The Sunday Currently: Volume 5

June Rogue

Reading

I’m sad to say that I have not progressed with Smaller and Smaller Circles at all, but only because I had an incredibly busy week. I think I bit off more than I could chew, but I still am grateful for all the opportunities that came my way. I promise to pick up the book this week.

I finally finished the June issue of Rogue, and I’m still trying to figure out if I still like the magazine or not. I really miss the fascinating features of before, and while the stories now are still fascinating, they’re a little snooty for my taste. My copy of The Escapist came in the mail yesterday. People from Monocle, slow down! I still haven’t started on my July-August issue! I appreciate it, though, because it means it’s not running late.

Writing

My daily deliverables for WhenInManila.com. I’m happy that it’s the end of the month because that means I met my quota! The last weekend of the month is always the most stressful since I have to catch up with my delayed stories. But that will soon change because I formally filed my resignation at my PR job on Friday. I will work-full time for WhenInManila.com as the business development director. On my last Sunday Currently, I posted the lyrics to Wicked‘s “For Good,” and I wrote that it plays a significant role in what I was going through. I used the lyrics as my resignation letter. Yes, I am the guy that used the lyrics to a (Tony-award winning) musical to leave a company.

Listening

Today I planned on staying home to finish Stranger Things, do the groceries, and get a haircut, but my WIM co-admin Anj gave me a ticket to Selena Gomez’s concert. What else is there to do but go? I went with my co-admins Sky and Sam and had a blast. Madonna set my standards for concert performances, but Gomez comes close. The baby-faced crooner is sexy with her breathy vocals and provocative outfits, but she has a child-like energy that brightened the arena, especially during her closing number “I Want You to Know.” It felt a bit off-putting to be around so many teenage girls (the men’s restroom was literally empty), though. I never felt so old in my life.

Watching

I watched Ang Turkey Man ay Pabo Rin, this hilarious comedy of errors about a Filipina who’s about to get married to an American. It could have gone wrong, especially when you portray a young woman who’s looking for an American husband, but Tuesday Vargas plays Cookie with so much ease and sincerity that it doesn’t come off as offensive. Such a good film.

I also started watching Stranger Things, the Netflix series about a young boy’s disappearance and how it connects to a government conspiracy, and it’s so good. It’s an homage to ’80s horror movies, and even if I haven’t seen many of them, I still love this series. Winona Ryder plays the boy’s mom, and her seemingly downward spiral towards delirium is perfection. I planned on finishing it today but it might be a good idea to savor the show.

Selena Gomez

Thinking

That I’m #ultrablessed (I was #superblessed last week). On my way home tonight, I once again thought that my cup runneth over. Yes, there are still things that I want, like a fitter body, a copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a Macbook, but I am grateful for what I have, and that everything is falling into place.

Human Nature

Smelling

The fragrant mixture of Human Nature’s coffee body scrub and lotion in powder love. My skin feels silky after using the coffee body scrub, and I am absolutely in love with powder love, which smells like fresh laundry. I went to Human Nature this week and got the body scrub and lotion, plus my favorite citrus burst hand sanitizer, the night moisturizer, the detoxifying mask + scrub, and the soap in clean cotton. The soap is supposed to complement the lotion, so I’m excited to use it, too.

Wishing

That I will make the right decision. I’m a little sad to go because we just moved into a new office and I super love my team, but I cannot let this opportunity go. My co-admin Pau wrote this wonderful piece about going out of your comfort zone, and it’s the push I need.

Hoping

That everything will go well in the near future.

Loving

How productive I was this week. I was exhausted, but I know this will pay off.

Wanting

To learn more about marketing and sales. If I’m going to do this job for WhenInManila.com, I want to do it well.

