Saturday, May 28, 2016

Magnolia Flavor House

MANILA, Philippines - After strolling around the (new) mall, eating ice cream at the Magnolia Flavor House brought my Robinson's Magnolia experience full circle.  

It wasn't so much because of anything extraordinary about its ice cream. I guess it's more about paying homage to the place that was, decades ago, one of the go-to place for families and young lovers. 


I wrote the first two paragraphs years ago. This entry was left unfinished, which I totally forgot about. Here's my attempt to finish it by sharing some of the photos I took that day, including what I ordered. 

Panoramic view of inside.



My orders. Mind you, this was for sharing!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

How to Get A Cedula

Here's another first while adulting: getting a cedula. 

A cedula is the Community Tax Certificate. As to its purpose, I have no idea. I just had to get one as a requirement for a contract I signed. That's all.

To me, this is just another way for the government to get our hard-earned money. 

For those who are in the dark on how to get their own cedula:

1. Go to Barangay Center
After living in our area for almost 3 decades, today was the first time I went to our Barangay Center. I didn't even know we had one! But yes, all barangays should have one. 

2. Fill up a little form 
I went to the Information Desk to ask for guidance since I was clueless. The lady asked me to fill up this little form. Details to fill in: Name, Address, Birthday, Citizenship, Height and Weight (Seriously.) 

Note: She told me not to fill-in the occupation and TIN # so I wouldn't have to pay extra. As to how much, I didn't bother asking. Basta makatipid!

3. Submit to Barangay clerk
This is so that clerk can fill up the cedula using the information written.

4. Sign and put thumb print 

5. Pay
Cost of cedula was Php 60.50. (For that piece of paper?!) I thought it'd cost Php 20. 

The entire process took less than 10 minutes. 

Thought bubble when I got it:

(Image from

Sunday, May 15, 2016

2016 Philippine Election Ads that Suck

I'll try not to be mean but some of this year's election ads are downright generic, pretentious, and absolutely cringe-worthy--not to mention a waste of money.

I'd like to believe that if ad agencies were involved, these probably started out as great ideas but were just watered down by the clients. I can just imagine the politico's team nitpicking it to death, or worse, writing the scripts and directing the material themselves.

Sayang. Yun lang.

I recently wrote about this years' political ads that stuck. Now it's time for a rundown of those that suck. Again, these don't factor in my personal judgement about the candidates.

1. Serge Osmena's "Tumutulong at Maaasahan."
How generic can this get? Isn't it basic that all government officials should be helping and dependable? This material is forgettable, though ironic how I remember it as such.

2. Leila de Lima's "I Love You"
Unfortunately, this the worst of Leila's ads. The "I love you" was probably heartfelt and an attempt to make the material memorable but to me, it came across as plastic and painfully funny.

3. Daang Matuwid's "Fast Forward" 
While I admire the celebrities who supposedly waived talent fees to support Daang Matuwid, the music video just seemed fabricated. The best/worst part was Mar's high-five fail (2:00). Nice song, though.

4. Grace Poe's "Sisiguraduhin ko po."
Grace Poe isn't an actress. I wish the people behind her ads would stop making her act--even as herself. This conversation with mom Susan Roces seems so pretentious. I'm still waiting for a punchline!

5. Chiz Escudero's "Gobyernong may Puso" 
While this may be on point in terms of messaging, Chiz's delivery is cringe-worthy. He fails miserably trying to look and sound like he cares. I wonder how many takes they had to do during the shoot--with various degrees of happiness, I'm sure! This, for me, is the worst this year.

What do you think?

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Voting was a Breeze

Let me start the barrage of selfies with dirty fingers.
Para sa bayan, Para sa sambayanang Pilipino, at para tapos na.

I was done voting in a record-breaking 10 minutes.

I wanted it to be over as quickly (and as painlessly) as possible. I took more time deciding who I wanted to vote for rather than the actual voting process. I think that's a good thing?

The night before election day, I was only sure about 1 person that I was going to vote for. 

On May 9, election day, here's what happened in a span of 10 minutes or so.

I forgot my list at home so I tried to re-create it in the car. 

I arrived at our village gym to vote at 6:15am. So quiet.

Step #1
I had to find my name in the long lists on the board. I think this was the precinct number?

Took me quite a while. Ang liliit ng font! 

Finally found my name somewhere there.

One volunteer filled up a small form with my name, precinct number, and whatnot. 

Step #2
I gave that small form to this station. Another volunteer searched her list for my voter information, which I had to sign off on. I saw my photo taken years ago when I applied for a Voters' ID (which I still don't have). Ang bata ko pa!

A ballot was then given to me.

At this point, I was reprimanded and was told that I wasn't allowed to take photos anymore. Oops! Sorry.

Step #3
I filled up my ballot with the help of my re-created list. Checked it twice.

What the ballot looked like. It was back-to-back.

Step #4
I had to line up to submit my ballot. 

I felt nervous feeding my ballot to the PCOS machine. What if it wouldn't get accepted? What if something went wrong? Would I be cheated? 

Thankfully, all went well. 

Step #5
The PCOS machine read my ballot and gave me a receipt. I checked to make sure that the people I voted for were there. The receipt was placed inside a black box for safekeeping. 

