We live in a busy world. And while that sounds like a truism that you may find posted as a caption on a run-of-the-mill influencer’s Instagram post (and would likely drive my strategic planner mentor from my internship days at McCann apoplectic, for its lack of groundbreaking insight), we have to admit that our busyness has reached its boiling point, all in the pursuit of creative success.
It gets overwhelming–this on-demand, hyperconnected age. Left and right, we are constantly bombarded by texts, emails, calls, and messages from friends, family, romantic partners, bosses, colleagues, even random strangers we met at a trip once and has now decided to reconnect so they can sell us insurance or real estate. And this constant stimulation is driving extinct a key ingredient for creativity: boredom. READ MORE
Rappler, December 2018
There’s something oxymoronic about being Pinoy and being vegan, especially around the holiday season.Having been vegetarian for more than a decade – and finally, a full-pledged, card-holding vegan, I’ve seen the pained looks on my family and friends’s faces come Christmastime, as they try to magically whip up something that doesn’t contain chicken, pork, beef, lamb, fish, crustaceans, eggs, dairy, honey – and yet somehow, fulfills my macronutrient demands (high protein, complex carbs, and preferably non-saturated fat) and doesn’t get me running to the toilet, or worse, the emergency room.
(A vegan enjoying noche buena with his committedly non-vegan family: now that is Christmas miracle.) READ MORE
2nd Opinion, September 2018
83.9 million dollars. That’s how much money Crazy Rich Asians has made, as of this writing. If there was any doubt that an all-Asian film can pull in the money, it has since fizzled with the massive success of this romantic comedy that follows the triumph of The Joy Luck Club, 25 years after the latter was released.
Over the weekend, I caught the film together with some friends who found the film undeserving of the hype. To be frank, I understand their lukewarm reception. At a superficial watching, the story is quite simple: girl meets the boy’s family; boy’s mom thinks girl is not and will never be enough; girl proves her worth; true love wins.READ MORE
Being Single–In the Age of Blocks, Seenzones, and Swipe Lefts
2nd Opinion, July 2018
A disclaimer: I am, by no means, a dating expert.
Truth is, if there is one thing that makes me happy about being in a relationship, aside from having a constant person who will gladly remind me that I am gaining a few pounds and that I should say no to that extra slice of cake, is that I don’t have to wade anymore through that morass people call dating.Admittedly, I can’t help but feel for my single friends who fret and frown over this convoluted game of filtering potential partners—yet another task to juggle with one’s many adult responsibilities.
Recently, I was watching online this “social experiment,” where a girl supposedly pretended to be a bystander, to see how safe Manila’s streets were. Out of the five people who approached her, four turned out to be predatorial dickwads who tried to get her to come with them. Despite how a lot of people speculated the video to be scripted, one can’t help but think about all the creepy men out there waiting to pounce on unsuspecting women, desperately attempting to get in their pants. READ MORE
Catalyst Asia, March 2017
Catalyst Asia, November 2015
“Kung gusto mong makilala ang Pilipinas, magturo ka sa public school. (If you want to know the Philippines, teach at a public school.)”
For Mikee Garcia, a training specialist at a popular restaurant chain in the country, her experience in Teach for the Philippines, a non-profit organisation which enlists young Filipino leaders to teach in public schools for two years, was nothing short of an eye-opener.
While she graduated with a degree in Psychology at Ateneo de Manila University, a well-known private school in the country, Mikee understood how the public education system works, having studied in a public high school. Teaching was close to Mikee’s heart, and she found it natural to pursue it after college–a calling of sorts. READ MORE
2nd Opinion, September 2015
Sometime in July, I was invited by Ana Santos and Nikka Sarthou-Lainez, founders of Writer’s Block Philippines, for the organization’s annual workshop, “Jumpstart your freelance writing career.”
During that Saturday afternoon at Fully Booked in Bonifacio High Street while facing the large group of aspiring, starry-eyed writers, I was suddenly reminded of my younger, inexperienced self.Back then, all I wanted was to see my name in a newspaper—driven by a maddened desire to affirm my worth as a writer.
