Sunday, January 22, 2012

Myth of the Human Body

Myth of the Human Body officially opened in 2010 but has been extended (so many times) until February 29, 2012. I've only heard of the exhibit in late 2011

The Neobabylon building, an ode to Roman architecture. Photo from here 

One of the statues that will greet you upon entering the exhibit 

An inside look at a person's body 

Woman holding organs 

One of my favorite exhibits, a look at the stages of fetal development. This is by far the creepiest of the bunch

Yesterday, I was at Bonifacio Global City with my friend Myk to check out the Myth of the Human Body exhibit at the Neobabylon Building in AFPOVAI. It exhibits the human anatomy using real body specimens and parts, preserved through a process of plastination, involving embalming, dehydrating, boiling, and hardening which was developed by Dr. Gunther von Hagens in the 70's.

The exhibit is divided into seven, each dedicated to a specific body system and a Greek god associated with it. There was the muscular/skeletal system (Heracles), respiratory system (Poseidon), digestive system (Dionysus), reproductive system (Eros), nervous system (Zeus), the circulatory system (Hades), and the fetal system (Artemis). The exhibits are highly detailed and therefore, quite disturbing. I did have fun seeing internal organs piece by piece, but didn't recognize many of them because not everything had explanations.

Myk and I didn't go with the guided tour so the educational aspect was lost in our amazement and sometimes, disgust. Perhaps the most disturbing exhibits were the fetal system where there were actual specimens of a baby from its first month to its last. Knowing that these are actual infants plastinated made it even creepier. There were also jars filled with fetuses of various sizes and babies with hydrocephalus and anacephalus, a disorder where the baby doesn't have a forebrain (the largest part of the brain) and a portion of the skull and scalp.

The venue, the Neobabylon building is a work of art. The exterior is filled with mock statues of gods and the interiors resemble a grand Roman palace. I tried to get the history of the place and see if it was specifically built for Myth or if it was designed that way. I couldn't find anything but it was amazing.

As for the exhibit, it wasn't maintained. Some of the organs were dusty and security was lax. When Myk and I went, we had a feeling that we were the only ones there, considering it was a Saturday. We went two hours before closing, though, so they might have gone in the morning. But it felt deserted, adding to the creepiness factor. Myth was informative and fun, but not as exciting as I thought it would be. But you guys can check it out, because it's having its last extension until February 29, 2012 (not the first time I heard of that). Tickets cost P350 and is open everyday from 10.30 AM - 8.30 PM. Myth of the Human Body is located at Neobabylon Building, 9 Bayani Road, AFPOVAI, Taguig City.

After the exhibit, we weren't feeling hungry (the pieces turned us off from eating) but we had dinner at Silk in Serendra. The Thai food was standard, but I know a better Thai place that serves cheaper food. Dessert courtesy of Patchi and McDonald's, and of course, a trip to High Street wouldn't be complete without a visit to Fully Booked. I still have my reading list, so I only got a copy of The Philippine Star for my article.

Best of the Week: Dreams, trials, and Interweb blackouts

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Concert of the week: Katy Perry’s California Dreams tour
MANILA, Philippines - The SM Mall of Asia concert grounds will be turned into a fantasyland for Katy Perry’s concert, her last for the California Dreams world tour. Tomorrow will be her second performance in the country, after her Hello Katy concert in 2009 where she asked the audience how to say penis in Filipino — trust us, Katy, ask that again tomorrow and we’ll still fall for it.

Advocacy of the week: Stop SOPA!
This Wednesday, Wikipedia blocked its website for 24 hours donning the words “Imagine a world without free knowledge,” in an attempt to fight the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA). The two bills aim to fight copyright infringement and piracy of US products overseas by blacklisting “alleged” pirated content, which could block people from accessing them on the Internet. That should be enough to scare everybody into making a stand and protesting the unfair aspects of the bills.

