January 30, 2007

Yucky ID Pic

One of the pre-employment items I needed to submit was a 2x2 pic of myself. Why do companies need 2x2 printed pictures? Cant I just email a digital file or better yet, take a picture of me digitally on my first day. Anyway, since I had to submit one I had one taken at a Kodak studio in Glorietta. The result...eww.

January 29, 2007

Arent We All Deliciously Dysfunctional Inside?

January 28, 2007

Discovering San Sebastian 2

cliche stained glass shot
Image painted on the wall.
Shroud of Turin effects.



stained glass detail

Back to the school. Notice the detail on the ceiling.

Hello. I'd like to see froilan maria please.

Discovering San Sebastian 1

We sang for a wedding today in San Sebastian. The last time I stepped into this Church was in 2002 (or 2003) for Jo-ed's wedding. For some reason I had not realized at that time how unique the structure was. Here are some shots I took of it using my N93. 3.2 megapixels aint that bad for a camera phone :)

church facade

confessionals
(for some reason this made me sing
"God Help the Outcast")

part of the school facade

iron gates leading to another part of the building
"how do you solve a problem like maria..."

I like this shot :)

January 26, 2007

Favorite Ads: Mac

My Marketing guru once asked all of us (then Brand Managers) in the division how real an advertiser we considered ourselves to be. When we watch TV did we switch channels when the ads started to run or do we look at the ads? Did we ever watch TV just for the ads? Have we ever gotten to the extent of knowing which agency or director made the ad? If this was a measure of a true advertiser, then I consider myself an intermediate consumer. I like watching great ads but it hasn't gotten to a point wherein I look for them. New TVCs are exciting especially when they're disruptive (ooh TBWA language) but that doesn't necessarily affect my brand preference. Take the Mac for example, everybody raves about how great owning a Mac is and the TVCs are hard hitting. I've tried using it and it was ok but despite all the hoopla, I'm buying a desktop this weekend with Windows on it Hehe

Anyway, here are the Mac vs PC 30s. What I love the most about this campaign is how the Mac's equity is communicated vs the PC. Not to mention how simple and straighforward the messages are.








Narf in the Water - - Blech!

I finally got to watch Lady in the Water earlier today. Umm...what's the point of the story? For me the whole fairytale-coming-to-life was just so...unreal. Well I know its not supposed to be real and that there's a moral to it but the execution really sucks. I just found everything too literal and in your face. Its the type of film where you feel it was meant to be viewed by a non-thinking audience. Half-way through the film, when all the characters were being identified as the Guild, Guardian, Healer, etc... I just found myself laughing. And what was with M. Night's performance as the Vessel?

I was hoping Lady in the Water would be as thrilling as Sixth Sense or maybe even The Village. I was waiting for that big twist in the end Shyamalan is known for. Oh well.

I heard of lots of people liked it and one friend even said he cried in the end. Well, either the movie really sucked or I missed the whole point. But the critics seem to agree with me :p

Thank You Chieko

To live in a world where you are your only listener
To feel alone in a room full of people
To long for affection without giving something back

Thank you Chieko for showing me your world

Seeing these people cavorting about without hearing the music allows us to see the world as she does and to be somewhat baffled by it. In these scenes where dialogue is minimal if even existent, Iñárritu creates a vivid portrait of modern life in which a crowded big city can be as lonely and vast a place as the open deserts of Morocco.


Tita Lorna's 60th

Last Wednesday the family celebrated Tita Lorna's 60th birthday in Italiannis. Of course the party wouldn't be complete without the special number from the Italiannis staff and the traditional birthday cake :)




January 23, 2007

More Cross Trax Fries Pleaseeeeee

I had my breakfast/lunch/dinner at Wham! Burgers around 3:30 today in Shangri-la. I looooove Wham burgers. My usual order is the Wham Burger with mushroom gravy plus a serving of Cross Trax fries. Yum yum :) Cross trax fries is their version of Jollibee's criss-cross fries. Remember those? Won't be surprised if you don't. Mcdonald's Twister Fries were much much more memorable and tasty. Anyway, the way it works is that you order at the counter and they serve your food later to your table. When my order was being delivered, the waiter accidentally dropped one big piece of cross trax fries on the ground. Apologetically he said he'd replace it. I was so surprised when he came back with a small plate containing another half-order of cross trax fries. Yey! Doesn't seem much but his generosity made my day.



Planning pics from iMigs

Here are more pics from the 2007 Hangad planning last saturday. Thanks iMigs!