Needing

To take care of my body more. I understand that there’s tons of things to do but I prioritize sleep because I won’t be able to function the next day if I don’t get enough rest. Besides my usual routine of cleansing, toning, moisturizing, and exfoliating, I will have to take extra measures to take care of my body, like watching what I eat. Yes, vanity may play a role in it, but it’s more of maximizing my body so I can do whatever I want. I can’t go traveling if I’m easily tired.

Feeling

Bittersweet.

Clicking

Nine non-threatening leadership strategies for women. What a cleverly-written article. It starts off as serious then subtly escalates to crazy. At first I had to reread some parts to make sure if the writer was serious.

The Sunday Currently was originally created by SiddaThornton. Carina Santos inspired me to do it.

The Sunday Currently: Volume 4

Reading

I’m still in between the pages of F.H. Batacan’s Smaller and Smaller Circles, and I still haven’t started on my issue of Monocle. I did start on the June issue of Rogue and noticed that they’re going in a different direction again. I miss the days when Raymond Ang and Michelle Ayuyao handled the features. Well, Raymond brought all of his writers to CNN Philippines Life, which is a really good website.

Writing

Spent all weekend catching up on my deliverables for WhenInManila.com because I spent a lot of time working on some presentations. It was worth because it went well! I can’t say much about it yet, but I will next week!

Listening

Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth singing “For Good” from the Wicked soundtrack. This performance is their first together after 14 years. I’ve been playing it non-stop because it will play a significant role in the presentation I just mentioned. It’s such a beautiful song, I hope you could listen to it.

Watching

This week I watched Jay, the satirical movie of Francis Pasion, the director who died last May. It’s about a TV producer who’s filming a documentary about the murder of a gay teacher. The producer exploits the family so he could push for higher ratings. It’s both funny and sad. It won Best Film, Best Actor for Baron Geisler, Best Editing, and the Balanghai Trophy in Cinemalaya in 2008.

One Tagaytay Place

Thinking

That I’m #superblessed. I got that thing I begged for in last week’s Sunday Currently so I’m really happy. I also got an overnight stay at One Tagaytay Place this weekend for free, where they gave me a suite, unlimited room service, and a free massage. My cup runneth over. I think I should remember that every time I feel down.

I was so happy that I bought an entire wardrobe at Uniqlo when I attended the launch of Pacsafe’s first flagship store in the world this Wednesday.

Smelling

I’m developing a cold so I can’t smell anything.

One Tagaytay Place 2

Wishing

That I will lose more weight. I had a very heavy lunch of dinakdakang chicharon (pork belly, mayonnaise, liver, onions, and egg) and steak Benedict (medium-rare US striploin, hash brown, and hollandaise sauce) at Amacena in One Tagaytay Place today, and I had to force myself to eat dinner. I was that full. I will work out more when my schedule clears up.

Hoping

That everything will go well in the near future.

WIMterns

WIM team

Loving

That we now have interns at WhenInManila.com! I met them for dinner at Marriott this Tuesday and was blown away at how talented, enthusiastic, and passionate they are. I was a bit surprised that they were many, but this is the next generation of writers, graphic artists, photographers, videographers, and marketers, so it’s better to train them all. They’re all so fun to be with so I’m excited to see them again for our block screening of Suicide Squad in Resorts World Manila.

I’m also loving how the WhenInManila.com admin team would randomly send a group message on Facebook saying how much they love everyone on the team.

I feel the same way towards my TeamAsia family. The teamwork and camaraderie there is unbelievable. The Editorial team had a small dinner at Jollibee this Friday and it was a bittersweet time.

Wanting

To rest. My brain is so tired. And yet I still have tons of things to do next week. What else is there to do but go on?

Needing

To rest.

Feeling

Happy, even if I’m loaded with work. This is temporary. I will have more control of my time soon. I will tell you more in the next Sunday Currently.

I’m also excited because my Russian friend Alex is flying to Manila in October!

Clicking

RIP Taylor Swift (2009 – 2016). The Taylor Swift vs. the Kardashians story gave me so much life this week. The honesty of the story was so intense and kept me glued to the internet. This is one of my favorite stories. Taylor Swift is dead. Long live Taylor Swift.

