Sunday, December 26, 2010

Ho ho ho

Hope you all had a jolly one. Christmas blessings to all who pass here. Thank you for being my constant company during my inconsistent chatter.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Vancouver in a para.

Vancouver was awesome. I'm still jet-lagged. I will never fly Philippine Airlines again. I would like to visit Canada again but this time during summer. I hate the cold. But it was a nice change of climate.I went skiing for the first time at Whistler. I'm still trying to catch up on sleep so pardon the staccato-filled entry.Will be back. In the meantime, here's one of our gazillion photos taken at Whistler - the venue for this year's Winter Olympics. I didn't know that till I got there - ignorant much?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pack light? Me? Please.

There are some things in life, try as I might, I am not able to do:

1. Wear a push-up bra without looking like I had surgery

2. Eat duck and go, "Oh my god, this is DELICIOUS!"


3. Pack light.

Yes, my bag is on the right. The H's is on the left. I don't pack light. Never have, never will, simply because I can't. To quote Sel en route to the gym one day, "Oh my God, are you moving into the gym? What's in your bag? *opens bag* And you don't even have your gym shoes in here!!!"

So yes, I don't pack light. There are several very valid reasons why.

1. Over-prepared VS under-prepared - Seriously, I'd much rather pack a spectacular evening dress that I'm not sure will be put into use rather than showing up at an impromptu dinner event in jeans and yesterday's checkered shirt. No amount of accessories will dress you up in that.

2. Toiletries - I'm not a snob but I'm not a fan of hotel toiletries. I've been to hotels that provide L'Occitane shower gels and yet I'd still rather lug my RM5.50 LifeBuoy anti-bacteria body wash. See?

3. Make-up - Leaving my make-up bag at home is as good as leaving my wallet and passport. Are you kidding me? Face the world bare-faced? Trust me when I say I am doing the human race a favour by putting on make-up before I step out everyday. Scary. Oh and the basic fact that I'm vain of course. No apologies there. (What, you don't know me yet?)

4. Underwear for every occasion - I categorise my undies. Sleep undies, walk-about town undies, nights-out undies, gym undies. And then there are bras....

5. Shoes - On average, I bring 3 pairs of shoes per trip. Walking, heels and flip flops. And if there's a gym, my running shoes of course. So that's four.

6. Variety - indeed the spice of life! I cringe at the thought of being photographed in the same blue blouse throughout a trip. If there's space in the suitcase for a little black dress, a little green dress and a little pink dress, they're going in.

7. Shopping space - You mock me and my large suitcase but I usually have the last laugh when other people are trying squeeze in their last minute shopping into their chihuahua sized bags. Bodo.

and of course...

8. I'm a woman - Ok so it's a stereotype but women generally pack more than men. My husband can fit five days worth of clothes into his backpack. Go figure.

Good thing we have 30 kilos a piece for this trip.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Behind a quiet blog is a busy blogger, no? And I can prove it:

Haw and I have been blessed with projects aplenty but one of our most enjoyable one has been a stint on Mabul island last month. Haw provided most of the design work and I did the copywriting for the proposal (a company hired us to help with their Island Wedding set-up). And to make life easy, they asked us to model for their marketing brochure and website! Ok la, so we’re not exactly Brad and Angelina material but hey, a job is a job. To top it off, they let us keep some of the shots – which were taken professionally by Melvin Ho (check him out at

Before the sunset shoot on the deck. Haw and I taking a moment to say 'Cheese!'

Okay it's NOT what you think. Melvin and Haw getting the lighting right before the main shoot.

All work and no play? Not my style. Gearing up for my snorkelling session. See that smile on my face? Moments later it's going to be wiped away thanks to an encounter with dozens of baby jellyfish.

Perfecting my pout. Statue-style.

While in Mabul, I got a call from my former employers about an emceeing gig in Brunei. Would I take it, they asked? Hell yeah. I spent some 5 days in the kingdom of Brunei and although the currency exchange rate is a killer (2.3 to 1 ringgit! It’s like going to Singapore) and ‘night life’ pretty much means having shots of coffee at Starbucks (“Woo hoo caffeine high I’m a WILD child!” *dancing on Starbucks table*), my trip wasn’t too bad.

My standard dinner as I watched re-runs of 'How I Met Your Mother' in my suite. Beef lasagne. I also had a lot of kebabs because it was the quickest, easiest and most affordable thing to grab on the go. I highly recommend Hungry Joe's in Brunei.

