Friday, September 24, 2021

Another ad for Lucky Me!

I have a new ad!

A few weeks ago, Soundesign reached out and asked me to voice a new version of Lucky Me! Curly Spaghetti. I was super excited about it because I voiced the 2017 version, and to have them tap me again must mean they were happy with how that one turned out right? :D

Since there are still restrictions for recordings, they asked if I am able to record on my own at home. I do have a mic, but don't have a pro set-up like other VO talents do. Good thing my output passed their standards, plus of course, Soundesign engineers are experts at ensuring that sound comes out great.

Here's the final product:

Super fun ad! I'm super psyched about this because Lucky Me! has been a favorite brand ever since my radio days. Also, its been a while since I've gotten a VO job because I don't actively pursue it anymore, plus competition has grown tighter with the VO community growing. It's all good though because the community has greatly moved the industry forward, from prompting studios to come up with contracts to identifying standard rates for different projects.

Here's hoping the next project won't be too far behind!


Sunday, September 12, 2021

Parenting in the time of a pandemic


I knocked on Sloan's door and asked him to do a house chore, but he told me that he was still in class.

"But you're listening to music," I pointed out. 

"Yeah, I'm listening while answering my exams," he answered. "Bawal ba yon?" 

I was stumped. It's not allowed in school, but what is the rule in this kind of a set-up? I was going to say that he wouldn't be able to concentrate, but he knows that I listen to music a lot when I am writing so it wasn't a viable route for me to take. 

Thinking that I might ironically end up disrupting his concentration if we discuss further, I decided to just let him be, trusting that he's got it figured out. I think it worked out for the better, but I guess I'll know for sure when I see his grades lol. 

Minutes later, I was in a Zoom meeting when approached me and started pointing to his closed mouth. 

"What's happening?" I asked after ensuring that both my mic and camera were closed.

It turns our that his problematic tooth, which we haven't been able to consult the dentist about given ECQ Season 3, split when he bit into the fried chicken. I quickly told my teammates that I was logging off from the meeting as I needed to find a dentist for Sloan.

The good news is there are three small clinics in our street. We were able to get a slot in the second one we went to. There, Sloan underwent an extraction not just for the tooth that split, but also for the one beside it which had been loose for a while now.

It was over in under 30 minutes and it was quite a relief to have it over with quickly.

Haaay. This pandemic nga naman - disrupting parent-child dynamics since 2020.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Down time


It's a Saturday night and I'm having Bailey's and smoked cheese while enjoying the quiet that often only comes when work and chores are done and the boys and I hie off to our preferred spots inside our small house.

These little pockets of me-time are very much welcome because the past few weeks have been crazy. Big projects have been overlapping at work, and I have to get so many things done and manage my team while also participating in a regional competition as part of the Philippine team. I am fulfilled because of the creative output I have been churning out, but I am also exhausted because there is just so much to do and it's hard to keep up sometimes. I even (begrudgingly) discontinued my Japanese classes because I just couldn't keep up with the lessons. It was a tough decision to make because I really wanted to learn, pero syempre kasi ayoko rin namang mabaliw hahahuhu.

And then of course I also have my chores at home. It's a good thing that Sloan's a bit more mature now - he doesn't need my attention 24/7 and can also help out with some of the chores. It's bittersweet because in as much as it is ideal at this time, it's also a stark reminder that my baby boy is fast growing up.

Stressful as the past weeks (maybe months even lol) have been, there have been rays of sunshine. First and foremost, I was able to get my first dose of COVID-19 vaccine already! 

I have been waiting so long for this day and I am super grateful that Sun Life came up with its own vaccination program for employees. I enlisted in the Quezon City LGU program but to this day have yet to be scheduled. I also enlisted at Mike's office but they haven't rolled out the program for dependents just yet. As such, I was so excited to have been part of Batch 1 for Sun Life's rollout. Not only was it awesome being vaccinated, it was also a thrill to see officemates I haven't seen for so long.

Looking forward to my second dose this August!

We were also able to go on a quick staycation at EDSA Shangri-La Hotel. We originally planned to go to The Mansion at Clark in Pampanga, but it was quite difficult coordinating with them and we weren't getting some of the answers we needed in our inquiries. Perhaps, they are understaffed at the moment - maybe we can try again next time. But it worked out anyway because the stay at Shang was lovely.



We mostly did this so Sloan could enjoy the pool and have a semblance of a summer vacation before he starts his virtual classes for the next school year. We were able to do just that and I'm happy to share that safety protocols were strictly observed in every area of the hotel.

Speaking of safety (lol), I had this minor incident at the pool. I was in the shallow part while Sloan was in the 9ft area and as I was wading, I slipped in the portion that goes into the deeper part. The moment I went under water, I panicked for a split second but got myself together, turned back, and started to swim towards the shallow part. All of a sudden, I felt a hand on my arm pulling me up to the surface. I thought it was Sloan, but it turned out to be the lifeguard rescuing me.  

Apparently, the lifeguard blew his whistle then hurriedly dived into the pool to get me, so there was a whole scene. The guard and a supervisor (I think) also came and talked to Michael as they had to write an incident report.  

I felt a little embarrassed because there were other people in the pool, plus - despite not being a skilled swimmer - I felt like I was in control of the situation. As it turns out though, it looked quite the opposite lolol. Michael, who was seated at the lounge area when the incident happened, said I did look like I was struggling, that he actually got up to come and get me just as the lifeguard blew his whistle. It was perfectly understandable of course - they couldn't and shouldn't risk having someone drown on their watch, and so it was better to act than assume that I was a-okay. So props, EDSA Shang!

That little incident aside though, everything went well.

@_lenloveslife

who needs a break 🙋‍♀️ ##tiktokph ##fyp ##microvlog ##staycation ##edsashangrila

♬ swing lynn - ✮❦lovdfilmz❦✮⋆

Sloan was so happy he got a semblance of life as it was pre-pandemic. He even marvelled at how the overnight stay actually felt like a one-week vacation. 

I'm glad we got to do this, especially since kids are again not allowed to go outdoors. Even so, I am already planning our next activities so that we can be on push-button mode once possible (and after we ensure that it is safe where we're going, of course). We will definitely make the most of it.



Saturday, May 22, 2021

Bogchi... Chippy!

And now for something totally random...

I was watching old TV commercials on Youtube to see what we can show on The Tita Playlist tonight, when I thought about searching for the ones I did back in college. Not that I was the bida or anything lol. I was just a mere extra in the two I did and I didn't exactly get screen time. 

It was a raket I did when I was in second year college and paid very little, but I was cash-strapped that time and any additional money was definitely welcome. So when my cousin's wife, Ate Joan, asked me if I wanted in on it, I immediately said yes.

One of TVCs I was an extra in was Chippy, specifically the Bogchi ad which starred The Eraserheads. It was of course exciting because they were my favorite in high school! Seeing them up close during the shoot had me starry-eyed, never mind that we didn't really get a chance to talk to them or anything during the two-day shoot.

Here's the TVC - try and see if you can catch me!

Well, did you?! Lololol! Low resolution aside, it's pretty much impossible because there was never a shot of me actually facing the camera, kaya sasabihin ko na lang lol. That's me at the leftmost side of the frame, in a green top:


Not that you can tell, right? Well, you just have to take my word for it lol. I still remember my outfit: an apple green sheer top with huge flower prints and white bootleg pants which I wore with chunky heels that perfectly matched the TVC's retro/psychedelic theme. Yeah, party party! Hahahaha!

Kung tutuusin, swerte pa ngang nahagip ako ng camera dyan. In the other one I did, a Lux Shampoo ad starring Donna Cruz, we were all just silhouettes lol. 

Right?! Lol. It's so funny because all of us extras were dressed to the nines and were all made up to look like we were worthy of being invited to Donna's special birthday celebration; yet, none of us were actually seen onscreen, not even his supposed leading man. Of course, the purpose of having warm bodies in the shoot made sense to me later on when I joined ABS-CBN and saw more of what went on behind the scenes, and more so when I became a part of Sun Life's marketing team.

It's pretty cool remembering this experience. Those were difficult times because of financial issues, but it taught me lessons on handling money plus it gives me a cool story to tell my future grandkids. "Mga apo, see that girl shakin' it right there? That's your lola, kids! Am I groovy or what?" Haha. 

So that's it for my random kwento for the day. Until the next one :P

 

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Persisting

Trying to look at the brighter side of things can sometimes be a challenge in this environment. I recognize the privileges we are able to enjoy amid the current situation, but there are days when the wave of stagnation hits. It's been over a year since we last experienced living normal lives, and so far, the end of this pandemic is still nowhere in sight.

