Saturday, December 22, 2007

A post-script to a long evening

'What ifs' seem to be a recurring theme in my life. As much as I dislike indulging in thoughts that ultimately will result to nothing (kaya nga what if, eh), I can't seem to avoid triggers that send me off in that direction.

The sad thing about the 'what ifs' in my head is that they're all actually quite logical and plausible. It's usually just a matter of being at the wrong place/wrong time, with the wrong guy (haha).

But fate does smile on star-crossed misfits sometimes, and I found myself in a rather unusual situation where I was forced to look at a what if straight in the eye.

And then you suddenly just know that it's time to let go. It was, as you succinctly put it, how our story was going to end. It's nice to know that happy endings do exist even for what ifs. :-)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Buzzed thrice in one night (a series of Christmas parties)

It's been a long December and free drinks are always welcome respite. But hopping from one place to another around the Makati-Taguig area can be an absolute nightmare, one that I surprisingly braved that night.

So from the yummy lechon (roast suckling pig) at the Liquid Post party at Mile Long, to the all night drinking at Porcelain, a quick drive to "Ladies Night" at saGuijo and back to more drinking and lechon at Liquid Post more than made up for the madness of end 2007.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

We finally did.

saGuijo café, dec. 12. photo by dan gil.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

NU Rock Awards 2007

Screw the curfew. Hail Boni Day!

After the half-assed takeover at The Pen and the government's media overkill, I was looking forward to just having beers, watching a few bands, and catching up with old friends. I successfully did all.

20 years, and still counting!

Rep. RA "Mark" Rivera

Ely and the DJs.

Backstage photo ops.

Hilera, Best New Artist.

Red Horse Extra Strong Beer, the night's sponsor.

Raimund works the crowd.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Pitch in the time of Trillanes.

I've been meaning to write this entry but never really found the time to do so (what else is new?).  I was caught up in week-long pitch preparations and it's been one of the most grueling pitches I've been on because (1) I just came back from Singapore and had to catch up on the work; and (2) it was a major must-win one. The pressure was both regional and local in nature but whichever way you look at it, I was fortunate enough to have experienced some form of mentoring from P, our regional planning director, who's been stewarding brands for this account for five years. 

Pitch day didn't start out promising. The weather was terrible and we had a pretty good chance of getting rained (or flooded in). D, our group account director was already checking with the client if they would like to have the pitch over at the office (their office was located in an area that transforms itself into the Pasig River whenever it poured).

Ever the optimist, I felt good. Despite some last minute birthing pains and with only five hours of sleep had in two days, I was pretty wired (must have been the mugfuls of coffee I drank like water that entire week).  The presentation went well, clients were laughing with us and seemed to enjoy the whole thing. They loved the strategy, and the work was fun and straightforward. Of course, whilst all this was happening, unbeknownst to us, Sen. Trillanes and his band of renegade soldiers walked out of his hearing and marched on Ayala towards The Peninsula (talk about a PR nightmare!). The regional clients were billeted at The Pen and I'm not sure if they actually sat through the other agency's presentation that afternoon.

Sen. Trillanes had my sympathy during the Oakwood mutiny (never mind that I wasn't able to celebrate my birthday in 2003 as a result of their takeover) because he came across as a young, idealistic solider who was earnest to expose corruption in the government. He was elected to the Senate without the same political machinery as most running officials have, a sign that people were looking for new faces in government that they could trust. Unfortunately, it is an opportunity and privilege that he misused. Pucha naman, you could have made all the changes in the world as a senator, and you pulled off the same, cheap old trick? 

I went home that day dazed and satiated from the delicious, well-deserved lunch that our team leisurely enjoyed. I slept on the couch with the television on, unmindful of the updates about the revolt. When I woke up, the President has declared a curfew and the media covering the event were arrested. 

Naghihintay sa susunod na kabanata. Alas-nuwebe ng gabi, Maynila.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


Miserable weekend. Sigh.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

New Singaflor addy.

Great success! (as Borat would say.)

After two days of house-hunting, we finally got the place we wanted! Andy Quek, our agent from Orange Tee is great to work with. If you're looking to relocate to Singapore, do check them out.

Lurvely. Can't wait to move. Name plate at the entrance, Moonstone Residences.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

How tough it is.

We have just found a place that we knew was going to be 'home' for the next two years. It felt right the moment we stepped in the room. G was elated, muttering I really like this, eto na yon (this is it!) over and over. I tried to hide my excitement, thinking that it might compromise our ability to haggle for a better deal.

It was really difficult not to get all animated about it. The place is really lovely. It had a nice light and airy feel to it, and it didn’t hurt that we were getting a three-bedroom flat for the price of a one-bedroom in the city. The kitchen is also cosy and intuitively laid out. We also had modern baths with a tub to boot.

But what really caught my eye was the balcony beside the living area. It overlooked the river and had an unobstructed view of the city. A, our agent said that our location was more “neighbourhood” – small mum and pop eateries, bike shops, and other businesses surrounded the area, which we immediately liked because it gave the place more personality and a peek into what normal Singapore life is like.

