Monday, August 13, 2007


I created a Robertisms clone in WordPress. However, it's called over there. Here's the new address -

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


Tadaaa! Presenting the HTC P3600!
Packed with technology, the HTC P3600 is the perfect companion for work and play. Microsoft® Windows Mobile® 5.0 keeps you up to date with your emails, calendar and documents; and with worldwide 3G high speed internet access you really can be connected wherever you are.

- High speed connectivity with 3G, Quad band GSM, EDGE, Wi-Fi®, Bluetooth® 2.0 and HSDPA ready.
- Business and multimedia applications in a compact and sleek design.
- Rich, high speed internet browsing for landscape or portrait viewing.
- Sharp 2.0 mega-pixel camera with video capture.
- Windows Media® Player for seamless synchronisation of music and videos with your PC.

You like? I like! In white.

Monday, August 06, 2007


At the right time (I would like to think actually, in God's time), I would like to establish a group (or a foundation if you will), that I will call, I Am Third.

I came across this phrase from one of my readings in the past, I think Reader's Digest, which indicated that I Am Third is already a movement somewhere in the USA. It further read that the First is God; the second is Country and the I/the self, am third.

If I can call the group/foundation that, then the name would sound good.

But more than sounding good, I hope for the group/foundation to focus on helping families left behind by Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), if not some of the OFWs themselves, specially those who get involved in situations that do not make their lives any easier.

I realize that there are already many a non-government organization (NGO) doing the same things but I don't think another one will hurt at all, specially if it does not get involved in advocacy activities that tend to look political. These groups, for sure, have their good and even noble reasons for adding a political hue to their advocacy work. The media mileage alone that they generate helps these groups to elevate their profiles, which in turn, come in handy when trying to attract the attention of the government and the general public to certain concerns such as the call for more assistance to OFWs imprisoned in foreign jails, or for clemency for those in death row.

But I Am Third will hopefully be a silent worker or partner of these families and workers in every way possible.

Saturday, August 04, 2007


Just as we named our Laguna abode Merrill Court, after our first feline pet, so did we name our rooftop villa in Riyadh Pfeiffer-On-The-Roof (POTR), after our second one.

Although completed in August 2005, POTR was blessed in September, in time for Dennis' birthday celebration that year. When Dennis turns another year older this year, we would have been staying at our rooftop villa for more than two years.

The joke among first-time visitors to POTR was that it appears that the famous IKEA store somehow managed to shift one of its displays/showcases to our rooftop. He he. But truth to tell, POTR is also a SACO Hardware display area, with a few haraj (fleamarket) pieces thrown in.

If you are wondering what's so special about POTR, here are some shots that will hopefully relive its so-called "grandeur."/live up to its hype. He he.

The entrance/main door, "guarded" by Merrill and Pfeiffer.
The covered tent/gazebo at the concrete garden.
On entering the main door, to the immediate left would be the bookshelves/library effect...

... and then to the living area separated from the dining area by a divider/shelf and a long side table.

Details of the dining area; cased opening leads to... a small kitchen and to an equally small toilet. Toilet details.

Ironically, Pfeiffer, has been banished from POTR since about six months ago after she gave birth to five kittens and started to behave really protective about her brood, so that she would engage Merrill in a noisy and potentially harmful scratching matches. She now wanders around the compound, but away from our other pets.

Below are details of the sleeping area/bedroom.

POTR was the venue of many a memorable night with friends, specially from the other villas in the compound and from the defunct FACES socio-cultural organization. And though sandstorms and lazy rooftop villa owners have dulled its once-pristine allure, and with additions/deletions here and there that somehow changed the layout/configuration of certain areas, it remains what we would call home in these parts. Well, at least until May - hanggang may langis!


So the Charmed One finally made it to Riyadh and back to Al Khobar (August 1-3) in one piece! Read his own account of the visit here:

In his whirwind descent to the deserts of Riyadh, here are some of my favorite photos at Pfeiffer-On-The-Roof/POTR [courtesy of Charmed One] of his visit -

Charmed One: in a pose worthy of Jo-Ann Q. Maglipon's Yes! magazine.

