28 December 2009

Monster Campus

As the orange red sun slowly descended into the diminishing horizon, melting slowly into dusk, I ran to our roof top with my dad's camera phone to photograph the new addition to my personalized shoes collection. Monster Campus. This new pair actually hails from several different visual and auditory light bulbs in my head - but for most part, I got my inspirations from two songs shared to me by a dear friend: Matchbook Romance's Monsters and Vampire Weekend's Campus. I do like to acknowledge that the look was also helped by my brain-dead staring at the Globe Tattoo flyer I found in one my shopping bags.

This is the fourth pair I've designed and the third to be added to the collection. The other pairs I've designed are: Butterfly, #2 and Rhapsody in Green.

Like Rhapsody in Green, this pair was completed at the Manila Memorial Cemetery in Cavite last Sunday, December 27, 2009. Though thematically, the shoe's idea does not seem relevant; it is another tribute to my grandmother who, with her own little way of communicating to us, patiently waited for me to complete this artwork before permitting us to go back home. This can be attested by my dad, who blamed me for our late return, but on the other hand, as my grandfather had also pointed out, I can still experience how much my grandmother loves me, despite her physical absence.

Assessing my shoe collection, I noticed a growth in my style as I begin to incorporate and play with more colors. I've never really been a fan of color, and would sometimes think of them as unnecessary clutter. Curiously, as I progress I find that color helps to enhance images and add contrast when used properly. I won't be delving too much on the artistic aspect of the pair, but all in all I believe
there is still much for me to learn and experience, I am just at the tip of what could still be accomplished in this hobby.

My friend sent me an SMS earlier saying, "Art is never perfected, only mastered." Surely, there is still a long road to be explored.

To see more photos of Monster Campus, click here.

08 December 2009

Lickqueur Adult Ice Cream

In celebration of Anne's birthday, my friends and I decided to try something different. Earlier last week, my friend, Christel, organized an ice cream taste testing get-together for the occasion - quite unlike your regular Chocolate, Vanilla and Strawberry store-bought flavors though, we got to try ice cream with an alcoholic twist.

Christel touch based with Ms. Pinky Jacob-Ileto, one of the five founders of Lickqueur Adult Ice Cream to arrange the said ice cream taste test at their crib in Greenhills.

Adopting an innovative idea from their travels, five friends: Arnel Bondoc, Patricia Gana, Pinky Jacob-Ileto, Mimi Manalo and Earl Yu banded together to come up with Lickqueur Adult Ice Cream - the first premium alcoholic ice cream here in the Philippines. Their name, Lickqueur (pronounced as li-‘kur), was derived from the French word, "liqueur" and incorporated with “lick” to suggest that it's alcohol you can actually lick.

It was pretty interesting to learn that the company had just launched their products a few weeks earlier and quite impressively, have been receiving a lot of orders and publicity in such a short span of time.

My first impression of the product, after "What a cool idea!", was: Isn't ice cream and alcohol a dangerous combination that could lead to stomach revolutions? I raised this to Ms. Pinky, who knowingly answered that alcohol has long been combined with cream, as in the case of Bailey's. And what better answer than allowing us to actually try the products; and I can attest that I haven't experienced any bad stomach as of yet. LOL ;)

There are 8 flavors available in half gallon sizes divided into two groups: Premium and Standard.

Premium Flavors:
1. Margarita Passion (Margarita)
2. Sinfully Butterscotch (Butterscotch Amaretto)
3. After Midnight Mint (Choco Mint Martini)

4. OMG!!! (Screaming Orgasm)
5. Strawberry Kiss (Strawberry Martini)
6. Paint The Town Orange (Choco Orange Martini)
7. Cuban Fever (Mojito)
8. Amaretto Scream (Amaretto Orange)

Below are some of the photos of their ice creams:

Margarita Passion

Strawberry Kiss

Amaretto Scream

Paint the Town Orange

Cuban Fever

In the end, my friends and I opted to get the Margarita and Butterscotch Amaretto, which topped as the group's favorites. The other flavors were good as well though; Choco Mint was another favorite, BTW. One thing I learned in trying out alcoholic ice cream is that: it's better to try the milder ones first, before going for the more daring flavors. By trying the stronger variants earlier on, your tongue may not recognize the alcoholic intensity of the milder flavors thus not giving you full appreciation of the experience.