We’re keeping our fingers crossed that all the background checks and other requirements get processed smoothly. It’s hard to fall in love with something only to realise that you can’t have it. Oh, the stress of it all! I hope we get it!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

This is it! This week is going to be a trial run of how married life is going to be. I’m more excited than anxious. Things are finally falling into place.

sleepless in Manila, 2am.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Random top tens.

It's something I just like having in my head, and it tends to change along with my mood, and sometimes with what I'm eating, reading, or listening to. But the theme remains the same.

A top 10 list for today.
  1. Slow mornings with pressed coffee
  2. Exploring Kinokuniya whilst plugged to my iPod
  3. Discovering new sites or blogs on design
  4. Hubby smells. Post-shower. Early morning. Prepping for a night out.
  5. Anti-amats food at 4am.
  6. Walking on the beach whilst the sun is rising
  7. Eating roadside in Thailand and Vietnam
  8. Polaroids and Lomo.
  9. Great advertising.
  10. Getting hold of a new video game to get addicted to.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Beautiful and sensous. Lust, Caution.

Lust, Caution is a gorgeous film. With wartime Shanghai as a backdrop for this seductive espionage, Ang Lee masterfully brought Eileen Chang's short story, Se, Jei to life.

Wong Chia Chi (Tang Wei), student and aspiring thespian is recruited to help assassinate Mr. Yee (Tony Leung), a ranking official and Japanese collaborator. The relationship between Mak Tai Tai (the transformed Wong Chia Chi) and Mr. Yee is intense yet restrained. You can't help but be drawn into it, like a voyeur. The sex is erotic and sad, and that's the same pervading feeling you get throughout Lust, Caution.

We were lucky to have caught the movie in its entirety, knowing how ultra-conservative and moralistic the MTRCB can get. Try to catch it whilst you still can. It's one of those movies that deserve to be seen on the big screen, unless you have a 42-inch LCD flat screen TV and home-theatre system, then maybe you can just wait for the DVD to come out in case you miss it.

Lust, Caution (Se jie), 2007
Starring: Tony Leung, Tang Wei, Joan Chen, Wang Lee Hom
Directed by: Ang Lee

Friday, October 26, 2007

Mount ano raw? A lesson in naming mountains.

I've seen unusual names for mountains, hills, and other elevated areas, but reading this made me nearly choke on my banana.
Mt. Clitoris. Formerly known as Mount Mogao, it is conical in shape and stands proudly over 3 villages. Considered sacred; appears serene and solemn at dusk or dawn. (Things to Do and see in Mountain Province, WOW Philippines website)
Funny what things you run into whilst researching to write a creative brief. :-)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Catching up.

Just my luck. In the two months that I haven't been blogging, a lot of things have happened. And now I have to find the time to write about all of them.

I miss blogging. *sigh*

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Solo living.

When I made the decision to live on my own, I already knew what to expect from rejecting the cushy, well-appointed life that I had come to known in the last 29 or so years. More than facing practical concerns, I now had to confront a kind of listlessness that long, quiet evenings brought me.

I now had time and privacy that I have always longed for. It’s the kind that made you feel like you finally own your life. It’s just me, and 42 sq. metres of concrete space where anything I say, goes.

The feeling is both liberating and alienating, I realised. I welcomed exercising control over how my day is going to go, without regard for anything at all; but there were also evenings when I only have music, books, and a Macbook for company.

It was no longer about deciding whether to have cottage cheese for breakfast (vs. a hearty Filipino one) or keeping tabs of the week’s expenses.

Solo living became the fastest way I ushered myself into adulthood. More than heartaches and heartbreaks, the wisdom you gain from sudden displacement forces you to make more deliberate choices towards a future that I never thought about (planning six months ahead already feels too distant).

Whilst there’s suddenly a humble appreciation for the things you had and let go of, the level of introspection you achieve and the pride of having real independence make it all worthwhile.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

X5 Drive.

The last time I woke up at five in the morning was to catch an early flight to the beach. Other than that, dragging my lazy bum for a work-related activity at that time of day is close to impossible. But when the invite came for the agency to test drive the new BMW X5 one Saturday morning, I didn’t think twice about saying ‘yes’ (but I did enjoy whining about the ungodly call time with the boys).

After the product briefing, we were asked to evaluate the X5 and compare it with a Mercedes M-Class. Hands down, the X5 was a much better SAV - design, features, engineering. I was sorely disappointed that it didn’t come with an iPod dock. Yes, there was an audio jack provided, but who would want to have all those cables snaking about and ruining the sleek interiors? But since I can’t afford the X5 (at least not yet, haha), this little criticism is irrelevant.

Driving the X5 is a dream. Going through the Ramirez brothers’ exercises with it was exhilarating. It was just nice pushing a machine that’s as responsive as a BMW.

I’ve always been told that I drive like a guy – aggressive, arrogant, and careless. Whilst the years have mellowed me considerably, just getting behind the wheel of the X5 and be allowed to push it hard put the maniac back on the seat.

