It was a night of magic. My friend JP and I headed off towards Starbucks Harbour Square to enjoy a great cup of coffee while basking under the friendly service of the baristas.
The moment we got there, we were greeted with the sound of laughter and the bubbly chatter of people having a good time. It was definitely a fun-filled event. We enjoyed listening to live music and some of the guests even jammed with the band. There was a raffle draw and tons of tumblers were given away to lucky Starbucks aficionados. Everyone was in high spirits and we all posed and had fun in the photo booth. By the end of the celebration, JP and I were delighted to receive our photo magnets 😀 The best part though was that, every Starbucks merchandise was at 30% off, and woot-woot, I was able to buy two new tumblers at only P1,250.00 instead of shelling out P1,800.00 bucks for them.
JP and I ended the night with tons of free coffee and gingerbread cookies. Now, that’s a yummy way to end the day. Mwah, thank you Starbucks, thank you Barista Kei and the rest of the gang at Starbucks DLS-CSB for the invite 😀
Have you seen OLAY’s commercial recently? It features a woman saying that getting old means getting replaced by someone younger and then she complains about how unfair the situation is. Suddenly Boy Abunda pops in asking a supposedly thought-provoking question: “Do you lie about your age?”
I was bothered by this Olay commercial … no actually, I got angry with this ad because I found it so unethical and unscrupulous. These Olay people and whatever Ad Agency came up with this twisted campaign should be castigated, because they are actually subliminally planting the seed of fear in people about something so natural as aging. The worst part is they’re making it appear that they care for women and female issues that’s why they’re doing this (yeah right). In fact, because Olay cares (and because the tooth fairy exists), they want to listen to women and they are now encouraging women to “talk” to Boy Abunda about their fears (ye gods) in order to resolve them (they’re sooooo good that they make me want to cry — ummm, not, barf bag please). C’mon people, let’s kick this facade aside and get past this oh-so-phony gesture of goodwill before we all turn into Orocans. So what is Olay really up to? What is the true message behind their campaign? As I’ve pointed out a while ago — they are actually telling people that we should get very scared about growing old because we will be useless and undesirable once we get old. That is soooooo sick.
Good Lord, people should get mad with Olay and their advertising team. By people, I don’t mean just women, but men, gay and lesbians too — because we all age and we all get old, and contrary to what Olay is telling us, it is not something we can stop. Getting old is a natural process and it’s not something to be feared. We should welcome it, because it gives us rest from life’s troubles. It is a period of respite and a sign that we have grown and gained wisdom as individuals. Getting old means we have lived our lives and have learned from our experiences, and our empirical wisdom is something that we could share to the younger generation with the hope that they will be guided and live a life far better and far richer than we’ve had.
It is a blessing to get old, but Olay is warping and twisting that blessing and making it sound like a curse. I could almost imagine these shameless Olay people rubbing their hands together in greed while saying, “Yes, yes, sow fear in them. Deceive them, make them think that their age is something to be ashamed of — and then market our product to them as their messiah.” They are probably salivating at the thought of how much money they could make out of this whole misleading, and in my opinion, immoral campaign.
Oh you might say, I’m getting too far with the immoral tag. Think about it though, isn’t it immoral when you plant fear in people’s hearts? Isn’t it immoral when you make people feel bad about themselves? Isn’t it immoral when you manipulate people by subtly telling them that they are getting old, useless and ugly so they need to buy Olay age-defying products if they want to be happy and confident? Isn’t it immoral as well when you deceive people into believing that a natural process created by God is unnatural and should be treated as a form of disease? Above all, isn’t it immoral when you cultivate bitterness and distrust between the youth and their elders? After all, according to the Olay ad, the young are not to be trusted because they are out to replace their elders. How twisted and evil can one get — and Olay and their advertising team are doing this for what? I think we all know the answer to that: for money, profit and market share. This makes me feel angry, disappointed and worried. Why are we allowing these ideas to propagate on national TV? We shouldn’t let ourselves be misled by these deceitful business people and we should put a stop to this. In fact, I think we should stop buying their products altogether to make them realize that what they are doing is wrong.
