Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Random reminders

Maybe because some of us are allowed to wear jeans to work (I know I am), or because malls allow us to bring pets to public indoor places, or because the social networking culture makes displaying your whole life for the public not seem as corny as showbiz talk shows, that some basic rules of etiquette are easy to forget now. A few friendly reminders:
  • Just because you can bring that dog to the mall doesn't mean you can bring it in the chapel, too. No matter how smart (or small or quiet) your dog is, it will never appreciate the mass.
  • Be sensitive about the pictures you post on social-networking sites. Weed out the unflattering shots for your friends' sake!
  • Remember the rule about never putting on lipstick at the table? Let me add a similar one: never use oil-blotting paper outside the ladies room. It's really not nice to see. :-/
  • Jeans are one thing--they can be dressed up with the right pieces--but slippers to work? Unprofessional.
  • Pedestrian, you can't stop a car by flashing your palm. Especially in a highway. Find the overpass and give our drivers a break!

Monday, April 26, 2010

One more month til Concert!

Only a month away! How time flies. I'm inviting everyone to see our Concert for a Cause, which is going to be very good for the ears! Trust me! :D

What's more, by watching our concert, you not only get to listen to good music (Broadway, Filipino love songs, and Classical music!) but you also help send students to school. Think about that person (or people!!) whose life you can change. :)

It's going to be a rare treat--rare because when you say "entertainment" nowadays you get movies, video games and the like--for families and friends. So, come and invite yours!


Our NGO, Ex Libris Philippines, a SEC-certified, nonstock, nonprofit organization of book enthusiasts, is raising funds in order to help send deserving but financially challenged UP students to school. Our last two fundraising projects held March 2007 and April 2008 have funded the education of seven deserving students at the University of the Philippines, Diliman.

We are now holding our third fundraising project for our NGO's Scholarship Project. This year's fundraising project is a Concert for a Cause, with performances by professors, students and alumni of the UP College of Music. All funds to be raised will go to the Scholarship Project. The concert will be on May 21, 2010, Friday, 6 p.m. at the UP College of Music, Nicanor Abelardo Hall.

Treat yourself to a night of music and magic, and help out in a good cause, too! You'll be helping send students to school. Please also help spread the word to your friends and family, and invite them to come as well!

Tickets are at Php 300.00 each. For tickets, please contact Tata Francisco at 0920-947-08-61, Gabi Francisco at 0920-947-08-35, or Nicole Bautista at 0916-341-33-66. You can also email us at teachertata@gmail.com, gabitwin@gmail.com, nikkobautista@gmail.com.

Or leave a comment here and coordinate with me; I'm the Nicole in that list. :D

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Corruption in the small things

A few weeks ago, I rode a taxi with my mom and my sister to East Avenue to fix my SSS ID application. We were planning to drop off Isis in UP first and then proceed to the SSS office, but Isis forgot her enrollment documents. So, they decided that it was best to drop me off first and then make a round trip to pick up the errant forms.

The taxi was a nice one--clean and new. The driver was pleasant... a little chatty for my taste, but he was courteous enough--he wasn't cursing the traffic or the heat or whatever else taxi drivers curse about.

On the windshield was a campaign sticker for one popular candidate running for president--the one people are lauding for having the guts to put an end to corruption because his mom and dad were not corrupt. And half the time the driver was telling us how much he wanted that candidate to win and that only one passenger expressed an opposing view about his choice for president.

"Dapat hindi corrupt (he should not be corrupt)," he was saying, adding that he's been campaigning for the man for free because he believes the man can end corruption. He also said that if someone is gonna get voted into the presidency, it should be because people really believe in him enough to campaign for him without incentives.

Very well.

My problem with this is what happened after I got off the cab. My mom told me that after I got off at East Avenue, the driver switched off his meter and drove them all the way back to Eastwood without the meter counting. He charged them a fat 200 pesos when they got home, and refused to take them back to UP because "Ayoko na pumunta doon (I don't want to drive back there)."

It makes me wonder how we as a people expect to eradicate corruption when even the smallest things are not treated with the proper justice. That whole round trip would probably have amounted to 150-160 pesos only (and not 200) if the man didn't switch off his meter.

That cab driver can root for his non-corrupt candidate all he wants, but corruption will not be eradicated if he keeps on treating his passengers unfairly. After all, honest living is not demanded of politicians alone; it is demanded of all of us.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Jeggings. What a funny word. And funnier still is that it's picking up. First, a popular jeans brand comes up with ultra-skinny pants and calls it "Jeans Leggings" (or something to that effect) and then before you know it, stores have racks filled with all sorts of "jeggings"--leggings made to look like jeans (maybe because they're cheaper).

