Thursday, December 31, 2015

The making of a proposal

Today is a huge day for the family.

For the first time, we all decided to spend New Year out of town. And I do mean ALL. All 20 of us! The big reunion was due to the fact that my brother and his family, as well as my 2 nephews, flew in from the U.S.! So this was the first time that we were truly, truly complete in a long time.

Another reason why it's huge is because of something that has a familiar ring to it!

My nephew, Jul, is proposing to his girlfriend, Jennifer!

So, the moment we arrived, Jul's brother - Carl, and all the cousins went into full action mode to make sure the proposal was memorable and successful. The next few hours were spent stringing lights, adding buntings, setting up a screen, showing the AVP, and all the little details to make this event great.

Kevin was so hands-on in the preps. So hands-on that he even made a storyboard to ensure that everything goes according to plan.

Looks like we have another creative mind in the family.

Now, let me stop writing and wait for the proposal to start.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Ride like Rizal!

So, I rode the LRT-2 going to Divisoria to do some last minute wedding errands.

When I got to the station, I used my beep card.


Didn't work.


Still didn't work.


Now, I'm frustrated!

As I was about to complain, the guard told me the news.

Turns out, the train was free because it was Rizal Day.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Donut ignore

Chef Tony's Popcorn is known for its interesting and adventurous flavor line. Both their sweet and savory popcorns are top notch, particularly their white cheddar cheese and dark chocolate.

This Christmas, they came out with 2 special flavors - Red Velvet Cheesecake, which is quite ordinary, and this!

Yes, you read it right. Glazed Beef Bacon Donut flavored popcorn.

How can you ignore and not buy something like this!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Her name is La Lola!

It was 2 full days of fun and food with Mark and his friends. 

From that dinner feast at our hotel room, to the buffet breakfast, all the way to the dimsum spread at Tim Ho Wan. Just recalling it is making my stomach bloat. Harhar.

But there's always room for dessert. So, we headed off to the much-talked about La Lola Churros. There, Ia ordered this monster bucket of churros!

It was so big, Mark's coffee cup and Manu were dwarfed by it.

Needless to say, we were stuffed silly (yet again) after this churros escapade.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Another Ramp bites the dust

Just this January, Crossings at Shangrila closed its doors, leaving a lot of fashion-philes forlorn.

When I passed by Crossings in Trinoma yesterday, this sign greeted me!

They're closing down, too.


Please keep the Glorietta and Quezon Avenue stores open. Please!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Lah reunion

From SG to MNL, our (mini) group always finds time to get together and share stories about work, life and love.

Proof that friendship really transcends time, space and distance.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Traditions are the true North

On the day before Christmas, Mark and I have a pre-Christmas merienda at North Park. We usually order noodles, dimsum, and the "Freshly Squeezed Lemonade - It's a must!"

We've been doing it for several years now, and it has become our tradition of sorts.

Whilst we usually order the same thing, we thought of trying something new. This time, we tried the huge siopao, and it was a winner! It was such a winner that I'm wondering why we've never tried it before.

Here's to traditions both old and new!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Hep Hep Hoo--Rey!

Mark and I finally got to watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and it was just stellar!

What I like most about the film is how it has a strong, female central character in the form of Rey.

She's funny, smart, headstrong, can wield a lightsaber, and can do Jedi mind tricks.

I'm sold! Let's go Episode 8!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Hands-on Groom

Speaking of my parents' Golden Wedding Anniversary, it turns out that my Dad is a very hands-on groom.

From the start of the preps, he asks about everything, and likes to sign-off on every detail.

Which reminds me of what Mona said once, that I must've gotten the organizing knack from Dad.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Gold Rush

In the past decade or so, I've organized quite a hefty number of weddings. There are weddings of relatives, of friends, of family friends, of friends of friends, and the list goes on. And each wedding is special and has a spot in my heart.

But this month, I've started organizing THE wedding. THE wedding that will be the most special one in my heart, and the one I'm truly honored to organize.

Yup, in less than a month's time, my parents will be celebrating their Golden Wedding anniversary.

