Summer on steroids.

It’s unnaturally hot.

I first noticed the unusual heat last Thursday when I was in Greenbelt for the launch of TOMS eyewear. I made the stupid mistake of wearing a blazer, knowing full well that the launch was in the park. I don’t usually have problems wearing jackets outside, but the infernal heat was too much that I had to take it off and duck into Seattle’s Best to refresh. I was tempted to dip my face in the iced tea, but I had to meet my friend Edrick. After cooling down, we headed back to the launch. It was still humid.

On Saturday, I met with Nikko to celebrate his upcoming birthday. He had to review two restaurants for When In Manila, and I joined him on both events. The first was for Lia’s Cakes in Season, a bakeshop along Kapitolyo in Pasig City. It’s a small joint that specializes in avocado cake, but I personally liked their calamansi tea cake and their meals. The cream dory is just divine.
I could feel the heat throughout our trip to Pasig that when we got to the bakeshop, I was in dire need of a shower. Luckily for everyone, the place was airconditioned, or else Pasig would have gotten a taste of my fierce bitch realness, which is twice as zesty as Lia’s calamansi tea cake.
Going to BGC was twice as bad. We met up with our friend Jan (who recently won an award from the Embassy of Chile), and the summer season seemed to decide to have an extended stay. I practically bathed in the restroom of High Street, swathing my chest and even my armpits with wet tissue and washing my face. To my horror, the minute I stepped out, I started perspiring again.
I was so sticky that I was afraid to bump into anyone because they might not be able to extract themselves off me. I wouldn’t mind if it was a hot guy, but what are the odds of that? I hate sweating and that slimy feeling you get when it dries. I hate feeling oily, sticky, and itchy. I read somewhere that jeans aren’t appropriate for the Philippine climate, but I was already wearing shorts!
I was never a beach person. I never had that uncontrollable urge to fly to the beach and dive in murky waters whenever the summer season strikes. I’d rather stay home in controlled temperatures, or go to malls. I guess it took a trip to Boracay last year that changed that. Then again, I didn’t sweat as much.

We had our snacks at The Stock Market in High Street. The place is beautiful – it reminds one of a summer villa or a plantation, and the pineapple logo extended itself to the floor and the hand soap. Turns out, the logo is a pineapple because the owner is Del Monte. We had a lovely salad and a filling sandwich, plus two interesting desserts, one featuring a huge slab of pineapple.

And it was still hot. I knew it wasn’t just me because while one of the restaurant’s representatives was asking about our meal, I noticed beads of sweat on her forehead. What is happening to the Philippine weather? Could it be climate change? Could it be the approaching end of the world? Why does it have to be so damn hot?
Yesterday, I was reading Jessica Zafra’s Book IV: The Twisted Menace. There was one essay where the protagonist rode a cab with Plate Tectonics as its name. The cab driver explained that he read that we were once a huge island that broke apart and separated, and we would eventually re-join again. When that happens, I hope we connect with Antarctica. That way, I can incorporate fur in my wardrobe.

Also, I’m part of the When In Manila team!

Guni Guni x Bona x Aracama

It’s such a shame that I had to lose my camera, because I had a pretty busy week. I was at the Guni Guni premiere at SM Megamall to support Lovi Poe, I watched Bona at the PETA theater for the preview night, and I had a really productive meeting with the Supreme team for a special issue we’re preparing soon.

And I had no record of anything, which might as well make the events non-existent.

Either way, I had a great week because of the holidays – August 20 for Eid-ul-Fitr and 21 for Ninoy Aquino Day. I actually didn’t have anything planned and I thought of just staying at home and catching up on my reading (I’m a few books behind my list, currently I have The Perks of Being a Wallflower).

However, my mom invited me to the premiere of Guni Guni on Tuesday, and I’ve never been to a premiere so I said yes. She was invited by Lovi’s mom, who is a close friend of hers back in her modeling days.

My brother, mom, and Lovi’s mom. I was seated on the left side of my brother, so I wasn’t seen

The premiere was fun. We even got to walk the red carpet even if we weren’t celebrities. The fans at the side must have wondered who we were, perhaps they thought we were fans who managed to escape security. I even saw a classmate of mine in college, who is now a promo specialist for Regal Films, and did the promotional teaser for the movie. As for the movie, I really liked how Lovi grew as an actress. I’ve known her for several years and she has really matured, but until now, my favorite role is Serafina in the remake of Joey Gosiengfiao’s Temptation Island.

On a side bar, I just found out that Lovi wanted to pursue singing as a career when she sang at my grade school graduation party in 2001. She mentioned it on an episode of Tunay Na Buhay.

The afterparty was held in Metrowalk at this joint called Cafe 80’s music bar. I live in a semi-liberal household where drinking’s accepted, so I had a great buzz that night. I had three margaritas while my mother had a glass of Stoli and my brother had two bottles of beer.

