Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Sharon C

I took my mother and her friends to see |Sharon today (thanks a bunch,
Crissy! I loves ya! ). I feel particularly proud to be able to do this because if there's anything I've learned about my mother, it's that she's a die-hard Sharonian. She has admitted to rescheduling whole family trips around the opening of Sharon's movies.

She also says that there's only one Sharon movie that she hasn;t seen, whose title escapes her at the moment because, well, she hasn't seen it.

I guess my taking her to see Sharon's show makes up for my not getting any honors
or not being the prom queen groing up. My mom's probably thining: 'So what if my
daughter spent most of her life failing math? She took me to see Sharon!

It was a fun episode. They guested stand-up comedians who came as famous personalities. There was Manny Poohquiao, as Manny Pacquiao, John Santos as Mayor Vilma Santos (I must confess, there's a deep dark part of me that loves Ate Vi. And Lovely Ness, too. And no, I'm not ashamed to admit it!), and Tessie Tomas (Now there's another person who's a joy to interview) as Imelda Marcos. If you've seenthe episode, you know it's a good one, and not just because the camera kept
panning over our faces.

After the show, we went to Something Fishy in Eastwood City. We got there at
11pm, so we had to wait an hour to make it to the breakfast buffet. The buffet wasn't bad, especially since it cost less than a hundred per head. It had garlic rice, 2 kinds of adobo, tocino, longganisa, scrambled eggs (mushy -- just the way I like them!), pancakes, arroz caldo, beef mami, palitaw, plus a few dishes that I've forgotten. Unfortunately, I was too sleepy and too sick (I'm still coughing like it's terminal -- I was like that before I left. Joselle can testify!) to enjoy it. I've discovered this about my mother: she gets real mad when I sleep late, even if I'm not sleepy or can't sleep. It's completely ok, however, if she keeps me up all night, no matter how sleepy or sick I am. I didn't really complain -- I wanted her to enjoy the night, plus, I can use this event for ammo the next time I stay up.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

This is where I'm at, yo!

This month, I've got two articles in Entrepreneur magazine, two (I think) in Burn magazine, and two in Vision, the Epson magazine. I may be missing something but I can't remember.

In Entrepreneur, I interview award-winning graphic designer Kimberly Tiu on product design and family business/ personal finance guru Elfren Cruz on professionalizing a family business.

In Burn, I interview Maksim, the pianist, about his new album and the band Callalily about their music.

In Vision, I interview 10-year-old digital art genius Nica Manzano about her art and advocacy (she teaches kids digital art) and sports photographer Neil Confesor about his need for speed.

That wraps up another bout of shameless self promotion. Back to regular programming.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Media Mercenary No More

Today was my last day at the office. It wasn't anything special workwise, but it was touching to see so many people so sad to see me go. I always thought no one would really notice, as I tend to keep to myself, so it felt really really nice to find out that I'm not as anti-social as I think I am. Well, not that much, anyway.

As a parting gift, the web team gave me a framed picture of me and Polo Ravales, both of us in sunglasses and grinning at the camera, taken on the set of Super Noypi with dedications (theirs, not his) on the back. Jason, Jessa and KC also gave me the Golden Snitch, a tiny gold Christmas ornament with wings stuck on it (you know, like the golden snitch), which was their prized decoration during the Christmas workstation decoration competition. I was very touched, especially since they're all Harry Potter fans.

Binky, the local sandwich lady, also gave me my last sandwich for free. Yum!

I didn't get to say goodbye to everyone, like Jason, who left early, and Mitch, who was at a shoot (ed. - but Mitch texted goodbye the next day, which was sweet).

So ended my last day as a full time media practitioner. In two weeks, I'm going to be in unfamilliar territory, learning everything from the ground up. Who would have thought that I'd ever go into business? In a way, it's something that I've always wanted to do. I'll still continue writing, of course, but not as much. The future is filled with the unknown, and that's what makes it exciting.

A Week of Dinners

This week, being my last week in my current job, and as a full time media mercenary, is packed with social meetings. This is in anticipation of my new job in the corporate world, where I will (gasp!) have fixed hours and (double gasp!!) be banned from wearing flip flops to the office. I also will not be able to eat breakfast at my leisure ever again.