Now that's something to be excited about.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Cerf's up!

There's a new guilty pleasure that I'm indulging in on youtube. It's a series about this eccentric French lady who talks about the different aspects of fashion.

Nope, it's not Carine Roitfeld or Ines dela Fressange or Anna Dello Russo. She's larger than life and has an uber quirky personality.

Presenting, Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele!

I first ran into her name on InStyle, and after their interesting write-up, I had to google her. After I found her youtube videos, I started watching them one by one. And I haven't gone back ever since. Harhar.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Que bien!

While browsing through the net, I saw an article about Los Caracoles, the restaurant built by my uncle-in-law's family in Barcelona.

Apparently, they're 180 years old! And still going strong!

Felicitaciones, Los Caracoles! I can't wait to eat there again one of these days.

Friday, December 18, 2015

FMM: Monday on a Friday

Back in the 80s, our house was divided.

Among us 5 siblings, some were Spandau Ballet fanatics, while some were Duran Duran supporters.

I was among the Durannies. (Yup, that's what we were called.)

For me, their songs sounded more gritty and catchy. And their lyrics! So poetic.

One example is this 80s ditty that will be my Friday Magic Madness song for today.

See, it's a song that's more than 30 years old, but still sounds current.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Today is the awakening!

After all the anticipation and much-deserved hype, it's finally here!

Today, Star Wars: The Force Awakens will debut in Philippine theaters. And I can imagine it to be like "The Avengers." It's going to be packed, sold-out, and all theaters will be showing it.

Can't wait to watch this with Mark.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Crazy Creative Crew Christmas

I've been working with this crew for more than 3 years, and I'm still enjoying the ride.

Merry Christmas, Team!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

I'll Trek for this!

Looks like this is fast becoming the week of trailers.

But I can't help it! There are so, so, so many awesome movies coming out.

Here's another one!

The Star Trek geek in me is rejoicing!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Steel so funny!

They had me at "blue steel."

And "Zoolander 2."

Show this movie now!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Let's cheer it for the boys!

Signs you're getting old, no. 256a.

The little boys you used to carry around are now old enough to have tequila shots with you.

Here's another reason why I actually enjoy growing old.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

On the road to gold

Even though they've been married for almost 50 years, (their Golden anniversary is this January) my parents still act like crazy kids sometimes. Just like last night.

Looking forward to your golden year, Folks!

Friday, December 11, 2015

FMM: Can't help it

Tonight, we celebrated Dad's 75th birthday. And during the party, he did something that surprised us all.

He sang!

It's hard to get Dad to make a speech, so we were totally floored when he took the stage and sang to Mom.

The song? This Elvis Presley classic.

With a Dad like that, it's hard not to love him.

Happy 75th birthday Dad!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Knock-knocked me off

Each commercial that I do with my team is a reflection of my life. Most of what I do are based on childhood stories, memories and little instances that have been embedded in my mind.

Just like this latest commercial that we did for Knick Knacks.

This was based on my childhood penchant for Knock Knock jokes. It was one of my favorite things to do in grade school, and my classmates called me "Mr. Knock Knock."

Looks like being a joker as a kid has its benefits.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Pinoy Cartoon Heroes!

Presenting, the Pinoy Komiks crew during this year's party!

From left: Lizardo (aka Mamang Magtataho), Flash Bomba, Zuma, Dyesebel, Lastikman, Panday, Ikabod Bubwit and Captain Barbell.

Great show, team!

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

That's a stretch!

This year's anniversary party theme was "animated." So, the Creative Team decided to go as Pinoy Komiks characters. I knew immediately that I wanted to be "Lastikman," and here I am!

That was a lot of fun!

Monday, December 07, 2015

Epic Egypt!

As a fanboy for all things mythological and Egyptian, I'm so psyched to see this film!

Show it in Manila. Please!

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Jewel of the Nyle

Yup, they wanted to end with a big bang.

So they chose Nyle, a deaf model, to be the last winner of ANTM.

