Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Eagle is about to land

The buzz has been around for months, but today, I saw actual proof that American Eagle Outfitters is indeed landing in Manila!

While browsing a magazine, the full page print ad of AE appeared, and it said: "Opening March 2013 at Bonifacio High Street." Whoa! A freestanding store for their first salvo. Impressive!

I'm not into AE as I was a few years ago, though. But this is still worth a look see.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A good day to reminisce

Woke up to this wonderful tune playing on the radio, and it automatically transported me to a time when life was laid back, things were simple, and polyester was overused. Harhar!

Listening to it just makes me want to do what the lyrics are suggesting: "...strolling in the park and reminiscing."

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Of Selma and Olivia

After the whole Jamie, Jamie, Jennifer and Ginnifer debacle, there's a new pair of Hollywood actresses that leaves me destraido.

It's Selma Blair and Olivia Thirlby. 

(This is Selma)

(This is Olivia)

I'm not sure if it's because of the hair or the vibe of these actresses, but I usually mistake them for each other. Especially now that Olivia's hair is similar to Selma's.

Confusing indeed.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Where are the Wilsons?

There was a time when both Luke and Owen Wilson were in multiple movies each year. Luke would often be cast as the rom-com leading man, while Owen was the quirky comedy guy.

Both had memorable performances in hit movies. Luke was in the Charlie's Angels series, "The Royal Tenenbaums," "Legally Blonde," and "My Super Ex-Girlfriend." Owen was often the hilarious sidekick or antagonist in his roles in "Zoolander," the "Meet the Parents" series, "Night at the Museum," and "You, Me and Dupree."

Recently, though, I don't see any of the Owen brother's on screen. Which is a waste since they're both very talented.

Where's "Zoolander 2" or a new Charlie's Angels movie when you need it.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

True to its name

One of the first things I bought in HKG when I worked there in 2005 was a belt. It was a brown-burgundy belt with grommets, and the brand name was "Tough."

Now, almost 7 years later, I'm still using the belt, and it doesn't look like it has any wear and tear.

It's Tough indeed.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Poor Zipper

This conversation happened this afternoon at a sewing supply store:

ME: Miss, meron ba kayong exposed zipper?
MISS: Ano po, Sir?
ME: Meron ba kayong exposed zipper?
MISS: Sandali lang po.

(Leaves to call another sales person - a supervisor, methinks.)

MISS 2: Ano po ang hinahanap niyo, Sir?
ME: Exposed zipper.
MISS 2: Ay, wala po kami non.
ME: Okay, thank you.

(As I was walking away, I heard the 2 sales ladies talking.)

MISS: Ano ba 'yung exposed zipper?
MISS 2: Yung zipper na pang-mayaman.

Gosh! There's class distinction everywhere. Even in zippers. Hahaha.

Friday, January 25, 2013

FMM: Ter-ffic!

Fridays are for feeling great and celebratory. And nothing says "great" and "celebratory" like swing music. Especially Teri Desario's music.

(courtesy of youtube)

This song SO brings back memories of childhood. Which makes it even more great and celebratory.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thursday absurdities

While browsing youtube, one of the videos on the side of the screen caught my eye. It wasn't just any video, it was a clip from the original "Temptation Island." Woot!

This has got to be one of the most absurd scenes in the movie. It's so absurd that it's great! The bad dialogue, the even worse dancing - it's so bad, it's good!

Temptation Island rocks!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

More proof for more proofreaders

As much as I try not to pay too much attention to it, I guess my background in Journalism makes my eyes hypersensitive to errors on the printed word.

Take for instance this caption that I saw on a Yahoo article on the Inaugural Ball of the President of the United States.

Looks pretty normal, until you get to the part when they talk about what the FLOTUS wore.

I think they meant to say "wear red during the Inaugural Ball," and ended up with two "thes" in one sentence.

If they had a proofreader, I'm sure he or she have spotted that.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Laughter all around the Globes

The past few days, I've been watching the 2012 Golden Globes on youtube and finding myself laughing incessantly most of the time. This year's hosts - Tina Fey and Amy Poehler - are natural comediennes. They have perfect timing, and their dialogues are sharp and witty.

