Thursday, June 30, 2011

Monte Carlo Premiere Screening Thanks to Velvet Channel

Yesterday I was privileged to watch the premier screening of the movie Monte Carlo starring Selena Gomez, Leighton Meester and Katie Cassidy. To give you a brief background of the Monte Carlo movie, it is a story of three young girls between ages 18 to 21 years old and their week-long adventure in Paris.

Grace (Selena Gomez) was able to save enough money for her to go to her childhood dream trip. Together with her bestfriend Emma(Katie Cassidy) they are now off to Paris. However, Grace's mom and her future stepfather had even a brighter idea and for a promise of an upgrade they also asked Grace's future stepsister Meg (Leighton Meester) to join the duo for some sister-bonding experience.

As most of us on budget trips and booked tours know, the three girls can't really play as long as they want in the city of love. Their hotel was a disaster and so was their tour. Due to a blessing in disguise, Grace was mistaken for a British heiress which led them finally to their vacation dream at Monte Carlo.

As much as possible, I'd like to avoid any spoilers so instead of calling this an official review, I will call it a recommendation. I'm not even really an experienced movie reviewer so what I will say here are the same things I will say to you if you ask me the question, "So how was the movie?"

Traffic was bad yesterday due to unexpected rains. I was 2 hours late for the premier and I was just waiting for a taxi at SM Makati going to Rockwell.

When I finally got my chance to ride a taxi, it was traffic in Edsa.

So my trip to Rockwell, well as expected.

As for the movie, a lot of people came in late. So I admire those who were on time basically doing nothing for two hours. I was just in time to see the trailers and there were promising movies in the coming weeks especially Harry Potter!!!

Finally, Velvet raffled giftpacks from their sponsor Anmum and also from Velvet.

As for the movie, I will recommend it for women especially young girls and teens. A representative from Velvet mentioned that she was surprised to see an older set of movie-goers for this Monte Carlo premier but I guess that's kinda expected especially when your sponsor is Anmum. Still I think girls from all ages will enjoy this light-hearted, fun movie.

As for the boys, I'm not sure though if this movie is their thing. My son said "No" just hearing Selena Gomez's name. If its Selena Gomez then its for girls Mom! (As if he can't imagine why I'm asking a very stupid question.)

It was also my first time after almost 15 years to watch alone in a movie house. I realized I like watching a movie alone and if there's one thing I learned from this movie is that watching alone can be a really good relaxation activity for a busy mom like me and that the experience is even made better because Velvet sponsored my movie ticket.

All in all if you just want to sit back, relax, and take a break from thinking too much then do go and watch Monte Carlo.

Last but not the least, my favorite character in the movie here is Leighton's character Meg. In the end, she is living the life I am dreaming of. (Ooops I think I spilled something) Sorry can't help it.

Don't forget to grab some popcorn when you watch Monte Carlo. Happy weekend.

Check out the movie trailer of Monte Carlo 2011 at Youtube.

The Philippine Marine Corps Silent Drill Exhibition at Rizal Park on July 3, 2011

I am just getting excited attending my soon-to-be first Concert at the Park presentation (if the weather permits) and now my family and I have a reason to go to Rizal Park earlier than expected.

Yes below is the press release given by NPDC. No cuts, no changes. Just plain black and white as served to me.

The public is cordially invited to witness the once-a-month exhibition by the Philippine Marine Corps Silent Drill Group on Sunday, July 3, 2011, starting at 4:00 p.m., at the back of the Rizal Monument, Rizal Park, Manila. This is made possible by the partnership of the National Parks Development Committee (NPDC), under Executive Director Juliet H. Villegas, with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) the Philippine Navy (PN) and the Philippine Marines. Admission is free.

The Philippine Marine Corps Silent Drill Exhibition is a precision drill exhibition without verbal command. Members do a series of calculated drill movements and precise handling of their hand-polished M-1 Garand rifles of nickel-plated bayonets. It is an amazing display of skill and coordination, which is quite common in the Marine Corps, especially in the Marine Security & Escort Group (MSEG), where all the members of the Silent Drill team come from.
The MSEG is the unit in the AFP, which is tasked to guard the monument of the country’s national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, at Rizal Park, the country’s premiere park.

To the people out there who will read this post, I hope that we can support Rizal Park's effort to make the cultural presentations alive and constant in the park. For our attendance is one of the signs to show that we appreciate what NPDC is doing to make tourism at Rizal Park more robust and lively. And besides, its all FREE!!!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Fashion Week 2011

Just want to share my short experience in attending Fashion Week. Thanks to L'oreal Shampoo's generosity my beautiful sib of and my pretty momma was able to attend 2011 Fashion Week.the

It would be the first for everyone, so we decided to be fashionably late. True enough when we arrived at SMX Mall of Asia, the show has already started. We were just supposed to stay at the back of the stage but apparently people are already seated for the spot reserved for L'oreal guests so the three of us managed to cramp ourselves in two seats. Thanks to good genes from my mom!

So my experience though brief was still an opportunity to participate in a world something different from where I normally come from. Watching Fashion Week 2011 stirred up those little girl fantasies of mine of wanting to be a supermodel.

On the other hand, when the cocktail party started I felt out of place and a stranger. My feet brought me to the exhibit of cameras (well I thought it was an exhibit turns out to be all cameras was on sale) and so I may enjoy Fashion Week 2011 once in awhile but I guess that's all there is to it. Something I enjoy to watch with all the avant-garde designs and latest fashion trends wondering if there will come a time that people would actually wear the clothes I see in the runway.

Enough has been said for something I witnessed so briefly. Hopefully next time, I have my own invitation front seat!!! Yeah to think is to create. Thanks again L'oreal and Fashion Week for a magnificent night.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Heidelberg Drinking Fountain Inauguration at Rizal Park

On June 18, 2011 at 5 pm in the afternoon, the Heidelberg Drinking Fountain was formally inaugurated at the Noli Me Tangere Garden, Rizal Park.

