Feb 28, 2011

Getting A Job to Prove Something

Every single time that I ask my parents to drop me off for a job interview, they always ask me what company, what kind of job, how much will they pay me? I had a hard time telling my dad to drop me off in Folded and Hung earlier.

I appreciate the concern but it kinda gets annoying because I feel manipulated all the time. Indirectly, they try to direct my life at age 20 and you know naman our Filipino culture. Baka sabihin pang wala akong utang na loob if I tell them to bug off and let me mind my own business.

The truth is, they are the ones fixing my job for me. I got into this management training program of a reputable bank because of their connections. I talked with my dad earlier and he asked me to submit my transcript of records...

WHAT!? I got a freaking D in all my accounting and finance subjects. Those grades will destroy any chances of getting into a giant financial institution. But he told me to chill because my grades won't matter anyway. I hate that reply.

I'm not in a hurry though to look for a real job. I just like the thrill of getting a job before my smarter friends. Haha! I'd like to concentrate more on Soya Ice and Manila Kid until around June. Actually, I'm not considering a serious job until 2013, when the apocalyptic threat of 2012 is over. I just want to have a job where I get to go to the mall everyday and dress whatever I like to wear - even shorts.

My mom was the one who picked my course. She originally wanted me to do Accounting in La Salle - I really wanted Advertising Management there. By some chance, I'm now graduating from Ateneo - Management Economics (and I detest economics!)

How many times have I heard from my parents: "The decision is all up to you, but I strongly suggest you take this option."

I think it's time to consider what I really want. Even though I get 30,000 for a job in a bank, if all i'll do is cry after work and run to my accounting tutor for help, it's not worth it.

(Advice: writing out your rants can really help a lot . It clarifies your goals and priorities.)

ORSEM 2007

College life will start at 7am. It's June 7, Thursday and I'm glad my dad is dropping me off to school. He warned me not to wear my pink Chucks with light blue shoe laces, but hey it's college and I want to make a good lasting impression.

There were many students walking in different color-coded shirts as we enter the gates of the Ateneo. (Talagang kailangang may "the"?) I was wearing blue. I went down the car and into the commotion happening in the covered courts. Oh look, the girls from CSR whom we interacted with during second year high school - Raf still looks hot.

I can't find Rex, or Noel, or JC or any of my high schoolmates. I guess I have to find my way. So I lined up, got my kit - what an ugly bag - and sat where there's this huge gay facilitator (student pala siya) swaying a giant P5 placard up in the air. That's my block - P5. I found my name tag and sat there waiting as the seats get filled up. 

Ino (Ateneo High) was on my right and Michi (ICA) on my left. So okay, this is the Ateneo so I kinda need to speak in Engleesh. So I tried and gave it my best shot to start a conversation.... That was the last time I talked with them.

The 3-day ceremony they call OrSem started with a mass. Then came the "Our Father" song. We had to touch hands. Ok. I'm not used to touching girls' hands but ok. The right hand was rough as sand paper and don't blame me if my hands were wet because we were all sweating like pigs.

Then came the program that prolonged our agony. We "danced" the Banana, Pacific Ring of Fire and Chuga - don't ask me what they are. (Skip memories)

I overheard someone: "Pare, blockmate ko si Rica Peralejo!" Aba naman! Then I started looking at my blockmates. In fairness, there were many Chinese, like there were 10 of them! One was wearing a light blue polo - the same outfit he wore during our guidance test. OMG! Outfit repeater! Unforgivable! (Little did I know that one cannot survive school without repeating an outfit)

We ran and ran and ran around campus and entered a classroom. That's where we introduced ourselves. Call me mean but I didn't know people from outside Metro Manila existed. I mean yeah I know people lived in Bicol or Nueva Ecija or Batangas but I never really thought that I can meet and talk to a real live Bicolano, Batangueno and Nueva Ejiano students! (turned out some of them will be my closest college friends)

Anyway, I had a convoluted understanding of the world and looking back, I was very close minded. I never really imagined that Julius - this saintly Rizal hairstyled kid can be so interested in ANTM and can survive a night of Bacardi and Tequila shots. I never thought that Dondie, who was very shy at that time would be very sociable and approachable. I never imagined that Jet can get any louder nor that Kevin can organize a very successful international party at Ponti. 

