The CS Manila Edition!

Friday, December 10, 2010

The 2010 Music List

Yeah, well so I haven't been blogging; but I'm not letting such a tradition be broken. Here's a rundown of the most played songs on my player for 2010, and the rest will be tweeted starting tomorrow. Hope your music list was as awesome as the year that has gone by.

21 Stornoway - Zorbing
22 Kesha featuring 3OH!3 - Blah Blah Blah
23 Justin Bieber and Sean Kingston - Eenie Meenie
24 The Drums - Let's Go Surfing
25 The Script - For The First Time
26 Kesha - Your Love Is My Drug
27 Neon Trees - Animal
29 Mike Posner - Cooler Than Me
30 Flo Rida and David Guetta - Club Can't Handle Me
31 Matisyahu - One Day
32 Alpha Rev - New Morning
33 Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg - California Gurls
34 Owl City - Vanilla Twilight
35 30 Seconds to Mars - Closer to the Edge
36 Toni Braxton featuring Sean Paul - Looking At Me
37 OneRepublic - Marching On
38 The Hoosiers - Choices
39 Timbaland featuring Katy Perry - If We Ever Meet Again
40 Forever The Sickest Kids - What Do You Want From Me
41 The Radio Dept - Heaven's On Fire
42 Taio Cruz featuring Ludacris - Break Your Heart
43 Ellie Goulding - Under the Sheets
44 The Avett Brothers - Kick Drum Heart
45 Kesha - Tik Tok
46 Daft Punk - Derezzed
47 John Legend featuring The Roots - Wake Up
48 Jay Sean featuring Sean Paul - Do You Remember
49 Shout Out Louds - Fall Hard
50 Delphic - Doubt
51 Disco Biscuits - On Time
52 Professor Green - Need You Tonight
53 The Futureheads - Heartbeat Song
54 Minus The Bear - Summer Angel
55 The Courteeners - Take Over The World
56 LCD Soundsystem - Can Change/Home
57 Stars - Fixed/Dead Hearts
58 Cee Lo Green - Forget (F^##) You
59 Minus The Bear - My Time
60 John Mayer - Heartbreak Warfare
Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Repost a Report

Ive posted one before, so this is an update - the plan is to be A by next year at the latest. I think I'm close.

My Lakbayan grade is B+!

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

Created by Eugene Villar. my favorite director. Wait - let me just clear the cobwebs from this blog. There.

Yep, I'm alive. I've got several excuses (travel, work, no internet, zombie invasion, you know the drill), but none of it matters now. I've seen the deliriously good Inception by Christopher Nolan, and it is now confirmed: He is my favorite movie director.

As previously tweeted, Inception is the movie to see this summer: an arresting panorama of visuals, a sensational ensemble (always a gathering of acting heavyweights), but the core of it? A mind-blowing script. Franchise here, reboot there, a trilogy's about time someone came up with a devastatingly novel idea.

The idea of Inception is relatively complex, but you'd be surprised on how straightforward the stroytelling is. Then again, halfway through the movie, you realise that you're not there just to watch the film, you're there to admire it. It's like an elegantly dancing Rubik's cube or an infinitely changing Mandelbrot (forgive the nerd in me). However way you splice it, Inception is just intellectually gorgeous, in structure, in delivery, and in conception.

And if you look at Nolan's resume, his movies aren't too far off in formula: The reverse storyline coupled with short-term memory loss in Memento, one-upmanship and the (for lack of a better word) prestige in The Prestige, and the beautifully organised chaos in The Joker's mind in The Dark Knight. Where M Night has grabbed our attention in The Sixth Sense yet failed to deliver in consistency, Nolan has soared and kept on improving his craft.

Oh here's something not so original - remember that hotel fight scene with JGL? Though it's a definite shoo-in for MTV's Best Fight Award, I've seen it before. It's about time someone use this idea from 12 years ago!

Best Fight!

Yup, that's Justin Timberlake and the gang in Bye Bye Bye c.1998!
Oooh, long time. I don't even remember doing this for the Australian Open. I didn't even have enough time to write about that Japan trip, back-to-back summer shenanigans, but tennis. Yes, you, you've been nice to me, so time to pay back.

