The day began just like any other day.

31 January 2012

The day began just like any other day. I woke up at 4:15 in the morning, got out of bed at 4:45, showered, prepared the things I needed to bring like my gym bag as we were supposed to go jogging around UP Diliman later, then left the apartment at 5:24. I arrived at the office at around 5:45.

The day began just like any other day. I wiped my desk with the antibacterial desk wipes provided to us employees, got coffee and water, then settled down to prepare for another eight hours of work.

The day went on just like any other day. Our boss is on VL but TL Paul was there to supervise us. I joked and swapped stories with my officemates, ate bagel with butter during break, and browsed The Daily Mail.

The day went on just like any other day. Before I knew it, it was 11:30. Lunchbreak. I went to the locker area, checked my phone for any new messages, and learned that our plan to go jogging has been cancelled, so we would just work out at the office gym instead. We went down to the diner area, paid for our food, and settled down at one of the long tables to eat.

And then my phone beeped.

My boss, TL Carlo, who has been my boss for about a year and a half, sent us all an SMS advising us he has resigned effective immediately yesterday. No explanations given. I was left reeling. It came completely out of the blue that I am still shocked until now. It felt like a total blindside and never in my wildest dreams did I see this one coming.

We didn't even get to say goodbye.

Yesterday, we also learned that one of my closest friends in the office, Frank, has also been accepted to transfer to another department. Whilst I am happy and excited for all the opportunities that will surely come his way there, I am also sad because I will miss him. A lot.

Goodbyes from all around.

But life goes on. All days begin just like any other day. All days end just like any other day. I just pray for courage to be more accepting of changes that come my way.

This day will end just like any other day, but with an extra tinge of sadness.

We Opened Happiness at the Coca-Cola Big Youth Blowout!

30 January 2012

As promised, here are some photos I was able to take during the Coca-Cola Big Youth Blowout held last Saturday at the TriNoma Activity Center!

Booths were there to serve food and ice-cold Coke :)
Pretty Verniece and my lovely co-Correspondents Alex, Aisa, Cheyser, and Ava
TriNoma was packed with people eager to take part in the fun, and watching last minute rehearsals made us even more excited for the show itself! They also showed three different videos before the program started: The Happiness TruckThe OFW Project, and The 100 Year Old Man's Secret to Happiness. Click on the links to watch them, but make sure to prepare some tissues ;)

We were part of the pre-program, too! Some cameras followed us around as we tried to "act normal" while enjoying the different booths and activities in the venue. I've always said I don't think I am telegenic at all so you could just imagine how hard it was for me not to appear too self-conscious! Some friends who watched the live streaming tweeted and texted me about seeing my face onscreen so that was quite a different experience for me :D

During the pre-program, VJ Chino of MYX asked us to go onstage for a quick chat about our blogs.

Gosh, what a dork :D

In Ed's words, "shy but fabulous girls"
LOL thanks Ed for the photo :)
And then the program started!

VJs Chino and Bianca
Coca-Cola Philippines President Guillermo Aponte welcoming everyone
UE Pep Squad
Philippine All Stars being super awesome
One of the highlights of the event is the Coke X Bench Fashion Show featuring pieces
from the Coca-Cola Originals by Bench collection
The blogging community's very own David Guison and Vern Enciso
They totally worked it!
Enzo Pineda, Rocco Nacino, Stephen Silva, and my crush David Chua heehee
Julia Montes and Kathryn Bernardo
After being suspended on a harness mid-air, Joseph Marco also danced with the two girls
Enchong Dee doing somersaults in the air

Flash mob and final walk down the runway! Fun!

Shower of a hundred red and white balloons
... and red and white confetti!
Happiness... Priceless.
Coca-Cola and Bench are iconic brands so it was really a big honor to have been chosen to take part in the grand celebration as a Fashion Correspondent. It's amazing how my passion for writing has opened a lot of different doors and opportunities for me to reach out to more people and hopefully bring inspiration in my own little way ♥

It was also a great privilege to meet and greet:

Mr. Ben Chan
Mr. Robby Carmona
... and David Chua (again) heeheehee
Thank you Coca-Cola! Cheers to more successful years in the Philippines and all around the world! I hope you continue to Open Happiness to more Filipino families here and even abroad.

My fabulous friends also deserve special mention for sharing this unforgettable experience with me :)
Thank you Karlo, Khel, and Eddiibear of course!
Much love ♥
Were you able to see the live streaming? If not, you can still watch the video by going here and clicking the tab at the bottom-right corner! The program starts at 1:12:39 but see us Fashion Correspondents "acting normal" after the 00:55:00 mark! ;)

Here is a quick sneak peek:

Click this link to check out the Coca-Cola Originals by Bench shirt designs!

What a fun and memorable experience! Big thanks to Coca-Cola and Bench! ♥

In red.

