Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Mad Hatter's tea party

After yesterday's "red carpet event" at the office, a couple of us thought of "culturing up" today with a mid-morning tea.

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I must admit, the whole thing looks so contrived. Well, someone recently gave a colleague this china tea set and we thought we'd ditch our mugs and have tea together in these fancy little cups. Too bad we didn't have scones, french macaroons or madeleines. Instead, someone made a quick dash to a 7 Eleven. Else we ruin the fancy setup, I plated the biscuits, cookies and crackers that they bought.

Now, time to pour us some tea.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

[Lookbook 03.29.2012] The blues on the "red carpet" and the case of the diagonally clipped tie bar

Oh wow, a red carpet event!

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Nah. If I were on an actual red carpet event I wouldn't be in this outfit. I mean, I'm not in a suit or a tux? Common! This was actually just at the office today. Our department had our annual Rewards and Recognition (R&R) program and the committee set up a photo wall for us. Nice!

Convenience in logo design

A friend just recently harped his newly-designed "personal" logo, and I thought it was cool. On the other hand, it also got me into thinking about the many "bad" logos out there. A logo is, without a doubt, vital to any company or organization, especially from a marketing perspective. It represents an organization or a brand, and should therefore have recall. Just the mere sight of that yellow double arches symbol tells you that it's McDonald's, or that apple with a portion bitten off is, well, Apple.

Designing a logo for a company can be a complete headache. Thankfully there are companies out there that offer such services, saving anyone all the hassle and the headache. Logo Design Works is one such company, with the added advantage of affording clients the convenience of transacting online.

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Facilitating the requirements gathering phase alone saves time when done online, with Logo Design Works leveraging on their industry experience and coming up with standard packages and questionnaires to get an idea or feel of what the client is looking for. In the logo design process, the client is assigned a team of designers, each submitting two drafts for evaluation, which is already streamlined based on the initial information obtained. Revisions are welcome until the client is satisfied.

Pottermore opens shop

The Pottermore Shop is now open for business. After being out of my radar practically since after I was sorted in Slytherin, the Harry Potter experience site is revving up its engines once again. Not long ago the site closed for a week-long maintenance, so I guess it's back.

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As promised by the now-billionaire author J.K. Rowling, the Pottermore Shop carries digital versions of the much-loved Harry Potter books. The e-books cost $ 7.99 for the first three installments and $ 9.99 for The Goblet of Fire onward. Digital audio books are also available at $ 29.99 for the first three books and $ 44.99 for the last four. A 10% discount is likewise offered to those getting the full collection.

The e-books are compatible with virtually most devices and reading services. For the full list, click here.

Now I forgot my password.

http://shop.pottermore.com/en_US

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Goin' bananas with Aldo's S/S 2012 campaign

Aldo's new campaign for Spring/Summer 2012 really made me smile. I mean, look at this:

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I thought I've been watching too much mini-movies and teasers featuring those "Minions" from Despicable Me, but no, those are bananas I'm seeing. Featuring top model Mat Gordon, the campaign was shot by renowned photographer Terry Richardson. The resulting images were striking, fun, colorful and vibrant, and they really command attention.

Well, it's not all bananas, though.

Monday, March 26, 2012

[Lookbook 03.26.2012] Mismatching

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I'm not normally comfortable straying too far from the usual color combinations out there. In the case of my outfit today, I would have gone with either blue, black or gray pants with this plaid jacket, as I have several times over. Or if I'm to anchor everything else on the brownish-olive pants, then this jacket would immediately be out. I'd probably have something in brown or black with it.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

[Lookbook 03.23.2012] (Army) Green Lantern

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This was last Friday. Our department, together with some folks from Finance, had a small celebration at Dad's in Glorietta. It was to mark the end of yet another "SOX season." It was just a buffet of merienda staples, mostly Filipino. Nothing much really.

Separated at birth: The Voice's Serra Hill and...

If you've been watching The Voice, you probably know who Serra Hill is. She was the last contestant to make it through the blind auditions and therefore complete Christina Aguilera's team. Well, the "sassy diva" also got past the battle rounds and is now headed for the live shows.

