Recommended Reading:

Thursday, September 30, 2010

I'm super excited for this Saturday. I've been hearing great things about the Ronac Art's Center but I've never had the chance to go. They're having a bazaar with a mix of young Pinoy brands so I'm sure there are lot of quirky Filipino gifts to choose from. Do drop by and say hi. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Artwork is a brand that comes up with artsy fartsy wearables. This is one shop I find a lot of surprisingly fun clothes and awesome t-shirts. Some of them are Filipino themed too. They're having a contest for new designs with the prizes being:

Grand Prize: MacBook- 13.3” laptop
Second prize: - PHP 15,000
Third Prize: - PHP 7,000
7 Finalists: PHP 3,000 each
Arteest’s Choice Award: PHP 3,000

Mechanics on how to join:
1. Open to artists from 13 to 30 years old. 
2. Register at any Artwork branch nationwide with a PHP 120 fee to receive a plain Happy t-shirt and an entry form. 
3. Use any technique (such as silkscreening, hand painting, quilting, mixed media, appliqués, tie dye, distress, etc.) for your design. 
3. Submit your HAPPY T-shirt/entry with a filled out entry form and attach a photocopy of your birth certificate. Take them to Artwork branch where you registered. 
4. Only one entry per person.
5. All entries must be submitted on or before the closing hour of each store on October 31, 2010.

I was thinking about linking their site but I can't seem to connect to it. 
Better to just visit their stores in the mall nearest you!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Last July, I wrote a post about a contest Alliance Francaise de Manille was having for photographers. The prize was a trip to Paris to be part of an international exhibition about world youth. I just found out that they had chosen a winner. Congratulations Ms. Minda Monica Ponce!

Here are Ms. Minda Ponce's winning photos:

Hope Amidst Chaos
photo taken in Subico, a municipality in Zamboanga City (Mindanao, Philippines)

Living the life 
Kean, vocalist of Callalily, a famous Filipino band

Thanks to Alliance Francaise de Manille and Silverlens Gallery for holding this competition.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Another great week for Philippine advertising. Metal parade! Woohoo!

Gold for Bates 141  

Gold For DM9 JaymeSyfu

Gold for Young Creatives of TBWA-SMP

 Bronze for BBDO- Guerrero Proximity

 Bronze for BBDO- Guerrero Proximity

Thursday, September 23, 2010

This is a video of the Galleon Andalucia, a full replica of the Manila galleons that used to sail from Acapulco to Manila as early as 1565. Now, it's on its way back to Manila Bay as the Philippines hosts the International Dia del Galeon Festival 2010: History, Heritage, Habitat, and Language starting October 5. I'm actually very curious to get aboard this ancient vessel. I want to ask the Captain how it's like to control of a large multi-decked ship that's powered only by the wind. It would be pretty cool if they're also limited to using the technologies available in the 1500s but that's probably not possible. How would they blog on board?

Kudos to UNESCO for spearheading the Day of the Galleon as way to pay tribute to this crucial trade route that fostered exchanges among 32 communities, which include the Asian countries of Japan, China, Borneo, Malaysia, Vietnam (to name a few). For over 250 years, the Philippine port was an integral part of global commerce encouraging the mingling of cultures between the East to the West.

Find out more by checking out these events:

September 20 to October 8
Venues: National Museum, National Historical Commission , DOT WOW Clamshell Intramuros
A three-week interdisciplinary festival of workshops, demonstrations, exhibits, and performances with participants from the Philippines and all the continents with the Galleon Trade experience Participants (artists and cultural workers) include 40 from abroad and 100 from the Philippines.
 ·           Workshops on arts and heritage
 ·           Collaborative workshops on cultural exchange
 ·           Theatrical production of Miguel Sabido's Juana la Loca
 ·           Literary and visual art exhibits

October 5: De la Salle University, Taft
October 6: University of Sto. Tomas, Manila
A forum organized by the Philippine Academic Consortium of Latin American Studies, which will bring together scholars to share current research.   This year's theme is "The Bicentennial of the Independence of Latin American Nations."
 ·           The emergence of Latin American identities including the role of culture and language in nationhood
 ·           Independence movements, personalities, and leaders
 ·           Post-Colonial Development, including national and regional histories
 ·           Parallelism in the Philippines
Results of the ARTES TALLERES will be showcased in this conference as modular artistic models showcasing themes on the Galleon Phenomenon (Then and Now) and on the Independence Movements of nations impacted by the Galleon Trade.