The 4th Sabah Travel Fair at The Mall, Gadong. Crowds were aplenty every night. We had a total of five cultural shows, which was the highlight everyday.

Emcee on standby. Yes, of course sempat to smile at the camera.

In action AND you will be super duper impressed to know that I emceed completely in Bahasa Malaysia! Fuyoh. Although my friends said I sounded like a TV3 News Presenter (no that wasn't a compliment), I think I did a decent job and no one went, "Apa dia cakap tu?" ("What is she saying?")

I was told that The Mall in Gadong is one of the most happening places to be in Brunei. It's not bad but the ceiling distracted me. I can't decide it the plane is flying into the mall or out of it.

Oh i probably should mention that we literally battled several elements during our trip: There was a fire in the mall the day before the launch (which delayed our rehearsal), there was a crazy monsoon storm the DAY of the launch and I ended up having to request for a driver to pick me up from the hotel even though it's only a 3-minute walk away (i don't think the soaking baju kurung look suits me) and the next day, the heavy rain caused major leak which drenched the carpeting of the event hall. Jeng jeng jeng. All we needed was a landslide and we would've covered almost all of the Captain Planet elements (earth, wind, water, fire...and heart -but please, that's not even a real element).

Flew back on Royal Brunei. I love flying on RBA. Always a pleasant flight. And it doesn't smell like instant noodles.

I've also been busy helping out SPCA here in KK. The obstacles are never ending but the rewards are priceless.

And when I'm not busy helping save other furry friends, Haw and I are occupied with another furry friend who will be moving with us when we move to our new home. Meet the over-enthusiastic Peanut. He acts like he's won a million bucks everytime he sees us. Bless him. But if he starts eating my heels, he better have damn effective puppy-dog eyes.

My cousin Chombe and her husband Lulut welcomed so-not-camera-shy Alullah Sawayo Gom. Ready to be spoiled silly by your gazillion aunts and uncles?

And last but not least, ladies and gentlemen, I have a VERY important announcement to make. After trying not once, not twice but thrice, I have succeeded...............

 acquiring my CANADIAN VISA!!!! Vancouver-bound for three weeks, bay-beh! Cold weather be damned, here I come.

Monday, November 08, 2010


Back from Brunei. And i caught a nasty cold. All that damn air-conditioning - I put it at 30 degrees, it still felt like I was camping in an igloo. Only in this part of the world do you put on more layers of clothing indoors than outdoors. Go figure.

In the meantime, am still too drugged up to be blogging about my trip. But stay tuned!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Mabul and back

Sorry, I've been away. But when work beckons at a place like this, it's hard to complain:

I spent four days at Mabul island working on a wedding project. Although our wake-up calls were at 5:30am and I found a sea snake in one of the ladies' washrooms, it was a great trip. Didn't even feel like work! Now that's what I call a job :) My only regret? I don't dive. Time to get that scuba license...

Saturday, October 09, 2010

When the going gets tough..the tough grabs a drink.

Today, I discovered the importance of having a bottle of wine on standby.

A glass to go. Sometimes I just don't have the energy to rant. Have a drink and forever hold your peace.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Back in the day.

I can't fathom what girls see in Justin Bieber, K-pop boy bands or the whole Twilight craze, to be honest. And just when I start to get all grown-uppy about it, I think about MY bout of teenagerism:

New Kids On The Block

oh my god, I would have given my left arm to meet them (ok maybe my right arm because I'm left handed). Before N'Sync, the Backstreet Boys and Super Junior (did i get that right?), they were THE boy bands of boy bands. Left to right, Donnie Wahlberg, Danny Wood, Jordan Knight, Jonathan Knight and Joey McIntyre. I was a 'Donnie Wahlberg' girl. He was the 'bad boy' I suppose. I can't explain the attraction - He just did it for me. And yes, I can still sing to all their songs word for word.

Captain Planet and the Planeteers
Helllloooo, Captain Planet anyone? "When the five powers combine, I am CAPTAIN PLANET!" Lemme see...It was,"Earth, Fire, Wind, Water...Heart!" I think the 'Heart' bit was just thrown in cuz they didn't know what to do with the Latino kid. I was always rooting for the Asian chick, naturally.

Paula Abdul
Paula Abdul before American Idol. Waaaay before. "Straight Up", "Forever Your Girl", "Opposites Attract" with Mc Skat Kat and "Rush Rush" - The video had Keanu Reeves in it, yum. She was a solid dancer, no doubt. Not the best vocals but she had fantastic screen presence. She gets so much bad press with American Idol but I bet there's a whole generation out there who can't appreciate her for the performer she was.

