Monday, July 31, 2006

My new cyber hangout/Wake up call for Filos

I don't know if you guys have noticed my new blog link "Writing On Air." That is actually Apo Jim Paredes's blog. The man himself has actually migrated to Australia a few months ago and has been religiously documenting his life in the country. I have known about his blog for sometime now, but recently I have been reading his thoughts and have been posting comments... and he takes time to respond to everyone's comments which sometimes reaches a hundred or so!

He is a joy to read and his musings are very well thought of. It's just sad that the Philippines has once again lost a brilliant mind. I really hope that the government gets its act together, or else all of the country's intelligent minds will just up and leave for a better life. If an accomplished artist like Jim Paredes decided to take his family and leave all the comforts (i. e. maid, cook, driver, huge house) behind to start a brand new life in a foreign country, what is stopping other qualified individuals from doing the same? I know that this isn't new, but the situation is so dire that the country needs all of its resources to be able to function. I mean, just look at the government. It has turned into one big joke.

Even education has taken a downturn. Would you believe that a lot of call centres are closing shop in the Philippines because employers cannot find enough people who speak English properly? When in the world did that happen? These same companies are now opening up in India! India! No disrespect, but some companies are very strict when it comes to accents that it is an essential part of their employees' training. Indians usually have a very hard time learning this. And yet, they rather have Indians doing the work than Filipinos who used to have the highest English literacy population in Asia. Now, even China is catching up... fast!

Given that the quality of education has become shit, there are two other things that did not help the Filipino youth of today and I am sure there are people out there who will agree with me.

Text messaging and Taglish.

Okay, fair enough that there isn't enough space to write up a lenghty message using one's mobile phone. But for Christ's sake, if you are going to type up a whole novel using abbreviated words that don't make much sense except for people who are well versed in text-speak, wouldn't you rather just dial the number and get it over and done with in less than a minute? It's obvious that I am not a fan of text-speak. It has become such a dilemma not only in the Philippines but also in first world countries like Australia that kids 15 and under use text-speak to write essays for school! They have become so immersed in using text-speak spelling that they no longer use the correct spelling of the word!

And regardless of what your peers say, mate... it ain't cool. You sound like an uneducated fool. Imagine applying for a high paying job and your CV has:

joe bloggs
addy: 6 white st qc
qual: hs grad, col grad
exp: 10 yrs txting

Another thing that I hate the most is Taglish. I guess this is coming from my old school training. I still remember my 6th grade English teacher:

"You start a sentence with one language, you finish it with the same language."

Sounds easy enough? Wrong. I am appalled that people even older than I who fall into the trap of sounding like uneducated morons who think it's cool to speak in a mish-mash of two languages. It pisses me off completely.

Kung tingin mo na mukha kang mayaman dahil baluktot ka magsalita, hindi po.

Using a Filipino-adopted jive, it's try-hard.

Sorry, I know I'm ranting. This actually stemmed from an email I received from a colleague whom I thought would know better than to use text-speak in a work related email. Drives me absolutely batty! You know that it actually took me yonks to figure out apt is not the word "apt" but actually a shortened "appointment". No wonder when I was reading the statement it didn't make any sense. Argh!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Melbourne an Aussie favourite!

Forget the Sydney Harbour bridge and the Opera House! Melbourne was voted as Australia's favourite city in a recent survey conducted across the country. While people say Sydney tops in nearby regional events, Melbourne is streets ahead of Sydney in terms of dining, nightlife, sporting and cultural events, romance, and my favourite of all... fashion and shopping!

Melbourne is very European in its setting. The people who walk the streets come from different backgrounds, making it the most multicultural city in Australia. The streets are safer than Sydney by a long shot and the food... let's just say you will not run out of places to go even if you decide to eat in a different place everyday! Other cities bag Melbourne for its unpredictable weather, often saying that Melbourne has four seasons in one day. In my opinion, this is one of the reasons why Melbourne denizens are the most well-dressed lot amongst all Aussies. They dress according to the weather, and they do it damn well.

I am so proud to be a resident of a city that oozes so much appeal and class. A city that boasts good food and good shopping is definitely tops in my book.

If you have the chance, come and visit this wonderful city! I'd love to take you around :) In fact, I will start posting more about this beautiful city. Think of me as your personal tour guide :p

What's on:

Picasso, Love & War 1935 - 1945 - an exclusive exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria
The Leonardo Da Vinci Machines - An Exhibition of Genius at the Waterfront, Docklands

***pictures taken from several websites***

Friday, July 21, 2006

Would you buy a fake Louis Vuitton just to look cool?

