Thursday, October 02, 2014

LT / Away debrief

When there's just too much caffeine and nicotine in my system, I end up writing things. That pretty much sums up how I ended up writing the poem "Away," which i posted on this blog a few weeks back.

Being part of the team that put together the Asian Carriers Conference 2014 was a huge honor for me, and a huge responsibility. It kept me up on most evenings, which resulted to really bad breakouts that only cleared up when my schedule finally normalized after the event. Although the load was heavy, there were still some light evenings, and it was on one of those that I got the chance to write it.

I was feeling anxious about being away for almost three weeks (September 7 to 22, to be exact) for the ACC 2014 and for the Dumaguete adventure with my friend Franco. I travel often, but my record before then was only eight days. So I felt as though I was walking away from things, from people. And I suddenly felt the urge to write.
(photo from the internet)
With a pen and loose sheets of paper, I started to pour my sorry heart out. And in ten minutes, it was over. The piece basically wrote itself. I wasn't really thinking anymore - not with my mind, at least. It was the product of one of those magical writing spells, where my right hand just moved the pen upwards, downwards, and sideways until the poem was done.

The first person I showed it to was my friend Reese, for two reasons - she loves reading poetry, and if it weren't good enough, I know she'd be honest enough to tell me. Luckily for me, she liked it! She even urged me to post it, which is why I moved the queue of my Literary Thursday posts and put it next in line.

Hope you all enjoyed the piece.


Wednesday, October 01, 2014

MW / December wedding job

When I was drafted to be part of the team that organized Zalora's Pop-Up Shop last April, I was pleasantly surprised to see my old friend, Ed, who now works as PR Manager for the said company. He used to work for a PR company, and during his stint there, he handled the Yabu account when I was still functioning as Marketing person-in-charge. It's amusing how the tables have turned - I moved to the service side while he became the client! Haha!
(image from the internet)
Anyway, while we were putting together the Zalora event, Ed and I got a lot of time to bond, and that was when I shared with him that I moonlight as a wedding singer. And apparently, his brother is getting married this December, and he hired me on the spot! Woohoo, gig! He gave me the set list below:

1. Kahit Maputi Na Ang Buhok Ko
2. When You Say Nothing At All
3. Marry Me
4. Sunday Morning
5. I Could Not Ask For More
6. Collide
7. Panalangin
8. Ikaw Lang Ang Aking For More
9. Grow Old With You
10. How It Is To Be Love By You
11. All of Me
12. Every Breath You Take

I'm actually not familiar with some of the songs on this lineup, so it's a good thing that I got the list ahead of time, so I can learn them. I created a playlist in my iPod for these, and I listen to them whenever I could. These are all very nice songs, I must say. Jethro will once again be playing for me. :) Can't wait for December! :)


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

HFT / Road to recovery

In August, at the height of our team's preparations for the Asian Carriers Conference 2014, I got sidelined by a mild infection that rendered me useless to the team for about a couple of days. It was a combination of physical and mental exhaustion brought about by lack of sleep, made worse by what seemed like an endless supply of junk food.

Antibiotics and pain relievers were my best friends for a week, and I hated the idea of having to spend my hard-earned money on my health. At the time, however, the sleepless nights were required for work, so I had no control over that. What I did have control over is what I consumed, so I made some adjustments.
I love you but you're not good for me. Goodbye.
I started by completely getting rid of sodas and replacing it with good old water. It's a small change, if you think about it, but it did wonders for my body. Since I needed caffeine to stay up, I matched my coffee intake with twice its amount in water. One of the main causes of the infection was severe dehydration, so loading up on water was absolutely necessary for my recovery.

Going to the gym was no longer an option due to time constraints, so in its stead, I would do a few rounds of shadow boxing in between work streaks. When I had to go to my boss's house from my condo (or vice versa), I would opt to walk so I could get my blood circulating and maybe sweat out a bit.

