Tag Archives: Manila

Female allure : A 5-part series

Hope this lock down gives everyone the chance to just be still and reflect on our respective lives and the choices we’ve made through the years.

I have to admit, year 2020 is no walk in the park. I made so many personal and professional risks this year and so far, I am still alive, breathing and thriving, thank goodness!

But the year’s not over yet! I look forward to the moment when a brighter and better day will come out of this global pandemic. Despite what everyone is going through, my advice is to stick to a routine that works best for you, to avoid going through ‘cabin fever’ as they call it.

Did a small art project while waiting for this COVID-19 Apocalypse to pass. I can’t focus too much on the news. It’s depressing and debilitating knowing you are powerless over everything that’s going on. This small project was inspired by my fascination with the human anatomy particularly a woman’s. I am not to explain myself over sexual preferences but just for the record, I am not gay or bisexual. I appreciate the beauty of the female figure and what it’s capable of. I think it’s about time we celebrate our female sensuality and shape. These 9×12 pencil drawings seeks to recognize the beauty, fragility and sensuality of the female body. I call it ‘Female Allure’.

Hope you enjoy the pictures and stay home!

For Kuya Guard

I get out of the house whenever I can. Being cooped up at home can drive someone crazy at times. My building security guard is always there to accommodate me and the rest of its tenants. He helps me with my bags, opens the gate (not that I need any of that, nor require him to carry or open anything for me).

Before I left the house to go for a walk, I struck a conversation with him. He was quite open and candid to my probing. He talked on and on for a good 10 minutes, given that he had such an eager listener.

He is a young father. At 25 years old, he now has a daughter with his 24 year old girlfriend. Elaine is now 1 and a half years old. “She’s already walking” he beams.

He mentions to me that he might only stay with our building till January 2014 only. I ask him why and he mentions the night shifts are taking a toll on his body. The lack of sleep gives him shakes. I have witnessed him actuallly sleeping on the job a couple of times before and most of the time, I don’t wake him anymore because I’ve also seen how hard he works. Being a security guard is a hazardous job in itself.

Since both are working, he tells me that he might send his little girl to live with his wife’s parents in the province because no one can take care of her here in Manila.

My building has had its share of revolving security guards, and this particular person I’ve always liked. He has always been helpful and respectful towards me, my family, and the rest of the tenants. He seemed competent, smart and most of all, he was a simple hardworking guy with simple needs.

His story just struck a chord in me. I felt sad for his circumstances. Deep in my heart, I wish I could help him: give him a job, a referral, whatever! But as it was (employment-wise) I was already in dire waters myself, but that’s another story.

He said that he has done construction and mechanic work , a bit of sales, repairs and other jobs that required physical labor.

I took a long hard look at myself. Who am I to complain? Things may not be perfect at work now but some people have it worse, much worse than me.

God bless his heart. He was willing to do all sorts of odd jobs (some even detrimental to his health and safety) just to put food on the table and care for his young family. My heart just ached. What can I do for this guy and his family? I want to help him somehow, but instead all I could do was buy him a burger 😦

Sometimes, I get so caught up in my own little world that I fail to notice the honest and hardworking people in my neighborhood. Regardless of background, everyone wants to enjoy the fruits of their labor but in this situation, what if there was not enough “paying” labor to go about?

Give a person fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.

People need more opportunities. I wish I could be that person, to give individuals like him, a dignified, decent and safe occupation wherein he could enjoy the company of his wife and daughter after a hard day’s work. But what can I do?

If you know anyone who maybe needing the services of an all around security guard, preferably with free housing where he could bring in his family, please let me know. Thank you.

Miss Tolentino Takes on Philippine Mining

This past week has been not only an adventure but a learning experience as well.

After successfully completing my 10K run, I was made to cover the controversial issue of mining in the Philippines, body aching, swelling and all.

The three day event was a success despite some protesters rallying outside Sofitel Plaza and from which some malicious protesters were trying to take my picture because I was wearing my press ID. Why they were taking my picture, I don’t have the slightest idea. They probably thought I made mining sexy 😉 ha!

Anti-mining protestors rallying at the gates of Sofitel Plaza
Anti-mining protesters rallying at the gates of Sofitel Plaza

It was a peaceful and organized protest.
It was a peaceful and organized protest.

The best part of the coverage? I was able to really immerse myself on what the industry was about: their forums and focused discussion groups all initiated by the learned men and women of mining (geologists, engineers, lawyers, metallurgists, etc.) The speakers in the event were backed up with impressive credentials who gave their direct and honest insight on Philippine Mining: why it was important to our country and how responsible mining was possible.

One thing I’ve noticed though that there were a lot of political undertones to the event. Given that a majority of the mining companies there were huge investors of the country, some people were trying to protect some vested interests. I’ll keep that statement short given the sensitivity of the issue.

Senator Franklin Drilon gives his speech to kick-start the Philippine Mining Conference.
Senator Franklin Drilon gives his speech to kick-start the Philippine Mining Conference.

Over all, the experience was enlightening and being a staunch supporter of progress and the Philippine nation, I do believe that mining, if done responsibly, can indeed help the country.

Also, my interview on Ambassador Delia Albert and Australian Trade Commissioner, Anthony Weymouth just came out in the August-October issue of the Philippine Resources Journal. Please feel free to download a copy here.



Sharing stories over dinner with colleagues after the three-day event.
Sharing stories over dinner with colleagues after the three-day event.

Dirty, dynamic and delicious Novaliches

The best part of vacationing at my home in Novaliches is that there are a lot of things to do. You will never run out of things to clean, cook, and garden.

For the holy week, I volunteered to be in charge of the marketing.

Off I went to Novaliches-Bayan, a marketplace that is just brewing with activity.

The best part of going to the marketplace is that I get to haggle with the vendors. Novaliches-Bayan is not for the faint of heart. It is noisy, smelly, hot and brimming with pick-pockets and snatchers (like any typical market place).

I poke at fish, smell all sorts of meat, and weigh vegetables and fruits all the while holding my purse close to me while haggling the best price from the vendors.

In wherever place I live, may it be in Makati or Novaliches, when I do the marketing I always buy in bulk. I just hate having to go back and forth to the store just for a few ingredients, don’t you?

In my home in Makati, everything is just one convenient hop to the grocery store. But with Novaliches-Bayan, you have no choice but to travel and actually get your hands dirty (and believe me, that’s the fun part!).

Personally, the best part is that I get everything fresh and on the cheap.

The standard of living at Novaliches is low compared to my life in Makati.

I love both cities. They each bring something different to the table. They give me the best of both worlds.

Oh yeah, and about my little trip to the market? I bought seafood, lots of vegetables and milk and taught our house help how to prepare the dish I envisioned while on a jeepney ride.

Lunch is served.

Seafood in warm milk and vegetables
Seafood in warm milk and vegetables

A Taste of Makati City, Philippines

In my usual food adventures, I came upon this little mercato found at the heart of bustling Makati City. This progressive city, with its flavors, noise and smells, will eventually grow on you.

Welcome to my city: Makati!

Noisy, crazy Makati City and a place I call home...
Noisy, crazy Makati City and a place I call home…

This was dinner by the way...
This was dinner by the way…

Lunch. Big. Heavy. Delicious.
Lunch. Big. Heavy. Delicious.

Loved the artwork on this one...
Loved the artwork on this one…

Yes, I have a sweet tooth...
Yes, I have a sweet tooth…