A ‘Perfect’ Valentines Gift ft. Vimer Montañez

TIS THE SEASON TO SPREAD LOVE

Valentines is always a special occasion for me – whether I am Single or in a relationship. Although it is true that every day is a hearts day, my teachers during grade school has successfully inculcated in my head the importance of making the people around me feel special on Valentine’s day – from my teachers, to classmates, family, friends, relatives and everyone else. And since I love art crafts, I always use it to express love. I am not fun of buying fancy stuff from the shop to give as a gift – for any special occasions. I always love making them on my own and sprinkle some personal touch.

Now that Valentines day is almost upon us, we have prepared something special for the 7, 825 (an counting) visitors in my 9-month-old blog.

I sincerely thank you for your support even if I am new and still trying to get around.  So, we have made a simple music video to brighten up my reader’s hearts this Valentines day. But first things first: Before you continue scrolling down, please don’t expect too much. While the casts in this video were all great, I am just worried about the fact that don’t have a professional camera nor professional skills to create an awesome music video for you guys.  But then again, I always like to challenge myself and this is one of the things I would like to push myself beyond my limits. Rest assured, this music video is made by our passionate hearts. And don’t worry! I know I have a bad voice so I am not the one singing. Singing is one of my biggest frustrations especially when people from other nationalities tell me,” you are the only Filipino who cannot sing”. Well, although I know I am not the only one but I am still quite unfortunate to be one of the few. -.-

REFUELING PASSION

I have tapped a very good friend of mine to serenade you guys with the most requested love songs by Ed Sheeran, ‘Perfect’.  I am very glad that he said ‘yes’ to this invitation because it’s a perfect way to refuel his passion in singing.

             Photo by: Mhar Villaester Studio

He is Vimer Montañez. I met him from the Model search that I have joined in Singapore last 2017 – Dream Top Model Season 3. He was the big winner of the most ‘Captivating Smile’ award. It paved way for him to rise to prominence even until now as one of the handsome faces in OFW-SG community. This was also thanks to his supportive friend-photographer Mhar Anthony Villaester, as his handler and where he also had his back-to-back photoshoots last year that resulted to a great hit for Morpheus’ clients and kababayan supporters.

Aside from modelling, the Filipino community in Singapore also discovered his singing prowess. His first performance was through the 1st Charity Activity of Dream Top Model last 23 December 2016 at Bahay ni Ate, an event under the Philippine Embassy Singapore. The success of his first singing stint has brought attention to his second appearance at Bayanihan Walk 2017 last May 2017 and it was where I learned about his passion in Singing. I was covering for a blog back then. Right there, I knew that he is the perfect person to work with in making my Dream Music Video come alive. Well, for me, as the producer/director/cameraman  perhaps. 😀

Enjoy our ‘Perfect‘ Valentines gift for you. Our dream music video made by our passionate hearts! Special thanks to Princes Catherine Reña for her special appearance in this video.

Perfect – Ed Sheeran – Vimer Montañez Cover ft. Princess Reña

Produced/Directed by: Aby

Sound Editing by: Allen Vincent Santiago

Let’s get to know more about Vimer. I did a quick interview with him especially in raiding his passion. Here’s a quick share for you:

  1. Where did you grew up? Biñan, Laguna
  2. When and why did you started singing? When I joined the choir during my High Schools days
  3. Do you play any musical instruments? No
  4. Which instruments do you want to learn? Piano
  5. What was the first song you liked singing to? Later by Fra Lippo Lippi
  6. How often do you sing? Almost everyday in the shower.
  7. Is your family musical? Nope
  8. Were you influenced by old records? Which ones? Yes, casette tapes
  9. Who are your favorite musicians? Neyo, Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith
  10. If I was to turn on your play list right now, what five artists/songs would I see on your recently played list? Mostly are praise & worship songs, Neyo, Bruno Mars, Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran songs
  11. Have you performed in public? At the church as a choir and once in an event
  12. My mission is to encourage individuals to go beyond their limit. Thank you for saying yes in swooping down for your passion. You turned out really great. Too good for a first-timer! How do you feel about your first music video? I’m really happy with the outcome. It’s dream come true for me to have my own music video.
  13. What have you discovered more about yourself from the experience? I discovered that I can act (a bit). 😀
  14. Are you Single? Yes
  15. Are you seeing someone now? No
  16. If there is any song that would tell about your love life now, what would it be? Love yourself. 😀
  17. Do you also write songs? Yes.
  18. Is it a love song? Are we going to hear about compositions soon? Yes, it’s a love song. A love song for the Lord. We are still working on it but I’m excited to share it soon.I hope you enjoyed this article! Thanks for reading and have a lovely Valentines day everyone! Spread love! 🙂 ❤

 

Arthur Jake Villanueva as the OFW-SG ‘Natatanging Indibidwal’ for Events Management Category in 2017

Mr. Arthur Jake Villanueva, or Mr. AJV, is indeed the best pick in the OFW-SG community events and entertainment industry as he recently won the Gawad Sulo Foundation Singapore 2017’s Natatanginging Indibidwal in Event Management Category held at York Hotel (29 October).

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Mr. AJV and Ms. Jenny Fajardo of Morpheus Hub Events and Productions (MHEP) was welcomed by ka-link, Kelly G, upon their arrival during his Facebook live session with OFW SG Connect. (Photo by Babito Garez)
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Mr. AJV received his plaque trophy as Natatanginging Indibidwal in Event Management Category presented by Ms. Zeny Leong (Gawad Sulo Ambassador). (Photo by Babito Garez)

Mr. AJV’s success does not only end there for this year as Morpheus Hub Events and Productions (MHEP) was also awarded as Natatanging Organisasyon in the Event and Management category. He dedicated the success to all the people who supported the organization and its projects especially to his two partners Mr. Dhave Dela Cruz and Ms. Maria Antonethe Fadallan.

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Mr. AJV as he made his way back to the stage to receive the award of  MHEP as Natatanging Organisasyon in Event Management category. (Photo by Babito Garez)
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MHEP award was presented by Ms. Zeny Leong (Ambassador) and Mr. Rexonne Nebre  (Secretary-General) of Gawad Sulo Singapore.  (Photo by Babito Garez)

“Morpheus Hub Events and Productions would like to express our sincere appreciation to the Gawad Sulo Foundation Singapore, Madam Zeny Leong and Sir Rex Nebre, for recognizing our family with 2 prestigious awards. In a larger sense, however, this award is more appropriately deserved by the men and women of Morpheus’ stars with over 130 models from the pioneer 12 models in 2013. The Morpheus Hub Events and Productions (MHEP) along with our many partners who have collaborated in achieving our Vision for more than 4 years in this field: “A community where all communities especially KABABAYAN community unite, flourish and thrive.” said Mr. AJV.

