Lunch date @ Fely J’s

It has been awhile since my high school friends had a get-together, meaning, dine out in a nice restaurant in the metropolis. Most of them went home in the province during the Christmas break, and I was stuck in Manila because of work, so there was no chance of a get-together. I have to find a way for us to sit down and talk to each other, catch up on each other, especially what is happening around them. Not to mention, the latest gossips and rumours from our other friends who are not here, and batchmates from high school. Bad, but we are all guilty of this.

I chose a good restaurant for the get together. I had been hearing good news for Fely J’s, a restaurant in the upscale Greenbelt 5 in Ayala Center, Makati. I had been to Abe, which is owned by the same group who operates Fely J’s. I look for their contact number and specialties on the net, and I think I made the right choice of venue. We have not yet decided when to held the get-together. But because one of our friend is about to celebrate her birthday, we decided to do it on the same date. The celebrant is not joining the get-together, she is in the province. Usually, our get together is set at dinner time. But to make a difference, we agreed to have it over lunch. I made a reservation one day ahead just to make sure we don’t wait and we have seats ready for us.

It was a Sunday, January 24, 2010 at exactly 12 noon, the get together finally push through at Fely J’s Greenbelt.

The restaurant is named after the mother of Larry Cruz, the owner of the restaurant group, and her specialties. The setting is like your old Spanish-inspired house, complete with wooden ceiling fan. We decided to order sinigang in classic flavor (as opposed to the guava flavor), fried tilapia drench in sweet local spices, sisig, squid, broccoli, and adobo. A serving of one menu is good for 2 to 3 person, with a price range of P300 – P550. The price is a bit steep, so we are expecting something good once the food order arrived. It was a Sunday, so there are a lot of customers eating their lunch. Family and family in one long table. This might be the reason why our order came too late. We were pang with hunger already.

Once the food came, there was a collective salivation from the group. The tilapia really look nice. And the aroma of the sinigang reminds you of homemade version in the province. The tilapia is so crispy and flavorful. It must be from the spices and special sauce it was dip into. Highly recommended.

Mix this with good, funny stories thrown against each other, and the equation becomes perfect. It is one of those moment where you just have to laugh hard from the joke exchanges, and heightened by the nice, Pinoy foods of Fely J’s. Maybe the next time I go there, I will order their crispy pata. It looks like it is inviting as well.

After the heavy lunch, we troop to Seattle’s Best to take dessert and coffee. After all the food intake, coffee will surely help in the digestion.

What a fun day it was. I fervently hope that this will be repeated anytime soon. In a different restaurant already!

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Lobotomy in the fangs of True Blood

I only got the chance to watch the much-talk about TV series “True Blood” just last month. I thought that it doesn’t suit my taste based on the synopsis of vampires mixing with humans in a society, their co-existence proving to be problematic and full of tension. Not to mention the love angle, which makes it caught up with the female viewers. And males? They watch it, probably, from the pumping scenes and nudity. Oh, sex and violence has never been this literal in the tv screen.

I was wrong. The series is good. The first scene where a man and a woman is driving in a car down a dirt road in Bon Temps, and the succeeding vampire attacks to humans proved to be an exciting and engaging activity to lost time into. The story is fast paced, and the vignettes from each episode connects to its end in the later episodes. After I was done with Season 1, I just can’t stop to control myself to start the next one.

Although the story revolves around, mostly, to Sookie and Bill’s love story, one character I like is Sam Merlotte. From the initial episodes, he seems to be mysterious. He looks like a good guy but with plethora of secrets waiting to be unraveled. When the series progress and presents that he is a shape-shifter, one that shifts to certain animals, it was catharsis on his part. He likes Sookie, but don’t get her attention because of Bill. He hides his real self from the people around because even him do not know so much about his self. His family background remains blurry.

When Maryann was introduced in Season 2, Sam Merlotte shivered. Maryann and Sam met in the past. While she is introduced in the story, she personify somebody who is lovely, caring and sweet. A typical motherly figure who shows concern for those that are weak, repressed, vulnerable and lost. A symbolic shepherd who tend to her flock to the right direction. But she is not that, as it turned out. She personify the devil, complete with horns! As the season 2 closed, Sam is offered to the god. A sacrifice scene is the highlight of this season.

Bon Temps is like any society or place where people seemed weak and powerless. A dictator can govern through this minion using extreme power to make things happen. A lobotomy of the mind.  Memories erased, just like most of us when we have this habit of forgetting the lessons of history. We keep on repeating it, mistakes and faults, especially if we are warped by a higher power that governs us. In order to get away from this, as True Blood presents, is to look into the inner self to wake up and unleash that innate power. Sookie and Bill did this to Lafayette and Tara when they look into their eyes, as if to see that window to their soul and try to jerk them from the madness that they are doing.

Throughout history, we saw the same thing happening around us. When the Filipino people took to the streets of EDSA in 1986, it was as if a divine being shake them up from the nightmare. When Ferdinand Marcos awaits for his god to protect him on his dominion, he was wronged. When he declared a snap election to erase doubts about his legitimacy as the ruler, he thought he will see the “bullhorn” just like (devil girl) saw when she ran after Sookie. Only to found out that it was false idolatry, and that no god is coming to rescue/save/join her. Maryann) was horned to death, just like Marcos was banished from the Philippine soil.

True Blood is not merely a vampire series. It is a reflection on history, philosophy, religion, and even faith. All you have to do is notice it, otherwise, you are in a quagmire that is nightmare. Who will wake you up?

Hit me in the gut

UP IN THE AIR is smart! And I like how George Clooney chooses to be in smart films. [He was also good in Michael Clayton.] In one of the smart conversation in the movie, Anna Kendrick asks George Clooney point blank some scathing questions. See below:

GIRL: You never would get married?

MAN: No.

GIRL: Never wants kids?

MAN: Not a chance.

GIRL: Ever?

MAN: Ever. Is that so bizarre?

GIRL: Yes. Yes, it is.

MAN: I just don’t see the value in it. Alright, sell it to me.

GIRL: What?

MAN: Sell me marriage.

GIRL: Okay, how about love?

MAN: [laugh]

GIRL: Stability? Someone you can count on?

MAN: How many stable marriages do you know?

GIRL: Somebody who talks to you…somebody you spend your life with…

MAN: I’m surrounded by people I talk to, that’s not gonna change.

GIRL: [give up] How about just not dying alone?

MAN: It started when I was 12…my grandparents were in a nursing facility. Same with my parents. Make no mistake, we all die alone!

GIRL: [started to sob. It was found out, she was jilted by her boyfriend, through text!]

Jason Reitman, the scriptwriter and director of the movie, won the Best Screenplay at this morning’s Golden Globe Awards. He deserves it.