August 30, 2011

Our Four-Day Weekend


Today is the end of a spectacularly long weekend. We commemorated National Heroes Day lasy Monday while today marks the end of Ramadan. While some friends hied off to the provinces for the long weekend, we opted to stay in the city but managed to make it full-packed as well.

First stop: sleepover at my favorite aunt’s place in Cainta to celebrate the birthday of my Tito Rening. We had a karaoke party and my two girls surprised everyone at their very Pinoy talent of hogging the microphone. What’s more, instead of Taylor Swift and Kate Perry songs (which they also knew by heart), my daughters chose old ditties of Beatles and Abba plus a bonus of “Your Song” by Elton John. You see, these girls have old souls just like their parents.

On that same night, we managed to sneak out to attend the first one-man-exhibit of our friend, Nubs. After the exhibit, our group went to a bar for late-night drinks.

Last night, Jake and I attended a benefit gig organized by my brother-in-law. We had a great time listening to new rock bands, although rock gods Joey Pepe Smith and Ely Buendia performed there, too.

In between, we watched DVDs with our girls (we armed ourselves with new titles for this rare break). I also managed to squeeze in a fairly good amount of work.

It was a productive, meaningful soul massage of a weekend, all in all, given that I was able to pack in: Family Connections. Catch-up With Friends. Art. Old Music. Rock Concert. DVD Marathon. Playtime With Kids. Booze With Husband (a bucket each!). Glorious Fiesta Food. A Store Check Assignment. Pitch Deck Thought Starters. Whew!

And the best thing about this long weekend is…..the workweek this week will be spectacularly short, too. Yahoo!!!!

August 26, 2011

Once You Mac, You Will Never Go Back



I have a MacBook Pro, an Ipod and an Iphone. I have so far successfully resisted the temptation to buy an Ipad but I’ve fiddled with the office tablet a few times. All these cool gadgets have already become so much a part of my life that I got so sad at the news of Steve Jobs taking a medical leave from Apple. Apparently, I am not the only one affected by this news. There is a tremendous outpouring of sympathy, love, and gratitude for Steve Jobs on TV, Facebook and Twitter and it eerily took an almost eulogistic ring to it. Sad but that’s probably what it is. A death of an era.

There is a quote from Time Magazine about what Steve Jobs told John Sculley when he was trying to woo him from Pepsi Co to Apple. He reportedly said to Sculley back in 1983, “Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life or do you want to come with me and change the world?”

Well he did CHANGE THE WORLD!  And now that he’s leaving, I’m afraid that it won’t be long before the Apple will fall from the tree.


August 23, 2011

Madmen


Immediately after I wrote the post about not having too much work last week, notices of pitches and campaign launches came one after the other. For the next three weeks, I will be submerged with work I will literally gasp for air. I will panic. I will be very, very scared. I will shed blood and drop dead on my bed every night.

And yet, at the prospect of overextending myself yet again in the line of duty…..at the prospect of being in the throes of death, I feel so much alive. You see, I’d rather die from excessive work and self-flagellation than live another fruitless, pointless day, like that day last week. So this is what I have to say about work.....Bring. It. On. Baby.


Disclaimers:
1.    My husband always complains about my predilection for hyperbolic descriptions.
2.    I work in advertising. Go figure.

August 17, 2011

Nothing To Do



I cannot believe that there will come a time in my corporate life when there is not much to do in a day. As a suit, I am quite used to multi-tasking, chasing deadlines, bringing home work, reading and answering tons of email, attending back-to-back meetings, having a wall-to-wall schedule and not being able to breathe much. That’s advertising life for you, which can be as severe as missing a husband's birthday and working your butt off to the point of near-death (ok, that was just an exaggeration but if you read some of my posts under the tag “life in advertising”, I’m sure you will agree that it is an apt description).

Some days are light but yesterday was particularly unusual because I had nothing to do! My officemates were in a shoot so nobody bugged me about any of our projects. I should have rejoiced and used the time to blog, FB, tweet, read a book and yes, I did all that. By end of day, I was so exhausted. Isn't that weird? How can doing nothing be so exhausting?


August 16, 2011

Extremists In Our Society


I initially didn’t want to participate in this madness but after hearing Mass last Sunday, I thought I should send forth my opinion on this matter, for the sake of my faith and my conviction.

First off, let me declare that I am one of the people who took offense to Mideo Cruz’s artwork. It is blasphemous and insensitive to my faith. I have a lot of friends who are artists, painters, art enthusiasts and so I am no stranger to art appreciation. However, Mideo’s installation of religious objects mixed with phalluses carried it to the extreme.

If the artwork was taken out immediately, and if the artist and the CCP immediately apologized to the Catholic community (as a recognition of the fact that there have been insensitivities unwillingly committed), the issue could have already died down. But no. The issue became an ugly fight between church and state. Art and religion. And the discussions have become muddled with such things as “the arrogance of art”, “the church bullying the people”, Mideo being the new Rizal and “Poleteismo” being today’s “Noli Me Tangere” (far from it, I say).

Now, even while the artwork wounded my religious convictions, I also would not be so quick as to brandish my rosary to the CCP officials and condemn them to eternal damnation. For me, it was also an unnecessary and uncalled for extremism. Threats to the officials, threats of depriving CCP of its budget, and I can’t believe I will use this phrase, “desecrating an artwork”, also do not show signs of a mature, civilized society.

I do not want this to be a forum that will make me defend my religion or the Bill of Rights. I have a lot of friends in the advertising industry that are pro-CCP. I have a lot of friends who do not find anything wrong with “Poleteismo” because it is “art”. Curiously, I have not heard from any of my Catholic friends about what they feel.

