Lifestyle Blog from the Philippines

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Book Review: Be Careful What You Wish For

 Consider the implications. We think we know what we want, but we can never really know until we've got it. And sometimes when we have, we discover we never really wanted it in the first place - but then it's too late.


Credit: Hodder & Stoughton


Alexandra Potter's book Be Careful What You Wish For is about exactly that -- knowing what we want and realizing that we never really wanted that in the first place. It is the story of Heather, who suddenly gets everything she wished for (literally) and later finds out that the thing she wanted was not what she expected it to be. 

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Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Changing the Stereotype

Ladies’ Man. Heartbreaker. Suave and sexy. Romantic lead ideals. Openly gay actors in Hollywood are sure making straight guy roles sexier and more attractive…for me, that is.

gay men
Illustration from Kaz on Pixabay.com


Matthew Bomer, Neil Patrick Harris,, and Jonathan Groff are just a few of the actors who have played guys like that on TV. All of them are openly gay. I never thought I’d see the day that I’d watch an openly gay man play characters usually reserved for straight men. Gone are the days that openly gay male actors like Rupert Everett can only play gay roles or men who are not too masculine. I find it fascinating that the game has changed in that department -- even Everett plays straight roles now!

On one end, I am happy that these gay actors get to do jobs that normally would not be given to them as openly gay men. However, I am not happy that I usually end up crushing on them because I end up feeling bad later that the female of the species has lost a chance on such a good-looking guy. After all, he is a gay actor in real life. Why is life not fair? Why are these hot guys into other guys? (Why is Ricky Martin gay? OK, that is totally unrelated but I just HAD to put it in there! I wanted to marry him when I was a little girl!)

I have to hand it to these actors: even if I know they are gay I am still very much convinced that they are straight when they play the part – especially Matthew Bomer, who is just way too sexy as a straight guy for me to believe that he’s gay when I first heard about it! Watch White Collar, the Magic Mike movies, In Time, Tru Calling, and all the other TV shows and movies he’s done. He is swoon-worthy!

These guys have really changed the image of what a gay man is. They do not fit a stereotype. They show that there are gay men who are not flamboyant or interested in looking like women. Some of them, like these actors, can actually look and act straight if the role calls for it. If they weren’t open about their sexuality I don’t think I would have known that they were gay.

I think that’s the power of entertainment, right? It’s all storytelling, everyone is playing a role and these actors are doing their job (and they are doing it so well!).

There are so many openly gay actors who play straight guys so well that girls would wish they were straight: there’s Nico Tortorella of the Younger, Luke Evans from Beauty and the Beast, Wentworth Miller from Prison Break, and Luke McFarlane from Killjoys. They have all played men who are hot and sexy and for the last three actors, kick-ass in action scenes as well. I’m sure there are a lot more of them that I’m not aware of and it just blows my mind how it’s not a big deal in Hollywood anymore because these guys get cast as straight male leads for action films and romantic movies.

Will this ever happen in the local entertainment industry? Wouldn’t it be interesting if gay actors in the closet here in the country came out and continued to do the straight roles they do today? I wonder who those actors are and if they ever think the same thing?

Realistically speaking, having in the closet actors in the country coming out is probably not going to happen anytime soon but wouldn’t it be exciting if it did? I think it would be amazing!


This is an old entry from my old blog, edited/updated for this one. Hope you liked it!
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Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Memories of Making Rosaries

My education has been purely Catholic. From grade school to college, I attended Catholic schools, run by priests, nuns, and brothers (in that order). Being around them growing up was a normal thing….I think it’s because my mother and her family are what people call “Sarado Katoliko”  or people who are deeply religious. That’s why attending those schools has been the way for me.

Back when I was in grade school I remember that my younger sister and I often had to wait for our father or our family driver to pick us up. I think I took a school bus and commuted briefly but for the most part, we had to get driven to and picked up by either our father, a driver, or a family friend/relative. Since my sister and I had different schedules, that meant we each had to wait for each other’s classes to end before we could go home. It often was a very long wait for us so we had to find something to pass the time before we had to go home.
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Wednesday, January 6, 2021

I Can Cook Scrambled Eggs

I remember back in the day a friend of mine told me that if you can’t cook eggs, then you can’t cook. Naturally, when I decided to go on a cooking frenzy the first thing that I had to try was cooking a breakfast recipe involving my favorite breakfast staple, eggs. I think I do a decent sunny-side-up version so this time I decided to do creamy scrambled eggs.

The recipe I used was something I found on Pinterest. It involved lots of cream cheese and milk, some parsley and tomatoes. The recipe was based on the one from Jeanne Benavidez on Just a Pinch, with a little change from me:
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Saturday, January 2, 2021

Just Another New Year

The Christmas and New Year celebrations are now over, and everyone will be back to work (or school) by Monday. The holidays were too short for me, and I feel sad knowing that it will be back to the not-so-normal again in a few days. 

