Wednesday, March 28, 2012 Look: Help the Needy

If you are wondering why I have been looking a lil pudgy lately, it's because I spent three weeks in Bangkok in January. Right after a breakup. Doing nothing but eating, sleeping and drinking alcohol. I actually gained a whopping 3kg while I was there. True story.

Now, 3kg might not sound like a lot and, in theory, it really isn't. In fact, if given a chance, I would keep the current weight that I'm in.

Unfortunately, before I went on that fattening Bangkok vacation, I was a size 1. And, well, an added 3kg meant that all of my size 1 clothes no longer fit me. Neither did my size 2 clothes, actually. So, in other words, I had nothing to wear.

Thus, the title of this blogpost and the choice of dress that I am wearing in it. Ironically enough, the first blogger's event that I attended when I got back was a food event: the media launch of Relik Tapas Bar and Lounge - which, as incredibly delicious as it was, did not help the state that I was in.

gold wire headband from Anagon Collection

brown clogs from Manels

I know, I know. I use this headband and these clogs far too much, but what can I say? I love them to bits. I'm actually wearing those clogs again today and they were one of the few pairs of shoes that I brought to Bangkok with me. Comfortable, versatile and chic - what more could a woman want out of her shoes? :)

dress from eBay

I actually got this unbranded dress off of eBay for only 20 pesos. That's 40 cents. Chyeah. The best part about it is that it will still fit me, no matter how fat I get. :p

YSL-inspired ring from Marianne Matic of Not Your Ordinary Beautyqueen - thank you so much for this, Mar! I LOVE IT!!!

(left) a closer view of the print of my dress
(right) me and my beautiful princess, Syrena...

...who is, sometimes, just as much of a dork as I am.
No proper outfit shot for her, though, since she was walking around in nothing but her jammies that day.

What do you think of my outfit? Is it decent enough for an outfit post? What tips do you have for "fat days months"? I need them baaadly. I still haven't shed the extra weight that I gained on my trip. :(

Monday, March 26, 2012

Red Sky at Centara Central World, Bangkok, Thailand

Because I am starting to miss my home once again, I thought I'd share some more of my recent Bangkok escapades: the semi-fail quadruple date.

Originally, there were supposed to be four guys and four girls on this "date", but one of our guys got sucked in by the evil force that is FIFA, so we ended up a guy short.

Then, the place that we planned on having dinner at - The Horse Says Moooo on Sukhumvit Soi 31 - turned out to be closed. Gone. Non-existent.

Talk about bad luck!

Still, the night was pretty epic. As it always is with good company. :)

Although we were a bit disappointed since the restaurant looked very promising, we ended up going to Coyote instead, which was just around the corner.

One of the reasons why I love Coyote so much is because I celebrated my 20th birthday there, so the memories are still intact. Other reasons why I love Coyote include:

Their mushroom quesadillas!
I was a pesce-vegetarian before I got pregnant, and I practically lived on this stuff!

Their mochaccino margaritas!
I was also an alcoholic before I got pregnant, so I lived on this, too. :p

After our very filling dinner, we then headed to Red Sky at Centara Central World for the most gorgeous view and the most romantic date scenery I could ever imagine.

If you have watched "The Hangover 2", then you should know how beautiful Bangkok's skyline is by now. The picture above does not do it any justice whatsoever, I'm afraid. You really have to see it in person yourself.

Unfortunately, you will also have to make reservations days in advance if you want to get into Sirocco - which we didn't get to do coz I'm spontaneous like that. Which is why we went to Red Sky instead.

Overall, Red Sky's crowd is more business-like than young and casual. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing if you're just there to enjoy the music, the drinks and the company. And the music was jazzy and slow-dance-worthy. Perfect date stuff, I'm telling you.

It was a lil too dark for my liking, though, and the tables - as pretty as they were - were much too far away from the seats. However, they did make up for it with the view, the delicious drinks and the lounge chairs that you can lie on.

Naturally, you will have to make reservations or get there a bit early in order to bag one of those lounge chairs, though. Naturally, you should also expect to pay a bit more per drink since you are paying mostly for the venue than the drink itself.

I think Mark paid Bt200 for this shot.

Our girlier drinks cost around Bt400. But they were good!

As mentioned before, the night was epic because of the wonderful company that I was with. :)

Tom Dibbayawan aka Dibby - the man with the cutest dimples and the best movie and music taste in the world.

(left) Mark McDowell - whose shot clearly went straight to his head. :p
(right) Lita Kays Prasithpongchai - the sexiest, craziest and awesomest girl friend a girl could ever have. Seriously. She's prolly the only person I know who still really and truly stays in touch with me even now that I've moved away. LOVE. HER.