Jason, one of our art directors and my buddy for the day, and I decided to document the experience. Using his digital camera as a camcorder, we shot a crude footage of our ride. It’s probably the worst-edited video of a BMW drive (haha, loko lang Jason!) but the campy rock track and cheesy video effects make it a fun memento of how we spent a day with the new BMW X5.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Nothing says 'succulent' like Chili Crab!

I love crab.

I enjoy it steamed, stir fried, sautéed, mixed into omelettes, moulded into crabcakes, and made into nice, steamy soup.

Visits to Singapore means taking the time out to pay homage at Jumbo Restaurant. We always head out to the East Coast for this eating smorgasbord because there's really nothing like enjoying it al fresco. Fingers coated with slippery spices make for better finger-licking than fried chicken any day.

Yesss! Chili crabs! Best with buns.

Cereal shrimp eater. The nth piece!

The aftermath. Dinner for six consumed by three.

Visit Jumbo Restaurant at East Coast Parkway #01-07/08, East Coast Seafood Centre. T. +65 6442-3435, dinner only from 5pm to 12mn.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A lesson on exorcising demons.

There's always that lingering thing at the back of your head; the voices that never stay quiet even if you shush it to death.

It was something I should have rid myself of three years ago. But the 'what ifs' nagged me, and it did so a long time.

Tonight, I found myself confronting it, inadvertently at first. As the evening wore on, I knew that I had no reason to feel reluctant for moving on, for having chosen where I wanted to be, and where this experience belongs in my life.

Mulling over things mulled before. Home, one-something in the morning.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


I finally saw the season ender of Heroes and I am disappointed. I checked the forums (geek!) and people did feel a bit gypped by it. Episode 20 (Five Years Gone) is still the best episode in the series so far. I'm just glad I got lots of books to keep me company until Season 2 comes around.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Favourite travel buddy.

Because even ordinary things like riding a bus feels like an adventure. Because we feast on Chili crabs like it were our last day on Earth. Because we see more of the city when we explore it on foot (despite my frequent directional dyslexia). Because we don't mind reading quietly in a coffee shop corner. Because we share the same level of excitement whether we go to Kinokuniya or Ikea. Because it always feels natural to be together no matter which part of the world we find ourselves in.

Our nth attempt to get the bus thing down pat.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Japanese buffet heaven.

Bliss. I was on my fourth plate yet I was still at it like someone who hasn't been fed for a month. Located at the third floor of Suntec City Mall, Kuishin-Bo is a Japanese restaurant that offers a smorgasbord of items on their buffet table. More than the variety, I love the quality of food they put out. I seriously overdosed on salmon sashimi and the yakitori. Sarap, sarap. =)

My starter plate.

A how-to-gorge-yourself-shamelessly guide.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Damn, that sucked.

Action-packed, yes. Surreal, Dali-like encounter with stone crabs, yes. Captain Jack Sparrow in a John Malkovich like monologue, yes. Best cameo appearance by a rockstar, yes. A good sequel? Unfortunately, no. I found the latest instalment of Pirates of the Caribbean too long with too many convoluted story lines. Sao Feng, Chow Yun-Fat's character was potentially the most interesting new character in the series. Unfortunately, he got killed off unglamorously early on. What a waste. Tsk.

Good thing the theatre at the Cineleisure Orchard was pretty good. I was able to catch the trailer of Transformers and Ratatouille, which for me, was better than having to sit through three hours of Pirates. Sayang. The experience of such a nice movie place got lost on a less than impressive attempt to milk the Pirates franchise for all it's worth.

Ugly food.

After a tour of the office, we stopped by for quick morning coffee at Starbucks, conveniently located at the ground floor of Ogilvy Centre.

Being the Starbuko whore that I am, I enjoy checking out their food items in every country I go to, just to find out what they carry differently.

This is just too amusing not to share.

Pangit ka, pangit! Ugly chicken puff.

May mas papangit pa pala. Uglier curry puff (with chicken)

Libreng breakfast at Starbucks, Ogilvy Centre, Robinson Rd.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

What's left of Cubao X.

There's not much to see there now. Except maybe for the Vintage Pop Store (which was closed when we came). Bespoke has been replaced by an ihaw-ihaw restaurant called Alan's Grill. And Pablo feels lonely and abandoned. What the heck happened? A friend said that the reason why so many of the tenants left was because they raised the rent in the area. There are still a few stores that are trying to keep the spirit alive, but it's depressing knowing that it'll only be a matter of time before it all disappears.

Puwede, puwede, puwede! DIY newspaper.

The last of the few stands you'll find in the area that's just so Cubao.

Friday, May 18, 2007

transformers final theatrical trailer!

Ang asteeeg niya! I've been catching bits and pieces of media and other information leading to the July 4 showing. I can't wait! :-)

Thanks for sharing, papa Nair.

Go geek out at the Transformers Live blog and official movie site.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Yesterday was the first time I led a pitch presentation. And for a must-win account at that. I felt sick to my stomach en route to the client's office, and the butterflies reached their crescendo as the elevator doors opened to the 23F of 6750. I've been in more than my fair share of pitches, and it's never an easy thing. But I do get a euphoria working on new biz because it's a different challenge all the time.

