Archive | March 2014

Thankful Sundays: Uneventful But Good

That was a fast week! My gulay! I can’t believe that the last week just flew by. What’s even more unbelievable was March went by just as quickly. April na next week! The first quarter is over!

Here are the things I’m grateful for for the week that passed:

1. Art attack
R and I went to Makati last Sunday to check out Art in the Park. It was my first time to attend that annual event. We had a great time checking out the masterpieces of local artists. We also had a happy dinner at Apartment 1B.

2. Finished documents.

I’ve been waiting for someone to finish a report for the last seven months. After much delays on her part, she finally got to finish it. I’ve seen the draft and it just needs a few edits.

The report is critical in the legal process I’m going through. The delays were frustrating but I’m just grateful that it’s all done.

The report was very revealing, too. Can’t specify the details but those who know my life would be interested to know that things are finally moving on.

3. Exciting work.
Things are very exciting at work. We love our bosses, work is good, and PS time is near. I’m part of the team that would bring our corporate brand to life so I’m excited to be part of our company’s history.

4. Spend time with the parents.
I wasn’t able to go home to my parents’ home last weekend because of the Bruno Mars concert. This week, I was able to go home and spend time with them. I also shared with my dad regarding those finished documents.

5. It was just a good week.
I’m very grateful for the past week. Nothing stood out and there was really nothing major but I felt really good last week. I look forward to April. 🙂

How did your last week of March go?

#investinexperience: Bruno Mars in Manila

I wasn’t planning to watch Bruno Mars in his Philippine concert. My friend G, however, was looking for companions so he could watch it. So another friend J and I said we’re willing to accompany him.

We booked the tickets middle of February and we almost didn’t make it. By that time, the tickets were about to be sold out. The best we found are upper-box tickets.

Upper-box tickets were expensive at P4,810. Our seats pa were near the General Admission area. As G said, “Isang pader na lang, GA na tayo.” To which we replied, “Upper box pa din!”

So, how did Bruno Mars’ Moonshine Jungle tour do?

It was epic! I’ve watched a lot of concerts and this is, by far, the best concert I’ve seen in recent years. Bruno Mars was the ultimate performer. He can sing, dance, and play the piano and guitar!

I have to repeat that he can dance and I mean, he can REALLY dance! That guy is so sexy when he dances!

He performed a total of 16 songs in two hours. At first, I didn’t like that he was performing with The Hooligans. I could barely hear him sing because of all the instruments but later on, I realized it is what made the concert so good.

There was a high level of artistry and The Hooligans complemented Bruno Mars’ musicality (naks!) and vice versa. I also noticed that despite only having sung 16 songs, the concert lasted for two hours.

16 songs at five minutes each song would only last about 80 minutes (not even 1 1/2 hours) but the songs were all re-arranged to make them longer. 

I also admired Bruno Mars’ energy. Sabi nga ni G, parang naka-cocaine. The energy level is so high. His only “break” was to drink water and the gap before the finale.

P4,800 was expensive for where we were seated but I think it was worth it. When he comes back (and he said he will), I will definitely watch him again. I’d definitely consider buying the more expensive tickets.

#ThrowbackThursday: Taal Volcano

It isn’t everyday that you get to see a volcano crater. Even more rare is to swim in the waters of a volcano crater. I had the chance to experience this in 2009 when I and my friends went to Taal Volcano.

That body of water behind me is the crater. We were only allowed to wade in the waters (not swim). The guide told us that the floor bed (?) is uneven and we might not be able to swim back. So we literally just dipped ourselves very near the shoreline (?).

Oh, in case you’re interested, we got our trek package from Taal Lake Yacht Club and we got the Secret Trail Trek. This is the least popular tour package but it takes you to the very crater of Taal Volcano. Yung most popular kasi is the one where you have a top view of the crater.

Here’s another look at the crater:

That’s the crater behind me. Bumaba pa kami and walked about 1 hour to reach that place. But the experience is so different! Unforgettable!

50 Things to Do Before You Die

One of my guilty pleasures is to read Lifehack (and BuzzFeed) articles. The article 50 Things You Should Do Before You Die caught my attention recently.

I have a few items on my bucket list but I thought of challenging myself and see if I tick off all these things.

1. Go on a road trip
Done in 2001. There were a lot of road trips before and after this trip but the Great Northern Luzon Road Trip remains the most memorable.

