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Music and Madness
11 July 2013 @ 05:44 pm
So I've been writing consistently on the creative blog this year, but I still fail at writing personal matters. I'm working from home today, because I need to take a training and the firewall restriction in my office network is still enabled. It's taking the network engineer to fix a fuckin' firewall setting, so I'm here on the bed, trying to concentrate on my Oracle On Demand Training.

I swear sometimes I feel like I'm spreading myself too thin, when in fact i just have a twisted sense of priorities. ang e.q. ko medyo natetest when I work from home. I need to focus on the following things this week and the coming week prior to my onshore deployment:
1. Oracle On Demand Training
2. Oracle On Demand Certification Exam
3. Functional Design Templates
4. Project Plan
5. My Ticket and passport pick up from the embassy
6. 60 cupcake orders on Satuday
7. Dinner with my friendships (Happy birthday Rinaroo!)
8. Studio recording of Pseudo Utopia
9. Check AMEX Balance (dapat zero balance na sya!)
10. Condo bills and sunlife payment
11. Chino's tattoo design!

Okay focus Faye. Project kick off starts July 22, and I have to know everything there is to know about Oracle On Demand. Siyempre minomotivate ko sarili ko at nagsusulat imbes na mag aral ano? Okay stop na. Meeting with onshore in 15 minutes. 
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Music and Madness
04 April 2013 @ 05:12 pm
Being on night shift gives you a lot of time to think about things. I'm working remotely from home right now, so I'm actually free to do whatever I want. My creativity blog is taking the front seat at the moment, and sometimes I miss writing bigger chunks about my personal life.

So I just got back from New York this week. It's only my second US trip but New York City still felt oh so familiar. Even more so now since I got to do a lot of things there, even on weekdays. NJ Transit rides and MTA rides aren't novel experiences anymore. I still did most of the touristy things--Rockefeller, Grand Central, Natural History Museum, MoMa, The Met, Central Park. I enjoyed catching up with my cousins, my aunts and uncles, and friends who lived nearby.

By friends, I mean my friend Carmi and that guy I dated for a month when I was there 5 years ago. Yeah, on my last night in the U.S., Tom came over to my hotel to do some catching up. It's strange and surreal, really. Jim knew I was going to meet up with him and do some catching up. I thought, he's actually my only real American friend whom I shared good memories with. The idea of meeting him again felt very strange. He dropped me a line on Facebook and asked when's a good time to drop by. My cousin stayed over at my hotel to see me off so I thought it would be good to have him over while someone was there--just to break the weirdness. He got there earlier than planned and my cousin was running a little late, so I sat behind my working table, he pulled a chair and we started talking. He shared his touring adventures with his band in Europe and Canada. How he didn't like doing touristy stuff and that he would rather get into the routine of things but in another place. Snooty traveler. He told me stories about meeting the girlfriend of the bassist of The Babyshambles and running into Ian Brown (or is it Johnny Marr?) at some random place in the city. He shared adventures in Japan and about a girl he's friend's with who ended up sleeping at Sting's house. He told me about his girlfriend and that they've been together for 3 years already. She lives in the Financial District. He mentioned his plans about moving from Syracuse to Manhattan so he could live closer to his girl.  I talked about my craft projects, my stint in Australia, frisbee, running, and the band. He asked if I still did lomography. I told him, hardly these days, 'cause I'm almost out of film. Of course I told him about Jim--that he's an awesome guitarist and that I met him in college but we only got together in 2011. I told him that 2011 was one of the worst years I've had because all I did was work and that Jim kept me sane during those tough times. I gushed at how sweet my boyfriend is and told him how my family likes Jim a lot, and he likes them. He likes them so much that he went to my sister's wedding anniversary party without me because I was in the U.S. for a business trip. The weirdness slowly disappeared as we started talking about the past five years since he brought me to the airport. Then we started talking about music. The new Suede album is legit. He brought his CD and I played it on my laptop. Brett Anderson's voice felt like an old friend's hug. Their sound was incredibly familiar, but still fresh. At that point, my cousin had arrived and I introduced them. There was silence at first, but then we broke the ice eventually. He played the Trashcan Sinatras album and told me about this song called "I Wish You'd Met Her". He told me that song reminded him of me. My cousin rolled her eyes, haha. It was a really sweet song, and I like it very much. I hate that he had to tell me that it reminded him of me, coz now it reminds me of him too.

