Nope. Not Pregnant.

Yesterday I posted this on Facebook:

That immediately resulted in a slew of congratulatory comments and Facebook likes. Apparently so many of my friends and family would be very happy to see me become a mother. 

As touched as I am with the well-wishes, I am not pregnant. Not even close. Unless I end up going all (as a friend of mine stated in the FB comments) "Jane Gloriana Villanueva," it's not happening. So sadly, my dear friends and family, I would like to apologize for the joke and the resulting misunderstanding. 

I am not pregnant -- my co-worker is. She is not yet ready to share her good news with the social media world, but I was more than happy to do that for her (only I made it look like I was the one with the bundle of joy instead).

To be honest, part of me wished that I was really pregnant because it was nice to see how happy most people were for me (with the exception of friends who knew me well enough to know that it could not have been true given that I am as single as a nun in a monastery). I got so much direct messages on FB and text messages on my phone from people who were genuinely excited for me that it broke my heart to tell them it wasn't true. I can only imagine how excited people would be if I told them I got married too.

While I do not discount the possibility of me getting married eventually if and when the right guy comes along, I just don't see it happening. If hasn't happened for me after all these years, I don't see it happening for me at all (but you are free to change my mind, I know you know who you are). Plus, I have no intention of having a child out of wedlock at this age. That just sounds so crazy...and most likely next to impossible. Because I am already 38. 

I'm 38 as you said and so...I'm 38.
38 is young. depends who you're talking to.

-- Sex and the City, Catch 38

So again, I would like to say sorry to everyone who congratulated me and sent me well-wishes all day yesterday. Thank you for all that. Maybe next time the good news will be real news.

Single, non-pregnant woman signing off for today.

PS to JL: congratulating me and Christian Bautista was a good one. I loved that comment! Thank you!

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Ugly Love

Colleen Hoover’s book Ugly Love was something people were saying that was going to be the next 50 Shades of Grey. Curious, I read the book and I just have to say this: if you’re looking for a 50 Shades kind of book (read: the S&M stuff), this is not the book for you. To be honest, I don’t get the comparison because I thought that Ugly Love was nothing like 50 Shades of Grey.

Yes, there are sexy and steamy moments between the lead characters who start out as friends with benefits but the story isn’t just about that. It is about love and loss, relationships, and about moving on. Not to say that there isn’t a sufficient amount of steam because there definitely is – I’m just saying that it’s not all about that.

I think the 50 Shades comparison has a lot to do with how mysterious the male lead is but that’s about it. I liked how the mystery about Miles was played out in a way that readers didn’t know what to expect until they were on that page that revealed why he was the kind of person that he was. It made you look back on everything you’ve read from a different perspective because of what you find out about him.

I love that the female lead is very different from Anastasia Steel. She is a very strong young woman and is no pushover. Tate is a much stronger character compared to Anastasia and I liked that about this story. She held her own with all the men in this book and that was impressive when you think of how Anastasia was a bit naïve and gullible around the other characters in 50 Shades.

The writing of this book is way better than 50 Shades. It was an easy read but it was also an entertaining one. I loved a number of lines in the book, including this one:

It was announced that Ugly Love will be turned into a movie starring Nick Bateman. An Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign has been started for the movie and I loved that the $1M mark had the gift of having Nick fathering the donor’s child. Yes, I am aware that it is a joke (who in their right mind would give away that much money?) but it is still an exciting idea. If I had a donor who would give that money in my name, I would be eternally grateful (hahaha)…but if Nick is willing to father the child of a woman who will most likely not marry and just wants a kid, please feel free to contact me!

The teaser for the film, which shows Nick as Miles Archer in pilot gear on a plane (which never happened in the book, oddly enough even if he was a pilot), was a bit misleading. It comes off 50 Shades(ish) because it is steamy to the point where I wanted the movie ASAP, not that I’m complaining.

Ugly love becomes you.

Consumes you.

Makes you hate it all.

