What I did for my 26th birthday

  • Renewed my driver’s license
  • Went to Bona Westgate, and was treated to a free Turkey Jack lunch by assistant supervisor Joseph
  • Received multitudes of greetings online, including “Happy Birthday Pony” YM status messages from my Anino kids, an El Bimbo video from Paul, and a musical Tribute Page from Joon
  • Was forced to take the afternoon off when my boss told me: “Why are you still working on your birthday? Go play.”
  • Had a haircut
  • Bought makeup, jeans, and bangles. Maybe this inexplicable urge to prettify comes with age.
  • Ran into a Starbucks barista who recognized me and asked me to come by. *sniff sniff… but I’ve broken up with Starbucks, long ago*
  • Ran into a former student, who was in the mall for the Boys Like Girls concert (I caught some of it)
  • Was treated to a free Raizon’s Halo-Halo by former bandmate Owel
  • Had dinner with my parents at Sophia’s, a Mediterranean restaurant in Westgate whose chef has cooked for the Beatles, Jackie O, Princess Di, and Pavarotti. Needless to say, the food was fantastic!
  • And now, I work a bit, because deadlines wait for no one.

If this is what the rest of my 26th year will look like, I’m all for it 🙂

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Bona Members’ Night (July 31, 2008)

Bona

“How many here know what’s going to happen tonight?” Miren said into the microphone. “Except for Luna, who is one of our most faithful members. She’s here every day.”

Such began a night of glorious fun and embarrassment as I attended my first Bona Members’ Night. I _did_ know what was about to happen, but I still wasn’t prepared for it. From the moment I got out of the car, I was completely overwhelmed – there were lights, bouncers, nametags and registration, people I didn’t know greeting me at the door and saying, “Ooooh, so YOU’RE Luna? The one who wrote that letter about Starbucks and Bona? You’re famous here!”
Continue reading

The Pimp

“I have a new favorite drink, Luna,” Owel said. “Sorry – it’s at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.”

“Hahaha! Why are you saying sorry?”

“Because you’re always ‘bona bona bona’ and I was all excited about it before too.”

Since when have I become the official Bona pimp?  😛

Case in point – I plurked about Bona Members’ Night (happening tonight at their Westgate branch) and suddenly, I have seven friends going! (And most of them have never been to Bona – they don’t even live in the south.) I had to stop them from inviting more people, because when I told Bona I’d be RSVP-ing for eight, their response was: “EIGHT???”

I am sure someday I will stop pimping Bona. But that day is not today.

(PS Incidentally, I am writing this from Bona’s BF branch.)

EDIT: PPS Miren, who’s in charge of Bona’s marketing, just told me I’m their official #1 member, thanks to this blog which is pretty famous to them already. Hahaha! I am officially embarrassed 😛

Virtual office life (as I know it)

Dad reminded me that I haven’t blogged in a while again. I’ve been caught up with work, and catching up with class. But I thought I’d share what my life is like now, after I quit my five-year job and pursued work as a game writer.

I saw some of my ex-officemates last week and they asked when I’d be moving to Singapore. My answer was, “I’m not – I’m staying here!” And that caught them by surprise. I’ve had at least ten officemates migrate to better game development or animation jobs, and I’m the first one to work for a foreign company and stay home.

So what’s it like working in a virtual office? This is how the past month has been: Continue reading

Bona Coffee Alabang

I am writing this post from Bona Coffee‘s newest branch in Westgate, Alabang. Westgate is a small group of nice restaurants and shops along Alabang-Zapote Road, just past Alabang Town Center. Bona Coffee, if you know me at all, is my favorite coffee shop ever.

Bona’s management and baristas have been telling me about their Westgate plans since late 2007; they knew this was closer to where I lived so I was probably as excited as them for their second branch. It finally opened this month, and when I first stepped in, I promptly said: “Wooooooow!” out loud and proceeded to check every nook and cranny.

This Bona branch is much bigger and much more airy than their BF home. There are tables and chairs outside, more of their fuzzy bright orange chairs, and a large bar area. (You know the little bar they have in Starbucks Greenbelt 3, near the baristas, where solo people are forced to cramp-sit? Well, Bona Alabang is built both for the solo coffee-goer and the pair or group. There is space aplenty for everyone.)

This is why I love Bona – they understand what coffee lovers want. We want someplace cozy, where we can curl up with a good book or bring our laptop and work. There is still free WiFi here, and the music is soothing but never loud. And they understand that we want good coffee and good food – none of the generic commercial crap! For instance, today I walked in, said hi to the baristas (who not only know me by name, they also know where I like to sit), and said, “I want really strong coffee today.”

Immediately, they ticked off numerous suggestions – would I like an espresso shot with whipped cream? Diluted in hot water? Or (aha!) a Full Moon Latte, with doubleshot espresso, and (double aha!) caramel instead of hazelnut, just for me?

I swear to God, this is one of my favorite places in the world. It’s not as cozy or private as their BF branch is, but it’s not out of the way either, and I know it just needs breaking in. So I’ll do it! 😀