Women's Quarterfinals

Serena vs Sam
It's easy to go with Serena, here, but were talking clay. Apart from the fact that Slammin Sammy held her nerve to take out Henin in three sets. If this turns out to be a serving duel like what happened in Melbourne in January, this is a Serena show. I'm counting on the clay to boost Sam's chances, so I'll give it 3 sets, for an upset.

Yaroslava vs Jelena
Roland Garros is usually a good platform for surprise quarterfinalists, but hopefully this only becomes as a springboard for Shvedova. It was a convincing with for Jankovic over Hantuchova, and I really hope she pulls herself together, because to be honest, she is a contender for this title, apart from the fact that this may be the surface where she has the best chance to do so. Straight sets for the Serbian golden retriever (I'm talking about her game).

Francesca vs Caroline
While Caroline is a solid baseliner and can probably has more in the tank to propel herself to the semis, I'm a bit wary of the Italian veteran. She's got the skills, the guile, and the physique to see her through. 3 sets for Francesca?

Elena vs Nadia
A battle of veterans, is most likely going to be a battle of headcases as well. Rooting for Nadia, she's been doing well at the slams, but she defeated Venus with much conviction at the previous round. Having said that, a SF for Elena (or a probable final) isn't as bad as well. I'll go straight sets for Petrova.

Semis and Final
Long shot but hey, Jelena over Petrova in the final.

GS final. Headcase no more!

Maiden slam? Hopefully so. I hope she fixed her serve just in time.


Men's Quarterfinals

Federer vs Soderling
Tricky call this one. Apart from Federer and Nadal, no one has looked more daunting than Soderling. He's out to prove that his historical upset last year was no fluke, so, and he attempts to score another monumental upset this year. I would think that pity Sod, he could actually go deeper in the draw, but not with Federer polishiong his 14 straight win over the Swede.

Youzhny vs Berdych
Finally, a good GS showing for the tall Czech! It's been a genial claycourt season for him, but as always, it's been a mixed bag of results for him. Which provides no help in calling out this match. But this should be a good 5-set duel on Lenglen.

Melzer vs Djokovic
Again, Djokovic has been considered the sleeper hit in Paris. While the Roger-Rafa rivalry has been reignited, Nole has been quietly living up to his seeding, and nothing more. The draw gods have opened up his quuarter fairly well, and that should boost his chances if he wants to get past Nadal in the succeeding round. Good serving, and even better scrambling from the Serb should earn him a 3-set pass to the semis.

Almagro vs Nadal
Last time this happened, I thought it was going to be a good match. Almagro went home with three breadsticks that day. With the way Nadal has been dominating the red dirt all over Europe, don't expect anything to change this time around.

Semis and Final
This will mark Roger's 2819th straight GS final. Yes, we know. However, look at that mouthwatering Semis between Nole and Rafa. Friday night lights showdown! I'll catch that after class, and better be a good one.

Suunday, will be a rematch of 2008, but don't expect the result of 2009. It would be nice for Roger to claim (and retain) the Coupe de Mousquetaires at the expense of Nadal, but most unlikely. Sure hope I'm wrong (I love vendettas), but Nadal is king on clay, and with those knees running full steam ahead, there's no stopping the Spanish juggernaut for his 5th crown.

Not this year..Wimbledon next?

King once again
This May. See you!

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Saturday, April 03, 2010

The Japan Soundtrack

First things first, as usual, most trips have the sights, smells and feel; and it's always up to me to provide the sounds. This year's vacation is has been aurally brought to you by the BBC Sound of 2010 (see previous article below) plus some old goodies.

Recommended tracks for your summer listening pleasure:
1. Let's Go Surfing, Saddest Summer, and I Felt Stupid by The Drums.
2. I'll Hold My Breath, Under The Sheets, and Your Biggest Mistake by Ellie Goulding
3. Fireflies, Hot Air Balloon, and Vanilla Twilight by Owl City (just saw the concert before I left - an excellent way to spend a warm summer evening)
4. Giving Up The Gun, Run, Cousins by Vampire Weekend
5. Mountains, Bubbles and Many of Horror by Biffy Clyro
6. Remain, Doubt and Red Lights by Delphic
7. And I played pop hits from Jay-Z/ Alicia Keys, 5ive, Lady Gaga (featuring Marilyn Manson! Who knew that a collaboration might actually exist!), and Dominos by The Big Pink.

