Friday, September 30, 2016

FMM: Here comes Christmas!

See, that's how serious Christmas is to us Filipinos. It's more than 2 months away, and we're already counting it down.

With that kind of Christmas energy, there's one thing I'm sure of. Christmas definitely won't come late here in the Philippines.

Hit it, Alvin and the Chipmunks!

And that's one of the many Christmas Friday Magic Madness songs you'll hear - within 86 days at the least.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Pretty. Pricey.

"OMG, that's such a pretty couch set!"

That was my reaction after seeing this at our shoot which was held at our client's showroom. This couch was made of the softest of rubber, and despite its angular orientation, it was very, very comfortable.

It was the type of couch that I imagine for our office lobby, although this one is a tad bit too big.

Out of curiosity, I asked how much this set cost. And apparently, it was around P800,000! That's when my thought voice exclaimed:

"OMG, that's such a pretty expensive couch set!"

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

My kind of therapy

Bath and Body works counts as one of my favorite black holes. Once I get sucked inside one of their stores, I can just get lost for hours, marveling at every packaging and sniffing every scent.

During my last visit to the US, I went inside every store I could see, and this led to this very therapeutic discovery:

Aside from their signature classics, they have this Aromatherapy range which not only provides you with a great scent, but added benefits of relaxation and energy as well.

I've been using the "stress relief" variant the past few weeks, and it really works! (Which is awesome given how hectic our week has been at work.)

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Women of the 90s

Admit it. If you're a 90s kid, you know the songs "Waterfalls" and "Weak." You would often sing that during the weekend videoke sessions with friends. Admit it.

These iconic songs were courtesy of TLC and SWV respectively. And guess who's coming to town this November.

Yup, now we have a chance to sing-along with these songs with the original artists! (Without Left Eye, though. Rest her soul.)

Welcome back, 90s. We missed you!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Cat nap

While we were in Shinjuku 2 Saturdays ago, Mark and I dropped by Flying Tiger for the usual souvenir run. On our way out, an interesting billboard caught my attention.

It turned mall promo, and folks were asked to send photos of their yawning cats.

The result was cuteness overload!

Can't wait to show this to my cat loving friends!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The view from work

While we were shooting in Antipolo last Wednesday, this scene greeted us before 6:00pm.

It's not everyday that you get to enjoy a view like this while working.

And that, my friends, is why I enjoy advertising a lot.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Wenter is coming...

At least according to this stall that sells "Wenter Melon" tea.

Proofreader please!

Friday, September 23, 2016

FMM: Out of the (black) box

During our shoot tonight, we were talking about the 90s. Particularly, how almost all of the 90s hangouts have all been demolished.

It began from the fact that they're demolishing the Intercontinental Hotel, and with it, Euphoria. This spurred a discussion which included names like Faces, Mars, Rumors, and the like.

Then, it bridged to songs that defined that "disco" generation.

And the consensus of the group, it's not a disco if you didn't have Black Box playing.

The music of the 90s. Just gotta love it!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Newsy nephew

We were in the brainstorming room discussing some work. While leafing through an issue of Inquirer Libre during the break, something on the page made me spring up from my seat and run into the creative area.

Kevin was in the papers!

Not only is he a pilot now, he's a pilot who makes public appearances! Harhar.

He's really taking flight these days.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Working relationships

It's always a joy when you work with your friends. Everything feels brighter, easier and more fun.

That's why it's always a joy to work with this team.

I've known them for decades and we've collaborated on so many awesome commercials, including the Myra 300-E series with Eula Valdez and the Goya "Everyday" series.

And like many excellent working relationships, it always results in excellent work.

Can't wait to see how our commercial for this brand comes out!

P.S. I look like Dad in this photo. A lot!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

InStyle's Big O!

Call it a cover casting coup, but InStyle is putting the FLOTUS on its October cover!

I need to buy this magazine, STAT!

(Props to the new Editor-in-Chief for making this happen.)

Monday, September 19, 2016

Something's gotta Givenchy

The first reaction I had after seeing this Givenchy dress that Cate Blanchett wore to the 2011 Oscars was a jaw drop followed by a huge "Wow!"

Everything - from the design, to the fabric, to the color, to the embellishment - they were all so modernly and beautifully done. It was something so unique that it was seared on my mind as a major fashion moment.

It was a moment that I happily relived last Sunday when I saw this:

Yes! It was the exact same dress that Cate Blanchett wore, now on display at Isetan in Shinjuku.