My schedule went thus:

Met Crissy and Mae in Gateway at 8, then rushed to Greens just off Morato where Iris was holding her despidida party. Iris' thing also started at 8, which made me feel like a character in a sitcom, but I managed to get there before ten. Greens has got to be the most filling vegetarian restaurant I've ever been to. Or maybe my stomach got smaller.

Met Leah and her friend's boyfriend Lizard at The Promenade for a business consultation, but not before snacking on Shrimp Puffs and Hakaw at the nearby Won Ton, first. I just found out that the reso is run by the same person who set up Chopstix, so I've become an addict. Plus, I really, really love their iced tea. I took the normally finicky Luis to eat there once and he loved the food as well. This is good because it means we're going back. Yay!

Took Andrea, who I haven't seen in ages, to Snackaroo in Judge Jimenez corner Kamuning. Andrea is the third person I've converted, if you count Anson Yu (the food writer), who I duggested the place to, even though I'd never been there, for a resto review. Back then, I had always wanted to eat there but didn't know where it was, so I needed someone to locate it for me. Needless to say, Anson found it. I've also dragged Maxi, my sometime partner in crime, there on one of my late night steak cravings, and he too, loved it, even though he ordered the bangus. Yes, my mission in life is to take everone to Snackaroo.

Jayvee texted to say that he posted my review of the Motorola 1200, aka the Motoming on Cellphone 9, his cellphone blog. Read it here.

Managed to exorcise some demons during breakfast with Nats and Leah. Today was the day I found out that I can't eat as much as I used to, having lasted *only* three rounds at the breakfast buffet. I hang my head in shame. If you were to tell my younger self that I would only be eating three rounds at a breakfast buffet, she would have laughed and called you a liar. But it's true. I will never look at buffets the same way again. *cries anime tears* One day, I sahll write an article about the evolution of breakfast buffets. Hopefully, it will be so good it will win a competition -- and the prize will be free breakfast. :D

On a happier note, I managed to see Luis today *squee! squee!* . Still no hamster, though.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Arnold Clavio in the House

One of the personalities I enjoyed interviewing was Arnold Clavio. Unfortunately, shortly after I interviewed him, igma decided that it would concentrate on entertainment shows. This meant no news and public affairs shows. I thought my Arnold Clavio article would never see the light of day. Fortunately, they decided to use it in GMA Pinoy TV.

How this man manages to sleep extra late every night and wake up extra early every morning and manage to stay cheerful and smart all throughout will always be a mystery to me.

Read it here.

Weekend Binge Fest

I spent most of the weekend at home reading. Aside from a few hours of work each night, I got to stay in bed and read. I finished reading Tom Green’s autobiography, Hollywood Causes Cancer, a book that left me with a lot of respect for the comedian. I didn’t think much of him before but after reading his inspiring story of how he relentlessly chased his dream of becoming a comedian to how Hollywood swallowed him and later, gave him cancer (the kind Rizal talks about) and how he battled actual cancer, it made me think a lot of him. It also made me think better of Adam Sandler, who I’m not a big fan of but who apparently is a very nice man. According to the book, he was the only Hollywood guest who stayed until the end of Tom green and Drew Barrymore’s wedding, even dancing with Tom’s mom and chatting with his brother. Now I have the urge to borrow Freddy Got Fingered and search for The Tom Green Show on YouTube.

Another book I finished was Christopher Ross’ Tunnel Vision, a philosophical treatise written by a man who worked in the London Underground. At the age of 26, Ross gave up a lucrative, moneymaking job to do nothing but travel. He would then find work in whatever country he was in to pay for his next trip. Tunnel Vision is a lovely book that talks not just about travel, but about the human condition (at least as he sees it) as well. It’s a really easy read, with none of the high faluting words or metaphors associated with philosophy. It doesn’t tell you how to life your life. It’s more an entrance into the thoughts of a man who has chosen to work a mechanical job with the express purpose of observing his surroundings.

I also got a short course on African-American culture over the weekend -- if you can call watching a few episodes of Boondocks and reading Damon Wayans’ book Bootleg studying. If there’s anything I’ve learned from McGurder and Wayans, it’s that African Americans are like Filipinos. Really. Just replace all the words that pertain to African-American in the book and cartoon with “Filipino” and it will still make sense. You can do this with Dave Chapelle’s skits as well. There’s one where he talks about the African-American’s affinity for fried chicken and I thought, ‘That’s so Pinoy!’