I read an interesting article on leggings from Tiger Print, and I'd like to share an excerpt from it--it's called "Please, no legging behinds" by Katie Hinderer:

Leggings, pants and tights are all different fashion pieces. As such, they each have a specific use and while the lines can tend to blur occasionally on these items it’s important to keep these clothing items separate.

Leggings are not pants because they do not offer any structure or support. They are always skin-tight and form-fitting. And to be honest, in leggings it is possible for everyone to see every little bodily nuance we have. They do nothing to flatter our figure, re-proportion our silhouette or compliment our natural beauty. When worn alone we might as well announce to the world that our bottom half is the most important part and invite others to take a look. (Um… no thanks.)

What am I getting at? No matter how like jeans some leggings are, they're still leggings! What if everything meant as an accessory, accent or underthing is treated like a main article of clothing? Would you wear half slip as a skirt? How about a scarf as a shirt? Socks as shoes? (I'm thinking of "trendy" names for them now: skips, sharves and shocks. Maybe if some fashion guru said them, these words would catch on, too.)

Real fashion-forward people remember what each bit of clothing is for and how to wear them properly. If a fashion designer insists a camisole should be exposed and worn as a shirt, then that designer probably has no more bright ideas up her sleeve. It's one thing for them to try to pull that off (using photoshopped models in ad campaigns), it's another for consumers to snap it up without thinking.

So, let's be more discerning and give only the trends that really mean to make us look better and feel more confident the leg-up.

...as for jeans that look like leggings, if regular skinny jeans don't suit the trendsetter anymore, it might be a good time to remember what happens when people think micro minis aren't micro enough and short shorts aren't short enough: peek-a-boo, I see you!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Haciendero baby

It's summer! And so hot! Who wouldn't want to bite into a cool and juicy slice of watermelon? It sure is very enticing to be in the shoes of the little watermelon farmer on the cover; little Mikle Flores's cute expression here is captured by Ralph Alejandrino.

What's so fun about the summer issue? Well, we've put together a lot of useful articles for parents and parents-to-be! What I remember most about this issue is that I learned how discovery is always something we can look forward to in everything that we do, no matter how much we've done it before. I've been with the magazine for three years and it was only in the making of this month's issue that I learned babies can't yet carry their own slice of watermelon! Little Mikle had such a hard time lifting the juicy slice that he (smart baby that he is) simply just bent down to get a big bite off the fruit--leaving us (Baby mag staff and his parents Karen and Mon) in stitches! Poor Ralph had to wait a few moments to catch Mikle with his face not buried in the fruit.

It's days like this that remind us how different babies are from the rest of us--and while we all know that they need our protection, support, and guidance, we can benefit from the fact that they (in their vulnerability and innocence) can teach us a thing or two about life and the world, particularly in that the world still has its mysteries... and that uncovering these mysteries (when we set out to discover and learn something new) is what makes each day a bit more special than the last. And if we have to bend down to the watermelon to have a sample of one of life's sweet and simple pleasures, then bend we do; let's not be afraid to try new things now!

Baby magazine is published by Marathon Publishing Co. and is sold at all National Bookstores, SM baby department stores, Babyland (Robinsons Galleria, Shaw Blvd. near Cherry Foodarama), Baby & Co. (The Podium and Power Plant Mall), Bufini, Procreation Shangri-la mall, Big & Small Co. Shangri-la Mall.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The last laugh

Remember the last time you felt you had the last laugh? It was satisfying, wasn't it? To get that final word in, to feel the wisest--the lone grain of wisdom in a sack of ignorant fools.

Remember, too, those times when you were not able to get that last laugh. You kept re-imagining the scene in your head to place the situation in your favor--the more you thought about it, the snappier and wittier your comebacks became... if only you had thought to say them at the time!

Who could blame anyone for wanting to have the last laugh? It's only natural that we don't want to be shamed; we don't want to lose face, and having the last laugh somehow redeems a person in the sight of others... or so we think.

Last holy week, I watched Mel Gibson's movie again and one of the things that I found really nice was that scene of Christ's sermon on the mount. He said, "If you love only your friends, what's hard in that?"

Think about it: Which is harder--getting the last laugh, or letting somebody else have it at your expense? Sometimes, not giving that snappy comeback, that witty comment, or that bitter retort is the best way to handle the situation. If you're in the wrong, it saves you from having to justify something you can never justify; if you're in the right... well, so was That Man on the mount, and HE never said a thing when everyone was laughing all around Him.

Forgoing the last laugh is one of those hard things we are asked to do--and to do without worrying so much about what other people will say or think. Aren't we all called to be more like Christ? Remembering how He was treated in the Passion makes our "shame" so little compared! What's wonderful is, no matter how little our offering is (and will always be), we are invited to share in the only last laugh won through humility and selflessness--

Happy Easter!

Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves, for they shall never cease to be amused. -Anonymous