iPad 2.

Since the iPad 2 will be launched officially in the Philippines tomorrow, I thought I'd publish this long overdue post. However, this isn't a review since there are a lot of those scattered all over the net already. What I'm going to share with you guys is the 10 ways I use my iPad 2. Why? Because I think this would be more helpful to those still debating whether or not to purchase an iPad 2. If any of the following appeals to you then maybe you should get one ;)

1. My Own Magazine Stand

This was what initially sparked my interest, the ability to buy and download all sorts of magazines on the iPad. I'm a self-confessed fashion mag addict. InStyle, Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire.. Name it. I have no problem when I'm in the US but when I'm in the Philippines, they charge triple! What should only cost $2.99 becomes $12.99. Then imagine multiplying that by 12 for a year's supply! And that's only for one magazine. Highway robbery at its finest.

Now, thanks to my iPad, I have annual subscriptions to different magazines for as low as $10/year. Super right?! Plus now, I wouldn't have to worry about back issues consuming closet space.

2. My Blogging Buddy

With my extra busy schedule nowadays, I rarely get the chance to blog because uploading photos from my camera, watermarking and editing consume so much time and energy that I often choose not to blog instead.

Now, with the iPad 2 having a camera (the 1st gen didn't have one), I can blog right away, even in real time like when T and I are dining in restaurants and I want to write a review about their food.

3. My Language Tutor

I've always had this fascination with languages. It started with Japanese when I was younger, then I went to French school a couple of years ago and now, I'm trying to learn Spanish.

Because of my iPad, I get to study Spanish whenever I have the time. Plus, no more lugging heavy language books around!

And after just a few days... El gato grande esta comiendo manzana y el perro pequeño esta bebiendo jugo de naranja. See, I can compose long, silly sentences already!

4. My Sketch Pad

Not many know this but I like to draw, sketch and paint. I'm no Picasso but I need some artistic outlet from time to time. With my iPad 2, I get to draw and paint (or should I say color?) whenever I feel the urge to do so, while saving the trees by consuming less paper.

Still unfinished: T's Onitsuka.

However, I found it a bit difficult to draw and paint using my fingers (like how I drew and colored above) so I bought an iStroke stylus.

5. My Social Bridge

Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, YM are more accessible now.

Reading emails is also much easier because of the bigger screen.

FaceTime, an Apple invention which leads us closer to a 'Minority Report'-ish kind of world through video calling between iPhone 4, iPad 2 and the latest iTouch, allows me to keep in touch with friends and family. Seeing their faces while talking is soooo much different than just plain chatting, I swear.

6. My Cooking Partner

Actually, this is still in the works. I already have the cookbooks loaded on my iPad 2 and the recipes all marked. I just need to go through the actual cooking. Haha.

7. My Piano Teacher

Well, not so much as a teacher since I already know how to play the piano but maybe more as a repository of music pieces. It's so hard to buy piano pieces today since playing the piano now isn't as popular as it was back then.

I also have a virtual piano installed on my iPad 2 but I'd still rather play on the real thing.

With my iPad 2, I just download piano pieces and use it when I want to play the piano. Once again, consume less paper, save the trees.

8. My Personal Assistant

I actually have my Moleskine and my iPhone for reminders, dates, to dos, checklists and so on but for me, you can never have too many gadgets or planners for organization (OCD alert!). For example, whenever I see things I like or want to remember for later, I take photos of it and save it to either my Evernote or Springpad app.

T found this "office" interesting.

To some this may sound funny but I found some logic to using my iPad this way (even if I don't often do so because it's silly and time consuming). There's an app that allows you to keep track of your clothes, shoes, bags and accessories, to mix and match them and to save your outfits for next time. I told you.. Silly... Time consuming.. But nevertheless, amusing ;)

Starting to catalog my shoes.

Of course, I also use my iPad 2 to take down notes and to edit Word documents. I also have my iPad 2 synced with my iPhone, my Berry, my laptop and my desktop computer for ease and accessibility.

9. My Portable TV and DVD Player

Aside from food and magazines, TV shows and movies are another addiction of mine. I use my iPad 2 to keep myself updated with the latest movies.

I also use it to store episodes of my favorite TV shows in case I have time to catch up on them.

