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Free Movies: Cine Europa 17 this September 2014 at Shang




Movie buffs like me who wish to catch international films for free should not miss the Cine Europa 17 that is happening from September 11-21, 2014 at Shangri-La Plaza’s Shang Cineplex at Edsa, Mandaluyong. 

Kindly check the image to view the movie schedule.


Based from experience, it is Free Admission but tickets are limited so one should be there at least an hour before the sched to get a movie pass to get ticket. They do not allow reservations or  give out tickets hours before the screening time.

This year’s Cine Europa will feature 23 brilliant films from 17 countries. The synopses of the movies to be featured in this film festival are provided below.

Die andere Heimat is an exquisitely-shot black and white film chronicling the life of a young man and his dream of immigrating to South America. A poor but knowledge-hungry son of a blacksmith, the young man is joined in the film by his family, friends, and neighbors and offers a closer look at the societal dynamics in rural Germany.

Loss is the theme of two films, starting with A Second Childhood (Italy) which shows how a couple deals when one of them is discovered to have memory loss.

Bon Voyage (The Netherlands), meanwhile, examines the impending sense of loss experienced by a family whose patriarch is diagnosed to be seriously ill.

A different kind of family is at the core of Vegas (Norway), as three friends who find common ground take refuge in their friendship as they go through their respective journeys. 

In Child’s Pose (Romania), an affluent woman uses her power to keep her son, who is charged with manslaughter, out of prison. 

A kid’s occasional small-time hustles from a ski resort take a dangerous turn in Sister (Switzerland), when the kid partners with a British crook in an effort to provide for himself and his unreliable older sister.

Sean Ellis’ Metro Manila (United Kingdom) returns to Filipino screens as it features the story of Oscar Ramirez and his family, who leave their impoverished but simple life in the rice field regions north of the Philippines in search of fortune in the cruel streets of the city. The official British entry to the 2014 Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film, Metro Manila stars Jake Ramirez, John Arcilla, and Althea Vega.

 Everybody Famous (Belgium), an amusing account of how a father devises a plan so his daughter, who lacks musical talent, can become the next big star. 

There is also Czech Republic’s Identity Card, which tells of the adventures of four students growing up in communist Czechoslovakia and how their creative and independent souls make them a counterpoint to their country’s totalitarian conventions.

Hungary’s Thorn Castle, about the friendship of two boys who bond over the beauty of nature as they learn how to camp, hunt, and live off the land in the countryside. 

Chinese Puzzle (France) offers a stark contrast as it takes place in New York where a man decides to move after his ex-wife brings their children there, following their divorce.

The film, which stars acclaimed French stars Romain Duris and Audrey Tautou, is the third film in director Cédric Klapisch’s Spanish Apartment trilogy.

Audiences will roar with laughter with Scialla! (Italy) when a melancholy professor discovers that the rebellious teenager he’s tutoring is actually his son. 

The Netherlands’ Mister Twister – Class of Fun, about a young substitute teacher’s unique teaching antics. His style earns him the affection of his students but will a rule-obsessed principal keep him from being the cool one?

The Godmother (Romania) takes off when an American mother and wife, who has a brilliant teaching career in Bucharest, finds herself in the middle of a real gangster story after her husband is found out to be laundering money for a local mobster. The heroine forms her own family mafia to fight off her family’s enemies and gets help from unusual characters along the way. 

In Ice Dragon (Sweden), an 11-year-old boy sets off on an adventure as he flees his alcoholic father and brother. A lovable tale that includes whales, fishing, friends, and first love, Ice Dragon was a well-received children’s film in its home country.

Also in the line-up is Denmark’s The Hunt, which is a stirring account of how one small lie changed a man’s life. The film was nominated in the 2014 Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film. 

Lóve (Slovakia) promises to be a gripping action drama, as it reveals the tale of a man who is keen on shedding his criminal past in order to live a normal life with the woman he loves.

A gathering of Spain’s most stellar male actors, A Gun in Each Hand is a musical film that shows eight confused and perplexed men in their forties who have to deal with identity crisis. 

Another Spanish film is the delightful animated feature The Missing Lynx, which follows a bunch of animals as they set off to save their fellows from being kidnapped and used in experiments.

Something sweet awaits film buffs in Two-Seater Rocket (Austria), which tells of Manuel’s great efforts to build best friend Mia’s childhood dream to win her heart.

 The work of the world’s best researchers, oceanographers, and biologists commences with Planet Ocean (Switzerland), which vividly transports viewers to the deepest, most wondrous parts of the Earth, all in a call to respect The Blue Planet in which we live.

