the IT list #3: Wish List Edition

“the IT list” A series of posts that highlight the various stuff, old or new, that I’ve been doing… reading, watching, eating or simply obsessing over recently. It’s my personal countdown.

the IT list #3
Christmas is just around the corner; and I couldn’t help but dream about (maybe even drool over) what to buy myself this coming holidays. I may or may not get hold of these items by the end of the year; but there’s a strong possibility I’ll own them eventually.

Pentax Q (Pentax Imaging). This is the smallest camera with interchangeable lens. Plus, it has that vintage look, which I like. I’m not really into Digital SLRs. I prefer specialty cameras that not everyone has. I already have my super zoom camera (Canon SX-1 IS). I also have my trusty waterproof camera (Pentax Optio W90). Now, I’m looking for a compact ultra-wide camera. This is the closest to an SLR that I could imagine without the bulky size. However, it retails at a whopping Php39,990 from Camera Haus and Php34,000 from DBGadgets; so obviously I’d have to wait some more before purchasing this. It’s just way too expensive at the moment.

Harry Potter 8-Film Collection. Ever since the first movie came out, I stopped myself from buying the special releases of the Harry Potter films. It was pretty evident that once the series is finished, a boxed set containing the complete collection of films would be released. I’m just waiting for the perfect boxed set at the perfect time. I’m looking for something packed with bonus features, extended scenes and bonus items remembering the movies. The one on (pictured above) is pretty close to perfect. Only time will tell when that ultimate boxed set will be released.

Swatch Touch (Swatch). People may be split on the design; but I like it. As the name implies, this watch features a touchscreen LCD that you just need to swipe and tap in order to access its many features including alarm and timer. Plus, it could keep track of up to two timezones. I read that this one retails for Php6,000++ Hmmm…

Harry Potter: Page to Screen (Fully Booked). Yes, this is another thing Harry Potter-related. Please cut me some slack. The film series just ended this year. Anyway, I like coffee table books; but I only buy the ones covering subjects I’m interested in… such as Friends or the milk mustache campaign. For me, this is the ultimate keepsake that covers the art and filmmaking behind the wonderful Harry Potter film franchise. At over 500 pages, I will no doubt get a lot of insight regarding the books and the movies. I need to get my hands on this.

a good pocket wi-fi. I’ve been wanting to buy one ever since Smart Bro made it available. Last I heard, it retails for Php5,000 for the prepaid version. I’m not sure if it’s worth it. I hope by next year, I could stumble upon the perfect pocket wi-fi brand with good service at a good price.


Celebrities and “FASHION”

One of the usual questions that arise when discussing my work is, “Who are the celebrities you’ve seen?” or “Which celebrities are the best or worst to work with?”

In our celebrity-driven world, anything and everything has a star endorsement behind them. I’ve encountered a number of them especially in the past 2 years; and most people find my experiences fascinating. I admit each celebrity shoot has its own story; but they’re hardly interesting or scandalous. Being production people, we’re used to seeing showbiz personalities and are rarely starstruck. We usually just ignore them just as much as they ignore us. We concentrate on the job at hand and that is to finish shooting our board. They’re mostly just tired anyway from lack of sleep and nonstop work.

One of the biggest stars in the country today, dubbed by Rogue Magazine as “the face of our era,” is Anne Curtis. From her beginnings playing irritating, squeaky-voiced Am-girls who are, to put it bluntly, maarte (sorry, I really didn’t like her then), her fourteen-year career has proven that endurance in this industry should be backed up by personal growth and genuine star quality, not just beauty. I have to admit. I’m happy to have witnessed this actress develop and become better at her craft. She has come a long way. Now, her star is brighter than ever; and I respect her for that.

I had the chance to work on one of her earlier commercials. Dubbed Project “Fashion,” it was an ad for Biolink VCO shot last March 2008 (Tagal na!). This is way before her latest endorsements for Olay and Palmolive Naturals. It is directed by Robbie Dinglasan, with director of photography Leslie Garchitorena. She was styled by Sidney Yap, with make-up by Robbie Piñera and hair by Raymond Santiago. Production house: Straight Shooters Media, Inc. Post house: Optima Digital.


This was shot for two days in a studio. We only had Anne for one night (yes, night); so we had to shoot all of her “rampa” shots between 7pm to early morning the next day. This was my first and only night shoot done in a studio. This isn’t that much of a surprise. We usually have to work within the busy schedule of celebrities; and this wasn’t any different. It may be the wee hours of the morning and everyone may be asleep; but we were wide awake working on the shoot.

