Thursday, June 30, 2011

We've got the power!

Finally, after a week of - literally - living in the dark, the subdivision was finally able to restore power in our grid.

It's about time! I was almost getting used to living in the dark.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Expecting. Trouble.

While on the MRT, a group of young office ladies were talking about the issue du jour - Andi Eigenmann's admission that she's pregnant.

Honestly, I admire her for having the strength to keep her child and tell the world about it. After all, this is an industry that would rather have her get an abortion and make it seem like it never happened. Also, I'm happy for her since she seems to be at peace with her family and situation.

But if there's someone who isn't happy with her current situation, it must be the marketing manager of the product that Andi endorses.

Advertising agencies and brands have this precarious relationship with their celebrity endorsers. They pay top dollar for these actresses who lend their face and credibility to their brands, and they expect them to behave the way that their brand is known for.

I remember in the 90s, Martin and Pops, as well as their 2 kids, were the poster family for Palmolive soap. According to stories, their marriage was already on the rocks during that time, but they couldn't separate because their endorsement contract stipulates that they have to be a "family." Back then, the rumor was they'd have to pay P7 million if they violated the contract. So what allegedly happened was, they only separated after the contract expired.

Right now, I see Andi's face on the ads of Ponds and The Ramp. I wouldn't be surprised if Ponds will start taking down her billboards. After all, that brand stands for girl-next-door, wholesome type of beauty. Having an endorser in "that" situation isn't "girl-next-door" and "wholesome" at all.

The Ramp might not be too quick on the draw since they're a lifestyle brand anyway. Or maybe this is the perfect time for them to consider coming up with a maternity line.

And that, my friends, is the trouble with relying too much on celebrity endorsers. If something goes awry in the endorser's personal life, it's bound to resonate on the brand that he or she endorses.

I can't wait to see how Andi's endorsements react to this situation. I'm hoping that they'll be more open minded and accepting. After all, the public seems to be.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Happy for her

With Marite in town for a short break, it was the perfect excuse - and time - to get together. So, one lazy afternoon, we met up at Starbucks for some major catching up. And not only did Marite bring a lot of stories, Happy brought some big news.



Happy and I were colleagues and friends way back when Y&R was still Dentsu, Young and Rubicam-Alcantara. She was one of the AEs in our team, and she was one of our favorite lunch/mall/hang out buddies.

Happy is the quintessential sheltered girl. You could tell by the way she carries herself: the way she talks, she deals with people, and basically, the way she lives. I've got a chocfull of "Happy Stories", like how we forced to her ride a jeep with us to Galleria and she felt violated by the act. There's the endless list of "driver stories." And of course, my personal favorite:

ME: Haps, anong hinihintay mo?
HAPPY: I'm just waiting for my driver.
ME: Ayan na yata! (pointing to a Toyota Revo)
HAPPY: Revo? Ano kami, poor?

Being a sheltered girl, she never commutes, always has a maid and driver, and pretty much lives a life of leisure. So when she told us this piece of news, we were all thrilled.

She's moving to Singapore to live independently!

Independently: No driver and no maids. No yayas, labanderas, plantsadoras. No one at her beck and call. She'd have to commute. Do her own groceries. Do her own laundry. Do everything on her own.

Of course, our question was: "Haps, are you sure about this? Kaya mo ba?"

She smiled, said: "Oo naman" and told us stories about her first foray into independent living.

And judging by her stories, I think she'll thrive and do very well as an independent woman.



I'm so happy for her, because she's finally moving out of her comfort zone and really taking life by the horns. And after hearing her story, I couldn't help but smile.

Her story now was my story 6 years ago when I moved to HKG.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

It's all about Schu

A few weeks ago, Bonique told me about the Schu closing sale in Galleria. By the time I was able to process the information, particularly the part "closing sale", it was their last day, so I really wasn't able to browse and buy stuff. And as Bonique can attest, I was beating myself over that missed sale opportunity.

Thank goodness, I dropped by their Shangri-la Mall branch, and voila! They were having their closing sale! Woohoo!

And this time, I didn't waste any time.



How can you not love Schu. As their box proclaims, their shoes really are "walking fashion statements."



Amidst the plethora of choices, I initially picked up 3 pairs.



First is a pair of Marigold moccasins. They're made of a buttery soft material, and it has a hidden heel. It looks flat, but it's actually elevated.



