Jan 30, 2012

Intersection of Artistry and Technology

I was too sick to go to work today so I spent the first half of my day finishing the biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, and I can say that the story of Jobs' life knocked me out! He's one hell of a genius whom I know will greatly influence me in my decisions in business and my career.

"Was he smart? No, not exceptionally. Instead, he was a genius. His imaginative leaps were instinctive, unexpected, and at times magical. He was indeed, an example of what the mathematician Mark Kac called a magician genius, someone whose insights come out of the blue and require intuition more than a mere mental processing power. Like a pathfinder, he could absorb information, sniff the winds, and sense what lay ahead.

Steve Jobs thus became the greatest business executive of our era, the one most certain to be remembered a century fro now. History will place him in the pantheon right next to Edison and Ford. More than anyone else of his time, he made products that were completely innovative, combining the power of poetry and processor. With a ferocity that could make working with him as unsettling as it was inspiring, he also built the world's most creative company. And he was able to infuse into its DNA the design sensibilities, perfectionism, and imagination that make it likely to be, even decades from now, the company that thrives best at the intersection of Artistry and Technology."

- Walter Isaacson

What I find most notable in the book is that Isaacson didn't end it with the death of Steve Jobs.

     "I like to think that something survives after you die," he said. "It's strange to think that you accumulate all this experience, and maybe a little wisdom, and it just goes away. So I really want to believe that something survives, that maybe your consciousness endures."
     He fell silent for a very long time. "But on the other hand, perhaps it's like an on-off switch," he said. "Click! And you're gone."
     Then he paused again and smiled slightly. "Maybe that's why I never liked to put on-off switches on Apple devices."

Jan 29, 2012

Business as Usual

I'm currently writing a business proposal which a new business venture will use to pitch their ideas to potential investors.  The first draft will be presented tomorrow so looks like I'll be up all night again. I'm excited and nervous at the same time because I must make sure that these investors will buy the idea, which is very good by the way. We're talking about millions here!

I'm also very excited for Manila Kid. Earlier this morning, I met with JC and JM to suggest some revisions for the outline and format of our book. It will be more convenient for us and our readers this time. More importantly, we discussed the possibility of having to outsource the re-creation of our website. I'll be meeting with a group of programmers next Saturday to plan it out! They are very professional, Ayala is one of their clients!

We're also joining an entrepreneurial contest which is sponsored by Gawad Kalinga. Winning this would mean so much since we'll have an opportunity to pitch our ideas to angel investors. There's also that half a million cash prize to fund our idea! We have the best people working on our team and even though I'm their unofficial member (since this contest is for students), I wanna make sure that I will still give my hundred percent in this task.

My dad went to Quezon province last week to check on the land which we'll develop for my bamboo farm. The feasibility study is on its way and I'm interested on how much capital I need to invest in this one. Promised returns are after probably 5 years pa, but I'm definite it is a worthwhile investment (as predicted by experts). Aside from bamboos, my dad told me he's planning to plant chili around the area since the guy he hired owns a chili farm in Nueva Ecija.

Finally, I'mABosco has been soaring new heights for the past week! We tried to meet the astronomical demand for the jacket so we pushed our suppliers to really amplify their production. Unfortunately, we were still not able to give everyone the products they deserve. The schedule has been really tight like last Friday, I got the stocks at around 11pm and we had to deliver it at 6am the next day to Makati. 

The pictures below were shot in DB Makati hours before the official start of their school fair. I saw some really good merchandise which will be the source of inspiration for the next products of I'mABosco. More importantly, I met this kid whom I feel has really great potential. I have a good eye for talent and one of the guys below has the ability to move mountains! We'll see...

A lot of exiting things are already happening and it's just the start of 2012! I feel that this is going to be another year of breakthroughs and triumphs!