My parting shot is this — No, I never lied about my age. I am 37 years old. I wake up in the mornings and I feel stiff, my back hurts and my joints hurt as well, but I don’t mind because all of these are part of living and getting old. I also don’t mind because each passing day I see my daughter grow up — we laugh together, we talk about a lot of things and she ends up surprising me with her insights at times. I try my best to prepare her for life (because at my age I know how tough life can be) and I try to guide her with my experiences. I hope by sharing with her what I have learned about love, home, friends, family and God; she’d be able to live a full and happy life herself. Now, these joy and knowledge are something that Olay and their long line of products can never ever sell — and I thank God for that.
I’ve read about the controversial new haircut of Charice Pempengco and I was never a fan of hers, but I think some of the comments about her new hairstyle are downright cruel and crass.
I’m not sure, but I think she’s in a gender-confused stage now; or maybe she’s not, and this is her way of telling everyone that she’s a lesbian. Well damn girl, if that’s the case, you’ve got guts and I’ve got to admire you, because it takes a lot of courage to face up to public ridicule in a homophobic society like ours. And based on the comments I’ve read in the net, most people have been downright nasty.
I guess they can’t reconcile the sweet image of the sixteen-year old Charice who wowed Oprah some years ago with the tough kid-on-the-block image of Charice nowadays. Yet honestly speaking, I don’t see why they’re so upset. People change and if this is who Charice wants to be now, then who are we to question it? It’s her life after all, and as long as she’s not in a psychotic rampage that’s aimed to gun down everyone in sight, then heck, let her do what she wants.
Yeah so what if she’s a lesbian? I have a lot of gay friends who are decent, responsible, talented, intelligent and hardworking people. Their gender-preference may not be the norm, but think about it — who dictates what’s normal anyway? We’re all dysfunctional in our own ways, and who are we to judge that what Charice is doing is right or wrong? I think THAT should be between God and Charice and everyone else should just shut the heck up.
Anne Curtis, charlotte, charlotte aninion-de guzman, charlotte de guzman, insight, Insights, laughter, Life, Living, people, saint, saint charlotte, saintcharlotte, sanctuary, show business, Showtime, stcharlotte, Why Anne Curtis is so cool
During my summer lunch date with my good friend Em at Cafe Alonso (their Bagnet is really good by the way and the price is reasonable), he mentioned that he saw Anne Curtis recently and she was sooooo pretty. I heartily agreed with his comment and then we started speculating about her rise to fame.
Anne Curtis is not a new face in show business, if I remember correctly she started at a young age when she starred as the Princess in the movie “Magic Kingdom”. We literally watched her grow up into a beautiful young woman, but she didn’t really hit stardom until recently, even her telenovela Diosa (2008-2009) did not catapult her to popularity. So what gives? What really made people start paying attention to this lovely sexy lass?
Em and I talked about it and here are the reasons we came up with (My God, is this a cultural dissection of Anne Curtis?)
- She is so damn beautiful — drop dead gorgeous even. I don’t think that I need to explain this. If you still don’t get it, then just look at her pictures.
- She is sizzling hot, so sexy that she’ll make your jaw drop. The great thing about her is that, she’s comfortable with her sensuality. She’s not scared to be a woman, and that confidence makes her even sexier.
- She doesn’t seem to be a snob. I think her noontime variety show, “Showtime“, helped a lot of people realize that she is quite wacky and friendly. Think about it, people would normally categorize Anne Curtis as one of the elite because of her typical mestiza looks and to die for cheekbones, but her spontaneous goofy antics at “Showtime” proved that wrong. I bet people started seeing that she is a warm and funny person who can unabashedly make fun of herself and enjoy life to the fullest no matter what anyone says. She showed people that she is a normal person who they could relate to and someone they could kid around with.
