27 July 2014

A DAY IN MY LIFE (IN THE EYES OF OTHERS)




 
Social media has really changed the landscape of everything.

The photo above is a screencap of how my day went, at least, according to other people who tagged me in their photos. Isn't that amazing? A bit creepy, quite cool, but nevertheless amazing. 

Let me give you a peek into a bit of what my timeline looks like, with little bits of what really happened in real life.



 

I was invited by the organizers of the DLSU Student Media Congress to give an hour and a half talk/workshop on hosting.

What happened in real life: I spent the whole morning at our cover shoot for meg magazine in our studio in Eastwood. We ended by 230PM. Our photographer for the day, BJ Pascual, was also giving a talk on Fashion Photography at the same congress, so we were stuck in terrible traffic together and actually got to DLSU at 4PM. (Our talk was supposed to be at 330.) We apologized profusely to the students who signed up for our class.




When they asked me to do a talk, Trish, one of the organizers, mentioned to me that there would probably be over 50 students attending the talk, but that there could be more because registration was still ongoing. On the day itself, there were over 250 students!!!! I was amazed at how many students there are interested in hosting!




I gave a talk on 10 Things I've Learned About Hosting. A few things I shared: Know your stuff. Research. You will face rejection. Deal with it. Gain experience. Find your voice. Have just the right amount of energy and confidence, wag OA.




It is really quite tough to "workshop" 250+ students. A hands on workshop would be feasible for a group of 10 or 20. So to at least make it a bit more like an exercise, from time to time, I'd engage the students in different hosting exercises: the importance of spontaneity, how to do an effective introduction, why it is more important to listen than to talk when interviewing, the crazy things that can happen during a live show, what live reportage is really like, and so on.




What happened in real life: Since the traffic was so bad and we were late 30 minutes, my talk that was supposed to end at 5 extended to 530. My throat hurt like hell. Talking for an hour and a half straight (with matching sigaw, tawa, acting) is no joke! It was great to see faces in the crowd that were really engaged. Some seemed like they were NR, but I hope they learned a thing or two as well.




What happened in real life: This talk made me feel like I was coming full circle. Doing research for my presentation, I discovered that my first ever official hosting job in ABS-CBN was for a show called Review Night on Cinema One. That was in August 2004. I can't believe I have been hosting for a full decade already. It has been a tough and amazing journey in this career.

 


What happened in real life: By no means do I see myself as a great host, I have SO MUCH MORE to learn and improve on, but to be given the chance to share what I have learned, at least this far into being in the industry, is a great blessing and opportunity. And to have people want to hear advice from me about it is really humbling and fulfilling.

So thank you, DLSU SMC and to all the students who signed up! Thank you to those who tagged me in their photos and selfies! Sorry to all those I wasn't able to have a photo with!




That night was the 16th Anniversary Party of meg magazine. On behalf of the team, I was asked to give welcoming remarks to the crowd.




What happened in real life: After the talk at DLSU, I had an important writing deadline to meet. After battling terrible traffic (again) from Manila to the Fort (where the event is), I camped out at a quiet cafe to write. After ordering a sandwich, I was told their wifi was busted. Kaloka. I ate my sandwich quickly and moved to another cafe. I ordered a hot chocolate this time, and again, was told that the wifi was busted. I ended up using my own Tattoo pocket wifi. I finished what I had to write and sent the email. My Fashion Editor Rain met up with me and we rode the car together to the party. Rain held up a jacket to cover me as I changed from my top and pants into my dress and heels. I put on lipstick. Then we arrived at the party venue.




It was awesome to see so many people come out to support meg, despite the heavy traffic and the hassle weather the whole night.

What happened in real life: I'm actually going through a phase now. Feeling like I'm in a rut. Asking myself where should I take myself career-wise, where I'll be in 5 years, and other questions that usually pop up when one is at a life crossroad. But this whole day, from working behind the scenes at a shoot, to giving a talk to a room filled with students with big dreams, to being stuck in seemingly endless traffic, to being all alone in a cafe with the clicking of my keyboard, to celebrating in a noisy club with a team I love, all made me realize that we should really remind ourselves not to worry too much. That although it is cliche, we should really count our blessings and not our problems. It is normal to slip away and feel blue, but know that life will surprise you with moments that will make you pick yourself up and carry on.