For inquiries, call 370-2500 loc. 597. Visit the Shang’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/shangrilaplazaofficialfanpage. Follow Shang on Instagram: @shangrilaplazaofficial.

NBI Clearance Application: Practical Tips


Okay so I need to apply for an NBI clearance as one of the pre-employment requirements in my new job. So I went to Mandaluyong City Hall one morning at around 8am because NBI has a satellite office there. The last time I have to apply for an NBI was eons ago and I don’t remember it being such a stressful task so I was shocked to see such long lines upon arriving when I actually thought I was early.

Anyway I ended up going home and then applying in Robinsons Galleria the next day. And let’s just say that while I am in the process of getting my NBI, I kind of felt sad for my fellow Filipinos. It’s depressing that obtaining a common pre-employment form can be such a burden. So to somehow help, I’ve come up with some tips for future NBI Clearance applicants:

Do a research about the NBI Office. It pays to ask around as to what NBI office has a faster and more efficient service. For example, the NBI Satellite Office in Mandaluyong has a posted step-by-step instructions and the first step is to pay. So I lined up to pay only to be told that I need to get an application form first (their instructions are so helpful lol). They don’t give out queue numbers and the system a little unorganized.

Unlike in Robinsons Galleria where they have a separate line for online applicants and upon arriving, the guard will give you a number that indicates the time when you can return for the processing. So you can in fact be there early to get a number then you can go to attend to other tasks then just come back to line up.

Look for connections and other faster ways. There was a time when my mother needs an NBI form asap but she got a hit and the NBI people said that it will take at least about a week to get a clearance. We really can’t wait that long so we asked the help of a police officer who is a family friend and guess what; we got the form after a day.

Also in Rob Galle, the guards already give out numbers around 9 pm for NBI processing the next day. So if you have a friend who works there you can actually ask that friend to get you a number.
Apply Online. I think it is a must to apply online- NBI Online. At least you do not have to line up just for the form and are assured that your application will be processed.



Be there early. As I said in other NBI offices, all applicants (online and walk-ins) are required to get a number and it is on a first-come first-served basis. I think in Rob Galle, the guards stop giving out numbers to walk-in applicants at around 12pm.

I actually applied online, was at Galleria at around 9 am and my number says that I can start lining up at around 1 pm. I was done by 3pm.

Be Patient. Yes, you need tons of these. Don’t expect that it will be fast and easy and yes expect to line up. You will line up for the form, to pay, for the biometrics, and gosh even for the releasing. Well, we are yet to see the day when Filipinos would get better services from the government.

Expect to get a hit. I think there is something new with the NBI system because I feel more people are actually getting hits nowadays. Some people who get no hits before (that includes me) are surprised because they suddenly have a hit.

Try to be productive. Well, it can be really boring and time consuming so it won’t hurt if you would bring a book or other things that allows you to be productive even while lining up.

That’s it, hope it will somehow helpJ



French Film Festival Sched at Ayala Cinemas this 2014


It's been awhile since I last blog and also since I last watched a movie in a cinema. So I just wish I can catch even just one of these masterpieces:


Organized by  the Embassy of France to the Philippines, the Alliance française de Manille, and Institut Français, the 19th French Film Festival will be held from June 10 to 15, 2014 at the Greenbelt 3 cinemas in Makati City.

