” The New Me”. I learned about this nike free blog contest from tanya, and it is very timely since I’ve been struggling for quite sometime to have a self makeover. From changing my selfish attitude, to improving the way I look, to reaching a new level of badminton skills, to living my life as meaningful as it can be. I truly believe that reinventing yourself needs to be wholistic — physically, mentally, and spiritually. What it takes is a combination of will power, positive vision, and relentless action that sometimes looks impossible to do. This is a gift to myself on my birthday today, The New Anton….
Still disappointing despite the change in name from Endangered Species :(
This should be a lesson for me not to always follow the recommendation of Amanda from the “F” show in Studio 23. Last Sunday, she featured this restaurant in M.H. del Pilar named Zoovenir. The street is one-way so best to start from Pedro Gil or in the Manila Diamond Hotel area. For those of you who have been in this area, the place was originally named Endangered Species. It retained its animal themed interiors and the ordinary tasting salads, pasta, and meals.
What’s good about this place is the Baked Salmon and Cheese Dip (P290) with really crunchy garlic toasted french bread. Also, the dessert was nice — we tried the crunchy vanilla. It was simply vanilla ice cream with merengue but it costs P220 — way too expensive. Please stay away from the Spaghetti alla Vongole (P230). The Salads which was raved about by “F” is nothing but ordinary and we tasted both Tuna Turner (P140) and Chinese Duck Salad (P160).
After the meal, we felt that we were robbed by P400/each! This is the reason that I want to blog about places, and restos in manila so that we don’t get all marketing gimmicks and information from TV Shows and Magazines… Aaarghh!
I’ve got a couple of heartbreaks this weekend and I just want to share them with you guys:
1. La Salle was defeated by 1pt by FEU. I got to admit that the defensive stops of Arwind Santos was key in stopping La Salle’s effectiveness in the shaded lane. But there were also alot of miss opportunities from La Salle, including 3 turnovers by FEU in the last 2minutes. Also, when Rico M. was injured and Tang had to shoot in behalf of Rico M., the two free throws could have sent the ballgame into overtime ( he split his free throws). DLSU can definitely beat FEU despite our lack of big guys, we can exploit their lack of point guards. I’m sure that we will meet again in the final four.
2. Our globe platinum theater reservations got cancelled. Aarghh, this was a bummer when we were trying to watch “Must love dogs.” in the Lazy Boy Globe Theater in Gateway. I was excited to watch finally for P300++ in this 40 seater Lazy Boy Theater with free flowing pop corns since January this year. Our reservation got cancelled because you need to get the ticket two (2) hours before the showing time. They are very strict on this and the system just automatically gives up the reservations. Next time, I’m hoping to be able to blog about this soon.
3. Missed the 3rd Flickr Meet in Lamesa ni Grasya. I always look forward to the flickr meets specially since people there are very nice and share the common interest for the love of photos. Particularly on this 3rd meet, Lil Anna and his boyfriend is coming over and this is a rare meeting that cannot be missed. The usual gang was there: Koolitz, Enzo, Ayeona, Stitch, Jolengs, Bing, and much more. I’ve also wanted to meet Rain who is the lomo authority and I’m interested with lomography as well. Lastly, fafa Jolengs gave out Flickr Pins — which I missed! Oh well, will look forward to the 4th meet…
This is the phase of my life where I have to seriously think about Children’s Parties and events for my Baby Aidan. I attended Aidan’s cousin, Carlos 2nd Birthday and it was fun 🙂 Reflecting on the event, I realized a few insights of what makes a baby birthday party successful:
1. Lots of kids! The party is fun specially for families with kids just playing, eating, and interacting with other kids. So the first on my list is really to invite as much kids as possible.
2. Games/ Entertainment for the Kids. Some of the common items on this would be: toys, cars, bubbles, balloons, balls, swimming, and pabitin.
3. Blowing of the Birthday Cake. Photos of singing happy birthday and blowing of the cake is the highlight of the party. This is a priceless moment…
4. Lolo and Lola. Attendance of Family members are very important. But I would say that the lolos and lolas are the happiest in these affairs having to lived to see their grandsons/grandaughters’ birthday celebration.
5. Goodies delights. Loot Bags, and freebies are a must in any children’s party.
We will be celebrating Aidan’s 1st Birthday in January so I’m starting to plan for it as early as now.
Best place to spend early Sunday morning :)
Sunday Mornings will never be the same for me. Finally, the rained stopped and I had a chance to go out eary Sunday morning to exercise. I started to enjoy spending the day with my son strolling along the seaside area in front of the Mall of Asia. If you have not been to this place, this is the best place to exercise and spend early Sunday morning with your family. We call it the Seaside area where this is located near The Way, The Truth and the Life Church built by Henry Sy or infront of the biggest mall in Asia!
What can you do here? Well this is a nice escape from the busy and polluted manila. This is a treasured experience that will soon be a treasured past once the mall of asia is built by Dec 2005. There are group exercises in the morning, you can jog, ride a bike, or simply walk with your family from one end to another. I’ve seen some families bring in picnic items so that they can eat and rest as well. I would advise that you bring your own food and water.
After the exercise, you can head to the Bluewave and eat a sumptous meal of Jollibee breakfast ( tapa or longganisa)! I can tell you that the simple things in life are the best. Savor it while you can.