Quarterback of the week: Tim Tebow
Denver Broncos’ quarterback Tim Tebow is famous for his exceptional skills in football and a meme called Tebowing, where people get down on one knee in prayer in unconventional locations. Pretty soon, he will conquer the Philippines the way he conquered American football by opening a children’s hospital in Davao. It may strike you as odd that he would pick our country, but the NFL star was born here during his parents’ Baptist missionary work. He will partner with CURE International to build a 30-bed hospital that is expected to touch down in 2013.

TV event of the week: the Corona-novela
This week saw the start of the impeachment trial of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona. Though certainly not our first impeachment trial (former president Estrada, we’re looking at you), if Corona’s prosecutors successfully convict him of betrayal of public trust, violation of the Constitution, and graft and corruption, he will be the first Chief Justice to be impeached in our history. Much like our telenovelas, the case is proving to be every bit as convoluted and controversial, making it difficult to determine who’s playing thebida and the kontrabida. — Cai Subijano

Saturday, January 14, 2012

2012: so far.

So far, 2012 is going great. I have a pending job application in a multinational company (I'm going to announce it as soon as I get accepted) and I spent my time going to Christmas parties - posts are here and here - and catching up on my movies, TV shows, and reading.

The Suite Vollard's entrance, the color scheme was just divine

Some of the works displayed on the red walls - a specific Pantone of red that goes with the exhibit

Pablo Picasso

Minotauro acariciando a una mujer dormida, 18 junio 1933


© Sucesión Pablo Picasso. VEGAP. Madrid, 2011 

Pablo Picasso
Minotauro moribundo, 30 mayo 1933
© Sucesión Pablo Picasso. VEGAP. Madrid, 2011

Last Saturday, I was in Mall of Asia with my friend Myk, who I met on Twitter two years back. I brought him to the Metropolitan Museum of Manila for the Suite Vollard, a 100 piece collection of Picasso's works. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I was blown away by actually seeing works by the Cubist master, who is one of my favorite artists. The works were sketches depicting violence and rape, and it was so overwhelming that I am surprised I didn't suffer from Stendhal Syndrome. The pieces were accentuated with beautiful Spanish music and sensuous red walls - a specific Pantone that goes with the Suite.

Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story, directed by Tikoy Aguiluz (I think)

We then went to Mall of Asia to watch Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story. I've been dying to see the film ever since I heard it was going to be filmed in black-and-white, and I imagined it would be like those old gangster movies. I wasn't disappointed, it was exactly like that and it had a great story to boot. It's about Asiong Salonga and his rise as the kingpin of Tondo, while dealing with a rival gang eager to put him down and a brother who works in the police force. It had a lot of guns, testosterone, and really good fedoras. Myk started liking the movie ten minutes before it ended, but I enjoyed it from start to finish. We had dinner at Pepper Lunch and dessert at Sebastian's Ice Cream, where I had the blue cheese ice cream with Palawan honey. The ice cream on its own tastes weird, but with the honey, it was heavenly. I recommend it to every adventurous gourmand.

On Thursday, I was in Makati for that job application. This is my second time to come back because the last time I was there, they were offering me the assistant manager position for a certain brand. They said I fit the image but I thought I'd like an office position better. Being an assistant manager was a tempting offer but they gave me time to think. I was interviewed by a manager who is infamous for being hard to please, but I was surprised because she was laughing the entire time. So I was back yesterday, set on the office position but I was interviewed again, this time by the HR manager. She was offering me the assistant manager position and refused to accept my office choice. They gave me time to think (for the second time), and I'm scheduled for another interview on Monday.

