Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tishie's Travels: The First Ever Good Housekeeping Get-Together!

"Your lipstick stains/On the front lobe of my left-side brains/I knew I wouldn't forget you/And so I went and let you/Blow my mind..."

Good Housekeeping Philippines associate pub Melody and I had a major case of LSS (last-song syndrome) when we heard Train's "Hey, Soul Sister" outside the window of our hotel room in New York City. It was probably blaring from a passing truck, and played for no longer than a few seconds, but we found ourselves humming and singing the tune all day. The next day, seated in a theater at the Hearst Tower, we chuckled as that very song accompanied the opening video for the first ever Good Housekeeping Get-Together.

This conference brought together all the editors and most publishers of GH from around the world. I got to meet such amazing women from such places as Mexico (whose editor was only a week and a half into the job!), the UK (I now have a place to stay in case I decide to go to London for the royal wedding next year!), and Kazakstan (yes, there's a GH Kazakstan!).

"Just in time/I'm so glad you have a one-track mind like me/You gave my life direction/A game show love connection/We can't deny..."

I can't tell you what it was like to spend three days with over forty people who had the same goal I had--to deliver the best magazine possible for today's "housekeeper." It was so inspiring to listen to such brilliant people from all the different editions, talking about the magazine we all know and love.

I was asked to give a presentation as well, and it was a tad bit intimidating, after hearing and seeing the others' brilliant presentations, but Melody says I did good. So phew!

That's me at the podium. Others onstage: Indonesia's Budiana, Ukraine's Viktoria, and Hearst International's Astrid.

Other activities lined up: cocktails, where we got to meet and greet everyone, a tour of the super cool GH Institute, and a sit-down dinner wherein we got to further bond with our international counterparts.

At Norwood with Mexico's brand new editor Raquel, China's Wendy, Mexico's publisher Mariana, and our own associate publisher Melody. My sequined top from Express, blazer and bangles from Forever21, jeans from RDS, clutch by Aranaz.

All in all, it was a frenzied three-day affair that left me with a renewed vigor to give our readers an even better Good Housekeeping Philippines. And the best part? I got to connect with women who can totally relate to the joys and challenges of nurturing this tried, tested, and trustworthy brand--my fellow editors, my soul sisters!

All smiles after an awesome conference: India's Manjira, Indonesia's Budiana and Titin, UK's Liz, Hearst's Kim, Mexico's Mariana and Raquel, me, and Melody

"Hey, soul sister/Ain't that mister mister/On the radio, stereo/The way you move ain't fair you know/Hey, soul sister/I don't want to miss a single thing you do/Tonight."

I hear that we'll be having this conference every year from now on. Here's hoping I don't miss a single one while I'm with GH!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tishie's Travels: Hakuna Matata

I waited years and years and years to catch this on Broadway...

As cameras were prohibited in the theater, and I'm a very obedient theater goer, I got this photo from here.*

And that doesn't even show the elephants! Aaaah!

I remember as a college freshman, I had the late, great Doreen Fernandez as a teacher. She had just come back from NY where she saw the Broadway production, and this master of words was speechless! She had no words to describe the spectacle that is The Lion King. While it didn't make me cry the way Wicked did, the set design made my jaw drop. I wouldn't call it elaborate--more of...ingenious. You have to see it to know what I mean!

My favorite character was Rafiki! Although my brother and I did have our photo taken with Mufasa afterwards--for a price. Hey, it was for charity. *stage whisper* And my brother paid for it. (Thanks, JC!)

(Top) With Mufasa! Bro just took a photo of the Polaroid shot using his iPhone, hence the blurriness. (Above) Me, horsing--er, gazelle-ing?--around at the lobby. Dress from Memo, turtleneck from Mango, tights from Lucky Doll, boots from Topshop.

I also kind of wanted to see Promises, Promises (heard it's hilarious), just so I could see and hear my darling Kristin Chenoweth. Next time!

*No copyright infringement intended.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What Was the First Language You Learned?

A few days ago, my husband was having a conversation with my brother, a father of three young kids. Brother said that nowadays, kids were getting tutors to teach them--get this--Filipino! Apparently, kids nowadays speak English as their primary language and flunk their Filipino subjects. Even my pamangkins, who don't go to Big Schools yet, don't speak a word of Tagalog!

