Friday, October 31, 2014

FTF / Finally, my hair gets a break!

My friend and "ultimate ka-bromance" J-Sio's pet peeve about me is my HAIR. I'm not exaggerating when I say that he HATES my hair with so much passion that every time we see each other, he never fails to make a comment about how UGLY my hair is. And I don't blame him - I spend so much time under the sun and too little time in the salon.
I like the font!
So when a friend asked me to do a writing project in exchange for salon services at Folded and Hung Famous Salon, I readily said yes! The thing with me is, if I were to get paid in cash, I'd be too kuripot to spend a single centavo in the salon. So to be paid in kind in this particular scenario is a good thing, because I'm forced to give my hair a break!
Reasonable prices!

I booked an appointment Folded & Hung Famous Salon in Glorietta 5 (I just had to walk over from the condo, yay!) without a clue as to what treatment/s my hair is in dire need of. Luckily for me, Marquee, the stylist, was extremely helpful, and for that, I'm really very grateful! And it's not just the stylist - everyone there was very warm and welcoming.
Cerebro. Not
Anyway, Marquee chose Dark Blonde, which is two shades lighter than my natural hair color. After the color, they gave my hair a total repair treatment - and I could almost hear my hair strands screaming "finally, thank you!" They used Schwarzkopf products on me, and the results were just... Wow. I felt famous for a while there, haha!
I like the interiors! :)
Marquee gave me a haircut, too. He still kept it long, but he layered it a bit. After that, they proceeded with blow drying, and man - I rarely say this about myself but indulge me just this once, please - I looked good! I looked like a woman with my soft and bouncy curls! When I saw myself in the mirror, I remember wishing that I could look like this everyday.
Side B
So maybe everyday is a bit of a stretch, but with their friendly prices, getting gussied up for dates (and even big meetings) is something even a kuripot person like myself would spend for. I didn't have a lot of time in my hands, so I wasn't able to try their other services, but after a wonderful experience, I'm definitely going back.
I feel pretty... Oh so pretty... Haha!
Also, if there's one thing the quirky little me loved about Famous Salon, it's the super cool interiors! As a musician, I instantly recognized the artists and bands they had on the walls. It's like being pampered in the very presence of huge icons!

Famous Salon has four branches - Glorietta 5, Makati, Connecticut Arcade, Greenhills, San Juan, SM City San Fernando, Pampanga, and Robinson's Place Ermita, Manila.


Thursday, October 30, 2014

LT / An old dream

Once upon a time, I dreamed of becoming a journalist. When I wrote about my addiction to the hit HBO series The Newsroom, I talked about how I used to watch The World Tonight with my mother. I would wait for the financial news to find out just how much the US$1 in my wallet was worth if I converted it to Philippine pesos. I also made sure I was up-to-date on news in the Middle East because my father worked in Saudi Arabia at the time, and in doing so, I inadvertently followed the life of Benazir Bhutto, the first woman Prime Minister of Pakistan. 
My idol.
I wanted so much to be a journalist that I took up AB Communication in Ateneo. For me, it wasn't just about being in the frontlines, reporting history as it unfolds - it's about having a hand in shaping it by providing people with correct and balanced information that will help them arrive at a sound decision. But because of one too many life-changing events, I pursued the corporate and business path after graduation. While I'm still very much a writer, I was forced to put my journalistic dreams behind me. But I guess I studied it enough, and at one point I loved it enough, to still have a care about it. 

For instance, when I encounter journalistic boo-boos like awful headlines, inaccurate information, heavily-biased pieces that aren't opinion columns, and so on, a part of me still gets affected (I'm elitist like that). But on the flipside, whenever I get to read or watch well-written investigative pieces or documentaries, I do appreciate them. And I suppose that's what the Lasallian Scholarum Awards (LSA) is all about - appreciating good work when it hits you in the face.
My friend John is part of the team that put this year's awards together, and he invited me to attend the ceremonies a few months back. I had to miss it because of work, but when he invited me to the exhibit this week, I just had to be there! It opened last Monday, october 27, and today's the last day (DROP BY IF YOU CAN!). The exhibit, which is in Greenbelt 5 Fashion Walk (near Zara) features most of the winners across the different categories throughout the awards' 11-year history. 
The recognition for this is well-deserved.
I quizzed John about the LSA, and he told me that the recognition program is different from most in the sense that they don't really accept nominations - rather, they actively seek out good work. They have separate award categories for student journalists and for professional ones, but the entries that are considered for awarding are pieces on youth and education. When I dropped by the exhibit, I even saw veteran journalist Howie Severino there! To this day, I remember him for that feature on Jose Rizal in Europe, which apparently won an LSA in 2005!
Visit the exhibit! :)
Congratulations to all the winners, and to John and team for a great event! :)

An endnote: Although my days as a journalist are long gone, I still believe that journalism can change the world. Well, not "can" - journalism is changing the world every single day. To those who chose this path and stayed on, kudos to you! I hope that, no matter what happens, you will always be guided by morals, by ethics, and not by what sells papers or gets the most views. People deserve to know things that will affect their now and their future, things that will make them smarter. I hope you never become part of the dumbing down of the masses to keep certain people in power.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

MW / Begin Again is LOVE.

Between work/income-generating projects and leisurely writing, training and paid writing, I don't really have a lot of time in my hands to hit the cinemas. The few times I did go the past year, I only went because of peer pressure. Besides, I'm too kuripot to spend money on something I can watch at a later time for free. Haha! Thankfully, though, movies have become so much more accessible in recent years, so I still get to watch what I missed.
Love it.
(image from the internet)
The movie Begin Again is one of the films that I missed during its box office run. I only saw it recently, and I just absolutely loved it. I loved the story. I can't directly relate to details like getting dumped by a rockstar boyfriend or becoming an alcoholic of sorts. But as a budding songwriter, myself, I understand that the best songs come from the depths of one's soul.

