Meeting Gerry Alanguilan

The book signing of comic book artist, Mr. Gerry Alanguilan, was held at BGC, fourth floor of Fully Booked, on 17 June 2017, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

I arrived at 4:00 p.m.

I was relieved to see sir Gerry still sitting there, waiting for someone to approach him and I could see that his table was at the far end of the Comics Odyssey store filled with comics aficionados, who were mostly males. I didn’t expect there would be other comics artists present.

I am honored to be seated next to him. I was really blown away by his work, Elmer, the comic book that made me cry.

We had a little banterings here as a result of a blooper I committed: hindi ko kasi kilala yung chinito guy who let me take his seat in which I asked if they could join us in the picture. He joked he does not want to because I do not know him. Sabi ko he looks familiar. Sabi nya basta daw hindi sya si Jugs. (Jugs? I asked myself. When he mentioned me that name I recalled Jugs of the band, Itchyworms.) Sabi ni sir Gerry while quickly pointing at him, “Ang pangalan nya Sweet.” Awkward moment but it became a funny moment, thank God. These guys are kwela.

The lady with whom I asked if she could take these pictures I discovered later turned out to be sir Gerry’s wife! (Because I asked for her name, not just her first name, also her last name). Her name is Ilyn. And when she answered Alanguilan was her last name, I felt really embarrassed. She looks young so I thought she was part of the attendees who just happened to be comfortably talking with sir Gerry.  She felt embarrassed, too, when I requested for our picture but she’s game alright. Thank you, ms. Ilyn, for not saying no.

Elmer is the only work of Gerry Alanguilan that I have. Happy to know that four years later since I bought it, I’d be able to meet the creator of this really heart-gripping comic book and this is another proof of it.

Why am I so fixated at having my copy of a comic book be signed by its author, you ask?  So that I could have something to remember by. That for once, I was able to meet the author of a work that has made an impact in my life.

 

Malapit na, Unggoy: Mga Modernong Pabula Para sa Henerasyong Milenyal (Ramon Bautista | Guhit ni Ryan Sandagon)

IMG_1066Di ko sya na-appreciate, haha, mahina impact siguro kasi pang-Milenyal daw kasi sya.  Pero itong libro, sa tingin ko, may purpose pa rin sa buhay ko like siguro ‘pag nabadtrip ako, isa ito sa magiging outlet ko: kukulayan ko na lang yung mga drawing kaya dadalhin ko ito sa opis.

At least ibang treat naman ito galing kay Ramon Bautista at kasama nya si Ryan Sandagon bilang tagaguhit.

“Ang librong ito ay isang coloring book na ang pangunahing misyon sa buhay ay magbigay ng panandaliang aliw habang kinukulayan,” pagbabahagi ni Ramon Bautista.  “Pwede ring basahin lang at hindi kulayan.  Ipamigay bilang regalo.  Gawing pamaypay.  Ibenta.  Gawing panggatong sa pagdating ng zombie apocalypse at nagkaubusan na ng LPG.  Pwede ring ipang-kalso sa pinto o sa mesa na umaalog habang pinagkakainan.

“Pwede rin itong matulad sa ibang stuff mo na nandyan lang at naghihintay ng kung anong paggagamitan.

“Parang ikaw.”

Hot Sos: Your Guide to Getting Fit, Eating Well, and Loving the Body You’re In (Solenn Heussaff)

IMG_1065I got discouraged upon seeing the hot sos workout plan I found in this book by Solenn Heussaff.  My viewpoint is this: if you’ve finally decided to lose weight and look better, and you’re not really the physically active type of person (worse, don’t have flexible body yet), I don’t think I would recommend the workout plan specified in the book. Like planking? Whoa, wait a minute. Running? I heard if you got weak knees this is not advisable. Actually, I tried some of those before from another source and my instinct told me to go after an exercise which I can enjoy and not be intimidated with or feel dumb about.

But this was my initial reaction, particularly when I was still at Chapter 2. I just continued with my reading hoping to find a ray of light from this book. And I did, thank God.

“Everyone’s workout style is different.  If you really wanna enjoy exercising, you need a routine that matches both your goals and personality,” says Solenn matter-of-factly.

I’d ask friends what’s their secret for losing weight, looking better in just a short time. Most of them would tell me: “I don’t eat dinner anymore. If I need to eat, I eat one piece of an apple.” “I avoid rice.” “I eat more protein than carbs.” “I don’t drink softdrinks anymore. I drink tea.”