These are featured the movies in the festival:
20 Ans d’écart (It Boy)
Alice Lantins is 38 years old. She’s beautiful, ambitious, and her impeccable professional conscience makes her neglect her private life. In short, she has everything to become the next editor-in-chief of Rebelle magazine - everything except for her uptight image. But when the young and charming Balthazar, barely 20 years old, crosses Alice’s path, her colleagues’ attitude inexplicably changes. Realizing that the she holds the key to her promotion, Alice stages the comedy of an improbable idyll.
Une autre vie (Lovers)
Jean, an electrician, installs alarms in the South of France. He encounters Aurore, a famous pianist. Despite their differences, they immediately fall in love with each other and envisage a life together. Jean wants to leave Dolorès, his longtime companion. But she’s prepared to do anything to hold on to him.
Amour et turbulences (Love is in the Air)
On her way back from New York to Paris, where she’s soon to be married, Julie finds herself sitting next to Antoine, an attractive cad whom she dated 3 years earlier. She’ll do everything she can to avoid him, whereas he’s counting on the 7-hour flight to win her back! It’s an opportunity for us to travel back in time and witness their encounter, their love affair, their break-up... So many incredible, romantic, and caustic scenes that will make this journey the most moving one of their lives.
Les beaux jours (Bright Days Ahead)
Bright days ahead? Caroline has retired, at last. A new life lies before her: time to take care of her children, her husband, and, most of all, herselfl. However, she soon comes to realize that this new freedom is synonymous with boredom and idleness. Especially when she receives a membership to her neighborhood’s senior club as a birthday present... Reluctant at first, she nevertheless decides to take the plunge. Oddly enough, she meets great people there, starting with the young computer science teacher, who is far from insensitive to her charms. Caroline gradually takes control of her life again and lives a second youth: taking a new lover, living new experiences, breaking the rules, not doing what’s expected of her… Who said that retirement was the beginning of the end and not a new beginning?
L’Écume des jours (Mood Indigo)
This is the surreal and poetic story of Colin, an idealistic and inventive young man, who meets Chloé, a young woman who seems to be the incarnation of a blues by Duke Ellington. Their idyllic marriage turns to sorrow when Chloé becomes ill, due to a water lilly growing in her lung. To pay for her medical care, in a fantastical Paris, Colin must work in increasingly absurd conditions, while their apartment falls to bits around them and their circle of friends, including talented Nicolas, and Chick, a fanatic of the philosoper Jean-Sol Sartre, disintegrates.
La Vénus à la fourrure (Venus in Fur)
Alone in a Paris theater after a long day of auditioning actresses for the lead role in his new play, writer-director Thomas complains on the phone about the poor caliber of talent he has seen. No actress has what it takes to play his lead female character - a woman who enters into an agreement with her male counterpart to dominate him as her slave. Thomas is about to leave the theater when actress Vanda bursts in, a whirlwind of erratic - and, it turns out, erotic - energy.
At first she seems to embody everything Thomas has been lamenting. She is pushy, foul-mouthed, desperate and ill-prepared - or so it seems. But when Thomas finally, reluctantly, agrees to let her try out for the part, he is stunned and captivated by her transformation. Not only is Vanda a perfect fit (even sharing the character’s name), but she apparently has researched the role exhaustively - down to buying props, reading source materials and learning every line by heart. The likeness proves to be much more than skin-deep. As the extended "audition" builds momentum, Thomas moves from attraction to obsession...
Mon âme par toi guérie (One of a Kind)
Frédi has the gift of healing hands, transmitted to him by his mother. He wants nothing to do with this ’gift,’, but when his mother dies, he’s obliged to make use of it. Although he wonders where this ability came from, he can do nothing but accept it.
Quai d’Orsay
Alexandre Taillard de Worms is tall, magnificent, a dashing man attractive to women and, incidentally, Minister of Foreign Affairs in the land of the Enlightenment: France. His silver mane and his robust athlete’s body are everywhere, from the United Nations tribunal in New York to the powder keg of Oubanga. He admonishes powerful men and invokes the finest minds in order to bring peace and calm the trigger-happy - and to justify his aura of a future Nobel Prize for cosmic peace.
Alexandre Taillard de Worms is a powerful thinker, fighting with the back-up of the holy trinity of diplomatic concepts: legitimacy, lucidity and efficiency. He fights against American neo-conservatists, corrupt Russians, and greedy Chinese. Although the world doesn’t deserve France’s generosity of spirit, Taillard de Worms’ art feels cramped within the nation’s borders. Arthur Vlaminck, a young academic preparing his PhD, is hired by the minister. To put it plainly, he must write the great man’s speeches. But first he must learn how to deal with the prince’s moods and his entourage, forging a place between his cabinet director and advisers who haunt the Quai d’Orsay, where stress, ambition and underhand tactics are all part of operations. Just when he glimpses the world’s fate, he is threatened by the technocrats’ inertia.
The French, the festival also pays tribute to Filipino filmmaking on Independence Day on June 12 by screening three masterpieces that have had the honor of being screened at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival: Lino Brocka’s digitally-restored “Maynila sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag,” Erik Matti’s “OTJ,” and Lav Diaz’ “Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan.”

Tickets for the films will be on sale for a minimal price of P100 at the Greenbelt 3 cinemas.
For the screening schedules please refer to the image below:

The Best Android Apps for Me


One of the thrills of using android phones is the ability to download mobile apps and games. I have been using android phones for a while and though I am not so fond of games, I have to say that I do find many of the android apps very useful. The fact that most of the apps are free is also a plus factor. I am particularly happy with the following android apps:

E-Book Reader
Thanks to this app, I was able to read a lot of classics,bestseelers and even newly released books for free.

