Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Yes, everyone's starting to get Carried away

The past few days, people have been asking me the same thing: "Have you seen the trailer for "Sex and the City 2"? Thanks to youtube, now I have.

It looks like HBO has another winner here. I can almost see the gaggle of girls lining up to hear what Samantha has to say and to see what Carrie has to wear. And yes, only Carrie Bradshaw can walk around wearing turbans and look chic.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas with a bulilit

After the outreach party, we dropped by Starbucks at Araneta Center. There were a LOT of kids since Disney on Ice just finished. And one of the kids we saw was this adorable, adorable, ADORABLE little girl. Of course, she's known as the "bulilit" in that really nice Camella homes TVC.

And no, the lady beside her isn't her Mom. (Although the two girls look alike.) That's our friend who looks a lot like the Bulilit girl. That's actually the reason why we had this photo taken.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Oh Christmas scenes, Oh Christmas scenes...

Dad spending Christmas in Manila again after 3 years. He obviously missed the Pinoy food and the Pinoy style gathering. Christmas really is different back home.

Oh how the kids have grown. It seems just like yesterday when I could carry these two.

Ate Bullet the margarita queen. Here she is with a glass of her signature blue margarita concoction.

Kurt trying his Mom's creation. (Kids, don't try this at home.)

Jul is SO amboy now.

Carl sends his greetings from good 'ole GA.

After a few years of having the mini-Christmas tree in our living room, we're back to a 6 foot tree. And here are the boys demonstrating how tall the tree is.

Jul joins our Christmas celebration via skype. He's sitting in the garden, thus the fabulous lighting. But he says it's freezing!

Jul's girlfriend joins in the fray and she finally meets the family. Via skype, that is.

These are just some of the reasons why I just LOVE Christmas.

Friday, December 25, 2009

A wonderful Holidays

Dad being in Manila for Christmas. Lovingly cooked and prepared noche buena by everyone in the family. A heart-warming video sent by my nephews Jul and Carl that left everyone a bit teary-eyed. A virtual reunion with Biboy, Liz, Kai, Noah, Jul and Carl via skype. All these made Christmas truly the most wonderful time - and day - of the year.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Life, Interrupted

Apart from Angelina Jolie's Oscar winning performance and Winona Ryder's sensitive portrayal in Girl, Interrupted, another actress made this movie so stunning and memorable. That actress was Brittanny Murphy.

Among the film's many scenes, the ones I remember most were the ones that had her character, Daisy. From that scene where she shoved her leftover chicken under her bed, and Susana finding that huge stockpile of smelly food, to the scene where Lisa tells her that everybody knew that she enjoyed the abuse her Father subjected her to.

Finally, the scene I still remember vividly up to now. Her room is empty, and the song "End of the World" plays over and over again. Susana looks for Daisy, but she's not in her room. She continues to look for her, and when she opens the bathroom door, she screams. Daisy takes her own life.

Until now, I remember that scene vividly. But more then the scene, I remember how effective and heart-wrenching Brittany's portrayal was. The girl who had it all together on the outside, but was tattered and broken inside. Such a brilliant portrayal. After that, I continued to watch her movies - from 8 mile to the newlyweds, to Happy Feet, and my personal favorite, Uptown Girls.

Now, that brilliant actress is gone. Rest in peace, Brittany Murphy.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Mr. Jones and Me

Last Friday, Mark and I tried out one of the newest restaurants along the Greenbelt 5 strip. Actually, we were trying to decide whether to go to an old favorite (Flapjacks), or try a new place. We chose the latter.

Mr. Jones is a diner style restaurant that has a lot of comfort food on the menu. But because this is Greenbelt 5, the old favorites have a high-brow twist. Like the food we ordered that night. We had Baked Macaroni with truffles - a perfectly cheesy concoction that has added texture because of the mushrooms. Our sandwich was a grilled pesto sandwich with spicy fries on the side. It was a winner!

After we got our bill, they gave us a container of lollipops as dessert. True to the restaurant's concept, the lollipops were so "back to our childhood." These lollies are the same lollies that I used to eat as a youngster.

Overall, the dining experience feels new and yet familiar - traits that make a restaurant worth coming back to. And yes, I think we'll see Mr. Jones again one of these days.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Making good (Christmas) time

Compared to the past years, I seem to be less harangued in the "buying gifts" department this year. I've been making good time, crossing out 5 to 10 names at a time on my Christmas list.

Today, I was able to wrap, label and set aside my Christmas gifts for our department in school. I've also completed segregating gifts for family friends, godchildren, and kids of friends. All I need to really concern myself with now is the gifts for my immediate family. Getting gifts for nephews and nieces is trickier now that they're in their teens and tweens.

