Tuesday, July 22, 2014

.@Reina_Reyes and #TheShyPhotographer at the First Pacific LeadershipAcademy (FPLA) Executive Talks

The wife was invited to be a panelist at the FPLA Executive Talks and I tagged along as her plus 1. It was an event to celebrate the birthday of one of the biggest name in the Philippines, Manny V. Pangilinan.

The first part of the program was the Conversations on Thought Leadership, hosted by the lovely couple Patricia and Vince Hizon. 

The participants for this segment were the solo artist Ryan Sy, the soprano Rachelle Gerodias, the voice artist Pocholo Gonzales, an ER doctor Dan Luchangco, the conductor Olivier Ochanine, the astrophysicist (the wife) Reinabelle Reyes, and the pianist Cecile Licad.

The talk consisted of the speakers' roots, how their choices evolved and their outlooks in life, among others. They even talked about how they keep their bodies healthy for each of the professions that they practice.

Getting insights from the experiences of the speakers can prove to be invaluable life lessons especially to the younger members of the crowd.

After the intermission, the attendees were treated to some world-class music ranging from pop to classical to operatic music. Performers were the pop artist Ryan Sy, the classical string quintet the Quintetto Felix, the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, an opera performance by Rachelle Gerodias and a piano performance by Cecile Licad.

Needless to say I, and I am sure the rest of the crowd also, was transported to another dimension because of the sublime music.

It was a great opportunity to listen to the experiences of the panelists, to listen to wonderful musical performances, and to meet such wonderful people.

Photos made with the Canon Powershot G15 (Reviews Part 1 and Part 2) and iPhone 5s.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

A Surprising Fashion Statement in Metro Manila

When the wife and I came back from the US, the temperature in Metro Manila was in the mid-teens (60F). I greatly enjoyed that since I really, really love the cold. (As a matter of fact, I love winter!)

One of the first thing I noticed was there were some people wearing winter hats (or beanie) and scarves. I thought, "well, it is cold for the Metro" so I didn't think much of it then.

But now that it has warmed up, I am still surprised to see people still wearing winter hats, or what's locally called as bonnets, and scarves! In 35C temperatures with a heat index of 40C! (95F and 104F respectively.)

So the thing that entered my mind was, "Why?!?"

I don't know if this is a new fashion statement or what not, but this is certainly mind-boggling to me! I even saw one wearing both a scarf and a beanie but who was sweating profusely. He kept wiping his sweat with his hanky, something that is usually in Filipino's pockets.

It left me wondering why bother wearing those two things if he was so hot! And why not use his scarf to wipe his sweat? It was already drenched anyway.

Another thing, I see men wear beanies while women wear scarves, though there was a time when I saw a man wear both...

The ironic thing is, in my combined 7 and a half years of living in Princeton, New Jersey and Chicago, I, and most people living in those two places, do not even wear these things in early fall and late spring! 

A friend of mine suggested that it may be because of the Korean-novellas (Korean TV soap) that influenced this fashion trend. I can understand people wearing those in Korea where they have winter season, but I still don't get why people wear it here.

And these things are sold everywhere!

Which brings me to another ironic thing... When the wife and I went to San Francisco, CA, we were met with the unpleasant surprise of the cold "summer" days there. Coming from a Chicago heat wave (100F ~ 38C), we thought that San Francisco would also be hot. Hey it was summer then! So, we went there with only a light sweater with us, something that will keep us warm on the plane.

It turned out San Francisco summer is anything but...

We tried to buy a scarf and a beanie but the store clerk said it's not sold that time of year because it's "summer".

"Summer!", I said, "It's in the low-50s outside!" "Yes," the store clerk said, "Summer." (50F is 10C).

So, scarves and beanies are sold in the Philippines where it's in the low- to upper-80's majority of the year, but it's not sold in San Francisco during the summer season even if they only have two summer days in a year! Ok, I exaggerate, they have three summer days (I define summer as temps in the 80s. 80F is 27C)

I am a child of the 80s when big hair, big shoulder pads and loose pants were in vogue. Back then, leg warmers were also very popular among women.

So, are scarves and bonnets today's leg warmers?!?

Photos taken with the Olloclip and my favorite iOS camera app, Hipstamatic:

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