LED Flashlight
This app shines brighter than most flashlights really. I used it as a night light because it helps me put my daughter to sleep and let me save on electricity.

SMS Backup
Just heard about this app a few days ago and I am yet to install it. It will keep a copy of one's deleted messages.

Holy Bible
I really want to read the whole bible and this app is helping me fulfill that goal.


Cool Disney Shows, etc. for Your Kiddos


TV shows can have such a huge influence on kids so I try to try limit the TV viewing time of my children. It can be pretty difficult actually as Sophie has lots of fave TV shows.  It is a good thing that we have cable because she is able to watch good TV shows that are appropriate for her  age . There just aren’t many good children’s shows in the local channels. These are just some of the good TV programs for children that I found. They are entertaining as well as teach good values and basic educational concepts.

Disney Shows

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Teaches problem-solving skills.


Hi-5. This is such a cool show and my daughter actually adores all the members who are all immensely talented in singing and dancing. Highly amusing, fun, educational and inspires my daughter to be creative.


Nickelodeon Shows

Dora the Explorer. Teaches problem-solving skills and makes my daughter really interested in the Spanish language.


Max and Ruby. These two bunnies are really adorable.  


Baby TV Shows

Charlie and the Numbers.
Introduces numbers to children.



Hippa Hippa Hey


Max’s Restaurant Baptismal Package


After giving birth, the next event that everyone expects (well for Catholics) is the christening day. Parents want this day to be special and memorable although organizing an event may not come so easy for couples with an infant to take care of and both have a full time job. It is fortunate that many restaurants nowadays offer baptismal packages.

For the baptismal of my second child, my husband and I rushed the preparation because we want our daughter to be baptized before my mother's flight to America. We decided to hold the baptismal reception at Max’s Restaurant as we find their baptismal packages reasonable and we love the food at Max’s. The packages come with the following
  • 2 hours use of venue
  • Free use of bassinet
  • Theme Cake **
  • Decorated Party Area
  • Party Balloons
  • Balloon Centerpieces
  • Tarpaulin Banner Rental
  • Invitations
  • Guest Book with Pen **
  • Gift for the Baby (a stuffed toy and a blanket)
  • Souvenirs
They even have a new promo (was not available during the christening of my first child) called “Ninong ko si Max’s where they said that by availing the package, Max instantly becomes a ninong of my daughter (it actually made me laugh). We were given a card which entitles my daughter to the following:

  • Christmas gift (to be given every year up to age 7) – we claimed this last Decemeber and it is one whole chicken!
  • Birthday gift (to be given every year up to age 7
  • 15% discount on the child’s 1st and 7th birthday celebration at any Max’s resto
  • Free Max’s corner bakery product for every store visit with a minimum purchase of P200.
For those who are currently researching about christening packages, check out the menu of Max’s baptismal packages below:
 
Max’s Christening Package Menu

Menu 1:
Veggie Lumpia Bites,
Soup of the Day,
Pancit Canton,
Menudo,
Cream Dory Fish Fillet in Black Bean Sauce,
Chopsuey,
Max’s Regular Fried Chicken
Rice
Caramel Bar
Drinks

Standard
Premium
30 pax
P13,019
P14,769
50 pax
P20,915
P22,665
100 pax
P40,129
P41,885
Additional Half Table:P1,955
Additional Full Table: P3,679

Menu 2
Nachos with Bangus Spread
Soup of the day
Pancit Canton
Halabos na Hipon
Beef Caldereta
Bagnet with Poqui Poqui
Open Fresh Lumpia
Max’s Regular Fried Chicken
Buko Pandan
Rice
Drinks

Standard
Premium
30 pax
P16,495
P17,925
50 pax
P26,705
P27,955
100 pax
P51,709
P52,525
Additional Half Table:P2,449
Additional Full Table: P4,899

Menu 3
Chicharon Bulaklak
Soup of the Day
Pancit Canton
Shrimp with Mango Salsa
Crispy Pata
Lengua with Mushroom Sauce
Lumpia Mini Ubod
Max’s Regular Fried Chicken
Rice
Leche Flan
Drinks

Standard
Premium
30 pax
P22,269
P23,599
50 pax
P36,335
P40,759
100 pax
P70,959
P72,725
Additional Half Table:P3,439
Additional Full Table: P6,879



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