This is a sad thing since, a. Filipinos are racists and would rather be associated with people with skin lighter than theirs (the sad thing here being the racism and the colonial mentality, not being compared to African Americans) and b. the book and the cartoon make fun of the African-American culture and its stereotypes.

What does it say about us when some of the aspects of our race that we are proud of (like not backing down from a fight -- from the ‘Nigger Moment’ cartoon) are aspects of another race that get laughed at by their own people? I’m not going to answer that.

My favorite line in Boondocks:

“Grandad, you can’t change the White supreme power structure with cheese!” -- Huey Freeman

I’m currently reading Pat McCarthy’s The Road to McCarthy, a book about a man’s search for his roots around the world. McCarthy, who is half English, half Irish, travels all over, from Morocco to Australia to the US to Monserrat and of course, Ireland, in search of his ancestors. It’s inspiring and it’s something I want to do myself, but I have the feeling I’ll have to learn how to speak Mandarin first. Even though knowing only one sentence (How much is this, miss?) got me though a month in Xiamen, I don’t think it’s good enough to go ancestor-hunting with.

I’m also reading Michael Palin’s Full Circle, where he circles the whole Pacific Rim for a BBC special and gets to write about it, too! I don’t know why I’ve been interested in travel books lately. For the last two years, it was business books. Before that, it was children’s books. Now, it’s travel. I think I’m going through the whole bookstore section by section!

A Band Called Kjwan

Uploaded an article in my GMAP Pinoy TV column about my interview with Kjwan. This happened before they released their second album. The interview was for Anthem magazine. I got to meet Marc and Kelley, who were both very nice and smart and articulate and -- this impressed me the most -- frank.

I love Marc and Kelley! Especially since they know how to make a girl blush. Marc blew me a kiss at the Sugarfree launch and Kelley gave me a hug at the NU Rock Awards *skwee skwee* ^_^ .

Here’s an excerpt:

What has life been like after the release of your first album?

Marc: The first album defined us -- that’s what we observed -- as a macho core rock and roll band because of “Daliri.” I mean, we did release a couple of other songs but like most albums, one song stands out… From then until we started writing songs again, we kept on gigging and gigging, then we added Boogie Romero, who is also from Dicta License (as is Kelley -- ed.), into the mix so when we started writing songs, they became more ambient…

Kelley: The first album was an experiment. And what Marc was saying na rin, after the first album was done, it was our experiment, eh. We got together, we recorded all the songs that came to mind. In the second album, we knew each other better. I knew Jun more, I knew Marc even more, I finally got to jam with Jorel, Bogie came in.

So going into the second album, our mindset was a whole new thing. Yeah, we get defined also by our singles, but even in the first album, there were a lot of different aspects to our individual musicality din that showed out influences, rock and roll, R&B, we listen to a lot of different things, drum n bass, soul, electronica. So all of these mixtures, we’re more fully aware of these influences and we’re trying to translate this into a whole new different thing for the second album. Ang daming ups and downs din in the middle that the band got into. We survived, we got our guns going. We have a good team now. We’re really confident about our product, especially for the second album.

Read the whole article here

Sunday, January 14, 2007

A Bugged Life

I recently interviewed Jayvee Fernandez for a Filipinas Magazine article on Pinoy blogging and posted about it in my GMA Pinoy TV column. Apparently, Jayvee posted about it as well. Read it here .

Saturday, January 13, 2007

San Juan's KKK Museum

I finally found time to check out the KKK Museum (note to foreign readers: KKK in this context does not refer to the Klan -- in the Philippibnes, the KKK refers to the Katipunan, a rebel army who fought for the Philippines' independence from the Spanish), which is walking distance from my house. I only found out about it last month, when I managed to catch a glimpse of its banner from the road.

I don't know its exact address (I'm too lazy to hunt for the brochure), but all I can say it's along the same side as the San Juan post office, inside the gates of the Pinaglabanan Shrine.

It's a tiny museum, about the size of a small apartment. It was nicely air-conditioned (a big plus!), but a bit hard to get into becuase the front gate of the Pionaglabanan Shrine is closed, so you have to come in through the back.

There wasn't much to see -- some dioramas, a few weapons and medallions, half of which were replicas. But it was only during the museum tour that it really sank in that the town I live in played a big part in the building of this nation.

San Juan was one of the many rebel strongholds. Battles were fought here, many people died, all in the quest for independence. Some of the landmarks were battles were fought, like the church and the tower, are still standing -- that is, if you can pick them out from the overcrowded town.

