Friday, November 30, 2007

Lazy Thursday...

Hmm, perhaps it's because tomorrow's a holiday. I haven't been feeling that inspired. I know, it sucks. What does one do when inspiration seems to be lacking? Augh! I hate this feeling.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Close Encounter with Tigers...

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After we were officially done with all of our work for the Ad Con, we went to the Zoobic Safari. Since we were Ad Con delegates, we got a 20% discount. Woohooo!
The best part was the close encounter with the tigers. We took a ride on these jeeps that had steel railings, and the tigers walked close to the jeep to say hi. One tiger even jumped on top of our jeep.

It was a good experience. But at the same time, I felt bad for the tigers who were locked up in cages that were small for them. When we visited one bunker tuned into a row of tiger cages, several of the tigers looked lonely because of their situation. There two who just kept on going in circles. It wasn't difficult to see that the poor creatures were restless.

Some of the other animals, particularly the ostriches, looked sick. Several of them had "bald spots." Their feathers weren't looking healthy either. Unless you see the central cord of a feather is healthy, then those birds were sick. The feathers aren't growing.

I know that this issue of keeping animals in a zoo is a big debate between animal rights activists and those who run businesses like the safari. I guess there could be some sort of compromise. Since the company is earning from the visitors, perhaps they can do something about ensuring that all the animals are healthy and in good condition. To do that, the safari has to have regular visitors.

So go and visit the Zoobic Safari. It's really worth the trip.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Google Guy Derek Callow at the Ad Con...

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While I missed some of the sessions, I made sure that I got to attend the Friday afternoon sessions. Primarily, because the topics were related to my line of work and the company business, and I was sure I would be able to pick up several things. Our Marketing head was also one of the speakers that afternoon. He talked about mobile advertising.

One of my favorite speakers though was Google Southeast Asia's Derek Callow. I first listened to him during the SEO Conference last October, and I was sort of kicking myself for not approaching him then to congratulate him on his talk and to have my photo with him taken.

When I saw on the program that he was going to speak that afternoon and he was to speak before our boss, I couldn't be happier. It was perfect. I could listen to his speech. I can have my photo taken with him. And then I can go back to the forum hall to listen to and cover the speech of our boss. And that's what I did.

Most of my colleagues occupied several of the front row seats of the forum hall because we knew our boss was going to give a talk. But when they saw Derek Callow on stage, I heard several whispers of excitement. Clearly, I wasn't the only one who found Derek interesting. Great! I thought to myself, "Now I can ask one of them to go with me to take the photo."

My accomplice was Abbie from another department. She also attended the conference and she is also a fan of Mr. Callow. So it wasn't hard to convince her to go with me and wait for Mr. Callow outside the forum hall so we can get our photos taken.

When Derek said his parting words, Abbie and I immiediately headed out of the venue. We went to an "Authorized Personnel Only" area and patiently waited for Derek. After about ten minutes, we saw him walk towards our direction together with Google Philippines' people. When he was near already, I walked up to him and asked if we could have our photo taken with him. I first prodded Abbie to stand beside him but she said she was shy. So I ended up standing beside a slightly surprised Derek and had our photo taken. I even asked for a second shot. It was fantastic. I thought about asking for an autograph but I didn't want to scare the guy. What I should have done but didn't do though was give him a business card. Who knows? He might need an assistant or Google might need a Corporate Communications guy. Haha!

After getting our photos taken, I thanked Derek and shaked his hand. Then I walked back inside the forum hall and surprised my friends by showing them my photos with Derek Callow. They were all green with envy. Hahaha!

Getting that photo was one of my main highs from the Ad Con, I must say.

Oh, wait. Here are the main points of Derek's speech:

- Branding platforms are evolving and proliferating (eg.g outdoot -----> mobile)

- Consumers are the new brand managers

- Google Insights on Online Marketing
- Online platforms expose deep connections with consumers
- Leverage consumer behavior inyour brand
- Offline and Online ads should be integrated
- Marketing constantly embraces new platforms
- Creativity on the digital platform has only just begun.
- Leverage all of your accounts because you can.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Ad Congress Virgin No More...

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Yup, yup. I'm no longer an Ad Congress virgin.

