I wish someone would surprise me with an orchestra playing outside my window.
Flash mobs don’t have to be about dancing.
On May 2, 2011, the Copenhagen Philharmonic surprised commuters at the Copenhagen Central Train Station, as they played in an orchestral “flash mob,” performing Ravel’s famed Bolero, with the musicians gradually assembling in place as the work progressed. I love this.

Via: Classical Archives

What happened at St. Luke’s, Part 2

So they handed me my schedule


Jeroen and I had the same schedule up to lunch, then he was pretty much done after one more ultrasound, while I still had a string of female tests to be done.
We started with a blood pressure check, then the blood extraction, which already scared me.
After this, fasting was over. I was so relieved to be allowed to eat and drink. Jeroen and I proceeded to that airport lounge thingy where we both had bread and water.


We ate in the computer section


ECG was next and took only five minutes. The X-ray was the easiest thing on earth.
Then there was this lung test which scared me because I’m really paranoid about lung diseases. Jeroen and I aced it.
Next was the stress test where they take note of your heartbeat while you walk on an inclined treadmill. I reached up to level 4 and Jeroen up to level 6. I could’ve gone on longer, if I weren’t so starved. :(
They let us go for lunch. I was really dying for comfort food, so Jeroen and I agreed to go down to Bizu in the hospital. I had carbonara and Coke.

(To be continued)

What happened at St. Luke’s, Part 1

Without a doubt, I am a bag full of nerves and fears. Besides being known as a fearful flier, friends and family know me as a hypochondriac. Not a day passes that I don’t think of death. I’m in constant fear of being sick and dying young.

Scared in the toilet

Since 2008, after my cousin died of leukemia at the age of 38, I kind of stopped going to the doctor. For the first time I learned how to ignore my symptoms and running to the hospital, even if I thought I was dying.
But this year I vowed to see get my medicals done. I was overdue for the dentist, mammogram, pap smear, colonoscopy, and blood work.
After postponing the wellness checkup three times due to fear and a couple of trips abroad, Jeroen and I finally set a date at St. Luke’s Bonifacio Global City on October 1 and 2.
I honestly didn’t know what to expect. We were instructed to fast (no food and water) from 10 PM on Friday, and appear at the Wellness Center at 8 AM Saturday. Not a morning person, this was pure agony for me.
It was comforting to see that our first stop looked more like a business class airline lounge than a hospital.

St. Luke's Health & Wellness Center

We were assigned a pretty hospital worker named Erika to assist us throughout the whole procedure. Here’s the strange thing—the hospital had so many good-looking people walking around and working there, it was unreal. I have never seen it in any other hospital (not even in Houston).
Jeroen and I were led to our room (Suite 705) which had two beds. It may not look like it, but the beds are super comfy with a real mattress, unlike those awful PVC-covered beds in other hospitals.


We asked for extra pillows and comforters, so St. Luke’s has real blankets, not those thin sheets used in other hospitals.
We could adjust the thermostat in our room. Lee Min Ho was on the telly.


We had a sitting room, where we spoke to doctors


A kitchenette


There was a computer in the room, but the WIFI was very weak.
I unpacked my bags and checked out the bathroom (not the Four Seasons, but good enough for an overnight stay).


(To be continued)


I feel lucky to have a high-tech Dad who reads a lot and knows what’s out there before almost everyone else.
I was in high school when I started using the computer. My dad gave us this Macintosh computer in 1984, and life has never been the same again.

Macintosh 128k

I had battles with the computer teacher in college because we were forced to use a PC, which wasn’t PC with me.
Even my kids went straight to Mac, although they are “ambidextrous”—they also enjoy the HP Touchsmart I won in a media launch :)


My son thought he was Spiderman. Posing with the old Mac before we sold it in 2005.

Spider Ben in character

The Mac is really part of our family

Back at home!

Our summer house - Winterswijk

Ben and my dad pose for Ben's homework

My new mac

Gerome and Chelo in our living room

Dad and my Mac

On the iPad

This is the Mac I’m using right now. Purchased in 2009 at the A.Shop. It is my daily companion.

My new Mac

And for this I have to thank my Dad and Steve Jobs. I feel strangely sad and depressed that Steve Jobs died today. But as my friend Kitty says, “What do you expect him to do? Live forever?”

Steve Jobs

It’s going to be hard to get anything done today but I have to pry myself out of bed and eat something.
Steve Jobs, you have changed my life forever. God bless you.

Steve Jobs


When I was a kid we used to live in this neighborhood

1oth St cor. Hemady

This was our house


This was our gate


We used to spend afternoons playing patintero and going up and down this slide—well, not me, because I had vertigo. I used to love the swing, which isn’t there anymore.


It was the ’70s. We had a simple life and we were happy. Well, we still are, but I can’t help but think of those days.

Where we used to play

There was no such thing as food delivery or fast food. Even french fries were unheard of.
What we did have was the Magnolia ice cream cart that passed everyday, whose arrival was made known by a bell.
And there was the guy who sold bread on a bicycle that had two large tin drums attached on either side. We would run out as soon as we heard his horn or “potpot”.
So we called the bread he sold “potpot.” It was a soft yellow bread with margarine slathered on top, and a sprinkle of white sugar. It used to cost five centavos a pop. I remember my cousin Ricky loved food and would buy one peso worth—for 20 pieces of bread. They were delish.
And this is where we stood and bought potpot.


When our family moved to Greenhills in 1974, there was no more potpot.

Our old house

But I never forgot the taste. It would haunt me sometimes. I tried to look for it in bakeries everywhere—including the Baguio market—to no success.
The most amazing thing—Jay and I met up at Trinoma earlier to attend a media launch and were on our way to Megamall to buy balloons. Traffic was so bad. We ended up crawling somewhere in Kamuning.
I saw an interesting sign


Jay mentioned he had seen this bakery featured on TV as one of the country’s oldest existing bakeries.
Established in 1939—it made me think, what if they still had their old recipes? Could they have potpot inside?
We took advantage of the stalled traffic, got down from the car and walked over to this charming little store


I actually saw something that looks like it could be potpot and costs five pesos each! I asked Jay to buy two.


There was a girl behind the counter manually assembling these paper bags and stamping them in green ink. So nostalgic!


Just like the cold bottles of Coke in the chiller


There’s the bread. It’s 5-peso ensaymada.


Which I took in the car and bit into with my eyes closed. I was once again in the ’70s.


And I loved it. Jay is too young to know, but he said the bread was remarkably soft. We are so coming back.
Kamuning Bakery is at 43-A Judge Jimenez St. corner K-1st Kamuning, Quezon City, Metro Manila
Tel. 929-2216
You can read about it here.

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