Monday, April 25, 2011

♥ kate and wills ♥

While I don't recall ever dreaming of marrying an actual prince, I'm rather excited that Kate Middleton is soon to marry hers. Aside from the innate attractiveness of a commoner marrying a prince with (1) a name the length of a mile -- His Royal Highness Prince William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales, to be exact, with the official surname of Mountbatten-Windsor, (2) a smile that is not half-bad, and (3) a legitimate excuse to wear hats such as this one


there is also the fact that the two of them look genuinely happy together in a relaxed, as-equals sort of way.

Not only is Kate inspiring women everywhere to don trenchcoats (ahem), her upcoming wedding is also apparently inspiring an uptick in the British bookmaking industry. There are the usual bets -- the color of Queen Elizabeth's hat is said to be a regular draw during Ascot races and currently stands at 5-4 in favor of yellow -- and then there are innovative ones, such as:

Prince Philip falling asleep during the ceremony
(Give the guy a break; he's 89. He is also, incidentally, worshipped as a god by members of a cult in Vanuatu.)
Odds: 8-1

Elton John being the first to cry
Odds: 8-1

"Truly happy to be here" as the first cliche in the Bishop of London's speech
Odds: 11-4

The maid of honor is usually the favorite to catch the bride's bouquet, and the betting public is placing their money on that at 3-1 odds...despite reports that Kate will not be tossing her bouquet and will be leaving it instead on the grave of the Unknown Warrior at Westminster Abbey. Now that's giving away money. Then again, you can bet I'll be glued to the television screen on April 29, despite the fact that I don't own a television. Such things as odds fade in significance during fairy tale weddings. Here's hoping the royal couple-to-be will beat them odds and live happily ever after.

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Updates: random thoughts while glued to the tube

I want a hat!

Hmm. Harry has broader shoulders.

Oh look! Royal V-hires!

Prince Charles is looking better and better with time. I'm sorry for Diana, but I'm glad he eventually got married to the woman he actually loved.

Hah! The Queen has got on a yellow hat. Congratulations to those who bet on yellow...at such short odds, probably not worth that much, but a win's a win for all that.

I totally approve of the trees. When you've got a church as jaw-dropping as that, elaborate floral arrangements would be overkill. The trees are stately and they bring a touch of freshness to what might otherwise be a stuffy setting. This must be what Hogwarts looked like when Hagrid brought in all those real pine trees for Christmas.

I wonder how old Charles will be when he finally ascends to the throne. Elizabeth doesn't look like she's kicking the bucket anytime soon.

Harry is my mum's favorite royal. He's got a look like he could do something mischievous at any time. I'm reminded of Prince Corin's reaction when he found out that Shasta was going to be king instead of him: "Hurrah! I shan't have to be King. It's princes have all the fun."

Kate is so pretty! And I love her dress; it's beautiful and sensible and classic at the same time.

Those flower girls are so cute! (I'm sounding more and more like a girl. But it's okay, since I am.)

If I were sitting behind the queen, I wouldn't wear such a hideous hat.

Well, it looks like Kate didn't leave her bouquet at the tomb of the unknown warrior. There's hope for Pippa catching it then.

Awww. A carriage ride. I want one! And a horse.

The girl with the hat that looked like convoluted ram's horns was one of Prince Andrew's daughters?!

I want a horse!

Which reminds me: I promised Aivan I'd take him to London one day, even if I have to work myself to death to afford it.

I want a horse!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Goodluck

I still get the giggles every time I think about Nigeria's president, Goodluck Jonathan. My own name means happiness, so I probably don't have much right to get the giggles at anyone's name, but Goodluck Jonathan's name is a sentence all by itself. It's probably worth a few votes too. I've voted for a Joker Arroyo (senator) and a Cutie del Mar (congressman) in my lifetime, but it would be really fun to vote for somebody named Goodluck.

 Good luck with that promise, Jonathan.

I'm having a blast thinking up possible names for my dogs and kids. I'm thinking my dog should have his name changed to Wakeup Jack. And I've already asked my mother how she would feel about having a grandchild named Keepitup Saberon.

Goodluck's wife is named Patience. I wonder if my husband will consent to have his name changed to Closethefaucet Aivan.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

tough place indeed

In my last post I went on for a bit about how imprudently some people manage their money. But the truth is: there are a lot of people who work to death, and scrimp, and save, and still have barely enough to get by. This BBC documentary about a London bus driver who takes on the challenge of driving a jeepney in Manila was a real eye-opener for me -- not as much, perhaps, as it was for people who have never lived in the Philippines, but an eye-opener just the same.



The show brings up a bunch of issues -- family planning, rural underdevelopment, and gut-wrenching poverty -- but the scene that struck me most was when Josh West and Rogelio Castro talk about the differences in their circumstances. Josh reflects on how they basically have the same job, and how the huge gap in the quality of their lives is due in large part because he was born where he was, and Rogelio was born where he was. And that part, in a later scene, where Josh is crying and saying that Rogelio shouldn't have to work so hard for so little, had me crying as well.

Why? Why do people suffer? Why are some people born rich and others born poor? Why do some people make it out of poverty while some never do, no matter how hard they try? There are no easy answers, and perhaps there is no answer, not in this world. Maybe life is about taking on the challenge of doing the best we can with what we have, and going from there.

Friday, April 8, 2011

live simply

It's awful having to worry about money, but it seems to be an unavoidable part of growing up. Not only do you have to control your spending habits, you have to think about how others' will affect you. It really does amaze me how some people rely on borrowed cash or on relatives to get by. I get that some people have to, but there is a ridiculous number of people who splurge on expensive stuff, sponge up non-essentials, then turn to others for help in paying their bills.

So, note to self:

I'll make sure to teach this to my kids too. 

Thank you Ma and Pa for always stressing the difference between needs and wants. 

And it's true: the best things in life are free. Think about that, and you'll feel less compelled to spend frivolously on things that can give but momentary highs.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

the non-problem with alcohol

My name is Ligaya, and I am not an alcoholic.

I have the opposite problem. I haven't found an alcoholic drink that I like.

Now that is not, strictly, a problem. I have never done stupid things while drunk, never had to shell out a ridiculous amount of money for a disproportionate amount of liquid, never had to worry about liver disease. What's the problem with that, right? But I could see my aversion to alcohol becoming as much of a problem if I were visiting, say, the Napa Valley, as if I had an aversion to lechon and were visiting Cebu.

My mother made punch laced with gin for many New Year's Eves when I was a kid, and I always enjoyed it. And I love black forest cakes. But alcohol straight up? Not a chance. I once took a tiny sip of martini and was put off for life. Bailey's always looks promising, but whenever I tip a glass into my mouth I get a faint whiff of alcohol and promptly set the glass back down. My sister, two friends and I actually went wine tasting at the Wine Museum in Macau, and boy did I not enjoy my money's worth.

What can I say? I'm a plebeian. I would rather drink Nestea iced tea than Côtes du Rhône. When push comes to shove, I could always feign an allergy.

Choose to love. Take the high road. Forgive, and you free yourself.

I am blessed to have good people around me, people who inspire me and set good examples. That I don't always act on their inspiration or follow the examples they set is immaterial. I would be a far worse person if they weren't around. Thank you Lord for giving me friends and family who teach me to...