While we were having our presentation, we could hear sporadic bursts of cheer outside the conference room. As it turns out, Miss Universe was on-going and being followed by the people outside.
Yup, I've been living under a rock and wasn't really following this whole Miss Universe thing. While I've seen an article here and there, everything else was alien to me. Including today's finals night.
Just as meeting wrapped up, so did the contest. And this year's Miss Universe is from France!
My colleagues were watching a replay of the crowning moment, and I must say, Iris Mittenaere deserves the crown. She has beauty, intelligence and poise.
But more importantly, she has those very French qualities of joie-de-vivre and je ne sais quoi. She looks very natural, spontaneous and unrehearsed, which makes her a breath of fresh air.
Had lunch with Mark and Patrick's family, including the uber adorable Baby Jesse. He's such an effervescent kid, and his smile is so infectious. Just like when he and Mark rode the carousel - he was smiling from ear to ear, and I couldn't help but smile as well.
And he's a friendly kid, too. He was giving me high-fives, flying kisses while we were together, and a hug as we went our separate ways.
As I was making my way out of ATC, I saw a stall that made me stop and buy their product. I'm a huge fan of pun names, and this one was hard to resist.
After seeing this, all I can think of was:
Imagine all the lemons,
living for today, yoohoo
You might say I'm a drinker
But I'm not the only one
All those lemons, you can squeeze them,
And lemonades for everyone.
What makes advertising work so fun is the type of people surrounding you on a daily basis.
In my case, I'm fortunate that my team is a good mix of creative minds of all ages. And the young 'uns definitely make the office wackier, more fun, and more exciting. Plus, it makes the more "senior" creatives feel young as well.
One of the campaigns I'm currently working on is about long-standing friendships. My clients want to celebrate the joy and beauty of friendships, particularly those that have been around for decades.
I'm totally on-board when it comes to campaigns like this. After all, it's something that I'm a big believer of.
My longest standing friend is Eric, who I've known since we we're in kinder. (Yes! Kindergarten! At Learn and Play school in Sct. Gandia.)
Last Christmas, I got together with two of my close high school friends - Gary and Aldo. (And yes, Gary and I still talk about Star Wars as if we were still in high school.)
Then, there was the wedding in Boracay and Batangas, also celebrated with longtime and lifelong friends.
And the list goes on.
During last night's wedding reception, I met a lot of Mark's grade school friends. Which means they've been friends for more than 20 years! Amazing!
Some of them I've actually known for a while. Like Eric, Mike and Gelo - who is definitely one of the most genuinely nice people I've met.
But the others, I only met last night. And they're such nice and fun people. It was so refreshing to be surrounded by bright, happy people who exude so much humor, warmth and positive energy. It's just too bad that we didn't get to spend more time with them as we had an early flight the next day.
The good thing is, I'm sure that last night was just the first of many times I'll be spending with them. And that's something that I look forward to.
It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of weddings. Whether I'm organizing it or attending it, there's an overwhelming feeling of love and magic that I experience.
Tonight, we attended 2017's first wedding - Gelo and Angel's celebration of love.
As expected, it was such a warm, heartwarming and emotion-packed event filled with happy moments spent with friends both new and not-so-new. And even if it was raining throughout the mass and reception, it didn't dampen the joy that everyone felt. Not one bit. In fact, it brought people even closer - figuratively and literally. (We were bunched together while dodging the rain. Harhar.)
This is a great way to start off the year of weddings. And I'm looking forward to more this year.
Trends rotate in about 7 to 10 years, so you have the tendency to have a sartorial deja vu. The items you once wore a decade ago is suddenly current and en vogue.
Case in point: embellished jeans. Which is slowly going back in the spotlight, as seen in this Topshop window display.
My first impression of this pair of jeans was: "Gosh! That's so 2006!"
Because it really is!
The embellished jeans trend exploded when I was still living in HKG. Back then, almost all stores - from big fast fashion brands in the mall to the smallest stall in Fa Yuen Street - had embellished jeans on their racks. The embellishment ranged from yarn embroidery to patch work to swarovski crystals.
It was such a big thing that it was impossible NOT to see anyone wearing this type of jeans. And admittedly, I joined the trend, buying a couple of pairs myself. (I think I still have one of them.)
