Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Much ado about bracelets

Over a year ago, I wrote about how I wanted to trim down my number of clothes after I was inspired by an article on The New York Times.

Although I haven't even attempted to cut down my wardrobe to 14 items of clothing (that would be the day), I think I've been fairly successful in being calculated in my purchases. I'm pretty sure I've bought no more than two shirts in the past 12 months *thinks long and hard* (and I also only bought one pair of jeans) and I think that goes to show that as long as you have the classic pieces in your closet and (your weight has remained pretty much the same :-P), then you can survive not shopping for clothes for several months.

OK, I think I got too carried away by my intro because what I really meant to write about are my accessories, lol. Ang layo no?

Several months ago, while Pam and Jill were discussing ways to raise funds for their friend who has cancer, Pam thought about selling friendship bracelets. My reaction was something like, "Ngek, sino naman bibili no'n?" (Who'd buy them?)

A few weeks after that, Kanye West performed at Coachella wearing these:
Btw, I also love that Celine top :-)

and since Kanye was wearing them, I wanted them badly na, lol. (I did try to buy from Burkman Bros. but they ended up being sold-out.) And besides, I've never really been the silver (or gold) type of guy.

Then I saw our friend Coco wearing a long leather strap from H&M, and I asked him to buy for me too. But Tatin was quick to the draw and saw a similar bracelet at Papelmeroti of all places, lol, and bought it for me after co-signing on it via MMS:

I'd usually wear it with my other leather cuff from Armani:

so I'd look like a leather daddy, chos. LOL.

Then my bracelets sort of piled up within weeks.

Tatin got me this from Singapore:

When I'm feeling down, I either wear them individually or pile them all up and smell them because I find that the smell of real leather is a good pick-me-up :-)

During Giff's birthday dinner at Eastwood, Pam pulled me aside to bring me to a stand called The Bead Shop, and lo, friendship bracelets galore!

I love this shop because they use indigenous fiber. Like for example, this really strong abacá:

"Ayan sir, lalaking lalaki," the becky SA told me, lol.

and this waxed strips of I-forgot-to-ask-what-type-of-fiber. I like that the colors remind me of UP and that they look like rubber bands from afar:

They also have the usual friendship bracelets but this one's made of suede:

They're pretty costly though for friendship bracelets at about P300-P400 apiece, but again, they aren't made of synthetic materials. I'd mix and match them depending on my mood and what I'm wearing:

Then last night, Pam asked the gang to select from her charity bracelets loot from Cotton On. I selected this because it's color black:

Only to realize later that the bird is a swallow. Swallow! The opposite of spit! LOL!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Revlon Professional Makeover Weekend

Two Saturdays ago, hours before the UAAP Cheerdance competition, Pam invited me to join her and Tatin for a free makeover at Revlon's training center in Brgy Kapitolyo in Pasig.

We were given the option to choose one of the following:  haircut + hair treatment; color + hair treatment; or color + highlights. I selected the third option and it was perfect timing because I had been itching to color my hair.

I told the stylist that I wanted something "subtle, parang naarawan lang" lol, and from the swatches, she picked out dark and light chestnut and I agreed.

My hair's very shortI had a haircut a week before thisso one of the colorists, Michael, had to painstakingly foil strands of my hair to achieve the highlights. Kudos to him!

This is not the first time I had my hair coloredthough it's been years since my lastso I pretty much expected the stinging sensation (I shampooed my hair about 45 minutes before the procedure, from home) and the nauseous smell.

There was none of that. I mean, I could smell the dye but it wasn't aggressive at all and my scalp felt nothing. It was as if the stylist slapped a chunk of brown conditioner on my hair and left it there for 20 minutes.

The product they used on methe Revlon Nutri Color lineis a hair treatment and hair color rolled into one. And true enough, after they've shampooed and blow-dried my hair, it was so soft! (And it remains soft to this dayI'd let you touch it when you see me in person, lol.) I was absolutely blown away because my hair never felt this awesome after a color. And my brown hair and highlights are so subtle that no one has commented on it yetno one from my family or work, lol. But Pam and Tatin liked it, and I do too. 

The colors are seen only when light is hitting my hair.

