Let’s Go for The Longest Ride

Love requires sacrifice. These three words echo a big action and is easier said than done.

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George Tillman Jr.’s The Longest Ride based on the novel by master storyteller Nichlas Sparks explores the complexities of what we want in life versus the love we have.

As Sophia Danko (Britt Robertson) prepares herself to move in New York and pursue her lifelong dream of working in an art gallery, she suddenly finds herself wearing cowboy boots to watch bull riders do their thing, and then catches a glance at Luke Collins (Scott Eastwood) , a former champion bull rider. This one afternoon changes everything as the two find themselves attracted to one another.

As the story progresses, Sophia and Luke’s paths meet Ira Levinson’s (Alan Alda), an old widow who recently lost his wife. After Ira’s car crashed, Luke and Sophia rescues him and becomes a pivotal point of the story. Days pass, and Sophia pays Ira a visit everyday to read the letters he made for his wife. Meanwhile, Luke carries on with his passion for the bull riding sport.

Competing endlessly until he reaches the top spot, Sophia struggles to understand why Luke continuously risks his life.

George Tillman Jr.’s directorial project gives audience a fast paced story filled with passion for love set in North Carolina enables us to feel deeply connected with the characters as if we were both Sophie and Luke. Sophie’s character is the focused, go-getter lass who falls in love with Luke’s old soul, traditional gentlemanly ways. Luke pursues Sophie in such enchanting manner that every woman would love to happen.

As Sophie and Luke comes to grip with their respective realities, one questions if it is really worth fighting for the love we want, a love that we want for the rest of our lives.

The Longest Ride premiers today April 15 in Philippine theatres nationwide.

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I am back!

Hi there! After a long hiatus, I am finally back here in my blog. It is kinda hard to write my thoughts on print. I wasn’t born to be a writer but being in the PR profession, I have now come to realize that I must learn how to write clearly and in a concise manner. So now here I am and ready to take the challenge starting today. If you have any thoughts or suggestions on how I can further improve my writing, please feel free to drop off a note below. 😊

All things must come to an end, but creativity shouldn’t

let your dreams take

 

Life is all about making things happen. That is a truth well-known for many of us. And yet, most people are still hesitant to just breathe in and let it all out. We’re so afraid to try new things and would rather choose to stay with the status quo.

When I decided to pursue Creativity & Problem Awareness, I expected many things including new concepts. But what I got was more than that.

I had to mind map where I want to be in the future. In that piece of bond paper, I had to forecast who, what and where I want to be in the future. But more importantly, I leaped on from one year to the other and imagined myself from the young childish kid I was to being the successful person that I have been dreaming myself to be.

I learned to let go of my inhibitions, of always trying to plan everything and not being spontaneous. From Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s systematic model of domain, field and the individual, I understood how to brand things as creative or decide if an idea was truly a product of creativity.

Robert Weisberg on the other hand modified Mihaly’s model that creativity/novel ideas should still be called creative irrespective of value. In this, I embarked on a nature walk pondering about the life and times of Johanna Abdulkadil. Honestly, I felt so guilty because I have never had that time to reflect back on what has transpired in all these years of my existence and this activity challenged the way I am as an individual and how I could transcend beyond the status quo. I felt that for once, I was able to break free from my usual being and think things through.

In summation, I was able to put my individuality to the test: I had to work with a group on a social project experiment, we created Shindogus, we brainstormed together and I have but all respect and praise to both Trixie and Sharky for making things happen. I realized that creativity doesn’t occur on one head only: it happens too, with other people and as the old adage goes, two heads are better than one. Creativity as J.P Guilford has put it, happens on a number of ideas both original and flexible to arrive to an innovative idea. This course helped me appreciate now more than ever that groupings are a helpful way to improve one’s self and be able to interact with people of diverse backgrounds and various personalities.

The Medici effect on the other hand gave me more ideas on how to bring new concepts on an unfamiliar territory and I truly look forward to apply these concepts not just to my work but on how I can change the mundane things that happen around me and making it more worthwhile and pleasant for myself. We’re not really a perfect nation but I now know how I could at least take part in becoming a little different.

To Atty. Elgene Feliciano, a thousand thanks. Thank you, not because you taught us well, but because you helped me enable myself to open my eyes and see things differently; you challenged my way of thinking  and pursuing, of my being and my becoming. 

Thank you. And oh yes, when we see each other again, I will smile back too, because I have the thrill of knowing you. Be assured that I have taken flight.

From the perilous bottom of that blood-pumping heart,

Yannah

 

 

2 Days in the City of Merchants

Truly as most people who travel a lot would say that the world is so big.

And now that it is my turn to travel out of the country for the first time, and for a business trip, I have yet to prove it.

I have been given the opportunity to fly by Emirates Airline, the world’s largest airline and most famous global airline brand. Needless to say, I least expected to fly business class as I was just really looking forward to go to Dubai.

