Friday, February 28, 2014

FMM: Girl power!

One of my favorite musical artists in the 90s was this duo called "Everything but the girl." Their music was in the same league as Swing Out Sister - very chill, but with lyrics that are filled with meaning and emotions.

I used to have all their CDs, and they'd be on my playlist over and over again.

It's been a while since I last listened to an Everything But the Girl song, and today is the best day to revive my interest for these 2.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Ines much as

There has been so much press about the recent Target x Peter Pilotto collaboration that another collaboration was forming under our very noses. And it so happens that it's a collaboration by one of my favorite brands and one of the more popular style icons.

Hello Uniqlo x Ines De La Fressange!

With her elegant French style which has a lot of joie de vivre and je ne sais quois, I'm sure that there will be many stand out pieces in her collection.

Now hopefully, they'll carry this collection in Manila as well. That's as much as I can wish for.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Teaching is a rewarding experience in itself. But it gets even more rewarding with little things such as this:

My Journalism students gave this to me when we were in Singapore. They handed it to me at the end of  our Universal Studios trip, and I actually saw them checking out this Oscar trophy while we were going around.

I'm so glad I came back to teaching.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Other Women on the verge

If a chick-flick met a bro-buddy-movie, then got together with a caper film and a slapstick comedy, their love child would definitely be "The Other Woman."

I don't know if they'll show this in Manila, but if they do, I'm definitely catching it.

Monday, February 24, 2014

More Graphic Design

A few months back, I found this funky fabric at Fabric Warehouse. It had this interesting mirrored print made up of graphic shapes. 

Seeing how complex the shapes were, I brought it to the dressmaker with the brief that the dress should be kept simple. That way, the complex nature of the print can be balanced out. That said, we agreed to follow the pattern of the fabric and work the silhouette around it. And here's how it came out:

It's a super nifty maxi dress!

Not only was she able to follow the pattern on a horizontal scale, she was also able to take the edging of the fabric and incorporate it as a border. Now, it's on the off-shoulder part, and the hem.

That's the beauty of graphic fabrics. It can turn a simple silhouette in to something spectacular.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The lost voice

And just like that, the 2nd semester has wrapped up for my seniors.

Yesterday was the last lecture day for my CDA and FeaTech classes, and I was talking continuously - packing as much learnings and reminders as I could into the 3 hour lecture time. But I think I was talking too vigorously that by the time my second class ended, my voice was already breaking. And by my 3rd class, my voice was hoarse.

Despite that, the teacher in me prevailed and the lecture went on.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Itch funny!

Pinoy business establishments love to have fun with puns. That's why we have stores like "Anita Bakery," "Victor Woodworks," "Cut and Face," "Adobo Putoshop," and "Merci Buko Pie."

While some of the puns are downright funny, there are certain pun-based name studies that are just plain wrong.

Exhibit A: This tea shop along Vito Cruz. I pass by this shop everytime I go to school.

Gosh! I wonder who would be itching to drink tea from a place like this.

Well, apparently, not a lot. A few months after they opened, the store is now closed.

Friday, February 21, 2014

FMM: In the Loop

Back in the '90s, I had a phase when I was so much into Blue Note jazz. There was something soothing, hypnotic and giddy about the interplay of instruments, particularly those of the wind kind.

That time, I was in San Miguel and my office was a sound proof studio at the basement. So, whenever I'd work overtime, I'd play blue note jazz at full volume, and no one would mind. It always upped my energy listening to it.

My favorite song from this genre was US3's "Cantaloop," or "Flip Fantasia."

It's been years since I last listened to this song again. And it still sounds as good as it did in the 90s.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Oh my Godzilla!

Admittedly, I'm a big fan of Godzilla. Even as a kid, I was fascinated with this giant lizard and even wanted it to be my friend.

Whenever I would watch Godzilla films and it would die, I'd end up crying over its demise.

The last Godzilla film - the Roland Emmerich version - was a bit of a disappointment. And I kept on wishing that someone would produce a new one, if only to erase the folly of 1998.

And they did! And it's coming in a few months.

Both the poster and trailer look promising!

This better be good.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Cold and Warmth

I'm not a huge fan of hidden camera commercials, but I must admit that this one tugged my heartstrings.

More than the advocacy that this was advertising, I admire how the people reacted to the boy in the cold. Their innate kindness is enough to warm your heart.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Springing into spring

One thing's for sure. Miranda Priestly won't like this post.

But hey, nothing says Spring like florals. It might be the obvious choice, but that doesn't make it any less fashionable. With March coming in and the transition of the season is among us, it's time to bring out those flower prints and welcome the season.

Fast fashion brands are obviously jumping on to this trend. The past few mall runs yielded some interesting finds with floral motifs.

First, this maxi-dress from Zara.

The silhouette is easy. The cut-outs are interesting. The blooms are subdued and dainty. It makes for the perfect spring dress.

But to make it look a bit more interesting, we'll literally add a layer for good measure. Another set of florals, but this time in a bolder, brighter print.

Because the dress is neutral colored, it doesn't clash with the colorful blazer. And since the weather is still a bit nippy during spring, it also provides warmth for those sudden cold breezes.