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Mr. AJV as he thanked Gawad Sulo Foundation Singapore  for such recognition. Obviously, he was overwhelmed for receiving this prestigious award. (Photo by Babito Garez)

He also invited the rest of MHEP’s team, who were present to host in the event, to join him on stage as he received the organizations’ award.

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OFW Singapore Connect’s Ka-link, Aby (left) and ka-chika, Kelly G (right), hosted  the first part of the program: Award Presentation of the Sports Category. (Photo by Babito Garez)
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Morpheus Stars, Karina Bacsain (left) and Janina Espinoza (right) hosted the second part of the program: Award Presentation of Natatanging Indibidwal , Natatanging Negosyo, and Natatanging Organisasyon. (Photo by Babito Garez)
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MHEP team. From left: Janina Espinosa, Aby Armenton, Karina Bacsain, Mr. AJV, Kelly G, Jenny Fajardo, and Ms. Lucy Tagle(Photo by Babito Garez)

Other Filipino persona who were praised and recognized on the 2nd edition of Gawad Sulo Foundation Singapore were: Rico Hizon of BBC News (Media and Journalism), Mayo Martin of Channel News Asia (Media and Journalism), Luzviminda Matchimura Baraquel and Josefina Hosena (Outstanding Service), Ninalyn Cacanta of Happy Family School (Education Category), Laarni Gandaroza of Philippine Embassy (Outstanding Government Official), Ramon Pastrana of Philippine Embassy DOLE (Outstanding Government Labour Attaché), Ancheta Cataran of Philippine Embassy OWWA (Outstanding Government Official) and Manuel Mersole Mellejor of Philippine Embassy (Outstanding Government Secretary), all of the other kababayan who won the award were veteran personalities. Read more at: OFW-SG SULO NG OVERSEAS FILIPINO 2017 AWARDING CEREMONY


THE ‘MR. M’ OF SINGAPORE

Through the years, Mr. AJV has already gained a lot of recognition for his leadership in the field of entertainment events and charity activities— his people management, marketing management and event management skills rolled into one, that’s pure talent indeed! All of his recognition and awards since 2013 are evidences that he is indeed the ‘Mr. M’ of Singapore and one of the most admired OFW-SG leaders in the OFW-SG community. Despite that Mr. AJV doesn’t always talk about his great acts, undeniably, his awards and recognition are the ones that are speaking for his never ending achievements.

I, Into The Abys, and Kelly G are also living proofs  about Mr. AJV’s great acts and humility behind the scenes. We were both one of the hopefuls from the previous year’s Dream Top Model competitions which is one of the biggest projects of MHEP. Kelly G was from Season 1 and I was from Season 3. Even though we did not make it to the top in the model search, Mr. AJV has given us a chance to prove ourselves and find a spot in the industry by inviting us to join his projects not just to upsurge our blogs but also to boost our self-confidence. The recent Star Magic Presscon in Singapore (Oct 2017) was one of the many projects that we have collaborated.

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A look back from the top 50 hopefuls of Dream Top Model Season 3 (2017).
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Mr. AJV, Kelly G. and Aby during the recent Star Magic Presscon in Singapore. (Photo by TFC Singapore)

Meanwhile, Mr. AJV is currently supporting OFW-SG community events by leading the program flow, providing manpower and talents, and promoting the said events in the OFW-SG social media. He recently finished 3 charity activities for 2017 under his management arm Morpheus Hub Events and Productions alongside Dream Top Model family and Miss Petite family. Aside from that, he is also busy with his partners for the comeback of the biggest and grandest OFW-SG event Dream Top Model Season 4 which people can’t wait to see.

Congratulations Mr. AJV! Mabuhay po ang mga Pilipino at Mabuhay ang OFW-SG community!

More at:https://www.facebook.com/Gawad-Sulo-Foundation-Singapore-1309226379101106/

A Rekindled Love for Photography

Mhar Villaester is a Filipino photographer who’s dedication in his craft is admirable. He is currently living in Singapore for 5 years now. He believes that each of us tells a unique story and photography is one of best medium to share this story. Photographs emulates a way our mind freezes a significant moment.

Click here to read about the project that we have done together: Curated Secrets: ‘What It Means To Be With You’

One look at Mhar’s portfolio is like a step into a colorful and imaginative story-telling. Often dreamy, playful, cinematic, and rarely static. His photographs lean towards to tell story of human experience both in an imaginative and documentary parlance. He is a self-taught photographer who has been shooting for almost more than a year. Driven by curiosity and the incessant need to create and tell a story, it gave birth to ARCHETYPE IMAGES by Mhar Villaester.

Growing up, he excelled in academics, music, and other extra-curricular activities. He is a graduate of Psychology, Religious Studies and Law. He views photography primarily as a process, an exploration and a story telling. For Mhar, the act of curation as more important than the individual photographs. His process involves deconstructing and reconstructing photographs, combining different crops, colors and angular vantage points.

One of his models, Ian De Guzman, finds Mhar as a great photographer. He is gentle & encouraging in directing his models. At first, he would ask what is the models’ mood and what are their ideas for the poses. They would brainstorm from there, igniting an exhilarating model-photographer tandem. Ian also added that his post-processing skills is very fast and with great quality. He would get the models’ opinion about the photos before publishing.   

 

Here is a quick interview with this gentleman about his love for photography:

How did you develop an interest in photography?

Mhar: Photography is my first love, I fell in love with photography when I was in High School as photojournalist. As a cliché you always forsake your first love, thus I pursue Psychology, Religious Studies, and Law. It is only when I relocated here in Singapore when I rekindled my love and hate relationship with photography.

Why love and hate?

Mhar: Photography is savoring life at 100 frames per second, intently. It a risky passion as it fuels your creative imagination. And it’s an endeavor that is worth pursuing with determination and force. Because getting better at photography can further your creative output and growth in your work and personal life. In other words, the better photographs you capture, the more you thrive. But on the other side of the pendulum there is a risk of burning out.

What was your career path? How did you get from being an aspiring photographer to actually doing it? Is it full time/part-time?

Mhar: I think there is no such thing as a part or full time when you talk about your passion; Photography for me is one of them. Photography for me is more a teacher and not a career; it teaches the pain and joy of each story.

How do you educate yourself to take better pictures?

Mhar: I am privileged to meet a lot of great photographers, I listen when they share and their ways-of-working. I was also blessed to build friendship along the way with fellow photographers. I think most of what I know about photography especially the technical aspect and concept, I learnt from a good friend of mine, Urico Mondelo. I considered him as may mentor and needless to say he is my number one critique. I do research on the project or portfolio I like to create. From the make up, styling, location, mood, and story I want to tell; a mood board.

Do you have any formal training?

Mhar: I am a self-thought photographer when I started. But I did enrolled for Diploma Courses in Photography both here in Singapore and distance learning courses.