Jan 28, 2012

Something About Relationships

I don't know how I came to realize this but if you're looking for the perfect partner, don't look for someone who has the same personality and shares the same interests as you do. It might work out in the beginning that you like the same music or movie but if you always agree on certain things, your relationship and you as a person won't grow. How?

If your partner is different from you, you'll see each others weaknesses and mistakes. You'll be taken out of your comfort zone and each one will try to "explore" one another's strengths or likes. That will not limit you from visiting the same restaurant or doing the same stupid things. 

But this entails sacrifice and humility from both sides. One can't always be a "fixer" of the other because that might signal some unforeseen problems in the long run. I personally hate fixers if they're overdoing it, but it's one of life's "unnecessary evils." If she keeps on telling you what to do, but she doesn't admit her own mistakes, then you might feel like the underdog, and this doesn't produce a healthy relationship.

Humility allows you to empty your cup - the pride that you know a lot of things - so that new interests and habits can enter.

Maybe that's the reason why men and women are made very differently. One exists so that he can complete her. And unless you're a very strong person who can achieve "self actualization" without the help of love hormones, you need to find a partner who can bring out the best in you.

Jan 26, 2012

Soleil: Style Your Way to Summer

Beach parties, bright bikinis, chiseled abs, fashion pomps, outdoor sports, sun tans & Henna tattoos. Get ready for the hottest summer bazaar yet!

Soleil was first held on February 2010 at the Rockwell Tent with over 2000 shoppers. With a well established reputation beyond DLSU, the Business Management Society aims to continue the legacy.

This coming February 25 to 26, 10am to 9pm, Soleil returns once again at the SM Megatrade Hall 2. Be a part of this momentuous event!

Interested to be a tenant? Please contact. Monique Villanueva at 09175195011 or Mary Anne Lu at 09228484480. One call is what it takes - we take care of the rest!

Jan 25, 2012

Of Face Paints, Beer-Soaked Shoes and SWAT Raided Parties

We left the house of Amanda without much clue on what's going to happen during Sinulog. I knew that there will be a parade of floats and street parties everywhere but I didn't expect it to be so wild! Last summer, we spent a night in Boracay where we visited around 7 bars! but that experience was nothing compared to the party in Cebu!

On the way to the main parade street, we passed by a crowd who were in our age level and it was surprising to see that a lot of them were familiar - from college! While we were smeared by paint in our faces, we also felt a shower of cold beer as we were walking. The music was intoxicating and it was impossible to not get into the party mood! Everyone was smiling, raising their hands, swaying, singing and dancing! The mood was so youthfully festive! I felt really alive!

There were people just giving vodka and tequila shots to passersby - especially to hot ladies. For a hundred pesos, you can have your instant beer pong!

Of course, will Sinulog be complete without the lechon just casually served along the streets?

My friends and I really had a great time! The people from high rise buildings were pouring colored water to the people partying below (that's us) Beer was being sprayed and showered everywhere that my clothes and shoes were literally soaked in beer! I'm very particular with the crowd and it's great that the people we partied with are the types you'd find in Republiq and Fiamma! 

Night time came and the party went louder. It was a bit dangerous though because there were piles of broken beer bottles just lying around the dancing area. The party was so wild it had to be stopped by the SWAT team! I'm not even kidding! We had to go home when we saw that men in black uniforms carrying riffles arrived. The party music was toned down and was replaced by sirens!

We were dead tired after everything! It's hard to imagine that we had a flight to catch in less than 4 hours. Now I have an additional reason why it's really more fun in the Philippines! Can't wait for Sinulog 2013!!!

Jan 22, 2012

Viva Pit Senyor!

I was in Cebu with my college friends last week, and while everyone was taking a sleep from the previous night's party, I dragged myself to visit the oldest street in the country - Coron. My main intention was to go to Basilica of Sto Ninyo which is the oldest church in the country and houses the first child Jesus statue given by Magellan to Queen Juana in 1521.

I've been to the Basilica before when I was in high school, and I actually saw the Sto Ninyo statue. Instead of going there directly, I saw a rather new church so I checked it as well.