And last but not least....

Beverly Hills 90210 baybeh! Not the super glitzy one you see today (although,as I mentioned in one of my previous posts, I am a not-so-closet fan of the next generation version). I remember having to record some episodes on videotape - yes VIDEOtape - because I was homework-bound and not allowed to watch TV at 8:30pm (TV2 no less). The Walsh twins were played by Shannen Doherty and the very-cute Jason Priestly. The girls loved Luke Perry's character, Dylan McKay, but I was very much the Brandon Walsh kinda girl (I think i had graduated from liking bad-boys ala Donnie Wahlberg at this point...hmm). It was a fantastic show until they started bringing in new characters and the old ones started to disappear, as it happens in most long-running series.

Oh, to be 14 again.

Friday, September 17, 2010


At this rate, I am going to worry myself to death.

About things that might happen.

Things that might not.

Things that should. Or should not.

Even things that have.

I worry that I worry too much.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


A year ago, I bid farewell to my six-year stint as a magazine editor and senior publicity executive to pursue my freelancing dream. Now I'm a creature of habit kinda girl and 'routine' is my safety net. I get nervous ordering anything other than 'lemon teh ping' at the coffee shop. So yes, my life is a constant ball of 'excitement' as you can see. Saying goodbye to a steady monthly income and benefits filled me with trepidation but turning 30, I knew it was now or never. I didn't want to be 60 and saying, "Maybe I should resign..."

Do I regret it? Hell, no. Has it been easy? Of course not. I'd be lying to myself if I said I didn't have to make some lifestyle changes. It didn't help that I had a wedding to pay for, a house to renovate and a year-end trip to Canada to budget for but hey, how can I complain? Not having my thrice-weekly happy hour drinks or buying another pair of pink pumps are small sacrifices to meet the greater need (er like getting married and moving into our own place. You think?). For sure, there are things I miss about the corporate life - like getting ready for work in the morning (for real!), socialising during after-work drinks to bitch about the boss and cool perks when travelling and reviewing for the magazine.

That said, in turn I DO love being able to wake up slow (as Jack Johnson recommends), work as and when I please and having the creative liberty with my craft. And although I don't recommend it for everyone, I quite enjoy teaming up with my husband for work. Makes good economic sense: We worked well back in our former office, why not do the same now? And it's great that we both understand each other's financial stand given the circumstances. So we've agreed that we have to let go of the bigger luxuries for now (his dream Celica, my trip to Greece) and settle on the simpler things (a weekend trip to Watsons to buy shampoo, buying DVDs - buy 5 free 1!).

Yang penting, jolly.

Monday, September 13, 2010

It's spelled Piranha not Pirahna.

*warning: Spoilers ahead!

Seeing that the selection of movies at the KK cinemas leave much to be desired in the last 30 days or so, Haw and I were left with either the latest installation of Resident Evil or a remake of the classic Piranha (which I have been misspelling all this while until I took a good look at the poster. Nuff said). Zombies or killer fishies? Hmm. Good thing it's me because I swing both ways, baby! But we took the road less taken (and risky perhaps) and opted for Piranha 3D - which is completely misleading because it's NOT being screened as 3D in KK as I write this. Boo.

It's been a while since I've been inspired to 'review' a movie (I would never claim to be a professionale but here's my two cents anyway) and my oh my did this movie inspire me. Bearing in mind it's an Alexandro Aja film -the mind that brought you P2, The Hills Have Eyes and Mirrors - I was quite excited to see what his twisted mind had in store. I remember watching the 1978 version when I was a kid and it freaked me out for a while. All grown-up but still afraid of the dark, I knew the 2010 adaptation would not disappoint.

Fluff aside, the story tells of a scientific anomaly where there's a shift in the ground that releases prehistoric flesh-eating piranhas into the lake where, but of course, hundreds of teenagers are spending their much-anticipated spring break. Four words: Worst. Spring. Break. EVER.

Nobody pays attention to the Sheriff (played by Elisabeth Shue), of course ,and all hell breaks loose. "I am the Sheriff. Check out my biceps!" - Elisabeth Shue pulling a Linda Hamilton

There are some great lines in the movie. A kid yells, "SHARK!" at the first attack and someone actually retorts, "Who yells Shark! at a lake?". Ya, sempat lagi bah kan. Anyway about 70 percent - no, 75 - revolves around bikinis, boys, beer and boobs. Oh and this:

Yep, a wet t-shirt competition. I think it was scenes like these that gave the movie the 18 rating and not so much the blood and gore. I could almost hear 50 wet dreams happening at the same time in the cinema.
The other protagonist in the movie was a scientist played by the unimaginatively named Adam Scott. It was hard to take him seriously at first because I kept picturing him as the obnoxious 'Derek' from Stepbrothers (i love that movie).