(from left) Kays, Leila, me, Tom, Nanak and Kei! :)

I apologize for the pictures being so dark. I blame the darkness of the place. :p

Have you ever been to a skybar? Any blog posts on one? Any recommendations of one here in Manila? :) Share, share, share!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

DLSU's Food Chronicles at Mercato Centrale, BGC

Love food?

Want to win Php3,000 for eating food?

Well, now you can.

Yes, you read that right. De La Salle University's SkyistheLimit Productions is holding a series of food challenges for food junkies this Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at Mercato Centrale, Bonifacio Global City at 9pm.

This event will benefit the Make a Wish Foundation to help poor children with medical conditions.

This isn't just any food event, though.

For starters, Food Chronicles aims to find new and young kitchen geniuses in the metro, so there will be a cooking competition for DLSU students. And, for the general public, there will also be a an eating challenge, where the winner will get a grand prize of Php3,000! How awesome is that?

For more information, feel free to like Food Chronicles 2012 on Facebook. Enjoy! :)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Soleil Flats: Easter Giveaway!!!

Do you love flats? To be honest, I'm more of a sky-high heels gal, but when I set my eyes on the flats available at Soleil Flats, I got hooked.

Here are two of the cute styles that I fell in love with and bought for myself:

Do you love them, too? If so, you're in luck. Because, for Easter, I am giving away a Php500 GC to use on any item at Soleil Flats! :) (Massive thanks to Diana and Danielle for sponsoring this giveaway!)

The mechanics are as follows:

1. Follow my blog through GFC.
2. Like Wonder Woman Rises and Soleil Flats on Facebook.
3. Follow Wonder Woman and Soleil Flats on Twitter.

For an extra 3 entries, you can also tweet this: "I joined Wonder Woman's @SOLEILflats giveaway here: You should, too!" (You can only tweet once.)

Don't forget to leave your GFC name, FB name, Twitter handle and tweet link in the comments section along with your email address, either, so I can contact you if you win.

This contest is only open to Philippine residents and will end on Easter Monday (April 9, 2012). :)

By the way, Soleil Flats currently has an ongoing Summer Lovin' SALE, where you can get your hands on some of their cutest flats for only Php500 - perfect for the voucher! ;) Good luck! And I hope you have a relaxing end of March and Holy Week ahead.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Movie Review: The Hunger Games

If you have read my book review on "The Hunger Games", then you should know that I absolutely loved it. You should also know that I had my reservations when it came to the movie, especially when it came to the cast and the love story.

Well, I take it all back.

Last night, I was lucky enough to watch an early screening of "The Hunger Games" with Krissy Cruz of Krissyfied in SM North. And even though I live in the South, the commute was well worth it.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with the movie version of "The Hunger Games". Okay, that's an exaggeration. I wasn't entirely sure whether the movie was actually working for me until Katniss and Peeta got to the Capitol (aside from the Reaping scene, where I bawled my eyes out like an insane person), and to say that I was incredibly effing disappointed with the dogs is a very mild way of putting it.

However, once they did get to the Capitol, the movie did no more wrong in my eyes. Will you like the movie if you didn't read the book? Honestly? Probably not. So make sure you read it before you go watch it in the cinemas. IT IS WORTH THE READ. TRUST ME.

Now, my biggest problem with books-turned-movies is that they never really stay true to the books. Well, to be perfectly honest, though, neither does "The Hunger Games". At all. A lot of the scenes, dialogue and character traits were left out or completely changed. But... I can't explain it... It just works.

I had my doubts about the casting of Josh Hutcherson as Peeta, for example. Well, in my defense, Josh Hutcherson as book-Peeta really doesn't work. But Josh Hutcherson as movie-Peeta? OH MY GOD. MOVIE-PEETA JOSH HUTCHERSON, COME INTO MY ARMS WITH YOUR DIMPLED CHIN, PLEASE. TEAM PEETA ALL THE WAY!!!

via Moviespad

And remember how I said I hope they don't turn the movie into a sappy love story? Well, they kinda did. And I didn't even care. In fact, I actually liked loved it. This movie is to me what "Twilight" is to the Twi-hards out there, I've decided.

Granted, the character and relationship developments kinda sucked in the movie and you don't really know what Katniss is thinking or feeling every second of the way like in the book, but it completely works in the love story aspect of it all and they cleverly worked in some of the television segments to help non-readers understand the storyline more.

Crap. I'm just babbling now. Mostly coz I just can't explain the movie to you guys right now because I know half of you haven't read the book yet and the other half of you don't want spoilers.

So, you know what? I'll just leave you with tips on what to do during the movie instead:

1. Bring a lot of tissues. It is an absolute cryfest! Even more so than the book. In fact, there's an added District 11 scene that wasn't in the book that made me cry for the entirety of it.

2. Do not drink anything during the movie. I cannot stress this enough. Since I'm a superhero, I was able to pull a Flash and take a 2-second restroom break after drinking my milk tea, but I doubt anyone else would be able to pull that off. On that note, pee before you go in, too.

3. Read the book. If you don't read it, you won't appreciate it as much. And then we won't be able to talk about it. I want to be able to talk about it. So please read it. And then watch the movie. And then we can talk. :)

4. Wear a mockingjay pin. Wear leather. Braid your hair. Set your clothes on fire. Do something Hunger Games-ish. I really regret not doing that last night.

5. STAY AWAY FROM PEETA. He's mine. Ahem.

Alright. It's 5am and all I've done is stalk Josh Hutcherson on the Internet, so I'm off to work for a change. Let me know when you've seen the movie. I need fellow Tributes to talk to. ;)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Movie Review: The Witness

When I heard that my good friend Gwen Zamora was cast in the lead role of an international movie called "The Witness", it immediately became the topic of conversation everywhere I went.

You can't really blame me. I'm not really into the "local scene", as I call it. Heck, I don't even have cable television, so I've only actually seen Gwen once on Party Pilipinas, once on Bubble Gang and once on the big screen for "Si Agimat at Si Enteng Kabisote". And let's face it: a tagalog movie without subtitles + me = a little lost.

So, when I found out that she would be in an Indonesian movie that was mostly in English and had subtitles, I just could not wait for it to come out.

Well, at Resorts World on Monday night, the 19th of March, 2012, I was finally able to watch the premiere of "The Witness" along with my friend JC Ramos and a slew of other people who came to support the actors and moviemakers on their big night.

"The Witness" starts off with just the right amount of intensity and it grips you right from the very first scene. It makes you question what is going on. It makes you wonder what the movie is going to be about. It makes you want to find out more about it. And all this is thanks to the brilliant director of the movie, Muhammad Yusuf.

After that first scene, the intense killing scenes begin, followed by an even more intense chase scene. And then things die down.

The next half an hour after that are filled with more - for lack of a better word - mindfuck scenes (and I mean that in the best way possible - think Christian Bale movies like "The Machinist" and "American Psycho"!) before things pick up again and the twist begins to unfold.

Most people will probably not be able to guess the twist, to be honest, but with JC and I being such awesome movie addicts, we pieced things together before the end. :) Woot!

I have one thing to say: Indonesians definitely know how to make movies. Everybody in the movie house was seriously screaming and sitting at the edge of their seats during the most intense scenes. I really hope that the Philippines collaborates with them more - especially for movies like this. Pang-Hollywood talaga ang dating!

Naturally, it has to be said that Gwen was simply amazing in this movie, as well - and I am not just saying that because she's my friend and I love her, either. Don't believe me? Then just check out the trailer, which is sure to leave you emotionally drained in itself:

What do you think? Intense, huh? I promise you: this movie is nothing like you have ever seen in Pinoy cinema before. You need to watch it.

"The Witness" starts showing in cinemas nationwide today, the 21st of March, 2012, so make sure you head for the nearest cinema to watch it! :)

For now, you can like The Witness on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

And the Asian Vogue Shop GC Goes to...

Congratulations, Hershey! :)

You now have Php1000 to spend on any pre-order shoes or bag of your choice at Asian Vogue Shop! I hope you find the perfect mature and lady-like heels to wear to college this year. Make sure you blog about what you buy when you get it! Excited to see what you choose! :)

Please take note that the GC cannot be combined with other GCs, coupons, discounts and promos and that you can only use it for one transaction.

Please get in touch with Ms Angel through Facebook or email her at once you are ready to make your order.

As for everyone else, thank you so much for joining this giveaway. The response was overwhelming! Please do keep shopping at Asian Vogue Shop and don't worry - I still have two more awesome giveaways coming up, one of which will be posted tomorrow, so you'll have many more chances of winning awesome prizes! :)

Are you as excited as I am? I hope so! :)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Book Review: The Hunger Games

A lot of people have already tried to get me to read "The Hunger Games", but I never showed any interest in it. Why? Well, for one, it sounded like a complete rip-off of "Battle Royale", one of my favorite books in the entire universe. And second of all, the young adult genre is pretty down there on my list of book genres to devour. Right above chick lit, to be exact.

However, I am one of those stubborn people who refuses to watch a movie based on a book unless I've read the book first. So, when Krissy Cruz of I am Krissy bought tickets for the premiere of "The Hunger Games" on Wednesday, I practically ran to the bookstore and bought myself a copy right away.

Now, because of my latest major fail at trying to finish a book before the movie came out ("The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo", anyone?), I was really worried that I wouldn't be able to finish this one before Wednesday.

But I finished it in 10 hours.

Yes. It is that good.

