Category: Uncategorized

2012 Pyromusical Experience

Last Saturday, I was invited to cover the last day of the Pyromusical show at the SM Mall of Asia. I don’t usually watch Pyromusical because I dread the traffic, the thick crowd and the long queues. But since they promised a good seat, a free meal and free access to Silver, Gold and VIP areas, who am I to resist.:)
I arrived early in MOA so I decided to check out the scene first at the Silver, Gold and VIP. It was free standing. I noticed an elaborate set up against the sea wall which is for VIP. Since I had a media pass, I got in easily and wandered around. Food and drinks were overflowing and the view from there was just perfect. When I was about to sit down and grab some refreshments, I was discreetly told by one of the yellow boys (bouncing security err security bouncer) that the area was open to patrons only and medias were not allowed, only ALL ACCESS pass holders were allowed in the area. Haha! So much for feeling like a hundred bucks. So I went back to the area designated for media to lick my wounds, I mean, to await for the fireworks display errr pyromusical show to start. *big smile*

*For VIP Patrons Only*

*For Media and Guests*

It started a few minutes late with the last entry from Italy doing its very best to wow the audience. By this time, I was already enjoying myself especially since it was my first time to witness this up close. I was fascinated by the colorful exploding fireworks in the sky and was swayed by the crowds Ohhhs and Ahhhs. But then, it ended sort of abruptly for me though, without a proper fantastic ending. There was a thirty minute break so we trooped down to the buffet area for a delish dinner. Tummy full, heart happy indeed:)



The second part was the Philippines’ Pyromusical Exhibition. Since the Philippines was the host country, we weren’t part of the competition itself but we were expected to showcase our very own pyromusical presentation. It had a beautiful start, the choice of music was great, there was that element of surprise, and loud cheers kept coming from the crowd as fantastic fireworks after foreworks lit up the sky. Woot and catcalls can be heard from the crowd amidst the loud blair of the music and the loud booms. But much to everyone’s surprise, there was no accompanying fireworks when Whitney Houston, I Will Always Love You, started playing. Due to a technical glitch, the Philippine’s pyromusical presentation had to be stopped for 15 minutes or so. Sad to say, a big number of expectators left in disgust. When they were able to fix the problem, not everyone was able to witness how good the Philippines’ exhibition was. Good enough to bury the technical glitch incident. It ended just how any pyromusical entry should end–colorful and grand. Funny thing is by this time, both my iphone and digicam’s battery have ran out too so I wasn’t able to capture it in picture or video.:(



Overall,I enjoyed my first Pyromusical experience. I had to hand it to SM, security, crowd control and traffic were clearly in place. They were able to successfully create a festive atmosphere and was able to pump excitement among the crowd. The venue set ups were strategically planned. You really don’t have to be a paying customer in fact to enjoy the show. One thing though, they should add more security who will put order in the traffic at the mall parking lots after the show, it took us an hour or so before we were able to leave the building. There wasn’t enough mall personnel to help direct the traffic or they have abandoned their posts after the pyro.
I would love to be back next year to cover this again because I had so much fun except that there’s this nagging thought that kept popping in my head. I know SM is big on environmental protection and preservation so I hope that they didn’t create much air pollution with this pyromusical thing. I also hope that they have studied its effect on the environment before they agreed to hold this yearly or have taken the necessary steps before and after the pyro to ensure its protection. I was thinking of the bay and the harmful toxic chemicals that were left floating in the atmosphere after the pyro. Just a thought. Would love to hear their take on this so they can shed light on this matter. Calling SM, anyone care to explain? Just asking.:)

Pinterest

Blancnotes has been my “happy place” for the longest time. Well, that is until I discover Pinterest. If you have a Pinterest account, I am sure you will agree with me when I say that you can get totally lost in its wonderful world of pictures and ideas once you start browsing the site. I, for one, tend to forget all about the time as soon as I start logging in.

Pinterest is a Virtual Pinboard that lets you organize and share the beautiful things that you find on the web. It lets you browse through the many wonderful photo ideas there and REPIN the photos you find interesting on your boards (FAVORITE PLACES & SPACES, BOOKS WORTH READING, MY STYLE, DREAM BOARD ETC.) You can either use/rename the available board templates or create new ones. You can also pin away your own photos and ideas to share with others. You can follow your friends and other members on Pinterest too so you will be updated when they share and like new stuffs.

