Wednesday, October 28, 2009

It Isn't Easy as You Think It Is be a writer -- even being an editor.

And so I can't blame fellow blogger and Facebook buddy Frances Amper-Sales if she has a lot of qualifications for someone for that job--and she's actually on the look out for a fashion and beauty editor for her magazine OK!. I had tried my luck at publishing for a university press and at her magazine back more than a year ago when I applied for a position--as an editorial assistant and....

indeed it to be a writer or even an editor one tough job.

Back in the university, I became the editor in chief and I feel for Frances. Don't be surprised if the job qualification entails a lot. Because it really is. Being an editor is really a hard job--especially if you're the editor-in-chief so don't complain if editors are bitchy as Miranda Priestley. Back in college, I was also a horrible, bitchy editor-in-chief and my adviser could attest to it.

You cannot mistake it's (read that apostrophe) with its and your with you're--those are two different things; and that mistake would make the whole thing different. I learned this the hard way when worked for the university press--scoring b******t from my boss, the editor-in-chief (never forget the hyphens in between!) just because I mixed its with it's. As horrible as it is, committing a mistake like that will score you those words to last the whole day. Thus aside from fantastic writing (and almost perfect grammar--including punctuations), being a meticulous creature is also a MUST!

You need to have the will power to read, research, write, revise and go through the whole cycle. Writing and editing isn't just all about tinkering on your keyboard without minding if your information is right or if it's up-to-date. That's probably why I was able to stay in this job because I have grown to love reading, befriending Webster and sharing my bed with pens, paper and books.

Being a writer means doing all the nerdy stuff. Some people think being in the media (broadcast or written) is all about glamor, parties and rubbing elbows with the stars--actually, that's not always the case.

And while I'm blessed to have angelic, calm and heaven sent editors now in Highlights, (yep, no more of those BS language--just email reminders for revisions which are far better!) I'm still an OC girl when it comes to editing my own stuff (sometimes it extends to others too) because a single mistake could cost a lot--sometimes hundreds even thousands of pesos to resolve. While an erratum can apologize for a mistake, it simply cannot clean the humiliation caused by a lapse.

Being once an editor-in-chief, I understand that in being a writer and editor part of the job description is to make the chief's life easy. Editing is darn laborious--thus one need not to be another liability.

When you are a writer, people do think of you as somebody famous--even rich. Yes, a lot has this misconception that once you're a writer, you've got a lot of moolah in your wallet. But I'd like to burst your bubble. No it's not. When you are a writer even an editor, becoming an overnight millionaire is the least thing you'll have. So if you're craving for money to splurge for your shopping spree, this job isn't for you to take.

If you have what it takes for this challenge of being the next fashion editor, read Frances' blog by clicking here.

Craving for GC? Then Join

....the New DiscOVIries Contest by Nokia

If you are a Nuffnang subscribed-blogger like me, then this is your chance for another up for the grab prize just by joining. All you have to do is:

1. Open an Ovi account by visitng
2. WRITE. Yes, you saw it. Write about your latest discovery on fashion, food and technology and send them to the respective email address:


Oh, and don't forget to include your details like your name, address, OVI email address and mobile phone number in your entry. Who knows, you could be one of the 10 winners of 1,000 pesos worth of Ayala E-GC courtesy of Nokia.

What are you waiting for? start tinkering and squeezing those juices now because the contest runs from October 27 till November 20, 2009 only.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Bringing Home Broadway

Back from days of absence resting and recuperating from the stress and strain of my busy workload. While friends are aware of my state, I was actually working on my deadlines despite my internal clock's bargaining plea for me to rest.

Surfing on the internet as I do my articles (yes, despite illness and recovery, I was still doing my backlogs and assignments; need to meet the deadlines. :p) I chanced to surf the Summit Media's showbiz website and found out few stuff:

1. Tara Santelices' life story will be featured in one of the episodes of Maala-ala Mo Kaya (probably next month) where Karylle will be playing the lead role; seems to be a nice choice, I actually saw it that she looks like Tara when I glanced at her photo in one of my entries months ago. She's fit for the role actually. While I followed her story until her tragic death in July, I will surely be looking forward to that episode.

Measure your life in love.

2. Broadway musical RENT will be having its Filipino adaptation. It will be shown by February of 2010. And realizing that, it made me miss the good old days back during my stint as a teacher when...