Hopefully, I'll find gifts for them in a day or two. I don't want to spend the 24th of December running around and buying last minute presents. (That's what I've been doing the past 4 years or so.)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I smell the 80s

Sometime in the 80s, there was a song that was overplayed on the radio and oversang in variety shows. It was strange considering it wasn't an English song. From the sound of it, the song sounds Brazilian or Portuguese.

The song is Lanca Perfume. And it has been my last song syndrome since yesterday.

Apart from the funky sound and unusual lyrics of the song, I remember this song vividly because one of our maids used to sing along to it a lot. And she'd go:

"Lasang... Lasang Kankunis..."

Lady, it's a song about a perfume. Not tea. Harhar.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ripe for the picking

The group of rabid and rushing girls that ran past by me in Greenbelt 5 was the surest sign.

The Mango sale has begun!

I should drop by and get the first pick.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Fun all a-round!

Last Saturday, we celebrated Dad's birthday at our new favorite Pinoy comfort food restaurant - Kanin Club. The nearest branch was at UP-Ayala Technopark, so that's where the family hied off to.

The park was decked out in Christmas regalia. True to its image as a high-tech hub, their decor consisted of gigantic orbs that changed color, and Christmas ornaments rendered in wire.

Given how wacky and creative my siblings, in-laws, nephews and nieces are, it didn't take long before everyone went orb-wild and played around with the spheres that were scattered around.

Here's Miggy and Kurt "trying" to move it around.

Kurt trying to lift it.

And Javier trying to take a bite out of one.

We interrupt this program for a normal photo.

Miggy gets attacked by a wire-made Christmas ball.

And Kevin gets attacked by a sphere.

The group does a "Heal the World."

And my brother-in-law, Raymond, celebrates the witching hour.

By the time we were all done clowning around and making outrageous with the decor, Javier was already impatient and ready to go home.

It was definitely a fun, family Saturday.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A bit of Glee, a bit of me

I've seen Glee a couple of times and I just don't get why everyone is going nuts over it. Yes, it's fun, and the musical numbers are cute, but it feels like watching High School Musical over and over again.

I guess another reason why it's a bit alien to me is the fact that in Manila, the glee club isn't social Siberia. If you watch the TV series, you'll get a feeling that glee clubs are where misfits, geeks, weirdos and diva wannabes go.

But if you look at "real high schools", glee clubs are as normal as your science clubs, track and field teams, or even the honors club. Actually, back in my "real hight school", people thought the glee club was cool and they wanted to be part of it.

I should know, I was part of glee club.

(Strange but true. I was a baritone by the time I hit my senior year. Hahaha.)

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Still more cheap thrills

Manong Pepe's is Jollibee's version of the carinderia. It serves cheap food in a clean, no-nonsense setting. And like the carinderias I knew as a kid, (like Carling's near National Bookstore and Aling Lucy's beside our old house) the food they serve is really good.

I dropped by this morning and saw that they had champorado and tuyo! That's the 2nd most winning food combination ever! (The first being Tilapia and ginisang monggo.) The champorado was perfect - chocolatey without being too sweet. The tuyo was - well, tuyo. It's hard to go wrong with tuyo anyway.

And how much did this combo cost me? A mere P26.00! Now I can get a thrill during breakfast without spending a lot.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Ready for a Clash

As a young boy, one of my favorite films was "Clash of the Titans." It had all my favorite elements in one wonderfully crafted film.

I've always been drawn to Greek Mythology and this film brought them to life. After reading so much Zeus, Hera, Athena, Hermes, Apollo, Hades and the others gods, it was such a thrill to see them "alive." As a bonus, my favorite creatures were also there, including Pegasus, Medusa, the robotic owl Bubo, and Kraken.

This movie was produced way, way before the dawn of CGI and special effects. Despite that, it looked so polished. The way Pegasus flew and landed, how Kraken emerged from the water and fought with Perseus, Thetis coming to life, and even something as simple as Perseus disappearing.

I must've watched this movie a gazillion times and never got tired of it. Heck, if I found a DVD of this film now, I'd go ahead and buy it. Then watch it a gazillion times more.

So it came as such a thrilling surprise when I saw this trailer on the net today.

It's a remake of "Clash of the Titans"!

Off-hand, I see some of the elements of the 80s film in this updated one. The scorpions are there, so is Medusa, Kraken and the Stygian Witches. Of course, this updated version is armed with a lot of CG, which I hope will add value to the story and not detract from it.

The new "Clash of the Titans" film will be showing in 2010. But as early as now, I'm super ready for it!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Stuck Stock

Went to check out SM's "premium" section this afternoon and noticed that a lot of their Max and Cleo dresses were there for a year already. Yup, I remember certain dresses because they were the ones I wrote Christmas ads for last year. Among the lot was this black dress with feather trim on the hem.

