Sunday, October 25, 2015

Beautiful Sunday # 183 - Carry on

This week has been overflowing with nothing but adjectives. People within my immediate environment are fully aware of the disappointment that happened on the beginning of the week. There were drama and tears. Things I couldn't believe would never happen, unfolded right before my eyes. Before the week ended, I got a bad case of stomach flu. I wasn't able to sleep well because my stomach has been torturing me every 30 mins. The pain felt like I already lost 5 lbs. Hahahaha There goes my weight loss struggle again. The rare times, food never appealed to me. I almost didn't eat anything last Saturday. After taking some rest which includes getting away from my social media accounts ;), I'm feeling better now. I need to be better because it's finals week and there's a little more work ahead. 

Setting aside this health mischief I had, here are the few beautiful things that made my week

Reported to a different workplace last week and it was a great help that Daddy agreed to drove for me. Thankful for this convenience but the traffic is not something to love. Hahahaha

It's nice to be back - Our school entered the championship of this basketball league. Friday meant having no work in the afternoon. It's been a while since I entered Mall of Asia Arena again.

Christmas feels - I saw this giant Christmas ball decor at SM Mall of Asia.

Weekly dose of beautiful postcard - Thank you for sending me the most beautiful postcards Marieken. My Daddy knows you already :) 

Another beautiful postcard from USA - Thank you Terra! And I have yet to join the challenge :) 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Luneta Hotel

Looking for a venue for corporate meetings have become a part of my job over the last years. I have been entrusted the responsibility of making arrangements for meetings participated by senior leaders. Searching for possible venues, asking for price quotations, requesting check payments, safeguarding money worth almost my annual salary, answering to the demands of my superiors even if it meant acting as the most annoying and demanding client, keeping receipts and preparing liquidation reports. The work never stops. My only consolation here, I get to see other places. I'm not stuck in the corners of my workstation and I get some free nice meals.... in exchange for some corporate slavery. Hahahaha Aside from the free food, this work has given me so many stories and experiences. Some are meant to be shared while some are meant to be left behind. Amen. Hahaha 

Before I end making another dramatic post, let me share a new venue which my employer chose for an important corporate meeting.

Having been working in Manila for a decade, I have witnessed how Luneta Hotel transformed. I initially saw it as one of the old and dilapidated buildings in Manila. Years ago, this was how Luneta Hotel looked like. I was one of those who were secretly hoping that the building will someday be resurrected. Problem is, with the high rise condominium and the nearby five-star hotels, it's hard to convince a company to take a chance to Luneta Hotel. The heavens have heard the prayers of old souls like me. It was gradually restored. At first, I thought that the new developer will demolish or have it converted to an office or business establishment. When I later discovered that it will return as a real hotel, I was one of the happiest. The restoration didn't come easy. I learned that it took the new owner 7 years to get all the job done. Good as, there have been efforts to restore the hotel ever since I started working in Manila. 

I took the photos a week before our corporate event. It was a good decision because I became occupied and it was quite a shame to take photos with the senior leaders during the event. ;)  

What greeted me as soon as I entered the premises of the hotel. A set of gilded chairs, which I learned used to be restricted for guests. These used to be mere decorative pieces.

I love this sculpture from Benguet. 

This cocoon sofa!

We stayed at the 6th floor, which houses the grandest function room of the hotel.

This was my workplace for two days. Originally, it costs Php 50,000 to have this venue for 4 hours. The cost already includes consumable food and drinks. But after some negotiations, we were given a considerable discount. :) If you share the same job with me, you might want to consider this venue for meetings to Christmas parties. You can look for their very accommodating and organized Operations Manager, Ms. Bel Ricablanca. Even the front desk service officers (Hello Keith and Kevin!)  are the best. I never had problems coordinating with them.

I never got to sit in the grand table and chair. This was my place.

I love the doors that either lead to the storage room or staircase. It felt like a setting in a fairy tale. I also learned that the wall tiles were part of the original flooring of the old hotel. 

One of the highlights of the function hall is this modest fountain. The windows behind provide a great view of Manila's skyline.

Even the toilet area has a view. :) 

While I don' have photos of the food, I have to say that it was worth the price. Everything served to us were tasty, delicious and offered assortment of Filipino, America to Italian dishes. Even the amount of servings is abundant. Food was never a problem and so as customer service with the cook and waiters. Their food can equate to the quality of five star hotels. 