And despite hearing this, I’d still drink Coke, eat more carbs, rice, and I can’t even remember when was the last time I ate a fruit. People would observe I gained weight. I, too, observed I gained weight. People’s opinions get to me but I’d still go back to my habit to cope with it:  I continue drinking Coke, eating lots of carbs, I eat anything that’s delicious not caring the impact it would do to my body.

Until my fat male colleague, also a friend, was overreacting over me gaining weight, that I look like a mom already (I’m not!). And when I would strike back at him for saying something too blunt from someone like him who’s fat, his excuse was it was because he saw me not like this before. If he hadn’t met me five years ago only now, he would have easily accepted my appearance. But he knew who I was before. He strongly demanded that I go back to my beautiful self and shed that pounds!

So this is Day 1. The beginning of my road to recovery.

“CHAPTER 3:  DON’T EAT LESS. EAT RIGHT.

“Let’s get something straight. I LOVE FOOD.  Healthy food I love even more.  Actually, to get another thing straight, eating healthy or “eating clean” is not about depriving yourself.  It’s about choosing food that’s good for you,” shares Solenn, who used to be fat when she was younger and was bullied for being so.

“Like, I love crispy pata, but whenever I eat it, I won’t have an entire leg, because that will make me feel bloated and sluggish.  Instead, I’ll savor a few bites, so my cravings are satisfied.

“Honestly, healthy eating isn’t so complicated.  I try to prepare my own food, and I make sure I “eat a rainbow,” because meals with more color usually have some veggies and fruits in it.  I also drink three liters of water every day to avoid overeating.

“So this chapter is all about food, everything from buying it to preparing it.  If you’re expecting advice like “Do NOT eat the bacon!” um, you’re not gonna find it here.”

Well, thank you, Solenn. What a relief!  Hey, I would like to try that Cheesy Panini recipe you shared. Looks yummy to me.

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I also wanna try that vitamins drink because not only it’s healthy, it’s easy to prepare. Exactly what I’ve been looking for: easy to prepare and ingredients are not hard to find.

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So this is Day 1. And I started off by reading Solenn Heussaff’s book, “Hot Sos: Your Guide to Getting Fit, Eating Well, and Loving the Body You’re In.” A book that encouraged me that I can do it!

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FilipiKnow: Amazing Facts and Figures Every Pinoy Must Know (Luisito Batongbakal Jr., Alex Castro, and Marcus Vaflor)

Did you know:

-That blood compacts during Spanish times were made by drawing blood from the chest, not the arm? Blood compacts, which signified a peace treaty between the Spaniards and the natives, were done by drawing blood from an incision made below the breast. It signifies the participants’ willingness to defend each other’s lives.  It also showed a great deal of trust both parties placed on each other.

-That Jose Rizal was suspected as the Jack the Ripper? They say that when Rizal left London to publish a book, it was exactly the same time the murders stopped.

-That it was not Fernando Poe Sr. who was the model for the UP Oblation created by National Artist Guillermo Tolentino. It was fashioned from not one but two people:  Anastacio Caedo, Tolentino’s student and assistant, and Virgilio Raymundo, Tolentino’s brother-in-law. To create the Oblation, Tolentino used Caedo’s physique and Raymundo’s proportions.

-That historical figures Ernest Hemingway, Indira Gandhi, Robert Ripley of Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Robert F. Kennedy, Edward the Prince of Wales, and Charles Lindbergh had visited the Philippines?

-That it was once legal to execute minors under Philippine law? Marcial “Baby” Ama was only 16 years old when he was executed on the electric chair.  At the time, the law considered 16 and 14  as the legal ages for men and women, respectively.

These are just a glimpse of what’s inside the book, a must-have for every Filipino eager to learn more but do not have the luxury of time to read thick history books. In fact, this book would inspire you to read more about our history, our culture.

Writings on the Wall

 

 

 

 

Goya Dark Almonds

I was falling in line to the cashier.  It was just a short line but I quickly got bored. And then I saw this among those displayed before the Cashier counter: GOYA DARK ALMONDS. I’ve always been a patronizer of well-known imported brands like Reese’s, Hershey’s, Snickers, M&Ms, etc. For local, I like the Chocolate Mallows, Hiro from Comfoods. But Goya? Just a brand that I’d usually ignore.