January 22, 2007

Lousy Service and the Late Mr. X

If you ever happen to have a print that needs framing, don't ever try the framing service in Glorietta. I don't know if you've noticed it but behind the Columns model unit in G4 and occupying the bridge way towards Woman, is a small shop offering prints and framing services. A couple of weeks ago, I had some errands to run in Glorietta and I suddenly remembered I had this piece from the Islamic Arts Museum I wanted framed. I remembered the shop and I was happy they said the framing would only cost P350 and would only take a week and that they'd text me when the framing was done. Two weeks had past (I had forgotten all about it) and I still didn't receive a text. I went to the shop and my print was ready, only there was a slight scratch on the glass. Disappointed I asked them to redo the work and get rid of the scratch. They said it'll take another week and that they'd text me when it was done. Two weeks had gone and still no text. Again I had forgotten about it and this evening I happened to be in Glorietta for dinner. I passed by the shop and there it was, covered in bubble wrap and ready for pick-up. I asked to see it before I paid the balance so the lady unwrapped the plastic so I could see. When I was satisfied she covered the frame with paper and handed it to me. "Miss wala bang bubble wrap?", I asked. "Ay! kelangan nyo po sir?" (ARRRRRGH!)

xxx

I met my friend Sharon for dinner and she was complaining about her perennially late husband.

Me : So how's Mr. X?

Her : I was supposed to meet him 30 mins ago but as usual he's still in the office.

Me : Cut him some slack. He's probably finishing emails and projects.

Her : I don't mind that. Its just that even after 10 years of being together, I've never gotten used to it. He's been like that ever since we've been dating in college. And it doesn't help that everytime he arrives late, he complains about how busy he is and that work's full of shit and expects me to feel sorry for him.

Me : Don't you think you're too hard on him.

Her : Sometimes I think I am. I do genuinely feel sorry for him but it just doesn't help that he keeps doing it again and again and again. I get the impression that he doesn't appreciate how much I try not be angry at him for being late and that just because I'm his wife he can bend time whenever he feels like it.

Me : You guys should talk seriously about it. I'm not sure if he realizes that you're hurting. I thought married couples learned to love each others bad habits after a certain period.

Her : I thought so to. Apparently no matter how long you've been together or how much you love each other, there will always be that bad habit each of you can't stand.

Me (to myself): Noted.

Myself 1998

Here's what I look(and sound) like in 1998. Gosh. Can I just say KIDDIE!!!

January 21, 2007

Pit Senor

It wasnt until past 3pm that I realized today was Sinulog in Cebu. I got a text from mommy around 2pm telling me to watch RCTV (Real Cebu TV. Its a local Cebu TV station. Yes Cebu has local TV stations!) because they had a whole day coverage of the event. Unfortunately for me, RCTV's signal is only for Cebu =(. I haven't celebrated Sinulog since 2003 and since there was no way I could catch it on TV, I had hoped someone would webcast it. Unfortunately no one did (You know somebody really should webcast the event. I'm sure a lot of Cebuanos outside Manila would appreciate it). The next best thing, I thought, was to catch the radio coverage. The y101 site was down and I couldnt connect to the other stations. Oh well... The closest I could get to shouting Pit Senor was the Sun Star coverage. Hopefully next year I'll be joining the party on the streets of Cebu again.

January 20, 2007

Gearing up for Hangad's busiest year yet

Just got home from Hangad's 2007 planning session. It was a very long but very productive day. And unlike business or corporate planning wherein you feel drained after a long planning session, in a weird way I feel energized and excited about the busy year ahead. I hope we get to implement the planned activities especially the a capella concert and the proposed 6th album. In all my years in Hangad, I dont recall the group being this busy. In a way its good because it means we're getting really serious with the ministry but on the flip side, we might get burned out with all the stuff that's happening.





In a nutshell, here's what to expect from Hangad in 2007: Easter concert (March), A capella concert(August), Wish for Christmas CD launch(November) and US Tour(December). If our proposal gets approved we could be recording our 6th CD as early as March.

It was great hearing everybody(even the new members) voice out their opinions about the projects instead of the usual core group members doing the talking. I got the impression that everyone was on the same page in terms of commitment and direction. Go Hangad! Let's make this another breakthrough year! :)





January 19, 2007

Fantasia and Taylor on Larry King


Larry King had Fantasia and Taylor (or as my friend put it "Ang dalawang walang career ngayon" MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!) as guests in his show earlier today. I was thinking if both of them were in the same season, Fantasia would win. I mean I really don't know what Taylor had going for him. His hair? It really sucked that Catherine got a lousy song for the finals. Haha Halata bang I'm still not over the results from last season? I wish Freemantle would produce an all star edition of American Idol. Lets say we get the bottom 9 of seasons to 3-5. These would be my final 12:

12 Anthony Federov
11 Kelie Pickler


10 George Huff
9 Nadia Turner
8 Constantine Maroulis
7 Anwar Robinson

6 La Toya London
5 Jennifer Hudson


4
Lisa Tucker
3 Mandisa


2 Paris Bennett


1 Chris Daughtry

January 18, 2007

AI fever once again

Once again I have something to look forward to every Wednesday and Thursday for the next couple of months... AMERICAN IDOL SEASON 6! I caught the season premier today and, as usual, it promises to be a bigger season. Hope this year's winner will be different. Maybe an Asian or a Latina? haha No more Taylor Hicks please! Ugh!

