Monday, March 29, 2010

The problem with pretty

In almost every cycle of America's Next Top Model, there's always the "Pretty Girl."

"Pretty Girl" has everything going for her. She's tall, lithe and has great bone structure. She's genetically superior, with stunning facial features. So stunning, that - as Jay would always say - the camera loves her. It's difficult to find a wrong angle, and, every panel, everyone would remark how pretty she is.

(Anchal, Cycle 7)

Unfortunately, their blessing is also their curse. Most of the time, they're accused of being too pretty. Because they're naturally pretty, the judges and Jay often tell them that they're resting too much on their inborn beauty and not trying hard enough.

(Ebony, Cycle 9)

One of the favorite comments that pretty girls usually hear is: "You're pretty. But you're not a model." That's what they're usually told before they get the boot.

(Allison, Cycle 10)

Then again, some of them deserve it. Some girls use this beauty like a trump card. Since they're pretty, they feel they can get away with bloody fashion murder. But as the previous cycles have demonstrated, the pretty girl doesn't usually finish first.

(Joslyn, Cycle 11)

It's actually a shame since a lot of these pretty girls have vibrant personalities and are also good models.

(Brittany, Cycle 11)

There are a couple of "Pretty Girls" in Cycle 14, and all of them look like they've got the drive to win. Hopefully, the problem with being pretty won't plague them this time.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Look, it's Lucas

This week, D' Frendz welcomed our first baby boy!

Welcome, Lucas! I'm sure little Audrey and Becca will be excited to have you as a playmate soon.

Thanks to Daddy Dip for the photo.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Hello Saturday, I missed you.

Today is officially the last day of classes. And to cap off the semester, my class and I watched their "I love you, Sabado" video productions. That was fun.

I must say, I'll miss waking up early and hieing off to school. Then getting there at around 7am only to find out the faculty room is still locked and I'll spend 5 minutes looking for the person who'll open it. Then spend 6 hours with my 2 classes - teaching, brainstorming, and seeing creativity bounce around the 4 walls of our classroom. I've always looked forward to Saturdays because of my teaching stint.

Then again, getting my Saturdays back means that I can go on more weekend trips out of the country. Or out of town. And more time to sleep. And more time to stay out on Fridays. Things that I usually miss because I need to get up at 5:30am the next day.

See you next week, Saturday!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Take it to the Banks!

There are a number of things to be excited about on this cycle of America's Next Top Model. First is the presence of Andre Leon Talley as judge. I've seen him in two episodes and he's hilarious!

Second, there are a lot of really model-looking girls in this batch. Krista is so elegant, Brenda has that androgynous vibe, Raina is unbelievably beautiful, Angelea looks high fashion, and Jessica is the perfect Cover Girl. It's really anybody's ball game this season.

And lastly, the opening billboard! It's A-W-E-S-O-M-E! It's the best OBB of the show that I've seen so far. It's catchy, conceptual, and beautifully made. Tyra Banks really outdid herself this cycle.

It's going to be another fierce cycle. ANTM Cycle 15 addiction, here we come!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The flying, teaching chef

Last Sunday, my senior Advertising batch made their final walk through the halls of St. Scholastica's College as students. By Monday, they were now members of the professional community.

One of the best rewards I get from teaching is seeing my former students thrive and excel in the real world. A handful of them are now in major advertising agencies doing stellar work. Some of them are in account management while a few others have chosen to take the creative route.

Batch 2010 has a good mix of both. I can see some of my students becoming great creative directors, while others will be awesome account directors.

But before they left the hallowed halls of school, we made sure that we sent them off properly, and memorably. And that required me to take off my teaching hat and wear other hats in separate occasions.

For the Seniors' send-off by the Mass Comm faculty, I wore a Pilot's hat!

Our theme was "Taking Flight" and I dressed up as a pilot while Prichy was my chief purser. I once dreamt of becoming a pilot (as well as a flight attendant), so this was equally fun for me.

On the last day of classes, I wore another hat. This time, a chef's toque. We ended the year with my favorite "D.I.Y. sandwich party." But instead of it being a D.I.Y. event, I played chef and let everyone just sit back and relax.

All I can say is, it's difficult to make 24 paninis! Harhar. I christened the event "Lester's Panini Palace" and students could order from a menu of paninis, including pesto and cheese, spanish sardine, and the multi-ham and cheese variety.

All these events made the sem end much more fun. And it gave me the opportunity to wear the three "hats" that I enjoy wearing.

And I throw those three hats in the air to salute St. Scholastica's College Advertising batch 2010 graduates. Congratulations!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Kagalang Galang

Aside from the Max and Cleo stash, another great find from the SM sale was this functionally chic gray dress from one of their house brands - A. Galang.

It's a brand that I've seen on the rack a couple of times already. The first time was when I noticed that they had a well made version of that famous RM by Roland Mouret dress. One time, Arnie and I dropped by that area, and she noticed that there were some Rodarte-inspired pieces as well.

