October hockey. It’s generally agreed that the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs is the best hockey of year. October hockey, however, may be a close second. It’s manic and unpredictable. Everyone’s healthy and raring to go. And the coaching staff’s messages — of defence and set plays and playing systems — haven’t sunk in just yet. And so October hockey — like Thursday night’s game between Tampa and Toronto — can be wildly entertaining. At least it was for the first period, when Tampa left leading 4-3. After that it was all Tampa, finally 7-3. The thing is, October hockey should be Leaf hockey. This is as run-and-gun a team as there is. They should be able to outscore their mistakes and capitalize on mistakes by other teams. But three losses in a row says otherwise. “This time of year can be difficult sometimes,” said defenceman Morgan Rielly. “I just mean you’re getting used to new things and … [Read more...] about Mailbag: Why Kapanen continues to see time on Leafs’ top line
Home bargains near me
Scavenging a Smith Corona I had the privilege of being mentioned last week in the column of my historian-friend and fellow connoisseur of all things older than ourselves, Ambeth Ocampo, for having facilitated his acquisition of a 1962 Ferrari-red typewriter sporting a rare cursive typeface. Ambeth and I had run into each other at the recent Philippine Readers and Writers Festival in Makati, where we had separate events but both attended the visiting Gina Apostol’s talk on her new novel Insurrecto. Strangely enough, the last time we met was also in last year’s PRWF, where we realized to our mutual amusement that we were both carrying Agatha Christie fountain pens. (For the record, he has also been a lifelong penman.) Occasionally — like, I suppose, his legions of fans do — I email him for his professional opinion of my recent antiquarian pickups, like a French book from 1706 about the Jesuits in “Nouvelle Philippines,” … [Read more...] about Scavenging a Smith Corona
Bangkok has become one of our favorite destinations for obvious reasons: its interesting, preserved heritage sites that speak well of their glorious past, the rich flora and fauna, food and fruits (check out the pungent and buttery kanyao variety of durian; duku langsat or lanzones; atis or sugar apple, pomegranate, guava, dragon fruit) and a personal favorite, crispy banana chips with tamarind paste. There are good buys in weekend markets, while modern retail shops offer a wide variety of products and services. We can’t seem to have enough of it. To sum up our Bangkok experience, I’ll rate from bad (in a good way) to baad (a rip off). Bad: I booked our airport pickup online (Viator for P2,262.39 or US$43.14). The six-passenger van was new, clean and spacious. The driver was polite and experienced. Baad: It took us over 40 minutes to find the van. My name was spelled wrong, making it difficult for me to spot the welcome sign displayed among hundreds of signs. In exhaustion, … [Read more...] about Bad, baad Bangkok!
MANILA -- All set to celebrate Mother’s Day this weekend? If we go by foot traffic in shopping malls, the number of gifts being wrapped in stores, lack of parking spaces near restaurants and packed tables at dining places, this special occasion is one of the most-celebrated by Filipinos of all ages. And why not? Most of us have mothers who have cared for us from the womb and continued to hold our hand whether we were toddlers, teens, in our 20s, 30s, 40s and older. As you toast the woman that shaped who you are today, take time to remember the many life lessons she has shared with you through the years. Looking back, I marvel at how my mom managed to do it all. She did not have a full-time job and instead chose to stay home to raise two daughters. She was the primary caregiver, cook, tutor, handy(wo)man, shopping companion among many more roles that I saw her perform everyday growing up. Now that I am raising two daughters, I am grateful that she has given me a strong role … [Read more...] about News Mothers know best (even when it comes to money)