He's still the sweet guy I met 5 years ago and I'm glad he's still that way. Even if things didn't work out between us, he still made an effort to keep in touch. He's always been a good story to tell. The guy I dated back in New York who didn't turn out to be a jerk like the guys we've watched in SATC. We're friends now, and while ours was an interesting story, I'm living a better one with Jim in the present. And I'm really happy about that.
Music and Madness
27 January 2013 @ 02:09 am
jim bought a d&d acoustic-electric guitar for me today. i was overwhelmed despite picking up a hint from him when he was asking me to test it. i had the initial impression that it was really for him coz he keeps on raving about it everytime we pass by a music store. so eventhough he just purchased a fender acoustic guitar late last year, i still thought he was buying the thing for himself coz he was telling me how heavy the fender was; hard case and everything. and besides, he's a true certified guitar junkie so it didn't seem fishy.

when i played daniela for the first time, i was inlove. i even contemplated buying the guitar myself, since i had an upcoming gig this feb at cubaox and was still practicing my songs using my 6-year old lumanog, noogie. its bridge is too high, so after a few songs, my fingers start to hurt already. but oh daniela, even if it's not as thick as noogie, its reverb is good and the sound she made is still full. when we plugged her to an amp and tested the equalizer, i was even more impressed so i told jim to accompany me by end of jan so i can buy my own.

he was urging me to keep on playing and testing this one so i had some sort of a "teka lang, para sakin ba 'to" moment but i thought maybe he just wanted my opinion. i thought we were there to just test it but i was surprised when he said he was going to pay for it already. huwaw ah, impulse purchase? while he was paying for it and the sales guy was putting it inside its softcase, jim asked the brand of strings used for the guitar. the sales guy responded, d'adario size 10. jim suddenly said, "o, tandaan mo ha. pwede rin naman size 9 pero mas manipis tunog" or something to that effect.

thought bubble: omg. teka, akin ba tong binibili niya?! *panics*

i kept it cool as we left jb music store coz i didn't want to assume. needless to say that i didn't have to, because my super sweet boyfriend suddenly exclaimed "happy 123!" with a silly sorta gotcha grin on his face.

gosh. a new guitaaaaaaaar! and a d&d at that! i knew it didn't come cheap! level up sa lumanog ko!

that super made my day, my week, my month and my year so far. good Lordie, this boy. nakakahaba lang ng hair. :D

been playing the pretty thing all evening, and im so inspired to make music again. thanks love for this awesome gift!
Music and Madness
20 December 2012 @ 10:48 pm

This project reminds me of my band KAZE. It was something that I was ready to jump into without knowing that I was slowly building a dream for it. I was lucky enough to be doing something already even before I realized that it could be something so awesome. It's brimming with potential! My sisters and I each have our own roles to play in this project -- my sister Katrina took on the main and most important role, the baker, while Ate Tetet who was the first to come up with the business idea is our main manager and accountant and I became the designer and promoter.

My mom played a big role in this too. She is the inspiration.

Sugar Lily Cupcakes

This whole thing started when Ate Inah began bringing homemade desserts for our Sunday Family Dinners. She started with brownies then ventured into making cupcakes later on. The kids especially loved them and so she experimented with different flavors. The idea for branding came up around October, when my eldest sister Tetet, the party planner that she is, asked Ate Inah to bake some cupcakes for Sofia's 7th birthday. The guests loved her cupcake minis with marshmallow frosting and asked where Ate Tetet ordered them. Ate Tetet launched brainstorming sessions and we finally decided to call our project "Sugar Lily". Sugar, because of course the product caters to your sweet cravings, and Lily is the nickname of our mommy (Araceli).

