Tuesday, December 16, 2014

mommy role

Some months ago I did a TV commercial - by that I mean I voiced one and not starred in one hehe. It was a mommy role, which was a change in the usual roles I get which are teenagers and yuppies, bilang manipis ang boses ko. But I was able to pull off this one and I was so happy about it! Kilig na kilig ako when I caught it on TV haha. This is one of my most favorite projects ever!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

brighter life

Let me take this chance to promote Sun Life's microsite called Brighter Life. It's a site filled with articles that share pratical tips on handling money and inspiring stories about one's financial journey. I contribute to this site once in a while.

I have to say that the stories I write really come from the heart and are based on experience, mainly because I am also learning along the way in my own financial journey. Becoming a part of Sun Life has been such an eye-opener for me, because I really had no idea about the existence of mutual funds before, while insurance was something I never really understood. 

I remember asking Michael if I was sharing too much, worried that people might judge me for not learning about all this earlier and not having millions to my name. "But that's the point," he replied."People in the same boat can learn from your experience. Those who'd rather judge will always have something to say anyway."

And so I went ahead and wrote. I'm happy to share that my stories have elicited inquiries from readers, and that means my stories have served their purpose :)   

Monday, December 8, 2014

2014 pan-asian bjj international open

I had this draft sitting in my dashboard for the longest time and I've actually forgotten about it. But even if it's been months since this took place, I still would like to publish it because it's about Michael getting a bronze in the 2014 Pan-Asian Brazilian Jiu Jitsu International Open!

This is the second time that Mike joined the Pan-Asian and I’ll say it again – I’m super proud of how he’s got the courage to put himself out there. Physically, there are a lot of strong competitors and many of them are years younger than he is. Mentally, it can be intimidating, especially since you're dealing with participants who come from different parts of the world, and then you have to remember everything you've learned in training.

Michael (right) with teammate Arjeg (left) and BJJ Master Fabricio (center)

This took place sometime in May, and I was actually not around for this one because I was at an out-of-town congress. I really felt bad that I missed it, but I sent him good vibes all the way from Subic, where I was attending Ad Summit Pilipinas.

I know Mike would’ve wanted a gold, but considering how he doesn’t have much free time to train as the others do, what with work and home stuff, a bronze is already a big deal. Congratulations, babe!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

begin again (styling) hangover

It's been months since "Begin Again" was shown in theaters and I still have a hangover from the movie. Apart from the lovely songs, I've been obsessing a little about the styling, specifically of Keira Knightley's character Greta. Indian costume designer and stylist Arjun Bhasin did such an awesome job!

These days, whenever I'd hit the stores, I'd try and look for something that resembles the stuff that Keira wore. Of course, it would be so much easier if I had a rockin' body like that of Keira's haha! But I scored a nice red dress recently which reminded of Greta's red dress in the movie so I immediately grabbed that one - buti na lang naka-sale! Haha!

So I'm posting the photos here so I have a quick peg I can refer to next time I go shopping. (At pwede na din peg ng katawan next time I get tempted to overeat hehe.)



Saturday, November 22, 2014

p.s. from aeropostale kids fair

Some weeks ago, I got an email invite from Nuffnang to the "P.S. from Aeropostale Kids Fair" at the UP Town Center Ampitheater. There was going to be a film showing and a fashion show featuring clothes from P.S., which is Aeropostale's line for kids 4 to 14 years old. It sounded like fun, and I thought Sloan might like it, plus the venue is near our place, so we decided to check it out.

And I'm so glad we did! There were food carts, game booths, and art activities like tote bag-stamping, temporary tattoos, and wall doodling. Sloan had a blast, and even Michael and I enjoyed!

I like that they made it a for-kids-by-kids kind of event. There were tween photographers covering the event, while the music was courtesy of kid djs D + Cash. Ang tataray! Kayo na, kids!

The highlight of the event was the fashion show. Of course, I zoomed in on the little boys' clothes, so I can get a peg for when I shop for Sloan. We tend to go for simple and comfy clothes for Sloan, since he's such an active kid, but it's fun to dress him up sometimes para naman japorms.