I am persisting as best as I can. One way is by trying to get exercise back into my routine. I went on a break after my surgery back in February and it has been a struggle trying to bring my drive back. 

...until my work friends Reyna and Carla invited me to join the The Conqueror Virtual Challenges, specifically the  Mt. Fuji Challenge. It's a virtual challenge that follows a 76km route to Mt. Fuji in Japan, and you advance along the map as you complete your daily exercise.

At first, I was worried about completing it. Work load has been pretty crazy lately that, often, I'd like to just relax and not do anything when I have free time. Plus, I've never signed up for any fitness-related challenge before and I was worried I won't be able to finish. 

At the same time though, I was also curious to know how I would do. So I signed up. 


As it turns out, the challenge is very engaging! I get such a high entering my steps for the day on the app, and seeing the counter advance. I also get to see a street view of where I am in the route, and who else is in the area - well, their pins at least haha. Part of my nightly ritual is taking a virtual stroll through the app and imagining I am in Japan. They also have a Facebook community where people share how they are doing with the challenge they picked, and it's amazing how there are people of different ages and fitness levels - super inspiring!

Right now, I am about 60% done, and I am super excited to get my medal because the Mt. Fuji one is super pretty. I'm thinking about signing up for another Conqueror challenge, but let's see.

I have also started a Tiktok account

Parang kelan lang, ayaw kong mag-tiktok ("Ang tanda ko na para dyan..."). At present, it's actually my favorite creative exercise. for one, there are so many talented content creators in there! From dancers to singers to fitness enthusiasts to cooks to yoyo masters and more. super inspiring! Also, it's a fun challenge matching context with the sounds and effects available and writing a copy that suits it, for a material that should last only a few seconds.

Interestingly, my past two posts have garnered hundreds of views versus past numbers, and that pushes me to identify the kind of content that works (not to mention improve my acting hahaha). It hasn't translated to a lot of follows though and maybe i'll get there, but it is fun as it is. Pero shemps, if may TikTok ka, beke nemen.... :P

Meanwhile, on the Sloan side, there are two significant updates. First, he now has his own bed! 

In April, he said he wanted to start sleeping in the other room again on his own, never mind if there's onyl a sofa bed in there. We let him be and thought he'd go back to co-sleeping in just a matter of days, but save for a night here and there, he's pretty much marked his territory.

With that, we decided to get him his own bed already. 


This was super symbolic for me because it's his first bed (well, aside from his crib lol) and it's like, whoa, he's his own person now! He has a bed and all! Haha. He' taller than me already at 10 years old, but it's still hard to believe sometimes how much he's grown! Bahala siya, baby ko pa rin siya lolol.

The other update is that he's getting a kitten soon! He has been asking us for a pet, specifically a dog, but unfortunately dogs are not allowed in our building. It so happened that the cat owned by one of the building staff recently gave birth, and one of the kittens was reserved for him. 

The kitten still feeds from his mom so we couldn't get him yet, but Sloan brings him up when he can so he can get familiar with our house. It's fun seeing him try and take care of a pet. He even gave Michael some money from his savings to buy a bed for the kitten! One time, I saw the kitten napping comfortably on his bed, tapos kinumutan pa niya! 


Katuwa hehe. I loved having a pet when I was younger and not only was it fun, but it also taught me a lot of lessons about caring and being responsible for another being. I'm hopinh it will be the same experience for him.

So that's all for now. I sure hope the upcoming updates will be much more cheerful on the pandemic side of things. Like, I dunno, finally being vaccinated? Fingers crossed. Until then, let's keep on persisting, shall we?   

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Saturday morning in UP

Throughout this pandemic, Michael and I have been on the lookout for places where we can bring Sloan so he can catch some sun and go running about. He loves playing outdoors so the quarantine has been hard on him because he's not allowed in our usual weekend haunts. While he can play in our street and he and Michael go out for walks, he can't go that far and his movements are limited. 

Sigh. If only this pandemic is being handled properly by those in charge...

Anyways. Some weeks ago, we learned that UP was once again open to visitors. We weren't too sure if kids were allowed but we thought we'd try anyway. We woke up early one Saturday and put on our sporty outfits.