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Arriving at Dubai International Airport (DXB), I was really lost because the place was so big even though there were lots of instructions visible. I spent walking nowhere until finally, I saw a pretty Portuguese lady holding a signage with my name on it.

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And when I was about to go to the hotel, I did not even expect that my service will be there way ahead of time. Talk about hospitality, my driver was a Pakistani. He initiated the conversation by asking me where I come from and when I said from the Philippines, he had nothing but good things to say about our people. He said that Pinoys are very nice people.

My first day in Dubai was spent on a city tour in the morning and man, it was scorching hot! And although one can feel the heat seething through the skin, Dubai is impeccably clean with no streetwalkers nor traffic. We went to the Jumeirah beach and had some photos taken. I had one too but I couldn’t last for even more than 5 minutes as the sun would burn me.

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 The magnificent Burj Al Arab hotel as my backdrop

 While on our way to the next stop which is the Emirates Inflight catering, we went to the Dubai museum, Dubai creek and the Souk which is a marketplace for arab stuff like GOLD, (I mean GOLD!) and luxurious scarves and spices. I did not really have time to buy anything since time was so limited and we’re a bit in a hurry. While on our way back, I saw of course the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa. I have but no words to say nor describe the feeling when I saw it but it was really glorious and standing tall like a king who deserves a full gaze.

Moi at the Dubai museum
Moi at the Dubai museum
Dubai Creek
Dubai Creek
I have never seen as much gold in my life as this one.  This was taken at The Souk
I have never seen as much gold in my life as this one. This was taken at The Souk
Burj Khalifa in all its mightiest glory
Burj Khalifa in all its mightiest glory

We were now on our way to Emirates’ Inflight Catering building which is right across the hotel I was staying in. The tour there alone lasted more than 2 hours because the building was too big. We weren’t allowed to bring cameras and take photos. Too bad, I was not able to share it here but I will do my best to explain, There were many areas in the Inflight Catering that makes up the whole Emirates service, from the food in the plane, the supplies that comes in and go within 24-72 hours, the hard working individuals who prepare the food that the passengers eat,  you would see  pretty much everything there that is being offered both in the plane and Emirates’ first class and business lounges across the globe.

But the thing that got my attention the most is Emirates’ passion for service and utmost priority when it comes to safety. Before we were allowed to get in, each of us had a thorough and rigorous check-up about previous illnesses. Another point to take note of is that the airline makes sure to recycle. The company has a strict compliance about waste disposal and goods that are not consumed.

For example, in a plane, the food including all kinds of drink comes in through a closed steel cabinet (pardon, I don’t know how to describe it) After serving, if the cabin crew puts say for example an “unopened and sealed fresh juice” (TAKE NOTE OF THE UNOPENED & SEALED ladies & gents) at the top of the cabinet, when it goes back to the inflight building then it gets recycled. But if the cabin crew had put it inside, then by law, Emirates has to throw it away. Too bad for the wasted stuff which can still be consumed! When we asked Robert Paulus, the senior supply chain manager about this, he said “By law, we really have to throw it. It’s not that we want to do it but It’s simple, if we don’t give it to our passengers, then we don’t give it to our employees as well.”

If you think about it, you would feel bad about this as there are millions of Filipinos here in our country that does not eat three times a day while  this airline has so much, they throw it away because of the law; but the creativity and discipline that Emirates put in their daily service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year is so impeccable that you would just be in pure awe.

After the tour, we went back to the hotel to rest for awhile as we were to have dinner at Atlantis, The Palm hotel. I again was in awe because the hotel was so magical and appeared to have been carved out in the middle of the desert.

 

So magical and oh so whimsical Atlantis, The Palm
So magical and oh so whimsical Atlantis, The Palm

The next day, 20th of May was crisis training the whole day  but we had some chance to visit the Emirates store. The store is full of all Emirates branded stuff from caps, shirts, pens, footballs, tumblers, and— cabin crew USBs and Barbies!

 What is admirable about Emirates is that it has been successful to transition itself from a mere airline brand  to a commercial retail store which attracts die hard fans all over the globe just to have a piece of Emirates stuff. More than creativity, the people  behind the Emirates store surely had their passengers in mind when they built it.  They knew what a teenage girl or boy wanted-a flight attendant so they had these Barbie cabin crew, what a young young boy or adult man aspires to be-a football player. Surely, these stuff meant that each of us wants to have a piece of it some way or makes us aspire to achieve something more in life.

 

Emirates Official Store in Emirates Headquarters
Emirates Official Store in Emirates Headquarters

 

Cabin Crew Barbies on display
Cabin Crew Barbies on display
I wanted one  too! But money was an issue lol.
I wanted one too! But money was an issue lol.
Mini football. Emirates is an official sponsor for FIFA worldcup 2014 to be held in Brazil.
Mini football. Emirates is an official sponsor for FIFA worldcup 2014 to be held in Brazil.

