"The world is waiting for you. Travel safe. Good luck...GO!"

The latest installment of the Amazing Race got underway yesterday. This time, instead of teams of two, each is made up of a family of four - and kids are eligible to join. As the race approached, I met it with much skepticism but in the end, I became a believer of this dynamic. We have teams of siblings, parents and kids and even one with a man and his sons-in-law.

Right now, the teams are just travelling within the United States and there are no clear favorites to win. Last night's show showed teams falling behind only to make it into the top tier at the end of the leg. And while there are no clear favorites, some teams do stand out.

First, there's the Gaghans. They are well traveled and their kids are adorable. I thought that they were going to be pushovers but that was before I found out that the nine year old daughter can run a seven-minute mile. Impressive. They came in second last night.

Another team are the Weavers a mother and her three kids who loined the race in tribute to the Dad who passed away in a freak racing accident. They find strength in each other and have a strong faith in their savior Jesus Christ. I find that admirable but every time they're onscreen, all they do is invoke Jesus. It does get tiresome and makes them very one-dimensional.

And as always, I root for teams that I can relate to. There's the Linzes made up of three brothers and their youngest sister. I like them because of the way they act and relate to each other. If I were on the race, I'd probably act like one of them. And then there's the Rodgers family - with 22 year old Britney - who has to be the cutest girl in the game. Note the picture above.

The highlight of last night's show though was the appearance of Kevin and Drew from the first season. I related a lot to them back then and they are one of the most popular teams in the show's history. To see them appear last night and listen to their playful banter (Upon seeing a team of a father and his three blonde beautiful daughters: "I'd like to be on that team!") was a great touch to the show and I wouldn't mind seeing them compete again - All Star Amazing Race - paging Jerry Bruckheimer!



Back in the day, my buddies Bill and Danny would come to my house and we'd end up playing tong-its (A card game kinda like Gin Rummy) until the break of dawn. Since Bill left for the States and Danny got stationed in Laguna, my forays into gambling have been limited to the occassional pusoy-dos with my brother and his friends.

Then came Celebrity Poker Showdown.

It's a show that airs on RPN9 and Sports Plus here in Manila that pits celebrities against each other in a game of Texas Hold 'em Poker. The basic rules of poker apply except each player gets only two cards. The dealer then puts five cards down on the table and players can form winning poker hands based on the cards in their hand along with the cards on the table.

I make it a point to watch it every week and I even resurrected my Vegas Games for PS1 and played it there. Now, I'm hankering for the real thing. I'm putting out a call for possible players to join me for a good old fashioned night of poker.

Oh, and I'm also looking for a set of Poker chips. If someone could lend them to me, I'd be much obliged. I'd even be glad to purchase them from you. That's how bad I want to play.



Last Sunday, I was asked by some of my officemates to donate my voice and my time to one of our projects, the Calories for a Cause event of the Coca-Cola Foundation. They said I'd get free drinkage out of it as a token of appreciation, but I'd have done it for free anyway.

So I headed to Market! Market! and got there by 8:20, way before the actual start of the event as well as ahead of my usual wake-up time on weekends. I got briefed then hung out a bit with the event hosts Vince Hizon and Jackie Lou Blanco - which was actually pretty cool. And if Jackie Lou was a chinita, I'd have really gotten the hots for her (is she still with Ricky Davao?).

What followed were eight hours of me getting on the mic to introduce the hosts then thank the participants after every exercise - where the total calories burned would be converted into pesos for charity. All-in-all, we raised almost a million bucks for a lot of lucky beneficiaries.

I went home really worn out and with a raspy voice, but it was ok. How often do you get to take part in something so worthwhile? Besides, I got to hobnob with some celebrities like Regine Tolentino, Ryza and LJ from StarStruck and Vince's wife Shaan Bermudez who is a lovely person, and not just physically.


I have to recommend MGE Taxi Service. In these times when cab drivers charge you an extra 20-30 bucks just to take you home, here's a company that you can call to arrange a ride and they'll pick you up and take you home without any added charge to the meter. It's efficient and the drivers have been friendly and knowledgable of traffic and the roads.



I succumbed to the sniffles yesterday. After fighting off a bad cold since last Friday, my body finally took matters into its own hands and prevented me from working. Stuffed-up sinuses and a really bad headache were the order of the day.

So I laid in bed all day, all doped-up on Decolgen. A tablet every four hours. Knockout city.

In between drug-induced naps, I remember watching a little Eat Bulaga...a little Elimidate...and Rockstar INXS. Too bad that the Pinoy Mig lost but I knew it was coming. Maybe if they do a Rockstar:Queen...

Ended the day with a burrito from Tia Maria's. Yum.



Our office lost its cable a few days ago. Some problem with the collection. Of course, some of the us at the office were scrambling to find a way to watch the big game between ateneo and la salle. If I only knew the outcome, I wouldn't have bothered to rig a makeshift antenna with cable wire and a fork.

So there I sat while my boss (a Lasallite) gave a running commentary of how they were kicking our asses. Before the game started, we were brainstorming like crazy. Once the final buzzer sounded, it's like the wind was knocked out of my sails and I was listless the rest of the way.

Maybe the day finally caught up with me. It was terribly hard to wake up this morning. After negotiating my way out of bed, I stumbled through my morning rituals then crawled into the car. As soon as I got into the office, the lethargy dissapated and I was a dynamo, cranking out idea after idea. La Salle's killer defense and timely shots finally took the fight out of me.

Time to head home.



