Friday, July 29, 2011

So Proud Maternity & Baby Shop!

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Are you looking for a shop that sells trendy and gorgeous baby and maternity items at affordable prices?

Your worry is finally over...

So Proud Maternity & Baby Shop, a fresh and excellent alternative outlet to the outmoded fashion stalls in the department stores, offers wide varieties of fashionable apparels from baby clothing and accessories to maternity dresses and fabulous wardrobe for ladies.

Be proud for your kids and be proud you are a woman, come and visit the store which epitomizes fashion and glamour! So Proud Maternity & Baby Shop wants ladies, mothers and babies to look at their best at an affordable and friendly prices.
Cute baby dress. Vintage 02 (P380) for 3/ 6 months

Top & Leggings set P3859/12 months old
Blueberi Bees & Flowers P485 3T

Blue Beri Checkered Lavender Dress P48518m
A very cute Carter's Trim Dress
Brandy White and Aqua Cherry Dress

So Proud Maternity + Baby Shop at NCC mall, Davao City 

The store is a joint venture of Engr. Roumel Faustino, Bels Faustino and sister Mae Balaga and located at the second level of NCCC mall, Davao City. They are accepting on-line pre-orders and reservations. The above items are just samples, you can find more amazing and fantastic clothing items at their shop. Visit the shop now!Or send me a message to get the contact number of Bels. Visit my LIFESTYLE blog for women apparels' images.


CLICK HERE FOR MORE BABY CLOTHING IMAGES


Monday, July 25, 2011

ATHENA MILK

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Athena milk has been in the market for quite sometime now but it is only lately that this product had changed its packaging and improved its taste and nutritional value! 

And now this milk provides more health benefits to women, in fact this is the most perfect milk for women because of its balanced contents of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins necessary for healthy and glowing skin and bone-building requirements.

I'd tried the two varieties of Athena already, the creamy milk and chocolate flavours, and based on my taste preferences, I would prefer the creamy milk flavour because it is tastier than the chocolate flavour, even if I have to put four spoons in one glass of hot water, it still tastes better compared to 6 spoons of chocolate.

But when it comes to nutritional value, the two varieties differ. In milky flavour, folate, zinc, energy and carbohydrates are lower than those composition in the chocolate flavours, but nothing differs on the contents of Calcium, Phosporus Vitamins A, E and D.

Athena provides enough Calcium, a necessary mineral for stronger bones, no difference with those existing milk brands in the market with high calcium content. What I love about Athena is its nice effect to my skin, well, maybe because of its vitamin contents which aimed to give the skin a radiant and glowing effect.

Well, this is just my own opinion, I find the milk flavour as tastier and better than the chocolate flavour, the latter seems has this strange taste and the satisfaction is not really guaranteed but with the milk flavour pack, everything is just good and tasty. I also have a good sleep after drinking one glass of Athena before going to bed at night, it also prevents constipation.


Monday, July 18, 2011

No Weekend Breather

With my thoughts floundering somewhere and my brain seems tired dissecting the complicated Quantitative Analysis, I felt like a drifter, unable to sort out things...so last Sunday, instead of flipping pages on books for my assignment cases, I decided to go with my friends going to Ate Pearl's house for her daughter's birthday celebration.

It was a hot Sunday afternoon and the sweltering heat of the sun as usual gave me an ultra discomfort feeling while riding a PUJ. But I had a great time with my friends, we laughed and shared funny stuff in life and poked fun at ourselves when we noticed that the celebration was an exclusive family affair, we appeared like ultimate "joiners", but it was fun and we spent the whole afternoon there laughing and giggling especially when ate Pearl pulled her elaborate wedding dress.  
Ate Pearl's house one Sunday afternoon with Kathy, Juvy and Roy (the one who took this shot), relaxing in the living room

And when I returned home the dread of facing the intricate case problems was there again. Oh my!hope I can really survive this semester without damaging my nervous system. This seems to be the most difficult semester I ever encountered in my entire school years since elementary, the case assignments and other school tasks are getting tougher each week, it felt like my head is ready to explode with all its complexities. All I have to do is just mollify myself that it's for my great advantage, that I am having the best training in the world, I gained so many things in life, I encountered lots of complicated theories and tried hard to work on knotty case analysis. After each class, I felt my shoulder and my head becoming so severely painful and my throat sooo dry! 
another pose after viewing ate Pearl's wedding dress, wedding photos

After meeting my classmate and working on our assignment , I went home with blurry mind, taking dinner was not a good treat, so I started typing the assignment and finished at 2:00 am. When I reported to my work five hours later, I felt like a complete zombie. For the rest of this semester, I won't expect a weekend breather any more, not even a good hearty laugh with friends at cafe houses maybe I'll have it some other time, or until this semester is finally over. For now, I will concentrate first on myself and me alone and how I would pass this subject.