And before you brush off Piranha as another B-grade movie, there were some notable faces, including Richard Dreyfuss, Ving Rhames AND Christopher Lloyd - the paranoid Doc Brown from Back to the Future.

Ok so this movie isn't going to win a Golden Globe. Probably not even a Razzie. But it is pure horror cult classic blood-guts-and-gore genius - IN 3D! (note: eventhough I didn't get to watch in 3D, this movie was built for the 3D effect which, i am sure, would've made the movie even more enjoyable. Sekian dimaklumkan).
"Look Bob, our main dish has arrived!"

And the build-up is worth the wait. Halfway through the movie, you can't help but WANT the hormone-raged annoying teenagers to just die already. They did not disappoint:

I never cheered so loudly in the cinema. Love it or hate it, you cannot deny the artistic genius in the way these kids are mauled, ravaged, eaten, bitten, maimed and just finished off. Be warned: It is not for the faint-hearted. I love my gore so this was like an alcoholic being in a brewery.

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie for several reasons. I love the simplicity of this genre, which is almost textbook yet never fails to attract an audience. Classic. I was also pleasantly surprised at the quality of dialogue and selection of cast - the script is at times sharp and witty. And finally, every now and then, I need to watch a movie that doesn't leave me pondering on the meaning of life as the credits roll. And it's okay if Kate Winslet or Al Pacino aren't in it.

So how does it end? It ends predictably unpredictably. You'll just have to watch it to see what I mean.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Skinny jeans.

Everyone has a pair in their wardrobe. You know. That blouse, those jeans, that dress from way back when you were a size skinny and a half. For the record, I've never been skinny skinny. I've been skinni-er than what I am today. But never so skinny that you'd want me on a runway (then again I'm not that tall neither but that's a different blog post altogether).

So here are these jeans.My beloved Esprit low-rise jeans that hug each fleshy morsel of my existence just right. I love these jeans. Love them. And I should know because I own at least 6 pairs of denim jeans (out of which I only wear one religiously and, alas, it's no longer my Esprit pair).

Anyhoo, I call these my 'skinny jeans' for a few reasons. One, for the obvious reason I used to fit them when I was skinnier. And, two, they actually make me FEEL skinny. I should also call these my 'Magic Ass' jeans because woo-hoo! my ass finally makes its presence known in these pants! I bought them back in 2006 - actually they were a gift from my good friend Dillon. Thanks to the gift vouchers he oh-so-graciously presented me because he conceded, "I have NO idea what to buy you so buy yourself something nice!" Bless him.

Back to the jeans. I don't recall the moment they suddenly 'refused' to fit but I remember the realisation: Oh shit, my skinny jeans have turned into my muffin-top jeans! Since that woeful day, I've retired those jeans to the back of my closet and optimistically told myself one day I'll fit into them again. Today, something compelled me to dig those jeans out and confront my demons.

In fact, I took a deep breath (a damn deep one so I could suck my gut in) and put them on.
Yes, I could zip it up. No, it wasn't comfortable. Yes, they still make my ass look good. No, I am still in no shape to wear it in public.

I hung my skinny jeans back in the closet but this time in full view. So that everytime I open it, I am reminded that I've still got to earn my way back into those jeans. It's my motivation to get back to that 'Happy Body' place. What's your 'skinny jeans'?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Struggling writers. Not.

James Patterson - one of my favourite authors.

You think at least one of these peeps started out as peanut-paid freelancer? One can only hope. According to , here's the top earners in the literary world to date (figures in USD) :
1. James Patterson ($70m)
- I'm not a big thriller-whodunnit fan, but I like his style. 'Kiss the Girls', 'Along Came a Spider', 'Cross' - just some of his good ones.

2. Stephenie Meyer ($40m) - Twilight. Enough said.

3. Stephen King ($34m)
- Master of the macabre. Twisted minds DO pay.

4. Danielle Steel ($32m)
- Come on, admit it, you've read her stuff. It's the one your mum stashed under her pillow, most likely with a plot involving a damsel not-so-in-distress, a tragedy in the family, an evil mother in law and, you guessed it, a happy ever after.

