Thursday, November 30, 2006

Procrastinating like a college student. Ah, the good old days!

Today, I crammed two 2,000-word articles, both due by midnight. I wasn't too thrilled with my assignment for the month, except for the "notable sites to visit in 2007." I felt that the writing's been compromised for my "male audience." The magazine I'm writing for is another incarnate of the many male-targeted publications that's been hitting the newsstands as of late. According to my boss, the goal is to be "better than FHM." Alrighty, then. Maybe I should just use a nom de plume so I don't feel too bad.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

It was a lovely wedding. Best wishes to Arvin and Erika.

They finally tied the knot. It's nice to see a couple this happy with each other.

Thanks for keeping the booze flowing. I love the thoughtful pasta bundling. Yummy cupcakes from Sonja. Fantastic wedding planning by The 3rd Party.


*Grin* (Arvin looks like he just won a pitch.)

I don't think the confetti is environment-friendly.

You either come in pastel...

or grays. We can do a spread with these clothes.

L to R-ing outside the church.

And L to R-ing outside the pavilion.

Isn't it a little too early to be practicing with the bouquet?

Et tu, Crisela?

I don't know about this one...

The women of Ogilvy.

Pogi talaga ng boys namin.

And a bit of lesbo action going.

Isa pa.

Other photo credits go to Mae and Cindy. Thanks, guys.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Death on a street.

A man just died right outside our building. Apparently, he had a heart attack while ferrying a passenger in his cab. It took more than thirty minutes for someone to offer medical assistance. From our office window, we could see a small crowd gathered around his unconscious body, a man desperately administering CPR on him. I sure hope they were doing it because they wanted to save his life and not done for show.

I watched with my forehead pressed against the glass. I had to walk away, because I felt an emotional outburst coming.

"Ang drama talaga ng streeet natin" an officemate quipped. The site of many rallys and demonstrations, it now has a sad fatality to add to its growing list of credentials.

Helpless from above.

Rock ng Republika.

Except for the inclusion of Manila's 5 Loveliest Foundation, the event seems promising enough. Troop over to The Loft, Rockwell for a mid-long weekend fashion-music gig on December 2. Show starts at 7pm.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Things worth waiting for. A post script to the top 10 ten list.

Yes, romps at 3AM count.

The other suggestion was a bit patronising.

So, no. :-)

Friday, November 24, 2006

Things worth waiting for. A top 10 list.

I am a terribly, terribly impatient person. Instant gratification is fun, but never quite fulfilling. So what can a terribly, terribly impatient person who's not quite into instant gratifcation do?

Wait. And mull over a list she thought of in the shower.

  1. Polaroid photos. I love how the images take a while to appear. It's like, magic, you know?
  2. Peppermint Mocha, Starbucks. I'll be happy if you bring it at least twice a year. Please?
  3. Love. The voice in my head said this list would need some cheese. I'd rather not be in a relationship than find myself in a bad one.
  4. Radiohead's new album.
  5. The right "browning" on a muffin. Baking is something I'm not good at. And I only like eating the top parts of muffins. This is a big deal.
  6. Year-ender reports and compilations of "best of" things.
  7. Pressed coffee. A morning ritual I will be looking forward to when I move to my new place.
  8. A trip you've saved up for. Anticipation is part of the fun.
  9. Staying up to watch the sun rise on the beach.
  10. 16 oz. steak grilled at Handlebar, Polaris St.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The new iPod Shuffle. I don't need you but you're really pretty.

I just saw the iPod Shuffle ad ("Clip") on Creativity's AdCritic site. Great work from TBWA/Chiat/Day. Plus prolonged product exposure would make any client proud.

"Who's going to sing?" A trippy song from The Prototypes

Subscription is needed to view it on AdCritic. See it for free here.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Para sa 'yo, ang blog post na 'to.

I'm not a big fan of boxing. To me, it's akin to cockfighting and letting dogs maul each other while people cruelly bet on the victor. But I'm willing to forgive today's match over national pride. A KO by the third round. Really awesome stuff.

News coverage of the fight gave varied response from people from different backgrounds, but all meant one thing: Filipinos were proud of Manny Pacquiao. Now if we could only hear the same thing said about our politicos.

Nike supports the Pacman. (Agency: Ogilvy & Mather)

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Weekend domesticity.

We found ourselves along Reposo (renamed N. Garcia) in search of tiles, lighting fixtures, and that one chair that will add character to my small living room. I've been to most of the home depots around the metro, and diligently kept my little black book of furnishings and suppliers.

LRI Business
Plaza (across Alliance Française de Manille, a place where I took French classes many moons ago) is home to various furniture stores, designers, and art galleries. There are still a lot of empty spaces, but there are enough retailers to pick up things from. I particularly liked the items from Origins and The Room Upstairs, where we stopped for cold coffee and antipasto - a crostini plate with a paté dip (and something else).

