“Lucky” in Hong Kong

Early this month, I went on an unplanned trip to Hong Kong for project “Lucky.” It was one of the rare times that we get to do post production abroad. In this case, we did it in PixelBox HK. I was part of the team who spent a couple of days there to finish the material from grading (color correction) to final online (final release material).

This is officially my first time to handle a project with foreign post component; and it was a good learning experience for me. I met new people and got to know what goes on when we are the ones who fly out to do post production in another country.

I’ve been to Hong Kong a number of years ago; but Disneyland wasn’t built yet. I still wasn’t able to go there this time because I’m in Hong Kong to work. We had to focus on the job at hand, which was to finish the commercial. Still, we had free time to do some roaming; and I mostly spent it either shopping or eating!

We spent most of our time in the Causeway Bay side of Hong Kong; because our hotel and the post production house is there. We stayed at Lanson Place Hotel, which was in Leighton Road.

It is a fairly new hotel, which has a very modern design and nice, plush amenities. It’s in a very good location; because we rarely needed to take a taxi or MTR to get to where we want to go. Most shopping malls and restaurants are within walking distance, which is really… really great.

the library near the reception desk & waiting area near concierge
the room which served as my home for almost a week
i gotta show the bathroom, right?

The room is not massive; but it is big enough. The beds are comfortable. The bathroom is nice. They have great housekeeping services, good service. There’s really fast Internet; but you have to pay extra.

As mentioned, our place of work was PixelBox HK. It’s a post production house located in One Hysan Avenue. Similar to local production houses, it has a lobby/receiving area and several suites for editing.

PixelBox Headquarters (do you see the awesome Nespresso machine?)
inside the online and grading suites

Like I mentioned, our free time was spent either eating or shopping. Since we spent a couple of days there, I couldn’t possibly post every single shop and restaurant that we went to. For the purpose of sharing, here are some glimpses of the stuff I ate and the places I went to… at least the ones I got to take pictures of.

West Villa. first night in HK. first xiao long bao.
El Cid. late night meal -- a pint of Hoegaarden. shrimp and paella. yummy!
Peking Garden. peking duck and... other food. 🙂
Din Tai Fung. more xiao long bao.
Din Tai Fung. pork chop rice and drunken chicken.
IKEA. i loved going around this place... though I didn't exactly buy anything.
Times Square. here, i ended up buying two pairs of shows from Onitsuka Tiger. #shoeaddict
Lan Kwai Fong. we went around this place after a full meal at Peking Garden.

I really enjoyed my trip. It was mostly for work; but I had a bit of fun on the side… shopping, dining and roaming the streets. To top it off, the weather was chilly… a big contrast from our current hot weather in Manila.

foggy morning view from the hotel room

I hope to have more opportunities to do post work abroad in the future. This was certainly a great experience.

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the IT list #1

“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 #1
Since this is the inaugural list, I’ve got 10 entries. This pretty much covers the past month. I’ve had a lot of free time. My shoot just finished and our post production (editing, etc.) has a very long timetable; and it involves days where we have no activity at all… So I’ve been staying at home, giving me time to drown myself in all sorts of things. Here they are:

#ONE
It’s what Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, one of my favorite films, was based on. I pored through all six books the past week. The humor and spirit that I expected was all there. It was a weird and quirky little gem that’s completely entertaining. This is a comic that has cemented itself as an iconic graphic novel that defines this generation; and I’m completely on board.

#TWO
I’m falling in love with Happy Endings. What was once another Friends cardboard cut-out is quickly becoming the comedy I can’t wait to watch every week. The show has found its groove as evidenced by the first two episodes this season. The cast has solidified their chemistry as an ensemble; and it shows.

#THREE
Street Corner Symphony is one of my favorite groups from the second season of The Sing-Off. These guys have a cool, laid-back attitude and I can feel it from their first album, Unpractice Makes Perfect. They’ve got a great song selection that covers somber tunes (Dead Man’s Will, Drift Away, Mad World) to more upbeat numbers (Hey Soul Sister, Down on the Corner, Everything). This album is currently alternating with my Sing-Off and Top 40 playlists. I love listening to it.

#FOUR
I wrote about the new pair of top-siders that I bought last Monday. Since then, I’ve worn it three times. That’s how much I’m loving these shoes. It’s catching up to Chucks and FitFlops as my favorite footwear.

