Friday, November 27, 2009

Thank you, Merci, Gracias, Arigato, Mahalo, Salamat!

Americans and americanized friends, I know today is really your holiday... But, may I just borrow it for one blog post? Just one, I promise! Anyway, eating turkey is not really a pinoy thing and I don't think a "one whole lechon manok - chopped" from Andoks would look as regal as a 12 pound roasted bird at the center of the dinner table. So I guess one blog entry would suffice. (Or, maybe once a year? Let's nego.)

[Wait, break muna... Pinsan E, I distinctly remember your house in Merville where you had so many "yummy" farm animals (why do I sound like a carnivorous T-Rex all of a sudden?). Guys, i'm not kidding! They had pigs, chicken and their chicks, and TURKEYS in their own backyard. If I'm not mistaken, those were the only times I ate turkey and I remember liking it, although now I don't really remember what it actually tastes like 'cos that was like... 14 years ago? Damn!]

Ok, back to my trail of thought before I get lost from all the side stories.

Isn't Thanksgiving universal? Yes, for you Amerikanos, I know this is the holiday about the american indians (sharing a turkey with the cowboys, was it? I think I'm embarassing myself). Wait, what really happened?

On the other hand, what I would like to blog about is thanksgiving. The one that's more culture-flexible. The one that applies to every human being in this planet. In tagalog, "Pasasalamat" (root word: "Salamat" meaning "Thank you"). 

So yeah, we're down with "Pasasalamat". Here are a few pasasalamats of my own:

(To prove my point that thanksgiving is universal, I will now attempt to write in my native tongue 'til the end of this blog post)

Sa aking pamilya, sa walang-sawang suporta sa lahat ng daang itinahak ko sa aking buhay, Maraming Salamat!

Sa aking mga kaibigan, sa pagbibigay ng kaligayahan sa akin sa tuwing tayo'y nagkakasama. Kahit na ano pa ang aking pagdaanan, nakakalimutan ko sa tuwing humahalakhak na tayo dahil sa ating sari-saring mga kababawan. Maraming Salamat!

Sa aking mga ka-opisina, nararamdaman ko ang inyong paniniwala at suporta sa lahat ng aking desisyon at ginagawa sa trabaho. Maraming Salamat!

Sa aming kasambahay, Jecel, kahit na lagi akong nagkakamali sa ispeling ng pangalan mo (parating Giselle ang tawag ko sa kanya), sa patuloy mong pagtulong sa mga gawaing bahay at pagpapasensya sa minsang katarayan ko. Maraming Salamat!

Sa mga kinakainan ko araw-araw (mcdo, country style, mary joanne's kitchen, BYR, glorietta food court), dahil ako'y isang matakaw na tao na hindi marunong magbawas ng kinakain. Kahit na ako'y nananaba na at ang "holiday weight" (ipagpaumanhin, hindi ko talaga maisalin sa tagalog) ko noong nakaraang pasko ay hindi na nawala, tunay na lumiligaya ako kapag nakakakain ng masasarap na pagkaing handa ninyo. Maraming Salamat!

Sa milyon-milyong pinoy na may ginintuang puso, na sa kabila ng kahirapan at dagok ng buhay, nagsusumikap at nananatili parin kayong mapagmahal sa inyong kapwa. Maraming Salamat!

Sa milyon-milyong katauhan sa buong mundo, sa inyong paniniwala na ang lahing pinoy ay isang dakilang lahi. Sa inyong pagbibigay ng karangalan sa aming mga kababayang tunay na ipinagmamalaki ng aming bayan, kagaya nina Efren Penaflorida, Manny Pacquiao, atbp. Maraming Salamat!

At sa iyo, sa pagbabasa sa aking mga munting saloobin. Maraming Salamat!
     Ikaw, kanino mo nais magpasalamat?

    Monday, November 23, 2009

    Happy New Year, Happy New Career!

    Ok yeah it's a little bit too early for new year festivities. It's not even December yet.

    Oh come on, just let me let it out. I just can't hold it in anymore. Lately, my friends often catch me being a little too quiet one minute, then suddenly bursting with "I can't wait for this year to end!" the next minute. When asked why, I usually answer with "nothing!". 

    Well, obviously, this is not "nothing". This is definitely "something". For me, at least.

    Here's the reason for my recent mood swings: A big change concerning my career will come to pass this January 2010. So, will you, please, repeat after me: Happy New Year! Happy New Career!

    Thank you.