To make things easier for a while, Kathy and I agreed to meet later this evening at Chiccos de Cafe to talk about business and how I could buy a personal domain to make blogging a career. I just feel tired working in a job not my liking. Maybe if everything will be settled down with blogging, I would concentrate more on writing. 

A private Wedding ceremony for Zara

Mike Tindall and Zara Phillips

Another Queen's grandchild will be marrying this July. 

Zara Phillips, the 30 year-old eldest granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II, will wed her long-time boyrfriend, Mike Tindall, a British Rugby player, this coming July 30, 2011 at Cannongate in Scotland but the ceremony is exclusive for Zara and Mike's family and closest friends only.

Amidst the report that Hello!magazine is initially pushing a financial deal with the couple for exclusive rights of their wedding photos, Buckingham Palace moved forward to prevent the deal. The British royal court was already "cheapened" by the publication of Zara's older brother, Peter Phillips's wedding to Autumn Kelly in 2008 with private photos of the royal family appeared in glossy pages of the above-mentioned magazine which the palace courtiers believed made the monarchy looked undignified.

Zara is reportedly upset, stating that she is a private individual and has the right to do whatever she wants after all she is not technically a royalty, but the palace decision is final. Though she is a granddaughter to the Queen and maintained a close relationship with the monarch, Zara did not possess any royal title as her mother, Princess Anne, maintained that all her children should not bear any royal titles to free themselves from the trappings of royalty. Thus, Zara did not receive any allowance from the Civil List and earned her income through sponsorship and endorsement as a world champion equestrianne.

Buckingham Palace already announced that no commercial photographers are allowed to enter Holyrood Palace where the private wedding reception will be held. Holyrood, a former home of Mary Queen of Scots, is the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland. Zara on the other hand, agreed, as she never dreamed to disappoint her grandmother.

Friday, July 15, 2011

That Email is a Hoax!--John Hopkins

Just this morning, I read a forwarded email from a friend about this article of a certain doctor telling that cancer is just a disease of the mind, I almost believe especially when he claimed he has a PhD an MD and God knows what else...but when I scrolled down and read about John Hopkins Medical Center publishing an article called "Cancer Update"..I begin to doubt.

You know why?Well, because, I know JHMC, I read things about this very prestigious hospital and its fantastic credibility all through out these years. They built their reputation around reliable research studies, they have researchers and resident doctors with remarkable backgrounds.

JHMC is located in Baltimore, Maryland, USA and consistently included in the top 10 rank of the best hospitals in the world. Dr. Ben Carson, world renowned pediatric neurosurgeon and best-selling author (Take The Risk, Gifted Hands, etc.) is one of their in-house doctors. So when I read about this cancer update thing, I was suspicious, so I immediately browse the official site of John Hopkins and yaaay!I read their warning about that circulated email from that unknown man claiming he is a doctor..gosh!

According to John Hopkins that cancer update email is a Hoax!!The hospital did not publish that information nor authorized any person to do such thing. Another hoax email that deliberately claimed it came from John Hopkins was the email circulated in 2004 about plastic containers, wrap, bottles claiming that heat releases dioxin causing cancer.

Moral lesson: NEVER, NEVER believe right away with these forwarded emails and please stop forwarding it if you are unsure where it came from or if it is not supported with a credible research study from a reputable institution. If the contents are not verified then stop circulating it, chances are, it might give more damages to other people, instead of helping them solve worries, especially about diseases in life, it might even worsen the condition.

These people who initiated these hoax emails are just trying to circulate a black propaganda about a certain organization or just trying to dupe us to believe about something with reasons I cannot understand. So please never allow your self to be deceived with this false information.

Be responsible and try to verify the sources first (especially when it comes to health topics) before spreading the information. Thank you...

Read the warning of John Hopkins Medical Center about this hoax email HERE

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Can Google+ eliminate Facebook and Twitter?

Mark Zuckerberg
He built his fortune through Facebook, a social networking site he created while still studying at Harvard University, now his business empire seemed threatened by the birth of G+

"Don't worry, Google+ won't kill Twitter and Facebook"-- according to some technology experts who have reviewed and analysed the latest project of Google.com

Since the top secret of google, about this mysterious project with a black tool bar, was revealed in public a month ago (June 2011), everybody remembered the sad plight of other social networking sites demolished by Facebook. Twitter poses no harm to Facebook since they are traversing a separate road, meaning their platforms are hugely different. But with the birth of Google+ will Facebook popularity diminish? 

According to Techland.com, it probably not because Google+ focuses on systematizing information and won't "bring the world together" just like what Facebook did. 

"It's to assign social relevance to pieces of information 
from which to determine its ranking
in search" -- Techland.com

Sounds familiar!When Facebook became popular many said it would never eliminate Friendster, five years later, Zuckerberg proved them wrong. 