It's heartwarming to see the township putting up projects like the museum. My only complaint is that it seems to be more of a political vehicle than a cultural one. There's a picture of the mayor on the wall, which is ok I guess, since it was his idea anyway. But if you look at the museum's flyers, you see, not a detailed descritpion of San Juan's rich history, nbut a detailed description of how the mayor built the museum.

I have nothing against the mayor, but I believe that there is a time and place for everything, and that people go to a museum to learn about history, not to get sucked into a political campaign. It would be ince to get handed a flyer about the grand history of the Katipunan, not how the museum would not have existed without rich people who 'care.'

Still, I'm glad that there's a museum at all, and if a little propaganda is what it takes to keep it going, then so be it.

Apparently, we have a library too, which I'll visit as soon as I can.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Blogging as the Wave of the Future?

I've a new entry in my column in www.gmapinoytv.com . Here's an exerpt:

I'm currently doing research on blogging vs. advertising for an article I'm writing and one fo the people I had the opportunity to interview was Jayvee Fernandez, Channel Editor for the Technology Channel of B5 Media, a blog network. It's somewhat like being section editor or editor-in-chief of a magazine and then some but in short, he gets paid to write about cellphones. This, I think is every Filipino's dream.

Yep, blogging has become his main source of income now. Luis and I met Jayvee in The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in Greenbelt 3. There, amidst tea and muffins, we discussed the great new world of blogging/ advertising.

Read the whole thing here .

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Thanks, Jaemark!

My blog has been fixed, revamped, realigned, made beautiful again by Jaemark, who is a genius! Not only does my blog look neater, you can now view it on Firefox, too!

Thanks, Jae! I owe you one! :)

Of Placebo and Simon Webbe

First, Placebo.

As you can tell by my icon and my numerous odes to the band, I’m a big Placebo fan. So you can imagine my delight when I got to hang out with the band.

Unfortunately, this didn’t really happen, except in my head. I had one of the best dreams ever last night. Essentially, it was a long, drawn out, extremely fun dream. Brian and I talked about philosophy (we may have stumbled on the meaning of life, but I’ve forgotten what it is -- besides, does he even do that in real life?), Stefan tried to persuade me to buy these weird sneakers decorated with lace and Velcro (we were at a shot, they were on sale -- he ended up persuading my aunt instead), and Steve and I, in a mini subplot (mini na, subplot pa!), helped bring Britney Spears, who had been turned into a cat, change back to human form, but not before she managed to talk to the ghost of her dead ex husband, who was a famous indie comic book writer/ illustrator. I told you it was a dream.

The Simon Webbe thing, though, was real.

I was supposed to interview Simon Webbe, you know, the hot black guy from the now defunct boy band Blue, for a magazine. He was supposed to call at 6am. I got everything ready, did my research, formulated questions, set my alarm ten minutes early so that I would be alert when I took the call.

He didn’t.

Now I know what it feels like to be stood up by famous musician. Strangely enough, it didn’t hurt. I guess I would have felt differently if it was Brian. Or Stef. Or Steve. So I went on with my day, arriving at the office early and managing to upload more stuff into the new site we’re constructing.

At 6pm, I get a call from an unknown number. The line was choppy. Through the static, I managed to hear the voice of a British guy ask if I was me, and I worked for a magazine. Now I write for many magazines, so I didn’t know which one he was referring to. It only it me after I heard a faint, staticky “Webbe” in one of his sentences.

He hadn’t forgotten me at all!

I have to admit though that the whole thing felt sort of like that Simpson’s episode where they were trying to housetrain their dog, Santa’s Little Helper, and you can see the family members from SLH’s point of view and they’re going “Blahblahblahblah Santa’s Little Helper blahblahblah.” It’s rather sad, especially since my point of comparison is an animal that spends most of its life with its tongue sticking out of its open mouth.

The guy on the other line was kind enough to let me compose myself and gather my equipment before putting Simon on. By “gathering my equipment,” I mean frantically searching my bag and desk for my tape recorder and pre-written questions (See children? It pays to prepare!). Thank goodness my phone isn’t 3G.

Simon was very nice and the interview went very well -- well, what I could hear of it anyway. I only hope that Simon didn’t think that the writer on the phone was a dolt who didn’t learn how to follow up questions in journalism school (In my defense, I never went to journalism school -- unless taking a journ class as a mandatory elective counts). Otherwise, the interview went well. He has a lovely voice and his answers (what I could hear of them anyway) were articulate. Thankfully, the conversation registered well on my tape recorder, so I won’t have a problem transcribing the conversation later.