Among your works, which one is your favorite? Why?

Mhar: I am really drawn to portrait and documentary photography. There is an enigmatic sense in each portrait and frame

Which photographers influenced you, and how did they influence your thinking, photographing, and career path?

Mhar: Each photographers has their own approach and style, thus I give brevity and value to each published or unpublished pictures. I personally like Annie Lievobitz and Sebastiao Salgado.

What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started taking photos?

Mhar: To use sunblock when doing outdoor photography..LOL. Seriously, the appropriate use of shutter speed, ISO and aperture.

Do you collaborate well with second shooters or assistants?

Mhar: Categorically, Yes I am.. LOL I am hard to work with. I have my own demons to appeased. I can really be demanding. My approach in everything I do is ; Patience and spiritual fortitude. But if it fails physical violence may find it salutary (Lol)

How do you get the person, place or thing that is in front of the camera onto the film, chip or paper in just the way you want?

Mhar: As a photographer you should now what you want, you need to be decisive on what image you envisioned to produce and what story you want to tell.

What technology/software/camera gear do you use to keep focused on what you do best, as you photograph?

Mhar: My armory is very basic; a notebook to draw the story-line I want ; a Canon 60D; my lenses are 85mm f1.8; 35mm f1.4; 24-70 f2.8; 50mm f1.8. I used Lightroom CC to make some adjustment.

What motivates you to continue taking pictures economically, politically, intellectually or emotionally?

I am driven by curiosity and the incessant need to create. I try to draw my subjects into my world, and creates an intimate and singular point of view from both in front of, and behind the camera. The best photography starts where you are and emanates out

When Death Comes, How Will He Take You?

“Give me 5 names of people close to you. Who are you going to delete first if you are forced to delete them from your life one by one? I bet you will be in tears”.

This was the question my Boss asked me today. I just looked at him and uttered no words. He insisted for a response. But for me, I don’t really have to answer that because in reality, we cannot choose who we are going to kick out from our life and who we want to keep. That was a rhetorical question that’s meant to make you realize who and how important are the people around you.

But people come and go as they say;
….it could be your new neighbor who just moved-in and sings so horrible with his karaoke overnight and makes you drag yourself to work the next day with your panda eyes.
…..it could be your best friend who loves you so much yet decided not to join you with your so-called ‘overseas-career-choice’ because she’s very much stable and happy with her life at your homeland.
…..a boyfriend who had to go home because of his dad’s passing and you cant even accompany and console him much because of work.
……your womanizer father whom you’ve been wanting to crash off from your life but all you can do is just to hang-on and pray he’ll be better one day (he is still your father anyway).
…..or it could be your mother who was suspected as thief by the filthy company she’s been working with for six years, she suddenly has to leave to protect herself and pray for justice to prevail (And when it finally does, it’s as if nothing terrible had happened! No life and reputation was ruined! How cruel people can be?)

Oh! Those were my life experiences by the way! But I’m pretty sure you have your own similar stories to tell. 😉

But see? We cant control who and how people are gonna come in and out of our lives. But when talking about deleting people from our lives, the first word that pops in my mind is D-E-A-T-H.

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Ray of Sunshine Artwork by Mark Nable

Yes, we are all going to die! You and me. Your brother, sister, mom and dad, your neighbor, your dog, your lovely plant and everyone else or everything else are gonna fade away one day! Nothing lasts forever as they say! Isn’t that a sad story? Knowing that time will just come when that fateful moment will just call us and dragging us all away from this universe?

But when are we going to die? Who knows?! But this isn’t the interesting question anyway! How are we going to die? How are your loved ones gonna die? Ah! This is something! Will it be cancer? Plane crash? Falling from a fathomless cliff? Suicide? Choking on a hazel nut? Ahh! Good question! Because I don’t know. Nobody really knows!

For me, when I am on my way to work, I usually daydream about running, crossing on the road, trying to beat the green man (because I am such a shameless late comer and I usually like to rush). Then a huge SMRT bus would hit me so badly and drag me all the way to the side, get my joints dislocated and there’d be blood everywhere. Then a total stranger would run up to help and try to save me. He would hold my hand in a final dramatic gesture as I wait for my inevitable last breath. The earth would sweep upon me and I’d be slammed into eternity on someone’s lap whom I don’t even freakin’ know!

But luckily, that hasn’t happened yet! But it’s exciting to think about death. Don’t you think so?

I remember one of my ‘Christian Living Formation’ teacher during high school once asked us,“What is life’s greatest gift?”. One of my classmates answered,“Love”. Our teacher said,“No”. Someone else said,“Our Saviour, Jesus Christ”. Teacher still said,“No”. Until she finally revealed,“Life’s greatest gift is Death”.

I was honestly puzzled on why the hell would death be a Gift? It’s even the worst and dreadful thing that everyone’s been avoiding! But yeah! Life is precious, yet temporary anyway. You never know when is the exact moment you will die.  So you need to live as if you are to die tomorrow.

But when we think about our own deaths, we typically think about our final moments; the hospital beds, our crying family, the ambulances and stuff like that. We don’t think about our long string of choices and habits which lead to those final moments.

Have you ever even taken time to ask yourself that when you die, which type of person will you be? Will you be the one who looks at your life with displeasure and discontent? Or are you going to be the one who nears death with a smile because you are incredibly grateful for the life you chose to live?

Well, having the knowledge that we are going to die someday is one of the greatest gifts that we have been given. Thinking about our imminent death forces us to reflect on our life and the way that we’ve been living. By doing so, we gain clarity and become empowered to shape your life in the way we choose.

For me, I could say that my death is a work-in-progress — each breath that i take, each bite for my meal, each swallow for my favorite sweets, each late night that I spent with my computer, each green man from traffic light that I try to beat, each of my laugh and scream and cry and crashing fist and lonely sigh — they each bring me one step closer to my own dramatic denouement from this world.

Like I know people always complain about my super late sleeping time. It is so unhealthy and probably the reason why I am always late for work. But just so you know, I cant sleep if the clock dont strike at 2AM or sometimes 4AM! I dont know why but maybe my body clock is just so wild and nocturnal like that! But what am I supposed to do? Punish myself by pressing my eyes so hard ’til it comes out? Hell no! Im am struggling but instead of just staring at the wall and counting sheeps, I’d rather make use of my time and energy finding the things I love to try. And this was how modeling, blogging, dancing and painting came about. I may not be great at it but they make me discover more about what are the things I’d really like to do for the rest of my life.

And you see, I am trying out many things. Too many that I sometimes dont even know how to handle. But if TRYING is gonna kill me one day, Id be very much happy to embrace death that way!