Hamil and I are trying to figure out how to keep this from happening to our own (future) kids. I reasoned that the first language I learned was Filipino, and I only really learned English in school--yet I ended up being an editor. So speaking to the kids in Filipino can't be all bad, can it? What is up with this current trend of teaching kids to speak only in English? I don't understand it. Am I missing something? Most of my friends are bilingual (with a few being trilingual, growing up in families with Spanish roots) so it can be, and has been, done. I excelled in all language subjects--English, Filipino, and Spanish. (Math? Don't even ask.) Never mind that some people make fun of my Tagalog sometimes (hello, Mello!). At least I can speak it relatively well.

So the plan is for me to speak to future Tamils (as my niece likes to call our future kids) in English, and for Hamil to speak to them in Filipino. I've gotta research a bit on this, of course, but I think this might help our kids become fluent in both. We're Filipinos, for crying out loud. We should be able to speak our own language!

I noticed that most of the blogs I follow, whether from the Philippines or abroad, are in English, and this got me thinking--was it the first language y'all learned? If you're bilingual, how did you learn both languages? And are you equally proficient in both? What do you teach or plan to teach your kids?

Friday, November 19, 2010


Today (yesterday, Manila time), my last remaining grandparent passed away. Inay, as we called her, was admitted to the hospital after I left for New York, and was at the ICU after a bout with pneumonia. I was hoping for the best, but...well, sometimes life just doesn't work out that way. It pains me that I didn't get to say goodbye, and pains me even more that I can't be there for the burial. My husband will be there for both of us.

Please pray for my lola's soul.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Guess Who I Saw in NY?!

So I pretty much had a free Monday evening. Found out that the Deathly Hallows premiere was happening at Lincoln Center, so I thought, what the heck, might as well check it out. I checked the fansites and found out it was at 6:00 pm, but Muggles were advised to be there "by 10 or 11 am." I LOVE Harry Potter, and was obsessed with it years ago, but I just wasn't willing to stand for eight hours in the cold. So after doing a bit of shopping in SoHo, I headed to Lincoln Center at around five.

Crowds lined the street already, with some people camping out since the night before. Taller people (i.e., most everyone else over the age of 12) were all blocking my view. People cheered as TV cameras panned. Fans came dressed in their Gryffindor best. Those who could see squealed each time a limo pulled up. Teens chanted, "Rupert! Rupert! Rupert!" as Ron Weasley arrived. My brother caught a glimpse of him; I, sadly, did not. Ralph Fiennes arrived, Emma Watson arrived; there was a frenzy of camera flashes, but I still couldn't see anything. By this time, about two hours had gone by since I got there. It seemed like a hopeless cause, so my brother asked if I wanted to go and grab dinner.

"Five minutes," I said. He consented, telling me to get my camera at the ready. Soon, a black a vehicle pulled up at the corner, and people again started screaming. Fans in our area had their cameras aimed right at the space in front of them, and I figured this was my chance.

"Kaya mo akong buhatin? (Can you carry me?)" I asked my brother. He picked me up for a few wobbly seconds. But that's all it took for me to see...

Daniel Radcliffe, the star of the show! The boy who grew up before our eyes! Woo-frickin-hoo!!! My first celeb sighting in New York. Yipee!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Tishie's Travels: Back in NY

Aaand I'm back in one of my most favorite places in the world. Unfortunately, I have to be away from my most favorite person in the world while I'm here.:( Sigh. I HATE being away from my husband!

News so far: It's the tail-end of autumn so the trees are looking oh-so-lovely. And I got detained at the airport! Will update soon when I've got photos and my bearings back. Still tired from that long-ass flight.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fashion Suggestions?

Just got an invite to a work dinner in NY next week, and attire is "urban chic." Great. Another outfit to pack! How I wish I could wear something like this...

I'm not a religious Gossip Girl follower, but I do like Serena's clothes. Her life choices, on the other hand...

I don't exactly have an Emilio Pucci gold blazer, so my version of this would be blue harem pants paired with a fully sequined gold top, a black boyfriend blazer, and gold heels with thick straps. Alas, I think the weather is too cold for me to be going out with semi-bare legs.:(

So...what should I wear? Stylist Kat Dy kind of wants to work on my outfit with me when I get there. Sounds like fun, but I do want to have something packed, just in case. Preview Magazine's Cindy Go suggested wide-legged pants, saying they're big now and that camel "is the color of the season." What do y'all think? Do take into account that NY weather hits lows of 3ÂșC now!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Counting the Days

In about two weeks, my husband and I will FINALLY be going on our honeymoon! We'll be gone for about a week, and will be staying in three different places. Haha. I don't want to reveal where we're going yet (although a lot of people already know), but I'm really really hoping that our last villa lives up to the photos and reviews.