The Sunday Currently was originally created by SiddaThornton. Carina Santos inspired me to do it.

The Sunday Currently: Volume 3

How to Make a Nation

Reading

I didn’t read anything this week because for some reason, everyone wanted to see me. So I’m still in between the pages of F.H. Batacan’s Smaller and Smaller Circles, which I’m starting to miss.

I haven’t started on my July-August issue of Monocle but The Escapist is already on its way! Whoa there, Monocle. Chill out. My friend Axcel also gave me a copy of How to Make a Nation: A Monocle Guide, which he bought at the Monocle Store in Singapore. I love how I’m getting all this Monocle stash, but I should get started soon.

Writing

A series of presentations for something I’m planning for WhenInManila.com. I can’t talk about it yet, but if everything goes well, I might be doing something else entirely. I’m a little nervous, though.

Listening

The Smith’s “Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want,” which sums up what I’m feeling right now.

Watching

I met my goal of watching 50 movies this year! This week, I watched Bill Cunningham New York, a documentary on the legendary New York Times street style photographer. It could be said that he invented street style photography when he took candid shots of actress Greta Garbo in 1978. He’s such an inspiring man. He once said, “He who seeks beauty will find it.”

My 50th movie was The Big Short, which dealt with the financial crisis of 2007-2008. It’s not exactly my cup of tea, but I’m trying to broaden my horizons. Film is becoming my source of education (followed by research, of course), and I’ve learned so much, such as this crisis and the Cold War (through Bridge of Spies). Even if The Big Short was confusing for a simple mind like mine, I like how it irreverently explains jargon through cameo appearances from Margot Robbie, Anthony Bourdain, and Selena Gomez. I enjoyed it!

Thinking

About my life. I’m at a crossroads right now and I’m about to take a leap of faith soon.

Smelling

Safeguard soap. I’m falling in love with it!

Wishing

That the swelling in my eye would subside. I took a short nap this afternoon and woke up to an ant bite on my eyelid!

Hoping

That I would get what I want.

Hogwarts

Loving

That my weight loss is continuous. It’s kind of weird, though. My weight is still the same but my clothes are becoming looser. What does that mean?

I also love the Hogwarts postcard Nikko sent me from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in LA. For a minute there I thought I got my acceptance letter!

Wanting

To go all-black. I think I can safely buy a pair of black pants now after losing weight. I’m also thinking of investing in a pair of Doc Martens? I don’t know.

Needing

To get my life together. Same as last week but at least I’ve made progress.

Jen wine

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Feeling

Pooped. I’ve gone out so many times this week. I’m really not a social butterfly. I wonder how Tim Yap does it. I see him in every function I go to and I don’t go out so much! On Tuesday, I had wine with my friend Jen, and we finished a bottle by ourselves. On Wednesday, I was supposed to meet Axcel, who is home for a week from Singapore, but he got stuck in traffic so we cancelled. Luckily, my friend Miko was around Makati and we had tea (Axcel visited me in the office the following morning). On Thursday, I had dinner and wine again with Jen, and we finished another bottle. I got sick on Thursday night so I skipped work on Friday. I’m pooped but I’m happy that so many of my friends want to see me. I feel so loved!

I was supposed to meet Anjo today to watch Virgin Labfest’s last day, but I took a rain check to finish my presentations.

I’m also interacting more with my co-admins at WhenInManila.com, and we have interns now! We’re all having dinner at Marriott on Tuesday.

Clicking

The Secretive Inner Workings of Celebrity ‘Promances,’ or professional romances. I totally don’t buy Hiddleswift or JaDine.

Things You Find Clearing Out Dead Strangers’ Homes for a Living. What a compelling read. I didn’t expect the second half of the article, though.