Needless to say, my jaw dropped and I had to let out a huge "Wow!"

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Mark's double celebration

Yesterday was Mark's birthday, and we decided to continue tradition and spend it together. We've always been doing it since 2006 - whether it's in Tokyo or Manila - but we skipped it last year.

So, we had to make it a double celebration! (To make up for last year's skip.)

First, we had birthday lunch at TGI Friday's in Roppongi. The folks were so awesome that they gave Mark a free birthday sundae, a dance number, and a cool card with our photo in it.

Then, for dinner, we had a celebration at Pau's room in IH2. I whipped out the cake that Ate Bullet made for his birthday, and it was awesome!

Happy, happy birthday again, Mark! Looking forward to the next celebration!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

So convenience!

This is one of the sights that i look forward to in Tokyo.

Whenever I enter a convenience store and see the onigiri display, it gives me such a thrill! I can just sit here all day and eat onigiri!

Alas, i can't. I only have 2 days here, and there's a lot to do and see.

Friday, September 16, 2016

FMM : That's a Rap!

On my flight to Tokyo tonight, I discovered this series that I've heard about a few months ago.

Entitled "Empire," it's the story of a music mogul who builds up rap and hip hop stars, and all the drama that happens behind his music label. Think "Dreamgirls" with a lot more grit.

The episode was so engaging that I'm totally binge-watching the series when I get back home.

In the meantime, I'll get into the 90s rap gig with this classic from Coolio. He reminds me of one of the lead characters in the series - Luscious.

This is a fitting Friday Magic Madness song for my current mood.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Foodie-scoveries: Sodalicious

Okay, technically this isn't food. It's a drink. But it's still a discovery.

Discovering F&N Ice Cream soda was a case of drink envy. While we were eating at the beehoon and wing store, I spied it at the next table. It was being enjoyed by a little boy - maybe around 7 years old - and he looked like he was having the time of his life.

So, in the tradition of "When Harry Met Sally", I said: "I'll have what he's having."

And it turned out to be a great decision because this Ice Cream soda was SOOOOO GOOD! It's like A&W's rootbeer float, raised a few notches higher. (That doesn't mean I'm replacing A&W rootbeer float with this.)

It was so good, I had it twice before I left.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Rajo's Return

Rajo Laurel is one of Plains & Prints' more prolific collaborators. He's already done 2 previous collections for the brand, and in both cases, my sisters were able to get some pieces from the collaboration.

After the announcement came that he'll be part of the new collaboration for the brand, I was very interested his dresses. So, when the lookbook came, that was the first page I turned to.

Just like the other designers, he was tasked to design 2 dresses. One was a silk dress with a doodle print, while the other was a color blocked dress made of a waffle-textured fabric.

Compared to the other designers' creations, Rajo's looked a bit more subdued. That's why I ended up buying the ones created by Vania Romoff and Randy Ortiz. But when I had the time to really look at both dresses, that's when I began to appreciate them.

Well, the printed silk dress looked very much like the galactic dress from 2011. And since Ate Bullet had that, there was no reason to purchase it.

The second dress, though, had a lot of things going for it.

First, the fabric was beautiful. It had that weight and texture that makes if fall nicely on the body. Second, the cold-shoulder, cape combination was a fresh look at 2 of the more current fashion trends. Third, the play of colors was nice and refreshing.

Taking those into consideration, I decided to add this to my Ate's stash, too.

Four down, any more to go?

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

They come in threes...

As I was about to write a post about some other notable discoveries from my SG trip, this little factoid about my blog popped on the screen.

Yup, my blog now has a total of 3,333 posts! That's a whole lotta 3s!

So let me add another one.

In celebration of the number 3, here's one of my favorite ditties from Britney Spears.

Three cheers!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Come to Carl!

Of course, last week's visit to SG wouldn't have been complete without a visit to Vivo City and Carl's Jr.

That was the last on the agenda before I flew back to Manila. This time around, they had a limited edition chicken sandwich called the "South Beach Chicken Sandwich." It was composed of a flame-grilled chicken breast, veggies and pineapples! Needless to say, they had me at pineapples!

In keeping with their healthy theme, it was served with Mango Sjora. And to stay true to its fast food roots, it comes with large fries. LARGE FRIES! Woohoo!

This made the short SG trip complete.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

The little train that could

The past week, I've been hearing so many rave reviews about this Korean thriller, "Train to Busan." It opened quietly in Manila theaters a week ago, then it started a fever pitch. Now, cinemas are showing it in multiple theaters because of the huge demand.