Some interesting bits & pieces:
(1) When you watch the commercial, she’s peeling off clothes one by one. However, the way we shot it was in reverse. We started with her wearing the last dress, then proceeded to work backwards when it came to styling. It was easier to do this in terms of shooting sequence because the outfits in the earlier part of the commercial are more complicated. Also, the final, nude dress had most of the beauty shots so we got that out of way first.
(2) Anne was very professional; and her projection on cam is just effortless. She’s obviously been doing this for a long time. She may seem tired; but she still hams it up on camera to perk everyone up.
(3) A certain Sam Milby, who was her boyfriend then, stopped by the set and brought some Krispy Kremes for the staff and crew. Sweet ba?
(4) Due to time constraints, we had to use a double for the second day of shoot. These were for the close-up body shots and product application shots. This is usually what we do in commercials to make sure we put together the whole thing without taking up much of the celebrity’s time. After all, these shots take hours to shoot and many repetitions are done. It’s more practical for everyone involved.

Anyway, here are some behind the scene photos from our shoot:

Shopping Diary #5

Here are some of my purchases the past week… Yes, some is the key word. This is one of the consequences of not keeping busy with projects. There’s nothing else to do but shop and spend my hard-earned money. Still, I promise that I’m keeping expenses in check and living within my means. Besides, some of what I bought are just TMI (too much information) if shared, and others are products subject to trial or testing before I (may or may not) write about them.

 (counter-clockwise from left: red dress from DP, shorts from Bench, and jacket from F21)

red dress

I have between 3-4 dresses in my closet. I rarely buy them. I barely have a need to wear them. I fit this dress in black at first; but being Fil-Chi, I might not be able to use it as much for appropriate occasions. I went with this dark red dress instead. The color is bold, I know; but the style and fit is great for me. It’s also got a classic look. I think it could go with black leggings and boots, or it may be worn with a pair of simple heels. Plus, I won’t have a problem looking for something to wear to a birthday celebration!

Anyway, it wasn’t my intention at first; but looking at it again this morning, it reminded me of Jenna’s dress for the formal in Awkward‘s season finale (inset photos above). Cute!


Having enough jeans in my wardrobe, I’m now looking for more shorts. It’s only now that I’m getting used to wearing them in public. This one’s loose and comfortable, great for casual everyday wear.

black varsity jacket

I wanted to order a personalized varsity jacket online at first; but buying this off the rack is so much more convenient. There are a lot of stores selling varsity jackets now. What I like about this one is that it’s simple. The material’s not too thick, just right for Philippine weather. It doesn’t have those huge, bold letters in front (because I’m not that young anymore); and it’s really comfortable to wear (fabric inside is silky).

25 Shows: Veronica Mars

Show 9 of 25: VERONICA MARS

it’s about:
Veronica Mars is a high school student who moonlights as a private detective under the guidance of her father Keith. He is a disgraced sheriff who accused the most influential family in Neptune, California of covering up the murder of their daughter Lily, Veronica’s best friend. She thus became an outcast in the community, shunned by friends and the “popular” crowd. This pushed her to focus on solving mysteries for others, at the same time uncovering clues that leads to what really happened the night her friend was killed.

my earliest history with the show:
This is one of the series I started watching on local cable. It wasn’t a popular show; but the online buzz surrounding it made me curious. I tuned in during its premiere; and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s not your run-of-the-mill teen series. It is dark. It is smartly-written. It has a kick-ass female character in the lead. I was ALL IN; and where the series took me… simply unforgettable.

why it sticks:
The writing is brilliant. It is full of snark and witty dialogue; but it’s not afraid to go dark in order to capture the noir aspect of the show. Through the course of the series, we are able to examine a town that on the outside may seem squeaky clean but is actually full of secrets more sinister than you could imagine. Each episode peels layer after layer of the social inequality and the dirty politics that goes on in Neptune. I wouldn’t want to live there; but I can’t stop watching it.

The cast and characters are simply amazing. Kristen Bell shines as the title character; and Enrico Colantoni plays his fatherly role well. Their chemistry as father and daughter is sweet but realistic. Their relationship is at the heart of the show; and we see it week after week. The supporting actors Jason Dohring (Logan), Percy Daggs III (Wallace), Francis Capra (Eli), Tina Majorino (Mac), Michael Muhney (Sheriff Lamb), among others, are brilliant as well.

The first season is close to flawless, with an explosive finale that made me love the show SO MUCH. Despite weaker seasons in succeeding years, it was still better than most of the television shows in circulation at that time. It is one of the best shows in the past decade; and it’s an opinion I share with other more reputable critics.

Lastly, the central love-hate relationship between Veronica and Logan made the show all the more interesting for me. I loved it. Sure, it was a train wreck in so many ways but that’s what epic love stories are made of, right? That relationship made me ache in more ways than one. Seriously.

Veronica Mars is a show unlike anything I’ve ever encountered on television. It’s quick and funny; but it’s able to strike a balance with the darkness and the drama. Comparisons to Alias and Buffy may be unavoidable; but at the end of the day, Veronica Mars is unique in its own way. The show gave me a strong female character who still had her flaws, making her all the more interesting and real. It taught me how to weave through clues, making me a smarter, more critical viewer. Most importantly, the show’s ambitious storytelling and complex mystery arcs build up to a satisfying end; and I really appreciated that. This show will forever be one of my all-time favorites.

best memory:
Like I mentioned above, the central romantic relationship in the show (called LoVe for Logan & Veronica) made me ache; and this was what started it all. I screamed during this scene. Right before watching this sequence, I had this idea in the back of my head that Logan and Veronica could be an interesting couple. I couldn’t believe it DID happen just when I was thinking it. Epic! One of the best moments ever on this show.