I can't wait to try other colors. The goodie bag had these:

but I think this one's for touch-ups only. Not too sure if the color's going to stickI'd try it once I have the courage to go "pearl blond". (Tangerine is out of the question.)

I also received a sample bottle of Orofluido,

which is a fantastic serum for my hair. It's very light and not sticky or oily at all. By the time I get back home from work, my hair's still not gooey from the product, so I like it very much.

The salons offering Revlon's hair color products are listed here. You may also follow Revlon Philippines on Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

UP Pep Squad 2011: Express yourself!

Here's what I ended up writing for InterAKTV about last Saturday's UAAP Cheerdance competition. I did think I'd be criticized for over-analyzing the routine (and I was; but it's a fair criticism, in my opinion :-D). In my review, I looked at UP's cheerdance routine as performance art, hence my article.

* * * *

Now, as to my all-time fave (and heavy stuff aside), I can't decide between this and their 2008 routine: their Tribo routine had drama, and I really loved what they did for the drumbeat, segment and pyramid/mounting transitions, costume, and choreography.

This Madonna routine had the most difficult stunts (the men are soo strong; no wonder the routine focused on partner stunts) and it's one of the most fun perfomances they've had. Regarding the technical aspects: in the past, UP usually opened its routine with tosses, but this time, they started it with four sets of double cupiethat's a single base carrying two fliers, one on each hand.

More from the article:
The ladies were just as strong; in the routine’s first pyramid (0:47), four mid-fliers balanced five top fliers on their thighs, shoulders and arms. You can also just imagine the strain this placed on the four bases below. The way this pyramid was mounted—the third set of fliers were merely thrown to the top—made this an extremely difficult stunt.

The team launched into full-on assault mode beginning at the 3:26 mark with six scorpions (3:31) to arabesque (3:37) with full-down dismount. Four fliers performed a double back handspring to cradle position (3:44) and then from an extended level, they were tossed to a single-base extension (3:47), dismounting with a bird-front. The craziness continued as they did four rewinds (3:57) finishing with a double full-down dismount. At 4:23, two fliers did a double full twist, the team’s most complicated tosses for this piece.

Also, I can't believe the ladies managed to pull off wearing cone bras, which turned into pompoms (1:05), lol! They looked gorgeous in their blond hair plus, ang daming gwapo, lol! At syempre, I loved the cheerdance mix :-D

So yeah, I'm still on the fence as to which my number one fave routine is, but then, I can also have two number #1s, right?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Ready? OK! The 2011 UAAP Cheerdance preview

The UAAP Cheerdance Competition has gotten so competitive that a major error in a routine — that means falls in partner stunts and pyramids — will leave you out of contention for a podium finish.

Last year’s top three, the UP Pep Squad, FEU Cheering Squad and UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe, had no such mistakes. The Ateneo Blue Babble Battalion and the DLSU Animo Squad attempted to surpass UST in terms of their respective routines’ difficulty — and in some areas, they did — but major errors cost them a placement in the top three last year.

So do you remain relatively safe in your stunts in the hope of avoiding errors that can prove too costly to gamble? Or do you take risks, hoping that the routine you’ve practiced for several months will be perfect on the five minutes on Saturday that you need it to be perfect.

Such is the story of this year’s competition. For UP and FEU, there is no question that they have perfected taking risks and having a flawless routine, making them the best cheerleading teams in the country. For the rest of the squads, we’ll know how they’ll play their cards at 3 p.m on Saturday.

Here’s how we’re ranking the eight UAAP cheerdancing teams based on their historical performances in the UAAP, as well as on cheerleading competitions outside the league, where some of them have performed.

Continue to Ready? OK! The 2011 UAAP Cheerdance preview...

Horrible Bosses

rating: 10/10

Finally, I'm giving a perfect rating to a movie that I found completely enjoyable, well-written, well-cast, and brutally funny.

Management candidate Nick (Jason Bateman) is stuck with a twisted boss (Kevin Spacey), who is not only a slave driver, but also heartless enough to penalize him for coming in at work at 6:02 am, or two minutes later than he wanted him to.

Accountant Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) is being ordered by his supervisor (Colin Farrell) to fire fat people.