None of us were pink people and we didn't want the brand to be too girly. No offense to those who love pink, but if my sisters and I have a common denominator, we were more feisty than girly. Anyway, we leaned towards turquoise/sky blue and so I made a logo for it. It was the perfect color choice too, because RM Boxes had turquoise boxes readily available in the market and we wanted the logo to somehow match our boxes. I wanted the logo to be simple yet sophisticated and so I searched fonts online and checked out calligraphic borders that I can use. I came up with multiple samples, but decided on the most simple border.

We also decided on our cupcake flavors and the main factors that came into play were 1.) how well Ate Inah perfected the recipe 2.) Which flavors are the most popular today. In short, ano nga ba ang papatok at ano nga ba ang pinakamasarap na gawa ni Ate? So far, we have 5 flavors: Chocolate, Red Velvet, Vanilla, Carrot and Banana chocolate chip. The last one is a personal favorite and also my mom's favorite. Our mom isn't a fan of frosting, and the banana chocolate chip is soooooo good you don't need frosting for it at all. I was also especially fond of my sister's signature rose frosting. It's so pretty I can look at the cupcakes all day. I am used to all the prettiness now, so I am not afraid to sink my teeth into the yuminess. I heard a lot of feedback from friends that they didn't want to eat the cupcakes because they were too pretty! Haha

Facebook was our main medium for promoting our cupcakes, and so I created a page for Sugar Lily. Friends and acquaintances liked the page instantly but I was suprised that a lot of them translated to actual orders! We got orders everyday and because my sisters and I had day jobs (Ate Inah and I were I.T. Professionals, while Ate Tetet is in the Insurance/Life Pension industry) we only work on the cupcakes after office hours. This is what Ate Tetet dubbed as Birth Pains because we would be working on orders till the wee hours of the morning and it wasn't fun sometimes. We developed a certain system and we already logged our orders via excel to keep track of orders! I suddenly realized how hard it is to start a business, but at the same time, I felt so fulfilled knowing that I was working something I could call my own with my family. I am especially proud of Ate Inah, who is so dedicated with her craft. I had other extracurriculars, like the band and sports, while Ate Tetet is a working mom. I am so happy Ate Inah got into baking because it's something that she is absolutely awesome at and it was something that she really loved to do. I call this our project, not a business, because calling it a business makes it sound so official and so serious. We wanna have fun with it and see how far this could take us. But in reality it really is a business, and I am so excited with the many things that my sisters and I could do together. We're no Katherine or Sophia of DC cupcakes, and we're still really very very small. We're babies. But hey, who knows where this could lead to, right?

Planning for 2013 is on the way. My goal for the next quarter is for us to get a bigger mixer and a bigger oven!

Music and Madness
01 December 2012 @ 01:24 am
Last month of the year na? Omg how fast 2012 went by! It's a much better year than 2011, that I can say. So much stuff has been going on these past few months, specially with work, and I need to take a breather. 2013 promises a lot of hope and opportunities materializing. I feel that I've really accomplished a lot of things this year and despite the frustrations, I know that i'm doing better than I did the year before. Unlike 2011 which was my most miserable workaholic year, I'd like to think I have taken a more holistic approach this 2012.

I sang. I ran. I worked. I traveled. I played. I created. I read and wrote. I ate and drank. I learned a lot and had tons of fun. And yes, I still am inlove. :)