The chinoiserie from Alice Blue Candles promises a "a citrusy, woody, & floral scent reminiscent of the elegant gardens of old Shanghai"

Went to Glorietta to run some errands, mainly to buy the January-February issue of Esquire Philippines, some hair wax, and potted mums. I dropped by Alice Blue in Glorietta 3 to check out their scented candle collection. They have a wide variety of scents from the garden collection: bamboo, baby shower (with a scent of a freshly bathed and powdered baby), cranberry spice, French mimosa, Mediterranean fig, white tea and ginger, the cafe collection: berry crumble (their bestseller), cafe mocha, orange chocolate, and vanilla sugar, and the tropical collection: Boracay shores and the Palawan mystique. They're affordable candles manufactured in the Philippines and are made of soy wax. I got the chinoiserie, a "a citrusy, woody, & floral scent reminiscent of the elegant gardens of old Shanghai." They're located in Glorietta 3, Rockwell, and Trinoma.

With my brother, the confirmant, and his sponsor, our Tita Susan. What I wore: Topman dress shirt, my trusty Bench jeans, leather shoes from Sledgers and sunglasses from Aldo

After a grueling ceremony at 8AM, we are done! With my brother, who I think is just as excited for it to be over

 With my brother, my mom, and our Tita Susan

My brother with Shingen, one of his best friends. He's also a family friend

 A class picture with the bishop

Yesterday, the folks and I were in the Parish of St. James the Great in Ayala Alabang for my brother's confirmation. It was very long and I'm not sure how I got through it, but I was very proud of my brother who is finally confirmed, for what I don't know. He managed to upstage me, our mom, and his sponsor (our tita), by wearing a barong by Rajo Laurel. He's only 13. To celebrate, we had lunch at Omakase in ATC with Shingen, one of his best friends, who was also confirmed.

Photos from here.

Best of the Week: Out with The Bourne Legacy rumors, in with David Archuleta and Beyoncé's baby

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Future Economic Boom Of The Week

MANILA, Philippines - Good news for the Philippines! In the year 2050, HSBC predicts in their report,”The World in 2050,” the sleeping giant China, will be alive, awake and enthusiastic in the economic arena, displacing the United States as having the world’s biggest economy. The bank also predicts that the future belongs to the emerging countries, which includes the Philippines, which is supposed to take 27 leapfrog places to become the 16th largest economy in the next 38 years, thanks to our demographics and our rising education standards. We’re all aware of the 2012 end of the world predictions, but for the sake of the future, let’s hope HSBC’s soothsayer prowess is the real thing! — Roxy Valencerina

Band Of The Week: Taken By Cars
“It’s just us, the gig, the trip, and the dream,” Taken by Cars vocalist Sarah Marco posted on her Facebook status earlier this week, along with a photo of TbC featured on the home page of the SXSW Music Festival. As the first Filipino band to be invited to the renowned international music and arts festival in Austin, Texas this March, they’ve come a pretty long way from just wanting to play regular gigs at Saguijo five years ago. However, there is a catch: They’re still short on funds. With just 50 days to go before SXSW, help send TbC to Texas by checking them out on! Let’s show the world that Pinoy music is more than just Charice Pempengco and Manny Pacquiao — no disrespect to their fans! — Cai Subijano

Kapatid Of The Week: David Archuleta

In the wake of international celebrity endorsers, TV5 reigned supreme by booking American Idol alumnus David Archuleta, who just signed for a primetime series with actresses Eula Caballero and Jasmine Curtis-Smith. The singer is already in the country and is filming and promoting the series, with David in a love triangle as the plot. David Archuleta is a Mormon and considering Mormons love dancing and sugary potluck parties, he’ll fit right in with the Philippines’ noontime show culture, especially in Will Time Bigtime.

