See How Hard Work is Paid Off

February 26, 2017.

The first time I truly felt I was an adman was on that day, the 26th of February. And the year is 2017. It was my first ever TVC shoot.

You might say it shouldn’t be a big deal, seeing as I didn’t even do anything prior to that moment. You might also say I shouldn’t be talking about this since it has been almost two months since it happened. But the experience it gave me, it was truly memorable. I got to see how hard work is paid, how determination and love of craft unfolded in front of my very eyes. I got to see how everyone slaved the whole day, I got fed with almost an unlimited stock of food, I got to see directors doing their magic, actors and actresses showing their charm and photographers commanding the room. It was something I’ve always imagined. It was surreal. It was, almost, love at first sight.

Yes, the commercial wasn’t something I wrote. Yes, my boss just had me on-board. But I was truly thankful. From the way the camera rolled its first take, to the way the director yelled “and, cut!”, it was something I’ve wanted. And I was really grateful, like I couldn’t even begin to think how thankful I am for this chapter of my life. I am doing great, I have a job that I didn’t feel like crap waking up to a corporate life, a job that doesn’t even feel like I’m working and great colleagues. It was everything I could ever hope for.

Last week, on Wednesday (Holy Wednesday, to be exact, the client planned to release their digital ad on a Holy Week, mind you), we and the client decided to release the digital ad before the first official nationwide TV ad two weeks after. The response was overwhelming with almost 415k views, 225 shares and 4.5k likes/reactions to date. It was one of our client’s greatest accomplishments in this country.

Now, after almost two months, we’re only waiting for its debut in Philippine TV, all of us at the edge of our seats. We hope, no matter how much this gave us a headache, it’ll all be worth it in the end.

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You Can & You Will: A Cervical Cancer Awareness Campaign Launch

6 months and 4 days without no update. Yes, I apologize for being a little too preoccupied these past few days (months, yes). I really wanted to write but I was suffering from writer’s block (even the stories that are WIP were all at a standstill) and I now only have the chance to write about something special.

This May is the month for Cervical Cancer Awareness and last Monday, May 23, 2016, was truly an eye-opening event for me. I had the chance to be a part of GlaxoSmithKline’s event (yes, “part” like literally “part of the event” thinking of the entire concept and how the event would also flow smoothly), You Can & You Will: A Cervical Cancer Awareness Launch held at Fairmont Makati’s Ballroom 1. Yes, I did say eye-opening event simply because listening and watching the event with my very own eyes left a huge impact on me and my body’s health. Researching about the guests’ background (Andi Manzano and her big C survivor mother Rose Manzano and Abbygale Arenas-de Leon), their experiences or initiatives against Cervical Cancer was nothing compared to hearing and watching survivors of the big C right in front of your very eyes. Doctors from different organizations also joined as they gave keynotes and a lot of advice on how to be protected at all costs.

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You see, each and everyone of us have dreams. Be it having our very own car, your own condo/house, to have a special someone, even just by graduating school/university. These are dreams that only you can fulfill. But what we don’t know is that these dreams can be easily taken away from us by Cervical Cancer. It’s a silent killer and even kills at least 7 Filipina women EVERYDAY. Imagine if that was you.

Cervical Cancer is caused by Human Papilloma Virus or HPV and it develops in the cervix. In its early stage, it may even have no sign or symptom. What’s even more alarming is that up to 80% of women can be infected with HPV at some point in their lives. It can be easily transmitted through skin-to-skin genital contact.

The following are the reasons that can increase your risk of Cervical Cancer:

  • if you had sexual intercourse at a young age
  • if you have given birth multiple times
  • if you have/had sexually transmitted diseases
  • if you have HIV or immunocompromised
  • if you smoke
  • if you used oral contraceptives for 5 years or longer
  • if you rarely/don’t go for regular PAP smears

Now, you may ask, if I haven’t had sexual intercourse, would I still have it? The answer is no. But once you become sexually active, or had your first intercourse, you are susceptible to this disease. How can you prevent yourself from being harmed? Simple, by undergoing regular PAP smears and taking vaccines. The only way that you can truly be protected is by visiting your doctor and following his/her advice (which is usually to go for a PAP smear and vaccination).