And with that, ANTM packs their bags and goes home.

Friday, December 04, 2015

FMM: Hot-digitty-dog!

Because I watched the Hotdog's 40th reunion concert last night, it's just fitting that I play one of their most popular songs on today's Friday Magic Madness.

Hala! Hala! Here's to the Hotdogs!

Thursday, December 03, 2015

His and Hers

Just a few days ago, I was watching this feature on Korean couple's style. Personally, I've never been a fan of the trend, particularly those statement tees with his and hers messages. But admittedly, the Koreans make couple dressing look tres chic.

Then, at Mom's birthday dinner yesterday, Ate Bullet and Raymond showed up wearing this.

They said it was totally random and it wasn't their intention to go all matchy-matchy that night. But they did, and they were able to pull it off fashionably.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Suddenly seventy-two

Today, an amazing woman was born. A woman who's grace, generosity and kindness has always been an inspiration to her kids and to people around her.

Happy Birthday, Mom! Wishing you more happiness, health and blessings today in the year ahead!

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Suddenly seven

And just like that, our little Audrey is 7 years old.

Amazing how time flies.

And man, we're getting old. Harhar!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Oh Carolina!

Carolina Herrera is, hands down, one of the most elegant women in fashion today. Everything about her reads refined elegance. Her face and demeanor has class written all over it. It's something that reflects in her designs, and is captured by her go-to ensemble - a crisp, white shirt and a ball skirt.

During the weekend, there were a lot of stores on sale. So, I thought of whipping up a look that's inspired by Carolina Herrera. And a trip to 2 department stores yielded this:

The classic white shirt is from SM Department Store. It has that right amount of crisp, and the folded sleeves make it look more modern.

The full, floral skirt is a find from The Landmark. The pastel colors make it feel light and airy, despite it being full and weighty.

Combined, these 2 pieces create an ensemble that's as classic and refined as the woman who inspired it.

Now, it's time for Ate to bring out her inner Carolina.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Meals with Mark: On Fire

One of the things that Mark and I unconsciously did during my trip to Tokyo last week was to try out new restaurants. While we have our staples (Tempura Tendon Tenya Asakusa, Ootoya, Saizeriya, Friday's, etc.) we thought of venturing far from our culinary comfort zone and go to other places this time.

That's why last Sunday, we tried this burger joint near Todai called Fire House.

According to Mark, this was a popular restaurant for Todai students, as well as burger lovers in general.  This was probably the reason why the place was packed, even if it was an odd hour on a Sunday. We had to wait around 15-20 minutes to get a table, but the food was worth the wait.

I ordered the Tuna Melt sandwich and it was phenomenal! The tuna filling had the perfect blend of creaminess and sweetness, and the chunks of tuna meat were huge. It was served with spiced chips on the side, and it was like mojos, but crispier and spicier.

Mark ordered the mushroom burger with a side of fries, and by the way he polished his plate, I'd say it was really, really, really good burger.

All their sandwiches were served with a big dill pickle, similar to Triple O's. Our guess was it was a palate cleanser after all the overwhelmingly good flavors.

After that really good meal, I have it in good authority that we'll be eating here again sometime soon.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Not-So-Sweet inflation

The Peppermint Patty cupcake at Cupcakes by Sonya's is an all-time favorite. Ever since they opened their first store in Serendra, this was always my default order. After all, the combination of the moist, chocolate cupcake with the minty icing was sublime.

But recently, I noticed that their cupcake has changed, and not for the better.

First, the icing on top is noticeably shrinking. Before, it used to cover the entire circumference of the cupcake. But now, it's almost like just a small dollop.

Also, the cupcake itself is now quite hard and crumbly. Much like when you leave a cake in the fridge for too long.

My guess that it's inflation catching up on them. After all, it's been a while since they raised their prices. But then again, I'd rather they raise their prices and keep their quality rather than the other way around.

Friday, November 27, 2015

FMM: To real friends

Today's Friday Magic Madness song was inspired by something that happened this week.

