Friday, March 27, 2009

The 25th Putnam Annual Spelling Bee

WHAT'S THE BEE ABOUT? In the Broadway Musical Comedy, THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE, six young people in the throes of puberty, overseen by grownups who barely managed to escape childhood themselves, learn that winning isn't everything and that losing doesn't necessarily make you a loser. This hilarious tale of overachievers' angst chronicles the experience of six adolescent outsiders vying for the spelling championship of a lifetime. A quirky yet charming cast of outsiders for whom a spelling bee is the one place where they can stand out and fit in at the same time.
- excerpts from

This post is a week late. Last Friday, March 20, my friends and I went to see the first showing of the latest play in town, "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee". The last play I've watched, The West End Story is a tragic love story along the lines of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. So, this time around, the light and comic theme of the spelling bee was a welcome change.

The show lasted around 2 hours and had no intermission in between. The plot was quite simple and the stage design was nothing elaborate. Just a couple of chairs and table. The background was likewise no frills, just a big tarp that says "25th Annunal Putnam Spelling Bee". But, despite the simple props, the show had a lot of flavor to it. For example, the show started with Rona Lisa Peretti (played by Cathy Azanza-Dy) walking along the aisle and greeting the audience with a large trophy in tow. The play also had an innovative concept that enhances audience particiaption. Each night, they have 4 guest spellers from the audience, 2 of whom are celebrities. On the first night of the show, the celebrity guest spellers were Leah Salonga and Jett Pangan of the Dawn. The guest spellers' role was to be contestants of the spelling bee, so they were given words to spell just like the other actors on the play. The unexpected aspect of being a guest speller makes the show fresh and funny.

I love how several actors, like Noel Rayos ( who played Mitch Mahoney, an ex convict on parole turned counselor taking community service) and Johan de la Fuente (who played Leaf Coneybear, a quirky contestant speller) could shift into roles of gay parents in a click. I had to comment how astonishing it is for Joel Trinidad (who played the principal) to pull a straight face and not laugh at the funny meanings and sentences of the spelling words he gave to the contestants. The short introduction given by Rona Lisa Peretti (played by Cathy Azanza-Dy) to each contestant before they spelled was also hilarious. e.g. When she introduced Leah Salonga... she said, " Miss Salonga thinks she used to be a Vietnamese prostitute in her past life." okey, maybe the way I wrote it isn't as funny, but we had some good laughs during the play.

The play was fun, entertaining and hilarious! Plus, I also learned that winning isn't everything and that losing doesn't necessarily make you a loser.

The 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee is directed by Bobby Garcia and runs from March 20- April 4, 2009 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Bilding, Makati

Friday, March 20, 2009

Havaianas Recall

A few weeks ago, I read in the news that Havaianas in the US issued a statement to recall some batches of their flipflops. This reason is because the print on the soles has a higher lead content than what is allowed by Federal standards. My first response was to take some action and inquire if I'll be able to exchange a pair that Julia has. But, a friend who had several pairs of recall Havaianas, informed me that the Philippine distributor made an announcement that those purchased in the Philippines are not included in the recalled batch. So, I didn't pursue the exchange.

Today, Havaianas Philippines issued another statement that out of good faith, they will be recalling and exchanging the flipflops included in the recall. I promptly called thier hotline 8958744 and arranged for the exchange. They will need to get information like the size, style, color of the flipflops plus when are where it was bought. Or, you can also fill up details of the flipflops online here. No need to bring your pair of flipflops to any of their stores as they will be arranging for the courier to pick them up at your place. The only downside here is that it will take around 8-12 weeks for you to receive your replacement. But, considering that you won't be using them anyway, its worth taking up. I even requested that they change the flipflops to a bigger size so Julia can still wear them when we receive it.

Incidentally, they have a list of authorized stores where the flipflops should have been bought in order to qualify for the exchange. If you have some Havaianas flipflops at home, you might want to check out if they are included in the recall.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Medical Assistants

Even if you don't regularly watch the news or read the paper, you can sense the global financial crisis that is upon us. A few days ago, news broke out that another 2,500 will be jobless because an IT plant in Laguna has closed down. At a jewelers shop last week, I heard the owner lamenting that people are tightening their belts and are forgoing the purchase of luxury items such as jewelry. On a similar note, because of bad business, cruise ships have lowered fares to very tempting prices.