We spent a good deal of Tuesday afternoon to streamline the thinking, so we could present the argument that the client will find difficult to refuse. It helps to know what kind of audience you're presenting to, and I am fortunate to be working with my boss who has had extensive industry experience.

That evening (until the wee hours of the morning) found me, our account director, and our creatives turning the Planning area into one giant tambayan with food, yosi (uh-oh), and all kinds of beverages strewn about. It reminded me of the times I procrastinated on philo papers way back in college.

It was a tough two weeks leading to the presentation because there were other things happening all at the same time. I was also in the middle of reworking a regional brand strategy for six markets, which admittedly, had me on my toes for the last three weeks. There were also other planning requirements for a new food account we just got. Talk about one stressful month!

Today, we were told that we just won the account. (Yahoo!!!!)

Sulit lahat ng pagod at puyat.

Thanks Papa Rands, TinaCos, Sarsikoh, Anne "conflict" Ganda, Baby G, Jason "what's your MOOd" Drilon, AJ d' interactive guru, roxstar Isa, Pocoy (d' cow), and all the laughing boys and gels of RedWorks. :-)

Sunday, May 13, 2007

I live for travel.

There's always something melancholic about watching the sun set from your window seat.

I made a promise to myself to take at least one foreign trip and three local ones every year. Travel for me is cathartic; it is the only time I am able to write freely, reflect on what I've done in the past twenty-nine years or so, and get excited like silly over what the future holds.

Work has consumed most of my time lately, delaying a much-needed move to my flat and adding to my inability to hit the pavement consistently among other things (the heat has just been terrible, and yes, it is a good excuse, and no, I'd rather not be like a hamster on a treadmill at the gym).

I have a break (finally!) coming up in a couple of days and I am looking forward to another cultural immersion. I never quite enjoy the touristy things; I am more thrilled discovering the locals' "secrets" and exploring the path that's usually never on the prescribed map. I am lucky to have friends from all over; friends who are more than willing to show me around and point me to where I can have my fill of art, culture, food, and bargains.

If I play my cards right, my first "creative" travel project will debut in Q4. :-)

Monday, May 07, 2007

Butas! Ang aking paboritong air-cool pants.

It had to take our pantry lady to tell me that my butt has been peeking out from a hole in my pants.

"Miss Ei, may butas yung pantalon niyo," she said while bending over to take a better look.

"Ha?" I said, immediately reaching behind to feel up the object in question she was talking about.

Yari. It was a thumb-sized hole that has turned me into a pseudo-exhibitionist the entire day. The hole was big enough to flash part of my undies and butt cheek to unsuspecting pedestrians.

It was impossible not to notice, yet no one bothered to tell me. Salamat ha. Nabosohan na siguro ako nung buong building. Grrrr.

But more than having an embarrassing situation to deal with, this little incident made me realise that I really need to replace some of my clothes that have been hanging around my closet for years. The last article of clothing I got was a dress from Topshop. And that was months ago. Time to join the frenzied world of female shopping.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Boo hoo hoo. No more Pandora in Manila.

I've been receiving updates on the status of some international licensing agreements on Pandora, and unfortunately, they had to suspend access from outside the U.S. Pandora helps you "discover new music you'll love" by mapping out the musical DNA of songs, artists, etc. I've created a Jimi Hendrix "channel" that led me to other artist that I would have never thought I'd pick out.

When you visit the site now (if you're not from the U.S.), this is what you'll get. Boohoohoo.

Dear Pandora Visitor,

We are deeply, deeply sorry to say that due to licensing constraints, we can no longer allow access to Pandora for most listeners located outside of the U.S. We will continue to work diligently to realize the vision of a truly global Pandora, but for the time being we are required to restrict its use. We are very sad to have to do this, but there is no other alternative.

We believe that you are in Philippines (your IP address appears to be If you believe we have made a mistake, we apologize and ask that you please contact us at

If you are a paid subscriber, please contact us at and we will issue a pro-rated refund to the credit card you used to sign up. If you have been using Pandora, we will keep a record of your existing stations and bookmarked artists and songs, so that when we are able to launch in your country, they will be waiting for you.

We will be notifying listeners as licensing agreements are established in individual countries. If you would like to be notified by email when Pandora is available in your country, please enter your email address below. The pace of global licensing is hard to predict, but we have the ultimate goal of being able to offer our service everywhere.

We share your disappointment and greatly appreciate your understanding.



Tim Westergren

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Motel advertising, anyone?

Whilst looking for references to share with a correspondent from Media Magazine, I chanced upon a couple of unexpected clips from YouTube. Nevermind that the Jonel's brief TVC was one of the ads I found whilst looking for advertising targeted to men, finding a commercial for one of the country's motels was just too funny not to share.

Apparently, Victoria Court, a motel famous for it's iconic shhh-ing lady, did a few ads. I started laughing my head off when I saw the crispy pata (roasted pork knuckles) because this is stereotypical of motel food along with pancit canton (lo mein).

It's not the most interesting commercial I've seen for a hospitality brand, but it is quite insightful. The proposition? The luxury of privacy.

Of course I watched it.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Love Moon - Anion Sanitary Napkin

"Ingrish" at its best. Anion sanitary napkins.