I should tell the Ates that the trend is back. This is the best time to unearth their embellished jeans and show them off again.
Apparently, the full skirt trend has no signs of slowing down. In almost all fast fashion chains, you can still find different incarnations of the trend.
One of my favorites is this full fuchsia skirt from Forever 21. (Gosh! So many "F" words in one sentence.) It caught my eye because of the striking color and the material that allows the fluffiness to retain its shape.
A skirt like this is so versatile, there are so many ways to wear it. It'll look great with a crisp, button down shirt. a bustier, a graphic tee - the options are limitless.
But let me narrow it down to two.
First, pair it with a streamlined top with the same shade.
This cropped top has a nice shape - round neck, sleeveless, and with cutouts on the side. Pairing it with the skirt makes it look like one whole dress.
Second, team it up with a lady-like blouse.
This silk number has an interesting, mock-turtleneck shape, but executed in a soft, silky fabric. This provides a perfect foil to the structure of the skirt. The combination gives it a lady-like look to it.
Today is my Mom and Dad's 51st wedding anniversary! I can't believe it's been a year since we celebrated their Golden year!
During their anniversary reception, the 5 of us had to give a short speech for our parents. As the youngest, I was the last to speak.
My speech was already set in my head. I knew what to say and ran it in my mind a few times. And when I got up the stage, things were going pretty well.
About 1/3 into my speech, I started to feel the tears welling in my eyes. Yup, I was about to cry. And the problem was, none of my 4 siblings cried. Not even Ate Lissa and Ate Bullet - who I actually expected to.
So, in my mind, I was saying: "Don't cry. Don't cry. Don't cry."
I was so busy thinking of that mantra that I messed up the rest of my speech. While I was able to say most of it, there were some bits that I forgot.
So, on the occasion of my parents' 51st wedding anniversary, here's what I really wanted to say, unedited:
It’s always difficult being the last to speak because by the
time they get to you, everyone else has said everything. You’ve probably heard
the words: “Happy Anniversary” a hundred times. So, for the 101st
time, Happy Anniversary.
More than that, I also want to say “Thank you,” to both of
you. Thank you because who I am is because of who you raised me to be.
I am the best of both my parents.
I have my Dad’s good looks, but I have my Mom’s height and
skin color. (Sorry Dad.) I have my Mom’s patience, but I have my Dad’s temper.
(Sorry Mom.) I like to shop, like my Dad, but I’m stingy, like my Mom.
Not to say that my parents are complete opposites. Both my
Mom and Dad are very caring and loving. They’re both very family oriented. And
they’re both very generous.
My parents are 2 of the most generous people I know. I saw
this while I was growing up. They gave so much of themselves, even to a point
when they didn’t have any left for themselves. They’re generous materially. But
more than that, they’re generous with their time, generous with advice, and
generous with themselves. And that’s one of the things I’m grateful for.
Thank you for teaching me to be generous. And that’s just
one of the things I’d like to thank you for.
Thank you for letting us live the lives we want.
Thank you for allowing us to be ourselves.
Thank you for allowing us to choose the path we want to
Thank you for allowing us to choose who we’ll love.
Thank you for allowing us to find our own happiness.
Thank you for the good genes, of course.
Thank you for teaching us to believe in forever.
And thank you for teaching us that a relationship doesn’t
have to be perfect for it to be worthwhile.
Mom and Dad, I don’t say this often, not aloud at least, but
let me say it in front of everyone today:
I love you, Mom.
I love you, Dad.
I love you both, so, so, so, much.
(And this is the point where I would've bawled like a baby. Harhar.)
Yesterday, it was all about Mexico. So today, it'll be about our other hispanic partner - Spain!
Our relatives from Barcelona flew in to spend Christmas in the Philippines. And while they were here for 2 weeks, they've been hopping around from Tagaytay to Boracay to Batangas. Ergo, we had a difficult time catching up with them.
Tonight was their last night before flying back to BCN, so we rounded them up for a nice, Filipino-Spanish dinner at Corazon.
It's always great to reconnect with our Spanish cousins. And we're so glad that they're visiting us much more often than they used to. So, while they may be flying out tomorrow night, I'm sure we'll see them again very soon.