Kiki & Lala

Archive for September 2011

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.


I went down to Chelsea to shop for bedding in preparation for  winter (blech!).   Chanced upon this structure what used to be a (night) club that used to be a church.

It’s now a marketplace called Limelight where you can drink, eat, shop…and pray?

Wine bar called Cana (get it, get it?) at the very top.

For brunch, was this Belgian place also in Chelsea called MRKT.

It was cool outside so we dined al fresco.  See the Trader Joe’s across the street?

Simple brunch but hearty and yummy 🙂

Thought I’d show you the full moon on this side of the world illuminating the east river.   I know…I need a better camera.




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!

It’s finally happening!  In the Summer of 2012, NYC is finally going to implement the bike share program.  Following cities like Paris and Washington DC,  New York City will have a network of about 10,000 bikes parked in strategically located bike docks for anyone to use.   For $100 per year, riders have unlimited access to this bikes for trips under 45 minutes.   This video tells you more about it.

There’s been a lot of discordant opinions about the safety of the bike users given that the roads in NYC are awful -just as crater filled as the streets of Merville  (barong barong!) and NY drivers are  insane – like Manila drivers. But I think at the very least, this program will “force” drivers and riders to be more vigilant users of the road and respect each other’s space.

To promote safety, coupons will be distributed to bike users so that they can purchase helmets.   This Bike Share will be run and fully funded by Alta Bicycle Share who will tap companies to advertise on the bikes or the bike docks.

As you can imagine, I’m very excited about this and really curious to see how implementation will be.  If NYC can pull this off, Manila should be able to do the same, no?      You can find out more about Bike Share here.

Do you know what happens when Lolo and Lola buy a webcam and can’t figure out how to use it?

Aren’t they so cute?


This is not like the heartwarming Dear Sophie and My Dear Stella posts this blog is used to seeing.  This is a true, gut wrenching story, “a letter to a son about his father”.   Watch this trailer and then if you can, watch the documentary.  As a mother and as the daughter of your kids’ unconditionally loving grandparents, you will probably be as disturbed as I am.

This trailer does not even capture the drama and the tragedy of the true and very real story of Dear Zachary.   As you will see in the Dear Zachary website, Canada has finally passed the Zachary Bill which Andrew Bagby’s parents lobbied for with all their heart, energy and resources.  From this horrible story, 2 activists were born.

I warn you, it’s exhausting to watch but it is a must see if only to witness the resilience of Mr. and Mrs. Bagby.

Tulong Para Sa Rizal

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