Doesn't that look positively sumptuous? I am relishing the idea of escaping from reality, just spending uninterrupted time with the love of my life, eat-eat-eating to my heart's (and stomach's) content, and lounging in that little spa pool!

But first, work beckons in New York Cit-ey.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Face to Face with Amy Perez

In case y'all haven't seen it yet, here's our November cover:

Cover photo by Sara Black

It features the lovely Amy Perez on the cover, who's experiencing a career second wind with TV5's talakserye, Face to Face. (Remember her on Palibhasa Lalake with Cynthia Patag? Well Amy is all grown up now, with two kids to boot!) Speaking of, have you seen this show? What do you think? One time, I tuned in to see a woman removing her shoe as she stepped onto the stage, poised to hurl her footwear at the offending party! But it's sort of like a Jerry Springer Show with heart--they've got three panelists giving advice, really trying to help the warring sides come to a compromise.

At the fun cover shoot: (from left) photog Sara Black, fashion and beauty ed Pia, me, creative director Carlo, cover girl Amy Perez, writer Curtis, staff writer Paula, and managing ed Kat

We had great fun at the shoot, because Amy has such a fun, easygoing vibe. She was constantly cracking jokes, and her zingers really made me laugh. From the dressing room, for instance, she remarked, "Ay! Outside of coverage area siya!" after trying on a particularly tiny dress. And what great stories she had to tell. I asked her how she deals with the stress from hosting Face to Face (if you've seen it, you'll understand), given that she sometimes shoots three episodes in a day. She says that she's learned to "turn it off" when she walks out of the studio. It's something I wish I could do, but I find that even at midnight, I'm still thinking about future stories for the mag. As creative director/former Marie Claire and Cosmo editor/former model Myrza Sison once told me, "You dream about cover lines!" Ah, such is life, such is work.

Amy, hot pink nails and all (needed for her role as Ina Magenta in an Enteng Kabisote movie coming out in December), talks about her career, her relationship, and her two kids in our kids' issue. Yup--a kids' issue. Flip through our pages to get some cool gift ideas for your godkids this Christmas!

We've also got our Supermarket Specials, featuring recipes you could whip up from those convenient supermarket finds. Did you know that those frozen carrots, corn, and peas (one of my regular buys) can be turned into a veggie pot pie, and not just a side dish? Mmm.

The issue is deliciously thick, with lots of other features--so worth the hundred bucks! Do get a copy.:)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Painting Tips, Among Other Things

Ever heard of that song that never ends? The one that goes on and on, my friend? "Some people started singing it not knowing what it was, and they continued singing it forever just because..."

Well, that's kind of how my week felt. Between my bag getting stolen, preparing for my trips (at least for the NY 2010 Part Deux one...one thing, er, place at a time!), setting up another baby shower, and shoots practically every day this week (til Saturday!), things were pretty chaotic. On a related note, how I wish I could tell you about yesterday's shoot! I got to meet someone pretty special. But will blog about that when our December ish comes out so stay tuned!

So yeah, it took a while for me to finally get to this post: Tips for painting! Just a few things I picked up when I painted stripes on our wall a couple of weeks ago:

1. Have newspapers on hand. Lots of them. Thing is, my husband and I don't subscribe to newspapers, so we had zero paper scraps at home. All I had were copies of my former magazine (my personal collection--and I wasn't about to tear those up!), other magazines I've written for/appeared in, and a few back issues that my friends had asked for. So I ended up using a beach mat to cover the floor.

2. Get ready to sweat! If you live in a tropical country like I do, it's going to get pretty uncomfortable. I perspired as much as I usually do when I do Level 2 of the 30 Day Shred--and I had two fans pointed in my direction!

3. Don't look down. If you're afraid of heights, it might be pretty daunting being high up on a ladder--especially if it's positioned right beside a flight of stairs like mine was! Thankfully, I don't have major issues when it comes to heights. Cockroaches, on the other hand...

4. Clean the entire surface--including nooks and crannies--before painting. I neglected to dust the top part of our door frame. The roller ended up collecting dust and leaving grayish streaks on some stripes. Barely noticeable but annoying nonetheless.

5. BE CAREFUL. Put your open can of paint in an out-of-the-way place, even if this means that you'll be hassled walking back and forth to refill your tray. This way, you don't accidentally knock it over as you're moving the ladder. Sigh. That ruined a perfectly good beach mat. And our wooden floor was covered with a thick glob of paint.:(

6. Be prepared for emergencies. (See #5 for an example.) I was frozen for about five minutes, helplessly watching the paint spread. My husband suggested that I scoop as much of it as I could back into the paint can. All I had were two pieces of cardboard. And then, I had to go back to the hardware store to buy thinner, since I didn't have any on hand. A waste of time. Unless you do your painting job perfectly, you're probably going to need thinner anyway, so buy a small bottle when you shop for your paint and paint materials.

