Tuesday, August 26, 2008

She's Nude, Isn't She?

Woman 1: What is MTRCB?
Woman 2: Who cares? They don't give a hoot about us!

It was a usual weekend night of frittering time away in front of the obsequious television set. One of those short moments inclusive of enlightenment and semi-meditation prior to slumber time. I was glued to this highly interesting documentary featuring South Africa on a major local channel which was fairly illuminative as it revealed how most of the country is at the peak of civilization with spawning commercial sites, booming industries, and a remarkably modern culture. All the while we thought a great percentage of these folks are still donning grass skirts and spears.

30 minutes into the program, African tribal women appeared on screen, giddily dancing in ethnic fashion and half naked. Not that there's anything wrong with them being topless. The scene just got me wondering if our principles in television programming are somewhat biased or confused. Naturally, the demi-nude African women can come out on TV without the network blurring out their breasts because: 1.) There's definitely nothing wrong with the reality that prancing around shirtless is a way of life in South Africa, and 2.) It's indubitably not pornography.

But then why did Janet Jackson receive such negative flack from the FCC after she accidentally exposed her private part on the Super Bowl halftime show in 2004? How come Lil' Kim showed up at MTV Video Music Awards in 1999 wearing a purple outfit with her left breast unconcealed but managed to survive unscathed by the press? Why aren't fictional mermaids allowed to show their bosom on national TV? In my dictionary, the aforementioned appearances and personalities certainly don't fall under erotica (oftentimes, it isn't until the media implies so), though they all seem to be objects of double standards.

Is the state of being suggestive of porn merely the basis of 'blurring out' tits on the boob tube? Are matters of attractiveness really out of the question? If this policy's supposed to apply to all females, then why leave out the South African tribe?

Anyway, it's just a thought.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


I've come across enthusiastic reviews of Ark Avilon Zoo and wanted to see for myself if it wasn't simply overrated. Hence, on a slightly overcast Sunday, we got up extra early, had a quick breakfast, and headed straight to Frontera Verde in Pasig City. Nelson and I wanted Zakeisha's third birthday to be tremendously memorable, and we thought a jaunt to this unique menagerie would definitely do the trick.

Our first stop was the Blue Whale Grill, located right beside the incipient hit safari park. Lunch consisted of a P300 crispy pork dish, four cups of rice, and two tall glasses of ripe mango juice. Post-lunch, the bill skyrocketed to P800, though I could attest the price was fairly reasonable given the scrumptious large quantities the quaint restaurant serves. Boy, were we full.

Plus, we got the free Bumper Boat Ride as a perk for dining with them (For customers with at least P500 food purchase, that is).

Next stop, of course, was the main highlight of the day.
Ark Avilon Zoo, as the name implies, got its inspiration from the legendary Noah of the old testament and the gargantuan vessel God asked him to build in order to save compliant humans and two of each animal species from a malevolent storm.

Except for Ark Avilon's stationary status and slightly smaller structure, the concept remains close to the original idea: A safe haven for exotic creatures where denizens and visitors of manila could appreciate their distinct pulchritude and utilitarian abilities in life. A ticket costs 200 bucks. You get an ink stamp on your hand so you can leave the premises and come back anytime you want.

An eagle perched on a roost amidst the artificial falls

The lion sleeps...

Coy owls

The bird seemed oblivious to the camera.

You can find this captivating huge fish and prey swimming placidly in an aquarium on the 1st level of the ark.

I guess what makes Ark Avilon Zoo eminent is their evincible effort in emphasizing interaction. Patrons can feed and touch most of the animals, or have their pictures taken with them. They also have play nooks for tots, function areas, souvenir shops, and food stations.

Jenny the Orangutan

They don't let them out without the keepers.

We did feel like adopting her.

An absolutely terrifying moment with a ball python

Zakei feeds the rabbits with a carrot. Feeds are sold starting at P10.

With the lovely cockatoos

A playground inside an ark! How convivial!

The lion stares...

On the Ark from sun up to sun down

Now, I know why everyone who's been to this miniature paradise that sprung at the heart of the city infers it's one of top places to take your kids. One word to describe our trip to the Ark is "refreshing." I've seen all sorts of zoos in the past but this one exudes its own sense of advocacy and a different kind of fun that even adults won't fail to cite.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Connie Got Hitched

It's affirmative: One of my best pals has just hopped into the marriage bandwagon. Connie Eugenio met Archie Gonzales on a luxury ship where they both worked. They dated on board for almost two years before the lucky guy decided to try his luck at proposing.

I must admit I didn't expect my yellow-freak girlfriend to succumb to the promise of marital bliss as she was one of the few who found such arrangement intimidating. But here they are now, happily moored to each other by spanking new wedding vows...

Two down, two more to go! (From left to right): My daughter, Zakeisha, My husband, Nelson, yours truly, Anne Canuto, Sherwin Javier, Archie Gonzales, and initially ambivalent bride Connie Eugenio-Gonzales