As I've said last week, I was lucky enough to be sent as a delegate to the recently concluded Ad Congress in Subic last week. The four-day event was held at the Subic Bay Convention Center. The venue was a really good one. The food was also great. The tons of freebies given to delegates was fantastic. Haha! And the event itself was filled with learning. Of course, I'm not sure if the previous Ad Cons were similar to this one. (I hope I get to attend the next one in 2009. Hehe!)

The VVIP (as in very, very important person) at the Ad Con was Neil Gaiman. Uhm, save for Coraline, 300 and Beowulf (the movie), I don't really know much about Gaiman's work. I knew about Sandman, but I haven't read it.

Even so, I got to pick up several notes to keep in mind from his talk. His topic focused was about imagination. Gaiman underscored the importance of imagination and creativity not just for writers, but for every person on this planet.

He said that it was important to constantly ask, "What if it doesn't have to be like this?" To do this, "someone had to imagine." He also mentioned that escape is good, whether it's through traveling or some other activity, because it allows a person to gain new skills and perspectives.

Gaiman said, "The best part is the return because the place you get back to isn't the place you've left." The reason? Because of all the new learnings.

Several weeks ago, I attended the "Why Not? Forum." The forum gets people to start asking, "Why not?" in an effort to get them to take some action. Gaiman's recommended question was, "What if?" or "Wouldn't it be interesting if...?"

Gaiman said that it is important to look at things you've seen for a thousand times and then looking at it for the first time, to see something new. He also added the importance of dreaming big. "Think huge. Walk towards what you want to do. Walk towards the mountain, and keep the hugeness of all the things that one wants to do."

Naturally, Gaiman's speech was met with thunderous applause and a standing ovation.

Thank you, Neil Gaiman, for all these inspiring words.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Neil Gaiman Poetry...

Too tired to post entries about the Ad Congress, although it was a really, really good experience. So for now, let me post the poem which Neil Gaiman beautifully read during his talk last Thursday.

The Day the Saucers Came

That day, the saucers landed. Hundreds of them, golden,
Silent, coming down from the sky like great snowflakes,
And the people of Earth stood and stared as they descended,
Waiting, dry-mouthed to find what waited inside for us
And none of us knowing if we would be here tomorrow
But you didn't notice it because

That day, the day the saucers came, by some coincidence,
Was the day that the graves gave up their dead
And the zombies pushed up through soft earth
or erupted, shambling and dull-eyed, unstoppable,
Came towards us, the living, and we screamed and ran,
But you did not notice this because

On the saucer day, which was the zombie day, it was
Ragnarok also, and the television screens showed us
A ship built of dead-man's nails, a serpent, a wolf,
All bigger than the mind could hold, and the cameraman could
Not get far enough away, and then the Gods came out
But you did not see them coming because

On the saucer-zombie-battling gods day the floodgates broke
And each of us was engulfed by genies and sprites
Offering us wishes and wonders and eternities
And charm and cleverness and true brave hearts and pots of gold
While giants feefofummed across the land, and killer bees,
But you had no idea of any of this because

That day, the saucer day the zombie day
The Ragnarok and fairies day, the day the great winds came
And snows, and the cities turned to crystal, the day
All plants died, plastics dissolved, the day the
Computers turned, the screens telling us we would obey, the day
Angels, drunk and muddled, stumbled from the bars,
And all the bells of London were sounded, the day
Animals spoke to us in Assyrian, the Yeti day,
The fluttering capes and arrival of the Time Machine day,
You didn't notice any of this because

you were sitting in your room, not doing anything
not even reading, not really, just
looking at your telephone,
wondering if I was going to call.

Nice, eh? Will post about the Ad Con tomorrow. I'm now off to the mall to relax. Maybe I'll go see a movie, Beowulf perhaps.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Derek Callow is about to speak...

Yep, yep. Waiting for Derek Callow to go onstage for his talk. Got to listen to this guy during the SEO Conference last October, and he's interesting. He seems a bit serious, but every now and then, small doses of humor are injected in his talk. Alright, I know this talk would be good. I wonder if I can have a photo with him taken. Hehehe!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Waiting for Neil Gaiman...