I never thought that Amanda and Burn, the two hottest members of our block, will be my friends. At first I thought Anne was a normal harmless girl - big mistake! Haha! I thought all Ateneo High students were arrogant, yung iba lang pala (even up to now). And I thought my Chinese blockmates will keep to their "own kind" but it turns out I confided my secrets in some of them.

Sorry to cut it at that. If i mention everyone, this blog will be unreadable. Some of us got sexier, some got "meatier". Some became a couple, but most broke up in our last years/months. A lot of things have changed - unforeseen and unexpected. As for me, I see myself as a documenter of these changes. 

It's a good imagination exercise to think of what will happen to my blockmates after 5, 10 or 30 years. The good thing about being in the Ateneo is that great people surround you everywhere. Who knew that Gloria or Noynoy would be presidents someday? Maybe one of my classmates will be a philanthropist, the next Henry Sy or an influential politician. Its good to know that before they achieved their greatness, they started out as students who got Fs in a theo/philo oral exam or accounting/finance long test, who got drunk during his first major party or who got denied (several times) by the girl he's crushing on since high school.

College life will end on March 25 (26 for some) at around 7pm, but the memories will last us a lifetime.

Feb 17, 2011

First Days of College

Here are some recollections of my first two days in Ateneo. It did not come from some blog I wrote three and a half years ago, but based from what I remember today.

It was a hot afternoon and we were asked to personally do the registration process for college. I'm not really sure how to do it and where to find the buildings. I'm in my plain purple collared shirt, deconstructed pants and pink & light blue chucks. I was texting Rex because I lost my "Primer"/ everything-one-needs-to-know-to-register booklet. Stupid me.

"Hello, where is sexy?", from a hot conyo girl in short shorts
"Uhm, sexy? I don't know e", I answered.
Then raising her eyebrows, she left. Now I know what she meant: SEC-C, where you had to line up to give your medical clearance/x-rays. I thought it was kind of a pick up line! Haha!

It's a bit intimidating because people know each other. These kids came from Ateneo High, LSGH, Xavier, ICA, Poveda, Assumption... We were only few from our high school and most of them went to the School of Science and Engineering. At least I had someone to talk to.

After registering, me and Rex went around to tour the school. It looked like a forest with its overgrown trees and small hills. I even heard that there was a lake (which turned out to be a pond.) This is going to be the toughest four years of my life. How am I to survive? I'll just do what Cady Heron did in Mean Girls - eat lunch in a restroom cubicle.

We are supposed to take a guidance test today with my whole block. This is the first time that I'll be seeing my blockmates. Oohh... exciting! NOT:| I was wearing a red plain collared shirt, rusted effect jeans and red chucks. I wonder how my blockmates would look like. We'll be together for the next four years, I hope they will look normal.

I entered the classroom and I was a bit late. We sat alphabetically. Beside me was this small dark guy who keeps on looking at me. He has a funny hair and I think he was even wearing blue at that time. This was Lyndon, and little did I know that he'll help me a lot in my academics; we are also co-owners of Soya Ice. Beside him was this gay-Chinese looking guy in brown stripes and slippers. This was Rob and it turns out he's not gay nor Chinese.

After the guidance test, Rex, Noel and I met up in Zen Garden to talk about some stuff. We felt hungry so Noel drove us to Robinsons Marikina to eat in Tokyo Tokyo. I remember both of my companions even ordered extra rice - how fattening.

The place looks like a mall from the province because the mountain is its backdrop. I usually go to Ortigas and Ayala malls so the environment was kinda funny to me. Actually, the whole environment of Ateneo is different from what I was used to. There were no buildings and the place really felt secluded. It will take a while for me to feel at home to this school.

February 17, 2011
Last day of classes tomorrow! I was walking around Ateneo earlier and thinking about all the friendships I made, all the failures and successes we shared and the unforgettable memories we had. I'm not exactly sure what to feel. Should I be relieved that all the academics will finally be over? I will definitely miss studying.

If there's one thing I have to remember for the rest of my life about Ateneo, it's the culture of Magis. You are not only content with what you can give, but there's always that drive to achieve something beyond your best. It is a continuous perfection so that others can rely on you to be their best.

Everything turned out great in the end. I won't say that I went through college effortlessly, but at least I didn't eat lunch in a restroom cubicle.

