Kiki & Lala

Archive for the ‘K & L Cool Finds’ Category

So I’m hooked on The Newsroom, Aaron Sorkin‘s new drama series about modern-day journalism.  Like the West Wing, it tells a highly idealized story of a group of crazy but intelligent and passionate people in their work environment – in this case, the newsroom.

What I like about this show is that the fictional characters deal with non-fictional news stories.  Of course, Sorkin has the benefit of hindsight enabling his characters to appear smarter but at the very least, this gives us personas to aspire to be like.  With hindsight, Sorkin’s characters have the chance to correct journalistic errors made in real-life.  While some call this cheating, I’d like to call this creative license :)

Last Sunday’s episode was the best for me so far.  It was set on the day Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in Arizona.  I’m not sure if this made it to your news cycle but it was heartbreaking news here.  I really want you to see this clip because I’m hoping this might reinvigorate your passion for the news and consequently, compel you to go back to giving viewers what they deserve: the truth.  This is the last 7 minutes of the show and I really love how this team, fragmented as they are, manages to band together for a greater purpose when unforeseen situations call for it. I also love how Coldplay’s Fix You weaves so smoothly with this last scene.  Check it out.

This probably doesn’t resonate with you emotionally (because you have a heart of stone) but would it surprise you if I told you that I was bawling when I saw this?  Once again, Sorkin rocks!

First post of the month?? Kiki, what’s happening to us??

OK, in an effort to make up for our blog slacking, here’s a post I meant to do at some point over the holidays. Since the Christmas break was pretty much hijacked with Lolo’s passing, I totally forgot about it.

Nonetheless, I’m sure you will be as intrigued as we were by Ryuma Japanese Restaurant in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. The restaurant occupies the entire floor in its wing of the Paseo de Sta. Rosa complex. In fact, there’s also a Ryuma Grocery and Ryuma Clothing Store on that floor. It is all so Japanese and yet so, not.

Here’s what I mean…

The hyper stimulating Christmas decor and rondalla (rondalla!) are so not Japanese but you do get a sense of Japanese quirkiness through all of this. And it certainly wasn’t lost on this kid:

As it turns out, the wait staff in this place are big fans of mi esposo so we were offered the VIP room.

There were three long tables, each with its own giant flat screen TV. Service was really on the ball. We left our shoes outside in a somewhat cluttered state but within minutes, someone came in with our shoes fixed like this:

And they offered us the use of a baby swing or walker!! We went for the walker and someone sure was happy about that.

But what about the food, you ask! We had our hopes up when we saw Japanese chefs milling around and we were not disappointed.

marinated salmon sashimi with seaweed

tuna belly maki

chicken karaage

spicy ramen


yakisoba

While the food here lacked the finesse and sophistication of more high end restaurants, it was authentic and thoroughly enjoyable. Reasonably priced too!

But it doesn’t end there.

FREE toys and ice cream!!!

Shall we try it out when (when??!!) you come?

I recently had time to kill before hosting an event at the Ayala Museum. Fortunately, there was a charming little exhibit to keep me entertained.

Turns out the group Ilustrador Ng Kabataan (INK) which churns out beautiful images for Filipino children’s books has turned 20 and some of the group’s best works were on display.

How inviting is this crisp, contrasting space?

I took some snaps of the works that I just liked and pieces that reminded me of something or someone.

I liked this because I’m a sucker for anything that’s mother-and-child.

Just had to take this for my Star Wars-crazy daughter.

This reminded me of when we sent the baby turtles into the ocean in Bataan when you visited last year.

Who doesn’t love a Pinoy Christmas?

A different medium:

Wooden block animals:

And my fave installation in the exhibit. I think it was called “making roads to each other”. Made me think of us… awww… Needed to take several pictures for you to see what’s going on here.

Are you touched?

This indian summer weekend was awesome  with cloudless skies and temps back up in the 80’s. So I jumped at an invitation to go hiking at the Delaware Water Gap.

It was a 7 mile hike with some pretty decent inclines.  When we reached the top, this serene panorama was waiting for us.   How picturesque is this?

And here I am disrupting the serene view.

On the way back was quite challenging because descending on rocky terrain is very difficult wearing just cross trainers protecting your feet.  But it was a nice, adventurous way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

I stumbled on this documentary on PBS last night.   The Learning is the latest creation of Ramona Diaz (remember Imelda?). It documents the lives of 4 Filipino teachers and their journey to Baltimore, MD to teach inner city public school children.  As each of their stories unfold, we are shown the very real and very painful costs of migrating.  Apart from spending about $7k to come to the United States, there is the stressful cost of leaving young children and spouses behind – the cost of breaking an otherwise intact family unit for better financial opportunities in the U.S.     Armed only with their staunch traditional Filipino values, their love for their craft and their fantasies of the American Dream, these 4 teachers learn that the only way to survive the harsh realities of Baltimore is to hold on to these same values, to their love for teaching and to each other.   Check out the trailer below.

Apparently, the United States is aggressively recruiting  teachers from the Philippines.  I just find it ironic how they came to the Philippines more than 100 years ago to “evangelize” us with their English speaking education system and now they’re back in the Philippines recruiting.  You can catch the interview of the filmmaker here.