To Repin


Pinterest is a great source of ideas when you are planning your own wedding/party, redecorating your house, discovering new recipes’, finding your style or wanting to read some inspiring quotes. I like how it lets me “shop” for stylish clothes, shoes, fancy bags, jewelries and accessories without having to literally shell out money (a girl can always dream right?!).:D Since, I have this love affair with words, I also like reading the witty, funny and inspirational quotes pinners post there.

Pinterest is currently invite-only. To get started, you can request for an invite by clicking the request for an invite button.


Then wait for the invite that will be sent via email. Once you receive the invite you can register via Facebook Connect or connect through twitter.
Based on experience though, it takes days and even weeks for the email invitation to come. I guess it depends on the bulk of requests that they are processing during the time of your request. Another great way to get started on Pinterest is by being invited by someone who is already part of Pinterest. It is much better because the email invite comes right away. I only got to create an account after I have been invited by my friend. I tried requesting for an invite twice but the invitation email never came.
Once you become a member, you can enjoy browsing, repinning, liking and commenting on the photos that you like provided that you follow the Pin Etiquette.
Pinterest was created to connect people all over the world based on shared tastes and interests. From the looks of it, it is successfully achieving its goal. It has become a good venue where women can share their bright ideas and talents to a wider audience. It has grown into a big community of women who inspire and empower each other to become smart, stylish, and creative women of today.:)

Jeni Epperson on Fashion + Food Entertaining at Home and In Style

Last Saturday, I was invited, to cover Jeni Epperson’s book signing event at The Block, SM North Edsa. I was happy to oblige because I am an avid follower of her blog and a fan of both her facebook and twitter pages. I was excited to meet her in person and listen to her talk about her book, Fashion + Food Entertaining at Home and In Style.



Jeni was her usual gracious and bubbly self as she candidly answered the audience’s questions during the Q & A and shared anecdotes of how her love for “”platu-patuhan” (toy plates) and fashion played an important role in the concept of her book. Jeni described her current “baby” as a handbook on how to make each dining experience at home, wether it be with your family or friends, an unforgettable experience. It contains recipes and suggestions on how to be the perfect hostess and how to create the perfect dining scene that would make your guests and loved ones feel extra special.
Aside from her book, Jeni also shared with the audience the four things that guides her in life which she called her her four mantras:
Balance family and fashion. She encouraged mommies and wives to live style everyday. She shared how she makes it a point to do her motherly and wifely duties in fashion and how she always tries to create a home that her husband and children would always look forward in coming home to everyday.

Live the life you imagine. She talked about how important it is to enjoy life while pursuing one’s dreams. She shared that as a woman, we should always work on the kind of life that we want without loosing our sense of self and family.

Make your dreams a reality. She talked a little about her journey as a model, fashion stylist, writer and blogger. She credits her experiences in these fields, the things she learned from the people she has worked with, and her fans and follower as her force and inspiration in achieving her dream of having her own book. She adviced us to discover our interests, bank on our talents and pursue our dreams.

Make each moment count. She revealed that this thought guides her the most everyday. She enjoined everyone to throw one’s self whole heartedly to whatever it is we’re doing and fully enjoy and savor the “right here, right now” everyday.

Somebody in the audience asked her to give three reason why we should buy her book, and she has this to say, “It is fab. It is all about making each moment count. It will teach you how with minimum effort you can create maximum impact.”

showing off her fab shoes by John Campbell



If you ask me how Jeni Epperson is in person, I would say she’s exactly all that. And if you want all these to rub off on you too, go grab her book now and start learning from Jeni. From the looks of it, she has clearly mastered the art of living life in style.:)
Fashion + Food Entertaining at Home and In Style by Jeni Epperson is available at all National Bookstore for 1,100 pesos.:)

I Heart Rubi

I am not talking about the precious stone Ruby but my favorite shoe shop in Singapore. Though Rubi’s roots can be traced from Australia, it has become a popular shoes store in Singapore because of its pretty and fab shoes and accessories. Whenever I visit my sister in Singapore, my first stop is usually Rubi or Cotton On stores where Rubi shoes are exclusively distributed too. Almost every mall there has Rubi or Cotton On so you won’t find it hard to hunt for them if you happen to be there. They’re literally everywhere, actually when you alight from Orchard station, just across the Ion mall exit, you will see a Rubi store there right away.
I love their flat shoes, I am a hoarder of their flat shoes. I usually go for their simple and classic designs in candy shades. Though they also have girly, chic, posh and funky designs in loud neon colors, as well as in animal prints and suede leather.



