Monday, January 22, 2007

Just a few things and links...for now...

Finally, I am back in front of the laptop blogging after a busy week of many many hours of sitting in high-level and oftentimes ebullient meetings, brainstorming sessions, and strategic planning huddles for Avenue Square. However, my head is still not yet anywhere above this current pile of works yet to be accomplished and I am just taking this short break as a chance to be able to work on one of my newest interests, and that is, of course, blogging.

Awhile ago, I met John Michael Rico - whom I suspect to be one of the rising stars, if not a stalwart already, of this overachieving Robredo administration that, for many years now, has been behind all these innovative and multi-awarded programs of the city government - who videotaped and interviewed me, albeit impromptu, for a certain project he and his team are currently working on. Said project, as I was told, is anchored on the "Proud Ako NagueĊ„o" ad campaign of the city of Naga. For your convenience, hereunder is the video and the music that have been very familiar already to all of us here in Naga nation.

Mike is a longtime friend. I remember working with him - and having a good time - as a fellow writer in The Democrat in college and if my memory serves me correctly right now, in The Trailblazer in high school at the University of Nueva Caceres (UNC) where I finished secondary school and took up my first academic course before seeking respite from that arduous life of a self-supporting student-cum-scholar and eventually, transferring to the Ateneo de Naga University for my Development Communication degree. We are also fellows (organization-mates/'brothers'), both being alumni-members of the Society of Junior Fellows, an honor organization based in UNC. (Another fellow who remains to be another important fixture at the city hall is no other than highly regarded blogger Willy Prilles).

In our quick chat that ensued after that interview, I told him that I get disoriented every time I read about him being referred to as a graphic artist when I have always known him to be a prolific writer and an eagle-eyed editor. I teased him about being able to successfully 'diversify' and reinvent himself over the years.

He just flashed a smile and moved on with his business.

I am happy for the man, as I am happy for all those whom I have known in the past, especially those who got to have a share of the bad times, and who are now doing pretty well in their present lives. I believe we all deserve some ray of light.

To cap this story about him, I found out that Mike has already built a 'house' for this new passion of his.

Meantime, you may want to check these --- I came across this article in the Inquirer that foretells a Filipino revolution in the blogosphere and connects me to another article of the same author who believes that bloggers and journalists are not one.

Hmm, what do you guys think?

Also, are you interested in some late Nineteenth and early Twentieth century music? If yes, check this out!

Amazing, isn't it?!

My time's up.

Let's continue to be happy and proud of ourselves, our passions, and our heritage!

Have an awesome week everyone!

Sunday, January 14, 2007


Look at what technology, wicked talent, and a fecund (or should it be mischievous?) imagination can do...have a great week ahead everyone! =P

*Of course, that's a fake trailer flawlessly edited and entitled "Titanic Two the Surface"(LOLZ) made from a conjugation of scenes plucked from different movies!=P

* For those who can't get the humor of it all, it's most probable that you were not able to watch or did not even know that a real "Titanic" movie existed in the past or could not anymore remember. It's okay, just be well and have fun out there!=P

*By the way, as if that video alone was not amusing enough, it was fathered by a fellow who calls himself krakkagar. =P

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Avenue Square

It does feel great that Avenue Square, Bicol's first and premier lifestyle center, has been attracting more and more people - beautiful people at that! - everyday and every single night. It is always a joy to see a lot of these smart and good-looking people going here and there; dining at Max's, Wok, Shakey's, Little A. Sia, or Peaberry; relaxing under the royal palm trees at its Al Fresco dining area; pampering themselves at David's Salon or Skinsystems; enjoying the company of colleagues, friends, and kins; relishing achievements and victories; sipping coffee at The Coffee Beanery or feasting on some non-fat ice cream from Arce Dairy; partying or just chilling-out at Lolo's Bar; delighting in their new pairs of Havaianas signature flip-flops; contemplating (may be conceptualizing the next big business idea, coming up with a most important personal decision, or the next surefire corporate strategy!); browsing through the internet (via our free wi-fi internet access) or perhaps, blogging, like what Willy Prilles, one of my most fave bloggers in the blogosphere and one of the country's premier bloggers, does here (and who by the way believes that "hands down, Avenue has, in less than a year, become the place to be in Naga" -- thanks "Senator" Willy! =>) or simply, spending their time casually and living the good life in style here at Avenue Square. After almost a year of really working hard to promote the place to our target market, it's encouraging and fulfilling to see more and more people of that market finding their way here.

This weekend, a consultant will be coming over from Manila to facilitate our strategic planning for 2007. We weren't able to conduct one last year because we were just sooo busy with a lot of events that I strongly believe have hugely contributed to the success of this place today. Those were events that did not only bring in the crowd last year (so that the crowd could have a "taste" and sample of what the place could offer to its guests) but more importantly, promote, affirm, and support Avenue Square's "positioning" in the market.

"Positioning" in marketing, as some of us know already, is the "aggregate perception the market has of a particular company, product or service in relation to their perceptions of the competitors in the same category". It is also "where one's product or service fits into the marketplace."

Simply put, it is a perceptual location and image in the minds of our desired clients. It is how our target market see us in their minds which greatly affects how they decide on their purchases and patronage of a certain product, brand, or organization. But this deserves a separate post and a more thorough discussion.

Going back, I am confident that Avenue Square will reach more milestones this year, provided that it keeps its focus and maintains its enlightened strategic actions.