Second, a pair of purple patent loafers. It's the perfect walking shoe because it's light and comfortable. The style gives it an androgynous vibe, and the color balances it out and gives the pair a feminine touch.



And third, the coup de grace! A pair of black patent pointed oxfords!



This was actually the "pair that got away" from me during the Galleria sale. So when I saw it was in Shang, I immediately snapped it up and never let it go. Which was a good thing to do since it was the last pair.

The material is just gorgeous and the details were artfully done.



While paying for these beauties, the girl reminded me that the sale was until July 31 and that they would be adding new stocks occasionally.

Oh no! I think that means I'll Schu you soon.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Press your luck

It's a Friday, and instead of 80s ditties, I suddenly remembered this old and famous game show that I used to watch on Channel 9.

It was the show where contestants would shout: "Big bucks, big bucks, no whammies, no whammies!!!"



"Press your luck" was such a trip. I enjoyed the part when the whammy would waltz in and claim all the money the contestants already won.

I also remembered it because today, I got a triple whammy!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Mid-year madness

You know it's June when the major fast fashion brands start putting out the sale signs.

As of today, the following brands are on sale:

- Mango
- Massimo Dutti
- Terranova

By next week, Zara and Forever 21 will start joining the fray.

I think shoppers will start losing their minds next week.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Do not tell ha!

After being shrouded in secrecy and "do not tell clauses", and after fast fashion fans have been clamoring to know who the next designer in collaboration will be, H&M has finally revealed THE secret.



Yes, Donatella Versace is creating the next capsule collection for H&M.

Let the 5-month anticipation begin!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

They don't make 'em like this anymore

For a song that's been sung by almost every singer who'd like to demonstrate her pipes and every wannabe singer who'd belt this song out like there's no tomorrow to impress judges, nothing else compares to the original.

Yes, Jennifer Hudson won an Oscar for her portrayal of Effie White in "Dreamgirls", but Jennifer Holliday's performance was thousands and thousands of miles apart. After all, she won the Tony Awards for her turn as the Dreams' resident diva.



What's astounding about Ms. Holliday's performance is that her emotion pushes through the song. In this case, it's not just her voice and song that mesmerizes us, it's the feeling she puts into the song. Her facial expressions, her body language, her astounding gasp (7:56) before the last note. It's phenomenal. It's magical. It's enough to make tears well in my eyes.

JHud is good, but JHoll is in a class on her own.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Circles with Frendz

It's a plan that has been made and postponed so many times. There was the plan to go to Spirals that never materialized. Then, a planned birthday celebration at Heat that also didn't see the light of day.

And suddenly, thanks to an impromptu plan cooked up by Bonique while having lunch at ADB last week, we were able to turn the plan into action.

Today, it was D' Frendz lunch at Circles in Makati Shangri-la.



We had loads of fun choosing and comparing plates. And getting food envy in the process. Just as we were happy and content with the food we've prepared, someone comes in and brings in a more attractive looking plate.

The result, plates upon plate upon plates of food. Including Grace's unusual dessert (bagnet), Tintin's unusual description for blue cheese (parang malambot na amag) and the last calls that never ended.

But it eventually did, and we ended up stomachs bursting with food and laughter from that 3-hour eat-a-thon.



Say "Stomach In!"

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Ahead of her time

Way before there was Lady Gaga and her outrageous outfits and conceptual videos, there was Patti Smyth and Scandal.



Watching this video made me smile. With all its production value, make-up, and yes, cheese, it could out-Gaga any Lady Gaga video there is.

Yes, Patti Smyth was a genius.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

That's school

New school year.

New subject to teach.

New sets of students.

New source of excitement.

Let the classes begin!

(And yes, I'm the first and only person in the faculty room this morning.)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Byrne, baby



It's so nice to see that Rose Byrne is getting a lot of major projects in Hollywood lately. The first time I saw her was while watching "Damages" in Shanghai in 2008. I knew back then that she had the face and talent to make it huge, and it's so great to see things happening for her.

From there, I saw her in "Marie Antoinette" and "Knowing." They weren't huge roles, but they were substantial nonetheless.

Now, her turn as Moira McTaggert in "X-men: First Class" is her ticket to commercial stardom. I heard she was also good in "Insidious", although horror films aren't really my cup of tea.