I’m not really a fanboy, but I brought my copy of Rogue‘s July 2011 issue featuring Lovi for her to sign. Her mother really hates the revealing layout, but she was polite enough to have her daughter sign it for me. It was a great night, methinks.

I think the highlight of my night was meeting Benjamin Alves, an up-and-coming actor who starred opposite Lovi in the film. He’s Piolo Pascual’s nephew and besides his obvious good looks, he’s a really intelligent guy. We spent about ten minutes just talking about books and his thesis, a novella. He’s a really friendly man, none of that self-entitled bullshit other celebrities have. I just hope that he’ll stay like that throughout his career. And that I meet him again.

The real world caught up and I eventually got sucked in to work, which was really a drag, but Nikko scored tickets to Bona, a stage adaptation of Lino Brocka’s cult classic. We went to PETA on the preview night, and it was packed! We were seated in the nosebleed section even if Nikko had press tickets for his piece for When In Manila. Nikko and his friend Reen (who I finally met after all these years) said that it was a far cry from the Brocka classic, but I thought it was brilliant. Eugene Domingo, who played the titular role, was convincing and had a charisma that extended beyond film. In short, she can really act. I loved it so much that I wanted to watch it again.

Photo from Our Awesome Planet

On Saturday, I met up with the Supreme team to discuss things for a special issue we’re coming up with in a few weeks. We met at Aracama, one of Tim’s new restaurants, a Filipino joint in The Fort with food by Chef Fernando Aracama. The meeting was productive, and I finally got to meet Pepe, the editor-at-large who has taken the reins from Cai, the assistant editor who moved to YStyle. I really miss Cai because she’s fun to talk to and hang out with, but I also like Pepe because he’s supportive and encourages me with my pitches.

Photos from Our Awesome Planet

Of course, the best part of the meeting – at least for me – was the food. They had the best desserts, a lovely Chocnut ice cream, and the dulce gatas and buenelos, a set of pastry balls accompanied by sinfully creamy dulce de leche. I’ll definitely come back for these two.

I also got to meet the writers I haven’t met yet, such as Nicola Sebastian, Cate de Leon, and DLS Pineda. Shinji and Don were also there, the latter of which wrote the controversial OPM is dead piece.

What did I learn from all these experiences? Do not lose your camera.

Missing memories

Last Saturday, I was at Enchanted Kingdom with my officemates. We got discounted tickets from one of those websites and I decided to tag along because I haven’t been there in years. 2007 or 2012, the theme park hasn’t changed one bit, from the rides to the concession stands to the movie featured in Rialto. I had fun anyway because I was with my colleagues, a 34-strong group composed of a great bunch of people.

And yes, I rode the Space Shuttle and loved it.

It had the makings of a perfect day, until I lost my camera. It was at the horror house, the last ride we went on before going home. It was such a riot that the digicam must have gotten loose from the detachable strap on my neck. I suspect it was one of the staff dressed as ghosts because as soon as we exited, I noticed it was missing and I wanted to get back in to look for it. But the guy at the exit didn’t allow me and requested that I go to the entrance, which is a five minute walk, while they look for it. It could have been the next batch of people who took my camera, but they were also my officemates, and I doubt they’d notice a tiny camera while they’re screaming their heads off.

Back at the entrance, I demanded that I do a personal search to make sure that they got everything covered. They didn’t allow me but a quick word with someone from security and a casual mention of The Philippine Star allowed me to enter and search for it myself. We were joined by Elaine of Guest Relations who was very accommodating and friendly. I never did find it, but I’m thankful that the staff of Enchanted Kingdom acted fast and were very helpful.

Honestly, I don’t really feel sad that I lost my camera because I’ve been meaning to replace it with a better model with newer features. What I was after are the pictures inside, many of which I haven’t transferred to my laptop. Some of the photos date back to October 2011. Fortunately, I had the sense to transfer my Bangkok photos, but I lost my Baguio pictures. Luckily, the camera was an affordable model so I don’t think whoever got it will fetch a high price. All the same, I still wish karma will hit him with a higher price.

I got the camera three years ago for my 20th birthday. It has been with me through every season of Philippine Fashion Week since 2009, to Singapore, Shanghai, Bangkok, Tagaytay, Boracay, Puerto Galera, and Batangas. It has seen birthdays, Christmases, nights out, and my many adventures in the city. More importantly, it has taken most of my primary photos on Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter, which I happen to take seriously.

So I guess I have to get a new one soon, and the model I’m eyeing is a little expensive. I have only a few weeks left to save because the next season of Philippine Fashion Week is coming up, I’m flying to Capiz, and my relatives from the US are flying in for Christmas. And I’m starting to get bored with my primary photo.