Feb 16, 2011

School Politics

I'm not usually a fan of school politics (nor their initiatives) but it's that time of year again to vote and as my last year in college, I'd like to participate in this process (at least once).

I'm voting Drew Copuyoc as our student council President because in a world where image is everything, he is the best looking among all the candidates. He can carry the image of the Ateneo outside the school. He's also very smart (double major in Management Engineering and Economics Honors) He has the right management skills - a balance between logical decision making and understanding the needs of the people.

I was able to personally work with Ian Agatep last June. He's running for Secretary-General and he's perfect for that position because he has that unrelenting energy to serve. There's so much energy in him that is infectious and demands respect.  

I won't pretend that I read their platforms but practically and from my point of view, it's not just the projects that matter. It's the inspiration and influence that these people have that makes them worthy of the position. With them in charge, they can move the people and represent them rightly in school.

Feb 15, 2011

Who is Manila Kid?

Manila Kid dreams of rebranding the image of Metro Manila by highlighting the interesting quirks of the city – from its diverse people, to its peculiar places, to its mainstream and subcultures. We follow the very beat that keeps a ManileƱo moving and present it through three forms:

Merchandise: Manila Kid will have its own clothing brand where familiar and homegrown icons like the jeepney, Imelda Marcos, the University Belt, LRT/MRT, Luneta... will be reinterpreted into post-modern graphic designs. 

Community of Bloggers: A circle of regular contributors will write about the latest trends, fashion, music, food, art scene to practically anything in the metro. Featured personalities will also be interviewed to share their piece of mind.

Social Advocacy: Manila Kid will create a concrete impact in the lives of the city's less fortunate youth. We will partner with Tuklasan Center where kids are provided temporary homes and rehabilitation services (since some of these kids suffered abuse from their parents.) Every time you buy our shirt, a portion of your money will go to to the kids of Tuklasan. http://www.erdafoundation.org/services/advocacy-and-others/tuklasan

Manila Kid will have its own website - manilakid.com - where everything is posted.

If you are a graphic designer, blogger/journalist, student, investor, idealist or someone who believes and loves this city, don't hesitate to email us at neilpalteng@gmail.com or johnleynard_palteng@yahoo.com. We'd like to hear of what you think.

We believe that this is one step in giving a better home for the next generation, for the next Manila kids.

Feb 14, 2011

Passing It On

Today was my last day as one of the vice presidents of our org. We had the induction ceremony of the new officers earlier and so as the awarding ceremony of the outstanding executive board members. Fortunately, I got some awards - though it kinda felt awkward getting them. Haha! Dunno why.

I never really considered joining an org when I was a freshman in college. Everything feels so big and beyond my reach. I was insecure and felt small. I wonder what will that 17 year old Neil say when he knew what lies ahead. He may not even believe it.

My greatest achievement in college is not my high grades (got none) nor the videos I directed nor the projects we did as a team. It won't be the Soya Ice - even though it has potential to be really big. Neither are the projects and marketing promotions/designs I did for our org.

It's always the people who I influenced and worked with. That's why last Christmas, instead of spending money for myself, I bought books to give to my members. For me, they are my greatest success - seeing them motivated or challenge or changed buy what I did or say.

Not everyone can have a claim on that. They might have invested so much on getting those A's and working experience for the resume, but if you strip a person bare to its core, what matters most are the relationships that one builds and leaves. Something forever marked within a person.

Here's an excerpt from what I wrote in our high school year book.

"As i shut the door and open a new one to embark on another journey on this so called life, I took a trip back at the familiar memory lane and find myself stuck within its gray alleys.

I was once a student, like any other student in any other school, with the hopes to graduate and the dreams to excel. But then, after I flipped back the pages of my high school days, I found that I was painted in a bigger picture of people existing, not for me, but because of me.

In this four year roller coaster ride, my greatest success would be the discovery of my identity. My quest then was to achieve excellence in all the fields, but then I realized that there are more important things than academics.

I was able to influence people, and that to me is the greatest harvest that I reaped for all my hard work. I am a people person.

I never wanted to be forgotten easily, and through these people I have influenced, my memories in this Alma Mater will be remembered. With this in mind, I will finally be able to break free, and move on to higher places."

Looks like not much has changed of me.

Manila Kid

I'm so excited for this post I don't even know where to begin.

