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Event: Yummy Eats 2012

For food lovers, cooking enthusiasts, and adventure seekers, join Yummy Magazine’s event and get to meet chefs and fellow foodies who will be able to share with you guys some tips and secrets for your next dish or a great recommendation for your next dinner date.

Yummy Eats 2012: An Eating and Cooking Fair

Date and Time: May 26, 2012; 10am-9pm

Location: The Rockwell Tent (Plaza Garden, Rockwell Center)

Admission Fee: Php150; Or Php100, if you bring along a May2012 copy of Yummy Magazine

Visit Yummy.Ph for more details. Sadly, despite me being in the Philippines at that time (I’m presently living in China), I won’t be in Manila on that day. Anyhoo, hope you fellow foodies have an awesome time~


Ateneo Celadon: Chinese Spring Film Festival 2012

Every year since 2007, the Ateneo Celadon along with the Confucius Institute have encouraged Filipinos and Chinese-Filipinos alike to appreciate the wonderful Spring Film Festival brought about by the Chinese New Year celebration. Having been there when the first Spring Film festival was celebrated, I was a sophomore active in the Ateneo Celadon back then, this 6th year celebration which welcomes my animal – the Dragon, now presents 6 movies in celebration of the Chinese New Year. And it’s now all free admission! As stated on the Ateneo Celadon website, where I will be taking information to repost on this blog,

Unlike previous years when a minimal admission fee was charged, this year’s festival will experiment with free admission.  Schools are welcome to bring their students for block screenings on a first-come, first-serve basis.

These are the movies that will be presented for this year’s Spring Film Festival..

Ocean Heaven 

Ocean Heaven is a family drama which features a father- Sam Wang (played by Jet Li), who is solely taking care of his autistic child- Dafu. Wang finds out that he has liver cancer and has a few days to live. Not only does Wang have to cope with his own suffering and impending death, he also has to deal with the heartache of leaving Dafu with no immediate family. This heartwarming film shows the challenges of being a single parent and how parents, even on their last days, would do anything just to ensure the safety and happiness of their children. Fans of Jet Li will definitely be surprised to see him in this movie because this is the first to cast Li in a non-kung-fu film where he won the 2010 Wen Zhang Best Actor Award. The movie was also recognized by the Shanghai Media Awards, CCTV Movie Channel Media Awards 2010 and Golden Goblet Award. In July 2011, Li even named one of his charity projects as Ocean Heaven Project to help children with autism, cerebral palsy and other disorders.

Lost on Journey

Lost on Journey is a comedy film narrating Li Chenggong’s travel as he endures bad luck after bad luck just to celebrate New Year’s Eve with his family.  Li hops from a plane, to a train,to a bus, and to a boat in the desire to be with his family during the most important event of the year. And along the way, he meets a stranger Niu Geng who later helps him discover something important about himself and the goodness of other people. This movie is a funny presentation of how bad luck brought two different worlds together.

Country Wedding

Country Wedding tells a story of a couple who is about to get married with their families getting so excited to the point that their parents started to meddle with the wedding plans. The bride’s mother, insists on holding the wedding at a ritzy hotel in Beijing whereas, the groom’s father, being the director of a cooperative in a rural village, feels indebted to the community, wants to share the wedding to the whole village. The couple are getting in between as conflicts arise between the in-laws. This film is a funny portrayal of the clash of cultures between the city and country side.


Confucius, known as the “Great Sage”, lived during the time when China’s dynasties were in chaos and engulfed by corruption and greed. He strongly believed that ethics and education will put all things to order. His wisdom was sought by different dynasty leaders but only to be abandoned after he dutifully served his purpose. The world knows so much of his teachings, but little is known of his hardships. This biographical drama shows the sufferings and pain Confucius endured and the principles he fervently kept that became the foundation of China’s ethics, morality and law. Starring Chow Yun-Fat as Confucius, Nominated for Best Actor at the 30th Hong Kong Film Awards. Other nominations include Best Cinematography,Art Design,Costume Design and Original Song.

