Wake Up, Philippines!

Express your love for that someone special with tokens of affection

Posted in Celebrations, Flowers/Plants, Love by Erineus on February 15, 2009

When a long-stemmed rose suddenly costs a fortune, heart-shaped stuff and goodies are all over the place, and restaurants, moviehouses, parks, and assorted dating places are packed to the brim, it must be Valentine’s Day.

Surely, love, sweet love is in the air. You can feel it as soon as you step into SM Megamall, what with its many hearty Valentine offerings and promos.

Aside from whispering sweet nothings to your special someone, you can always get her/him something sweet at SM Megamall where a lot of the stores are holding a sale throughout the month.

Now, isn’t that lovely?

Say it with flowers

We daresay that nothing says “I love you” — make that “I love you very much” — with more feeling than flowers. Be it the priciest flower arrangement that can bust the purse strings or a humble single rose that touches the heartstrings. As the time-worn but well-loved cliche goes, “It’s the thought that counts.”

Well, you can make that thought count by picking out the most loverly flowers guaranteed to bring out the glow in your loved one’s eyes. There’s a virtual garden of assorted blooms at SM Megamall you can give your loved ones — be it your significant other, a very special friend, Mom or Dad, or even Lola or Lolo.

A hot tip: Go get your flowers before the prices go sky-high on V-Day.

Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Designer Blooms: Designed Not Just For Valentine

Keep love fresh this Valentine’s Day with fresh flowers from Designer Blooms. That romantic invitation comes from Designer Blooms owner Rica Garcia, who’s passionate about flowers. Now 18 years in the business, all of Designer Blooms flowers are locally grown while the seeds are imported.

Fresh is best, but enduring artificial flowers are the next best thing. Now blooming at Designer Blooms is its Valentine collection of silk flowers adorned with mesh, ribbon, and a stuffed toy. A single rose in a box costs P295 while a dozen roses with a large doll fetches P2,695.

“We also do fresh flower arrangements for Valentine,” says designer Dan Tarog.

But of course, Designer Blooms is not just for Valentine. It’s got all-occasion flowers. And you can be sure each one is designed with a lot of tender loving care.

* * *

Designer Blooms is located at the second level, SM Mega A with telephone number 633-2490.

Holland Tulips: Dutch incredible!

When it comes to tulips, there’s just one name on everyone’s lips: Holland Tulips. Here, the tulips come in many different toothsome varieties: purple, yellow, orange, rococo, and alligator petals.

Of course, Holland Tulips does not only sell tulips. It’s got Malaysian mums, gerberas, roses, etc. and ornamental plants as well.

Especially for Valentine’s Day, floral designer Trixie Nuñez has put together different arrangements to delight the heart. For instance, she’s got a basketful of imported roses (a dozen) and white Malaysian mums, which she adorned with twigs, and costs P3,090. Another is a glass vase with two-toned (yellow and pink) tulips, two white long-stemmed roses, Million Star fillers, Song of Korea leaves, and some bear grass for a not-so-pricey P2,035. A cheaper arrangement, at P1,460, is a basket with a bear stuffed toy, Asiatic lilies, gerberas, bromeliads, Song of Korea leaves, beautifully wrapped with a sinamay ribbon.

“But it’s not just on Valentine’s Day that we get a lot of customers,” says Trixie. “The employees of the nearby offices of ADB and San Miguel come to buy their flowers during lunch break.”

Who says you need an occasion to buy flowers?

* * *

Holland Tulips is located at the upper ground floor of SM Mega A with telephone number 635-6160. E-mail hollandtulips@philonline.com or log on to http://www.hollandtulips.com.ph.

King Louis Flowers: Flowers Fit For A Queen

When it comes to those regal Ecuadorean roses, King Louis reigns supreme. A dozen of these long-stemmed beauties costs P3,200, according to store attendant Fanny Gerongay. Anybody who gives you something like this that costs an arm and a leg must really have his heart set on you.

A less-expensive arrangement is a ceramic vase full of everything pink and pretty: pink carnations, pink gerberas, pink stargazers, and pink roses.

“We also do arrangements in all shades of yellow or orange, or assorted shades,” says Fanny.

King Louis has a big freezer where some of the fresh flowers are kept fresh.