. . .


One of the most interesting messages I was tagged in was this tweet from @potatoesef.

Tell me, would it be something you would be interested in? What would you like me to talk about, or have, or offer, if ever? Would love to hear what you think.













15 July 2014

#KIDSOFINSTAGRAM

Seeing your favorite kids on your Instagram feed never fails to put a smile on your face. Allow me to share with you the most adorable, lovable, cutest and most nakakagigil little boys and girls whose photos brighten my day!

Of course I need to start with my beloved inaanaks.



I am really loco over Roco!!!! Roco Pamintuan Gonzalez is the super smart, super guapo (biased Ninang) son of my brother JC and I can't get enough of his photos in our family Whatsapp chat group and on Instagram through the accounts of my brother @ziggydala and his wife @chochosmama!




Our family's little princess and Roco's little sister, meet Sabine Gonzalez! Just the cutest, sweetest baby girl who is the apple of our family's eyes. Always salingkit and gaya gaya with her Kuya Roco's activities, it is just a joy to watch her do anything. Don't grow up so fast, Beanie!




Viviana Gangoso Santos is beyond adorable! She is the daughter of my best friend @pepelsantos and wife @mstrissa. This photo was taken the same night she told her dad (who had a long day at work), "Daddy did you work hard for us today?" Gaaaah! Gigil!




My inaanak Diego Picazo Garcia is the incredibly cute unico hijo of my best friend @pampicazogarcia and husband @garciamaui. Always so sweet and often a ball of energy, he's sure to be the life of the party when he grows older.. just like his parents are!




This cutiepatootie is Camden De Jong Pamintuan, son of @tjpamintuan and @chardejong. His droopy eyes and funny smile (you should see the videos!) will surely make you say "aaaw!" A huge bonus are his adorable #OOTDs and #shoeselfies care of his momma.




This future heartbreaker will make you want to bite his cheeks off! Gavin Garcia Kramer, son of @dougkramer44 and @chekakramer, may be a heartthrob now but wait til he grows older! It is such a huge plus that he's a major sweetheart too.




The eldest of the bunch, it is crazy how time flies! Just feels like yesterday when Noelle Lagdameo Martinez, daughter of @mikaelamartinez and @chuchomartinez77 was born! Now she is into music, art, sports, is super smart at school, and gorgeous. Watch out for this super achiever!





But of course there are also kids who may not be my inaanaks but I am so crazy fond of!!!!




Tyler and Tiff Ablan Reyes, kids of JC's best friend @jayrreyes and wife @jenreyes08, are the absolute sweetest kids you will ever meet. Tyler is super malambing and playful, while Tiff is just so funny and bugay! Love these two balls of energy.




This baby supermodel is a walking doll! Celestia Mananquil Trillo, daughter of @rissamananquil and Paolo Trillo, feels like a baby straight out of a Baby Gap ad. Already a stunner, I'm sure Pao and Ris have to ward off the boys when this one grows up.




Lucas Cayetano, son of Ate @piacayetano, is a real charmer and maybe future politician! So personable, never shy, extremely hyper, this boy makes me so excited to see what he will be like all grown up! But not just yet, Lucas, stay a little boy first!




Another Lucas, Lucas Davila Sta. Ana, is the cutiepie son of @iamkarendavila and hubby DJ Sta. Ana. Always so malambing and even tags along with his mommy on work days, this super trooper is set to charm everyone with his ways in the coming years!




And yet again another Tyler, Tyler Martinez, yes little bro of Noelle, has got to be one of the most handsome boys in the country! Already a commercial model at his age, those eyes and that smile assure us we'll be seeing much more of him in the future.




Look at that darling! Lucho Santos Agoncillo, son of @officialjuday and @thatsmytatayryan can melt your heart with just one look. I swear I give an audible gasp everytime I see his face on my feed. With his parent's charm combined, Lucho is one little boy to watch.




Another living doll, Stephan Santos is the little brother of Viviana! My best friend Pepel told me he will tell Stephan when he grows older, "Son, Tita Bianca found you so cute that she asked if she can be your ninang too. I said yes!" Grabe sobrang cute!