Bodyguards and Assasins

In 1905, Hong Kong was under the British rule and revolution was on the rise. Sun Yat-Sen was set to land in Hong Kong to meet and to unify faction leaders to finally take down the corrupt and crumbling Qing Dynasty. Because of this, Dowager Cixi wanted Sun Yat-Sen assassinated. For the Chinese people who had been clamouring for freedom, they understood that keeping Sun Yat-Sen alive would mean keeping China’s hope to be liberated. Li Yutang, a businessman, gathered a tofu vendor, rickshaw pullers, a beggar and an orphan to serve as bodyguards. These bodyguards displayed their superb fighting skills as they battle it out with the assassins to protect Sun Yat-Sen,whom they haven’t even met.  This action-historical movie garnered numerous awards from the 4th Asian Film Awards,29th Hong Kong Film Awards,16th Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards and 47th Golden Horse Awards.

The King of Milu Deer

This 3D animated movie focuses on environment protection. It is a story of a white deer, Yoyo, who turned into a lady and made friends with Tzan-the prince of Kingdom of Clouds and Dreams. Tzan was ordered by the minister to search the Labyrinth Mountain to hunt for the Milu Deer to use it as a sacrifice to bring rains in the kingdom. But Tzan discovered the beauty of the Labyrinth Mountain and got closer to Yoyo. Together, they fought sea lizard monsters, fire,soldiers, and the evil Minister to save the wildlife and natural resources of the Labyrinth Mountain. This movie became the highest grossing Chinese Animated film of all time and received the Best Animated Film of the 13th Huabiao Awards.

Movie Schedule:

January 20, 2012 (Friday)
Country Wedding – 1:00PM
Lost on Journey – 3:00PM

January 21, 2012 (Saturday)
Lost on Journey – 1:30PM
Confucius – 3:30PM
Bodyguards & Assassins – 6:00PM
Ocean Heaven – 9:00PM

January 22, 2012 (Sunday)
Ocean Heaven – 1:30PM
The King of Milu Deer – 3:30PM
Confucius – 5:30PM
Bodyguards & Assassins – 8:00PM

January 23, 2012 (Monday)
Country Wedding – 1:30PM
Bodyguards & Assassins – 3:30PM
Ocean Heaven – 6:30PM
Lost on Journey – 8:30PM

January 24, 2012 (Tuesday)
Bodyguards & Assassins – 1:30PM
Lost on Journey – 4:30PM
Confucius – 6:30PM
The King of Milu Deer – 9:00PM

January 25, 2012 (Wednesday)
The King of Milu Deer – 1:30PM
Confucius – 3:30PM
Country Wedding – 6:00PM
Ocean Heaven – 8:00PM

January 26, 2012 (Thursday)
Lost on Journey – 1:30PM
Country Wedding – 3:30PM
The King of Milu Deer – 5:30PM
Confucius – 7:30PM

January 27, 2012 (Friday)
Ocean Heaven – 1:30PM
Confucius – 3:30PM
Lost on Journey – 5:30PM
Bodyguards & Assassins – 8:00PM

January 28, 2012 (Saturday)
The King of Milu Deer – 1:30PM
Ocean Heaven – 3:30PM
Lost on Journey – 5:30PM
Bodyguards & Assassins – 7:30PM

January 29, 2012 (Sunday)
Lost on Journey – 1:30PM
Country Wedding – 3:30PM
Bodyguards & Assassins – 5:30PM
Ocean Heaven – 8:30PM

OTHER ACTIVITIES (2nd Floor, Grand Atrium)

January 20-29
Chinese Painting Exhibit by the Confucius Institute Chinese Painting Students

January 22
Chinese Painting Workshops by Mr. Caesar Cheng and the Confucius Institute Chinese Painting Students

Contact Details:

For more information please call Ateneo Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at (63 2) 426-6001 local 5208-5209; 5280. For tickets, please call Shang Cineplex at (63 2) 633-2227.


Book Review: Love in the time of Cholera

Review on: Love in the time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez

Rating: 3.5/5

Let me just say, I did not expect for the book to turn out the way it did. In fact, I thought this book was some kind of autobiography before I picked it up in an airport bookstore en route to the province. I’ve heard about this book before, and a lot of people said it was good. Well, with a catchy title like this, I cannot imagine otherwise.

So this book is a love story, and as you are reading the book, you are living it.

Imagine you’re a boy who has fallen in love with the perfect girl. To make it even more dramatic, your love is some kind of forbidden secret, and the girl you love is someone who lives in a world completely different from yours. Everything seems to be going smoothly (despite the secrecy) and later on you become engaged (though only the two of you know).  You’ve made all the preparations for the house she’ll one day live in, the lives you’ll someday live, and everything else for the perfection that seems to love you back. And suddenly, one day, she tells you that she doesn’t love you anymore and asks you to forget everything the two of you have ever done. What makes the pain even worse is that she later on marries someone prestigious and popular, the man who is completely opposite you in family background and character.

