Wow-kanda! The Black Panther is so ganda!

For the second time in my life, I watched a movie by myself. I don’t even remember the first movie I saw alone but I do remember that I cried my eyes out at the cinema.

With scheduling conflicts with BFF Patintera, the looming release of the “Infinity Wars”, and my mood on Sunday, I decided to just go ahead and watch the Black Panther.


King T’Challa of Wakanda

I thought it wouldn’t be a busy showing as it’s been a couple of weeks. And I was right. It wasn’t crowded. But with my luck, I ended up with an annoying family sitting behind me. With one of the younger kids kicking my seat, the Dad failing miserably at mimicking the African accent, the eldest constantly kicking the seat in front of him, about 2 seats away from me.

I would have moved to get away from them but I didn’t want to miss a nanosecond of Wakanda and all its wonders. IT. WAS. THAT. GOOD.

Wakanda, or as I call it, Wow-kanda, is an aspirational place where ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE – self-lacing sneakers, hover trains, flying saucers, tech to heal and help. (Maybe that weird light I saw when I was a kid was just King T’Chaka on his way home LOL)

But more than the beauty of the tale, I love that finally there’s a movie that celebrates  African beauty – the place, the people, the culture – BAD. ASS. WOMEN. ‘Nuff said.



My Nigerian friend, a former colleague, has warned me not to visit Africa. While I understand where he’s coming from, I can’t get the taste, the culture, the language, the colors, the vibe out of my mind. While I’ve lived most of my life thinking I’ll never set foot in Africa, I have a feeling Black Panther just might have changed my travel plans.

Incidentally, I spent a week in United Arab Emirates last year, another place I never thought I’d get to see but I feel blessed to have been given a chance to visit. But that’s another post.

To those who haven’t, WATCH BLACK PANTHER! To those who have, Wakanda forever!

Update: I watched it again last weekend. This time, with BFF Patintera, and she loved it. 

Oh, Africa, you’re back on my bucket list 😀


La Belle et la Bete: Beauty and the Beast Live Action Film

Last updated April 2

I have been waiting to see Beauty and the Beast on film since word got out that Disney was producing one. And now that I have, I’m simply ecstatic. I don’t even know where to begin.

beauty and the beast emma watson red rose.jpg





Emma Watson as Belle is of course, a perfect fit. She IS Belle come to life. Save for the singing, I admit, but good to know she’s not perfect. LOL

The animation of Mrs. Potts, Chip, Lumiere, and Cogsworth, however, lacked the magic I’ve come to expect from this magical tale. Or maybe, I’m just too used to the Beauty and the Beast of my youth that I was looking for effects less subdued.

beauty-beast-live-action-emma watson-belle.jpg

What I do love about this particular experience, though, is how layers were added to the story and the characters. I first saw it in the broadway musical where Beast questioned the gravity of his punishment vis a vis his “crime”. But Beast’s backstory as a cruel prince in this version was just what the story needed to seal that hole.

I also love that the librarian was one of the only two (it seemed) people in town who didn’t hate Belle and her father. Being probably the only other bookworm in town, the librarian had no reason to see Belle as an eccentric, unlike the way it was depicted in the musical.

Belle as an inventor was also a refreshing addition to the story, a tidbit that made her more extraordinary especially juxtaposed against the “little town full of little people”.

beauty and the beast gaston .jpeg

I was touched by Belle’s relationship with her father more in this version, especially their backstory and that rose baby rattle. OMGosh! Can you say destiny?

beauty and the beast belle and maurice emma watson kevin kline.jpeg

While I was completely enthralled by the iconic dance between Belle and Beast, may I just say, I luuurved Belle’s earrings in that scene? Like, seriously, where can I get a pair?


I was grinning from ear to ear during the “Be Our Guest” scene. And the pudding at the end just made me LOL beauty-beast-movie-2016-be-our-guest-pointofgeeks.jpg

I can’t say I love the new songs but I will never tire of this story, this tale as old as time.

