Tuesday, August 25, 2009

QTV 11 Food Fair

This is my long over due post. It took me how many months to remember that I had this fun and exciting experience at The Beat's TARA LETS Food Fair last October 18, 2008. The event took place at Eastwood City, Libis. I cooked several foods and brought to the venue. I didn't earn much but I gained so much fun with this happy experience.

Chicken Curry Fried Rice PHP 100.00
Chorizo Jalapeño Fried Rice PHP 100.00
Veggie with Mango Penne Pasta PHP 150.00
Mango Jelly Brulee PHP 100.00
Eggplant Caviar PHP 100.00
Lemon-Cinnamon Pastillas PHP 120.00

The hosts of the TV program THE BEAT
Tonipet Gaba & Ivan Merina

The interview and the I.D.

It was really dead tiring selling my food but on the contrary I was happy despite being tired. This experience is something new on my part and another additional adventure to my library of The Artist Chef memories.

These two Chinese dudes just checked out on me and asked several questions and I was reminded that these two guys didn't purchase any. Hehe! :D

With the very nice and accommodating Macoy. Thanks for always remembering me and making me part of QTV 11 event and TV shows :-)

Aside from my family who came to grace my food fair, good friends Marni & Pam visited and purchased some of my foodies. And I was very glad that they came. I gave them some foodies for FREE!

Thank you so much QTV 11 and to the TV program THE BEAT for not forgetting me. Thank you also to good friend Tonipet Gaba and Macoy. This experiece was very memorable, it added another joy and learning on my part.

Am I going to have my next FOOD FAIR here in Saigon? :)

joanie xxx

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Advertising Life - Saigon Style!

Vietnam is truly a challenging experience for me. The day I left my advertising career in Manila, I do believe that there are a lot of hurdles ahead. It scared me at first because I have no idea how it feels to work in Vietnam. I do heard a lot of funny and challenging stories from my friends who have been working in Saigon for quite a few years. I can’t relate to their stories back then but being here for more than three months made me fully understood what they meant when they narrated their stories few months ago. My everyday life here is a roller coaster ride, anything goes.

Life is anything goes here in Vietnam but not when I’m in my office. I was mentioning about hurdles, and the first major barrier I encountered was their language. I don’t know how to deal at it first and it gave me several headaches almost everyday. I have people under me who cannot speak English and cannot understand English. How about that? And unfortunately I lost one Art Director whom I didn't approve the probation because of his negative attitude and can't speak English. Then I also had a designer who disappeared out of the blue maybe because I asked her to do key visuals. I think she didn't understand it. Anyway, I don't get it too either. Account Managers usually help me in translating the message but most of the time it’s not accurate.

There are a lot of funny anecdotes about my day-to-day work. Every time I encounter one, I’d tell myself “I want to blog this!” So let me cite one example. Whenever we had a meeting or presentation the language medium is always Vietnamese because few people can speak and understand the English language. Maybe you guys are wondering what I felt then, I felt like a friggin’ flower Vase! I was just smiling and nodding with whatever topic they are having in that discussion.

So presentations, long meetings and discussions often give me headaches. But as days go by, I manage to get used to it. Just like now, I am currently having my FGD and the consumer are all Vietnamese. Sitting next to me is the Account Manager translating the consumers reaction. Actually the system of work I have now turns to be an exciting adventure.

In terms of the people under me, often times they are stubborn. Most locals have this “cannot” attitude. A couple of instances I asked them a very easy task and they often give me the word “cannot.” So as I learn there language I’d always say “can!” The people and the system of work here are very different from what I am used to in my advertising life in Manila. In Manila everything is possible. But here, I have to undergo major adjustments. I am starting to get used to some of the things that I think is part of their norms but there are some things that I still have to make an adjustments.