3. We had our own rendition of RENT's soundtrack music, Seasons of Love. This one's quite memorable for one, I sang the part of Joanne in the original version--despite my social phobia that has been with me for such a long time. It also made me miss Luigi, the school's academic manager and my conversation buddy who really loves Broadway musicals, Sweeney Todd and Stephen Sondheim (and Sweeney Todd will also have a Filipino adaptation next year.) Unfortunately, I no longer have his number; I know he's gonna love it when he hears that a Pinoy version of these Broadway hits will finally arrive here.

It was such a happy discovery--and a way to reminisce the good old days. This is like a commercial. It's already the 26th and I didn't forget that I was unable to update my wishlist--that's because I'm finishing my deadlines too.

The big day is in 10 days.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

From Wish List to Iron Chef

I'm taking a breather from posting my wish list today. When I learned that yesterday was already Wednesday, I had to scramble on the post for the wish list. But then, because of an editing assignment that I had to do and finish till the wee and ungodly hours of the morning, I let a pass for the list today. Instead I caught up sleep; (I just woke up a few minutes ago as of this writing) and cook. Yes, you saw it clearly. I tried a hand at cooking.

For now, on a Thursday, I am trading my usual work table of pens and folders for pots and pans. I tried my hand at preparing macaroni and cheese. For some time that's what I've been craving for. Good thing this manufacturer came out with macaroni and cheese as their newest product. So yesterday, off I went to the supermarket.

A year ago, I tried a hand at preparing the recipe using Kraft Macaroni and Cheese my aunt from Canada sent for us to try out. And frankly, comparing Kraft to our local brand I prefer Kraft's product. Never mind the whole preparation but I think it gives the real taste of what macaroni and cheese should be. Classic compared to our local brand that tastes smoky.

And as I try a hand at cooking, I learned and attest to what Rissa Singson-Kawpeng said in her book, Confessions of an Impatient Bride--the instructions on those easy-to-cook meals are not complete. Indeed, you have to go through the whole kit and caboodle of a recipe. With Mac and cheese as my first test, I learned, you still need to put salt on the water before boiling the noodle--even if it's not written in the package instruction. Or else you'll come up with a bland recipe.

Yeah, what I discovered sounds really funny. But my nephew still loved it. For me, that's what I call kitchen education. I plan to do cheesecake next.

BY THE WAY, I discovered stirring on fresh milk on Mac and Cheese is good. May it be with the one from Kraft or the local, store-brought ones that we have here in the grocery shelves.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Indeed The Advice Was Right

In the middle of my busy weekend's agenda writing another article for one of my editors (who funny as it seems love to inform me of an assignment in the evening rather than at daytime), I slipped into a moment contemplating with some what-have-I list. And sewing the things together, I found out that one of the advice sent to me once by this editor over email months ago really makes sense.

Of all the advices written there, words that I normally go through and read most of the time, I was challenged to try and see this advice really work:

Remember, the voice telling you that you cannot do something is always lying.

In relation to that note, I figured out that:

1. I could do things and go out of my comfort zone. Career wise it was what I learned. Back then, I know I really wanted to go write for a magazine; the glossy (READ: commercial) type--the one that you see in the racks of bookstores. But I know, the world out there is too complicated enough for someone like me who feels uneasy wearing the latest fashion statement, or is too manang to write on topics like sex and those related to it--which is a must in such industry.

When I was first offered by my former professor Sir Ariel Vidanes to write for Highlights, the first thing that actually ran at the back of my head was, "look, this office is with MERALCO, I don't know anything about a power-generating company except for the electric bill that I receive every month. What am I going to do and write about?" But I still gave it a try. And time had ran so fast that three years, 12 issues and after a number of articles and subjects (and still growing) had been written, I am still doing it. I found out, being out of your comfort zone is great too. It made me realize there is to more to corporate writing--not just business jargons like I once thought.

2. I could actually have my own business. Dad and Mom wanted me to go into business school in college--to which I have always protested and declined because of a simple reason: I hate Math and numbers isn't my cup of tea. But early this year, I started a small venture still with freelance writing. And while Mom and Dad first had doubts (asking, are you sure, they will pay? for every assignment that I get) they are the same person who grin at the thoguht seeing me leave the house after finishing a job order. I also get offers abroad but I simply can't gamble--yet as I am still new with my business, I'm learning how to run the whole thing.