If there is one thing that I learned from The Fred Factor book, is that each day is an opportunity for you to make life a better place to live. The book is based on the extraordinary customer service of Fred the postman, and teaches you how passion in your work and life can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. When Fred was ask what motivates him on doing that things he is doing, here is the key ideas on what motivates him to be a “Fred”:
- Do good and you’ll feel good.
- The best never rest.
- Treat customers and others as friends.
- The impact you have on others is the reward.
- Live the golden rule.
- Fear nothing except to waste the moment.
The book contains heartwarming and inspiring practical examples of how to become a fred.
A Breath of Fresh Air in the Fine Dining Cuisine in Manila
Finally, another new secret fine dining place in Manila. Parallel 45 is neatly tucked away in a busy mandaluyong neighborhood along Samat Street. This fine dining restaurant just opened last July 26 and on Popsy’s bday we made sure that this is the place to be to select his 69th birthday. I’ve always been in the lookout for very nice dining places that is not in a hotel but the likes of Chef Laudico in Urdaneta, Tita Monings in Malacanang, Lolo Dads in Malate, and Antonio’s in Tagaytay. This is a place where you celebrate special moments, anniversaries, or reward yourself and your family.
The main chef of the restaurant is Humphrey Navarro who is a very approachable guy and it is easy to strike a conversation with him. At the moment, the main dining space is small which can occupy less than 30 people so you should reserve in advance. There are other function rooms in the 2nd floor which would include a chocolate room and a wine library which is still 70% complete.
I like the way the food is cooked and prepared. The Foie Gras appetizer where very good (although I know that duck liver is fattening). You should try the Soup & Sandwich (with foie gras), and the four dances of Foie Gras (small servings of duck liver cooked in 4 different ways — the “meat ball” cooked foie gras was good). We also loved the starters of a small plate of sea urchin and a dash of caviar. The soup of the day which is like an oyster soup and the mini-sorbet before the main dish was a winner. For our main course, we shared family style the 500g Angus Beef Cowgirl Steak, A Shellfish pail, and Lapu-Lapu for my mom. It was a heavenly treat specially that the cooking is light/healthy and usually with wine as a cooking ingredient. Although the tastiness of the lapu-lapu or the seafood can be improved, as well as the different sauces for the shellfish pail, and the chocolate dessert. The food is expensive so be prepared with a P1,500-2,000max/person when you eat here on your special day.
Here are some of the details on Humphrey Navarro’s Parallel-45:
Address: 871 Samat Street, Mandaluyong City
Website: http://www.p45.com.ph/ (Still under construction)
Popsy’s Bday @ Parallel 45 Photoset
One of my favorite website is Change This which promotes a practical, fast and free way to spread the very best ideas to people who can actually do something with them. One of the recent manifestos is about Barriers to Health by Michael Gonzales Ph.D. where he attempts to explain why people do not exercise. This was indeed a revelation to me, and he goes on to conclude that:
“What prevents the non-athlete from exercising is his or her sense of time, motivation and worthiness….What it takes is willingness.”
This is a must read for all those people who want to reduce weight and be healthy forever.
This article The CEO’s Secret Handbook published in the Business 2.0 website inspired me to create my aphoristic revelations blog. It is based on Swanson’s Unwritten Rules of Management written by Bill Swanson, CEO of aerospace contractor Raytheon (RTN). According to the article, this tiny handbook has become an underground hit among senior executives and management thinkers. It contains Swanson’s Aphorisms on Management which I loved very much — practical wisdom. My personal favorite is that you always have to appeal to emotions of people for you to be effective. Here are his management aphorisms:
- You can’t polish a sneaker.
- Learn to say “I don’t know.” If used when appropriate, it will be used often.
- You remember 1/3 of what you read, 1/2 of what people tell you, but 100 percent of what you feel.
- Look for what is missing. Many know how to improve what’s there; few can see what isn’t there.
- Never direct a complaint to the top; a serious offense is to “cc” a person’s boss on a copy of a complaint before the person has a chance to respond.
- Treat the name of your company as if it were your own.
- Have fun at what you do. It will be reflected in your work. No one likes a grump except another grump!
- When faced with decisions, try to look at them as if you were one level up in the organization. Your perspective will change quickly.
- If you are not criticized, you may not be doing much.
- When something appears on a slide presentation, assume that the world knows about it and deal with it accordingly.
- A person who is nice to you but rude to the waiter — or to others — is not a nice person. (This rule never fails.)
- When facing issues or problems that are becoming drawn out, “short them to ground.”
It’s truly inspiring and you can immediately apply this on your work. You have to read the article to understand the wisdom behind the aphorism’s above.
I got carried away with excitement with my first wedding photoshoot assignment. My friend, ask me to be a backup photographer during her brother’s wedding (Jay & Portia) last Sunday. Alot of things went wrong at the start. I was late by 15 minutes in the church and by about 90 minutes in the reception so it was a bad first job for me. Also, I’m having problems with my flash unit. Initially, most of the shots are dark and underexposed, or with an unflattering flash burst. I was able to handle it during the church ceremony but I had a hard time with the exposure during dinner time. I need to practice some more and buy the diffuser for the flash.
I was happy with the shots I got and I tried out a couple of effects I learned from Flickr’s Technique group. Here are a couple of effects that I used in the wedding photos:
1). Explosive Photo Effect
2). Comic Art Effect
3). Ipod Ad Effect
4). Lomo Effect
5). Color / B&W Effect
I’m really having fun with photography and digital art these days. I’m thinking of taking photographs on a weekend basis ala Fol Rana. Let me know if you have some questions on the different photoshop effects above.