The Philippines has its fair share of adopted foreign musicians. They're singers or musical artists who performed in the Philippines once or twice, fell in love with the country, and called it their second home. Among them was renowned harpist, the late Tadao Hayashi, and Seawind's Pauline Wilson.
In the 90s, another such musician was Kevyn Lettau. She with the soothing golden voice, made popular when she was with Sergio Mendes' Brasil 88. Particularly, the song "Bridges."
When she pursued a solo career, she sang this song once more. This time, it was more mellow, more heartfelt and more intimate.
Whichever of the two versions I listen to, I can't help but be mesmerized by her voice. It's a song I can listen to again and again and again.
And that's what I'll do today. After all, it's Friday.
With Kin's birthday happening on a weekend, the CAO gang decided to celebrate it in advance and met up at Chili's tonight. Since Kin is much loved by the SMC folks - both past and present - we arrived in full force.
Her favorite color is green, that's why Maricar instructed us to wear a touch of green. As they say in corporate parlance, it was "100% compliance." From emerald green to moss green to seafoam green, everyone came in different shades of green. And it complemented the birthday girl's pink shirt.
Since it's a birthday celebration, we decided to live dangerously. And for old folks such as us, living dangerously means having margaritas on a Thursday night. I think we had 5 pitchers, which explains why everyone was red by the time the celebration ended.
By 9pm, our table was already rowdy and noisy shouting "Best. Birthday. Ever!!!" to the amusement of the servers who were assigned to our table. We didn't mind the stares, though.
After all, we were all busy being happy for the Best. Birthday. Girl. Ever!!!
When it comes to photographs, I've always preferred candid shots to ones that are planned. What I like about them is the fact that there's actually a story happening in the photograph. A story you don't know, and can only deduce based on the actions of the people in the shot.
During our company outing a few weeks ago, one of my colleagues took these candid shots throughout the day. He sent me the ones with me in it, and I was amazed at the fact that I had no idea that he was around taking photos.
(This photo is proof that Ferdie - the guy in orange - is camera-ready everytime.)
(This one looks like we're shooting a travel show, and I'm the director.)
I really like these photos. But that's just my candid assessment.
Accessories can change the look of an outfit. Particularly a good necklace. Ate Bullet knows this all to well and is very fond of accessorizing her everyday outfits with a fun and funky neckpiece.
Needless to say, whenever I see an interesting necklace, I snap it up for her. And I've been seeing a lot of them the past few months.
An "interesting necklace" for me is something that's a statement piece. It should have a commanding presence, that's why bigger is better. There should also be a point of interest - whether it's a pendant, the color, or the material. Something should naturally stand-out.
Luckily, the past few months, I've been seeing a lot of those in the market. Among them are these pieces:
1. A multi-colored choker from The Landmark. It has this Cleopatra-esque quality to it and will look awesome with a jewel-neck shift.
2. A gold necklace with lion details from The Ramp. The two lion heads hold together a variety of chains.
3. A bejeweled safari-inspired necklace from The Ramp. It was the Elephant pendant that did this for me.
4. A regal-looking blue neckpiece from Zara. This looks like something out of a princess or queen's jewelry collection.
5. A fabric neckpiece from Zara. Whilst this looks heavy, it's actually very light.
6. A tribal necklace from Zara. This is a eye-catching showstopper.
I've seen Ate wear some of these with her usual "white shirt and jeans" combo, and they really do lift her outfit to a much higher level.
Once upon a time in the 80s, there was one rap song that everyone was dancing to during interactions and soirees. It was a rap song that was masterfully performed by 3 women who had the swagger of the then-hot-rap-groups like Salt N' Pepa and TLC.
The group was J.J. Fad, and their song was supersonic.
I swear, I'm going to rap this song in my head the next few days.
Everyone's heavily anticipating the arrival of H&M in the Philippines this fall. In fact, they're anticipating it so much that they didn't notice another famous fast fashion brand that's opening in Manila.
That is Pull & Bear, of course.
I first encountered Pull & Bear when I was in my exchange program in Mexico. According to my then "anfitrion," it was a brand that caters to fashionistas who are in their teens to early 20s. Later on, I found out that it's owned by Inditex, and is their youth brand.
