Sunday, September 30, 2012

Quality contemporary art from ArtStar

I'm not a fan of taking photos in low light, what with all the inconveniences of special lenses, tripods and lighting equipment low-light and nighttime photography entails. However, I do appreciate the products of such patient and meticulous labor. I just don't have the patience to wait for even a minute to complete a single shot. I guess slow shutter speeds just aren't my cup of tea.

So imagine my amazement when I learned that there's a Texas-based photographer named Noel Kerns who specializes in night photography. Night photography!

pd_artstar_noel kerns

Mind you, the images that he captures are nothing short of stunning. I love how he says he shoots almost exclusively by the light of the full moon. He does employ a few special lighting tricks here and there but still, measuring shutter speeds -- or lack thereof -- in terms of minutes instead of seconds or fractions thereof is something I just don't have the patience for.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

[Lookbook 09.26.2012] The shirt jacket


Last Wednesday's outfit consisted of this stylish jacket I got a few weeks ago. I love the army green color, first of all, and also its trim cut and stylish design. Problem was when I tried wearing a shirt underneath, I felt it was bulking up underneath (or I was just fat). So I ditched the shirt for a white V-neck undershirt and treated the jacket as if it were a shirt.

Number Eight: A fine selection of brands both popular and lesser-known under one roof

It's always great to discover new brands from around the globe. I mean, not literally new but new to me at least. Take the Amsterdam brand Scotch & Soda, for instance, which has been around since the 80's and was reinvented in 2001, but which I've never heard of until now. Though not as ubiquitous as H&M or Topman, they have some really cool yet functional pieces that include shirts, jackets, jeans, and even leather iPhone cases.


So despite their apparent lack of physical stores, we can be thankful to the slew of online shops like Scotland-based Number Eight Clothing that carry such brands. They've got a fine selection of brands here, some of which I've never heard of before like, as I've already mentioned, Scotch & Soda. And I'm loving their latest collection!

Monday, September 24, 2012

[Lookbook 09.20.2012] Cornered and colored


Super late post. This was an outfit last week during a very rainy Thursday. And of course I'm back in this very familiar corner of our office, where the raindrops on the glass windows look both melancholic and beautiful.

Friday, September 21, 2012

40 years later, Martial Law is "back"

Forty years ago today, then-President Ferdinand Marcos signed Proclamation No. 1081, effectively declaring the entire Philippines under Martial Law (According to Wikipedia, it was actually signed on Sept. 17 but was postdated to Sept. 21 because of Marcos's superstitions and numerology beliefs.). It was formally announced to the public on Sept. 23 on live television.


Widely considered to be of the darkest periods in Philippine history, Martial Law was used to silence critics of the Marcos government. Many dissenters were arrested and incarcerated, one of whom was Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, Jr., father of current sitting President of the Republic, Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III.

Interestingly, on Sept. 12, 2012, Noynoy signed into law Republic Act No. 10175, otherwise known as the "Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012," which is, according to Section 31 of the same law, to take effect "fifteen (15) days after the completion of its publication in the Official Gazette or in at least two (2) newspapers of general circulation."


Online or cyber libel
While there is virtually no opposition to the law as far as "known" cybercrimes such as hacking, cyber fraud, identity theft, and even cybersex and online pornography go, there is much uproar over the inclusion of "online libel" as one of its punishable acts [Chapter II, Sec. 4(c)(4)], which many believe is an assault to freedom of speech and internet freedom in general, and that it will only be used to silence critics of the current administration. Yes, libel is now read in the same breadth as cybersex and child pornography! As such, RA 10175 has already been nicknamed by some as the "e-Martial Law."

Saturday, September 15, 2012

[Lookbook 09.14.2012] Rainy days and Fridays and faux layering


It sure was a rainy day yesterday, a perfect time to layer. Well, not so much outside but indoors in the office. But, but, but...I went with the lazy route. If there are, say, products like shampoo and conditioner in one, there sure is a shirt, cardigan and scarf all rolled into one outfit as well. And I'm wearing one.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The warrior, the pussy cat, and The Phantom of the Opera

I'm obviously still not over The Phantom of the Opera. Through its 25 years many stars have come and gone playing the characters of this excellent musical (you can check out show schedules over at Main Event Specials). But did you know that Nicole Sherzinger -- yes, the Pussycat Doll Nicole -- can sing the part of Christine? Watch this:

Unbelievable, right? Who knew she could sing like that, that she could hit those seriously high notes? It's really funny how "packaging" can affect our view of artists and other celebrities. Sometimes we really don't know what "hidden talents" these celebrities have, and when we do get to see or hear them, we're instantly surprised.