The peculiar thing is that the prices haven't changed. If we were in another country, this dress would probably be 80%-90% off because of its age. After all, it suffered from "fashion depreciation" by this time. I mean, who wants to buy a dress that's a year out of season at current season prices?

Sunday, December 06, 2009


There are songs that are looped on my iPod and they're the songs I usually listen to while walking. The songs are usually very eclectic - a mix of bubblegum pop, R&B, some jazz and with a bit of mush thrown in.

But four of these much-played songs are very similar. Not because of the sound or theme of the songs, but because of the music videos. They all feature the same artists in multiples.

First up, a gaggle of George Michaels and Mary Js in "As."

Then we have 4 very distinct Kylies in "Did it Again."

And some more Kylies in "Come into my world." Hmmm... Methinks Kylie likes to duplicate herself.

Another favorite video that has this as theme is J Lo's "Get Right." Just like Kylie's video, we see Jennifer in different personas. Aside from the dance number, the schizophrenia makes this video fun.

Oh, did I say that I also like the Michael Keaton and Andie Macdowell movie "Multiplicity"?

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

The great thing about the Christmas season is that malls and stores are open later than usual.

While passing through Gateway on my way home, I saw that Rustan's was still open so I checked it out to see whether there are any nice Christmas gifts. After an hour, I went out carrying 30 gifts! That's about 1/3 of my list crossed out in one fell swoop. Nifty!

Plus, I was able to print out my tags for this year's Christmas presents, too.

Looks like I won't be rushing too much this year.

*fingers crossed*

Monday, November 30, 2009

Runway Wrap-up

The past few seasons, different designers have been mixing prints and incorporating them into collections. Gone is the old fashion philosophy that you can only mix prints with solids. Now, designers and their respective labels have been embracing the print-on-print philosophy. And some fashion houses have even turned it into their signature style.

Etro is one such house.

Known for their penchant for mixing bold, kaleidoscopic patterns, Etro's designers - Kean and Veronica - have broken a lot of rules and came up with clever and visually stimulating fashion. While I was still in HKG, I'd enjoy passing through Lane Crawford to see the Etro racks and displays and enjoy the visual feast.

And this inspired me to come up with this year's Christmas wrapping theme: "Print on Print."

I've been eyeing this pretty black damask wrapper but wasn't sure if I'd buy it because it felt plain. In fact, I asked about it three times, but never got around to buying it. But on a routine trip to Carolina's, I saw a roll of black and white plaid ribbon, and that sparked the idea for this year's theme.

The colors are from the same family so they play off each other nicely. And since the intensity of the prints vary, it blends well and isn't such an eyeful.

After wrapping the first gift, I'm very pleased with the results. I'm just trying to figure out whether is should keep all gifts in the black and white color range or if I should try and do the same concept in purple. Whichever execution I decide to pursue, at least I've got the concept down pat.

And that's a wrap.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Slim's chance

Yesterday, they opened the Slim's exhibit at the National Museum of the Filipino people. For the longest time, Slim's was just a name on a school that I'd see every so often. Later on, I found out that "Slim's" is the shortened version of the founder's name, "Salvacion Lim-Higgins."

She was one of the foremost female designers of her time, and she dressed up all the A-listers in old Manila. This included first ladies, actresses, diplomats, and society's creme de la creme. Slim's was an adventurer who traveled to Paris alone to watch fashion shows - this was during that era when women weren't allowed to travel without their chaperones. Indeed, she was very unconventional and daring.

And her sense of daring reflected on the clothes she created. Each one was masterfully created, beautifully crafted, and went beyond the norm of that era. Just like this terno which had origami details and a deliciously unusual silhouette.

I've always told myself that should they have an exhibit of her work, I'd definitely drop by and watch it. Looks like I now have that chance.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The magic kingdom in the middle kingdom

After so many years of speculation, it's now confirmed that Disneyland will build and operate a new theme park in Shanghai.

Yup, Mickey Mouse's magic kingdom is rooting itself in the middle kingdom that is China. It's supposed to be bigger and grander compared to Hong Kong Disneyland. And given the abundance of cheap labor and entertainment in China, I'm sure it's going to be a spectacle.

The good news for me is, there's another Disneyland to look forward to. I've had the fortunate experience of seeing all the Disney theme parks (woot, woot!), so now it's time to set my sights on this new attraction.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Nothing to Choos

It turns out that I had my dates mixed up. The Jimmy Choo for H&M collection launched in HKG a few weeks earlier than expected.

Judging from the posters, it was launched November 14. And it doesn't come as a shock that most of the stocks have been wiped out. There was nothing left in the Central store, while at the Silvercord center branch, they had half a rack consisting of a fugly plastic clutch, some ok dresses like the fully beaded one, and this pair of shoes that was the last pair and sat on the shelf all by its lonesome self.