October 6 to 8
A harvest of performances and media arts modules reflecting on the themes of the Galleon Trade through its history and impact. It will include multi-cultural performances, with a climatic production of Juana la Loca by Mexican playwright Miguel Sabido. The play will fuse Spanish and Filipino languages in a unique intercultural dialogue involving a multinational cast.
A replica of the 17th Century Galleon from Spain will dock in the Manila Pier for public viewing. Guests can climb aboard and view the traveling museum.

October 8
An intercultural dialogue and culminating activity for workshop participants and guests. This will include presentations, creative industry exhibits, and declarations for unified action on the themes and impact of the Galleon Trade.
Major resolutions and artistic results will be highlighted by special messages from the Heads of State of the three main countries of Spain, the Philippines, and Mexico. This special program will be beamed in a simultaneous international broadcast.

October 8 to 11
A four-day educational trip from Manila to Cebu with on-board activities and tours around Cebu. The conference and workshop participants will lead the activities, to be shared to youth passengers.
 ·           On-board seminars, interactive performances, exhibits
 ·           On-land Galleon Trade significance re-enactments, city and heritage tours

A series of commemorative events and gestures will be programmed to provide focus and emphasis to this international celebration.
 ·           Commemorative Stamp displaying the Galleon Trade route
 ·           Bilingual declamation and oratorical contests
 ·           Pilgrimage to the 35 Philippine heritage churches

For more information log onto, email or call 527-2192 local 616.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Charice Then 

Even at the age of 12, Charice had the pipes of a diva. This video of her in what seems like a karaoke bar proves it. Recently, she sang this very same song, "Listen" during the first episode of Glee Season 2. The tune hit no. 1 on iTunes sales. People on the internet are also saying that her version topples Beyonce's original recording any day. But all that boast-worthy info aside, it was pure fun watching Glee. The episode was tight, well-written, and exciting. Killer zingers by Sue Sylvester and a very memorable abs appearance by Mike Chang. Charice, the singing Pacquio of the Philippines, making a guest appearance was merely icing on the cake. Her acting needs some polishing but is not unforgivable. Her singing of the song, "Listen" during the auditions was poignant after you learn about her story. It gives you goosebumps not only because she's got a 10-octave voice but because you hear the truth in her singing. 

Well, for all your hardships Charice. Congratulations. The world is listening now.

Charice Now

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I did a feature for the Philippine Daily Inquirer  on the student winners of Manila Design Week's Digital Voice Wall- a competition for aspiring designers in college. The students' 100 artworks showed the Filipino issues that moved the youth the most. I found out today that the organizers, Team Manila, decided to post the entries and give out prizes to those who got the most clicks. Just LIKE Team Manila Lifestyle on Facebook so you can vote for your choice.

Here's a sampling of the impressive student works:

As a child, I grew up with the belief that Ferdinand Marcos was evil and Cory Aquino was good. Stories of the courage of the EDSA Revolution and People Power affected me greatly often times moving me to tears. Videos like these about the atrocities of the martial law enraged me. 

But having grown up some, I realized that nothing can ever be that black or white. It made me wonder why my lola harbor fond memories of martial law and why do older people go as far as wanting that kind of rule back.  It made me question if Marcos was really as corrupt and hateful as the media now portrays him to be? And for all the ridicule and griping directed towards Imelda Marcos, I wonder if people have forgotten that she is responsible for putting up the CCP, the Lung Center, and the Heart Center. In my blogging about Philippine culture, I often research using an old encyclopedia entitled, "Filipino Heritage", a series commissioned by Imelda. I don't want to change anyone's opinions about the Marcoses but we owe it to ourselves as Filipinos to learn about what really happened then.