Then our eyes are drawn to the white matiolas that speak of pure love. “Matiolas also come in in lavender, yellow, and pink,” Fanny tells us.

King Louis also has a lot of Oriental flowers like the alluring Asiatic lilies. And South American stunners, too, like the alstromerias.

For the queen of your heart, you can give an arm bouquet she can carry like a beauty queen.

Whatever the shade of flower you give from King Louis, your lady love is sure to be tickled pink.

* * *

King Louis Flowers is located at the upper ground floor of SM Mega A with telephone number 635-6980.

Tecson Flowers: A Shower Of Flowers

Shower her with flowers, along with flowery compliments, by getting her some of those immaculate white Ecuadorean roses or blushing pink gerberas, and watch her blush.

You should have gotten your flowers two days ago, when you could have an Ecuadorean rose for only P250 or a Holland rose for P80. Now, they’re probably 20-percent more expensive. But did you say nothing is too expensive for the most precious love of your life?

Then go for the pretty arrangements of stargazer buds and blooms, statice, white corn, Million Star fillers, or red Ecuadorean roses with fuchsia gerberas.

Live, love, laugh, and smell the roses.

* * *

Tecson Flowers is located at the upper ground floor, SM Mega A with telephone number 635-2771.

Funny Valentines

Funny, we love repeating this story of a guy who walked into a bookstore and bought five Valentine cards with this message: “To my one and only.”

Or how about these mushy lines that can turn your heart into putty: “There are only two times that I want to be with you. Now and forever.”

I remember a gal pal who was sobbing her heart out after she broke up with her boyfriend of many years. “I knew his love for me was not for real,” she said, her voice cracking, “because he always gave me plastic flowers on Valentine’s Day.”

Share a good laugh with the love of your life and enjoy choosing the perfect Valentine gift at SM Megamall, which has all sorts of fun and funny ideas for Valentine.

Purificacion: Please Don’t Eat The Daisies

At Purificacion, the daisies in many delightful colors look so delicious they leave you in a daze. Ahhh, there’s a lot more where they come from, that is, the flower farms of garden enthusiast Corazon Purificacion in Novaliches and Alfonso, Cavite.

Store attendants Dina Bandong and Aileen Baronet tell us that the Novaliches farm is all of two hectares. There, the most-prized orchids grow in abundance.

Orchids — phalaenopsis — in white, lavender, and yellow are among the hottest sellers for Valentine. They’re sold as plants complete with soil in pots. Give one of these to your special someone on Valentine’s Day and watch it — and your love for each other — grow every day.

At Purificacion, you can also pick your own flowers and have your own flower arrangement made by Purificacion’s creative florists.

The store also sells seeds, ornamental plants, pots, soil, and garden tools.

Just looking at these floral beauties is enough to make you fall in love with love.

* * *

Purificacion is located at the upper ground floor of SM Mega A with telephone number 409-8589.

Humor Post: Humor-mongering and more

This Valentine, plush bears — small, medium, large — greet one and all “Happy Valentine’s Day” at Humor Post. How beary nice!

And then you’re touched by the story of Tatty Teddy, the unique grey bear with a blue nose and patches. The story goes that one cold winter, snowflakes fell on Tatty Teddy and his brown fur turned to grey. Feeling cold, unloved, and all alone, he was rescued by a little girl who spotted the grey bear in a pile of unwanted things and instantly fell in love with him. It didn’t matter that the unique bear had a blue nose and a lot of his stuffing had fallen out. The little girl scooped him up, dusted him down, and immediately ran home to her grandma to have the bear patched up (thus the patches where his fur had worn away). It’s a poignant love story that Humor Post loves to repeat Valentine after Valentine.

Other things to warm the heart on Valentine’s Day at Humor Post are mug and plush gift boxes, picture frames, trinket boxes, and funny cards. Especially for Valentine, Angelo Alcaide has designed some very lovely and funny pillows that are bound to inspire a lot of intimate pillow talk.

Yes, a dose of humor is good for the heart.

* * *

Humor Post is located at the lower ground floor, SM Mega A with telephone number 634-2142.

Blue Magic: It’s Magic!