Dental assistant Dale (Charlie Day) is being harrassed by his nymphomaniac boss-dentist (Jennifer Aniston) and it's hilarious how Dale screams hell while the other two sees heaven, as I assume 90 percent of the straight male population would too.

The plan: annihilate the horrible bosses.

The fun never stops in this filmfrom the beginning wherein we see the leads' miserable lives to the point where they strategize their revengeit's one sidesplitting scenario after another, thanks largely to the spectacular cast who relish their roles so well; Jennifer Aniston, for example, would put Linda Lovelace to shame. (Kids, don't google that.) Charlie Day is also a revelation, and I'm sure women would swoon over his undying loyalty as he refuses Jennifer's sexual advances that many men would be glad to be a recipient of.

Horrible Bosses opens in theaters on September 21.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

My post-Miss Universe 2011 thoughts

I got 7 of my 15 predictions. Bagsak, lol!

* * * *

I'm still smarting from Shamcey's "loss" at yesterday's Miss Universe. I'm placing it in quotes because to me, she really did win, having given her best; also, fourth place is nothing to sniff at. So to Shamcey, congratulations! Your answer was worthy of a Miss Universe crown and I couldn't have been prouder as your pageant whisperer.

Now to ALL her fellow candidates in the Top 5, here's my lovely message:

Bwakanginanyo, ang dadaya nyo!!! Kung maka-English sa Top 10 video package, ang gagaling, tapos pag dating sa final Q&A, biglang may mga interpreter?!

At yung Angola, di naman sinagot yung tanong. "Here's an advice: respect one another"ano naman kinalaman nyan sa original question?! Obvious bang she was only pandering to the masses? (Bukod pa sa ang patronizing pa. You look perfect because you are respectful, and so ano kami? Ulol.) At syempre, mas nakakainis na bentang benta naman sa mga judges yung sagot nya.

Because of the time pressure, Shamcey only had one second to go over the question in her head and immediately state her answer; the rest of the candidates had as much as 30 seconds because their interpreter would let them pause while he/she would translate their answers in installments. Then during those intervals, they were able to compose their thoughts for as long as possible.

For the first time since I started watching Miss Universe, I finally felt that our candidate deserved to win the title after hearing her Q&A. It was a shame the judges thought otherwise.

* * * *

Nakakainis din yung mga nag-twee-tweet na "I don't care about beauty pageants," sabay tweet ng "If I were to answer Shamcey's final question..."

So feeling mo matalino ka? Sige, tayo ka muna in front of millions of people, with everyone's eyes on you, tapos saka ka sumagot sa panibagong question in your high heels after having been onstage for close to two hours. 

Inggit ka lang. 

* * * *

This brings me to the value of beauty pageants, particularly Miss Universe because that's the one I actively follow. I won't even discuss how it raises funds for charities, specially for HIV awareness. Details on that can be found here:

In life, kanya-kanyang diskarte lang yan. You can work extremely hard in a multinational and climb up the corporate ladder until you have that corner office with the magnificent view.

You can hone your basketball skills in your neighborhood kanto, sacrifice going to the best school in the country in favor of another university with an excellent basketball program, top the league, enter the PBA and earn millions of pesos and secure the future of your generation.

You can rely on your mestizo looks and chiseled body, drop your pants in a billboard, create controversy and finally put your sport in everyone's radar.

You can have the grossest values and also earn millions by hosting a noontime show—or by becoming a politician.

Or you can twirl around in your bikini, navigate through steps and turns in your long dress, risk slipping or falling flat on your butt in front of millions of people, and answer a question that can potentially be a YouTube sensation for the wrong reasons—but the rewards are limitless.

Where life is commerce, how are those different from sacrificing family time for work? From honing your basketball skills when there's school? From gaining publicity through your crotch and not by actual talent?

Answer: in winning a beauty pageant, you need to be both beautiful and smart. Otherwise, these are only different ways of doing one thing: getting ahead in life.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Miss Universe 2011: PNoy's First Lady, anyone?

I think this year marked the first time I wrote so many blog entries, tweets and articles on Miss Universe, I just might suffer from withdrawal symptoms once the event is over. (Follow me on my Twitter account, where I'll be live-tweeting my thoughts on the pageant barring technology and WiFi problems.)