This is stemming from my recent naughty little spree. As much as I love shopping and I like nice things, I also like a bargain. I always frequent the sales in my favourite shops and I always come out feeling elated by the good buys I got. For example, prior to my new job starting, my most favourite shopping centre David Jones had a sale. I ended up buying 3 suits for the fraction of the price.

There are times when I also bought items from eBay. That place is a god-send when it comes to certain clothing and shoes. But it is also a place full of counterfeiting fiends who just want to make a quick buck.

I have read a few articles on how to spot fakes and questions to ask online sellers to determine the authenticity of items being sold. D. Parvaz's article was very well researched. They picked up 5 items from vintage stores and online places like eBay and Yahoo. They've discovered that the stitching in bags were poor, dust bags used are of poor quality and are of the wrong font, and there were even prints of bags that were never made by the original manufacturers! Very cheeky.

Another article from stated that "if prices.. for some of the hottest luxury brands seem unreal, it very well may be because the goods themselves aren't real." True.

Okay, so you may think what the big deal is. Aren't people allowed to buy fakes if they want to? Are people ought to be shot if they want to buy a fake Louis Vuitton Poppincourt Haut to look cool and trendy? Can't people go and buy fakes just to show up "the man" for feeling the can justify charging us hard working folk thousands of dollars for a handbag? Fine, go ahead. But what these people don't understand is that the counterfeiting industry is a multi-billion dollar business and often involve poor children who are overworked and suffer in appalling living conditions not even fit for a dog.

In my opinion, at the risk of looking not-so-cool I'd rather not buy a fake item. Firstly, because you look like you're trying too hard to be someone you're not. Secondly, it's only feeding the counterfeiting fiends and they make more money by making fools out of others and treating children poorly. Lastly, heck... buying a fake is not even worth it! You can tell it's a fake, you'll look stupid for carrying one around, and you're ripping people off!

I feel sorry for people who honestly think they're getting a bargain when all their getting are lies and poor quality products. The only place where you are guaranteed to get the genuine article are the boutiques themselves and online stores like eBay? Not so sure. Apparently only as small as 10% of advertised luxury items are authentic, everything else is fake.

I may sound harsh towards people who knowingly buy fakes. I guess I'm just a firm believer that if a person can't afford something, don't force it. I like nice things but I also know my limits, thus my self-imposed "restraining order" (borrowing this term from you, Jaz :p) So what if you don't have a Louis Vuitton bag? It's not the bag that makes you cool, it's the person. Accessories are just that - accessories. They don't make you - YOU!

Just think of this the next time you're tempted to buy that oh-so-real-looking Hermes Berkin handbag...

Sex and the City's very own Samantha buying a "Fendi" bag from someone, stashed in the boot of his car!

How embarassing!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Melbourne, the Australian shopping capital?

Oh boy. I think the Gods are conspiring against me. I just read in the Herald Sun that the City of Melbourne and State Government of Victoria have proposed to launch an annual shopping festival. Cities like Dubai and Hong Kong do this, but their shopping festivals last for at least a month which includes fireworks, live shows, and huge bargains. In Melbourne, because of its already full calendar from annual events like the Melbourne Cup (horse racing), AFL (Aussie rules football), Australian Open (Tennis), Comedy Festival, and others, the shopping festival will last only a week. Of course, major city retailers whole heartedly support this initiative in order to rake in as much moolah as possible.

The City of Melbourne is not content being just the fashion capital of Australia. It also wants to be the center of retail heaven.

Damn. Well, at least they don't see it happening until 2008. It gives me a year and a half to lay off the shopping a bit.


On a similar note, I am slightly disappointed with myself. Last Monday, I got a big surprise when I checked my bank account. Turns out that all salaried employees got their annual bonuses. It was a hefty bonus at that. So, what was the first thing I did? Deposit the money in my savings account? No. Pay some bills off? No.

You know what I did?

I went straight to Louis Vuitton, that's what!

And I got this beautiful bag...

Luckily, I had enough self-control and did not buy the matching wallet.

Sigh. So much of refraining from shopping... I am a mad, bad, shopaholic! Argh!

***note that I am only slightly disappointed. Heck, it is a gorgeous bag and I've always wanted it :p***

Monday, July 17, 2006

Johnny is a hot pirate!

