Saturday, November 13, 2010

Planning Weddings in Surigao City

I'm losing my whole life in Your purpose and for Your heart's desire. I'm running with blinded eyes, faith as my guide, let Your love take flight. - Devoted Citipointe Live
God truly surprises me in indescribable ways that leaves me in awe of His wonder. He constantly reminds me that He has my best interest at heart no matter how challenging the road I need to traverse in order to get to His promised land; nor how long the season of waiting will last. It was a rainy and rather dreary afternoon when I landed the gig I am working on right now after months of praying, brainstorming and little attempts of marketing. I've had a share of setbacks in the past, probably enough to discourage one to start anew. So there was a time when I didn't want to take risks nor did I even think of investing my heart into something that might not take off as well as I wanted it to. And the scarcity of capital resources has always been a constraint to getting anything done. So for a time, I guess I've entered a phase in my life where playing safe has been the ongoing mantra. But with God, there are no safe zones because He has promised that despite the impending dangers and challenges, He is there. And so with this new venture, I'm running with blinded eyes, faith as my guide, letting His love take flight...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Alodia Gosiengfiao and Luis Manzano, Dating?

image via here

When popular showbiz blogger and ABS-CBN insider Darla Sauler posted pictures of Luis Manzano and Alodia Gosiengfiao together on her blog implying that the two were somehow (or are starting to be) involved romantically, people started flooding the said blog posting nasty comments  defending one of the three parties involved in the controversy: Alodia, Luis and Luis' former beau Angel Locsin. Alodia was somehow blamed as the last straw that caused Luis and Angel to finally put a period to their attempts to get back together. Apparently this has been happening for quite sometime now and it was only through Alodia's facebook page that I even knew there was an issue. I frequent Angel's online forum fan clubs but there was no mention of the said rumor except when Angel tweeted a certain warning saying that all girls should be careful of guys who are "manloloko". A lot of the fans immediately linked the said tweet to Luis and the girl he is currently seeing and exclusively dating despite Angel's claim that the said tweet was totally random.

This issue has been discussed so many times already and has been given a conclusion in one episode of The Buzz. There is even a video of the said episode in Alodia's facebook page. Here's the video. The hosts clarified that nothing is going on between the two; and one of the hosts, Charlene Gonzales during discussion even named Alodia's real boyfriend.

It is clear that this issue is nothing but a publicity stunt by ABS-CBN to promote Alodia and Luis' upcoming show called L.O.L. (Laugh Out Loud). The show will be airing in the coming months and will feature pranks and practical jokes that the team will do to both celebrities and ordinary people. The show will also mark Alodia's first official mainstream showbiz gig. 

Several factors drew my attention to this issue. But first of all let me just say that I never believed the issue to be true because I've known Alodia and the guy she's been dating for quite sometime now and even met them during conventions. And I've mentioned this before, I am a fan of Alodia and of Angel Locsin (serious level) so I was bound to stumble upon and talk about this issue in some way. The real reasons why I am dedicating a blog post to this issue are as follows:

1. I am totally appalled at the way the Buzz co-hosts' discussed the said rumor and their un-awareness of the Cosplay subculture. It's one thing to not be interested. I totally get it that none of them have really encountered anime and all the other things surrounding that aspect of the geek culture. It's just my belief however that if you're going to talk about something on air, you have to at least research about things you don't understand. I mean they could've have just googled the term Cosplay and it would have made them appear a little less stupid than the way they did. 

2. ABS-CBN totally disrespected Alodia by giving her a negative publicity as an informal launch. What a way to introduce Alodia to the Filipino masses! Alodia has a fierce (and when I say fierce I mean they really really bite, hehe!) legion of fans in the country and is internationally recognized by a certain niche to be on a goddess level so I don't get why they had to give her a masa-level publicity. Sure, she's not yet marketable to the masses at this point in her career and her craft is not something a lot of people are even aware of, but her good looks and natural charm will win anyone over. Besides, she has an international stature. Anyone with international stature will draw the masses in no matter what the reasons are. Unfortunately, ABS-CBN decided to draw bad blood against Alodia's fans by giving her this kind of cheap stunt. If they market mainstream actresses with intrigue-laden issues then I don't think that same strategy will work in promoting Alodia. I really didn't think she needed it nor do I think it's the way to launch a show. Sure, it's being talked about all over the web but there's bound to be some backlash later. They should have talked to e-Games or the convention organizers who have worked with Alodia before, so they will know her real marketing power.

