Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Super Odd

There's this statue of Superman at Toy Kingdom in SM Makati that's a bit off kilter. Ever since I saw it a few weeks ago, I've been constantly bothered by it. There's something quite odd about this replica.

Superman is supposed to be the man of steel. He's confident, strong and heroic. But if you look at the face of this statue, it's anything but.

I'm not sure what look they're going for. Is it "Super clueless," "Super dumb," "Super sleepy," "Super puyat," or maybe even "Super constipated."

Whatever it is, it's super odd.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

By any other name

After meeting with my florist on a wedding I'm organizing this December, she gave me a cabbage rose that she imported from Europe.

Unlike the usual cabbage roses, this one really looks like a cabbage. As in, the vegetable! All you need to do is step back, and you'll know what I mean.

If you look at it from the side, it looks like your regular, green, leafy vegetable. It looks like it. And it smells like it, too. If you don't tell people what it is, they'll most likely put this flower in a salad bowl and not in a flower vase.

On my way home, people kept on asking me what this flower was. I even heard remarks like: "Ano yung hawak niya? Repolyo?"

Well, I can't blame them. This cabbage rose does look like the love child of a cabbage and a rose.

But hey, it's still a rose.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Chic to Chic

Today marks a chic occasion which deserves a chic greeting.

Happy Birthday, Ate Bullet! Here's to another fun and fashionable year.

And speaking of chic, she's definitely rocking the chic Kamiseta Limited dress that I spotted last August.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Color story: Black and White

Most of this weekend was spent running errands. Aside from personal matters that I had to attend to, I also had to meet 2 friends who are getting married and have asked for my help in organizing their big day.

Since most of the errands and meetings were at the mall, it was inevitable for me to look around in between appointments. And it was also inevitable that I found interesting pieces that were covetable. So, it was inevitable that I came up with this black and white number in that short span of time.

Color is cool and fun. But sometimes, one just wants to go back to the basics and go black and white. And this combination has a nice, retro feel to it. Looking at the entire ensemble, I can't help but get a Lucille Ball vibe.

To start, there's this white, silk shirt which is the same as the cobalt blue number I wrote about a few days ago. It's a crisp and chic shirt that will go well with practically everything.

Then, there's this black skirt which is a bit full, and with a garterized waist. With its fullness, it creates that 50s vibe that's very "I Love Lucy."

Finally, to create that "Masculine/Feminine" balance, this ensemble is capped by these black and white oxfords. Normally, the above ensemble would look best with black ballet flats, but this pair of oxfords give the look an edge.

Knowing Ate Bullet's penchant for black and white, I'm sure she'll like this ensemble.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Weekend at the street

Today, I'm reading the book that Shashie Friend gave me last Christmas. Yet again!

Being a big fan of Sesame Street, I can't just get enough of this book. It's so nice to read the stories, songs and sketches all over again. Looking back at everything is both fun and relaxing.

And that's how weekends should be spent.

Friday, November 25, 2011

FMM: New York state of mind

Before Alicia Keys sang "In New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of, there's nothing you can't do," there was another group singing about the beauty of the big apple.

In 1984, Elbow Bones and the Racketeers sang "Night in New York," and I remember hearing this song as a boy. I found it very attractive because the beat was a good mix of Jazz and Big Band. Plus, the lyrics are very visual. So, listening to the song was like walking through a post card of New York.

I should go to New York soon.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Color story: Cobalt Cool

The blue color family is a diverse lot.

There's the color family patriarch, "blue." Then, there's everyone's little darling, "baby blue." The inspirational "sky blue." Then there's the ever so popular "navy blue." There's the hybrid, "blue green," and the vast and all encompassing "deep blue sea."

Then, there's the lesser known family member, "cobalt blue." He's not as popular as his other siblings, and he's often known only by people in the art industry. Actually, cobalt blue is quite popular in fashion these days, being an important part of the "color block brigade" that has been walking the runways of late.

Cobalt blue is actually one of my favorite shades of blue. That's why I'm giving him the recognition he deserves by showing off this cobalt blue ensemble of my sister.

The main focal point of this look is this cobalt blue top. It has such a rich color and the texture of the fabric is soft yet firm.

