Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Beautiful Sunday # 330 - Last for August

Unfortunately, this is too late for a Sunday post. Last week was quite hectic because of a major event at work. I felt all the exhaustion on Friday afternoon. The extended weekend felt like a much needed  break. In as much as I'd like to rest and sleep, I have a pending freelance work. Hence, I spent both Saturday and Sunday finishing a lengthy paper. Monday was supposedly devoted for rest. But my cousins made unexpected plans. I was on rush mode again. I finished all my product photography tasks in the morning and spent the rest of the afternoon with them. We ended the day with a sumptuous dinner in one of my favourite hometown restaurants. Cafe Lidia is always, for the win! 

Monday, August 20, 2018

What you can buy for less in Hermès : My first Hermès purchase

I adore the brand, but I can never afford any of their line of bags.

I can't exactly remember when and how I discovered the brand. The nearest I can recall was from a fashion blogger and through Samantha Jones of the American series, Sex and the City. Like everyone else, I was first oriented with the two popular bags, the Birkin and Kelly. After learning how much each costs, my interest with both the bag and brand intensified. I started reading articles and what blew me away was the difficulty of acquiring either the Birkin or Kelly. Having millions of money does not guarantee any purchase. One has to line up and secure a schedule to visit, especially from their stores in France. You have to build a relationship with the sales assistants to possibly gain an offer for a bag. The relationship includes consistent purchase of expensive non-bag items. It might take two to three years for first time buyers to acquire a Kelly or Birkin. It also appears that the store implements a hidden screening process. 

While I cannot purchase any bag, I started exploring other products from the brand.  I discovered their iconic and historic line of scarves. Still very expensive. I learned about their shoes, fragrance, jewellery, ready-to-wear and surprisingly, a line of books. I discovered it when I learned that Hermès actually has an online store. If I can't afford the bag, I can probably save up for a book. Much to my surprise, the books weren't as expensive as I was expecting. 

An authentic Hermès merchandise that will not cost an arm and a leg

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Beautiful Sunday # 329 - On Money and Values

I just finished watching the Thai film, Bad Genius. The reviews were not deceiving, I now regret not watching it earlier. The story centers on Lynn, a top performing student single-handedly raised by his economically struggling father. Like any other parent, the modest father wanted the best education for her daughter. Lynn was sent to a prestigious school, in the hope that this will give her the ticket to study abroad. Typical to any movie, one can expect what happens when the smart and economically disadvantaged meets the wealthy yet academically struggling kids. Instead of being bullied, Lynn became an accomplice of the rich kids. What started as the usual cheating in class exams, transformed to a money making mechanism. The cheating business later progressed to a grand project aimed to provide leaks to a standardized entrance examination for US based universities. 

The unpredictable plot, suspense and hidden themes made me enjoy the film. As much as I don't want to deal with it, the scene where Bank emphasized that continuing the cheating business is way better than earning a university degree retained on me. The cheating business made Lynn and Bank earn millions of money. Some university graduates, who honestly worked their way, will probably never earn that amount of money in their lifetime. It sounds harsh and pessimistic, but reality speaks half of it. . If there's anything powerful than money, I always return to value system. But the question on how to  impart values is something I will not attempt to explain. I can claim expertise in other fields, but values education is not just me. Then again, I realized this is what we need ... even adults need some refresher course. :p Proof to this are all those viral videos that generated public outrage in Facebook. Admittedly, there was one that remained a constant topic within my circles. In my mind, it would just take another viral video or controversy to end all the heated discussions and opinions.

I always complain that I have nothing to write over the past months. This week, I guess I had more than enough. ;) Here's something to break all the rants and negativities I started. :p

My slow, quiet and relaxing weekend mornings

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Beautiful Sunday # 328 - Rain

Endless rain, strong winds and thunderstorms. This was how weekend started. I felt unusually tired last Friday, probably because I'm still adjusting with my evening classes. I was looking forward for a great rest and sleep. The colder weather felt relaxing, not until I woke up with heavy rains. The continuous downpour already felt frightening. Surrounding areas were already flooded. I forced myself to stay awake and thank God, the rain subsided on midnight. Hopefully, a better weather tomorrow. 

The past week went like the usual days at work. It was one of the rare weeks when I thought everything was on default mode. Somewhere in the middle of the week, something happened. Times like this always remind me of another dream job. I have always been interested in crisis management. I want to be a social media data miner, who look for hidden data patterns, formulate fact based insights and identify strategies that can rebuild a company's tainted image. 

Years ago, I thought such work was already handled by any corporate communications team. By accident, I encountered an article that related how Cebu Pacific Air handled public outrage, following the fatal crash of Flight 387 in 1998.  The article was written by no less than the President and CEO. It was the first time I discovered a Singapore based company specializing in crisis management. In 1998, social media wasn't born yet. It's a different story if everything happened today. Information dissemination is faster, the lone resort is always, damage control. Speaking of damage control, there's another sector in the country that badly needs it. Talk about the Corporate Communications team of the national government. Someone should have been fired long ago. People can always forgive her stupidity and turn everything to a comic relief. Unfortunately, absence of moral decency, problematic attitude and disposition should be placed somewhere.  <end of my rant>

Trying to make everything feel a little positive, here are snapshots from last week

Discovered a new favorite - It has been months since Boulangerie 22 opened at Gateway Mall. I never tried it because I thought it was expensive. Added to this, I rarely encounter reviews. But because I was craving for something different, I decided to give it a try. There were no regrets, I love their salted caramel chocolate cake (the rare times I enjoyed anything chocolate), Holy Cheesus mini loaf and my all time favorite, green matcha s'mores cookie. Prices are relatively the same with Bread Talk, although I found more choices here. The bakery appears French, though I sense it's owned by a Korean based company, like Tous Le Jours. 

Monday, August 6, 2018

Beautiful Sunday # 327 - Disappointments

The weekend gave us a better weather. I woke up on a warm Saturday morning with fresh fruits and the smell of a homecooked meal. I captured some photos, had lunch with the family and met one of my favorite friends in the afternoon. On Sunday, we celebrated my cousin's birthday with a sumptuous lunch and dessert. Everything felt slow and relaxing, it was the perfect way to end a disappointing week. I have a long narrative at the end of this post. Before anything else, here are some photos from last week. 

Unhealthy and healthy - trying to create something from these two bowls