My favorite Rubi shoes at the moment though are my gold and silver Rubi shoes.

They never fail to brighten up my otherwise boring work uniforms.:)

I also love how super comfortable and affordable they are, you can buy 2 for SGD 25 or 2 for SGD 30. Luckily the few times that I was there in Singapore, they were having an on-going shoe sale (which I think they have every month) so I was able to purchase a couple of pairs for 5 dollars and 7 dollars only. My ten -year old daughter who is now a size five, also happen to love Rubi shoes. She fancies her gold Rubi shoes because it looks good with anything she wears plus she is currently into flashy stuffs.:)

If you want to check out some of their collection, head over to their website here, you might like Rubi for yourself too.:)

New Season of Khloe' and Lamar on E!

While the rest of the world is booing the Kardashians after Kim K’s wedding disaster, I still remain an avid fan of Khloe and Lamar, and okay to a certain extent the rest of the Kardashians (Mason! yey). I did stay up late just to watch the 2 Part Wedding Special of Kim K and followed (till the season finale) the recently concluded Kourtney and Kim Take New York. Although I cringed everytime they exchange inappropriate words in front of the camera and get a little overboard with their actions, most of the time, they do amuse me. I marvel at the fancy life they seem to have, jet-setting from one place to another and donning blings and designer clothes left and right, but unlike the rest of the world who seemed to curse them for all the luxury that they seem to enjoy, I do feel that they deserve all the blessings that they have. They achieved all of that the best way they know how. And what is good about them is that they have a clear vision of how they want their life to be and they worked towards it as a family. It was their collective effort that got them there.:)

Anyway, among all the Kardashians, my favorite is Khloe, she is the third among all the Kardashian kids. I like her because she is the one with the good head on her shoulder and I like that she is married to a gentleman, Lamar Odom, the NBA basketball star who now plays for the Dallas Mavericks. Theirs was a whirlwind kind of romance which ended up at the altar. Khloe and Lamar on E! is their life after marriage. I love how down-to-earth these two are and how clearly in-love they are with each other. I like the way Lamar treats Khloe like a queen (unlike Kris Humphries) and how naturally kind and unpretentious he is with the rest of the Kardashian clan (unlike Scott Disick at the start). After my Khloe and Lamar marathon one Sunday, I had deep respect for Khloe Kardashian as a wife because I’ve seen how she purposely sheds off her celebrity image and become just plain housewife to Lamar when the two are left to themselves. I also find it touching how she took it upon herself to take her brother Rob under her wing and made him part of her little family.

The new season of Khloe and Lamar (we’re way behind US telecast) which airs tomorrow, March 6, on E! channel is all about their big move to Dallas after Lamar left LA Lakers and decided to play for Dallas. This show will feature how Khloe copes with life in Dallas, away from her family and the glitz and glamour of LA, and how Lamar keeps up with the demands of his job as an athlete while trying to have a baby with Khloe among other things. Unlike Keeping Up With The Kardashians and Kourtney and Kim Take New York which were fully loaded with “high drama,” Khloe and Lamar promises the viewers total marital fun and wedded bliss, enough to keep us hooked till the season finale.:)
Photo credits: googleimages.com, mauritiushot.com

Positivity is the Key

Earlier this week, I was stuck in a rut called negativity. On most days, I am usually Ms. Positivity that is why I was surprised myself when the feeling dragged on for days. I guess I’ve been working myself up to insanity lately worrying too much about what might not even happen in the future. Then last Wednesday, I danced. Well I don’t usually dance that much except when I needed to choreograph or teach the kids in our dance club. Anyway, the dancing perse did not make me snap out of my negative thoughts, it was the song that I was dancing into that did it. It’s Taio Cruz’ Positive. If you are feeling a bit down, I recommend that you dance to play this song. This will definitely lift your mood.