Finally watched Pirates of the Carribean, Dead Man's Chest yesterday afternoon with Arnie, courtesy of free tickets given by my kindly co-worker/Sales Manager in the company I work for. It was such a fun movie. Johnny Depp, as usual, was a sight to behold. He was just perfect as Captain Jack Sparrow. Orlando Bloom provided just the right amount of "yum-yums". Keira Knightly got a bit annoying for me close to the end of the film, although I do like her as an actress.

Oh, and watch out for the nice little surprise in the end of the film. Makes you want to go and "eat a whole bushell of apples." >hint, hint<

The special effects was spectacular. Bill Nighy was an impressive Davey Jones. Excellent sword fight scenes, plentiful funny moments, and just the right amount of kick arse action from each character.

Well-worth the 2 1/2 hours!


On a different note, Doctor Who is back! David Tennant is such a cute Doctor! Season two started last week with the Christmas special which I watched last January with the help of my trusty broadband connection - i.e. downloaded it off the net!

The first episode was shown on the 15th and it was fantastic! I have read up a lot on this season and I know a lot about what's in store for the Doctor and Rose Tyler. I just can't wait to see it all.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Confessions of a shopaholic - in hiatus

Okay... so everyone knows I love to shop. I love clothes, I love shoes, I love gadgets, I love to have new things.

But there comes a point when one has to stop.

And that time has come for me.

This promotion at work is both a blessing and a curse. The amount of money I'm getting allowed me to buy anything and everything I want without even thinking about whether I really need stuff or not. I have become a woman who thinks, "I don't care, I have the money anyway."

Not very wise.

It's not so much of the amount of money I spend on the luxuries I allow myself, after all I always think that I've worked hard for my money so I should bloody well spend it the way I see fit. It's actually a combination of things that convinced me that maybe I should lay off the shopping for a while.

Firstly, my closet is bursting at the seams. It has come to a point that I have come to wearing a piece of clothing twice a month at the most. Really silly if you think about it. Of course, this would mean longevity of use but not very handy if I have barely enough room.

Secondly, Arnie and I are saving up for our house. A few hundred dollars a week may not look too bad, but multiply that by months and years... yikes! There goes the deposit!

Finally, I don't really need anymore clothes and shoes! How many pairs of Chuck taylors does one woman need? 3? 5? 9? Sheesh...

Shopping has become a compulsion for me that I really need to stop. No more buying shirts and pants and skirts and shoes because I "may" need it later on. From now on, I'll only buy stuff when I really need it. I need another pair of shoes like a hole in the head!

Tough, but I'll persevere. I want to see the rewards that I'll reap from this, like that beautiful home that Arnie and I will share in the future as a married couple. That is an image that cannot be replaced by a pair of Manolo Blahniks.

Until then, "The Shopaholic Jennie" bids you farewell...

Monday, July 10, 2006

Congratulations are in order...

A big weekend for sports aficionados...

It was the World Cup final this morning and after 36 teams battling it out, it all came down to Italy and France. It was tough game with both sides kicking a goal each early in the game and each team's tough defence battling it out till extra time. The French captain Zidane got a red card, which marked an ugly end to an excellent career.

It all came down to the penalty kick shoot out. Italy came out as the winners.

Congratulations to Italy for winning the 2006 World Cup. This win makes it the fourth for Italy, only one short of Brazil who is the holder of the most World Cup wins.

The Azzuri celebrating their World Cup win, the last being in 1982. (Photo from The Herald Sun)

Also, the Wimbledon final was on between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, whom both faced each other during the French Open. There was no question of Nadal winning that, being an ace on clay courts. But grass is Federer's baby, and he came out as the victor.

All smiles knowing he's the king of the grass. (Photo from The Herald Sun)

Congratulations to my most favourite tennis player. This makes his fourth consecutive Wimbledon title. Here's to you winning the US open!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

(in)Famous Moi?

Got a text message from my girlfriend DJ. She told me that our two-time Palanca award winner friend Yvette Tan featured my blog in It's a division of GMA Network in the Philippines. Check it out here.

Famous na ba akish? Yeah, right... I guess it pays to have friends in certain industries :p

Speaking of award winning writing, check out this story Yvette wrote which was shortlisted for the Neil Gaiman writing contest's people choice award entitled "Stella for Star". Excellent piece.