February 27, 2011

tiny darth

You must have seen this ad already because as of this writing, it already got over 32 million views on youtube. However, I thought this is a fitting follow-up to my Star Wars post below.

For those who have not seen it yet, you will just love the boy in this ad who acted brilliantly with mere hand and body movements.  I heard that this 6-year old boy wears a pacemaker because of a heart condition, making him Darth Vaderish in real life.

star wars weekend

My husband, Jake.
He wore this to an office party last year.
Because my kids took to Lord of the Rings very well, we thought it would be easy for them to do a Star Wars marathon. We did Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back one Saturday and Return of the Jedi the following day.

The moment the music went up and the opening scroll was shown, my heart swelled from the excitement of reliving the fascination I had for all the characters in the movie, humans, humanoids, robotic droids alike. I remember the thrill, the rush of pleasure I felt watching the space wars, the light saber duels. I remember watching in awe and not overanalyzing the acting, the plot, the soundtrack, which I am wont to do now as an adult.

As we grow up, I realized that we have become so jaded that we lose our “sense of fascination” that we once had an abundance of as kids ourselves. 

But what do you know? Taking a trip to a galaxy far, far away brings this sense of wonder back. My kids loved Star Wars. But my husband and I enjoyed it more.

February 26, 2011

fancy pants: even when you’re sick and tired

In front of our building while waiting for the van that will take us to our meeting.
Disheveled hair and puffy eyes by the end of the day.
But the layered accessories are still in place.

Our back-to-back-to-back pitches caused us back-breaking long nights, weekend meetings, mentally tiring sessions. We paid for it dearly in the ensuing days. We were so sluggish, both in mind and body.  We kept asking what day it was (every single day!) because our concept of the days got screwed up when we lost our weekend to work. We would wake up in the morning still feeling tired, no matter how long we slept during the night.

I would have wanted to just show up in the office in jammies. But then again, dressing lousy I thought, will just compound my feeling lousy inside. Fortunately, I have a casual black sheer top, a simple denim pants to match my mood. It’s a simple get-up, not too put-together, but not lousy as well.

Finally, a layer of accessories can put some kind of fancy on an otherwise plain outfit and an otherwise sluggish day.

By the way, we have so far won 2 pitches and we have been already shortlisted for the 3rd pitch. 

Now this gives me a good excuse to be really fancy pants and all.

Black top: hand me down from my sister Cari
Denim pants: Solo
Necklaces: leaf necklace, a gift from my friend Mike; ball necklace, bought from a stall in ATC
Bag: faux fur bought from a bazaar
Shoes: bought in a mall in the US

February 25, 2011

little bee by christopher cleave

Note: One, this is not a book review. Second, I extremely hate spoilers so I shall be considerate to the few people who read this blog by not revealing the plot and divulging highlights of the book, as most book reviews do. 

When I buy or borrow a book, I don't read the synopsis on the book jacket. I don't even want to know what the story is about. I want the book to surprise me and swallow me whole with all the emotions it intended to evoke from its readers.

How do I know if it's a book I will love? If a friend tells me it is a good book, I buy the endorsement in a heartbeat. Sometimes, I wander in the bookstore searching for new books, and I find myself getting drawn by the title first. Then I read the first page. If I get engaged on the first page, I am sold and off I go to the counter.

"Little Bee" is one book that will grip you right on the very first page. It is an excellently crafted book. This is the first time I've seen a style like Chris Cleave's. It is funny- the dry kind of funny. But there are parts in the story that are touching, and also horrifying, which he sometimes relates still in a dry kind of funny way, which I find refreshing.

I just borrowed this book. But I'll probably buy a copy for myself so I can read it again someday and fall in love again with the way Chris Cleave strings pain with laughter, bitter with sweet, sorrow with hope, from first page onwards.


The February 25, 1986 issue of the Inquirer.
I grew up under Martial Law. I grew up hearing stories of people getting jailed for going against then-President Marcos. I grew up learning terms like "salvage" (summary execution of suspected activists), midnight curfew, NPA (leftist rebels), mobil (extremists from the police force), dictatorship.

You can say that I became politically aware at such a young age. We read the newspapers even in grade school although the publication then, the Daily Express, was a mouthpiece of the government. But we also read Time magazines, where we would learn that there was a bigger world outside the Philippines where people are free to move, to talk, to criticize even.

Then in 1983, the erstwhile rival of Marcos, Ninoy Aquino, was gunned down in the airport tarmac. Three years after, his wife, Cory Aquino ran against Marcos in a snap elections. Cory won but Marcos was declared the winner.

Ninoy Aquino mercilessly gunned down in the tarmac of the Manila International Airport.

A proud moment in Philippine history
Then the Edsa revolution happened, the first non-violent revolution in history that toppled the 20-year rule of Marcos. The headline that day, February 25, 1986, "It's all over; Marcos flees", was an unforgettable summary of the end of the Filipino people's travails and also a great expression of the Filipino people's triumphs.

I may be young then but things like these, you don't easily forget. We still do not live in ideal conditions but we're free! And for that, I will forever be grateful, as a Filipino, to Ninoy and Cory.

God bless Pinas! 

new zealand earthquake

Even if I was very tired from work, I stayed a bit late the other night to catch some details on the earthquake. A reporter from CNN explained that the 6.3 magnitude was more devastating than the 7.0 earthquake which rocked NZ last year because of the sandy terrain of Christchurch, its proximity to the waters and the shallow source of the tremors.

Grief is expressed in the same language, regardless of your nationality.
I watched intently and immediately trashed my dream to buy a condo unit by the beachside in Batangas. I am extremely terrified of earthquakes, having been emotionally wounded from the 1990 earthquake that caused over 5,000 lives, especially from the epicenter in the North where the magnitude was listed at 7.8.