So that completes my summer soundtrack for 2010. As a parting shot, here's the happiest tune of them all for this year. To the basement people, so many surprises await you!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Where Have The Days Gone?!

Crap - I may be travelling a bit too much for my own good. I ended with Paris, and forgot about the rest. Anyway, I'll just put it down as a summary: Belgium was nice, quick and lovely, but I still don't know what's the deal with the Manneken Pis. Though I miss those waffles though.

Then I went to the Netherlands. Delft is a great city! And Amsterdam had the prettiest girls in all of Europe - and that's not even counting the ones by the windows. Suffice to say, my most enjoyed moment was Amsterdam, and couldn't wipe that smile off my face for two straight days. Good thing I don't have to blog about it, it may not be print worthy, wink wink.

So...why have things been quiet the past month? Japan, baby! On the next update though.
Sunday, February 28, 2010

Ahhhh, Paris.

Yes, Paris aka the City of Lights, but more popularly known as the City of Love is over rated. When you're there, it's feels "just all right", but perhaps it's me expecting to be overwhelmed by grandeur and culture.

Barren Tuileries in autumn still looks lovely.

Maybe I guess I was spoiled being incognito in Asia, deadpanned in London, but I was harrased the moment I got out of Gare du Nord. I was still adjusting my bearings when someonone tried to sell me Metro tickets, even if I insisted on getting them from the booth. Moreover, I got caught between the Metro gates (totally my fault). Good thing my friend Marc lived near a Metro station, I didn't have to walk too much with my luggage. Running across St. Pancras and back with 40kg of luggage is not to be repeated again.

Montmartre, seen from Centre Georges Pompidou

But having said that, it cannot be denied that Paris is gorgeous. Eiffel Tower is inspiring, both up close and at a distance, the subways are filled with performers and streets are littered with art. The photos are amazing, if I do say so myself, and it's definitely an experience to spend a week in Paris. So scratch that first paragraph I wrote.

Arc de Triomphe, the largest roudnabout in the world!
Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Halloween Pub Crawl

So, where was I? Before getting interrupted by Aussie Open and holiday season, I was talking about how awesome London was. On top of the freebie museums, I happened to be there on Halloween, where people took it seriously. Plenty of Joker (Heath Ledger version 2008) and zombie wannabes, so I joined in the fun with some fake blood.

On top of celebrating Halloween, we did it Pub Crawl Style! No better way to enjoy 31 Oct than this; wait, we were the 2nd most fun activity that night in all of London, next to Halloween Costume Pub Crawl in Roller Blades, which I saw on the way to the pub.

So, nothing wrong with runner-up, but before I sound like one of those paid up PR schmaltz on the newspapers, I'll just post some photos instead.

Deric! Too bad the photos died on your camera, mine sucks!

So there I was...


She asked me what I thought her costume was. I said Liza Minelli. Look at my photo above, that's not fake blood; her costume was supposed to be a barfly.

There's the leader of the band all dressed up in his monkey costume, right beside Mr. Vorhees.
Sunday, January 24, 2010

It's A Hot Day In Melbourne!

I remember a ritual involving writing predictions for every tennis Grand Slam. But my, 2010 is shaping to be quite a busy year, and we're just in the first 20 days of it. Missed out on the prediction from the get go, but here's what I got right: breakthroughs for Vika, Marin and Jie; and what I did not get right: Kim's demolition, and Sharapova's flameout. Plus, Dementieva's spirited loss against Henin. It's shaping to be an excellent tourney yet again in Australia, so let's get the predictions on.

Federer vs Davydenko
I've never rooted for Davydenko, and I would've cheered for him (tout him as a favorite, even). Tough part of the draw as he meets Federer as early as the QF; this could've been a final, IMO.

While Davydenko showed chinks in his armor, Federer upped his game against Hewitt. Sure does pay to know each other's game very well. Same fate lies for Davydenko, but expect a fight. Four sets for Federer.