Heck, Ali Mall only has 4 theaters, and 2 of them is "Train to Busan." That should mean something.

I wasn't the least bit curious about it until my students raved about it. So my thought was: "Fine, let's watch this film."

And boy, I'm glad I did! It's really an awesome film.

 It's not the most original, actually. A chunk of it felt like "World War Z" mixed in with a bit of "Speed." But its shortcoming in originality was compensated with its engagement.

It's been a while since I've seen a film - a thriller at that - which engaged the audience to a great degree. Everyone around me was screaming and jumping off their seats in unison. (I didn't, but watching the people in my surroundings was fun.)

What's great about it is that it isn't a cookie-cutter thriller. It was actually quite emotional, and my seatmates were crying at some point of the film. And I thought, "A thriller that makes people cry. That's novel."

When we exited the theater, there was already a very long queue for the next screening. And the people going out were telling the people who were about to go in that the movie is well worth the price of admission. How's that for word-of-mouth-marketing.

It's no wonder that "Train to Busan' has gained traction worldwide. Talks of it being remade in Hollywood. is even in the works. Amazing for a small film from Korea.

This really is the little film that could.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Smore than the usual

Making smores is an easy way to spread happiness and good vibes. You just get graham crackers, marshmallow and chocolates, place them in the microwave for a few seconds, and voila! Bite-sized happiness!

Every so often I make smores for the folks at the office. And yesterday, I found a way to level up the smores experience.

Presenting, super smores!

Instead of graham crackers, I used this Italian cookie which has that biscotti texture and crunch. Instead of milk chocolate, I used the Godiva dark chocolate which I brought from the U.S. Then, of course, a ultra large marshmallow.

I must say, it was much, much, much smore than I expected it to be.

Friday, September 09, 2016

FMM: Report to the Walden

For reasons both perfectly strange and utterly random, I remembered a name today.

The name? Narada Michael Walden.


That was the same thing that popped in my head. Why did I remember this name, but can't remember who he was?

This was a job for google. And that's when I realized who he is. And why I remembered him.

Narada Michael Walden sang this infectious ditty from the 80s.

It must've been my subconscious reminding me that today is Friday Magic Madness day.

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Randy Ortiz is it!

When I checked out the preview sale of the new Plains & Prints collaboration, I only had less than an hour to spare. Aside from the fact that I had meetings, there was the matter of the very, very, very, very early flight the next day.

So, there wasn't really enough time to check each and every piece out. And I only bought the pieces which were really striking - which led me to purchase the 2 Vania Romoff dresses.

Now that there's more time, I decided to drop by Plains & Prints Shangrila to further peruse the lookbook. This is when the discovery came that one of the dresses that Randy Ortiz designed was beautifully chic!

It was such a knockout that it had to be bought. I remembered, though, that the collection won't be in stores until September 15. Next best thing: ask whether the dress could be reserved.

Then, surprise of surprises, it turns out that they have the dress in their stockroom. Nope, they weren't selling it yet, but since I was interested in it so much, they allowed me to purchase it in advance.

(The pink box is back!)

What's awesome about this dress is that it has so many classic elements to it. Then, it was fused together to make it look more updated and ultra chic.

There's the standing collar, the bib, and the pink ribbon. Once combined, it has that very Karl Lagerfeld feel to  it.

Three down! Will there be more to follow?

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Stylish September

Aside from food, the only other thing I bought in SG are magazines. Particularly, the September issues of some of my favorite titles.

As expected the September issue of Vogue is hefty and heavy. In fact, it was so heavy, I had to put in on the table to read it. Content-wise, it didn't disappoint. It was eye candy from the first page, and the feature on Grace Coddington was top notch.

And for InStyle, the big surprise of this issue is the fact that it's the last issue under it's Editorial Director, Ariel Foxman. He bid goodbye to the readers of InStyle in his Editor's letter, and it was bittersweet because I've grown accustomed to his sense of style and joie-de-vivre.

There's a long weekend coming up, and these two will definitely keep me busy then.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Foodie-scoveries: Let's wing it!

Another day, another new hawker stall to discover. Good thing I had the advantage of a local viewpoint since the places we've visited were definitely off-the-touristy-track.

For dinner, we went to this popular noodle and chicken wing joint that sold this delightful combination:

Bee-hoon and fried chicken wings!