The thing is, finding the love, passion and purpose in your life is a trial-by-fire process. You don’t simply wake up one day and become happy doing one thing forever and ever. Like death, it’s a constant work-in-progress. You must try something, pay attention to how it feels, adjust and then try again. Nobody gets it right on the first try, or the tenth or sometimes even the five-hundreth!

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Find what you love artwork by Mark Nable

Doing what you love is not always loving what you do. It is always accompanied with sacrifices, struggles, failures or pain. Just like choosing a wife or husband. It’s not choosing someone who makes you happy all the time.  It is choosing somebody whom you want to be with even when they’re pissing you off or vice versa. It is like you have no choice because this is simply who you guys are, dysfunctional and all. But you accept and enjoy each other’s strengths and weaknesses. It’s your chosen vehicle towards death and you’re happy to let it take you there no matter how bumpy the ride is gonna be.

So going back, the better question isn’t when you’re going to die. It’s what are you choosing as your vehicle to get there? If everything you do each day brings you closer to death in its own unique and subtleway, then what are you choosing kill you? When Death does come, how would you like him to take you?


All artworks done by my brother, Mark Nable

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Cebu’s New: MACTAN International Airport Terminal 2!

The New Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) Terminal 2 which was recently inaugurated last June 7, 2018 has began its commercial operations on July 1, 2018. I am pleasured to be one of its departing passengers on its second day, July 2, 2018.

From my almost 1 week holiday in Manila, I had a quick unexpected trip in Cebu to visit my family. Yes, I am a true-bloom Cebuana by the way.

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Upon my departure from Cebu back to Singapore, my mom and Michael sent me to Mactan Airport Terminal 1, as usual. It was to our surprise when one of the staff told us that if we are off for an international flight, there is a shuttle bus to terminal 2. She then gave us directions. Instead of looking exhausted and sleepy from our holiday, we were wide awake hoping that the shuttle bus will take us to the new terminal. And yes, it did!

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Merry-walking at MCIA  – Terminal 2’s Entrance

Home to a number of natural, historic, and cultural tourist draws, Cebu City is a top destination for both local and foreign visitors. The resort-themed Terminal 2 is for international flights, while the older Terminal 1 is for domestic flights. The new terminal 2 has a floor area of 65,000 square meters. Below is one of Michael’s stunning photos which he shared in his Instagram while we were waiting for my flight.

 

It was said that they have chosen a wood theme because wood is something synonymous to Cebu. Wooden Furniture is a big business in the province. The roof  has timber arches that look like an inverted boat hull, and a wave-like roof that evokes a tropical and resort-like feel.

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Cebu Pacific’s Check-In Counters

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MCIA’s  Boarding Gates

So far, the experience was really great! There were lots of surprises. But I must say that the entire process is yet not perfect, though. Here are some few points that you need to take note if you are taking off from the new terminal 2:

  1. No Food Shops Outside The Terminal 2
    While we were on our way to Terminal 2, I realized that I was so hungry and was hoping to have some great food with my loved ones before I fly off. Unfortunately, you can only find food shops inside the terminal 2. And only those who are with flight tickets can go inside. It was 4: 00 PM and my flight was still at 7:55 PM. I still have almost 2 hours to spent with my loved ones and I just cant let it pass. So, we went to catch the shuttle bus again back to terminal 1 just to hunt for food.
  2. No Weighing Machine Outside Terminal
    You can only weight your luggage/s at the check-in counter. In the event that you have excess luggage weight, you need to fix your stuff right there at the counter. Quite a hassle not just for yourself  but also for everyone else in the queue. It’s always better to have a weighting scale outside (just like Singapore’s Changi Airport).

Regardless of the above mentioned hiccups, I am very impressed and very proud  of the preparations at the departure area. It’s really of international standards! I am sure the arrival is just as fantastic too! Here are some impressive points from our new terminal 2:

  1. Free Shuttle Bus
    It is very convenient moving from one airport to another. I’m not sure how many seaters or how is the capacity but it is quite big. I also hope the cleanliness will be maintained in the long run.
  2.  High-Tech X-ray Machine
    The terminal is highly innovative featuring modern aesthetics. One of it is the technology called Automated Tray Retrieval System. Something new in the Philippines. There is an automatic conveyor that brings the tray below. Some areas need further improvement especially the unfamiliarity of passengers. Some were not able to properly use it. It’s a learning experience, though.
  3. Great & Wide Selection of Shops!
    I may have been pulling my hair when I learned that there is no food shop outside the Terminal 2. But when I checked in and as I searching for my Gate No., I was in awe with all the mouth-watering cuisines inside. They got Ritazza, Bonchon, Asian Kitchen, Ramen, and Burger King. There’s even Coffee bean too!

    I also enjoyed walking through all the fancy shops like Victoria’s Secret, Plug + PLay, WHSmith, Momento and of course this cant be missing, Duty Freeee!

     

     

     

     

     

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  4. Warm and Friendly Staffs

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    With its unique design of undulating wooden roofs, Terminal 2 was envisioned to demonstrate the “warmth and friendliness” of local culture, place and people. Having these lovely ladies all dressed-up with Cebu’s Iconic Sinulog Festival costume is just so smart and captivating! All the staffs were very polite; from the cleaners, securities, counter staffs and all. They will really take time to greet you with their sweetest smiles even when they are doing something. Something I did not experience from other terminals. They were also very helpful in giving directions. I hope they are doing this for both international and domestic flights.

4. Gifts
I am always fascinated with gifts (that’s why I have started a gift shop). Upon departure at the New Terminal 2, the ladies dressed-up with a Sinulog Costume gave each passengers a gift as they bid farewell when boarding on the plane. Not sure how long they will be doing this but here’s what I got. Cebu’s famous delicacy, Dried Magoes!
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The entire terminal is not yet 100 percent finished. Some areas have yet to be furnished. Passengers should expect more improvements, especially aesthetically, in the coming weeks and months. According to my research, it was designed by Hong-Kong based architectural firm Integrated Design Associates Ltd. with Filipino designers.

Considered the central gateway to the Visayas and Mindanao, the MCIA is the second largest airport facility in the country. No doubt. It is indeed the best airport in the country, by far!

Enjoy more photos below! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Café Talk Library: Cebu’s Bookworm Paradise

When I came home in Cebu for a short holiday last February 2018, Mike brought me to this cozy Cafe Talk Library at the heart of Cebu City, Philippines. It is located at the bustling Escario St. (near Capitol). If your are visiting somewhere around this area, this is a must place to visit where you can dine as you unwind or get work done. Or even when you are feeling anti-social at some point, this is my number one recommended place to get some lone time! It’s fine not to bring any of your gadgets because there are hundreds of books to enjoy with! It’s totally a bookworm paradise at the heart of  Cebu City!