For more information about Luneta Hotel, check out their website here.

Beautiful Sunday # 182 - Through it all

Disappointments... such a negative word but that has been the prevalent sentiments I had over the past weeks. This is not the right place and time to write about it. But I have been very tempted to write about everything. I used to only hear stories of people saying that they don't know who to trust anymore. I used to console friends who was once in this predicament. I never imagined that I will be in their shoes soon enough. I discovered and opened a can of worms and the rest was another saga of eating and impulse shopping. :D If I can't overcome them, at least I feel entertained because I have an attention diversion antidote. Hahaha 

This aspect of my life does not deserve a spot in my Beautiful Sunday post. While I have been tempted to vent out, let me relate the other good things that made my week.

Dessert Buffet anyone? - This place in Banawe offers unlimited dessert buffet experience for Php 199. I've been hearing all stories about this place from my students. Sadly, I felt the complete opposite during my experience. We were only given one hour to try the experience. The place was crowded so going to the buffet table is a great hassle. We waited in line, knowing that there 11 clients before us. Not all types of cakes were served. The experience that nailed everything, the desserts did not impress me. The only good thing that happened here was the company I had. I was with a great friend MFA. 

Haw Flakes - Confession, I hoarded 5 packs of this childhood favorite. :) Since I rarely encounter this on nearby supermarkets, I bought a lot when I saw a few packs left on Salazar's bakery. Although the taste and quality is quite different from the Haw Flakes I had during my childhood days.

Three of my favorite things - My ghost chair found its perfect match. This sheepskin from Ikea is love, love, love! Thank you Mother E for helping me acquire it. And as always, Cath Kidston is there to brighten up the day. :p

Pink all the way from the Netherlands - Thank you dearest Marieken! You send me the most beautiful postcards. This one is special because it caught the attention of my Dad. He was saying that you probably chose the postcard because you liked his pink Japanese bike. Hahaha He love this cute motorbike especially the compartment for the spare tire. 

Family is love - We celebrated the birthday of my special brother last week. Celebrations meant having a mini reunion, seeing my closest family members together, capturing the most memorable moments and feeling that everything is perfectly fine. If only I could box these priceless moments. I will do it and open it whenever I feel that everything has been falling apart. Things are not easy now but the good news, I'm fighting. These times that break me will make me nothing a but a better and stronger person ahead. :) 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Beautiful Sunday # 181 - Reasons

This is one of those weeks that I never wanted to happen. I will spare everyone from the details. Maybe months or years from now, I will be ready to write about it. But for now, all I can say is that I'm thankful that it finally happened because it meant, everything is over now. The silver lining though, it wasn't as painful as I was expecting it. Maybe because all the tears have been shed a few months ago. I hope I can finally say that I have moved on. I would not however deny that part of me is very tempted to release everything here. I guess my control hormones are stronger. I'd rather focus moving on and doing things that will rather empower me. 

While I have been tempted to be eaten up by bitterness, I have been showered by a few good things that uplifted me amidst of everything.

Sunrise and morning drive - I will treasure the few days when my Father brings me to the train station. Traffic in some key areas in Marikina is getting worst over the past months. My Father volunteered to drive me every Monday morning. He was able to figure out alternative routes which are usually more refreshing and relaxing. Thanks Dad. :)

A mini forest in Manila -  I never knew that this place exists in Manila. I had a recent assignment that required me to secure data from the Manila's Office of Department of Education. I was surprised to see a very quiet compound that houses this refreshing scenery.

Another work related endeavor - I was arranging the reservations for an important meeting of some senior leaders at the workplace. I will blog about this beautiful place next week. 

What Friday nights are made of - Thank you dear friend A for the regular Friday company. 

I will stir a lot of gossips and gain silent but deadly hatred if I will post this in my Facebook account  - Hahahaha A bit exaggerated but I'm really tempted to upload this message. Maybe I can blog about it instead. 

Thank you Marieken for another cutest postcard.

