Review: Bridget Jones’s Baby

It feels good to welcome back Bridget Jones—anyone who grew up reading the book and watching the first film will surely be pleased by the third installment and how well the beloved character is treated.

It doesn’t quite hit the highs of Bridget Jones’s Diary—everything was just right about that first movie—but what Bridget Jones’s Baby offers is a consistently funny, albeit mellow, journey for Bridget.



If you think about it, Bridget Jones is now 43, so gone are the hilariously stupid mistakes that made Diary a gem, such as the book launch speech, with the amazing cameo by Salman Rushdie; or emotionally gripping arcs, such as Daniel Cleaver’s infidelity toilet scene. Bridget is now a respected news producer and she won’t take crap from any one—any man—just like that. So the writers Helen Fielding, Dan Mazer, and Emma Thompson are left with just a small opening for the film’s signature British slapstick humor, and in Baby, that gap comes in the form of the generation divide.

But even millennial jokes are hardly exploited here; their presumed takeover in the workplace barely registered as a threat. Maybe the film’s problem is that it’s become too respectful, too politically correct, that when Bridget’s weight suddenly bubbled up as the joke in a particular scene, I could only embrace it—and so did the audience; the theater roared with laughter.

The writers seemed to have only scratched the surface, careful not to provoke or fall back into stereotypes, effectively shielding Bridget from feminist criticism. She doesn’t go the far end of feminism either—there are no politics here. The slapstick comedy largely falls into the hands of her new friend and colleague, the hilarious Miranda (Sarah Solemani). Bridget’s three original friends only make cameo appearances, and even that shift, the sadness in how the dynamics in that friendship has changed, is barely given attention.

Bridget Jones is, after all, also about the guys. Patrick Dempsey’s character is written like a Prince Charming caricature; he could have been annoying, but the handsome devil gets away with it—the sighs I kept hearing from the audience mean he sure is charming. Colin Firth has gotten his Mark Darcy down pat and here, he cranks up the cranky tito factor even more.

It’s Emma Thompson as Dr. Rawling, who almost steals the show. She has little screen time, but she relishes each second, releasing zingers and just the slightest indignance with her arched eyebrows and pursed lips.

Renee Zellweger is criticized as being dead in the eyes by The Hollywood Reporter; I get that, but again, I look at this whole film as an affectionate nod to a mellower, grown-up—but not dark—Bridget1.


Bridget Jones’s Baby opens in Manila on September 14.

  1. I’m glad she hasn’t ended up a widower in this universe as in the second book. 

On being reposted by Naomi and memories of the 90’s supermodel era

I was having trouble sleeping on Friday night and it couldn’t have come at a worse time—I needed to sleep early because I had a Treadmill Stress Test at Makati Med the following morning. I tried meditating, reading, and watching Before Sunrise, but the struggle stretched into hours. By 1 a.m., when I knew it was going to be one of those insomnias which would make me miserable until the next day, I received a notification on my phone: Naomi Campbell had mentioned me in a post. I clicked it way too soon, forgetting to take a screenshot for posterity and I couldn’t believe my eyes—Naomi re-posted on Instagram a fan art I made just a day ago.


It was her VMA look with the Pat McGrath lipstick: the moment I saw it, I knew my 12-set Finetec Pearl Colors would be the perfect palette for it.

Everyone in the house was asleep so I couldn’t announce it to anyone, except on Twitter and Facebook, but what I really wanted to do was scream. Teenage memories came rushing back—how my supermodel fascination all began during the local Elite Model Search in 1995. They flew in Linda Evangelista to be one of the judges and newspapers were suddenly about this supermodel, who “(wouldn’t) wake up for less than US$10,000 a day.”

The tilt was won by Rollen Caralde and The Philippine Star had double spreads that chronicled her journey in the international competition, which I pored over. She was a gorgeous chinita with almost Pocahontas-length hair, eventually cut into a bob by Elite. But it was Indonesian Tracy Bustra (now Trinita) that garnered more media attention, with her sharp bangs and high cheekbones, and so for a time, we adopted her into our local lingo, i.e., “Mag-Tracy Bustra tayo papuntang Megamall,” meaning let’s take the bus to Megamall.