10. Games

Of course, my favorite part, the games! I graduated from Facebook to iPhone games. From the beginning, I was hooked! So imagine how enjoyable it is for me now to play those iPhone games on an even bigger screen!

I love the Smurfs!

A new favorite of mine.

Also a new favorite.

Angry Birds Rio!

Of course, I have more uses of my iPad 2 but these are the 10 (fun) things that are on the top of my list.

Just a few words before I end this post.. The iPad is not a substitute for a laptop. So, if you are in need of a laptop, do not buy an iPad. Buy a laptop. And stop comparing the two. The iPad is a tablet. It's like comparing a car to a boat. Both are used for transportation but obviously in different ways. So shush. Hearing people exclaim that an iPad is a poor substitute for a laptop has already become a pet peeve of mine.

Another thing, the Kindle is still way better than the iPad in terms of functionality as an e-book reader. I never used my iPad 2 to read books, I always used my Kindle. So if you're just going to buy an iPad to read e-books, you're better off buying a Kindle, which by the way released a cheaper version this week.

So, that's it. After almost 2 months, I finally got to write about the new addition to my gadget family. To those in the Philippines falling in line and braving the mob tomorrow, just think happy thoughts a.k.a. your brand new iPad 2. But if you can still wait for 2 more weeks, just order your iPad 2 through the Apple (Philippines) website. No lines, no crowds, no hassle.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Johnny Chow.

It was Maundy Thursday and in deference to the Catholic faith, every mall in the Metro was closed.. Well, except for Newport Mall. Starving, T and I headed there to grab some food.

Johnny Chow reminded us of Sumosam (one of our favorite Japanese restos), John and Yoko and Mr. Kurasawa from the interior to the menu to the food. Upon asking the servers, who all donned outrageous neon colored wigs, it appears that all of those restaurants were under one management team.

My favorite decor were the chairs with different Asian faces on them. Pardon me if I don't recognize anyone. I'm not really well-versed in Asian celebrities. I wouldn't even know the guy from Meteor Garden if I bumped into him.

Enough of the interior. Let's get down to business. FOOD! I guess they didn't call it Johnny Chow Amazing Asian Cuisine for nothing. The menu was so thick with tons of dishes to choose from.

Their free appetizer was peanuts. They just gave me and T this really little bowl. I wonder why they didn't give us one each especially since the orders took a while to arrive.

For our salad, I ordered the Famous Hot Prawns with Candied Walnut (P375). The presentation was nice but there were only a few pieces of "prawns" (more like shrimps) and too much pineapple. It was ok. But I wouldn't be craving for it.

For our appetizer, I chose Yin and Yang (P295) which was chicken with Kung Pao sauce. This dish I like :)

T ordered another appetizer called the Karma Chameleon (P295) which was fried dumplings made of duck, foie-gras and shiitake mushrooms. T said it was just ok and it kind of tasted just like the Yin and Yang.

For our main course, I ordered the Maggie Woo (P325) which was Lechon Macau with pineapple fritters. Omg. That dish was divine! It doesn't look like it's crunchy but it is! From the fat to the meat to the skin. All crunchy! I didn't get to eat much of the pineapple fritters though because of pineapple overload from the Famous Hot Prawn Salad.

T ordered another main course called the Shaolin Temple (P325) which was cream dory cooked in sun-dried tomatoes.

Of course, our meal wouldn't be complete without an order of Bagoong Rice (P235). All of the dishes were generous, good enough for 2-3 persons, except this. 2 ladies could probably share but not 2 men or 2 people with large appetites like me and T ;)

To wash all of these down, we had iced teas. The green iced tea was lychee while the red iced tea was raspberry.

Obviously, we had no more room for dessert. We just hurried to catch the last full show of Rio, which was a really cute movie, by the way.

There were some dishes that we didn't like and the servers were a bit inattentive but T and I will probably go back to Johnny Chow and give it another try because of their generous servings and the Lechon Macau ;)

Johnny Chow

Dining Date: 21 April 2011

2nd Floor
Newport Mall
Resorts World Manila
Pasay City

(632) 659-8353

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Tiffany's Handbags.

I've always been a fan of Tiffany's. I remember going to NYC one summer and rushing to Tiffany's because at that time, it was only that branch that sold Elsa Peretti alphabet necklaces.