Balance is the key word for 2012, and balance I have achieved. First day of the last month of 2012! I am going to make it count!
Music and Madness
14 November 2012 @ 02:27 am
The weekend has been absolutely fun. I would write the details later, but I'm just writing a few insights/notes about this trip.
  • The Philippines/Manila is still far back in terms of progress, discipline and government support. I wish I can still live to see the day the Philippine MRT is as organized and beautiful as Singapore MRT.
  • I love that Jim is getting the travel bug with me. He didn't seem to love foreign travel all that much since he prefers to see his own country first (he's nationalistic like that), but then he realized how big the world is and there is still so many things to see and experience. I love that this trip opened his eyes to explore and travel more. He even texted me this morning about a plan for a BKK trip next year! 
  • I would love to live in a foreign country for 2 years. It's still a dream and I am going to make it a reality hopefully by next year.
  • Friends are the best. Trina took care of lodging, Mon took care of getting Universal Studios Tickets, Boss Bert and Ron took care of showing us around and making sure we experience our first Chili Crab meal, Sherwin took care of our last dinner. Love them.
  • I am slowly learning to be a light packer. I am learning to build my travel wardrobe staples for short trips (3 - 4 days) - 2 neutral coloured shirts, a couple of dressy tops, 1 dress, a pair of black pants, 1 pair of PJs, a jacket/blazer, 1 sneakers/loafers, 1  pair pair of slippers, 1 pair of flats, LOTs of accessories & statement necklaces. I need to buy good shoes for walking coz my converse chuck taylors didn't fare well with the endurance test. 
  • I still need to learn how take in and be calm during some travel hassles e.g. falling in line, communication breakdowns, getting lost.
  • Preparation is key. In fairness to Jim, he was more prepared than I was during this trip. So glad he was on roaming or else we wouldn't be able to meet up with our friends.
  • I miss traveling with my AIF Friends! 
  • I shouldn't be kuripot when buying souvenirs. And if i want to buy something i must seize the moment, because there might not be a next time. I wasn't able to buy lots of pasalubongs this trip and still have like 180 SG dollars left in my wallet!
  • When shopping for clothes in another country, I should really really make sure the brand can't be found in Manila. 
  • In any international trip, I will never eat at McDonald's/KFC or Starbucks unless a.) it's free b.) im at the airport.
  • Pinoy Community in Singapore is awesome. Got a free pass at the Singapore Art Museum because the receptionist is Pinoy. I can feel the love. 

Jim and I decided we would travel together and all the time. We agreed to take a minimum of 1 domestic and 1 international trip + 1 climb every year. I'm sure it will help us grow individually and as a couple. :) So, where to next?
Current Mood: satisfiedsatisfied
Music and Madness
03 November 2012 @ 03:47 pm
What an amazing weekend. It was lazy and eventful and it got me thinking about the province and how I can actually live simply in this life. There's so much excess, but I keep on wanting. It's in our nature, I suppose. To want and to get and be selfish. Oh but what fun I had in the province, just reading and hiking and running and eating and sleeping in between. I brought all sorts of things,with me--2 books, a notebook, a laptop, a lomo camera. But what kept me amused mostly is Jack Kerouac.
Reading On The Road was boring at first. An account of a neverending hustle around America didn't seem too appealing but something clicked like getting on the rhythm of his words half of which was hard to understand but I still found so sad and beautiful. Sal and Dean were assholes, but I loved their voices. They treated their women like crap, but I envy their freedom and lust for life. They were eternally confused, but exuded passion and wisdom. I dont want to be like them, or their women though. But I fell asleep last night making up poems in my head because of jack kerouac. I wish this could go on and on.
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Music and Madness
03 October 2012 @ 02:01 am
Uncomfortable with flooding so much cheese on twitter so I just need to post here. 

I'm thankful for this boy who sees me everyday and makes sure I get home safe and embraces me just because. I'm thankful because for the very first time, it's not complicated. I'm watching a play with him and his family tomorrow and I don't feel an ounce of nervousness or a need to impress. It's just comfortable. It fits. 

I'm still amazed. 
Music and Madness
01 October 2012 @ 11:21 pm
I had a good feeling about September and it proved to be as awesome as I hoped it would be. Analysis phase of my upgrade project has drawn to a close and we received good feedback from our client team. I hope our rapport and our working relationship remain positive throughout our release. There's still so much to do but we're doing pretty good so far.

Gantimpala awards night was great too, coz I got to bring my mom at Edsa Shang for the celebration and I was able to make her proud. I wasn't so impressed with the food and the program could've been better thought out, but really the highlight of it was having mom and Jim there with me.