If you can get hold of this documentary, I highly recommend you watch this.  While I cannot imagine the humility and pain they feel shepherding American children when they left their own children that need shepherding themselves, I can connect with that feeling of motivation to keep going even if you really aren’t sure where this will lead you.  I can connect with the loneliness and alienation, that feeling of not belonging.  Yan ang buhay OFW!   So let’s make these 4 teachers, Dorotea (love her!), Rhea, Grace and Angel (representing other teachers, nurses, caregivers, etc. that are abroad) Kiki and lala land’s heroes for this month.

Check out what  the uber creative De Borja’s (Tisha and Xavi) came up with to promote the  E. Murio sale happening this weekend (September 23 and 24) in Urdaneta Hall, 26 Urdaneta Avenue Urdaneta Village, Makati City.

This portfolio is so cool.  Simple, understated, elegant yet packs a punch, don’t you think?

This is what E. Murio designer, Tisha de Borja Samson has to say about the designs.

“Though our furniture has traditionally leaned towards more classic pieces, in recent years we have started to create more modern, ambiguous forms, while crafting them using our traditional techniques. We like to think of our work as intimate architecture for the body and for our lives that inhabit them – where a medicine cabinet can hold pills, or a series of mundane objects, or a collection of items that connect to our dreams. Furniture, as objects that are scattered about, are also the objects around which we gather around with family to celebrate, is the object in which we lay a sleeping child, and in which we suspend our bodies. As objects, they suggest their function, but we hope they also evoke a sense delight, an appreciation of texture, and a formal fascination.”

I really wish I could be there to see the new designs.  Take pics and show me please!

I had a few hours to spare during my layover in Seoul, Korea so I thought I’d explore Incheon International Airport.   I really didn’t mind because I wanted to check out the Korean cosmetics I always hear great things about.    As me and shopping go like oil and water, this little adventure turned out to be quite stressful with all the  products to rummage through. True to my non-shopper nature, I just asked the sales lady to give me products she recommends.  This is what she suggested.

For make up base/foundation:  MISSHA Signature Wrinkle Filler BB Cream SPF 37 # 21

It’s not only  foundation, it is also a wrinkle filler, UV blocker and whitening cream (I know, I can’t possibly want to be any whiter).  The liquid content comes out in two colors – white and a light mocha shade.  You just mix it on the back of your hand before applying.   I’ve been using it lately as a make up base and I noticed a bit of a glow in my skin.  I think it’s because my skin tone is even-ing out (Read: evenly white).  So I’m quite happy with this.  It’s affordable too.  The 44 ml bottle came out to something like $20 – $25 USD.  Of course , these were duty free prices.  I’m sure this costs a bit more elsewhere.

I also found a new everyday colonia.  Given our obsession with colonia, I just had to get a bottle of this.

Etude House Mini Me Perfume – Ms Cutie (me!) is part of the Mini Me perfume family.

I know it looks cheesy but doesn’t it remind you of Baby Gal?  I didn’t care for the other scents so I just bought the Ms. Cutie.  It ‘s a subtler version of L’Occitane‘s Verbena Eau de Toilette.  I use it as my everyday cologne now.

I also got some Korean Chocolates.

I got dark chocolate filled with rice wine cream (was yummy) and seaweed cream (blech! lansa!).   So my fear of flying Korean Air actually turned out to be unfounded because the airline service was very good, and the airport kept me from going insane waiting for my flight back to NYC.

I can’t remember where I first saw this baby bath tub but I was reminded about it when I was reading My Mom Friday’s blog.

Basically, it’s a clear plastic bucket where you bath your infant up until she’s a toddler. But it’s not a balde, ok. The size and shape are perfect for baby. Since it’s narrower than the average bucket, her feet can go up against the tubs walls, making it feel womb-like. She won’t be flailing about in what can feel like a vast ocean to some babies. The bottom is skid proof. And even when tilted to (I think!) about 45 degrees, it won’t tip over and the plastic material it’s made of is toxin free. At least these were the selling points I saw in a video.

But watch this and tell me if it makes you feel like you want to make Raqi your infant bathing guinea pig.

(Pseudo) celebrity (yes, I’m talking about myself) has its perks. Recently, this gorgeous, limited edition diaper bag was delivered to me as a gift from Avent Philippines.

Designed by Amina Aranaz of Aranaz Bags for Avent, it’s made of indigenous woven pandan and bling-ified with gold detailing. So lovely and so roomy!


pretty mother of pearl detail

And here we are on our way out…

I’m always talking about how the Philippines should have better finished chocolate products seeing as how we’re in the bean belt of the world. Why should we export our precious produce and have it sold back to us for so much more as a finished product. We should be able to add that value ourselves. Well, the good news is there are people trying to improve locally made chocolate.

I found Theo & Philo at Echo Store several months ago.


I like the sort of rustic, artsy packaging. The chocolate itself is thoroughly enjoyable. It’s perhaps not as full bodied as other chi-chi offerings out there but it has a hint of that native taste, just sweeter and smoother.

Now, this is the only problem I have with this product. Read it and weep:

We’re improving chocolate, not grammar?? Help!!


Tulong Para Sa Rizal

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