Although the story of "The Hunger Games" really does sound like a rip-off of "Battle Royale", it becomes quite clear early on in the book that it really isn't. After all, I was bawling like a baby by page 24 and the awesomely emo Taylor Swift song for the movie suddenly made sense to me.

Of course, there are still similarities between the two books. The storyline is pretty similar: kids are sent into a random arena to kill each other and some of the kids band together and work together to try and win. And, of course, both books are gripping, thrilling and incredibly nerve-racking.

But what makes these books so different from one another, I believe, is the fact that this one comes with an engaging yet subtle love story for sappy women like me young adults to enjoy. And oh, it wasn't banned anywhere, either. In fact, it was a New York Times bestseller.

I'm really, really, really, really, really, really hoping - DEAR GOD, PLEASE!!! - that the movie won't suck. I hate the "Battle Royale" movie. HATE it. So if this goes down that route or if they turn it into a sappy love story instead of a subtle one, I will be very angry. Rotten Tomatoes currently has it on 100%, though, so I'm keeping my hopes up. If it ends up being awesome, then I'm totally gonna order this to add to my movie memorabilia collection:

Yes. I have a collection of movie memorabilia. :D

I'm not quite sure how I feel about the cast members just yet, though. See, I feel that Josh Hutcherson fits the Gale role better, and Liam Hemsworth fits the Peeta role better. Hmm...

Anyway, while you're waiting for my movie review on Wednesday night, what did you think of the book? :) If you haven't read it yet... why haven't you?!??

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Congratulations on Sound of Music Manila's 100th Show!

Wow, how time flies!

I still remember the day I found out that my aunt Joanna Ampil was going to be in The Sound of Music Manila. It was the night I went to Resorts World for the Mango F/W 2011 fashion show - which was, coincidentally, my first official fashion event and where my entire blogging world turned upside down, as well. That's when I saw all of the posters of my Tita all over the place. I was ecstatic!

My first glimpses of Sound of Music Manila. Who would've predicted that it was to become the longest-running Filipino production of a Broadway musical to date?

Ran into Tita Jo outside of Starbucks right after the Mango F/W 2011 fashion show. What a coincidence!

I also remember the night of the press preview. It wasn't just the first night I got to watch the show. It was also the first night I got to hang out and bond with fellow Candy girl Ana Gonzales of The Fashionista Commuter and it was also the day I first set my eyes on - and got a schoolgirl crush on - Marvin Ong who plays Rolf. (I try to erase my first tweet to him from my memory, to be honest, but it's just too good to delete and forget. :p)

Ana and me! Nagkakahiyaan pa ng konti! :p

I still remember that I was too shy to ask for a picture that I had to breathe in and out for about 15 minutes first. :p

Since then, I've watched the show... God knows how many times. I've seen it from every angle and seat possible, actually. I've even seen it from the box seats and from various places backstage.

With my brother and my favorite sisters in our special box.

Backstage shots: at Jacob's mirror and in Rolf's uniform. :p

With my family, Tita Jo, designer JC Buendia, and the sisters. 

Watching Do-Re-Mi on the lil screen, eagerly awaiting the next scene, which happens to be my favorite one. :p

With Ms Sheila Amora of Funky Plum Vintage, Marvin and Tita Jo on Bianca's 9th birthday.

As irony would have it, Sound of Music Manila's 100th show happened on March 11, 2012 and, as luck would have it, most of the actors who were onstage during that time were also the ones who were onstage during the very first time that I watched the show. And boy, did it take me back.

So how much has happened since I first saw the show in October and watching it for the nth time (not the 100th time, though! lol) made me realize that it has been with me every step of the way. As the original 1965 movie had been with me during my entire childhood, the 2011-2012 run of Sound of Music Manila was with me during my entire newbie-blogger stage.

The first time we saw my Tita's Maria standee.

Because of this, Sound of Music Manila has become more than just "a show my Tita is in" for me. I've reconnected with a lot dear friends that I had lost touch with because of it. I have made a lot of new friends because of it. And I have even become friends with some of my blog readers and some of my Tita's fans because of it. I am extremely thankful for this (special thanks, of course, to Marvin who introduced me to his amazing cast members - you know who you are!) and I simply cannot imagine what life would have been like if it hadn't been staged anymore.

One of my mom's paparazzi shots. With Rachel Coates - the only Liesl I never got to watch onstage. :(

Now, to make things a bit more upbeat, I would like to congratulate Resorts World Manila and the entire cast of Sound of Music Manila for such a wonderful job. The casting is simply impeccable - take it from me, I've seen all of the cast members, except the Bryan-and-Rachel tandem :p - and you just keep getting better and better!

Thank you so much for touching all of our hearts and for making so many people happy. Thank you also to Khaeiycee who shared one of the tickets that she won for the 100th show with me. Extend na until July? ;p