Saturday, February 28, 2015

Handcuffs

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Handcuffs

He is strangling me to death.
He cuffs my hands to the prison railings.
I'm beaten, abused, tortured. 
I cry yet he doesn't heed.
My sorrow is his happiness;
my imprisonment, his joy;
my helplessness, his pride.
I'm helpless to my knees...
I can't stand. I can't break free...
Handcuffs on the iron bar railings
house my wrists.
I'm hurt. It hurts... am hurt.


Handcuffs. Photo source

Heya~ A day of sorrow and here I am venting it out in a creative, metaphorical, and obviously exaggerated manner.  What is this? I can only write poems when I'm in despair? I laugh at the thought. Hehehe~ Thanks for reading, guys. Don't worry, a happy post is in the drafts. (^_^) 


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Of Gold, Pistachios, and Chocolate

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The Magnum Pop-up store will only be open until March 2015! So I hurried to the fifth floor of SM Aura Premier to get a taste of sweet indulgence before it's gone in Manila. The place was very modern and posh. The yellow lighting added a feel of luxury, too. 

When I came in, I directly headed to the Magnum Bar counter where I paid a hundred bucks and was made to choose for my personalized Magnum ice cream. I thought it would only include three toppings of choice. It turns out that I get to choose the flavor of the ice cream bar, the coating, and the drizzle, too. Sweet! 

So here is my Magnum creation...

Angel Mariel's Magnum creation (PhP 100)

Pretty right? It looked to good to be eaten. This is made up of chocolate ice cream bar and coated with dark chocolate. Yes, as the title of this post hints, I chose the toppings Gold Nuggets, Chopped Pistachios, and Choco Crunch Balls. I was about to choose a chocolate drizzle but the maker suggested white chocolate. I agreed, it's nice to put a touch of highlight on it. 

The Magnum "M" logo made the ice cream regal. That M is made of chocolate too. It's just absolutely splendid!

The royal "M"

This chocolate bar is only for take-out. The restaurant area is for those who want to dine in the wide array of Magnum-inspired desserts and dishes. The place doesn't only serve Magnum ice cream but also real food. However, I remembered my aunt saying that she didn't find the pasta delicious, and I trust her. Maybe next time, I can go back with my friends and try out the food. But for this visit, I was alone. 

I slowly ate this too-good-to-be-true bar in the holding area at the side, where a sofa is placed. In my seat, I got a good view of the Magnum display logo all made up of Magnum sticks. 

The M logo in Magnum sticks

My front view was the Magnum Bar where I got my ice cream earlier. The one accessory that got my attention was the lighting, where the lights were housed in a brown shiny metal shaped in what looked like flowing chocolate. Sorry, my hands were messy and busy on the Magnum that I forgot to take a photo of it. Hehehe~ But if ever you get to visit, take a look at it and be mesmerized!

So you ask if I would go back? Definitely, but not after March 2015! Hehehe~ I want to see the array of choices of toppings, to be asked what ice cream flavor would it be, to choose the dark chocolate coating again, to see the grace of the maker as she drizzles chocolate, and to feel the triumphant feeling when she puts the M logo chocolate as if it's a crown. 


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Forever and Ever

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I am a product of the Novus Ordo Mass. I grew up thinking negatively of the Latin Mass. In class, I was taught that the ancient Mass was not understood by the people. And they don't participate with the priest, instead they privately prayed the Holy Rosary. So I thought that  the people were very distant from the Eucharist.


The Latin Mass. Photo source
My teacher said something like, "When I was young, I attended the Latin Mass with my grandparents. During the whole ritual, I didn't understand much of what was said. The only phrase that I learned to say was 'Saecula saeculorum', which means 'Forever and ever'. When the priest says that, the response would be 'Amen'."

I was taught that the Vatican II Mass repaired this "people not participating" ideology. And I viewed it from a positive sense. This Novus Ordo Mass made the people participate in the ritual. They're not praying private Rosaries anymore, they sing and respond to the priest. I even came to the point of thinking "Thank God", for the new rite of the Mass.

Well, I had no complains back in High School. I participated well in the Novus Ordo Mass, just like what a student of a Catholic school would do. Then came college, at this point in time, I realized that the Holy Mass was starting to feel empty. There was something lacking to it. I couldn't truly pray with the priest. Instead, my mind would wander off into daydreams. The Vatican II Mass felt hollow and boring.