My mom and I had a lengthy meeting earlier about my future plans and to cut the lengthy elaboration, she agreed to give me a loan to start up my own business, woohoo!

I'm a diva - I don't want to work for anyone. (although I'll still try to get a fun job like in a magazine) I'm also a budding philanthropist - so I want to provide jobs, and a patron of the arts so I try to support potential artists.

I've always mentioned this dynamic duo who were very successful with this tshirt company because it mainly targeted my highschool and its alumni. They practically monopolize the market and I feel bad that I wasn't the one who thought of it. 

So after much sulking in a corner of my room, crying my heart out with only a candle to comfort me, I got a plan. I'm going to start my own tshirt company!

I was also in fashion class one day and beside me was one of the owners of a tshirt printing business. I talked with her and she's willing to partner with me since they are also starting up. She's a friend of mine so it won't be hard to strike up a decent deal.

One of my friends expect me to change the world one day, so I'll start with Manila first. I'll be launching a tshirt company with my brother and the theme will revolve around Philippine icons twisted to the post modern and surreal realm. The design concepts are endless! Our brand will be called Manila Kid.

I'm trying to negotiate with an architecture student in the US to design for us. I've known him since grade school and he has mad skills to the point that I'm not taking no for his answer. (If you're reading this Don, I'm begging you to be our main designer! Haha!) Below is a sample of his work:

Amazing right? Makes you want to look forward to the designs of Manila Kid!

Backed by the Blogosphere:
Aside from the t-shirts, we are planning to come up with a website to show the latest designs of Manila Kid. It will also be a venue where young bloggers can contribute anything they want relating what's happening in Manila: from what's happening in campus, to their radical ideas, to latest fashion/ music/ food/ trends/ subcultures... They have to register to manilakid.com and we'll give them a tab in our site. It's one of our promotional strategies because some bloggers have a solid reader base that will serve as our potential customers. I guess it's also a way to promote blogging.

Making a Social Impact:
I'm also very keen on making a social impact and part of Manila Kid is to help the children of Metro Manila. We are partnering with Tuklasan Children's Home so part of our profit will go to them. They are sort of an orphanage that houses abused kids, and my cousins and I have conducted outreach programs for them.

I have the capital, the supplier, the designer, the marketing/promotions team/strategy and all I need is a solid concept. My brother and I will meet tomorrow to discuss the whole thing. I'll write the proposal in 1-2 weeks, finalize the deal with the suppliers, fix the website, create hype and start with the business - mostly online and bazaar selling first.

Below is me and my brother:
There are so much opportunities. I feel like it's going to be a very exciting year!

Feb 10, 2011

Cirq Regal: The Runway Spectacle

It's always exciting to see so much energy in a runway. All the passion (and repression) of these designers showcased in one night is truly a spectacle.

I think for each designer/team, they were assigned a concept coming from the main theme - circus. Very interesting concept and I wished they could have thought something bigger and bolder with the props. 

Still kudos to them since they are just undergraduate students:)

Who do we have here? Is it Sasha Pivovarova? Natasha Poly? No, it's our long time friend Joma Bernardo. I heard he got one of the loudest applause because he worked F.I.E.R.C.E!

Now who doesn't love animal skin?

Aya Abesamis was there to grace the event. She's a friend of my brother and I remember dressing her up during Fashion Week several seasons ago. She's the model to watch for - one of the top models in our country right now.

Below is our neighbor and childhood friend Trish. She's also a photographer. We've known her since we were five years old but we don't talk to her much. She is sometimes blond and can be seen wielding a samurai while walking in our streets. Haha!

I'm looking forward to next year's event because my brother (I think) will be showing a collection there. Seeing all these pictures make me restless with the upcoming fashion week and our report for my fashion merchandising class. Yikes!

Love. Lock. Down.

It has always been dictated.
February 14. Valentine's Day.
For the Couples, the LoveBirds, the Mag-On, the Happy Ones
And even for the single! ..to cruelly highlight the fact that they are indeed, single.

The Power Hour Kids, we don't buy that prejudice.

