Thursday, November 25, 2010

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1: A week-late review

Wow, I've been so busy that I failed to make a review of the first half of the Deathly Hallows movie right after watching it. But anyways, here's my take on Harry Potter's final grudge match with You-Know-Who...

I've read the book upon its release 2 years ago and I still can remember how the story goes in general (that's why I don't get why there's a Dobby + sad face icon spreading in Twitter, hehe!). Going more into the more technical stuff, I believe there are a few bits from the book that should've been shown in the movie, especially the part where the Dursleys were leaving. That, for me, was a touching moment in the book that should've been included. But Hermione's story was fine.

After 6 HP movies (I missed HBP because I just gave birth that time), it was only here that I realized how good Daniel Radcliffe is as an actor. The Polyjuice Potion scene proved that, when he had to act as Fleur Delacour posing as Harry Potter. That was really funny.

I also like how David Yates, the director, made this more dark and brooding. The book had a serious tone, as this features the final battle of Harry Potter and Voldemort. I like how the first scene, with the Dark Lord and the Death Eaters, set the mood for the first half of the last installment. So for those who think that this is still the Harry Potter movie from years ago, I'm telling you it's not. Definitely not. And it's a good thing, because you'd expect the kids who read Book 1 when it was first released in early 2000 would have grown up and understand that this would be somewhat "mature."

But no worries, nothing in here that would be too gross or morbid to see. Well, in my opinion...

I also liked how the first part ended, as a prelude to what you can expect next year, when the second half of the Deathly Hallows movie comes out. It made me anticipate on how they will bring the next scenes of the book to life.

It's not yet late to catch this in the cinemas (please note that this is NOT in 3D, but Part 2 is). I feel this movie will be as good as Prisoner of Azkaban (which was the best of the lot for me). Well, we'll have to wait for 2011 before I can give a final verdict.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Manny Pacquiao does it again

Manny Pacquiao proves once again that he is, indeed, the world's pound-for-pound king.

He won the WBC Super Welterweight Championship after winning against Mexico's Antonio Margarito via unanimous decision.

This just proves that even if the opponent may be bigger in size, the one who has the biggest heart wins.

It would've been more exciting, I guess, if Pacquiao won by knockout. But Margarito also has something to prove -- he needed to win to redeem himself from the past issues that hounded him before.

Then again, he is no match for the small but terrible Pacman.

Congratulations, Pacquiao, on your latest victory. And for once again bringing a day of complete peace and unity in the Philippines.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Joining the Ensembles Show Your Style Contest

In relation to my last post...

Yes, I'm joining the Ensembles Show Your Style contest. And without Photoshop in this computer (I used an open-source program similar to Photoshop called Gimpshop), it took me a while before I created my Ensembles look ala-Polyvore. Here it is:

The Ensembles by Louis Claparols Holiday Sleeveless Overlap Empire Dress with Line Detail and the items I'm matching it with.
From the collection, the Sleeveless Overlap Empire Dress with Line Detail caught my attention. Probably because of the purple and red combination. And I have just a couple of dresses in my closet so I wanted a new dress as an addition. I'm matching this with a pair of black tights with little embellishments and a pair of purple ankle boots. For the accessories, I'm going with red and gold earrings and bracelets to match the accents on the dress. I'm bringing a purple and gold clutch bag along. And because the weather can get kinda cold in the evenings, I'm bringing a gray knitted jacket along. For this ensemble, I'll be tying my hair in a neat ponytail and would put on a bit of make-up, too.

Hope you like how I mixed and matched the items with the dress. If you do, please vote for my look over at Ensembles' Facebook page. I think you'd have to Like their Facebook page first before you can Like my entry.

Hope you can support me in this contest. Thanks a bunch!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Ensembles invites you to Show Your Style

Bloggers! It's time to show your fashionista side with this promo by Ensembles. All you have to do is pick one of the items in their Louis Claparols collection and show what you're gonna mix it with. Post your Polyvore-style creation on their Facebook page and you'll get a chance to win your favorite Louis Claparols piece! Isn't that cool?

So if you want to have your very own Louis Claparols piece, join this contest now! And invite your friends to like your creation, too. :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A weekend at Chateau Royale Sports and Country Club

This is such an overdue post, but hey, better late than never right?