Mostly affected are those in retail and luxury goods. Some sectors like schools and hospitals won't be as badly hit by the crisis. Heard from a friend overseas that medical assistants are still in demand noways. This is probably the reason why medical assistant schools like St. Agustine School of Medical Assistants are now offering online programs. With the crisis upon us with no certainty how long it will last, courses like that of a medical assistant are getting popular. It seems it has become inevitable that the demand for certain jobs have been the factor in which the youth bases its decision of what course to get into.

on credit cards

We've been planning for our trip to Australia since end of January. For this trip, all of our bookings for hotels and airlines both international and domestic were made online. DH and I were talking about how convenient it is to plan trips nowadays especially since the internet and credit cards have made it possible.

A couple friend we have, who's planning a honeymoon trip to Europe lamented on how big the difference in exchange rate a particular bank charges and is contemplating on getting another credit card just for the trip. I mentioned that they should check and compare credit card services at to get a general idea of what credit card would best suit their needs. Quite popularly, there are now more choices of credit cards for specific purposes. Take for example, Rustan's and Shell gas credit cards that give certain percentage of rebate for purchases made.

Admittedly, credit cards have been part of everyone's lifestyle. We'll just be buying a minimum amount of Aussie dollars for the trip and charge most of the expenses on our credit card.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I wish I could get married again...

...if only to have amazing wedding videos created by Jason Magbanua. (sigh) I know I might come across as a stalker after this confession but, I've just spent an hour watching wedding videos of couples I do not know at Jason's site!

As evidenced from his works, Jason Magbanua has a knack for capturing those moments that are specially meaningful and memorable in a milestone event such as a wedding. His videos are full of emotions and very real. You can just feel the love :-)

As a bride over 14 years ago, I was never fussy or meticulous about the details in our wedding. I was not very hands-on with the wedding preparations, so to speak. My wedding gown is nothing like the ones that are in fashion nowadays. Imagine a gown with long sleeves, sweetheart neckline with an overlay of sheer material above it, fully beaded with petticoat and all. I had a train that was very exquisitely beaded but also very heavy it was quite difficult to move. During that time, it was considered quite a beautiful gown since I received several compliments for it. Today, I don't think you will find any bride who will choose a gown of this kind.

I couldn't care less about the cake either. Since a relative of DH offered to supply the cake, I didn't have to sit down and talk to her about the design. I had no idea what our souvenirs or giveaways were until the wedding day itself as they were made by DH's aunt as a gift to us. Generally speaking, I'm fine about how the wedding came out, but today, while watching those wedding videos, I can't help but wish that I got married in the digital age for photos and videos so I can have ours made by Jason. Haay!

Yeah, I know...I can't turn back the clock. Anyway, there's a saying that what's more important is not the wedding itself but the marriage after that really matters. Enough said. :-)

Saturday, March 7, 2009


DH and Nico had been raving about WHAM since last year. One time, DH brought home (take-out) some Wham burgers but I didn't feel it was really special. The chicken burger wasn't crispy as he described it, and the buns from the beef burger were soggy.

Yesterday, we decided to have dinner at Wham in Robinson's Place Ermita. Left the camera at home so I just took these pictures using my iPhone. Might not have done justice to the burgers but they're really good. Even Julia, who wasn't particularly fond of burgers really appreciated the Crispy chicken burger. (P103) I had the Wham burger with single patty (P93) and DH had the Bronco burger (P138), which had a generous portion of bacon and barbeque sauce. Nico, who normally eats very slow, finished his chicken burger faster than me!

Since Wham burgers are grilled upon order, they're best eaten fresh or right away they are served. Not a good idea for take-out as the juicy burgers will make the buns soggy. The chikcen burger, when wrapped will loose its being crispy. Defintely recommend this to burger lovers. Yummy!!!

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Its been a while since DH and I went on a trip-just the 2 of us. Mostly, our trips the past years have been with family and friends. Last month, we decided to take a trip to HK/Macau, with the Venetian as our main point of interest.

The night before our flight, Julia hugged us really tight as if to make up for the few days we won't be with her at home. She was hiding her teary eyes and was fighting to keep them from flowing. I instantly became guilty that we were leaving. Its not that I haven't anticipated this reaction from her. I knew she would really be sad despite the fact that I have tried to prepare her with the idea of our trip weeks ago. I felt very uneasy, so I decided to write her letters for the days we won't be around.

In the first letter I wrote...

Dear Julia,

You always surprise me when you come home from school, so I decided to surprise you today. I bet you didn't expect to receive a letter from me. By the time you read this, daddy and mommy will already be in Hongkong.

I remember you told me yesterday that you wanted to answer crossword puzzles. I found some easy crosswords for you last night so you can answer them this afternoon. If you are having a hard time, you can check out the answer key for some clues.

Don't forget to sharp your pencils later after doing your homework. Try not to miss daddy and mommy too much. We'll call you up tonight.