But not at that particular moment. When I grabbed a pack, opened it, then tasted what’s inside while waiting for my turn to the cashier, my perspective changed. RIGHT AT THAT MOMENT. I’m now a believer of Goya Dark Almonds. 🙂

BLINK, The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (Malcolm Gladwell)

I thought this book is all about gut feel. I thought gut feel is a gift given to us by God, that would come out of nowhere like a divine intervention, or maybe, just maybe, an example of extra-sensory perception thus the title Blink. It is not. At one moment it talked about that, about trusting your instinct, but that instinct, I learned, originates from your past experiences (at times a forgotten past but still remembered by every corner of your body, most especially by your gut thus the word “gut feel”) and exposures to different stimulis—the good, the bad, even the mundane, the ordinary–which would help you make important quick decision in the present when time is running out. Actually, this book will prove to you why experience is the best teacher and why sticking to the rules while you’re still learning the ropes of the game, of your profession, of your advocacy is always a good place to start to become a good strategist later on.

Take for example, improvisation comedy.

Malcolm Gladwell shared: “Improvisation comedy is a wonderful example of the kind of thinking that Blink is about. It involves people making very sophisticated decisions on the spur of the moment, without the benefit of any kind or script or plot. That’s what makes it compelling—and to be frank—terrifying.

“What is terrifying about improv is the fact that it appears utterly random and chaotic. It seems as though you have to get up onstage and make everything up, right there on the spot.

“But the truth is that improv isn’t random and chaotic at all. If you were to sit down with the cast, for instance, and talk to them at length, you’d quickly find out that they aren’t all the sort of zany, impulsive, free-spirited comedians that you might imagine them to be. Some are quite serious, even nerdy. Every week they get together for a lengthy rehearsal. After each show they gather backstage and critique each other’s performance soberly. Why do they practice so much? Because improv is an art form governed by a series of rules and they want to make sure that when they’re up on stage, everyone abides by those rules.”

Another case in point, the game of basketball.

Malcolm Gladwell shared: “Basketball is an intricate, high-speed game filled with split-second, spontaneous decisions. But that spontaneity is possible only when everyone engages in hours of highly repetitive and structured practice—perfecting their shooting, dribbling, and passing and running plays over and over again—and agrees to play a carefully defined role on the court. This is the critical lesson of improv, too…

“Spontaneity isn’t random. How good people’s decisions are under the fast-moving, high-stress conditions of rapid cognition is a function of training and rules and rehearsal.”

Blink is a book about those first two seconds,” says Malcolm Gladwell. Particularly if it’s a matter of life and death and you need to make a decision and you’re forced to rely only on the data available or limited information that you have.

“This is the same thing that happens with doctors in the ER,” shares the author. “They gather and consider far more information than is truly necessary because it makes them feel more confident—and with someone’s life in the balance, they need to feel more confident. The irony, though, is that that very desire for confidence is precisely what ends up undermining the accuracy of their decision. They feed the information into the already overcrowded equation they are building in their heads, and they get even more muddled.”

What about in the matters of the heart? How will I know if someone is sincere?

Of course, Malcolm Gladwell didn’t talk about it at length but in passing he mentioned something about it. There was one paragraph that he was able to insert it in the book as an example. He said, you look at his face. The face is the doorway to the person’s soul.

“When someone tells us ‘I love you,’ we look immediately and directly at him or her because by looking at the face, we can know—or, at least, we can know a great deal more—about whether the sentiment is genuine,” shares Gladwell.

What I also found interesting and also a source of surprise was on the subject MARKET RESEARCH.

But first let me share with you a personal story.  I met this consultant of a higher up. Since the day she’s able to join us in our planning, her recommendation was to do a market research. When it’s about thinking of themes for the video production, she’d recommend market research. When we already figured out the themes or basis for the video production without resorting to market research and the problem to be solved next was to produce a module on human rights, she again recommended market research. We asked how much would it cost. She answered 100,000 pesos. Later on, after weeks or so. this consultant told me to increase the budget for the market research to 350,000, a too-late declaration because we’ve already indicated in our budget, approved already, that it’s just 100k. Whether we like it or not, we have to put it there because it was approved by this higher up. This higher up also approved increasing it to 350k despite the already approved 100k.  To feel certain, we might still have to present it to other higher ups to review it again, so it’s all up to them.