Legally Blonde is a feminist romance between a woman and her own best self. Where did the years go? Legally Blonde was released 15 years ago! I’m so in love with Elle Woods because she did not compromise just to fit in at Harvard Law School. And did you notice that her romance with Emmett Richmond was only a secondary story? The main story was that Elle could achieve anything, even if she didn’t have a man. Screw you, Warner.

Why Good Storytellers Are Happier in Life and in Love. Fascinating, but not surprising.

24 Of Elle Woods’ Most Iconic Lines Of All Time. Warner: You got into Harvard Law? Elle: What, like it’s hard?

What Great Listeners Actually Do. Listening is not just sitting quietly and nodding at everything!

“Pokémon Go” Is Quietly Helping People Fall In Love With Their Cities. Amazing. Businesses and local governments should look into this.

The Sunday Currently was originally created by SiddaThornton. Carina Santos inspired me to do it.

The Sunday Currently: Volume 2

Smaller and Smaller Circles

Reading

F.H. Batacan’s Smaller and Smaller Circles, which is turning out to be an excellent book. My PR manager accidentally spoiled it for me, and she’s denying she did. I’m not angry, though. I’m still curious about how it all plays out in the end. In a way, it’s working to my advantage because I’m picking up on important clues as I read. I am also obsessed with the title! I don’t know the meaning yet, but I like the idea of Fathers Gus and Jerome running around in smaller and smaller circles. Also, is it just me or is something happening between the two of them?

I haven’t started on my July-August issue of Monocle, but I started reading the June issue of Rogue. Pia Wurtzbach is on the cover of the Media Issue, and I’m looking forward to checking out the inside look at some of Manila’s major media networks. I’m mostly interested in the interior design.

My Russian friend Alex also sent me a manuscript he wrote that he asked me to look into, and I should get started on that, too.

Writing

My daily articles on WheninManila.com. I saw Ma’ Rosa last night and I’m thinking of writing how the film plays an important role in our current addiction with drug addicts. People seem to think that drugs are the number one issue in the country, but I feel like it’s a byproduct of an even deeper problem, which is the lack of access to education. I will flesh it out in the next few days.

Listening

The song that’s currently stuck in my head is Lea Salonga and Michael Ball’s rendition of Les Miserables‘ “A Little Fall of Rain” at the 10th anniversary concert. Les Miserables is my favorite musical (I saw it twice when it ran here) and its lyrics are incredibly good. I recommend you listen to “I Dreamed a Dream,” “On My Own,” and “One Day More.” Click the links for my favorite versions!

There’s also the Korean version of “One Day More,” which is just as good. The song is my favorite in the musical. I wept when I saw the cast perform it live.

Ma Rosa

Watching

Last night I watched Ma’ Rosa (2016) with my friend Ang. We were supposed to catch a movie for Eiga Sai in Shangri-La Plaza, but he ran late so he treated me to Ma’ Rosa. I also promised Maria Isabel Lopez, who is my godmother, that I would see it. I like how it paints a tender picture of drug peddling. What many people seem to forget is that people don’t sell drugs because they want to wreak havoc. They do it as a means of survival. Eradicating drug addicts will just create new ones.

Earlier this week, I watched Todd Haynes’ Poison (1991), a series of stories about a young boy who kills his father and runs away, a scientist who accidentally ingests extracted sexual desire and becomes a leper, and a prisoner who falls in love with his co-inmate. I didn’t like it all.

I’m halfway through the first season of Hey Arnold! and I miss my childhood!

Nikko

Thinking

About things in store for me. I just got off the phone with my super good friend Nikko, who is now based in Los Angeles. Like old times, he helped me sort out my life choices, and I have a clearer path ahead of me. All I need to do is write the pros and cons list, which I’ve put off for a week!

Smelling

The promise of rain. It’s so cleansing.

Wishing

That I would succeed in whatever path I choose.

Hoping

That I would choose a path soon.