This is certainly one place where you won’t be blue. Blue Magic is an enchanted place for kids and kids-at-heart. For Valentine, there’s a Valentine corner filled with a lot of cuddly, pretty fun stuff. And a lot more lovely items designed not just for Valentine’s Day and not just for lovers.

“Love should be 365 days a year,” says Junjun Limgenco of Blue Magic. “And Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be just for lovers. It’s also a time to show gratitude to our parents, lolos and lolas.”

You’ll love Blue Magic’s Enchanted Garden collection that consists of handcarved religious icons made of scented wax.

And the magic of love lives on.

* * *

Blue Magic is located at the third level, SM Mega B with telephone number 633-5551.

The beauty of love

The prophet Kahlil Gibran said, “Beauty is not in the face. Beauty is a light in the heart.”

This Valentine’s Day, let the light in your loved ones’ hearts shine through via gifts for the body and soul at SM Megamall.

The Body Shop: Good For Your Body And Soul

Catch a whiff of the Moroccan rose at The Body Shop with its ongoing Rose du Maroc promo. Discover marvelous Morocco with Rose du Maroc’s line of products that includes eau de toilette, milk lotion, body butter, shower gel, and room fragrance.

Get a 40-percent discount on your next purchase if you buy a Rose du Maroc EDT. A purchase worth P5,000 comes with a free canvas clutch and canvas tote.

Get the look of love with the Roseflower makeup collection with its romantic night look and fresh day look.

Where to spray your Moroccan Rose? But of course, everywhere you want to be kissed.

* * *

The Body Shop is located at the upper ground floor, SM Mega B with telephone number 914-0431.

The Face Shop: About Face And More

Want to get the face that could launch a thousand ships? Go to The Face Shop which has come out with its Valentine beauty trends: alluring pastel shades in gleaming textures to create a romantic and refined look.

The key trend for the season focuses on delicate eyes in shades of pink and purple, luscious lips, and sheer pink to blush rose cheeks.

And the smacking good news is that for a P500 purchase of items in the makeup trends, you get a 20-percent discount on selected face makeup. And you get a pretty cosmetic pouch for free with every purchase of regular items worth P2,000. Promo runs until Feb. 28.

* * *

The Face Shop is located at the second level, SM Mega B with telephone number 637-9650.

The Soap Factory: A Suds Story

We were almost tempted to bite into a cupcake until we saw the label: Do not eat. We almost forgot we were inside The Soap Factory, that’s got soaps shaped into the most delicious cupcakes, popsicles, cakes, donuts, munchkins, macaroons, and other goodies.

“Our soaps are all-natural,” says The Soap Factory manager Tina Espejo. “They’re made of vegetable oil and fruit extracts like orange, grapeseed, apple, moringa, and tomato.”

The Soap Factory makes all-occasion soaps. It also carries different body products made of tomato, pumpkin, cucumber, guava, and moringa, among others.

Kids can have fun inside The Soap Factory and make their own cupcakes and donuts to bring home.

You can’t but feel bubbly all over after visiting The Soap Factory.

* * *

The Soap Factory is located at the fourth level, SM Mega Atrium with telephone number 706-5122.
View previous articles from this author.

By Ching M. Alano
Updated February 09, 2009 12:00 AM

Celebrate Valentine’s Day at SM Megamall

Posted in Celebrations, Hotels/Restaurants/Bars, Malls by Erineus on February 15, 2009
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Pistaccioccolato (chocolate pistachio cake), P595 for a whole cake and P65 for a slice

Discover new ways to celebrate love at the Mega Atrium

A pretty bouquet. A sampling of fine chocolates. Dinner for two. Celebrating Valentine’s has never been more delicious. SM Megamall’s mix of restaurants, shops and flower houses has everything to make your loved one feel special on the 14th.

Making merry with your single friends? Not to worry. You can drown your woes with a pitcher of margarita at Tia Maria’s with a couple of your equally single friends or celebrate the glories of singlehood with a few orders of kebab at the Kebab Factory with a healthy helping of garlic sauce. Because nothing says single and proud like some serious garlic breath! So share the day with your spouse or your single yet-just-as-significant others (I mean girlfriends). Valentine’s means sharing the love — even if it means handing over that choco chip cookie to your unbearably talkative co-worker.