Mystery Manny, one of our CRM analysts dropped by the Planning area eager to share his "discovery," a pack of napkins that his wife was able to acquire during her trips. I found the packaging interesting because it was matte, instead of the usual plastic wraps that most feminine care products use. One side of the pack had a short explanation of "benefits." I have copied it verbatim here.
According to the testing result by China chemical woven product quality center for textile industry, the average anion concentration in “Monthly Loving” Anion Sanitary Napkin and panty liner has reached to 5800 per cm3, 2 obvious function can be seen:
  1. Inside the cunt, anion can promote the exchange of biological enzyme; enhance material with acid to uplift self-curing and immunity for human body.
  2. In sanitary napkin, the anion chip can instantly absorb blood or leucorrhea, refresh and comfortable, odor can be controlled.

And that's not all. It comes with a free gift called the "Lady Vagina self-test paper (patented product)." It is a gift card that tests the "before and after effects and processing positioning analysis for the health of the genitals."

Winner diba? I can't get over how you can successfully swipe your keps to test it pre-product use and post. Medyo bloody mary lang naman ang drama nitetch.

The only thing I think that's interesting from a brand POV is actually their tagline which reads "a healthy lady is more beautiful." Oo nga naman. There's something there.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Fastfood freak.

I'm a fan of fastfood in a disgustingly big way. I have no qualms checking into the nearest KFC, indulging in a 2-pc Chicken Joy meal from Jollibee, or going for a Quarter Pounder (with cheese, of course!) at McDonald's.

When I saw Super Size Me a few years ago, it made me more self-aware of the things I stuff in my mouth. I had to say baboosh to salty fries and double beef patties if I wanted to live healthier. I gave up ciggies too but decided to keep beer in my repertoire of beverages (I don't want to live that long).

Lately, work has gotten in the way of eating healthy. I look forward to 5pm trips to get a burger (yes, I want fries with that) and a soda because I know I'll be putting in an extra hour or three again. It might be just me, but I really think a Quarterpounder tastes much better when eaten late in the afternoon.

It wasn't long before the guilt got to me. I spent Monday running around Salcedo and Legazpi to sweat off the week's grease binge. It felt good to hit the pavement again and I swore off eating at fast food joints for a while. Unfortunately, my oral fixation went back and a ciggie was hanging by my lip end Friday. So much for eating healthy.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Milk was never this excting - the new Got Milk? campaign by GS&P

I heard about this from Simon Law's blog and was automatically drawn to it (being the gaming geek that I am). I have always been a huge fan of the got milk? campaign (sponsored by the California Milk Processor Board) for their offbeat approach to advertising. As far as I could remember, it was never boring, often intriguing, and talked about milk in a different way (our local dairy manufacturers are light years away from coming up with something as engaging as this).

Get The Glass paints a world without milk and the last glass has been kept under lock and key. You get to play the Adachi Family, a milk-deficient clan who have become fugitives from having attempted to break into the fort where the milk is kept.

The game visuals are stunning (the site takes a while to load, but when it does, prepare for HD-like quality - quite impressive for an online game). Some screenshots below.

Does (the lack of) milk cause insanity?

Explore and then play. The backdrop for this engaging online board game.

Introducing the Adachi Family.

Iron Vines, one of the interactive games from the site.

How's this for viral? Get a friend to bail you out of the Milkatraz.

Stuart Elliot's In Advertising, an column for the New York Times, has this to say about the campaign:

"From the beginning, the concept has been the same: to demonstrate the effects of being deprived of one of the most plentiful products around, to remind people how much milk means to them."

With such a straightforward objective, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners simply worked their magic to make the proposition a very refreshing and engaging one. Cheers!

Saturday, March 31, 2007

It's their loss, and every book lover's gain.

I've been hearing rumours about the possibility of Fully Booked moving out of Power Plant because they're being pressured to pay extra for maximising the use of their current rental at the third floor of the mall (is that the reason why there's a National Bookstore there now?). They currently occupy the third level where this food/entertainment area used to be, and they built a few levels inside to make the best use of space. I was told that the mall people were getting greedy and wanted to charge for the extra space as well.

Fully Booked is the only book store worth visiting in the Philippines (don't even compare it to Powerbooks, please), and I believe its presence in Rockwell ups the value of the place several times over (I'm sure "Manila's fashionable" reads too).

When I first found out about the possibility of them moving out of Makati (I work there, and will soon reside there as well), I was horrified. As in, OA to death horrified. The closest Fully Booked would be, where, Mall of Asia? Eh ang liit nun compared to Rockwell.

I'm just glad we found this one weekend hanging out at Boni High Street.

"Five stories, one destination."

Such bliss! Wish list: lounge areas.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Deep, skin clean. Neutrogena site is finally up.

It's still odd seeing your face on a public domain - not like photos in galleries or friends' Multiply sites. I guess I can never get used to being seen as a commodity.

Will it be my claim to fame? I certainly hope not.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Insane, the boy is insane.

Inspired by an actual conversation that actually happened. But edited in my head.

Me: Why are you so angry, AJ?

