Monday, December 11, 2017

The ins and outs of Cibo at night

That's a fitting title for Dad's birthday celebration tonight.

We ate at Cibo for dinner, and Javier didn't want to go inside the restaurant since he found the music quite loud.

So, when it was time to have our photos taken, Dad and Mom took their spot inside, while we were all hamming it up outside the glass panels.

Yes, the things you do to get the perfect shot!

Happy Birthday Dad!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

The ins and outs of Divisoria at 8am

Sounds like a title of a book. Or an indie film.

But it's actually my experience this morning.

I needed to go to Divisoria, but was expecting a "Train-to-Busan-esque" deluge. To avoid this, I decided to go really early. Like, 7:00am early, to make it to Divisoria by 8:00am.

The result, a productive and relatively stress-free shopping experience. There weren't as many people in the morning yet, so it was all good.

What's interesting was the contrast of Divisoria from the outside and inside.

Here's a view from out on the street.

And here are the shops inside.

I'm loving the contrast of all this.

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Matchy-matchy x Color Story: Marooned!

Some fashion pundits will say that it's not chic to wear the same color from head-to-toe. Some others say that fashion rules were made to be broken. But I say, there are times where you can have a compromise and meet in the middle.

I'm known to suggest some matchy-matchy ensembles to my sisters and friends. Just like this snakeskin ensemble from 2013. This is an example of matching prints.

Sometimes, I also match colors, especially when it's a deep, bold color that really catches the eye.

For instance, this maroon dress with a pleated detail has always caught my eye. It's from Stella, Robinson's Department Store's house brand, which has a lot of beautifully tailored dresses.

A few days after I saw it, this pair of velvet, maroon heels presented itself at SM Department Store. It has the same, rich shade as the dress.

The result, a beautifully matchy-matchy cocktail ensemble! And while the color may be monochromatic, the skin that shows (both arms and legs) break the color and give the eye some breathing space.

It's an ensemble that's a match with Ate Bullet's personality.

Friday, December 08, 2017

FMM: Fly, Yvonne, Fly!

Time for Friday Magic Madness, and time to go back to the 70s!

During Mom and Ate's ballroom heyday, we got to listen to a lot of 70s hits. It ranged from fast, swing tunes, to slower, more relaxed dance ditties.

One of the songs that they'd play and I'd enjoy listening to a lot is this monster hit from Yvonne Elliman. Ask any 70s fan, and they'll know this one:

"If I can't have you," has such a relaxed and infectious vibe to it. A song you'd enjoy listening to while swaying and bobbing your head. Which, in some cases, can pass off as dancing.

No wonder this song soared.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

You outta Noah!

Now that most of my nephews and nieces are all grown up, (and managers, pilots, sales heads, etc.), let me dote on my grandkids.

Yup, I'm a Lolo!

And seeing Noah's smile makes me glad that I'm now a doting grandad.

Cuteness overload!

Wednesday, December 06, 2017


Presenting, the 2017 Creative Department Christmas costume: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!

(From left to right: Front, lying down: Oompa Loompa, Second row: Veruca, Augustus, Charlie, Willy Wonka, Violet and Mike. Third row: Veruca's Dad, the Golden Ticket, Charlie's Grandad, Augustus' Mom and Dad, Violet's Mom, Mike's Dad.)

They voted me as Willy Wonka, and thankfully most of the props I needed were just at home. (The wig, though, I had to buy. Nope, we don't have wigs lying around at home. Hahaha.)


Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Don't Shoe forget about me

Here are 4 good reasons why you should proceed with caution to SM Department Store during a shoe sale:

Really! These nice mules were all on sale and all on the cheap! It's unbelievable how much these pairs were. And that's why I ended up buying all of them.

(These are actually just 4 of more than 12 reasons. Harhar.)

Monday, December 04, 2017

Markle and Sparkle

Looks like the British Royals are serious about modernizing the image of the monarchy.

Prince Harry's bride-to-be is American, mixed race and was married once already. In the old ages, I'm sure the royal family would have none of that. But it's 2017, and changes are inevitable. Not only is she welcomed by the royal family with open arms, she's also as loved by the British public.

To them, she's like a sparkling beacon of change.

Here's to modernization!

Sunday, December 03, 2017


My brother-in-law, Raymond, has a good eye for visuals. And I really like this shot he took of us while we were in HKG.

He's able to take something as simple as walking and turn it into something interesting and intriguing.

