May 31, 2011

Big Hairy Audacious Goals

I haven't blogged in this site for quite some time now that we have launched At first I thought of moving my blog there since I'm the executive director of Manila Kid. But I realized that most of what I write is personal and can sometimes be detached to the vision of Manila Kid so I decided to keep Triple Espresso Shots.

Speaking of vision, I was reading the Go Negosyo book earlier where they feature the top businessmen of today. It's really inspiring to learn about their stories and how they started until they become very successful. One memorable quote I read towas from the founder of LJC Restaurant Group (Cafe Adriatico, Cafe Havana...) "The enterprise created is but a strategy to meet the personal vision of the entrepreneur." - Larry J. Cruz

Some business schools teach us to look for opportunities in the market and then start your business from there. How we came up with Manila Kid is another story. I personally wanted to get rid of the stinking image of Metro Manila where they always feature poverty, corruption and degradation of morals. It simply pissed me off because Manila is definitely more than that! So how do I do this? What do I love? Fashion. Let's make clothes then.

When you start a company or business, it is important to set the vision and core values. I wouldn't have thought of without articulating the core values for instance. Since Manila Kid is more than a clothing line - but a movement that promotes Manila's young and vibrant image, we formulated strategies in order to achieve this goal. And thus and partnering with a charity foundation was born.

Another way of calling Vision is Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAG). I learned this from my business teacher back in college who must have read this in a business book. It does sound funny because of the hairy part:))

Articulate your personal vision, then find a way to achieve it. Whether it's being a journalist, enrolling to law/medicine school or starting your own company. It's your North Star towards success and in a world full of darkness, we need those stars to lead the way.

May 26, 2011 is a mini online magazine that showcases young, talented and promising individuals who have the ability to inspire others to push for their dreams.

It contains stories of youth who have triumphed over their misfortunes and disabilities, like Aia Arkoncel whose legs are both paralyzed because of a car accident, but still pushed for her project - Dream A Little More - that inspires and challenges thousands to believe in the "magic."

Talented artists can contribute their works (literature, photography, visual art) to our art portfolio like Kune Delgado, a graphic artist, photographer and a famed cosplayer, whose works are reflections of influences beyond our world.

Young Filipinos who have made ripples outside the country are also featured in the magazine like Don Dimanlig, the first freshman to win the Murray-Murray award in Carleton University in Canada, and whose intricate detailing won him fans worldwide.

Being young doesn't also stop Adrian Gonzales, an undergraduate from the University of the Philippines, from getting featured in Vogue Italia! His works dare to question our perception of beauty and challenge us to see the other in a new light

Of course we are very open to contributors who can write anything happening in the metro - from places, events and culture to groundbreaking insights and researches. More of that and other stories in:
Official launch: 05-28-2011

May 23, 2011

Bag of Beans

We went to Tagaytay yesterday to have lunch with the family. After a healthy stuffing of the best all Filipino dishes, we went to this Bag of Beans. Whenever we go to Tagaytay or areas around it, we often pass this coffee shop but never got to visit it. 

The stop over there was worth it because the place looks very romantic. It's something where I'd go to spend a whole day, reading a book under one of those vintage lamps. And the bread they sell there were to die for! The coffee is a bit too strong for my taste though - kapeng barako, and ironically I felt sleeping after drinking it. Must have been because the full stomach and the gentle fall of the rain. I wish they could have played music, something to add to the coziness of the place. Nevertheless, I'm looking forward to visiting this place again. Who knows, we might even source our coffee in Bag of Beans for Soya Ice!:D 

It's one of those places where you wish you brought a Maria Clara outfit and shot with a naked Crisostomo Ibarra. Kidding! We should have more accessible places like this here in Manila. Something more Filipino than Figaro almost to the level of Xocolat (in Katipunan), but more affordable to your everyday locals.

May 19, 2011

Surrounding Yourself With Greatness

These are the moments when I realize that we literally have our whole lives ahead us and that we have so much power to change the world. - from a tweet I saw last night by Braggy.

After several meetings with some very promising people for a mini online magazine we are launching, I've realized that not all talented people are being stretched to their maximum potential. Or it happens at the later part of their lives. I think most people lack the model or inspiration that will catapult them to greatness. As Malcom Gladwell mentioned, it all depends on the opportunity that a person has - not the talent.

I was lucky enough to find myself in the company of ambitious and supportive visionaries through out my college years. First was in my college organization - Ateneo-Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations. The people there are geniuses! In terms of assessing international issues and the planning and execution of events. They are the ones who took me out of my comfort zone and  made me realized that it is possible for me to be part of a team that can plan a three-day nationwide event with internationally renowned speakers. And they all speak very good English! HAHA! I mentioned this because I'm more of a writer, and being exposed to their kind of environment challenged me to be as fluent as them.

I also had been part of an international organization that tries to "cushion" the effects of climate change by building ecovillages around the world. These are villages that have their own power supply, water treatment facilities, food source, currency... I was the representative of the Philippines for the youth division and that position really stretched me beyond what I knew I can do then. It was beyond! I sometimes had to go to far areas to attend seminars and conferences. I got to interact with people from different countries like Japan, India, Bangladesh, Cambodia... and asked them about their experiences. The knowledge of the systems was the bonus. What I considered the real learning were from the exposure and inspiration that these people are doing something bigger than themselves for the benefit of the many.

I also volunteered in UNICEF where we went to Laguna for a psycho-social relief operation in an elementary school there. I was with several German students who decided to go volunteer in third world countries before pursuing their college diploma just because they want to give back. In my recent work with them, I learned that a lot of people here in the Philippines have their own charities and are doing their part in alleviating poverty in their areas - from doctors, bank managers to even simple carinderia owners.