The stuff for girls are so cute! I wish I had a daughter because it would be so fun to dress her up! BUT. Not a fan of heels for little girls :(

Two tiny dancers stole the show with their breakdance/Michael Jackson moves to the tune of One Direction's What Makes You Beautiful. Super adorbs! I uploaded a video on Instagram, check it out if you can :)

The event was hosted by the lovely Joyce Pring, and I really liked her energy and appropriate hosting, swabe lang.

Of course, while watching the kids on the runway, medyo nanawagan na din ako sa universe na sana tuparin ang pangarap kong makapag-commercial or makapag-model ng konti si Sloan hihihi. Hashtag Anabelle Rama!

It actually rained really hard when the show started but people stayed on to finish everything. The film showing (How to Train Your Dragon 2) did not push through - I think the electricals were affected by the rain - but nobody complained because we still had great fun!

Thank you Nuffnang for the invite! And congratulations, P.S. and Aeropostale! You'll find their shop at the ground floor of U.P. Town Center. Go and check it out!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

abs-cbn sports+action fight expo

I’m not the biggest fan of contact sports like boxing, wrestling, and most of all, mixed martial arts (MMA). I always feel like the fighters are, well, fighting… like, personally! Hahaha! I get even more worried when I see blood, and would be all, “Why would they do that to each other? WHYYYYYY?” Hahaha!

With Michael being a big UFC fan, however, I found myself slowly understanding the elements of MMA. I’m still not the biggest fan, but now I understand the strategizing that goes with it, and how it’s not really about just brute force but more about techniques. Now, I even know some names of the fighters and I actually have some favorites! BUT. My criteria for choosing a favorite is if I think he’s good, and... kung mukha siyang mabait. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

With BJ Penn at an ABS-CBN press conference, back when I was still a Kapamilya (with overgrown bangs lol)

Michael with Mark Munoz. Mike interviewed him for a Men's Health cover story.

Yesterday (Nov. 8) was my first time to watch a live MMA fight. ABS-CBN Sports+Action held the country’s first ever Fight Expo at the Eastwood Mall open area. Fist Gym - where Michael trains – was a partner, and so we went there to support. Michael and a few other Fist guys also played ring marshals.

One of the highlights of the event was the appearance of UFC fighter Carlos Condit – who is actually one of my favorites (He does look kind, right? Haha!). They held a promo for a meet and greet. I didn’t join that but as they were having people line up, one of the guys said they can accommodate four more people. Nobody was standing up to grab the slot, so Michael and I went for it.

Michael also gave Carlos a Kunami San shirt, and he really appreciated it! *kilig*

TJ Manotoc and Jef Gaitan hosted the program

Another highlight was the demo fights: Five boxing matches, and five MMA fights. Fist Gym owner Ros Rosete helped facilitate these, along with other experts and professional fighters, and he also played commentator during the MMA games.

The fights really drew a big crowd at the Eastwood Mall. Both the boxers and the fighters did not disappoint: they all fought well, and the crowd was really entertained. I’m especially proud of the guys who Mike trains with sometimes at Fist.  They all won too!

Not to say that I got through the fights comfortably – medyo nakaka-tense kaya! The boxing, medyo okay pa, but the MMA fights… nakakaloka! Especially with the fighters' respective ringside crew yelling stuff like, “Lumpuhin mo na!” or “Wala nang hangin yan! Bugbugin mo na!” Tapos makikita mo na may dugo o kaya maga na yung mata… JUICE COLORED!!! I was standing beside one of the judges, and I was probably reacting quite loudly, that he told me, “Ma’am, mauuna pa kayong ma-high blood sa mga fighters! Relax lang!” Nakakahiya hahahaha!

Ros emphasized how we have a lot of great fighters in the country and how this kind of sport has a great potential. Boxing is already a given, considering we have a lot of Pinoy champions, but we also have a lot of talented MMA fighters that just need to be given the chance to show their stuff. To have a big network like ABS-CBN bring fighting to the forefront was a huge help, of course.

And I do hope ABS-CBN, through Sports+Action keeps it up. The Fight Expo is a great start, and more than a marketing tool, it was a great move to put contact sports at the forefront and give new fighters the opportunity to showcase their skills. I also appreciated how they had as guests the country’s current boxing champions, who may not be as popular as Pacquiao, but are well on their way. Putting arcade games was also a good touch.