This floral-on-floral combination is both apt for the season and fashionable. And who knows, Miranda might change her mind after seeing this.

Monday, February 17, 2014

LFLTAT: Be my Valentino

A few seasons back, Valentino came up with a collection of lace dresses which were both ultra-chic and very wearable. It debunks the myth that lace is just for weddings or for lingerie. His lace dresses were appropriate for day or night, for a party or a corporate event. 

There were many colors produced that season, but it was the emerald green one that caught my eye.

Unfortunately, there's no Valentino store in Manila. Although they carry Red Valentino in Linea Italia, I don't think they carry items from the main line. But while we don't have a Valentino store in Manila, we do have good fabric stores and dressmakers. That said, it was easy to make a Look For Less Than A Thousand.

The emerald green lace was purchased at Fabric Warehouse for P160 a yard, then brought to our trusted dressmaker who made it for a paltry sum. The result was a very Valentino dress at a not-very-Valentino price.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Feeling like a Tart

A few weeks ago, I discovered the joy of Goldilocks Caramel Tarts when Mark was buying bread to bring to Tokyo. Since then, I've been constantly on the lookout for those wonderful little calorie-laden creations.

Yesterday, I dropped by Goldilocks in Farmer's Plaza on my way home, with the intention of buying a pack of tarts. And this conversation happened:

ME: "Miss, may Caramel tarts po ba kayo?"
MISS: "Meron sir."
ME: "Pa-order ng 2 packs."
MISS: "Ubos na ho lahat, eh."

Gosh! The funny thing is this exact same conversation happened to me previously in Goldilocks Pasong Tamo.

Maybe they're trained to do that to tart-loving folks like me.

Saturday, February 15, 2014


While the entire country was glued to the Men's Figure Skating championship in Sochi, I was eagerly awaiting the Women's competition.

Back in 2010 in Vancouver, the gold medal was hotly contested between Mao Asada and Yu-na Kim. And with much grace and aplomb, Yu-na emerged victorious that year.

This year, she's up against two prodigies - 15-year old Julia Lipnitskaia of Russia and 18-year old Gracie Gold from the U.S. And while the odds are stacked against her favor, I still think the Queen has what it takes to reign supreme in Sochi.

Friday, February 14, 2014

FMM: Ride the wave!

Tomorrow's lesson is about jingle writing and musical genres. While writing down the more popular genres that have been popular among listeners, I suddenly missed the genre that was a big hit during my high school days.

New Wave!

And among my favorite New Wave songs is this classic from Copy Right.

It's truly a hypnotizing song.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Watch out!

I've seen this photo of D' Frendz a couple of times, but it was just today that I noticed that creepy pair of eyes watching at us from behind.

That's the biggest photobomb I've ever seen.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Fashion Force

Rodarte's latest collection is enough to make geeks take up and embrace fashion.

It's a Star Wars long gown collection!

The force is really strong with the Mulleavy sisters.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A familiar Love

When I saw the poster for the "Endless Love" reboot, I couldn't help but feel that I've seen this before.

Then I remembered the poster for the Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler film, "P.S. I love you."

Maybe it's a pre-requisite for films with "love" to have the same "girl lying while guy hovers above her" shot.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Reaching for the Star!

For this SG trip, I knew that I wouldn't be able to visit my haunts since I'll be with my students 24/7. So, I knew I'd forego going to the bangle place in Little India, the shops in Vivo City and Suntec City, the museums, and even visiting Jo at her home.

There's one place, though, that I knew I had to make time for.

Carl's Jr!

Luckily, I found out that one of my students, Izza, is a Carl's Jr. junkie as well. So, on our last night in SG, we made a pact to find Carl's Jr. 

And we did! 

Now, my trip to SG is complete.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Have class. Will travel.

After a few weeks of pencil pushing, hopping from one travel agency to another in search for the best deals, filling out forms, talking to the school administration, badgering and orienting students, and basically running around like a mad man, the Singapore field trip of my Journalism class finally pushed through!

I'm a big believer of travel as a learning tool. I'm blessed to have parents who taught us the value of traveling. As a kid, my Dad would bring me to his Balikbanda roadshows and we'd travel from one province to another in a matter of days. Even though this happened decades ago, I still remember those night bus trips with the SMC crew, including famous personalities like rock icon Sampaguita and the late funny man Bert "Tawa" Marcelo.

That time, we would be in Baguio in the morning, then Ilocos in the evening, then Laguna the next day. It was a thrilling experience, especially for a kid.

From domestic travel, we moved on to international trips. This ignited my interest in different countries and I vowed to see as much of the world as I could. When I started earning my own money, it was something I pursued with a passion.

Suddenly, I found myself backpacking around Thailand, exploring the nooks and crannies of Barcelona and Prague, walking around rustic towns in Mexico, navigating central and rural Japan, and simply discovering countries and cities that I would read about as a kid.

Travel isn't just a fun pursuit. What's important about traveling is the learnings that you get from it. Aside from learning about different cultures, you also learn to appreciate what you have in your own country, and you learn what can be improved. Traveling gives you a wider world view, and have a benchmark on what's good and what's bad.

