Monday, September 29, 2008

More Chicane photos...

Alright, here are some photos from the Chicane concert last Saturday. Still have to upload the other pics and vids to an album.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

If there's a will, there's a photo with Chicane...

Attended the Chicane concert at the World Trade Center last night. Tey said she really wanted to go, so at the very last minute we decided to go and see if we could still score some tickets.

Early bird that I usually am, I arrived at World Trade Center 15 minutes before 10PM. A line was already starting to begin, so it was a good thing that I was early. Was able to get tickets for me and Tey.

The thing started around 11PM. Kickstarting the partying was John Paul Lee, who is more popularly known as Johnboy. Loved his music. As soon as he started spinning, people started grooving. Chicane came onstage past 1AM. It was worth the wait because they were really, really, really good. I know a bit about their music, but last night was my first real "immersion" in Chicane music. In fact, it was only last night that I found out that Chicane is not a DJ but actually a band. Last night had drums, vocals, guitar and keyboards. Hehe! Thanks Tey for clarifying that.

The show would have been really great except for the two f-ing technical glitches. Augh!!! And one of the glitches while they were playing Offshore. It was good that Chicane didn't get annoyed. Hmm, other songs performed were Stoned in Love, Don't Give Up. I wish they played Love on the Run though.

They had their last song around 3AM. Since we were pretty sure that they weren't going back onstage. Tey and I made our way out. We saw the group at a holding room just when outside the hall. There was a small group of people waiting for a photo op with the group.

Tey and I weren't sure whether we could get photos, but our patience paid off. After a couple of minutes, the group ahead of us were allowed to go in and Tey and I immediately followed. Haha! The photo is with Tey, and although I'm really grateful to the guy who took the photo. I want to kick his ass for not being able to take a decent photo. Hay! Not only was it a bit blurry, the keyboards guy was missing. Augh!

But still, Tey and I are just really happy that we were able to get our photos taken with the group. Woohooo!

Got home at 5AM. Who cares if I had to be at the office by noontime for work, if it was definitely one good weekend!

Friday, September 26, 2008

CS virgin no more...

Alright, I've been meaning to write about my Tuesday night thing, but I haven't found the time to do so because of work. (What's new? Hehe!) Been swamped with a ton of things to do, and it's only now that I found some time to write about it.

Anyway, a couple of months ago, I was introduced to couchsurfing. It was friend and former colleague Sharon who told me about it. After checking the site and reading about it, I created a profile and thought that it would be a great way to meet new people outside of work.

I've been wanting to join CS meets but never got to for the reasons mentioned above. I was supposed to join the Salcedo Market food trip Roy organized but wasn't able to. And then there was another trip which I thought of going, but didn't push through with it. When I went to Vietnam, I contacted some CSers and got several replies. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to meet up with them because I read my email a day after the CS meet.

So last Tuesday, even though it was pouring, I was determined to attend the CS meet Racky hosted at Heritage. I thought, "It's either you do it now or you'll just keep on putting it off."

And am I glad that I did go.

Tuesday night turned out to be really fun, and it was the night that I would no longer be a CS virgin. Hahaha! Got to meet a lot of great people, though I didn't get to chat with everyone. And me being me, I don't recall all of the names save for the people I chatted with. Eeep! Really sorry. Blame it on aging. Hehe!

There was singing. There was eating. There was drinking. There was chatting. And boy, there was definitely camwhoring. Hahaha! If there's one thing that I brought home with me that night, it was really the "good feeling" from meeting people who really seem to be for a world without borders.

Great meeting everyone! Looking forward to the next CS meet. Thanks again, Racky, for hosting.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Manang Leoning for Celestina...

When you work for the household of one of the country's power women, your job brings with it several perks. You could probably get free trips, or live in a gated community, and so on.

And sometimes, if you're really lucky, you even get to be on the cover (!!!) of the spring/summer catalogue of a high-end accessories line like Celestina. Hehehe!

Here's Manang Leoning for Celestina. On any other day, Manang Leoning is the queen of the kitchen of my former boss. But on this extra special day, Manang Leoning played model.

Naks naman Manang Leoning. What's next? Miuccia's Fall 2010 catalogue? Hehe!