3. That I can flee away from am abusive relationship. Probably, it was more of I woke up from the whole emotional abuse. A former boss told me that I was a Silent Warrior for I tend to keep things, suffering and all to myself--and maybe I really am for I was like what I told my accountability partner N during one of our conversations, suffering in silence for five years. But in the end, I thought "this man doesn't have the balls to call it quits. He''ll just make a rag doll out of me and I don't want that. I have given enough and I know, I also need to receive something in return--and I mean receiving something positive" So I fleed away.

And as I contemplate on these, I realized, the advice was real. And it keeps on happening everyday. Noawadays, when people hear what I have been doing or what I have done, they would say, "ang tapang mo girl" which actually surprises me. For I don't normally see myself that way. I do things like that for other reasons and being courageous is the least thing in my head.

To which when I try to ponder on their words, I'd find out I have followed the advice. That little voice that said I can't do it was indeed lying.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Thursday Techie Galore

It's another Thursday. And so likewise, it's another day and entry for m wish list series. In my first entry, I posted the paperbacks I've been dying to read and immerse myself on, this time I'm moving another notch higher (and probably more expensive...unfortunately).

My Must-Haves for My Job
And so aside from the ever reliable buddies named Webster, Encarta and Mozilla Firefox (they're three now--before it was only Webster!) there are some things that I need to acquire to survive the needs and demands of my career (which is also growing when it comes to assignments).

First in my list, a laptop. Coincidentally, as I was planning to write this entry, I read this news from Yahoo Tech! that HP will come up with these low-priced products since they have acquired Compaq ( this Compaq CQ61z laptop costs $399--that's PhP 17,955 in our currency). However, at PhP 17,955, I still find it pricey and probably occupies a lot of space.And since my space rarely becomes clutter-free, I need a gadget that can be tucked even in small vacant slots. So for a lappy, my choice would be this Asus EeePC. I wanted something small enough to be discreetly hidden in my backpack. Too bad PC Gilmore only has black and the white colors. As per the price, I was surprised that it's almost the same as the laptop above (a year ago, I checked on the same website for the price and it was just PhP 12,000 ). Small enough even to sleep with in my bed knowing that I normally do my work in bed with me (contrary to what a psychiatrist-friend told me, I don't use the bed and the room for sleep and sex--I use it for sleep and work).

Another must have in my list is a mobile phone. I've been using a Nokia 3660 for three years now and it's starting to resign one at a time. And of all the models I've checked, I was only satisfied with the Nokia 6070. Not only that it was the phone I really targeted to lay my eyes on, honestly, being the cheapskate me, that's the phone my budget can afford. I don't really deem for the Über-high tech phone. Just the one enough for me to do the backlogs and the nerdy things that are part of my daily routine.

Last on my list is a digital camera. Despite of the technology, I still have the old, film-leaded camera (although I don't use it anymore).I love pictures and this is one must-have since I normally am not convinced with camera phones. My cousin has her Sony Cybershot which I borrow on occasions and I think it will be more convenient to own one for myself. This works double purpose since it can also work as a handy cam (minus the bulk) and being the video maniac me who loves to document my whereabouts, this one would be a great buddy.

But the wish list is pricey. So I'll have to save up for these stuff--I mean really, really save up, but who knows, there might be a Santa out there.
photos courtesy of and Nokia Philippines.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Can't Get Enough of the Books

Just an update, last night I posted about the fear of having this blog corrupted or perhaps hit by an unknown virus (and that's no joke--office PCs are even suffering from it. Last night just before bedtime, I was finally able to solve the whole HTML problem. What turned out to give me headaches was just the need to troubleshoot the editor settings option.

Now back to business.

I know I have posted and voted for books as the first thing on my birthday wishlist. However, it seems I can't get enough of it.

Last Saturday, as I was browsing on the bookshelves of National Bookstore, I realized that aside from my first batch of books, I long to have these paperbacks that I refer to as must haves:

Merriam-Webster Concise Handbook for Writers. Being in the writing profession, I am still into the whole kit and caboodle of proofreading, punctuation and stuff like that related to writing and publishing articles--despite of graduating from the whole thing taught in school years ago. And even if I blog to express myself, my thoughts and to put writing into practice, I know I still have to further expound learning other aspects of the craft.

