steer myself from oncoming traffic, and not one of the other 3 passengers were hurt. The car that hit us? It stopped some 50 meters away, and after some 2 minutes, drove away.

I took note of the plate number for proper reporting to the authorities - yup that green Lancer was the one.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Elizabeth (1998)

It's been almost a decade, and it was only just last Thursday I saw (and eventually bought) Elizabeth on DVD starring Cate Blanchett. Not that I haven't seen the movie yet; I saw it twice in the cinemas, one as an English requirement, and another time because I found the movie absolutely compelling.

My beloved Cate Blanchett here was fascinating - emanating not only glory, power and inner strength, but also wit, charm and well placed femininity. I will forever curse Gwyneth Paltrow for denying her an Oscar win. I was plenty surprised that this was an all star cast - apart from the keynote actors, there was Vincent Cassel, Fanny Ardant, Kelly MacDonald, Lily Allen, and even Daniel Craig.

Declared illegitimate aged 3. Tried for treason aged 21. Crowned Queen aged 25. Can't wait for the sequel, The Golden Age.
Sunday, May 27, 2007

Roland Garros 2007

Women's Singles
Defending Champion: Justine Henin

First Quarter
All eyes will be on Justine and Serena, as they share four trophies over the past five years; throw in a good scandal the last time they played here, and you've got a mouth-watering drama ready to unfold in Paris. That, aside from them displaying fantastic form this year. I honestly don't see much resistance for either of them not to make it to the second week.

QF Match: Justine vs Serena

Second Quarter
Last year, Jelena Jankovic was a no-namer; this year, she's seeded fourth, with already three titles for 2007. A looming rematch with Venus Williams is in the works, with Venus aiming a revenge for the tight one they played in Charleston. Still, the Serbian is tipped to hang tough and make it to the quarters.

Elena Dementieva is in the mix too, but since she reached the finals of Istanbul, she'd probably wilt against last year's quarterfinalist Anna Lena Groenefeld in the second round. Either way, winning three weeks in a row exhaust the 2004 finalist.

A tussle between last year's claycourt princess (until she crashed out of RG in the opening round) Nadia Petrova and semifinalist Nicole Vaidisova will determine one position in the final 8 of the draw. I'd pick the steadier Russian, unless she chokes though.

QF Match: Jelena vs Nadia

Third Quarter
This section welcomes back the 2004 champion Anastasia Myskina - tough draw though, as she meets compatriot Svetlana in 2R. Kuzzie has reached 3 finals already, and has a clear claycourt pedigree, so expect her to go deep in the draw, all the way to the finals even.

Winner in Berlin, Ana Ivanovic has been gifted a pretty good draw, as she can power past all her opponents, until getting to the 4R, where she's expected to face Daniela. This one could go either way, but Ana's results on clay have been much more stellar than the Slovak.

QF Match: Ana vs Svetlana

Fourth Quarter
It's actually ironic to see that the highest seeds in this draw might not live up to their seedings; Maria (seeded 2nd) and Amelie (seeded 5th) aren't known to play big matches on the clay. Maria faces a dangerous Emelie Loit in the opening round, and this smells like an upset. Should she get past that, a crafty Patty awaits her in 4R.

It's already hard for the French to count on Amelie to win her home Slam, still, the draw has not been kind to her. She'll meet Lucie, who knocked her out of Melbourne earlier this year, and upstart Anna Chakvetadze in the succeeding round. Cross fingers, experience will put her through, at least until the quarters.

QF Match: Amelie vs Patty


Men's Singles
Defending Champion: Rafael Nadal

First Quarter
There is just one question on everybody's mind: Can Federer finally triumph in Paris, and claim the title Greatest of All Time? Prior to his Hamburg victory, this bid has already been written off, labelling his string of losses as a slump. But after dismantling Nadal's 3-year clay streak, the answer is yes. All he needs is pretty good warmup from quality players, and he'll be well on his way. A 4th round clash with former champ Ferrero, seasoned claycourter Robredo or maybe Safin should prepare (but not deprive) Roger for his moment in history.

QF Match: Federer vs Robredo

Second Quarter
I'm giving one slot in the QF for the hardworking Davydenko, he'll be facing Nalbandian in the R16, but the Argentinean hasn't been playing well recently, so I'll stick to my pick. I just hope he's not too tired from playing in Austria.

It's been a couple of years already, and I still don't know what to make of Gasquet. Baby Fed, they called him, but that star fizzled out due to (very) inconsistent results. He's going to face Federer's recent nemesis, Canas in R32 and Gonzalez in R16, and getting past that seems pretty slim.

QF Match: Davydenko vs Gonzalez

Third Quarter
The heir apparent of Federer has finally arrived. With consistent finishes in Indian Wells, Adelaide and Miami, Djokovic has proven that he's a step above his batchmates of young guns on tour. His section is gifted with lots of qualifiers, and his first big challenge will come in 4R against the experienced Ferrer. This is a tricky one to call, as Ferrer has turned in quite consistent results on the red clay.

The bottom half of the draw will be a total surprise, as there is nobody imposing enough to make an impression in Roland Garros. Baghdatis hasn't quite shown how good he is recently, and Andy Roddick has won 4 matches here in the last 6 years (that's a really bad statistic). It's a second round appearance at best. I hope Mathieu goes through the draw, he was the only one to give Nadal a run for his money in last year's tournament.

QF Match: Djokovic vs Mathieu

Fourth Quarter
It was an inspiring run in Hamburg for Moya, let's hope that this has boosted his confidence in being a threat on clay. With no real contenders in his section, he should rise above them and get to the quarters.

Hewitt may have had a good run on clay recently, but he snagged the rough end of the draw, landing in Nadal's R16 lineup. He almost figured out how to play the King Of Clay, but in a 5-setter environment, expect the defending champion to scramble and tug at every point.

QF Match: Moya vs Nadal
Monday, May 21, 2007

Why Am I Not Surprised?

What Be Your Nerd Type?
Your Result: Science/Math Nerd

(Absolute Insane Laughter as you pour toxic chemicals into a foaming tub of death!)

Well, maybe you aren't this extreme, but you're in league with the crazy scientists/mathmeticians of today. Very few people have the talent of math and science is something takes a lot of brains as well. Thank whosever God you worship, or don't worship, so thank no deity whatsoever in your case, for you people! Most of us would have died off without your help.

Literature Nerd
Social Nerd
Gamer/Computer Nerd
Drama Nerd
Anime Nerd
Artistic Nerd
What Be Your Nerd Type?
Quizzes for MySpace
Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Explore. Dream. Discover.

Who would've thought that in my drunken stupor last weekend I would be taking home something that would immediately inspire me. No, not that, you pervert.

I've decided to change jobs, or at least apply for another one; and an overpriced quotable magnet probably must've pushed me to the edge to take a leap.

Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines, sail away from from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.

It sticks quite well in my cubicle wall too.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Sunflower Memories

Every summer, I look forward to passing by University Avenue in Diliman - the entrance to my alma mater, UP. April would be the perfect time when the sunflowers are ripe and in a blossoming flourish. The jolly yellow flowers would signal that another year has come, and graduates must march out of university, and on to the real world. These blooms would remind me of everything that was college: a time to grow up and be an adult, but still revel in your youth; a time to make sense of the things that go around you, but still be irreverent. Whenever I see University Ave aglow with the sunflowers, I can not help but feel awe of the fond, fond memories UP has given me.

Every summer, the portal of sunflowers transport me back in time, when everything was beautiful, and in full bloom.