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

As a friend of mine said on Facebook, we need to remember that the year may have changed, but our situation remains the same. COVID 19 is still here, it did not miraculously disappear just because we are in a new year. We are still in a pandemic and we are all still in danger of getting infected and getting sick. I know that we would all rather forget that it still exists but there is a danger in doing that. We still need to be careful and we still need to take the necessary precautions.

It was very alarming for me to see all the photos on social media of people who were out shopping for the holidays and all the people who were in gatherings where people were more than the number recommended by health officials. I was relieved to see that there are still many friends who have opted to keep their celebrations small and within the immediate family, but it was also disappointing to note that there were many who did not. 

Several people I have seen posts of celebrating the holidays with large groups of people shared captions indicating that they were tested before the celebrations. I think by now we all know that is not a reassurance that you are not infected or that you will not infect anyone else, especially if you were only tested through a rapid blood test. And how can we be sure that you did not get infected in between getting that test, receiving the results, and going to that gathering? What about all the other people who were in that gathering with you? I think that if Kim Kardashian and the rest of her family can be criticized by people for using this “we-were-tested-prior” excuse, then we ordinary people should be held accountable as well. People are still getting sick; people are still dying all over the country and the rest of the world. We need to be responsible for ourselves and for the people we encounter on a day-to-day basis. 

The numbers have been fairly better over the holiday season in our area, although some theorized that this may be due to the possibility that people who are afraid that they were infected opted to not get tested during the holidays for fear of being quarantined during this season. And with so many people going home to the provinces and going back to Metro Manila because of the holidays, it has been predicted by some that cases will increase again in a couple of weeks. I would rather hope that it would not be the case, but it would not hurt to be extra careful and to be more aware of the numbers now that we are all going back to work. 

Holidays aside, I am still feeling a lot of fatigue from this pandemic. I still have a lot of anxiety about the situation and frustration because of how things are going with every aspect of my life because of this pandemic. My life feels like it is on hold. Everything feels so uncertain. My only comfort is that I am working from home, which means I am around people I love the entire time. 

I know people think that working from home makes things easier for me, but it has not been the case. I feel safer, definitely, but work is not easier. If anything, it feels harder. 

I hope this new year will be a better one than last year. I hope we can get vaccinated this year and be protected. Life may never go back to the way it was before, I can at least admit to that, but feeling safe again would be a big relief, that’s for sure.

Happy New Year everyone. 

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Friday, January 1, 2021

Netflix Picks: Midnight at the Magnolia

By now I am sure everyone who reads my blog knows how addicted I am to Hallmark and Hallmark-ish movies. When I found this new one on Netflix, I knew I had to check it out. Picture this: two people pretend to be a couple to get their radio show syndicated, with their big “relationship reveal” for their fans to be made during a New Year’s party. As with many movies and TV shows that involve stories where people pretend to be a couple, the whole act becomes complicated when the two people realize that there is more at stake with what they are doing than they realize.




Natalie Hall and Evan Williams play Maggie and Jack, longtime friends who are morning radio show hosts from Chicago. They have been friends all their lives because of their parents, who co-own a restaurant/jazz bar called Magnolia. When they were informed by their producer that there may be a chance for their show to get syndicated, they jump at the chance by playing off the idea that their fans had of whether or not they can be a couple by pretending that they already are. This excites the producer, who then plans a big event where they will make the reveal of their relationship during a special live stream New Year’s Eve party at the Magnolia.

As soon as they start pretending, complications started to happen. For one, their families apparently wanted them to end up together all along. Lying to their all-too-happy families and knowing they will be disappointed when they admit to their act was something they did not expect to happen. Then, there is the fact that Maggie was already in love with Jack back in high school and he broke her heart by going out with another girl instead of her. Eventually, Jack also realizes that he had feelings for Maggie too, but not after she decides that he is not worth the trouble. Things become all too real for both of them that they ended up breaking it off right before the party, only for Jack to make the expected grand gesture in the end that brings them back together. 

As with most romantic movies like this, the story is fairly predictable, often cheesy, and the lead characters will of course end up together. Stories of people pretending to be a couple almost always end up with the two people falling in love. It also asks the often-asked question of whether or not a guy and a girl could just be friends. I think the thing that makes predictable films like this stand out is when the movie features charming lead characters and has a good enough story to fill up the in-between the beginning and the end of the story. Unfortunately, I felt that this movie was lacking in that department. 

To me, the movie did not establish the falling in love part enough. It was like they were friends, pretended to be in love and then BOOM – love! I also did not feel the chemistry between the two characters, which made the whole thing tough to watch. Honestly, I only stuck with it because of Natalie Hall, who I really enjoyed watching on several TV shows such as Unreal and Charmed. I love that she can take on different roles and be a completely different person every time and I was hoping she could carry this movie enough to make me like it but sadly it did not. 

I wanted to like this movie so much. It had its moments, but it was not enough for me to like it. Still, it is better than another movie that I have put on hold because I could not get myself to finish it (even if Netflix keeps reminding me to finish it). I wish I could recommend Midnight at the Magnolia, but you are really not missing out on anything if you do not want to watch it. 

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