5. Ken Follett ($20m) - I've never read his work, truthfully.

6. Dean Koontz ($18m)
-I'd hate to know who has worse nightmares - him or King.

7. Janet Evanovich ($16m) - Romance. Not quite my genre of choice.

8. John Grisham ($15m)
- Ah Grisham. Didja know he was a baseball player (well, college level anyway), accountant and a lawyer (A lawyer? No way! :P) If his name isn't ringing a bell, go rent 'The Client', 'The Firm', 'The Pelican Brief', 'The Chamber'....You see a pattern here?

9. Nicholas Sparks ($14m) - The Notebook! Okay so I'm no romantic-literature fan but how can you not be a schmuck for The Notebook?

10. JK Rowling ($10m)
- Happy Potter, I'm sure she is. And now that it's all ending...I wonder what's next for Rowling?

I'd almost sell my soul to be on that list. Imagine a life of raking in the big bucks while sitting on your ass doing what you love most. Damn.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Maybe baby.

So I've returned my wedding dress. Donned the golden band. Shared my space with a boy. It's just a matter of time before the likes of the Spanish Inquisition come barging on my already-married door, demanding: "Ok, where's the baby?"

We want kids. That's something we established before getting married, along with "No more than two pets" and "Okay, only ONE room in the house will be pink." And my biological clock isn't just tick tocking. It's bang booming. I get all weak in the knees when I see tiny people clothes and even tinier shoes. I love the smell of baby powder. And I can't waiting to have an extension of us. A Melihaw. Doesn't help that peers around me are shooting babies out like fireworks on the Lunar New Year.

But recently, a tiny, whimpering voice in my head pleaded to me, "Wait just a liiiiitle bit more, ok?" and I felt a twinge of guilt. You see, as much as I can't wait to be a parent, I'm also itching to do other things before committing to such responsibility. Haw and I are working on our business plan, something that's going to take every inch of dedication at the moment and Project House means we're getting down and dirty on building our dream home. On top of that, I still have an itch to travel, just a bit more, before baby makes three. And yes, I know you can still travel with kids in tow but - ask any parent out there - it's not quite the same. I'm sorry if this is selfish but I'd still like to travel without worrying if there's a Happy Meal at the next stop or if the 7 Eleven sells diapers.

And yet, I don't know if I'm pushing my luck with waiting too long. What is 'too long' anyway? Six months? A year? Ideally, I'd like to have two kids but, if one spontaneously sexy night that involves the sentence "Don't worry, I'll be careful" leads to another, three is fine too. All I know for now is that I still need time to settle in with being a Mrs. Being a Mommy might take just a bit more time. But you know what they about Murphy and his law...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Married - For sho!

The photos have arrived! So here, forever immortalised, are some (the whole collection is like beribu-ribu lemon...Can't post 'em all up!) of the excellent shots taken by our photographer for the day, Anna-Rina Rahim. Looking at these pics, Haw and I still can't believe we finally pulled it off. Blood, sweat and oh-the-tears, it all paid off! This post is also dedicated to my family and friends who made the day nothing short of special. Enjoy!
*Warning: Photos aplenty to follow.

My dresses and shoes were custom made by Pretty In White.

My cat Blanket unfazed by the day's events.

The husband and the Best Man

My bridal party -in pink of course. Thank you my sayangs for layaning my pinkiness!

We did the traditional Filipino rites during the mass as a tribute to my Filipino heritage.

My cousins from Manila, Sydney, Melbourne and Jakarta all came down for the wedding. It's been ages since we all got together.

The Leong cousins and their plus ones - Thank you for being awesome. Couldn't have done it without you :)

I love this shot of cha-poh and my sister in law, Huey Huey :)

My sister Carmen and her husband Nick during the Chinese Tea Ceremony.

Would you believe the boys wouldn't jump so we had to get the girls to jump on the bed? It's part of a Chinese tradition to encourage, er, the multiplication of the family, haha.

We had to put on the 'cheese' as Anna-Rina says it :)

We gave measuring spoons to each guest with "A spoonful of love" engraved

A photo board at the ballroom foyer with pics of us, family and friends.

Walk and wave? Please, what are we, the Royal Family? We danced to Smashmouth's "I Can't Get Enough Of You Baby" during our entrance, accompanied by our friends!

Haw performed with his band, 4AG, that night. Rock on!

Surrounded by great friends all day long!

My Monash buddies - thanks for coming down to KK peeps. Me so touched.

Some things will never change :) Love you all.

Yo whaddup G?

Thanks for watching. Much love, Mel and Haw.