I loved the soundtrack, too, and my absolute favorite song is the one Keira Knightley sang at the start of the film, about being alone in the big city. It actually made me want to write a follow-up to Pag-Amin, which is the last song I wrote (or at least just finish Marvie's sexy song once and for all!).

So now I'm trying to re-awaken the songwriter in me. I already brought back the poet with the piece "Away" (thanks again to my dear friend, Reese, for giving me to confidence to publish the piece - I love you, deary!). I'm also slowly resurrecting the storyteller with "It's Too Early," which is still in progress. I wish to write another song again very, very soon.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

HFT / Refresh and detoxify

When Frank and I went to Dumaguete, we didn't really have the means to cook, so we had our meals all around the city. I took him to all the best places I knew, including Hayahay (Lab-as Restaurant), Sans Rival Bistro, the Tempura Al Fresco area along Rizal Boulevard, Flaming Grill Cafe, and of course, Cafe Mamia!

Last June, when Jerry hosted my trip, breakfast at Cafe Mamia was a staple for us! My favorite meals there are the tapsilog, the tuna melt (I just have to tell the wait staff to remove the pickles), and of course, budbud with mango! :)

But there's this new addition to the menu that I've come to love as much as I love budbud with mango - the cucumber and calamansi shake with honey! Frank and I were there for a late dinner after watching Ampalaya the Musical. The patrons from the other table ordered the drink, and the wait staff carrying it walked by us. We got curious, so we asked what it was, and then we ordered one to split between us.
This drink kept us coming back to Cafe Mamia! :)
It. Was. Delicious. So delicious that we went back for it the next day.

And it was healthy, too! For starters, it wasn't very sweet, so I'd guess they used just the right amount of honey for it. The calamansi juice provided not just flavor, but some good old vitamin C. Cucumber is 95% water, but they're also a good source of B vitamins as well as cancer-fighting chemicals. I read an article that says it also promotes joint health, and relieves gout and arthritis pain. Not bad for a refreshing drink, eh?

When I find the blender in the condo, this is a drink I'll definitely experiment with! I don't have the recipe of Cafe Mamia, but since I already know the ingredients, it shouldn't be too hard. :) If you want to try it, too, here's a recipe I found online:

1 tray of ice cubes
2 cucumbers
1/8 cup of honey
2 to 4 tablespoons of calamansi juice

Just dump all the ingredients in a blender! And when the drink is smooth enough, pour yourself a glass and enjoy! :)


Monday, October 27, 2014

GVM / A friendly reminder

All work and no play will make you very dull.
(image from the internet)
Have a great week ahead, folks!


Saturday, October 25, 2014

An opportunity - part four

While I was in Cebu, I got a text message from the HR rep of the advertising company I applied to - she informed me that I got the job, and that I should wait for the offer. I went on vacation after the event, and a part of me expected the offer to be ready by then because I was told that the position was urgent.

With or without the offer, however, I was ready to take the job when I got back. I spent a lot of time in Cebu thinking about what I had to do, and I decided that I was going to take the day job, be good at it, and dedicate all my spare time to MMA. I had it all figured out, and by the time I got to Dumaguete, I was ready to enjoy my vacation, at peace with my decision.
Where to, then?
(photo from the internet)
But while I was on vacation, something happened, and for the nth time in my life, I found myself in the proverbial fork in the road again.

Our friends from DEFTAC Dumaguete hosted Franco and I for most of the trip (thank you, John and Gayle, for being absolutely wonderful!). The local MMA scene has been inactive as of late, and one of the local businessmen there is looking to revive it. They basically asked for our advice on how to go about it, and of course we were ready to help.

The meeting took a different turn when he asked Franco and I to be part of the business, with an offer of 20% of profits at no capital outlay from our end - just sweat equity. The best part about the offer is that it would give me the opportunity to fulfill a dream, which is to move to Dumaguete.

The target was to launch the project by December, which means that if I were to take it on full-time, I would need to move by November.

To be continued...


Friday, October 24, 2014

FTF / Make pizza, play basketball

It was the Friday night before I was set to leave for Cebu for the Asian Carriers Conference, JR passed by the condo to drop off the gi I borrowed (after Cebu, I was going to go to Dumaguete to give Franco a grand tour, and in return, I begged him to give me jiu-jitsu lessons at Pure Muscle, the gym of DEFTAC Dumaguete). He hasn't had dinner and neither have I, so we decided to give Project Pie in Park Square a try.

I like making pizza at home because I get to choose what goes in it. I'm a very picky eater, so if you ever have pizza at Shakey's with me, you'd see me taking out the bell peppers from the Manager's Choice before I start munching on my slice. For this reason, I have fallen completely in love with Project Pie. :)
Some find it plain, but I love it!
The Isay pizza is made of crust (duh), tomato sauce, parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, prosciutto, bacon, tomatoes, onions, basil and rosemary. JR's was a bit weird for my taste - aside from the meats, he had jalapeno and pineapples! He didn't like my pizza and I absolutely hated his. Haha!

As it was a Friday night, the lines were really long. Despite that, we got our meal quite fast. And at Php285 to make one's own pizza, it's a really good deal! I'm definitely going back there on my next pizza craving. :)

Anyway, after eating, JR and I went to Timezone for some kiddie fun. I totally sucked at bowling and air hockey, but I did okay in basketball. One of the machines was broken so JR and I decided to pretend like we were playing on court! Haha!  But the best part about my Timezone experience was the massage chair - I needed to relax a little before ACC!