Merriam Webster Manual for Writers and Editors. If doctors have Merck Manual and PPDr, this is what I consider to be my editor's bible. Being into writing for a magazine, I know there still are some critical terms and procedures I have to know--especially that writing for business and speaking corporate is REALLY different. And browsing this book, I know this will be of great help. I've grown to reading Alito Malinao's Journalism for Filipinos back in college; and though it made me learn the basics (word count for headlines, shortening lengthy words and producing real headlines), I still want to learn more of the whole thing.

On the other hand, one of my favorite bloggers Frances Amper-Sales who's also about to celebrate her birthday next month (and our big day's one day apart from each other) also has a jampacked list. Check out Topaz Horizon now!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Probably Corrupted

While it has been days since I last posted an entry, I am now trying to do some trouble shooting with my page. Unfortunately, I think, my blog provider got corrupted since all the shortcuts and features got lost. As of now, I am still trying to figure out what went wrong with this thing. And the HTML thing is giving me headaches already.

I guess, I won't be able to post in some photos till some time or so.

Just dropping on a short notice in case. And the whole thing is giving me techno-stress already.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Birthday Girl's Thursday Wishlist

I am turning another year older, (25 to be exact) four Thursdays from now. And while I have some valid fears of getting one more year added to my age, I know there are still some things in my wishlist that I hope to get, receive and make happen. While I have shared some of my dreams to one of my friends Paulo, some of it already happened earlier than I thought.

But as funny as it sounds, the easiest of; my birthday wishes are what has been keeping so long to be fulfilled. In the middle of last night's black out, I was pondering about them. So for four Thursdays, I'll be sharing with you some of those silly but I can't hardly wait to get on my wish list for next month.

starting with Wish Number 1:

The Books I'm Dying To Read

All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten. This is the first book I'm dying to have on my list. For such a long time, I've been so intrigued about the lessons in this book by Robert Fulghum. This is actually an old book published back in 1986 but then I suppose it's still worth the wait, and the price. It doesn't matter to me if they are old books (meaning published way, way back) after all, I have Norman Vincent Peale's Power of the Plus Factor which is another old book. Old books to me actually have a lot of witty wisdom.

40 Stories of Passion. I remember beginning the year with the wish to have this book by my favorite Filipino author Bo Sanchez. I've browsed on the pages which contained inspiring stories from people such as Dylan Wilk (the rich British guy who sold his property and donated the money to Gwad Kalinga) and Soccoro Ramos, the Nanay Coring behind the success of National Bookstore. And probably, I'll really be able to get this book before the year ends.

12 Steps to Build Wealth on Any Income. Being a writer, I was once tasked to ask for the permission of this book's author, Alvin Tabañag if I could use and quote his article into the assignment I once had for the magazine. And from then I have been receiving practical tips from him through email regarding financial management. Being a financial planner, his tips are actually witty with a twist of humor. And guess what, days ago, he sent me an email and when I told him I plan to get a copy of his book, he actually told me, "no, I'll send you a complimentary copy." Now talk about the perks of being a writer. I really can't wait to receive this surprise.

Can You Keep a Secret?
This was the first book I browsed about the author Sophie Kinsella (which is by the way, the author's pseudonym. Yep. Sophie Kinsella is not her real name readers!) courtesy of my former co-teacher Scarlette Flores who's now a happy newlywed based in South Africa. This book is somewhat like a compilations of a girl's well-kept secrets shared to her readers. Now talk about courage and liberal thinking, maybe I'll get a lot from her.

Michael Jackson Commemorative books. Though I'm not much a huge fan of Michael Jackson, I grew up to singing and falling for his songs. That's why it's one big surprise for me when Ms. Bot, our Events Officer at MMLDC told me casually about his untimely demise. And I still find a lot of things about him quite intriguing. In a way having these books would also be a good addition to my growing bookshelf--oh and a good reference when the day comes and my kids will ask me, "Mom, who's Michael Jackson?".

Chicken Soup for the Bride's Soul and Chicken Soup for the Expectant Mother's Soul. My friends always give me this weird and surprised look when they found out that I've been collecting books about marriage and having kids. To think that I'm only pushing 25. Practically, their reactions tell me I'm still young. But to one explanation I give. I want to put things to practice in the near future and this is a good step in preparation to that. And when I learned that one of the people I'm assigned to do an interview with runs a coaching program, I got interested with their program on parenting. At the back of my head, I thought, I'll be enrolling in this program later on.