Charmed One: definitely more charming than the Venetian carnival masks?

Charmed One: with ever-charming Robertisms, he he.
[Dissenting opinions not allowed!]


September is Dennis' birthday month. One of the most memorable celebrations we had in the past was when he and I marked it at Burj Al Arab no less in 2002. The photos (and the Burj Al Arab experience) are therefore about five years old. [Disclosure: I used these photos and captions in a PowerPoint presentation and sent it out to family and friends via email, long before I learned how to blog. It was a very unique experience for us that I thought it is worth blogging about. Hope you agree!]

The Burj Al Arab as seen at dusk from the bridge/gate. The hotel juts out to the sea on reclaimed land, and forms part of the Jumeirah complex that also includes the Jumeirah Beach Hotel and the Wild Wadi Water Park. [Photo credit: Burj Al Arab brochure.]

The hotel’s awesome interior/atrium as seen from the ground floor lobby. All rooms are called suites. All suites have a view of the hotel’s lobbies and atrium. [Photo credit: Burj Al Arab brochure.]

A suite’s ground level would look like this, at least the one-bedroom two-level suites. This suite has a toilet, an office, a bar, a dining set and a very spacious living room equipped with a wide screen TV set and automated curtains that when open, allows you a view of the sea. [Photo credit: Burj Al Arab brochure.]

Dennis by the door to our suite (No. 507). There are no keys to doors, just cards and electronic card readers. This door’s reader is to Dennis’ right. The reader also allows guests (when they are inside) to see who rings their bell through the suite’s TV set.

Dennis infront of the famous Dubai landmark.

One of the more amusing anecdotes during our stay was that the Filipinos who worked at the hotel (they were everywhere!) mistook us for some other nationality except as Filipinos. One of them seemed to explain why: We haven't seen any Filipinos here as guests, only as hotel workers.

Roberto with the hazy silhouette of the Burj Al Arab in the background, as seen from the beachfront of the nearby Jumeirah Beach Hotel.

Roberto on the winding staircase that leads to the second level of suite 507.

Roberto on the made-up bed at the suite’s bedroom on the second floor level.

Our next dream destination is the Banyan Tree (Al Areen) in Manama. Heard it is as luxurious if not better than Burj Al Arab, if only because of the spa facilities.

We've got to dream larger-than-life. One of these days, it just might come true!


At Dennis' birthday celebration last year (September 2006), one of our friends, Omar, gave Dennis a dog. As per Omar, the female canine - a mixed breed of Pekingnese and Tibetan-Spaniel, was already six months old at that time. We called her by many names but we eventually settled on Myx.

All through most of the night, Omar just kept holding the copper-colored dog on his lap and the dog stayed put. She didn't bark; she was just content to sit on Omar's lap and to seemingly enjoy the company of people specially the little kids who would come by and stroke her. Later on in the night, she started moving around and yelping and running around with the kids.

I searched the Internet for more information on Tibetan Spaniels and I found out that just as Myx is, Tibetan Spaniels are vigil dogs - they bark and bark whenever someone new comes into the villa but won't bite. They yelp and jump at you when you come home from work and they want to be cuddled (Myx would jump into the bed with me or with Dennis and would expose her belly to be scratched and won't budge until you do it to her). Tibetan Spaniels are very playful and are said to be good for kids. Kids can rough-and-tumble it with Tibetan Spaniels without worrying the kids will get bitten. Currently, however, her fave playmate is Grey, our small white kitten (one of Pheiffer's offsprings) called as such because of the streak of grey on her head.

Myx also likes to be bathed although frankly, she does not get as much bath as she can from us. He he. She eats dog food sometimes but does not mind sharing cat food.

Next month, it's going to be September again and Myx would be 18 months old by then.

Here she is then at 17 months old in her first-ever photographs, courtesty of Charmed One. They're not her best shots; she seemed raring to jump at the pool all through the night of Charmed One's visit to Riyadh last August 2.

This post is specially for Dominique and her siblings Renzo and Chinchin who I promised ages ago, will at least get photos of Myx.