Positive by Taio Cruz

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah
Even though thier tryin knock me over
I never fall down
Cuz I’m gonna wear a crown
With my feet on the ground

I know I want to wiii-in
So I’m gonna get iii-it
Watch me so I tear the sky
And fly now

Chorus 1
I put my hands up
Oh na na
And stand up
Oh na na
And hold on
Oh na na
To everything I know that makes me so strong
Oh na na
And hold on
Oh na na
I’m okay
Oh na na
I raise my voice to them and say

Chorus 2
Although they try to knock me down
I’m gonna stand up, gonna stand my ground
I’m gonna open up my heart to give yeah
Because it’s the only way to live
I’m gonna be positive, yeah positive (4x)

Even though you tryin pull me under
I never drown now
So I’m gonna rock the wave up
Not going down now

That’s why I’m gonna fiii-ght
And stand up for my riii-ght
Come on take my hand
And lets unite now

Repeat chorus 1

Repeat chorus 2

Yeah
For me now it’s the only way to live
I’m gonna give it my all
All I can give
I’m gonna be higher
Than you’ve ever seen
I’m gonna stand taller
Than I’ve ever been
I’m gonna be everywhere
You know I can cause

Repeat chorus 2

Most of you would agree with me that dwelling on negative thoughts and feelings is much easier than being optimistic or positive. Usually our first reaction when we encounter difficulties is to whine, sulk, curse and hate the world rather than smile and take everything in stride. Some people have that gift of positivity while others, like me, sometimes have to struggle everyday to be that. But what does it mean really to be positive, how can one be optimistic and positive?
Optimism or Positivity simply is focusing on the blessings that you receive each day rather than on your misfortunes. It is seeing each failure and mistake as an opportunity to grow and learn. It is acknowledging and accepting your limitations as a person and being cool with it. It is finding the good in each and every person that you meet each day. It is giving yourself a pat at the back whenever you accomplish something big or small. It is not letting any put downs, gossips or bad hair ruin your day. It is choosing to snap out of your dark mood or depressing state and choosing to bravely face the world and move on. It is accepting that you are exactly where you are supposed to be and not wishing to be some place else. It is making the most out of whatever situation you are in at the moment. It is looking at the bright side of things. It is thinking that everything happens for a reason. It is also about never giving up until you find the perfect solution to your problem. It is believing in the premise that everything will fall into place and will turn out right no matter what. It is focusing on the “what is” rather than dwelling on the what “ifs”, what “should have” and “could have” been. It is believing in your own capacity to make your dreams come true. And it is acknowledging your power to make great things happen in your life if you just will it to.
In a nutshell, it is simply living a life full of love, faith, hope and charity everyday. I know this is one tough act to follow but as they say there’s nothing that constant practice cannot achieve. Let’s make it habit then to always think happy, positive thoughts.:)

Winner of Bedazzle Accessories Giveaway

Thank you for joining the Bedazzle Giveaway. As usual, I had fun reading all of your fun and witty answers. I hope the winner will enjoy the Bedazzle loot as much as I enjoy using my fab accessories from Bedazzle. So, without further ado, I would like to congratulate Miss Jenifer Balatico, the fab pieces from Bedazzle are now yours. Please expect an email from us anytime soon.:)

To those who joined, thank you for supporting Blancnotes and Bedazzle Accessories. Stay tuned for more giveaways.:)

Sulong Sining III: A Night of Classical and Jazz Music

I had the pleasure of being invited to a one of a kind concert featuring some of our very own award winning Filipino artists last night. At first, my husband and I were a bit apprehensive since this would be the first time that we would watch a concert featuring music of Puccini, Legrand, Mozart, and Bolling. But curiosity got the better of us so we went, anyway, the tickets were given to us for free.

