And down below old memories come alive

If there’s any other stop-motion out there worth spending some minutes watching it’s THIS. Even as an advertisement, this was pretty much genius. The stop-motion is not an original technique anymore BUT the challenge lies in how to use stop-motion to present something that can still be called unique.

This would have been perfect for the Island Creamery advertisement (for our Advertising Strategies project). I’m just saying.

When is Mother’s Day?

Since my long-term memory is malfunctioning, I can’t remember when exactly Mother’s Day is. But I know it’s in May.

I love my mom; we’ve never gotten into a serious mother-daughter fight. Actually, despite my tendencies to lean towards rebellion, disobedience, and dishonesty, I’m still a pretty-obedient kid. Or maybe my mom and I just usually never have anything to fight about. I mean, sure, she’d get angry at me when I sulk or irritable, impatient, and disrespectful toward my dad but that’s the end of it. I’ve never shouted at her, we never had cold wars — nothing particularly violent.

My parents swear this was my "smile" when I was a baby.
Me with my mom. My parents swear this was my "smile" when I was a baby.

Since I’ve been squandering my allowance money on big things (and by big I mean, EFFING HUGE. Some notable examples: the S$200-worth camera that got wet, which I replaced with a $600-worth camera; my MacBook Pro — 15″ and loving it; traveling to Phuket, Siem Reap, and Bintan.) I might as well use it up on something big and the best thing I can spend it on is on a gift for my mom.

I don’t know what to buy her yet. Easiest is a bag, but I’m not sure about the style she wants. I really want to buy her something extra-nice and extra-special and possibly extra-expensive so if I could maybe just afford a wallet or something within S$200 SGD (is that even possible!?), then I will. I wonder if that’s too materialistic? I want to get her something she could really love, and use! Plus I haven’t been able to celebrate with my family when she got promoted.

I’m going back to the Philippines on May 10 and I can’t wait! =) I miss my family and friends and I’ve missed out on too much (like people losing 40lbs like crazy, and possibly someone hooked up with someone again). I need to catch up on things (school-matters is something I dread though. One of them is a six-letter word that begins with a ‘T’ and ends with an ‘S.’

If I won’t have a career in design…

Lately I’ve started to consider other options for my future. Assuming I have one, well. I’m so insecure about my poor design skills; I think I’ve been left behind by even more talented people so in the possibility that I fail in trying to get into the design/creative/ad industry, I’ve decided that I could instead be:

1. A flight attendant. I got the idea when I saw this group of flight attendants eating and having a break at the airport (go figure). While smiling all day and dealing with some fussy passengers is no easy task with regard to taxing my people-skills, I think this will be a fun alternative for my future.

2. A cafe/restaurant owner. Design career or no design career, this is going to happen. I have too many plans going on for this to just leave them floating and lifeless inside my head. No, they will be out in the world to experience (once I learn how to start a business and maybe steal money for capital).

3. A traveler and part-time adventurer. This is assuming I will have won the lottery before embarking on this career in order to satisfy my tendencies for wanderlust.

4. A writer. Actually, the possibility of this happening is even less than the possibility of a career in advertising. I haven’t finished a single story and as much as I enjoy reading poetry, I’ve proven I’m not a poet since my attempts to write verse when I was seven.

5. A production designer. I’ve managed to dip my fingers in a few production-pies, so I know how much fun prod design is. However, I think this is a kind of job that will be more irregular than getting clients. Maybe. I don’t think I’d earn enough for #2 if I took this path either.

I don’t want to worry about so much yet because (1) I haven’t even started on my thesis yet, which is a requirement that will pave the way to my graduation and (2) I might just go back to being a student. Which has more benefits. But I need to get hired after graduation first.

Maybe I’m thinking too far ahead of things. :( Though, I want to think of life as something exciting as much as possible. I’ve popped enough happy-bubbles as it is.

Traveling multiplied by lethargy

Keeping myself in PGP in multiple attempts to force myself to study, not even logging in on MSN and YIM for a week, contributes very little to my academic life.

In short, traveling had evaporated most of my drive to study. I have done almost no “reading” during Reading Week.

temple climbing in Siem Reap
On the contrary, I did some temple climbing.

Going to Phuket, Thailand from the 11th to the 14th then to Siem Reap, Cambodia from the 18th to 20th was probably not the best prelude to final exams.

The best thing about getting to travel without parents (and in foreign countries) is the fact that I have experienced it. This. That. Those. One thing I promised myself is that I will definitely, oh most definitely, go back to Thailand because I fell in love with it as deep as I wanted to fall into its beaches. I can’t wait for an opportunity to go to Bangkok and then travel to the North, which a friend-of-a-friend had done.