Indelible ink was placed on my finger. I chose the left index finger. Voila! 

I'm fortunate that we were able to vote in our village. It was quiet, cool, and extremely stress-free. I hope other precincts had it that way, too. 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

2016 Philippine Election Ads that Stuck

Are political ads in the Philippines not as catchy and impactful and as they were before?

I miss materials like "VOT FOR D CHAMMP", Prospero Pichay's witty pechay fan, and that commercial where Cory Aquino says, "Lagot siya sa nanay niya" to endorse Noynoy as senator.

While most of this year's political ads seem blah, there are a few that stuck.

Here are my personal favorites. Mind you, these don't factor in personal judgments about the candidates. That's a different entry altogether. Haha!

1. "Walang drama."
Less is more. No theatrics. No gimmicks. Thank God Mar isn't making padyak the bike in his leather shoes anymore! Here, he's straight to the point and delivers the message that people need to hear: "Hindi ko kayo nanakawan." Best monologue.

2. Duterte's Merry Christmas
Definitely not your usual sing-song Christmas greeting from a politico. Very, very disruptive. Only a Rodrigo Duterte could pull-off something like this just because it's aligned with his brand character.

3. "Iskolar ng Bayan ni Mr. R"
Aba, may budget!!! I actually thought it was a movie! I appreciate how Roman Romulo (branded as "Mr. R") is brave enough to be different by being funny and entertaining while tackling a heavy issue. He seems to trust his creative agency.

4. "Alam ko po."
Isko Moreno's latest commercial with Joseph Estrada reminds me of Grace Poe's commercials with mom Susan Roces... only this isn't as cringe-worthy and boring. The charming ending is its saving grace. Without it, nevermind.  

5. "Millenials for Martial Law"
I think is this best political ad that doesn't support a particular candidate. While it's a movement to re-write Philippine history books to include the full story of the Martial Law era, it subliminally tells the audience not to support Bongbong Marcos. Very real. Very moving.

6. "Disiplina Duterte" 
This is my overall favorite for 2016. I love its pasabog line that outright criticizes Daang Matuwid. It even becomes more powerful with the presence of Robin Padilla--a well-chosen celebrity who's very much aligned with Duterte's "Tapang at Malasakit" persona. The timing of its launch, barely two weeks shy of the elections, makes it impeccable. Hello, top-of-mind awareness! Pak na pak! 

7. Anti-Duterte Ad
Then this happened. This material launched just a few hours ago. Social media exploded. It's the best attack ad in this election. Objectively speaking, it's on-strat, well made, and bold. The ad doesn't target die-hard Duterte followers. Instead, it targets those, who, like me, are still undecided. The use of kids makes the material more impactful. It's a non-issue for me. Galing!

What are your favorites this election season?

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Live Aids: HaLOLan 2016

Just to get it out of the way, the opening number was painful to watch. But after that, the show just got better and better. I don't think I've ever enjoyed that much during a performance.

This was the Live Aids performance staged by UP Samaskom at the University of the Philippines.

I've heard about Live Aids before, though I never knew what it was about until then. I even thought that it was some fundraiser for those with Aids... or some blood-letting activity. *toink*

I watched the April 24 show of Live Aids. Ticket was Php 500.

Live Aids is a variety show--ASAP, Bubble Gang, and Bodabil (luma ng reference) in one.

This year's theme was very timely: #HaLOLan2016. They spoofed the elections and some of the political candidates running for office.

Here are some of my favorites.

Pilipinas Di Bati sa Kalye!
After the show, I went home and watched the real Presidential debates on TV. Haha!
(Photo from

Face-off: Alma Moranas vs Kaladaren Aguila
Ang galing nila!
(Photo from

Shot! Meriam College Defensor Santiago
She's made me laugh the most.
(Photo from

My sentimental favorite from the show: "Simpleni Robredo"

The show was unexpectedly well-produced, well-written, and genuinely funny. Some of my friends from the advertising industry who watched with me were even considering recruiting the writers of the show to work with them.

Too bad there were only four shows this year (if I'm not mistaken).

For those who missed it, too bad! 'Til next year, I guess.

Time to Re-Write our History Books

"These young voters are in for a surprise."

Just five days shy of the elections, I stumble across this video on Facebook. I swear, I'm a sucker for click-bait headlines.

So I click and expect a funny surprise. Never did I expect, though, to end up teary-eyed.

This isn't scripted nor is it played by actors. It's real people. Real stories. Real emotions.

Young people who never lived through the Martial Law era may have a glorified image of it. I don't blame them. I blame our education system. In school, our Araling Panlipunan textbooks don't tell us what really happened. It's stories of teachers on the side that we get a glimpse of its reality.

I just signed the petition at the end. You may want to consider it. It's addressed to our Department of Education (DepEd) to re-write Philippine history books to include the full story of the Martial Law era.

It'll take a while before we see real change in our textbooks. But with elections happening in a few days, I hope change starts by voting wisely. Very wisely.

As my former colleague shared, "Today is World Press Freedom Day, and I celebrate my right to post this without fear of being persecuted or killed. May such liberties never be taken away from us by another dictator."