When we went inside, I was grinning from ear-to-ear because it is my first time to visit such kind of Cafe (not sure if Singapore has). It did not disappoint me! Wish I had longer time to chill though. Mike has been sharing how much her dear sister loves the place. When we reached and ’til we were seated, only then I figured that for some reasons, it was Mike’s first time to go in one of those cubicles too! What a great memory together! Yay! And what do I mean by ‘cubicles’? Read on! 🙂

THE CONCEPT

I was amazed of the exceptional concept of this cafe that it was able to meet the ideal learning and studying avenue of this generation’s learners. The so-called ‘Millenials’! Café Talk foregoes the usual chairs-and-tables set up for quaint sections with small tables, pillows, and even stuffed toys, making it conducive for either relaxation or work. Im not sure when did this opened but I wish we had this when I was still studying. Cebu Doctors University’s old campus is just around this area. But I also thank God that I did not know about this. It will terribly tear down my pocket every time! I’ll share with you about their pricing later in this article.

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Anyways, it has booth or cubicles which creates atmosphere that is conducive for studying or learning. They have a really cute interior with two stories and the cubicles were numbered. Some have televisions and outlet if you are planning to bring your laptop and other devices. Some have balconies and a lot of pillows for a more chill vibe. It is good for couples and friends or just for a person who wants to be alone with a book.

THE FOOD

The meal was good though it’s a bit pricey for me. I think the food and drinks are priced the same as international coffee chains, and very limited choices for meals. You may take your pick from pastries, rice meals, hot or iced coffee, frappes, smoothies, and milkshakes. There were only two staffs when we went so we had to wait for a while for our food to be served. For me, although I am thin, I am a big eater. This is not a secret! I always run out of cash because of food. So if you are someone like me, just grab dinner outside where it’s cheaper and head to Cafe Talk for a chill with frappes or whichever you like. 😉

As the Café is open from mid-morning until late at night, you can drop by for a nightcap when you’re done touring the city, or stay for a few hours to finish your work (or TV series!).

Sooo, visiting Café Talk soon? Here’s their address:

Café Talk
N Escario St., Cebu City
Operating hours: 9 AM – 3 AM!

Enjoy more photos below 🙂

 

 

Art Flash Edition

Here’s to re-igniting my passion in Art! ❤️

Aside from writing, I always love drawing / painting / any artsy stuff when I was a kid. So this is a perfect avenue for me to re-connect with my inner Art Nerd. 🤓

This passion sparked when I saw how good was my older brother with all the drawing stuff even when we were just kids. As siblings, we did had tremendous sibling rivalries like many others. We fought like mad dogs. But whether we like it or not, we were still mostly together, side-by-side, in most things. Our lovely parents just loves to put us that way, Sadly, for some reasons, he didn’t pursue his passion. And I just don’t want to let it happen to me. So, I am doing this to pull back my passion in art because I can feel that it is slowly fading. Well, I hope this can awaken my brother’s too.

Ops! Thou shall not have high expectations. I am not really good at this but I just cant let this small fire inside me🔥 slowly die. So, I will now keep things documented here with the hope that I’ll be able to keep track with my progress. 🙂 I hope you’ll enjoy this article.

It’s been really years and years since the last time I sketched. So let’s start with an ART FLASH EDITION.  I’ll be posting some of my previous artworks that i have dug up from my archives.

PS: I’ll be updating this article for new Art Flash entries. I will just keep pressing this post every time I have updates so that you will get notified if you are following my blog. If not, feel free to click the follow button below and let’s be awesome together! 🙃


ART FLASH ENTRY NO. 1 (30th Apr 2018):
This is one of my drawings back in college, probably around 2009. Most of my classmates back in school are working students. I always wait for my classmates to finish work at our school library. But I don’t really read books in the library, I hate reading. If u don’t see me checking out photos on the books in the library, I’m probably drawing! ☺️

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ART FLASH ENTRY NO. 2  (1 May 2018):
It was during my first few months here in Singapore, I was frustrated about my job hunting results. I was alone at home because everyone was out for work. I sat down and decided to add colors to my favorite drawing (back in college). I just took a photo of it and imported it to Adobe Photoshop.
I was in fourth year college when I started to learn Adobe Photoshop through patiently watching YouTube tutorials. I remember I would grab my classmates’ profile photos on their social medias and edit them. They loved it and would ask me to edit more.
This was the first time I decided to incorporate photoshop touches to my drawings. I got this idea from my Thesis partner’s (back in school) girlfriend who has incredible works in her Deviant Art. Her name is Gail. But I wasn’t able to stay in touch with her works after they broke up. 😦

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The Art Nerd Inside 2

You may also follow theartnerd.inside on instagram to keep track with my art stories. Please don’t hesitate to share with me your thoughts especially on how I can improve. I am a work in progress and I’d love to hear them. ☺

Behind The Scarlet Cape

Last Sunday, 21 Jan 2018, the Lunav Mass Fashion Show successfully broke the Guinness World Records & Asia Book of Records with most participants of 382 at the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. I am very glad to be a part of it! Thank you Ms. Harshini Sudarshan of HS Elites for that once in a lifetime opportunity. It was not in my plan but breaking a Guinness World Record is now off from my bucket list!

 

Of course, the video above is edited so it added a more dramatic and nice effect. 😀 I’ll share with you the original video later in this article.

THE CONFESSION

I have received wonderful comments from Instagram on how well I did my walk with Felicia Ow’s Scarlet Cape (Thank you! I really appreciate it). Although it was not perfect, every single comment really means a lot me. Why? Allow me to steer you back to the  main purpose of my blog which is to share struggles, achievements and inspiration.

So, here’s a confession:

I have actually modeled the Scarlet Cape on a fashion show three years ago. September  20, 2015 to be exact.

I was with the Singapore Fashion Runway (SFR) back then. We had three consecutive days of Fashion Shows. It was Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Friday was my very first step on a runway in my entire life.

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At the back stage with the rest of the SFR models (Photo courtesy of Singapore Fashion Runway)

You can imagine how nervous I was while I was surrounded with seasoned models in Singapore. I was the only Filipino but everyone was very welcoming and encouraging.  Although we had workshops days before the show, it is still a different kind of nerve-wracking feeling once you are in the actual situation.

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Here was me. I may look calm and busy but I was actually trying to make myself comfortable by helping out in folding the clothes. (Photo courtesy of Singapore Fashion Runway)

One of the Singapore Fashion Runway’s mission is to bring together the local fashion designers in Singapore to co-create a unique fashion statement. A number of talented designers gathered to showcase their masterpieces.  As usual, models don’t  get the chance to choose what to wear. I believe it is a part of the job. There were already sets of outfits prepared for each models which they posted on the wall so everyone can be guided especially the dressers. Which also means that before the show starts, the models already know which outfits they will be wearing on that day. Each models flaunted about five outfits per day.