All that opened a new world which I didn’t know existed. I learned about The Trinity—Naomi, Linda, and Christy Turlington, with whom I felt the most connected to—and in true becky style, we assumed their personas in school. Ayee was Naomi for his dark skin; Medel was Linda because of his ever-changing hairstyle; and I was Christy for my lips. I would collect everything Christy—from the expensive Vogue and deliciously large V magazines, which I would go hungry at school lunches for, down to her Maybelline flyers. But I loved other supermodels too, particularly Nadja Auermann, whose photo I took to a parlor to copy her cropped ‘do from. (When I returned to school the next day, one of the class hotties said it was very Meg Ryan, haha.) The last of them whom I really liked were Shalom Harlow and Amber Valletta.



In the early 2000’s, there was a huge dearth in supermodels, until the Brazilians and Victoria’s Secret Angels took over, and in recent years, young ones like Cara Delevingne and Kendall Jenner, but they seem a lot more approachable (read: Penshoppe), and far from the glamorous and mythic levels of their predecessors. Coco Rocha’s probably the only one who excited me recently.

So all those memories came rushing to me with that one Instagram post. By time I was truly ready to call it a day, it was 2:30 a.m., but I knew it was going to be a good morning the next day.

I passed the treadmill test.

Languages of Love

Languages of Love

At a dinner last night, I learned about the “languages of love,” which are primary categories of expressions of love, based on a book by Gary Chapman. These are:

  • Gifts
  • Quality time
  • Words of affirmation
  • Acts of service (devotion); and
  • Physical touch.

When Chri and her friend asked me which of these I put the most premium on, I had an answer right away: words of affirmation and acts of service. Even in the getting-to-know and dating stage, I judge the guy based on them; hence, if he doesn’t wear his heart on his sleeve—no matter how many times we go out and touchy he is—that’s my cue that the relationship is doomed to fail (or that he’s just not into me).

On the other end, what annoy me the most are demands for physical touch and quality time. Case in point: I don’t think I can handle being with someone 24/7; I would prefer having my personal space—maybe even down to my own bedroom—and time. (In the Sex and the City 2 movie, Big asked Carrie about having two days-off apart from each another; Charlotte abhorred the idea because he made marriage sound like work, while I found myself liking it.)

Chri then asked me which of these ‘languages’ I transmitted to my former partners and I found myself stumped. I ruled out physical touch and quality time because these are based on mutual participation and they already rank below my priorities. I don’t give gifts, I’m not servile, and I don’t stroke people’s egos unless I’m truly awed and impressed. In that moment, I was disgusted at myself. Here was, as it turned out, a selfish person always wondering out loud why he hasn’t found love yet. 😕 I hated myself. Good thing, I ordered cheesecake ahead the conversation.

It was enlightening, to say the least. I like this “languages of love” business. Good job, Gary Chapman.

If you’d like to find our Love Language profile, visit

In a way, and as Chapman points out, this does not only apply to romantic relationships. It could also translate to other types, whether family (I don’t like to text or call), or business (I appreciate feedback).

My latest grooming arsenal (involves a whole lot of Kiehl’s)

Since my last post on my grooming products in March 2012, I stayed loyal with VMV and Olay. I’ve finished two bottles of the Re-Everything Cream: Anti-Age Advanced Treatment and Illuminants Plus Cream: Primary Brilliance Treatment—each bottle lasts an entire year—while I’ve restocked my Id Anti-Acne Toner and Olay Total Effects every two-three months.

As a fan and regular reader of Refinery29, once in a while, I’d be swayed into buying products they’ve written about. That’s how I learned about Kiehl’s Blue Astringent Herbal Lotion. So I bought that, got samples, and those samples sucked me into buying more. (Good job, marketing team!)

And I love them.


So here’s how my grooming lineup looks like these days:

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My Ooma favorites—and that fish that tastes like bacon

I’ve been meaning to try Ooma in Rockwell ever since I read about it in Pepper. I liked how it was described as the casual version of Mecha Uma, which I’ve heard so much of (though I haven’t been there either). So when Pam invited me for lunch as a guest of Ooma, I said yes right away.

Umami, the Japanese term for savory taste from which the restaurant got its name, is exactly how I’d describe the dishes we tried: there was no room for subtlety, as if each sushi was meant to deliver a punch—and immediately. This makes sense: as a casual restaurant (and with limited seating capacity), diners do not have as much luxury to slowly build up their meal with say, five courses. One bite and it’s wham, bam, thank you ma’am.