Djokovic vs Tsonga
Has anyone noticed that no one has noticed Djokovic? He's one of 3 ex-champs here in Melbourne, but all eyes have been on the comeback ladies and the question marks on Nadal (fitness) and Murray (when is that slam coming?). Nole takes on a rematch of his 2008 win against Tsonga, who looked demoralised fending off streaky Almagro in the previous round. A tired Tsonga will bounce his way out of the tournament thanks to a fine straight set win from Djokovic.

Roddick vs Cilic
If I'm going to call an upset, this would be it. While the tall lanky Croat stringed a mature win over US Open champ JMDP, Marin's method was still shaky and unconvincing at some points. Roddick's style has gone from one-sided to consistently explosive, and using maturity now as an added weapon.

Both players won their warmup tourneys in Brissy and Chennai, and someone will end his streak here. I call Marin to step up tp the plate, and defeat Roddick by out-acing and out-pacing him. Roddick, now faster than ever will catch up with some of them, but expect those backhand returns to be dealt with pain. Another 5 setter in the works.

Murray vs Nadal

This round's marquee match. A blazing Nadal will square off a bulked-up (yet again) Murray. Will Murray choke (Hopman Cup anyone), or have a repeat of his run to the final? Speed-wise, it's a pretty even match, but for power, the advantage belongs to the Spaniard. I would like to vote Nadal here in 4, but why do I get this sinking feeling that this'll end in straight sets for Andy?

Semis and Final
Federer. Djokovic. Grand Slam semifinal. Didn't we see this before? Yawn. Murray-Cilic? Well that's new. And so is this: Novak will make the finals, and so will Murray. Only because I've been waiting for this matchup for quite a while now. Maiden slam for Murray? Nah, Australia's not really his strongest suit.




Serena vs Vika
This should be an explosive match. Serena is playing untouchable tennis, serving impeccably and demolishingly precise. Vika is a true firecracker, clawing her way out of a big hole to make it to the quarters.

We'll see a lot of rallies here, and a side to side wiping of both players. If Azarenka can manage to get past the Serena serve, she'll have a chance (like she did last year, before retiring due to food poisoning). However, from Serena form of late, everyone is just scrambling for that runner-up plate. I say straight sets. If Vika gets past Serena, then it's Azarenka FTW.

Na vs Venus
Venus could've tumbled earlier, but she didn't. Must be the wisdom of maturity that's anchoring her fantastic run in Oz. She never tends to do well here, but I'll give her a shot at the all-Williams clash by getting past China's Na in 3 tight sets.

Justine vs Nadia
With so many people to choose from this quarter, did we really end up with this match up? Drat, should've put my money on Justine instead of Elena for my FL picks.
I'd love to see Nadia breakthrough here. Anyone who humiliates the the last GS winner by surrendering only 1 game, deserves some praise. Nadia also took our reigning RG winner Sveta in the previous round. I want to see how that hot streak fares against this Grand Slam episode's comeback queen Justine. I'll vote on the Nadia train for 2 sets; if goes to a third expect Henin to squeak out of that.

Jie vs Maria
Wow, who would've thought it. China represent! No ide where this one will go, but I'm hoping that Jie makes a second SF appearance in a Grandslam. Besides, it's the slam of the Asia-Pacific; nice to see two Chinese players out there.

Semis and Final
Serena. There's no denying that she's head and shoulders above the pile, and enjoying it. And oh, welcome back Justine. I smell a rivalry revived.

15 Slams for Roger? We'll see who's got more in a couple of years...

Welcome back!
Now that the rundown of 2009 is over, it's time to look ahead of what we should be looking forward to in 2010, music-wise. I'm a big fan of BBC's Sound Of... series, and judging from last year's list, it's quite obvious.

While the Sound of 2010 has stepped away from last year's electro-frenzy (Little Boots, Lady Gaga, Frankmusik), this year's mix is a bit more varied, though still with a bias for synth. You've heard about Two Door Cinema Club, and everyone has been rapt with Owl City, so let's proceed with artists that not a lot of people have heard of yet. From the long list of 15, here are my favorites.

1. Stornoway - This probably fits my kind of alternative. Clever lyrics, hints of folk, and a good ambient sound done live. They should - this ensemble features an ecologist, Russian lit specialist, and trumpets! Looking forward to see more of them this year.