Judging by what I saw, the collection wasn't that spectacular. Even this shoe wasn't that great since the material was blah. And if this is the same quality for all other products they sold, then I guess it's nothing to feel bad about.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cool Nicole

Coolness! My favorite model from this cycle is America's Next Top Model!

Nicole came in as the dorky, weird girl who didn't even react when Tyra called her in the top 14. She consistently took great pictures but they always find her attitude a bit cold and aloof. This worried me since that was their same comment about my favorite cycle 10 model - Lauren - and she was eliminated mid-season.

Thankfully, Nicole was able to step out of her cool and collected cocoon and she warmed up a bit. Although in the final judging, Nigel still mentioned that she continues to be detached, and somewhat of a dork.

But just as Nicole said in her post-win interview: "I'm a dork. And I'm America's Next Top Model!" Now that's a cool (and dorky) thing to say.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

You are nothing but a second-rate, trying hard...


The moment I saw the poster version of this ad at the LRT station, I knew it looked very, very, VEEEEERRRRRY familiar. And true enough, I found out why the ad triggered something in my mind. It's because of this:

Being in the advertising business for more than a decade, I know that there are times when creative people are "inspired" by other ads they see. Other times, they use pegs that they find from other sources, and use that as a basis for a certain pose, look, etc.

But my gosh! This one is just plain copying! I'm not sure if it was the client who dictated that they use that ad as basis, or if the agency just ran out of ideas. Look at the ads side by side, and it's easy to see my point.

The hair part, the styling, the colorization, even the positioning of the hands - there wasn't any original thought infused into the material. They didn't even make an effort to divert from the "peg" by one bit.

Oh well, so much for creativity.

But honestly, I don't know which bothers me more. The fact that a creative directly copied an ad from an already published material, or the fact that they desecrated Britney by using Angelica to mimic her.

I think it's the latter.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Boyle-ing point

Whoa! Do my eyes deceive me? Is this really Susan Boyle?

Looks like they're making her packaging as beautiful as her voice. And if this is the result, they really did a splendid job.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Two good to be true

America's Next Top Model is down to its last few episodes, and last two models. And for the first time, I'm actually rooting for both girls.

First there's Nicole. She's the quirky, nonchalant and geeky girl who shocked everyone in the first episode by revealing that her nickname when she was a kid was "bloody eyeball." The reason being, well, she had a bloody eyeball.

Second is Laura. The country girl complete with the country drawl. Throughout the competition, she was so unassuming and un-model like, but after 12 episodes, she's turned into - as Tyra would put it - someone so high fashion.

Two beautiful ladies stand in front of me, but only one can become America's Next Top Petite Model.

Who will it be?

We will see.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

America in Asia

It's been a few weeks since my quick trip to Guam, and I always forget to write about it. Maybe the reason why is the fact that I was just there overnight, and that the entire thing was a blur. It felt like Manila-zoom-airport-zoom-hotel-zoom-office-zoom-GPO-zoom-airport-zoom-Manila.

As the magazine in the Continental Airlines flight put it, Guam is "America in Asia." After staying there for a day, I'd say it's a pretty accurate assessment. Part of me felt like I was in the US, and part of me felt like I was just in Subic.

Architecturally, it looked a lot like the Subic and Clark airbases. Wide roads, low houses, the tropical trees, and of course, the beaches. Part of Guam also reminded me of suburban California - Hayward, to be exact. While I was eating at McDonald's in Agana, I felt like Auntie Aning's house was just a few minutes away.

Guam, as my colleagues tell me, is a very small island. And this was confirmed by the fact that we were actually able to go around the island in a few hours. While I was looking at the map of Guam, I realized i've seen it from tip to tip.

But of course, staying in a small island has its perks. Like the view.

My hotel had a great view of the sea. Note that it wasn't just any sea, but the Philippine Sea.

The feel of the hotel was very Shangri-La Mactan Island. Complete with the white building and the on going construction.

The highlight of this short trip was being able to indulge in "American consumerism." I was able to eat at Denny's - which is my favorite Diner. Then there was the late night run at K-Mart, where I was able to buy these goodies.

Ah yes, happiness is Twinkies, Ho-hos and Pop Tarts.

For tourists, no visit to Guam is complete without dropping by Guam Premiere Outlets. Since I was a tourist, I just HAD to drop by. After all, it's where two of my favorite stores are located.

Like I told my colleagues, I'll make sure that my next visit to Guam will be longer. That should give me more time to eat at the other fast food joints, visit more malls, order more breakfast platters at Denny's, and do some more BCBG shopping. Things that I usually do when I'm in the U.S.

It's just that now, the "U.S." is just 3 hours away.