So here we are at the Subic Bay Convention Center. Uhm, we're at the main convention hall. Right now, we're waiting for Neil Gaiman to go onstage for his talk. Apparently, there are a lot who are also looking forward to Gaiman's talk because we're now seated far away from the stage. Hehe. Okay, the lights just dimmed so I guess Mr. Gaiman is about to begin.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Excited for This...

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I was informed at the last minute that I could take the slot of a colleague for the Ad Congress. My colleague had to stay behind because of a much more urgent task. The good thing is she's not so psyched to go to the Ad Con in Subic, so I don't feel that guilty. I'm really excited to go because this is my first time to attend the Ad Con, and I'm looking forward to all the sessions. Woohoo! Plus, Neil Gaiman will be speaking at the conference too.

Subic, here I come.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

One More Chance...

I watched the newest cheesy movie from Star Cinema last night - One More Chance. Watched with colleagues Tey, Rhyz and Reena at Greenbelt 1. I thought it was good. I think this is the third "John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo" love team movie that I watched. (The other two were "Now that I Have You" and "Close to You"). Hehe! I think the two young actors are among the best in the local film industry at the moment. Of course, the major reason why I watched the film was because I knew it's going to be really mushy. Haha! If that's a sin, shoot me now. Hahaha!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Another Monday...

Just another normal Monday. Paperwork, paperwork, more paperwork. Haha! I love.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Friday Night at Cyma...

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Met up with friends from my old workplace. It was the birthday of Sam. We had dinner at a restaurant I've been wanting to try out for the longest time - Cyma. So it was really great that Sam chose that restaurant for our get-together. Haha!. We had Saganaki-Flaming Cheese, Roka Salata, Chicken Souvlaki and Lamb souvlaki, Pastisado, and Eggplant Moussaka. The food was great. The service, uhm, they can do better. But this doesn't mean I wouldn't want to eat at the restaurant again. I would go back if only to have a taste once again of the wonderful dishes. Of course, aside from the food, I really enjoyed the company of Tita Babes, Tita Zen, Grace, Sharon, Norman, and the celebrant - Sam. I haven't seen them in such a long time so we all had a good time just catching up on each other. It was a good Friday night.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

On a Field Trip We Went...

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I went on a field trip the other day. It was just around the city but it was really fun and filled with lessons.

One of the things about my new workplace is that the HR department has all these activities that are really enriching for the employees. I was already impressed with the group when I attended the new employees orientation months ago, and after being part of the field trip the other day, I feel even prouder to be part of this group.

Anyway, on the the field trip. We started out really early - 730AM. Together with around twenty or thirty other newbies, we learned more about the organization. We were grouped into three teams. I got assigned to the fun red team. The first challenge of the day was thinking of a choreography for the field trip theme song. Most of my team mates where shy and for some reason, I and one other team member ended up choreographing. Haha! It was really nonsensical, but it was amusing.

Afterwards, we hopped on the bus that took us to down south Parañaque where we visited the site which has the servers and all these other equipment which handle the SMS, phone calls, among others, of our almost 30M customers.

I tried my best to understand the technical jargon. The guy giving the tour tried his best to make us understand the technical jargon. And by the time we left, I was close to having a nosebleed because of the technical lessons but it was okay. Hehehe! At least, I learned something.

Then came the most exciting part. We headed to a busy neighborhood somewhere in Quezon City, where we had to get people to buy the company's products. It was fun because I got to experience how it is to be an agent even for an hour. My buddies and I were running in the streets carrying a banner, going door-to-door to ask people if they were interested to become product retailers. We got quite a number of people to say yes.

Last stop was our customer care office still in Quezon City. We went around the different departments that handle calls from customers. I really salute the people who have the patience and the passion to do this job. I don't know if I can. So I really look up to people who can handle irate clients.

When we ended the trip, it was almost nine in the evening. We had a great dinner at one of the local restaurants. And by that time, my team mates and I had already established a good rapport. We were a little bummed out that we didn't emerge as the overall champion from the day's challenges (just first runner-up) but still, it was great because the camaraderie and the friendships formed during the activities were more invaluable.

I've always believed that experience is the best teacher. And by being part of this one-day field trip, I learned more not just about the company I work for, but also about the people and the work they do. I'm really impressed.

