Sunrise/Sunset (Photo by Mark Montalban)


Congratulations to our dear friend Mark Montalban whose photo was recently included in the CVMP Coffee Table book. I am lucky to be in the company of extremely talented friends!

Sunrise, fingers entwined.

Fingers entwined, sunrise.

What makes life beautiful?

The sunrise or the fingers?

I am once again in awe.

Ah, the simple pleasure of waking up to streaks of morning light…and none of your tormented shadows.

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Epson X-Fusion Media Adventure: Diving Into Fun


Thank you Epson and Total Fitness!

NOTE: Published in TOTAL FITNESS Magazine July 2011 issue.

***

Question:  SCUBA is an acronym which stands for…?

Answer: Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus

This question was asked in the trivia game which our team, the Black Team, failed to get cookie points for as I remember the two other team representatives were a lot faster jumping into the pool and swimming to the other side to touch the letter of the correct answer. We played a few more group games after that, in some of which our team would consistently lose, but there was just so much fun and frivolity at X-FUSION, the Epson Media Adventure, that none of these losses even mattered.

X-FUSION, the second of Epson Philippines’ annual event aimed at showcasing the company’s sales and marketing efforts in first half of the fiscal year as well as providing a glimpse of Epson’s activities in the pipeline,  was held last 12 to 13May at Acacia Diving Resort in Mabini, Batangas with over 20 media representatives coming from business, IT, and trade publications joining EPSON Philippines’ General Manager Donna Ferro, Business Systems Group Head Jay Lavarias, and MarComm and PR Department Head Roe Dillera.

Mr. Jay Lavarias summed up Epson Philippines’ 14 percent overall sales growth at the end of fiscal year 2010 versus 2009 in a short slide presentation. He attributed the growth for Inkjets and Laser printers to a bullish market for 2011. More importantly, corporate markets can expect lower total cost of ownership this year with the launch of 13 more new product offerings.

Meanwhile, Roe Dillera provided a sneak preview of the global corporate vision of the company dubbed “SE15 Vision” or Seiko Epson 2015 Vision after sharing some corporate and CSR highlights in 2010.

Black Team.

But for compulsive adventure seekers like me, the biggest highlight of the event was the Intro to Scuba Diving which Epson got all of us to try out. It my first time to do diving and the days building up to ‘Fusion’, I was teetering on the brink of combined excitement and anxiety. You see, I do not know how to swim and even though nearly all my friends assured me that swimming is not really a requirement – especially since we will have dive masters assigned to us – there were still some niggling doubts in my head until I went 25ft below sea level and found myself enthralled by the glorious sight of colorful fish and corals! We even saw a school of mangrove jacks (or talakitok says my angler friend); some clown fish occasionally peeping out of the corals; and for a while there I wished we had more time to explore. Or that I have the time and resources to actually get PADI certified soon. Now that’s a thought.

Media Adventure-seekers.

Before taking the plunge, I was pretty sure I would have panic attack just like I did the last time I went on a travel assignment in Pagbilao, Quezon. But surprisingly, I was very calm even from our descent and all the way through the 15 to 20 minutes diving time – which Vlad, the dive master assigned to me, made sure I made the most out of by swimming happily along and befriending sea creatures, even for a brief moment.  Even breathing through the regulator came fairly easy to me I could have sworn I’m a natural!

Yes Siree, we're 25ft under water!

A few times I heard the ticking sound in my ears and, at one point I had some challenges in neutralizing the pressure I had to signal for Vlad to take me back up to the surface so I can get my bearings right again. When we got down to the spot where we were supposed to take underwater group photos, I got a bit embarrassed when I realized that I was the last one to arrive!

With DM Vlad

While I am not exactly a stranger when it comes to media offsite as I have had my fair share when I used to do PR stuff for another IT company many years ago – this was my first time to come as part of the media group and I must say it is something else altogether. I could get used to this!

X-Fusion Participants

From my slipshod snorkeling experiment in Pagbilao last year, I went ten notches up (or down?) with scuba diving and taking into account the fact that I still dream about the sights and wonders I came across with while underwater, I think it is now just a matter of time before I sign up for a course. My boyfriend (now fiance) says we should get PADI certified soon as I get settled-in with him in Singapore and you know what? I just might take him up on his offer very soon.

Movies: 16th French Film Festival


Because I said I didn’t want to be the typical chameleon of a girlfriend who couldn’t wait to suddenly speak French, (I’m a non-conformist, indulge me!) I have decided to put-off learning the language for wee bit longer. But now I’m thinking it’s juvenile and rather stupid of me because French is a beautiful language and I could really use it when I go to Ivory Coast! ROTFLMSAO!

I still know only a few words and phrases, all of which are not meant to be uttered to anyone else but mon amour, but one day soon I will be speaking like an adopted Frenchie.

