Sunday, December 15, 2013

**On Break**

I'll be back when I can; there are just things I need to settle. Happy holidays, everyone! :)


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Decide, now.

Oftentimes, the hardest decisions we have to make involve one too many options. When we have to choose between two or three things, it's easier to weigh the pros and cons if there are fewer items on the menu. But as the number of alternatives increase, so does the number of factors to consider. Going through everything usually takes time, and in some cases, the process of analyzing the selection can be quite paralyzing.
(image from the internet)
This day and age, the sheer number of opportunities we are confronted with can really make it difficult for us to decide. Knowing that our lives will always be a product of the choices we make, we are worried that making a decision without considering everything first might lead to something we will eventually regret. But since the world will not stop revolving to wait for us to make up our minds, we need to decide - sooner, rather than later. Stalling does not change the inevitable.

Perhaps the prospect of choosing one thing from a wide variety could be overwhelming, so the best way to handle the situation is to narrow the list down. Reduce the choices by 50%! Just get rid of the options that are not as important as the tohers; any person with at least an average level of self-awareness should be able to do this.

From the reduced list, do the pros and cons exercise. Be as honest and as objective as you can; you should never try to fool anyone, especially yourself. Figure out what you want. Or if you don't know it yet, then acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses and play to the former. Consult peopke for advice, but take everything you hear with a grain of salt. And don't ask God to decide for you.

Someone once asked me if I believed in destiny, and although I'm partly romantic, partly spiritual, I actually think of destiny as the excuse of the weak. It's the defense of people who are afraid to make decisions because they're afraid to take responsibility for the results of their choices. They're afraid to be wrong when they shouldn't be - mistakes are worth making if the lesson is learned!

I believe that God is good, and he helps those who help themselves. Take control of your life, be responsible for yourself, make the decision. Good luck! :)


Friday, December 13, 2013

FTF / Spanish sendoff

My friend Chase left for the US a few months back, but before she did, her friends organized a small sendoff for her in Vask, this really nice Spanish restaurant on the fifth floor of Clipp Center in Bonifacio Global City. The place is a bit hard to find - Alexei and I got lost on the way there, actually - but it's definitely worth the trip.
Super nice
(photo from the internet)
I'm no expert in Spanish cuisine, but the dishes I sampled here are quite good, as are their cocktails. They're a bit pricey, but I think it's worth every penny I spent, if only for the ambiance. We were seated in the al fresco area of the restaurant, which has a nice view of the emerging urban jungle (although at the time we went, there was a crane blocking the view on one side, haha!).
Glowing dinosaur egg
The egg lamps on the al fresco tables were just too cute! The color of the light changes from pink to yellow to blue to green, but if you don't like that effect, you can keep it still at one shade. That would be perfect for my room - too bad I forgot to ask the manager where they bought the lamps from.

Another thing that I appreciate about Vask is that it's quiet enough for really great conversations. Which is what we had that night, as we bid her farewell. I met Chase's other friends, too - that would not have been possible in a club with crazy loud music. Anyway, she's coming back this December, and I promised to take her ukay-ukay shopping again for Christmas! :)


Thursday, December 12, 2013

LT / My writing instrument of choice

Despite being a computer-savvy blogger slash corporate slave, I still write a lot of things by hand. Don't get me wrong - I like computers, and I think I'm perfectly capable of adapting to technology - but there are just some things that I don't want to change. Call me old-fashioned (I've been told countless times that I'm an old soul), but the flow of ideas from the consciousness to the hand to the writing instrument to the paper is more organic than typing.

Last week, when I talked about how I'm addicted to nice notebooks, I failed to mention that I am just as addicted to nice pens. Although I'm not the type who couldn't write without a very specific kind of pen (well, not anymore, haha!), I still have my preferences. I grew up with pencils, and when I hit high school, I shifted to tech pens and I've used them ever since. When I started working, I experimented with felt-tipped pens, and I have a stash of those, too.
The pen is mightier than the sword.
But my current favorite - the pen that rules them all - is my trusty fountain pen. Well, okay, maybe it's not exactly 'trusty,' in the traditional, functional sense, since it always gets inkblots on my hand and on my notebooks, and I always have to carry a refill cartridge with me. However, when I have a creative writing requirement, it seems as though the fountain pen facilitates my thinking process to the point of unblocking the flow of my words.

What about you? What's your writing instrument of choice? :)


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

MW / Young blood, old music

One random evening a few months back, my friend Alexei invited me to go with him and his friend Anton to listen to Cara Manglapus sing in Society Lounge in Makati Avenue. Because I haven't really been to a jazz gig in a while, I decided to go even if I lived in Eastwood at the time. And I'm glad I went through the trouble of going to Makati - the music was worth the trip.

Cara Mnaglapus is a young and beautiful jazz singer. Unlike jazz greats like Etta James and Ella Fitzgerald, Cara's voice is not particularly powerful. Her voice reminds me of Mishka Adams - soft, soothing, and pleasant to the ears even when she hits the high notes. I really loved her cover of The Girl from Ipanema by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Sunday Morning by Maroon 5.

Her bandmates are as talented as she is. They're very young, but they're all crazy good! I always appreciate it when young people get into jazz; it reassures me that the legacy of the greats will live on. Kudos to their parents for exposing them to jazz, and for encouraging them to hone their musical talent! :)

Bassist Christine Mercado stood out for me. She not only plays really well, she also has the dexterity to sing while playing bass! That's more difficult than singing while playing the piano or the guitar; you need to have great dexterity! Voice is to melody, as bass is to beat, so it can be really challenging to do them both at the same time.

Cara joined The Voice in the Philippines, so I don't know if she still sings at Society Lounge with her band. Since I don't own a television, I don't know how she did. But if she could win that competition, it would be a great push for jazz! :)


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

HFT / Skip it

I met Instagram phenom Ellen Adarna when she agreed to be in one of the productions for the start-up creative project I've mentioned in a few posts. If you think she's stunning in the photos she posts, then seeing her in the flesh will totally, totally blow you away! She's just absolutely beautiful, even without makeup. And she's funny and bubbly! Here's the video the team did:

When we did that shoot with her in Fitbox Technogym, I saw live what I've seen before on video: her uber amazing skipping rope skillls! I absolutely floored! If you don't know what I'm talking about, check out the video below:
Skipping rope is a great cardio workout. I used to do it a lot as a kid, so watching Ellen do it inspired me to get started again! That same day, after the shoot, I went to the mall to get me a cheap but durable skipping rope. I'm not aiming to get a body like Ellen's, but I am aiming to shed a few pounds and to tone my legs a bit. Right now, I'm also trying to learn a few tricks, so wish me luck! :)


Monday, December 09, 2013

UM / All frills

I have an entire closet (well, some sort of a closet) full of dresses, most of which I got from ukay-ukay shops. In general, my dresses are in safe colors and prints, and the designs are pretty simple. So I was surprised that I bought this dress when I went thrift shop-hopping with Anna and the girls in Cubao:
To be honest, it's a bit too frilly for my taste, but because it fits me nicely, I shelled out a measly Php75 to bring it home. It's perfect for casual days when I'm feeling especially girly. With a pair of flats, it's great for a coffee date, or with flipflops, it's perfect for a beach party! I'm thinking of wearing this on a Friday to go to work; I just have to find the right jacket.

Click here for the post with the store information.