Time stops here. The Room Upstairs.

Iced mocha and a generous serving of crostini.

A must-visit for some quiet time.

Further down the street is the Budji Living Showroom, where I saw a black tanguile chair that I really liked. I felt like a voyeur going through the shop, where immaculate displays of living space were shown.Unfortunately, I haven't been to his design showroom in Bangkok, which supposedly, is more expansive than the one here.

Active Global Sourcing, Inc. carries beautiful tiles in clean display shelves. Tiles stores tend to unglamourously stack their tiles on the floor or stick them on sloping walls. My general beef with home stores here is that they don't really have websites you can check out prior to shopping. I love browsing West Elm and Design*Sponge for inspiration. Now why can't we have something like that?

Cibo was our last stop after more home shopping. Gino finally got his Brabantia bread bin that he's been wanting since we saw one during wedding registry shopping for a friend. A light, split-everything-for-two dinner of soup, salad and sandwich was the best way to end the night.

Hot soup for two.

Weekend reads.

Someone enjoyed dinner more than the other.

post script: I spent Sunday splurging on goosedown pillows at Debenhams. I was lucky to find the last set on the rack. The sales lady told me that an old woman bought five sets the night before. That's around 15,000 bucks ($300) for 10 pillows. Wow.

Friday, November 17, 2006

I am a fan of the RA Rivera Fans Club.

I met RA when I was still new to broadcasting and film. I didn't even know who he was, until he stepped inside the coffee shop where our meeting was. Oh. So that's him. You can't miss that mohawk. Definitely.

Norianians forever vs. RA Rivera Fans Club? Tough choice.

The Furball man has no fur.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

All I Want for Christmas.

When I lugged Gino's Xbox 360 from the Funan IT Mall a few months ago, I didn't realise how much I'm going to covet his system now. I've been putting off spending on new toys because I'm currently renovating my place. Instead of obsessing over a new MacBook Pro, I'm busy computing for the number of porcelain tile pieces I need for my floor. Talk about a real paradigm shift.

So when I saw how drool-worthy Gears of War really is (damn you and your Samsung LCD TV and home theater system!), I think I'll have to be twelve again and beg my parents to buy me the console for Christmas. So far, it's the best graphics I've seen on a tactical action game. Gameplay feels flawless too.

Been also checking Sega's Condemned: Criminal Origins game. I like the thriller-FBI-CSI premise to the game, and of course, all the bloody thwacking you do with a pipe, one of the weapons you can arm yourself with. The prequel site is worth visiting. Forget the crappy game site. You get more information from forums, plus the videos are so small, my iPod Video feels like a wide-screen by comparison.

How lovely you are!

And the other games on my list:
  • Call of Duty 3 (yes, Gelo, it's also out on Xbox)
  • Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
  • Dead Rising (zombie mall mayhem!)
  • Lego Star Wars II (so cute!)
  • Prey
  • Splinter Cell Double Agent

Wishing Christmas comes early this year, 730PM, alone in our area.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Sick of FGD-titis.

I drove a total of 170km to moderate group discussions and conduct in-depth interviews for a mass market campaign that we're doing for one of our brands. I wasn't in the ideal state to facilitate, having that heady, "I just drove through shitloads of traffic" sensation, but ever since we had our training in Singapore, I've consciously made an effort to never take respondents for granted. And that includes making sure they're well fed and have refreshments on hand.

My sessions went well. I was profusely thanked by most people I spoke with, telling me that they enjoyed the little chat with me, and it was worth missing work for. (Awww).

The weekend was spent reviewing my tapes (all seven of them!), making me sicker than I already was. A bad throat and no yoga for a week didn't help at all.

Fast-forward to yesterday, more FGDs conducted by a research agency for a retail chain. Each group lasted around three hours long, 80 minutes more than the usual time spent for a group discussion. No food or drink was offered to the respondents during the session (heck, I can't even last through an hour's meeting without a cup of coffee). They weren't even asked if they wanted to take a break. The wrong questions were being asked, the moderator wasn't conscious of the time, and they did certain exercises wrong. It was awful.

The regional client was majorly pissed off. Much so that she's having the moderators who conducted the groups never to moderate again and to get the regional research agency's counterpart to fly in someone who can do the sessions instead.

Buti nga. I'm not a fan of this particular research group because they've made focus group discussions their cash cow, meaning any qualitative research that clients request for end up being an FGD as a default. I've sat through countless GDs that they've handled for different brands and clients to know that you can hardly squeeze anything insightful from their report. So much for real, creative thinking.

Suffering from a bad head cold. Fighting the temptation to skip work tomorrow (and the day after that and maybe until the weekend).