- She knows herself. She doesn’t put on airs and she speaks with intelligence and sincerity. I don’t know if I’m being biased, but I could sense that this woman has gone through life and learned from her experiences. She has a good head on her shoulders and I think life has taught her how to handle challenges with grace.
- She is strong. She is not your maiden-in-distress type. She is a woman who will make lemonade when life gives her lemons. She’s not the kind who will run around like a headless chicken — she simply knows what she wants and how to get it.
- She has class. I don’t know how she does it — is it because of the fashionable clothes she’s wearing? Or is it because of her stance? Or the way she carries herself? Or is it simply because she was born with it? Hmmmm … I give up, but no one can deny that this lady is downright elegant and sexy 🙂
The bottom line is that, Anne Curtis is one fierce woman and we hope that she stays that way 😀 More power to her !!! 😀
I’ve seen her during late afternoons ….
When hues of gray smudge the murky sky
and stillness creeps upon the quiet earth.
Her happiness hanging by a string;
she waits for the hours to rush by.
I’ve heard her during early evening ….
Uttering a prayer to the wind,
caught in the throes
of some otherworldly Angelus.
Her whispered invocation
proffered to our God of death and birth.
I’ve sensed her vexation
during the early hours of the night ….
As the world lies at twilight’s edge,
eagerly she looks up at the ashen sky —
while the full moon rising like the sun,
watches her slowly coming undone.
I’ve felt her loneliness
in the middle of the night …
Pierced with sadness,
she yearns with growing dismay.
Her solitary serenade broken
by the sound of successive knocks.
Her breath quickening,
at the turning of the knob ….
I’ve seen her lost every night ….
Frozen by a spell,
enlivened by a kiss.
The moonlight filling her head
with intriguing visions
of succulent ethereal bliss.
But when evening draws closer
to breaking dawn,
she lies despairing on her own.
Burying her tears at the presence
of silent pillows and empty sheets,
breathing in the warm lingering traces
of his bittersweet fading grace ….
I’ve seen her suffer
each passing night ….
Naked … alone,
hiding her strained face
listening to distant sirens,
weeping and turning away
from the tacit moon’s silver knowing gaze.
bad SMART service, charlotte, charlotte aninion-de guzman, courage, Life, Living, Manny Pangilinan, nakakainis ang SMART, saint, saint charlotte, saintcharlotte, sanctuary, SMART, SMART telecom, SMART telecommunication, suggestion, Tips, unfair billing from SMART
SMART, in my opinion, is a network bully!!! This is probably because they almost have total monopoly of the telecommunications system. I mean, c’mon Manny Pangilinan is now the Chairman of both PLDT and SMART, and then of course, we all know that SMART took over SUN cellular as well. Heck, if it wasn’t for the last player in the telecom field, SMART would have monopolized everything by now. This is probably why they think they could get away with anything.
Yes, I am not happy at all with SMART, and this is my way of letting them know that. I also believe that I should blog about this because I think I am not alone here, and that probably a lot of SMART postpaid subscribers have gone through (or are going through) with the same blood pressure raising experience that I’m going through now.
Let me give you guys the facts first: I have a plan 800 from SMART, and no, I never got a phone from them. All I did get from SMART is a measly SIM card because I’m quite happy with my iPhone 4S and I didn’t want to change my phone. Anyway, last March 16, 2013, I paid the full amount that SMART was asking from me, which was P3,835.00 (and the payment was given to a SMART center because I wanted it to be credited at once). This is why it came as a surprise yesterday (April 16, 2013) that my phone call to my husband was being redirected already. I was wondering what the heck happened, because the only regular phone calls that I made were to my husband, and they never lasted for more than 3 minutes unless there’s some emergency that we needed to talk about. So this morning, my husband called SMART’s customer service to verify everything and we got the shock of our lives with what their CSR told us.