Manang Leoning for Celestina...

When you work for the household of one of the country's power women, your job brings with it several surprises. Sometimes, you get to be on the cover (!!!) of the spring/summer catalogue of a high-end designer That's Manang Leoning for Celestina. Wow.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Dudong goes on a day-off...

Stairway to relaxation

And then back to reality

Since Friday and Saturday practically turned me into a vegetable, I thought of making Sunday into a very relaxing day. But it turned out to be more stressful for about an hour.

I called Piandre to book a haircut with Abel and the lady gave me a distressing news. Abel resigned already and last Saturday was his last day.

It is a big concern for me because the guy has been cutting my hair for about five years. He's the only guy who's touched my hair for the past five years. It took several bad haircuts before I found him. When I found Abel and saw that he can handle my hair, I stayed with him. And now, he's gone and I have no idea where to find him.

So I ended up getting my haircut with a new guy. I had no choice. My hair is so thick already, I need to look human again. Hehe! So the new guy cut my hair and I was worried because he styled it in a "different" way. But he did follow my instructions to keep it short and clean. Hmm, I guess it would be unfair of me to condemn the guy already. Hehe! I believe in second chances and maybe I just have to get used to the new guy. I feel like I'm starting a relationship again. Hay. But I still want to look for Abel.

Anyway, since it was self-pamper day, I also booked a Deep Tissue massage at The Spa in Greenbelt 1. I've been wanting to get a massage since Monday but it's a good thing I waited til the weekend when the two trips were over. I tried other spas already because none of my female colleagues want to go to The Spa, but The Spa still is on top of my best massage places list.

From physical pampering, I then had my usual spiritual pampering thanks to the Sunday Mass at Greenbelt chapel.

It was a good Sunday. I got a new haircut. My muscles got the rough kneading it needed and I'm ready for another week. I think. It's going to be a stressful week - I now have the material for story and the challenge is to write several stories, then I need to prepare budget for programs next year, prepare material for an internal campaign, and then prepare materials for an exhibit, and so on. Whooopppeee!!! Don't you just love Mondays?! Hehe!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

On the road for two days...

The past two days have been spent on the road.

Last Friday, I got up at 2:30AM and was already at the office by 3:30AM. But I wasn't the only Smartee who woke up that early. About seventy other colleagues from other departments arrived at the office by 4AM for a road trip.

Almost three hours on board a bus, and about an hour of a very, very, very bumpy jeepney ride, we reached our destination.

Concepcion Banahaw at the foot of the Mt. Banahaw in Sariaya, Quezon.

The task for my colleagues was to plant various fruit-bearing and endemic seedlings as part of the company's environmental CSR program. My purpose, on the other hand, was to talk to the locals and get some material for a story.

There is something about being in the countryside. I love it when I'm there, and I can say that every chance I get to visit a far-flung barrio is a happy moment for me.

Believe it or not, electricity, cellphone signal, even the Internet, become least of my concerns when I go to a barrio. I remember my Pahinungod days when I would do visits to potential immersion sites and there'd be completely no electricity, no cell signal, no Internet, no decent washroom, and I'd be fine. I'd be just fine. Probably because I am reminded that people still survive even without all these comforts.

Anyway, I got to interview a community organizer and some locals at the community where we planted. And every time, every time, I get to talk to locals, I am always moved by their stories.

We headed back to Manila by 4PM. My body is so sore from the jeepney ride, and a hike to a neighboring barrio to visit some trees that were planted years ago, but it was okay. It is experiences like this that remind of what I'd like to get myself into one day.

Meanwhile, yesterday I got up at a later time - 4:30AM (haha!) - and was out of the house by 5AM. Colleague Nova and I were headed to Olongapo this time to attend the culminating activity of a Community-based Flood Early Warning System program.

Since we were both super tired from the Banahaw trip, we were both fast asleep even before we reached Bulacan. Hehe! We got to take the new Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway aka SCTEX and I love it. No traffic at all, and the travel time to get to Subic is now much, much faster! The toll fee's a bit expensive though. Right now, it's still P112, but the toll guy said it'll be about P181. Ouch!