What I'm going to write about isn't really news since it was launched a while back but the ad I saw while browsing through the most recent issue of Elle reminded me again of Tiffany's new venture. I'm a Tiffany's fan but the idea of having a Tiffany's bag is still so foreign to me.

An ad from the April '11 issue of Elle Magazine.

I really can't believe that a company known for it's jewelry for more than a century gave in to the handbag craze. The bags are pretty (and pricey!) and Tiffany's is still Tiffany's but... I don't know. Mixed feelings.

How about you? How do you feel about Tiffany's expansion? Good or bad business move?

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The New Malcolm's Place.

The other night, with no plans whatsoever, T and I wound up in Malcolm's Place. We discovered that it moved to a new location along H.V. Dela Costa Street.

"We heard a lot of good things about this place, let's see if they're all true!" -T

When we went inside, we were impressed with the interior.  Dark wood, red seats, low lights.  T said that it looked like one of those places in Hollywood where Ari Gold, a character from the TV show Entourage, would bring his celebrity. clients for lunch.

I thought it looked like something out of The Godfather set, especially the table in the middle. I could very well see Don Corleone seated in the kabisera talking to his 'family'.

Aside from the dining tables, there's a bar on the side for people in the mood for drinks.

Our server was really attentive. Too bad I didn't get his name. To start us off, he served Focaccia Bread with Roasted Eggplant and Parmesan Cheese Spread.

For our first course, we got the Classic Caesar Salad with Wagyu Skirt Steak, Fried Capers and Foccacia. The salad can be shared by two persons with enough Wagyu strips for each. We already had the salad split into two.

The steaks have a separate menu. Aside from their usual, they also have the Aged Cut of the Week priced at P6,500+. I first got a taste of aged steak during our visit to L'Incontro last December.

We decided to get the Striploin. The steaks are cooked medium rare or medium only. We settled for medium but when it arrived, it was a little too bloody for me still so we asked them to cook it for just a bit more.

The steak was superb!!! All 500 grams of it! It was so big I think 3-4 people can share one order although T and I finished ours, leaving only a little strip and a bit of crispy onion rings for me to take home :)

Somebody asked me to choose between Bistecca in Rockwell (we ate there during T's birthday) and Malcolm's Place. Judging only on the basis of their steaks, I choose the Malcolm's. We have yet to try Elbert's Steak Room though.

I think I can never say this enough: The best things are always those that are left unplanned! ♥

Malcolm's Place
Dining Date: 11 April 2011

H.V. dela Costa St.
Salcedo Village, Makati City
(632) 844-0000

Para'kito: The Review.

*This is the first post I'm publishing completely from my iPad 2 (from the photos to the watermarks to the text) :)

Last year, I wrote about a product I purchased because of dengue fever (a virus which is transmitted through mosquito bites) and simply because of my utter annoyance of mosquito bites.

Say hello to Para'kito again :)

This is my first Para'kito bracelet. As you can see, it's tattered and torn as it has been my constant companion everywhere I went. From the beach to the mountains.. I swam in the ocean wearing it, I went zip lining with it.. From Luzon to Visayas to Mindanao, I never go to any of my trips without my Para'kito bracelet.

I know it may seem a bit exaggerated but if you've been mosquito food all your life, this bracelet is a gift! Because of Para'kito, I said goodbye to applying mosquito repellant lotion everyday. And it's pretty easy to use. Just insert the pellet that comes with your bracelet (it comes with 2 pellets) and voila! Bye bye itchy bites!

The only problem I had with Para'kito was that the bracelets came only in bright colors. This was fine in the summer season but during ordinary work days, the bracelet attracted too much attention.

Which was why I'm so thankful that the bracelets come in new colors: black and white!

I got my new bracelets last month but I wanted to see the extent of the pellet's effectivity so I waited before I wrote this review. Although the manual says you have to change your pellet every 15 days, it's been more than a month already and the pellets I originally placed inside my new bracelets still work!

For more information on Para'kito, read my previous entry on Para'kito or visit the the official Para'kito website.

And for those in the Philippines, I see Para'kito being sold in Nothing But Water and Planet Sports branches and the Mizuno outlet in Sta Rosa :)

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad