Thursday, September 26, 2013

Awesome at twenty-nine

Happy birthday, Mara

Thank you for the gift of friendship. I think there is absolutely nothing that you need anymore -- you have a tight family, a job you love, and a wonderful circle of friends. In the grand scheme of things, you have everything going for you.

Right now, am in a cafe thinking about my birthday post for you. While enjoying a sip of my caramel macchiato, I am reminded of our shared passion for coffee. And it got me into thinking about the many things that make you awesome in my book. 

So here goes my 29 thoughts about you, Mara Ruiz. 

1. You are the human connector. In a society where relationships are fleeting, you set out to build one-- seamlessly. It's not even contrived. You have a natural knack for bringing people together. Thanks to you I have widen my own circle of friends in a city where I got transplanted. 

2. You are one passionate woman. Work is not just work to you. It defines your being to a certain degree that is why you fiercely fight for your ideas. 

3. You are the true digital diva. If we commission someone to trace your digital footprint we will find a huge pile or a long winding one. Before anyone has ever gotten into the digital age, you've already conquered it. 

4. You are the perfect companion on food haunts. We share the love of good food, good conversations. 

5. Your travel itinerary is equal parts learning new culture, sightseeing and retail therapy. You map out routes based on viability of shopping districts.

6. You crave for an active lifestyle hence your constant search for apps that fill it. Couch to 5K, Nike+ Running, name it you've got it. 

7. Your bloodstream is consist of 1/4 water, 3/4 caffeine. 

8. You have the propensity to hoard tumblers, water bottles, and the likes. Starbucks tumblers both local and international, Kor bottles, Nalgene are some of the brands that you have in your cupboard. 

9. You don't stop learning. You love to learn, unlearn and relearn ideas, concepts, designs. You even enrolled out-of-pocket for diploma courses that will enhance your knowledge and talent in digital media strategy. 

10. You are a beauty product junkie. I am amazed at your collection of different types of foundation, eye color palettes,lippies, lip balms and so much more. 

11. You are a true-blue Harry Potter fanatic. Costumes, collectibles, the works. 

12. You like to collaborate. It gets you going when you find like-minded people whom you can brainstorm with and implement concept with little or no budget. 

13. You get a kick out of watching teenybopper movies.

14. You are solid Sarah G fan. You love Kim Chiu, Gerald Anderson and John Lloyd. 

15. You have a healthy body image. 

16. On Monday mornings, you always bring with you a cooler full of grocery and cooked food intended for your meals the whole week but always find yourself buying lunch and dining out. 

17. You look forward to 2016 when your 3-bedroom condo will be turned over to you. And by then, we get to finally be neighbors. 

18. You have no qualms sharing your space and ride. You're quick to offer rides to anyone. Thanks for the countless times I've ridden in your car!

19. You are fiercely loyal to your friends. And you are a keeper. Distance and time aren't a factor for friendships that are beyond superficial. 

20. You willingly spend time and money for your friends like attending your friends' milestones. Thanks for going to my wedding, will forever be grateful. 

21. You hate poseurs. Specially if they're your friends. 

22. You get territorial when people encroaches in your field and yet do not bring anything substantial to the table. Worse, if they're clueless. 

23. You adore your nieces (cousins twice removed) but the parents tend to make your brow take a hike a lot of times or always. Ha ha.

24. You treat Cavite as your province. It comforts me knowing that am not alone in my "probinsyana" roots. And are loving it.

25. You have a lot of first world problems like getting the right gadget for your wifi connectivity when the rest of the country is just mooching on somebody else. Lol.

26.You have a generous soul.

27. You go gaga over Darren Criss. I hope that very soon, you'll meet your very own Darren Criss.

28. You are your Father's daughter.

29. You look forward to the next decade with trepidation but at the same time excitement at the prospects it offer. 

Being 29 can be bittersweet. You are almost leaving behind the years that paved the way for you for self-discovery, self actualization. Yet, it is also a springboard for the great things that can be achieved in your 30s. 

It's not anymore about blazing new trails but strengthening your core competencies, settling down and broadening your horizon.I am confident that you will forge your mark in the universe.

And so on your 29th, I raise my champagne flute to you for a year full of learning, love surprises, travels and awesome relationships. Cheers, Mara!



Friday, September 20, 2013

Casual Dining at Stacy's

Heard about it last year. Saw some pictures. The hubby sort of raves about it. He thinks I'd like the place. We had dinner last night at Stacy's, a cute American diner. 


Adorable bike! I'd love to have one like this.

The diner greets its customers with cutesy stuff like vintage toys on shelves and aprons hung side by side framed prints. 
Pink SMEG fridge. Very, very adorable.

Cath Kidston Aprons. Two thumbs up.

The place is quite small. It feels like an intimate setting for casual dining. The swirls of colors makes you put on a happy face. It's a bit on the kitsch side but in a loveable kind of way. 

Once seated, your waitress will bring you a mug of freshly microwaved popcorn with colorful mallows on top. 

Your ray of sunshine. Fresh gerbera in mason jar.

The food choices are good enough. It serves all-day breakfast so expect combo-type meals.

