Thursday, June 25, 2009

News of the Moment: Fawcett and Jackson Pronounced Dead

Two of America's icons, Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson, reportedly died today.

Farrah Fawcett, who has documented her long battle with cancer, passed away peacefully. Her legacy as a television icon, mostly popular for playing one of the original Charlie's Angels, will live forever.

The King of Pop, Michael Jackson, has also passed today. He was first rushed to the hospital because of cardiac arrest, then breathed his last. He will be remembered as a music sensation that struggled through scandals, but still succeeded to be relevant until today.

May they rest in peace.

Flashback of the Moment: Gender Bender

The house of Prada is long known for reinvigorating fashion. She has played with minimalism, projected alternative future couture, toyed with fantasy, redefined "the jet set." And until Fall-Winter 08, reinvented gender.

Her Fall 08 menswear collection shocked some, awed some, and put some in confusion. Why in the world would men wear a tutu-like skirt, a halter-looking vest, and a belt that closely resembles a bikini bottom or in the words of one editor, a "chastity belt?"

I intitially considered the collection a shocker. It is very unconventional--it is definitely not your typical shirt-and-pants ensemble. But I also considered it as a creative and imaginative pursuit. Who would have thought that men--in Prada's world or possibly in another dimension--could wear halter tops? be effeminate and fragile? be the new woman?

Miuccia Prada could be sending a message, you know. She may be suggesting that fashion is so tired of being a one-way street: an institution that favors women as the primary object of attention, and the primary customer. She seems to ask what could make menswear as inventive and avante-garde as womenswear.

Then again, she could be proposing that men discover their feminine side.

News of the Moment: Bunny Overload

A woman in New Mexico ran afoul with animal control as her pet rabbits, all 334 of them, started hopping uncontrollably. According to the LA Times, the woman "kept the males and females separate." But things got out of hand when the males hopped over the fence and began repopulating her backyard with hundreds of baby bunnies. Looks like sexually frustrated pandas need to learn from these little critters!

Culture of the Moment: iPhone Ain't Asia's Apple

Apple, the Cupertino-based computer company, made a huge success here in the States thanks in part of the iPhone. Their feature-packed handset triumphed over established smartphones as its domestic sales forecast is continuing to grow. However, Apple's winning streak may not fare well in the Asian market. Just because their prized gadget won the hearts of the technologically deprived and the uber-techies in America, doesn't mean it will be a clear winner in the Far East.

One hurdle Apple is facing is the fact that the Asian mobile phone market has long grown exponentially. Veteran phone makers such as Motorola, Samsung, LG, Sony Ericsson and Nokia (which is reported to have the largest mobile phone market share) already have a huge influence and advantage over their consumers.

Adding to the problem is how Asian consumers would react to what Americans tout as the "iPhone's futuristic features." Compared to the cellphone technology here in the States, Asia has long experienced mobile e-mail, mobile internet, mobile television, mobile everything! In addition, the availability of competitive touch screen phones is not a problem. Most phones, as a matter fact, are touch navigated so it may be no surprise for them to witness the iPhone's swipe-and-stretch capabilities.

Furthermore, the iPhone's reputation as an easy to use handset might keep Apple's potential market unfazed. In Japan, ease-of-use was never the criteria for purchasing a cellphone. Since the Japanese cellphone market is comprised mostly of bored, materialistic youths that simply crave for new features, Japanese cellphone makers like Panasonic and NEC intentionally use several key combinations to unlock new features. The more complicated it is to discover their handset's potential, the more satisfied their customer base become.

In the end, the iPhone may not be the apple of Asia's eye. Although this presents a road bump for their plan to take over the technosphere, I am very confident that Apple can, at the very least, win a fraction of the "I've-seen-it-all" crowd. They may need a little tweaking here and there, but overall Apple's challenge is to make the venerable iPhone oh so much better. After all, what we treasure as mobile networking now, Asia treasured eons ago.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Ensemble of the Moment: Suit Up!

I remember the days when my father went to work with a suit and a briefcase on hand. He doesn't wear that anymore; but whenever he has the chance to break out his newly cleaned suit, he does so with no hesitation. He has an understated elegance that only his forbears understood. I hope to embody it someday.

Clockwise from top right: briefcase by Marni, $765 at; shirt by Tommy Hilfiger, $88 at; E63 mobile phone by Nokia, $246 at; shoes by Marni, $432 at; tie by Marc by Marc Jacobs, $46 at Marc by Marc Jacobs stores; bow tie by Marc by Marc Jacobs, $43 at Marc by Marc Jacobs stores; jacket by Marni, $973 at; Atlas watch by Tiffany & Co., $2450 at; pants by Gucci, $379 at

Nasty of Moment: Calvin Klein Jeans Ad

Not since CK Jeans' 1981 ad, featuring a prepubescent Brooke Shields, did Americans feel a little uncomfortable in their living rooms.

Fast forward two decades and the American jeans brand still raises eyebrows, and lives on to its reputation as the borderline risque brand. Their most recent advertisement, showing scantily clothed models in a "sexually suggestive situation," received much criticisms from the public. Some people called it morally degrading, perverse, and pornographic. Ad critics, on the other hand, deemed it a "desperate act" for a designer who doesn't feel relevant anymore. (CBS News)

Whatever the reason, CK did accomplish its job of stirring things up.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Splurge of the Moment: Wingtips

Summer is all about the beach, the sun, and the barely-there clothing most people love/hate. I kinda wish I was prepping my body for that sought-for beach physique. But instead of pumping iron (no steroids, please) I was more preoccupied with flexing my purchasing muscle.