There ends my story of Simon and Placebo (feat. Britney Spears). Back to regular programming. All rise!

Monday, January 08, 2007

On Gio Alvarez and Ely Buendia

Jaemark just wandred by saying that Pupil frontman and ex-Eraserhead Ely Buendia has just suffered a heart attack and is now in the ICU! This calls for an emoticon! :o I love the Eraserheads! This can't be happening! Granted, they've been broken up for a while now but it was always pleasant to know that we had legends in our midst. Besides, Ely's too young to have a heart attack!

Later, Jaemark wandered by again and said, "Di ba palaging siansabi ni Ely na 'bakit niyo kami ginagawan ng tribute e di pa kami patay?'" This calls for another emoticon. :P

In otehr news, I found out that Gio Alvarez is back in showbiz! I'm embarassed to say this but I had a slight crush on him circa Pare Ko.

What can I say? I have a thing for noids. Unfortunately, you can play the noid card for only so long. Young noids are cute. Older ones aren't -- unlest they're millionaires. Wahahahaha! :D

The best of luck to Gio! I hope to meet him someday and have my picture taken with him, the same way I had my pidture taken with Jao Mapa on the set of Super Noypi.

Funny how I wouldn't watch Ang TV when I was younger but now want to have my pictures taken will all its stars now, if only because they defined a generation. Hey, it was baduy and I studied in an exclusive all-girls school. I have since learned the error of my -- and the entire exclusive all-girls school's -- ways. Da-n you Sister -----, Da-n youuuuu!

Old New Posts

I completely forgot to post about new stuff in my GMA Pinoy TV column.

The last one for last year was something about Up dharma Down, the band that has taken 2006 by storma nd whose music no one can pin down, even after most of a year. Here's an exerpt:

Here’s the unused portion of my Anthem interview on the band. The mag gave me permission to use it. Anthem is free and can be found in bars, restos, bookstores and shops.

How does it feel to be UdD now?

Armi: Honestly, it’s very hectic. There’s a lot of pressure going on, to be quite honest. They’re expecting a good follow-up and the sophomore album is always a threat to any band’s career. It’s a lot of pressure but it’s good. We’re enjoying everything. We didn’t even expect that this would happen so soon. We’ve only been together for two years.

My first entry for this year was a belated account of my attending the Mano Po 5: Gua Ai Di press con. Present were Ricahrd Gutierrez, Christian Bautista and Lorna Tolentino. Aside from getting to introduce myself to Christian (I inteviewed him via e-mail for Gusto once), it was aso fun to hear the stars speak Chinese and to get their insight on the culture. Here's an exerpt:

Someone else asked the two boys what they would do if they fell in love with a Chinese girl whose family didn’t approve of them (the premise of the movie). Both gave really dreamy answers.

Richard’s was very romantic, while Christian’s was very pragmatic -- so pragmatic he could pass for Chinese! Just kidding!

Richard said, “I would go all the way to Beijing for her. Kung talagang mahal mo yung tao, kahit ano, gagawin mo para sa kanya. Kung talagang mahal ko yung tao, ipaglalaban ko siya.”

Christian said, “Medyo mahirap yung sitwasyon kung buong pamilya may ayaw sa ‘yo. Siguro iisipin ko ano ba ang mas malaking masisira ko; kung mamahalin ko siya tapos aalis kami tapos maiinis yung pamilya niya sa kanya. Mas malaki ba ang mawawala nun keysa sa Narealize ko na kahit mahal namin ang isa’t isa, kami na lang ang mag hiwalay para masaya ang pamilya. Buti na lang, di ko p naexperience yun. Siguro gagawin ko muna ang lahat para makumbinsi ang pamilya na we can make this work. Lahat-lahat, meaning magpapa-inject pa ako ng Chinese blood. Pero personally, kung lahat, nagawa ko, pero di pa nila naaccept yun, siguro I will let her go… kasi for me, mas importante ang pamilya talaga.”

Read the whole of both column entries at http://www.gmapinoytv.com/karma/ . I also recently found out that I'm a featured blogger on http://www.gmanews.tv . I was actually offered a column there but I had to decline as I have te Pinoy TV one already, which readers can find on the site anyway.