Well, the public is waiting for another "phenomenon" to appear-- if G+ really can knocked out FB from the top rank. The two have striking similarities: Wall posting, commenting, photo albums, live chat, video conferences, the "cool" button (LIKE for FB while +1 for Google+). They only differ in privacy setting and editing posts, G+ doesn't allow outside developers and no "games" at the moment--a feature which made Facebook very popular and controversial. In FB, users cannot customize and edit wall posts but in G+ all wall posts can be edited and users have an option to choose if the posts will be visible to all her/his friends or just for a particular person or group. 

G+ improved some features also which are not included in FB, like forming a CIRCLE --- here, users can create a group to organize the "Friends' list" and labelled it with FAMILY, SWEETHEART, WRITING BUDDY, CLASSMATES or anything the users wish. There's also a section called SPARKS where fresh and valuable informations around the world can be read. Users may choose a field of interest to be searched at Sparks.

The G+ is still fresh and people are still unsure what's this site is up to, others perceived this as just another platform for discussion or just like Digg---a venue for promoting products or links or simply sharing information. But as I explored the site three days ago, I can say that G+ is cool and refreshing and more exciting than FB, for one G+ partly protects users from ugly arguments because wall posts can be customized to a specific group or individual, it spares trouble from intrigue as long as users are responsible enough to moderate their actions and words.

Though at some aspects they differ (like managing and rearranging photo albums, home page and profile layouts, Facebook is still the best for these areas), in general, the two adopt the same concept--social network while Twitter is more like an information network and originally designed in a mobile platform.

It's too early to say what G+  is up to, but for sure it won't demolish either Facebook or Twitter. Each site has distinct characteristic and feature, both exciting and entertaining and each has loyal followers. Twitter is more appropriate if you are a celebrity who have stuff to update to fans, companies and news agencies which have daily news to share or if you have sites to promote. Facebook is more playful and fun appropriate for students and those who just want to hang around with friends and enjoy games and trivial things, Google+ is more professional, diverse, intricate and a bit classy. 

Explore google+ now, click this LINK 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Google+ project

Social networking sites attract millions of users around the world because of its cool style of connecting people. Facebook figuratively demolished its top competitors (myspace, multiply, friendster), and proved how magical the world of technology is. But FB's reign is now being threatened by google.com with its newest project called google+.

Well, personally, I find google+ very refreshing, exciting and more fun.

Facebook is so crowded and beginning to sound like a repository site of bawdy stuff. With its wall that cannot be customized, applications and looters that regularly appeared, several prima donnas, comments that cannot be edited unless deleted and reposted, petty squabbles, arguments from other users, and the controversy it generated from its unsafe privacy setting, I increasingly became disillusioned with FB, so when a friend suggested to explore this new social networking site launched by google, I immediately "packed" my things and head off to a "far away land" up to the world of google plus.

I've adsense and several blogs at blogger, I frequently visited Adwords, I used google as a search engine, so I thought---it's better to be under their turf when it comes to social networking site. Aside from being the third most admired company in the world according to Fortune magazine, google so far has no trouble with privacy issues.

So how this google + works?

This  SNW allows you to create "Circles" meaning you will be able to select and organize friends in your list into a group called "Circle", the good thing is, this circle when created will appear on the profile and you will have the freedom to regroup them or delete. 


Google plus has no "outside" application developers so there are no annoying applications, games and other bothersome features inviting users to join and lure to divulge some details of each user's private account. You can create photo albums, can chat on-line friends and hang out in live video conferences, there's a section called "Sparks" where you can read valuable news from your favourite field of interest(s) (Royalty, Health and Wellness, Sports, History, Gardening, etc). You can edit wall posts and comments too instead of reposting it (in the event that you mistakenly put blatant words or failed to mention something or there's grammatical error that need to be rectified), the comment posting in each photo is in a conversation or dialogue mode and the background can be customized.


What I love about this new networking site is the wall posting. I can customized my wall posts (messages, videos, photos and links) by making it appear or visible only to whoever I choose from my circles. Cool!


But despite of switching loyalty, Mark Zuckerberg is still one of my favourites, his frugality is legendary and he is often compared to another favourite, Warren Buffet. His remarkable invention changed the world of social networking sites, there's no question about it, in fact, Facebook is really a trend-setter. 


Well, well, back to Google plus... 


This new social networking site powered by google is worth trying. Get a gmail account now and join the fun! There are more things to learn and discover when you start joining Google plus.

Explore google plus now by clicking HERE

Google Plus!

Enjoying google plus right now!

Yesterday, Kathy told me to try google+ project, a social networking site created by google. At first I was hesitant because I'd already tried almost all social networking sites in the internet and I am beginning to worry about its implication to my privacy, hehe..so I left it for a while and concentrated working on other stuff.

Then went on...

Before I know it, my curiosity nudged me to register and puff! sooo amazed with its exciting, refreshing features. Unlike other networking sites, google plus allows you to create "circles" and the wall post can be edited, cool! another thing is, we can control everything we posted, I mean, we can choose who among our friends can read and view our wall posts. Terrific!