Kaze did a gig recently at 70's bistro with sandwich, gaijin, top junk and brisom. I don't think we were supposed to be in the original line up, but our manager Tenten Abella squeezed us in at the last minute and the band was informed like 3 days before the gig itslelf. We weren't satisfied with our performance coz we had no time to practice and I was sooo tired from work. Been rendering overtime work daily and it took its toll on the band's performance. We still had fun though, and we'd never pass up on a chance to play with Top Junk. Happy Anniversary Top Junk! :)

The culminating event of this month is our 20 song set at The Balcony. Been practicing 80's and 90's songs coz the celebrant had just turned 40! It was so much fun to learn songs that aren't in our usual repertoire. On the day of the gig I had to go to the office for comnectivity testing. It was pouring that morning but I arrived at 7:45 nonetheless. My teammate and I stayed til around 12 then I dropped by Fully Booked to buy another Rhodia dotted notebook coz I was running out of calligraphy paper already. Chevy picked us up then went to Miwa's place. Grabe we were cramming, and we had so many booboos during practice! Naturally I got nervous as evening came. Parang wala kaming naperfect na song! Anyway, I went home to take a quick shower then went to pick up Chiqui. Around 8 ish we arrived at the venue and did our set up. When the place started to come alive with kuya weng's friends, we performed our first set. We sang The Cure, Hall and Oates, Fra Lippo Lippi and some origs and songs from stock knowledge. Thank goodness for our 90's themed gigs we were able to do Dead Eye Dick, The Cardigans and Gin Blossoms covers. Before we knew it, the first set was over!

We managed to rest after the first set, but I had to do a biy of hosting din. While AVPs were being shown, candles were being blown and speeches were being given, I took the lull time to talk to my titos and titas and down a couple of mojitos.

Second set was supposed to be the high energy set so we did some Tears for Fears,B52's, The Go Go's, Sting and The Police, and of course Madonna. We did Orson, No Doubt and origs din. By this time everyone was getting drunk, singing along, summoning up the courage and confidence to jam. Richard Carandang of Delara and Sessionroad/Mojofly was apparently there coz he knows kuya weng also so he jammed with us. Jim was so awesome managing to play lots if requests by ear. He didn't rest at all! Lotsof requests were sung from Mr. Big to Juan Dela Cruz, Radiohead, The Beatles, Eraserheads, and the usual anthem songs for the drunken ones. I was onto my third margarita at this point and had started talking to random people. The songs and the booze ran out, people began to settle down, some left already. Ate Tetet and Kuya weng thanked us to bits and we received so many compliments from guests. Saya! Sarap lang din ng feeling. Justified na yung pagod sa practice.

A couple more goodbyes and thank yous then we left to go to another friend's house in BF. I had no recollection of what happened in between, but the next thing that I remember was that I was on a couch with Jim, my BF friends and my bandmates. We were talking about Absolut Apeach, roll calls, and I was slighy aware of helping myself with some brownies. Next thing I knew I was outside with Jim who was trying to help me walk as my legs turned to jelly. I normally could hold my alcohol pretty well but this one just didn't stay with me. Omg that feeling wasn't fun at all. It was terrible and I kept saying sorry daw! Jim thought I was gonna cry pero di naman daw. I had no idea what time that happened, but man I am so glad I have the best boyfriend in the world who brought me home and carried me all the way to my bed, took off my shoes and socks and made sure I was safe. Hay nako that guy. He's my hero.

Anyway, as expected the next day was hell and i had the worst hangover, so I had to do a raincheck on that evening's festivities for Carla'a birthday. Felt so bad pero she understood naman hehe.

September was truly remarkable although if i were to do it again, id probably eat dinner before the margarita/mojito marathon, and i'd probably do a second sniff at those brownies first before i shove it in my mouth. ;p
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Music and Madness
23 September 2012 @ 10:25 pm
I want to enroll in ATA Application Design Certification Program. Run regularly again. Swim twice a week with Aljo. Register in Fozzy's calligraphy workshop. Learn the piano. Finish reading Jack Kerouac's On The Road. Complete the Assessment Doc for the Siebel Upgrade. Take the Health Industry Certification Trainings. Go backpacking in Cambodia and Bangkok with Jim. Get myself a new bike. Become an Associate Manager by March. Record songs for my band's first album. Write songs again. Get post grad diploma for Management at DLSU.

Reminding myself of the things that I want to accomplish soon. :)