You see, it's been a couple of weeks since my hubby tagged me along for their office teambuilding activity. It was held at Chateau Royale Sports and Country Club in Batulao, Batangas.

The facade
For those curious, it's not a seaside hotel. Rather, it's located high in the mountains, so what surrounds the place are trees and greens.

From the gates alone, I saw that this is a relatively high-end hotel. The reception area was pretty airy and elegant.

The reception area
I just noticed that it had an eclectic mix of decors: a Balinese gold artwork behind the reception desk, Victorian-era paintings, Southern-style furnishings, and contemporary furnitures like the egg seats below:

That's hubby sitting in one of the egg chairs outside the reception area
Across the reception desk is one of the hotel's restaurants. We ate our buffet breakfast there the following day.

The lobby eatery
They have 2 other restaurants: the Veranda Cafe, where we had our dinner, and the Floating Restaurant.

The organizers of the teambuilding did a great job in choosing Chateau Royale for their venue. They have wide spaces that are perfect for team exercises. If you want to relax, they have facilities like a billiards hall, swimming pool, spa, kids' playground, wall climbing facility, and fishing area.

The swimming pool
Chateau Royale also has a ballroom that looks like it can fit 300 guests dinner-style, a mini-theater, and a souvenir shop. And they also have greenhouses where they grow their own vegetables.

The mini-theater

They have tons of greenhouses where they grow the veggies they serve for our meals
The rooms are located a bit far from the reception area that riding their jeepney shuttle would be very useful. Along the way, you'll find quite a number of Buddha statues lined along the pavement, in a fountain, and on the stone walls by the rooms.

That's me and one of the many Buddha statues
Hubby and one of the Balinese artworks found at the hotel premises
Chateau Royale's accommodations consist of log cabins and rooms. We stayed in one of the standard rooms with a queen-size bed, flat-screen cable TV, and air-conditioning. The room has a hot and cold shower, and soap and toothpaste was provided for us as well.

Our room
It was quite spacious. It also had a wooden sala set, a desk, phone, and loads of cabinets and cupboards. I don't know why there were too many cabinets and drawers.

While we were kinda confused as to what was really the theme of the hotel (European? Asian? Country?), I must admit I'm in awe of the place. Even if it was beside a highway, it was relatively peaceful and comfortable. I guess the only thing that I won't give them high marks is the food. It was pretty so-so, not really what I expect for a hotel of their kind.

But nevertheless, Chateau Royale Sports and Country Club is a great place to unwind for the weekend. If you want to check them out, you can visit their website here.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Was checking out my shoutbox and got surprised to find that I received a blog award.Thanks to PinayMomOnline for this one. I'm grateful to have earned, albeit slowly, a few readers for this blog. I'd like to give this award to you, too. :)

I'm also passing this award to a few bloggers I've met along the way. For those who want to pass this on as well, here are the rules of the tag:

1. Accept the award. Post it on your blog with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.

2. Pay it forward to 15 other bloggers that you have newly discovered.

3. Contact those blog owners and let them know they've been chosen.

And with that, I'm giving this award to the following (I got most of you from my shoutbox and Google Followers gadget, hehe!):


Starbucks gets ready for Christmas

... and you know what that means.

The above photo is their teaser, but the Starbucks 2011 Planners are here! It's that time of the year when collectors can start accumulating stickers to get these limited edition planners.

I got a chance to take a closer look (unfortunately didn't get a chance to take a photo of the inside pages). The cover features a stencil of a man enjoying a cup of coffee by a window. The planners come in a size similar to the present planners, and they also have different textures: the red has a velvety touch, the steel gray has a smooth finish, and the brown one looks like wood.

The inside pages show some bits about the brand. I thumbed through the pages and, to my delight, saw that the spaces for each date have lines. YES! That means I can write in a straight line much easier. Whoohoo!

I actually like these designs more than the 2010 planners. That's why I've bought my first Starbucks Christmas drink today.

Cute cup, eh?

Yup, the Christmas variants are back: Praline Mocha, Toffee Nut Latte, and Peppermint Mocha. I forgot that I was ordering the hot version -- I should've gotten the Toffee Nut Latte instead of Peppermint Mocha. The latter's better iced or as a frap. Both Praline and Toffee Nut are great hot.

15 stickers to go before I pick either the red or the silver planner. It's time to get your Starbucks Planner now, too!

** Thanks to Mich for the planner photos.