Thursday, October 31, 2013

Breakfast of champions!

While I'm in Tokyo, I try to do things that I don't normally do in Manila. And among the lot, one hands-down favorite is this:

Yup, I get to cook our breakfast! Most people know that this is one of the things I enjoy doing most. After all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

The first 2 days, I prepared French Toast, and today, I cooked HamBacSiLog.

Now, what should I cook tomorrow?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Park Life

The weather was so nice, it was a great time to spend the day at the park.

And one of the best places to do this was Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. 

Since autumn is just around the bend, the leaves were starting to change colors. Greens were starting to transition to yellows and browns, and this gave the trees a lot more character.

One peculiar tree that Mark and I saw was this autumn cherry blossom tree. Seeing sakura in October was definitely a pleasant surprise.

Too bad we only had a little more than an hour to spend at the park. But we'll definitely back here to have a picnic the next time I'm in Tokyo!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Meals with Mark: Crunchy chicken

For our first lunch together, we decided to go to Shinjuku and strolled around our former haunt. We were torn between trying something new or going to an old reliable. And today, we decided to try something new.

In particular, we tried this uber yummy crispy chicken dish from a restaurant which had no English name.

I'd say it's sin-in-a-bowl. It was super crispy chicken with a sweet glaze, then it's topped with mayonnaise and served on top of a bed of steaming Japanese rice. Each bite was bliss!

I think it's a good culinary kick-off for this Tokyo trip. We'll try as many new places to eat as possible.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Yummy Gummy!

Whenever we visit Don Quixote, I'm always amazed at the range of Haribo gummy candies that they have.

My first recollection of Haribo was in Europe. And the product was Haribo Grapefruit. That's why when I'm in Japan, I always buy a pack. Not only do I like the texture, but the sour grapefruit flavor rates high in my book.

I should buy more packs of these and bring it home to Manila. It's quite rare to find this product back home.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Back in Tokyo

Just a few hours after touching down at Narita, it was time to explore Tokyo once more. And Mark and I had 2 new companions in exploring today!

My colleagues Isa and Mina! 

We saw them since they were in town for a conference, and we brought them to two of our favorite spots: Ootoya and DonKi!

After that, we brought them to Ropponggi where they saw a lot of Halloween revelers in their full costumed glory. Isa had a lot of fun snapping photos of everyone.

The evening was so much fun. And this is just day 1!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

This is sitsiriya!

In preparation for my Tokyo trip, one of the things that Mark asked me to buy was pasalubong for some of his senseis. He asked me to look for this brand of snacks called "Sitsirya" from SM, so I went to Kultura Pilipino to look for it.

Gosh! It turned out that Sitsirya was a line of products that was uber fun to shop for! They had everything from Mamon Tostado to Pusit to Pastillas to Chicharon. I think I spent a good 30 minutes just mulling around the shelves and choosing from the wide array of goodies that they have.

I think I found my new favorite pasalubong!

Friday, October 25, 2013

FMM: Missing Missy

There was a time when whenever I'd hear a Missy Elliot song, I'd find myself bobbing my head and almost (just almost) busting a move. Ah yes, we were young, carefree and limber once. Harhar.

And this song is really conducive to move busting.

I hope Missy Elliot comes out with a new album soon. We need more songs like this.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

(Wrapping) Paper Trail

It's almost the end of October and I still haven't found a wrapper for Christmas!

Truth is, I've been on the lookout for a wrapper since March this year. In fact, I found one that I really, really, really liked at Fully Booked. It was a white wrapper with blue and white prints, similar to the Ming vase print that I've always obsessed over. Unfortunately, they didn't have enough of the paper to meet my requirements.

Recently, I found two wrappers that are very promising. The first is a pair of plaid print wrappers which could be an homage to punk. (Which is enjoying a resurgence.) The other has these Paul Smith-esque stripes which I've always wanted to use.

I think I need to find matching ribbons first before I decide on which one to go with. And hopefully I can do that in a few weeks so I can get my wrapping underway.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Roar of the Lyons

Aside from Alexandra Chung, another fashion figure whose style is non-chalant yet uber cool is Jenna Lyons. As President and Creative Director of J. Crew, she really embodies the spirit of their brand - classic but cutting edge.