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Ms. Eileen Yap, founder of Singapore Fashion Runway, as she was briefing the models on the assigned outfits. (Photo courtesy of Singapore Fashion Runway)
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Here was me on the queue, nervously waiting for my turn to strut on the runway. (Photo courtesy of Singapore Fashion Runway)

All the designs at the show were incredible. But for some reasons, one of the designs that really caught my attention was the Scarlet Cape. It is so unique and empowering that it could give you a superwoman kind of feeling to conquer all your weaknesses and just be comfortable of who you are.

On the first day of the show, the Scarlet Cape was assigned to be worn by another model. I thought I wont get a chance to wear it already. But on the second day, I learned that some models aren’t coming so the outfits had to be re-shuffled. I was very excited that I faster checked the postings on the wall but too bad, it was again given to another model. On the third day, I prayed that there will be less models coming so I will get more chance of wearing it. And yes! Answered prayers indeed! Most models were busy on that day so they weren’t able to come. And finally, the Scarlet Cape was assigned to me! I was so happy that I faster shared the video to my mom when I got home. I thought I did well until I compared the videos from 2015 vs 2018. Here you go, see for yourself how stiff I was like a robot from the 2015 video.

 

THE TURNING POINT

As what people say, there is only one chance to make a good first impression. It is obvious to me now that  I did bad on my first walk with the Scarlet Cape. But not everyone gets a second chance and I am really grateful. I had an option to wear a different outfit but for some reasons, fate led me back to the Scarlet Cape.

My friends may be thinking that I’ve been having such a good and busy life with all the things that I have been doing; modelling, dancing, blogging/vlogging, or at work. The truth is, no. Just like yours, my journey is not all rainbows and sunshine. It is in fact mostly overpowered by darkness. I am one of those lost souls who are still knocking doors to figure my perfect spot. And recently, I got tired banging myself on doors I am not even invited. I felt that all the things I have been doing are just a waste of time. I got tired pushing myself that it even affected my performance at work. Maybe my intuition about myself was right. I will always be that shy person trying too hard to be someone but I will never be anyone. If I ask myself, I don’t even know what my goals are.

But things are starting to make sense now. I am really thankful with the opportunities I had with the Scarlet Cape. All thanks to the supportive designer! There are just times when we thought that we have already given our best on something but actually, we can still do even better. We tend to complain on things that don’t go on our way. But things don’t happen overnight. It is a gradual process.

So yes, my goals are clearer now. I may bear many scars from the doors I have been trying hard to open but I also carry with me the moments that would not happened if I did not dared to go beyond my limits since 3 years ago. I will continue to share about my journey and about the awesome people I meet along the way! I will inspire others in the simplest ways I can ❤

THE WOMAN BEHIND THE SCARLET CAPE

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Photo taken after the Lunav Fashion Show. She really went to show her support. (Thanks Felicia!)

Felicia Ow is a Singaporean Fashion Designer who  always loves to use her hands to make all sorts of stuff. She pulls her inspiration from the things she sees and observes in her everyday life (eg. fashion, materials, environment, architecture, etc). She used to design clothing. These were some of her amazing designs with Singapore Fashion Runway (SFR):

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Photo Grabbed from Ms. Felicia Ow’s Instagram account. (Photo Courtesy of Singapore Fashion Runway)

Now, she has the founded Artz de Scrap where she creates one of a kind hand-made jewelry for those who love something different. Her style is special as she explore various techniques and materials to create artistic pieces that are unique and interesting. Her pieces are for those who are not afraid to show their personality and be different in a stylish way.  The accessories I was wearing from the Lunav Fashion Show are actually one of their masterpieces.

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Artz De Scrap’s Dark Cloud Necklace, Bracelet and Brooch Collection. (Photo by: Joseph Juban)
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Felicia Ow with Singapore local artistes (Mediacorp Tanglin Casts) wearing her handmade accessories for the runway show on SGCares Carnival. (Photo Grabbed from Felicia Ow’s Instagram account)

She is also one with Singapore Fashion Runway’s (SFR) mission which is to build fashion towards an inclusive community and to increase awareness and support for people with special needs. They put on a fashion show for the event, with special needs children and cancer survivors as models.

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Models rocking Felicia Ow’s Accessory during their recent ‘Fashion For A Social Cause’ on 13 Jan 2018.  (Photo Courtesy of Singapore Fashion Runway)
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The recent ‘Fashion for a Social Cause’ event was also graced by PM Lee Hsien Loong, Ministers Grace Fu, Minister Heng Swee Keat, Minister Desmond Lee, Minister Amy Khor and Minister Tan Chuan-Jin (Photo Courtesy of Singapore Fashion Runway)

If you wish to find out more about Artz de Scrap, check out at their Online Stores:
– http://www.etsy.com/sg-en/shop/filiksia
– http://shopee.sg/filiksia
– https://sg.carousell.com/filiksia/

Atrz De Scrap

Social Media Accounts:
– https://www.facebook.com/Artzdescrap/
– https://www.instagram.com/artzdescrap/
– https://www.pinterest.com/filiksia/artz-de-scrap/
– https://twitter.com/artzdescrap

Artz de Scrap will also be at the Singapore Comic Festival 2018 Creators’ Market this weekend, 27-28 Jan 2018 (10AM-5PM).  Do drop by and check out more of their collections at: NAFA, 80 Bencoolen Street, Singapore 189655.

I hope you enjoyed this article. Please feel free to share your thoughts at the comment section below. I would love to hear from you ❤

MASS FASHION SHOW COMING UP IN SINGAPORE!

Heyyy!!! 👋

A Mass Fashion Show aiming to create a Guinness World Record will be happening tomorrow right here in Singapore at Marina Bay Sands — and yay! I’m excited to be a part of it! Who else are coming? 

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I’ll be picking up the clothes and accessories later from one of my favorite local designers here in Singapore. Can’t wait to share with you guys what I’ll wear! 💗

I’ve been really quite from my site recently. But this should be my new year’s resolution: SHARE MORE GREAT THINGS! So do follow my blog at http://www.intotheabys.com  for updates about the interesting things I’ve been doing in Singapore!

OFW-SG SULO NG OVERSEAS FILIPINO 2017 AWARDING CEREMONY

THE AWARDING CEREMONY

Last 29th of October 2017 was the success of the second Sulo ng Overseas Filipino awarding ceremony in Singapore held at the York Hotel which was organized by the Gawad Sulo Foundation Singapore.

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Welcoming of Guests at the York Hotel, Singapore.  (Photo by: Babito Garez)
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Guests graced the red carpet upon arrival (Photo by: Babito Garez)

Sulo ng Overseas Filipino is a year-long activity and is set up to award outstanding individuals and organizations whose contributions made a tremendous positive impact to the society and helped improve the lives of many. These individuals can come from various fields such as arts, culture, politics, public service, and entrepreneurship. This is also to help inspire other people to do good for the community.