My favorite line was during their opening spiel when Amy Poehler said:

"Meryl Streep is not here tonight, she has the flu. And I hear she's AMAZING in it. So amazing."

Apart from that - and Jodie Foster's speech, of course - another part that got me guffawing was the introduction of the best actress nominees by Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrel. It was pure comic genius!

I don't think I'll ever tire from watching - and laughing at - this show.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Color Story: See foam

According to pantone, the color of the year is Emerald Green. Which isn't bad since I've always found jewel tones wonderful to look at.

Since Emerald Green will be getting lots of attention this year, let me shift my focus to one of its less famous cousins. A cousin who might not be that in your face, but has a quiet elegance to it.

Presenting, Seafoam Green.

I found this Seafoam Green dress a few months ago at an SM Warehouse sale in Cubao. It was so cheap that they could've just given it away. 

Aside from the fresh color, what drew me to this piece was the pleat detailing. It was all over the bodice, and it went all the way down to the skirt. It gave the dress a very light, breezy and casual feeling.

To add a bit of contrast and a touch of elegance, I added a Tiffany blue belt with jewel details.

The result is an outfit that is young, classy and elegant. Not to mention very cheap.

See what a little Seafoam can do.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Praise hymn

Music has always been a big part of my life. Growing up with parents who were very much into music gave me a better appreciation of songs from different genres. This helped me become more eclectic in my choice of music.

My iPod playlist has a hodge-podge of songs. I even have an album called "Taylor made" because it has James Taylor, Taylor Dane, and Taylor swift in one playlist. Yes, there's a Taylor who's old, not-so-old, and very young. And I like them all.

There's another genre I like listening to, although I'm not sure if it's classified as a genre. I'm talking about Church hymns.

As a kid, the whole family would hear mass and I'd enjoy singing along with the opening, communion and recessional hymns. Whenever the choir would sing "Sing a new song unto the Lord," and "One God," you can expect me to sing at the top of my lungs. This eventually led me to join the choir at St. Paul's church, and our school choir in Lourdes.

Even now, I enjoy listening to choirs while they sing church hymns at mass. And it's nice to hear the "old reliables" being sung up until now. Some old reliables give me a feeling of elation (Shine, Jesus, Shine,) while some never fail to leave my eyes welling with tears. (Anima Christi.)

While hearing mass this week, the choir sang a song which I thought was familiar. The first bars sounded like "Here I am, Lord." But as they started singing the lyrics, it turned out to be a new song - for me, at least. The song was entitled: "People need the Lord."

By the end of the song, I was filled with different emotions. The song was beautiful! It was poignant, moving and hopeful at the same time. The lyrics were well written and the melody matched it beautifully.

A praise-worthy song indeed.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Prabal, probably

The lookbook for Prabal Gurung's Target capsule collection has finally dropped. True to his aesthetic, the items are very fun, feminine and colorful.

Much like Jason Wu before him, I'm sure that this collection will send fast fashionistas into a tizzy and will horde the items as if there was an impending fashion apocalypse.

Off hand, I find the items okay. But it feels like something I've already seen at SM Department Store. And that can't be entirely good.

I'll probably pass on this one.

Friday, January 18, 2013

FMM: (Without) Me? Old?

This afternoon, one of my creative colleagues was playing music on his loud speaker and it filled the creative area. Suddenly, one of the new AEs stepped into the room and exclaimed:

AE: "Wow! Old school! Pinapakinggan ko 'to nung elementary ako!"

What was the song? It was Eminem's "Without Me."

Since when did Eminem qualify as a Friday Magic Madness singer? Now, apprently. And since when did a song from the early 2000s become old school?

Now I feel old.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Cotton Pickings

There's a scent that I'm into a lot of these days. It's a scent that most people might find boring or ordinary, but it's a scent that I've always been drawn to, even as a kid.

It's the scent of cotton.

Nowadays, I get my fill of this fresh, cottony scent from 2 sources.

First, the Sea Island Cotton lotion from Bath and Body Works. I used this a lot before, but stopped when I ran out of stocks. My recent rediscovery of this variant was because of the small bottle that I won during our Christmas game. It was courtesy of Mona.