Whenever I see her in fashion events, she's always immaculately dressed. And by that, I don't mean that she's overly dressed. She's the type of girl who stands out because she doesn't look like anyone else, and that's in a very, very good way.

Take for example her outfit for the MET Ball's punk-themed soiree:

She's wearing this nerdy-geeky ensemble, but with a touch of punk. That sweatshirt with a quote from the classic The Clash ditty is all the punk she needs.

With ensembles like that, she's really one of the queens of the fashion jungle.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Crappy name

In my copywriting class, one of the modules I teach is how to write name studies for products and services.

One of the lessons I tell my students is that when you come up with a name, make sure that it doesn't have any negative meanings or connotations. Not just in the English language, but in other languages as well. The example I always gave was a phone company in Europe who called itself "Phony."

I should've passed on this lesson to the folks in the US who gave this name to their TV station!

Good thing they don't air in the Philippines. I can hear the laughter each time their station ID comes on.

Monday, October 21, 2013


A few more days and I'll be headed to feel the autumn chill in Tokyo.

Thankfully, during my last visa application, they gave me a multiple entry visa good for 3 years!

That means I can now go there whenever I want. 


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday celebrations

This Sunday was relatively quiet, especially compared to the past 2 Sundays when two of my friends' babies celebrated their 1st year.

Two Sundays ago, it was Rafa's first birthday. And we celebrated it in superhero fashion.

Last Sunday, it was an artsy celebration as we welcomed Alex's first year with a creativity-themed party.

It's a good thing that today is going to be a quiet Sunday. Next week is going to be another hectic one for sure.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Saturday surprises

After a hectic Saturday in school - advising my thesis groups, computing for grades, filling out classcards, etc. - I was just about ready to heave a sigh and head home.

But when I stepped outside the school gates, I was greeted by a cacophony of screams! And they were all saying: "SIR!"

Lo and behold, I saw my former students!

(Mel and Patty were 2 of the 5 students who I was surprised to see. Thanks to Mel for the photo.)

It was wonderful to see my Advertising and Print Journalism students all over again. It's one of the many reasons why teaching is such a rewarding job.

Friday, October 18, 2013

FMM: Like a boss!

Diana Ross' classic disco ditty, entitled "The Boss," brings back a lot of happy memories for me. Well, a lot of swing songs do that. It's in the nature of the melody and the song itself.

And since Friday is a time for old songs and happy memories, here comes the boss!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Yo Bro!

It's a day late, but as they say, better late than never.

Happy Birthday to my big bro, Kuya Marv!

And yes, when we had this picture taken, a lot of my colleagues said that we really look alike.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Identify yourself

This is what happens when you ask a creative person to submit his own photo for the new company ID.

Well, they did ask us to send a photo that reflects our personality. Harhar.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Prayers for Bohol and Cebu

While we were all soundly oversleeping here in Manila (it's a holiday, after all,) a magnitude 7 earthquake hit Bohol and Cebu.

It was so powerful, it destroyed a lot of the old churches in Bohol, including the historic Loboc Church.

I've had the pleasure of visiting Bohol and some of its churches a few years ago, and it's quite saddening and upsetting to see the destruction of these beautiful houses of the Lord.

I pray for the people of Bohol and Cebu that they quickly rise up from this tragedy. And I pray that these heritage churches be restored to their former glory once the city has gone back to normal.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Smiley Miley

After all her raunchy antics, it's nice to see Miley looking all wholesome and smiley.

(Yes indeed, Miley can sing!)

I hope she comes back to her nicer side really soon. I miss it.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Super supper

The celebration of the September birthday babies turned out to be a night of Filipino food and fun.

Throwing all caution - and blood pressure worries - to the wind, there was crispy pata, kare-kare and other signature Filipino dishes on the table. There were also lots of chocolate, courtesy of Rona. And like any D' Frendz celebration, there were a lot of fun stories going around.

Thanks to Dip's camera, we were able to capture the storytelling in this last-supper-inspired photo which I think is super.

To the next birthday celebration! (Wait a minute. That's us!)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Sing it, Alanis!

And it happens again.

The school informed me that there are no classes.

But they informed me when I was on my way to school already.

Isn't it ironic, don't you think.

Friday, October 11, 2013

FMM: I'm Joan-sing

My Dad's vast cassette tape collection helped me become a bit more eclectic in terms of music. It also helped me appreciate older music.

