employment

Kuala Lumpur 2015: Another Overdue

WordPress reminded me that my last post was about a year ago, so publishing one that has been rotting in my Drafts folder.

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So June last year, my colleagues and I traveled to Malaysia for a buying trip for one of our brands. It was a short 3-day stay, but it was a productive trip nonetheless.

We stayed at the St. Giles The Gardens Hotel. Here’s a shot from the top floors. Kuala Lumpur looks like Manila, a few green areas, tall buildings, creeks, etc., only cleaner and a more systematized transport system. They have a lot of freeways and the queue at their tollbooths is the nearest thing they have to traffic. Gawd, Manila sucks.

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As same as all other LDR (Long Distance Relationship) phases my Boyfriend and I go through, he has letters stashed in my office planner for me to read upon arrival at the hotel. Yes, it’s that specific. This time, it came in a form of origami. I just stole a few minutes while my colleague was freshening up to have this one shot and read. It didn’t come in a series though, only one for the weekend.

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And here’s my travel buddy. Yes, we have Nike Golf for years, and we acquired Exclusive Distributorship of Taylormade adidas Golf as well. Hurray! And yes, it’s adidas we did buying for, thus, the pair. I think this is one of the earliest of the boost technology models. It’s light and has a comfortable sole, perfect for all the walking we did the entire trip.

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Breakfast buffets are the best! I take shameless photos of my plate to send on Viber to my boyfriend for ~food~ updates.

Malaysia is basically a basin of culture, but majority of its population is Muslim. It’s mostly obvious through food options. Pork is rarely served. So here I had baked cauli flower, cheesy baked tomatoes, Basmati rice, hash browns, beef bacon, and chicken sausages. I almost cried, why BEEF bacon, why? The chicken sausage was good though, I liked that it had cheese.
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We visited the famed Jalan Alor at Bukit Bintang. It is an entire stretch of Street Food. It’s crazy – different races, all chats and noise, public performers, cars passing by, souvenir vendors, etc.

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Food was mostly spicy, or maybe I was just bound to love spicy food (and get fat, too).
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Of course, everyone’s favorite…

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And so far, the food that has piqued my interest in all of Kuala Lumpur, the chicken fish. I know it’s cute because, the heck, it’s smiling. But more than that, this sea creature has no bones aside from the hard one through the center. It’s white meat, chunky yet soft. It didn’t taste like chicken though. It was served fried – not oily nor spicy. Just the right hint of herbs and spices.
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This was the crowd to my right while dining. Crazy street.

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Of course, we cannot miss the Petronas Towers. Good thing we went there at night as it was majestic with the lights on and with the full moon.

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We left the next day hoarding Old Town Coffee.

Farewell, KL. Hoping to get back and take a not-so-touristy time out with you next time.

 

 

Bangkok 2015: An Overdue

Honestly, I can hardly think of an introduction for this post as this has been rotting in the drafts folder for nearly a year. Guess it is about time to finally send it out there as this was my first trip and Nike Golf CSI to Bangkok.

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The flight to Bangkok took us almost 4 hours. That’s the longest I’ve been on air. As mentioned in previous blogs, I am quite paranoid on flight. I had a hard time napping. I took a few trips to the loo and skipped sleep music on my ipod. Another hour was spent from airport to hotel. I was at my happiest when I arrived at my hotel room. Rest, finally.

As temporary LDRs with my boyfriend go, he sneaked out and had cute postcards sandwiched between pages of my office planner. This one’s for the day.

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I traveled in a group of three. So I went along with the two boys’ manly instincts and grabbed grub. At least they didn’t opt to stay at their mancave, they took me out for a big lunch at MBK instead. That was the first of the many spicy food I am to taste for God knows when time I’d be coming in and out of Thailand for buying trips. The boys were too lazy to walk and take the train, so we hailed a cab instead. They kind of briefed me with the the transportation system.

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Met a friend on the first day. I was brave enough to take the train on my own, but ok, I love getting lost in foreign places. I just had to keep a map with me, just in case.