I just finished James Hamilton-Paterson's biography of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos entitled, "America's Boy". The book posits that Marcos's rise to power was largely due to the endorsement and encouragement of the United States. From the very beginning, the U.S. aided in covering up his fake war heroism even awarding him medals that he did not earn. America gave him financial backing in the elections, supported his declaration of martial law, and even offered him and his family safe passage to Hawaii when things went sour. The author believes that it was only after America told him to, "to cut and cut cleanly" (meaning to get the hell out of the Phillipines) did he actually let go of power. Overall, the book is expectedly biased since the author is American. But it is also useful to hear about an outsider's opinion. It allowed me to see Ferdinand and Imelda as real people, with ambitions and flaws. It provoked thoughts about their intentions for doing what they did. And what exactly it is that they did in their 21 years of power. One of the things that struck me was this quote from the inaugural speech of Ferdinand Marcos in 1965.

"The Filipino has lost his soul and his courage. 
Our people have come to the point of despair. Justice and security are myths. Our government is gripped in the iron hand of venality, its treasury is barren, its resources are wasted, its civil service slothful and indifferent. Not one hero alone do I ask, but many."

I guess I find it disturbing because it seems that we're still facing the same problems we had in 1965.
38 years after martial law and we have not gotten back up. Now is the time to lick our wounds and get back into the fight. Perhaps Bobit Savila has the right idea.

Monday, September 20, 2010

I've been mulling over whether or not I should go to Greenwich and buy pizzas just so I can get the Eraserheads Box Set. I'm still undecided. But I definitely think this is a nifty Christmas gift idea for any Pinoy rocker. This tin can contains the hits of the now defunct Eraserheads- considered the Beatles of the Philippines.

The Eraserheads: The Heads Set. 
(I appreciate the play on words. Really, I do.)

Personally, I came of age with their album Circus. It was just mind-blowing. I remember listening to that cassette over and over again.  The first gig I went to as a teenager was an E-heads concert. I bought all their albums, even their experimental Christmas album along with the book accompaniment. When they had their first (supposedly last) reunion concert, I was at the VIP section. The only reason why I'm thinking twice about this is because I have to eat a ton of pizza do get it, and I'm quite loyal to Pizza Hut. Sorry. It had to be said.   

The story of the Eraserheads is sad but not uncommon with bands who hit the big time. They started out as a naive young college act, blossoming into a Pinoy phenomenon, that broke up at the height of their career because of creative differences and personal issues. But they lasted a good 13 years,  from 1989-2002. And now, two of them are still very active in the scene. Former frontman Ely Buendia is the vocalist for Pupil and former drummer Raymond Marasigan is the vocalist for Sandwich. It's great that they've found their place but it's left a lot of E-heads pining for more.  

Now, you can have all their works for the price of 3 pizzas, 3 large drinks, 3 bigatin meals, and 30,000 calories. But for that you will be rewarded with digitally remastered classics. 10 albums total plus
a DVD on the E-heads adventures throughout the years entitled, "Pop-u-mentary". It also has a commemorative tee, a photo memento book, and lyrics. 
(Ultraelectromagneticpop!, Circus, Cutterpillow, Fruitcake, Bananatype EP
Stickerhappy, Aloha Milkyway, Natin 99, Carbon Stereoxide, Dirty Little Treasures)

Find out the details on how to get your own here. Thanks to Noisy Noisy Man for the photos and for the timely review. I totally agree with him. This is a steal for its price. And if you grew up on the E-heads like I did, you'll want to have this. I just wished that Greenwich would also organize an Eraserheads Box Set signing. That would just seal the deal.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Charice Pempengco, the little singing wonder of the Philippines, has made major waves internationally. First she wowed the public on Ellen and Oprah and then she had that little cameo on that rodent movie and then she had a hit single, "Pyramid". She's all over the place. Now she's part of the cast of the super popular American series, Glee. (Premiering its 2nd season on Tuesday, September 21.)

But did you know that there's a musical sensation even tinier than Charice that's quietly taking the world by storm. Meet Mistula. Standing less than 2 feet tall, they're the world's first doll band and they have internet hits in U.S. and in the U.K. They have human and doll fans from all over the globe. Personally,  I'm a fan of their undying patriotism (and killer fashion sense). True to their nature as the Philippine's first virtual band, they only sing in Filipino with a crew powered by Philippine creative heavyweights Joey and Rey Tiempo. Here's an interview they did for QTV:

I got to chat with the bandleader and drummer, Lugosi, and he answered some of my pressing questions.

1. Are you guys Filipino? Aren't you all Japanese?

Foreign in mold, Filipinos at heart. Us boys were made in Japan and Manx, in Korea, but it is in the Philippines where we were given life, where we were essentially "born".

