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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Alessandra de Rossi - Adrift

I am in a place where everything moves in a dream-like pace while emotions come rushing in plenitude; a place where it is easy to be aware of everything around me yet the only thing I can focus on is my thoughts. In a sense, I have been caught in a trance where the ambience is overwhelming and messages are relayed coyly through mood and music. I am in a part of me that is seldom visited unless caused by a stimulus as deep and as thoughtful as the subject that is causing this unexpected visit to the artistic side of my brain.

Tonight however, I am crashing in the world of the arts and letting go of everything logical because I have chosen to write a review of Alessandra de Rossi’s latest project, an Electronica/Chillout album. It is that type of album; one that makes you drop everything and really listen.

In the part of me that still understands logic (as it is not always easy to fully switch back to the logical side of your brain once you have been drenched in the arts for x number of hours) I realize that the primary reason why this album, Adrift, has the ability to immerse its listener into a world where nothing makes sense, and everything is measured by emotion, is because it was made purely by the artistic side of the brain.

And that is probably what sets this album apart. Adrift, for many considerations, does not follow the mould of “sure-fire hits”. It does not sound like any other OPM album, and does not talk about cheesy love. It does not follow the traditional music flow, and unlike most OPM songs, it makes use of ambiance and mood to create a story and a denouement instead of relying on high notes.

If you plan to listen to the album just to find out how good a singer the multi-awarded actress is, you might be surprised, because this is not an album that plays strongly on vocal proficiency; and that is probably its greatest strength. It does not try to highlight the singer’s voice for the sole reason that this was not made by a vocalist; it is an album of artistic elegance rather than of vocal gymnastics. As the songwriter, composer, singer, and producer of the album, Alessandra’s first musical foray feels much like a proper, beautiful book. A true masterpiece.

You see, great books do not rely on the ability of the writer to use big words or their grammatical proficiency. Truly great books rely on their ability to make the reader feel something, realize something, experience something, and immerse themselves totally in the text. In many ways, this album achieves that.

 The reason why I say that this is a product born almost completely from the artistic side of the brain is because it does not follow the backbone of popular music; it does not even follow conventional musical counts. Sometimes, the vocals come chiming in after an instrumental introduction that only lasts a bar. Sometimes the song ends abruptly. Sometimes, the vocals play second fiddle to the beat. Sometimes the vocals even act as added percussions. Sometimes a song dedicates a full thirty seconds for the introduction just to put the listener in the proper mood to really understand the message that is enveloped in the lyrics. And sometimes the accompaniment is filled with too many elements that your auditory is overwhelmed and you are left with no choice but to stop and truly experience the song.

Even the way it is released or promoted veers away from convention. The album is free to download for everyone (visit and does away with mall shows or televised interviews and relies solely on social networking accounts for promotions.

Because the musical genre is not something a lot of us have been accustomed to, the experience may leave us in a pensive or confused mood, depending on the person listening. Admittedly, it is not for everybody. It is a genre that grows on you; somewhat of an acquired taste. Adrift is, in many ways, not made for mass consumption. It is a work of art, one made to fulfil the artist’s need for expression rather than sell copies. It may never get the airplay it deserves, may never climb the charts, or may never be heard in clubs.

But maybe that is not even important. Like many wonderful works of art, the album moves you to think, it moves you to feel, it moves you to experience it and be immersed in it, and makes you want to do it all over again once all the eleven tracks are done. Maybe what is really important is that it manages to move you at all. Whether you enjoy the sound or not, the fact that it makes you debate with yourself is testament of true artistic work. And for a debut album, that is definitely noteworthy. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Drink of the Week: Lemon Daisy

Our drink of the week is (shocker!!!) non-alcoholic. It is the virgin version of the Daisy cocktails which always contain Grenadine. This, however, is a very good substitute for people who are trying to swear off alcohol.

All you have to do is grab an old-fashioned glass, put some ice cubes and add 2 ounces of lemon juice, an ounce of grenadine, an ounce of lemon-lime soda, and an ounce of sparkling water.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

July 25 is Culinarians Day!

Today is culinarian's day which means everybody who knows how to cook, fry an egg, make some pasta, or prepare isntant noodles can celebrate this wonderful day with food, food, ad more food...instant or otherwise!
Mariah Carey brings superstar status to "American Idol"

Grammy-winning pop star Mariah Carey will join Fox television's "American Idol" singing contest as a judge next season as the highly rated show fights to regain its slumping audiences.
Kevin Reilly, president of entertainment for Fox Broadcasting, told television critics on Monday in Los Angeles that popular singer Carey will be one of the replacements for departing judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez.