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My first stop in Bangkok was the famed Jatujak market, no less. It’s like Manila’s Divisoria, but only a lot organized. I already had a pasalubong list, so I just had to do the pressure of hunting at that moment so I can relax the days ahead. I had good buys though. I got my mother a nicely weaved table runner. Also got her and my grandmother silk scarves. Haven’t actually bought for myself then, because I was saving for a pair of Nike’s (LOL) but was already eyeing leather bags. It was humid on that day, just had to cool down with coconut ice cream. I think this was just around THB35-50, toppings included. Jatujak isn’t just a shopping heaven, it also boasts of monstrous street food. They have the spiciest balls and grilled pork around, and they perform while preparing your Thai Iced Tea!

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It was rather late when I got back the hotel room. The boys thought I got lost and I kept receiving Viber messages asking where I was, or if I need help commuting, etc. HAHA This was the last snap before I went to bed. Looks just like our own Manila.

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I was never a morning person, but the breakfast buffet definitely motivated me to get up earlier than usual. Their bacon and sausages are the best!

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Nike Golf’s SEA office is just stone’s throw away from the hotel. Thank God! I can get to the Conference Hall in a matter of 5 minutes, depositing of ID at the Reception Area included. Nike really has a sleek modern office! I haven’t taken any photos though as I might be judged of sneaking around. Their rooms/halls are named after novelty shoes. Isn’t it so cool to hold office at Airforce One or at Air Max?

Found Rory McIlroy imitating David lying around. Life (Golf) imitating art, eh? So witty.

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Walked around Paragon and suddenly believed in love at first sight. Heehee.

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Same night, Team PH went out with Team Indo for dinner. We were scouting for real Thai food. We wanted to try Chicken Rice but the train queue was unbearable so we dined at Lek Seafood, which was just right under the train station. HAHA! Good thing I was the only girl in the crew and the only first-timer so I always had the first bite of every dish. All four boys battled it out in the table after I’ve taken my part.

I never thought I’d love Thai food, but Lek Seafood’s Tom Yum and Steamed Fish blew me away. See how beautifully legit this fish is served?

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As everyone ended up being full from dinner. We all decided to swim. Team Indo went straight to the pool area and dipped in the same clothes they wore during dinner. Yes, that Suzanne Petersen-signed shirt was immersed in water. Those two guys were a mix of cool and crazy.

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The next day was more serious stuff at the office, so there just had to be a party by night. This was at Cloud 47, one of Bangkok’s tallest buildings. Beautiful Bangkok city lights. We walked to and fro this venue. We made a detour at Pat Pong on the way back to the hotel. That was one of the craziest walks I had in my entire life. Imagine waking and being followed around by people holding menus of what the red light district had to offer! I was actually asking myself what the hell we were doing there!

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Apparently, fun really starts as soon as the sun sets. As Team PH and Team Indo have been lusting for Chicken Rice, Nike Golf’s head took us to this small Chicken Rice shop on the road leading to the Floating Market. We walked from the hotel to this restaurant, took us almost an hour. We were starving. This better be good!

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And Sui Heng Hainanese Chicken did not disappoint. This quaint restaurant boasts of tasty Chicken Rice, beyond par of those famed Sinagapore counterparts. It was summer and I was already having allergies, but I had chicken to my heart’s content.

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Look at that white tender meat!

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The following day was the Marketing Team’s tour. So tempted to take a dip, but ugh, have to prepare for the long road trip ahead.

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As Nike Golf launched the Vapor line of Irons and Metalwoods, Nike Golf shifted its color scheme from red (remember Covert?) to the Volt Green. I believe this is a good marketing move as it possesses a younger, electric, and more energetic feel. Well, aside from the fact that the color really drives attention. Look at this Limited Edition Driver for Michelle Wie. Doesn’t it look hip?

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And this cute headcover for Rory. I actually asked the Nike SEA team why Rory’s was a dog. (I mean, Tiger’s was a tiger for all the obvious reasons) Well, because Rory had the same headcover for years. Good to know, actually. Would have to consider that a selling point aside from the fact that you could get it for free with a purchase of two dozen Nike RZN Balls.

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Getting from one store to another was quite tiring. I just had to have my sugar fix. Now, this one’s the Thai Tea Crepe Cake. Which is like the best dessert I ever had in Bangkok because duh?! That’s Thai Iced tea and Crepe cake in one! My photo makes no justice and I can’t find the right words to describe what heaven on earth this tastes like!