    The nature of both my current and future jobs does not allow me to reveal too many specifics, so forgive me if sometimes I sound a bit too cryptic in my blog posts. We're all very secretive in this industry. We even talk to each other in our own secret code language, e.g. "The eagle flies at midnight!", "The circus elephant is in the rabbit hole.", "Mr. L is in the building.". (To be honest, I kinda like it. Not that anyone cares that I have a secret or anything)

    So, these are the only things I can say for now:
    1. I will still work in the same industry.
    2. I will still work for the same company.
    3. I will finally walk the long, winding, and utterly fulfilling road to my dream career.

    I was not the type who always knew what I wanted to be when I grow up. At 7, i wanted to be a doctor. At 10, I wanted to be a scientist (really, until after a few years when I realized that to be a scientist you have to actually be good in science). So at 12, I wanted to be a lawyer, because everyone else wanted to be a lawyer. At 16, I wanted to be a fashion designer (from lawyer to fashion designer, where did that come from?). 

    Then, I graduated high school. Then, I was in college, that time in our lives when we're supposed to begin the long walk to our future careers. That was the time when we're supposed to be able to already envision ourselves doing whatever it is we were destined to do. So what about me? Doctor Iza? Scientist Iza? Atty. Iza? Fashion designer Iza?

    I was starting to get anxious. What am I supposed to do with my life???

    In the midst of all that soul-searching, I began to write. I wrote my thoughts, I wrote letters, I wrote stories, I wrote poetry. When I was happy, I wrote. When I was sad, I wrote. When I was pissed, damn it, I wrote! I wrote at night until I fell asleep. Next morning, I wake up still holding the pen I was writing with the night before (I kid you not, this happened A LOT). Every ounce of passion I had in me was dedicated to writing, and it was all I ever really enjoyed doing (aside from reading, for one cannot live without the other).

    That was how I finally discovered who I want to be. I don't know why it never occured to me before. It woke me up like ice-cold water thrown at my face (but in a good way). Eureka! I want to be a writer! I was probably about 20-21 y.o. when I discovered this... and unlike my childhood dream jobs, I haven't changed my mind since.

    Then I got into advertising. It's been a little over 2 years since I started working in this industry. I've done some creative writing tasks, here and there, but I have yet to call myself a copywriter. That was until just a few months ago, when I saw an opportunity... and damn it, I took it!

    Starting January 2010, I will fully enter the creative world. I am now being mentored by one of the most idolized and brilliant creative minds in Philippine Advertising. I am very lucky and grateful for this opportunity. It's overwhelming and terrifying at the same time. Kind of like the feeling of being in luuuuuurve.

    It's a risk, alright... but it's a good risk. What are we supposed to do with good risks? I say just close our eyes, let our instincts guide us, and take that proverbial leap!

    So here's to next year... and the next... and the next... and the next! Wish me luck, my friends!

    On other news... 

    Congratulations to Mr. Efren Penaflorida, for being named 2009 CNN Hero Of The Year. Efren started a "pushcart classroom" to bring education to less-fortunate children in our country. 

    It's people like you, sir, that make me proud to be a Filipino. Mabuhay ka!

    "Our planet is filled with heroes, young and old, rich and poor, man, woman of different colors, shapes and sizes. We are one great tapestry," Peñaflorida said upon accepting the honor. "Each person has a hidden hero within, you just have to look inside you and search it in your heart, and be the hero to the next one in need."

    Watch the video to see Efren accept this great honor.

    Thursday, November 12, 2009

    Iza is 87% addicted to facebook

    Oh Gaaaad... This is not a good sign. Actually, i'm a little suspicious. See, I don't play those super addictive games that require you to log-in and check your account once every hour. You know what I mean: that farmville thingy, that mafia nonsense, that restaurant city madness, not even that bejewelled hoo-ha (which BTW is becoming a cause of serious competition at work. I'm not kidding! everyone in our office plays this game but me and everyone is dead serious about being the "highest scorer"). The only game I ever was addicted to in facebook is that typing maniac thing, and the last time I played that was about a month ago (when I levelled up to "cyborg" status). Hey, no offense to those farmville maniacs, but think about it... If i'm 87% addicted now, then how addicted will I be when I start farming and taking care of those barn animals?