Next, imagine you are a girl lost in your own little world, until the day someone tells you they like you. The whole story seems like a dream and you find yourself attracted to this boy. The secrecy, the hidden place you keep your letters and imagining your seemingly perfect love story unfolding like a book. It is like one big game, especially when you find yourself secretly engaged to him. After that, everything else you see and feel seems like a dream, and you prepare yourself for the married life. Then one fateful day, you discover that your husband-to-be is not just different from the guy you remembered him to be, he’s someone you can’t bear to spend the rest of your life with. Later, you find yourself somewhat attracted to this famous guy and find yourself marrying him.

Fast forward to around 51 years later when fate appears after the girl’s husband’s death and they are forced to again confront their feelings from before. Florentino the boy, has filled his somewhat empty life with trysts, yet continue to longs for his perfect woman. Fermina the girl, has had a somewhat fulfilling married life though she has always carried with her the feeling of guilt towards the boy she had rejected. Watch as the love story from their teen years catches up with them and we wait to see if Florentino’s half a century of devotion proves fruitful, while we watch Fermina confront her past and face the future.

I didn’t imagine this book would be so entertaining. The book itself is an entire lifetime of the stories of the 2 main characters – Florentino and Fermina. My fascination with the content of the story goes up-and-down as the initial part of the story is sort of interesting, gets a little boring after a while, and then goes up again. There were times like I felt like giving up on the book because parts were dull, but then you make the effort to just read a few more pages and it gets interesting again.

The book starts with both characters in their old age (at around 60-something), then goes back to telling their story of love in their youth, and then comes back to them in their old age as they try to figure out what to do with life. One thing I loved in the book is how the story makes you feel as if you’re kind of growing up alongside the characters. You see the mistakes of their youth, and the wisdom of old age. There are so many points in the story that people can relate to, or if not, can teach them about life. The story focuses so much on Florentino’s love for Fermina, which often times borders on the point of obsession. Though it’s somewhat romantic how he devotes himself to Fermina, his obsession drives him to lose focus on the things he could have done in his life. And the other, Fermina, whose love matures from her youthful dreams of Florentino, to reality, and later on to the wisdom of her post-married life. One thing I didn’t like, as I mentioned earlier is how interesting the book is towards me as a reader. The best part of the book is probably the middle part where Fermina and Florentino talk about their youth, and the beginning part of the book which introduces the characters and the story. The latter part of the book is a bit dull and often times, I just wanted the whole thing to end.

Truth be told, I didn’t like how the ending occurred. It’s like watching some Filipino telenovela unfold before your eyes. Can’t fault the author though because culture-wise, the Philippines and South America if very much alike.

Personally, I’d rate this book a 3, maybe I’m biased because I didn’t like how the story turned out. But the book was otherwise a fascinating read. Though dull and boring at certain parts, the storytelling of the author was so well done that you didn’t feel as if it was too complicated moving from the present to the past and back to the present (within the book). Also, the story was quite educational as it often offered points from various characters that gave a more in-depth understanding of the environment and the main characters. Plus love, the center of the story, is shown in three phases, innocence, wisdom and obsession. I guess you need a level of maturity to understand the book, but understanding the characters and how each of them focuses on one of those phases of love is such an interesting process as you are reading.

Definitely an interesting read that portrays a different sort of love story.


Book Review: A Game of Thrones

Review on: Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

Rating: 4.5/5

First book in the book series, A Song of Ice and Fire

Welcome to Westeros, where most of the story takes place. The land is ruled by a king, Robert Baratheon, who sits on the iron throne. Throughout the story, you’ll encounter the stories of many other characters like the Starks who rule over Winterfell in the North, or the Lannisters of Casterly Rock who win their loyalty through gold, the Night’s Watch who guards over the realms of men from things beyond The Wall and takes no part in the problems of the kingdom, or beyond the kingdom of Westeros to that land across the sea where the previous’ king of Targaryen blood still has family who’ll do anything to get their throne back. In this story, one event leads to the next. The beginning of the story begins with peace and the start of conflict within the world, and what starts of as an interesting introduction of various characters, families, history and whatnot, eventually leads into the heart of the entire series – competition for the Iron Throne. A fight ensues for the Iron Throne when Robert dies, a fight between the supposedly lawful heir Joffrey Baratheon, and Robert’s brothers Renly and Stannis, while those in the North fight to save one of their own, and somewhere across the sea a young girl’s marriage turns herself from a little girl..into a Queen.

