31 August 2009

Neoflam Launch

Last August 14 (Friday), our boss invited us to Home World's product launch of a revolutionary cookware called Neoflam at Mega Atrium of SM Megamall, Ortigas. Imported from Korea, using Ecolon technology, Neoflam boasts to be quite a special non-stick pan made entirely of natural materials. Demonstration of its fantastic non-stick powers can be seen in the video I've found in YouTube below. In addition, it was mentioned and constantly reiterated during the program that Neoflam pans are an asset to have as it does not emit any harmful chemicals that would translate into the food; and thus, it is very environment-friendly.

The program was hosted by Unang Hirit talk show host, Suzi Entrata-Abrera. The event kicked off with a few video slides of how Neoflam products are manufactured and tested. After which, the audience were treated to a cooking show with Chef Gino Gonzales. Chef Gino demonstrated three different cuisines using the Neoflam pans. I apologize for not recalling the names of his dishes, but I did note down the recipes - French Bread topped with Spanish Chorizos and fried quail egg, Chinese style clams and Butter cake topped with caramel sauce and whipped cream. To be honest, imagining the flavors in my head was just divine.

The highlight of the event though was a 15 minute challenge between Chef Gino, and celebrity chef, Marvin Agustin. Making their own pasta dishes, Chef Gino opted to do a Filipino inspired Puttanesca, while Marvin decided to do Pasta ala Neoflam - slash pesto with prawns, bacon and yum yum yum.

Select members of the audience were treated to taste the chefs creations. We, on the other hand, being not so lucky, lined up for some good buffet food fried, sauted and served by Chef Gino's students at the CACs.

To be honest, I was thoroughly impressed by the Neoflam launch and do commend it to be a fantastic kitchen apparatus! For those interested, Neoflam pans are now being sold in select SM Home World stores specifically North Edsa, Megamall and Makati.

24 August 2009

Hello Philippines: The Show

After almost three months of tedious rehearsals and third degree dramas, the Hello Philippines production has conceded to its natural death of final curtain call, in short - it is done. (Awaiting a new breed of actors to fill in the shoes of Anton, Brichi, Elsa, Toni and Berna).

Now that we've concluded the production, let me spill a few beans about what occurred behind the scenes. This is my first play as I've mentioned in my previous posts and to be honest, I am still feeling the shaky stance of theater shock inside me. It felt like everything was falling apart days, even hours, prior to our opening day - songs haven't been memorized perfectly, our blocking were still being reassessed and redirected, demoralization was plaguing the actors. I would like to commend everyone for holding their ground, trying to pull everything together, being patient and understanding of everyone's qualms. We were absolutely but pleasantly surprised that the play turned out pretty good, receiving positive reviews from our audiences.

Before I go any further, let me share some of the photos of our 7PM show last August 22, 2009 (Saturday) at the College of Masscom, Media Center. Once again, Hello Philippines is written by Albert Cruz and directed by Dax Carnay.

Pictures by: Tricia Fernandez c/o Jill Masalonga

Pictures by: Sundee Guevara

Permit me to once again introduce to you our characters:

Fellow bender, Edmundo Abad Jr. as the office heart throb, ex-activist Anton - and can I add that he sings gloriously well that the crowd seems to practically swoon whenever he starts singing. LOL.

The uncontested comedian with his everlasting falsetto voice, whether on or off the show, Marvin Salazar as the intellectual gay, Brichi

Jill Masalonga as the overpowering religious queen, Pader Chelsea "Elsa Day" who easily became the crowd favorite for her outstanding and "give-all" performance

The wonderful and future "Irma Adlawan" (according to Jill M.), Nicole Manlulo as the maleficent, user-friendly Toni. She's actually a very nice person in real life.

This is just me playing the dumb Berna. Skip skip skip.

Our hard-working director, Dax Carnay taking the role of the Tiffany, an HR personnel who thinks she's Tyra Banks. Rawr.

The first person that deserves praise for this production goes to our director, Dax Carnay - being fully aware of all the hardships that he had to endure and overcome, applause to you Dax for managing it all. Also, for trusting in me that I'd be able to pull this role off. Big hugs to you, Dax.