Should they hold Fight Expo again, I would suggest the following, based on my experience as a spectator (and in events as well):

- Maybe hold quick Q&A games instead of a raffle, because raffles don’t usually work for whole day events, especially if it's done in a mall area. While some of the winners were still there, some had already left. Mas dagdag excitement din yung on-the-spot prize, plus you can highlight the details you want by asking questions like “Who is the sponsor of this event?” or “What is ABS-CBN’s sports channel?” This can also give the guys outside a chance to join, dahil pwede silang lapitan ng host.

- Create a hashtag for the event. The only hashtags that they asked be used were #rockitwithcondit and #domore (Rexona’s tagline). As such, when Condit had already gone, there was no longer a hashtag we can associate with Fight Expo.

- Have a ring/cage designed especially for MMA fights. The fights were also held in the boxing ring, which has no ample protection for takedowns and other moves since they could easily slip through the ropes. Also it was a little too high. The ring marshals had to secure the ropes, and since it's taller than they are, their arms could only hold up to the second level. Even the tallest guy had a hard time with this. Good thing the referee was listo and would bounce the fighters off the ropes whenever malapit na silang mahulog.

- Get a better VO. Nakakaloka yung male voice over, he was all over the place with his adlibs! I wanted to find him and tell him to write down his spiels na lang instead of adlibbing kasi laging nawawala yung train of thought, puro tuloy buckle.  It would also have helped if he addressed the crowd as “Kapamilya sports fans”, para associated na agad sa ABS-CBN and. Based on my experience as a host, that easily gets the attention of the crowd - which was the main goal anyway. He used this only once, during the latter part of the event.

Overall, the Fight Expo was a great event and it has so much potential to be bigger – even bigger than the brand. And when that happens, you know you've made a great impact.

Congratulations, ABS-CBN Sports+Action! And kudos as well to Fist Gym, Ros, and all the fighters who participated!

Friday, October 31, 2014

throwback: yogyakarta, indonesia

We're Indonesia-bound for the holidays! My sister Lycel won't be coming home for the holidays and so she thought she'd fly us in so we can spend Christmas and New Year together in Jakarta then in Bali. Of course we said yes! Because who passes up the chance to spend such special occasions with family? In this case, my only family lol. And who passes up the chance to travel for free?

After a bit of a back-and-forth regarding the dates and the requirements, Rocel was finally able to book all that needed to be booked, from flights to accommodations. It's been a while since I last saw Indonesia, not to mention spent time with my sister, so I'm totally psyched about the trip! So much that I've been looking at photos of the last trip, which was way back 2009.

It was my 30th birthday then. I was recovering from a crazy period of my life and the only way I wanted to spend such a milestone in my life was with my sister. Perfect timing because my sister had week-long break coming up and we could spend some quality time together. And so we booked a trip to Jakarta. As a birthday gift, Ate also booked flights to Yogyakarta, so we could see the heritage sites like the Prambanan and Borubodur. With us during the trip were Rocel and Aicel. It was a fantastic trip and definitely a great way to celebrate my 30th!

I thought I'd post photos of that trip, as a warm-up to the upcoming one. So psyched!

The Ramayana ballet. It was beautiful but we didn't get to finish it because we were all so sleepy after a very early flight from Jakarta. Must go back someday to finish it lol.

Checking out the Keraton Hall. That's a gamelan ensemble behind us.

The Borobudur Temple is such a splendid sight.

Claiming a bell at the Borobudur. Since it was a holiday, the place was packed. 

I have long been curious about the wayang kulit, and I finally got to see a show during a stopover.

... even better, Mike and I got to try it too!

Fancy coffee with hot charcoals? The coals apparently lower the caffeine degree. Interesting drink from Angkringan Lik Man! Mike went on lifestyle show host mode, and described the experience ala-Anthony Bourdain. He totally had us in stitches!

Sidewalk party at a street near the railway station which was lined with angkringans. We don't have a photo, but the whole street was filled with locals who were all seated on their mats in the pavement. It was like we were in one big picnic!

Beautiful music from the gamelan ensemble.

The Prambanan took my breath away.

Looking forward to more adventures with my sister :)