Still, the dishes came out so beautifully, like this Steak Aburi Maki, with threads of fried onion delicately balanced at the top:


Steak Aburi Maki (torched steak, pickled and fried onions, truffle oil, grilled and marinated leeks)


And this Soft Shell Crab Tako-Maki, oozing with aligue mayo like melted cheese:


Soft Shell Crab Taco-Maki (open-faced temaki wrap, crispy soft shell crab, aligue mayo, ebiko)


My favorite was this hamachi that would have fooled me for pork; the fish is torched just right enough to taste like bacon—I’m not kidding.


Hamachi and Kani Aburi Maki (torched hamachi, sesame seeds, pickled carrots, fried shallots, aioli, teriyaki sauce)


I also got to try sake for the first time. I thought it would taste like vodka, but they couldn’t be more different: vodka burns, but sake soothes. It tasted clean and fresh, and I like how it reset my palate after we demolished each set of sushi. Same with the Half-Baked Chocolate Lava Cake—it wasn’t too sweet, perfectly rounding out our meal. This takes 30 minutes to make, so order ahead of time.


G/F Rockwell Edades & Garden Villas
Amorsolo cor Waterfront Dr, Rockwell, Makati

Monday-Sunday: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
+63 2 958 6712


Quite a stretch


I tried a yoga class—my first ever—early this week. It’s called FNR Athletics at the Urban Ashram studio in Makati. It’s part of the lifestyle changes I’ve wrought upon (lol) myself. I can’t even touch my toes without bending my knees, so going to the class, I knew it was going to be a day of reckoning and my pounding heartbeat reminded me so.

Being a newbie, I didn’t understand the nuances of the class description on the website. All I got was the neon notice that marked it as “beginner friendly” and so phrases like “prepares the student to handle more complex work,” “recommended as cross-training for athletes,” and “students who are looking to transition from FNR to Vinyasa” slid past this oblivious yogi. I don’t even know how “Athletics” managed to squeak by my brain without ringing alarms in my head.

So, I’ll cut to the chase: the resting position for FNR Athletics is the plank. Lol. THE PLANK!!! I can last barely a minute on the plank, and here, everyone settles into it like they’re about to get ready to sleep. So for every pose and transition, we all eventually default to the plank and shift to downward dog (another resting position), then vice versa–by the 20th minute mark, my mat was wet with sweat and my shirt clung to my body like I just had a wet shirt scene in The Notebook. And the thing was, no one else was struggling, no one else was drenched, and everyone kept up with the instructor. Meanwhile, I would sink into my knees, catch my breath, attempt to blot the pool of sweat with my towel, then jump to the final pose. It was tough, but it was great. I liked how it whipped me real good.

At the end of the class, I was smiling inside. I liked how the experience both humbled and challenged me. I liked how my chest and shoulders opened up, and how my legs stretched and my spine lengthened. I liked how my body ached—for rest and a good night’s sleep. Overall, it was a good experience. The studio was well-maintained and the staff was pleasant and professional. I have one more class this week, and I’ll most probably drop by for more.


The latest chapter

I feel like I need to reclaim my own space online—Facebook has been venomous lately, though I can’t blame anyone for that: I will always uphold democracy, so that includes the right of trolls to be an idiot.

Since the six months I’ve posted here, I’ve entered a new stage in my life: that is, getting old. And I’m no longer just talking about the few gray hairs and the little lines on my face; I’m talking about regular hospital visits and maintenance meds. It’s not as troubling as it sounds, although yesterday, my cardiologist (I now have one, lol) crunched some numbers on her app and showed me a stat: apparently, if I don’t change my lifestyle, I only have a 50 percent chance of making it to 85.

“The good news is,” she said consolingly, “if you keep up with your healthy choices, that chance increases by 5 percent.”

I lol’d.

I never think about these things, but when I shared this with my colleague who’s going through the same health issues as I am, he turned sentimental saying he wanted to reach the age of 80 so he could see his son turn 50; now that is worth increasing your chances by 5 percent for.


