Friday, December 02, 2016

FMM: Cinnamon girl

First things first.

Happy Birthday Mom! Here's to more happy and healthy years ahead!

Now, on to Friday Magic Madness.

And today's song is inspired by a dear, dear, dear friend who's going to get married tomorrow.

Christine - or X'tine - is one of my best friends in Advertising. But unlike the song where Christine is a strawberry girl, our Christine is more of a cinnamon kind of gal. My first memory of her was during her first day at work, she had a box of cinnamon candies which I could smell from a mile away. And because I love cinnamon, this spice scent kick started our friendship.

It's a friendship that now spans more than 20 years. That's more than 2 decades of meandering and foraging, trying out new culinary adventures, thrift store shopping, apartelle partying, beach bumming, and so many things in between. And we did all these both here in Manila and in California where she's currently based.

Can't wait to be part of her special day tomorrow!

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Another day, another (four) commercials!

As another testament to how December is shaping up to be a busy-good month, we just finished an off-line presentation of 4 different commercials today!

Bring it on, December!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Boracay blunders

Seems like the lack of proofreaders is a nationwide thing.

Case in point: this sign I saw on the boat en route to Caticlan from Boracay Island.

Methinks spelling isn't their forte. (two.)

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Meet your Matcha

And the Pinoy passion for Matcha continues.

Yesterday, en route to the photo shoot, I dropped by 7-11 and saw this:

Matcha Milk Tea from Oishi!

True to it's name, it really is delicious. And it'll be part of my milk repertoire from this day forth.

Sugoi ne!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Birthday Bullet-in

Among my siblings, she's the one who I look alike the most. In fact, my colleague Karina once said - "She's your girl version, and you're her boy version." This is part true, though I hastened to add: "But she has better posture. And better hair. And definitely has a better sense of style, unlike me."

But more than our physical features, Ate and I are also alike in the way we approach and live life. She has a very strong sense of passion and compassion, she has kindness and firmness, she has luminosity and generosity, and of course, she has joie de vivre.

On one of my trips to SG, I was shopping for some sari fabric for Ate in Mustafa Center with Ka Wei. He asked me: "What makes you and your sister so close?" My reply was: "We're close because we're very much alike, both inside and out."

So, to my sister who's a lot like me, here's to another year of wisdom, passion, happiness and health.

Happy Birthday Ate Bullet!

Sunday, November 27, 2016


They say that life is peppered with happy accidents. Working at McDonald's was one of mine.

It was the summer of my sophomore year in college. I was thinking of taking summer classes or taking a summer job. Since none of my friends were taking classes that summer, I thought: "What the heck, I'll be a crew member at McDonald's Commonwealth."

Back then, working at McDonald's was a badge of honor. Being an all-American fast food chain, you had to speak impeccable English. In fact, the person who interviewed me was American. Which was - as one film once quoted - "surreal, but nice."

At first, I wasn't sure of my chances of getting hired. First, I was underage. They needed people who were 18 years and above. Thankfully, since it was summer, they hired people below 18, granting that they had a waiver signed by their parents. Now, I knew my parents wouldn't allow me to work so far from  home, so I did what any good kid would do:

I asked someone else to sign the waiver for me.

Then just like that, I was a crew at McDonald's 026 - a happy accident that resulted is so, so, so, SO many wonderful memories.

During most of my life at McDonald's, I was with the opening shift, or "The Openers." Now, in the McDonald's universe, the openers were usually geeky, wholesome, quirky and non-conventional. These archetypes were fine by me since I was geeky, wholesome, quirky and non-conventional to begin with.

I'd be at the store as early as 5am. Sometimes, my brother Biboy would drive me from Tomas Morato to Commonwealth - something he'd also do if I was a closer, or a member of the closing shift. Sometimes, my Mom would prepare breakfast before my shfit, and I remember one time when she got upset because she wasn't able to wake up early enough to make my breakfast.

The Openers made sure that the operations for the rest of the day ran like clockwork. That included opening and calibrating all the machines, stocking all the freezers, and making sure that there were enough stocks for the whole day. These were things I relished doing on a daily basis.

One of the best parts of being an opener was the friendships I made.

Through the opening shift, a group of crazy characters was born. Crazy characters who later became some of my best friends. This group included Helene, Teody, Chris, Ces, Nadine, Glenn, Dhymphle, Anj, Chinky, Joc and Tang. We'd all come in at 6:00 am and finish our shift at 12 nn or 1 pm. After our shift, we'd go out to watch a movie.

Movie watching came in two forms. First, we'd ride the jeep to SM North EDSA where we'd watch the latest geeky film. Our tradition was that every week, a pair would be assigned to pay for the movie and food. It was a tradition that was strictly followed, no matter how meager our pay for that week was. Second, we'd bring a VHS tape (!) and go to one of our friend's houses in Fairview to watch it. More often that not, it was Nadine's house. And I remember watching the animated version of "Beauty and the Beast" there for the first time.

Later on, we started leaving McDonald's, mainly because of school. But even if we weren't openers anymore, the group made sure to stay in contact and keep our friendship intact.

It's a friendship that's now 25 years old!

This was a realization I made this weekend during Chris' wedding. Over breakfast, Ces and I were talking about our McDonald's antics, and she exclaimed that those antics were from 25 years back!

And even if our friendship is that old, I feel we've remained the same young, geeky, wholesome,  quirky and non-conventional kids from 026. Although we weren't complete, we brought the other members of the gang in our hearts.

 (Ces, Glenn, Chris and myself. McDonald's 026 represent!)

Here's to 025 years of friendship among the 026 kids!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

From bridesmaid to beach bride!

The last time Chris and I saw each other, it was during Teody's wedding.

She was one of the bridesmaids, and I was the wedding organizer and (surprised) host.

That was probably 15 years ago.

Today, Chris and I saw each other again. On her wedding day.

Yup, the bridesmaid is now the beautiful, blooming, beach bride!

Congratulations Chris and Liam! Here's to a life of wedded bliss!

Friday, November 25, 2016

FMM: Island life

The last time I was in Boracay, it was 2013 with Mark, Patrick and Madel. It was in September, and it was such a fun and relaxed trip to the island.

Now, 3 years after, I'm heading back to Boracay to attend the wedding of a dear, dear friend.

This inspired today's Friday Magic Madness song, an island tune from one of my favorite musicals, "Once on this Island."

Among the many wonderful songs from this musical,  "Mama will Provide" is still my best bet.

Now, it's off to the island!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Yves dropping

It looks like Fashion Hall in SM Megamall is really living up to its name.

I dropped by their main atrium and saw this!

An Yves Saint Laurent photo exhibit!

Who would've thought? SM? Yves Saint Laurent? Together?

But it's true.

Fashion wonders never cease.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


And just like that, I'm craving for satay.

Blame it on the chicken satay that I shot last Friday. It was just so, so, SOOOO good!