diary of a budding design genius

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Hong Kong Photo Diary



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Roast Rack of Pork Stuffed With Apples and Herbs

Had dinner a little late today. Okay, a lot late…

We had a bone-in rack of pork in the freezer so I tried out this recipe. I forgot to read through the recipe properly before I started, so I didn’t realize it would take over 2 hours to prepare and cook. I finally took it out of the oven at 9:30 pm. Good thing, my mom had salad first and my sister ate some Jollibee spaghetti, else they would have been complaining of hunger.

The dish turned out great! We had it with some white wine (leftover from the recipe). I’ll definitely do it again. But next time, I’ll make sure to start earlier, so we wouldn’t go hungry.

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Looking Back at 2011

Happy New Year!

I met 2011 with great expectations for my new life. A lot of things didn’t happen as expected, but so many great things also came to be that I did not plan on. In the past year, I gained a lot of amazing friends of all shapes and sizes, of all ages and from places far away. I’ve traveled more than I expected, I learned so many things (and not just concerning Interior Design), experienced so many things for the first time (like white water rafting, climbing Mt. Pulag, riding a helicopter, and archery. . .)  and best of all, I had a lot of fun. My decision to leave my banking career did not make my world smaller or more limited. Rather, the change has led to so many opportunities that have expanded my world.

Insights from 2011:

– So many things can happen in 3 months, or in a month or in a week. Its amazing how much you can learn, and how many bonds can be formed in such a short amount of time. At the same time, in some things, so little could change in a year or in 7 years, or even in 10.

– Sometimes the only thing keeping you from winning is that you’re afraid to try.

– Sometimes, to get what you want, you have to ask for it.

– Good things come to those who have less, simply because, when you have less to lose, you take more risks.

Hello 2012! I hope you bring me as many blessings and opportunities as 2011 did. I’m looking forward to growing and learning many more things.

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I just spent one week re-arranging my bedroom furniture and am currently in the process of putting everything back in the cabinets. Its still far from looking liveable, so I’m not taking pictures yet. Meanwhile, I’m selling my desk and replacing it with a drafting table and filing cabinet. I think that would be the best use of my space. It would also save me from drafting on the dining table and having to clear everything up come meal time.

I spent the evening sewing buttons back on a cushion after I had its cover washed. The cushion belongs to my giant chair. It was my 1st investment on furniture, a big blue round rattan chair with a squashy green cushion. I bought it a few years ago, right when I was supposed to be saving for my backpacking trip across Southeast Asia. It went on sale and I couldn’t resist it. The chair is actually way too big for my room and is the main reason why I can’t upgrade to a bigger bed but I was in love with that chair for 2 years before it went on sale. Somehow, its size and shape and squashy cushion makes it the comfiest chair ever. When you sit on it, you don’t want to get up and twice I’ve actually fallen asleep in it. Lambchop couldn’t resist it either and made my sewing even more challenging by lying down on the cushion. Its not even on the chair yet, but it looks like its a pretty good dog bed judging from how quickly he fell asleep even as I was flipping part of the cushion to sew a button. Now I’m jealous and want to curl up on a giant cushion and fall asleep myself.


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Manila Transitio 1945

This week, 66 years ago, over 120,000 Filipinos died in the city of Manila.  These Filipinos died as “collateral damage”, caught between the Japanese Imperial Army and the United States Armed Forces during World War II. General Douglas McArthur had returned to Manila just as he had promised. The problem is, he had returned without a plan. With the return of the Americans, the desperate Japanese began massacre-ing the Filipinos by the thousands. To stop the Japanese, McArthur decides to drop a bomb on the beautiful city of Manila, killing of course the Japanese, but along with them some 120,000 Filipinos and destroying the then booming, cosmopolitan city of Manila.

Once a year, famous Manila tour guide, Carlos Celdran, holds a special sunset tour of Intramuros called Transitio 1945. It is a short walking tour of Intramuros, a brief history of the Philippines for those with short attention spans. The tour ends with a concert with 1940’s music, an art installation exhibit and finally, the release of 120 sky lanterns to commemorate the 120,000 Filipinos who died in the 1945 bombing.

I’m not sure how different this tour is from the usual Intramuros tour by Carlos Celdran, but the significance of this anniversary is marked by a short prayer at the ruins of St. Ignatius Cathedral and the original Ateneo in Intramuros; as well as a stop at the San Agustin Church which is the only one of seven cathedrals in Intramuros that survived the war.

Celdran does not mince words as he tells the tale of Philippine history and explains how the mix of numerous influences has made the jeepney and halo-halo, epitomes of Philippine culture. He apologizes for the Manila that exists today, by telling a tale of the Manila that was, and how its heart and soul was extinguished in March 1945.

I very much enjoyed this nostalgic trip into 1940’s Manila. Despite the strange March rain, the tour was fun and the music was great; but the highlight of the night for me was the release of the sky lanterns. Though a couple got caught in trees and one threatened to burn the bell tower of the cathedral, one by one, the sky lanterns dotted the sky behind the Manila Cathedral. Wet weather, 40’s music, Philippine history and sky lanterns all combined to make it a memorable night.

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The Color Spectrum

As I was studying for my Color Theory quiz tomorrow, I remembered taking this photo one afternoon at CBTL Burgos Circle. Light emits countless wavelengths but human perception is limited to a small range of visible light wavelengths called the color spectrum. We can only see 7 of them; and we’ve named them red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.

Sir Isaac Newton was the first scientist to experiment with splitting sunlight into these visible bands. When sunlight goes through a prism, it is re-arranged according to light wave lengths and we see a rainbow. Red has the longest wavelength while violet has the shortest. The colors are always arranged longest to shortest (wave length) which is why we never see a rainbow with colors arranged differently.

On this day, in this particular hour, the sunlight hit the edges of CBTL’s glass door at just the right angle for them to split into 7 bands of color just in time for me to capture this photograph.

Looks like I’m learning something after all…