Now, let's proceed to the next phase: when I started working. At this point, I already had it with the Novus Ordo Mass. I hated the parts where either the priest or the song leader would say, 'Let's clap our hands for the Lord' or 'Greet your seatmate 'good morning''. Worst of all is this: 'Please sit for a while for some announcements'. Isn't this supposed to be a Holy Mass, and not the community's meeting de avance?

*facepalm*

Clearly, there was something wrong with it. There was no essence of prayer anymore. But still, I can't imagine being far from God so I still attended the Novus Ordo Mass. What choice do I have? But not without a lot of facepalms.  

*facepalm*facepalm*

If you love God and if you're sincere in seeking Him, He will find a way to guide you to the right path. At one point in time, I was commissioned by my priest uncle to write about the 'Beauty of the Latin Mass'. Of course, as a writer, I needed to experience it for myself in order for me to write something about it. Research on paper just wouldn't be enough.

Suddenly, I found myself agreeing to attend a Latin Mass. Call me crazy, but hey, I also thought to myself before I set foot in the church, "Hey, it's in Latin. I don't understand the language, so why participate in it? I will just follow what the people do. If they sit, I will sit. If they stand, I will stand." 

So I donned a white veil and sat on the pew. A few minutes later, a single bell of a gong was heard. Everybody stood up and the priest with the servers started to walk to the altar. No singing, just revered silence. Then everybody knelt. When the priest spoke in Latin, they all responded... in Latin. 

And me, who knelt in silence, didn't feel lost. A sense of completeness filled me. I belonged in that moment.  I didn't pray the Holy Rosary privately as what the people of the olden times did. Instead, I felt a deep desire to participate, even if I didn't know any Latin.

Then from out of the blue, I heard the faraway voice of my High School teacher: "Saecula saeculorum means Forever and ever. And the response to it is Amen." 

For the whole of the Holy Mass, that was the phrase I only understood and responded to. I was silent at most the parts where I didn't know. I was able to pray and my mind didn't drift to daydreams. I felt the profound presence of the Eucharist.

It was very solemn. No claps, no announcements. Very sincere and beautiful this old ritual of the Mass. It is unfair to judge this ancient rite negatively just because of its language. No Mass in English or in the vernacular can ever beat what the Latin Mass did to me. What was lacking in the Novus Ordo Mass, I found it in the Latin Mass. 

There was depth, respect, faith, everything that makes a prayer. In the Latin Mass, you may not understand anything but you will just know. You need to experience it for yourself to know what I'm talking about. See, you just have to believe. Now, that is Faith. 

A photo posted by Angel Mariel (@myangelmariel) on




Now that I have been attending the Latin Mass for quite some time, I have come to know the prayer which started it all...

GLORIA PATRI, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum.
Amen.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

[Review] Kool Kids Ice Cream and Co.

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Have you ever visited a store just to go take a look but a kind person at the counter greeted you with all smiles... and you ended up buying something? 

That's what precisely happened to me on my first visit to Kool Kids. I came from Otaku Expo and my feet were very tired after all the walking. I wanted to eat at someplace nearby so I could sit and rest for a short while, too. 

It was a new place in SM Megamall Fashion Hall so I decided to check it out first. But the very accommodating crew looked at me with smiling eyes and said, "Hi, Ma'am! Welcome to Kool Kids! Here is our menu of ice cream and toppings, just choose on the list of flavors of the day." 

Now, who would not want to buy after that?  

At first, I didn't understand the menu. It was all in creative names with 2 or 3 combinations of flavors. It turns out that the ice cream would be then mixed from there. So I chose three scoops of "Minty Claus", a mixture of chocolate and mint. I got to choose three toppings to go with it. I picked up Pretzel Krunchies, Choco Chips, and Rice Krispy Cubes. 

Minty Claus because... there was no other flavor on the list that has chocolate on it. Heehee~ What's amazing is that, I saw how they blended the ice cream flavors on an electric mixer. And whoosh~ The ice cream chilled the air and created a light mist! Amazing! After that, the crew put in my chosen toppings. 

Presenting... my Minty Claus:

Minty Claus with three toppings (PhP200)

Close up photo of the toppings
Yeah I know that the Rice Krispies seem to ruin the look. But ah well~ They taste great! The chocolate ice cream is thick and delicious. It is more like cocoa with subtle caramel flavor. The mint is just enough to give that cool feeling. The salt from the pretzel gives an exotic, kind of out-of-place, flavor. But it does balance the sweetness of the dessert. 

It was a nice journey to winter land! By the way, Minty Claus is a Christmas flavor, so I doubt if it is still available.