Band Members: Lobo, Bella Lugosi, Manx Minuet, and Uno

2. Mistula's songs reflect a deep love for the country? Where is that passion coming from?

We believe you can only be truly passionate about something if you know it dearly. And as Filipinos, being Filipino is what we know best. We aren't going to pretend we understand other cultures because we don't. You won't catch us singing about "oppa" that's for sure.

3. What does Mistula think of our new president? What he said during the SONA? Are you all inspired this 2010?

We think our new president represents one of the most important steps we, as a nation, have taken in recent years. His State of the Nation Address has got to be the first honest assessment of the country's situation that we've heard in a very long time. It's not all roses, that's quite evident. But for once, the sense of "hope" - that general feeling of optimism which was very successfully extinguished by past administrations, can once again be felt. And that leaves us very inspired.

4. Can you talk a bit about Mistula's new single to help the victims of Ondoy?

After the series of devastating typhoons we experienced last year, we found it odd that all relief efforts were focusing on the financial and physical side of things, when we are very much known to be a highly spiritual people. So we did something about it. Our new song is a prayer, "Panalangin sa Panahon ng Bagyo", and it's also a church song. We plan to donate it to the church so the choirs can incorporate it during the mass, hopefully, to inspire strength in times of crisis. The whole project has been one huge labor of love for everyone involved. And the outpouring of support from the wonderful, talented individuals who have breathed life into this project has been very inspiring. For updates on the song, please check our official website,

Be a fan and check out their blog. Smoldering pictures combined with well-written stories. Awesome!

Friday, September 17, 2010

This Saturday at 3PM, Ambeth Ocampo will be giving his final talk on the History Comes Alive Series at the Ayala Museum. I've learned a great deal in three short sessions so I'm pretty excited to attend the fourth one. I can now relate with his pupils from the University of the Philippines and the Ateneo who adore his offbeat teaching style. So just to give a taste of tasty historical tidbits I picked up, I listed them down as some of the top things I picked up from Ambeth Ocampo:

1. In the images we have of our heroes, Jose Rizal is always portrayed as the writer, hunched over his desk with his quill.  Andres Bonifacio on the other is brawny and muscular complete with six-pack abs. But he said that it was actually the other way around, Rizal had a body builder's proportion with a perfectly v-shaped back. While Bonifacio was skinny to the point of being sickly.
2. Guillermo Tolentino, a Filipino National Artist for Sculpture, was also a founding member of the Union Espiritista Cristiana de Filipinas. He'd communicate with dead heroes through seances, ask them about themselves in order to get their busts to come out correctly. He even wrote a book, "Si Rizal" where Tolentino has a transcript of him talking to Rizal through a medium.
3. Thomas Edison, the man hailed for inventions like the lightbulb and the phonograph, was also quite the avid filmmaker. He was commissioned by the U.S. government to create propaganda films about the Philippine American War. He showed us some of the clips which were supposedly shot in the Philippines, but actually took place in generic looking jungles in the U.S. using an all-American cast with African Americans playing the Filipinos.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Read up on them on Adobo and Campaign Brief Asia.

Friday, September 10, 2010

I came across these online and I thought I'd share. Worth mulling over this long weekend.

I believe this is an initiative by Team Manila to give young local designers a boost up.

Rogue Magazine wants to sponsor visual artists on the verge. Click here for more details.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Philippines is notoriously known for having the longest Christmas season in the world- spanning from September all the way to January. Right about now, Filipinos are drafting their impressive gift lists which includes everyone they know from their loved ones to their building security guard. With that in mind, I've decided to compile the longest list of absolutely awesome Filipino made Christmas gifts. 

My first recommendation are these great finds from Lucky Monkey. Because men need their bling too, Dante Dizon and Noli Coronado created a line of heavy duty rings. I think they can double as weapons.

Technically, these things are for men. The perfect gift for biker boyfriends and dads who want to relive their days as bad-asses (before they were whipped to submission by their headstrong wives.) But personally, I wouldn't mind getting one. The character and texture of the pieces are so rock 'n' roll. 

Dante is an old friend from advertising and it's inspiring how he's managed to squeeze time from his busy schedule to pursue his passions. This team up with Noli, an established artist/sculptor is pure win. I think there are even ongoing talks between collaborations with Japanese artists. Fantastic. 