These facts are all alarming not just for my age but to every woman out there. Hearing the doctors mention these facts won’t still make you that much alarmed since we all know that it is human nature to not care about anything unless you are the one being victimized by these kinds of things. Life is art itself, and that is the main reason why a calligraphy artist, Alexis Ventura of InkScribbler gave us a pretty view of her calligraphy art but with a twist: spilling her own little glass of water in her artwork. (We were all scared backstage that she wouldn’t be able to pull it off but she did! And we are hella proud of her for doing it smoothly, albeit a little clumsy — but that’s what we’re actually aiming for, that sudden jolt of shock, panic and regret.) The audience all gasped (including me — my colleagues even laughed at me saying that we were all planning that but I still got carried away lol) and it just hit you right there, Cervical Cancer is like that. One moment, everything is going smoothly, next you have a destroyed art in front of you.

I guess what I can say is that, seeing the art being destroyed is like a wake-up call. Luckily, a speed painter, Pilipinas Got Talent’s Odette Cagandahan, easily swept away the audience’s attention and drew a very beautiful outline of a woman, reminding each one of us that we can & we will. It wouldn’t really have stuck to your head though unless you hear the campaign’s song: I Can, which was sung by Patty Austria, a member of the GSK family.

But what I can assure you though, is that everyone felt really empowered the entire duration of the event. It gave each and everyone at least a little hint of that feeling, so make sure, to those who attended, that you will never feel the same way again.

Reign S03E05 Killed Your Heart.

End of Story.

.

..

Of course, I’m kidding. To all those who have seen the episode 5, you would know why I said it was the end of story. For those who haven’t, I suggest you watch it now.

==Spoilers Ahead!==

I didn’t watch Episode 5 right away, I was busy with life, just so you know lol. But, it didn’t skip past me that there was something tragic that happened in it. I refused to look at social media just to keep myself safe from any spoilers the mighty Internet could offer until I watched it with my own two eyes. After watching, I can only describe it in one word: heartbreaking.

From the last episode, we see Delphine being asked to do whatever in her power to revive the King of France and it ended there. We had hope that in the next episode, we’d be seeing the King at least one or two more episodes before he actually dies. What we didn’t know is that the writers planned to toy with our fragile hearts and kill the King after just a day or two. Or in our terms, the next episode.

Episode 5 was a huge rollercoaster of emotions. We felt how real Mary and Francis’ love story in this historical fiction is. We knew how Francis loved Mary ever since and we knew Mary would do anything for him as well. Their surprise trip to Paris was actually one of the most romantic scenes I’ve ever watched in Reign, with Mary asking to halt their trip and take a dip in the lake. It felt like they were in their second honeymoon and most important of all, you never had an inkling of what could and will happen. After all, Catherine did say the illness changed Francis and that he seemed brighter, more alive than he had ever been. Francis wanted to spend every waking hour with Mary and that itself was a very powerful thing for a Monarch like him. Really, you didn’t expect the tragedy.

Until Mary got kidnapped while getting their basket of food in their carriage. Francis felt something yet he didn’t know what it was until he heard Mary whimpering. It was intense and I couldn’t take my eyes off of what’s happening. I felt like I was part of the story. It made me angry how the assassinators wounded Francis and I was like “STOP YOU’RE KILLING HIM” or “HIS EAR INFECTION COULD COME BACK YOU DOOFUS” but my screaming was futile. It didn’t help him, nor his guards. Not even Mary.

The recovery from his ear infection was pleasant, giving Francis what we know a 2nd chance at life. He planned to make the most out of it, but we didn’t know this happiness would really be short-lived. It is the hardest slap in our faces because the writers had us believe that Francis could still be alive after Delphine’s miraculous work. He only lived a day or two to make his wife, and Queen, happy.

Looking at the bigger picture, I couldn’t really blame the writers for killing Francis. He had been alive for too long that people had doubts whether this series was really a historical one or more of a historical fiction. It was saddening to even know that in the real history of Mary’s life, Francis did die of an ear infection after a year of marriage with her, with no children of their own. Of course, I would be one of the people wishing that the writers could have at least made Francis live longer, without altering the history, since this is still a work of fiction.

I can’t wait for the next episode which will air tomorrow (or later in US time). I wonder how will everything progress since for 2 seasons and 5 episodes, we have constantly seen the strongest love story of the medieval world. That and the fact that it was solely built on Mary’s life in France, I wonder how the writers will give life to Mary’s brutal, unfair and tragic life after her French reign. She would need to go back to Scotland ultimately, where Protestantism has flourished. I wonder how will they make the next episodes compelling enough to lure in viewers who were honestly only there for the Frary ship? Or what even happened to Lady Kenna who hasn’t even had screen time ever since Season 3 has started? I am also curious on Leith and Princess Claude’s blossoming love story. Ah, so many questions, no answers yet. I guess we’ll have to wait and watch the remainder of the season to get at least half, or if we’re lucky, all of the answers.