Jessica Sanchez and DeAndre Brackensick Are Dating

According to The HollywoodReporter, American Idolseason 11 runner-up JessicaSanchez  and DeAndre Brackensick are dating.
Jessica teased her fans with the news asking them to guess her secret. When someone asked if she and DeAndre were an item she said  yes. ”He’s my boyfriend. Love you guys. Byeeee!” she said.
DeAndre confirmed the newson Twitter. ”Me and jessica are officially dating:) Yes jessica is my girlfriend:),” he said.

2 low pressure areas, SW monsoon to bring rain over PH–Pagasa

Two weather disturbances and a southwest monsoon were forecast to bring rains in the country over the next few days, the state weather bureau said Tuesday.
At 2 p.m. the low pressure areas were monitored 860 kilometers east of Mindanao and 320 km east-northeast of Tuguegarao City, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said.
“Northern and Central Luzon will experience cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms becoming widespread rains over extreme Northern Luzon which may trigger flashfloods and landslides Southern Luzon and Mindanao will have mostly cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms,” it also said.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Drink of the Week: Absolut Bling

Our drink of the week is glamorous, classy, and very festive!

Absolut Bling is simple but very delish.  Here is how you make it:

In a cocktail shaker, combine a shot of Absolut Vodka and a shot of Apple Juice. Add some ice cubes and shake.

Strain over a cocktail glass and top off with Champagne.

Poll Question: Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler are out of American Idol. Who should replace them?

Deng: Usher because he is a singer/ producer or Celine Dion because she is a world-renowned singer.

Rey: I heard Britney and Demi Lovato have joined X-Favtor so maybe Miley Cyrus would be a good replacement because she is young, fresh, and can relate to a younger audience. Also, Mariah, John Legend, David Foster, and Stevie Wonder.

Marco: Lea Michelle because she's very talented and Mario Lopez because he is very appealing.

Jorick: Beyonce Knowles and Michael Buble.

Louie Pintor: Tito, Vic, and Joey

Dy: Avril Lavigne would be great

Gabriel: Just cancel the show

Lan: I-export na lang natin s Aling Dionisia

Leslie Noel: Kelly Clarkson. The first American Idol winner

Jobo: Jason Mraz

Suzette: Regina Spektor

Alexis: Aretha Franklin and David Foster

Koi: David Foster and Mariah Carey because she has been through the ups and downs in the industry and she usually breaks through trends and would know who and what works for a certain generation. And i think she will deliver enough sting in her comments.

Billy: Lady Gaga would be a very good choice since she's an original who understands what the current market wants from a performer.

Jeni: Kanye West has a reputation for being tactless. He'd be a good replacement for Simon Cowell.

Jing: There are 10 possible American Idol replacements for J.Lo and Tyler. Forbes players surveyed a handful of music business insiders about possible replacement judges. There were a few names who were less controversial than Kanye West: Johnny Wright who has managed groups including the Backstreet Boys, Queen Latifah, Madonna, Mariah, Beyonce, and Jimmy Iovine

Susie: Balancing the whole story in terms of age and genre would be nice. I'd go for Aretha Franklin (soul, funk gospel), Ozzy Osborne (heavy metal and rock--hilarious comments for sure), and Adele (if possible, unfortunately she's british)...then Lionel Richie (pop and ballad)

Newsflash July 18 2012

Jennifer Lopez admits Steven Tyler departure solidified her decision to leave 'American Idol'

Turns out Jenny had a gun, and all she needed was Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler to pull the trigger.
Former "American Idol" host Jennifer Lopez, who announced her departure from the show to Ryan Seacrest last Friday, has admitted that Tyler’s exit helped solidify her decision to leave.
“We had magic,” Lopez told ABC’s Amy Robach on Sunday. “I don’t know, with him gone, it might be a different formula.”
Tyler released a statement the day before Lopez’s announcement, in which he wrote, “I strayed from my first love, Aerosmith, and I’m back – but instead of begging on my hands and knees, I’ve got two fists in the air and I’m kicking the door open with my band.”

SM Lanang Premier to have SMX, Imax Theaters, and an Al Fresco dining strip.

SM Lanang Premier's Twitter account has set netizens into a flurry of excitement as it has started tweeting about the more exciting amenities the soon-to-open Mall has to offer: iMax to provide a better cinematic experience, SMX Convention halls for expos , events, and other business ventures, and an Al Fresco dining strip for Davaoeno foodies to watch out for. Follow SM Lanang's tweets @SMLanangPremier

Davao City parades most hi-tech taxi fleet in PH

 Davao City’s Black taxis are becoming the rave in the city, owing to its mixture of riding comfort and high-tech features.