Makes you realize that all the beautiful parts aren't even worth it. Without the beautiful, you'll never risk feeling this.

You'll never risk feeling the ugly.

So you give it up. You give it all up. You never want love again, no matter what kind it is, because no type of love will ever be worth living through the ugly again.

I can’t wait to see this movie. I feel the story has more depth compared to that other film and I am looking forward to seeing Nick Bateman show off his acting skills with the whole reveal about Miles and his back story because that would be a great dramatic moment.

Photo Source: Goodreads

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Men I Love

There has been a number of flashback articles in the past week that made me think about the male celebrities I’ve loved through the years. It’s been a while since I’ve fangirled like crazy over someone (although Scott Michael Foster and Toby Regbo, I am coming thisclose to that point with you two). It blows my mind to realize how long ago it has been since I first became a fan of these guys and how much has changed since then. I’ve had tons (well maybe not tons, but you get the point) of them but there are just three that really made a mark with me (and my hopelessly romantic heart).

Curious? Here are the guys that I’m talking about:

Oh Michael Vartan. I fell in love with you when I saw the movie Never Been Kissed, so much so that I named my very first blog after that movie. I fell extra in love when I found out you spoke French, because I think that it is such a beautiful language.

Michael Vartan’s role as Sam Coulson opposite Drew Barrymore’s Josie Geller is one of my favorite roles of his. That scene at the baseball field is still the ultimate romantic moment for me (his face in that scene…my goodness, swoonfest!). I’ve followed his career since NBK and I’ve endured some uninteresting movies and TV shows just to watch him.

I was disappointed when I heard that he split up with Jennifer Garner (who he worked with on Alias) because I felt that they were a perfect match. I was jealous when I heard that he met and fell in love with a woman he met at a Whole Foods parking lot (like he would ever fall in love with me if he met me in the same way but hey, it gave me hope). I was sad when I heard the same woman filed for divorce three years later and he started to look so thin and frail (I so wanted to take care of you when I saw your photos Michael, I really did).

I recently read that Michael has a role in a new indie film called Punch It. I hope that it does well for him. I hope I get to see him in more projects soon.

Singer, songwriter and (once upon a time) actor, JC Chasez was one of two lead vocalists in the boy band NSYNC. He was always my favorite in the group even when everyone was fawning over Justin Timberlake in spite of his ramen hair. I was very disappointed when his solo career didn’t take off the way that Timberlake’s did because I have always believed that he is a talented songwriter and a very good vocalist. He tried doing a movie after the boy band thing but that went straight to video.

For a time Chasez was a judge on one of my favorite dance shows, America’s Best Dance Crew and he went on to manage and produce for the girl group Girl Radical. He was also supposed to star as Pilate in the tour of Jesus Christ Superstar but that didn’t push through (the videos that I could have seen, I love that musical, it would have been great to watch…*sigh*).

I’ve always dreamed of writing a song and singing with him (to which a male friend of mine snarkily retorted, “Yun lang? Sure ka?”). That would be such an experience if that ever happened.

Oh and to the producers of Carlos Santana’s album, I am still very bitter that you did not release the song If I Don’t that he recorded with JC because I would have loved to hear the whole thing. JC’s vocals there was incredible and I loved it!

My Name is Kim Sam Soon is one of my all-time favorite Koreanovelas. I loved the story as a whole and I loved the Korean-American actor who had a supporting role in it: Daniel Henney. This is the guy that I named my current blog after (since my name sounds so good with his last name and I do fantasize about being Mrs. Henney).

I’m so happy with how his career has slowly but surely taken off through the years with successful movies and TV shows in Korea and roles in big Hollywood films like X-Men Origins: Wolverine, The Last Stand and Big Hero 6. He’s even been in TV shows like Hawaii Five-O, NCIS: Los Angeles and Three Rivers. I was so excited when I learned that the Criminal Minds spinoff Beyond Borders was picked up because he has a role in that one too.

