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Monday, December 26, 2011

The last couple of weeks of 2011 zoomed right past me. Slowly, I will absorb the impact of all that has happened - a lot of which were very sad. My lola passed away. Typhoon Sendong ravaged CDO. My bag was stolen on Christmas day. All of those things didn't really leave much room for Christmas. But that wondrous feeling is inching its way back to me. Late night talks with my mom. Being with friends. A hug. A happy thought. Seeing ideas come to life. There is hope yet. And today, I stumbled upon this wonderful new video from one of the Filipino fashion brands I truly admire. Filip+Inna.

The effort they put into designing the clothes and having them made by the marginalized ethnic groups of Lake Sebu is admirable. But what I love more is that the clothes are amazing. This kind of passion lights me up. I'm happy that they finally have a site up too! So now, you can easily contact and order from them. Check out their website and their latest collection here:

We aim to revive and preserve hand embroidery and beadwork as a means of income generation, preventing it from becoming another lost art. We work with an amazing group of talented artisans, mostly women who have had traditional weaving techniques passed down through their families for generations. 

From our hands to yours, may the beauty and depth of each garment bring a profound appreciation for what is distinctly Filipino.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I knew that our country was the birthplace of the first-ever midget action star, Weng Weng. I knew that our country was chosen by Francis Ford Coppola for his film, "Apocalypse Now" because it looked a lot like Vietnam. But this aspect of Philippine filmmaking, I did not know about: 
How shall I describe this piece of knoweledge? Funny? Disturbing? I believe this will go down in the annals of history as part of the most humiliating (yet hilarious) things we did for Americans. I would very much like a copy. For now, I'll leave you with the official poster and documentary synopsis. 

Machete Maidens Unleashed! is the first detailed examination and celebration of Filipino genre filmmaking - a world where stunt men came cheap, plot was obsolete and the make-up guy was packin' heat!

From the early '70s well into the '90s the Philippines was a back-lot for a bevy of renegade B-movie makers and cinema visionaries alike. The country was utilized for its inexpensive labour, exotic locations and distinct lack of rules. A tidal schlock-wave of genre work emerged that somehow managed to capture the raw, chaotic energy of contemporary Filipino culture. These productions (a cavalcade of monster movies, jungle prison movies, blaxploitation and kung fu hybrids) were miraculously made at a time when the country's political situation was repressive at best. But, this was a revolution that even the Marcos dictatorship couldn't crush!

A big thanks to Mark Olivan for linking it to me!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Despite living beside an MRT stop, I missed, "Rock the Riles" yesterday. I wish I could split myself into two sometimes. Instead of beating myself up for being busy (remember, busy is good), I'll just feel the vibe by watching this video collaboration to honor Rizal on his 150th year.
With the support of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, the artists of ROCK ED PHILIPPINES got together to produce this song. Many many artists came together for this piece. The animated video was created by Arnold Arre. The song was composed by Francis de Veyra of RadioactiveSagoProject. Lyrics by Gang Badoy of Rock Ed. The song is part of Rock Ed's ROCK RIZAL album, a collection of songs in celebration of the 150th birth anniversary of Filipino hero Jose Rizal.
Music composed by Francis De Veyra. Lyrics by Gang Badoy. The singing by Rock Ed musicians - Aia de Leon, Vin Dancel, Ebe Dancel, Kris Dancel, Noel Cabangon, Lourd de Veyra, Gloc 9, Raimund Marasigan, Kakoy Legaspi, Jay Gapasin, Juan Miguel Lerma, Arwin Naval, Wowee Pards and more. Produced by Shinji Tanaka and Mark Laccay.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

I got my first big present this Christmas! 
Check out my snazzy new iPad case from HIDE Leatherworks!
Ok, it's not really a big present. I worked hard for this iPad leather case. It's part of my new advocacy where I help friendly startup businesses and social entrepreneurs with their advertising. I do copy consultancy and I also hook them up with willing ad collaborators. 

For HIDE, I came up with the brand name and also wrote their ideology. It came easy for me because I was there when it was conceptualized and I understood the aspirations of the makers. They wanted to bring modern leather bag design to Manila, while using Philippine leather and Filipino craftsmen. It's a very commendable idea and I'm hoping the brand flies. If so, I'll get to do more than smize (See photo above). I'll get to work on some direct marketing effort and videos. Exciting times! 

So do check out HIDE for sleek and classy, genuine leather sleeves/cases that are form fitting and specially tailor-made for your iPad, Macbook Pro 15" and 13", iPhone and Amazon Kindle 4.

Photographs by the multi-talented Marlo Ongpin

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I stumbled upon Soleil Ignacio's work on Mega. She's a Filipino illustrator with a penchant for drawing beautiful topless girls with big hair. Her words, not mine. Check out how she styled Pinoy celebrities in glamorous high fashion. It is pure eye candy- the perfect kick to get me out of my fashion rut. 