This lotion is usually paired with another scent that Mona gave me, the Cotton T-shirt variant of Clean.

Putting these two scents together gives of such a warm, comfortable feeling.

As I was telling Mona last Saturday, whenever I mix these two together, I feel like I just stepped out of a clothes dryer.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Neon Flowers

"Neon Flowers" sounds like the name of an American drag queen. I imagine her to be around 6'2", a bit burly, has a loud personality, wears neon wigs and is often garbed like a space cadet. She could follow the footsteps on Nina Flowers and join Ru Paul's Drag Race.

But no, this isn't about a drag queen. It's about clothes.

Neon colors and floral prints might sound like an odd pair. But thanks to some pieces I found at Greenhills and SM Department Store, I discovered that it can be a visually interesting ensemble. 

Like this one:

The top is one of those neon-colored tops that I found (and bought) in Greenhills. What's nice about this shirt is that its fabric is a bit nubby, which gives it that aged and worn look. For this ensemble, I chose the neon orange version. (Which I initially thought was neon pink, but turned out to be orange.)

I paired the shirt with this skinny, floral trousers from SM Department Store. Unlike the usual floral trousers that are loud and bright, this one is a bit more subtle. The canvas is this oyster colored fabric, and it has this watercolor-like floral print in a muted palette. There's actually some orange in there somewhere, which is why this particular top works well.

The result is an ensemble with balance. A bright top with paired with a muted bottom. A patterned pair of trousers with a plain shirt.

See, neons and florals can work together.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Flower power

The mere mention of the word "florals" immediately conjures up visuals of lush gardens, sweetness and all things dainty. Long, flowy dresses in chiffon or cotton automatically come to mind, as well as wide brimmed hats and videoke-worthy styling. (Am I describing Grace here?)

Florals and power dressing might sound like two very different and irreconcilable concepts. But if you have the right items, the right combination, and the right styling, it's easy to prove that there is power in flower!

This ensemble, despite it being predominantly floral, has an element of strength in it. Most of it comes from the fact that the pieces are sharply tailored, especially the dark jeans and the tuxedo blazer. Heck, it's so powerful, I gave those 2 pieces to Mona, who is our group's high-powered lawyer.

Some people say that too many flowers might be too saccharine. I say, there's no such thing as too many flowers. In fact, for this ensemble, I've added a floral inner blouse to complement the blazer's floral design. To even it out, I used a lighter palette for the inner garment, and the size of the prints vary from one another. It also helps that there's a black tuxedo collar breaking the patterns.

Finally, for an added touch of femininity, I've included a pink belt which echoes the hues of the flowers in both inner and outer garments.

The result is a floral ensemble with a hint of sweetness, but a whole lot  of power. And that's what flower power is all about.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Stuck in this Direction

Shash's daughters - one of whom is my goddaughter - are very much into One Direction. Honestly, if it weren't for these girls, as well as those huge Penshoppe billboards - I wouldn't know what One Direction is. This is a clear indication of what an old fogey I've become.

Needless to say, I wanted to get them One Direction items for Christmas. And to do that more effectively, I had to research on the group. This led me to more than a hundred fan sites, and a countless fan made youtube videos.

That's where I found out that they were the kids responsible for this song:

(courtesy of youtube)

I've heard of this song before and found it catchy. I'd go far as saying that I like this song. Like it so much, in fact, that it's now stuck in my head as my LSS. Yes, a syrupy pop song by pre-pubescents is currently on replay in my brain. And it's not as bad as I thought it would be.

Maybe i'm not such an old fogey after all.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Because DVF is known for the wrap

Last week, one of my former students - Jizu - sent me an email and asked why I didn't post my Christmas wrapping theme for 2012. After all, I've been posting my wrapper themes since 2006.

That's when I realized that I was supposed to write about it, but because I couldn't upload photos, I wasn't able to. Then, it just slipped my mind.

Now that I've been reminded, my theme for 2012 was inspired by fashion. Just like the Etro-inspired gift wrapping of 2009. 