I love how Dan is close to his parents and how he is so in love with his dog Mango. I love how his mom is so nice to the fans who greet her or mention her son on Twitter. I love Daniel because…I mean, well, just look at him! What’s not to love?

I think I have a type. The face shape and body type of these three guys are very similar. Apart from that I don’t know if these guys have anything else in common (except my love for them, haha).  Two are dog lovers. Two (OK JC, three) are actors. Two are obsessed with their favorite sports teams (Dan with the Clippers, Michael with the LA Kings). I really can’t think of anything else unless I force myself to research it so let’s leave it at that.

I hope that I get to meet at least one of them in my lifetime – six-degrees of separation-wise (paging Suk Jun Cho…Charlie!!!), the closest bet would be Dan but who knows right? Anything can happen! I’m keeping my fingers crossed!
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Cooking Starts...Soon.

Remember my previous post about wanting to try recipes from my favorite chefs and planning on posting my cooking adventures here on my blog? I finally came up with a list of food that I want to try and whip up in the kitchen. It’s going to be crazy and next to impossible (since some ingredients are not available in my neck of the woods), but I am going to do my best to make it work.

I plan on starting with the soups first:

  • Gordon Ramsey’s Roasted Tomato Soup
  • Paula Deen’s Ham & Bacon Corn Chowder
  • Wolfgang Puck’s Hearty Potato & Cheddar Soup with Onion

Then I’ll move on to some pasta (and pseudo pasta) with bread:

  • Wolfgang Puck’s Angel Hair Pasta with Tomato Sauce
  • Emeril’s Three Cheese Baked Macaroni
  • Whitney Miller’s Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
  • Donal Skehan’s Garlic Mushroom Bruschetta

I also want to try cooking different types of meat (and pseudo meat):

  • Gordon Ramsey’s Steak Diane
  • Jamie Oliver’s Chicken in Milk
  • The Kitchen Whisperer’s Chunky Portabella Veggie Burgers

Of course we need some dessert too:

  • Ina Garten’s Outrageous Brownies

I can’t try cooking this year without trying recipes involving types of food that I enjoy eating so I’m also going to try these:

  • Julia Child’s Potato Dauphinois Gratin
  • David Rocco’s Eggs in Tomato Sauce
  • The Peanut Butter Runner’s Chicken Enchilada
  • Ang Sarap [dot] Net’s Steamed Cream Dory in Light Soy Sauce

If I'm ambitious enough, I want to try this one too:

  • Nigella Lawson's Cheddar Cheese Risotto

It feels overwhelming when I read my ingredients and recipe list considering that I normally don’t cook (because I’m lazy and would rather pay for the food than prepare it myself). I need to figure out where to get some of the ingredients first then I’ll start cooking. I’ll document everything, no matter how awful it gets, once I start cooking!

What do you think of my selection? Ambitious? Crazy? Tempting? Let me know what you think!

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My Best Friend Jane

One of my favorite shows from the past Fall TV season in the US is Jane the Virgin. Based on a telenovela of the same name, it is the story of a young virgin woman who was artificially inseminated and impregnated.

The main story gives opportunities for many different conflicts and situations in the show. Jane, who was engaged to Michael, fell in love with the father of her baby Rafael. She also found out that her favorite telenovela star, Rogelio Dela Vega, is her real father. Then there’s the additional plot that features a criminal named Sin Rostro, who turned out to be Rafael’s stepmother.

Jane the Virgin is a comedy that is full of heart, which I believe has a lot to do with the lead character, who is shown to be such a loving and trusting person to the people around her. I love that Jane is played by an actor who comes off as a very relatable person, like someone who could be your best friend. It is because of that charm that whenever she’s happy, you tend to feel happy for her and when she’s sad, your heart breaks for her as well.

My second favorite character is Jane’s father Rogelio. He is just so over the top and unbelievable that it actually becomes endearing and entertaining. It is never a dull moment when he's in the scene.

I'm very curious about where the show will go now that Jane has given birth and her child was kidnapped by Sin Rostro (although I'm still puzzled about the motivation for that one). The fall TV season cannot come fast enough!