Haven't done this in a while. I got a whole slew of DVDs (both from Makati Square and from my special supplier) and added to my vast collection.

Among the notables are
The best of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog (Hilarious)
The Longest Yard (finally gonna see it)
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (ditto)
Napoleon Dynamite (Yay! A version that doesn't turn black and white)
and Fever Pitch (titled "Perfect Catch" here)

I watched Fever Pitch last night and I liked it. I'm afraid though that if you're not familiar with the Red Sox or even Major League Baseball, you'll be clueless when you watch the movie.

Me, being a part of the Red Sox Nation, totally got into the references of the curse of the bambino, the pennant chase, the wildcard match, the greatest comeback in sports history and especially the emotional world series triumph last season.

If you didn't understand a word in that last sentence, I really suggest you skip this movie.



The fates are a funny thing. I had some happy accidents the past few days that have reintroduced some old friends into my life.

Last week, I had a terrible time trying to get a cab after work. After waiting by the curb for almost 20 minutes, I decided to return to the office and wait out the traffic. As I was walking back towards my building, I noticed this guy standing in the driveway and he was looking at me funny. As I got nearer, he gestured, pointed and broke out into a big smile. I thought, what the fuck does this guy find so funny about me? But before I bum-rushed him, I realized that it was an old friend from my tNt days in Ateneo. Last I saw of him was when I was waiting for a presentation at Unilever years back. We smoked a bit, exchanged numbers and I found out that he's been going to this school in the building where I work.

Fast forward to today. I got off the car and decided to grab breakfast from the 8th floor instead of going straight up to my office. Once I got my doughnuts, I got into the elevator and pressed my floor. As I did so, a voice called out my name and I saw an old classmate from high school, whom I haven't seen in years. He was one of the good eggs from my stint in the honors class (and we share the same birthday). Turns out, he's been working at Pfizer, so we exchanged pleasantries, numbers and belated birthday greetings. We're gonna meet up for lunch to play catch up one of these days.

I wonder who's next? I hope that it's this hot girl I had the hots for back in college...



What a week. Whew! Glad its done. Why is it that whenever a long vacation is coming up, the days seem to slow to a crawl...even if they do go by really fast when you're busy trying to meet a deadline?

What a week. What a week.

Had my party last weekend. Had tons of fun. Everyone raved about the food and I got a little drunk from all the wine. It was just too bad that there were a lot of people who couldn't join in. Guys like my friends situated abroad like Bill in NY, Lyra in South Carolina, Ces in Washington and Mic in Bicol (hey, it takes a shorter time to go to HongKong!), and guys who told me they were going but no-showed. Kidding. I'm not bitter. I understand that it rained really hard and all. We just had to eat the party leftovers for two days!!!

At work, the load got heavier and heavier as the the week ended. It culminated in a brainstorming till midnight last night and a race against the clock today. In the end, the job got done and I earned my pay.

We brainstormed BTW at Jack's in the Fort. They serve an All-Day breakfast! I had Nicole's Choice - 2 pancakes, 2 strips of bacon, 2 eggs, a hashbrow, toast and 2 sausage links - best breakfast I've had at night! And I've had a few!

Anyway, I'm excited. My first ads for HSBC are set to come out enxt week. These signify that I have officially returned to advertising. I'm proud of these ads but after all the tweaking and hirits of the clients, they're a far cry from what I envisioned them to be. At the end of the day, they're my work and I thought I'd share part of it with all of you.

Here's my radio ad:

FVO: What three words do we women love to hear?

BOBBY: I love you…?

You complete me…?

You’re not fat…?

FVO: Actually, it’s “Free credit card”…

”Free shopping credit”…

And “A diamond ring”… which you could win with a RED MasterCard from HSBC.

Which also leads to three words we love to say…

“Just charge it."

FVO: Love yourself.
With Red MasterCard from HSBC, the World’s Local Bank.



About two weeks ago, I was having the toughest time since I made my return to the world of advertising. We were working on an ad (technically, I was the only one doing it) where the placement held a lot of creative opportunities but the message I was supposed to incorporate in it had greatly overworn its welcome. And since the other guys on the team were too busy to give much thought to brainstorming for concepts, I was pretty much the only one making them. The sad part is that every one I came up with was pathetically wanting. I didn't even want to show them but since I was the only one doing it, I had no choice but to shoot them out to my boss.

Of course, he had a hard time thinking of concepts for it as well but it made me feel inadequate and I started questioning why I came back. During one of our forays downstairs to have a smoke, I asked this junior AE who was with me, "Why did I leave a cushy job for this again?"

In a wisdom beyond his years, he remarked, "Because you missed it".

I realized that in the advertising world, I sometimes tend to take a backseat to the greatness of others. I'm 30 years old and I've never won a single award. I look at my peers here and I wonder if I measure up to them.

Something I do on a constant basis.

Then one friday night, my boss got really drunk and gave me an impromptu evaluation. He actually loved my work. My dedication. my passion. He just wished that it came out more. My passion that is.

He may have forgotten everything he told me that night but those words stuck to me. These people hired me for a reason. And if you can't take the drunken words of someone to heart, whose then?

Fast forward to today. I'm back in the groove. Confidence is high. Questioning strat. Demanding unique propositions. Defending my work.

I feel like me again.

INXS: Ganns came over last night and we worked on some material for our soon-to-be-launched music careers. I brought out some songs that I've had for the longest time and we jammed for about an hour and a half. We sounded great and I now have three songs ready for recording. I've never been this close to achieving this dream before. Will keep you posted if ever we come out with a single. Hey, I can dream right?