Pacman survived the “bad weather”

I knew that this moment will drag me back here and write something that I’d love to remember years from now.

As an expat in the little red dot, everyone’s in awe whenever I tell stories of how Pacman turns the busy streets of Manila (and all parts of the Philippines) into ghost town whenever he has a fight. As crazy as it sounds, it’s like an unsaid rule that Filipinos are glued to their screens to watch the great boxer and pray for his “win” each and every fight.

I grew up with this. Haha. And I’ve shared a lot of great memories with my dad while watching the fight and drinking a cold San Miguel beer with his friends. I didn’t even like boxing. It’s violent for me. But a Pacman fight turns every Filipino around the world into a boxing expert everytime. Believe me, from Philippines to US, Middle East, Taiwan or UK, Filipinos are glued to their phones to catch up with families before and after the fight.

Amazing, right? At some point, Iknow Pacman brought heart to the boxing sport and united the Philippines in so many ways.

PROOF OF FILIPINO FANS DEDICATION

No need to go far, my news feed says it all.

(Screengrab from the hardworking businesswoman, Ailette)

(Screengrab from the hardworking businesswoman, Ailette)

(Nakaw photo of List from Perth)

(Nakaw photo of Liszt from Perth)

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(Photo from @unikathija)

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(Nakaw photo from Jopot @melvin_zamora)

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Us earlier. LOL. #OFW Thanks to Kuya Macoy and to Ate Mhely for the live stream. Haha.

CLEVER AD, AS EXPECTED.

Working in the marketing and advertising industry, I know that there’s something clever that’ll come out from great brands in moments like this. This time, McDonald’s got the spotlight.

A couple of days before the big fight, McDonald’s Philippines released a clever ad to show their support to the Filipino champion. It’s very timely and sincere to the point of touching the hearts of every excited and nervous Filipino supporter.

  After the fight, McDonald’s impressed me even more by sending the message that captured what the shocked (somehow sad) Filipino fans would like to say. 

 

CORRECT ME IF I’M WRONG.

Below is the screenshot of my Instagram feed minutes after the fight. 🙂 Photo credit to my IG friends but correct me if I’m wrong, McDonald’s message just blended in. It’s a brand that cares… makes you wanna say “let’s go have some McFlurry kasi mainit ang ulo ko!” Haha.

IG Feed

 

It was just clever.

Pano ba yan? Just like what McDonald’s said, “we’ve always survived the bad weather. We’re very proud of you, Pacman!”

Til next time!

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No more #ChickenSad, #HaySalamat!

Jollibee is my childhood hero. Though I’m not a big fan of fast food, I crave for the regular yum, spaghetti and chicken joy every once in awhile. Up to now, there are very few Asian (except Japanese) brands that become “global brands.”  And for the Philippines, Jollibee is one brand that the country can be globally proud of and call its own.

I visited home 2 weeks ago and was so sad when the Jollibee outlet I visited had no chicken and spaghetti available. At some point, I really thought there was no sense of going home at all. Haha. Ok, that was an exaggeration but the trip did feel incomplete.

Then when I went back to work, I noticed that my newsfeed was flooding with #ChickenSad hashtags. That’s when I realized I was not alone, and it was the whole country feeling sad [or mad ?] having no Chickenjoy at all. According to Rappler, a major IT system change was to be blamed for the lack of the popular Chickenjoy in Jollibee stores. The change affected the fast food giant’s inventory and delivery system, forcing 72 stores to close.

Translation: “I don’t have a boyfriend, now I can’t even have Chickenjoy.”

Translation: “They don’t serve anything cause they’re updating their system….are they printing chicken?”  

Translation: Wait, I was able to buy a bucket of Chicken joy last week. What just happened?

Translation: “I should’ve taken a photo of the last chicken joy I’ve eaten on Saturday (Aug 2). Maybe it’s really going to be the last.”

Some panicked and called the police.

Translation: “(Police Twitter Handle) Help! Until now, we don’t have Chicken Joy, sir.”

Some just reenacted the BTS.

Some turned into entrepreneurs.

Communities in some universities jumped to learn from the issue right away.

And the OFWs participated in the fun.

But as expected, some brands will just take advantage of a competitor’s crisis. I’ve seen this becoming a trend and brands are not just trendjacking, they’re even crisis-jacking (trying my luck if there’s such word). But for this one, they chickened out and deleted the post. Read Marketing Interactive’s write up on this.

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How did Jollibee handle the crisis on social? They responded on every negative tweet that they received.

And…today, told you how much they missed you.

I admit it. I had so much fun reading conversations on #chickensad but to be honest, this is a crisis turned out as a good publicity.This is my favorite post- The 8 stages of Grief. And here are some of my takeaways:

  • The strong affiliation of Jollibee as a brand to the lives of Filipinos has been proven
  • Just like what happened to Globe Telecom a couple of years ago, lack of communication or not informing the consumer on an upcoming upgrade will either make or break the brand.
  • Competitors or other brands tend to jump in conversations to take advantage of a brand’s lowest point during a crisis (So you better be ready to fight back!). 

But today, no more #ChickenSad. #HaySalamat! (“Hay” is a Filipino expression for “relief.” “Salamat”is thank you). I think below is a better move from a brand (Globe Telecom).

 

Tagaytay “Peaceful” Weekend Itinerary

It’s always nice to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city every once in a while and find some time to have some time alone for reflection and meditation. 