As to my personal conviction, I’ll say it again. I find Mideo’s artwork repulsive and insulting. That’s all there is to it. But I will not call for banning the rest of his artworks. And I will also not crucify CCP and ask for their blood on the cross.

I hope that this issue be put to an end. It is so sad that we the people, in our refusal to understand each other’s point of view, in our refusal to humble ourselves and respect the fact that we ourselves have committed offensive acts against one another, in our refusal to even apologize to one another, have unleashed a monster. And this monster is out in the streets, happily gnawing away at the fabric of an extremely stubborn, defiant society.


* Photo Credits: San Agustin Church from Pinoy Travel Bug; CCP from Metro Sense

August 12, 2011

Ugly In The Morning


They say that you can judge how beautiful a person really is by how she looks in the morning. My two girls look pretty, of course, even with puffy eyes and all.  My husband manages to look ok as well even after a drinking party the night before.




These pictures were taken one particular yaya-less morning and the family all woke up together for a McDonald’s breakfast. We took pictures because we are very dependent on the nannies and we just had to document how we survived a day without them. Now,  while the husband and my girls look amazing, I on the other hand, look so……scary. Big hair, super swollen eyes, dry skin around the mouth.


I wonder at times how a princess like me wakes up looking like a frog in the morning. A cute frog, but a frog, still! Ugh.

Tell me, what do you look like in the morning? ;-p

August 10, 2011

The Next Generation


This is my 81-year old mother with her grandchildren. The teenagers in red, Justin and Danielle, are the first kids in the family. Justin, being the eldest and the only boy, holds the distinction of being everyone’s favorite.


The two tweens, Ally and Gelli, are born and raised in the US and whenever they’re here for a visit, they schedule a photo shoot with their Lola and cousins. They just came from Boracay when this was taken, thus their henna tattoos.



The two youngest girls are mine.



As you can see, there are only six grandchildren all in all, as compared to the eight children my parents produced in their lifetime. The ratio of grandchildren to children is quite low.



My nephew is one handsome fellow. My kids and my nieces are all very pretty. In fact, they’re all much, much more beautiful than their parents. I thought at first it was a natural progression---an improvement of the human race. But looking at my Mom (who looks fantastic at 81) makes me realize that these beautiful children did not happen because of evolution. I think what happened was… beauty just skipped a generation in our family. 

Peace to my sibs ;-D

August 8, 2011

Born To Be A Mother



I realized I started taking care of kids when I was probably 10, when my cousins Itog and Maret were born. My aunt didn’t even have to ask me to babysit them, I’d just do it.

In our old apartment in Manila, we became very close with the neighbors and our family would always “borrow” kids from them. I remember them all…Ha-ke, Shing, Renren, Cookie and Nunu. At one point in their lives, they virtually became part of our family.

And while my parents and siblings doted on them, I was really the one who took care of them while they were in our house. I read books to them, taught them songs and rhymes, played with them, disciplined them.

It was a good thing I eventually became a mother biologically (to two girls) or my innate gift at raising kids would have gone to waste. But then again, remembering all the children I took care of made me think that even if I didn’t have kids, I still would have fulfilled my destiny. Yep, I think I was born to be a mother. What a cool purpose in life.

August 6, 2011

Sweet Dreams Are Made of These


On today’s grateful list….

1.    Mom turns Author. What an inspiration from a non-professional writer, full-time Mom and a Filipina, who just got published by Random House New York. Her book, "Before Ever After" is now proudly displayed in Barnes and Nobles and is also now available via Amazon. Dream come true.
2.    Big dreams. My beach house. A trip around the world. Writing a column for a newspaper. A painting exhibit. Lotsa, lotsa money. Finishing a marathon. Looking insanely gorgeous even in old age.
3.    Happy thoughts. I feel such joy just thinking about it.

Do you have a favorite quote? Mine is this:

“Everything you can imagine is real.”
-       Pablo Picasso

August 2, 2011

Weather Forecasting, Philippine-Style



This photo looked like it was taken at 6 pm. The truth is, it was only 10 o’ clock when I took this shot this morning. Classes and government offices were suspended for the day. So we followed suit and declared an early-off after lunchtime.

When all the announcements have been made, the skies cleared. It's not that I want a destructive, torrential rain to justify our decision to send people home. I’m just frustrated that we couldn’t predict the weather correctly. The weather bureau probably just looked at the dark skies this morning (which, to be fair, was quite scary) and decided to announce work suspension.

I bet when the the real downpour comes, we won’t get any advance warning at all from PAGASA. We will all be holed up hostaged in our offices or worse, caught in a monstrous 4-hour traffic jam, worrying sick about our other relatives who must be caught in worse conditions commuting or traversing flooded streets. 

They say about 20 storms on the average, hit the Philippines on a yearly basis. Today's storm is just Typhoon # 11. Hay, good luck, Pinas.

August 1, 2011

Who Is Samantha Sotto?


Photo from the author's FB page

I first read about her in a newspaper article that tells about the story of how a mom spent her time writing in a coffee shop (very JK Rowling) while waiting for her kid to finish his prep classes in Ateneo. And when the book got completed, she bought an Idiot’s Guide to Publishing at a second-hand bookstore, got connected to an agent and finally got a publishing deal from Crown/Random House New York!

That she is not even a professional writer makes this story very impressive. Last weekend, I saw some friends posting about the book “Before Ever After” and apparently, I have a few friends in the advertising industry who know Samantha Sotto personally.

I am not a big fan of chick lit but I am buying this book. It is such a feat for a mom, a non-professional writer, and most of all, a Filipino, to be internationally published and to have your title displayed in Barnes and Nobles (woohoo!!!). This early, the reviews to her book have been great. Can’t wait to get myself a copy.

Who is Samantha Sotto? Let’s get to know her.