Looking at the rack, it's obvious that the designer has a knack for details. It can be a fold or a dart, a small piece of hardware or a random gathering of fabric. For the gray dress, the detail was on the shoulder - a chain of circular shapes that were embroidered then positioned as extended sleeves. It was an interesting touch, and worked well with some of the exposed darts on the bodice and waist.

Ah yes, the magic of details. And the fact that the dress was also on sale was the best detail of all.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spoilt for choice

Referencing what Mona and I would always say: If it's difficult to choose between two things, just get them both.

Or in the case of the Max and Cleo sale at SM, just get everything nice.

Fortunately (or unfortunately, depends on whose point of view) there were a lot of nice things. SM really spoils its consumers with great choices during this 3-day sale. No wonder the dresses were flying off the ranks.

Dresses like gray shifts with interesting black details.

Florals that are perfect for summer. Just throw a vest over the frock and you've got that downtown boho vibe down pat.

Basics with twists. Like a summery cotton dress with an ombre effect, and a black jersey shirt dress with strategic shirring and cascading ruffles.

Ate Bullet was saying "wow" each time she pulled out a dress from the pile, and that simply means that she likes it to the max. And that also means my job is done.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Lunch with a Dear

David's Tea House was full to the rafters, so Mark and I decided to skip to the restaurant next door and had lunch at Yellow Cab Pizza. I got to choose the pasta so he was in charge of choosing the pizza. And he eventually chose something dear.

I've seen the posters and billboards for the Dear Darla pizza for many months now, but never got around to try it. And boy, I'm glad that Mark ordered it. It's AWESOME!

At the risk of sounding like a food critic, I must say that the combination of flavors and textures is just phenomenal. The hint of bitterness from the arugula mixes well with the light sweetness of the alfalfa sprouts. Add in the flavor of the pizza sauce, cheese and garlic, and wrap it up in a light crust - it was such a treat for the taste buds!

I think that after this, Dear Darla will be my mostest favoritest pizza at Yellow Cab.

But then again, if they decide to put anchovies on that pizza and call it another name (like Dear Dilis), then that would be my mostestest favoritestest.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Max it out!

From the moment I saw that first Max and Cleo dress in HKG, I've always been on the lookout for that brand everywhere I go. That's why I enjoy those short trips to Guam because they carry them in the BCBG store, as well as Ross. Here in Manila, Max and Cleo is available both at Rustan's and SM.

Now SM throws spectacular sales and it's not surprising to see prices drop as low as the deepest trench. From March to April, they have this "Designer Dress sale", and among the brands on sale is - wait for it - Max and Cleo!

And on sale it is! Some of the dresses were on 70%-90% off! There was one rack full of exquisite dresses: from flirty cocktail dresses to summery floral frocks to tailored corporate shifts to shiny evening ensembles. When I started looking at the tags, I had to do a triple take because they were SUPER cheap. I'm not talking "relatively cheap" here. The dresses were really "super cheap."

Take this gray shift for example.

The tailoring is nice. The fabric is classic. It has pockets that make it functional. And there's a neck detail to keep it from looking too much like a headmistres' uniform. This is your quintessential day-to-night dress. Just throw over a cardigan or blazer for day, and use it as is at night.

The original price of this dress is P4000, and the sale price? A whopping P800! That's 80% off the original price!

And this is just one of the fabulous finds on the rack. There was a ruched chiffon dress, a pretty cotton dress with an origami detail on the neck, a tulle and silk dress with a bejeweled waist, a lace and crinkled chiffon cocktail number, and a black jersey dress with shirring on the shoulders. There were so many nice dresses, it made the act of choosing uber difficult.

But as Mona and I would say, why choose when you can get more than one?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Design of a decade

We were having brunch at Mona's place last Sunday, and since the Pacquiao fight was boring and predictable, we decided to just huddle around the dining room and talk. The subject: The 80s!

The 80s had to be the most colorful and culturally impactful decade. Proof? The fact that most of the 80s stuff are back! Whether they're being re-made, re-fashioned or just simply being recalled, it's enough evidence that everyone - young and old alike - just can't get enough of the 80s.

Cases in point:

1. The A-Team. As kids, my brothers and I would crowd around the TV screen to watch the exploits of Hannibal, Face, Murdock and B.A. Baracus. Every episode was an adventure and we'd usually re-live that adventure in our garage the next day.

Now, the A-Team is back on the big screen. Old characters, new actors, and by the way the trailer looks, it'll have a choc full of special effects.

2. Tears for Fears. The new wave/pop duo is going to Manila for a concert this May, and the prospect alone got us talking about how we'd do the "Mad World" dance during school programs and sing "Everybody wants to rule the world" during Christmas parties. One of our friends said that the word around the grapevine is that only one member will be flying over. (Does that make it "Tear" for Fears?)

But according to the posters going around cyberspace, Roland and Kurt will both be in town for the concert. Expect a throng of nostalgic 80s kids to show up at the concert. And hey, we might just be part of that group.