Aj: Huh? Me, angry? Who said I was angry?

Me: Those mad brush strokes, it's a sign of aggression. Such angry paintings.

Aj: I like it, it's cool. And it's not angry...

Me: Baka tigang ka lang...

Aj: 'Tado. Bibili ka ba o hindi...




untitled, 6x3ft

Aj Dimarucot is a 31-year old graphic artist based in Manila, Philippines. He belongs to a growing group of contemporary artists that have blurred the boundaries between art and design. Aj has been part of group exhibits in Manila, Canada, and has held his first solo show in 2006. His works have been been published in books in the U.K. and Australia. They've been featured in several local magazines and international websites as well.

Aj's works can be found on furniture, shirts, pins, cellphones, and street walls. Naturally, he has now delved into the world of painting and shows a lot of promise. His initial works have focused on an intense and spontaneous approach reminiscent of action and gestural painting—where the resulting work emphasizes the physical act of painting itself. This is apparent in the lush texture of randomly chosen words, painted layer upon layer of each other. They are written in a calligraphic manner using industrial paints, spray paints, and pen markers, similar to how street artists leave their 'tags' or marks on walls and buildings.

More on Aj at

Monday, March 26, 2007

Award! Winners from the Asia Pacific Advertising Festival 2007

"Awaaard! Awaaaaard!!!"

We let out a raucous cheer at Apartment 1B, the neighbourhood café that's fast becoming a favourite hangout by ahensiya people. O&M Manila received four awards (and one finalist nod) out of the eight entries from the Philippines and we decided to celebrate with a few drinks (open bar until, what time was that again?) and pica-pica (winner din ang quesadillas and pizza on flaky-pastry crust).

Here's what the fuss was all about:

Philippine Daily Inquirer, "Volcanic Ash"
Bronze, Outdoor

Pond's Anti-Bacterial Facial Wash, "Pores"
Gold, Outdoor

Other entries from the Philippines:
  1. Bronze - Outdoor, Ogilvy & Mather, "Spill," Huggies Dry Comfort Diapers
  2. Bronze - Outdoor, Ogilvy & Mather, "Land Rover," DHL (Philippines)
  3. Finalist - Outdoor, BBDO-Guerrero Ortega, "Thermometer," WWF
  4. Finalist - Outdoor, Ogilvy & Mater, "Curtain," Pond's Anti-bacterial Facial Wash
  5. Finalist - Film, DDB DM9 JaymeSyfu, "Bathing," Public Service announcement
  6. Finalist - Radio, TBWA/Santiago Mangada Puno, "Beegees," Caramba Hot Sauce
  7. Finalist - Print, Y&R Philippines, "Piglets," Concordia Children's Services
  8. Best Use of Illustration, Print, JWT Manila, "Cat Fantasies," Philippine Animal Welfare Society

Visit the Adfest 2007 site here.

Friday, March 23, 2007

What I'm reading now - Hoopla (CP+B)

I've always been fascinated by Crispin Porter + Bogusky even before I got into advertising. Working as an account planner for Ogilvy, I've used work from CP+B as a reference to many presentations and "think pieces" along with what we've done in the agency.

This book is all about CP+B. And there's a bit (quite a bit) on the Mini Cooper campaign. And Subservient Chicken. And Ikea.

Going through the book is like playing voyeur at someone else's agency (and that urge is stronger when you've just lost a pitch, hehe). Hoopla actually feels a bit self-serving, but what the heck, it's still trippy good fun for a weekend read.

Surprise! The cover is abrasive, to collect DNA samples should you want yourself cloned by your great grandkids in the future.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Doing the L to R bit. The BMW Art Car Collection.

Who would have thought? Really?

When the BMW Art Cars were scheduled to do their international tour in 2007, I didn't expect them to include the Philippines in their itinerary. Whether it meant that we were selling a significant number of Beamers to merit a stopover from these "rolling sculptures" or not, I'm just glad to see them parked at the Ayala Museum for the entire month of March.

Our first L to R. Haha.

Guess who looks uncomfortable in this photo?

I adore Andy Warhol, but I must say I like Frank Stella's work on the car more. The miniature replicas feature the 11 other cars in the collection and are for sale through the museum. I heard that it would be selling for at least ten grand apiece.

320i, Roy Lichtenstein

M1, Andy Warhol

3.0 CSL, Frank Stella

M3, Ken Done

Catch the BMW Art Car Collection at The Ayala Museum. March 3 to April 1. The Museum is located at Greenbelt Park, Makati Avenue corner De La Rosa Street, Makati City, Philippines. Open from 9 am to 6 pm Tuesdays to Fridays, and 10 am to 7 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. For more information, please call (632) 757-7117 to 21.

Friday, March 09, 2007

My first chick lit.

The nice thing about having an Account Planner for a boss is that gifts you receive are always thoughtful and insightful. I still remember receiving Agent Provacateur lip and nipple balms (aptly called Titillation) for Christmas. Hehe.