What's left of the Hyatt Terraces. I had nice memories of this hotel.
The tremor in Manila was a little less than 7.8 but powerful just the same. I was still young then but the memory of being caught in a high tower, feeling the violent shaking of the building, hearing a din of screams, prayers, shattering windows, that buzzing sound that seemed to accompany the earthquake itself, and the loud thumping from my heart remain fresh to this day.

I shudder at the mere memory of that moment. So I can't even imagine what the NZers are feeling right now.

World, let's rock the heavens with our prayers.

Photos taken from the Net

February 20, 2011

goin' gaga

Years ago, I had this conversation with a Portuguese-American colleague at a karaoke party. He told me he is amazed that every Pinoy he knows sings quite well and that even those who claim they don’t really sing CAN actually sing.

Filipinos who made it big in the international scene are singers- Lea Salonga, the original Miss Saigon, the voice of Disney’s Mulan, and a recipient of a Tony and an Olivier no less; youtube discoveries Arnel Pineda, lead singer of Journey (replacing Steve Perry) and Charisse, who already appeared in “Glee” and is being managed by Oprah (yes, the Oprah).

Last Friday, Lady Gaga herself discovered another Pinoy. An officemate who follows her on Twitter shared it with us:

If you want to see how this 10-year old girl captured Lady Gaga’s heart, check this out.

Last we heard, Lady Gaga already invited this wonderful girl, Maria Aragon, to her concert.

Meanwhile, back here in the Philippines, the music continues. Because where I’m from, everybody sings ;-)

February 15, 2011

bling bling bling

This is a rerun of a post I made last month so I can contribute to a link in Maxabella Loves. Now Maxabella’s is a fantastic new discovery, which I found through another fantastic daily read, Kymmie's blog. She has this linky called Bling on Love, an apt series leading to Valentine’s day.

Ironically, I spent Valentine’s day late in the office as we prepare for two creative pitches while my husband was home. No biggie, really, as we’re not really big on Valentine’s, especially my rocker-wannabe husband, who thinks that Valentine’s is just a Hallmark invention.

Anyways, it's past 1 am and I just got home and it's over Valentine's and I'm not yet sleepy and my husband's already asleep but it does not mean I am not entitled to some mush. So if you’re interested to hear how my anti-romance, anti-Valentine’s, anti-mush husband surprised me on my special day, please click here.

Happy Valentine's day, to all ye believers and non-believers out there <3

Maxabella loves...

February 6, 2011

fancy pants: colors

Ever since I became a big fan of Sarah Jessica Parker in Sex and the City, my fashion sense became a bit bolder, at least when it comes to combining colors.

On this day, I wore a magenta dress. Magenta is in itself a color that not too many Pinays wear because of our tanned skin. But I was a little playful that day and pushed this some more by wearing aqua wedges and an oversized shades. My bag that day? Red!

An officemate, Wella, who is partial to color coordinates might have been shocked at this combination. But I loved it. That night, I had dinner with old friends from my previous office, Harrison Comm, and I strutted down Serendra channeling my inner SJP, hahaha.

It sure was a nice feeling. And I’m glad I have a blog to remember it by.

Dress: Bought in a stall in Archaeology, Powerplant. Shoes: CMG. 

chasing the monday blues away

I always hear people complain about Mondays. Nobody likes Mondays. I suppose it is normal that after a glorious two-day weekend, people would grumble about having to get up in bed for work.

I do experience that once in a while but when I got older, and when I started to build a family, I became more and more grateful of the grace that is work. When you consider also the fact that some people are out-of-work, with several mouths to feed, and with mortgage to pay, you will realize that Monday is not so bad after all.

I love my work with a passion (ever since I was a newbie in advertising). So far, it has loved me back in return. 

February 3, 2011

natalie portman in the black swan

For those who have not watched it yet, do not worry. I will NOT share the plot and give important details about the movie.

I watched it after Natalie Portman was declared as the Best Actress winner in  Golden Globe. If you haven't seen it yet, prepare yourself for some shocking, disturbing and extremely provocative scenes.

Despite that, I think that the movie is really Oscar-worthy. I am in awe of Natalie Portman's acting here. Were it not for the dark scenes, I would have relished watching the film again and again to marvel at her take on the role of Nina, the ballerina performing the lead in Black Swan.

That she doesn't know how to ballet prior to the film even brings the level of difficulty higher for Natalie Portman. But she did own Nina, looked and danced like a seasoned ballerina (through six months of training, I read somewhere) and brought forth a tenderness, sensitivity and a dark side at the same time to her very complex character.

It was perfect.

February 2, 2011


Laughing out loud in an eatery in Vietnam
You see it often. LOL (laugh out loud), LMAO (laughing my ass off), ROTFL (rolling on the floor laughing). I sometimes use LOL but really,  I feel that laughter is such a rich expression that I don't want it reduced to these three little letters.

Also, just doing LOL eliminates the other textures of happiness that conversations bring. There is of course laughter, but then there is a snigger, a chuckle, a giggle, a guffaw.

So, when I text or post a comment on FB or when I chat with friends and relatives, I say something cute and I would go "hehehe". When I want to poke fun at my friends, I say something nasty and follow it up with "hihihi".  And when I want to let the other person know that I'm laughing out loud, I type "mwahahahahaha". 

Still, nothing beats face to face interaction or at the very least, talking via webcam, especially with friends and family. But when that ain't possible, go ahead and text or chat with them and smile and snigger and giggle and guffaw and laugh your ass off. Express these emotions the best way you can and let me know if LOL will do.