We were late and missed the first performance but we arrived just in time to witness soprano Joy Abalon Tamayo sing, A Piece of Sky, with the master himself, Jovianney Emmanuela Tamayo, on the piano. We were bowled over by her voice and her rendition. Then came the chamber music performance of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Allegro, Andante and Rondo: Allegre. My husband and I were captivated as Jimmy Tagala (violin), David Tagala (viola,) Giancarlo Gonzales (cello), and Joshua Alexander Manalo (piano) brought to life this Mozart masterpiece. My husband beside me kept on saying over and over “galing”, he being a fan of rock and roll and reggae music, while I had a silly smile plastered on my face the whole time. When they came back after intermisson to do another set of chamber music, my husband and I were pretty much at the edge of our seats. This time, they did Claude Bolling’s Baroque in Rythm, Gallop, Romantique and Cello. We were literally swayed by the rhythm of jazz music as played by these young artists. Joy Abalon Tamayo’s rendition of Light of a Million Mornings, with Jiovanney Emmanuel Cruz, again on piano, was the perfect ending to an enchanting night of great music. I am so glad we came and witnessed these amazing Filipino artists. I now have deep appreciation for this type of music and deep respect to these young brood of musicians.

chamber music

Move over One Direction, this is my new boy band.:)

Bravo! Bravo!

the young brood of award winning Filipino artists

Sulong Sining III: Seekers of the Truth was presented by the Outlook Pointe Foundation. This foundation was formed in 2007 by a group of creative individuals whose vision is to rekindle the Filipinos’ consciousness through arts. Their aim is to bring about change through its various projects with various photographers and musicians. They hope to ignite inspiration among Filipinos to commit to the concerted efforts of reviving the goodness of the Filipinos soul. Through their projects, at the foremost of which is Sulong Sining (Forward Art), they hope to rekindle the passion for our nation through arts. True to its mission and vision, a portion of the collected proceeds from the concert will be used for the benefit of the Philippine School for the Arts, a secondary school for the artistically gifted and talented children and adolescent, in Los Banos, Laguna.
It was very timely that this concert was held on the day that we were commemorating the People Power Revolution. On the way home, I was telling my husband that it’s sad how the children of today cannot relate anymore to the People Power Revolution and how they treat it as just an event that we discuss in the classroom and read about in books. I guess in a way the story is somehow lost to our children’s consciousness but I believe that its message still remains. Change. Nation Building. Last night, I witnessed how the message of People Power Revolution lives on, through the arts and through these young bloods who have nothing but great desire to bring honor and glory to our country through their music and passion.
“The culture and arts of the country is the window to the soul of a people.” I heard it often said during the concert. Raul Guingona, who by the way was an excellent, excellent host, even quoted Carlos Cedran at one point and shared that, “When Intramuros was destroyed, our soul came down with it, and we never have recovered since.” But what does it mean really? I guess, unless we recognize the essential things inside us, Filipinos, like creativity, passion, excellence, and harmony, and bring these forward, we can never be really great as a nation. For greatness comes only when the soul is ready…

Red Lips Drama

I never wear make-up except during those very few occasions where I needed to paint my face a decent hue in order to look presentable. Unlike my sister who have mastered the art of painting faces, I usually have to struggle with the eye liner, mascara and eyeshadow. The only thing that I never fail to put on is my red lipstick. Eversince college, I have this thing about red lipstick. I’ve always felt that I am ready to take the world as long I am wearing  red on my lips. This is like my perk up everyday, my happiness in a tube.  I carry this notion  that the only thing that I need to look good and feel good is red lipstick. Call me weird but I feel bare and vulnerable without my red lipstick on.

                                                         Source: likica.tumblr.com via Blanca on Pinterest

 
There’s this funny story about me and my red lips. We used to rent an apartment near UST, as you know in that area, there a lot of crazy people in the streets.  So there I was waiting for a taxi one day, in all my pregnant glory, feeling pretty satisfied with myself because I had the perfect shade of red lipstick on when suddenly a crazy guy came up to me and said “PENGE PISO!”. I was so nervous I frantically searched inside my bag. He had a ballpen pointed aimingly at my pregnant tummy, while on the other hand he was holding a rolled up newspaper. I was so afraid that he would hit my head with it and punched my tummy with his red ballpen that I gave all my coins to him which was like a handful. He grabbed the coins and was starting to walk away when he stopped and looked disgustingly at me again. I was rooted in my place, waiting for him to do something bad. Then he screamed and said  “WALANGHIYA KA, ANG INIT INIT NAKA-RED LIPSTICK KA PA!!!”, then stormed away. I was left there staring after him with my mouth wide open while people around me who clearly heard what the crazy man said were laughing and snickering. It became a standing joke between my husband and I, whenever he sees me wearing a new shade of red, he would say the crazy man’s line.:)
I am currently using two shades of red lipstick. Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Certainly Red which is in Matte so I usually put a lip balm on top to keep my lips moisturized. I have been a fan of Revlon since college. I like how they stay on for hours and how they don’t crack on your lips as the shade fades even without putting on balm.