To DM, our SM, for being our personal little secretary - unfailingly reminding us of our schedules, our cues, our blocking, fetching our things, for being our ear whenever we felt slighted - you rock! Thanks so much. Oh, she also played Toni on the last show, kudos to you on that.

To UP Repertory and their alumni, thank your for putting forward your generally logical and fair critiques - for putting up with our many initial flaws and extending your support and help in ensuring that the show would be worth the 220 peso door charge. Even being a non-orgmate, I can still feel the camaraderie, friendship and love that encircles everyone in the said organization - everyone seems to be genuinely supportive and good-hearted and to add, funny. Galing niyo guys, para nga talagang pamilya.

To Kristel Perlas, the original and Abet's inspiration for my character, Berna, for being my alternate, even when I don't give you 100 percent of my attention and interest - to be honest I felt so insecure of you and undeserving of the role. Thank you for putting up with me and trying to be as nice as you can possibly be. Hope everything mends well in the future, and best wishes to you and your acting career.

To Tito Sundee Guevara for always being a cheery face to lift us up and for being our photographer. Thank you.

To Judee Bendiola, even if it was just a short while that we got to bond, it was really cool meeting and knowing you and sharing and conniving with you. Wishing you the best in your future endeavors.

To Ricardo Canapi, who facilitated our earlier marketing materials and for sending me a Twitter boost of support. Thank you, that really had an impact on me.

To my friends who took time to watch our production, one big hug to all of you. I hope that you enjoyed it. Also, to the benders who watched our show!

Last, but not least, to my fellow actors, to Nicole, Ed, Jill and Madam - it's you guys that made this play extra special for me. Had it been another group, I don't think the play would've come out as wonderful and as hilarious as what transpired the past few days. Thank you for being good friends, even in difficult times when we all have our little secrets and hardships and heartaches. You were all fantastic, and I love you guys, honest. Will really miss the times we shared together.

As DM always says, see you when I see you

10 August 2009

Comic Con 2009

There is always a first time for everything, and today marks my first time to participate in a Cosplay. My siblings have already gone through their Cosplay initiations during the Ozine event last April; and have been asking me to join them in their Comic Convention dress up.

Unfortunately, due to some complications, my siblings weren't able to attend the Sunday of the Comic Convention, whilst I couldn't participate on the Saturday due to my work. In short, I was left on my own today to explore and learn about how to survive in a convention.

My brother had already assigned me the role of Nell Tu, a wise Arrancar who was betrayed by one of her team mates. Well, we did take into consideration her appearance and attitude, and we deemed that the character did fit me well. Below is a comparison between us.

I would like to commend my brother for taking pains in making my skull, patiently molding it using newspapers and resin. He also was the great hair dresser for my wig, which initially reaches up to my thighs in length.

Being alone in a convention, I realized that people are really friendly and are willing to give you a helping hand when you need it - like fellow cosplayer Izabel and photographer Jon. Thankfully, I also found my sister's classmate who was doing a Gothic Lolita.

I would like to apologize since I don't have a lot of photos to share today aside from mostly, my own. If you'd like to see a little more than what's posted here, you can check it in my multiply page.

Found a group cosplaying Bleach, so I requested to have a photo with them.

My office mates, whom I long promised that I will cosplay this August came to show their support. Hugs hugs hugs!

My sister's classmate dressed as a Gothic Lolita and me.

To be honest, I don't know the character, but since my sister's friend wanted a photo...

Bumblebee was just so adorable, I had to have a photo of him!

05 August 2009

The Sacrament of Waiting

One of my fellow benders, Ava, posted this in her Facebook notes. A very relevant reflection worth taking some time off for contemplation. How true it is that we live in such a fast paced world that we take things for granted - that we believe that gratification should be instantly served. I got this note at the precise moment when I needed a reminder that the best things come when we know how to wait. Anyway, enough of my ramblings and on to "The Sacrament of Waiting".