Amici: It’s amore

You know it’s love when you follow the object of your gastronomic affection wherever it goes. Thank god Amici has opened a branch right smack in the center of the metro, as you can now enjoy their authentic Italian cuisine any day you want, from their thin crust pizzas to scrumptious pastas, to their to-die-for cakes and gelato. And for BPI credit cardholders, Amici has an additional treat for you: For every P1,000 single-receipt payment you make when you dine, you can enjoy two free scoops of gelato on your second visit, a free pasta dish on your third, and a free pizza on your fourth. Now, ain’t that kind of love grand?

Amici is at the 3/F SM Megamall Atrium. Call 818-4444.

Chef’s Quarter: Love in the fine dining lane

Larry Cortez, Chef’s Quarter’s general manager who’s worked at Le Souffle and other upscale establishments, believes that in five years the working class will demand better food, not your regular fast food fare. With his partner, chef Mau Aruona, they created this “fine dining restaurant with fast food prices.” “Our motto,” says Aruona, “is the only thing expensive here is your taste.” They’ve held true to that mission statement serving steak at P260 and fish and chips at P195, served in a style true to their upscale restaurant background but in an accessible setting.

For Valentine’s they’ve put together a set menu for couples that include steak and prawns and a mouthwatering chocolate almond marquesse. This is what true love tastes like — on a budget.

Call Chef’s Quarter, located at 3/F of SM Megamall Atrium, at 706-5336.

Painted Red: Color it red this day of hearts

Brought to you by the same folks who created the successful Red Kimono franchise (Painted Red is, in fact, linked to Red Kimono, sharing the same space with a divider separating the two establishments), Painted Red serves modern American cuisine with Chinese, South American and Italian influences. Bestsellers include the Philly cheese steak pizza and a build-your-own burger that allows you to choose from a large selection of ingredients.

Call Painted Red, located at the 2/F of SM Megamall Atrium, at 0922-8992753.

Sizzling Pepper Steak: A sizzling affair

From the company that brought you Teriyaki Boy comes this Japanese take on the traditional steak house. An industrial exhaust hood whirs above your head as you are served numerous incarnations of sizzling beef/chicken/seafood. Dubbed DIY food, this sizzling concept combines Pinoy’s love of all things salty (savory dishes) with all things sweet (drizzle your dish with a honeyed teriyaki sauce). If your love life’s on the flat side, maybe a date over a sizzling plate might add some spice.

Call Sizzling Pepper Steak, located at the 4/F of SM Megamall Atrium, at 633-1569.

Bigby’s Cafe: Big on portions and flavors

Owner Henrik Yu classifies this warm, cozy restaurant’s cuisine as international comfort food. “We’ve got steaks, baby back ribs, and a large selection of pastas and salads,” he says. “We even have a deep sea pasta,” he says, which is a “Filipinized” dish of pasta with garlic shrimp and crabfat sauce served on a sizzling plate. “Bigby’s puts their own spin on a lot of favorite comfort foods,” he explains. For Valentine’s, they’re offering hearty midnight dream cake (P289) and kiss me cupcakes (P249). Sweet tooth, thy name is Bigby.

Call Bigby’s, located at the 3/F of SM Megamall Atrium, at 499-9035.

Gotti’s: They’ve got connections

Named after the notorious mob boss, Gotti’s knows how to work the Italian angle. A caricature of John Gotti grasping a wooden spoon, like a charcoal etching of Marlon Brando circa Godfather, decorates the cover of their menu. Eileen Gonzalez, who worked at a hole-in-the-wall Italian eatery in NY “that got great Zagat reviews” for a few years, knows that every diner needs a little kick, a touch of humor.

This brick-lined, dimly-lit, family-friendly joint offers consumers with a hankering for authentic Italian fare at an affordable price a satisfying experience. “Our food is rustic and hearty,” says Gonzalez. “We really take it seriously. Educating customers on the right selections and flavorful offerings is what we do.” Expect to fork out about P250 per person, unless you make it to their merienda promo, available between 2 to 6 p.m., which offers combo meals at P95 to P130.

Call Gotti’s, located at the 4/F of SM Megamall Atrium, at 634-0348.