How did you cope with your emotions? Tell me what you have felt below!

Who is your #APECHottie?

Despite the numerous warnings of PNP, MMDA and the local government to stay at home if you have nothing important to do to not add in to the traffic of the Metro during this APEC week, there has been a different kind of traffic happening now: #APECHottie is trending in Twitter, and of course, who is the mastermind behind this? Yeap, the Social Media Capital of the World, the Philippines.

On November 17, 2015, as several economic leaders have already arrived for tomorrow’s APEC Summit proper, two country leaders have caught the eyes of the Filipinos: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Nieto. Both oozing with charismatic stares and body built with the strength to protect their own country, it is clearly no doubt the Filipinos had their hearts swayed.

These were some of my favorite tweets:

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I love how Filipinos have no chill! Truly BAEconomic Leaders!

With that, who’s your #APECHottie?

Abnormal Summit — Changing Your Views on Different Countries

I, myself, love to read. There’s nothing that would beat the scent of old books filling your nostrils, or the crisp sound of flipping a page. Reading a very nice book and having a cup of coffee on a quiet Saturday is one of the world’s greatest weekend pleasures. However, there are times that I honestly can’t seem to open a book because 1) I am too tired to move my body, 2) too lazy to actually move and/or 3) all those words cramped page by page is making me lose my sanity. There are times that you just want to find a good show where you can learn while at the same time have fun and Abnormal Summit gives you exactly that.

I can’t remember when I actually knew about the show. It’s just that one day I find myself downloading one episode and then I got sucked in it.

Abnormal Summit (AS or 비정상회담 in Hangul), a Korean TV talk/debate show follows the traditional format for summits where each participating country discusses vital issues and forms an agreement or solution for such problems. However, in this case, AS looked for several representatives or foreigners who have nothing to do with their respective governments and had them tackle different issues which are usually the current issues, those submitted by bothered Korean citizens all over the country or personal issues of the guest himself all while giving everyone a good laugh. You can say that the primary reason for laughing are the three MCs namely Jeon Hyun Moo, Yoo Se Yoon and Sung Si Kyung who mediate any arising quarrels within the G12 (formerly  G11) or Global 12 whilst stating their own opinions.

 AS 3MCs

These three guys are responsible for a light-hearted talkshow despite clashing personalities and tackling serious issues. (From left to right: Chairman Jeon Hyun Moo, Secretary General Yoo Se Yoon and Chairman Sung Si Kyung). Not only do these three MCs create the lighthearted atmosphere but the G11 representatives do also give their fair share of comedic acts and, of course, opinions.

AS samSam Okyere – Ghana Representative

 AS Alberto Mondi Alberto Mondi – Italy Representative

AS Zhang YuanZhang Yuan – China Representative

 AS Enes Kaya Enes Kaya – Turkey Representative

AS Robin DeianaRobin Deiana – France Representative

 AS Julian Quintart Julian Quintart – Belgium Representative

AS DanielDaniel Snoeks – Australia Representative

AS Takuya Takuya Terada – Japan Representative

AS Guillaume PatryGuillaume Patry – Canada Representative

AS Tyler Rasch Tyler Rasch – United States Representative

James Hooper – United Kingdom Representative AS James Hooper

However, on its 5th episode, James left the show to pursue his PhD and had Daniel Lindemann from Germany replace him.

AS Daniel Lindemann Daniel replaces James on Abnormal Summit’s 5th episode.

Daniel Snoeks and Enes Kaya both also left the show that same year (2014) with Daniel returning to his studies in Australia and Enes being involved in a scandal (which was thoroughly denied but left the show to not cause damages).

Three new visiting representatives will become a fixed cast on the show resulting to a change from G11 to G12.

AS Blair Williams Blair Williams – Australia Representative

AS Sujan ShakyaSujan Shakya – Nepal Representative

AS Ilya Belyakov Ilya Belyakov – Russia Representative

However, after only a few months, it has been reported that six members (including the three above) will be leaving the show.