The crowd was getting thicker as I ventured further. Finally, I arrived at my target destination and believe me, it's impossible to get in because the crowd was very thick. People were everywhere! I won't be able to distinguish the sweat of the people around me from my own because we were tightly packed together. 

I would usually be very irritated, but I'm in Cebu! And how often will you be able to experience this kind of stuff? If Manila has the Black Nazarene feast in Quiapo, Cebu has "Viva Pit Senyo!" I asked one of the locals what Viva Pit Senyor means, but even she doesn't know. Maybe it means "long live little king!"

When visiting Cebu during Sinulog, people often go directly to the beaches or to the street party in Mango Avenue. To really experience the heart of the Philippines' Queen City of the South, a trip to Coron St. is definitely a must! It sure is a struggle to squeeze your way through the crowd, but this is where the action took place almost 500 years ago! And it's unbelievable that the same core of the tradition is still being exercised now.

Jan 8, 2012

It's More Fun in the Philippines

Did my own #ItsMoreFunInThePhilippines meme! This was taken when an ecovillage was being built in Nueva Ecija. It's one of the four huts surrounding a mini pond, and I really love what they named it (yes, the hut has a name) - Yakap (embrace)

Standing Up For Something Special

Some insights came up while I was reading Steve Jobs' biography:

The reason why we're spending so much for a billboard ad for Manila Kid, a campaign that doesn't earn a single cent, is to make people remember that we are still alive and that it still stands for something special.

The brand preceded its capabilities, and maybe we've let a lot of people down with Manila Kid's current state - after being hacked twice. But we continue to build the momentum and it will eventually be great. Just wait for it!

"I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love... The only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any other great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle. - Steve Jobs

Jan 7, 2012

Xocolat: A Little More Personal

One of the things that I really miss in Katipunan is the variety of food choices just outside Ateneo. Craving for some Japanese, Mexican, Italian or Persian cuisine? Can't decide whether you'd like to eat in a fatty sisig diner or a gourmet dessert shop? Like SM Supermalls, they've got it all for you! 

As far as I remember, there are at least seven coffee shops - three of them are Starbucks - in Katipunan. One of them is Cafe Xocolat which tops my number one comfort place around Metro Manila. Let me site the reasons why: 

The Ambiance. Entering Xocolat is like visiting an old friend's house. The outside is lighted by colorful vintage lamps and when you walk in, there's nothing of that standardized seating arrangement you see in most restaurant these days. There's a very personal touch to the furniture evident in the chairs and tables in varied colors and shapes.You'll also see interesting pieces from specially customized paddles to vintage puppets hanging in just one corner waiting to scare an unsuspecting victim. There's also a bookshelf, though I haven't tried asking the people there if I can borrow their books.

The Food. And it's price! It's hard to find a restaurant these days that offers home made quality meals without having an expensive price tag. What makes food in Xocolat stand out? Chocolate. I've heard that all of their meals have at least one chocolate ingredient in it - from pasta to your favorite creamy dory! And when you visit there, don't forget to order Xocolat Chicken Pasta partnered with Tablea de Xocolat - instant classic!

The Crowd. I don't know about you, but when I visit malls, restaurants or any other public places, I consider the people who also go there. The crowd in Xocolat are very relaxed. There's really no solid age block because you'll see students, yuppies and old folks everywhere. What makes them stay there is the atmosphere that's very conducive for long conversations. These are people who just want to sneak away from the noisy highly commercial city and experience something personal.

Wherever you look, Xocolat gives you that extra special personal touch we find so rarely among other public places around the Metro - from the ambiance, to the food and people around you. It's the place where I go if I need to finish and good book, or where I bring my friends to talk about the most random things. Maybe the magic behind Xocolat is that even if it's your first time there, you'll feel immediately welcome to the place - you don't need to adjust, you just have to be yourself.