I hope they show "Bridesmaids" here in Manila soon. I heard she's stellar in that one, too.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Copy that

The past few years, SM Department store's house brands have been upping the style ante. The now-defunct brand called "Soho" used to copy dresses from Zara and sold them at bargain basement prices. Their teen brand called "Soiree" has been "inspired" by a number of brands including Marc by Marc Jacobs.

On my trip to SM Department store today, I noticed a dress that looked extremely familiar. It was a color blocked jumpsuit with a gold obi belt.

(Photo from stylebible.ph)

And why did it look extremely familiar? Because it's an exact copy from Gucci's current collection.



Talk about levelling-up. Who would've thunk that SM would copy Gucci.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Lanvin and love

After traveling to 4 countries before landing in Manila, the Lanvin dress that started its trip in Luxemborg has finally debuted. Ate Bullet wore the tiered floral dress to an event at EDSA Shangrila, and it looks like my brother-in-law lovingly approves of the dress.





And Ate said that everyone in the ballroom loved her dress, too. Including Maricar who couldn't help but lift the tiered top.




Ah yes, Lanvin is love.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Green with excitement

Two more days before the showing of Green Lantern! I'm am so PSYCHED for this movie!



Aside from the fact that Green Lantern was one of my favorite characters from JLA (along with Hawkman, Red Tornado and Firestorm), another reason why I'm excited for the movie is...

Blake Lively!


Yup, Blake has been flexing her acting chops lately, and it would be nice to see how she attacks this Carol Ferris role. And I'm hoping that she becomes a Star Sapphire within the movie, too.

Go, DC!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Miss Manors

I'm really digging the "manor-born lady" dress that I found a few last week. In fact, I was thinking of ways to "manor-ize" the look a bit more. So, I looked at my sisters' wardrobes and found pieces that would amp up the dress.

Since the dress is in a strong robin's egg blue color, adding more color would make it look too messy. So, neutral accessories were key to making the look work.

Just like this:


Nothing says "manor-born" like pearls. And this long string of pearls is a good counterpoint to the boat neckline of the dress.


Then, add a black matte belt to give it some shape.


Finally, the classic d' orsay pumps that I wrote about last week.


The print of the dress is in black, white and gray. So pairing it with something predominantly gray is also a good way to go. Observe:


Ok, this isn't the gray part. It's a black necklace that's almost like a choker. Again, it works well with the neckline.


Shape is now created by a gray belt. The little fringe action on the side makes it feel more informal.


And to ground the look, gray pumps with a wooden heel.


After taking a gander at these looks, I suddenly find myself wanting to organize a tea party.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Fr. Dave's words of wisdom

After a few weeks of not officiating mass at the EDSA Shrine, Father Dave was back this week - to the obvious delight of the parishoners. As I told Mark, Father Dave is like a "rock star priest" and he has his share of "groupies."

There was a time when he wasn't the one officiating his usual mass, and the couple beside me said: "Ay, hindi si Father Dave, alis na lang tayo." And in another instance, when the group in front of me found out that he was the one officiating, they broke into silent cheers and claps saying: "Si Father Dave! Si Father Dave ang mag-ma-mass!"
How rock star-ish, huh?

In his homily today, he said something very inspired. On the subject of life's problems, he said:

"Pag may pinagdadaanan kang problema, daanan mo lang. Huwag mong tatambayan, kasi pag tumatambay ka sa problema, hindi talaga mawawala yan."

This resonated well with the people in church, judging by the laughter, nodding heads and the words "oo nga" being heard all around EDSA Shrine.

And yes, his words really are true. I know people who prefer to dwell on their problems rather than solving them and moving on with their lives. It's almost like they wear their problems proudly like a badge instead of solving them. They like talking about their problems continuously instead of finding a way to solve them. And if that's their attitude towards their problems, then it really won't go away. Mainly because it seems like they don't want it to go away.

Really, the best way to solve problems is to NOT dwell on them. As Father Dave said, "Huwag mong tatambayan ang problema." No one wants a tambay, much more so if that tambay is a problem.

As another religious quote says: "Don't tell God about your problems, tell your problems about God."]

It's something that's worth reflecting on this Sunday. Or as Father Dave always says: "Pagnilay-nilayan natin."