A 25-unit fleet operated by the Davao City-based Mabuhay Taxi, the units are individually equipped with Point-of-Sale (POS) system, which enables each passenger to pay their fares using their debit or ATM cards. In the works is a system that can also process credit card transactions.
These features put Mabuhay Black Taxis ahead of its counterparts not just in the city but also in the rest of the country.
Another feature of these black taxis aside from is the Global Positioning System (GPS), which provide safety and convenience for passengers.
In this set-up, a prospective passenger calls the central call center which is manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week even during holidays. The call center monitors the locations of the taxis thru the GPS and messages the nearest taxi unit, the driver then receives the address of the passenger to be picked up.

Airline passenger who was stabbed in the mouth by needle hidden in his turkey sandwich put on anti-HIV drugs... as he fears pins in food aboard FOUR flights are part of terrorist plot
The airline passenger who was stabbed in the mouth by a needle hidden in his turkey sandwich aboard a flight from Amsterdam has been put on a newly-approved anti-HIV drug in case the pin was laced with disease. 
James Tonges fears the needle could be part of a terrorist plot because others were found in a total of six sandwiches served to passengers aboard four Delta Airlines flights from the Dutch airport to the United States on Sunday. 
The FBI has launched an investigation and has interviewed each of the passengers who found the inch-long sewing needles. Delta has responded by serving only pre-packaged products on its flights. The vendor that made the sandwiches says it has increased its security in light of the incidents.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

You asked, I answered Part II

A few days ago, I answered some of your questions about partying and/or drinking alcohol. Since then, more and more queries got to me through social networking sites and the ever-trusty BBM. Thus, here is the second part of You Asked, Partyphile Answered for the year.

Bo asks: What is your ideal Chill-Out party?
Zhaun answers: My idea of a perfect Chill Out party has all white interiors, music from Telepopmusik, Angela McCluskey, and Frou Frou, lounge chairs, bean bags, and lush carpeting. Also, they have to have light, comforting food items that are easy to eat, and alcoholic beverages that are easy on the palette. It would also be a huge help if they assigned a butler per table.

Sid asks: What piece of advice can you give the youth about drinking alcohol?
Zhaun answers: Stop it! Seriously though, learn how much you can take ad never exceed your limit. Never try to compete with other people because everyone has different alcohol tolerance.

Jon asks: Does partying always need to involve alcohol?
Zhaun answers: Of course not! I’ve been partying without drinking since early this year. If you are in the right company, partying is fun with or without alcohol.

Carlo Gabriel: Do low-calorie alcoholic beverages prevent you from getting fat?
Zhaun answers: If you drink a whole case, then it wouldn’t. As with anything, the key here is moderation. The truth is, any type of alcohol stimulates the production of cortisol which makes you gain weight. But if you had to drink, stick to low calorie beer instead of alcopop which has the same amount of calories as a hundred grams of lechon per bottle.

Bianca asks: How do you avoid bar fights if the bar is full of jerks?
Zhaun answers: Avoid the bar.

BJ asks: What is the best way to keep someone who is intoxicated with alcohol calm?
Zhaun answers: If he gets wild when he’s drunk, I suggest that you take him home. If that doesn’t sober him up, wake his mother up and let her deal with him. If he refuses to go home, leave him at the beer. Sometimes, the best type of love is tough love.

Ezra asks: How do I get rid of my hangover?
Zhaun: Stay hydrated and eat some protein. Scrambled eggs with cheese is probably the easiest to make when you have a hangover and is very effective. Avoid caffeine and sports drinks, wake up at your normal waking time, drink more water, then go back to sleep.

Ryan asks: How do you organize a party?
Zhaun answers: That’s very difficult to answer because I would have to know what type of party you plan on organizing but the basic elements to consider are the: guest list, the food, the drinks, the theme, the interiors, the invitations, the entertainment, the giveaways, ad the program. There are a lot of unique ideas online and a little research can help you a lot.

Diane asks: Do you get drunk faster at night or during the day?
Zhaun answers: It actually depends on where you drink. If you drink in a cold place, you get drunk faster because your metabolism slows down.

You asked, I Answered

Gone are the days when people would voluntarily send columnists e-mail questions regarding their topic of expertise. These days, if there isn’t a prize involved, it doesn’t seem like anybody wants to ask anymore. Why? Because it is obviously easier to Google stuff. But you know what would be even easier than Googling? Answering questions through social networking sites. And that is what I’ve been busy with recently. I’ve started to accept questions from my online network ad have started answering them as well. It’s kind of a strategy to get them interested in reading more full-length articles like this one, and it’s more convenient for the asker to just read the reply instead of researching on Google (which is now considered tiresome by many). The premise is, if a lot more people get to read individual questions and answers online, a lot more people would be interested in reading more questions. When that happens, people start to think of some of their own questions, and I get to write more helpful articles. Sound plan, right? So here is the fruit of my first attempt at impromptu party-question answering.