One of her despedida gifts she left me was a book from the founder of, Teresa Rodriguez Williamson. The 50 Best Places on Earth for a Girl to Travel Alone has got me thinking of well, doing solo travel to Prague (which I've always wanted to go to since I read Milan Kundera's Unbearable Lightness of Being), Machu Picchu, and Amsterdam. I never imagined any of these places fit to travel solo (unlike Singapore where the worst thing that could probably happen to you is numb your tongue from eating fishhead curry). All I need to do now is find a way to fund my trips.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

A reprieve from pitch work.

I just came from a rather gruelling pitch (the weeks leading up to it are never pretty) and I'm just glad to have a bit of nooneenoo time catching up on stuff. But I'm an advertising geek. And I don't mind when my breaks from work are consumed by it. Good ads are memorable and entertaining; I'd choose this over checking my mail any day.

Revisiting fantastic work by Wieden + Kennedy for ESPN's World Cup TV spots. It still gives me goosebumps to this day.

365 happiness touchpoints.

Today, I receive an email from a colleague in KL who's moving on to another agency in the region. I've had the pleasure of meeting G in Singapore, when all the SEA planners went for training. I remember texting a friend saying, "puwejas na ito," when asked if there were any cute planners in the region. Hehe.

To mark his passage, he sends us a deck with his "proposed amendment to 360." My initial thought was, puta, aalis na nga lang, trabaho pa iniwan. Tsk. Instead, he leaves us his happiness touch points for each day of the year.

Here are some of my favourite touch points.

Everything starts off from be happy because today you celebrate ...
  1. Working better in Starbucks than at the office
  2. Real cocoa (No, not Milo)
  3. Eating with your hands
  4. Doing something beautiful and being the only one on earth who knows about it
  5. Polaroid
  6. That little fart no one will notice (and you could just not hold)
  7. Not taking things for granted
  8. Hugging
  9. The smell of the sea before you actually see it
  10. Second chances

Symphony of the snores.

It is late. And I am sleepy as hell.

We're working on last-minute pitch materials for tomorrow's presentation and I've decided to bring stuff home because it's insane to stay in the office with the renovation going on.

One of our suits sent me a message saying that the manifesto video is ready for review. It's a 10MB file and I'm on crapshoot dialup. Because I can't open more than one browser window (well, maybe except for this one), there's nothing else to do but wait for it to finish.

And that's when I heard it. A soft snoring from underneath the sofa, and another one, slowly building up to a crescendo beside my feet. And as if on cue, the sofa snorer creates his own rumbling rhythm in an attempt to match the slightly higher snorts of the foot warmer.

There's something quite amusing about hearing two warm bodies deep in their sleep, oblvious to the lazy tap-tapping I'm making on my keyboard. It's entertainment I can afford to have at one in the morning. I'm just thankful they're not sleeping in my room tonight.

Monday, March 05, 2007

WWF World Heritage Expeditions

An opportunity to travel, take photographs, and save the world.

I have a copy of the e-brochure. Drop me a line if you're interested. :-)

WWF World Heritage Expeditions

2007 Summer Season – The Sulu Sea

To keep Tubbataha Reef alive and well managed, we have to raise the funds needed to operate its management office and ranger station.

For several years now, scuba divers have paid the user fees that helped pay for Tubbataha’s expenses. But, this has never been enough.

The World Heritage Expeditions were designed by WWF, with expert advice from ecotourism outfitter, Anton Carag, to create an exciting package that will open up the Cagayancillo micro-archipelago and Tubbataha Reef to non-divers for the first time ever. The goal is to show commercial tour operators that a non-diver package can be a terrific product. The hope is that, with the support of such tour groups, Tubbataha Reef will raise sufficient funds each year to pay for itself. When nature pays, nature stays.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Excerpts from a gift.

He’s a wonderfully thoughtful man, although I don’t think he even realises it. Just a few weeks ago, he surprised me with a small project he’s been working on. It was a ‘tribute’ to my many ‘faces’ – expressions he said, that range from goofy, the lost-in-thought-kind, or ones that have a bit too much to drink.

Just yesterday, whilst rummaging through old CDs to organise and label, I came across another gift he gave early last year. We’ve just come from a very trying time in our lives, and we were doing our best to get things back on track. This one was a pledge from him – the things he saw in us that hinted at a good life together, and how we should never take each other for granted.

I’ve made him terribly cheesy, you see. And he’s done the same to me.

I believe that the best gift people could give each other is having a good sense of who they are as individuals, and enriching each others’ lives with what they bring into the relationship.

So whether I am manyak misis, his muse, or him as my co-conspirator, or fellow geek today, all I know is that we’re growing and evolving as different wholes (not halves) and are happily sharing all the possibilities that go with spending life together.

Friday, February 16, 2007

A party and a towing incident. Not fun to have in one night.

It was a rather full day to begin with and I was just looking forward to drinks in the evening. I had my hands full preparing pitch materials - "thought starters" and a few briefs to share with our regional planning director who was in town for his country visit (I hope he hasn't regretted dropping by, after being made to ingest ox balls that night…).