Baby Of The Week: Blue Ivy Carter

The birth of Beyonce and Jay-Z's new bundle of joy last Jan. 7 in New York City didn't stop the brand new papa from dropping a new track entitled Glory (feat. B.I.C.) featuring the wails of the power couple’s first offspring, just a mere hour after being birthed into the world. Baby Blue Ivy Carter or better known as B.I.C., has yet to be caught candid by the vicious paparazzi, but with a sweet number 74 spot on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart, it won’t be long before this kid takes the world by storm. Jay-Z may have 99 problems, but baby B.I.C. sure ain’t one of them. — Roxy Valencerina

Hoax Of The Week: The Bourne Legacy Extras

More than a thousand hopefuls were devastated (including yours truly) when news leaked that the call for 1,000 extras for The Bourne Legacy was fake. Online ads indicated that applicants must send their names and details to a specified e-mail address, and that the only requirement is that they can walk (seriously). Another hoax was that the producers were looking for stand-ins for leads Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz. Sadly, the Philippine producers have revealed that they don’t know the “talent coordinators” mentioned in the ads, and would prefer extras who are in location because they “will act naturally.” Sorry, guys. Hollywood is just one tough bee-yatch to crack.

Christmas Parties Pt. II (2011)

A continuation of the Christmas parties I attended, and things I did in between. If you'll notice, my last Christmas party was held in January!

December 29, 2011: SM Mall of Asia

What I wore: Uniqlo shirt, Takeo Kikuchi jacket, Bench jeans, sneakers from Hong Kong 

Steak at Highlands Steakhouse - it's to die for 

Someone thought it was funny to vandalize the Highlands restroom. I burst out laughing

A wonderful collection of artists and their works. It was too expensive so I wasn't able to buy any. I would have liked to get Picasso, Munch, Van Gogh, and Toulouse-Lautrec

Went to SM Mall of Asia with the folks. We didn't really have a plan in mind, we just wanted to go because we were supposed to go on Christmas Day (we ended up in Alabang). We had dinner at Highlands Steakhouse and saw my family friend GP with his girlfriend Andi Manzano. Bought a dress shirt from Topman to reward my effort for my Best of the Year feature in Supreme.

December 31, 2011: The Arsua New Year's Eve Party

Me, my mom, and my brother 

My brother with our cousins Gilly and Mimae 

Spent a lot of time taking pictures of fireworks 

My cousin Gabe playing with this thing (I have no idea what it's called), the only thing allowed for the kids 

My new favorite firework - a fountain that emits whips and makes loud whistling noises

Our annual New Year's Eve party is held at the Paragases in Xavierville, Quezon City. We have dinner, lots of desserts, and watch the neighbors fireworks while lighting our own. Ours is usually the safer kind, while the neighbors opt for the grand displays of light and sound. Dinner was delicious - there was carbonara, kare-kare, ox tongue, chicken, and lechon. I tried pig's brains for the first time and it tasted like balut. Had a lot for dessert: two slices of cake, pistachio ice cream, lemon yogurt ice cream, and fruit salad, but regrets are for the new year!

January 1, 2012: SM Mall of Asia

What I wore: Uniqlo shirt, Forever 21 cardigan, Bench jeans, and sneakers from Hong Kong 

A Britney tribute. She lip-synced to a Britney medley. Not so convincing

The Gaga tribute was more convincing. She sang Bad Romance, Telephone, and Marry The Night with the appropriate costumes and steps

One of my favorite acts: a young Mongolian girl contortionist. She's won awards for her tricks 

The cast

My brother and I discovered a shopping cart in the parking lot. Of course, a photo shoot ensued

For the first day of the year, the folks and I were in Mall of Asia (again) to catch the Uncle Sam's Flying Circus. It was their last day and my mom wanted to see the show. The show was entertaining. They weren't as good as the acrobats we saw in Shanghai, whose tricks were flawlessly done, but the Flying Circus made up for it by doing stunts I've never seen before and for being upbeat. The Shanghai Acrobatic Troupe was serious while the Flying Circus focused on having fun. The members were from different countries, from Brazil to China to Romania and I think there was even one Filipino. My favorite stunts were where these guys would perform flips over trampolines. And the ringmaster is actually also a performer and he did flips, too!

January 10, 2012: Ninang Daisy's Christmas party

My Ninang Daisy with my mom and friends

Overflowing food: there was Japanese curry, chicken, cordon bleu, barbecue, lasagna, and my ninang's very delicious chicharon. There were three kinds of desserts so I indulged!