I was deeply moved more by the poverty I saw in Cambodia than its immense god-stricken temple ruins and I was bothered by the regrettable fact that despite the similar state of poverty in the Philippines, I had to be moved by it in a foreign country. Or maybe I just had more to regret in Siem Reap than in Phuket.

Regrettable, life-changing drama from my first semester this year (June-October) had diminished what was left of the industrious, studious, note-taking and book-hogging student in me. That was followed by an unusual but exciting pre-second-semester (with all the Production gigs I got involved in while I waited for the results regarding one semester’s worth of scholarship at the National University of Singapore). Perhaps I just started to be convinced of “all the wrong things” — or things my mom would definitely disapprove of, or maybe I’m just tired of Ateneo and I just want to leave my frustrations with that university behind as soon as possible, but I’m not very keen on exams and tests anymore. The effort I exert on academics is merely a fraction of what I had been sacrificing for it when I was in sophomore year. I just want Friday to arrive and then I’ll be going to Bintan, Indonesia for two days worth of relaxation and water sports and amazing fun with two awesome friends I’ve made here. Then I can’t wait to get back to the Philippines where I can dive back into creative projects and actually do something to change my room’s design (ASAP). I left the Philippines four months ago looking for a muse and now I’ve found some inspiration, I can’t wait until I get my hands on materials to create lovely things.

Pigging out may or may not be related to my horrible study habits but today I’ve successfully saturated myself and sworn off junk food. I just finished a pack of potato chips for lunch and I feel so queasy, I’m sure I won’t be eating a whole pack in a long time again. While yesterday I stuffed myself with all forms of sweets: cheesecake, ice cream, cupcake, chocolate. I swear, I don’t know why I can’t just balance my food intake to satisfy my picky taste buds.

AdStrat project over!

Finally, our AdStrat presentation is done! We had our weakness but I think the prof liked our idea anyway. Which makes me excited because maybe advertising will actually be fun, if you’re working with the right people. My group mates are just awesome (except for one guy who was stupid enough to plagiarize his part from another group’s paper from the previous semester. Seriously, I don’t know how people like that can get into NUS, which is supposed to be in the top 10 unis in the world). Our group meeting last Sunday was actually fun (and funny). We went to the Shaw Towers for an extremely late lunch and ate at the Japanese/Korean restau there. On the way, my group mates ended up using “dubious” with all the “dubious looking” infrastructure and even ads, hahaha.

“That building just looks dubious,” “That guy looks dubious,” “The pink flowers hanging from the parking lot makes the parking lot dubious.” And even at the Japanese/Korean restau, with its unappealing brown tables and benches cramped together in a small space: “this looks dubious.”

Seriously, I’m so glad they have a sense of humor. We’ve exchanged some cuss words — I taught them “gago” and “putangina.” And I got this expression in Cantonese that meant something like ‘That shocked me!’ — “haseyang.” And Kailing always used “haseyang” haha, it’s so cute.

Ok, so anyway, this was the pseudo-stop-motion we made (the illustrations aren’t stop-motioned anymore because I didn’t have time to. Plus, it was hard using just iMovie and Photoshop CS4. I wanted to try making it in After Effects but I don’t have the program.) :(

And because their company website was made with ancient and outdated web standards (it’s really horrible, if you want to take a look), we redid their site. The process made me excited because of the possibilities I can do with the LFC website which terribly needs revamping also. I mean, logging in with your Facebook account? What else would the best way to get our members to utilize the homepage, huh? HUH??? THE POSSIBILITIES!

Now I really, really want to apply for an OJT in an advertising company to get the feel of what it is like being in the industry and to judge for myself if I want to go into it. I’m like a floating jellyfish in the middle of the ocean. I don’t know where exactly I want to go yet. Aside from (1) opening up this super awesome business idea with my friends, (2) traveling everywhere in the world, and (3) someday making my own film. But #1-3 needs an immense amount of money (or more like a fortune), and I need to find some way to earn that.

Seriously, I don’t feel so awesome at the age of twenty but maybe in ten more years I’d have something to be proud of. I still have this dream of someday being someone who can inspire people. :) And maybe being in a fantastic relationship with someone amazing, also. <3

Design Currency

I think this is an amazing video, promoting Design Week Vancouver whose theme is “Design Currency.” Although we were talking about transactional art in Cyber Arts class yesterday, this uses “currency” in a different context: value of design.

And it’s not that easy. When we went to the Singapore Art Museum and to another exhibit at Old School, I felt this immense difference between a genius artist and a design student. The level of impact cannot even measure that of an artist who lives very passionately with his art.