While eating, I took a good look at the place. The pantry concept behind the counter is nice as it gives that warm feeling of being at home. The place is somewhat small for comfort though, there are not enough space to freely walk around. The tables and chairs were very colorful and yes, it gives that vibe of childhood, of being Kool Kids.



Kool Kids at 5th floor, SM Megamall Fashion Hall (near ice skating rink)

Ratings:

Crew: 5 stars 
Ambience: 5 stars
Menu: 4 stars
Layout: 4 stars
Overall: 4.5 stars


Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Cosplayers of Otaku Expo 2015 Day 2

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The first anime event that I attended for the year 2015 was Otaku Expo. As usual, I went to the second day, January 25, in SM Megamall Megatrade Hall. I didn't cosplay for the day,as I wanted to support and see my friends after a long Christmas vacation. (^_^)v Furthermore, I also want to keep in touch with cosplay while I prepare for my next project. I don't rush things when it comes to my hobbies since I receive a lot of pressure from my own career already.  Maybe that's why I looked so bad in my selfies. Nope, I won't post it here. Hahaha~


My Otaku Expo ticket

I looked around at the venue. There were the usual merchants, food stalls, and Ozine Maid Cafe. Along the way, I snapped photos of cosplayers. Truth is, I only took photos of cosplayers. Hehehe~ Here they are...





































My favorite cosplayer of the day is Raezor Enriquez as Razor from DoTA. The spectacular costume stands out in the hall. You can also see the intricate details and craftsmanship from head to toe. And oooh, those eyes are scary! Doesn’t it fit the Lightning Revenant from DoTA 2? 

Luckily, I was able to snap a solo photo of him. A lot of people wanted to have a picture with him, too. (^_^) He won third place in the cosplay competition, a well-deserved recognition for a top-notch costume. 


Razor from DoTA 2

Overall, I can say that the event is good. Seeing cute stuff for sale made me happy. Seeing colorful tickets made me happy. Finally, seeing other people cosplay made me happy. Hmmm... maybe next time, I will try to participate in the booths. I have been attending Otaku Expo in the recent years but I still haven't tried going to the Ozine Maid Cafe. Kawaii!



Sunday, February 1, 2015

On Faith

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This 2015, I've set up goals for myself. One of them is to improve my faith. So when I heard from my aunt that a well-known priest of the Traditional Catholic Faith would be going to have a talk, I signed up right away without second thoughts. 

The conference was held at Sta. Ana, Manila on January 31, 2015. It had the a picturesque view of the Pasig River. The cool breeze was perfect, too! 

The spectacular view of the Pasig River

The view from my seat
The speaker, Fr. Paul Kramer, is an advocate of the Traditional Catholic Faith. He has written various books about the Faith and has tackled in-depth issues concerning the church, such as The Mystery of Iniquity and The Suicide of Altering the Faith in the Liturgy.

Fr. Paul Kramer
The talk was entitled "Ecclesiastical Freemansonry and the Crisis in the Church". It is about the influence of Freemansonry which has infiltrated the church. 

Fr. Elijah gave the opening remarks. He gave us a quick overview of what the topic would be by telling us a bit of History: In 1917, the Freemasons rallied in Rome and cried out, "Satan will rule over Vatican and the pope will be his slave." 

Fr. Elijah giving the opening remarks
The conference was then started. Let me share with you some of the topics...

Fr. Kramer tackled the Pagan religions, the ancient religions, which gave us an introduction about where the Masonic faith is based. This is opposed to the Transcendent God that the Catholics believe. 

The Masons want to build a dogma-free religion, to do things only in accordance to what you think is good or bad, and not follow certain rules. But God, as He said in the Bible in John 14:15: "If you love me, you will keep my commandments." 

Catholics should believe and follow in what God, Himself, revealed to man. The Catholic religion is a dogmatic religion. Any form of changes results to heresy. However, discerning truth from error is very difficult. As sometimes, error is concealed beautifully in deceptive words. 

Well, the topic was very heavy and it required understanding on deep Philosophical and Theological understanding. But Fr. Kramer was able to explain it in simple terms that ordinary people can understand.

We all listened intently, pausing for a short while when a Pasig River ferry passes by with a loud engine roar. Hehehe...

The audience listening to Fr. Kramer. Photo by my aunt.
The talk lasted for about two hours and an open forum followed. The conference ended at about 8:00 PM. We all went home with new knowledge of our faith and the desire to further deepen it.

My aunt and me with Fr. Paul Kramer
One thing I have learned from this talk is that my faith, the Catholic Faith, is not a 'feel-good' religion. Rather, it is a religion of the Truth. And the truth hurts. 


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