Friday, November 10, 2006

Shoes can tell you a lot about love.

It was a lovely pair that felt disjointed. One pair said ‘VE’ and the other ‘LO.’ The letters were fashioned from different fabrics – textured plaid, leather, and corduroy. Dark chocolate became the backdrop for the four-letter word that ran across each curved toe.

At first glance, you might say that they’re slightly schizophrenic, but you can’t deny that underneath all the trimmings, is a pair of shoes that made perfect sense as one. Even after spending time apart, each foot ahead of the other, they will eventually sit side-by-side at rest.

It is a pair that has no meaning when they’re not together.

To Gino, the VE to my LO.

Monday, November 06, 2006

A listing of books on my work shelf

I really should be bringing some of them home, but I'd rather leave them on my shelf a bit longer. It makes me look smart. Hehe.

  1. Goodthinking (Wendy Gordon)
  2. EF Lens Work III - The Eyes of EOS (Canon)
  3. Crystal Report (Ogilvy)
  4. The Mythology Class (Arnold Arre)
  5. APG Creative Planning Awards 2003
  6. Capoeira: A Brazilian Art Form (Bira Almeida)
  7. Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time (Howard Schultz)
  8. The 360 Degree Brand in Asia (Blair, Armstrong, and Murphy)
  9. A new Brand World: 8 Principles for Achieving Brand Leadership in the 21st Century (Scott Bedbury)
  10. Disruption: Overturning Conventions and Shaking up the Marketplace (Jean-Marie Dru)
  11. Truth, Lies & Advertising: The Art of Account Planning (Jon Steel)
  12. The Lonely Planet Guide to Experimental Travel (Lonely Planet)
  13. Confessions of an Advertising Man (David Ogilvy)
  14. The Geography of Thought - How Asians and Westerners Think Differently... and Why (Richard Nisbett)
  15. Six Thinking Hats (Edward de Bono)
  16. Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping (Paco Underhill)
  17. Insights, Ideas, Influence (Ogilvy PR)
  18. Secret Lives: Bju:ti and Secret Lives: Understanding the Influencers (Red Card)
  19. Extra.Ordinary: An Amusing Guide for Unleashing Creativity (Ichiki + Umehara)
  20. Lonely Planet: Beijing (Lonely Planet)

Sunday, November 05, 2006

When business and pleasure mix well. (The Singapore Fling)

Despite what most locals will say, there is quite a lot to do in Singapore. Especially when you're with the right company.

I dug up some photos from the SEA Planning training we had with Wendy Gordon, preeminent qualitative research goddess a few months ago. Three days of rigourous training coupled by madcap evenings spent wasting is truly a different way of spending time at the Lion City.

Hamming it up at The Scarlet Hotel

Flair! Funky toiletries

Tian Tian Haianese Chicken Rice, Maxwell Food Centre

Dimsum overload, Isetan food court

A night with Stella Artois

Jump! Fullerton Hotel

Art snoozes through the brainstorm

Got envy?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Blog-obsessed, no thanks to Google Analytics.

It's been three days since I started checking how my blog is doing as far as visits and hits are concerned. I get thrilled seeing how I'm getting visitors from the Spain (ola!), Japan (konichiwa!), and Singapore (hello, lah!). Why they're visiting my blog, I don't really know. But it's nice that they do anyway.

Google Analytics is currently used by our Interactive team to monitor statistics on websites we run. I remember when you have to course everything through a website administrator just to get some statistics on a website. Now, everything is simplified and convenient through a free analytics tool like the one from Google.

Below is a screenshot of the Geo Map Overlay that tells me graphically where my visitors are from.

You're on my top 10: Philippines, U.S., Canada, Singapore, Romania, France, Netherlands, HongKong, Switzerland, and Malaysia

As much as I try not to get so involved with keeping my statistics up, afterall, I don't blog for that purpose, it's a good way of knowing that there are people who do take the time to read up what you've put up, and hope that they're actually getting something out of it.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Doing my helping-the-world bit as a mouse-potato.

I've been on the World Community Grid (WCG) for about a week now and I'm using my computer's idle time to help out with the "FightAIDS@Home" project. I also joined a team to help contribute more computing time.

The premise to WCG is to use computer idle time (like when you go out for that extra long coffee break and still file it as "productive thinking time" in your timesheets haha) for grid computing. According to the WCG website, "grid computing joins together many individual computers, creating a large system with massive computational power that far surpasses the power of a handful of supercomputers. Because the work is split into small pieces that can be processed simultaneously, research time is reduced from years to months. The technology is also more cost-effective, enabling better use of critical funds."

More than the thought of helping out with such an ambitious project, I'm totally geeking out on the idea of how technology is used on a massive scale with so much participation from the average Juan. Pretty darn cool. All you need to do is download the software that makes this all possible.