And last but not the least, the country's favorite little girl slash Aling Maliit, will always put a smile on our faces with her sagad selfies. Hello, @ryzzamaechacha, Ryzza Mae!





So the next time you may be feeling a bit blue, check Instagram for these kids' photos. (Thank God for Instagram!) Hope they too put a smile on your face!



20 June 2014

#THENEWBIANCA



 Because I can't imagine myself with my old hair style (just long and straight), the team of Vidal Sassoon Philippines, my hairstylist (of 14 years!) Alex Carbonell, and I decided to collaborate to create possible "next" looks for me! The VS team decided to put the decision up to a vote between the textured bob and the disconnected bob.

Thank you to all my social media followers who took time to like and vote! The winner - by a landslide - was the textured bob!




It was a bright and early Saturday morning at Studio Fix in Century City Mall. As I walked to the salon I was both excited and anxious. Not so much scared because I knew how liberating it was to chop it all off last October, but anxious to see what the new style would look like.





Of course, the first step, shampoo! Vidal Sassoon shampoo, syempre.




I sat on the salon chair as Alex started to work his magic on my crowning glory!




He started cutting from the back, to get the length he wanted to achieve. The cut is asymmetric with it being shorter at the back and longer by the front.




He then started flicking his razor to cut the rest of the sections of my hair! Not scissors, just a razor! "Razor cut," Alex called it. It gives the textured look more lightness as compared to if it were cut by scissors.




Quite interesting that given my short hair, this much hair was still cut from it!




Once the cut was done, I had to document! This cut is without blowdrying, would you believe?! I was so happy because I instantly knew the cut was wash and wear, super low maintenance!




Then they started the coloring process. Alex is a master colorist too, and he describes my hair color to be "an alternate of caramel golds and khaki brown highlights on a light brown base, with khaki reflect."




After coloring and washing with VS shampoo and conditioner, it was blowdried and Alex made a few more snips here and there to finish the look.





After styling and curling the ends, tadaaaa! I just had to take a selfie with my dear Alex! Alex is the Creative Learning Director of Bench Fix Salon, literally the one who trained every single staff member nationwide! He also has his own chain of salons for the Bench group of companies, Studio Fix.


BEFORE
AFTER: #TheNewBianca







I loved how light the cut felt and how it framed my face. It isn't true that you can't have short hair when your face is round or your cheeks are big! For every face shape, there is a specific cut for you. In fact, the layers can even frame your face!




You can #getsassooned anywhere you want. You can try Studio Fix or Bench Fix Salon, you can go to your favorite suki hairstylist, or try a new one you've been wanting! You literally don't need to worry about maintaining or styling your new look every day when you use Vidal Sassoon products because it makes it so easy to fix your hair.

So to every girl (or gay, or guy!) reading this, if you've been thinking of chopping it all off, NOW is the time!!!! Remember, long and straight or big wavy curls are no longer the "standard" of what is beautiful! Go for any hair style you want and carry it with confidence. That's beautiful.





03 May 2014

STUDENT OF LIFE


I'm so thrilled to see a lot of people asking me about the short course I took! It is awesome to know that so many people want to keep studying too! 


My sister Aissa took my photo every morning before leaving for school! Day 1 (upper left) she says was full of anxiety and nervousness, while day 5 (lower right) was all happiness and confidence! Haha!


It has really been a dream of mine ever since I was in college to take my Masters. I started working while on my Junior year in college and before I knew it, its 10 years since I graduated college and I never got to pursue the further studies I always thought I'd end up doing! So when I finally had a two week break from work (my longest time off from work in over a decade!), I decided to take up short courses to at least give me the fulfillment of being a student again, never mind that I can't finish another degree yet.

Everything fell into place because I decided on visiting my sister Aissa who lives in London, and at the time of my scheduled visit, Central Saint Martins was offering many different short courses! 


My tumbling shot on campus!

The gorgeous interiors of CSM


I decided to take something unrelated to my work, just so I can learn something new and something that will take me out of my comfort zone. I decided on Data Visualisation. It is a course on gathering numbers and data (FYI, I hate Math), organizing it, and making it relevant to your audience.