January 16, 2007

GER at MOA

Pau and ate at GER (Good Earth Roasts) today and here's what he has to say about the food. We ordered siomai, tofu sisig (yummy!), soy chicken, asado and hofan. What's great about GER is that you get to pick which carb you want with your order. So instead of just plain rice or fried rice, you can get hofan or chow mien noodles. The lychee flavored iced tea was also a winner! Here's what Pau's review on the food:

Planning for Planning


(Harry, Migs, Mariel and Leah)


This year, the core group decided to move the Hangad planning session from mid-year to beginning-of-year. There are a lot of things that need to be discussed like upcoming concerts, tours,new leadership and maybe even a new album. We needed to pick up from where we started last October (our 15th anniversary concert). The first couple of weeks were spent polishing our wedding repertoire and its about time to get serious again. Here are shots of the core group preparing for the January 20 Planning Session.


(Prime, Domi and Paulo)

Moonwatching

Have you ever wondered about the moon when you were a kid? I remember one evening when I was about four or five, I found myself staring at the full moon while my parents and I were driving home. I was so amazed at how the moon was stationary despite the speed and distance the car was traveling. I couldnt think of any practical explanation why it was that way so I turned to my parents and said, "Kabaw na ko ngano wala nilihok ang moon kuyog nato! Naa sya's ligid sa iyang lubot! (I now know why the moon isnt moving with us! It has wheels on its butt!)"

I didnt think much of the moon again until my friend Jeneen introduced me to moon watching 15 years later. We didnt really call it moonwatching then. She just got me into the habit of looking up at the moon and admiring it. Sometimes out of the blue or late into the night, we'd text each other about how beautiful the moon was that night.

I still look at the moon now. For some reason, looking up at the moon gives me a sense of balance, harmony and stability. Sometimes it even moves me to prayer. I find it very comforting, especially driving home after a long day in the office,
to look up and be bathed in moonlight. It tells me that no matter how things get crazy on the ground, we are but a small movement in the greater scheme of things.

How can something that seems so ordinary be so beautiful?

My fondest moon memories are waking up in the middle of the night in my old bedroom in Cebu and seeing the whole place being filled by moonlight. Another is watching it from my old unit facing east while enjoying a drink. Right now, my bedroom has a floor to ceiling window with a view stretching up to Manila Bay. I cant see the moon from my bed so I sometimes sit on the floor to see it. I dont think I'll never get tired of looking up at it. Such great beauty can never be appreciated enough.


(2am moonlight Jan 2)


(8pm taffic Jan 5)

January 2, 2007

Some Kinda Food Trippin in Cebu


("yum yum yum" - Mike)

Last December 27 I met up with Meechee and Louis for dinner in Cebu. I met them at a restaurant called Formo in Banilad Town Center. It was place my friend Duane recommended before so I wanted to check it out. Dinner started with big basket of nachos with salsa, a serving of potato soup then a main course of grilled Wasabi Chicken. The chicken was definitely not the usual chicken barbeque you get from any restaurant. It had the smokiness of grilled chicken with a hint of wasabi. Worth checking out if you happen to be in Cebu.


meechee & louis :)

Anyway, in the middle of dinner we got into a discussion of our favorite restaurants in Cebu. Louis and I had both settled in Manila so we had a very distinctive memory of how food tasted in Cebu in the 80s and 90s. There were some restaurants we considered as "staples". This meant trips to Cebu would not be complete without us eating in them there. There were also new favorites among the several new restaurants in the city. Below are some of my favorite places to eat in Cebu:



DIMSUM (Ding How, Din Qua Qua, Harbor City or Dimsum Break)



I could have dimsum for breakfast, lunch and dinner for a week straight! My best bets are on the Beef rice, siomai and chicken siopao. In one of my visits to Cebu, I ordered P150 worth of siomai to be delivered to my hotel. Thats a lot considering one order of 4 pieces only cost P30 at that time. Now its P41 for 3 pcs. SHAME! SHAME! SHAME! But I definitely wont stop eating there.