I also stopped stress-eating. Whenever I felt overwhelmed, I'd drink a tall glass of water, and if the craving doesn't disappear, I'll munch on a small snack instead of stuffing my face silly. I kept food in my bag always - not chips, I promise! - so I wouldn't starve (we all know that starving yourself only leads to binge eating).

Our lives are back to normal now that the event is over. I never want to get sick again, though. So for that reason, I'm going to hang on to these little habits I've built. :)


Monday, September 29, 2014

UM / Another ukay business idea

A couple of years back, my friend Pauline and I toyed with the idea of re-selling our smashing ukay-ukay finds online after we've worn them, with mark-up, of course! At the time, we were really bent on making it happen - we were already thinking of names for the business! Sadly, though, work and life just got in the way, so we never really got around to making it happen.
This, but online.
(photo from the internet)
At the moment, I'm considering the idea again, although I will admit that I'm not really too keen on it. Like the Ukay Tours, however, this isn't something I can mount on my own. For starters, I'm no good with measurements, and that will be critical here because the stuff I'll be selling won't come in small, medium, or large. Frequent returns could take its toll on the business.

Another reservation I have about doing this is the time requirement. I know that any entrepreneurial endeavor will inevitably need time, but I just don't have enough of it to set the ball rolling. I'll need a partner, or partners, even, to help me with the shopping and the selling. I wouldn't want to run out of options for my patrons just because I was too busy to shop and post the items.

There are a handful of successful online ukay-ukay entrepreneurs, which clearly shows there is a huge potential for the business. So if anyone wants to take this idea and run with it, then by all means, go right ahead! If you need advice on where to shop or how to go about it, leave me a comment and I would be happy to help. :)


Saturday, September 27, 2014

A different kind of bullying

When I was still in high school, I hated the cliques who believed they had power over everyone else. I equally hated teachers who thought they were gods. I was never bullied, but some of my friends were, and I wasn't the type who would just sit and watch. I got into a number of confrontations, some of which landed me in the Guidance Counselor's office, but I don't regret defending those I cared about.

I am against bullying. But sometimes, I'm guilty of it. Before you call me a hypocrite, hear me out. I never bullied anyone to give me their lunch money. I never picked on people who were smaller and weaker than me. I never gave anyone a wedgie. I never singled anyone out to embarrass in front of the class. Those were not the acts I'm guilty of.
I do not approve!
(image from the  internet)
But sometimes, I bully my friends. I bully them into chasing their dreams. I bully them into getting up and dusting themselves off after a life-derailing event. I bully them into not letting themselves be bullied by other people. I bully them into standing up for themselves. I bully them into becoming more confident. I know that sounds a bit counter-productive, but as a girl raised in tough love, it's become a way for me to show a person that I care about him or her.

So yes, I may be a bully, but I am one with good intentions. If you're not my friend, you might think I'm just being hurtful, but they know me well enough to know that I only have their best interests in mind. I can be a b*tch sometimes, even to my friends. I can be pushy, but it's because I believe in them so much - sometimes, I believe in them more than they believe in themselves.

But  I still know that not everyone is accustomed to tough love, and I will admit that sometimes, my approach backfires. When it does, I make up for it by being reassuring. For the most part, however, I'm still a bully and I'm not sorry about that. I want to be an example of strength - that if I can be strong, so can anyone. If I can get myself together after going through what I had to go through, then anyone can handle anything. I don't think I'm anything special; I just happen to have enough clarity of thought to know that I cannot be defeated by any problems.

It's a tough world out there, and we need to be tougher.


Friday, September 26, 2014

FTF / F&H Famous Salon for COSMO69!