Our first activity in Olongapo was to attend an emergency drill of two barangays, in case of a flash flood. After the drill, we were on the road again for about two hours. We headed to a small barangay in Botolan, Zambales to visit the barangay where a batingaw was installed. I got to talk to the barangay captain and a Barangay Disaster Coordinating Council staff and asked them about the local situation when it floods. That's when I further understood the importance of simple early warning devices such as the batingaw.

The thing about living in the city is that I forget that when disaster strikes and there's no electricity, no power, one doesn't have any choice but to go back to the basics.

In the afternoon, we were back in Olongapo for the culminating activity of the city's Multi-Hazard Mapping. Spent about half an hour listening to talks about landslides and flash floods. A bit technical but very informative. Hehe!

By 5PM, we were on the way back to Manila. Of course, we passed by Subic first for some duty free shopping. Hehehe!

That's basically how the past two days went. So today, I think I will spend the day just relaxing.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

KFC's new TVC...

I rarely watch TV, and I only found out about the new KFC TVC from Joel's blog. Have you seen the TVC? Hmm, I still don't know what I think of it, but I guess it's good because it's been awhile since I last heard or seen a local ad that doesn't ridicule a character for being queer. Anyway, wonder if the ad's been submitted to Commercial Closet already. Wonder how it would be rated. And just like Joel, I wonder where an office like that is. Hahaha!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

At the Team Manila sale

Trooped over to the Team Manila store in Jupiter yesterday during lunch time. Dragged Tey and Rhyz with me. Hahaha! Team Manila had a sale and it was one sale that I didn't want to miss. Hehe!

Tey got some purses and matching shirts, I think. Rhyz, on the other hand, got several shirts and tons of the purses. Quite understandable since the purses were selling for only P40. Bought a couple of shirts, some small purses, a key chain and a mug. Haha! But they're not all for me. Got some for my bros, and then I don't know who's going to get the purses, and the key chain I hope to give to whoever will host me in an upcoming trip. Hehe!

Been on a buying mode lately. There was Celio, then Debenhams, then Samuel & Kevin. Augh! But what I've been buying are mostly crewnecks, which I don't really have, so I guess it's okay. And the last time I went shopping was... I can't remember.

But I guess the best justification for the spending is this. When an officemate was jokingly reprimanding me for the purchases, all I said was, "Hayaan mo na. No one hugs me in the middle of the night, anyway." End of conversation. Hehehe!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Random stuff for the weekend

It's a boring weekend. There's an ongoing Love of Siam addiction. It's stupid because the addiction to the movie is similar to how a high school kid would get addicted. After seeing the movie about three times already, there are the behind the scenes clips, clips of the Love of Siam and August Band concert, and of course, fan tributes to Pchy and Mario Maurer. Some of the clips don't even have English subtitles, and yet I still watch them. That's not something a guy nearing the big 3 0 would do, right? Hahaha! I don't know, it's just really an enjoyable film. God bless YouTube!

Speaking of enjoyable films, I am waiting for GMA7's I.T.A.L.Y. Not because of the actors, but because the location - onboard Costa Magica - is familiar, to a certain extent. Though I've only worked for a short time with a shipping company, I learned about the industry. That's the nice thing about being in corp. comm. I guess, you learn new things because you need to write about it.

Anyway, Costa Cruises is one of the leading luxury cruise company in Europe. And if I'm not mistaken, Magsaysay is the official local manning company of Costa. Back then, I got to work with some crew members of Costa. Whenever we needed talents for a photo shoot for company collaterals, we could always rely on Costa. Haha! I got to go onboard one of its "smaller" ships, Costa Allegra, when it visited Manila. That was fun!

What else? The highlight of the weekend was an FX ride going home. I've been a skeptic lately when it comes to a particular department of my life. But seeing the two people in front of me with the same pair of rings was a big slap on the wrist to keep on believing. Haha! It's vague, I know and I intended to be like that.

Then, I just have to share this line from an article by Dan Savage while reading an old copy of Out - "Manliness is what society expects of men, but when you've already informed society that you're walking away from its number 1 expectation, you find yourself free to accept or reject, on your own terms, all of the other expectations and demands society places on men."