Take for instance Gerard Butler -- yes, the buff, six-pack-baring guy yelling "Sparta!" in 300.  He sings, too! And in case this flew under your radar, he was the Phantom in the movie adaptation of the acclaimed musical.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

[Lookbook 09.07.2012] Nautically military / Militarily nautical


This was last Friday's outfit, which I've unearthed from my closet (the top that is). It's a study in confusion: a tad nautical-inspired in style but very military in color. Normally when we say nautical, we automatically think of blue.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

[Lookbook 09.05.2012] Not so royal in royal blue


The day started wet and gloomy. It's that kind of weather that makes you want to just stay home in bed all day. But I gotta work. Outfit-wise, I thought a sweater would be perfect for the weather.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Sen. Tito Sotto tries a different plagiarism trick by using translation

Tito Sotto, the benevolent plagiarist-senator, does it again. There seems to be no stopping the man from plagiarizing the works of others. Likewise, there seems to be no amount of convincing or pressure that would make this man admit to such act.

This time, however, Sotto (okay, his staff) ditched the all-too-obvious copy-and-paste in favor of working his brain a little bit -- by translating parts of the late Robert F. Kennedy's speech into Filipino and of course, make it appear as if it were his own. I can't help but admire the senator's dedication and steadfastness in digging up his own grave.

tito sotto - rfk
[Source] -- So I won't be accused of plagiarism myself :)

If you're having a hard time reading the text, you can check this blog post here.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Phantom of the Opera: A must-see (Manila run extended!)

My Bibe and I finally caught Andrew Lloyd Webber's celebrated The Phantom of the Opera at the CCP last Sunday, and I haven't really gotten rid of the tunes in my head ever since. It's no secret that the musical is one helluva masterpiece but to get to watch it and experience it firsthand is just a totally different thing on many levels. It was purely awesome!

Entering the theater, it was already palpable from the the stage alone -- even with the curtains closed -- that this was going to be a spectacular production. We're definitely fortunate that the Phantom is being staged here in Manila not as a local production but as part of an international tour, where nothing is compromised in terms of production value. (I know some local artists are decrying the onslaught of all these foreign acts and productions but hey, if you can come up with something like this, we just might pay to watch you. Give us something worth watching.)

A view of the stage during the break. 

I had goosebumps from the Overture alone. As that familiar Phantom theme played and the famous chandelier was lit and slowly suspended in midair, we were also given a glimpse into what a labyrinth the stage was. The late Maria Björnson's set design was truly a masterpiece. I was always in awe at how complicated it was -- what with those multiple ornate set pieces -- and yet at the same time, how seamless the transitions were between the sets. One minute we're at the opera, then in a blink of an eye we're backstage, then we're in Christine's room, then we're in the Phantom's lair, then there was just more and more and more...whew! Precision timing, people!

phantom 01
The underground lake scene, when Christine is whisked away from her room by the Phantom. [Photo source]

Monday, September 3, 2012

United Colors of Benetton Fall/Winter 2012

It seems like United Colors of Benetton has been flying under my radar for so long now, like I've completely forgotten about them. I stumbled upon their site lately, though, and was instantly wowed. True to its name, there were lots of colors and I am loving their Fall/Winter 2012 collection so much, particularly their knits.


I know fall and winter are absolutely non-existent here in the Philippines but by the looks of it, Benetton has got some pieces that I can definitely wear here -- at least to work, where the airconditioning is on overdrive. Like I mentioned, their knits are tops on my list. From straight-out sweaters, to double-breasted and toggle designs, I love the colors, the patterns, and the consistently trim fit.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Emoticons definitely ain't dead

Yeah, you may think that smileys, frownies, and all those other so-called emoticons are dead. But are they? Think of it. Haven't you used even the simplest of smileys when texting, replying to an email, or even commenting on Facebook? A couple of them are even built into your Android keypad.

So again, are those cutesy little round, yellow things really dead?

Screen shot 2012-09-01 at 1.48.29 AM

In this day and age nearly everything is done in shortcut. LOL. LMAO. BTW. IMHO. We can hardly even spell (but that's another story). Emoticons, especially animated ones, somehow fill a gap in all our shortcut conversations. When we're afraid we might be misconstrued, we automatically add a smiley. A kiss emoticon also sometimes says it all already.
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