2. Visit all seven continents
Just one continent 🙁 but will work on it. 🙂

3. Live in a different country

4. Sleep under the stars
I can’t quite remember so I won’t cross this off yet.

5. Watch all those damn movies everyone keeps talking about

6. Read all those damn books everyone keeps talking about

7. Make something from scratch

8. Conquer a fear
I have had two greatest fears: become poor and get cheated on. Last year, I got to experience both. But my life has been blessed greatly because of these two incidents. I never knew that experiencing these two fears made me a better, stronger and happier person. I rock! Oh, God rocks! 🙂

9. Learn a foreign language
I know a bit of Spanish but I want to go back and finally master the language. I won’t cross this off yet.

10. Donate your hair for cancer

11. Disconnect for a week
Most likely to happen soon.

12. Go to a major sporting event

13. Take part in a city running event
Does joining Unilab Active Health Run United count?

14. Volunteer at a soup kitchen

15. Host Christmas

16. Adopt a rescue pet

17. Eat something you wouldn’t usually
How about crickets from Everybody’s Cafe?

18. Learn a new skill

19. Get a ‘regrettable make out’ story.
I’m not really sure if I want to experience this. 🙁

20. Sleepover somewhere haunted

21. Stay awake for 24 hours
Done in 1999 when we pulled an overnighter for our college thesis.

22. Attend a cop-raided party

23. Get arrested
Okay, this is seriously one thing I don’t want to cross of this list. But if arrested means getting flagged down by a cop for some traffic violation, then it’s probably oaky.

24. Climb a mountain
Done. Thank you, Mount Pulag!

25. Swim in the ocean

26. Sleep on the beach
Coming soon.

27. Pilot an aircraft

28. Bury a time capsule…and open it!

29. Take a cocktail-making course

30. Host a cocktail party

31. Skinny dip
Sounds exciting but incredibly SCARY!

32. Grow your own
Done when I was a kid. I grew a bunch of corn before my mom murdered them all. 🙁

33. Have a ‘Ferris Bueller’ day

34. Go to an expensive ‘open house’
This should be fun. 

35. Research your family tree

36. Leave a note for a stranger
This should be fun, too!

37. Give blood
Okay, this one is something I probably won’t be able to cross off. A couple of years ago, I attempted to donate blood for a niece. It turned out that my veins are too thin for blood donation. I don’t know if that is really a medical fact but the nurse from Heart Center said my veins won’t be able to pump enough blood for donation. 🙁

38. Google yourself
Regularly. As a digital palengkera (that’s digital marketer for you!), I Google everything, including myself. It comes with the job. 🙂

39. Ride in a limo

40. Watch all of the James Bond films
Not a fan but okay…

41. Try a sensory deprivation tank

42. Give your lunch to a homeless person

43. Get in a mud fight

44. Protest something
Done! I came from UP so it’s a given.

45. Karaoke
This is fairly regular thing in the office.

46. Get your fortune read
Done. I dabbled in tarot reading and the occult when I was younger.

47. Swim under a waterfall

48. Go on an aimless drive

49. Go stargazing
Done. I did a lot of this as a kid. I was really fascinated with astronomy. One of my brothers was named after a constellation. 🙂

50. Follow a dream
I’ve achieved a lot of dream and I continue to pursue so many dreams.

So, I’m posing this as a challenge to myself. Let’s see how much I can cross off this year.

Thankful Sunday: Simple Joys

There’s always something to be thankful for. Isn’t that a nice line? 

It’s been a great week. Lots of simple joys and little surprises. #thankyoumoreplease

1. Online conversations.
I like chatting with you online. I wish we had more conversations and that one day, our online conversations would be face-to-face conversations. 🙂

2. New freelance projects.
I just sealed a new project for another Australian-based client. I love Aussies. About 90 percent of all my freelance projects came from Australia. Thank you, Lord, for this big blessing.

3. New office projects.
The boss just assigned a couple of new projects for me. Challenging but exciting. Now, where’s my promotion? Wehehehe!

4. Listening to someone brilliant.
I invited the Donald for a digital briefing in the office. Donald and I have known each other since our Inquirer days and I regularly ask him to be a speaker in my digital events. He has always been approachable despite his stature. He’s really, really brilliant!

5. Little surprises.
Last Sunday, as I prayed at the Holy Family Adoration Chapel, I asked God for a happy surprise. Monday pa lang, meron na when a potential client agreed to get my services for a social media project.