#FIVE
I found out that the latest season of Junior Masterchef Australia has premiered and four episodes have aired. I got caught up the other day; and the talent is blowing me away yet again. These kiddie chefs made ice cream from scratch, cooked Greek dishes, and made outstanding culinary concoctions from a dozen eggs! I can’t wait to see what else the show has in store for this season.

#SIX
I started using Lolo Beatburn Treadmill/Outdoor Trainer last May when I decided to jump on our treadmill and start working out. I stopped after 13 workouts because of work. But I’m starting to reacquaint myself with the app. It’s a great companion that provides up to the minute guidance to maximize your workout, with music that adjusts to your speed, and customization depending on your fitness goals. It’s a great tool to get motivated. Highly recommended.

#SEVEN
I started getting manicures and pedicures about a year ago. Nail-a-holics was the first nail salon I went to. It was a good experience. Now that they just opened a branch nearby (SM San Lazaro), I went there to get some much-needed pampering the other day. I tried the Gold Coast Manicure, Pedicure, Foot Spa with Mud Mask for Php750. Needless to say, my feet and hands were thankful afterwards. I’m definitely coming back.

#EIGHT
Before Scott Pilgrim, I read Persepolis. It was the only book I bought from The Manila Book Fair. I watched the movie over 2 years ago; so I decided to get my hands on the graphic novel that inspired it. I usually read it before going to sleep; so it took me longer to finish. However, it’s hardly a book you would get bored reading. I found myself finishing over 50 pages on the first night, even if I was already sleepy when I started. The book is insightful. It opened me up to a world where war is the norm. It has introduced me to a history I never knew through the eyes of the author. Solid writing and engaging illustrations made for a great read. It has made me want to watch the movie again soon.

#NINE
I’m obsessed with this show once again. Much like last year, I’m finding myself listening to The Sing-Off songs over and over again. A cappella is one of the greatest musical art forms; and I’m so thankful to this show for introducing me to how great it could be. Currently on repeat: Grenade and What Do You Want From Me by Delilah, American Boy by Afro Blue, Wicked Game by Sonos, E.T. by Pentatonix, Just Can’t Get Enough by Urban Method, Dynamite by Yellow Jackets… sheesh, might as well say EVERYTHING!

#TEN
If you love California Maki and sushi; but you don’t want to spend a lot, then Gryn Wasabi is the way to go. I discovered this establishment about two years ago; and has been my go-to merienda for client presentations. We served it for an interlock (presentation) earlier this week. You can’t go wrong with 124 pieces for only Php600! There’s no catch. The presentation is great. The food is good. The price is right.

Celebrate and Eat!

Even though it may get a bit expensive to treat people on one’s birthday, it’s always nice to make people happy on your special day. For Pinoys, the go-to celebration is eating out. This year, these are the places where I celebrated my birthday with family and friends:

Wee Nam Kee
Ayala Triangle Gardens

Last Saturday, I treat my family to Wee Nam Kee, one of the most popular restaurants in Ayala Triangle Gardens. I’ve only had the chance to eat there twice; and it was always packed! This day was no different. Good thing I made reservations for dinner, good for 20pax. Yup, that’s how huge my family is.

We ordered the specialties: roast chicken, steamed chicken and cereal prawns. We also ordered crispy noodles for good luck, since it’s my birthday. Fried rice, steamed fish and spinach soup completed the meal, with free sambal kangkong care of Citibank.

After dinner, everyone was full and happy! We got frozen yogurt from Golden Spoon to cap off the night. Yummy!

Chocolate Fire
Salcedo Village, Makati

Last night, I had another celebration, now with workmates, at Chocolate Fire. I’ve wanted to check this place out for the longest time. It was the perfect choice to relax and indulge in some sweets after a hard day’s work.

I think we tried a bit of everything: Chocolate Ganache Cake, Strawberry Sunrise Sundae, chocolate cocktails (Sneaky Strudel & Chocolada), Dipped Pringles, Iced Chocolate, Milkshake, the list goes on and on. We were just ooh-ing and mmm-ing the entire time. Sarap! I wish I had taken pictures; but for now, you just have to take my word for it.