Personally, I felt uncomfortable with that market research. First, it would take some time to get the results. Second, the data that we need if it’s about research are available on the Internet and every time we have a forum. Third, market research is too expensive. Fourth, I am not sure if the results that would come out are reliable.

Which is why when Malcolm Gladwell started citing situations that proved that market research isn’t always accurate, I felt like my doubts and fears were validated.

I didn’t know until I read this book that new TV programs, new music are subjected to market research. Example: the music of Kenna.

Malcolm Gladwell shared: “When Kenna’s album was making the rounds in New York, being considered by music industry executives, on three separate occasions it was given to an outside market research firm.  This is common practice in the industry.  In order to be successful, an artist has to get played on the radio.  And radio stations will play only a small number of songs that have been proven by market research to audience.  So, before they commit millions of dollars to signing an artist, record companies will spend a few thousand dollars to test his or her music first, using the same techniques as the radio stations.”

Wanna know what came out from that market research?

Gladwell: “Kenna once ran into Paul McGuinness, the manager of U2, backstage at a concert.  “This man right here,” McGuinness said, pointing at Kenna, “he’s going to change the world.”  That was his instinctive feeling, and the manager of a band like U2 is a man who knows music.  But the people whose world Kenna was supposed to be changing, it seemed, couldn’t disagree more, and when the results of all of the consumer research came in, Kenna’s once promising career suddenly stalled.  To get on the radio, there had to be hard evidence that the public liked him–and the evidence just wasn’t there.”

Gladwell went to cite more examples on market research that failed, like what they did to Aeron chair, like what Coke did to compete with Pepsi, like what have been done to  sitcoms The Mary Tyler Moore show and All in the Family which were given a thumbs-down during the market research but when it was shown to the public, it became a hit.

“The problem with market research is that often it is simply too blunt an instrument to pick up this distinction between the bad and the merely different…”

All in the Family and The Mary Tyler Moore Show, in other words, were the television equivalents of the Aeron chair.  Viewers said they hated them.  But, as quickly became clear when these sitcoms became two of the most successful programs in television history, viewers didn’t actually hate them. They were shocked by them. And all of the ballyhooed techniques used by the armies of market researchers at CBS utterly failed to distinguish between these two very different emotions.

“Market research isn’t always wrong, of course.  If All in the Family had been more traditional–and if the Aeron had been just a minor variation on the chair that came before it–the act of measuring consumer reactions would not have been nearly as difficult.  But testing products or ideas that are truly revolutionary is another matter, and the most successful companies are those that understand that in those cases, the first impressions of their consumers need interpretation.  We like market research because it provides certainty–a score, a prediction; if someone asks us why we made the decision we did, we can point to a number.  But the truth is that for the most important decisions, there can be no certainty.  Kenna did badly when he was subjected to market research.  But so what?  His music was new and different, and it is the new and different that is always most vulnerable to market research.”

Francis Brew Reyes

Posting this here to remember my second virtual encounter with Francis Brew Reyes of The Dawn, who had a show in late 1990s called In The Raw in UNTV which I loved to watch. Francis promoted raw talents in the show and his commentaries made the featured band of the night interesting. 😀 Francis Reyes is not just a musician, he was also a DJ and a host worth listening to.

Wow, good thing to know that Francis Reyes writes articles online for Billboard. My unforgettable moment with him was only virtual, through Multiply (Multiply’s dead though). I commented on his post and he commented also on my post. That’s it. To me that was already unforgettable. He’s not just a good musician (and a good backup vocalist), I’m a fan of his blogs (when he used to have blogs). Here, Francis Brew Reyes writes about Robert Javier of The Youth.

The Youth’s Robert Javier talks about the band’s longevity and his work with #EatBulaga read on

Backstage in Broadway Centrum, stagehands and technicians are scurrying about. It is 11am, an hour before the day’s episode of the noontime TV…
billboard.ph
Francis Brew Reyes Awww, thank you!!!
Jezzamine Andaquig
Jezzamine Andaquig Haha! Nagulat ako. You’re welcome, sir Francis! Still remember that word of advice you gave ancient’s ago to the contestants of the search for the new vocalist of Rivermaya (where Jason Fernandez was discovered). You said: “Don’t let praises and criticisms get into your head. Just let it slide.” I always keep that in mind when I’m feeling down or high.
Jezzamine Andaquig

When you have a dog

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