One thing I love about google+ is that I can directly access my account in Adsense. It also allows me to organize reminders and appointments through its customized calendar. Google+ is bold and fun and a bit classy!

Visit google plus HERE

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Stepfather

A suspense/crime motion picture created by Nicholas McCormick. It is a story of a cold-blooded murderer whose mission in life is to marry a single mother in order for him to have a house and a family, he uses his charm and down-to-earth-make-believe appeal to lure single mothers to his bait, but when his position is threatened or when he noticed he could not dominate the family, his diabolic instinct start to surface.

In the opening of the film, someone called Grady Edwards (Dylan Walsh) is seen shaving and preparing to leave his house, the environment appeared quiet and relax as he was preparing his breakfast—coffee and toast bread—in the kitchen and even turned on the component and played a Christmas song.

At first I was thinking he would be going to a vacation as he was preparing two luggage and would temporarily lock his house, but the horrifying truth later on revealed when the scene of the murder was slowly shown in the background while Edwards was drinking coffee. Not far from where he was standing, three lifeless bodies scattered, a mother and her three children, the weapons used in the killing were put on each side of the body and at the kitchen sink.

Grady Edwards glanced casually at the living room where the dead were lying, then slowly picked his bags and closed the door, he left the garage with his car and roared away. Later, the Salt Lake City Police Department reported the murder and concluded the stepfather as the perpetrator of the crime but he remained at large and nobody knows where he is. The Stepfather changed identity when he arrived at Oregon. Now, Grady Edwards is looking for another victim and assumed another identity, David Harris.

Using his usual charm, he went to the grocery store and met Susan Harding (Sela Ward), a recently divorced woman with three children, she was attracted instantly and not long after, David moved to her home.  Her son, Michael, was surprised to find another man in their house. Then Michael became very suspicious with David, this doubt was intensified when one of their neighbours told his mother that America's Most Wanted ran a story about a missing serial killer that resembled David's face.

David realized he could not dominate this family. One stormy evening, Susan found David in the kitchen holding a knife and chased her, Michael, who already knew his biological father had been killed by David and kept in the basement's freezer, ran to his mother's side and rescued her. After minutes of chasing, running and fighting at the rooftop, David and Michael fall to the ground unconscious. The film's next scene revealed Michael being wheeled to the hospital. David surprisingly escaped and assumed another identity, Chris Ames, looking for another single mother to victimize again.

What puzzled me with this film is how the story ended. I mean why on earth David Harris was not arrested when the family of Susan Harding survived? They could have reported it to the police that Grady Edwards and David Harris are the same, after all Chris Ames did not change much of his physical features and looked exactly the same. I found too many inconsistencies in the film too like why Susan immediately woke up at the commotion downstairs where in fact she took up a sleeping pill?Why David was not confined in the hospital when he had a bad wound around his neck (Susan Harding stabbed him with a broken glass at the neck) and even managed to be employed in the grocery shop again? Michael did not see his father being smashed by David with crystals where in fact Michael looked down below where the body of his father was exactly located.

Well, suspense other wise, this film guarantees good entertainment and thrill never mind the loopholes.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Kate appears more like Camilla than Diana

Her wedding ring still nowhere in sight and everybody is wondering where she left it. 
Above photo: At the Canadian tour (June 30-July 8, 2011), the Duchess of Cambridge, well just like the previous public outings since the royal wedding, only seen wearing the blue sapphire engagement ring.

But the most unusual thing for this new Duchess is her awful habit of recycling wardrobe, I never see any women married into royalty who recycled dresses when appearing in public,well except Camilla Parker-Bowles and that's understandable because she did not live a life of glamour and fame when she was still known in public as Prince Charles's "weather beaten" mistress.

Now it seems she has a successor with her lifestyle, the Duchess of Cambridge. Camilla and Kate seemed lots of things in common: they are commoners who married into royalty, they have the habit of wearing tragic wardrobe that never compliment their physical appearance and both relished the idea of being a consort someday.
Kate donned this nude patent LK Bennett platform a hundred times in public. First at Derby horse trial in May then at the 2011 July tour in Canada and Los, Angeles, California. The shoes and her favourite beige clutch bag made an appearance about six times during the tour 

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4 and Day 5
Day 6
Since her wedding to Prince William, every time she appeared in public, she reminded me more of Camilla rather than Diana. She has no charm of the late Princess of Wales, much more magic. In all her public outings  during her lifetime, Diana always looked so charming and fabulous and never disappointed the public with her magnificent, regal bearing.
The blue skinny jeans, belt and shoes, she repeatedly wore. Can she just wear jeans which won't reveal her ridiculous thighs?

At the Canadian tour (first week of July 2011) with Prince William, Kate seemed did not pack enough wardrobe that she kept repeating the same dress, jeans and shoes every time they appeared in public. She wore the nude LK Bennett platform (already seen in public last May) about five times, the Erdem dress twice and the skinny jeans three times.