It all started when I found these wrappers at National Bookstore. It had a very interesting print, and it came in 4 colors. Suddenly, I thought of Diane Von Furstenburg. She also likes to mix prints, but instead of clashing prints, she usually mixes the same print in different colors.

So, I thought of combining two colors of the wrapper into one, and create a more cohesive, yet chic, print-on-print look. Just like DVF. And in keeping with that spirit, I also chose two ribbons, but in different shades of green. This is to match the green on the print.

Seeing them all together, I thought, it's easy being green.

With all these elements in place, this was the final product!

It actually took a bit of time to wrap each present. After all, I had to split the wrapper, then combine them, before I could start wrapping. Imagine doing that for about 100 presents!

But then again, that's the fun part of the holidays.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Sleep up

I'd see this happen inside the MRT before.

But I never thought it would happen to me.

I fell asleep.

While standing up!

(Yes, it was that crowded. And I was that sleepy.)

Friday, January 11, 2013

FMM: Suddenly!

And the invasion of the "classics" (read: old) continues.

On my way home, I saw huge posters advertising the concert of Cliff Richard this February.

Yes, Cliff Richard.

Most people from my generation might not even remember him. The only reason why I know Cliff Richard is because Dad had a cassette tape of his songs and I would listen to them.

Especially his duet with Olivia Newton-John.

Suddenly, he's here!

(If ONJ was a guest and they would sing this song, MAYBE I'd watch his concert. Harhar.)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Scratch that!

Way back during my first job, we had to undergo the usual annual physical check-up. While the doctor was giving me my exam, out of the blue, he said:

"Very sensitive ang skin mo."

Years later, I did notice that I would get bruises easily. Sometimes, I'd just hit my leg on the table, and suddenly, I'd have a scratch or a bruise. And to think I was wearing jeans when that happened.

It still happens occasionally these days. Sometimes, I'd see a scratch and think: "Where did that come from."

On my way home, as I was boarding the MRT, a lady rushed in and squeezed herself into the space beside me. She was so forceful about it, and I felt her bag on my left arm.

When I got home and washed my arm, I noticed a sting the lower part of my left arm. When I looked at it, there was this 1-inch scratch on it, and it was quite noticeable. Actually, more than "quite." Mom saw it from across the room and asked me what happened to my arm.

Oh well, I just have to be more careful next time.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Seeing double

Two weekends ago, I felt pain on my left shoulder and neck area. So, when I went to Watson's, I hurriedly went over to the area that sold plasters so that I could buy my go-to-plaster whenever muscle pain strikes. That's Salonpas, of course.

Imagine my surprise when I got home. I brought out the contents of the bag and realized that I only thought I got Salonpas. It turns out that the product I picked up and bought is Mentopas.

The way the package was designed - from the logos to the colors to the layout of the pack - it was so similar that it felt like the same thing from afar. And if you're on autopilot, like me, then you'd think you're picking up Salonpas when you're actually buying the competition. Wise move indeed.

It's the same thing that's happening to 2 new shampoos in the market. They're both positioned as salon-caliber shampoos, and their packaging looks so much alike.

Notice how both products have black and white bottles, with touches of fuchsia on the label. It's enough to make you feel like you're seeing double. Again, if you're in a hurry and just grab items from the shelves, chances are, you'll be buying Syoss just when you thought  you were grabbing Tresemme.

All these product look-alikes are enough to leave consumers confused.

But I think that's what they're supposed to do.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Milestones and numbers

January 8 is a milestone date for two reasons. The first one is highly personal and celebratory, and the other one is coincidental.

Today, my parents are celebrating their 47th wedding anniversary! Woot! Woot!

My parents' on-going love story really is a source of inspiration. And at a time when people quit on marriages easily, it's wonderful to see a couple who really brings to life the vows they made during their wedding day.

The second one is about the number 2013.

When I opened my blog page a while ago, I saw that this particular post i'm typing now is my 2013th post! It's 2013 in 2013! How awesome is that!

This calls for a celebration! (Wait a minute, we already did. Well, my parents' wedding anniversary celebration, at least.)

