art & design

a pile of stuff

remember that scene from “The Devil Wears Prada” where an associate editor had to choose between 2 belts before miranda priestly laments on cerulean sweaters and gowns? i never really gave it a thought it would happen at Landmark but there we were, Carlo​ and i taking 20 minutes just to pick one out of the hundred similar-looking WHITE CERAMIC SOUP BOWLS on display. too shallow, not too white, rim too wide, not enough rise, lip should be angled, too much angle, not enough angle.
juice colored.

“it’s a tough call. they’re so different.”

at eto yung bowl. #ilovemyjob #ilovemyjob #ilovemyjob #emilyforever


laundry therapy

Too much social

I should just stop taking photos hoping to post them afterwards and i never do. Like this photo below. Found painted leaves left out to dry probably for use in some tv commercial shoot calling for autumn leaves. Thought id add an interesting filter or two. Then i decide not to post it so this photo sits in my Dropbox, losing its potential to be what it was meant to be.


Normally the need to post is overwhelmed by how much garbage is on social media timelines and my photo would just add to it. And so in the end i post nothing. Because they are really just people’s daily trash left out in the sun. Like dead leaves painted to resemble dead leaves. Somebody’s participation or need for validation of self online. It subtly screams, im here, like me. Here’s my dirty laundry aired for everyone to sniff.

As to why this photo even makes it to my blog and into your timeline, i cant explain that. In fact, this goes against the whole idea of this blog. Damn.


Past is pass


Cleaning out my room i chanced upon an old rotring tracing paper tube and found old plates from my architectural past. As an undergad i considered myself an average arki student, skimming through with no real accomplishment.


For one thing, even my arki professor noticed i preferred to hand-ink my plates and said i should have been in fine arts (and 4 years later i was). I did not find my groove in architecture back then. I felt it was too technical, too stiff. The whole culture was snobbish, too serious, and i struggled being creative within the confines of measurements and building laws.



I was glad i left but thinking about it, i know i could do better now (not then, now). Now, i have more confidence in design and now, if i do decide to pursue architecture, i might actually have a chance in doing well. Wow, confidence. I, thank you. Lol.



design pet peeve

years ago, i studied to get a degree in architecture. while it didnt work out and i eventually shifted to fine arts, there were things i wont forget learning from my professors. apart from the study of aesthetics in building construction, i appreciated learning that architecture was also a study of the human form in relation to spaces around him with a dash of behavorial science.

fast forward to last thursday i went to the loo at a juju eats restaurant on pasong tamo extension in makati. as i stepped in i saw they’ve designed the toilet to have a mirror behind the water closet. for females who pee sitting down, this would be a non-issue. however, for a guy who now has to pee while looking at a reflection of himself and his dong doing number 1 in full glory, i find this odd and awkward. while i dont shy away from looking at my naked self in full body mirrors at home to dry off after taking a bath, i dont particularly feel the need to WATCH myself peeing.

don’t worry, im not posting a photo of me peeing. some people may get off on those kinds of thing but i wont indulge you. here is bathroom number 1 (which i also posted on facebook).


id like to understand why designers resort to this. thing is, that very same day, i walked across the street and entered the building where i was supposed to have my meeting and eventually had to pee again and here is the cubicle at the men’s toilet. hola!


when my meetings were done there, i transferred to another building on the other side of pasong tamo to have a meeting with my directors. having had another round of drinks, i again headed for the john. lo and behold.


this was not the first time id encounter this kind of design for toilets. another restaurant in san juan had mirrors all over so you not only watch yourself frontal but also from the side. is this a thing now? it cant merely be an attempt to multi-task and check your hair while peeing or see if you having something between your teeth while holding your schlong. is this an oversight by female designers or the result of a dont-care attitude by male designers? is someone secretly narcissist and insisted on this design yet it has been replicated many times over hence an acceptable nature of people i never knew about? design, in fact, serves people’s needs so the bathrooms are a reflection of some fetishist necessity in human society. i could be overthinking this but it could also be a bad design trend. thoughts?

food trip, musings

vahay kuvo part 2

ever since we did our marketing at marikina the other week, carlo and i have carefully documented the meals we produced and ate. apparently we still had to hit the neighborhood grocery for more items like cans of milk or some other ingredients not found at the public market. out of the stash of food we got here were the dishes carlo cooked and we both plated for instagraming (@luningninggerzi) :


that evening coming back from the market, this was the first we prepared. mussells with carrots and napa/chinese cabbage. instead of rice, we have sweet potatoes.



lunch was fried big-bellied round scad (galunggong) with a bed of veggies consisting of baked sweet potatoes in basil, muscovado, honey, and blackbean sauce. dipping sauce is iloko vinegar.


dinner was shared with tita tems (who doesnt go home for lunch). we had red snapper (maya-maya) steamed in lemongrass and other aromatics and seasoned with tamarind (sinigang) powder). since we used the small oven toaster, the fish was split in two and curiously, the head part’s drippings tasted differently than the tail part (the former was tasted like the ocean and the latter’s taste was more subdued). on the side we had a salad of boiled leaves of the sweet potato (camote tops) and fresh tomatoes, onions, in a sweet-sour vinegar sauce. there were also eggplants (boiled) paired with bagoong balayan (a kind of fish sauce) with calamondi. no rice tonight.


carlo also proceeded to make his own chili sauce by chopping up sili labuyo, green chilis, and peppercorns. toasted the garlic in oil then cooked the chilis into it. sesame oil was added later on.



lunch was just omelette and whole wheat bread. no photo. forgot. lol.

dinner was mantis shrimp (alupihang dagat) cooked in garlic and butter. on the side were sauteed veggies in peanut sauce (using local peanut butter. yum). i prefer to call these shrimps aliens because i think shrimps are of alien descent.


here is the photo of how i plated the alupihang dagat. so crazy.



lunch was blanched cabbage heads and tomatoes dipped in bagoong, calamansi, and sili, and eaten with hands. we also had fried galunggong and fried brown rice. galunggong had a sukang iloko dipping sauce.


dinner was adobong manok, cooked for hours. adobong mother and child, as per carlo, this adobo was served with hard-boiled egg plus boiled squash and sweet potatoes. ripe cantaloupe for dessert.



last lunch was stir-fried vegetables with an awesome plate of fried squid. dipping sauce is iligan’s pinakurat, the best vinegar in the world!


we had to add a few more items purchased in the neighborhood grocery to supplement what we got from the market. this would amount to maybe another thousand pesos. our initial Php 940 plus about a thousand pesos, divided into more or less 8 dishes would amount to Php 242.50 per meal with 2 or 3 people sharing the whole meal. still awesome!

im sharing this because we do have fun preparing these dishes and eating them! im hoping to inspire others also who cannot escape the clutches of fast food. maybe for others as well, you should realize you dont have to spend so much to eat better. give a little bit of time to cooking and it will reward you. the greatest chef in the world, gusteau, does believe, “anyone can cook.” and while i dont do the cooking, i do the dishes and that’s still a noble chore. lol. cheers and have fun!