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Had a lot of curries too. This one’s Green Beef Curry with Roti. It’s a mild curry so it’s easy on the palate.

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One of the most anticipated part of the trip, Nike Factory Store!

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Had to take a photo of this washroom, as it looks like a public bath area in Greece circa Renaissance era. I just wish I didn’t include myself in the photo.

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We had a cruise at the Chao Praya River. It was a beautiful tour, I just hope there was someone who actually spoken about the historical landmarks along the river instead of a voiceover which was hardly ever heard.

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I wasn’t able to take enviable photos of the tour. I was just struck in awe with the images of their majestic temples. I can’t believe I’ve seen a temple in gold, shining at night, or a temple with intricate details seen from afar, or parks and homes of royals luminescent in the dark.

This is the Rama VIII bridge. Majestic is an understatement. I’d like to walk upon it one day.

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Met with my friend, or twin should I say, the next day. We met at Jatujak again. She helped me complete my pasalubong list. She was actually on her last days in Bangkok too. After a few days, she flew and relocated to Norway. So sad, I wouldn’t be able to meet her on my future visits to Thailand.

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I always compare Philippine airports with those abroad. That’s a dreadful thing to do, I know, but this one I can’t help to.

Thais are deeply rooted in their history. They take so much pride in their country and culture. Their gateways (airports) have guardians (see pictured below), narratives and depictions of their gods and goddesses. And mind you, these are enormous.

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Finally, it’s time to board the plane. Farewell, Bangkok. Until the next Nike Golf CSI.

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Lover, Here’s An In-Flight Postcard

Dear Lover,

At this point, I may already be somewhere in the clouds snoozing and dreaming we’d spend the flight and days I am away together. I have never told you, but I actually always felt uneasy flying. There’s a certain paranoia to me being up there seeing nothing, doing nothing. You never noticed that, did you? How can you, actually, when all flights spent with you I always feel safe and assured – with just your hand in mine or with my head on your shoulder. I’ll force myself to sleep again, uncomfortable it may be. Or maybe I just have to play your voice records or some relaxation music you have downloaded for me, just to compensate.

As early as now, I am telling you I might not speak as much as we do. As you see, our day has already started and would end maybe when the city lights come to a close. I will make up to you though in the morning, I promise. I will send you photos of our hotel room. I will take snaps of food served (though I get a bit shy when there’s too many people around). I will speak of my evil comparisons between you know what and what. I will tell you stories of people, how they look like, what they do, and how I think about them. I now imagine your chubby face taking over my screen, laughing, making snark comments, and looking at me lovingly like a normal PDA moment back home. Haha!

Just a few reminders: First, get the little rabbits water bottles and look for their shampoo, I can’t remember where I put it, but we need to give them a shower before we send them off for adoption. Second, NBC has cancelled Hannibal and I think they’re airing the entire series in a faster pace than it’s supposed to. Download, do not watch. You have to watch it with me. Lastly, do not miss me yet, there are two more days to go, you might already feel too much longing and anticipation by the last day. I do not want you fuming in anger or crying in frustration when our flight back home gets delayed.

Well, this has become embarrassing, I am too random.

That, and I love you. A million hugs await you.

Memories of Blood and Strawberries

Yesterday, I posted a throwback Thursday photo on my Instagram. It featured an artwork from one of the first art exhibitions I worked for. Nostalgia struck through me the moment I was editing and uploading the photo.

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The Menstruation of the Goddess or the Apotheosis of the Strawberries. Sandra Palomar. Coloratura Exhibit. mospace. 2009

Coloratura was the second show I officially worked for. The first one was Gaston Damag’s Exploding Idols at Pablo Fort, but it wasn’t as full on as this one. For Coloratura, I read books and journals, including texts in French. For this exhibit, I learned photoshop, laid-out manuscripts, sourced for volcanic rock and paper stock, documented a performance, and written and submitted press release personally.