The Eugene Domingo in Alexander McQueen
Sweet Anne Curtis in Louis Vuitton 
Fab Jinky Pacquiao in Chanel (At first glance, I thought it was Agot Isidro though)
The young Imelda Marcos in Christian Dior. 
Judy Ann Santos in Lanvin (Also a dead ringer for KC Concepcion.)
A strikingly skinny Kris Aquino in Valentino 
Last but not least, Nora Aunor in Prada. Ate Guy never looked chicer.  

Check out Soleil Ignacio's portfolio on Behance!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The most serene vacation I've had on any Philippine island. 
I don't know what everyone was so frightened of. 

Siquijor provided some much needed downtime for me. I caught up on my reading and meditating in the morning. Then, I had hearty meals and lots of drinks at night. The resort was  amazing. It was quiet and secluded but it had all the amenities  to keep a rambunctious group entertained. By all, I mean a foosball table and a swimming pool with a bar. The service people addressed us by our first names. So if you're headed to Siquijor, I recommend  Coco Grove Beach Resort. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Advertising serves as the carnival mirror for our society- poking fun at us while simultaneously making us laugh. These two commercials share a real insight at how we Pinoys go to great lengths to make more money. 

 Cebuana Lhullier Pera Padala Raket 
 Sarah selling longganisa is hilarious. I too dabbled in Lucban longganisa reselling. 

 McDonald's McSavers Dance 
This hits home because I work in advertising. I once was part of a pitch 
where we sang, “Don’t Stop Believing” to win back a disgruntled client. 

These spots make us smile because it's true. But do we really just take on extra work because life is hard? Or do we have an innate need to bring home more than what’s expected? Take everyone’s hardest working boxer/ congressman/ host/ endorser/ recording artist/ husband/ and father. 

Does Manny do it for the money?

After the controversial fight, he was going back to opis to do some work. Never has a champion boxer uttered those words. Go back to the opis?!? This is a guy whose net worth is estimated to be in  $26 million to $70 million range. Does he really need to work or does he want to work?

Filipinos are Such Hard Workers
1.     We Have Big Families-
Providing for the family is the driving force for a majority of our countrymen. When your family includes your 3 sons, their families, your out-of-work siblings, your mom and your dad, there is no choice but to take on more work.
2.    The Concept of Sayang-
Pinoys don’t like anything going to waste. Having a party? Pack the leftovers. Bought a can of ice cream? Reuse the packaging. If the opportunity to make more money is there, are we not wired to make full use of it?
3.   We’re a Rice Culture-
In Malcolm Gladwell’s book, “the Outliers”, he talks about how Asians are generally more hardworking than Europeans simply because we used to grow rice and they used to grow potatoes. We worked throughout the year to yield a harvest while Europeans worked seasonally then slept once winter came.
4.    Multitasking is in Our Nature- 
Just look around your village and see how many home business there are. A house is not just a home; it can also be a sari-sari store, a bakery, a dress shop, and an Internet cafe. So an actor can be a politician. A teacher can be in sales. And a copywriter can be a blogger. Again, sayang kasi.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Here's a quick plug of the new Esquire Philippines video. It's so sensual and the soundtrack is just spot on. I've never heard of the jazzy soul act- Pinoy Pasta Groove, until my boyfriend started showing me this vid (over and over if I may add). Now, that tune is stuck in my head. I want to hear more Pasta Groove. But yes, enough rambling. Please watch the video. 

If you're drooling, wipe off the dribble, then please go to the Esquire Philippines Facebook Page and click LIKE. They promised to release Solenn's 2nd video if they get 5,000 LIKES.  Personally, that yet-to-be-released video is my all-time favorite Esquire video so I urge you to act with haste to get a peek. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Here's an inspiring work-related post to jump start the 4-day work week. Meet Co.Lab Manila, an alternative workplace created to spark collaborative infusion among like-minded individuals. For people who have no choice but to work in Coffee Bean or Starbucks, try this instead. The entrance fee is around P500 (I think) and you get to meet some awesome people- as you can see from the video below.  

Their company descriptor: co.lab serves as a hub to a collaborative community that share the same values of entrepreneurship, creativity, and integrity. This shared workspace is ideal for freelance professionals, home office workers, start-up businesses, entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, and graduate students.         

Check them out at: 
4/F Optima Building, 221 Salcedo Street. 
Legaspi Village, Makati City 1229, Philippines 
tel: + 632.759.5000 / local 115 fax: + 632.759.3270

Also related, a link on Hong Kong's 5 Best New Design Spaces . Great ideas should be replicated,  experimented on, and perfected.  So yes, we should do this in Manila. ASAP. This should come naturally for the people who came up with the concept of bayanihan. Give me a holler if you're interested in coming up with more interesting alternative offices/coffee shops/galleries. I certainly am. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Before you proceed to the Iza video, I just wanted to take the opportunity to post pics of the epic Esquire launch. It's a month-old but everyone from the guests, to the contributors, to the writers, to the artistas glammed it up big time. I can't not blog about it. 
Me with the boyf
 Monica Angeles, Joey Ong, and Vince Uy
 Advertising bigwigs (two of them are my bosses)
Manny Nepumuceno, creator of Dancing Asians
Wella and Budjette Tan, Marlo Ongpin, and Chris Costello 

A great party and a momentous night for all but most especially for my boyfriend, Marlo, and our friend, Chris. They had their first taste of creating a girly video for a major Philippine magazine. This first month featured the lovely, Lovi Poe. 
This month, they have one featuring the bubbly (and bouncy), Iza Calzado. 
These boys have the best job in the world!  
And for saying that, I'm expecting my boyfriend to get me this month's Esquire. Interestingly, it's a woman's issue. I'd love to see what the magazine, which claims to be for the man at his best, has to say about us girls. 