The organization started in the Philippines and has expanded overseas and the Singapore chapter is now headed by Ms. Zeny Leong together with Mr. Regor Barozzo.

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Gawad Sulo Singapore Ambassador, Ms. Zeny Leong, as she welcomed the Awardees, Volunteers, Award Partners and Special Guests. (Photo by: Babito Garez)
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Trophy Plaques were all set for the award presentation (Photo by: Babito Garez)

“Just like a ‘sulo’ which is normally being used in dark farthest mountains, forests and islands, the Sulo ng Overseas Filipino will share brightness and bring hope to all of us especially during times of calamities, disasters, crises and struggles when darkness and hopelessness embed among the people and the society”, said by Mr. Rexonne Nebre, Secretary-General of Gawad Sulo Foundation Singapore. He also spearheaded the search of the awardees, securing their contacts and getting in touch with them.

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Mr. Rexonne Nebre (at the right most) ushered the guests upon their arrival   (Photo by: Babito Garez)

Into The Abys had a great privilege to be one of the hosts together with the Morpheus Stars, Kelly G, Karina Bacsain and Janina Espinosa. The program was divided into two parts. It started with the ‘Natatanging’ Sports Award Presentation followed by the ‘Natatanging Negosyo’, ‘Natatanging Organisasyon’ and ‘Natatanging Indibidwal’ 

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Badminton tournament awardees upon receiving their plaque trophies under the Sports category. (Photo by: Babito Garez)

The Filipino Dance Club Singapore (FDC-SG), ‘Natatanging Organisasyon’ awardee last 2016 under Performing Arts – Dance category, was also there to showcase a dance performance and hype-up the program.

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The Filipino  Dance Club Singapore as they wowed the audience in their Hip Hop Dance number (Photo by: Babito Garez)

While some were earnestly listening to the encouraging speeches of the awardees and while enjoying the performances in between, others took the chance to visit the exciting booths of the sponsors located just outside the entrance of the hall. LBC Express, PNB, iRemit Singapore, and Noble Life were few of the many sponsors.

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OFW Global Movement with Philippine National Bank (PNB) booth (Photo by: Babito Garez)

Mr. Regor Barrozo, Gawad Sulo Singapore Ambassador and OFW Global Movement Singapore Chapter President, closed the ceremony with his remarks thanking all the sponsors, award partners and volunteers. He highlighted that their organization’s quest in lighting up torches will not be possible without their unceasing support.

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Mr. Regor Barrozo in his closing remarks  (Photo by: Babito Garez)

THE AWARDEES 

I wish I can share with you the full list of the awardees in this article. But there were just many and it is deeply inspiring to learn that there are actually a lot of fellow Filipinos out there who are taking extra step for the betterment of our Singapore OFW community. According to Ms. Sherley Bianca Baring, head of Finance and Media Communications of Gawad Sulo Foundation Singapore, there were a total of 60 natatanging awardees this year; 17 for the Natatanging Organisasyon, 15 Natatanging Indibidwal, 15 Natatanging Negosyo and 13 for Natatanging Volunteers.  I will update this article and share a link on the full list of this year’s awardees as soon as it is available online.

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Mr. Ramon Lamberto Pastrana awarded as a Natatanging Indibidwal for being an outstanding government official (Photo by: Babito Garez)
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Paolo Avis received the award of Random Republika as Natatanging Organisasyon under the social media category. (Photo by: Babito Garez)

Here are more of the individuals, institutions and organizations who stood out for this year in serving as “lights in the darkness”. Check out their inspiring stories  and how they made it to be a role model to inspire others to serve the people more.

NINALYN SULIT CACANANTA, ‘Natatanging Indibidwal’ Awardee (Education)

UNTV NEWS & RESCUE SINGAPORE, ‘Natatanging Organisasyon’ Awardee (Media & Journalism)

Read more at: UNTV Singapore, ginawaran ng parangal bilang natatanging media organization

MELVIN GAYAMOT, ‘Natatanging Indibidwal’ Awardee (Architecture)

GINO FLORDELIZA BABAGAY, ‘Natatanging Indibidwal’ Awardee (Performing Arts – Dance)

LUZVIZMINDA MATCHIMURA  BARAQUEL, ‘Natatanging Indibidwal’ Awardee (Outstanding Service)

ERICSON GANGOSO, ‘Natatanging Indibidwal’ Awardee (Alagad ng Sining – Film)

 

The awardees further expressed their heartfelt appreciation on their Facebook accounts. Here are some of their heart-warming posts:

Gilbert Santos is one of the founder of Gilas Basketball League Singapore‘Natatanging Organisasyon’ awardee. Their organization is committed in providing high quality basketball tournaments to fellow OFW kababayan in Singapore. Their organization instill sportsmanship, camaraderie and healthy living among the participants. It is also open to everyone, regardless of race or nationality, who share the same passion for Basketball.

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Ms Aniceta Cataran, ‘Natatanging Indibidwal’ awardee as an outstanding government official, expressed her gratitude to her family and colleagues. She further emphasized that the award is dedicated to all the people who supported her endeavor.

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Mr. Obet Rivera, a ‘Natatanging Indibidwal’ awardee, is a musician who is used to perform around asia and now works a guitar teacher at Ossia Music School Since 2008. He is now a DJ in Radyo Filipino Network, broadcasting from Singapore, showcasing artists from all over the globe.

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Mr. Rico Hizon also shared his honor to be awarded as ‘Natatanging Indibidwal’ under Media and Journalism. He is a broadcast journalist from BBC World News. He took up communication Arts and Business at De La Salle University. He previously worked at GMA News & CNBC. In his almost 25 years as a broadcast journalist, he has interviewed high profile personalities such as Bill Gates, Tony Fernandes, Richard James, Kobe Bryant and many more. He is a multi-awarded broadcast journalist, a business news presenter and a proud Filipino.

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Kudos, GAWAD SULO SINGAPORE!

Congratulations to the team behind this prestigious event, Gawad Sulo Foundation Singapore. Thank your for illuminating our hearts once again for this years’ set awardees. Your organization’s quest alone has already made a positive impact. The Singapore Filipino Community are with you in your pursuit. May you continue to be torches of inspiration seeking unique individuals whose drive and passion in life carry flames of hope for the Filipinos working overseas.