Tyrone's dinner: Big Breakfast Bangers (P185)

Mine: One of its best-sellers - Stacy's Jones (P215)

Not bad, price- and taste-wise. Would I go back? Yup, surely.

If you're dining with kids, they can enjoy this cute little play area. 
This pretend dining area has real food for the kids. See the munchies?

G/F Rizal Drive, Forbeswood Heights
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig



Thursday, September 19, 2013


Avon has been at the forefront of breast cancer awareness for decades. The Kiss Goodbye to Breast Cancer campaign aims to inform, assist and care for the thousands of women who are afflicted with the disease. 

It's a debilitating ailment that needs a strong support system from families and organization's like Avon Foundation.  In the Philippines, it has a breast care clinic at the Philippine General Hospital. Watch this. Please right click the link below. I would have loved to upload the video here but for some strange reason it won't. So there.

The month of October is a breast cancer awareness month. Year after year, Avon organizes a walk to raise awareness and funds to support its clinic-beneficiaries and the many indigent women who are unable to afford breast exams like mammogram. 

Breast Cancer is real. It strikes anyone at any age. It can be you, your mother, sister, aunt or friend. But it is preventable. This is the message of the campaign. There is HOPE and it starts with awareness. 

This year, join the Avon Kiss Goodbye to Breast Cancer walk and run at the Mall of Asia. Do it for yourself and your loved ones. 

Show your support through the following: 
Buy this shirt (sans Solenn :-)) at P220 and join the walk
 Participate in the run, 
5K Race Kit - P550

10K Race Kit - P700
For more info, check out its website. Click here

Together, let's #dosomethingbeautiful !



Of meetups and social media

I am a Millennial (1977-1992). But I am also a Gen X (1965-1976). I seem to be caught within that disputed demographic break between the two generations. (Source:Pew Research study.)  

Am saying this because two decades ago, the computer and the internet were something that were discussed academically in school. Three-fourths of those classes where spent in textbooks rather on actual computers. In fact, back then we only have a handful in my school. 

Mid-90s, I finally had a "real" computer class spent in a computer lab. It's where we learned DOS and other archaic basic computing. Ha ha ha. 

From my textbook computer literacy up until today, I am fascinated with the computer and the vast universe of cyber space. Needless to say that today, I find myself 24/7 connected. To some, it may be pathetic. To me though it means being able to access, connect and communicate. 

It is this innate desire to be wired all the time that I have totally embraced technology and the social media. The world that is so huge suddenly shrank in the palm of my hands. It is amazing, awesome, fun and wonderful. It rocks!

I think I am of those who goes with the flow of the times. Back in the day, I wrote letters to friends. And wait with bated breath for my neighborhood Mr Postman for my mails. I was also one of those who wasted "cell phone loads" when texting was in vogue. I cringe whenever I thought of those morning messages that were the mobile's version of chain letters. No regrets though, it was my form of connection. 

When email became more practical, I used it with a fierceness rivaling food craving. I sent hundreds of emails to say hellos and goodbyes. 

But time, distance and energy can take a toll in ones social obligations. Eventually, I lost touch with some friends especially acquaintances and distant relatives. 

And then social media happened. I must admit though, I didn't get caught up with Friendster. I was barely there. But when Facebook became the social network of choice, I was not too cool to ignore it. In fact, I embraced it with too much gusto-- checking my timeline every few minutes, always trying to come up with a witty response to "what's on your mind?" question. It was then that I discovered that writing cryptic status updates get your network's attention. People are just naturally nosy or drawn to a scent of intrigue. Ha ha ha. 

That must have been over five years ago. Today, the various social media platform offers a variety of choices from microblogging (Twitter, Tumbler), geo tagging (Foursquare), photo-sharing communities (Instagram and Flicker) to full-on blogging (Blogger, Wordpress, etc). 

Imagine the possibilities! Endless. It is through social media that I met some of my new friends. And discovered that my sphere of influence has truly shrank from the old six degrees of separation to just a little over 1-- 1.17 to be exact. 

One of my activities is practicing Bikram Yoga. Naturally, I want my connections to know that. Absurd, I know. So, I check-in at Foursquare. It was in one of those numerous check-ins that we discovered that a current friend (Kira) and somewhat an old acquaintance Dan that we "run" in the same circle. 

That fateful night of comment exchange led to an actual meetup. We had a lovely catch up dinner over New York-style burger at the Burger Bar. My yummy food choice. We talked too much, I forgot to take pictures of my companions choices.
Bleu Burger P355/single patty.

Skinny Fries
We had a great time connecting and re-connecting. Yes, we gossiped, enjoyed good food, night capped with coffee and dessert. The hours flew by. We ended the night with promises to meet again. 

Night Cap at Bizu.
That collage sort of went "viral" as it generated almost 100 likes in less than an hour. What an aberration. We had a good ribbing over dessert and eavesdropping on the next table's occupants. Can't help it they were very loud and sporting a valley accent. We thought maybe from the call center? Awkward.

It was a riot night punctuated with clicks, phone checks and laughter. Thank you technology and social media, you made the world so much smaller and accessible. 

Good times. 



Friday, September 6, 2013

Weekend state of mind

Friday Night Date

Friday Night Date