Amazing how people who you thought were your best friends turn out to be anything but. And that the friends you least expect turn out to be your true friends.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Two good

Since this is ANTM's last season, choosing a winner will is a bigger challenge. After all, Tyra would want to end her series with a bang. Or at least a statement.

Among the final 4, I think these two models are the ones who can deliver both a bang and a statement.

First, there's Lacey. I think she should win because she has all the goods to become a supermodel. She has the height, the face and that x-factor that could help her make it big in the industry. She has what it takes to be a legit model, which is why she should win.

Second, there's Nyle. He's the first deaf contestant in ANTM, and if he wins, Tyra can banner that as part of her "empowerment" cause. Imagine, a deaf model. It has media mileage written all over it.

So, I'm torn between the two. But if I'll base my decision on who really deserves to be a model, I'm definitely Team Lacey.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Fall into you

Aren't fall colors beautiful? That's why I had to visit Tokyo in Autumn. The colors are so rich and inspiring.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Me and hue

Speaking of lights, here are our photos in different shades.

There's the purple reign.

The mellow yellow.

 And the blue man crew.

This was fun. Colorful and fun!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Lighten up

Since it's almost Christmas, Tokyo was awash with lights when I visited. In fact, the entire city is participating in the "Night Illumination," and all the different areas of Tokyo brought out their best lighting designs for everyone to enjoy.

That includes us, of course.

Whenever we had the opportunity, Mark and I would have our photos taken with the different illuminations. And the place where we had most fun was in Tokyo Dome.

There were hallways of lights.

And gigantic trees.

These definitely brightened up my visit.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

And it feels so good...

Here's the post I wrote last February about the new Hachiko statue in Tokyo. Instead of being by his lonesome, he's reunited with Dr. Ueno and we see them happily together.

I knew I had to see this statue for myself, so that's what we did this morning.

Everything about this statue is beautiful. The location, the moment, and the emotion you get after seeing it. True to the song lyrics, this reunion really felt so good.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Having a Moomin

Going to the Moomin Cafe is one of the things we set out to do on this visit. So, tonight, we had dinner in Tokyo Dome so we can have coffee at the cafe.

Though the service was a bit spotty tonight, things got better once they delivered our Moomin to our table.

It was definitely a great way to cap our night.

Friday, November 20, 2015

FMM: Pretty Cool

Mark was joking about our visit to the Chiba Premium Outlets and it was like the Rodeo Drive scene from Pretty Woman.

So I thought, heck, that would be a great song for today's Friday Magic Madness!

It's so cool how a song from the 60s sounds as current in 2015.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Client meeting!

While checking out the Uniqlo main store in Ginza, I ran into my former colleague and client, Edmond! It was so random and such a pleasant surprise!

Which leads me to 2 conclusions: 1. It's a small world after all, and 2. Everyone's going to Japan.

I wonder if I'll see anyone else.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Let's go, Tokyo!

I'm up at the crack of dawn.

I have a 8:20am flight to Tokyo, and given how erratic traffic has been due to APEC, I thought it best to wake up really, really, really early and go to the airport much, much, much earlier.

Here goes!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Cool Culottes

Culottes were the rage back in the 80s. My sisters had a lot of those, and they'd often wear it on casual days or family trips to Greenhills.

Now as we know in fashion, everything comes back for a second wave. I've been seeing a lot of culottes in fast fashion stores both local and international, and it's a sure sign that the trend is back.

First up, this white culottes playsuit from SM Department Store. The lines are very clean, and it gives the piece a very spartan, classic feel to it.

To keep it from looking too plain, just top it off with a sleeveless lace blouse to add texture to the look.

This is the ensemble that Ate Bullet rocked during my birthday dinner last week.

 A few days after, at Surplus Shop, they had these white NY & Co. linen culottes. The elastic back gives it a very relaxed, weekend feel.

Then, there's this Forever 21 sheer shirt which had a botanical pattern which is very now.

Again, a clean and chic ensemble that Ate Lissa would look great in.

These ensembles make it feel like the 80s all over again, but in a 2015 kind of way.