We see Fate's offer of a one-sided plain-old "love" day,
And raise our night of unquestionable astronomical delight. ♥

February 12, 2011
A.Venue Events Hall, Makati Ave., Makati City


It is in our style to entertain.
So do expect The Favorites!
>> Mobile ShooterBars + Minibars
>> Kids With Bottles... :)
>> Self-Love Stations (Photobooths)

And excite yourselves for a few new surprises:
>> Letters to Romeo or Juliet
>> Love or Dare Dice
>> Advice from Dr. Love
>> Love-coding bracelets!
Green - It's A Go!
Yellow - Try Your Luck.
Red - Not Available...Yet. ;)


All the LOVE society had decided to set free,
We'll have on LOCKDOWN for your convenience. :)

There is one thing we PH kids promise:
On this night, NO ONE will be lonely. ♥

Instituted by Power Hour Productions.

Feb 9, 2011

Why We Go to Church

I saw this CD of "Tanging Yaman: Fr. Manoling's Favorite Hyms II" lying on my mom's desk earlier so I got curious. I'm now playing it on my laptop and it's surprisingly calming, although I had to turn down the volume because my dad might hear and tease/persecute me. Long story.

Anyway, the atmosphere it created reminded me of our philo discussion earlier - about rituals, specifically going to church. Some of you might consider it empty and non-scientific. Going on Sunday masses have become so routine that it starts to loose its meaning. In my case, the people do not participate in singing that's why the "celebration" started to become very dry.

(Picture of Don Bosco Makati Church below. I actually find it better than the one in Ateneo)

Makes me miss more our high school masses where it feels like a rock concert - drums are being played and you can feel the brotherhood among everyone, especially when we start singing the Our Father. I think it's one of the things that people really look forward to.

Rituals like going to church, beyond what your priest or theology teacher preaches, creates and establishes a community and togetherness. It gives you an affinity. Very practical approach right?

Maybe that is why people go to church when they feel alone, scared or unsure. More than providing a place of meditation to find answers from within us (very Buddhist), it comforts you by making you feel in union with a community. Your problems get lighter because you know that someone is there listening to you or at least you know someone might be there who also shares the same burden as yours.

I think this is a more critical and practical approach to why we go there to pray. With the proper framing and understanding, people will find more reason to visit this holy place.

Feb 8, 2011

Always that "Trying to Fit In"

Several days ago, I had my oral exam for my philosophy class with Amanda and Homie and I kinda realized something while studying Theravada & Zen Buddhism and Immanuel Kant.

We always thought that fitting in was a thing in high school. You wear clothes that are in, listen to music that everyone tries to listen to, hang out in the same place where everyone else is and do the same shit as everybody does. High school is that harsh environment where you'd be judged everywhere you go so to cope up, you try to group with people with the same interests - or at least try to fit into that group.

Turns out it doesn't stop there.

College may have forced out some maturity in most of us but that sense of trying to be unique and trying to go against the mainstream still comes from the need to fit in a world that values uniqueness and originality. I'm not sure if you get my point here.

We have objectified reality in two ways: 1) mainstream have created these trends, ideals and groups where people are constantly forced to follow, or 2) we believe in that constant need to be different so we try to look for established sub-cultures that we find (simply to put it) cool.

I think we have lost so much sense of what reality really is. How do we cope in a world built by mutually accepted delusions? If you'd be conscious about it, being the real you is always a struggle.

Personally, I think I fit in the second option above. I do not watch/follow ANY tv series/show. I paint, love fashion and blog. I'm even in to this whole environmental thing. But is that really what I want? I'm not saying that this is not me but I just have to be sure because I think it will create an internal dissonance in the long run.

Listening to yourself that allows you to expose who you really are will produce a genuine you. I think meditation, reflection, prayer or whatever you call it will help you with this. Maybe I wrote this topic because I personally haven't listened to what I really am. Maybe this whole noise of media is to blame, maybe school/org work, or maybe I just don't want to listen because I still had that sense of trying to fit in.

Feb 7, 2011

Party Like A G6


This 21st of March 2011, Far East Movement is bringing the party to Manila! The first American-Asian group to land on mainstream pop charts, FM's Kev Nish, Prohgress, J-Splif, and DJ Virman will be rockin' their stylish shades, skinny ties, fresh kicks, and shiny blazers at Republiq Club in a live performance featuring hits like "Like a G6", "Girls on the Dancefloor", "Rocketeer", and "Don't Look Now". This is one big party you wouldn't want to miss out on! Get your tables and tickets by calling up this number 0917 5508888 or log on towww.republiqclub.com 
Will be watching this with Platinum VIP Passes!:D