With the hostess, my Ninang Daisy. What I wore: Topman dress shirt, Bench jeans, Kickers loafers

 With my ninang, Maria Isabel Lopez, who regaled me with stories of me as a kid

 The little celebrity, AJ Yao

My last Christmas party for the season is with my Ninang Daisy, my mother's manager when she was still modeling. This party is starting to become a tradition after last year's success and is mainly composed of the models my ninang handled, many of whom are also my ninangs, some of who I haven't seen in ages. It's been so long that they regaled me with stories of me as a kid and they called me Kallyboy the entire night, my childhood nickname. One of them is Maria Isabel Lopez, who was in Brillante Mendoza's Kinatay and more recently, Survivor Philippines: Celebrity Doubles Showdown. The night was filled with food, wine, stories, and fawning over AJ, my ninang's first grandson. He's an adorable kid, with a cute smile to boot. The night concluded with the distribution of gifts (kids not included), but my ninang gave me hers, a paper bag filled with beauty products: a L'Oreal moisturizer (really good stuff), a Garnier exfoliant, a Kerastase anti-dandruff spray, and a bath kit from Biotherm Homme, all courtesy of her son Jappy, who is the Marketing Research and Intelligence Manager at L'Oreal Singapore. I haven't seen Jappy in years, but we were really close growing up. He's gay, too and he wanted to meet me to talk about our sexuality, but by the time the party rolled around, he had to get back to Singapore. But his mom took up the pace and we talked about it, along with my mom and two of their amigas who also have gay sons. At the end of the night, another event seems to be shaping up into a tradition: one of the moms who has a gay kid is setting me up with him. My mom seems to think it's a brilliant idea, which makes it even more awkward.

Continued from here.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The year that was: 2011

2011 has been a crazy year. It went by really quick - but I reached so many milestones that I could say it's my best year so far. Here are some of the highlights of the year that was. I could only think of 11 (lucky, because it's 2011) but these 11 are really big events, in no particular order:

Me and my mom during my graduation

1. Graduating. This is by far, the most important milestone. Of course, who wouldn't like to graduate and be out of school? It took me two schools and six years but I finally made it, with a gold medal for leadership to boot. I got my degree in AB Psychology and frankly, I don't know what to do with it. Right now I'm working in an industry where my degree is totally unrelated, but I might pursue a more relevant career in the near future. School was really great, and now that I'm a working boy, I can say that work is a lot easier. Maybe it was because I handled the paper in my senior year, but I found myself less stressed when I got a job. I might take up my Master's for Abnormal Psychology (which is still my first love), but I think I'll enjoy making money first.

My calling card of five months 

2. Getting a job. Honestly, I had a tough time looking for a job. At the beginning, I vowed never to use my or my family's connections, but I realized that when it comes to your career, it's never what you know but who you know. I tried the "normal" way of getting a job, sending my resume via e-mail and all that, but unfortunately, no matter how good and qualified you are, if they're not looking for anyone, you can't do anything about it. I looked for jobs in PR, but it didn't work out so I accepted a marketing executive position at Colorpoint, a printing press / photography studio who did our school's yearbook. The president saw me talk one time and he hired me as soon as I graduated. Things didn't go well at the company and I only stayed for five months, but I earned a lot of money and spent a lot of it, too. Currently, I'm unemployed but I have a sideline project going on.

Me awarding a certificate to Mr. Rick Olivares, one of the guest speakers

3. My editor-in-chief position. I was awarded the editor-in-chief position last year, but the paper has made a lot of headway in 2011. We started Erratum, a journalism seminar and we invited renowned practitioners from Business Mirror, ABS-CBN, and the Philippine Daily Inquirer to speak. We're turning it into an annual tradition and they invited me to be the 'inspirational speaker' this year, whatever that means. We also started the Perpetualife, a year-ender magazine that was well-received by the student body. In fact, all our issues for the school year were well-received and I've been told a couple of times that my year was the best yet.