Kebab Factory: From India, with love

A good way to introduce yourself to Indian food, says Kebab Factory owner Natasha Karamchandani, is to start with their spinach dip (P200), a creamy spinach and feta dip served with pita bread that’s like the most luscious dip you’ve ever had. Kebab Factory, which offers Mediterranean and Persian with a touch of Indian cuisine, had vegetarian-friendly dishes and numerous authentic and non-traditional takes on Indian cuisine like their cheese samosas (P200), a tasty spin on cheese sticks. A tandoor oven, a round enclosed oven with coals, lends the food a certain authenticity. “Some of the recipes we’ve used here we inherited from our grandmother,” Karamchandani says. Dine on tender stuffed chicken kebab (P300) and lamb chop tandoori (their own version of chicken tandoori sans the chicken). “People are more willing to try new food,” says Karamchandani. “This is a good way to start.”

Call Kebab Factory, located at the 2/F of SM Megamall Atrium, at 631-9648.

Eat and Go: There’s always time for a quickie

In a hurry? Sneaking off in the middle of the day for a quick nibble? Then Eat and Go is the perfect dining nook for a tasty quickie (quick meal, we mean!). Enjoy their London pies, with their puffed philo pastry and tasty filling: healthy primavera, juicy steak, salmon and spinach, and a lot more. Don’t be deceived by the medium-sized portion, as it’s a meal on its own already. Eat and Go is not just for the eat-and-run types, though. Have a leisurely meal with their bestselling menu picks like roasted chicken, sesame back ribs, and baked buccatini in prawn cream sauce, with the option of adding pasta, baked beans, or diced corn and carrots as side dishes.

Eat and Go is at 3/F SM Megamall Atrium. Call 635-9559.

Curry Curry House: Spice it up

Big. Hot. Yummy. This is not an advertisement for an adult services hotline, but rather the kind of Japanese cuisine you can find at Curry Curry House. Highlighting the subtly invigorating kick of the savory Japanese curry, Curry Curry House dishes are plentiful and filling, paired with bottomless iced tea and bottomless rice to enjoy the curry sauce all the more. Their ramen dishes are also must-tries, with their spicy Japanese noodles. Whatever your pick, dining at the Curry Curry House is sure to set your palates on fire. Choose between the regular and the spicy curry — and watch sparks fly.

Curry Curry House is at the 3/F SM Megamall Atrium. Call 631-8470.

By Bea Ledesma
Updated February 09, 2009 12:00 AM

He sends roses even after death

Posted in Celebrations by Erineus on February 15, 2009

RED roses were her favorites, her name was also Rose. And every year her husband sent them, tied with pretty bows.

The year he died, the roses were delivered to her door. The card said, “Be my Valentine,”
like all the years before.”

* * *

Each year he sent her roses, and the note would always say, “I love you even more this year, than last year on this day. My love for you will always grow, with every passing year.”

She knew this was the last time that the roses would appear.

* * *

He ordered roses in advance before Valentine’s Day. Her loving husband did not know, that he would pass away. She trimmed the stems, and placed them in a very special vase.

Then, sat the vase beside the portrait of his smiling face.

* * *

A year went by, and it was hard to live without her mate. Then, the very hour, as on Valentine’s before, the doorbell rang, and there were roses, sitting by her door. She brought the roses in, and then just looked at them in shock.

She went to get the telephone, to call the florist shop.

* * *

The owner answered, and she asked him if he would explain, Why would someone do this to her, causing her such pain? “I know your husband passed away, more than a year ago.”

The owner said, “I knew you’d call, and you would want to know.”

* * *

“The flowers you received today, were paid for in advance. Your husband always planned ahead. There is a standing order, and he has paid well in advance; you’ll get them every year.

* * *

“There also is another thing that I think you should know. He wrote a special little
card. Should I find out that he’s no longer here, that card should be sent to you the following year.”

She thanked him and hung up the phone, her tears now flowing hard. Her fingers shaking, as she slowly reached to get the card.

* * *

Inside the card, she saw a note he had written to her, which said: “Hello my love, I know it’s been a year since I’ve been gone, I hope it hasn’t been too hard for you to overcome.

“I know it must be lonely, and the pain is very real.