NiceThings Celebrates 2nd Anniversary With You

NiceThings PH turns 2 today and I can’t be more thrilled! Yay!



In the tradition of self-revelation I began last year, I’m sharing excerpts from posts that I keep for exclusive viewing of a small group of friends. Some are benign, some are embarrassing, and others are downright scary. But I hope to reach out to my readers more intimately with these tidbits. ❤ you all!

If I had a spirit animal (I’m still unclear on the concept) it would be a panda. They, sleep, eat, play all day — my kind of spirit.  (Yes, this is my roundabout way of admitting I’m lazy)youre-thirteen-2

I’m looking forward to growing old. Specifically, I’m looking forward to turning 40 when life is supposed to begin. I think there’s some truth to that adage. I think 40 is when people come into themselves more. The foolish, often baseless and shallow confidence you had in your 20s will match the maturity and character you gained in your 30s. I think that’s what our 40s is about, being comfortable in your skin while being grounded by your experiences. I think growing old rocks😀


I like pretty things which is why I like interior decorating, gardening, painting, and DIY projects. I only have one problem, I have ogre hands. I am completely incapable of making anything with my hands. I have tons of ideas, I even have a collection of bag and shoes designs I created myself. All I need now is a handy craftsman/woman/person to work with. I hope to find one soon.


I used to love working out ’cause it made me feel good. Endorphins are great like that. But I was doing it for the wrong reasons. I wasn’t working out to be healthy and to keep from inheriting the family curse of obesity and heart problems. I was only working out to look good in the teeny, tiny outfits I was wearing back then. Of course, It wasn’t a very good anchor for commitment, so before long, I stopped working out. And it wasn’t long before then that the weight started to pile on. Now, as I have feared for the longest time, I am obese.


If I ever become a dictator, I’d mandate licensed parenthood. Yes, people will need a license to procreate. For people to obtain the license they will need to take psychological, physical, and spiritual aptitude tests. That’s probably not gonna fare well with the rest of humanity but I’m sick of seeing sick idiots hitting and raping their kids. Or less horrifying but just as important, raising more idiots.

These are some of the things I feel comfortable enough to share after 2 years. I hope my kind of crazy doesn’t scare you off.

Happy second anniversary to us! Here’s to 200 more ❤




Want To Write Better? Read Up!

WhiteHat Copy

You know how they say “you are what you eat”? Well, I say you write what you read. You’re probably thinking, “Great tip, Captain Obvious” but I doubt people actually digest what this means. Yes, corny pun intended.

you write what you read

Think about it. For someone who writes professionally, I am acutely in tune with my strengths and weaknesses. Sure, I can write pretty much anything the client asks for but some take a little more time and effort than others. And my turnaround time lies greatly on how easily the words flow.

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NiceGift from NiceThings: FREE Fascination Advantage Rapid Report

Ever wonder how you become so enamored with certain brands and not with others even if, say, they bore the same inherent qualities? Why certain people are instantly likable and others not so much?

That’s where fascination comes in.

In Sally Hogshead’s fascinating book,’Fascinate’, she discusses the seven triggers that inspire fascination: Lust, Alarm, Vice, Prestige, Trust, Mystique, and Power.

fascinate sally hogshead

Whether you’re a brand or an individual, it pays to know how you are using these triggers and how you can maximize your own potential for fascination and captivation.

So, I’m sharing this FREE code so you can find out how you fascinate people: JOY-NiceGiftFromNiceThings

To take the test, simply follow these steps:

  1. Go to
  2. Enter the code above + your information
  3. Click START NOW!

I hope you take advantage of this free test. At the very least, it’s entertaining. The code is good up to January 15 only. Hurry!

Please do share your results below. I’ll make sure to share mine if you do. 🙂



NiceThings For 2016

Thanks to Facebook’s ‘On This Day’ feature which brings up your posts from years past, I realized that I achieved none of my 2015 goals. Nada. Zilch. I posted it privately so that only I could view it. I guess that made it easier for me to ignore my list altogether.