Joaquin’s Bed and Breakfast in Tagaytay


I learned about Joaquin’s Bed and Breakfast in Tagaytay when I was checking out the highest-rated hotels in Agoda and TripAdvisor. Joaquin’s had a slew of gushing testimonials and some of the things that I kept reading about aside from the excellent service were the view and the rooms’ smell. I don’t think we read enough about an accommodation’s aroma, so that got me curious. But really, it was the consistent positive reviews that made me book the place.

Joaquin’s is located along Nasugbu Highway, a five- to seven-minute walk to popular restaurants, such as Balay Dako and Leslie’s. Given its address, it’s in the thick of traffic so driving there and parking can be difficult especially during weekends and holidays. No exaggeration: we got there around 3 p.m. and traffic was crawling; we went out again at 7 p.m. and the road looked even worse.

Nevertheless, all the traffic noise disappeared once we entered the premises and we were served pandan juice. Check in was a breeze and the staff was friendly, considerate, and courteous.

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New Year’s Day Post

Writing this post is like going to the dentist–a necessary evil! (Sorry, dentist friends.) For the first time in five years, I read the least amount of books in a year–down to 1/4. 😝 There’s literally pain in my chest as that information sinks in.img_8662
I got hooked on watercolor, which I guess, is not such a bad tradeoff. I got commissions from friends and sold a few ones. My interest dipped later in the year, but I was back in the saddle by December. I’m still not as prolific as when I started but I will get there.img_8664I started meditating in the last quarter of the year; I lie down, concentrate on my breathing and try my best not to think of anything else. You may check out the Headspace app and The Meditation Podcast (my favorite is the episode on letting go of negative feelings–I felt like I started on a clean, fresh slate after this. It’s also funny that my grudges were with total strangers I bumped into at the MRT, malls, etc., haha!)

My lack of reading has taken a toll on me, I know it. I am less focused now, unable to pay attention on one thing for as long as 10-20 minutes. When I read articles, I merely browse through the page, almost deriding sentences that don’t give factual information. (Watercolor–where I can spend hours and hours of concentration and which lead me to skip meals–doesn’t seem to help in this aspect.)

I do not think I can do it, and therefore, I will not include reading more books in my resolution. I simply do not have enough time during the weekday. Watercolor alone sometimes take me up to three hours; exercise is one hour; and catching up on Internet reads is another hour or two. With the traffic and later, dinner and meditation, I cannot even squeeze in time to go out or see people (e.g., date). Still, I will try, but it’s really just not going to be a priority.img_8663I’m okay with being single by the way, though often, I’ll slog through my workout and think, “What’s the point of having these gorgeous pecs for?”😀 and it can be very self-defeating when I have another set or two of push-ups to go, until a tiny voice says, “The clothes–you’re doing it for the good fit of your clothes” and I just focus on that and allow the mantra to grow louder and louder until the deafening cry of this fashion-related target propels me to an awesome push-up victory. Lol. By the way, I’m doing advanced push-ups now: it’s called the dead-stop reset push-up. I got major gains in just a week–try it!

I’ve been medically diagnosed as “slightly obese” during my last two annual check-ups.  I’m skinny fat (they’re all in my waist), which I think is worse than being fat all around, because then at least, you are well-proportioned. Still, that hasn’t convinced me to go to the gym: the exercises I do home is just as grueling–not optimal–but challenging nevertheless. (Though there’s a part of me that says I cannot leave this world without experiencing being borta.)


So, generally, I plan to keep up with my watercolor, meditation, and exercise. I also plan to go back to school, but I don’t want to go into the details yet because I still don’t how it will play out, given that I feel I don’t have enough free time outside my day job. I’m also determined to have an entirely liquid emergency fund by the end of the year. Oh, and for simple resolutions, I will take more selfies😀 to document happy moments and show that I am #confidentlybeautifulwithaheart.❤


My 2015 National Costume For Philippines

(Each year, I try to re-imagine the national costume for Miss Philippines at Miss Universe. So far, I’ve done the carrozzababaylan, parol, palaspas, People Power, and Philippine jeepney.)

I’m late this year!

I actually have two national costumes designs in mind and which I’ve been going back and forth on, when Pia Wurtzbach herself inspired me to do a third one instead.

But before that, let me just say that I mean no disrespect–I think Albert Andrada’s national costume was simple divine and definitely one of the best we’ve had in years. (And may I dare say, the best by a Filipino designer in the history of the contest.)

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