blog 2nd subtitle caption

- earnest, meaningful and slightly sarcastic -

Friday, June 9, 2017

The Hassles of Donating Blood in the Philippines

  It's almost as if they don't want your blood. I was looking for the blood bank at St. Luke's QC when I saw a poster at the blood bank's entrance saying that only 2% of the population are eligible to donate blood. Only 2% are eligible? I assumed that was a mistake and the poster maker meant only 2% donate, but I found out that the poster meant exactly what was printed.

  I was directed to wait in the little vestibule/foyer of the main blood drawing room without having even been given an information sheet to fill in. Slight waste of time there, but tolerable and unsurprising. When I was given the questionnaire, it contained the standard questions asking my medical history. Surprisingly unlike in the United States, the questionnaire didn't ask about travel to countries that have had outbreaks or donor's sexuality. I suppose the latter is very good because it doesn't make assumptions and discriminate a whole large group of already historically marginalized people. But then when the nurse took my form and discussed it with me, she asked additional questions like my menstruation, ear piercings and exact time of last meal. Apparently, I can have two ear piercings, one on each ear, but any more than that I'm not qualified to donate blood. That's such an arbitrary rule. Then the nurse asked when I had my last meal. I specifically had a large restaurant dinner as preparation and advanced reward for donating blood an hour before I arrived at the hospital. Turns out that I have to wait two hours after I eat to donate. I've looked up online and both the US and Philippine Red Cross don't say anything about this rule. Not only is it completely unfounded, but it's so specific that it becomes a very big deterrent to donating. Then lastly my menstruation: it must have been during my call beforehand to ask blood donation procedures when I learned about the hospital's policy of forbidding women on their periods to donate. "Aunt Flo" was  running late so it was important for me to donate before she makes her late arrival, but nope the nurse still refused because even though my period hasn't arrived it should've arrived so I have to wait a week after my period to donate. That is maddening! So women assuming they have exactly two ear piercings can't donate half the time. That's a quarter of the possible donors disqualified! And what's worse is that like the previous two rules, it's completely arbitrary and not based on facts. No wonder only 2% of the population is eligible when you have arbitrary unfounded criteria for donors. I was in a hospital where medicine is performed, whither fact-based science go?

  I rather enjoy donating blood (being a contributing member of society and burning 600 Calories are good motivations), so I'll call another hospital and see what it has to say.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Buffet Sunday Lunch at New World Makati Hotel's Cafe 1228

  Cafe 1228 ran a promotion with MetroDeal for half off its buffet, both lunch and dinner, so that was motivation enough to try it out for the occasion of my grandfather's memorial lunch. The dessert spread greets you upon entering the premises (smart move) and the rest of the medium-sized dining room was brightly-lit and busy without being noisy or too cramped.

  The carving station was a miss, the roast beef and lamb were dry and hard. I usually avoid buffet carving stations for this exact reason. My cousins said ordering them rare to medium made both the beef and lamb quite good, but I can't vouch for that myself. The seafood grill's blue marlin, two other fish steaks and mussels were also dry and tasteless. I wanted to try the oysters but they were looking deflated so best not attempt.

  The saving grace was the lechon for one. Come early when the lechon skin is still crispy and get a helping of skin, meat, white rice and lechon sauce. For a buffet lechon, it was pretty good. My cousin also praised the bulalo from the Filipino section which was flavorful without being salty in her opinion. The Japanese section was the highlight of the meal: silky egg tofu, spicy tuna sashimi and soba noodles served in adorable primitive wooden mini bowls. Cafe 1228 had a wide selection of sushi and sashimi of which I tried the tamago and inari sushi. Both were satisfyingly decent. The spicy pickled cucumber and seaweed noodles from the shared Korean and Chinese station were refreshingly sweet and spicy. Those two and the egg tofu share the spot for best of the best for me. Rounding out the meal were the desserts I saw at the entrance. It was a mixed bag of pretty good, mediocre and do not touch. The best of what I tasted was the ube cake which was delicate flavorful and moist. Red velvet cake was pretty good but I'm not too sure because my cousin ate into my half of the slice that we were sharing!

  If buffets are your thing, at 50% off this is a solid deal. As for myself, it was nice to try it, but the buffet Sunday lunch at Cafe 1228 is more of a "try once" deal.

Pros: Japanese station, cheese antipasti and mezze, ube cake, lechon, dining room decor and staff, fruit juice and soft drinks were included
Cons: Meat and seafood grill
Notes: BDO cardholders can also receive 50% discount. Full terms and conditions can be found here.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

I Voted in the Webby Awards!

I subscribe to BBC's "If you only read six things this week" newsletter (it used to be five things btw) and it was soliciting votes for its Webby nomination. But nope, I didn't vote, haha. A week or so later, I got another solicitation to vote from Zagat's Foodtripping video series, so well now there are two things to vote for, I suppose voting's worth the effort. I've always heard about the Webbys and had a generally positive idea of it, but aside from that, I really didn't know much about it. I definitely have never voted in it before. Big mistake! It's a really good resource to find the best of the web. There are so many categories and so many high quality nominees. Some are big names like the Buzz Feed and Refinery 29, whereas some are the smaller divisions of big names (like's individual non-current affairs sections). Since the Webbys were founded by the Academy of Design, some nominees are nominated not for their product but their design like Milk Makeup and the museum shop of the Rijksmuseum. Those two are in the same category of shopping wesbites! Buzzy millennial makeup brand and museum gift shop make for strange bedfellows but they are gorgeous websites! I've also been exploring the Jet Propulsion Lab's Cassini mission website. It has lots of in-depth articles mixed in with eye-catching pictures and interesting little trivia boxes. It reminds me a lot of my children's encyclopedia or science volumes. Anyway, voting for the Webby is on until April 20 at

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Remember Tinsley Mortimer?

I can't remember anymore why 30 minutes ago I searched for the year she and Topper Mortimer divorced (2013, but publicly separated in 2009) but now I've found out how badly things have turned for her. New York Post's Page Six told of how she was in a physically abusive relationship with a son of a sugar baron in Palm Beach and how she was so afraid to file charges even with all her bruises and staples to the head(!) because the family was so rich and powerful. Once upon a time, I'd wait for Socialite Rank to update every Sunday to look at pictures of her and her perfect life. She'd attended glittering New York parties with her perfect dresses and perfect hair particularly the ones by Dior of which she was the brand ambassador. She also had a line of bags with Samantha Thavasa, just like Victoria Beckham (and latterly Funassyi the pear fairy mascot, haha). She had it all plus the pedigree. But then she did Gossip Girl, then her own weird reality TV show, all the while getting a divorce and things went downhill for her and the rest of that kind of New York society with her. Socialite Rank shut down around the same time too. Ironically the same agent of her downfall is now her ticket away from her abusive relationship and back to New York society; she's now on Real Housewives of New York. Good luck to Tinsley