Myslim

Loving

That I’m already losing weight through MySlim. I started on Tuesday and I can already feel some of my clothes getting looser. MySlim has yerba mate (a type of plant drunk as a tea in South America), Carnipure, and Palatinose, which “increases fat burning, appetite suppression, reduced fat absorption, and has a high thermogenic effect, helping you burn more calories even while you’re sitting.” I’m trying it out after a co-editor at WheninManila.com sent it to me.

Midori

Wanting

To start working on the presentation Nikko guided me through while on our call.

I was looking through Sasha Martinez’s Instagram and I was so inspired with how she creates beautiful collages in her notebooks. I’m thinking of doing the same with my Midori Traveler’s Notebook, a Japanese notebook with a luxurious leather cover. I have the passport size, which is too small to put cutouts, and I want to get the regular size, which is sold out at the website I got my passport from. I’m thinking of either going all the way to Scribe Writing Essentials in SM Aura or making the most out of my passport. It’s quite pricey so I might just stick to what I have and choose smaller cutouts.

Needing

To get my life together. My first step: go to the grocery. Which I didn’t do…

Feeling

Disappointed. Earlier this week, I wrote about a sign that someone put up in Pasig, which said, “What Manny Pacquiao said about gay people was hurtful and really amazingly dumb. Think before you speak. The jackalope loves you unconditionally.” As someone who feels that everyone should get equal rights, regardless of sexual orientation or identity, I started questioning some of the comments on our Facebook page. I stopped replying when someone said that the whole thing is simple logic: the Bible said homosexuality is a sin. The mysterious Jackalope sent me a message on Facebook saying that he defended me, but deleted his comments.

I am disappointed that we live in a country where people believe that you will burn in hell for being gay. I remember a time when a religious friend told me the same thing. I asked him, “Will God really prefer a heterosexual murderer over a homosexual person who has done nothing wrong?” He replied, “Basta.” This is why I have trust issues with religious people.

But I’m happy because I just enrolled for a free photography course on Shaw Academy. I bought a mirrorless camera last February and I want to maximize it. Shaw Academy’s courses are usually $300-400, but they have a promo that will expire today. Make sure to sign up now!

Clicking

This article about a man who has been in a 20 year relationship with his sister. They even have a daughter together! The article also mentions a study that says “most related couples have healthy children.”

This article about the “pearl,” a small ball placed under the skin of the penis. It’s the Cuban version of our bolitas.

This excellent essay that says, “When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.” So apt for the time.

The Sunday Currently was originally created by SiddaThornton. Carina Santos inspired me to do it.

The Sunday Currently: Volume 1

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Reading

I spent the whole day today finishing D.V., the delicious memoirs of Diana Vreeland, the editor-in-chief of Vogue from 1963 to 1971. Under her tenure, the “Empress of Fashion” injected fantasy and culture into the magazine, flying around the world to give readers a sense of wonder. I thoroughly enjoyed this autobiography, where she talked endlessly about her obsession with colors, jewelry, history, travel, horses, and style. There’s a difference between fashion and style, and you have to read this book to understand. As Vreeland imperially declared, “A new dress doesn’t get you anywhere; it’s the life you’re living in the dress.” She inspired me to allow my “eye to travel,” which is also the title of the documentary on her.

My July-August issue of Monocle came in the mail on Friday, and I’m hoping to get a crack at it this week. I also have the June issue of Rogue, as well as the April issue of Vanity Fair. Plus some back issues of random magazines.

Writing

Again, I’m writing my stories for WheninManila.com. My co-editor Rebecca suggested I write a thought piece about Ian Mead King transitioning to Angelina and I’m thinking of doing it! I like how Angelina’s wife Joey stayed with her even after she transitioned four years ago, because an Invisibilia podcast (titled “The Power of Categories“) had a similar story, where the wife eventually left her husband (now wife) after a few years.

I also want to write a personal essay on change, in light of everything that’s happening to me at work and in my personal life.