SUNBURST FRIED CHICKEN




What else? Fried Chicken! The chicken skin chicharon is also one of the best I've tasted (cholesterol check hehe)

EAST WEST
Really yummy(not to mention original and innovative) crepes and dessert drinks.

KRUA THAI
My favorite Thai restaurant ever! My usual orders are spring rolls, Tom Yum and Pad Thai.

I could have written more about the food and I actually have a lot more restos in mind but writing this entry food has gotten me really hungry. Time for dinner!

2006 was my second puberty

What if there really was such a thing as second puberty? And what if that meant growing a second batch of pubes. Yuck [shudder] What a thought.


2006 was the year I finally felt grown up. Some people change perspectives or priorities when they get married or have their first baby. Me, I just gave birth to a lot of projects and transitions with my career and personal life. That's how I grew up. I've always thought I was mature for my age but 2006 made me feel more mature or dare I say it...more...older...OLDER!!!! Ahuhuhuhu =c


CAREER
Last year was the year I took charge of my career. This involved discovering what I really wanted to do, learning how to do it and being good at it. Oh, and I also learned where, when and who I should share this knowledge with. I guess it was also the year I chose my friends in the company. Funny after almost five years , I never really opened myself up to anyone. It much pretty much a conscious choice. And its not as if I'm already an open book. I just feel more free to let people know me now.


FINANCIAL
2006 was a pretty good year for me financially. I closed 2 of my credit card debts and have completed payment of a loan from our coop. Of course there was the huge amount spent on material purchases that were both planned and spontaneous but I dont think that needs to be justified hehe. What I can say though is that my spending habbits have definitely improved. That's something I'm particularly proud of :)


TRAVEL
I got to travel twice in 2006 for free. YEY! I hope this continues in 2007. This was also the year I visited a foreign country for the second time. Take it from me, the second time you Visit any country will be better than your first :) Lastly and I guess the most exciting-ly(!) was my first time to be alone in a foreign country. FUN! FUN! FUN! I highly recommend it (at least once).


ADVOCACY
Of course 75% of my time in 2006 was spent with Hangad. I think last year was the year I became most fulfilled with my advocacy. As I wrote to the group last Christmas:

"Being with you reminds me of why I wanted to sing in the first place. Not for the simple pleasure of learning a piece of music but proclaiming it. Not for the love of performing in front of an audience but sharing in a ministry. Not to seek admiration from others of the talent that we possess but seeing it at work as we move others through it."


FAMILY
Family-wise I think I had it good. We were able to overcome certain challenges brought to us earlier in the year and I got reacquainted with my aunt and lola. It was the 1st time I saw my lola again in 3 years. Cliche of the momment would either be "blood is thicker than water" or "time heals all wounds"

RELATIONSHIP
It just keeps getting better :)


Overall the good outweighed the bad in 2006. I cant help but be thankful for 365 days lived in His grace. It makes me smile even more looking back at how one event just led to another, at how destiny always finds its course and how some questions are better left unanswered today. Im sure 2007 will be as exciting, if not more exciting than 2006.

Banging 2007

end of day, January 1st

If you believe in the superstition that whatever you do and how you act on January 1st determines how the rest of the year will be, then today means this year will be a rocky one for me relationship-wise. It also means I'll have xxxxx sex and spend hours and hours watching downloaded videos from the internet harhar.

New Year's Eve was different again for me this year. I stayed at home and watched the fireworks from my window. I stay on the 38th floor of a building and I've always enjoyed the view facing Makati all the way to Manila Bay but last night that view was different. From the bedroom, bursts of red light were blossoming from different parts of the city. What made it even more special was that the bursts were at my eye level. Some even as close as 3-5 meters away. It was the perfect setting for the New Year's Eve meal I prepared. Well, it wasnt technically a meal, it was just fondu with a bottle of red wine to wash the sweetness down. Just something simple and elegant to greet 2007 with.

Another thing that was different this year was that I chose not to do my traditional year-end reflection before New Year's Eve. I've been doing one every year for as far as I can remember. The reason why I did not do one this year was because I wanted to try doing it on the 1st day of the year (which is today). I figured I might as well enjoy what's left of 2006 and then get serious when all the noise has faded.So how was my 2006? 2006 was the year I GREW UP. More details on that later.

I really don't know what this year will be like. For starters I'm starting a new career, then there's this major celebration coming up in June, plus of course more Hangad stuff than last year. I'm not so sure how fun this year will be but I'm looking forward to learning a lot from it. I spent last New Year's Eve on the beach very relaxed and the rest of 2006 gave me a shit-load of stress. I think last year I also resolved to loose more weight. Well, I've gained back my old weight. I guess that's why I'm not superstitious or into New Year's resolutions.