The CSR said that their records show that I exceeded my credit limit, and I needed to pay P5,052.07. What the heck??? P5,052.07, are they serious??? I never made any overseas call and my phone doesn’t even have an internet service. The CSR my husband was talking to couldn’t even tell us the breakdown of the freaking bill and so I have to check online for it. I was so upset already while listening to my husband and the CSR’s conversation that, I told my husband to tell them that I want to terminate the line already. This is when SMART dropped the A-bomb. The CSR said that I needed to pay a pre-termination fee worth P1,600.00. Oh good Lord, I nearly fell off my seat when I heard that, so at this point I took the phone from my husband.
“What pre-termination fee???” I asked and I could feel the blood rising to my head.
The CSR automatically replied, “It’s stated in the contract you signed with SMART ma’m.”
Son-of-a-gun!!! It felt surreal and it felt like I was starring in Twilight Zone. “How much is this again — P1,600.00??? So are you telling me that aside from the P5,000.00 bucks that I need to pay, I also have to pay an additional P1,600.00???” I was screaming bloody hell through the receiver by this time.
To which of course the CSR replied yes, before telling me again that it was stated in my contract. And at which point I reminded her that all I got from them was a stupid SIM card, and to which again she replied, I still needed to pay because it’s in my contract.
“What??? …Why???” I sputtered in anger.
Again she merely replied because it was in my contract. Go figure.
I went ballistic, and God knows, I turn into a nightmare when I lose control of myself which is why I don’t like getting mad, but I think this case merits an exemption. “Contract??? Contract??? Have you seen your freaking contract??? It’s sooooooo long!!! My God and there were so many fine prints!!! No Customer Service attendant pointed that out to me when I inquired in your bloody Center!!! Someone should have told me about that, because if I’ve known then I wouldn’t have signed it!!!”
Again I was calmly told that it WAS in my contract.
Damn, I was seeing red already (and it’s not because of the red pants I was wearing). “Fine, P1,600.00 is a pre-termination fee. Okay, I understand that, but tell me the breakdown. I want to know the breakdown of that freaking P1,600.00!!!”
The CSR told me that she doesn’t really know, because they’re not the ones handling that. What a wonderful brilliant answer!!! Yehey, I smacked my head with my hand when I heard it and I thought steam would come out of my ears due to sheer frustration.
“You do realize that this is like a highway robbery, don’t you??? I am so not happy with this!!! ” And with that parting shot, I ended the conversation, because I swear, if she tells me one more time that it’s in my contract, I’m going to explode and start swearing like a person who ate a red hot chili pepper.
So the minute I got to work, I logged online and checked my balance, but guess what I saw onscreen:
Balance inquiry service is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later or text ?1515 to 214 (Free) or dial 1515 (Php1.00 per transaction) for Smart Buddy subscribers. Text ?15001 to 214 (Free) or dial 15001 (Php1.00 per transaction) for Talk and Text subscribers.
I thought I was going to have a heart attack when I saw this. Damn, it would really seem that SMART always has a way of outSMARTing its subscribers!!!
I was watching a flick in the cinema recently when the McDonald’s ad came on. Well, it was admittedly funny, but somehow (and I’m maybe overreacting here) as a parent, I was really disappointed with this commercial. It was definitely a far cry from their “Karen & Lolo” advertisements several years ago.
What the heck is this ad I’m talking about? I don’t know if you guys have seen the “Eyes on Your Fries” ad series; but the particular ad which got me a little worried featured a sleeping person in the cinema house who had McDonald fries with him, and the younger man seated beside him was actually trying to steal his french fries (apparently the idea here is that the fries are so good that you’d steal just to get some).
The commercial was cute and funny — no question about that, but I think we should ask another question in relation to its moral context — is the ad actually imparting the right values to kids who might be watching it? I mean, let’s strip away the smart ass packaging of this ad, and let’s go down to the core of it — what is it showing our kids??? It’s showing them a guy stealing from another person … and stealing IS stealing … no matter which way you look at it. I don’t know about you people, but in the reality I live in, and in the culture and value-system I was brought up in as a Filipino, my mother would have had my hide if I tried to take something that’s not mine.