When I was in high school, I enjoyed listening to Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet and Cyndi Lauper. But at the same time, I also enjoyed listening to Joan Baez.

Joan who?

My classmates would ask me the same thing, with perplexed faces.

Joan Baez is a legend. And her voice is beautifully raw. That's why I can listen to her over and over again.

And since it's a Friday, I'm listening to her again.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

My head is in the McClouds

The last time I was rooting for someone like this in a reality competition was for Carrie Underwood in American Idol!

(I was actually misty eyed while watching this.)

Go Lili! You can win this!

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Flocking together

During my routine scan of websites this afternoon, this particular photo caught my eye.

Although I thought it was a D&G creation, the website listed it under the brand EIOPO. And while I tried looking for that brand on-line, I couldn't. But regardless of the brand, the jacket caught my eye because it looked extremely familiar.

It looked like this jacket that I snagged at SM Department Store a few months ago.

Looks like one of those "trickle down" moments in fashion. And I must say that it trickled down very accurately.

Once again, thank goodness for the trickle down effect and SM Department Store. It's easier for people to get into the stylish flock.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Something's UP(town)

Thanks to my AVP shoot in Katipunan, I was able to swing by UP Diliman, and found out that part of the former UPIS grounds is now a mall!

The fact that there's a Family Mart there - and they sell the soft serve Green Tea ice cream - is enough for me to go. But with the myriad of new restaurants opening there, it looks like I'll find more reasons to keep on coming back to my alma mater's new town center.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Yet another batch of D Young Rascals

A day after we had the DYR reunion in Makati, I ran into Che again at The Podium, along with 2 other former DYR colleagues.

Bonnie was my boss in our creative team, and he taught me how to think strategically when coming up with creative solutions. Happy was our resident ray of sunshine in the team, and she taught me that you can text message while doing anything. Harhar.

It's been a while since I last saw these two, so it was great running into them again.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Rafa birthday to you!

With a creative talent like Mother Lyli, it's no surprise that Rafa's 1st birthday is a fun event that's also a showcase of creativity. And in today's party, I'm gladly playing sidekick to these two heroes.

So pardon me while I take the Batmobile and head off to Racks.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Jeepers creepers

Of all the possible times to get a case of mental block, it had to be in a jeep.

I took one en route to Ate's dressmaker to pick-up the dresses she had made. When I saw my stop, I knew I was supposed to say "para," but for the life of me, I forgot the words. The stop was nearing, and my mind was still blank.

So, when the jeep reached the corner, all I could do was shout what was in my head at that time:

"Whoa, whoa, whoa! Stop right there!"

Yes, the jeep stopped. And the driver - as well as the rest of the passengers - looked at me strangely as I alighted.

Friday, October 04, 2013

FMM: Unstoppable

One of the biggest and most memorable films of the 80s in "Mannequin."

That time, the concept was very novel - a mannequin coming to life when the mall closes, and a guy who got trapped in the mall meet her and falls in love with her.

Aside from the concept, there were other factors that contributed to the film's memorability. There's Kim Catrall - pre SATC and menopause, and there's the theme song:

"Nothing's gonna stop us now," became almost as big as the film.

Well, the song is so catchy, so I'm not surprised.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

J & J

While I haven't really been following ANTM Cycle 20, I've seen a few episodes and it has given me an inkling of what can happen in this cycle.

Methinks Jeremy and Jourdan will end up as the final 2. 

Question is, who'll eventually end up on top?

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

D Young Rascals

The first multinational advertising agency I worked for was a company that was tucked away in a non-descript white building in Vito Cruz. It was the most non-advertising agency looking advertising agency on record, and people thought our building was a ship hull gone awry.

The agency was called DYR - initials of Dentsu, Young and Rubicam.

Despite it being an old agency, it was packed with young people who had crazy ideas and even crazier personalities. And I've made a lot of wonderful friends in this agency - friends that I'm still in contact with up to the present.

Tonight, some of those crazy, young rascals met up again. And while we're not as young anymore, I'd say we're still rascals in our own way.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Fifteen minutes of funny!

Forget your 15 minutes of fame. This is much, much more worthwhile:

I don't think I've laughed so much in my life.