To counter the strong color of the top, and create a "color block" feel, the skirt has a nice, deep green color. It's a nice complement to the top. Plus, the blue stripes and blue belt echo the hue on top.

And anchoring the look is this pair of cobalt blue ballet flats. It also reflects the ensemble on top, and thanks to the break created by the skirt, it doesn't look to matchy-matchy. (Nina Garcia won't like that.)

There you have it. A cool, youthful ensemble inspired by a cool, youthful shade of blue.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Thanks to the efforts of my brother Biboy, that wild, leopard print dress by Giambattista Valli has been captured! It's the one on the right side of the photo.

Come December, it's time for my sister to domesticate that wild cat of a dress.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Close to his heart

My Dad wears this necklace that used to belong to Lolo Iking. It's a gold pendant with the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary resting on a long chain.

When I was younger, I noticed how Lolo would wear this necklace everyday. Because of its length, the pendant dangled on the area where his heart is. And he would never take it off. And there's a reason why he would never take it off.

This necklace was a gift from Lola Dita. At the back of the necklace is an engraved note from Lola to Lolo. It's a bit small, so the camera couldn't capture it. But I distinctly remember what the note said.

"Mi querido Enrique, De Tu esposa te quiero mucho, Dita."

"My beloved Enrique. From your wife who loves you very much, Dita."

Looking at the necklace and reading the note further illustrates how much Lolo Iking and Lola Dita loved each other. And it also explains why Lolo never took off this necklace when he was still alive.

It was something that was close to his heart - figuratively and literally.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


It was 7:00 am and I just alighted from the LRT Station and started walking to school.

At the corner of Taft Avenue and Pablo Ocampo Streets, just in front of Jollibee, I passed by this striking old lady. My estimate places her at around 75 years old. She was a frail looking woman, with her white hair tied back in a pony tail. She was carrying a small, transparent umbrella with a pink handle, and wearing a bright yellow house dress. On the surface, she looked very nondescript. But I found her striking because of something on her dress.

There was something attached to both sides of her dress. Neatly safety-pinned on her bright yellow house dress was a computer print out with the photo of an old man. On top of the photo were the words "MISSING," and below, there was an address and a telephone number.

Since I had 30 minutes to spare before my first class, I went back to the corner and talked to the old lady. I greeted her good morning, and proceeded to ask her a few questions. (And to think I just discussed "The Art of the Interview" last Friday. How timely.)

ME: "Lola, sino po itong nawawala."
LOLA: "Yung asawa ko."
ME: "Kailan niyo po siya huling nakita?"
LOLA: "Mag-iisang buwan na. Mag-iisang buwan na siyang nawawala."
ME: "Nagpatulong na po ba kayo sa mga pulis o sa DSWD? Baka makatulong sila sa inyo sa paghanap."
LOLA: "Ni-report na din namin sa pulis. Pero gusto ko ding hanapin siya."
ME: "Malapit po ba kayo dito nakatira?"
LOLA: "Medyo malapit din. Dito nga kami magdalas nagkikita sa kanto kaya dito ako naghihintay. Baka sakaling bumalik siya dito."

That last line sent a surge of emotions throughout my body. If I were made of weaker stuff, I might have been bawling like a baby in the middle of the street. I was touched by her devotion to her husband, and the fact that she stands there, right at the corner where she usually meets him, in the hopes that she'll find him there.

It reminded me of the story of "Hachiko" in Japan. But this story was happening right in front of me. Right at the corner near our school. Right now.

ME: "Sige po, Lola. Tignan ko po kung may maitutulong kami sa inyo."
LOLA: "Naku, salamat. Kaawaan ka ng Diyos, iho."

I went back to school and held my two classes, telling my first class the story of this devoted wife waiting for her missing husband at the corner where they usually meet. Suddenly I was thinking, "heck, this is an advertising class. Why don't we help her make posters?"

At around 1:15pm, I left school and headed towards Taft Avenue, going to the LRT station. The old lady wasn't there anymore. Maybe she had lunch. Maybe she went home. Maybe her children picked her up and advised her to just stay home and assured her that she'll find him soon.