Welcome to an amazing series filled with stories of giants and dragons, shapeshifters and dead that come back to life, stories of knights and ladies, princes and kings, lands of long summers and longer winters, of bastards and royalty and arranged marriages. Be prepared to meet the most unimaginable of characters in the most unusual of settings. Welcome to a world that plays a song of ice and fire.

A complex fictional world built into one amazing series. Game of Thrones is the first book in the (so-far) 5-book series. From the very beginning of the book, the author Martin already takes you into the complex world of Westeros, and the world beyond The Wall. The chapters are written from the POVs of various important characters within the series, and at times, the chapters overlap with the other chapters, so don’t take the chapters as happening in sequence. That’s one thing that’s great about Martin’s way of story writing. To each new reader, it takes some getting used to at the beginning of Game of Thrones, as Martin thrusts the story to you without giving too many explanations as to who is who and what is what.

Be wary innocent readers, this series will not spare you with kind words and stories of happily ever after. Even in the first book, Martin does not spare you with stories of murder, incest, betrayal, war, glory and lust. If you have watched the HBO TV series based on the books, you’ll probably understand what I’m talking about. The series is more or less truthful with the book, except for some parts which are discussed in the later books but presented in Season 1, or parts that are only subtly spoken of in the books but are presented to viewers on the show, and well there’s a lot more sex in the series than there is in the book. If you’ve watched the series and aren’t sure if you’d like to spend hours pouring over the book, let me give you a suggestion, READ IT. Though the series is amazingly portrayed by wonderfully chosen actors with wonderfully captured scenery, there are so many amazingly written details for the characters, the histories, the backgrounds, among other things. Watching the series is like scratching the surface of an amazing treasure box. A lot of things within the story won’t be understood well or correctly till you read what’s written in the books.

Originally, I wanted to give the book a perfect score of 5 out of 5, but I had to deduct points for the lack of reader-friendliness for the first few chapters. Honestly speaking, parts of the book become a bit boring if you aren’t the type of person who loves going into the history of characters and things like that. Plus in a series like this, you’re sure to encounter so many characters, you’ll have a hard time remembering which is which and who is who. Not to mention all the places in the kingdom, or characters from way way before with names similar to those at present. It’s quite confusing. One good thing I love about the book is the visual maps at the beginning of the book, which usually depict the locations where majority of the story takes place. The back part of the book also helps readers with its own set of family tree listings for all important characters in the story, just so you know who’s who, and in case you forget later on and want to refresh yourself while reading the chapters.

I thought I wasn’t a big fan of fantasy fiction books because I gave up on Lord of the Rings halfway through book 2, though I liked The Hobbit and book 1. No offense to Tolkien’s wonderfully created world, but Martin’s world is just so much more interesting and funny and eye-catching. Despite all those details and names and whatnot which would seem annoying after a while, Martin just keeps you coming back with his character dialogue and the way he unexpectedly brings in a certain character, or how he suddenly kills off a beloved character. It’s like 2 emotions fighting to take over, because one part of you just wants to continue reading to see how a situation or story ends, but another part of you wants to preserve a beloved character so you can’t help but stop reading for fear of what will happen next.

I’ve probably said enough to hopefully inform you of what to expect in the book and to hopefully encourage you to read the book. I hope I haven’t deterred anyone from reading this. Haha. So. happy reading to all my readers. I welcome any comments, so don’t be afraid to tell me what you think of the book too.

Cheers and happy reading!

A Song of Ice and Fire series:

  • Book 1 – A Game of Thrones
  • Book 2 – A Clash of Kings
  • Book 3 – A Storm of Swords
  • Book 4: A Feast for Crows
  • Book 5: A Dance with Dragons

Event: In the Heights, the musical

Atlantis Productions and The LiST Group

proudly present


September 2, 2011
Carlos P. Romulo Theater, RCBC Plaza

Broadway’s most refreshing musical comes to Manila in its first ever run! Winner of 4 Tony Awards in 2008 including Best Musical and Best Choreography, In The Heights has definitely captured the hearts of millions around the world with its touching story and great musical beats!