These two - along with Clash of the Titans, Cyndi Lauper in The Apprentice, that concert in Manila featuring Randy, Louie, Gino and Keno - are proof enough that the 80s really defined a lot in terms of visual, sound and culture. And I feel lucky to have seen these things both in their original and revived incarnations.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Suddenly Shabayeva

While reading the March issue of Marie Claire magazine, I saw an article on the winner of Project Runway season 6, Irina Shabayeva. Since I never got to watch - much less follow - season 6, I was completely clueless about the competition and who won. It turns out that, like season 5, the top 3 were all girls: Carol, Althea and the eventual winner - Irina.

Irina Shabayeva was supposedly the resident bitch of the batch. Unlike Kenley who was rude to everyone, including Heidi and Tim, she was just nasty to her co-designers. There was even a "Sweatergate" issue when she accused Carol of copying her design - in front of the judges. But she was never rude to Tim, especially since the two of them worked together when she was still a student at Parson's.

They say Irina had an "attitude." I didn't watch the series so I wouldn't know. But I saw her collection and what Irina has is talent. Her collection of black and gray wool clothes with those intricate criss-cross patterns were so nice. They were architectural but soft, strong but feminine. I like the fact that she also made felt hats to go with the entire collection. It gives it that whole "spaceman-meets-equestrian-vibe."

After reading about Irina, suddenly I'm interested in watching the entire season 6. This is a job for St. Francis Square!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A ditty to talk about

For the longest time, I only knew Kei$ha as the voice who sung our station ID song. Well, it's not really a song but more of a one liner. But the way she sang "TV to talk about" was so catchy and intriguing.

Imagine my surprise when I read that she now has a burgeoning music career in the U.S. Cool beans! Not only that, it turns out that she sang one of the songs that's fast becoming one of my favorites.

"Tick tock" is one of those dance tunes that you can just bob your head to while listening. And the past few days, I've been listening and bobbing non-stop. I better stop before I get a headache, though.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


I was trying to look for that hilarious dancing scene on youtube, but they didn't have the clip available. What they had was the "How did you meet?" interview which was equally funny.

Taylor Swift has great comic timing! Someone give her more ditzy roles in upcoming projects. Please!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Taylor fit

Aside from the obvious reason, (read: Julia Roberts) the other person who made the film a joy to watch was...

...Taylor Swift!

This is the first time I've seen her act, and I must say that her presence just lights up the screen. Whenever she came out, I couldn't help but be amused and laugh at her character. Her portrayal of a ditzy college girl was so authentic. It makes me wonder whether she's acting or if that's all her.

My favorite scene with Taylor is when she was being interviewed in the football field during track practice and the interviewer asks: "Are you a dancer?" Then she proceeds to do this dorky, bizarre dance which was insanely funny! And when she did it again, it was funnier the second time around.

I wonder when she'll appear on screen next. I wouldn't mind watching Taylor again.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010


My nephew Javier is such a picky eater. So once my sister finds a food item that he likes, she makes sure that it's available at home. There's Sugus orange candy, Tiger business, and Keebler's Soft Batch chocolate chip cookies.

And because there's always a pack of Keebler's Soft Batch at home, I'm now addicted to it as well. Which is strange because I never liked soft cookies. I remember how much I loathed Chewy Chips Ahoy and hated it whenever they'd buy that at home.

But Keebler's is different. It feels and tastes like it just came out of the over. The dough is so soft and moist, and the chocolate just oozes out when you bite into it. It's just divine.

Chips Ahoy used to be my favorite. But now that I've found Keebler's, this is the batch I'm going for from now on.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Man of the Century

Today would have been Lolo Iking's 100th birthday.

Happy Birthday, Lolo!

You're always remembered and will always be missed.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Montagne top

A few weeks ago, I bought a CD from The Podium. The title was "Rumors: Dance hits of the 80s", and it was just P99!

Listening to it is like going inside a time machine and ending up during that time when people were dressed up in their colorful, padded new wave outfits. Hair all spiked and held up by Aqua Net (extra super hold). They had all the "classics" like "High Energy" and "Never gonna give you up". But the bonus for me was listening to this song again.

"Liberte" was Gilbert Montagne's hit during that decade. He's been around since the 70s and had a string of hits in his native France. But for the rest of the world, he was known for this song.

And with such a happy catchy melody, it's no wonder this song made it all the way to the top of the charts.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Pearls of Wisdom

People think that I don't get affected by advertising since I'm an advertising practitioner.

Truth is, I do.

Take last Monday, for instance.

I was walking through Greenbelt and I saw this gargantuan banner of that oh-so-popular-drink-with-pearls-from-2000, Zagu.

It was a banner for their new variant, Mixed Berries.

A few minutes later, I walked out of the Zagu store with a grande cup of mixed berry Zagu, chewing pearls while sipping on the cool, cough-syrupy tasting concoction.

The day after that, I bought a grande cup of their natural four seasons variant, then natural dalandan after.

After 6 years on not going anywhere near a Zagu store, now I find myself remember why I was so fond of this pearl-laden drink in the first place.