I think all moms would agree that we want to raise our children to become responsible individuals who are morally just and who can tell the difference between what is right and wrong. The problem is, this McDonald’s ad is not helping at all, it’s setting up a gray area between what is right and wrong — it seems to be telling us that, it’s okay to steal as long as you’re being cute and funny while doing so. Is this even right at all for a fast food chain which is supposedly family oriented?
charlotte, charlotte aninion-de guzman, charlotte de guzman, courage, Creative writing, de guzman, Erik Matti, guzman, insight, Insights, Life, Literature, Living, loneliness, Manila, movie trailer of on the job, NaPoWriMo, On the Job, on the job trailer, people, Poem, Poetry, realizations, saint, saint charlotte, saintcharlotte, sanctuary
This poem has been brewing in my notes for a long time, and finally, after seeing the trailer of Erik Matti’s new movie entitled, “On the Job”, I’ve found the perfect inspiration to tidy it up. The dark gritty portrayal of Manila’s suffocating alleyways at night and the stark camera shots just pushed me to go over this piece again.
The moon unravels
Slowly she loosens
her silver braids.
Strands of which
the setting sun,
taming the raging flames
coaxing them to surrender
to the city’s lulling
from the haunted alleys
and dimly lit corners;
where whispering shadows
lurk looking for their chance,
lost in their own little dance;
teasing and cavorting
under tempting lights;
their seductive promises
by the settling night.
The city played
her song of desire,
each emerging note
resounding in the void.
A siren’s melody,
drawing out melancholy,
feeding on desire
and bitter pain;
slowly driving me insane.
Until it feels like
my soul is seeping
through my pores;
dripping out of my core.
Bleeding past pavements,
leaving a pale existence ….
a grotesque phantasm;
the twilight of my mind.
And I was lost,
a mere shade
in this maddening shore
of diminishing hopes
and forsaken dreams.
A shadow born
from stench and squalor.
And all the while
the moon simply sits
on her throne.
Unaware, uncaring ….
Never realizing that
her delusive silver light,
fans the fire of
my delirious flight.
And the stars
in all their brilliance
seem to twinkle with laughter
at my pathetic attempt
to capture the sky.
angel, charlotte, charlotte aninion-de guzman, charlotte de guzman, Creative writing, de guzman, guzman, insight, Insights, Life, Literature, Living, loneliness, Love, people, Poetry, realizations, relationship, saint, saint charlotte, saintcharlotte, sanctuary
Have you ever seen this during early evening?
When hues of grays are smudging the murky sky
when stillness has fallen on the earth
and anticipation is coiled inside the waiting dirt.
Have you ever heard this during early evening?
The hush that befalls all living beings
caught in the throes of some otherworldly Angelus
being proffered to our God of death and birth.
Have you ever sensed this during early evening?
The world waiting on an artist’s canvass
and looking up at ashen clouds,
tinged with pink from diminishing light,
you paint yourself in the strokes of early dusk
while suppressing time bound impatient sighs.
Have you ever felt this during early evening?
Pierced with sadness, you hold your breath
hearing the cricket’s lonely nightly serenade
disturbed by the sound of car engine and knocks
of footsteps going up the stairs and turning locks ….
Have you ever been lost during early evening?
Frozen by a spell, to be broken by the warm kiss of nocturnal wind
slipping through the open window, surrounding you like a veil of mirth
while whispering intriguing visions of heaven embracing earth.
Have you ever experienced rapture during early evening?
The succulent taste of pure ethereal bliss, blemished by
this soil’s frantic unsophisticated flailing touch,
as the dew falls on this parched patient land
only to be left in solitude, wanting and waning ….
As evening draws closer to breaking dawn
you bury your trembling tears at the presence
of silent pillows and disturbed rumpled prints
still warm with gasping memories, and lingering traces
of his bittersweet fading grace ….
Have you ever suffered during early evening?
Naked on your own, hiding your strained face
listening to distant sirens, weeping and turning away
from the tacit moon’s silver knowing gaze.