AS leaving cast

From left to right, top: Julian Quintart, Robin Deiana, Takuya Terada

From left to right, bottom: Blair Williams, Ilya Belyakov and Sujan Shakya.

The show’s promise is to deliver new perspectives of different countries and so, they will be adding another 6 members to give a new flavor for the viewers.

AS new cast

From left to right, top: Andreas Varsakopoulos – Greece, Nikolai Johnsen – Norway, Przemysław Krompiec – Poland

From left to right, bottom: Carlos Gorito – Brazil, SM Rookies’ Yuta – Japan, Sami Rashad El-Baz- Egypt

The only thing that makes this different from the other talk/debate shows everywhere is that these foreigners know the Korean language by heart, and some, like Tyler and Daniel, know more words than the traditional Korean citizen. How can you not get awed watching these grown men debating in a language so far from their own?

Unexpectedly, watching AS gives you that feeling of hitting two birds with one stone. You get to learn different cultures, the youth’s perspective, get to feel intellectually-rich for a night and get a good laugh at the G12 and the MCs’ antics. This show has truly been one of the best well-thought out shows that ever existed.

OTWOL Ruined Your Night, Yes, Everybody Else’s too.

Were you able to watch last night’s back to back episode of heartache starting from Kathryn’s improved acting and Nadine’s heartbreaking hugot? If not, I need you to watch it for your sake. It is an on-going all-around swirling of emotions that for the first time, you will thank the commercial break for existing.

 It is Monday night and all you want to do is snuggle up in bed after a long day of Monday sickness at work, attempting to catch up with the teleseryes of ABS-CBN when you realize that this night would be a disaster. I am making this post in an attempt to get a hold of my sanity for the entire day as last night’s episode surely wrecked my poor heart. 💔

Now, if you’ve watched the episode, (yes, go make an account in IWanTV if you haven’t) feel free to go ahead and read this post, but if not, I suggest for you to click that exit button on the upper left corner of your browser so as to not spoil any of the emotions you might feel while watching the seryes.

What did I do to deserve this kind of episode on a very, very tiring Monday night? What did I do for me to be so worked up at every dialogue, action and facial expression of the characters? Why did Pangako Sa’Yo have to be that intense? Why did Mang Isko had to have an accident for Yna to cry that hard? What did I do to deserve this painful night?

Yna’s (Kathryn Bernardo) silent battle between fighting for her love for Angelo (Daniel Padilla) and her family (which of course we all know she will be choosing), the silent pleas for his father to be better made you cry like a dying whale and of course the Abangan Bukas trailer which makes you want to throw your TV out the window. You knew this serye was intense on revenge, drama and sense of responsibility but it was too much your already tired body can take. But then, you weren’t prepared for OTWOL’s onslaught of emotions.

You were ready to see Jigs punching Clark at last Friday’s Abangan sa Lunes trailer, you were dying to see Clark kissing Leah at a park, both crying and love threatening to pour out from their eyes in the form of tears. Unfortunately, you weren’t prepared for the entire episode which proved to be so far from the trailer. You were ready to cry, but you were not prepared to bawl.

When Clark said “Hit me, Leah. Hit me”, you knew tonight’s episode will shit on you (excuse the term). You know you will have to grip tissues and your stress ball at an arm’s reach. When Clark opened his apartment’s door, you knew it was cliché to fight in-front of a lot of people just to prove that you were fighting, after all, you needed an alibi for your divorce to be granted. But Clark’s words halted you from criticizing the cliché-ness of the scene.

The moment he said he regretted marrying Leah, you knew it would be downhill from that moment on. When Leah replied “I believed in you, Clark. I believed in us!”, you knew it was hard for her to say those words. You felt every word Leah spoke, because at some point in our lives, we were Leah.

At a different angle, you suddenly realized Leah was not acting for divorce. She was saying what’s truly in her heart. She makes the hugot so on-point and full-fledged spoke in Filipino just to prove her point. And that’s when she started pushing Clark away. You felt your chest tighten so much that you thought you’d stop breathing and just drop down dead, yet you were still watching the scene unfold before your very eyes.