No wonder people say that we're "simply amazing" and that we have "the power to lead!" Hahaha! *wink wink*

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Angels Have Landed...

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It's the time of the year again when the "angels" grace us with their presence.

The Victoria's Secret ladies have landed at LAX a couple of days ago for the annual show. The taping of the 2007 show will be Thursday evening and it will air on CBS on Dec. 4.

Latest news reports say that the Spice Girls are performing.

Hmmm, can't wait for this. Wonder what's new this year. So far, my favorite show (in terms of the stage design) was the 2005 show.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Zsazsa Zaturnnah...

Got this from the Zsazsa Zaturnnah Multiply site.

An eight-minute video teaser of Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah Komiks series from

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Awards, Business Proposal and Starbucks

Just came from the Philippine Quill Awards at the Mandarin. Our company got 10 awards so we're all quite happy. Next year, we're going for more I'm sure Actually, the program wasn't over yet when I left but I had to sneak out already to meet up with Norman and his friend. From Mandarin, went to Greenbelt. It's been quite some time since I last went to Greenbelt on a weekday evening, and I didn't know that it could get crowded even on a late Wednesday evening. (Or maybe because it was raining.) Met up with Norman and his friend, Ralf, who's offering some stuff which could probably be sold online. Had a grande Peppermint Mocha. My favorite Starbucks Christmas drink. Another late night for me. Hay! Tomorrow I have to be at the office by 730AM for a field trip. Yes, a field trip.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Blogging On the Road...

I'm somewhere in the province of Laguna as I write this entry. I'm on the road to Lucena, Quezon for work. We have this project with a microfinance institution and we're going to support the orientation for the members regarding our project. Anyway, it'll probably take about two hours more before we get to our destination. Not sure if the cell signal would be as good later, so I'll post this now. Haha! Will be back in Manila in the evening. I just love 3G and my Nokia E61i.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Sleep All Day...

Woke up late. Had breakfast. Back to bed again. Read a couple of chapters of this new book. Fell asleep. Just dead tired. Dragged self out of bed in the afternoon. Went to the mall with Andre to buy his school stuff. Met up with Joi and Karen. Watched a movie. Went home and now getting ready to sleep again.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Another Exhibit...

We have another exhibit tonight. It's at the National Museum. But we're not really the star of the evening. We're just one of the "side shows." But still, I'm really happy because it's at the National Museum. Hehe! Plus it's a black tie event (that's what I was told) so I can't wait to see what people will be wearing. Hehehe! Alright, I'm off to the venue to set up the exhibit.

I Would Probably Enjoy...

I stumbled upon this article on New York Times about a lady who makes a living as a "personal manager."

From the article:

"Looking for someone to curate your life? Need a personal concierge whose expertise is not picking up dry-cleaning but helping chose your wardrobe, your tastes, your friends? Ms. Storr calls herself a personal manager, but her duties go far beyond that. Her clients, all of them men, pay monthly fees of $4,000 to $10,000 to have her be their personal decider in nearly all things lifestyle-related."

I think this is something I would probably enjoy doing. Hehehe! I wonder if there are people in Manila who do the same kind of thing.

Read the article here.

Friday, November 9, 2007

One out of Ten...

Amusing TVC for an Argentine Spanish beer.

I've always known about that "One out of ten men..." theory, but I'm not sure how much I believe in it. Or maybe, because of the blurring of genders, that theory has already evolved. Could it now be, "Two out of ten men are gay, three would be bisexual, the other three would be bi-curious, one would be questioning, and only one would really be straight, in the strictest sense of the word."


Thursday, November 8, 2007

You're Such a Girl...

Hehehe! This was what my very, very good friend Thea told me the other day.

We were catching up with each other since we didn't get to see one another for a couple of days because of the long weekend. She visited some friends in Singapore, while I was trapped here in Manila.

Anyway, our conversation somehow led to relationships. Told her about this person who's sort of been hinting about the possibility of pursuing something. However, this person and I sort of crossed paths through an unusual way (one that I won't mention for now). And that's why I'm not returning any hints. Though it is a reason that seems to be so simple and small, I just can't.