Freelance projects are what I’ve been asking God recently since I need a little bit more money to pay for another legal process. As it is, the one I’m working on now is costing me money but I need a little bit more so I can pay for the second one. So this new project is most welcome.

Another surprise I received is gifts from an online friend.

6. Bruno Mars
My friends and I got to watch Bruno Mars last night. It was epic and by far the best concert I’ve ever watched (probably second to Phil Collins’ Manila concert in the 1990s). I’ll post more about this in the coming days.

How was your week?

#ThrowbackThursday: Ice Cream

Summer na! And what better way to beat the heat than to eat ice cream!

Those are not ordinary flavors of ice cream. In August 2010, we went to Naga for the SouthStar Drug fun run. We did a side trip in Legazpi City and looked for Colonial Grill. We heard about sili ice cream and we wanted to try it our for ourselves.

Back then, it cost P80 for three scoops per flavor. The yellow one is calamansi ice cream, the brown one is tutong rice, the pink one was sili ice cream, and the green one was malunggay ice cream.

The best one for me was the calamansi ice cream. Yung sili ice cream, may gumuguhit sa lalamunan mo. 😀

Before I forget, this was the best Bicol Express I’ve ever tasted. I love spicy food and I could never resist a good and spicy Bicol Express. We got this at Waway Restaurant, also in Legazpi.

Come to think of it, as early as August 2010, we were already taking photos. That was two months before Instagram was launched and gave birth to #foodporn. Wehehehe!

Can You Afford to Travel?

Friends know I loooove to travel. I mean, love is even an understatement. More often than not, I prefer to travel to a foreign country instead of traveling locally. 

I know! Love your own and it’s more fun in the Philippines! Just indulge me on this one. 😀

When news came out that the Bureau of Immigration would now be requiring tourists to present proof that they are financially capable of traveling, I was so pissed! Here’s what the article stated:

Under the guidelines, tourists must prove their financial capability for the trip, present proof of work or support in the Philippines, or submit an affidavit of support if they are visiting relatives overseas, to prevent being offloaded from flights.

Are you kidding me? 

It’s annoying enough when the immigration officer asks me where I work. As in, gusto yung company name at kung ano ang office designation ko. It’s not enough that I write ’employee’ in the immigration card. Now this?

Jenny of Chronicles of a Nursing Mom said the directive is a violation of existing laws:

Article III Section 6 of the Philippine Constitution provides, in part, that the right to travel shall not be impaired except in the interest of national security, public safety, or public health, as may be provided by law.

Edwin Lacierda, Malacanang’s official spokesperson, made a series of tweets regarding this:

This move reeks of discrimination. If you look like you can’t afford, will you be asked to provide proof of financial capability? Paano kung napapangitan sa iyo yung immigration officer? Will all Filipino tourists be required to show proof? So paano na ang pila sa immigration?

Nakakainis yung idea na we are being profiled. Mukhang di mo afford magbiyahe, pahinging documents. What gives?!

I was really glad with the news that Filipinos no longer need to fill up immigration cards when leaving the country. Every single time, yung area before the immigration officer, ang kalat-kalat at ang daming tao kasi passengers are filling up those forms.

But with this new directive that tourists would be required to show proof of financial capability, I can imagine the longer lines sa immigration.

Lacierda said the directive is to prevent human trafficking and illegal overseas workers. I get it but is this really the best way to do it?

If I want to work abroad illegally, it’s so easy to fake papers. If I were a teacher who wants to work as domestic helper in Hong Kong, I can deposit some money in the bank and ask for the bank certificate. I would still be able to produce a certificate of employment since I can just ask the school I’m working for (eh di mag-AWOL ako sa school). Para-paraan lang yan.

Seriously, sana pag-isipang mabuti.

It seems the Bureau of Immigration did a turnaround. An ABS-CBN article stated,

Filipinos who wish to travel abroad either as tourists or overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are not required to show proof of financial capacity before they are allowed to leave, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) clarified on Saturday…

Those who wish to travel abroad only need to present their complete travel documents, particularly their passport and other documents issued by a foreign country such as a tourist or working visa, before they are allowed to leave.

This is contrary to the earlier report from GMA (see quoted paragraph above). Someone’s lying. Someone’s not thinking straight. Kainis.

Thankful Sunday: On a Break

It’s the first week of my summer vacation. I am thankful that the second semester is over. Hay, it was such a heavy semester. Lots of papers and lots of oral reports.