“I want you to be happy, even when you shed your tears. That is why the roses will
be sent to you for years.”

* * *

“The roses will come every year, and they will only stop when your door is not answered, when the florist stops to knock. He will come five times that day, in case you have gone out.

“But after his last visit, he will know without a doubt, to take the roses to the place, where I’ve instructed him. And place the roses where we are… together once again.”

* * *

The above story written by an unknown author conveys how beautiful a marriage is that’s nurtured by love, thoughtfulness, and fidelity… which goes even beyond the grave.

* * *

For me, the story’s parallel and inspiring message is to see couples growing old together gracefully and faithfully, possibly seeing the blessed day they’ll celebrate their Golden Wedding Anniversary and perhaps even farther. That would be a marriage made in heaven.

* * *

THE LIGHTER SIDE. A girl wrote a Valentine’s card to her boyfriend? She said: “If you marry me, I will be faithful to you till eternity.”

At the bottom was a postcript (PS): “I want your answer on Saturday otherwise I’ll look for another guy.” (Faithful till eternity?).

* * *

IRRESISTIBLE. Johnny has been a charitable, God-fearing man so one day the Lord told him, “As a fitting reward, ask three wishes and I’ll grant you.”

* * *

“First, I want billion.” Poof! There’s a flash, and a paper with a Swiss bank account number appears in Johnny’s hand.

“Next, I want a Ferrari.” Poof! Another blinding flash, and shiny Ferrari is parked next to him.

* * *

“Finally,” Johnny says, “I want to be irresistible to women.” Poof! There’s another flash, and Johnny turns into a box of chocolates.

* * *

For inquiries, e-mail: belsvd@yahoo.com.

By Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD

9 songs

Posted in Celebrations, Music, Rest and Liesure by Erineus on February 14, 2009

I’m not a big fan of Valentine’s Day, to be honest. And when it comes to music, the typical Pinoy tendency towards saccharine sentimentality somehow manages to get kicked up a notch (in Spinal Tap terms, it goes up to 11) during this season of pink candy hearts and overpriced flowers.

Luckily, an article by Edwin Sallan —entitled “Can’t Stand Losing You”—reminded me that there should be more to this day, music-wise, than the usual sappy crap. “With so much great music out there, do you really want to be humming along to the greatest hits of Michael Bolton and Celine Dion at this time every year?” he asks, before listing fourteen songs as “alternative soundtracks for Valentine’s Day.”

Here’s my alternative soundtrack for Valentine’s Day—nine songs, instead of fourteen. I’d like to claim it’s a play on the Michael Winterbottom movie of the same name, or a play on the year we’re in (nine songs for 2009), but really, it’s just because I’m frakkin’ lazy. Besides, I hated that movie.

1. Paper Moon. “What Are You Going To Do With Me?”

Not being a teenager any more, I should be immune to this song’s charms: the ostensibly shy but actually forward female persona, the giddy guitar lines and perky bloops and beeps, the sha-la-la’s, that does-he-or-doesn’t-he vibe of maybe-love that pop-rock can capture so well. Needless to say, it charms me anyway. And I love the line “I can give you a clue if you give me a try.”

2. Dinosaur Jr. “I Live For That Look.”

J Mascis sings like a wounded weasel and his lyrics kind of stumble all over themselves like drunks, but his awesome guitar growl and pop chops cannot be denied. He has never sounded more happy-hopeful than on this song, which I kind of assume is a love song (“Hey, I live for that look”), but as with any Dinosaur Jr. track, it’s a little hard to tell.

3. Bagetsafonik. “Clarity (Remix by N:ua).”

“I’ll be your guiding star.” A beautiful electronic reimagining of an already-strong song. Dreamlike yet sharp, touching but not cloying, I listened to this over and over last year and I’m still loving it. (You can get the whole Travel Agents remix album at http://qed.acid42.bluechronicles.net).

4. Colin Blunstone. “Say You Don’t Mind.”

A simple, sweet, strings-driven thing, from the solo career of a member of The Zombies. Sounds remarkably fresh, especially considering that it came out before I was even born. And that, you know, it was sung by a Zombie.

5. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. “(I’ll Love You) Till The End Of The World.”