29 January 2012

As chosen Fashion Correspondents for the Coke X Bench Fashion Show at the Coca-Cola Big Youth Blowout held at the TriNoma Activity Center yesterday, we were instructed only two things: arrive at 2PM and be in red.

Easy enough, yes? Well, there are only a couple of problems - I have tubes of red lipstick and numerous nail polishes in various shades of red BUT my closet totally lacks red pieces. Also, I desperately needed a haircut. It is a big event after all, and I wanted to look the part.

I was in SM North as early as 10:30AM to look for THE dress and maybe some accessories to go with it. Lesson learned: avoid rush shopping as much as possible. I forgot that it's hard for me to look for "mature" clothes in my size because I'm too skinny, but I don't want to buy from the Pre-Teens section anymore. Now because I was already pressed for time I didn't have a choice but to buy the first dress that fit. And now I'm regretting it a little because it's too expensive and still a little too big for me. But it's okay because it's so pretty and I know I will be able to use it in other instances and occasions.

By 12NN I was already done shopping so I went to TriNoma where I enjoyed a solitary lunch at Kenny Rogers before things got crazy busy again, then at 15 minutes before 1PM headed to FIX Lab for my haircut. I've learned my lesson during our department's Christmas party last year so I really made sure I had an appointment yesterday. I LOVE MY NEW HAIRSTYLE! Thank you Pabs, you're awesome. Big thanks also for advising me to change into my event-clothes and apply my makeup there :)

I arrived at the venue at quarter past 2PM where I met with my fellow Fashion Correspondents Ava, Alex, Aisa and Cheyser. What a fun bunch of fashionistas! I'm glad and honored to have been a part of this whole experience with them ♥

I'll share more photos from the event on my next post, but let me share with you the details of my outfit. After a couple of hours of panicky rushing through the two malls, here is the look I came up with:

The Lady is a Vamp
Dress - Petit Monde | Belt used as necklace - SM Accessories
Lace fingerless gloves - SM Dept Store | Tights - Leg Love by Kate Torralba
Black glitter peeptoes - Chelsea
Painted my nails with Bobbie Premium Nail Creme in Vamp, then topped the ring fingernail with Crazy Glitter :)
And this is my "new" hairstyle!
I've had this before I went with pixie cuts, and now I think I like this better :)
Although I might stick to wearing dresses and skirts for the next couple of weeks because I'm afraid
to be mistaken for a handsome little boy. =>
By the way, only the dress and necklace are newly-bought. I've had the rest for quite a while now so please don't think I am a spend-aholic :)

What do you think?

My next post will be about the event already so watch out for that! ♥

The world's first tansan billboard

27 January 2012

First of all I would like to thank everyone who voted for me to walk the runway at the Coca-Cola Originals by Bench fashion show that will be held at the TriNoma Activity Center tomorrow! I didn't win but I would still be a part of the event as a Fashion Correspondent so I'm pretty excited about it. Congratulations to Vern and David! They would walk the runway tomorrow with other Coca-Cola ambassadors Enchong Dee, Joseph Marco, Kathryn Bernardo, and Julia Montes. (I also heard from the grapevine that my crush David Chua will be there... Yiheeee ♥)

Ehem. Back to what I really wanted to share with you guys. Do you remember the environment-friendly billboard Coca-Cola Philippines unveiled last year? Done in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund under the Live Positively sustainability program, the billboard utilizes recyclable materials AND plants that absorb air pollutants! So amazing, right? Now, prepared to be amazed once more as this time, Coca-Cola has unveiled billboards made entirely out of crowns!

Coca-Cola billboard in North EDSA, Quezon City
I pass by this billboard on my way to the office whenever I come from Navotas.
If you'll go to TriNoma tomorrow, keep your eyes peeled for this! ;)
Closer look
In line with its 100th anniversary in the country, Coca-Cola simultaneously unveiled three tansan billboard structures (the first of its kind in the world!) in key locations across the country (North EDSA in Quezon City, Highway Seno in Cebu and Ulas Highway in Davao) last January 17. All three bears the special insignia of the brand’s 100th year celebration headlined with a simple “thank you” message to officially open up the year of happiness in the Philippines.

“We have created these extraordinary Coca-Cola crown billboards because 2012 is a very special year for the Filipinos. It is the year Coca-Cola gives back and gives thanks for the last 100 years of choosing and believing in happiness. The billboards are a signal of the start of the biggest, yearlong celebration we've ever had in the Philippines yet and the whole nation is invited,” said Guillermo Aponte, president and general manager of Coca-Cola Philippines.

There couldn’t be any more meaningful way to kick off such once in a lifetime milestone than with an iconic showcase befitting of a truly iconic brand! Even greater is the truth they stand for. More than merely symbolizing the brand’s 100-year presence in the Philippines, they represent a nation of happy people. With every crown comes generations of stories of unrelenting optimism in the face of the gravest obstacles as well as the most memorable moments of sharing, bonding and coming together. 