After trying out all the flavors, I found them to be generally satisfying. The ice cream was such a mouth pleasure with its rich, creamy texture that melts gradually on your warm tongue. The mix were all true to the taste of the cocktails, complete with the alcoholic zing that could lead to subtle intoxication when taken in large portions with its 3-7% alcohol content. A perfect ingredient to a fun get-together celebration.

So below is the photo our non-alcohol drinking friend as she blows her candle (Yes, I'm the last person on earth to be assigned to prepare the candle) and takes a bite of her "cake".

And us? We happily savored our ice creams.

For those who want to try Lickqueur Adult Ice Cream out, below are their contact details.

Pinky Jacob-Ileto
(02) 502.2700
Facebook Page

22 November 2009

Kho Association Relief Goods Operation 2009

The third and final leg of the Philippine Kho Association's Relief Goods Operation concluded just last Saturday, November 21. After a series of typhoons hit Luzon, the sad aftermath is a horrid depletion of many basic resources, the ever threatening price increases in all staple necessities as well as a loss of morale in people as many still desperately find solace and answers to address their daily needs.

Thus officers and members of the Philippine Kho Association has taken upon themselves to aid in alleviating the burden of many of our suffering comrades. Together with REACT Philippines Inc., a three phased relief operation drive was organized to help several local communities.

Phase 1:
Dagupan, Tayug, San Nicolas

Due to some sad circumstance, I wasn't able to take part in the said outreach. Therefore, I can merely share photographs of the event c/o Allan Co. Kho Youth League's president, Zenaida Co, was present in the said outreach.

Phase 2: October 24, 2009
Marilao and Meycauayan

I was able to attend the second leg of the operation, leaving our headquarters promptly at 8am. Me and my fellow youth sector officers were tasked in distributing medicines, positioned at the end of the Relief Goods train.

Our first stop was a covered court in Marilao. Tickets were provided to barangay officers earlier to circulate among those who are most in need, and only those with tickets will be able to avail of the relief items. Photos and video is care of Peterson Co.

It felt like an endless line of trick-or-treaters; we were shooting goodies into their little containers and seeing their faces light up, brightened by a smile as most of them whole-heartedly express their gratitude. Others though, would try to quicken their pace, not looking at you anymore, sometimes getting lost in confusion and excitement, as ushers push everyone to speed up the line. There were many more who were waiting for their turn.

There were a variety of items being given away including pails, rubber slippers, instant noodles, rice packs, detergents, biscuits and medicine. Being in the medicine division, we gave away four different kinds of pills targeted to temporarily resolve common problems that may have risen from the typhoon: Diarrhea, Leptospirosis and the Flu. The last blanket of pills being a Vitamin C multivitamin pack, meant to strengthen the immune system.

A general rule though that I learned first hand was: never to offer or casually give a freebie to one requesting for special treatment. One of our peers good-naturedly gave a child a pack of medicine that he was requesting, and upon seeing this, the crowd rushed towards her and began to help themselves. Needless to say, she was powerless over the surge of desperation and greed that blinded the group. Her box was emptied in a few seconds, with none of the mad-striken hoarders having any idea what the medicine was meant for.

After our Marilao visit, we headed to Meycauayan, Bulacan - where we were greeted with a line of people waiting under the noontime sun, hoping for their packs of relief goods.

Having no camera, I am dreadfully thankful once again to big brother, Peterson, for shooting a clip of the queue for me to blog about. Once again, we were in the medicine division. Thankfully, a tent was raised to spare us from roasting unprotected during the lunchtime heat.

Phase Three: November 21, 2009
San Pablo, Laguna

Once again, together with my brother, Ahya Peterson and Allan, Clifford, Atsi Zeny and Gryshee, and the officers of the seniors section, we headed South to administer help among those stricken by the recent calamities.

Upon arriving, we were greeted by waves and smiles as we headed to the covered court where the recipients were already ready and waiting. As the crew set up, we were led behind the court - revealing still the sad flooded state of the area. After over a month since the low pressure strikes, the water has not yet subsided - which they attribute to their close proximity to Laguna de Bay. Photos are care of Allan and Peterson Co. Video is once again from Peterson.

I overheard that a thousand tickets were given to the barangay officials to disperse, and judging from the mass that communed in the area, it is highly possible. This was the biggest crowd, among the three outreaches I've attended, that I've seen.

This time, Gryshee and I were tasked to distribute plain white t-shirts to the victims, especially since many either lost their basic clothes to the flood or have heavily muddied apparel that are barely acceptable for everyday wear. Generally, the same basic items were being given away.

