Christophe Beck - Paperman (Score)
For someone who lives in the north, a trip to the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City deserves proper planning and logistics. One does not simply go to the third largest mall in the world on a whim. But when Asia’s largest retail clothing brand partners with the country’s largest mall developer, you go because they say so—also because the clothes are well-made, affordable, and many.
The press conference was set at 2pm at the atrium of the main mall.
What pisses off Tadashi Yanai? Japan’s richest man, chair, and CEO of Fast Retailing, the company behind Uniqlo? Their newest endorser Novak Djokovic losing at the French Open. But he seemed to get over it quite well. According to Yanai, they’re planning to open 50 stores in the next three years. His translator was cute. But I digress.
Katsumi Kubota, Chief Operating Officer of Uniqlo Philippines.
Kubota and Yanai with Naoki Otoma, Group EVP of Fast Retailing Co.
All 1,550 square meters of the first Uniqlo store in the Philippines are located on the second floor of the main mall. It practically occupies a whole block.
Continue reading HERE.
Right after my interview with Marvel’s CB Cebulski, I found myself leaving Intercontinental Manila still not wanting to head home. It was three in the afternoon and Makati was starting to fill with office employees on their afternoon break and the occasional student out from school. Prior to that day, I had spent more than a week cooped up at home trying to finish an urgent writing assignment. So walking out from the hotel lobby to be faced by the facade of hundreds of square meters of mall space that is Glorietta, accompanied by the fumes of passing cars, made me want to explore.
Since resigning from work, I realized that aside from sleep, the one thing I really missed doing was reading. Upon freedom, I promised myself that I’d start and finish reading (and in some cases, re-reading) all the popular series that I missed. And thanks to my mom’s Nook that I swiped, I could really do it anywhere. Before, with the advent of e-readers, I would harp about never ever letting the printed book go. The sensation of pages running between one’s fingers, slowly tracing the spine, the sound of a turning page, the sight of all the books you’ve read all lined up on a shelf, and–my favorite–the smell of a brand new book, are things that make reading all the more a great experience, in addition to the actual text.
Then I discovered e-readers. Realizing the wealth of free e-books available online, and in keeping with my temporary vow of frugality since I no longer have a monthly paycheck, I began downloading free e-books. I finished The Hunger Games in three days and I’m currently halfway through the whole Harry Potter saga. I have the Steve Jobs biography and that new doorstop by Haruki Murakami next.
Upon realizing I had some National Book Store gift checks, I decided to go to the nearest branch in Glorietta 5 to go on a little spree. In keeping with my series goal, my loot consisted of the three books of The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, the current set of The Game of Thrones, Junot Diaz’s Pulitzer winning work, and a new copy of Elements of Style since I seem to have misplaced the tattered one I had since high school. Then I fell in love with the printed book all over again. This should be enough to keep me occupied for the next few months. Hedgehog not included.
Interview With The Comic Guy
Growing up, I’ve come to realize that my childhood is significantly different from my peers. As children, there were a lot of things my siblings and I weren’t allowed to do and I find now, 15 years later, that when my friends and I come together and talk about pop culture in the nineties, I have either very little things to say or weird replies to certain questions. From old local TV series, wrestling, celebrities, bands, and comics, the few things that I do know have come from spending after school afternoons with the house helpers when I was 10 years old hearing them gossip with the neighbors, and my occasional foray into their bedroom to watch Valiente and Mara Clara, hall of famers in the local soap opera scene. Once, when my former officemates were talking about Gin Blossoms, I asked, “Masarap na yun inumin? (Is it a good drink?)” The other things I do know, however, I learned from Sesame Street. It has actually served me well since my English is up to par with the Children’s Television Workshop, and my Filipino, albeit melodramatic and slightly contrived, is still miles better compared to most people I know. For all the other things, I’ve since been making up for lost time with huge thanks to the Internet.
But when I got the text message to interview Marvel Comics’s editor and talent scout CB Cebulski for a magazine, I had to immediately say yes. Then I dashed to the computer to look him up. Next to Google, Apple, and Pixar, Marvel’s probably one of the most creative places in the world. Okay, DC comics too. I’m not familiar with the whole Marvel universe mythology. I just saw the whole X-Men series and the recent movies. So I went into this as simply a fan of the art and the not wanting to miss the opportunity to meet a guy who works there.
