on the last harry potter film, gifts, and goodbyes

Jaykie and I went to Greenbelt last night for the last full show of Deathly Hallows.

I couldn’t resist the new Mary Grace restaurant!

(Sorry for the low-res, cell phone shots.)

Beautiful, beautiful interior. I want a house filled with pretty trinkets.

Jaykie and his new iPhone.


Spicy lemon scampi and apple cinnamon honey iced tea

Now full, we’re ready for the movie.

The bulk of the story is in the first part, so this is mostly all action sequences. This is the shortest film in the franchise (a little more than two hours), with the least convoluted storyline. It’s a quest. Voldemort, the evil wizard, cut up his soul sevenways, and Harry and Co. has to find the objects containing pieces of his soul (the Horcruxes) and destroy them, so Voldemort himself can be destroyed. I believe this particular installment actually improved on its source material. Rowling’s narrative style makes it impossible for me to picture the fight scenes, and because of this, the character deaths felt gratuitous. In the film version, the deaths are more effective, more moving (a couple who can’t quite reach other during the fighting end up side by side on the floor filled with the bodies of the dead, their hands still not touching) and of course the visual medium is perfect for the chase scenes and wand wars. It’s also nostalgic. I missed seeing Gringotts and the Chamber of Secrets, and I was glad to see them in this movie. The special effects have improved – the detail on the goblins’ faces looked crisp and real onscreen – and the scenes are beautifully shot. It’s a fitting end to a decade of adaptations.


Last day at the office. Got lovely messages on Facebook and through text (hi Ate Julie!) and got this card today from Ate Abi. :)

rose quartz and amethyst - para swerte raw sa love life at career!

This is not a going-away gift because he’s not an office mate, haha, but thanks so much for this Charles:


My Research kapatids shot a video inspired by Pretty Little Liars

but that we’ll keep to ourselves.


That’s (almost) four years of laughter and more nervous, stress-driven laughter. I will miss these guys.

Before I worked in advertising, I was a journalist. Newspapers have a lot of pages to fill, and I found that 95 percent of what I wrote ended up in the paper.

But in our business, it’s the opposite – 99 percent or even 99.5 percent of what you write ends up in the bin.

If there’s one thing that characterizes a creative’s daily experience, it’s rejection.

– Simon Veksner, How To Make It As An Advertising Creative (2010)


After nearly four years, I’ve tendered my resignation from the paper, effective July 28. Tomorrow, July 19, is my last day at the office. After that, I’ll use my remaining leaves to meet with friends, spend time with my family, fill up forms, take care of requirements, and bum around before I start working again. August I start work as a copywriter at this advertising firm.

Why the shift? I knew, even before I graduated, that I didn’t want to become a beat reporter. I admire the men and women who do this every day. It’s fucking hard. I love interviewing people and writing news and feature stories, but I don’t have the stamina and the drive (above all, the drive) needed to make it as a reporter. (I think the huge uncertainty in my choice of profession, among other uncertainties, resulted in that series of poems – “Reportage” – that eventually won me an award haha.) As a Journalism major, I found this realization embarrassing, and it took me a while to admit this to myself. But when I finally did, I was relieved.

When the paper’s Research department announced an opening in 2007, I grabbed the opportunity, because it meant working in print media (and the country’s best daily broadsheet! I said it!) without the daily mental pain of doing something I don’t want to do (i.e. beat reporting).

I became complacent. Then I started thinking of career mobility. Where will I be five years from now, in this company? I saw myself in the same job, the same position, the same daily drill. I became restless. I found myself looking at job postings and asking friends for leads to other jobs, and that’s never a good sign.

I’ve been restless for almost a year. I think it’s just time to make the move.


This is either the best decision of my life, or the worst decision of my life. I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime –

wish me luck?

meeting jessica zafra’s optometrist, and other adventures


I read Jessica Zafra’s blog because I remember loving the Twisted series, and the lady makes me laugh. One day she blogged about her optometrist, Nella Sarabia, who has a shop inside the Shopping Center in UP Diliman. I never needed glasses before, so I didn’t even know there were optical shops inside SC (Ha!). There were comments on Zafra’s post, all of them positive, and my astigmatic right eye is killing me,  and anyway we’d be in the UP area during the weekend because Jaykie is craving for Creme Brulee at Antas-bucks, so I decided to give it a shot.

Here’s my own picture of Ms Sarabia’s shop. Note the vintage cameras.