Okay, just leave her alone and not mind her ghastly taste of wardrobe I am no fan of her either, but it feels like Prince William is being accompanied by his nanny in all his public engagement and not a wife, aside from her tousled her which made me wonder if she ever comb her hair or at least apply a conditioner, she always recycled her dresses and those awful shoes.
The wedge black shoes seemed like her favourite footwear, at the above picture from the mail online, she wore it when she, her sister Pippa and mother, Carol Middleton, checked in to Goring Hotel two days before the royal wedding in April. Kate shown here wearing a black printed dress.
A day after their wedding in April
And alas! At the Canadian tour (July 2011) she wore the same dress and shoes!Photo credit: Tim Rooke/Rex Features
Another recycled outfit is the above Reiss white dress she wore at the prenuptial portrait (left) and again at the Canadian tour (right)

One comment in her wardrobe during the couple's Canadian tour lately, is that she seemed wearing the same pair of skinny jeans three days in a row, arggh!And some of her dresses in that tour looked vintage than modern, she did not even wear hats, which is a compulsive social etiquette among female royals. 
Getting enough tan did not make sense on her, the lavender dress did not even compliment her slim figure and horrible legs. Photo credit: Camera Press/Mark Stewart from Mail Online

For people who commented her fashion taste as fascinating, think twice, my God! The girl did not even know where to place her accessories so that a simple dress will make gorgeous, there's nothing stylish about her  and her fashion sense is so dull and dreadful.  Someone from Vogue must advise her to at least visit the saloon for hair rebonding. Her curly locks and messy hair is not cute any more. She is far from the fashionable and gorgeous commoners who married into royalty: Princess Mary of Denmark and Queen Rania of Jordan whose taste in fashion is so widely praised and acknowledged. Sorry but I just can't help comparing them.

Everyday, Kate appears more like Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall than the glamorous fashion icon, Diana, Princess of Wales. Anyway, this is just my personal opinion, you can freely express your opinion too if you want.

The Smart Quiz



Just received the three copies of my published book online today and quite amused with its size and appearance..very glossy!The paper used in the printing is not newsprint but a thick super white bond paper American style.hehehe!

But I'm having a mixed feeling right now, I don't know what it is but it felt like I want to hide it from others and don't want anybody to read it! Not that all the contents inside are messy or have so many typographical errors but the feeling is just so strange.

For two hours I didn't open the book, I just stared its glossy cover and read the premise and rolled my eyes in the ceiling, hmmm....I don't know but I am quite apprehensive with the criticism I will be receiving from the people who will read it. But this is a wonderful book and I am very proud of it, when I started researching topics for this book I had in mind to make it more like a reference book so I prepared each answer with complete explanation and descriptions.

This is a Smart Quiz book, topics are divided into nine categories, each category has 20 questions to give the readers enough time to enjoy answering the questions. This book provides not only knowledge and additional learning but fun and entertainment. ORDER THIS BOOK now!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Lovely Bones

This film was released in 2009 and earned an Oscar nomination for Best Picture in 2010, but I just watched it  on DVD the other night, hmm so this insight might be too late. Anyway...

The movie is quite impressive at first with a startling narration of the lead character, Susie Salmon (Saoirse Ronan), that she was only 14 years old when she was murdered on December 6, 1973, and upon hearing it well, I was more excited to finish the film.

I was expecting a hardcore drama, afterall it is a Peter Jackson film (his best known films are Lord of the Rings series and KingKong), flawless script and yes, justice at the conclusion of the film but none of it happened, and so, just like other people who expressed disappointments with the outcome of this film, me too was slightly frustrated.

The Lovely Bones retells a story of a young girl whose dreams and hopes for a bright future and whose excitement of having a first crush were cut-short drastically when at the age of 14 she was murdered by their neighbor, Mr. George Harvey, with motives I did not understand as his character as a psychopath or a murderer was never established until the credits finally shown. The film has a powerful casts: Mark Wahlberg plays Susie's father, Rachel Weisz plays her mother and Susan Sarandon as her eccentric grandmother, but the script did not do justice to their acting prowess.

It was a wonderful story if you try to look at it, you could just imagine the suspense how Susie was murdered and how her family struggled to locate her body which was locked in the vault and kept by Harvey at his house and how her parents exerted effort to seek justice, the beautiful narration by Susie herself which resonated wisdom, the after-life scenes and her soul's struggle to accept her death and how she finally let go of her pain to allow her family to move on with their lives, pumped excitement, thrill and warmth. But the development and progress of the film did not quite sets well with the logic the story tried to present. 

Saoirse Ronan plays Susie Salmon in the movie, The Lovely Bones

Most reviews say that this film concentrated more on creating visual effects, especially on the afterlife scenes, rather than on character development. It was a good movie material, but failed to justify each idea presented and its logic messed up at the finale. The only saving grace in the film is the way Susie narrated her story and how her family drifted apart trying to cope up with her loss and get back together. 