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Gawad Sulo Foundation Singapore team (Photo by: Babito Garez)
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The pillars of the organization. For more information and updates, you may check out their Facebook page: Gawad Sulo Foundation Singapore

Looking At Myself

Looking at myself in photographs or in the mirror sometimes forces me to reflect about the person I’ve become at this point in time.
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For me, this is me doing my best to get by.
…to take it one day at a time,
…to not have to feel like I must explain myself every step of the way,
…that my life doesn’t have to make sense to everybody else that have no stake in it,
…to be okay with not having it all figured out.
…to relax in who I am… and all that I am not.
…and not have to play out or play small because that’s what I think other people need or want from me.
…to know that my worth is not incumbent on what my (life) looks (are) like on the outside.
…that I’m not just my job, my achievements, or what I do.
…that I can give my love without waiting for the world or others to meet my conditions:
‘when I have more money, then…’, ‘when I get this, then….’, and all sorts of excuses to withhold myself. There’s always something to give: Understanding, space, tolerance, care…
…to remind myself and others that one person’s light or talent or beauty or blessings never ever take away from ours….
…and that we aren’t just the guys from work, or the servers at th,e coffee shop, your boss, the cab driver or the girl who just seems to breeze though life.
We are all going through our own battles, whatever they may be. Compassion is a lot more work than writing everyone off (and often times rolling your eyes is a far easier response to people and things that irk us). But life’s hard enough without us having to make it harder for everyone else (and ourselves).
 Love, love, love! Life is short.

Mid-Autumn Festival at the Gardens

Last weekend, my Aunt and cousin visited me here in Singapore. Like the rest of my guests, I showed them around especially to my favorite places like Gardens by the bay. We were just trying to catch-up for the Gardens’ Rhapsody show. We did not know that there is a celebration for Mid-Autumn Festival for this year, 2017. So lucky!

Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the much-anticipated events in the Gardens’ calendar. When we went there, there were many visitors (as expected especially during weekends). We enjoyed its large-scale lantern displays and myriad festivities amidst a lush garden setting. The famous Supertrees are also groomed up for the season. See the Avatar-like structures get dressed-up with more than 100 dragonfly lanterns.  In many cultures, it is believed that the dragonfly is seen as a guardian and associated with luck and prosperity.

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This year, the Gardens celebrates autumn abundance with lantern sets symbolic of bountiful harvests and good fortune.

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Ant lanterns carrying harvest along a pathway at Gardens by the Bay.

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Lantern display of Water Prosperity with glowing portrait of a fishing village teeming with carp fish.

There were also some nightly cultural performances, a food street which features yummy Asian delights, and craft booths offering activities like lantern decorating, umbrella painting and Chinese knotting.

If you are planning to catch-up with the sprawling lantern displays across the gardens and all the exciting festival programs, here some of the details:

Venue Name: Gardens by The Bay

Dates: Fri, 22 Sep 2017 – Sun, 8 Oct 2017

Time: 6:00PM – 11:00PM

Admission: Free access to the Gardens’ grand sets.

For the Flower Domes, need to purchase tickets from S$8 to S$28 – to view the Autumn Harvest display.

Address: 18 Marine Gardens Dr, Singapore 018953

Enjoy more photos below! 🙂

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Curated Secrets: What It Means To Be With You

 

I still remember everything so clearly in my head that very first night we met. You were very reserved and I am always that chatty, annoying brat. I am a woman with unclear life goals. I wanted to do so many things that I tend to change major life plans for like every five months. But unlike everyone else, you made me feel better about myself. You helped me see good in every bad of me. My mind just can’t help going back to the lovely things you said that night and the way it felt so right with you. You just have this amazing way of turning simple sentences into the most beautiful poetry a woman could ever hear.

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Yet, as you carefully utter your words and as I hung unto them, I can’t help to notice the type of person you are. You are a brilliant self-made entrepreneur. Job comes first in all your situations. You have exceptional skills and excels in almost anything you set your sights on. Pretty impressive!

But above all, I chose to hang unto you mainly because like me, you also have your “dark side”. You harbor a painful secret about your very difficult start in life. Right then, I knew you were a perfect grave where I can bury my deepest secrets with. We share deep thoughts and I hoped that we may find balance between our need of mere companionship and hide the wounds from our pasts. And maybe, just maybe, we can find something more from each other. Yes, more than just a mere companionship.

But as months passed by, our conversations got shorter until almost nothing. I don’t know how it happened. The days just went by and the conversations we used to have about everything became one way street, between me and your one-word responses. The wave of “deadness” that submerged into our unlabeled relationship after the first thrilling months have caused me to lose hope. I tried to tell you but just when I started, you turned your back and walked away like you don’t give a damn.

Days got worse that there were no longer holding hands situation other than just walking me out of the bar and leading me upstairs to your studio. Yes, you called me ‘baby’ at 4AM but i know you no longer mean it. The way you held my face or ran your fingers through my hair and wrap your arms around me just became so meaningless.

Now I am confused. Are you just busy? or did I do something wrong? I don’t really know. There are so many possibilities but there are only few questions wandering in my head. Why did you tell me all those things that night? Why did you made me feel so special? Why did you said all those things you knew would lure me into you? Why did you made me so vulnerable and then feel like nothing? Why are you now leaving me hanging onto something instead of just telling me straight in the eye?

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A part of me, just a tiny part of me, is a little saddened by this. I wish I could ask you all these. But a bigger part of me knows better. A bigger part of me knows not to dwell on the pain. A bigger part of me is just too empty to care. In the very first place, there was never an us. I knew that I will never be that girl you will fall in love with. I knew that you are just too successful to settle with such an incompetent woman like me. Yes, I knew all that. Yet, I allowed myself to be trapped spontaneously to this dreadful emotion. I allowed myself to give us a chance. But I hoped for too much and now I messed up. Now, I messed my heart, again.

But then, don’t be too confident that you know me well enough. I may be very submissive and very open to you from the start, but I have been keeping some for myself. I have been through hell in life not to learn to save some strength. Yes! I maybe be struggling for now but I can’t wait for that day when I am finally done persuading myself to hold on to you; that day when I can finally learn to tell you that what it means to be with you now is no longer that typical butterfly-inducing kind of feeling.

And most of all, I can’t wait for that day when I can finally tell you one of the greatest curated secrets from you —- that I am not stupid. I maybe confused with my life plans for now because I have too many great plans. But no, I am not stupid. One day, I will be able to figure out what’s best for me and find my worth because I know I am so much more than the worth you gave me. And when I do, you will regret that you chose not to care and broke me down instead. When I do, I will make sure that the only thing you can do is fill your heart with sorrow and watch me soar because I have grown so much stronger  and I WILL NEVER EVER BE COMING BACK TO YOU.

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THEME: CURATED SECRETS – is a come back photo portfolio of Archetype Images by Mhar Villaester  that depicts the curated secrets of a vulnerable heart in modern dating.
MODELS: Aby Nable and Ian De Guzman
Make-Up Artist: Angel Trajano Albino
LOCATION: Oakwood Studios Singapore – A Best Kept Secret Luxurious Serviced Apartment in Town that Pampers and Indulges the Millennial Mindset

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