She’s nice and smart. I like her. What I don’t like is the fact that my eye condition has worsened. From 20/20 and 20/25 last year (hence, the anti-glare glasses to protect my eyes from the evil computer screen) my eyes are now 20/50 and 20/25  (plus another 25 grade for my astigmatism). So that means I have to wear glasses all the time, not just when I’m in front of the computer.

While choosing for a suitable frame for the lenses, Ms Sarabia invited Jaykie to sit beside me. “Are you the boyfriend? Hello.” Then she asked if Jaykie is also a Journalism student.

“No. I’m taking up Math.”

“Grad school,” I said.

“Math?” said Ms Sarabia. “Math?!?” (Pause) “Very good.”


Ms Sarabia’s frames were on 30 percent sale, as it turned out, so all in all, I only paid a thousand pesos. The downside: I can’t claim it on the same day, like in the malls where you only have to wait for an hour. But that’s okay. I should have it before this week ends. My frame is a lovely shade of purple.

It’s caterpillar (higad) season in UP. I hate! Argh.


Up early for the GA meeting at the office, the first GA meeting that I’ve ever attended that went smoothly. Post-CBA happiness haha! Met up with Jaykie in the afternoon, and watched too much Family Guy and World Poker Tour and got drunk on cheap brandy. That night we watched Episode 2 of Through the Wormhole, called “The Riddle of Black Holes“. Excellent mind-blowing stuff. This is a good show. It’s making me seriously want to take up Physics credits (or Astronomy classes, if there are any offered locally lol).

But then – the math. Shiver.


I’m on leave! Ha! Met up with the siblings at the mall, had lunch at Pizza Hut, coffee and sandwiches at UCC, and shopped till we dropped. (I almost did. That was some workout.)

My brother had his eyes checked at the mall. The verdict: 20/175 and 20/50. It was so bad even the ‘E’ on the eye chart was blurred, he said. Wah.

So he got glasses.

I’m wearing my anti-glare glasses here.

They all got home safe and sound. I arrived at the unit, did my laundry, had a shower, and read a book until I fell asleep.

newcomer, etcetera, etc.

I usually hate structured events. Like seminars, orientations, company-sponsored parties. Anything that involves name tags and games. And presentations (group dance, interpretative or otherwise [leadership seminars are big on this]; skit, a sharing session of sorts that must culminate in an artwork [“The Youth’s Plan for the Future” or some similar shit]).

I sound like a scrooge, but it’s the awkwardness that gets me. And the silence after an event host (bright-eyed, cheerful, hooked on caffeine) asks a question. In that silence you know somebody wants to answer but doesn’t want to be branded as an eager beaver. People hate eager beavers. And it’s embarrassing. And absolutely uncool. It’s just a fucking seminar, why will you be so excited? So everyone assumes a bored expression and the event becomes lethargic.

But the Newcomers’ Get-Together at work was okay. I got invited because apparently the definition of “newcomer” in this company is n. someone who has not yet attended a newcomers’ party. So I’m a “newcomer”, even though I’ve been here for a little over a year. Food from Friday’s. And chocolates. And tsismis! (A staff writer used to work as the band manager of Yano. HOLYPAKINGSHET. Writer said: “Para lang akong yaya.”)

And chocolates!

I still don’t know why the employees’ center has so many chocolates. Do they (HR personnel) create those spontaneously? Is that included in their qualifications? Computer literate, hardworking, has the ability to conjure chocolates from thin air. And why won’t they eat them themselves? If I worked there I’d—

Well. Thank goodness I didn’t work there.

There was a game (yeah, yeah) where you’d write your first impression on a piece of paper taped to the person’s back. Here’s what I got:

matalino, energetic (Edson wrote this. I used to be his trainee back during my internship days, so I don’t know if these really were his first impressions of me or if he’s just being nice)



mabait and shy


* * *

Anyway, just read this and found it hilarious/sad/infuriating:

[Capiz Rep.] Del Rosario said liquid fertilizer was fit, not for rice, but for ornamental plants.

Bolante replied that Capiz had become a promising exporter of ornamental plants.

PESTE. Sounded like the sort of thing you’d tell your mom if you wanted to piss her off.

* * *

And I was just about to post this blog entry when I got a call from a reader very intimately connected to the subject of an article I’ve written before. Reader said: “When I read the article, I thought, ‘She’s fantastic! She got everything right!’ A lot of people have written about this and I remember having to correct them all the time but this…this article was just perfect.”

She said she was calling in behalf of the family, to thank me.

I am grateful. :D Thanks, Universe.