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Serra Hill

But the moment I saw her, she reminded me so much of someone, a local celebrity here in the Philippines...

Friday, March 23, 2012

I wanna go back to: SALA Phuket Resort and Spa

Back in June 2010 when My Bibe and I vacationed in Thailand, we did Phuket and then Ko Phi Phi. Going back to Bangkok from Phi Phi meant traveling by ferry back to Phuket first. We thought it was too much travel in one day so we decided to spend just one more night in Phuket. There are several beaches to choose from and we picked yet another quiet spot, Mai Khao, which was closer to the airport than were the other beaches.

We were spoiling ourselves a bit at the time and booked a Garden Pool Villa at SALA Phuket Resort and Spa. Having your own private pool didn't actually come cheap, but we were glad we did it.

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A beachfront section of the resort, with one of two swimming pools in view.

Here's an account of our experience at SALA Phuket and see why it's one of those places I wanna go back to:

Reservation and booking
This was done online, so there was absolutely no hassle. Confirmation was emailed promptly as well. Upon booking you get to choose your toiletries and if I'm not mistaken, the type of pillows you want. At this point you can also arrange your airport transfers for your convenience but with applicable charges, of course.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Phantom of the Opera in Manila

Finally, the musical My Bibe and I have been longing to see, The Phantom of the Opera, will be staged here in Manila! The thing is, it won't be opening until August 25, so it's going to be months of waiting still.

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Andrew Lloyd Webber's opus will run from August 25 through September 16 at the CCP Main Theater. But you think if demand is high, they'll extend, like what happened with Mamma Mia? Let's see.

Pre-selling exclusive to Infinity (Powered by Smart) subscribers and Citibank cardholders is ongoing (since March 19) until April 30 at TicketWorld Manila. Regular selling starts May 1. Ticket prices are (in PHP) 7,280 | 6,032 | 4,680 | 3,640 | 2,340 | 1,820.

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You can read my review here. Well, it's more like gushing actually. :)

Eugene Domingo shows Asia how an acceptance speech is done

First of all, congratulations to Ms Eugene Domingo for winning the People's Choice for Favorite Actress at the 6th Asian Film Awards! Yes, the category is a popularity contest but she was also nominated in the Best Actress category for her work in Ang Babae sa Septic Tank (The Woman in the Septic Tank), so let's give her some credence there.

While her winning may arguably just be due to the Filipinos' penchant for overzealous online and text voting (Read: Underground River, Ms Photogenic category in the Miss Universe pageant, etc.), her acceptance of the award, however, brought the house down. She was at her most candid and funniest onstage, leaving an enraptured audience in stitches. Just watch the clip and you'll know what I mean.


Now that's how an acceptance speech should be! I wonder, why does everyone have to be so boring with their Thank yous?

By the way, Ms Domingo, thank you for acknowledging the Filipinos' talent for texting. I voted for you and I feel so proud.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

[Lookbook 03.21.2012] Plaid and simple

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After watching Chris Mann rock a plaid tie in the blind auditions of The Voice (see here), I remember having one myself and thought of wearing it. It's been weeks now and finally, I'm wearing it today.

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Because the tie, being plaid, is already prominent, I kept everything else simple and solid with a plain white shirt and gray pants. I also went for a slightly relaxed look by keeping my shirt's collar unbuttoned, adjusting the tie in the process because I didn't want it to extend way below my belt line.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Man of style: Matt Bomer

He's that con artist-turned-FBI consultant in TV's White Collar. Although I'm not an avid viewer, I was instantly drawn to how Matt Bomer's character, Neal Caffrey, dressed up. He was always sharply dressed, mostly in suits.

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GQ would be very approving of this getup.

His suits always fit him perfectly, with everything close to the body and his pants with just about the right length. He's mostly seen wearing a tie bar and cufflinks, and of course, his trademark fedora. Check out some of his looks in the series:

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Urban Escape: Memo's Summer 2012 collection

Memo has just recently posted photos of their Summer 2012 collection called Urban Escape. Comfort is the name of the game, with simple yet stylish enough workwear pieces that are perfect for the scorching summer heat. While the collection observably veered away from color, it's grounded on khakis and other neutrals, which are still perfectly acceptable in this weather.