So I am taking things one day at a time. It may take a while to fully adapt to Vietnam’s culture but I am sure I can get there in due time. What I often do to break away from all these hurdles and stressful predicaments, I’ll have my lunch out and perhaps ride a motorbike and meet a friend to share the bits and pieces of my stories. I really need that. Otherwise, it will pile up inside my mind and heart and will explode one day. Then I might give up if that thing happens. So I’m glad to enjoy the ride of my lunch out whenever I can have one.

with my Designer Vinh Tran Quang

with my 3D Artist Tin Cong Nguyen

All photos were taken by Vinh Tran Quang

Winners do not do different things, but do things differently. Do you guys agree with that? Well I do. For us to be able to win with flying colors in this battle called life, we have to face adversity with a thankful heart. In that way you can do something differently. And that’s what I did and will continue doing it and will make sure that defeat will not get in the way. A positive attitude will surely take you to places.

So lemme enjoy this ride and jump on every hurdle. Will keep you posted!

joanie xxx

Monday, August 10, 2009

About my Patriotism

It was Aug 21, 1983 when Ninoy Aquino died and I was in my kindy at that time when the cortege passed by near where I live. I witnessed the vigorous pandemonium of crowd marching along España. I wasn't fully aware who was Ninoy then. All I knew was he had a very significant role in politics. I later found out that Ferdinand Marcos was accused of his assassination. I grew up admiring Ferdinand Marcos because of his undeniable brilliance. A great man inspite of his very dirty political history. A few years after Ninoy's death, Marcos was ousted as President of the Philippines. People power by millions of Filipinos in February 25, 1986 changed the landscape of Philippine government. From a dictator leader to a democratic one. It was Cory Aquino who continued the legacy of her husband Ninoy.

The very first woman president of our republic. A very God-fearing individual, a nurturing person and the symbol of democracy. She had her six year term from 1986-1992 as our president who served her country without any corruption and survived six coup d'état. In Aug 1, 2009 she died after struggling from her Cancer of the colon. Being away from my country I only rely news from the internet and the news I can get from my sister who is working in the Archdiocese of Manila. I always watch youtube and the updates from online newspapers. All of a sudden I saw how history repeats itself. I saw how the entire archipelago mourns and how Philippine flag turned into yellow. The love of millions of Filipinos to our Democracy Icon were over flowing.

I never cared about Philippine politics and to prove that I remember one instance when I had a lunch with Rex Lopez & Bob Guerrero at Cafe Breton sometime last year. They were trying to challenge me with some dares. They were asking me to choose based on the two extreme options that they provided. They asked me which one you will choose: A. Have a one year cooking lesson with Jamie Oliver or B. Save Filipinos from having a chaotic country. Undoubtedly I chose A. Have a cooking lesson with Jamie for a year in exchange of having a systematic country. I never gave a damn care with my country. I feel that it's hopeless because we are already in the brink of orderliness extinction. A lot of things are unfixable. Today I ponder that I was wrong.

Seeing the videos of Cory's burial in Manila Memorial Park while the song "Bayan ko" was sung, I suddenly wept. First time in my life I got emotional about my country. I really felt that we lost a great model of purity in the Philippine government. It's a rare chance that we can see huge Filipino crowd convene without being paid like all the rallies we had in the past years. All of them sacrificed there time and made big efforts to demonstrate their mourn about losing one great icon in Philippine history. We all love Cory because she's the reason why we are enjoying our democracy now.

Now as I write this blog I want to share to my readers that I was reflecting on some thoughts the past few days when I read Bob Guerrero's Facebook status about Patriotism. And I am quoting his status:

"I hope that we all show our patriotism and nationalism not only when it's cool, easy and when everyone is doing it but also when it's hard, unglamorous, unfashionable, and unrecognized."

While still updating myself about Cory's burial, I stumbled on a photo of a very interesting yet funny coincidence. Is this an honest or intentional mistake by the writer who wrote the caption in Manila Bulletin newspaper? And by the way, Arroyo is the current President of the Philippines who is currently accused of plunder cases and the Filipino people want her oust.

As I live my life, I often feel that I don't want to be a Filipino. But instances like this and seeing my country unites for a common goal still makes me proud to be a Filipino. And being here in Vietnam and working hard makes me feel proud that I am a FILIPINO in so many ways.

Artist Chef is proud to be PINOY!

joanie xxx