Blame sadness, this is what sadness can do - Hahahaha The few friends who know me well will surely get surprised. Pink? Yes, even myself was surprised with this choice. Probably for a change, I can try this very feminine color. If this color will bring me luck, then let's forget about blue. Hahaha 

Why am I suddenly so addicted to gold? - Another super advanced birthday gift to my sad self  :)

This compensates for all the sadness I had this week. Just what I needed when I feel that nothing is going right for me. Please, wish and pray me for more freelance works. :) 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Kim Tae Hee and some men in supporting roles

First things first, I'm happy because my favorite Korean actress and girl crush :) won the Excellent Actress in the recently concluded Korea Drama Awards

Kim Tae Hee was recognized for her role in her latest drama series, Yong-Pal 

While I'm happy for Kim Tae Hee part of me was wishing that I could understand her speech. :p Can someone translate? :)

I know little about Kim Tae Hee. Only the online news articles and threads of random opinions about her acting served as my my limited sources of information. As much as I admire her, I wouldn't deny that there have been weak points on her acting skills. She has a few scenes in some drama series that lacked the emotion. Perhaps the proper words would be, she could have done it better. I often read opinions comparing her to Song Hye-Kyo. While I have nothing against Song Hye-Kyo (she's another great Korean actress), Kim Tae Hee has become more appealing. Probably because she has evolved to different roles. I watched her over Winter Sonata and was surprised that she can make a great villain too. She's more than the protagonist who is often oppressed and as they say, the easiest way to get an acting award. Hahaha

Unfortunately, Kim Tae Hee was also criticized for her movies that didn't earn. I watched one of her movies and conditioned myself that her acting was not probably good. Much to my surprise, I felt that she did a good job. My self theory is that Kim Tae Hee is one of those actresses, who excels best and preferred better in drama series. Oh, I learned that she has a lot of brand endorsements too. From beauty products, mobile phones, food related commodities, electronic related items to a popular brand of an Asian car. She has even graced a number of covers for magazines. One thing she haven't tried though is swimsuits. ;) With her very proportional and slim built, I think she can make a great endorser too. This time I hope a Filipino brand can give her an offer. But I guess this is far from reality because she's not highly popular among Filipinos. But given the opportunity, I believe she will be perfect. The Philippines will make an ideal place for the photo shoot because of the endless summer, which makes it never too late to take any swimwear for a spin. 

But sometimes, these endorsements cause some people to criticize further Kim Tae Hee. As some mean netizens would say, she's nothing but a pretty face... THIS IS SOMETHING I HAVE TO CONTRADICT. :)  I think she has been continuously improving over time. Her acting skills is getting better every time she is launched in a new drama series. It's just that people patronise her more in drama series. No offense meant to the writer of her movies and the promotions team, I have a feeling that this is where the problem arises. 

Aside from her acting skills, I'm more interested  Kim Tae Hee's real attitude and personality. My fellow Filipinos are surely aware of some local celebrities who seem to have everything except for.... a good attitude :p I hope Kim Tae Hee is not like celebrity M in the local scene. And I know that it might be impossible, but I hope to see and meet her one day. If not, maybe a fan sign or a twitter mention can do. :P 

I think I talked so much about Kim Tae Hee. Truth is, the reason why I made this post is to "honour" (such a exaggerated word hahaha) or express my admiration to the men who served supporting roles in different drama series. I don't know but more often than not, my attention is drawn to the "underrated" or the "men behind the leading man."  

Sources: 1 and 2

Jun Jin as Moo-young in Forbidden Love Nine Tailed Fox - I feel bad for Moo-young during the entire series. His character was sad and suffering. He was another guy who has the unrequited and hidden love for Shi-yeon (Kim Tae Hee). He was always the "nice guy" and often sacrificed for the sake of Shi-yeon. I also learned from Rose that Jun Jin is actually a musician, a member of the longest running boy band in South Korea.

Sources :  1 and 2

Lee Sang-yeob as Prince Dongpyeong in Jang Ok Jung and Lawyer Park in The Innocent Man- In both drama series, Lee Sang-yeob was depicted as another guy who always saved the day for the lead female character. He was someone who work behind the scenes, does the dirty job and whose efforts are often not valued. 