3. This has somehow caused a rift between Alodia and Angel's fans. The true-blue Angel Locsin fans will easily dismiss this to be nothing but a publicity stunt but there are already comments in Darla's blog that are derogatory towards Alodia and it saddens me. Fans will defend their idols without thinking and will compare the two and prove against each other who's the better person. Instead of possibly winning over Angel's fans, ABS-CBN drove them away from Alodia. This won't affect everyone but there's bound to be some casualties.

They say negative publicity is still publicity and is therefore useful. However, if rubbed the wrong way, it will burn whoever its subjects are right Manny Pacquiao and Krista Ranillo? TV Networks should start really understanding their market instead of doing a one-size-fits-all marketing strategy; which is plain lazy. That way they can maximize the potentials of the stars, people, and shows they are trying to build up. No wonder online media platforms like YouTube is now getting most of the viewing public's attention and television companies' attempts to go online is sort of desperate and may be a little too late.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Driftwood Christmas Decors

My Mom and I made something festive out of her driftwood collection. We both love to decorate and tinker around with almost anything. And I believe we both really like making things pretty and giving everything a personal touch. So here are the products of that. Everything you see here is handmade and locally sourced. They can be used as table centerpieces or shelf decorations.  These are FOR SALE but only for Surigao City meet-ups. Still thinking if there's a way to ship them. But the rest of the products can be found here: So far we've had customized orders. Hehe! Hope y'all like 'em!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Macross Frontier: The False Songstress

I've finally seen it! After waiting for the fansub to come out for more than a year I've finally laid my eyes on it. *insert tears* Macross has been my favorite anime franchise ever since I was a little girl, so when they announced that a 25th anniversary anime series was going to be released two years ago, I was more than ecstatic. Of course I followed the series with a burning passion and fell in love with it almost the same way as I did with SDF Macross. SDF Macross however, remains to be on a skyscraper level of love for me though. Nonetheless, I waited for the movie sequel to the Macross Frontier series with massive enthusiasm in the hopes that it would contain answers to many questions left unanswered by the series two years ago.

So how did the movie fair? Unfortunately, it seemed a bit so-so for me and this is where I'm really frustrated. I still loved it but it didn't really have that much emotional effect on me as the series did. I really can't pinpoint what went wrong. I'm maybe too much of a Ranka fan that I felt her exposure and rise to stardom (or role in the defeat of the Vajra) in the movie was downplayed compared to that of Sheryl's. I don't know why they went on the Sheryl path (no offense to the fans though). I felt like the movie was made for her. I also didn't like the changes they made on Ozma. I loved how bad-a$$ he was in the series especially his low tolerance to Alto's emotional outbursts. He seems to really kiss-ass with Alto in the movie which frankly is a bit annoying and cliche (eww at the welcome initiation). Maybe that's what happens when you compress a 25-episode series to two hours. Certain charms of the series had to be sacrificed. That didn't happen with Macross: Do You Remember Love? (the movie retell of SDF Macross) though. Sure, certain characters that fans loved were given a less share of the limelight but the Misa-Hikaru-Minmay love triangle became more epic. And I liked their take on the story with Misa discovering one of the most amazing love songs of all time. I guess my expectations were a bit too high. It's really difficult to top something so incredibly epic.