According to the press release from DOT dated April 2011, entitled "Rizal Park Renaissance Salutes Heritage, Draws Crowds Anew"

"Another treasure to be revived: a drinking fountain donated by the town of Heidelberg in Germany, where Rizal wrote the last chapter of his masterpiece novel Noli Me Tangere. Currently lying dormant inside the park, the restored fountain will become the centerpiece of a planned Noli Me Tangere Garden."

The famous Heidelberg fountain can really be regarded as a treasure as it stands witness to one of the greatest moments of one of the last Renaissance writers in the world history, our very own national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. The Heidelberg drinking fountain was said to be the same drinking fountain Dr. Jose Rizal used to drink a lot while living in Germany. Dr. Jose Rizal was at that time writing the last chapters of Noli Me Tangere and completing his specialization as an eye surgeon.

The Inaugural Presentation of the Noli Me Tangere Garden featuring the Heidelberg Drinking Fountain was opened by no other than NPDC Director Juliet Villegas. Special messages were also delivered by different ambassadors and dignitaries who graced the event such as the Ambassador of the Republic of Austria, H. E. Willhelm Maximillian Donko; Ambassador of the Czech Republic, H.E. Josef Rychtar; Director of the Goethe Institute Manila, Honorable Richard Kunzel; and our very own Department of Tourism Secretary, Honorable Alberto Lim.

The Inauguration was concluded by a short concert featuring hymns from the Philippines and a few German and Austrian songs showing the ties Jose Rizal has made to these European countries. The cultural presentation was entitled "A Musical Tribute to Dr. Jose Rizal". The first two songs were Lagi Kitang Naaalala and Dakilang Lahi and performed by soprano Marianne Santiago. Madaling Araw and Dein Ist Mein Ganzes Herz were performed by tenor Frankie Aseniero while Mutya ng Pasig and Eidelweiss were performed by soprano Vanessa Rayel. The last song number was sung in tandem by Ms. Rayel and Mr. Aseniero. The singers were accompanied by guitarist Eddie Suarez and pianist, Jed Balsamo.

At the end of the concert everyone was invited to join for simple dinner buffet where groups from different media shared tales about Jose Rizal.

So far one of the anecdotes shared that night came from Mr. Frankie Aseniero who shared that his great grandfather was actually a student of Jose Rizal when the latter was still at Dapitan. Jose Rizal brought his student to Manila who in return delivered food to him while he was imprisoned in Bagumbayan. The day before he was to be executed he also delivered the message to Jose Rizal. Jose Rizal replied "That cannot be for I am innocent". Well we all know how the story ended but apparently. The student was also the one who made the copy of Rizal's last work, the poem "Mi Ultimo Adios" just in case the original copy was found and destroyed by the Spaniards at that time. Until now, Mr. Asiniero, I guess as part of a family tradition memorizes by heart Rizal's Mi Ultimo Adios.

Future Plans for the now robust Rizal Park include to put a life-size bronze statue of Dr. Rizal to be sculpted and cast by Italy-based Filipino artist. Tomas Concepcion.

I was lucky enough to be a part of this once in a lifetime events. To hear different ambassadors from different European countries talk about Jose Rizal made me extremely proud as a Filipino. And in my own way if I can emulate his maturity, his vision, his intelligence on how I conduct myself I know that I have made Rizal's existence a positive moving force in my life. That would be my own tribute for Rizal.

Rizal @ 150: Be Part of History

And the best way to end my hiatus from blogging is by being part of the history on Dr. Jose Rizal's 150th birthday on June 19, 2011 at the Rizal Park.

At the time I am writing this post, I just came fresh from visiting and touching Dr. Jose Rizal's monument at the Rizal Park. Most of my life, I only pass by our national hero's monument and admiring it from a distance. Sometimes I wonder how far will I reach if one time I go crazy and decide to go near the monument. But alas, for the first time in history because of the flower offering event held at Rizal Park on Dr. Jose Rizal's 150th birthday organized by NPDC Director Juliet Villegas together with her dedicated team with special thanks to Mr. Kenneth Montegrande, I was able to not just go near the monument but I was able to touch it, marvel on it and be part of the history.

Oh yes! First time in the history of the Rizal monument since it was erected that I, together with the rest of the Filipinos, am allowed to marvel on the place where the hero amongst the heroes was laid to rest.

After visiting the monument, I decided to check out the different booths from the 13 municipalities of Metro Manila. The mood was festive and cheerful, despite the cloudy weather and occasional rain. Every booth showcased different products each municipality can be proud of. Naturally, my feet brought me to the booth of Manila where I got my henna tattoo. My second henna tattoo in my life so far.

I was also lucky enough to witness the dress rehearsal of a play that will be shown at 6 pm today entitled 'PEPE: Ang Talambuhay at Panaginip ni Jose Rizal' on June 19, 2011 Sunday, 6PM at the Concert At The Park, Luneta. Admission is free for this play. This musical features Biboy Ramirez as Jose Rizal w/ the New Teatro Expedicion Ensemble. I was chosen as one of the three volunteers for the audience participation and was asked to answer the question"Ano ang kinakatawan ni Rizal sa panahon ngayon?". As a volunteer, I felt glad to be able to express my admiration for Rizal on his birthday in public. Talking about capturing that moment where I can openly express to my fellowmen how proud am I to be Filipino.

Despite the rain and the strong winds, I enjoyed Rizal @ 150: Be part of the history celebration day. I truly feel that I was part of history. This is a memory of Manila, of Rizal Park that I will truly cherish for the rest of my life.

And it was made special because I got to spend it together with my special somebody...