Recommended Reading:

Monday, November 26, 2012

I just got a copy of Rogue and I'm giddy like a schoolgirl. It's a dream of mine to contribute to this style and culture beacon. My editor, Nicola Sebastian, and I have been trying to agree on a topic for months and after a few false starts, we've settled on art. It's one of the things I love writing about and I'm doubly excited that I made it in on their yearly art issue! 

The Art of Seeing was inspired by John Berger's, "Ways of Seeing"- a book and a BBC series that demystified how we looked at paintings. Personally, it encouraged me to have a dialog with art instead of trying to label it and critique it. So I thought it'd be interesting to have people from different walks of life do the same. I asked an artist, a student, a banker, a nurse, and an art curator to tell me what they thought of Clockwise by John Jose Santos III.

If you're interested to read it, you have four days to get a copy. Or you can hop on over to Reese Lansangan's site. She's the young artist I interviewed for the piece. She scanned a copy and put it on her splashy blog, which I absolutely heart. 

Btw, for this issue my friend JP Cuison drew about the history of Philippine comics. As of this writing, it's garnering interest because Gerry Alanguilan is adamantly opposing the influence of Carlo J. Caparas on the Philippine indie comic scene. I wonder how that hullabaloo will pan out. Nonetheless, this is a power-packed issue with interviews on Leeroy New and Ronald Ventura. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

November 2, 2012. I woke up early. My boyfriend and I were going to visit our grandfathers at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Cemetery for Heroes).

“Tatay”, my lolo, was a strict father and quite the ladies man. He also enjoyed getting drunk out of his mind, but he had mellowed into a gentle old man when I met him. He rarely spoke but was always quietly kind.

We arrived at the cemetery. My boyfriend’s family friends had a tent pitched on top of their grandfather’s impressive tomb. My boyfriend’s grandfather, a brigadier general, was in the same elite row. I marveled at the care of each tomb. One had purple lilies dotted on the mound. How artsy. Another tomb had a massive flower arrangement with intertwined cabbage flowers, giant red roses, and yellow tiger lilies. All fake, upon closer inspection. I realized then that I was empty-handed. I didn’t bring anything for my dear lolo.

Tatay was a hardworking jeepney driver. He’d come home from driving a nightshift with a lot of change in his pocket. My cousins and I would clamor around him, wanting a share of the loot, “Piso! Piso! Piso!”. He’d oblige by handing each of us a peso. But for a reason that escapes me now, all of us wanted the piso with the carabao on it. The delight upon getting one with the animal was mind-boggling.

My thoughts were interrupted by a query from one of my boyfriend’s family friends, “what was your grandfather’s rank?” I fumbled for an answer. “Not sure he had a rank. My grandmother said he was a guerrilla messenger of some sort.” She looked at me wide-eyed. “But you have to have a rank if you’re buried here”. I turned away feeling sheepish. Truth is, I didn’t know that much about my grandfather.

I did know that I was his favorite grandchild. I guess I took that as fact because that’s what my aunts would tell me. I had other proof. In his jeep, he inscribed all the names of his grandchildren. But my name was the one above the driver’s seat- directly above his head.

I never visited his grave alone so I didn’t remember its exact location. Lucky for me, a volunteer soldier located him on his computer records. My boyfriend and I made the long walk over and when we finally found him, I looked down and smiled at the sight of his name. We said a prayer and having no flowers to leave behind, I left a shiny new piso.

“Tatay, maliit na siya. Wala na din siyang kalabaw.”

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Teeheehee. Did you guys see me? Watch it again and this time don’t blink ;)

It was a big honor to be part of this online campaign to advertise Mulitply. It used to be my go-to social network for photo uploads. But it's actually found its biggest success in transforming online entrepreneurship and shopping for the Philippines. It makes sense that it will be focusing solely on that. To get a better understanding of its makeover, I interviewed one of my best friends and Multiply's current senior marketing manager, Mei Marasigan-Brantzeg.

1.    Why are you rebranding Multiply?

The re-branding of Multiply to full e-commerce is a decision that came about, following the lead of our own community. It is the Filipino community of multiplyshoppers and sellers that have defined this new business model for the whole world and that is why we (together with Indonesia) are now the lead market globally. Our full transition to e-commerce

“Multiply(.com)'s mission has evolved over the past year and a half to become the biggest and most trusted e-commerce marketplace in two very exciting markets, Indonesia and the Philippines. Ultimately this was a business decision, critical to our success moving forward,” says Stefan Magdalinski, CEO of Multiply in his blog post in the official page of the company.

2. What do we have to look forward to from Multiply?

A simpler, more rewarding online shopping experience. We are upgrading the e-commerce platform to ensure easier use for both sellers and shoppers. We are cementing more deals with payment and logistics partners to ensure a simple yet seamless experience for all our customers.

We are excited to pursue our own mission to give the 350 million consumers in Indonesia and the Philippines a great way to buy and sell items online. Our singular focus now is for Multiply to retain its status as a vibrant e-commerce destination in Southeast Asia in the years ahead,” said Magdalinski.

To be more specific, The new Multiply will strengthen its 4 core functionalities: Shopping Cart, Prod Listing (all information about one’s product), Payment Gateway and Stockroom (inventory management) to create even better shopping experience for buyers and convenient selling experience for merchants. The Product Listing allows merchants to showcase their products in the best way possible while the Shopping Cart enables buyers to add to cart from one or more merchants and check-out in a single transaction. Meanwhile the Payment Gateway reaches out to as many types of buyers as possible by offering a wide variety of payment options. Lastly, the Stockroom feature provides merchants an easier way of keeping track of the availability of their products. Users can expect further improvements of these features along with Multiply’s shift to become a full-time e-commerce site.

3. Any messages for the users of Multiply?

We want everyone to be excited for a bigger, better and even more vibrant marketplace.We also want to ensure that export tools to be used in transferring their content (from Multiply’s social media platform) will be announced soon. In the meantime, everyone can get the change to access their existing photos, videos and other content before December 1.