Our drinks would be coming from the Adobo anniversary party which was held at Fiamma (Adobo Magazine is a Philippines publication on the advertising industry and brand communications). Other than the promise of “overflowing” drinks, there’s going to be a “culinary remix of adobo” by Chef Rolando Laudico (Bistro Filipino), Chef Pol Poblador (Kusina Salud), Chef Ed Quimson (Delimondo), Chef Melissa Sison (Mr. Rockefeller), and Lydia Go (“food-styling queen”).

I left the office past seven thirty with some of our accounts guys. Crisela wanted to change into a party-appropriate outfit so we made a quick stop at her flat along Aguirre. Cindy didn’t want to be early for the party and that was reason enough for her to tag along. We were also planning to tour Bunny’s place, which was in the same building as Crisela’s.

Because my feet were hurting from being in three-inch heels the entire day, I changed into my todo worn-out driving slippers when I went down. How old and ratty were these tsinelas? They’re five years old, washed a few times, and terribly frayed from my dogs’ chewing.

An hour later, we went back to the car, only to discover it missing. The tell-tale chalk scribbling on the sidewalk was your only clue that those bastards from JJVS struck again.

Me: “Oh my gad, where’s my car?!”

Me, one second later: “Oh my gad, yung sapatos ko!!!”

I turned ditz in zero to one second.

Good thing Bunny hasn’t sped off and was able to bring us to Yakal St. where all the cars towed in Makati are brought in. I was fuming, pissed, and my ditzy side rearing its ugly head. (Eh paano ako maghi-hysteria na ganito suot ko? How can you take anyone seriously in a dress and ratty tsinelas?)

The funny thing was, when I got there, I saw Nandy (an industry colleague and one of McCann’s top guns) who was with his folks and Poptart. Apparently, his mom's car got towed as well.

Because it was past eight in the evening when I parked, I had no idea what my violation was. My car was in the proper slot, I wasn’t in front of a fire hydrant, nor was I blocking a pedestrian crossing.

According to my “Notice of Apprehension” under “others,” I was parked “against the traffic violation of counterflow.”

I was parked on a two-way street. And this was the first time I’m hearing this. I demanded to see the law that imposed this, and all this jerk from the impounding site told me was that “Eto o, andito lahat.” It was a dubious-looking sheet that supposedly lists down traffic violations.

(I have searched the Internet (including the LTO, MMDA, and Makati City websites), asked the Makati City Hall, and consulted a law expert regarding these traffic codes. Finding information to help you understand our laws is like extracting an insight from a client.

I am making it a personal quest to get hold of this “magic” paper and share it to drivers in the area. May this help decrease the number of hapless victims that JJVS has milked for money.)

Sunday, February 04, 2007

An Afternoon at Charley's.

A bunch of foodies, a road trip to Batangas, and the promise of a sumptuous meal. That was how the day was going to be like. And it turned out to be much better than that. The weather was perfect – nice and sunny, and there was still the lingering cold in the air. Not nippy, but balmy.

The ahensiya carpool was rearing its competitive head (feeling Amazing Race). We were the only ones who didn’t get lost en route to Malvar, which was the municipality where Charley’s was at. Hehe.

Driving up to the house...

... and greeted by a few horses on the lawn. (Di man lang aso.)

While waiting for everyone else to arrive, we had a short tour of the premises, which found us at the horses' stables. Who would have thought that horsey breaths smell ten times worse than my pug's laway?

Hee, hee. Kundi ka lang cute...

Retreating back to the house, we started the course with a light tomato-potato soup garnished with basil.The starter was a steamed seafood custard that was just so tasty, Gino and I shared another serving later during the meal. We were served two entrées - a pan-seared mahi mahi with tomato farcie; and the Batangas beef stewed in rosemary and wine which we had with rice pilaf.

For the piece de resistance, we had Crêpe Suzette, which Popit, our resident chef, prepared in front of us. Cold glasses of lemon grass iced tea made a refreshing accompaniment to the meal, and it reminded me of trips to Thailand.

A nice, hearty table to hold hungry guests.

Mmmm. Steamed seafood custard.

A delight to eat. Pan-seared mahi mahi and tomato farcie.

Savoury. 'Angas beef stewed in rosemary and wine.

Tarragon tea. Aids digestion.

The secret to the Crêpe Suzette? Gran Matador Brandy.

Shazam! Always fun to watch the flames.

The baby is
not the next meal.

We had a tour of the estate after our long meal, which was also a good thing because we needed to walk off all the food we ate. A trip to the stables (again), guest houses, the viewing decks, as well as the herb garden (yes, they were all good herb) were just some of the places we were shown.

Charley, gracious hostess.

Driving to the south was definitely a welcome change. More than the call of food, there was something about leaving Manila for the greens of Batangas. Before we left, there were already talks of the next foodie trip to some places in Luzon. Can't wait.

Interested in booking your own trip to Charley's? Call 0917-8931938 or 813-6658 for reservations. To get there, take the South Luzon Expressway to Exit 50 (Batangas). Take the route until you reach the Star Tollway. Exit at Bulihan/Malvar. This is where it gets tricky. Make a left immediately after exiting the tollway to Malvar. At the end, take a right (Ayala) and continue on until you see Balete Drive (also known as Gov. F. Leviste Highway).