Okay, ask any of my friends - I'm not really the boy-crazy sort - or at least the boys I am crazy over are not the model-types. I don't go swooning over the Greek-god-esque men I see on the pages of my favorite magazines. But that didn't stop me from having a bit of fun with my all-access pass at Cosmo Tower 69: Bachelor Bash 2014! I was there with Folded & Hung Famous Salon, the amazing team behind the grooming of all the handsome men who made all the women in the audience scream!
All access fun.
I was posting photos on Instagram with the event's official hashtag, #COSMO69, and I instantly got responses (likes and comments) from random women asking me to share behind-the-scenes topless pictures! Crazy! But I don't blame them: I have never seen a bigger concentration of chiseled cheekbones and perfectly-sculpted abs in one place (although BAMF MMA Center is a close second, naks)!
Cerah interviewing Victor Basa. So good to see you, Cerah! :)
That was my first time to attend the annual Cosmo Bachelor Bash, so everything that happened was a total surprise to me! Women were really screaming at the top of their lungs for the celebrities and models on the runway. They were screaming the way I scream for my favorite rockstars, so in a way, I kind of understood them. I just didn't really have anyone to scream for that evening because Tirso Ripoll of Razorback didn't make the list. :P
The abs are already there. The makeup is to make sure they look good under harsh lights.
My job that evening was covering the event (behind the scenes, hence the backstage pass), which also meant flooding Instagram with sinful images - to my male followers, I apologize, and to the females and the beckies, you're welcome. I took a LOT of photos, most of which ended up in a Facebook album that I made public (click here to view the album). Again, you're welcome.
Cosmo hunk Kirst Viray's hair is nicer than mine. Oh well.
So anyway, the F&H Famous Salon Team really worked their magic that night - one model after another. It must have been really tiring, with 69 individuals to groom in quick succession, but I'm pretty sure they had a blast! And they all did a really great job - if you check out the official photos, the men of Tower 69 looked polished, runway-ready, and magazine cover-worthy.
Neil Perez - Mr. International Philippines - is really gwapo in person.
PBB winner Daniel Matsunaga is really cute up close. And he's a nice guy, too!
Having worked with meticulous photographers and directors in the past (as well as great makeup artists), I'd like to think that I've acquired sufficient knowledge to spot a good hair and makeup job when I see one. Some of the men there transformed right before my eyes as I sat by the hair and makeup station: they turned from plain to smoldering with a little help from our F&H Famous Salon friends.

Folded & Hung Famous Salon uses Schwarzkopf products, which would explain the great hair of the Cosmo 69 men! On a side note, all the guys I've liked had one thing in common - they all had nice hair. I never was into bald men, because I like the feeling of running my fingers through soft hair. My ex even had hair as long as mine! So yeah, back to Cosmo 69, the men that caught my attention were the ones who had nice locks!
For every hair type!
I have an appointment for a much-needed hair treatment some time next week, and I couldn't be more excited! I wonder if they can give me hair as nice as Kirst's? :)


Thursday, September 25, 2014

LT / Mindblown Level 9000

Milan Kundera is a master writer - I'm sure that people who have read his works would agree with me (and I'm equally certain that they've been changed in some way). He has this way of playing tricks on your mind, which is why I consider reading (and re-reading) his novels as a great practice on critical thinking. Aside from The Unbearable Lightness of Being, which is a category of its own, I consider Ignorance to be his most mind-blowing work to date.
Not always bliss.
(image from the internet)
The novel was published in 2000, in French, and was translated in English by Linda Asher. Through Czech expatriate Irena and her fellow emigre Josef, Kundera examines the feelings that one experiences upon return to a homeland that has already ceased being a home. Also present is the discourse on love and its different manifestations, which is pretty much a recurring theme in all of his works.

I love his exploration of the concept of ignorance. Most people would either say that ignorance is bliss (usually the pessimists), or that it is boring (National Geographic Channel addicts), but if you look at it through this writer's eyes, it's so much more complicated than that. He presents ignorance as a two-fold phenomenon: one, as a willing action that a person can participate in, or as an involuntary move to avoid truth. He weaves these themes into the story seamlessly, and the ending will leave your jaw hanging.

It's hard for me to summarize the novel because I know I won't be able to do it justice. If you have time in your hands, read this novel.