Here's my last pre-pageant article which I enjoyed writing for TV5's website,

On September 13, the Miss Universe pageant will crown its new queen in Brazil. Eighty nine candidates will be vying for the title after three rounds of intense eliminations: the swimsuit, evening gown and final question-and-answer.
The Philippines must realize that this annual convention of beauty is good for the nation: specifically, it is good for PNoy. Why should our bachelor president limit his search for love in the country, when international marriages are de rigueur and potentially produce cute babies that may eventually win star searches on TV?
Resistance from the President is futile. As Pinoys, we must poke our noses into other people's problems, most especially those that concern love. Every one of us has been subjected to various interrogations and prodding by family, friends, and strangers about our civil (or Facebook relationship) status. Why should he be exempted?
Hence, we looked into the roster of candidates for the 2011 Miss Universe pageant and picked ladies whose marriage with Mr. President bodes well for his personal life and the country’s future.

Continue reading here.

My Top 15 for Miss Universe 2011

After watching the preliminary competition, I've made a list of my Top 15 for Tuesday's Miss Universe finals. You can do the same by watching these videosI'd be happy to know yours so feel free to leave a comment :-)

missuniverse on Broadcast Live Free

Watch live streaming video from missuniverse at

I tried my best to be objective and not think of the "sash factor" (the likeliness of a candidate to make it to the finals due to its history, e.g., USA and Venezuela) and the favorites that have appeared on several fan message boards and websites.

Top 15-11

Priscila Machado
My choices for the 15th spot were between her, Australia, Cayman Islands, Chile, Italy, Greece, Montenegro and Romania. I decided to go with the hometown girl, although Miss Universe makes no guarantee that the host country's representative makes it to the finalsthere have been several cases. (Hence, Charlene Gonzales really made it to the Top 10 on her own merits.) I selected her because she had the best walk and the most gorgeous evening gown among the eight. I think she resembles a younger Glenn Close.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Miss Universe National Costumes 2011 edition

Aaaand, it's back! The 2011 Miss Universe National Costume edition. But before that, I have to say that I'm very disappointed with how Brazil is hosting Miss Universeit had the gall to scrap the National Competition this year! I was expecting they'd have a parade down the streets of São Paulo, unless it is really that dangerous to be out on the streets of Brazil?! Or maybe, wala ng budgetnapunta na sa World Cup and Olympics. Even the stage for the preliminaries was so unimaginative. They basically had giant cutouts of, I assume, the silhouette of São Paulo's skyline. Gone are the days of the Manila-type hosting duties!

Anyway, moving on... The candidates did have a video shoot in their National Costume. I'm still not sure if they'll be used for the opening number on Tuesday, but at least, the candidates were able to take them out of their suitcases.

Now isn't Angola an African country? The good thing about this competition is that it makes me research about their costume and countries and learn a thing or two, in this case, about geography. Unlike most African countries, it is not landlocked as it is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the west. I like the derelict quality of those corals and fishes like it's an environmental statement.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Philippines: No consecutive placements in 37 years

"Don't count your chickens before they are hatched."

"Eh bakit, egg ba si Shamcey?"

-   an exchange by Missosology forum members, lol

The preliminary competitionwherein a separate panel of judges (Lea Salonga not included) selected the Top 15 finalistswas held at 8 a.m. today, Manila time. And based on the quote above, it's safe to say that the beckies are confident of Shamcey's chances for the Top 15, which will be announced during the finals night telecast on Tuesday. (9 a.m., Manila time, on Star World.)

In an interview with OPMB, Shamcey said that one of the few English words that his Colombian runway trainer knows is "tsunami" and that he instructed her to walk as if she was creating waves of mass destruction with her hips, lol.

I think she pretty much took that lesson to heart during the preliminary competition:

Being a pageant neophyte, she had one of the strangest walks during her Bb Pilipinas days, but earlier, she was able to hold her own against the world's heavily trained runway divas.

Her problem is that she loses her balance when she needs to stand still and pose, clearly seen in her rehearsal video:

Rehearsal video

She improved during the actual competition, but she still lost her balance in the final pit stop of the swimsuit round (1:06 mark); our only consolation was that the judges would have already entered their scores at this point. In any case, I just love that half-of-a-quarter kembot turn she did at the 0:37 mark! A signature move that will surely inspire many a copycat.