Yes, it was the first time I wrote press releases. Back then I had little confidence for my writing. I was barely out of college and it was so much pressure knowing my words will come out in the Lifestyle pages of broadsheets and magazines. I made two drafts, so the editors could choose which to use. I initially submitted the copies to our Project Manager, Sandra, who was also one of the artists, just for her to review and judge my writing before the rest of the world does. I remember her telling me “This would do”. It came out the papers several days later. We were having a meeting in our office then about last minute preparations for the exhibit when she told everyone that my Press Release was beautifully written. It all felt glorious that moment, considering it came from a Paris-based artist whose aesthetics and literature were so refined. I was more than flattered. Eventually, she assigned me as head of exhibitions/events planning and PR for the gallery.

It was really a tough project. That was but one portion of the entire learning experience. It was not just writing. Actually, there were more physical activities involved, like transporting the paintings, hanging them, using those weird rulers, adjusting lights and wall texts. I was a fresh graduate then, and this I thought was some surprising kind of training. I loved it though. Everyone was not afraid of committing mistakes, if they did, they would turn it out into something they can work on. That’s one of the things I actually love about artists. They can always think of a creative way of turning things around. They make the process lean more to fun and learning.

It was all tedious and messy work, but I felt the happy kind of tired at the end of each day I was working for that exhibition. The entire experience was happy and fulfilling.

I rarely get that kind of feeling these days. So much feelings for a throwback Thursday.

Writing and Funneling

Hello blog!

It’s been a while. I see that your interface has changed. Not that I do not notice every time I log in to see updates on other blogs, it’s just that I haven’t posted a new blog post since. The last one was a blog submitted via smart phone because I thought my phone can’t be smart enough without a wordpress software/blog function.

Well anyway, I haven’t been writing for lame and justifiable reasons. One is that I have been out some weekends, as seen in these photos:

Boyfriend's Boracay Birthday

Boyfriend’s Boracay Birthday

Camping at Burot Beach with the office Breakfast Club

Camping at Burot Beach with the office Breakfast Club

After these (this is number two), I suffered from viral infection for more or less a week. Good thing it didn’t turn into dengue or some other disease. I just took a rest and stayed indoors. My allergies also zoomed up and I have red patches all over my arms and chest and face. Too much sun and stress I guess.

Speaking of stress (third on my list), I have been pretty much pre-occupied with work lately. My mailing initiatives have gradually declined, yet I am already preparing for my holiday letters. I am kind of excited for this since I have always been excited for Christmas. I received bad news some two weeks ago, I lost my copywriter and I am to make my own captions for all the company’s social media platforms. That means more marketing writing and I don’t like it. Remember when I wrote press releases for the gallery? Yes, almost the same. This one’s worse though, I am to embed hardsell in one to two sentences which is like really going to scream hardsell.

The boyfriend noticed I haven’t been writing him as much letters as before. I blame reasons one, two, and three, plus my emotional instability aka hormones, mood swings, impatience, and temper. With that four, I haven’t afforded to write him romantic verses, not even dedicate random lines of a poem. I chose to sulk and suck. That was a safe decision though, rather than write about mess.

And so, that was my art of filtering/funneling. I promise to make good entries soon. Also, forgive the language of this blog post, it is so blog-gy.

Not Really My Wedding Project

I received heads-up from my boss during the long weekend regarding my project and goals for September. He’s taking a leave for his wedding so he’s leaving me piles of to-do this week and the next. I usually survey the projects beforehand for comments and recommendations, and guess what, yesterday I just found myself starting my September project.

And here’s something I stumbled upon – an inspiring, sincere, and moving wedding video. It made me cry buckets in my own cubicle!. It’s pretty amazing how my job brings me to wonderful things like this. I mean, suddenly, it taps the mushy, cheesy, sentimental, sappy me. Oh, love!

Enjoy!

P.S.

So friends, you know what to do in the future 😛

The Internet Slave Gets a New Email Address

I have received my official email address today. It sounds fancy since the company’s name is attached to my initials, replacing gmail/yahoo.com.

The executives already congratulated and welcomed me. There’s no turning back now. The word official makes it official. And I’m going to stay here for two years. That’s like 2, 920 online postings on a minimum, 24 Facebook/Twitter Calendars, a minimum of 28 photoshoots per year, 48 meetings with the President, 24 Promos to draft, etc. etc. etc. Suddenly I’m good at Math!