As for me, I’m already 20 (or still 20? Depending on from which POV you look at it), but I have never inspired anyone to do something yet. I don’t think I’m looking for it too early, but I don’t believe I’d be able to achieve any sort of impact with my currently-non-existent-even-in-the-form-of-intangible-ideas thesis. Unless I have a sudden moment of enlightenment or something.

Stop!motion

I’m editing a simple stop-motion for Island Creamery as part of our advertising project in AdStrat class. But it’s just REALLY simple. Not even something quite as good as this:

Still, I’d like to do a bit more of stop motion with some friends when I get back. It’s not as easy as it looks but I think it’s gonna be extremely fun to do production design for. :D

I miss being part of a production

This is one of the AVPs Gino P. (Indioboy Productions) and his team made (with which I did production design for!):

I really, really miss being part of a production team. There’s this group in my Cyber Arts class (you can say we make videos, but it’s more…inclined to art than anything else) and they’re really great. They made me feel the excitement from watching an amazing video. We were only going to make two videos in class and I loved both of their projects. One was a video adaptation of one of Hemmingway’s works, and another was an installation that I can’t even say how well-thought of their execution was.

My group’s ok, but I miss working with people who really know what they’re doing. I guess I got used to working with people like C, Gino, Ayo, Jan, and all my other fantastic friends that I had to lower a bit of my expectations when I’m working with beginners (I’m totally clueless when it comes to anything beyond production design).

Things are going to get crazy

With Photoshop developing Content-Aware Fill, any 2nd grader can edit their photos and no one will need a professional photographer or editor anymore.

Photography “skills” will be a thing of the past.

It’s sad, it’s crazy, it’s terrifying.

Meanwhile, I realized my portfolio is so lame. I’m so lame. I don’t have any designs you’d call fantastic or brilliant. All the stuff I’ve uploaded are just old, ugly onesĀ  with very little creativity. Sometimes I don’t know what to do with my life. But I know I want to keep on making websites for other people and then perhaps explore interactive media more. But realizations (just realizations) don’t always get you somewhere.

Islam is a beautiful religion

I first learned some of the few things I know about Islam from the best history teacher back in high school, Sir Beni (I kept my notes color-coded only because they were for his class. I drew penguins on every map of Asia/world a we had to sketch for the tests just because I knew he wouldn’t mind hahahaha). He was also traditionally the Philosophy professor for 4th year but he went on a trip to Europe just when I got to 4th year. Sadness. Anyway, I honestly don’t know if he still teaches in Assumption Antipolo but when I was still studying there, he was one of the “legend teachers.” And while I can write a paper on the greatness and wisdom of Sir Beni (he is a teacher that transcends time!!), I have to remember that this post isn’t about him but of my KL trip.

Point of the intro was, supposedly, how most of what I know or remember about Islam was really still from Sir Beni. I only fed my curiosity about their beautiful calligraphic images from museums (such as the gallery at the Asian Civilizations Musuem).

I haven’t been to KL (or anywhere in Malaysia, for that matter), so I decided to hit two birds with one stone and join the NUS Muslim Society to their one-day Islamic Awareness Week trip to KL. Based on what has happened to me in the past week (self-injuring myself accidentally), my friend warned me to take care and since I’m blogging right now, luckily it only means I haven’t encountered any serious mishap. But my trip wasn’t without any interesting experiences either. I’m going to flood this post with my usual silliness and senseless ramblings so be warned.

TADA! me at the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization
TADA! me at the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization

The S$50 trip was primarily an excursion into Islam and while it wasn’t exactly a vacation trip, one of the best things about going on that trip were:

  1. meeting a lot of wonderful, friendly, very nice and thoughtful people. Not just NUS students or organizers but even their friends/family members that went on the trip. NEW FRIENDS FTW! The guys were all so funny, haha, that it made me realize that most guy-groups are really kinda the same wherever I go.
  2. Getting to know the Islam religion and culture. Maybe not so much (I wasn’t able to attend most of their lectures during the Islamic Awareness Week) but I have learned quite a few things too! There are quite a lot of Muslims in the Philippines also and I’ve had two teachers in the past (back in high school) who’s either from the south or taught/had experiences living in the South. I’m the type of person who enjoys learning about cultures and new places!
  3. Trying new food and eating LOTS of ice cream (simply because it’s cheaper in Malaysia).
  4. Getting held up at the immigrations because I forgot my student pass in the bus. And then learning that the bus driver lost his passport.

I start with #4 because well, that’s where the trip technically starts. I mean, I was THIS CLOSE to stepping into Malaysia until oh, apparently we need our Student Pass to get to the other side. Continue readingIslam is a beautiful religion