Month: December 2011

X Factor USA Final 3 [Performance Night]

Chris Rene vs Melanie Amaro vs Josh Krajcik

I honestly did not expect any of these three to be up in the finals! I always thought that Drew is the clear winner, or maybe Rachel Crow. Yet, I found myself not disappointed in last week’s results. Tonight, the battle started for the $5-million contract. And I must say, I found it a bit short and boring for a final performance night.

I didn’t feel much of the intensity of the competition with only two songs in their playlists (the first one was a duet with established artists). For a regular performance night, I might be saying otherwise. But, c’mon! This is the final performance night! All the excitement were washed away after seeing the contestants got drowned in the presence of Alanis Morrisette, Avril Lavigne and R. Kelly. But I liked Cirque du Soleil’s intermission number with the promotion of their Michael Jackson’s Immortal tour.

Afterwards, each of the contestants sang their audition pieces. Josh Krajcik’s At Last was stellar. His voice did not fail to give me chills (as well as the look in his eyes whenever he hit the high notes :D). Chris Rene’s Young Homie was moving as always. Melanie Amaro’s Listen was unclean. I felt the strain in her voice as she reached for the highest notes. But then again, for me, the night wasn’t able to fully convey the importance of the event. Yes, the energy of the judges and the crowd was over the top. But I don’t think it penetrated much for those who were watching at home.

But, in general, I really find the show interesting and a lot better than American Idol. It’s anybody’s game. Whoever wins deserve it. But, I personally like to see Josh Krajcik bring home the bacon. Among them, he was the one without drama. No overcoming from addiction or being rejected at first shiz. Just pure talent. But I support them all! Kudos to each one of them. And may the singer who got the real x-factor win!

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Three Shots of a Holiday Treat!

BELATED HAPPY 14th BIRTHDAY, STARBUCKS PHILIPPINES!

I was supposed to post this days ago but I’ve been busy with sleep-overs, parties and other Christmas bizarre. But, as they say, it’s better late than never. So here…

For the past 4 years, I’ve been collecting Starbucks planners for myself. My family and friends know that I’m a great coffee addict. And as evidence, I got three planners this year! Yay me! I got the first one just 19 days after the promo started. Then, I started collecting for my sister’s. Halfway through, Starbucks celebrated its 14th year in the Philippines and the number of stickers needed to get a planner went down to 14 (from 17 for Option 1 and 23 for Option 2). I have two cards, then which I plan to combine to get my sister’s gift. But with the promo which lasted for only 24 hours, I managed to get not one but two planners!

This is the design I choose for myself: SPRUCE. My friend named it Spruce Willis!:D

This is what I gave to my sister: CHERRY.

This is my extra planner: OAK.

I’d like to thank all of my friends who contributed in the completion of my Starbucks cards – my CAT officers, high school friends and college buddies! ‘Til next year!

(I don’t own any of the pictures.)

Starbucks U.N.

It was the summer of 2008 when I first set foot in this place which is located just almost near the north end of Roxas Boulevard in Manila. Since then, it has been my third home. My refuge. My haven.

It is still clear in my mind the very first time I went here. It was a scorching hot weekday and a venti frappuccino was really a great refreshment. I was with my ‘superfriend’, a high school friend whom I never got to hang out with anymore since college started. I fell in love with the place right away. Seriously, just after I had my first sip in a comfortable couch in that two-floor shop, I knew that this place would be a home for me.

And I was right. College started and this coffee house with all its friendly baristas and jazzy music has been a haven for me and for some of my friends. We had spent hours here working on Algebra and Statistics problems, English and History papers, Econometrics models and a lot other school shitloads. It has also been a place where we celebrate and just chill whenever school permits us to, a destination after school.

But above all those, this place has been my refuge – like my evacuation area whenever I’ve been devastated by a great typhoon or like a concert hall every time I want to reward myself for a job well done. It has been a place to crash for me. Well, almost.

Now that I got to think of that three years of good and bad memories I had in this humble place, I can’t help but be nostalgic about how it has witnessed my transformation as a man. I remember all those people I shared a table and a cup of coffee with. Some of them are still here but most are gone. It’s a lot to take. I look in every spot here – couches, tables, corners – and I still clearly remember some unforgettable moments with those people who had been here with me.

Now, I’m about to finish college. And I am still here. Somebody told me that I need a new environment because of the present situations in my life. But no matter what happens, I will still be coming back here. I don’t care if I’ll be sitting all by myself or with somebody new. It’s a part of me. This is my home. My refuge. My haven.

Under the Weather

It isn’t always a sunny day. The clouds can get too heavy, too. It will cover up the blue sky and eventually, it will pour out rain. You may get caught off guard, but remember that there are people willing to share a space under their umbrella with you.

Thunders may roar, lightnings may strike, still in after every rain, there is a rainbow emerging from the clearing gloomy sky.

Endure, we must, with all the challenges we encounter on a daily basis in this very complicated existence of ours. Patient, we should be, so we can witness the unfolding of a brighter day.

Opportunity Cost

In economics, I learned how to maximize one’s utilization of resources and how do risks could lead to negative or positive returns. But above everything else, as I embark on my last year in finishing a degree, economics has taught me that in life, you can really never have everything. There are always trade-offs. And opportunity costs.

Opportunity cost, as defined, is the resource you have to give up in order to pursue another one. Let’s say, tonight I wanna go to the cinemas but I gotta study for my Econometrics exam tomorrow. I cannot afford to fail the exam so I need to set aside my plan of seeing a movie. Here, the opportunity cost of passing my Econometrics exam is going to the cinemas. This is a very relative concept, yes. Someone’s opportunity cost might be a necessity to others.

We always look into the brighter side. And most of the time, we care less about the things we have let go, of the people we take for granted. How does it feel like to be the opportunity cost? How does it feel like to be ‘unconsciously’ forgone by the one you have been holding onto?