But for now, this just about how French-y I can get: The much-awaited 16th French Film Festival returns to the Philippines this month and delightfully bringing to Filipino audiences a mix of some of the best and latest action, adventure, comedy, drama and documentary films from France today.

Opening Night: June 8, 6:30 p.m. at Shangri-La Plaza Mall
Manila: June 8-19 at the Shangri-La Plaza Mall

16th French Film Festival

Except for that one time I watched Amélie a looong time ago, I don’t recall ever going to another French Film Festival after that so this one’s going to be special. I hope some of my very dear friends can come and watch with me, as they are usually more ‘cultured’ than I am. hahaha. Paging Noel, Gil, Mark, Cris, Eric, Abi, Kassy and Abby – tara lets! Wait, how do you say that in French?


On Scuba Diving and Another Podium Finish at Run4Life


This weekend truly has been one of, if not THE, MOST INCREDIBLE weekend I have ever had in nearly 32 years. I may have said the same line about something incredible in the past but this weekend easily takes the cake out of anything I can remotely think of as great. Except, of course, God – who makes everything here on earth seem pretty average.

But before we get to the whys and hows, have YOU registered for the REEBOK ZigTech Run yet? Yes? No? Oh you bad, bad, baddies! This racing event promises to be challenging and fun on so many levels and I know there are one or two interesting races happening on the same day as well, BUT (the) ZigTech Run is definitely something to try out – especially if you are a Zig user yourself.  The race is happening on the 5th of June, so you have a few more days to hie-off to the Reebok store near you. Register now!

Run with us!

Remember when I mentioned here that I’m going scuba diving? Well it finally happened this weekend and I have EPSON and SPEED magazine (Manny, you’re the best!) to thank for it! I was invited to be part of the FUSION Media Adventure and it felt great hanging out with some members of the media again – after such a loooong time. Apart from Melvin and Mick, whom I have known for years (back when I was doing PR and handled Microsoft and Oracle), the rest of the media invitees were relatively strangers to me. But it only took us a few minutes to settle in and get comfortable with each other. The group games were one helluva fun – the name game only highlighted the fact that I have a memory of a dory – and I’m equally glad my dear friend Mark was there with me. He took unbelievably beautiful photos of nearly everything – from people to rocks to LPG tanks, sea landscape and the beautiful Batangas sunset! You can check out his photos here. I won’t go into details as I am saving that for SPEED but let me share some photos so you’ll know how much fun it was for all of us. Not even my overactive imagination has ever conceived of me going 25ft below sea level – knowing how freaked out I am of the sea because I had never learned how to swim. But on that day in Batangas, I conquered my fear…and loved every second of it. I also would like to thank my DM, Vlad, who was very nice and reassuring the whole time.

With my DM Vlad

Yihee, I'm underwater!!!

That's me wearing yellow aquasocks communing with the school of fish

I know right?!? *wink*

With a playful puppy named Pussy. We found him at the diving resort next door.

FUSION Media Adventurers

Photo by Mark Montalban.

Swimsuit by Cocotini. Photo by Mark Montalban.

My new wallpaper. Thank you Mark for this knockout photo!

The best tan says Mr. Running Shield. I think so too.:D Thank you Mick for snapping this shot!

One more FTW!

Sunset Parody by Marlon Magtira

Kamusta naman ang tawa ko dito, divah?

And just when I thought my awesome week ended with my scuba diving adventure…I bagged another podium finish in this morning’s RUN4LIFE race held in Alabang! I joined the 16k category and finished 3rd in the female division with a time of 1hour 30 minutes and 32seconds!  I’m sure it’s not that great a time compared with what more capable runners can do but it still feels pretty good – especially since I hardly slept the night before and had to wake up at 2am to get ready for a 5:10 race! *ROTFL*

There was a major faux pas with the 16k results which got me really upset – I was 3rd in the female category but they called someone else on stage, another runner who was trailing behind me from the get-go. I protested, of course, not because I wanted the prize but as a runner who takes running somewhat seriously, people ought to respect my time and effort. Anyway, Runningmate said they have already rectified the records and my name will appear in the top 3 – as it should.

Moving forward, it was a good run for me – especially since it was my first time to run that course. It was also lovely to see Ms. Villy of Reebok, Patrick ‘Running Shield and the brains behind Condura marathon’ Concepcion who gave me the best compliment of the day (PC: Vicky, you have the best tan!), and Jonel Mendoza who’s running the Nuvali Trail Challenge in June and I have already signified my desire to do 50k!

Lastly, it was lovely running with my Team Reebok mates again, especially Kassy, whom I haven’t seen in a long time!

Here are some photos of the race this morning. Thank you Lifeline Foundation for staging Run4Life – and for doing a great job helping a lot of disadvantaged members of the society!

Vicky and Kassy - the lady ambassadors of Reebok for running

Sharing the stage with crowd-drawing Mr. Younghusband.

With Ms. Villy of Reebok

Reebok forever.

With Ms. Betty Romero of Lifeline Foundation