“It was a miracle I even got outta Longwood alive,/ This town fulla men with big mouths and no guts,/ I mean, if you can just picture it,/ The whole third floor of the hotel gutted by the blast,/ And the street below showered in shards of broken glass,/ And all the drunks pourin’ outta the dance halls,/ Starin’ up at the smoke and the flames,/ And the blind pencil seller wavin’ his stick,/ Shoutin’ for his dog that lay dead on the side of the road.” It doesn’t sound like a love song, does it? It sounds like an apocalyptic freakout, is what it sounds like. But believe me, this is one of the most romantic numbers on this list, especially when Nick Cave hits the chorus with his deep dark gravedigger voice. Thank you, girl.

6. Aztec Camera. “The Gentle Kind.”

My love for Aztec Camera marks me forever as a child of the 80s. “Somewhere In My Heart,” horn-blasts and all, is the usual favorite, but I prefer this one, from the Stray album —a little quieter but no less catchy, with simple, sincere sentiments that have not diminished over the years. “Took my hand, said nothing much/ No lesson learned, just a gentle touch/ And I am coming round,/ I am coming round again.”

7. Pet Shop Boys. “Liberation.”

The Pet Shop Boys are sometimes depicted as clever smirking songsmiths dripping with irony —this is largely because unlike most pop stars, they are genuinely intelligent (and yes, they do sometimes slip into that scathingy satirical mode once in a while). But they’ve also crafted some of the most straightforward, quietly joyous, heart-melting songs ever —like this one.

8. Ciudad. “Until It’s Cool.”

Sad words, soaring tune. Ciudad may have “abandoned their happy-happy-joy-joy way of writing songs” (according to their MySpace), but they have become the masters of sugarcoating the bitterness of failed love. You’ll be singing along to the heartbreak.

9. Blue Sky Black Death + Jean Grae. “Away With Me.”

“We could be forever, see whatever we make bloom/ Just afraid I could be playing out a replay tune.” Sweetly hypnotic, sexy yet sincere: this song’s a real killer. And for anyone out there who might still retain any doubts about hip-hop being able to strike you straight in the heart, just get a load of this. Jean Grae gives it to you straight — hopes and fears, love and tears. And it doesn’t get more direct than “What’s best for me never seems to ever be what’s next to me/ Exception: you.”

Drop by Mag:Net Katipunan tonight, February 14, at 8:30 if you want to catch singing, piano-playing sensation Isha perform songs for “14 Lovers.” Send questions and comments to Luis atthekingofnothingtodo@yahoo.com.

Author: Luis katigbak

A lot to love on month of love at Island Cove

Posted in Celebrations, Dating, Hotels/Restaurants/Bars, Resort and Park, Rest and Liesure, Tourism by Erineus on February 13, 2009

February is not just the month of hearts at Island Cove Hotel and Leisure Park. It also happens to be the 11th anniversary of the resort.

Because of these two special occasions, Island Cove is determined to give its patrons a month of unforgettable events, special packages and irresistible promotions.

Experience a romantic escape at the hotel in Island Cove. From Feb. 13 to 15, take advantage of the Experience Romance package for only P6,143.

Island Cove is committed to making its guests’ stay an incredible experience. The package includes a Mediterranean-inspired superior room, scented candle set-up in the bathtub, a box of pralines, a bottle of wine, romantic dinner for two at the Sangley Point restaurant patio, a romantic carriage ride while being serenaded by the Los Trios, and breakfast in bed for two.

On top of that, guests will also get body massage for two, free entrance to the Oceania Water Park, use of the hotel pool and Jacuzzi, complimentary bottled water, and unlimited Wi-Fi access in any of Island Cove’s Wi-Fi zones.

Want to forget your worries, especially on the eve and day of hearts? Avail yourself of the Laughter and Hits Hotel Concert package for only P9,000.

This package, to be offered only on Feb. 13, includes a superior room accommodation, a Valentine’s dinner concert for two, breakfast in bed for two, scented candle set-up in the bathtub, a box of pralines, a bottle of wine, body massage for two, free entrance to the Oceania Water Park, use of the hotel pool and Jacuzzi, complimentary bottled water and unlimited Wi-Fi access. Guest can also avail themselves of this package without the dinner for two during the concert for only P7,600.