(I suddenly missed our weekly reflection papers in Christian Living class back in high school. I was called "Mr. Reflection" because I always got the highest scores on that.)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Sabado de Gloria

At some random CD sale in Galleria, I saw a "The best of Gloria Estefan" CD on sale. I was able to resist buying it, but I wasn't able to resist re-playing my favorite Gloria Estefan (pre and post Miami Sound Machine) in my head.

And from playing in my head, I had to listen to them again. And this was a job for youtube.


"Conga" is one of the first and biggest hits of Miami Sound Machine in the Philippines. This had massive airplay during those days. I think I heard this on WLS-FM every hour!


"Dr. Beat" - true to its name - has a very infectious beat. I just noticed she likes the word "beat" a lot and uses it in a lot of her songs.


And of course, "Heaven is what I feel." It's one of her big hits in the 90s and was her foray into the more techno-sounding territory. Similar to Madonna's "Ray of Light" or Cher's "Believe."

I wish she would come back and make more music like this.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Printsonalities

It's the season for prints, so there are a lot of interesting visuals draped over mannequins and models these days. In my mall runs the past few days, a couple of these prints caught my eye.

First, there's this dress that has a "Manor born lady" personality.



The dress is in an eye catching robin's egg blue color, and the floral print is executed watercolor style in black and gray. It's perfect since it mutes the brightness of the dress. A matte gray belt will be the perfect foil for this dress.



The second is this old (or "vintage" in fashion speak) Kate Torralba for PD shirt dress.



This was part of her first collection and it caught my eye back then. But when I started looking for it, most of the shops I've checked said it was out of stock. Suddenly, it reappeared in one of the PD stores, so I had to snap it up.



Eventhough it's a few years old, it's still very current. Prada's current collection has similar stripes. Just goes to show that Kate Torralba is way ahead of her time.



Finally, from Space, this tiered shift in an abstract print that has a futuristic personality.



There's an organized chaos in the print that makes it easy on the eye. The rich color also makes it a visual treat.



It reminds me of this old Alexander McQueen dress.



The nice thing about these dresses is that the cuts are classic, so even if the prints can be considered "trendy", it can be worn for a long time and across fashion seasons.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

I say, D' Orsay

In this age of fast fashion and quick changing trends, it's always nice to find something classic. As any style guru will say (Nina Garcia and Tim Gunn mentioned it in their respective books), one should own something that is seasonless and goes well with everything.

Just like this pair of black, leather d' orsay pumps that I chanced upon a few weeks ago.



The material is matte black leather, the heel is classic, and the look is versatile. Since the style is d' orsay, it makes it more interesting than a simple, black pump.


To keep things a bit interesting, there's a bow in front which serves as an interesting focal point.


It really is a classic. With a twist.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Treat with a twist

It's not as if there isn't enough reason to get hooked on Zagu.

They have a new variant called Zagu't Gulaman. And it's so, so good!

I'm a huge fan of Sago't Gulaman, so I'm very discerning when it comes to this treat. The flavor of the juice is very authentic, but the gulaman part needs some work. (I think they use the same nata or crystals)

But over all, it looks like I have another reason to get hooked on Zagu.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Very Jheri

Suddenly, I had an urge to watch the video of Debarge's "Rhythm of the Night." Thank goodness they have it on youtube.



All I can say is, I'm digging the jheri curls on the Debarge siblings. Harhar.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Nachos!



After watching X-men: First Class this afternoon, I agree with Mark's comments that the film has a chock full of cheese. Just like Fantastic Four a few years back, this film has less action and more sappy lines. But when it came to the action part (which was the final third of the film), it definitely made up for it.

I still prefer the comic version. They're always better.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Juiced

Since I'm on Friday Magic Madness mode, I'm recalling the singers that I used to hear a lot during my grade school and high school days, and no longer hear today. One of them is Juice Newton, who has this nice, hoarse, country-ish voice. If you just listen to her sing, you'd imagine her as someone like Dolly Parton. But if you see her, she's a bit more like Carly Simon meets Janis Joplin.

And one of her most famous - and campy - songs, "Angel of the Morning." The title alone reeks of cheese.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Funky!

Since we're on the subject of ghosts acting as detectives, I can't NOT mention this other classic show - The Funky Phantom!



It's funny how the Funky Phantom sounds so much like Snagglepuss.