I sincerely hope that she does. A woman with that kind of love and devotion deserves to be rewarded. And what better reward than finding the man she's been looking for for the past month.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Creative Learning

Since I teach creative courses, I try to put a creative spin in all aspects of the class. "Learn by example," as the adage goes.

So, when I started formulating the course outlines for this semester, I made 2 versions. First is the "official version" which the school asks for. This is basically 5 pages of plain text on a legal sized bond paper. Then, I made a second version which I distributed in class - a "creative version."

This course outline is inspired by scrapbooks. Since the course is a creative writing course which puts together milestones and memories on paper, it's pretty much like building a scrapbook, albeit using words. There were different cover versions for this one, and this is among my favorites.

The copywriting course is inspired by tea. Not only is this the trend, it's also reminiscent of how copywriters brew words to come up with something refreshing.

For the Creative Advertising class, I looked for magic slates and brought back the "clean slate" idea. As a creative, the mind must be a clean slate each time you do a project. And this captures that thought perfectly.

I hope that these outlines help the students be bring with them that creative attitude as we face another semester of learning.

Friday, November 18, 2011

FMM: Let's Go, Go!

Last October, Belinda Carlisle had a concert in Manila. I wanted to catch it, but thought that the concert wouldn't be that fun because she's sharing the spotlight with two other artists - Human League and Howard Jones.

So, as much as I wanted to hear her sing: "Heaven is a Place on Earth," I skipped the concert altogether.

But, if Belinda Carlisle came to Manila with the Go-go's in tow, that would be a totally different story.

Calling the Go-go's. You should have a reunion concert and go-go to Manila.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

L.A.L.A. Land

And now it's down to the final four. And although I'm a bit miffed that my favorites didn't get this far (Alexandra. Shannon and Kayla were my favorites), I'm pretty pleased with the last 4 all-stars standing. Each one has her own "brand" that Ms. Banks can milk dry.

Lisa, the loose cannon.

Angelea, the sassy New Yorker.

Laura, the country cutie.

And Allison, the kewpie doll oddball.

One thing I learned about this cycle is that it's anybody's ball game. The models who were eliminated were actually eliminated for the lamest of reasons. So, given this top 4, it's hard to predict who'll be facing off as top 2.

It might be the battle of the cute, blonde, first runners up, (Allison and Laura), or the battle of the big personalities, (Angelea and Lisa).

Who'll land the top spot and win it all? We have 2 more weeks before all is revealed.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pretty Mean Queen

Yes, "Snow White and the Huntsman" looks like a magnificent movie. And yes, Charlize Theron looks astoundingly wicked as the Evil Queen.

But my heart still goes out to Julia Roberts' snarky, cooky and comic portrayal of the Evil Queen in "Mirror, Mirror."

Pretty please, show "Mirror, Mirror" here next year!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Vera Modern

For as long as I remember, Vera Wang was all about grace and femininity. Her designs are very classic and lady-like. Her clothes were all about luxurious fabrics like silk, chiffon and jacquard. Then she adds tasteful embellishments like beadwork, metal or paillettes. In short, something Jackie O would usually wear.

While browsing through her website, I was pleasantly surprised to see her Spring/Summer 2012 collection. From the first piece to the last, it felt like I was looking at someone else's website and not Vera's. The reason? Everything looked so modern and a bit space-agey.

Her cuts are now more experimental. The fabrics are a bit more abstract. The details are more cutting edge. And the tailoring is a bit more sharp. It's actually a nice departure from her signature look, but I'm on the fence whether I prefer this direction or her usual "classic chic."

I guess I'm just an old-fashioned kind of guy.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Let it snow!

Caught the trailer of "Snow White and the Huntsman" on-line, and all I can say is:


It looks like a dark, medieval retelling of a classic tale. And I'm really digging the darkness of it all.

Can't wait to see the trailer of Julia Roberts' version.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Father Dave's humor

Today, I heard mass at the Megamall Chapel, and luckily, Fr. Dave was officiating the mass.

It's funny because when the lector said: "And the officiating priest for this Mass is Fr. Dave Concepcion..." the lady behind me let out a silent shriek and said: "Uy! Si Fr. Dave! I love it!" Further proof that Fr. Dave is a rock star. Hahaha.

