What you see is what you don’t get

Last Monday, after depositing four boys and two yayas at Game Zoo, Keri and I had lunch at Tao Yuan at Resorts World. We ordered chicken rice, Peking duck, two kinds of prawns, and this:


That is a picture from the menu: four delicious-looking spring rolls with shrimp and garlic, plus garnish.
When the actual dish arrived at our table, it looked like this:


I was really shocked because it looked nothing like the photo. My inner Claudine almost came out as I put up an argument with the waitress or manager about how pictures menu work—you’re supposed to serve exactly what’s on the menu, otherwise, it doesn’t make sense.
The waitress or manager merely smirked and didn’t seem to see a point in what I was saying.
Meanwhile, Keri was sweating bullets so I stopped. We tried the spring rolls, which tasted really good, thank God. I would order them again. But I do suggest that if Tao Yuan decides to print another picture menu, they need to have new product shots.

Product shots need to match the order
Actress Carla Abellana wasn’t as lucky as what she ordered online as gifts became a source of embarrassment instead.

Carla Abellana1
Carla Abellana photographed by Raymund Isaac

She writes:
“A few days before Mother’s Day, I went online to http://flowers2world.com and ordered 7 HAPPY BASKET FLOWERS (small size), worth $49 each, excluding shipping/delivery charges.
The order was based on this photo (L), which appears to have at least 5 different kinds of flowers in various shades of pink.
As Mother’s Day approached and I saw one of baskets delivered, I was appalled. THERE IS NO WAY I ORDERED THIS ONLINE, I thought.
First, the basket looks cheap. Second, the bouquet is not pink. Third, they are cheap-looking flowers! (R)

pastedGraphicFC_GreatThan_41713_md download

“I may not know what specific type of flowers they are, but I believe they are cheap Malaysian mums—the type you use to fill-in bouquets to make them look fuller and bigger. Worse, the flower petals were already falling off when they arrived. The flowers do not look like they’re worth $49. I can get these kinds of flowers in Dangwa for less than Php100 or less than $3! And definitely not beautiful. Sorry but it looks like a centerpiece you see in cheap restaurants. I could’ve done better! But because I trusted their website, I ordered seven!

“I am embarrassed that these were sent out to loved ones as it reflects my choice and style. I have never ranted about anything or anyone because I am the type of person who appreciates simple things in life and sees good in bad—but this, I cannot fathom.
I have emailed and demanded them to deliver nicer flowers or issue a refund. The replies of the website are just as infuriating. If I can just stop other people from patronizing this website, then my rants will be worth it.”


Goodbye, Housewives

Desperate Housewives is probably the longest series I have watched entirely from first episode to last.
Prior to this, I wasn’t really into TV shows. But sometime in 2004, my editor Millet Mananquil sent me a DVD and I got hooked.
Eight years and eight seasons later, it’s over. Last night I watched the final two-hour episode which seemed hurriedly done and bitin, but I’m glad it’s over because I was getting tired of the show, with all the stress, never-ending problems and evil people stopping by Wisteria Lane.
Truth to tell they could have ended two seasons earlier. Still I couldn’t help but feel a little sad saying goodbye to the characters played by (L-R) Vanessa Williams, Felicity Huffman, Eva Longoria, Teri Hatcher, Marcia Cross.


I can’t say I have a favorite housewife, probably the one I can relate to is Lynette (Felicity Huffman), the supermom and Gabi (Eva Longoria) who speaks her mind.
My least favorite is Bree (Marcia Cross) because she has too much botox and looks like a plastic woman (read: hard to look at).
Teri Hatcher’s character (Susan) is a bit on the wholesome (read: boring) and I’m indifferent to Vanessa Williams who joined the show only recently.
That said, I’m glad the series ended happily with everyone moving out of Wisteria Lane and being successful in their career changes. I am 10% sad and 90% happy it’s over.
Here are the final, final six minutes of the show known as Desperate Housewives.

Meet my new Samsung Note

Contrary to popular belief, I do have small bags.


This tiny Porter bag is sometimes used when going to Mass


It holds just the bare essentials: wet and normal tissues, wallet, pens, mints, Blackberry, and my latest gadget, the Samsung Galaxy Note, a present from Jeroen’s friend, Sonny Ocampo.

What's inside my bag?