Below is a picture of the team that took time off to attend the last phase of the Relief Goods Operation.

At the end of the day, it does feel fantastic to be able to help others - in our little ways. The thank yous and smiles, quite curiously, was sufficient payment for all the trouble. Although, I doubt that the goods we provided would be able to sustain them for an entire week, I believe it would help give them a jumpstart in rebuilding their lives.

It is true, as Confucius had wisely said, "Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day; teach him to fish and you feed him for life." With these outreaches, we merely just gave them a fish, to help them for a day, to boost their morale - but in the long run, it is up to them to restore their lives into normalcy.

07 November 2009

My 2009 Wishlist

Once again, the last two months of the year are hovering above our heads - hinting the time of extravagance and generosity as often suggested by consumerism. Gift-giving, family dinners, parties. Working for one of the biggest malls in the country, I can assure you that I feel the weight of this season - it's time to spend, everyone!

Yearly, I would organize a wish list; not that I usually get what I pray for, but it's nice to be able to let it out. Who knows, a kind soul might pass by and wave a magic wand with some Bippity-Boppity-Boo's.

So here goes:

1. Ultraviolet Perfume by Paco Rabanne
First introduced to me by my aunt in the UK years ago, this perfume tops as my absolute favorite of favorites. In my personal description, Ultraviolet has a scent of powdery sweet elegance and sophistication that clings to you all day and night long. Lavsit!

2. Canon EOS 450D
I know this isn't the newest in the line, and I am no camera geek to know every desirable spec, in fact I would already gladly settle for a Lumix - all I want is simply a good camera to inspire me back into photography. My skills have become so rusty, my photography teachers back in college might as well curse me with tetanus.

3. A year's subscription to Yummy Magazine or My Home Magazine
Though not a consistent patron, I enjoy reading these magazines. So to say, they allow me to get in touch with the homemaker goddess in me - yes, I do take a fancy in the culinary and interior designing world. So sue me, this is as feminine as I can get.

4. Charley to ride a plane home and spend Christmas with me, or perhaps, and this is really a wish that would require all the Whitney Houston-playing-godmothers in the world to work on, an all expense paid to visit Charley in the US.

5. Good health and more blessings to all my friends, families and acquaintances.

Of course, I cannot go all greedy and selfish. The situation just outside our door is not as merry, festive and cheery as the season is meant to evoke. With the fairly recent typhoon combos that hit the country, it has orphaned and stripped many people of their homes and loved ones. Truly a sad scene. Christmas won't be the same for many people.

I decided to end this post with a nice video that was shared by a fellow bender. Star ng Pasko by ABS-CBN, a song of encouragement, highlighting Filipino strength and resilience against adversity and their unceasing conviction that tomorrow will always be a better day.

26 September 2009

The Revolution

I was bored. Watching the rain outside, I decided to write a poem - it's been such a long while since I last wrote one.

The Revolution

quietly he started
a drop.
an incongruous tear
that fell into an ignorant vacuum.
noone noticed.
the warning fell
like an invalid that plopped unto the belly
of a panicking mob of ants.

he winked knowingly
and thus,
a flash.
the gurgling of the dimming clouds.
the allies assemble.

quietly he tried
once again.
a steady stream
of transparent milk fell from his breast.
the brewing of a storm
The skies turn gradually
into dark coffee marbled
with cream, humming the soft
grumble of a hungry tummy.

everyone was waiting.

it has began
he nods,
and then it poured.
a multitude of cold wet arrows
dancing violently with the bragadocio wind
blinded with a passion
pounding angrily as they hit the pavement
joining his brothers in a growing revolution.

in masses,
they piled onto each other
under the reign of their supreme master
their protest shall be felt.
and it is a dark dynasty, indeed
their pride, a parody against the world.

such dastard bufoons.

their mother's bosom
cannot sustain forever
and dust will one day squeeze out of her nipples
the arrows shall falter,
aimless, without cause

he says.
and the rain will
die as history has often so foretold.
the revolution halted.
for the next call to arms.

Typhoon Ondoy

The rain has been pouring for hours now and frighteningly, this is one of the few occasions when our front porch gathered enough rainfall to flood. The wind bellows outside my window, as the rain crashes violently onto our rooftops. Unceasing, it has been like this for hours now - from the moment I got out of bed until this very moment that I've taken to my blog to write.

I found a video in Youtube that I want to post here. It was taken in Makati, on the street where I used to work. Totally alarming.