                                                                  Source: fragrantica.com via Blanca on Pinterest

 
I am also using Bobbi Brown Lip Color in Burnt Red. My sister is a huge fan of Bobbi Brown and she gave this to me when she came home recently. I love its orangy red shade. This is matted also so I put on lip balm with it too.
 

In between Revlon lipsticks, I use Maybelline’s Moisture Rich Lipstick in Red Wine or Very Cherry. I like that it has that moisture component already and it is very cheap too.

t

A few years back, a cousin gave me a Channel no. 5 which I absolutely love, love, love. It’s quite expensive so I am waiting for the perfect ocassion (and excuse) to buy one.:)

If you ask me what my fashion statement is, I would probably say, forever red lips drama. Stessed or not, sick or well, as long as I’m wearing my red lipstick on, everything is right in my world.

The Art of Racing In The Rain

“In Mongolia, when a dog dies, he is buried high in the hills so people cannot walk on his grave. The dog’s master whispers into the dog’s ear his wishes that the dog will return as a man in his next life. Then his tail is cut off and put beneath his head, and a piece of meat or fat is placed in his mouth to sustain his soul on its journey; before he is reincarnated, the dog’s soul is freed to travel the land, to run across the high desert plains for as long as it would like.
I learned that from a program on the National Geographic channel, so I believe it is true. Not all dogs return as men, they say; only those who are ready.
I am ready.”—Enzo, The Art of Racing in the Rain

The Art of Racing in the Rain, is a novel written by Garth Stein, an American author and film producer.  The story is told by a lovable mutt, Enzo, who dreams of dying and returning back to earth in human form.  He sees himself as different from other dogs because he loves to chase cars.  He learns by watching TV with his best friend, Denny, who is an up and coming race car driver.  As he awaits his death, he looks back at what his family have been through the past years –the sacrifices that Denny has to make for his career, the eventual loss of Denny’s wife, Eve, due to cancer, and Denny’s three year battle with Eve’s parents over the custody of his child, Zoe.

This is such a heart wrenchingly funny story of family, love, loyalty and hope.  I had a hard time putting down this book once I started reading it.  I laugh a little and cried a lot as I was getting deeper into the story.  The extraordinary friendship between Enzo and Denny is amazing. I can’t help but think about my dog Bruns and recalling the times when he was Enzo-like to me.:)  I was impressed with the way Garth Stein seamlessly incorporated his vast knowledge of  the dog’s psyche (how they respond to human and how they perceive things) in the story. If you don’t like or love dogs, after reading this, you definitely would want one.   I was thinking at the onset that this will probably be one of those novels with a predictable ending.  But the unexpected twist towards the last few chapters got me hooked till the end.
Surprisingly, I did not feel any heaviness in the heart even after crying so many times while reading this.  It did not leave me bothered and affected for days, the way Nicholas Sparks’ books often do.  In the end, you would want nothing but to celebrate with the characters because their story ended very well. There’s that renewed sense of hope and celebration of life towards the end.  It is also refreshing to note how Garth Stein presented in the book the man’s perspective in situations where woman will openly respond to with drama.  It gave me an insight on how a man’s mind works in certain situations.
The title of the book is as such because Enzo learned, through Denny’ experiences in racing, that life is simply not about going fast. He learned that to successfully navigate through life’s learning curves, you have to use the techniques needed in the race track.  If you are a guy who is into racing, you will find this book interesting because of those tidbits of racing facts and infos that form part of the story. If you are a girl who’s looking for a nice and easy yet meaningful read, this one is for you also.

There is a special adaptation for young people of this book which is titled Racing in the Rain: My Life as a Dog. This is the simplified version for kids.  Minor changes have been made here so that kids can fully understand and enjoy the story of Enzo without parents having to worry about the sensitive or explicit material in the book. A movie is also in the works, although no definite time yet.  Here’s a videobook trailer:

I fully recommend this book to anyone who love dogs or is willing to love dogs.  This is beautifully crafted and truly captivating.  It has the right formula of love, tragedy, redemption, making it a genuine best seller.  On a scale of 1-5, I will give this a 5.:)