I actually received the Samsung Note last year, but didn’t get into it right away, until last week when MobC sent me a case for it. At first I was upset because I forgot where I’d kept the Galaxy Note. I prayed to St. Anthony—who never fails—and found it inside my bedside drawer.
Here’s the Samsung Note in its new wallet case, next to the BlackBerry


What I love about the Samsung Note:
1) It serves as a backup phone for my BlackBerry which hangs very often. I was so excited, I got another line for this gadget. I can call, text and surf with it, as well as WhatsApp, Twitter, etc.
2) I got Instagram! Follow me on Instagram.
I realize the Galaxy Note doesn’t take pictures as well as the iPhone, but this will do for now.

Comme des Garçons top Flowers from Fiori di M
Valextra bag at Univers Dimensione clock
Church's shoes at Univers Mamou steak

3) I can surf better on the Samsung Note than the Blackberry. I don’t get so cross-eyed trying to read articles. I keep it on my bedside and read in the dark when everyone’s sleeping.
4) Both BlackBerry and Samsung Note work with the Mili Powerstar I carry around.


5) I super love the size—bigger than the iPhone/BlackBerry and smaller than the Galaxy Tab and iPad.
I still keep the BlackBerry because of BBM and, well, I prefer to type long messages on a keyboard I can touch, not tap.
Until Apple makes a large iPhone with a real keyboard, I’m sticking to this combo. :)

Remember these?

I grew up in this house and lived here from 1973-2003.
Thirty years. I never thought of it until now.

Our old house

During the ’70s we had no internet—we played with toys! One of my favorite toys was Bionic Woman, Jamie Somers.

Blue Eyes Kenner Bionic Woman

who lived in this “modern” dome house

The open door.

I can still remember blowing the dome house and assembling the furniture vividly

The inside

My brother had the Six Million Dollar Man, whose eye you could peer through. Meet Steve Austin, astronaut.

Bionic Eye

I played with the little Charlie’s Angels dolls in colorful jumpsuits

082409 007

Back in the day you couldn’t buy imported goods in the supermarket, unlike now where M&Ms and Hershey bars can be bought even at the 7-11.
If you wanted imported goods, you went to shops like Cashelmara in Quezon City, Cartimar in Pasay, or Dau in Pampanga. I wasn’t born yet, but this was Cartimar in 1966. (Source)


Back in the day, Cartimar wasn’t a pet depot. It used to sell PX goods, where my sister and I bought scented Hallmark postalettes to trade and collect, while one of my gay friends said he bought comic books and Playgirl magazines there as a young kid :)

vintage POSTALETTES betsey clark

My siblings, cousins and I used to buy army ration food in boxes and eat them at home. I remember it to have canned goods with spaghetti and meatballs or pork and beans, a fork, matches, towelette, coffee and sugar packets, and the yummiest kind of chewing gum. It looked something like this.

army ration

This army ration has been haunting me lately. Memories came back as I found some current versions of it online. They are called MREs or Meals, Ready-to-Eat.
An MRE usually contains an entree, side dish, dessert or snack, crackers or bread, peanut butter or jelly spread, a powdered drink mix, utensils, a napkin, matches, seasonings, plus a flameless ration heater.
You can buy MREs in single meals, as separate components (entree, side dish, desserts, drinks), in 3-day supplies, a month’s supply or even a year’s supply. (Source).
Here are some modern-day MRE samples I found online. Instead of the can, entrees are packed in a retort pouch, a thin container built with multiple layers to allow food to be sealed and cooked evenly from the outside, and never exposed to the air until it is opened.
I find them so cute. I wish I could eat them with my boys, but my boys are not adventurous in food. I am really tempted to order or assemble my own.

So maybe my gay friend will join me. :)
Does anybody else remember eating army ration in the ’70s or is it just me?

Crossings invites you to Philippine Fashion Week

On May 22, 2012, CROSSINGS labels The Ramp, Mundo and The Ramp Kids, will present their latest collections at Philippine Fashion Week.
Directed by Robby Carmona and styled by siblings Daryl and Andre Chang, the show will feature the collaborative work of Creative Director Mario Barrientos and designer Macel Pangan.
Take a sneak peek at the Fall/Holiday Collection of The Ramp Crossings’ with this teaser video created by Melvin Mojica, Jujiin Samonte and Paulo Castro.

Win free tickets through http://www.facebook.com/therampcrossings.
The Ramp is now available online at //http://www.therampcrossings.com.

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