Towards the end, Susie explained that The Lovely Bones refers to the people who had helped her realized she was extremely precious and loved, people who inspired us and who gave her wisdom--her parents, her siblings and the girl who can see dead people (this girl let her body be used by Susie to be with the man Susie had fallen in love while still alive).

But the script is simply vague. I could not understand why Susie's sister, who was presented in the film as somewhat genius, did not give the strong evidence (Harvey's diary, which she got when she sneaked to his house and almost caught) to her parents and even to her grandmother to reopen the case. I could not understand also why Jackson allowed Harvey to safely leave the place, carried the vault where Susie's body was kept and thrown it somewhere. Harvey died in the end but the manner of his death was so funny that I found myself laughing.

I don't know but I found this film so illogical, futile and too many loopholes. Anyway just watch it for yourself.


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Charlene's Predicament

Charlene wore an exquisite ivory satin wedding dress when she wed Prince Albert II of Monaco on July 2, 2011. Her elegant gown is adorned with 40,000 Swarovski crystals and hand-embroidered with gold and pearl created for her by Italian fashion maestro, Giorgio Armani

The newly created Princess seemed in deep trouble. So I heard through a grapevine.

Controversial stories regarding the "attempted runaway" of Charlene Wittstock days before the royal wedding are now appearing in the news. Oh my!!maybe her unhappiness can be attributed to those mother of pearl tear drops embroidery in her bridal gown. I am just wondering why pearls are included in the design when superstitious belief warned bride not to wear any pearls on her wedding day because it implies bad omen.

Well, uhmm...the story goes like this: 

A French newspaper, Le Monde, reported that Charlene Wittstock was heartbroken upon knowing her Prince has another illegitimate child born 18 months ago, if this is true, this would be the third illegitimate child of Prince Albert, so it means that even after they announced their engagement, the prince still continue seeing another woman! So that's where the hesitation and annoyance of the former Olympian came from.
Tears and sadness during the church ceremony.

The future Princess was reportedly booked a one-way flight to South Africa weeks before the wedding but she was cornered by the police and had her passport confiscated upon reaching Nice airport. But an official statement from the Palace of Monaco denied this allegation. Whatever the truth behind this latest scandal involving Prince Albert, the sadness was reportedly evident in Charlene's eyes at the wedding. She was so emotional and cried several times at the ceremony and looked very unhappy and stiff.

This is quite upsetting since they just got married and should be in their bright moods for their romantic honeymoon getaway. Whether this is true or not, Charlene by now, truly understood what it's like marrying into royalty, she must endure Albert's playboy image in exchange of the comfort, privilege, wealth and glamour that comes with being a Princess.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Harper's Island

Harper’s Island is a 2009 murder-suspense series created for television by Ari Schlossberg. 

I had a chance to watch the full episode on DVD before the series had its finale at Studio 23 (TV channel in the Philippines) so the excitement was something different because I was able to watch it uninterrupted. This is great for people who loved suspense story. Well, in a stark contrast to other American TV series, Harper's Island is designed only for one season.
Abby Mills and Henry Dunn (Ellaine Cassidy and Christopher Gorham). Photo taken from About.com
The story has so many twists and thrills and I love the way the gruesome death of each character was presented not that I am very morbid who enjoyed seeing people being tortured to death but the story is everything I want for a suspense-thrilling drama. If your stomach and appetite could not tolerate gores and blood and heinous crime then this series is not for you, but for me who extremely adored horror and morbid film and TV series, this is really perfect!

The anxiety of who will be the next character to be sliced and diced and the identity of the killer(s), offered so much thrill. The most intriguing part of this series is the mysterious identity of the killer, though the name of John Wakefield frequently appeared in each character's dialogue, it remains a mystery who  he is. In fact, I thought he was just a ghost or a legend in the island.

The story kicks on the yacht, at the pre-wedding party of Henry Dunn (played by Christopher Gorham) and Trish Wellington (Katie Cassidy), the wedding will take place at the breathtaking Harper’s island. Sailing with them are their closest friends and family. Trish is a rich girl whose father, Thomas Wellington (Richard Burgi) a real estate mogul, is less enthusiastic on the idea of having Henry Dunn, a middle class gentleman, to be his son-in-law, and he wants to stop the wedding at all cost. Nevertheless, everything seems perfect when the boat left the dock.

Then the first murder happened.

While celebrating above the yacht, Trish's cousin, Ben Wellington, was tied up below the boat near the propeller and when the boat's engine roared, Ben was presumed dead and chopped by the propeller as the water was contaminated with blood. 


But I wondered why they did not notice his disappearance. Most of the crime in this series remained unnoticed and no traces of any footprints of the killer, the murder was perfectly executed. I was clueless also of who is the real killer since none of them appeared or looked very suspicious and there were no strangers visiting the island.


At first I attempted to analyse the behaviour of each character hoping to get some hints.