I've received news updates from many friends caught in the belly of this catastrophic typhoon - stranded in the flooded streets of the metropolis or unable to leave the comfort of their homes and offices bearing hour after hour of hunger and fatigue, without any means of attaining food and nourishment. Just seeing the video above, it would be completely heartless to have delivery boys or anyone at that, to brave these horrid conditions. Others have already resolved and resorted to staying in their offices for the night. What a sad picture this is to paint. This is absolutely going to be a "long" weekend for many.

Sometimes you wonder how things would be different if we had better drainage systems and more reliable roads, if we had a better emergency scheme in dealing with these sorts of situation; surely a handful of these inconveniences could be detoured. Then again, it is in situations like this that we get to test our resiliency and innovation - sigh, ain't it grand to live in the Philippines.

Related links:
Philippine Inquirer
Filipino News Network
A video circulating in Facebook
La Salle is flooded

23 September 2009

High Fashion in UP. Photoshoot. 08.30.09

A few months ago, my boyfriend requested for some photos of me so he can display it in his newly decorated room. Being in a long distance relationship, we don't have many good photographs of each other - so I was more than willing to oblige this request.

I requested the help of a friend, Marlene Hsu to be so kind as to be my photographer for this endeavor. Having had taken a variety of photography classes under big names as Lito Sy, an avid photography enthusiast, I was more than confident that she would be able to give justice to the pictures and meet my boyfriend's stringent standards.

Marlene has just sent me the re-sized versions of my pictures, which I submitted to my boyfriend for his approval. Our deal though was that the photos were solely his and not meant to be shared with anyone else. I do want to credit Marlene for her incredible work - as I am observably not model material and yet she was able to pull something off. Thus, I had my boyfriend select a set of photos I can post in my blog to acknowledge my friend's talent and service.

Below are some of the photos he permitted me to post - not exactly the best ones, but still beautifully shot.

Location: University of the Philippines, Diliman (because it's free!)

I also asked my cosplay friend, Izabel Cortez to join me in this photo session, as this was my first and I'd really appreciate some help and direction with other models. Here are some of our photos.

Alright, so in general vanity has once again consumed me. But then again, you won't be young forever. The photo shoot was fun, and I wonder if there will ever be a next one for me. Hehe

Marlene Hsu: Multiply. Flickr.
Izabel Cortez: Multiply.

14 September 2009

Sakamoto Ryuichi's Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence

My boyfriend shared a beautiful video of Sakamoto Ryuichi performing the song Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence. For music enthusiasts, this is one performance that is definitely something worth watching until the end. I recommend closing your eyes and just feel the music envelope you, and I believe then you'd understand the overwhelming beauty I encountered listening to this.

My heart melted listening to the very emotional and giving piece; like I was being pulled into becoming part of a surreal undefined story that could go by in so many ways - an indescribable feeling of peace. I am no music major to give a full and learned critique of the song, I can merely relay the emphatic motions that I can sense from this auditory delight. Absolutely breath taking.

Hello Philippines: Hangover

Another entry I've procrastinated so long to post. A couple of weeks ago, Kuya Sundee Guevara gave us our pictures from our Hello Philippines play. Aside from the photos I posted earlier in a previous entry, I'll be posting some more - others from our rehearsals, and others from the show itself. Here is a quick recap of what transpired in our lives the past few months.. and how it seems like an empty gap in our evenings now that it has ended. Enjoy.

P.S. Sorry nalang kung puros pictures ko, blog ko kasi ito eh. Hahaha

These are photos from our very first rehearsal at Pioneer, when we first laid eyes on each other and learned each others names. At the same time, this was the first time, we've really gone through the script until the end.

Music rehearsal with Ms. Pretty, a brilliant voice coach who taught us how to make sense of the techno-beat music we had to sing to, by Arkel - who happens to also be in the photo below.

Our rehearsal location has been moved to the MOO-something office in Shaw, and thus that's where we continued our practice. We were doing an "In-the-Round" setup, meaning audiences will be surrounding us, thus the four corner choreography.

Of course, who can forget our memorable guesting in Magic 89.9's Boys Night Out.

Finally, we moved to UP Vinzons Hall where we continued our rehearsals. This time, the stage setup has changed drastically. Most of our blockings were reevaluated and had to be relearned - in addition, choreography of the dances have been added. If you also notice, we also have subs now.

Prior to opening night, we all had a technical dress rehearsal, and I was late as always, coming from work. Kristel, my sub, had to play my role for the first part of the run.

Of course, the show itself.

I am still waiting for the cast party. :D