Island Cove is celebrating its 11th year in the hotel and resort industry on Feb. 20. On this day, it is offering a special anniversary package for only P 2,011, inclusive of room accommodation for two adults and two children, entrance to the Oceania Water Park, use of the hotel pool and Jacuzzi, complimentary bottled water, unlimited Wi-Fi access, discounted Animal Island entrance fee, use of the electric tram, and a gift.

Interested in a day trip or a night-out down south?

On Feb. 13, watch the “Laughter and Hits” Valentine’s concert at the Tejeros Grand Ballroom for P2,500 with dinner and P1,500 without dinner. The concert will feature Rico J. Puno, Richard Merck, Marco Sison, and Jenine Desiderio.

Partake of the buffet dinner on Valentine’s Day at the Fishing Village for only P450 for adults and P380 for kids.

Also, don’t miss the regional food festival and cultural show at the Fishing Village every Sunday of February.

Island Cove has been known to be the pioneer in the tourism industry with respect to the introduction of a multitude of attractions that lure both local and foreign visitors.

Facilities available to its guests are the Oceania Water Park, Animal Island, Island Songs KTV, Adventure Activity Zone, Fishing Village, and the Island Spa.

Island Cove’s other well-loved trademarks include the outdoor giant chess set, the playground, and the Concert Park.

Island Cove is an ISO 9001:2000-certified and a triple “A” accredited resort by the Department of Tourism. Located in the historic town of Kawit in Cavite, this 36-hectare Mediterranean-inspired island is only 45 minutes away from Metro Manila.

For more information, log on to www.islandcovephil.com or call (02) 810-7878.

Column: Tourism
Source: Philippine StarDate:Updated January 30, 2009 12:00 AM

Bountiful Valentine’s Day at Pavilion

Posted in Celebrations, Dating, Hotels/Restaurants/Bars, Rest and Liesure, Tourism by Erineus on February 13, 2009

Sprinkle some more excitement into your appetite as the Waterfront Pavilion Hotel & Casino lays out its gastronomic goods to give you the most memorable Valentine’s Day ever.

Get smitten with a spread of food choices — Bacon-wrapped Pork Loin with Strawberry Red Capsicum Sauce, Ricotta and Spinach-stuffed Chicken Breast with Sun-dried Tomato Sauce, Pan-fried Fish Fillet with Tropical Fruit Relish, Oven-roasted US Sirloin with Chocolate Gravy, and Braised Beef in Chocolate Peppermint Sauce — for only P1,300 net per person.

Satisfy your Oriental cravings with these appetizing creations at the Peony Garden: Duo Combination of Fried Prawn and Fish Nugget with Thousand Island Sauce, Braised Crystal Shark’s Fin with Crab Roe, and Pan-Fried Cod Fish with Black Pepper and Vegetables.

Also indulge in these gustatory delights: Shredded Roast Chicken with Plum Sauce, Sweet Corn with Crab Stick in Dragon Fruit, and Chinese Beefsteak with Bean Curd, Eggplant and Egg Roll. Price starts at P1,188 net per person.

For inquiries or reservations, call (632) 526-1212 extension 2318 or 2303 or log on to www.waterfronthotels.net.

Column: Tourism
Source: Philippine Star
Updated February 08, 2009 12:00 AM

Hyatt Hotel to hold duets’ contest for couples at Music Bar

Posted in Celebrations, Dating, Hotels/Restaurants/Bars, Rest and Liesure, Tourism by Erineus on February 13, 2009

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Sing your heart out with your Valentine and earn the chance to win an overnight stay in one of the five presidential suites of Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila.

The duets will take place in the Music Bar located on the sixth level of Hyatt.

The Music Bar offers ballads from Frank Sinatra to Mariah Carey from its extensive music selection.

Amuse the audience and entertain the panel of judges to get that mark of approval and win a prize.

This contest is valid for couples with confirmed dining reservations in any of the hotel’s restaurants from Feb. 13 to 15.

Make reservations now as there are limited slots for the special competition.

For more information, call 245-1234; ask for Tess of the F&B service.

Link: http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=435725&publicationSubCategoryId=454