I wish that I gained these kinds of exposure at an early age - maybe I would have been our batch Valedictorian or that kid who talked in front of the United Nations in New York. I always wanted to mentor someone - to help him realize at a young age that these things are possible if you just put hard work in what John Maxwell calls the "process to leadership."

I'm coming up with this program for Manila Kid where we (my team and I) can be in a position to mentor a young student to realize his true leadership potential and skills. We will expose him to different people who has exhibited "greatness" through interviews and one-on-one coaching and hope that it would somehow inspire him. We will also send him to seminars or lectures that will develop his passions, and provide him with the materials he needs (like books) to further improve his leadership skills. All expenses will be paid by Manila Kid of course. The program will range from 6 to 12 months depending on the needs and availability of the student. The best part is, he'll be the spokesperson of Manila Kid whenever we are invited to seminars or during our charity events.

I'm crossing my fingers and hoping we'll find the most suited person out there!:D

May 18, 2011

What the Cameras Don't Show

"Philippine Fashion Week served to be a testament to the talents of Filipino designers. We have seen clothes through out the week that inspire and penetrate us so deeply that it goes beyond where beauty lies. It becomes a spiritual manifestation that these visual treats can transform into something so powerful and moving, it can even transcend death." - my quote from a previous blog entry

Days after fashion week, bloggers and photographers have have been busy uploading their articles and photos in the internet. My facebook wall can attest to that! I'll try not to talk about the clothes this time, you can see those in my previous posts. But I'd like to share to you the things that the camera doesn't catch.

Music sets the mood of the show so it's vital for the designer to consider whatever is being played in the background to enhance the garments and be cohesive with his point of view. It's difficult not to notice Russel Villafuerte's music - from using tribal-ladies-while-having-close-to-orgasm sounds in his last collection to epileptic-screaming-hiphop-rappers this season. This guy is totally out of this world!

The sound that sticked to my mind was the Emily Browning version of Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) that Jerome Salaya Ang played! The image and experience still give me chills! And how can anyone forget the orchestra version of Bruno Mars' Just the Way You Are which was played during the tribute to Louie Mamengo? Emotions filled up the whole hall that even the models were on the verge of crying.

How can we not talk about the models? My all time favorites are Ria Bolivar, Grendel Arevalo, Aya Abesamis and the great Marina Benipayo. Giselle Paqueo also worked the runway during the show that Univeristy of Santo Tomas sponsored. I saw models trip three times this season. The most memorable was from a supermodel from Ford. The next time she went to the runway (still in the same show), you can really see her frustration the face to prove herself that she's still on top of her game. Can't help but ask, galit ka teh? LOL!

I also like to mention the people from Buensalido Associates who always gave us good seats - most of the time in the second row. Special mention to Rio, our favorite usher! He's been very kind to us and was always there when we needed his assistance. Contrary to my experience with the ushers, the bouncers were really mean! The job calls for them to be rigid so even the VIPs needed to follow the protocol.

By the way - and I can't put enough emphasis on this one - there are unsaid etiquettes on the front row. It is in the least of the ideal things to eat Boy Bawang there, no matter how hungry you are. Dare not to display a fake Louis Vuitton - we are there to support originality and not piracy. No matter how much you are enjoying the show, try to control yourself from grinning too much, or if you're bored, try not to fall asleep. Remember the cameras are watching. Mag Angry Birds ka na lang in your iPad like a certain editor. LOL!

And that concludes my series of fashion week blogs! See you all next season!

May 16, 2011

Albert Andrada @ PFW Holiday '11

Albert Andrada is in a league of his own. He knows how to make drama and make the jaws of his audience drop. The last time I've seen his designs, he placed his models in a crystal studded casing while wearing long flowing gowns, and in gold sequined underwear with giant vests made of hair. 

He blows his inspirations to cataclysmic proportions this time using what seems to be a Marie Antoinette peg in a display of pure brilliance. What better way can you modernize a Victorian piece by pairing it with bejeweled leggings? Legendary model, Marina Benipayo was the last one to walk and she killed it - probably the best modeling performance ever! I wish I could describe it here in detail. Giselle, Naomi and Heidi got nothing on this woman!

Photos courtesy of Status

Don Protasio @ PFW Holiday '11

While eating in Travel Cafe Philippines, we saw Mike Magallanes with designer Don Protasio. We exchanged greeting and it's a good thing Mike introduced us to Don. I've been a fan of his works since two seasons ago because he always had a clear point of view that sets him apart from different designers. His clothes stand out not because it screams, but there's a subtlety and mystery that draws you in.

His look was a collaboration with OS accessories. Don't worry, those bone and skull accessories didn't come from real animals. Don Protasion said it himself that it was a Boho-Chic collection. The way I see it, there're day wear (first three photos) and evening wear (the remaining three.) When I saw Irish Ong (last picture) stepped out, we were all blown away. It actually reminded me of a fusion between the wicked Queen and Snow White - beauty that kills.

Photos by Karl Leuterio

Kermit Tesoro @ PFW Holiday '11

Kermit Tesoro explores the human anatomy in his collection this season with clothes inspired literally by the human heart. Compared to his previous seasons, he didn't use much props - the clothes were strong (and dark) enough to stand on their own. There weren't any abacca furniture this time! LOL! Of course everyone is still on the look out for his shoes. They were like part of the model's legs, with veins and bones sticking out. 

He didn't lose the wow factor by incorporating transvestites in his runway - yeah, muscles all the way! Xtina Super star closed the show in a dress showing the insides of the human body. Now this is a collection where Kermit really put his heart out.