One reason why I enjoy listening to his homilies is the fact that he injects humor into his stories. But his humor is really relevant to the gospel and really gets the point across.

Today, he was telling us about how, at times, we expect too much results without putting anything in.

His example was how some ladies try so hard to catch a bouquet during the wedding reception. They want to catch it because they believe that the girl who catches the bouquet next will get married next.

To this, Fr. Dave said: "Gusto ko nga sabihin sa kanya, Hija, kahit isang daang bouquet ang masalo mo, kung wala ka namang manliligaw, at kung hindi ka naman tumatanggap ng manliligaw, aba, hindi ka ikakasal! Huwag mo i-asa sa bouquet ang buhay mo."

And he interjected a funny realization:

"Naisip ko nga, bakit hindi ginagawa sa libing yan? Kunwari, pagkatapos ng libing, ihagis din ang korona ng patay. Kung sinong makasalo, siya ang susunod!"

The chapel roared in laughter. And I laughed out loud along with the congregation. And after the laughter, everyone was nodding and saying: "Oo nga, tama si Father."

And that's how effective Fr. Dave - and his humor - is in bringing the message of the Gospel across.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Clearly cool

I'll make one thing clear, I'm not a big fan of clear shoes. I've always thought there was something off putting about them. I've read an article once about how clear shoes give you that "barefoot effect." And my initial thought was, "if you want a barefoot effect, why not go barefoot?" Harhar.

Almost all major shoe brands have come up with a clear, glass looking shoe. Including Jimmy Choo and Manolo Blahnik. They say they're inspired by Cinderella's glass slipper. But reports that Cinderella's glass slipper is all that is nothing but a fairy tale.

I didn't think I'd find a clear shoe that would change my mind.

But I also didn't think that I'd see this:

Chanced upon these teal brogues at The Ramp and I thought they were so cool. Actually, it caught my attention from afar, and when I came closer, I was even more wowed by the design. Particularly, the fact that these brogues had clear sides.

It's so chic the way this shoe was designed. It combines patent leather with clear plastic, and it's done in a chic and cool way. It's classic yet modern. It's edgy yet wearable.

Again, I'm not a big fan of clear shoes. But this one is clearly an exception.

Friday, November 11, 2011

FMM: Back to school

Today was the first day of school, and it was great to see my class. It looks like Friday and Saturday are the busiest days for the Department since most of the faculty come in during these 2 days. Coolness!

One of my favorite songs as a kid was "What's it like to be in School?" It was a sketch on Sesame Street, and I distinctly remember wanting to ride a big yellow school bus after watching this. Unfortunately, we had a white Ford Laser bringing us to school. Hahaha.

It's good to hear this song again, especially on a Friday. It reminds me of how things should be done in my classroom. After all, my goal is to have a class where they can laugh, they can shout, and it's inside and it's out.

That's what's it like to be in school.

And on an unrelated note:

Today is 11-11-11!


Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Friends of long standing, part 2

The first time I met Prime and Kitel, I was a 15 year old freshman in UP. They eventually became my project team mates, mall companions, kumares, and a long list of things.

More than 20 years later, we're still here, meeting up and eating at malls, talking about our crazy college projects, and marveling at how fast our godchildren are growing up.

Times may change, but thankfully, friendships don't.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Chip thrills

I wonder why it took so long for me to discover this.

While I was at SM Supermarket looking for Jovy's Banana Chips, I chanced upon Leslie's Thin and Crispy Banana chips on the shelf. Since they had a small pack, I thought of buying one and trying it.

Gosh! It's really, really good banana chips. The slices are very thin and cripsy (as the name implies), and it has the right amount of sweetness. I was so thrilled, I went back immediately and bought a bigger bag.

Ah yes. Cheap, chip thrills!

Monday, November 07, 2011

One big, happy family

Quite often, I celebrate my birthday twice in one day - one with family, and the other with friends. (Except last year when there were actually 3 celebrations, thanks to my Advertising students.) But sometimes, these two celebrations merge into one, big, happy birthday get together.

Yesterday was one of them. My family was also at B'Fast for the Big Brunch Buffet, and this was another reason why we practically hogged all the tables at the restaurant. And eventually, the crowd spilled outside, and my family had a relaxing after-lunch coffee al fresco.