4. The yearbook. I was part of the yearbook committee as the literary editor. It was really tough going through the process, having to deal with lots of people, but I got to work with an incredible team. There were a lot of issues attached but everyone made it with no missing limbs. My first job was with the company who did the yearbook so I took it with me but when we finally closed the book (after so many months), I heaved a huge sigh of relief. I don't have a picture of the actual yearbook because I haven't picked it up yet. I've seen it everyday for the past year so I'm not that excited.

My feature at Chalk magazine

5. Chalk magazine. I was briefly featured in the March issue of Chalk magazine. It was very short, three sentences only, but a statement I made regarding not graduating on time appeared with my picture. An online friend of mine, KB, is an editor for the magazine so she managed to squeeze me in with other late graduates.

With hosts Aida Sy, Lourd de Veyra, and Joey Reyes

6. Tayuan Mo At Panindigan! In the same month, I was a guest for Tayuan Mo At Panindigan!, a talk show on TV5 with director Joey Reyes, radio personality Aida Sy and media fixture Lourd de Veyra as hosts. We talked about graduation and what my plans were after college, and I mentioned writing. I never got to see the episode, but my friend Skate, who is the talent coordinator, said I did good and direk Joey was impressed by me.

My debut article for The Philippine Star - Supreme

7. The Philippine Star. I mentioned a while ago that I'm doing a sideline project. It's writing for The Philippine Star - Supreme. I make weekly contributions by writing the Best of the Week section. I've been part of the team for over nine weeks now and have met the team once, including Tim Yap, the editor-in-chief when we did a group feature for SM Megamall. It has its down sides but I learned to swallow my pride and just be grateful my works get included in the Star. I'm planning to branch out by contributing to other publications in the near future.

Kylie Minogue live in Manila

8. Kylie Minogue. When news broke out that Kylie Minogue is performing in the Philippines, I just had to get tickets. I'm a huge fan so I was thrilled. I was lucky to be employed the time she came, so I was able to afford good seats. I danced, sang, jumped and cried, it was such an overwhelming experience. So many musicians are performing here this year, but I'm looking forward to the day Madonna will come. I will buy front row tickets, no questions asked.

A photo I took while biking with the folks

9. My love life. My love life for 2011 isn't as colorful as 2009, but I did go out on several dates with several guys. One was with an ex who wanted to rekindle a bad romance, another that took two years in the making, with two guys who are friends (I dated them separately), two colleagues, a schoolmate, and one straight guy who I'm not quite sure if we dated or not.

Me with Nikko, Roi, and Jan, writers from the school paper

10. Nikko. Nikko has been one of the best parts of the year. He was a writer who applied when I was editor-in-chief. He was one of my favorites because he was assertive, creative, and ambitious. His passion for writing was inspiring and he greatly helped make my tenure one of the best. On top of that, we became good friends and he has a thirst for life that I admire that we ended up doing new things like watching plays, eating new food, and going to new places.

At Boracay

With family and friends at Puerto Galera

At Xintiandi, Shanghai

With friends at Batangas

11. Boracay, Puerto Galera, China, Batangas. This summer was the best, with the most trips. Normally, I go out of the country for a week during the summer and that's it, but this year, my family and I went to Boracay, Puerto Galera, and China, then my friends and I drove to Batangas for a day. I'm not really much of a beach person but Boracay changed me. It was so beautiful that I promised myself to go to the beach (preferably Boracay) every year. Met some friends there and even hung out with Don. And just when I thought my 2011 beach trip was over, a family friend invited us for a trip to Puerto Galera. We stayed at this island resort called Aninuan and it was so great having an island to ourselves. A week later, the folks and I were off to Shanghai to spend a week. I had such a blast even though the language barrier made things a bit difficult. But China is a majestic country and I can't wait to go back, this time to Beijing.
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