Working on my final project!


What is data visualisation? Here is an example: a visualisation of drone strikes in Pakistan.

My short course proved to be an AMAZING experience.

My instructors Angela Morelli and Tom Halsor are PURE BRILLIANCE. Angela is an engineer and Tom is a statistician, and both of them ended up in the business of making data visual. They empower journalists, marketers, social entrepreneurs, NGOs, changemakers, to get their message across with maximum impact. (You must watch Angela's TED talk on the Global Water Footprint!)

I had classmates from the UK, the US, Norway, Japan, Hong Kong, Italy, Argetina, and many other places!


The #dataviz14 class!


I highly recommend taking any of the 5-day courses in CSM! The campus is amazing, the students are so diverse, the teachers are inspiring, I could go on and on!

Here's the Central Saint Martins website if you want to check out their short course offerings.

Cheers to us nerds!!!!
 


17 April 2014

WHEN GOD CLOSES A DOOR, HE OPENS THE AIRPORT



February this year, I lost a job. The morning show I worked at - UKG - reformatted, and I was no longer part of it. I went through an existential crisis. At 31 years of age, I had another "quarter life crisis". Questioning whether I am in the right line of work, what my purpose is in life, if this is the job I am really meant to do, and if I even have a place in it anymore. That self-doubt people go through when crisis strikes.

As the weeks passed, and after many talks with my family and friends and management, I was at peace with my situation. I accepted it, realized that this happens to everyone (no exceptions), and instead I looked forward to doing other things I've always wanted to do and pursue other dreams I've always wanted to pursue but had no time to.

1. I've always said that since I started working in 3rd year college, I have never had a vacation longer than 10 days.. but have always wanted to.

2. I've always dreamed of taking my Masters (In college I was convinced I would go to film school after graduation) but since I am blessed to have work I love doing already, I know that being away for 2 years isn't possible for now.. but I still have always wanted to.

3. I love traveling and really save up and set aside money for travel and take the chance to leave every time I have free time. 



Putting all that together, I consulted my loved ones and I decided to:

1. Finally take that 2 1/2 week vacation I have been longing for. I decided to go to London because my sister lives there. Aside from it being an amazing city, going somewhere where you can stay with family is huge savings because you don't have to pay for lodging.


Me, my sister Aissa, and Timmy Bear



2. Finally "study abroad" by taking two short courses. It is by no means a real "degree" but if all I have is a few days of learning a different point of view and getting out of my comfort zone, then I will take it. I took up a 5 day course on Data Visualisation in Central Saint Martins and a 3 day course on Lifestyle Journalism in London School of Journalism.


Taken on the first day of my class at CSM


3. Make the most out of my trip and take mini trips with my sister within my trip. We decided on Stratford Upon Avon just an hour away from London, and Edinburgh in Scotland, 4.5 hours away from London by train.


Sisters adventure in Edinburgh




So I fixed all my documents, fixed all my work schedules that had to be moved and asked permission from work I would be leaving, and set my trip for March 20 til April 6. My longest vacation (well, half study trip, half leisure trip) ever. 

Little did I know that before my 6AM flight on March 20, the biggest surprise of my life has been planned and was about to be revealed to me. 


#theproposal

It was a jampacked 17 days. Within the 17 days, I attended 2 short courses, took 2 out of town trips, saw 2 concerts, 1 musical, and 1 improv night, had a fitting session for a bridal gown, went to every spot in London I wanted to see, had dinner out with friends more 10 times, and took 3 travel tumbling shots. It wasn't a "rest" trip at all! It was an action packed, trip full of new adventures with amazing new learnings I will bring with me for life. And at the end of it all, I had what would be the start of a beautiful future to be planned waiting for me. 

My handsome sundo at the airport

Life is not just what happens to you, it is what you make of it. 

So really. When God closes a door, He not only opens a window.. He opens the airport and the world to you. When a door closes, it is your choice whether to be defeated by it or to take charge of the situation and make it work for you. 

And the most important lesson I've learned.. no matter how much you plan your life according to what you think will make you fulfilled and happy, God has plans for you that are far better than anything you can ever dream of.