It's a learning experience, every step of the way. From the airport to the airplane, to the local transport system, to the destination itself. If you keep your eyes and ears open, you'll be amazed at what you'll learn.

And this is the reason why I insist and take pains in ensuring that my classes go out of campus, out of the city, and even out of the country. Because while it looks like a simple junket, it really is an opportunity for students to learn about their world, their capabilities, and themselves.

Traveling is really one of the best ways to learn.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Speedy Singapore

Our first day in SG was just like a Grand Prix. We spent the day zipping and zooming all over the city and was able to cover a lot of ground for the first few hours. So far we were able to:

- Savor local food at KopiTiam
- Check out Bugis
- Look around Haji Street in Arab Lane
- Visit the Merlion park and Esplanade
- Eat dinner at Lau Pa Sat

Whew! That's 5 touristy things in a matter of hours.

This is going to be a very exhausting weekend.

Friday, February 07, 2014

FMM: Sing!

Today's Friday Magic Madness song is inspired by the fact that my class and I are flying off to Singapore tomorrow.

See you, Sing! (Harhar!)

Thursday, February 06, 2014

With a Twiz

I had the strangest dream.

And what made it even more strange is the fact that at my present age, I'm still capable of having dreams such as this.

The dream: I was walking around in a world made entirely of Twizzlers.

Maybe there's a commercial in there waiting to happen.

Or maybe I just need to look for and buy a pack of Twizzlers.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Where is it?

A funny thing happened at the doctor's office today.

I went in to have my eye checked because my left eyelid was swollen when I woke up. But when I got to the doctor's office at around 2pm, the swelling went down considerably, and the opthalmologist could hardly see it. So, she asked me if I was sure that it was swollen.

Then, I told her about what happened this morning, and she proceeded to look closely and pressed my eyelids. As she was doing so, she said:

DOCTOR: If there's something wrong with your eye, there should be...

After that, she was lightly pressing my left eyelid while saying:

DOCTOR: ...tenderness. Where is it?

And just like that, this song played in my head.

Best. Opthalmologist. Ever.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

How to terrain your students

When I asked my class what they wanted to do in Bicol, they all shouted:


So, I took them to Daraga to ride the ATV around the Cagsawa trails.

With all the rocks, streams and sand we went through, we definitely had the adventure they were asking for.

Monday, February 03, 2014

That's Bigg's

When in Bicol, it's good to try homegrown restaurants that have endeared itself to the locals and tourists. Among my favorite local restos in Albay are Abing's in Tabaco, DJC in Tiwi, and Bigg's Diner in Legaspi.

The diner is on its 30th year, and I must say, it's very, very different from what I remember it to be. They've really upgraded their image and refurbished their interiors to make it look more young, fun and hip. But their mainstays - like their vintage items - are still around. The only difference is, they're now arranged in these Mondrian-esque tableaus.

The interiors have also been upgraded, the logo was also changed, and as I was telling Becky, their new look is very professional and well-thought of. And while a lot of things have changed, the food is still as good as I remember it. One item on their menu I can't get enough of is their California Tuna Sandwich.

After two trips to Bigg's during my 3-day stay, I have to say that I'll miss the food and ambience here. But as the manager told me, in case I really, really, really, really miss Bigg's, I can always go to SM Batangas.

Let's see if my craving will lead to somewhere as far as that.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Sentimental Sunday

One of my favorite spots to visit in Bicol is this beautiful and rustic church in a sleepy town called Malinao, Albay. The church is called St. Joachim and St. Anne.

This church has a lot of significance to me and my family. For starters, this is the church where Mom and Dad got married 48 years ago. Second, it's where we used to hear mass during our summer visits to Bicol when I was a kid. Third, the church also doubled as a playground for me and my cousins. I remember going up the belfry and looking at the town from a higher vantage point. It was such a thrill.

Although it's been decades since all these things happened, I remember it like it was yesterday. It helps that the church still looks the same as when I was a kid. And the surrounding areas look like they did back in the 80s. Including this park where we'd breakdance as kids. (Yes, I was a breakdancer.)

After this visit, I can't help but wonder why it took me 14 years to go back to Mom's hometown. I should really visit this place more often.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Language barrier

One of the reasons why I was excited to visit Bicol is the fact that I get to speak Bicolano again. While we never lived in Bicol or formally trained in the language, I learned it from listening to my grandparents and cousins. After a few trips to Bicol, I found myself being able to speak it quite confidently.

So, the moment I arrived in Bicol yesterday, I tried to speak to people in Bicolano as much as possible. From the order taker at Biggs, to the terminal barker in Legazpi, to the jeepney driver in Tabaco. And after talking to these 3 people, I found one thing that was odd.

They would answer me in Tagalog.

No matter how much I speak to them in Bicolano, they'd always reply in Tagalog. I'm not sure if it's because I'm obviously not Bicolano, or is it because the residents just prefer to speak in Tagalog nowadays.

For the sake of regional pride, I do hope they start speaking their local dialect again.