That's just a few of the titles. Lots of books to read but that's just some of the titles I'm dying to have. Maybe, I'll squeeze reading them in once my time lends me precious minutes to savor the words and the lessons I'll get from these brilliant friends. These days, I have devoted my time to my task as a writer and (semi) editor. But then I do enjoy both. Just like what my friend Joy Cabaltera said, it's okay just as long as may pera to buy the books.

And she's right with that. Now if you'd wish to send me any of these titles as a real birthday present, I will really, really appreciate that. One of the things and reasons my 25th year will be happy.

Keep posted on the next batch of wishes.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

In a Way, Mom Was a Bit Amiss

I really didn't intend to be a writer at first -- I remember telling one of my professors what I really wanted when I get my diploma--a sportscaster inspired by dad's love for sports. Back then, I knew Mom was a bit disagreeing about my plan of becoming a writer. She actually wanted me to be a teacher (which I once tried and was happy I did) because of a lot of perils of the writing profession; and the fact that writing won't make you an overnight millionaire. I know even up to now, she still has that stereotype.

When I applied for a position in one of the biggest publishing companies here, I was of course ecstatic. It took me three years just to get an interview (yep, try and try) but when mom recognized one of the editors who interviewed me for the job, I was a bit disheartened by her comment when she said, "ay, anak magaganda pala ang nandoon. You don't fit there."

As if a job depends on beauty. I have Anne Hathaway's Andy Sachs character in The Devil Wears Prada. I'm more of being a corporate girl than being fasyon (from a fashion editor's lingo). I was juggling between corporate writing and teaching at that time and suppose being in the fashion industry isn't really my destiny. I decided to really concentrate on corporate writing.

in this photo: KC Concepcion with MMLDC staff

Who says there's no glamour in my job as a corporate-slash-HR writer? This photo was taken yesterday morning when KC Concepcion and Piolo Pascual visited MMLDC for a shoot on one of the episodes of Lovers in Paris (too bad, I have to stay home for my work-related stuff are stucked here). In a way, mom was a bit sablay with her thought--that I don't fit in such a fashionable industry. Yes, I am into corporate writing and into the corporate world but the glamor of my job is still there. To think of it, I see my editors and others the same way--just like those glamorous girls and guys in the celebrity-immersed world. The place where I do my freelance work is really heaven (read: beautiful) that it's a choice for those shoots and important events; thus VIP's are a normal sight.

Now who says writing is all about danger? I don't think so. Yes, I didn't become a sportscaster as I once wanted but I know with every article my bosses approve and with every assignments I finish, Dad (and Mom) are happy.

On that note, keep yourselves posted on the episodes of Lovers in Paris and get the glimpse of this haven.

photos courtesy of MMLDC Facebook account.

Friday, October 2, 2009

There are Heroes in These Giving Souls

After a stormy weekend, I was able to go out and check the whole aftermath of the typhoon. Arriving at the office, things are a bit different. Compared to how is normally was, the whole lobby was silent. Some of the people I knew have their story to tell. One of my bosses only reached his family 11 AM of Sunday; searching for the shortest way to get home to his family in Provident Village; my managing editor's daughter had to walk much distance just to get home.

My family was fortunate that we were not directly hit by the effects (including the flood) but seeing the water current gushing down the slopes is indeed scary. There are a lot of things to be thankful for. Days past the typhoon from my friends to my bosses to the people I don't know so much have the same words to say "kamusta? hindi ka ba binaha?"

But on the other hand, despite that circumstance, there still are souls who decided to still be of service. One of my friends decided to go on duty in the midst of the destructive typhoon and work as an event marshall to assist the clients who were in the office; my family here was entertaining my relatives who we decided to stay here since their house got ransacked by the flood. A colleague decided to spent her final day at work asking co-employees to volunteer for a cause.

Indeed there are a lot to be thankful for. In the aftermath of the destructive typhoon are these images:

People in MMLDC decided to heed the call to be of service; people including the lineman trainees braved off the high-level waters despite the possible dangers with it. In the midst of power interruptions last Saturday, I realized this was the first time that I wasn't complaining. At the back of my head, I am assured that there are these people who are on their way to serve. That instead of whinning and complaining, there was sincere praise.

Indeed, things like this do make me proud. To be who I am. Bless these souls for their humility.

photos courtesy of Fred Olase Jr., Ms. Maria Paz Pascua and MMLDC Facebook account.