Monday, January 07, 2013

The formula for audition

Being an admitted film buff, I tend to notice patterns and formulas in the different films that I've seen through the years. Whether it's a Hollywood production or an old Filipino one, it's quite easy to spot patterns as they are formed from one movie to another.

One of my favorite film formulas is the "audition scene."

This scene usually happens in teen or young adult movies. There's usually a choir, dance group, cheerleading team, or any other team that loses a member, and that member needs to be replaced. Thus, they open an audition where they'll usually find the "I-don't-want-to-get-into-this-but-I-don't-have-a-choice" character who will make their team win.

The "I-don't-want-to-get-into-this-but-I-don't-have-a-choice" character is usually a brooding misfit who would rather do something else with his or her life. But once s/he gets accepted into the choir/band/group/team, there is an epiphany and that person finally finds contentment.

Before that magical person is found, they have to sift through different wacky characters during the audition. And even if the movies are different, you'll see common characters trying out for those coveted spots.

Exhibit A: Bring it On cheerleader tryouts

Exhibit B: Pitch Perfect acapella choir auditions

These films might be 12 years apart, but you'll see a formula when it comes to the characters who audition. In these 2 films, these characters are:

1. The "Crier" - Or the girl who cries at the audition because something happened to her before the big tryouts.

2. The "Perky Girl" - She's the eager beaver who tries hard to impress everyone with her high pitched voice, and she looks like she's on a sugar and adrenaline rush at the same time.

3. The "Theater Guy" - Like any person trained in theater, they have big movements and are overacting.

4. The "Nasty" - This is usually a female character, looks like a trailer trash chic, and naturally acts like one.

Needless to say, the top plum usually goes to the main character who is usually portrayed as:

5. The "Deviant" - Also known as the "I-don't-want-to-get-into-this-but-I-don't-have-a-choice" character.

Folks who watched "Bring it On" and "Pitch Perfect" know that the main winners during the auditions were Missy (for Bring it On) and Beca (for Pitch Perfect), and their characters and characterizations were the same.

I guess that's why we're rooting for them, we want them to win, and they do win in the end. Slow claps all around, we get the feel good ending we all want, and everyone loves the movie so much, they watch it over and over again.

See, it's a formula that works.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

More of Fr. Dave's wisdom

It's been more than a month since I last heard mass at EDSA Shrine. The past masses I heard were at OLPH Parish which is nearer the house.

Today, I decided to go back to EDSA Shrine and was lucky because Fr. Dave was officiating the mass. It's been a while since I heard his homilies, and miss his combination of scripture, relevance and humor.

Being the first Sunday mass of 2013, the theme of his homily was about turning a new leaf this new year. His homily was so rich with insight and facts, including the 4 types of people: visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and digital.

But what struck me most was his final word for the parish goers, which also served as his wish for everyone who attended the mass. He said:

"This 2013, strive for growth, not just change." 

Fr. Dave continued on to say: "The truth is, you can change but not grow. But if you grow, you will always change."

Wonderful and wise words to start the new year with.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Surreal, Silver Saturday

It started out quite normally, with my 7:30am class starting on-time.

Then, we had a new year's party with the other class, only to find out that a lot of the students weren't informed of it. Now that was odd.

After that, my 3rd class left school for our scheduled field trip to Marikina.

Here's where it becomes really surreal. Our trip to Marikina ended up as a trip to the E.R. of Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center! Is that a detour or is that a detour?

After a few hours, things were back to normal, and our planned class lunch in Marikina ended up as a very late class lunch at Papa John's near the school.

Thankfully, the day ended on a high note, literally. My friends had a ticket to spare, so we watched the repeat of Regine's Silver Concert. I think Denise described the concert perfectly when he said that it was a 4B concert: Buwis-buhay, basag-baga concert.

Whew! What a Saturday it was.

Friday, January 04, 2013

FMM: Let's duet

When I turned on my iPod this morning and tuned in to Friday Magic Madness, I was pleasantly greeted by this popular duet from the 80s.

"Maybe" was a huge hit in the early 80s, and it was a favorite theme song of young couples back then. Heck, it might have even been the theme song of my older siblings and their respective loved ones back then. Harhar.

I've said this before and I'll say it again - there's nothing like 80s music.