Alas, the time has come and I finally bought myself a pair or gray wingtips. They may be some no-name shoes, but what drew my attention were the design, and the price tag: I got them on sale!

E-mail of the Moment: I Wrote in German!

It has been a while since I wrote an e-mail in German so I decided to practice my German chops and e-mail my professor, Herr Bach! It's nothing serious, just a message to tell him I heard of a German song on TV, and hopefully to help acquaint himself to pop culture (he's pretty old). Here's the Schreiben:

Hallo Herr Bach! Wie geht es Ihnen? Moegen Sie

Herr Bach, ich habe eines Lied gefunden! Der Titel ist ''99
Luftballoons" von Nena (they were famous in the 80's). Es gibt zwei Versionen:
Deutsch und Englisch. Die Deutsch Version ist beruehmter in Amerika. Moechten
Sie das hoeren? Hier ist das Glied:

Auf Wiedersehen,

Nico Caballo

I actually don't know how good my Deutsch is since the last time I uttered auf Deutsch was 2008. Let's see how he replies!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Ensemble of the Moment: Handy Dandy

In trying times, it's always a good idea to stay focused and get down to business. While some men sit back and wait for their stocks to recover, others do a more literal take on this mantra. Handymen, mechanics, and laborers everywhere: we salute your enduring work.

Clockwise from top right: jumpsuit by APC, $360 at; tool set by Craftsman, $200 at; high top sneakers by Diesel, now $84 at; watch by Nixon, $270 at; T-shirt by Fruit of the Loom, $5 at; power drill by Craftsman, $130 at; carryall by Dior Homme, currently sold out at

Thursday, June 4, 2009

News of the Moment: I'm Published!

After many years of being an aspiring writer, I finally got my break! Eh, sorta kinda.

It's actually just a write up for my church to endorse our new event The Kalayaan Festival. So if you wanna read my little mash up of an article, read on at or just read it below:

June is the month of summer and the end of school. And it’s finally here! With the sun up and the waves beckoning for company, the definite place to go is the sandy beachfront.

But before you spend your summer all-American style, wouldn’t it be appropriate for you to spend time celebrating your Filipino heritage as well? After all, June 12th is the Philippines’ Independence Day. A word of advice: get your barong or baro’t saya ready because on June 6th the Center of Hope will be hosting their annual Kalayaan Festival.

With Filipino folk dances, entertainment and great food all in one place, there is no reason to miss this event. There will also be free medical check-ups and raffle prizes galore! In addition, the Kalayaan Festival will be a chance for you to acquaint with local businesses and service providers. Also, it’s a time for us to recognize our kababayan veterans for their hard work, dedication and bravery while in service. Furthermore, it’s an opportunity for you to get connected with the Center of Hope! The Center of Hope has served the Historic Filipinotown community through volunteer services, food distributions, and sharing the gospel. And this is your chance to support them!

So mark your calendar on June 6. It will be a day filled with culture, fun and excitement! Go ahead, bring the whole family along; add your friends on the way too! Celebrating freedom just can’t be missed.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Mood of the Moment: Off the Keyboard

Get off stupid cat!

The school year is over for me and a new one is on the way. It just so happens that next year, tuition would be much higher so I am doing my part to save money.

You might have noticed that I haven't been updating my blog religiously. That's a sign that I'm gonna be laying off the keyboard for some time now. It's gonna be temporary so don't fret.

I shall be updating Blah? way sooner than expected.

Peeve of the Moment: Paris Hilton's My New BFF

I have long awaited for the event I call "The Reality Show Hiatus" where reality shows just go on its highest of heights then flop in the face of society. Sadly, it has not come yet.

But to make sure network television juices out every bit of drama people have (allegedly) been craving for, the great idea would be to churn out more! And that's what MTV has been doing: the progeny of all things cheap, dramatic and oh so trashy TV has revamped its reality collection with a season premiere of
Paris Hilton's My New BFF.

The premise of this new show is similar to
The Bachelor except, instead of winning love the contestants woo to win Paris' friendship. Isn't that sweet? Not really, since the whole essence of the show is to claw your way to the top and leave everyone else broken and/or in ruins. In addition, we also learn that saying "I love you, Paris!" a million times goes a long way, just make sure you slave your way to do it.

I think MTV just redefined friendship.

Anyway, while watching the first episode, I did learn some
new lingo. Here are some:

1. bitches - an army of skanks and whores, or in this case a Paris BFF wannabe.
2. hungry tiger - a person who befriends a celebrity to jumpstart his/her fame.
3. TTYN - how to say "farewell" in Paris' little world; translation still at works.

Thought of the Moment: The Argument for a Manclutch

The moment I saw Dior Homme's Spring-Summer 09 collection, I thought: OK, I see more volume, asymmetry, and giant key chain things hanging from the models' bodies (on left, the magenta dangler). I've seen key chains hang from kids' pants like it was some sort of modern ball-and-chain, but this one is a little bigger, scratch that, a lot bigger.

I haven't seen a
giant key chain hang off pants before, until I discovered that it was not to be! According to the website, it, in fact, is a clutch.

I really have no clue what a clutch should be doing in a man's wardrobe, but I bet you that
Dior Homme creative director, Kris van Assche, is suggesting a more refined man with woman-ish clothes and accessories. Check the bejeweled pants and the shirts with lace-like cutouts, and butterfly detailing.

Interested? Check it out at