The only comic book guy I know is the comic book guy character from The Simpsons. He’s morbidly obese, snooty, semi-hipster, snobby, has a horrible pony tail, and dresses like a 12-year-old. Save for his size and the Marvel t-shirt, CB Cebulski’s pretty easy to miss in a crowd. He’s a foodie with a food blog (www.eataku.com). And while in Manila, he also finally got to try balut. He’s based in New York where the Marvel office is, but he also has a place in Kobe, Japan where he and his wife, who’s Japanese, often stay.
CB Cebuski is Marvel’s senior vice-president for creator and content development, and their top international talent scout. His job is to read comics and to look for new artists to make them. He was in Manila over the weekend for National Book Store’s search for the next comic Marvel, looking over more than 200 portfolios from local artists, later shortlisting 35 artists for the next phase. This is just an excerpt from my half hour talk with CB. I’ll post the whole interview when the magazine comes out in a month.
Continue reading HERE.
Keep Calm and Carion
“The poster has been reproduced, parodied, and trivialized and has become a truly iconic image of the 21st century. It is hard to say exactly why such a phrase from a bygone decade would have so much appeal and resonance now. Its design is considered simple and timeless and now commonly recognizeable. However it is perhaps the words on the poster that people find the most enchanting. Like a voice out of history it offers a very simple warm-hearted message to inspire confidence in others during difficult times, and is something that should never fade from fashion: to keep calm and carry on.”
Continue reading HERE.
I love the product, sure. Nothing beats a pair of comfortable sneakers that come in neon blue. But the styling, I think, is just as good. There are only a few creative ways you can style footwear.
To promote the second season of The Walking Dead, they sent a zombie inside a moviehouse packed with people. If they did this in the Philippines, I’d just mistake the zombie for another dim-witted, Stephanie Meyer-loving, and K-pop-singing moviegoer. Then I’d shoot him.
The Plural of Furniture is Furniture
Aaaaaand I’m back. I’ve been thoroughly trying to enjoy my time off doing absolutely nothing. Some people like going out of town, the beach, or a weekend trip outside the country. I, on the other hand, just like waking up late, watching Shawshank Redemption on cable then Jersey Shore, gorging myself with whatever I find in the fridge, then going to the gym out of guilt. Repeat cycle. I’m cheap that way.
Since I resigned from work, I’ve been accepting some freelance writing projects while being a full-time bum. So far, it’s doing great since I still get to write, but I don’t have to wake up at seven in the morning and endure the crap that is EDSA morning rush hour. I was asked to do a gadget review story for the March issue of a men’s magazine. This is different from the usual profiles that I do since instead of sitting down and interviewing someone, I had to use my PR contacts and ask for some pretty nifty gadgets to borrow, review, and shoot. Overall, I estimated the total amount of the items I borrowed at a little under half a million Pesos. One item cost nearly P150,000 so one can imagine how nervous I was just getting it out of the box. If you break it, you pay for it. Still, I got to play with some big boy toys so it was a fun assignment.
The items were initially planned to be shot in the studio in a very complicated set up that involved almost building a complete living room. Then they decided to throw in a model. I could borrow furniture from some shops, but with the amount of time I had, lugging a sofa didn’t really appeal to me. So I suggested to shoot them in a furniture shop instead. That way, everything we needed—chairs, sofas, lamps, pillows—were within reach.I had heard of and seen Space Encounters before but I’ve never actually been there. It was a c old call on my part, but it turned out great. Many magazines have shot there before, and if I were to base it on those photos alone, the place would perfectly fit the pegs given to me. I’ll talk about that what happened behind the scenes when the issue comes out in two weeks. But the place is just as interesting.
Continue reading HERE.
As I write this, it’s 5:30 in the morning and I just finished writing my last story as staff writer for Entrepreneur Magazine. And while I’d like to say that it only took me a day, it didn’t. The thing about lasts is you have to make them count. Perhaps it’s a bit poetic to be finishing up my last story on the morning of the last day of the year. Or I may just be my usual procrastinating self as the deadline for this one was actually a few days ago. I prefer the former. The thing with finishing stories before was that even as I went for the spellcheck button as a last ditch effort at editing, at the back of my head I knew that that moment of calm and peace would be fleeting as the writing assignments for the following issue would’ve have already been sitting pretty in my crowded inbox. But now it’s different. And while I’ll still be writing for the magazine as a contributor, it won’t be the same. And that’s perfectly alright with me.