I loved the animation of the Macross Frontier movie though and the re-arrangement they did on some of the songs. Surprisingly, the fanservice moments didn't annoy me although I felt they were a little bit forced and trying hard to join the trend of fanservice animes. Overall, the movie will really make any Macross fan happy. Especially those that waited too long to be immersed once again in the mystical Macross universe. Come on, let's all dream and fly! Yikes! Can't wait for the 2011 movie! Anyway, here is the movie version of the song Diamond Crevasse performed live by May'n and Megumi Nakajima with no less than Yoko Kanno on the piano!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Socorro Surigao del Norte and Rejuvenate Surigao Mission Trip

Dapat magpopost ako ng formal na update sa blogsite ng church namin kaso wala ako sa mood para maging formal. Besides may naka-assign na gumawa nun hinihintay ko na lang ang update niya. Almost one month delayed na 'toh pero hanggang ngayon totally overwhelmed pa rin ako sa ibang level na awesome-ness ng love ni God for us, and most especially for me. Towards the end of September I was struggling with so many things kaya wala masyadong update. Sometimes I really do think I bite off more than I can chew kaya mejo nalulunod din ako sa dami ng trabaho. Pero ewan ko ba, ang sweet sweet lagi ng timing Niya. Just when I'm about to really lose it, he reminded me once again that I am loved even beyond what I can comprehend. Sabi ni Dr. Charles Spurgeon:
"There are no crown-wearers in heaven who were not cross-bearers here below."
While I believe that to be true, my life has been a testament of endless blessings. Sure, ang dami-daming moments when I felt like I'm being seriously refined through the flame pero I always feel like I've been transformed into something spectacular after. So on to the real updates. We were privileged to be joined by our brothers in Christ from the USA last September 27 to October 8. And what a fruitful trip that was! Officially, Rejuvenate Surigao ang pangalan ng mission. Super need kasi namin as a church ang rejuvenation. We are a very young church plant (2008) and already in the span of two years, we've been through a lot of trials together. But God has always been good and faithful. Everyday talaga is a walk of faith. 

One of the best parts of the trip was our visit to Socorro, Surigao del Norte. While we were unable to visit the famous Sohoton Cove (home to the sting-less jellyfish) and Bucas Grande's spectacular beaches, God showed us another side of Socorro that we immediately fell in love with -- His people. Kami dapat ang magmi-mission trip dun but instead we were treated like Kings and Queens. The human in me had a bit of doubt at the beginning anticipating kung ano'ng catch sa extravagant welcome and accommodations but there was none. Hindi ko ma-describe talaga yung mga pangyayari in sequence kasi sobrang I was really floating the whole time. I had an opportunity to share the Word through the explanation of our church's mission and vision. As of this time, in the works na ang mga possible developments na we will help do sa area all for His glory. Ang haba ko lagi mag-blog kaya putulin ko na dito and let the pictures speak for themselves. Credits to Pastor Nathan Klein of Turning Point Church World Outreach Center for the pictures.

Our Pastors with the kids...

Pastor Jon leading worship. The worship team couldn't go full band kasi sa islands toh at mabigat mga instruments.

The welcome crowd!

In the works na ang development project for this area. 20 hectares to be donated to us by the patriarch of the farmer's association. He said, He will will bless us according to His glorious riches!

After lunch, snacks na naman! Ako yung girl na matakaw na nasa gitna! Super obvious. Salvaro pala yung kinakain namin. It's sort of a cassava crisp thingie with latik! Sarap!

Lunch! Araw-araw ganyan promise! Allergic ako pero natutuwa ako kasi Php1000/kilo ang lobster! Galing sa farm nila yan. Lahat ng food actually produced by the farmer's association.

The HS kids! All of them received Jesus that day! I couldn't ask for more!

Where we were housed. Nasabi ko talaga, "Mission trip ba 'toh?" Ang bongga kasi. Pag-aari ang building na yan ng farmer's association. Mejo mini-hotel ang dating niya pero di pa daw nila dinidevelop kaya konti lang available rooms. Nonetheless, tig-iisa kami ng double beds! Heaven talaga after a long, exhausting trip.

So ayun. High na high pa rin ako actually. Thank You Lord for showing us just another glimpse of how much you love us. For Your glory!

Mag-Shot: Almost!