    You know those facebook quizzes everyone takes and posts on their walls? I seldom do that too (except for this how addicted to FB are you thing, anyway, it's not even a quiz... it's an app. I clicked the button and it mis calculated how "addicted" I am). I may have done one or two of those quizzes once or maybe twice in a month. Does that make me an addict? I don't think so... (Denial, stage 1)

    If you are my facebook friend (which you probably are, since most of you who read my blog are people I know personally anyway) and you happen to chance upon my wall, then you'd see what I really love doing when I'm logged in. I update my status once in a while, comment on my or my friends' wall posts, and post links or interesting photos. Such as these...

    I once read this article about how facebook promotes narcissism in Gen-Xers and Gen-Yers. Says it's a channel where narcissists can shamelessly self-promote themselves with their glamorous pictures, engaging personal profiles, and interesting wall posts. Now, like I said, what I love about facebook is how it allows me to interact with current, new, and old friends anytime (via the comments). Apparently, that makes me a facebook addict. Fine. (Acceptance - stage 2) BUT... Does being a facebook addict make me a narcissist? Nah, don't think so (back to stage 1).

    Don't we just love sharing interesting stuff we "stumble upon" in the www? Don't we just love interacting with people, making friends laugh, making "chismis" (in a good way if there is such a thing). If that makes us addicted to facebook, then I'm with Amy Winehouse on this one - "They tried to make me go to rehab, but I said NO, NO, NO..."

    At least these guys get it...

    Saturday, November 7, 2009

    HapPink Halloween!!!

    Just wanted to share some of our recent "Lezparteh!" moments with you guys.

    We had a Halloween Party! (Hurrah! The last halloween party I attended was I think, 2 years ago? LOSER). Hindi kami nagpapigil kay Typhoon Santi. (BTW, Kainis ka, Santi! I don't care kahit sosyal ang name mo, you're not invited! Ang hangin-hangin mo kasi!)

    Now you see I am in a barkada of about 5 or 6 girls and over 10 boys. So kahit na gaano kami ka-excited sa kakaisip  ng halloween costume, dahil boys sila and they're "too cool for costumes", hindi sila kakagat. Kasi, if they had a choice (my gut tells me this and i'm about 90% sure) they would rather spend a night drinking at some friend's house in their pambahay outfits: t-shirt, shorts, tsinelas, kahit na ano pa ang occasion (yung iba pa are not fond of showering... ay! ako din pala).

    This year though we were really pushing for a party. So what we did was compromise... Sige, ayaw niyo mag costume?! PWES! Mag-isip na lang tayo ng color theme! Lahat kailangan sumunod! No excuses!

    Hence, the HAPPINK HALLOWEEN PARTY! (organized by my friends martha and ej, plus yours truly)

     Excuse me, hindi ako nandaya (hello??? PINK SCARF!)... I also had PINK SHORTS on. 

    Ej - the hostess with the mostest

    Martha - the party organizer aka Little Girl, Big Voice aka Jasmine Trias

    Our makati-girlfriend Pam, and Ej's hubby, CP.

    This is my official "Drag Princess" look. (I'm not worthy to be called queen just yet)

    HapPink Hallow-Pink!

    Sunday, November 1, 2009

    Because In My Book, Every Weekend Is TV Weekend

    I predict that in about 15-20 years, today's local TV will be a thing of the past. Thanks to the highly intellectual noontime shows, the countless KAPAMUSO soaps (can you hear my eyes rolling?), the internet, and the pirates of the cawebbean.

    This must be one of those "signs of the times" everyone keeps talking about. Let me take a peek at the future: I see shows being cancelled... Advertisers no longer advertising on TV... Networks signing off... Hala! APOCALYPSE NOW.

    I'm kidding! No, I don't think that will happen. I hope not! Or i'm out of a job. (Now I'm talking about the death of TV, not the END of days 'cos no I'm not the devil)

    Admittedly, I spend almost every weekend in front of the TV, my ass glued to the couch. I've tried everything else, but I've come to the conclusion that there is no better way to spend my weekend (did I just admit that i'm boring??? forget that last statement). 
    My standard opening statement every Monday when talking to my co-workers:
    "Napanood mo yung (insert sunday chismis show here)? Graaaabeh!!! Naabutan mo yung interview ni (insert annoying lady host who cries all the time here) kay (insert random artista here). Intense!!!"

    So, one lazy yet peaceful Sunday morning, and after about 3 hours of channel-surfing, I've decided that it is time for another blog entry. And what else should I ramble ramble about but my weekend-bestfriend, the good old T to the V.