For me, Tagaytay is still the best place for keeping in touch with your self and be aware of whatever is happening in your surroundings and relationships. Because it’s just an hour (or two if it’s traffic!) away from Manila, it’s very convenient to just take a bus from the bus station under MRT Taft to go there. 

My idea of a “peaceful vacation” are having the following: coffee, books, pen and notebook to write random things and more and more quiet time. Here’s my Tagaytay Peaceful Weekend Itinerary:

DAY 1

Saturday AM:

As soon as you get there, breathe in and out. Feel the cool and fresh air. Starbucks got the nice spot where you could see Taal Lake and Volcano but quite noisy sometimes because many people prefer to stay there.

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Saturday Dinner: CAFE VERBANA 

This is one of the best restaurants in the Philippines. 🙂 The service is superb, food is really good and the place is just so serene. It would be nice to have another peaceful getaway by staying in Country Suites so I could just eat at Cafe Verbana over and over! 

MUST TRY: Bulalo 

QUALITY TIME: Taal Vista Hotel

With the Live Band playing familiar songs, a bottle of Champagne is surely the best complement to a wonderful conversation. Cheers!

DAY 2

SUNDAY BREAKFAST: Bag of Beans

I’ll never get tired of the “bottomless” house-blended coffee together with the apple pie and the beautiful view of Taal Lake.

My idea of peace is reading while having coffee in Bag of Beans. Haha.

Please be reminded that there are two Bag of Beans in Tagaytay. The photos were taken in the new branch near Olivarez. Don’t forget to bring home some cookies too!

Sunday Lunch: Sonya’s Garden


Aside from the famous spa that Sonya’s Garden offers, the food which the ingredients are all from their garden is my favorite. 

This is the menu for our Eat All You Can Lunch/Dinner for Php 683 per person:

  • Garden Salad Greens (create your own salad)
  • Bread (one of the best I’ve ever tried!)
  • Pasta
  • Dessert
  • Beverages (I want to bring home!)

It’s also open for breakfast from 8am to 10am for Php 427 per person where they serve Filipino and Continental dishes.

I always like the bricks in Sonya’s Garden, full of history. 

Finally, on the way back to Manila, maybe you want to drop by Ilog Maria for some souvenirs and for “personal toiletries” but don’t forget that you need to hike just a little bit:

Ilog Maria Honeybee Farm is very dedicated in proper beekeeping and advocates living “naturally.” Their neatly handmade soaps smell really good but aside from the soaps, my favorite is their lip balm. The bee pollen will definitely guard your health and increase your immunity.

Don’t forget to spend some time alone and reflect. Remember, this is peaceful weekend itinerary. Haha.

Some people think that eating “balut” is a challenge in X Factor, some people likes it too much that they even make it to several different dishes. As a Filipino, I prefer eating it the traditional way: boiled with vinegar or salt.  You might or may not agree with me, but the taste of balut brings me memories of home that only belong to the Philippines. (In the photo is Abu, a fun Indonesian Couchsurfer I met in 2011.)

What I learned about Surfing

On top of my list when I was in my early 20s (Goodness! I’m saying this now!) was to surf, first was to climb a mountain. I usually have a timeline for my plans, Climb a mountain: 18, Travel abroad: 25, (both were realized before the deadline by the way. haha) but for surfing, it was just in my list but I never believed in actually doing it. 

I learned lessons from my first ride (hoping to get a chance for a second ride) that remind me on how I should look at life when not riding the waves:

1. Impossible really becomes not possible if you never give it a shot. My list doesn’t say that I should be a professional surfer but for a long time, I was thinking that even just trying it… is absurd. 

The photo below shows how scared I was on my first try:


2. Patience is always a virtue. Life is not designed to be flat, it has ups and downs, right and wrong, but we have to keep the faith and keep moving. If you didn’t ride the wave the first time, be more alert and try it the second time. If you fall, hug the board tight and try again. After a few try, you’ll know. 🙂
As cliche as it is, “something that does not happen doesn’t mean that it won’t happen.”

3. Listen & use your senses. In today’s world, everyone wants to talk which oftentimes make things complicated. In surfing, you need to use your senses, don’t just look, listen and feel the waves coming. Listen to the wind blowing, look at the waves beside you, quickly close your eyes to feel the waves and concentrate on your senses. You can’t afford to lose a wave cause you might not experience one anymore!


4. Sometimes, you just don’t have the chance to backout, so rock it! Sometimes, life gives us things that we think we don’t need but is actually for us to experience and we have to be brave enough to try what’s in-store for us out there. Most of the time, we need to risk then our lives will never be the same again cause it just gets better.

5. It will always be hard to keep the balance, but only the wise can do it (Read: wise- with knowledge & experience of falling and standing up over and over. haha).


6. Be prepared (you can’t afford to miss one wave, remember?).

7. Enjoy the ride. There’s a feeling of euphoria when riding a wave, it’s addictive. The feeling before, during and after riding a wave is indescribable but you can never tell a story about only “after the ride,” it needs to be a whole process to make the story complete so you have to enjoy every second of it.


FREEDOM. It was a liberating feeling to ride the waves. 
Awesome Idea: What I always do is to imagine the feeling when I was riding a wave, then I imagine my worries as the wave- scary and huge…after a few breaths, rode over my worries, then they go away! 
Maybe that’s a good idea for you to try surfing, so you’ll know what to imagine when worries come again!

So here is what I’ve found out in my hard drive, my “chimpanzee” first ride:


*This was a quick trip to Zambales, read the whole story here.