Having said that, just imagine how beauty pageants, particularly Miss Universe, the most competitive of them all, can be very unforgiving. You are being judged for 18 seconds per round, in front of millions of people at that, and those 18 seconds can change the course of your entire life! (And for some of these ladies, *ehem, Miss Venezuela*, they have trained for one full year for an 18-second performance. Imagine that.) Same with the question-and-answer portion: 20-seconds can spell the difference between the winner and loser.

As for the evening gown, FINALLY!!! For the first time since 1999 (that's 12 years ha), I'm happy with what Stella Araneta made our candidate wear. Ang lakas maka see-through, lol.

I love how liquid, ultra sexy, and sophisticated it looks. Not hoochie or kuku (kukurtinahin, lol!) at all! This was what I was very worried about before, because unlike Venus who can pull off a kuku, Shamcey's not at that level yet. Turned out I shouldn't have worried.

As a conclusion, I have high hopes that for the first time in 37 years, the Philippines will make it as a finalist for two consecutive years. (Our last consecutive placements were from 1972 to 1975yes, four years in a row.) Hopefully, she also makes history by being the first UP alumna to ever make it to the Miss Universe finals :-)

I'll post my top 15 choices soon as soon as I see the the performances of all candidates.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

The pageant whisperer (lol)

I have a feeling Shamcey listens to me, lol.

When I wrote about how I found her too thin during Bb Pilipinas, she went ahead and gained some pounds prior to her trip to Brazil:



When I blogged about how she needed to be more concise in her answers and be bubbly while at it, lo and behold:


I have to admit I cringed the first time I saw thisit's not exactly what I expected of her, given her credentials. However, after seeing the videos of the other candidates, Shamcey seemed more genuine and spontaneous compared to the rest.

When I (sort of) campaigned in Missosology for her to start wearing red lipstick again as she did during Bb Pilipinas, she started wearing red.

From boring brown:

to luscious and sophisticated red:

I am still waiting for the return of her smokey blue eyes with glitters, although I understand it is not exactly an "everyday" look:

I am also happy that for this year, Shamcey has made respectable wardrobe choices. They are not quite Miss Japan, but trust me, they are a huge improvement from the former Ms. Philippines representatives. Previously, representatives would recycle the clothes of their predecessors; this "phenomenon" has spawned many threads in Missosology under the title, Ang Mahiwagang Baul (The Magical Chest). Here are some examples:

Ms World PH 2008 (left) and Ms World PH 2007

Ms World PH 2008 and Ms Universe PH 2008 (right)

(From left) Ms Universe PH 2004, Ms International PH 2004 and Ms Universe PH 2003

Ms World PH 2006, Ms Universe PH 2006 (top), Ms International PH 2006, and Ms Universe PH 2002

Juice ko, hygienic pa ba yan, LOL!!!!

Now, the joke is that finally, nasunog na ang mahiwagang baul, lol. So far, Shamcey has yet to wear something from the baul from a year ago. (She has worn a gown worn by another candidate in Bb Pilipinas 2011.)

Now what else does she need improvement on?

Her walk has improved greatly but I think there's too much of a hip action going here, thus her walk looks labored (0:48):

Last year's Miss Universe first runner-up did this too, but somehow, it looked more natural on Yendi Phillips.

In terms of catwalk, only few can outperform Venus Raj's swimsuit competition performance, and I think Shamcey can do better by emulating her walk instead of Yendi's:

Meanwhile, you can still vote for Shamcey at the Miss Universe website (and make sure to rate her 10). You can vote up to 10 times per day per email address until September 12. It should be safe; I've yet to receive spam from Miss Universe :-)

Lovin' it

Called McDo delivery.

Me: "One chicken with spaghetti me..."

Mcdo Agent (cutting me off): "That would be all, sir?"

Me: "... No. One chicken with spaghetti meal with large Co..."

MA (cuts me off again): "Anything else, sir?"

Me: "... WITH LARGE COKE and extra ri..."

MA (and again): "What else, sir?"


MA: "..extra rice and medium fries and... Sir, paki-ulit nga ulit?"

Me: "Puta ka."

I was talking to a dude, by the way.

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