There was a crowd when we got there, but there was still enough space for social distancing. Seeing people always has me torn - on one hand, I'm all, "Oh no, there are people here!" because of course you want to stay safe; but then, on the other hand, I'm also like, "Hiiiii, guys!" because I am starving for some socialization and a sense of normalcy hahuhu.

After parking, we started to walk, taking some photos along the way because whoa we're outdoors! Every time we'd wander off to the grassy areas, security personnel would usher us back onto the street - I guess they want people to stick to the path so it would be easier for them to monitor. It was still nice though.

My favorite part coming across a Toym Imao art on desaparecidos at the Palma Hall. It spurred some conversation about social issues with Sloan. I love that he seemed genuinely interested and even asked questions. I couldn't help but judge the people giggling and taking photos with the art as background - I hope that they also try to understand the message behind the art. 

Michael and Sloan proceeded to jog, while I waked because I am not fond of running. I caught up with them when they they slowed down, then Michael proceeded to finish the route while Sloan walked with me.

In the Sunken Garden area, we were asked to go a different way because it turned out that kids were not allowed there. I am not too familiar with the streets of UP so we asked for directions and went on our way. The route back to where we were parked was longer, and as we walked, we saw families parked on the side streets, hanging out with younger kids in tow in whatever grassy area was available.

I could totally relate. I'm sure that like Michael and me, other parents just want their kids to be able to enjoy the outdoors again somehow. Not everyone lives in a spacious home complete with a garden where they can catch some rays, much less in gated subdivision where going out to jog or play is doable. After a year in indoors, cabin fever is more palpable than ever. 

After a while, Sloan and I finally found our way back to the parking area, where Michael was already waiting for us. We drove home, took a bath, and spent the rest of Sunday chilling at home. Bitin pa, pero for now, that would have to do, especially now that UP was once again closed due to the rising number of cases in Quezon City.

Here's hoping we all get the vaccine soon and it would be somehow safer for people to go out, get some sun, and be around other people again.


Monday, February 15, 2021

A good day

Today was a big day for me.

I was scheduled for a follow-up consult with my doctor after last Monday's excision biopsy. This is my third time to undergo such a procedure, but of course, it's never easy waiting on the results because you never when you might be in for some bad news that starts with a capital C. In an effort to keep myself calm, I focused on recovery, finished two chapters of the biography side gig I'm working on, and planned my day out.

The latter involved going to the bank for some account concerns, getting Sloan's and my passport at the DFA Office in Megamall, and going to The Medical City for my biopsy results and check-up. It's rare that I can get to step out of the house, so I wanted to squeeze in as many errands as I can.

The bank visit was a breeze so was the ride to Megamall. Unfortunately, things got a bit sour when I got to the mall. Security personnel were asking mall-goers to sign up to the Mandaluyong contact-tracing app called Manda Track, which suspiciously has the current mayor's initials highlighted (ugh). The app asks for some sensitive details that I wasn't comfortable sharing, so I approached the guy in charge to ask about it. He told me that signing up to the app was the local government's mandate and SM was just following orders. I countered that they should have asked how data would be handled as a way of also protecting their customers. 

While I did not yell, I was a bit cross. I could have handled the situation better. After all, he was just doing as he was told and it was not his fault that their management did not properly train them to handle queries. I don't know, I guess my distrust of many people in the government led me to be wary about how my data will be handled, especially with the elections coming up. Apart from that, my nerves were also on the edge due to my impending hospital visit. 

Sigh. 

I ended up signing up anyway because I had no choice.

There was no line at DFA so getting our passports was quick and easy. After that, I went around the mall a bit but quickly lost interest knowing that I wasn't going to buy anything, committed as I was to my no-clothes-shopping resolution. In fairness naman sa 'kin, wala talaga akong binili na kahit ano lol. Nag-lunch na lang ako.

Then... moment of truth at the hospital. First stop: Ambulatory Care for the biopsy result.  I didn't realize that I was holding my breath in as I waited for the envelope to be handed to me, until I pulled out the paper and out came a long sigh of relief as I saw the result. Benign! I was giddy and teary-eyed, but I kept the good news to myself in the meantime. I wanted my doctor's confirmation first before updating friends and family.

It didn't take long before I got it. I was all smiles as my doctor explained the results to me. She asked a few questions, checked my wound's healing, and set the date for our next meeting. With that, I finally sent out messages, booked a ride, and went home.

Overall, it was a good day. I'll take the win.