Alongside the many challenges this nation continue to endure, Coca-Cola rouses the Filipino spirit through our 100 Years campaign as icon of optimism. As Mr. Aponte points out, “May the crown billboards remind the Filipinos of their unbreakable spirit nurtured throughout the remarkable journey they have shared with Coca-Cola over the last 100 years. Moreover, may they inspire them to continue to face the future head on with a Coke in hand and hearts fueled by happiness.”

As we head on to a new chapter in our nation’s history, Coca-Cola, invites us to look back and cherish the past one hundred years of opening happiness and to make the pledge to continually open more towards the next 100 years.

Let us choose happiness, open happiness! Will I see you at the Coca-Cola Big Youth Blowout tomorrow? :)

For more information, visit the Coca-Cola Facebook page here or and the official website here.

Help me Open Happiness!

24 January 2012

This is me walking the ramp at the first Philippine Fashion Ball held last year.
One of my secret childhood dreams is to be a ramp model. I am skinny enough, yes, but seeing as I don't have model-like features and I totally lack the height needed to be one that dream was immediately scrapped. But guess what? I have the chance to walk the runway this coming Saturday, thanks to Coke and Bench!

In celebration of Coca-Cola's 100 Years of opening happiness, they have partnered with Bench for the Coca-Cola Big Youth Blowout which will be held on January 28 at the TriNoma Activity Center. I am one of the 12 bloggers they have chosen to be Fashion Correspondents, and among us 12, two will be picked to be a runway model at the Coca-Cola Originals by Bench fashion show!

To vote for me, all you have to do is:

Follow @Coke_PH on Twitter
and tweet:
I vote for  to walk the runway this saturday at the Coca Cola Big Youth Blowout!  

Only votes tweeted by 11:59PM tomorrow (25 January 2012) will be counted, so please vote before then!

BIG THANKS to everyone who has already voted for me even when I have nothing to offer but wishes of peace, love and happiness! I know this will be a long shot as I'm up against really famous fashion bloggers, but being chosen as one of the 12 is already a big honor, so thank you, and good luck to all of us! ♥

Memories of Baguio

Hello, you! We're back from Baguio!

I really enjoyed this trip, mainly because my family hasn't done this for a while. We spent the long weekend there and left Manila last Saturday night because we still needed to attend my uncle's birthday party. After six hours at the bus, we reached cold, cold Baguio at around 5 o'clock on Sunday morning :)

The house we rented was just walking distance from the Victory Liner terminal station. After resting for a bit, we got ready to explore the city!

Loaded up with SPF!
We heard the 9AM Mass at the Baguio Cathedral.
It was our first time to attend a Mass in a different dialect so it was a new experience for all of us.
We then walked to Burnham Park where we:
tried on Igorot costumes;
rented bikes;
(Random trivia about me: I don't know how to ride bikes. My 5 year old-cousin Jerico drove me around LOL.)
tried strawberry taho;
(that's my brother's hand, by the way.)
and watched people on boats.
We then went to SM Baguio for lunch where we feasted on KFC Bucket Meal and
Snowstorm ice cream cones.
Determined to visit every tourist spot in Baguio, we then went to Mines View Park, where we
took in the sights and breathtaking views;
and shopped for sweets to take home.
Our last stop for the day was the Botanical Garden,
which reminded me of my visit to Singapore's Botanical Garden more than a year ago.
We headed back to our rented house to rest. We had some low-key leisure time by
playing sungka that Mama bought
while eating organic seedless oranges :)
We were up very early the next day because we wanted to squeeze in more places to visit since we were due to leave later in the day.

We woke up to this glorious sunrise, and after a bit of a struggle with showering (because it was soooo cold even with the heater on), we were off.
We climbed more than a hundred steps up a high stairway to visit the
Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto
where we lit candles and said prayers.
It was a tiring climb up for me who's out of shape, but the view was worth it!
We then went to the
Strawberry Farm
to get some
luscious reds ♥
strawberry-flavored beer.
We were supposed to go home already, but Alexis recommended for me to check out Mt. Cloud Bookshop in Casa Vallejo. Well, you know me and the lure bookshops hold to me, so...

I was able to convince my parents to make a quick stop there
where I picked up a hardcover copy of "Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict" :)
The bookshop was really nice. It has its own rustic charm and wonder and I really felt magic upon entering the door; it was like walking into history itself. It's one of my dreams to have a bookshop just like this one, and I know one day I really will. Someday, someday.

Before we knew it, it was time to say goodbye. We reached Manila at around 11 o'clock last night bearing great memories of our short but wonderful trip. I'm thankful for opportunities to see and experience more of life through travelling. As they say, "A ship in harbor is safe, but that's not why ships are built."