The boys enjoy the brew.

And the girls ham it up with Javier.

Three generations of Morales boys. (And look-alikes at that.)

Nephews and nieces who are all-grown up all of a sudden. (Signs of getting old, methinks.)

Dad with his look-alike grandchildren.

More chilling out.

It's always great to have joint celebrations such as this, primarily because it blurs the lines between families and friends. After all, your family should always be your friend, and your friends are also your family.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Big Birthday Brunch at B'Fast

One indicator that your circle of close college friends is getting bigger is when you can actually fill up a small restaurant. And that's what we ended up doing at our Birthday lunch at B'Fast in Ayala Triangle. We got 2 long tables, and there was almost no room for other diners to sit!

Another indicator is when you can't fit in one photo anymore. The solution, divide the group into two.

Maricar said that Grace and I were like a married couple jumping from table to table. Hahaha.

A big hearty brunch with a group of Frendz that's constantly getting bigger. It's part of what makes a birthday a big and special celebration.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Sweet Valli High

When news of Giambattista Valli's capsule collection for Macy's came out, I didn't think there would be that much excitement since he's not that big a household name in the U.S.

But I've always liked his designs. He likes to play with color, texture and prints - all at the same time. One might think this cacophony is confusing, but he has a way of putting them together in a chic way. Like this dress that plays with black and white, print and texture:

His Macy's collection has one dress that has the same spirit as the one above. This one plays with black and red, plus two animal prints. Again, that might be confusing for some, but for Valli, it all comes together perfectly.

Maybe I should ask Biboy to hunt down this animal for me.

Friday, November 04, 2011

FMM: Going West

While walking through Paseo Center, Grace, Tintin and I saw a poster that brought the 80s back all over again. It was a poster for Go West's concert on November 11 and 12.

We immediately switched to 80s mode and sang Go West's hits while walking to Grace's car. And the top of mind song was no other than:

"We Close our eyes."

By the time we got to Grace's car, we decided that we'd open our eyes next week and watch "Go West" in their free concert.

Hello 80s, here we come!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

I saw the sign

I was sorting photos from my HKG trip 2 weeks ago and I saw a photo that I took that made me smile. It was the shop window of Club Monaco in Harbour City. And the reason I smiled wasn't because of the nice display, but because of this sign on their window:

My blog name is their F/W2011 theme.


Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Losing its value

Dropped by Wendy's on my way home and noticed that they've removed the Super Value Menu off their board.

In fact, the Side Salad that used to cost P29.00 last week is now P40.00! That's an P11.00 difference in less than a week. And to make matters worse, their side salad is dwindling in terms of volume. I mean, it's ok to raise your prices, but they should also keep or increase the amount of salad in their side salad.

But now, they've it's more expensive and there's less salad. Boo!

Where's the value in that?

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Hello Lolo

Just like the rest of the Philippines, we spent a day during the long weekend to be with our Grandparents and Tita who have gone ahead in this journey of life.

Loyola Memorial Park is like a circus during All Saint's Day. Aside from the multitude of people setting up tents, playing music and celebrating reunions, you also have dozens upon dozens of stalls sprouting out everywhere. I spotted Yellow Cab, Shakey's, Greenwich, Lapid's Chicharon, Selecta, California Berry, Mang Inasal - it was practically a food court. But hey, at least you won't go hungry.

Since this is Marikina, there's also a tiangge where they had shoes on sale. Then, of course, you also have a lot of Angry Birds floating around.

Good thing the crowds weren't that thick when we arrived. We got to enjoy Loyola's peace and quiet.

When we were younger, we'd set up tents and stay there overnight just like the rest of the folks in Loyola. But when it started looking less like a memorial park and more like a mall, we decided to just visit when the place wasn't crazy busy.

In a few days, it'll be the 22nd Anniversary of Lolo's passing. Two decades have passed, and I still miss him.

Lola already celebrated her 22nd Anniversary. She and Lolo passed away the same year. And a few days before Lolo's anniversary, Ate Lon will mark her 17th year.

It's a good thing we were able to go before the crowds poured in. It's nice to remember and say hello to the family members who have gone ahead in an environment of solemnity and peace.