Tuesday, November 30, 2010

dream big!

taking a break from the holiday rush (and from our blog delinquency!) by sharing you what was shared with us.

a few weeks back, i had a friend arnel casanova come to our office to share his story with us.

if there's anyone who can say that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE, it's him.

he was born into a very poor family,

and against all odds, he was able to finish school...

learning english through the old pages of old Newsweek magazines that were used to wrap fish in the market he worked in as a child...

working in a bakery (to get through college), and sleeping on its floors since he had nowhere to stay...

all this (and more) didn't stop him from succeeding...

and when i say "succeed", i mean

graduating with flying colors,

getting a law degree

(while working for a law degree, winning an honorary award from President Ramos for some peacekeeping work he had done),

... and yes... getting a degree in Harvard.

anything IS possible!

read more about him here.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

i saw red

binondo, november 2010

kalesa at tasty dumplings...

eng bee tin


art deco street posts

asado chong fan at wai ying

egg tarts

pot belly


el hogar

malate church fountain

my little tribute to manila :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

the magic of pacman and the philippines

coming out of our hybernation, let me share a few thoughts about the pacquiao fever i'm sure we both welcomed in the past week.

taking from the recently released biography,

let me quote a pretty accurate and sad description of our beloved city...

"...Manila, the decaying capital of the Philippines. It's one of Southeast Asia's most impoverished capital cities, a modern Third World metropolis created by the worst of colonial intentions and a parade of some of the most ridiculous dictators ever to walk the earth. Even Manila's well-off cannot totally escape the city that they have helped create: A trip to a shopping mall restaurant, or five-star hotel involves machine gun-carrying guards and a canine unit that checks vehicles for bombs or guns. Even the most exclusive areas, such as Metro Manila's Makati City are within fifty feet of endless shantytowns, which catch fire on a regular basis. One in five children must forego school for work and walk through the busiest traffic without a care for life or limb. Impoverished men who cannot find work drown their days with a mixture of Colt 45 beer and homemade gin. A typhoon in 2009 submerged 80 percent of the city in mud, and the city's bay-side dump, with its black clouds of flies, has four thousand residents. One of Manila's inexplicable tourist attractions is the Hobbit House, a bar in which the waiters are all dwarfs..."

but, of course, we -- and i mean people like you and me-- remain optimistic as ever.

and as manny's victory (and graciousness!) shone last Sunday, a certain blogger,

couldn't have described last Sunday's magic any better...

"...what is on display when Pacquiao speaks is essential Filipino values that typify the elusive best of a country whose people’s humble and gentle virtues are not particularly well understood abroad. This is, after all, a world where, for example, some cultures have adopted the term “filipina” to be slang for “housekeeper”. The truth is, it’s easy for ignorant westerners to underestimate and misinterpret the gentle, gracious nature of the Filipino character — yet somehow Manny Pacquaio is singlehandedly changing that, teaching the world and reminding the Philippine universe that humility, grace, compassion, and empathy can coexist with the heart of a warrior...

... And so now he has the position he sought — the position of “public servant”, and he has stated that his goal is to become a “champion of public service” as his life transitions toward a new phase. Boxing has been his vehicle to “make people happy” in one profound, “let me lift you up” way that Filipinos perhaps understand better than the rest of us. That phase will end. But now, today, he is an elected Congressman who through both his boxing and public service has truly has made millions of people happy in that transcendant way he seeks–so truly and so beautifully that the skinny kid who grew up on the streets may well someday have the opportunity to lead not just an impoverished Sarangani province, but an entire resurgent nation that with Pacquaio as example-maker-in-chief–a long-suffering and self doubting country that under his inspired leadershp may lift itself up as a country in ways that would be just as surprising, yet just as inevitable, as Pacquaio’s rise to the top in boxing. I for one believe in Manny Pacquiao–his heart, his sincerity, the sheer power of his will, and the true Filipino essence of his character. He makes me feel hope for the future of the Philippines, and proud to be part of a Fil-Am household that has plenty of Filipino blood flowing through our family’s veins."

(read the whole article here).

now we continue struggle to find our own identity...

and i think carlos celdran was right in calling out DOT for their somewhat, for lack of a better term, *corny* new slogan.

(the calling out was successful as they are going back to the drawing board).

i just wish our DOT could come up with something that could really capture that 'magic' that first-time visitors experience over and over...

that 'thing' that people like our business guests, friends of our bro, and all the other unsuspecting foreigners discover here...

it's a combination of our speaking and thinking in english, our interesting history, the sophistication of our CBDs and night life, the cool fashion and design sense of our people, the beauty of our beaches and reefs, our openness to diversity, our unexpected western worldliness, and yes, our graciousness as exemplified by the pacman himself.

sorry, kinda wordy post... that's all :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

vintage kitsch

remember how we wanted to make a vintage-kitchen-inspired cardboard booth for messy?

well, we finally pulled it off...

how cute is this?

that's all :)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

the t-shirt

its interesting how a simple t-shirt can say a lot about you and your friends....haha!

(taken at a recent drinking session at home, the first of a series of farewell parties...)

karaoke in a t-shirt!


just climb!

"be green"

up mountaineers!


Friday, November 5, 2010

rainy day

enjoying the rain from my (new) room :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

happy birthday twinpopsis!

found some happy childhood photos of us :) good memories you can think about for the next 6 months :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

book binge

ever since i got my kindle last week, i've been on a book binge...

here's what i've read so far:

a really interesting read... it's incredible how our first 9 months of our lives affect us more than we think!!!

here's a new finding... 20% of our IQ is determined by what mum ate/felt/used/did while she was preggy with us. makes me want to interview mom!!!

read an interview with the author here, to get more of an idea.

next book, this:

awww... what a heartwarming book about a little english island after the german occupation.

the whole book is written in letters -- genius!

it has the quirkiness and warmth of that tv show picket fences -- remember that?

third book, this:

this one reminds me of the two of us...

it's about two 'different' sisters with a bit of mystic powers... with special potions, their boys, their estranged mom, and everything in between.

it reminds me a lot of 'like water for chocolate' :)

hmmm... what to read next?