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An apology from Sheridan Beach Resort & Spa

This is about my experience a month ago at Sheridan Beach Resort & Spa in Sabang, Puerto Princesa, Palawan, of which I wrote about in length in this blog. It wasn't all bad, to be honest, but after writing an overdue review in TripAdvisor last week, I emailed them to point out some areas they should address and improve on.

I wasn't expecting it but they emailed me a letter of apology signed by Mr Edgardo Tongco, their Corporate General Manager, which I'm publishing in full.

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Thank you to Sheridan's Management for the reply. Now I'm looking forward to have these kinks ironed out because it really is a shame since their resort is really beautiful. I hope this will no longer be the case on my next visit.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Boracay and all its crazy ordinances

A couple of weeks ago I read on Red Pirates Pub's Facebook page that the Mayor's office had demanded that their beach garden be chopped down. Apparently, they were conducting a sweep of the beachfront to rid it of illegal permanent structures like shacks, gazebos, wooden buildings, and the like. But plants?

Red Pirates is tucked away into the far reaches of Station 3, away from the maddening crowd. It's a nice place with a laid-back vibe that it felt like I was not in Boracay at all. They have a nice little garden fronting the pub, which is a much-welcome refuge from all the chaos in the island. I don't have a proper photo of the garden but this is what a section of it looks like:

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Thankfully the folks at Red Pirates have managed to get copies of these ordinances, with which they argued their case. Plants and shrubbery are in no way mentioned as illegal. In fact, the related ordinance states that preservation of trees and plants is mandatory.

It's just crazy how Boracay's local government is coming up with these stupid resolutions and how the people tasked to ensure their implementation are even more stupid. Not that I'm against everything; ordinances like the prohibition of smoking on the beach actually sits fine with me (and that's coming from a smoker).

Johnny Depp as a vampire: Campy and awesome

I just caught the trailer for the upcoming Tim Burton movie Dark Shadows, a new take on the 1960s/'70s gothic soap opera of the same name. An obvious favorite of the director, Johnny Depp plays Barnabas Collins who was turned into a vampire by a jealous witch in the 18th century and was unearthed in 1972.

I don't really know anything about the original soap but I'm loving the dark comedy and campiness evident in the trailer and I personally don't care if it doesn't stay true to the original. Also, after seeing a thousand and one vampire reinventions in recent times, it's a breath of fresh air to have a bloodsucker of the classic and campy mold once again. And Depp fits the bill perfectly.


Dark Shadows also stars Eva Green, Michelle Pfeiffer and Helena Bonham-Carter, among others. It opens this summer.

Friday, March 16, 2012

[Lookbook 03.16.2012] My dismal attempt at 'Noynoying'

In the same stupid mold as planking, owling and Tebowing, now comes "Noynoying," an irreverent jab at the Philippine president's supposed laziness and inaction. A play on his nickname NoynoyNoynoying enjoys a variety of poses that depict his not doing anything but is mostly characterized by a slouchy posture, a dead stare with mouth agape, or a hand supporting one side of the face (best if you can drool!).

Well, I tried Noynoying for this lookbook post but the photos didn't quite turn out as what I'd wanted them to be. I kinda suck at it, to be honest. Guess I need more practice.

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Eventually I bailed out and defaulted to my usual lookbook poses. It's Friday and I was enjoying the sunny vibe of my outfit.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Zooming in on the fantasy world of ants

I came across some really awesome photos today featuring of all things -- ants. They're the clever work of Russian photographer Andrey Paplov, who, while recovering from a spinal injury, began reading a lot about them. He later fashioned some props and photographed them in action.

The resulting photographs were impressive, awesome and cute all at once. Deprived of enjoying fairy tales in his childhood, Pavlov has now created his own fairy tales with these under-appreciated ants. It also helped that he had a theater background and the minuscule sets he painstakingly created have undoubtedly worked wonders.

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Team fishing!