A bit of context: while in second year high school, my ego was hammered into smithereens by a journalist officemate of my mom (she works for international news agency Agence France-Presse as the Administrative and Financial Manager). The surly officemate opined, after seeing my articles that not only was my grammar atrocious—my insights were also juvenile, incoherent ramblings. (That also was a rude awakening that some people will not hesitate to crush a young boy’s self-esteem, if only because it’s fun to see the world burn.) READ MORE
How Millennial Professionals Define Work
e27, October 2014
With work and life becoming more blurred, Millennials prefer working for themselves over large organisations; it’s their way for a more meaningful life. READ MORE
Despite this, Millennials continue to hold very strong opinions about the work they do, the company they work in, and the future of employment in the world. READ MORE
Will you create the next Flappy Bird?
e27, Feb 2014
Thanks to the internet, anyone—whether they’re in the US or Vietnam—can turn their ideas into reality.The resources to pull it off are readily available. READ MORE
It may take years to rebuild businesses destroyed by typhoon Yolanda. But, with a computer connected to the internet, Filipinos can begin rebuilding their lives. READ MORE
27 Things I’ve Learned At 27
ThoughtCatalog, August 2013
Speak your mind when you must. The world often gives way to people with agendas; being passive is like laying a red carpet for bad people to walk on. READ MORE
Freelance Whales: Music & Its Animals
STATUS Magazine, Nov 2012
While Manila is lamenting the so-called demise of the local music scene, on the other side of the world, FREELANCE WHALES’ Chuck Criss muses over the oversaturated New York music scene and how their ragtag indie band made it big, with a bit of geographical luck and a lot of support from big-name brands.READ MORE
PHILIPPINE STAR, April 2012
Everything is Illuminated
STATUS MAGAZINE, October 2011
Had this life been a show where the world must end in a cataclysmic bang (in a fit of cosmic irony, perhaps), My Brightest Diamond’s Shara Worden’s haunting voice singing “Something of an End” (And then the earth started shakin’/ and yeah it was crazy/ and heaven and hell came crashing/ It was beautiful and terrible/ so beautiful and terrible) may just be the perfect background music for the closing credits. READ MORE
The Joos On The Beauty Trade
STATUS MAGAZINE, August 2011
Perhaps, the reason why casting director and style blogger Natalie Joos has an eagle eye when it comes to spotting gorgeous people is that she is, herself, a sight to behold. Then again, to say that that is exclusively the reason why she’s so good with what she does is unfair—Natalie, after all, holds a Journalism degree from Belgium’s University of Ghent, with her final thesis on “The Ideal Standards of Beauty and the Influence of Mass Media.” In this interview, we asked her thoughts on fashion, blogging, it girls, her casting job, and, well, her love for cats. READ MORE
The Beginner Vegetarian’s Guide
Manila Times, January 2009
So you’ve decided to go vegetarian.
The calendar already marked, you’ve made the choice as a New Year’s resolution. The reasons might be any of these: health, the environment or animal rights. Finally, notwithstanding raised brows and disbelief, you’re resolute. Admittedly, vegetarianism is a daunting lifestyle for lifelong omnivores. READ MORE
Lessons From the Farm
Manila Times, November 2008
It is definitely not like the stereotypical, “happily ever after” fairy tales. But in C.M. Woodhouse’s introduction to George Orwell’s Animal Farm, he defends Orwell’s choice to subtitle the book that satirized totalitarianism as A Fairy Story: “The point about fairy stories is that they are written not merely without a moral but without a morality.” READ MORE
Her Winding Maze of Enchantment
Manila Times, October 2008
Katrina Pallon’s art reveals the beauty that is waiting to be found. The 22-year-old visual artist’s first solo exhibit entitled A Labyrinth of Blooms: A Prelude to A Masquerade, currently on show in Halo Organic Store and Café at Cubao Expo, Quezon City, lures you into a realm of romanticism, beauty and wonder. READ MORE