I'm at a loss for words at how good this combination is.

So I'll just stare at the photo again and remember what a great meal this was.

Monday, September 05, 2016

Foodie-scoveries: Ice, Ice, baby!

Yes, it's been established that I'm a big fan of Ice Kachang. During every SG trip, that's one thing that's on the "must" list.

Now, just as I thought that it couldn't get any better, it just did. We dropped by the Red Hill Market hawker stall, and I was introduced to these:

More iced desserts!

The one on the left is called the Ruby Red dessert. It's a combination of red and green mini sago, then, the big rubies are actually water chestnuts wrapped in red gelatin. Yummers!

The one on the right is soursop and passionfruit seeds, placed on top of jelly and ice. It's served with calamansi for added sourness, And it was A-W-E-S-O-M-E!

Gosh, in one weekend, we were able to visit this dessert place twice! That's how good it was!

Will definitely be back for more during my next SG trip.

Sunday, September 04, 2016

Foodie-scoveries: The Ramly burger

The good thing about asking a local to show you the best places to eat is the fact that they really take you to off-beaten tracks and make you discover food that you didn't think was possible!

Yes, I'm that excited about today's discovery.

Presenting, the Ramly burger.

Apparently, Ramly is the brand name of burger patties made of either beef, chicken or mutton. This is one of the most popular brands of patties in Malaysia, and it's finding its way around the neighborhood.

Here's what's awesome about the Ramly burger. They first get an egg, flatten it and fry it. Then, they put the patty of your choice (mine was chicken) at the center of the egg, then drizzle it with mayonnaise and barbecue sauce. Gosh, just standing in front of it is making me fat!

Once it's done, they fold the egg so that the chicken patty is inside the egg. This is a case of the egg coming before the chicken. Harhar.

The result, a heavenly burger which explodes with flavor each time you take a bite.

Now here's the catch about this Ramly burger. It's only available in pop-up stores, and you don't know when they'll pop-up. That's why I'm lucky to have chanced upon their stall!

Now, excuse me while I devour this burger.

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Romoff Rocks!

Just a few days back, Plains & Prints announced a new designer collaboration. This time, it wasn't with one, not two, but five designers.

It was a combination of old collaborators (Eala, Laurel and Ortiz) with two new female designers added to the mix. (Disini and Romoff.)

Of course, I was interested to see what these designers came up with. Particularly, I wanted to see the dresses created by Rajo Laurel since his first 2 collaborations for Plains & Prints resulted in very nice pieces.

Yesterday, they had a preview sale of the collection and decided to drop by. The collection had a total of 10 dresses, and after poring through the racks, two dresses impressed me the most.

(The dresses came in this nice pink box. That didn't sound right.)

The designer of these 2 dresses? Vania Romoff!

Among the lot, her dresses were the most chic and unique. For starters, the designs were exquisite. True to her aesthetic, the dresses were truly graceful.

What I liked most about her collection is that she really embraced prints. Apart from being impeccably designed and constructed, her clothes came in printed fabrics. One was this beautiful botanical print, while the other was delicately embossed on to the jacquard-ish fabric.

Among the 5 designers, Vania Romoff delivered the best dresses. Romoff wins!

(Incidentally, this is the 3rd Vania Romoff collaboration that's in my sister's closet. She has clothes from Vania's collaboration with Crossings and Ensembles.)

Friday, September 02, 2016

FMM: Flashback(street)

Since a lot of the creative folks are within my age range, we all know and appreciate the concept of Friday Magic Madness. And we have it at the office as much as we possibly could.

Now, there are also a few millennials in the office, and we're trying to teach them the joys of this day of musical flashbacks. On Fridays, we encourage them to listen to "old" songs, particularly those from their childhood.

We asked one of the younger ones about her favorite pop song as a kid. Her reply: "My favorite when I was in Grade 1 was Backstreet Boys' song - 'I want in that way.'"

Then, we realized that this song was from 1999. And we were already working at that time. And she was grade 1.


Friday is a great day to feel old. Really old.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Start of the Season

The radio stations are going to do it anyway, so why not join in?

Like the rest of the country, we at the office were all anticipating the airing of the first Christmas carol of the season.

Will it be Band Aid? Or The Gunter Kallman Choir? Or will it be heralded by the king of all things Christmas, Jose Mari Chan?

My bet is on Jomari. His songs are the ultimate feel good Holiday songs. And the fact that he sang this with is daughter makes it even cooler.