Then you halt your ugly crying, and on comes Jigs, the very antagonist of the entire Clark x Leah OTP. You see how he punches Clark and then all you wanted to do was step on Jigs’ foot (maybe his face, too) and attend to Clark’s bruise. You wanted to get mad at Jigs and so, you went on Twitter and/or Facebook and ranted your feelings to the entire cyberspace. What you failed to see (because you were clearly seething at Jigs) is that almost everyone in your feed and timeline screams “HOW DARE YOU JIGS” in various forms. It elevates you immediately, the way everyone you seem to know gets hooked on OTWOL and you can’t help but feel that you’re not so jej after all. You’re now finally in-sync with all the other people in your timeline, voicing out their frustrations on Jigs in their own Twitter or Facebook page and you see how they all have the same feelings as you: anger, frustration, sadness and a profound sense of camaraderie with people who you thought doesn’t dare watch these seryes. Heck, you thought you were one of them, too. But OTWOL proved you otherwise.

If you are a 20-something girl watching Pangako Sa’Yo and On The Wings of Love, admit it that these seryes were the only reason your faith came back for Filipino romantic teleseryes without the mistresses and adultery ingrained at every single scene you see. You knew romantic films will finally have a comeback and you and your butt can’t wait for the next episodes, or even just the next seryes.

How #OTWOL Takes on A Different Path

Team JaDine and Team KathNiel. These two prominent love teams or OTPs (One True Pairing) as some would say are the primary news every Filipino youth would happen to know. Yes, sadly, they know more about them than Apolinario Mabini having Polio and having to sit throughout the entire movie of Heneral Luna. But that’s another story.

On The Wings of Love, aired every weeknight at ABS-CBN’s Primetime Serye around 9:30PM, is different than your usual teleserye. For one, the story tackles the OFW’s hardships far from the Philippines, and secondly, of course, the love story.

You might roll your eyes and keep on saying, “Love story na naman! Wala na bang iba?” But all I want to say is that this is really different. The protagonist, Leah Olivar (played by Nadine Lustre), seeks to go to San Francisco to help his dad (Joel Torre) and older sister (Bianca Manalo) to get by and to also find the grave of her deceased mother (Isay Alvarez) which is in fact, alive and kicking contrary to popular belief). She also has a boyfriend, Jigs (Albie Casino) that is every bit of arrogant, conceited and just presko all over. Although the two has been dating at the start of the serye, she breaks up with him before she goes to CA, due to his unfair reasoning of making Leah wait for his visa approval. Of course Leah, seeking to find a job right away and the fact that she is involved in a choir group, has to go first. And so, the newly single Leah, sets out to San Francisco, where she meets the mother of his ex-boyfriend, Jack or commonly known as Tita Jack (Cherry Pie Picache) and the future love of her life, Clark Medina (James Reid).

The story involves a complicated love story between Clark, Leah and Jigs as the latter and Clark are cousins. But before I talk about their love story, let’s focus on the OFW side of this serye.

Filipinos who reside in the Philippines will get to know how actual life outside the country is. There are times you will have to starve just so you can give more than half of your salary to your family and live for the remaining month off of the remaining money. Sometimes, it’s still not enough and so you get an additional job to make ends meet. You need to grow even more and be mature to everything you do. It’s tough out there, tougher than being in your own country.

Apart from having to work 2 to 3 jobs, there is still the constant heartache of not having to see your family after a day of long and hard work. The only consolation you can get is a mere 30-minute to an hour of phone or video call to your loved ones but it never satisfies the warm touch of your family.

Of course there are still people who can help you lessen the pain and that is by having friends around you. Tita Jack and Clark were Leah’s friends in CA. Although the two got off on a wrong start, it proved to be a promising journey for both of them as Leah needed an American citizenship that only Clark can give. For those who do not know, you will need to have an American citizenship for you to be able to get a job legally in the country. Working visas will work fine if there is already an American company who wants you to work for them, but if not, you’ll have to be an American citizen.

OTWOL is different in the sense that it doesn’t fail to help you realize that not everything is glitters and rainbows. It shows the vulnerability of a person and this is a test on how strong you are mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

The love story is somehow the same with all the past and current Pinoy seryes. The bawal na pag-big plot with the only obstacle defined is by the way Jigs clings on to Leah and Tita Jack’s trust on them. Leah’s father is kept hidden in the dark for health reasons and by the looks of things, he will be able to give an earful to Leah once the truth comes to light. Although, his father will probably ease on his daughter’s love life, we can see that the only possible restraint in everybody’s relationship with each other is the trust Tita Jack imparted on both of them and Jigs’ stubborn personality.

On The Wings of Love is different, but a good kind of different. The plot is light as compared to other plots and it’s a whole new level of kilig for the Filipino youth today.