To be fair, it was also a very fulfilling semester. Despite the heavy load, I really did learn a lot from my two professors. I feel that all the things I learned from the two subjects are applicable in my work.

But now that the semester is over, I can rest a bit and just enjoy the two-month break.

The past week has been good to me and here are the things I am thankful for:

1. No more papers.
I finished and submitted two major final papers this week so I’m grateful for that. At the risk of sounding cliche, I can officially chant, “No more classes, no more books. No more teachers’ dirty looks.”

2. Good grades.
Baka somebody might make a snide remark again and snap that I post my grades online so I won’t say anything anymore. Basta I got good grades.

3. A little bit of money saved.
Traveling from work to school to my home is expensive! I spend around P600 every time I have to attend my classes. Now that I’m on a summer break, I get to save a little bit.

4. Torrent.
Thanks to my friend Mindy, I finally downloaded uTorrent and learned how to download movies. Hahahaha! It took me a long time to try learning how to torrent and I’m very much enjoying it. Sorry, not sorry.

5. Movies, movies, movies!
I’m not into Hollywood movies (sorry, arte lang!) and I’m very picky on the kind of Hollywood movies I watch. But what I love are foreign-language movies and movies I watched in Film classes back in college.

What I love most about having learned how to torrent is I get to download all the movies I’ve always wanted to watch again. I have this Excel list of must-have movies, a list I’ve kept for the last 13 years. Some of the movies included here are La Strada, Bicycle Thief, Kolya, among others.

I can’t wait to download all of them. I will spend the next two months watching all these movies I’ve always loved. Woohooo!

So, how’s your week? What are you thankful for?

#ThrowbackThursday: Freedom Wall

Second semester is about to end and I’m free for the next two months. No school, no papers, no reports. Woohoo!

As much as I love school, Christmas and summer breaks are much welcome. I love the freedom (albeit temporary) of not going to school. So in honor of the end of 2013-2014 school year, here’s my #ThrowbackThursday entry.

Okay, I have to explain this one. We called this our Freedom Wall. A couple of years back, the blinds in our room were scheduled to be replaced. The property guys put up these Manila papers to block off the sun.

We’re a crazy bunch so we couldn’t resist the blank Manila papers. We started scribbling on these and voila, our Freedom Wall!

The Holiday: Meet-Cute

“Meet-cute” is one of the memorable phrases used in The Holiday. The other two are “gumption” and “square peg, round hole.”

The Holiday is one of my favorite Hollywood movies. I don’t get to watch a lot of Hollywood films because I usually prefer British films and ones with subtitles (yeah, ang arte ko). But watching The Holiday always makes me happy (and sometimes cry, too).

It’s easy to get the pairing of Jude Law and Cameron Diaz. They’re gorgeous actors. But my favorite is that of Kate Winslet and Jack Black. I don’t like Jack Black when he’s rambunctious but I like him in this movie. I saw him as an ordinary guy who is believable to fall in love with.

I also like how Kate Winslet’s character Iris Simpkins formed a friendship with Arthur Abbott, an old Hollywood scriptwriter. The chemistry between the two was great and I loved the references on old Hollywood.

The movie has a lot of memorable lines like “You’re supposed to be the leading lady in your own life, for God’s sake!” but this one’s the best:

I understand feeling as small and as insignificant as humanly possible. 
And how it can actually ache in places you didn’t know you had inside you. 
And it doesn’t matter how many new haircuts you get, or gyms you join, 
or how many glasses of chardonnay you drink with your girlfriends… 
you still go to bed every night going over every detail 
and wonder what you did wrong or how you could have misunderstood. 

And how in the hell for that brief moment you could think that you were that happy. 
And sometimes you can even convince yourself 
that he’ll see the light and show up at your door. 

And after all that, however long all that may be, you’ll go somewhere new. 
And you’ll meet people who make you feel worthwhile again. 
And little pieces of your soul will finally come back. 
And all that fuzzy stuff, those years of your life that you wasted, 
that will eventually begin to fade.

The Holiday ranks third in my list of favorite films. The other two are Love Actually and Bridget Jones (both Bridget Jones but I would consider them just one movie. Hahahaha!). 

The common thread among them is that they have British connection. Love and Actually and Bridget Jones are obvious, The Holiday has Kate Winslet. And they all have snow. Wehehehe!
This entry was posted on March 12, 2014, in Chill.