Sources: 1 and 2 
Sung Hyuk from Bride of the Century - How I wish he was paired with Kim Tae Hee. I discovered Sung Hyuk from the current drama series I'm watching. (Thanks to Nina of Pretty Daze.) Another smart and reliable man behind the triumphs and lowest points of the lead actress. I'm not yet done with the series but I'm excited to know how his character will transition. He's too good and handsome to be left sad. :p

Writing this post made me realised my that I have yet to fulfil my dream of visiting the Land of the Morning Calm. A friend once suggested that I should start writing academic papers again and submit it for presentation. (Hello Coleen!)  Hopefully, I will find a conference in South Korea. I would love the idea only if I'm still conditioned to venture to writing for academic publication again. Ever since I transferred to Corporate Planning, much of the researches I prepare are not meant for that relates sensitive information about the company. While the idea is good, I'm half-hearted combining work with pleasure. When I visit South Korea, I hope everything will be all about pleasure and wishful thinking, to see Kim Tae Hee or any of the celebrities I admire.

Photos used in this post are not owned by the author.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Beautiful Sunday # 180 - Unexpected

The past week was supposedly a regular workweek. But a lot came along the way. I had a scheduled leave on Monday. I reported for work on Tuesday feeling something different ....on my eyes. I joined my family who has been suffering from sore eyes. Hahaha I was the last to be infected but mine was the worst. It came with some unexplained colds and fever. I decided to stay home on Wednesday and much to my surprise, I underestimated the power of sore eyes. My other eye was inflamed and half-closed for an entire day. My vision was impaired.  Added to this, I never knew that sore eyes can be that painful. Blinking felt like having regular pinching sensations. I wanted to sleep but waking up meant a little effort. The dried mucus secretions made it difficult to open my eyes. I have to sprinkle water on my eyes, but it meant another set of tingling pain again. I wanted to watch TV but my vision was impaired. My only consolation was my iPad. However, I didn't anticipate that even the glare of mobile devices can hurt. So the ending, I was idle the entire day. It gave me enough time to rest.

I spent only a day to rest. I reported for work even though my eyes still have evident redness. The blessing in disguise, I was able to accomplish a lot of tasks. The one-day sick leave made me productive the next day. I was able to accomplish a pending task over the last months. One down! I'm not sure and I find it weird, but my skin looked better during the peak of the infection. Must be because of the adequate sleep and reduced use of makeup. My skin was behaving well! The rare times I had not-so-oily and not-so-dry skin. I was also starting to believe that Tobradex (the eye drops that I used) created some good side effects to my skin. Hahahahaha But seriously, I'm feeling way better now. I still have that reddish residue on my eyes. Whenever I check my eyes, I imagine that I was a character in those supernatural fantasy horror drama series. A fox that transforms to a human being Hahahahahahahaha

Truth is, I dreamt about it during my afternoon nap. Blame it on Kim Tae Hee's Forbidden Love / Nine Tailed Fox. Haaaay, why so pretty, Kim Tae Hee? I wouldn't bother to finish the 16 episodes had it not because of my ultimate Korean girl crush. In case anyone will be interested with this drama series, don't watch it if you are having a bad day. Plot and execution wise, it was great. No traces of predictability and the turn out of events were reasonable. Not like in local drama series where some unexplained character suddenly comes in because the producer says so. Hahahaha Problem is, the entire series is very sad and tragic. Much of Kim Tae Hee's drama series actually meant having a heart breaking ending. (The one that can make you feel sad for a few days, hahahaha)  I wonder when will she have another lighter and shallow romantic comedy series like My Princess. Surprisingly, the main villain in her recently concluded drama series, Yong-pal, was her leading man in Forbidden Love. All the more I wanted to watch Yong-pal! But I believe my heart and mind is too exhausted or just so much carried away (hahahaha) with heavy drama series. I need to detoxify (for the lack of term, hahahaha) with some romantic comedy flix. 

Aside from this unexpected surprise last week, here are the better surprises that came along

Love all the way from Germany - Thank you Duni! I will treasure this handmade clutch. The best about handmade, it's a real labor of love and indeed, one-of-a-kind. 

Surprises from Marieken - I love the vintage playing card and the very unique card. I don't often encounter a blogger who share my age and interest for everything vintage, including postal mail. Thanks Marieken!

Someone having a great time in Cayman Islands remembered me :) Thank you Jeannie!

The wreath stamp meant I have another wonderful letter from Terra. Thanks Terra!

The feel of my favorite time of the year - I've been dreaming of owning a white Christmas Tree!

I have the need to report for work this Sunday. Blame the class suspension last Friday... that somehow worked on my advantage. Hahaha More time to rest my eyes and prevent the transfer of infection. I hope everything turns out well today. :)