    As my own personal tribute to the boob tube, a.k.a. the TeleVizzle, the Thought Vacuum , the Idiot Box (looks like someone just paid a visit to the urban dictionary), and David Letterman (that perv)... Here are...

    (Drumroll please)

    The Top 10 Shows I Watch On TV Every Weekend (whether free TV or cable)

    10. Friends Re-runs (ETC)
    It's about 6 friends. Period. No explanation needed.

    It is just so simple, so truthful, and so effortless. This is one of those hit shows that made it so big that it owned an enitre era.

    Joey: Now listen, the last day of auditions is Thursday. Okay? So I gotta get in there by Thursday. Okay? Just remember Thursday. Thursday. Can you remember Thursday?
    Chandler: Yeah. So Tuesday? 
    Joey: Thursday! Look, if you need help remembering, think of it like this: the third day. All right? Monday, one day. Tuesday, two day. Wednesday, when? Huh? What day? Thursday! The third day! Okay? 
    Chandler: Thank you.

    9. Gene Simmons' Family Jewels (The Bio Channel / A&E)

    Who wouldn't love those extra long Simmons tongues and rockin' vibe!

    Its the Osbourne Show without the bat-eating father, the hag-looking mother, the pill popping, alcoholic spawn (s? spawnus?), and the british accent. 
    This family, IMO, is 150% more likeable than the Osbournes. They look healthier, do not cuss as much, and they do not eat flying rodents in their free time.
    OMG, Gene Simmons and his girlfriend (of 20 years?) had cosmetic surgery (botox and the whole shebang) on the same day?! Funnyyyyyyyyyy!
    OMG, Nick Simmons (Gene Simmons' son) cried tears of joy when his parents gave him not just 1 cat, but 2 kittens! (You're giving me 2 cats! I'm so happy! Huhuhuhuhu! ='() Funnyyyyyyyyyyy!

    8. The Millionaire Matchmaker (ETC / Bravo TV)
    Matchmaking millionaires for a living! Now that's good business!
    This is a reality show about Ms. Patti Stanger's matchmaking business. When it comes to choosing her clients, her two most important requirements are: 1) they must be rich (her services probably cost more than a leg and an arm) and 2) friendless (if they had friends they wouldn't need a matchmaker).

    Love and money! Who says you can't have it both?


    7. I Propose (ETC / The Style Network)

    If you see me glued to the TV set, hiding my bawling face with tears continuously running down my cheeks... well then yes! You've caught me watching another one of my favorite lame-o reality shows (I've just realized what a reality show freak I really am... I thought I hated them?).
    The show title is self-explanatory. Guy wants to pop the question but has no idea how to go about it, Guy calls the show to ask for help (because proposing while at a baseball game in front of thousands of people is too risky... what if she says no? Or worse, says yes but did not really mean it?), show helps Guy set it up in the cheesiest yet most effective way possible, Guy pops the question, Girl says "Yes!". (all together now... awwwwwww! tear!)

    I don't think I have ever watched an episode of this show and not cry. Well, whaddyaknow? I guess this means I am definitely a girl.

    Actually, I don't see this show anymore. I was such a (closet) fan that I memorized its airing schedule. I think ETC cancelled it (we don't have The Style Network).
    Note to ETC, from one overly loyal and devoted (closet) fan: Parang awa niyo na... ibalik niyo na yung I Propose. Peborit ko yan eh!

    6. The Ellen Degeneres Show (ETC 2nd Avenue / Warner Bros.)

    For her generosity, we shall now re-baptize her Ellen "The Generous". 
    I would love love love to be a guest on this show just to play the gold-digger game. Or the sumo-wrestler... or even the marshmallow on a string game. Who cares if I make a fool out of myself? Hello... big bucks! Instant stardom!

    I especially love the gold-digger game, because who wouldn't go crazy with a phone call from Ellen Degeneres? Plus she gives you a chance to win tons of money.

    Kudos to Ellen Degeneres and her enormously successful show! Here's hoping her star continues to shine for many, many years. It's really great how some people truly make it part of their jobs to give back to the world. 
    Here's a video I grabbed from youtube... watch it and be ellen-ified!


    5. TMZ (HBO, JackTV, ETC)

    Seriously, who doesn't love TMZ? Even some celebrities admit they're addicted to the show. But yes, sometimes i do feel bad for them especially on days they're caught not looking their best, or in a totally embarrassing situation (see video below). 
    But then, it's part of the job, Brad Pitt!