It's a talent that he should run with.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Mom Magnet

Once again, the woman who brings the family together celebrates another year.

Happy Birthday Mom! We're so blessed to have you in our lives!

Friday, December 01, 2017

Wonder-ful film

Mark and I were finally able to catch "Justice League" yesterday - and we both enjoyed it!

Critical reviews and pans nonwithstanding, it was a great film. It had the right balance of fun, seriousness, action and crisp dialogues.

But I must say, Wonder Woman pretty much stole the film from everyone else.

With someone like Gal Gadot playing the role, it's really no wonder.

Thursday, November 30, 2017


Going to and being inside Divisoria on a holiday be like...

And that's the truth!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The other Mary

It's been well-established that I'm a huge fan of religious films. From the old ones like "Jesus of Nazareth," to the more recent "Risen."

I'm also a fan of religious films that present a narrative that's not as common. Things that we don't normally read in the bible.

Just found the trailer of one such movie.

Mary Magdalene was always a complex character. Hopefully, this film will shed more light to who she was.

(And it stars Rooney Mara and Joaquin Phoenix. Bonus!)

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

She takes the cake

During her advanced birthday celebration in HKG, Glenda brought not just one - but two cakes - to the celebration. Well, one was for her, and the other was for all the other October and November celebrators.

Now, on her actual birthday, my wish for my sister will also be in twos (like the cakes): double the happiness, health and blessings.

Happy Birthday Ate Bullet!

Monday, November 27, 2017

When Anna met Miranda

Stop everything! We have Anna Wintour and Meryl Streep in one frame!

I can watch this over and over and over again. (Especially, the veiled reference to "Devil Wears Prada. Hahaha!)

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Vita(l) signs!

The last 4 days in HKG were hectic. So hectic that I wasn't able to do any shopping.

But there was one thing that I made sure I'd bring home.

Yes, I brought home about a dozen bottles of Vita Lemon Tea!

It's heavy, but it sure is worth it!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Not Ruined

When the sibs said that we'll head off to Macau on Saturday, it was greeted by excitement on their part. And dread on mine.

Saturday trips to Macau can be chaotic, as I've experienced personally when I was still living in HKG. Usually, on weekends, tourists from HKG, Mainland China, and the rest of the world, descend upon the small island. That's why everything becomes difficult - getting ferry tickets, finding cabs, moving around, the whole shindig.

Despite those worries, we decided to push through and enjoy the sights, sounds and free grub in Macau.

At the onset, there were already hitches and glitches. When we got to the China Ferry Terminal at 11:00am, it turned out that the earliest ferry tickets we could get was at 5pm! Which meant we'd lose an entire day.

Experience taught me, though, that there are scalpers who sell ferry tickets, albeit more expensive. We found one, and he was selling a one-way ticket for HK$250! (The regular price is HK$170.) Not one to be fooled, I looked around for other scalpers until I found a guy who sold tickets for the 12:15pm sailing for only HK$180. Not bad.

We got there past 1pm and decided to go straight to The Venetian. And my gosh! The crowds were just wild! It was like there were tens of thousands of people crammed in one casino! Jostling, pushing and herding became the norm. Thankfully, we were able to get out in one piece.

Next Stop, Senado Square and The Ruins of St. Paul.

Again, tens of thousands of people in one small area. Even Biboy and Liz were shocked at the sight of so many people. The crowd was so thick and unruly that we almost weren't able to find Ate Bullet and family. Thankfully, we were able to locate each other, and we all made our way to the ruins.

It was super difficult to find a spot to have a decent photo taken since there were so many people. We then decided to wait it out, and after half an hour, the crowds thinned, and we were able to have our group shot taken.

By 7:00pm, Biboy and family, as well as myself, were on a ferry back to HKG.

It was a short, frenetic and tiring trip. But because it was a short, frenetic and tiring trip with family, it was all worth it.

Friday, November 24, 2017

FMM: Happy Friday

Today's Friday Magic Madness song is inspired by 2 things.

First, it's inspired by the Christmas display at Times Square in Causeway Bay. Second, it's inspired by the fact that I'm traveling around HKG with my siblings and other family members.

In these circumstances, you can't help but feel "Happiness."

Being with family and listening to this classic song from "You're a good man, Charlie Brown."

It's truly a Happy Friday.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Sib Love!