The first time I stepped into a Pull & Bear store, I liked their selection instantly. They have modern cut jeans in classic washes, nice shirts, and a lot of clever graphic tees. In fact, I remember blowing around US$200 in one visit, and I spent it all on shirts!
For the longest time, I had to go to SG to get my Pull & Bear fix. But now that they're opening in Manila, I'll just be pulled into Megamall the next time around.
Since the two Morales kids from the US - Kai-kai and Noah - arrived almost 2 weeks ago, they've spent most of their time bonding with their Manila based cousins. Whether it's watching a chick-flick, riding a zip-line, swimming or simply sleeping over, they've become virtually inseparable.
Seeing them together reminds me of times when our US based cousins - Nene and Lee - would visit Manila and we'd spend as much time together as well.
It's cool how 2 generations get to experience the same thing.
Two weekends ago, when the family went to Clark, we stopped by a mall to have lunch. While waiting for the others to finish, I chanced upon my 3 nephews sitting on a bench, and I thought it was an adorable sight.
So adorable, I had to take a snap of it.
I wonder what each boy was thinking at that moment.
And knowing how most restaurants will be packed today, the family chose an off-the-beaten-path place to celebrate. We went to Manila Yacht Club - thanks to Dad - and it was the perfect place to celebrate because it wasn't crowded and there were only a few families there.
Dad got us the Commodore's Lounge, and thanks to the fact that Biboy is in town, the 5 Regalado-Morales kids are here to fete Dad.
It was an afternoon of good food and even greater fun. There were 3 generations present, which made the celebration more special.
That includes the 3 generations of look-alikes, Dad, myself and Javier.
Last week, my client from Uratex gave me a SensoMemory pillow. Now, I'm very sensitive when it comes to pillows. In fact, when I was still living in HKG, I had to go through 20+ pillows before finding one that I could actually sleep on.
Since it felt nice and firm, I decided to try on the pillow tonight.
It was AWESOME!!!
It's the most comfortable pillow I've ever encountered. So comfortable, in fact, that I find myself falling asleep a few minutes after laying my head on the pillow. The downside is, I find myself falling asleep even if I don't plan to sleep yet.
Here's 70% of the next generation of the Regalado-Morales clan.
(Not in photo are the 3 older kids: Jul & Carl - both in the US, and Kevin - who's probably somewhere in the house when this was taken.)
With Biboy and family in town from the U.S., we thought that this weekend would be a good time to let the cousins spend more time together. And true to form, our little villa in Fontana was filled with shrieks and laughter, all the way after midnight.
Personally, I'm glad that the cousins are growing up this close. My siblings and I weren't really close to our cousins as kids. The main reason being that we were the only family in Manila, while everyone else was either in the U.S. or Bicol. Thankfully, we were able to catch up as we grew older.
As they say, each generation is an improvement. And it's good to see that adage come alive with our next generation.
It's been more than 2 decades since I've began sketching cakes as a hobby.
First, they were just random sketches, then, sketches for birthday cakes, and eventually, wedding cake sketches.
Among the wedding cake sketches that I really enjoyed doing are the wedding cakes of D' Frendz. From Bonique, to Grace, to Rona, each cake had its own story. Because I'm making it for my best Frendz, there's more pressure. After all, I only want the best for them.
The latest wedding cake sketch I made was for Alfie's wedding. The inspirations for her cake were her favorite colors and her wedding flowers. Alfie has always been a purple girl, so I made each layer of her cake in a different shade of purple. And on the sides, I added hydrangea motifs.
Alfie and Bon are both very laid back folks, so even the bride and groom figures were laid back. Instead of standing, I designed them to be sitting relaxed on the 2nd layer of the cake. Finally, I put their wedding emblem on top.
Needless to say, the sketch came to life beautifully under the masterful hands of my brother-in-law, Raymond.
Judging by how Bon and Alfie loved the cake, and seeing how so many people were having their photos taken with the cake, I'd say the design was a success. And making a successful cake for Alfie made it even sweeter.