It took me all of one hour to scrub and scrape the biggest concentration of paint off the floor. When I was done, Hamil got home and brought out a mop that I didn't know we had, poured paint thinner on the remaining paint-covered spots, and mopped it up in ten minutes! Plus he didn't have the swollen and cracked-dry fingertips I had from the prolonged exposure to thinner. Sigh.

7. Hire someone to do it. Seriously. If you could afford to, just get a pro to do the painting for you. I'm glad I did it, but I will probably never do it again!

If you have questions about the kind of paint to use, etc., just leave a comment, or email me at heretishietishie@gmail.com.

In other news, Here Tishie Tishie has just reached 50 followers! I think I'll host a giveaway to mark this mini milestone. Keep checking back for deets.:)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My Bag Was Stolen

Last night, on what was supposed to be the tail-end of a nice long weekend, our car was broken into and my bag--which I stupidly left on the floor of the car--was stolen. In my defense, I felt secure leaving it there because 1) the car was tinted, and 2) there was a security guard in the small parking lot. (And P.S. I know it was a bonehead move, so please, no more "be more careful next time" comments. What can I say? It was a heavy bag, and my husband was treating me to dinner so I didn't feel the need to lug it around, wallet and all.)

It was just a confluence of occurrences leading up to the perfect criminal storm. First, our dinner plans with the family were canceled. Then, the three--three!--other places we planned to dine in were all closed. Then, a big van was parked right beside our car, likely creating a blind spot for the restaurant security guard. As we walked into the resto, I saw some dude in a parked car, and I remarked, "I don't like the looks of that guy." Hamil, later on, said I should have listened to my gut. See, I wondered if he was a family driver. Because family drivers, from my experience of having them, normally sleep in the car, or listen to the radio, or stand by outside the restaurant. This dude was hunched over, hands grasping the steering wheel, eyes darting around. I really wondered what he was up to.

Next thing we knew, my husband found a broken rear window. And my bag was gone. My bag, with my wallet (and credit cards, ATM cards, cash, and, well, expired driver's license), one of my phones, my kikay kit! (Goodbye, MAC concealer, Black Honey Almost Lipstick, and vibrating mascara!) And I threw a massive bitch fit, right there on Shaw Boulevard. Note: The surest way to get someone to go into hysterics is to tell them to calm down when they're on the verge of a meltdown. (Isn't that right, Mr. Guard?) I couldn't understand how it could have happened when our car was (almost) right in front of the security guard. And, as earlier mentioned, our windows were tinted. (I was told that dem thieves shine flashlights into cars. Which made me think, "He had that much time?! Where the f* were the guards?") Luckily, the place was owned by a friend of mine, and he hurried over to help us sort things out. Apparently, this wasn't the first time it happened. You can imagine how thrilled he was with the security agency. But he did explain that these criminals were getting smarter, employing various tricks and tactics to distract the guard on duty. (Update: The city-installed CCTV cams were supposed to be working after they proved to be an epic failure during the last incident. Guess what? They're still not working. Nice going, Pasig City.)

For the first half of the evening, I was hysterical. For the other half, I was just dazed. I couldn't believe what had happened. I got busy canceling cards and cutting phone lines (I completely forgot that I had left my work phone at home, and had that cut too). My mom, bless her, helped me out. In the midst of this card-blocking frenzy, there was my husband, calm and collected as ever. It helped me decide to instead look at the bright side of things, the whole silver lining around this dark, dreary cloud: We didn't get hurt. The criminal/s didn't steal my shopping bags (I blew a bundle earlier that day, in preparation for my NY trip). He/she/they didn't scrounge around the car, so they missed our iPods and one of Hamil's phones. He/she/they didn't steal the car.

After filing a police report, we headed home. And, as expected, I cried. My husband gave me a big hug, letting me cry on his chest. It wasn't just this day, you see. The past week hadn't really been going my way, and I was just...beaten down. And my husband, arms around me, chin resting on my head, said, "It's just material things. We've got us."

And last night, before I slept, despite all the crap that happened, and the stuff that I lost, my prayer was still "Thank you." Because we've got us.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Been quiet for a few days. Just enjoying the three-day break. Will go back to regular programming this week.