Uncle Marty Dunn, Henry’s protective uncle is presented as a man who will do anything to assure his nephew’s safety within the Wellington family, he was seen at yacht’s cabin preparing his gun with bundles of money though it was not clearly explained why such a move. Thomas Wellington is seen as a sarcastic person with selfishness rolled under his sleeves, pretending he adored his future son-in-law but secretly planned to disrupt his daughter’s wedding by dragging Hunter Jennings, Trish’s former lover, into the scene. Henry Dunn is presented as a full-fledge Knight-in-a-shining armor who will do anything just to protect his future bride and his friends. Abby Mills, who left Harper's Island when she was still a teenager and went to the U.S to overcome the trauma of her mother’s murder, is a serious girl who is still haunted with her mother’s killer. Henry’s good buddies: Malcolm, Danny, Booth and Sully are pictured with contrasted personalities but had endearing characters, through out the series, the adventure of these fun loving guys are both funny and sad as series of misfortunes dominated their happy dispositions.

Trish’s sister Shea Allen contented just to be in the background carrying a heavy baggage with her troubled marriage to Richard Allen who conducted an illicit affair with, of all people, his step mother-in-law, Katherine Wellington. Shea and Richard has a daughter Madison whose creepy annoying character sometimes bores viewers, unlike other Kids in any TV series, Madison’s role in Harper’s overshadowed her innocence that made you wished she never existed in the series at all. 


The island’s sheriff, Charles Mills (Jim Beaver), who is still grieving the death of his wife six years ago, appears calm and protective of his daughter, Abby and unlikely to be the killer. Abby  was invited by Henry to go back to Harper’s to take part of the wedding, they are childhood friends, when she came back, past seems to resurface including her old flame, the gorgeous Jimmy Mance(CJ Thomason) and the horror of remembering her mother’s brutal killing. Henry has a brother named JD, whose gothic and disturbing character and scary tattoos all over his body, made me suspect he is one of the killers.
CJ Thomason, one of the cute dudes in Harper's Island

Well, the dreadful and most surprising truth came out on the last three episodes.


The plot aims to kill one person each night or day, but for a story with one week pre-wedding celebration as a backdrop, one season looks like too long to stretch out the story without any inconsistencies. As each character was killed, it was surprising that none of them was aware that one is already rotten elsewhere unless the body is accidentally discovered. For a small island of only 26 km wide and 2 km long and with only 25 people in the entourage billeted in the hotel-like home, it is sometimes impossible to think that murders left unnoticed.

Everybody in the group was convinced that the murderer was the man named John Wakefield, a legendary killer who had been involved in the killing rampage six years ago that claimed the lives of several people including Abby Mills’s mother. Though Abby’s father, the island’s sheriff, is certain he already killed the man, the rest of the party was not convinced. Wakefield showed up in the final two episodes with a shocking revelation that Henry was his son with Abby’s mother and his ultimate accomplice.

But there are some light scenes in the series, the tender love story of Abby and Jimmy, which Schlossberg decided to save up to the last episode and let them survived the killing rampage, the great affection of Trish to her father, the Sheriff’s effort to protect his daughter Abby and Cal’s devotion to his girlfriend, Chloe.

Though in general, Harper’s Island is a fine TV series with lots of cute dudes, it carried some residue of confusion and loopholes, the common problem encountered when the story of one week is stretched to three months. Though I greatly adored how this series crafted and the scenes always made me go back to think Wez Craven’s Scream in a more sentimental way, I was nevertheless confused and disappointed why it did not emphasize the murderous behavior of Henry Dunn, because it was such an important turning point of his character and in the series. 

Although murder scenes should not be necessarily put in a vivid detail, it should be at least highlighted with importance. For instance, how Henry Dunn carried out the murders of Malcolm and his brother JD, which is downright morbid considering his close relationship to the two, it could be otherwise acceptable if the production conducted the horrible scenes through flashbacks and see how he executed his cold-blooded actions. 

The major twist of Henry Dunn's character was wasted in just a light revelation that he was the accomplice of Wakefield who turned out to be his father; it was so shallow with no traces of gross, it betrayed the real purpose of the story to leave an impression of gripping thrill and suspense. The presentation was too focused in holding viewers’ excitement on the killings that it did forget to give emphasis on Henry Dunn’s final moment of revelation about his true nature.

The reason of killings is a bit trivial; it was very futile that in the end it sounds very funny rather than sad. It could be nice if the story was woven in a more dangerous reason in such a way that viewers made to agree with Dunn and Wakefield that victims deserved to die in such gruesome ways. As casts doomed to slice, shot, hung and stabbed, the story hastened up to reach the final episode.