Thursday, January 03, 2013


More than a month ago, Ate Bullet told me that they were going to have their family portrait taken, and proceeded to ask me to help out in choosing what she should wear for the pictorial. In short, it was another styling (inside) job.

This task was both easy and difficult. Easy because Ate Bullet can pretty much wear anything. (As Mark said before, she can wear a sack and it will still look good.) It was difficult because she has so, so, SO many clothes that it would be a challenge to choose a few pieces.

After asking her what look she was going for, she simply said that she wanted something classic, elegant, memorable but with an eye-catching punch. This actually didn't help because almost all of her clothes are like that.

But choices had to be made, and the parameters that I set were: 1. Neutral or dark colors, 2. Classic shapes, and 3. With details - quirky or otherwise. These parameters led me to these 3 looks.

First, an all-Lanvin x H&M ensemble. It consisted of the ballerina dress, a statement necklace, and black open-toe pumps.

Second, she wore the 3-fabric dress that I designed and Aling Bright made. It really fits her like a glove! And she used the same pair of black pumps.

After this shot, we were pretty much set to call it a night. But the photographer stopped us and said that she wanted to take a photo of Ate Bullet and me, and he had a theme in mind.

"Designer and muse."

I didn't bring anything to wear, except for the clothes on my back. Luckily, Kevin's coat fit me, then I borrowed Kurt's bow tie, then Mau lent me his specs. The final product was me channeling Alber Elbaz, which is cool because I've always liked his work for Lanvin.

For this shot, Ate Bullet wore a black and nude gown which I bought in HKG more than 4 years ago. Finally, it got out of the closet and was worn for the pictorial.

As a final shot, we played around and took this crazy photo of Ate Bullet, Raymond and myself. As I mentioned in my year-end post, it looked like a very convincing photo as people were emailing me, asking if I shifted from Advertising to design. (And the answer was "no.")

In a way, Mau was right. This was a "muse" moment because the 3 women in the family - Mom, Ate Lissa and Ate Bullet - are all muses. They're all into fashion, they all have impeccable style, and they have fun with fashion.

It's an a-muse-ing family indeed.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Wat's the plan?

One of the things that I try to do is visit a new country every year. It's something that I wasn't able to do last year. My school and work schedules went into overdrive, so it was difficult to plan for that trip. Another reason is that the place I was thinking of visiting - Taipei - had a visa requirement.

On the second day of 2013, I'm already thinking of a new place to visit. Some of my travel plans have already been earmarked, including trips to Japan, Singapore, and maybe Seoul (if my students insist on it.) But in terms of a new place, I'm thinking of somewhere that's near the Philippines, has no visa requirement, and is rich in culture.

These requirements point me to Cambodia. Actually, Mark mentioned Cambodia and Laos a few days ago, and that revived my interest in this destination.

Truth is, I was supposed to go to Cambodia last year. There was an interesting offer, but it fell through. But while that offer was being formulated, I immediately went on hyperdrive and researched as much as I can about Phnom Pehn and Siam Reap.

Of course, the most common hit a person will get is "Angkor Wat." It's one of the most visited sites in Cambodia, and was popularized by Angelina Jolie in "Tomb Raider." I have friends who have been to Angkor Wat, and the reviews are mixed. Some of them say that it's breathtaking, while others say it's a tourist trap.

The city itself looks a bit rustic and chaotic. They don't have major malls, not too many noteworthy places to visit. The highlight is supposedly the river, which is their version of the River Seine. Again, a couple of friends say that the city has charm, while others say that it's just meh.

Because the reviews are mixed, I'll do what any travel book will tell suggest: the best way to find out is to actually go there.

This year, that's what I'm planning to do.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Singing to a New Year!

What better way to usher the first day of 2013 than celebrating all things new and positive.

Today is the day when "claim" is the most popular word and everyone looks forward to all the blessings and good things that come with the new year. And that's enough to make me want to break into song. Or watch music videos, at least.

To start it off, let's sing to the "Promise of a New Day!"

And let's all look forward to "The Start of Something New."

Here's to all the new and exciting things that 2013 will bring.

Happy New Year!