Thanks to Brandie Tan for the great photos! (I need a camera that fits my purse.)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

So guess where I'm headed this long weekend? 
Why, to the beautiful beaches of Siquijor of course! 
To experience an All Souls Weekend dedicated to experiencing the occult- a weekend of  ghost hunting and possible interactions with aswang locals, in one of the most mystical islands in the Philippines!

I was very enthusiastic about all of that until friends started warning me with their stories of "kulam". Kulam is actually a Tagalog noun which literally means bewitchment or hex. If you irk a powerful mangkukulam (voodoo witch lady), a spell as trivial as a persistent itch and as bad as vomiting cockroaches can be cast on you . Horror writer, Yvette Tan, said that Siquijor was a lovely place but she came back with two of her fingers seemingly having a life of their own. She couldn't type properly for days. That definitely made me think twice about about ghost hunting. Also, I might just skip the town tour and stay in my comfy resort. 

I researched on how to steer clear of trouble in spooky provinces, but I couldn't find anything useful. So I guess I'll just rely on the advice of my friends. 

 Advice from Friends:
1. Don't eat anything.
2. Try not to be touched by anyone.
3. Don't stand out. 
4. Last but not least, huwag kumirengkeng
(Meaning, don't be too flirty or flamboyant)

Real useful stuff. Wish me luck everyone!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Looking at my blog, I’m so ashamed. It’s been a month since my last post. The culprit of my lack of presence is my big move from Cainta to Metro Manila. I’ll post more on that later.

Just to get me back on track, I’m posting this awesome video on fixed gear biking in Manila, featuring some friends who are fixie fanatics. Dale and Jeck were encouraging me to get a bike so they'd have a biker girl in the office. But their fixies with no brakes just scare me silly. Seeing them ride on EDSA like this, I think I made the right choice. It's too badass! 

I love biking in general, basta ba may brakes. Last year, I was able to go around Manila on  Carlos Celdran’s bike tour  and I agree that biking needs to be considered as an alternative mode of transportation. Cut traffic, lessen pollution, and trim belly fat! Here’s to a bike-friendly Manila!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

There are so many things I've wanted to blog about the past week, but free time just isn't on my side. I was involved in a major pitch and I'm also getting ready to move closer to Makati. Whut, probinsyana no longer! (For those who were not aware, I was originally based in Region 4.)

So in the meantime, here's an ad that I love. Yes, I worked on it! But I love it because the environment is something I care deeply about. It angers me to see trash on rivers, beaches, and even on the road. I'm sure you've witnessed a similar scene when you're stuck in traffic and suddenly a car near you rolls down a window and unloads trash on the street. I want to scream, "Hey people! The world is not your trash can!" Well, in doing these ads I learned that plastics, the most dangerous form of everyday trash, actually ends up primarily in the ocean.

This last print ad was cited by today. Yay.  

Every year, 70% of plastic wastes are dumped into the sea. Most people are unaware of the massive amounts of plastic circling the ocean. In parts of the Pacific Ocean, plastic particles outweigh plankton - the main food source for most fish. Thus, fish accidentally consume these particles. They end up poisoned or on our dinner plates. The key really is to prevent them from reaching the sea. BBDO Guerrero hopes that with these print ads featuring disposable plastic objects shaped into corals, people will think twice the next time they pick up a plastic stirrer.

Agency: BBDO Guerrero
CCO/Writer: David Guerrero
ECD: Brandie Tan and Tin Sanchez
Creative Director: Pia Roxas Ocampo
Art Director: JP Palileo
Copywriter: Knox Balbastro
Photographer: Neil Oshima and Paulo Gripo
Sculptor: Olivia d’Aboville
Partners: Photolibrary
Account Management: Carmela Quirino and Angelica Uy.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I have a confession. Before doing this article, I never understood what the heck art toys were. For the life of me, I couldn't fathom why people collected them. I'm happy these two people from Secret Fresh enlightened me. Click this link to see full article on It's a fun one I promise ;)

Artist JP Cuison and Gallery Manager Lena Cobangbang

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The guys behind Electromagnetic Tentacle are releasing another epic set of Pinoy, pop-culture, parody shirts. Fans get to choose six out of the ten that will make the cut. Since we all know how much we love polls and popularity competitions, let us get to it. Click here to vote. Here are my personal pics: 
 My Little Kalesa 
 The Flush
 This is Spartan
Kingkong Matsing