Free summer tote from Regatta

Regatta is giving away a summer tote worth Php 1,295 for every regular-priced jeans or chinos and boat shoes single-receipt purchase worth Php 2,495. The promo runs from March 14 to 25 in all Regatta stores nationwide.

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I honestly haven't tried their jeans or chinos yet but the offer is quite tempting. The tote seems perfect for the beach this summer.

At least one is sorry

(This is an update on yesterday's post, Today: A double whammy in irresponsible journalism.)

After a barrage of criticisms online, and after the Philippine Daily Inquirer posted an apology on Facebook and on their website, the paper showed they really meant their apology and just how I wanted it to be -- by publishing it on their front page today. Yay!

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I now rest my case, with the Inquirer at least. Arnold Clavio, on the other hand, remains unapologetic and cocky.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Today: A double whammy in irresponsible journalism

What a day! Filipino netizens were (and still are) up in arms today over two journalistic booboos: one by a leading broadsheet and another by an anchor of a leading TV station.

Sensationalism
First off was the unabashedly tasteless and insensitive montage of Demetrio Vicente, the 70 year-old witness from the defense panel of the ongoing impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona, published by the Philippine Daily Inquirer. The caption read: "Character witness: The many faces of Demetrio Vicente on the witness stand. He's no ordinary witness after all. He's the cousin of the Chief Justice whose wife sold him seven parcels of land in 1990, where he now grows bonsai."

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Vicente testified yesterday, March 13, on the purchase of seven parcels of land from the Chief Justice's wife, which the prosecution alleges was not declared in Corona's Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN), the subject of Article II of the impeachment case.

Triple cover for GQ's April 2012 issue

GQ Magazine just announced that they're coming up with their first-ever style bible this April. And with that comes three different covers featuring:

Dave Franco
James Franco's little brother is joining Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill in the upcoming action-comedy 21 Jump Street. Frankly I don't know much about him but I think he's slowly making a name for himself now.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

[Lookbook 03.13.2012] Summer rain

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Just as when we were bracing for the scorching heat of summer, it rained. Crazy weather, really. So instead of me going for thin and breathable fabrics, I brought a jacket because office temperatures can get really cold when it's raining. Again, crazy.

Man of style: Steven Tyler

What? Yes, Steven Tyler. He obviously does not fit the bill of the suited type or the GQ man but hey, the man's got style. And he's got swag, baby!

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Since joining American Idol, Tyler, together with fellow judge Jennifer Lopez, have glammed up the singing competition with their flair for fashion (forget Randy; he's hopeless). And I am more than happy to wait for what he's gonna wear each episode.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

I wanna go back to: Apo Reef

One of the Philippines's top dive sites is Apo Reef in Mindoro Occidental, which should not be confused with Apo Island in Dumaguete. Renowned for its atoll-like reef, which, at 34 square kilometers, is said to be the second-largest in the world, Apo Reef is truly a diver's paradise.

Though I did it once, I don't really dive. Nevertheless, while we were at Pandan Island back in April 2007, My Bibe and I thought we'd be happy with just snorkeling and went on a day trip to Apo Reef. I mean, with a view like this one below, how can you resist not going there?

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A view midway to the top of the lighthouse on Apo Reef.

It may be a coral reef system but it's not all sea and corals here; there's actually a small island on top of it (three, in fact), which affords divers and non-divers alike a place to camp and sunbathe. A protected area and national park, tours to Apo Island are managed and controlled by the Sablayan local government. Lucky for us, Pandan Island Resort arranged everything for us.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Man of style: The Voice's Chris Mann

Without a doubt there are a lot of good singers on The Voice, but this classically-trained guy who sings with an operatic voice caught my attention. Sure Chris Mann of Team Xtina has this great voice but I also noticed he was all suited-up during the blind auditions. Fast forward to the battle round, he wore a suit jacket to rehearsals. Rehearsals, baby, rehearsals! I thought, okay, this certainly is how he dresses.

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During the battle round, however, it wasn't a suit that he wore but a leather jacket, a purple tie and maroon pants. So the guy isn't strictly the suit-and-tie type after all. I thought it played a part in his trying to heed his coach's advice to loosen up. Nevertheless, he looked good.