Besides, what for that G7Holdings,Inc., its developer, has invested a lot on this ambitious and trendsetting project and people like us in the management/marketing team have been really working doubly hard each time if we will not eventually see Avenue Square on where it was really envisioned to be at in the future.

And that is to be the lifestyle center of choice of Bicolanos/Bicolanas and our guests here in the region and to be that enduringly spanking, clean, and comfortable place that offers that really refreshing, unique, and exciting tenant mix and amenities, most convenient and memorable experience, outstanding professional and responsive service, and exceptionally compelling and innovative programs and events for the pleasure and satisfaction of the most discriminating of the cosmopolitan consumers of Naga City and the region who crave for for the highest quality and the finest specialty dining, shopping, and overall lifestyle experience that is also chic, remarkable, and truly worthwhile.

(Photos from the top: Avenue Square moments before The Coffee Beanery's Grand Opening celebration and superb violinist Jay Cayuca's concert; alluring and multi-talented Bossa Nova princess Sitti at the Avenue Nights: Primero concert; Avenue Square at summertime already packed with people for Primero; FHM models at one of the shows during Awesome September that also featured Bicol's biggest trans show, the Ms. Bicolandia Pageant, a Brownman Revival concert, and a Parokya ni Edgar gig; our very recent celebrity guests Echo and Heart after the Paglaom Alliance benefit concert with the author and secretary general of Paglaom Alliance at Peaberry Fine Cuisine restaurant; and the Ateneo Golden Knights celebrating a championship run in a huge basketball tournament here in Naga at Little A. Sia asian flavors and grill resto--> congrats "coach of the year" Nols!. See more photos of events at Avenue Square here)

PS -- We are excited about our Saturdays here at Avenue Square this January because we are giving way to some fresh but great talents to provide the music as you dine, wine, and unwind at our Al Fresco area. Last Saturday, we had an up-and-coming Bossa Nova group who calls itself "Slice" (They might return for another performance on one of the remaining Saturdays with their new "bossanized" reggae repertoire - which they promised- and other old favorites). This Saturday, we shall have an accoustic-cum-classical group led by Moi (sometimes dubbed as the "Andrea Bocelli of Naga City").

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

More Prayers...

With Tim's sister Meng, my girlfriend Erica, my cousin's newly born child, my Nanay Aida, my lola O-ne, my Tita Eva, my other relatives and loved ones, and all those who are now afflicted with some form of illness and suffering - physical, spiritual, emotional - (including myself) in mind, I utter these prayers ---

Watch, O Lord, with those who wake, or watch, or weep tonight, and give your angels charge over those who sleep.

Tend your sick ones, O Lord.
Rest your weary ones.
Bless your dying ones.
Soothe your suffering ones.
Pity your afflicted ones.
Shield your joyous ones.
And for all your love's sake. Amen.

Saint Augustine


Dear Jesus, Divine Physician and Healer of the sick, we turn to you in this time of illness. O dearest comforter of the troubled, alleviate our worry and sorrow with your gentle love, and grant us the grace and strength to accept this burden. Dear God, we place our worries in your hands. We place our sick under your care and humbly ask that you restore your servant to health again. Above all, grant us the grace to acknowledge your will and know that whatever you do, you do for the love of us. Amen.


O good Jesus, I accept willingly this sickness [or trial] which it has pleased you to lay upon me. I confide all my pains to your Sacred Heart, and beg you to unite them with your bitter sufferings, and thus perfect them by making them your own.

Since I cannot render you the praise due to you because of the multitude of my sorrows and afflictions, I ask you to praise God the Father for all I suffer, with the same tribute of praise you offered him when your agony on the Cross was at its height.

As you thanked him with all the powers of your soul for all the sufferings and injustice which he willed you should endure, so, I pray you, give him thanks for my trials also. Offer my sufferings, physical and spiritual, to him together with your most holy pains to his eternal honor and glory. Amen.


O God, our refuge and strength,
comfort of all who suffer,
help me with your power
and make me well again.
You promised that you would
"turn our mourning into dancing."
Turn my sorrow into joy,
and my weakness into strength,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Together, let's say more prayers...

in chants...
in silence...

A Prayer

Someone shared this prayer to me. Just thought someone out there might find it crucial, reassuring, and handy too, as I found it myself. So, I am also sharing this now...

Dear Lord,

In the battlefield that goes on through life,
All I ask is but a field that is fair,
A chance that is equal with all in the strife,
And the courage to survive and to dare.

If I should win, let it be by the code,
With my head and honor held high.
If I should lose, let me stand by the road
And cheer as the winner goes by.


Keep the faith everyone.

Journey well...

We will make it through.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

I think, therefore I...

4 January 2007

I sit here now in my own secluded spot "
as the darkness of the city closes over me like canal water or the grave" and I think of a lot things. I think of the past year, and its many seasons, shades, and faces. I think of some people who, in my mind, are reduced to blurry images in the mist of my memory. I think of a few who remain clear and vivid. I think of old friends showing up then getting off. I think of new friends coming in then leaving as well. I think of myself arriving, then, well, returning home to see the rest of the world. I think of roads, sandstorms, glasses, culminations, beginnings, and more sunsets. I think of my disappointments, my anger, and my wounds. I think of my triumphs, my joys, and my dreams. Then, I think of people again -- bad, good, worst -- and of this year and what it has for all of us who travel...

Finally, I think of a place, a poem, a twenty-peso bill, a lyricist, and a black-and-white TV...

It is time.

I move.

Who knows what the dusk hides from me.