So, for better chances of project fulfillment for 2016, I’m making my goals public, holding myself accountable to my readers.



Quit soda

Cut down on red meat

Learn a foreign language – I keep changing my mind about which one so I’m just going to keep this open-ended.

Since it’s fasting week, I’ve decided to make my faith goals public as well.


Daily devotional – Daily. No excuses, no matter how busy I get.

Inner peace – Regardless of circumstances.

Serve at Church – It’s time I stopped finding excuses and start serving in a Ministry.

That’s it! That’s pretty plenty to accomplish in a year, I think.  Wish me luck and please hold me accountable.

How about you? What changes are you aiming for this year? Please do share in the comments.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens The Feels


star wars episode vii

I did my best to steer clear of spoilers before I got to see Episode VII. But someone insisted on ruining Star Wars for others and posted a comment on a non-Star Wars thread about Kylo Ren killing his parents Han Solo and Leia.

So when Kylo Ren skewered Han with his lightsaber, I was sort of prepared. But seeing the light go out of his eyes was saddening just the same.

Han Solo was from my generation of Star Wars. Every bit of the old Jedi galaxy that I knew as a child was a comforting, welcoming embrace from a long absence. It was a coming home of sorts for me and to lose a central piece of that galaxy was disturbing *insert Vader voice* to say the least.

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Han Solo and Chewbacca are home.

I could hardly contain my excitement when I caught a glimpse of the Millennium Falcon buried in the sand. When Rey and Finn took the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy, I was fully drawn into the story.

hero_Star-Wars-Force-Awakens-2015-rey and finn

Rey and Finn learn about the Force and Jedi Knights from Han Solo and Chewbacca.

Now, Rey is one of the biggest puzzles of this episode and I dare say, she’s a Skywalker. Her memories of the night Kylo Ren killed the younglings (like Anakin did in Revenge of the Sith) and Luke shutting R2-D2 down, and the island where Luke was hiding, give me no doubt that it was her father that locked up her memory until #TamangPanahon, as they say, comes and the force awakens in her.


It was great to see R2-D2 awaken as well and to be working with BB-8. Cuteness overload!

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R2-D2 and BB-8 with C3PO

Of course, BB-8 was an instant love. Much like R2-D2, BB-8 is a feisty, loyal, dependable, cuddly friend. Okay, maybe not so cuddly for everyone since he is made of metal but I do wanna give that little cutie a hug.

Star Wars The Force Awakens Character Movie Posters – BB-8.jpg

BB-8 is this generation’s R2-D2.

I cannot end this piece without giving Han Solo a proper goodbye.

Thank you, Han Solo, for one more wild ride in the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy. You will be missed.

star wars the force awakens han solo

Han Solo – Smuggler, Friend, Husband, Father.


NiceThings About The Star Wars Saga: A New Hope

I still remember my induction into the Star Wars cult. It was late morning one day and we had just installed our new betamax (yes, I realize I’m dating myself here) when my brother excitedly introduced me to the spectacular world of a galaxy far, far away.

A New Hope

As the massive, celestial theme blasted through the speakers, my jaw dropped. I knew I was in for a ride. But I remember bugging my brother as the opening crawl rolled. I thought he missed episodes one to three. My little seven-year old mind couldn’t wrap itself around the fact that Episode IV was the first movie in the franchise.

star wars episode iv

Star Wars Episode IV: The Gateway Star Wars Drug

Watching Princess Leia stand up to the horrifying masked man was inspiring. It was actually the first image that made a mark on my young mind. I would have been terrified of Lord Vader and the armed storm troopers if I were in Princess Leia’s shoes. George Lucas sure beat Disney to bringing gutsy princesses to the screen.

But then again, George Lucas beat a lot of people to a lot of things with Star Wars. Truly ‘epic’ is an understatement.

One of my favorite scenes, of course, was the now iconic Jedi mind control hand wave.

these aren't the droids you're looking for

These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.

