homeland quirks giving us pause since Tuesday last

Carla Abellana is the first Marian look-alike the second is Lim Eung Kyeon, who is quite popular in the Philippines because of “Jewel in the Palace”, and there’s a THIRD lookalike, just goes to show how popular Marian is. But it just might be me.

NOW THAT’S a mouthful, but it’s a tentative title (that nevertheless stands if nothing clever surfaces in 30 uninspired minutes) for this rant.  Some things you take for granted as part of reality so I’m sure you probably will do a doubletake if I take the trouble to mention it, but then there you go :

The money looks good but how much do you have left after lunch?  The new peso bills look good, if a bit play money-ish but overall the design is quite crisp, clean and the faces (Ninoy, the two Manuels and the trio on the one thousand-peso bill) look less stressed, but they’re not worth very much anymore.  I was ecstatic when I realized how much the coins we put away were worth when we started exchanging them for the colorful banknotes, but was quickly brought back to earth when I found out how expensive everything had become.

In no way am I complaining about the excellent food, but eating for two here is an instant P1000, plus a smile, extra napkins and generous toothpicks! 🙂

I mean, you get something between a frown and a smirk if you give the taxi driver anything less than P200, even though you’ve been in his cab all of 10 minutes between appointments.  You can’t spend less than P1,000 for a decent meal for two, and the same amount for aguinaldo for a long-forgotten godchild is an absolute must, anything less raises eyebrows all around.  So, the initial euphoria I felt about being, wow, part of the faux prosperous and our newfound wealth quickly dissipated into how are we gonna stretch our Mickey Mouse wads of bills till we leave?

it’s a matter of taste, but I think the new bills look a little better

Celebrity lookalikes. another phenomenon is the movie / TV stars are beginning to look like each other.  Is it just me or are there at least two look-alikes of former it girl Marian Rivera?  That eye-candy reality celebrity Erich Gonzales also has a double who of course, reminds you of her everytime she gestures and opens her mouth.

Then esposa hermosa explains it away by makeup and sharing of makeup artists but even in NZ I already saw Ruffa Gutierrez and Bea Alonzo standing (or posing) side-by-side and they looked identical enough to be sisters of the full blood, I kid you not.  Everything about them : eyes ears nose and shades of eyelids, cheeks and the rest, including facial expressions were eerily similar, if not nearly identical.  I’m no connoisseur of the finer points of beauty, I just call them as I see them.  Perusing this trend, I wouldn’t be surprised to see at least three clones of Anne Curtis next time I visit home.

We have no shortage of great Pinay mestiza (mixed-race) beauties, but we seem to be favoring a very limited number of templates into which only the top tier of entertainers may fit in.  Absent radical (read as surgical) alteration, only if you achieve a certain look,  may you then pass GO and achieve certain stardom.

Overcast City.  And this is probably the most cynical observation this grimy, wide-eyed balikbayan has made today, but in deep-winter Wellington, I have been exposed to more minutes of sunlight in 72 hours than I have in almost 10 days of Manila.  Last time I looked, my hometown was one, more or all of the following : a summer town all year round, where you could count on the sun doing a command performance 364 out of 365 days of the year, where you could hang your laundry for a couple of hours and bring it down bone-dry; and where shorts, sleeveless and sandals are sensible wear (except to coat-and-tie affairs, and even then they might overlook the summer footwear 🙂 ); and where the two local seasons are sunny and sunnier; but nearly all of the last week plus I’ve been here, I haven’t even seen a shadow of the sun (awful pun unintended), though I have waxed nostalgic with the thunderstorms, instant road potholes and prickly raindrops that remind me of my childhood.

But more than a few days straight of not getting any sunshine is simply ridiculous.  It’s a conjunction of my anticipation of nothing but the hottest weather, successive low pressure areas buffeting Manila, and the nimbus clouds following me wherever I go in the metropolis.  To sum it up, it’s not sunny but perspiringly warm, not raining but gosh-awful humid, and not windy but dusty, and smokey.

Indeed, when it’s a homecoming, you take the good with the bad.

Thanks for reading !

2 thoughts on “homeland quirks giving us pause since Tuesday last

  1. haha, if it’s any consolation to you, while you were away, wellington and environs was hit by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake (thankfully too deep to make any damage), Auckland had flash floods 2 days ago and a severe fog today that grounded many flights. And yes, it is cold, we have finally given in to a new heater. enjoy na lang tugang. lol.

    • thanks for the update tugang! yes I heard about the quake, wow unbelievable huh? and I hope you didn’t need to go out during the foggy days, take care Aline!

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