The Sacrament of Waiting
by Fr. James Donelan, S.J.

The English poet John Milton once wrote that those who serve stand and wait. I think I would go further and say that those who wait render the highest form of service. Waiting requires more discipline, more self-control and emotional maturity, more unshakable faith in our cause, more unwavering hope in the future, more sustaining love in our hearts than all the great deeds of derring-do that go by the name of action.

Waiting is a mystery—a natural sacrament of life. There is a meaning hidden in all the times we have to wait. It must be an important mystery because there is so much waiting in our lives.

Everyday is filled with those little moments of waiting—testing our patience and our nerves, schooling us in our self-control—pasensya na lang. We wait for meals to be served, for a letter to arrive, for a friend, concerts and circuses. Our airline terminals, railway stations, and bus depots are temples of waiting filled with men and women who wait in joy for the arrival of a loved one—or wait in sadness to say goodbye and to give that last wave of hand. We wait for birthdays and vacations; we wait for Christmas. We wait for spring to come or autumn—for the rains to begin or stop.

And we wait for ourselves to grow from childhood to maturity. We wait for those inner voices that tell us when we are ready for the next step. We wait for graduation, for our first job, our first promotion. We wait for success, and recognition. We wait to grow up—to reach the stage where we make our own decision.

We cannot remove this waiting from our lives. It is part of the tapestry of living—the fabric in which the threads are woven that tell the story of our lives.

Yet the current philosophies would have us forget the need to wait. “Grab all the gusto you can get.” So reads one of America’s great beer advertisements—Get it now. Instant pleasure—instant transcendence. Don’t wait for anything. Life is short—eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow you’ll die. And so they rationalize us into accepting unlicensed and irresponsible freedom—premarital sex and extramarital affairs—they warn against attachment and commitment, against expecting anything of anybody, or allowing them to expect anything of us, against vows and promises, against duty and responsibility, against dropping any anchors in the currents of our life that will cause us to hold and to wait.

This may be the correct prescription for pleasure—but even that is fleeting and doubtful. What was it Shakespeare said about the mad pursuit of pleasure? “Past reason hunted, and once had, past reason hated.” Now if we wish to be real human beings, spirit as well as flesh, souls as well as heart, we have to learn to love someone else other than ourselves.

For most of all waiting means waiting for someone else. It is a mystery brushing by our face everyday like stray wind or a leaf falling from a tree. Anyone who has ever loved knows how much waiting goes into it, how much waiting is important for love to grow, to flourish through a lifetime.

Why is this so? Why can’t we have love right now—two years, three years, five years—and seemingly waste so much time? You might as well ask why a tree should take so long to bear fruit, the seed to flower, carbon to change into a diamond.

There is no simple answer, no more than there is to life’s demands: having to say goodbye to someone you love because either you or they have already made other commitments, or because they have to grow and find the meaning of their own lives, having yourself to leave home and loved ones to find your path. Goodbyes, like waiting, are also sacraments of our lives.

All we know is that growth—the budding, the flowering of love needs patient waiting. We have to give each other time to grow. There is no way we can make someone else truly love us or we love them, except through time. So we give each other that mysterious gift of waiting—of being present without making demands or asking rewards. There is nothing harder to do than this. It tests the depth and sincerity of our love. But there is life in the gift we give.

So lovers wait for each other until they can see things the same way, or let each other freely see things in quite different ways. What do we lose when lovers hurt each other and cannot regain the balance and intimacy of the way they were? They have to wait—in silence—but still be present to each other until the pain subsides to an ache and then only a memory, and the threads of the tapestry can be woven together again in a single love story.

What do we lose when we refuse to wait? When we try to find short cuts through life, when we try to incubate love and rush blindly and foolishly into a commitment we are neither mature nor responsible enough to assume? We lose the hope of ever truly loving or being loved. Think of all the great love stories of history and literature. Isn’t it of their very essence that they are filled with the strange but common mystery—that waiting is part of the substance, the basic fabric—against which the story of that true love is written?

How can we ever find either life of love if we are too impatient to wait for it?