Photo Source: The Music Playground
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Who Do We Vote For Now?

Elections aren’t until next year but it feels like the campaigning has already started. The potential candidates are already becoming more visible on media and every politician is making an effort to show that they have done something during their term of office.

I have read a lot about how Filipinos are emotional voters – we vote based on our emotions for particular people and not necessarily for their ability to do something for the country. I think it’s true considering how many of the people in office are former celebrities or related to celebrities or are relatives of former politicians themselves. We need to look beyond the flash and look into what they can do for us and our country. Obviously, with all the problems the country is dealing with (crime, traffic, pollution, transportation issues) we need leaders who can step up to the plate and turn this country around.

It’s sad that these days, our options are limited. Most would say that we can only choose between someone bad or someone who’s worse. When will we get people in office who are the best for the job? Will it ever happen?

I would love a leader who can commit to doing something about the pollution situation. Not just with the no plastics rule but with trash management.  There are trash segregation rules but collectors still put them together when collected so I don’t see the point. Plus, why waste all the trees on paper bags when there are biodegradable plastic bags that actually degrade in a short period of time (SM and National Bookstore had them before plastics were completely banned and I kept some to test and they did degrade fast). Don’t even get me started on the pollution from vehicles and factories.

I want a leader who can resolve the power problems of the country. The cost is too high and there is not enough for everyone. There are other options (such as solar power) but they are too costly for people to use. If the government can help subsidize the cost so that more people can afford this it could push power bills down and distribute energy more efficiently to the country. Or maybe by some miracle we can stop depending on coal-powered plants in the future.

I hope to have a leader who can create jobs and other economic opportunities for people in every province. I hope that one day people wouldn’t have to go and pin all their hopes on Metro Manila for work which has made it overpopulated (which causes more trash and traffic issues). I think if there were enough opportunities at home, most people would not leave for the Metro.

I wish we can have a leader who can do something about poverty. I hope we can have stronger rules and policies about people who live on the streets, particularly with the children who live and grow up on sidewalks or under bridges and whatnot.  Less poverty, hopefully less crime.

Speaking of crime, I hope we can have a leader who can do something about that. I no longer feel that our country is safe. There’s always one crime or another happening that our police force has not resolved or prevented. I don’t know why that is the case, but I hope we can have a leader that can do something about this.

And do I even have to talk about the traffic and transport situation? I don’t think so. These are issues that are glaringly obvious that future leaders need to do find a solution for.

One day, I hope that we can have the leaders that can move this country into a different direction. I keep reading that our country is picking up economically but if we keep living the way we do, I don't know how much that progress can take us if other issues in the country do not change.

I hope that we can all give our decisions next year some serious thought. I hope that we can have choices that can actually do something for us for a change and not come up with useless laws (changing names of streets and other places for example) that do nothing for the country and our quality of life.

A girl can dream right?

Photo Source: NJ Poker Online
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Oryang's Goodbye

I recently visited the Bonifacio Trial House in Maragondon, Cavite with some friends when I discovered this song by Aiza Seguerra titled Sa Huli ang Sikat.

The lyrics are based on a poem by Gregoria “Oryang” De Jesus to her husband Andres Bonifacio, who was sentenced to death in Maragondon. When I first heard about an old poem made into a song, I thought it would be boring and unrelatable but I was surprised to hear that it was a beautiful song. 

Aiza Seguerra did a good job performing this song. I don’t know if she composed the music herself, but it had such a haunting and sad feel that I could not help but feel the sadness that Oryang must have felt when she was writing it to say goodbye to the man she loved.

I can’t help but wonder why this song didn’t get to become mainstream considering how beautiful it is. I wish more people would hear and appreciate it. As corny as it may sound, I was fighting off a tear when I was listening to the song in the same house where Bonifacio was tried before he died, where Oryang listened as her husband's life was in the balance during his trial.

It's a really lovely song, I hope you can all listen to it.

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