Imagine watching this at 7 years old. Mind = blown!

One of the things that fascinated me about Star Wars was the realms it introduced me to, like Luke’s home – Tatooine – which had two setting suns in one of the scenes.

star wars tatooine twin setting suns

Luke is drawn by an invisible force to explore the world beyond Tatooine.

Luke’s use of the Force that pulverized the Death Star mere days into training, was of course, impressive. But the death of Obi-Wan Kenobi was both tragic and baffling for a kid such as myself.

obi-wan's death scene

If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.

Obi-Wan was one of my favorite characters. My consistent favorite in the entire saga is the adorable R2-D2. He’s cute, he’s loyal, and always reliable. I found C3PO annoying when I was a kid and I still kinda do.

r2d2 and c3po

The adorable R2-D2 with the rather annoying C3PO.

Of course the love angle between Princess Leia and Han Solo was lost on me at seven. But I appreciated it when I saw the movie again as a teen. I’ve seen the entire saga several times by now and the magic remains.

I can’t wait to see the latest episode in this timeless wonder, till then, I’ll be binge-watching and reliving awesome childhood memories.

May the Force be with you!

NiceThings Answers The Proust Questionnaire

My BFF Patintera and I went through a Care Bears phase while we were living in Singapore a few years back. Perhaps the homesickness made us ponder on our childhood more than usual. She always called me Share Bear since she realized sharing was one of my more dominant qualities. I’m feeling particularly Share Bear-ish this morning so I decided to answer the Proust Questionnaire to give my readers a better idea of who I am on my first anniversary.

Care bears stare!

Care bears stare!

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Losing the ability to love.

Where would you like to live?

On a farm.

What is your idea of earthly happiness?

Learning real contentment regardless of situation.

To what faults do you feel most indulgent?


Who are your favorite heroes of fiction?

Atticus Finch, Elizabeth Bennet, Fitzwilliam Darcy, Aslan.

Who are your favorite characters in history?

From the Bible — Joseph (son of Jacob), Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, Azariah.

Who are your favorite heroines in real life?

My bestfriend Patintera — her selflessness is inspirational.

Who are your favorite heroines of fiction?

Elizabeth Bennet for defying the norm of her time.

Your most marked characteristic?

Fluidity — I can change my mind without prideful hesitation if I realize I’m wrong.

What do you most value in your friends?

Niceness — good manners, kindness, consideration of others.

What is your principle defect?

I tend to succumb to anxiety.

What natural gift would you most like to possess?

Inner peace.

How would you like to die?

Quickly and painlessly in my sleep.

If you would like to answer the questionnaire yourself, you will find the complete list here. Please do share your answers in the comments and I’ll make sure to check it out.

Nice Things About The Jets Live In Manila

I…I was just seven when The Jets first came out. I may not have known who they were then but I certainly enjoyed their music. I was raised in a very musical home. My dad played the guitar and he was an amazing singer. Although none of us kids learned any instruments, we all enjoyed singing and dancing growing up.


We got tickets as soon as they went up for sale! #80sKids

The Jets treated the audience to a trip down memory lane with their greatest hits and dance moves. They opened with “Bustin’ Loose”, followed by “Cross”, and “Mix It Up”.

The Jets Live in Manila

The Jets busting a move

Us 80s kids grew up with The Jets quite literally. They were just kids as well when they belted out songs like “Make It Real” and “You Got It All” but their unique sound made these love songs relatable to a gradeschooler like me and my bff Patintera.

The Jets Live In Manila

One of my favorite parts of the concert was their tribute to The Jackson 5.

The concert may have started a bit late and some of us dozed off while waiting but I would love to see them again. I just hope it would be at a better venue with more comfortable leg room.

The Jets Live In Manila

Take My Hand is a song about their greatest treasure — their family.

The Jets is an inspiration, not just for their music but for their family values as well. The family that plays together stays together, apparently.

*All photos courtesy of Patintera