Cherry asks: I’m not sure if I know anybody at a party. Should I still go?
Zhaun answers: Here is the thing. When people see you alone in a bar, drinking by yourself, you may come off as a sexual predator. You know, the type who simply goes to a bar to hook up. And that is fine if that is your intention, but if it isn’t than skip the party and go someplace else where you can enjoy some “me” time like a spa or at a coffee shop with a book.

However, if it is a party that celebrates something like a grand birthday, wedding, debut, or corporate thingie, then you should drop by just to tell the celebrator that you made the effort to celebrate the occasion with them. You can always leave once you feel awkward and uncomfortable, but make your presence be known to the celebrator. Also, why not use this opportunity to make new friends a possible love connection?

McJorick asks: Why do people dress up when they party when they just end up getting puked on, waster, or worse?
Zhaun answers: Because, at the very core, the point of partying is socializing; not getting drunk. I guess, it just makes people more confident to socialize when they are dressed properly.

Ice asks: What do you gain from partying or drinking?
Zhaun: I think that the whole reason why people party may be summed up in three words: relaxing, socializing, and networking. Different people party for different reasons, while some party for all three. The thing is, there is a lot of things to gain from partying although a lot of people tend to link it with very negative images or memories. When played right, partying can be your lucky charm when it comes to your business or job.

As for drinking, it helps you forget about your job, your mom, your wife, and your boss.

Galilea asks: In your opinion, what is the craziest thing a person can do when partying?
Zhaun answers: Not paying the bill. Word will get around and everyone will think you intentionally did it. Also, making out with someone else while your boy/girlfriend is in the area. Or, revealing one of your scandalous secrets.

Peter asks: Is it true that drinking through a straw makes you get drunk faster? 
Zhaun answers: It is not true. Straws just make you drink faster.

Drink of the Week: Irish Cofee

Irish Coffee is the perfect thing to drink during cold, rainy days. It warms the heart with coffee and cream, and warms the body with whiskey. Make this whenever you feel the need to stay in and enjoy it with some cookies and a good movie.

Here is how you make the gorgeous Irish Coffee

In an Irish Coffee glass combine:

  • 3 shots of hot, strong coffee
  • 1 shot of Whiskey
  • 1 teaspoon (or more, to taste) of brown sugar
and stir until they are well blended. Then, top the glass with some whipped cream.

An old friend used to say that Irish Coffee has the four major food types an adult needs: Dairy, Fat, Alcohol, and Caffeine.

Newsflash: July 4, 2012


iTunes Store opens in 12 Asian countries

Cupertino has finally launched its iTunes Store in 12 Asian countries including Singapore, giving local customers access to the full range of content available for download such as digital music and movies, instead of previously just apps for Apple devices.
Besides Singapore, the 11 other countries are Hong Kong, Taiwan, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Vietnam, according to the company's press releaseWednesday.
Before the iTunes Store was available in Singapore, local users could only buy and download apps on their Apple devices, but notmusic or movies. In order to get access to other content, they had to buy gift cards to make purchases in the iTunes stores of other countries to do so.


Jessica Sanchez Being Considered for Lead Role in Miss Saigon Film

After snagging her first acting gig on the popular TV seriesGlee, the American Idol Season 11 runner-up is reportedly in talks for another music-related turn on-screen: a film adaptation of the legendary Broadway musical Miss Saigon.

Associated Free Press: 
Guinness says Philippine croc world's largest

A saltwater crocodile weighing more than a tonne and suspected of killing two people in the Philippines has been declared the largest such reptile in captivity by the Guinness Book of World Records.
The 6.17-metre (20.24-foot) male, nicknamed "Lolong", was captured in the Agusan marsh on the southern island of Mindanao last September after a two-year search following the killing of a girl and the disappearance of a fisherman.

Mirror UK:

Disneyland in the Philippines? Congressman writes to theme park chairman to encourage development on former US air base

First District Rep. Carmelo "Tarzan" Lazatin has written Robert Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company based in Burbank, California, USA, to ask him to consider Clark for their next Walt Disney park, saying that Clark's 4,400 hectare main zone and 27,600-hectare subzone will be the best place for a new Disneyland.
"Aside from the huge space it provides, the Clark Freeport Zone can be an attractive destination for Disneyland theme park because of the tax-free privileges given to locators," said Lazatin in his letter dated April 11.
Lazatin also cited Clark International Airport, world-class airport which is expected to serve at least 1.6-million passengers this year.