[Lookbook 03.09.2012] Tattered and untucked

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I don't normally wear collared long-sleeved shirts on a Friday. After all, it's that day of the week when you've got the perfect excuse to wear jeans and a t-shirt. So I don't know what's gotten into me. But the shirt isn't really the formal type because for one, it's got a band underneath each sleeve so you can fold and fasten it to a button, also on each sleeve. I decided not to anyway. Second, it's got a playful double collar.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

[Lookbook 03.07.2012] Casual summer chic

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There's no denying it; summer is here. And yesterday the heat inspired me to wear something reminiscent of resort wear even if I was just at the office.

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I wanna go back to: Pandan Island

I'm definitely feeling the heat, and it's automatically transmitting signals to my tiny brain that summer is here, and that it's high time for vacations -- to the beach especially. This got me all of a sudden into a reminiscing mode, recalling the many places I've been to that I want to visit again and share with you. I'm calling it the "I wanna go back to" series.

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First off is the tiny island of Pandan in Mindoro Occidental that My Bibe and I first visited in April of 2007. It's a small outcrop just a few meters into the sea from the mainland in Sablayan, a mere 10 to 15-minute boat ride, where a small resort operates.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Athletenique: Rajo Laurel's Spring/Summer 2012 collection

Rajo Laurel, one of my favorite designers in the Philippine fashion scene, is launching his Spring/Summer 2012 collection on Saturday, March 10. Dubbed Athletenique, the collection is, as the designer puts it, his reaction to his current philosophy that "fitness is fashion."

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Laurel is giddy about this new collection, even calling it "one of the most exciting collections he has ever dreamed of" in his blog. Athletenique is a fusion of athletics and ethnicity, so the pieces are mostly sportswear-oriented. The prints and patterns, meanwhile, are responsible for the ethnicity or tribal aspect of the collection -- but certainly not in a literal sense.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

H.E. by Mango: S/S 2012 lookbook

I'm pretty sure I haven't been living in a cave but I honestly have never heard of an existing men's line for Mango up until now. Homini Emerito, or H.E. by Mango, is the Spanish label's men's line, and I never knew it's been in existence since 2008. At least I do now.

I don't know if H.E. is available in Mango stores here in the Philippines because their website only pointed me to a few countries in Asia, among them Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand. Anyway, I found a lot of great pieces, particularly from their Spring/Summer 2012 lookbook in which top model Noah Mills is featured.

I thought the suits are good, be they classic plain or patterned ones. I love the slim fit, of course. And oh, I see a real bow tie there; you know, the one you literally have to tie in a bow. Finding one here can be quite frustrating.

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There are also blazers with elbow patches, which some purists detest but something I welcome. There are also some great knits and cardigans in the collection.

Call It Spring S/S 2012 campaign

Just saw Call It Spring's latest campaign for Spring/Summer 2012, and I find them cute. I love the seemingly carefree attitude and treatment of the photographs.

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There are some items I see that I also like here. I do like the shorts and their fun shirts. Blazer and cardigan, too.

Friday, March 2, 2012

[Lookbook 03.02.2012] Cargo comfort

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And just like that the week is over. It was a nice day, sunny and all that. It was nice to just step out in the sun even for a short while, even when I'm not on the beach, even when I'm just on the rooftop of our building. Oh, summer.

Today I went against fit, opting for something loose and comfy instead. At least one colleague thought I didn't look my usual self. Do I not?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

[Lookbook 02.29.2012] Blue and gray on a sunny day

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Just clowning around, doing the "Angelina leg" here. The Oscar-winning actress sure did something that had people talking, and how quick for it to become a meme. Whatever, I still like her although I must agree that she needs to eat. She's just far too thin right now. I guess that's what six kids can do.

It was a bright and sunny "leap day" yesterday, as have the past few days been. It's that kind of weather that always has me wishing I were in a beach somewhere (I wouldn't mind going back to Sheridan in Sabang). After going all floral last Monday, I went the dark route here.
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