I told Thea, "Just imagine. When I introduce this person to you, I would tell you, 'Tey, meet . How did we meet? ' Can you imagine yourself doing that same thing?"

Nope, heartbroken I may be (or have been), but I'd like to think that beneath all the emotions left by the breakup, there is still some small ounce of cheesiness and romance.

I'd want my own story to be filled with mushiness close to fairy tales. I'd want my own story to have sweet nothings whispered, small tokens of affection exchanged, heartfelt emotions expressed.

And by the time I ended my sentence, that's when Thea said. "Anj, you're such a girl."

I wonder how many guys would also welcome that remark (which I took as a very nice compliment)?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

One Night Only (And Yet The Stress)...

Our group is sponsoring this exhibit on Saturday at the National Museum. Since we're a major sponsor, we were given the privilege to have our own exhibit. So now, I'm trying to think of how to present the driftwood sculptures which we'll showcase.

I already had initial plans in my head how to go about this. But after a consultation, those plans fell through and I'm now faced with a much more challenging situation. How to make the new "material" look appropriate for the National Museum. Been tossing and turning in bed last night thinking how to make this mini-exhibit happen without getting my head chopped off.

I already have a solution in mind but it requires careful study. While this solution would work, there's this danger of overdoing it. And if that happens, the exhibit might look like it's appropriate somewhere else other than the National Museum. So I'm really crossing my fingers and I'm putting all my faith in a supplier, which I'm still trying to get along with.

How can something that's only going to take a couple of hours be so stressful? Hehehe!

Today's Kabbalah tune up is most appropriate though:

One of the things we strive for is to awaken an inner realization that we cannot achieve anything of substance in this physical world with out the help of the Creator (Light, God, Allah, the Divine, etc.) It's an understanding that nothing of value comes from us alone. Yes, we have to work our butts off to make things happen, but we are not alone in this work. The Creator's hand can always be found. Today, reach out and grab that hand. It just may be the thing you've been looking for.

Reach out for that hand.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Hello, Zara Man...

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Here's what I got myself for my birthday. Hehehe!

Thea and I were in the Zara store at the SM Mall of Asia, when I saw this handsome thing staring at me from one of the top shelves. At first, I tried to ignored it knowing that it would probably cost more than what I'd like to pay for it. But it just called on me so I decided to check it out to admire its beauty. What a weakling! I take it from the shelves and start to examine it. Soft fabric. Nice stitching. Ample trimming. Just enough pockets. The drop was just right. It was perfect for shopping trips or for meeting friends on a lazy afternoon or even for casual Fridays at the office. It was the right replacement for the black bag from Magsaysay. Best of all, it's Zara.

The last thing I check was the price tag, and that's when I really knew that that bag was meant for me as a birthday treat. Hehehe!

I still couldn't believe at how lucky I was to have found that bag. And I still couldn't believe at how "affordable" it was. Hehe! Happy birthday, indeed.

There was another similar bag, but I thought it didn't appeal to me as much as the one I got.

Aside from the bag, I couldn't help but admire Zara's fall collection (both the menswear and the women's wear). I want a nice coat and a couple of shirts. And I want a suit too. Augh! Santa, are you reading this?

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Trapped in the City...

Man, I've been bored since yesterday. I've already arranged my digital files a million times. I've watched The Devil Wears Prada, Mambo Italiano, Latter Days, The OC a million times. I've slept more than enough. If it were possible, I would have gone to the office to do some work. Haha! Gawd, I'm so envious of coworkers and friends who flew out of the country (or took an out of town trip) for this long weekend. Haha! Thankfully, Noreen stayed in the city and she was kind enough to go see Ang Lee's Lust, Caution with me. Two of her friends, Kareen and Bats, who were also trapped in Manila joined us. It was a good get-together. Tomorrow, I'm going to the office to do some work. I'm sort of psycehd to go to work because I have a brand new PC. Woohooo! Wait till you see it!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Hot Vampire...

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Watched 30 Days of Night with some coworkers last night. I'm not a big fan of horror movies, but just for fun, I decided to go see the movie. Hmm, what can I say? Even as a vampire, Josh Hartnett is something.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

More Birthday Photos...

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Okay, here are more photos from the birthday party.