Inspired by the hardware on their bikes, the pair created works of wearable art that reflect their rough and ready lifestyle. Dante even said that the blackened finish is inspired by the burnt oil on his bike. For all its grunginess, these pieces don't come cheap. I think they're selling them for P10,000 + -something you need to save up for but worth every penny if it's for that special somebody. 

Order bling for your lucky monkey by emailing Dante and Noli here.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Vinyl On Vinyl Gallery is hosting Re:Vision- an exhibit built on the theme of getting artists to revise something/ anything/ everything they like. A new perspective on the pre-existing. The concept reeks of advertising. Lovet. It does not hurt that the proceeds go to charity. 

See you all tonight (7 September, 2010) at 7274 Collective, Malugay St., Makati.

Exhibiting Artists:

Argem Vinuya
Brandie Tan
Ian Sta. Maria
Ge Madriaga-Mapa
Dale Lopez
Katrina Encanto
Jeck Ebreo

in cooperation with the Rotary Club of Urdaneta
for the benefit of children's art education

Monday, September 6, 2010

I had an unexpectedly awesome weekend. My friends and I took part of Carlos Celdran's bike ride to help DOT (Department of Tourism).  Because of a recent incident, our foreign tourists arrivals might drop. So, we need to become tourists ourselves! Why not introduce biking as a way to see the city?

The Movement: Get the government to create bike paths around Manila's famous landmarks. 

The man with the plan: Carlos Celdran. 
Any person who can command people like me to wake up at 5am is a winner! He's gotten people to see that Manila can be an exciting tourist destination. Now, he wants us to consider a breezier more exhilarating way to see the old city.

Mia and Knox in Rizal Park. 
This lovely lady lent me her spare bike. I've been wanting one for quite a while because my dream is to be able to bike to work. But it just seems insane for a person who lives in Marikina to bike all the way to Makati. 

Mia's baby is a Fixie
I adore the clean lines and vintage look. She set it up with a leather seat and front wheel brakes. Brakes! Very important. 

Pitstop at Rizal Park
Carlos Celdran attracted a legion of people including media men, runners, and of course bikers. I saw fixed gear bikes, mountain bikes, regular commuter bikes, and even foldables. I was tailing some very chic Strida folding bikes at one point. Drool. 

Stuntmant Vic Down the Slopes of CCP
We went from the Manila Film Center, to the Cultural Center of the Philippines, to Intramuros, to Binondo, and then on to Rizal Park.

The last time I biked around in Manila was years ago, in the wee hours of the morning, using those rusty things they rented out near the Film Center. I've always treasured that memory but I didn't know what it would be like to bike during the daytime. There are other forces to contend with like: the heat of the sun, angry motorists, and pollution. But it wasn't that hot, weaving in and out of cars wasn't that frightening, and the pollution was unnoticeable at its best and acceptable at its worst. Soon, I found myself speeding up enthusiastically, waving hellogoodbye to runners, and singing Queen's, "I want to Ride My Bicycle" on the top of my lungs.

It was a good day. One that I'd like to be able to do more often.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Here's something I wrote about an old friend for the Inquirer. I had hoped they would use this picture of him by Brendan Goco, but they ended up choosing a more somber one. He was one of the most inspiring and prolific people I've encountered. But here he's just young, silly, and fun. That's the Alexis Tioseco I'd most like to remember.

Rest in peace Alexis and Nika.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

This day last year, Alexis Tioseco and Nika Bohinc were murdered.

Tonight, I'm off to Quezon City to join family and friends in remembering their passing and celebrating their lives. I've been trying to finish up an article about Alexis so I've been too preoccupied to post anything original.  I shall just encourage people to pray tonight and also to grab a copy of UNO, an alternative men's lifestyle magazine. They've done something pretty remarkable in dedicating an entire issue to them (with fully-clothed hotties on the cover too!) I can't wait to see what's inside.

For those wondering about their case, it seems nothing has happened. Their murderers are roaming the streets of Manila. To make it worse, the police arrested the wrong guy. I think we have to start demanding more out of our cops. How can they protect us when they're uneducated,  ill-equipped, and unprepared? I'll leave that battle for tomorrow. Tonight, it's about Alexis and Nika. Goodnight friends.