2. Elie Goulding - Winner of the critics' list, radio-friendly and a continuation of the 2009 electro-princess trend.
3. The Drums - Summer soundtrack, get ready, it's the Beach Boys for Gen Z.
4. Delphic - This year's version of Temper Trap, or an updated New Order. Less cheery, and darker undertones, but definitely interesting still.

Look who's back, they're the follow up albums we might see this year:
1. LCD Soundsystem - A raving masterpiece that Sound of Silver was. The anthemic All My Friends needs an encore, so welcome back James Murphy.

2. Vampire Weekend - Contra has already been released, and their Africa-tinged melodies are filling the airwaves once more.

3. Justin Timberlake - You got to admit, that FutureSex/Lovesounds album was groundbreaking, and established that JT has talent. Let's see what other tricks he's got on his sleeve.
4. Gorillaz - It's been quite a while Damon Albarn. Blur reunion take up mnost of your time?
Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Best Tennis Matches Of The Aughts

This is Sports Illustrated's best matches of the past decade. I have been fortunate enough to see 8 of them, and I do agree that they were truly the crowning glory of the sport. A bit of American bias though, Ivanisevic's championship win over Rafter at Wimbledon 2001 should've been here.

1. 2008 Wimbledon men's final
Rafael Nadal def. Roger Federer, 6-4, 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-7(8), 9-7

Saw this in HK. There was strawberries and cream (thanks Mida!) for the duration of the whole match including rain delays. Phenomenal stuff, saw the crack of dawn to cap off the best match of all time. I probably won't be hearing a lot of disagreements with this one.

2. 2001 U.S. Open men's quarterfinals Pete Sampras def. Andre Agassi, 6-7(7), 7-6(2), 7-6(2), 7-6(5)

Four tiebreaks, and two legends battling it out. A carryover of the 90's, this was to usher in the new age of tennis.

3. 2005 Australian Open men's semifinals
Marat Safin def. Roger Federer, 5-7, 6-4, 5-7, 7-6(6), 9-7

I remember being in a party in BKK, and skipping out to watch this. Further proof that Safin is next to Federer as best natural ball striker out there. During Federer's prime, where no one could come close to his dominance, only one man stood out to steal a hardcourt major from him, the mercurial Marat Safin.

4. 2005 Wimbledon women's final
Venus Williams def. Lindsay Davenport, 4-6, 7-6(4), 9-7

Most heartbreaking match on the list. A spectacular 25-shot rally drained the life out of Lindsay costing her the match.

5. 2009 Wimbledon men's final
Roger Federer def. Andy Roddick, 5-7, 7-6(6), 7-6(5), 3-6, 16-14

Almost, almost. By 12-all in the fifth, I was saying 'ridiculous, shades of Aussie 03 again, Andy?". Wimbledon, though not as fan-friendly, never fails to disappoint turning out with the best matches.

6. 2002 Australian Open women's final
Jennifer Capriati def. Martina Hingis, 4-6, 7-6(7), 6-2

The match that transformed me from casual viewer to all-out addict. This will be the last time Hingis will contest a Grand Slam championship. I miss you Martina!

7. 2004 French Open men's first round
Fabrice Santoro def. Arnaud Clement, 6-4, 6-3, 6-7 (7-5), 3-6, 16-14

No, I didn't see this, though I probably did see clips of it, since it went on for more than 6 hours and over 2 days.

8. 2006 Rome Masters men's final
Rafael Nadal def. Roger Federer, 6-7(0), 7-6(5), 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(5)

No, I don't remember this, but I know I saw it. I wonder why.

9. 2003 U.S. Open women's semifinals
Justine Henin-Hardenne def. Jennifer Capriati, 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(4)

The match the gave Hawkeye the critical mass to be implemented. JHH was gone by the end of the match, but still able to recompose herself and win the whole thing.

10. 2005 Tennis Masters Cup final
David Nalbandian def. Roger Federer, 6-7(4), 6-7(11), 6-2, 6-1, 7-6(3)

Ha, I was at this event! Yey. Though I did not see the final itself as I was in transit, at least I was able to attend most of the tennis.

See the match highlights compiled here.