Sunday, February 6, 2011


As you all know, the world celebrated Chinese New Year for the past days. Yes, we all welcomed the year of the Rabbit in the Chinese Lunar Calendar. Since my bosses are Chinese, we had the luxury to enjoy a two-day-and-a-half vacation. Including Sunday, I enjoyed a three-day-and-a-half vacation.

This is one of the unusual Chinese New Year Holiday I had. The celebration moved so fast, and at most, it was raining heavy at night in Brunei. On top of that, I didn't get to go to any Open House. Actually, I got one invitation from our boss. Apparently, the invitation was so sudden that I had to decline because of the tons of school work I was finishing when he called. 

Despite the bad and uncooperative weather, the celebration capped off with left and right fireworks display! Seated in my room, I was mesmerized with the explosion of bright colours in admirable shapes and sizes. Honestly, Chinese New Year celebration in Brunei is louder than the Worldwide New Year event.

Holidays during Chinese New Year celebration is in a way, money saving. Why? Oh well. Most of the shops were closed during the Chinese New Year celebration. With that, I'm left with a choice to leave my expenses in control. And in my case, since I'm trapped in Brunei, I had no option but to simply embark on absolute hibernation in my room.
Despite the hibernation, I was productive during the holidays. I didn't only get to transcribe some past interviews for my school paper and read some related studies, I also had the privilege to unwind.  My holiday was packed with endless DVD Marathons, a swimming session, some pre-testing of a talk TV show in my blog which I hope to launch very soon, read a book, and what else, lots of food tripping that I almost puked.

Yes, you heard me right. My holiday was full of appetizing treats that almost tripled the size of my ballooning waste line. On top of that, because it was so nice to sleep in rainy mornings, I got off track from my Taichi routine and simply let loose to cuddle some pillows and spend more hours in Neverland.

For the holidays, I watched Love and Other Drugs, The Tourist, You again, and Ika-sampu, a Filipino horror movie. With some chips, pasta and drinks, I watched Ika-Sampu with Cecil and Troy in the staff house. With these four, only three passed my taste.

Obviously, the Filipino horror flicked didn't make it. I just find the story half-baked; the editing is messy as it didn't show the differentiation between the flashback and the present; the lead actress was like an 80's actress brought to life; some actresses are OA; scripting is terribly cliche; and a lot more of horrible scenes that I felt my dollar spent was not worthy. Bottom line, should I rate 'Ika-sampu," it will definitely be thumbs down, even, negative.

I liked Love and Other Drugs. As I was saying to my officemate, extracting the "Pfizer" subtext, the film was rousing and artistically made. Despite the many steamy sex scenes and nudity, the film lived to its beauty of portraying real love - something that is caring, forever, mending, and addictive.

The Tourist made me laugh. Angelina Jolie's character and Johnny Depp's acting matched perfectly. Actually, I was expecting more heart-stopping chase scenes in this flick. Surprisingly, the tranquility and sweetness of the plot made it more appealing. Plus, the humor Johnny Depp's character encompassed awkwardness and seriousness. The Tourist gives a light approach on the complicated cases of stolen money, bad guys, and masked identities.
You Again is one of those movies I like to watch and not think at all as the plot unfolds. It was very straightforward and again, humorous. Surprisingly, You again somewhat presents real life. There are some people who just ruined our supposedly happy highschool life, and unfortunately, we meet them again in the most unexpected places or event in our life. Well, I didn't have such experience. But seeing the film made me realize how life can totally make a full twist from highschool to making a career, a married life and even in old age. While history can repeats itself, you can always rewrite everything.

Over the past days, I also got to watch Desperate Housewives and Pretty Little Liars. Seriously, these series is getting more exciting!

I didn't only sat and ate chips to enjoy my holidays, I also tagged along my best buddy Cecil to swim. Thanks to my friend Senor Pablo, we discovered a swimming area at the Stadium. For the price of BND2.00 (60 pesos), I was able to bask under the hiding sun. Yes, it was gloomy that day. It even rained in the morning as Cecil and I prepared to go at the Stadium.

As newbies in the place, we didn't know that there's an ordinary pool and not an olympic size one. Thankfully, with so much curiosity and the will to swim for the next hour, Cecil and I checked on the trail of kids and adults going in a different direction. To our surprise, we found out that there's another pool which suits our amateur skills. Buti na lang, kundi para kaming nag-bath tub lang sa tindi ng lalim ng Olympic size pool, around 1.80 to 2.00 meters in depth.

Wanna dive?
After some hours in the pool, we headed directly to Country Patch. I must say, it is the placed where I had the taste of the best Chicken Chop with mushroom and black pepper sauce. Plus, I sooooo loved the mudpie chocolate cake. As of writing, I'm now craving to get my taste buds on their menu. I will surely comeback for more. By the way, Country Patch has a cozy ambiance paired with their very good customer service. If you're in Brunei, you better check it out!

Mudpie Chocolate Cake!

Apart from the pig out session and lots of sleeping over the holidays, I also "finally" read Bob Ong's latest book entitled "Ang mga Kaibigan ni Mama Susan," my bestfriend Apes recommended me the book last year. And since I have a friend who went back to the Philippines, I asked a favor to get me a copy. And so I got a copy.

Thankfully, I didn't read the book at night. I checked on the pages in one rainy afternoon. As I laid my eyes on the personal journal type of story telling, chills and goosebumps arose. Seriously, buti na lang di ko binasa ang Latin part; this was my shout out after reading the book. Plus, the book's ending was just haunting especially the intentionally made typographical layout. It was just mind-boggling, enough to double the coldness of the rainy holiday and send me some mild nightmares on the same night!

As I read through Bob Ong's pages, a group of black birds with red eyes feast on a piece of bread I placed in the window.  I hope these birds were just after the bread, and not for ME!

That's how I capped off my holidays. Yes, I relaxed to scare myself.

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