    4. Trust Me (ETC 2nd Ave.)

    The crazy life of working in an advertising agency. 
    Well, to quote one of this show's reviews, "I want to like this show, I really do!".

    My sentiments exactly. I am very interested in this show 'cos I work in the industry and it's interesting to see your "life" dramatized in some way (I wonder if real doctors watch "Grey's Anatomy?"). But weekend after weekend, 10 minutes into Eric Mccormack's (who plays the newly-promoted creative director) and Thomas Cavanaugh's (art director) work predicament and I find myself holding my eyelids up with my fingers. (snore!)

    For Christ's sake, the show is supposed to be about creativity, why is it not creative? (note to the writers, sometimes it's not about the story... it's about the storytelling! yikes ang feeling ko)

    (now it's interesting why I included this show in my top 10 list... the truth is I've ran out of shows to and this is one of those shows I "try" to watch)

    3. Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien (JackTV, NBC)

    I've always, always been a Conan fan. Even on his Late Night days. His is the type of dark humor that almost makes me say "Oh no, he didn't!" but instead just makes me guffaw (note, not just laugh, GUFFAW).
    No offense to Leno fans, but IMO, the Tonight Show is now about 100 times better with Conan behind the desk.

    In "Late Night...", Conan used to bring out this lever he called "The Walker Texas Ranger Lever". This was after NBC bought out Universal Studios which then allowed Conan to show clips from shows owned by Universal anytime without paying them so much as a penny... thus, the Walker clips. Oh man... I'm laughing in the inside just thinking about it! Never thought something so stupid could be so AWESOME at the same time. 
    I hope they bring back that lever and use it on the tonight show! I miss yelling, "PULL THAT LEVER!!! PULL THAT FREAKIN' LEVER!!!".
    Watch the video for a "Walker Texas Ranger Lever" Mashup

    2. Project Runway Philippines Season 2 (ETC)

    Hi, my name is Elizabeth... and I am a Project Runway addict.
    I love the original US version (with the cute cute Heidi Klum's Auf Viedersen) and have been following the show season after season.
    The Filipino version, well... I regularly watch it too. Yes it is still totally addictive, especially the friendly "okrayan" between contestants. (I think now there are only 4 of them left)
    HOWEVER, (look... I'm just being my overly cynical self here) there are a few things I have noticed about the show. These are the following:
    THAT ANNOYINGLY "QUIRKY" SMALL GIRL CONTESTANT. - Only a few people can pull off the "quirky but cute" image. Sadly and honestly, my dear, you seem to fail so miserably at it (I just woke up so I am a little bitchy). One other thing, haven't we seen this character in season 1?

    The one on top is Ava from Season 1 (successfully mismatching pieces is a skill and clearly not everyone has it). The one at the bottom is Tracy from Season 2. See what I mean?

    THE WANNABE-HEIDI KLUM HOST - I'm sorry to those who love Tessa Herrera... I mean I think she's okay, until she started walking and talking like Heidi Klum.
    If Heidi Klum says "Auf Viedersen" to every eliminated contestant at the end of each show...
    Tessa Herrera says "Ingat!" or "Bye, baby!" (does she really need a Heidi Klum catchphrase?)
    In the end of the opening credits, if Heidi Klum poses with her hands on her hips...
    Tessa Herrera does the exact same pose in the opening credits of our local Project Runway.

    It's bad enough that they got another mestiza foreign-looking lady (who speaks with an accent you can't quite place) to host the show, but does she really need to host it exactly like Heidi Klum??? I mean I'm starting to despise the lady, but then I realized it could be the producers who are ordering her to act like that.
    Filipino people, we are a talented and excellent group! Be original!

    On a positive note, I like the contestants Cherry and Russell. I think both of them will be in the final three.

    1. The Buzz (ABS-CBN)

    Read: CHISMIS
    Honestly, the weekend feels so incomplete without my favorite local Sunday chismis talk show. If I miss this show on Sunday, expect me to have the Monday blues.

    As much as I hate to admit this, it is the Kris Aquino-Boy Abunda tandem that makes this show as successful as it is. Boy is okay, but Kris is another story... as they say, you either LOVE or HATE this hee-hawing lady... there is nothing in between.
    I don't think I have to explain much. "Do not explain, your friends do not need it, and your enemies will never believe you anyway."
    So that's it! End of story.

    (It took me three weeks to finish this blog post. See how commited I am to the subject? LONG LIVE TV! Yee-haw!)