Another one of my best memories from the show has got to be watching the season one finale. The whole episode is just amazing. It capped off the mystery with a surprising but satisfying conclusion. Flawlessly written. Wonderfully executed.


25 Shows: Smallville

Show 8 of 25: SMALLVILLE

it’s about:
A young Clark Kent (aka Superman) and his coming-of-age story set in Smallville, Kansas. We witness first loves, first powers and the discovery of his origins.

my earliest history with the show:
I read about this series around 2002; and the concept alone got me interested. Superman as a teenager? Bring it on! Luckily, a classmate shared some episodes with me; and I seriously loved them. From then on, I tuned in.

why it sticks:
I have to admit offhand, I didn’t stick with this show. I stopped watching after Michael Rosenbaum (Lex Luthor) left. The show kind of dipped in quality in the later seasons. Still, this show means a lot to me mainly because of everything it pushed me to learn and discover through the course of my Smallville fanaticism.

I loved this show, especially through the first five seasons. I watched every episode faithfully. I kept up with news and spoilers on the Internet. I followed websites, joined forums, downloaded music from the show. I was into it wholeheartedly. I even started a fan site, which introduced me to other fans around the country and the world. Through it all, I learned the wonderful world of the web and its endless possibilities. I learned how to create websites, sustain galleries, even moderate forums. These introduced me to more shows, more variety. It was the spark that led me to my obsession with television shows. It’s this influence that stuck with me until now; and I’ll never forget Smallville for it.

best memory:

Smallville introduced me to appreciating music from television shows. I never noticed them before; but this particular scene pushed me to track down the song that was featured. The music is just perfect for the scene and the ending, I couldn’t help but be moved. It’s one of my favorite scenes from the show. I’m tearing up a bit just re-watching it. By the way, the song is “Everything” by Lifehouse. Loved it.

It was also with this show that I realized how powerful season finales could be. With Smallville, finales are almost always an event. It will undoubtedly be a cliffhanger; but I looked forward to it nonetheless. Other people hated the thought of waiting; but I loved it. The art of the season finale is something that should be appreciated and talked about. It’s what keeps fans hanging on until the show comes back four months after the fact. It has to be big. It has to stick.

One of my favorite season finales has got to be this scene from “Covenant.” The music and the visuals are just so powerful. I remember watching it and getting chills. Most importantly, the speculation and anticipation sustained me until the next season.

Shopping Diary #4

With nothing to do at home, I watched What’s Your Number? at Robinson’s Place Manila and did some shopping on the side.

The Sims 3 Pets Limited Edition

This Sims 3 Pets expansion pack has just been released and I can’t wait to take care of my own pet in the game. I want a pony!

black jacket/blazer
Php622.50 (50% off from Php1,245)

This is under Missy by Bayo. I’m happy to have finally found a good, comfortable blazer that could easily go with most of my tops to achieve an instant smart casual look. Most importantly, it was on sale at half off! It might not have been the ideal color; because I already have a black blazer from Freeway. But this one is looser and longer with a different style.

Femme Fatale Deluxe Edition

I love Britney’s latest album Femme Fatale. However, I held off on buying a physical copy mainly because of the packaging. I’m not a fan of slim CD covers made of cardboard. I saw this deluxe edition in the record store and checked the track listing… There are 4 new songs! That was reason enough to go and buy it.

Seriously… I’m Kidding by Ellen Degeneres

I love Ellen Degeneres! I read one of her early books (My Point… And I Do Have One) and loved it. I just love her humor; and I like how her train of thought goes into so many different directions. It’s crazy! I’m hoping this book has more of that. It will be a quick read for sure.

Mall of Asia Arena

There are some new developments for the Mall of Asia Arena. Their website is already up at There, you could get updates and facts about this much anticipated new structure near SM Mall of Asia. They’ve already listed UAAP Opening, NCAA Opening and Cirque du Soleil among their upcoming events. There’s also a countdown to the grand opening! Visit the site to know more about the venue and its facilities.

Here are some quick facts about the arena: (source)
Opening Date: May 19, 2012
Gross Floor Area: 64,085 sqm
Number of Levels
Building: 6 levels
Seating: 5 levels
Seating Capacity
Basketball: 15,093
Proscenium Concerts: 10,311
MOA Annex
Carpark Building: 1,400 slots
Anchors: Sports Bar Merchandise Stores Branded-Run Food Stores
Restaurants: 2
Counters: 14
Snack Bar: 8
Food Carts: 16
Retail/Other Locators
Gear/Merchandise Store: 4

And here are some photos of the work-in-progress as of early October 2011 (credit to: Jefferyi of Skyscrapercity)

For more discussions about Mall of Asia Arena, visit the SM Arena thread at