Last year, we had a mini-sibling reunion in Atlanta with 4 of us present - Kuya Marv, Ate Lissa, Biboy and myself. Ate Bullet wasn't able to join due to the fact that she wasn't able to get her US Visa renewed in time.

This year, another mini-sibling reunion just happened, and Ate Bullet is now in it!

Ate Bullet, Biboy and I planned this HKG trip a little over a month ago, and now we're here!

I just love mini-reunions like this!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Get into the League!

I've missed a number of Superhero films of late, but I'm definitely watching Justice League!

Since I was a kid, I've always been a Justice League fan. That's why Saturday mornings were sacred because that's when "Superfriends" would come on.

And seeing some of my favorite Superfriends as live action characters is more than enough to bring out the DC geek in me.

As in! Super!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Daiso yummy!

Whenever Mark and I did our snack runs in Tokyo, there were 2 items that would find itself in our shopping bags - Caramel Corn and Tongari Corn.

And whenever I have cravings for these 2 in Manila, I immediately head over to Daiso because I'm sure they have in in their shelves.


Japanese snack cravings - fulfilled!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Pretty Stylish!

Look who's back on the cover of InStyle!

Julia Roberts, stylish as ever, fronts the December 2017 issue of InStyle. I always look forward to the year's last issue, particularly their 100 style moments of the year.

Now, their cover girl is another reason to look forward to the issue!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Fur Real!

This will probably go down in history as the hairiest pageant ever!

Doggone it! This is a must watch!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Scorpion Nights, the sequel!

In the Melrose group, there are 4 of us celebrating our birthdays in November, and just a few days apart. For example, LG is November 4, I'm November 6, Rommel is November 8, and so forth.

That's why we make it a point to get together for our version of Scorpion Nights. And that's what we did tonight.

I must say, Scorpions are really a fun bunch!

Friday, November 17, 2017

FMM: For the Butter

Since we're on the subject anyway...

Friday Magic Madness presents "The Foundations" and their super duper hit song in the 60s, "Build me up."

This song is making me crave for another Butterfinger Cup!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Build me up...

Butterfinger Cups!

I spotted this product at 7-11 and had to give it a try. After all, it brings together 2 of my favorites - Butterfinger and Reese's Cups.

Gosh! Why didn't I discover you earlier.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Something fishy!

Of course, you can't leave Cebu without passing by Taboan Market.

Amazing how this place never changed after many, many decades.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Fiesta in Cebu!

Back in Adformatix, (and back in the mid-90s), one of the first work trips I took was in Cebu for a radio launch. There were 3 of us who went there - me, Fiesta and Erwin. And I remember that it was such a fun trip!

Now, about 2 decades after that, Fiesta and I are back in Cebu!

Funny thing is that this was an unplanned meeting. It just so happened that I was in Cebu for a shoot, and Fiesta was there for research. What an awesome coincidence!

All we need now is Kuya Ers!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Bursting with goodness!

When in Cebu, eat as the locals do!

And one of my favorite homegrown Cebuano restaurants?

Sunburst chicken, of course!

Hands down, this is one of the best chicken dishes I've tasted.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Scorpion Nights!

Coincidentally, 3 of us Creative Directors are all Scorpios! That's why we had a triple celebration last Friday night which was filled with food, drinks, and a lot of jokes. As well as a showcase of talents, including cheese ball basketball and corny joke sharing.

I guess talent runs in the zodiac sign, too.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

The A- Team!

It was awesome that I was able to have a belated birthday celebration with one of my thesis groups from last semester.

The "Tsuper Lakas" team was all accounted for, and it was a lunch filled with reminiscing about the past and planning for the future.

Just like how they did an excellent job in their thesis (A- baby!)  I'm sure they'll also do an excellent job in their professional careers.

Here's to our next "tsuper" get together!

Friday, November 10, 2017

FMM: Dressing down

Out of the blue, without warning, this song started to play in the creative department:

It was one of Roxette's biggest hits - Dressed for Success!

Well, it's a Friday today, so why not?

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Bite me!

The packaging design we did for Egg Bites is finally out!

It's so purrrty!

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

You only had one job...

This board up inside The Podium immediately caught my attention.

Because it was installed upside down.


Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Just Add Cher

This year's Christmas decor theme for SM Megamall's Fashion Hall has to be their most ostentatious yet!

Look at all that glitz!

Look at all that glamour!

Look at the horse with a feathered head dress!

All this decor is missing is Cher descending from the steps.