GOD. BLESS. ME.

PS. There’s a positive side to it though, I’d make a list soon.

Sort of working Saturday

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First modeling stint, eh?

Weekends are one of the most important things to me. I could just lie down lazily in bed or be randomly somewhere else aside from the home. But this Saturday, or for the coming Saturdays, I will have to work or rather sort of work, posting Facebook and Twitter stuff because I am the Internet slave of the company. So here I am dealing with that.

Just a little break from the employment sh*t I am doing is my modeling debut for the company. Yes, I modeled our jewelry because we have no model to source that day. Ohwell, work.

Also, follow our Facebook Fanpage here.

New Work, New Woes

My Dear WordPress,

I have not forsaken you. I don’t think I ever will. Let me just tell you how my life has been in more or less ten days. And the litany goes something like this:

I started working as a corporate slave to the Internet for a high-end fashion retail company Wednesday last week. I have been introduced to nice people over and over again because I am not “Astrid” whose name is too unique they can easily remember. I still use my name there, in a different way however, like UP’s student number. I take the ground floor store office which is in no way connected to the upper floors, especially to the third where some other Marketing people work. I mean, is the Internet signal good downstairs? Seriously? So there, I take the escalator every time, or cheat when the big bosses aren’t around aka take the service elevator. Some tips and tricks I learned from my cool trainer whose not so adventurous yet talks too much about adventures. And she doesn’t eat too much yet she has bulging cheeks like me. And yes, we have lunch together and all other funny and weird people from the company. We bond over everyone’s food in the pantry.

I do a daily End of Day Report. It’s filled with what I read and learned. I hate it when I read about the common sense that is the Policies & Guidelines, yet can’t help but admire the person who drafted it knowing his common sense was well exercised. I mean, was everything just part of his system? One day, after submitting my End of Day report,  my boss asked me if I was enjoying the stuff I was doing and I told him, I am not doing real things yet so I can’t actually say so. Sometimes, I hate it when I speak without thinking. I mean that wasn’t supposed to tell him “I’m bored. Give me things to do.” but a subtle way of saying, I don’t like my eyes upon the Policies and Guidelines Handbook anymore, I want to be slowly immersing with real work. But yes, he took it as something challenging, he gave me assignment and made me the Queen of Facebook Fashion Pegs. Like today, I made two looks. Using Photoshop instead of Polyvore is really toilsome. Really.

By the way I go to work at eleven in the morning and leave at nine. It’s a little sad I just go home to sleep. Well, some days I play with my bunny because he begs to be play with me. And some other days, Mr. Snooze picks me up at work and drives me home so I don’t have to suffer the traffic that is Ayala.

Tell me wordpress, this is too much introduction for an excuse. It’s my weary mind speaking, and perhaps, my hand’s rhythm working. I will write better entries soon. After I totally cope with all these. When I have the zest to write again.

I miss you.

Asteorra

To Note the Good in Goodbye

I have been drafting my “farewell” letter to artists. I don’t know how to keep it blunt and simple because basically I don’t know what to say. Or maybe I do, it’s just that I might end up mumbling too much in my email, my keyboard can only get wet in tears.

I’ve been in a soon to be three year love and hate affair with artists. There are those I really like and those I am just not simply fond of. But they all seem to be same now, recipients of a relatively bad news.

As much as I don’t want my resignation to look like a bad thing, some artists just think that way. I would just like to think that they I just grew up on them. Tam-awan Village artist for example, they’ve known me since I was an OC and crazy thesis slave. They have witnessed my dedication then for my studies, and now for my work. I even wrote for their show at the gallery. It makes me glad how much this group of artists trusts and believes in me. Our relationship grew from subject/researcher to friends. They’d invite me to all their art and culture events for free. I mean, they got a crazy package of art geekery and fun, it’s insane to say no. But yes, soon I have to decline because I won’t be in the art world anymore. I’d be focusing into fashion and clothing, and it’s the least they care about.

But cmon, I’m just my way on getting rich. Who knows I might be getting boatloads of money soon. And when I get to be, I’d get paintings from you guys. Isn’t that a great thing?

I’ve convinced myself enough, I’m hitting the “send” button.