In The Heights tells the story of a vibrant community in Manhattan’s Washington Heights – a place where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet and the rhythm of generations of music can be heard everywhere. It’s a neighborhood on the brink of change, armored with dreams and pressures and the biggest challenges are that of deciding which traditions to fulfill and pursue, and which ones to forget and leave behind.

Ticket Prices
Orchestra Center P1,700
Orchestra Side P1,600
Loge P1,300
Loge Back/Side P800
Balcony P700

For tickets, call The LiST Group at +63917.8171954 or +63917.8392627 or email them at

For more information regarding the story and characters, or details on the location, visit or or


See you at the opening night of IN THE HEIGHTS!


花木兰(电影)Mulan (movie)

Last week I went to watch the movie, Hua Mulan (花木兰) at the Spring Film Festival Gala Night. I missed about 10-15minutes of the first part of the movie because I was having dinner with friends, but was able to catch up to the part where Mulan first enters the camp. I loved the story. It’s definitely different from the Disney version, and is much suited to more mature audiences (late teens/young adults-onwards). The amazing thing about the movie is that it doesn’t skimp on action and drama, and doesn’t fail to include some bits of a romantic story. I wouldn’t compare it to the Red Cliff movie which is definitely one of the most thrilling Chinese movies I’ve seen so far….but this definitely is a movie that would still appeal to me.

<Beware Possible Spoilers>

And the movie doesn’t fail to be Chinese as the ending portrays a love of country over one’s own personal love life. There are also many aspects that Chinese hold dear, such as filial piety, a love (not romantic) between brothers, love for country, and the whole glory in death while fighting. The values portrayed in this movie are really values properly exhibited in old Chinese movies, or when concerned with older Chinese cultures and traditions (古代的文化,古代的习惯,古代的中国).

I’d definitely want to watch this movie again. My dad missed out on watching the movie so he’s planning on buying a copy when he goes to Xiamen (厦门) soon. I’d like to find myself a copy too when I go back to Beijing. Oh what’s more, since my Mandarin is much more improved than before, I was able to understand the movie dialogue much better and even compared it to the English subtitles. Of course, definitely, dialgoue in Mandarin was much better than the English translations.

Also, the pick of using Vicki Zhao as the main actress was pretty good, in my opinion. Seeing her as a tomboy-ish sort of actress from previous movies such as Red Cliff and So Close, makes it more believable that she would pass of as a boy in a war army as compared to other popular actresses…based on what I’ve seen on some forums. I love Zhang ZiYi and Michelle Yeoh in movies like Memoirs of a Geisha, House of Flying Daggers and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, but it’s nice to see other popular actresses star in movies like this. After all, we can’t have the same actresses hogging the spotlight all the time.


Book Review: The Book of Tomorrow

Review on: The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern

Rating: 3/5

Celia Ahern’s The Book of Tomorrow is quite the interesting quick read. It’s a book I would recommend for teenagers and young adults, it’s definitely more suited for teenagers though I was quite taken in by the cover and title of the book.

Ahern introduces Tamara, a teenager who has just suffered the loss of her father and is forced from her rich world habits into the quiet life in the country with her aunt and uncle. While in the country, she soon discovers that the world she thought she knew is not what it seems to be, coupled with her mother’s having withdrawn herself after losing her husband, and her aunt’s being secretive and over-protective of her, what else is a teenager to do? Put in some detective-sleuthing, add in a bit of mystery, drama and romance, and there you have one short novel.

I wouldn’t say that this book is quite the extra-ordinary novel. Parts of the story could have been written better, or explained better to induce more dramatic effects while reading the story. I wouldn’t say it’s bad either because I was quite at the edge-of-my-seat at certain points, trying to guess my way through the novel by guessing who the bad guy in the story was, the ending did come out as somewhat surprising though other parts of the story came out as quite obvious.

What I didn’t get though was how the title had anything to do with the book, though upon reading the book you see how the title is introduced into the story. Still, I didn’t quite see the relevance of the item referred to in the title, when it came to the progression of the story. Maybe that’s just me…

The Doll(dalera)

What lies behind the mask of a doll, kept sheltered and propped against the shelf wall. Beautiful and untouched for all to see, she comes unmasked in beautiful glory.

The Doll behind the mask

A fresh university graduate from the Ateneo de Manila University who loves to write stories, articles and poetry. Enjoys reading books - mostly fiction, and loves to play video games.

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