Monday, November 06, 2017

Fun and Food

Whenever the team descends to the batcave, you know there's going to be a lot of food, and even a lot more fun. Much moreso during my impromptu birthday celebration.

I guess that's why we spend more time in the batcave than we should.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Fly high!

Another year, more opportunities to soar!

Happy Birthday Kev! Keep on flying high!

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Go for Brocade!

There are some fabrics that make you just stop and gawk. Fabrics that you see from the window display, and it gives you the urge to go inside, examine it closely, and marvel at how awesome it is. Suddenly, you find yourself buying a few yards because you can't, just can't, leave the store without a piece of it.

This beautiful, blue, bird-print brocade (so many Bs) is an example of that. It called out to me from Fanbi, and I immediately heeded the call.

I just had to have it. And I'm so glad I have it. And I know exactly what to do with it.

Friday, November 03, 2017

You're a Starr!

It's one of those Fridays that you want to just be transported back to the 80s.

And you need a Starr to do that. An Atlantic Starr, to be exact.

This is one of those songs that's so cheesy, it's actually good!


Thursday, November 02, 2017

Oh, lace!

Carolina's has always been a go-to when it comes to lace. After all, their full name is "Carolina's Lace Shoppe," which immediately underlines their strength.

What's nice about the store is that it has more than the usual corded, chantilly, French and Belgian varieties. They have lace fabrics that I haven't seen in my other fabric haunts like Divisoria.

Two examples of super unique lace fabrics:

First, this printed, crochet-looking lace with a baroque pattern. Very old-world chic!

Second, another printed lace, but the pattern is made up of interconnected circles. Ultra unique and modern!

These pretty lace fabrics will definitely become even prettier dresses by the time we're done.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Something a-miss

Because of the rains, we weren't able to visit Lolo and Lola in Loyola today. But even if we weren't there physically, our prayers are and will always be with them.

Even though it's been more than 2 decades, I still miss my grandparents.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Charcoal me maybe

While walking in Cubao, I spotted the neighborhood Lawson and decided to go inside. Just for kicks. Even if I know it's not like the Lawson in Japan. Even if they don't have onigiri.

Okay, that's enough lamenting.

When I got inside, I found this instead!

Yes, the bamboo charcoal soft serve ice cream is old news, but the fresh caramel one is pretty new!

I tried it, and it's SO GOOD!

Will definitely come back for this.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Seeing double

So, H&M was on their "not-only-are-we-70%-off-stuff-is-buy-3-get-1-free-sale."

Of course I had to check it out!

While inside, I saw this pair of shorts with a built-in belt which was going for P500 from the original P1490. Not bad for the design and quality.

Was planning to get it, but decided to give it a pass.

Cut to a few minutes and meters later, I went to Surplus Shop, and found this!

It's the same frickin' pair of shorts! And it's P399.75!

Only in the Philippines can you have a fast fashion store and an export overrun store selling the same item. At the same time!

Lesson: you need to double check stuff before you buy them.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Mall this time

Just when you thought we had more than enough malls in Metro Manila, they open another one!

After a frantic, last-minute push, they've finally opened the new Podium Mall. It's going to be the high end mall of the SM group, and seeing the interiors, it looks like they're serious about the imaging.

Everything's so clean, streamlined and pristine. And the lines are unlike the usual boxes that SM is known for. This mall is more curvilinear and softer. It actually reminds me of Pacific Place in HKG.

At least we have a new mall to hangout in now.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Say Cheese (Tart!)

This greeted me when I entered the newly-minted Podium Mall.

It's the same cheese tart that Mark and I would get in Japan. We buy it at the Eki after his classes at Dela Cruz. We even had it as part of our lunch at the park one springtime.

Now that's another cheesy thing worth looking forward to.

Friday, October 27, 2017

FMM: Call me!

Nope, it's not the Debbie Harry ditty.

Since it's the weekend before Halloween, I think it's time to play something fun and spooky for our Friday Magic Madness song.

Flashback to 1984, Ray Parker, and the theme song of the classic film of the same name.

Now, you know who to call.

Thursday, October 26, 2017


Tomorrow is our office Halloween shindig, and we're expecting kids to descend on our department in search for candies.

And thanks to my weekend Divisoria sojourn, I'm ready!

My trick-or-treat bag has a puzzle, a pencil, a twirlie toy, Smiley's cookies, and the requisite chocolates.

Hope the kids will find this a real treat.