 

Listening

My go-to song this week is Erasure’s “A Little Respect.” I don’t know why, but I suddenly remembered that scene in Looking.

Watching

Earlier this week, I watched The Eye Has to Travel, the divine documentary on Vreeland. I also watched Finding Dory last night with my good friend Anjo, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was teary-eyed at some scenes. I watched it at Uptown in BGC, which I visited for the first time. I fell in love with the warm atmosphere, the generous use of wood in its interiors, and the Vito Selma Twist lamps.

I’m also watching the first season of Hey Arnold! I got nostalgic after writing an article about an upcoming made-for-TV movie. It’s supposed to explain how Arnold’s parents disappeared. And everyone will be there!

Thinking

Thinking about the time I spent with Anjo. He read his poetry to me past midnight outside a hidden bar in Makati. I was intoxicated with his words, the sound of cars passing, the footsteps of pedestrians, and this really weird cocktail.

I’m also thinking of switching to Safeguard soap. I’ve used Dove forever but I’m starting to appreciate how clean I feel when I use Safeguard.

Smelling

The divine smell of Malagos Chocolate’s 72% dark chocolate bar. I had a lot of it this week. On Thursday, I had an iced chocolate drink drizzled with powdered Malagos chocolate in Habitual while waiting for my friend Melvin. After checking out the new exhibit at Vinyl on Vinyl Gallery, we had dinner at Toyo Eatery, where the dessert was a praline dusted with the same chocolate and draped with patis, or fish sauce.

Wishing

Wishing that I could come to a decision about some work stuff. I’m at a crossroads right now and I want to figure out where I should go. I’m supposed to write a pros and cons list, but Vreeland kept me glued to my bed.

Hoping

That I would find my way soon.

 

Teo Esguerra

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Loving

I’m loving Teo Esguerra’s mixed media collages at Vinyl on Vinyl. There’s something wistful about his beach scenes with houses superimposed on them. Please check it out?

The first issue of my one-year subscription to Monocle arrived, and it came with a beautiful tote bag. I had buyer’s remorse when I subscribed because it’s quite pricey and I had a feeling that the bag would be of cheap quality. After all, it is free. But the material is strong and it looks very, very elegant. And I’m happy that my first issue is the annual survey of most liveable cities – my favorite!

Wanting

To start reading F.H. Batacan’s Smaller and Smaller Circles, which is currently being adapted into a movie by Raya Martin (and starring Sid Lucero and Nonie Buencamino!). It’s about two Jesuit priests who investigate a series of murders, where boys’ bodies are dumped in Payatas. It won the Palanca Grand Prize for the Novel in English in 1999.

Needing

To catch up on my articles for WheninManila.com. But I’m happy because I already have my unique weekly article (about Bohol being ready to reclaim its spot as a top tourist destination), so I have one less thing to worry about.

 

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8Cuts

Feeling

Refreshed. My last few weekends were packed with work, so I’m happy to have had enough time to rest. A part of me is thinking that I’m just burnt out and that I only need to stay still. I didn’t go to work two days this week, and I was able to spend time my brother, who celebrated his 18th birthday on Tuesday.

On the flip side, I’m happy that I’m putting myself out there instead of allowing myself to fade into the background. I have a hard time opening up to people but I’m hoping to change that! Last Friday, I went out with my officemates to grab dinner at 8Cuts (our default eating place) and wine at Ralph’s, where I stayed until 2am. I did a lot of talking.

Clicking

This article about a psychiatrist who does consulting work for exorcists. According to him, his role is to meet possessed people and see if they are mentally ill, or are suffering from something that cannot be explained by science.

I also like Smart’s new commercial about a gay man who comes out to his father. It’s touching and is not something you see in Philippine advertising every day.

Then this excellent roundtable discussion on the perils and pleasures of online journalism, as told by the editors of said websites.

The Sunday Currently was originally created by SiddaThornton. Carina Santos inspired me to do it.