I'm not into fashion magazines. And I'm really a spaz when it comes to dressing up and matching clothes with accessories. I don't consciously follow trends and my rule has always been to dress comfortably no matter what the occasion. But when I started seeing people in what-used-to-be my tiny geek world, dress up as our favorite anime and game characters (a.k.a the art of Cosplay) I began to develop interest in other people's ability to expressively wear their personality. Art has always fascinated me (in the traditional and classical form) but I never really saw fashion as another avenue where art could creatively and magically flow. Suddenly, color combinations and accessories mattered to me. I'd even spend a significant amount of time online reading about fashion trends just so I'd know. I still didn't have the inkling to totally immerse myself into that girly world (anime and books came first of course). But I was contented with just knowing what was in and what's considered to be so last season. Back then, it was Tokyo street fashion, then I discovered pink, and of course fashion trends in Europe and other fashion capitals of the world -- all this happening while the cosplay subculture in the country is slowly beginning to draw a large audience share.

Then came the cosplay phenomenon that is Alodia Gosiengfiao. So many people don't really admit it but Alodia and her personal brand in niche modelling (whatever you may want to call it) is greatly responsible for making cosplay a profitable venture and thus, getting it some mainstream media attention. And because I was so smitten by her (in a non-creepy way if I may add), I followed her blog. Sure, we were both from Anime Club but we were not really in the same circles. I got to know more about her through her blog and during conventions and also through the people I've worked with. I also checked out the stuff she was in and the things she's endorsing. That's when I got to know of a certain fashion magazine for teenagers. 

Alodia was featured in the said magazine and I wanted to see what she was like away from the cosplay world. I wasn't really planning on purchasing the said magazine but upon reaching National Bookstore some unknown force prompted me to just go ahead and buy the issue she was featured in. As I began browsing through the pages of the said mag, I realized how useful most of the features were and without knowing, I actually was able to read the whole thing even the fashion features and was fascinated. Sure, since it's for teens some stuff that were in their were a bit cliche but I didn't really minds. And before I even began to notice, I started buying issue after issue. That was when I realized that my love affair with said mag has truly begun and was blossoming. I later decided to e-mail the editor of the said mag to share my story. I wasn't really expecting anything from it. But then one fateful day after a stressful thesis meeting, I got an e-mail that is from I was in a total shock. Why on earth would she be responding to my e-mail? Then I read what was inside and I almost literally fell off my seat. The editor said she liked my story and she wanted to give me a full-page feature. Apparently she liked my writing and doesn't want the whole thing published just in the editor's corner. She even gave me her personal yahoo messenger user ID so we can chat about what she wanted to accomplish with the page. She said the other magazine staff were interested in doing the feature and if everything goes well, my article will be featured and I'd be getting a share of the spotlight as well.

It would have been a great opportunity but I blew it. After that brief exchange, I got sick and went through what I still consider as the worst days of my life: thesis problem, a traumatic breakup and trouble with certain commitments. I was never able to get back to the magazine people. The moment I did, I received an e-mail that the editor who wanted to do my feature has resigned. I actually even bought the last issue that she was still the EIC to. And even until now, the poem she posted in her goodbye message is tacked on my wall reminding me that my deepest fear is not that "I'm inadequate". That has been an inspiration to me. 

The magazine has never been the same after she left so I generally stopped subscribing. And no I wasn't bitter; it's just that the magazine has taken on a different route. Whatever substance and depth I saw before has been replaced by the glitz and glamor of local showbiz and Hollywood. Or maybe I've changed. I don't know but even though the project didn't materialize, I was a better person after that experience.

I was able to work with another magazine after that. My life has taken on a different direction now and I'm interested in a lot of different things too. God has poured out so much passion for so many things in my heart today that the journey despite being bumpy has been such an amazing ride. I never really shared this with anyone but since I'm reaching another milestone in my life, I guess now is the time to tell this story.

And despite the popularity of online media and publications, I believe print is not dead and will live on. I'll be supporting that despite my longing for a Kindle. Hehe. So above is an ode to the printed word -- a lovely video from Anthology Magazine


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