But the amusing thing about this series is that none of the leading casts knew they would be killed, Chris Gauthier who played Malcolm Ross, revealed that he first auditioned for the character of Booth but production switched him to Malcolm. He also said that he was clueless who among them was going to be the Killer, he first suspected Danny. He also described how he would be killed, originally according to Gauthier, he will be chopped in full view of the camera, but the writer decided to just show off his bloody hands because his screaming and the sound of chopping are enough, to avoid a gruesome scene. Malcolm Ross was killed near the incinerator when he was about to repent from taking bundles of money and left his friend, Booth, to die in the forest.


Nevertheless, Harper’s Island is a good breather for today’s boring soap operas and TV shows where everything seems settled to remakes and adaptations. It is entertaining, could throb heart beat in some instances and could shake veins of people who had low tolerance of gores, never mind if the plot is not properly written. Consequently, the murder scenes are tailored for decent public viewing and cleverly executed for entertainment purposes. Even with few lapses in the story, still, Harper’s Island is one of the best suspense series I'd ever watched in television.

This is a reposted article from my Triond blog: Read it HERE


Friday, July 1, 2011

Car Accident

The Princesses who died in car accident

Today, July 1, would have been the 50th birthday of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, and while thinking what topic to post to commemorate her birthday(I am hesitant to post an article about Diana’s life story because I’d done it several times in the past), I decided to write something about the tragic death of other princesses who also died in car accident like Diana.

DIANA, PRINCESS OF WALES
Of course, everybody knows she died in August 1997 in Paris, France when the black Mercedez benz she was riding slammed on the 13th pillar of Pont d’Alma tunnel. It was a terrible event especially for someone who was so young, pretty and very famous.

For most of her life, the late Princess of Wales struggled to be accepted unconditionally, she also had to find her own place after her husband ditched her for a woman she called an "attacked dog who suck our marriage", but her quest for real freedom and happiness was cut-short at the age of 36 and the unique charm and magic of the vulnerable Princess of Wales forever gone.

As a daughter of a British Earl with a royal pedigree, Diana, was born an aristocrat and was raised in the upper-class system of the British society, but despite her comfortable upbringing, she grew up deprived of having a normal family life, her parents got divorced when she was 8 years old and she had to endure a distressing arrangement of shuffling homes with parents every weekend. Until she met the Prince of Wales in 1980, life seemed perfect and rosy. But several years after they married and provided the throne with two heirs, Diana discovered that the Prince of Wales renewed his relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles and soon, she had to endure the humiliation of having an adulterous husband who did not actually love her. Later in life she disclosed that the only people who brought sunshine to her tormented life are her two sons, William and Harry.

Fourteen years after her untimely death, Diana’s legacy lives on, her influence still hovered around through the presence of her two good-looking sons…. and her special magic continues.

GRACE KELLY, PRINCESS OF MONACO
Unlike Diana, Grace Kelly was a non-aristocrat. She was a Hollywood actress who captivated the ruler of the Principality of Monaco, Prince Rainier III, when she attended the Cannes Film Festival in France in 1955, not long after, her star moved closer to the orbit of the European royalty and in April 1956, they got married in Monaco. She bore him three children, Princess Caroline, Prince Albert (who just married last July 2, 2011) and Princess Stephanie.

Kelly's life, both private and public, was the object of intense speculations, though Prince Rainier's devotion to her was very obvious, still extramarital affair issues (on her side) persisted. Her beauty and glamour did not wane  as she grew older, but the princess gained considerable weight that she accumulated fatty plaques in her circulatory system. This health problem became the cause of her death at the age of 52.

On September 13, 1982, while driving, with her daughter Princess Stephanie on her side, along the windy and snowy road in the countryside of Monaco, she suffered a stroke which prompted her car to slip at the serpentine road on the mountain. She and her daughter were brought to the hospital but Princess Grace died later from massive injuries. Princess Stephanie survived and recovered. Prince Rainier did not marry and died on April 5, 2005, their only son, Prince Albert, succeeded the throne.

QUEEN ASTRID OF BELGIUM
She was known as “SnowPrincess” and the people of Belgium extremely loved her. As a granddaughter of Princess Sybill of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Astrid was a direct descendant of Queen Victoria of England, she was also the sister of Princess Martha of Sweden who married the future King Olaf of Norway. Princess Astrid married Prince Leopold of Belgium and when he ascended the Belgian throne as King Leopold III, Astrid became Queen Consort. 

The couple had three children: Princess Josephine Charlotte (mother of Henri, the current GrandDuke of Luxembourg), King Boudouin and King Albert II (reigning King of Belgium). Their marriage was reportedly a very happy one, the King was very fond of her and no controversy was attached to their union. But this happy marital life was ended abruptly when at the age of 29, Queen Astrid died from car accident.

In 1935, she and her husband spent vacation in Switzerland and while the King drove his car with the Queen on the passenger's seat, it swept through the windy road in the mountain of Kussnacht am Rigi near Lake Lucerne. Her death was deeply mourned by the people of Belgium and Sweden and her husband went into mourning for a considerable period of time. Leopold remarried into a commoner years later and had two children.