It is now on the 21st and my flight back to the Philippines. Now that I am here at DXB departure area, Dubai yet again surprised me with their state of the art facility. The Concourse A which truly is both a technological and artistic innovation. Imagine, Concourse A is just the parking lot of Emirates’ A380s and their order of additional 250 aircraft. That makes them the airline that has the youngest fleet.

Panoramic View of DXB's concourse A

Panoramic View of DXB’s concourse A  

Emirates was so generous to fly me back on a business class again
Emirates was so generous to fly me back on a business class again

 Now that my trip draws to a close, I would like to say that I am very glad that  I have had this opportunity to see something that I don’t see everyday. This trip opened my eyes to the millions of possibilities that this world has  to offer. I believe that you don’t have to call yourself a creative to see things differently. You just have to think that things are all unique in its own way. As French novelist Marcel Proust once put it:

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” 

Whatever it takes,

Yannah

Walking the Edge

Growing up without parents, I have always been independent.

I was alone and aloof many times and never really felt that I belonged.

It was more of friendless (if there is such a term) but connected type of personality that I had.

You see, it was most of the time the same with my family.

Although I am working in the PR field, I did not necessarily projected myself as that approachable PR daughter to my mom, or as a PR niece to my aunts and uncle.

I was very hesitant to do his activity and never had a plan of submitting one due to my jam packed work schedule. As of this writing, I am in my hotel room in Dubai and is pondering upon what has transpired in the last 2 days.

I had not seen my uncle James and his wife Karen for many years and when I arrived here on May 19, I did. not have any plan to see them since my trip was very short. My itinerary was so full that I barely had even 5 mins of being able to sit down and rest.

By the end of the day, all I wanted to do is to sleep. And Although I was very tired, they insisted to visit me and was very persistent that we go out even for just 30 mins. So I relented to their wish and off we went out.

The whole time I really showed how irritated I was. At one point, I was asking myself how could they be so inconsiderate knowing that I was very tired? after that, my uncle walked me back to my hotel room.

The next day, my schedule was more manageable as we finished early. My uncle and his wife visited me again and invited me to go to the mall. Afte a few hours of great conversation, it was time to bid goodbye.

I thanked them for their time and effort to reach out to me. Knowing that it might take a long while before  see them again, I decided to walk the edge by embracing my uncle and saying I love you. Surprisingly, he kissed me on the cheek too.

I felt the warmth and longing of a relative who seldom sees a family member. I now realized that life in a foreign country must be sad too if you don’t have your loved ones with you.

This must be cheesy to your reader, but this is so important for me because I realized that I made something really positive today not only for me but for my own family.

Life is short as they say and we must reciprocate the love and care for our family because that is what life is really about.

So come with me dear reader, let’s walk the edge by expressing how we really feel because only then we will be able to live a life reciprocated with love.

A conversation to myself

 

Dearest Hanna,

You are growing up so fast. I cannot believe that you are getting taller and taller each year. I always imagine you being that little girl who would always go out on the street playing with other kids.

Do not ever do that again! you’ll never know what’s out there. You’re now a 10 year old girl, and I noticed how more matured you are than other girls your age.

Is it difficult to make friends with your girl classmates? I imagine so because I noticed those piles of letters in your room written and addressed to you by girls from other levels.

I honestly find it weird. Are you lonely? I also would see you at times  crying by yourself. I understand, don’t worry because it’s human nature to cry, but remember that crying too much can be a bad thing.

People would sometimes look at you differently and might distance themselves from you.

I found out that mommy just got back from abroad. Why are you so aloof and mad all the time? She’s trying to reach out and make up for lost time. You should know that it is difficult for her to be away so try to make her feel that you love her and adjust to the situation too. Mommy is trying her best to take care of you now that she’s here.

Do not feel bad if you don’t get everything now, remember that you are luckier than most kids in poor provinces. Just think: Someday you will have the things you want and desire the most.

Remember what Tom Robbins said in Life with Woodpecker?

“It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.”
Hello Yannah,
I am looking foward to finally meet you as you turn 60 tonight. I am glad that you have a beautiful and complete family now which you didn’t have when you were younger.
By now, you must have been able to travel the world  and I congratulate you for being able to find yourself when you have always felt lost in the scheme of things.
It must have been hard for you to fit in when you feel a little different from the rest of the pack. It is really difficult to be misunderstood, but I know that the truest of your friends stood by you all these years.
I am happy that you’re not too much of a grumpy woman  now as before, you easily lose your temper over things that are beyond your control and incompetent people.
As you again start a new chapter in your life, remember this:
You have been loved and loathed, cared for and rejected, but do know that only you know what’s best for yourself; the only shadow who will remain behind you when all else seems to fail and not happen the way you want it to, so don’t be afraid.
The great singer John Lennon once quipped: “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.”
So hop on and continue  living out loud.
Whatever it takes,
The Shadow behind you

CHINDOGU: The Unbearable Lightness of creating Uselessness

MAY 9

“I’m always thinking about creating. My future starts when I wake up in the morning and see the light.” 
― Miles Davis

For this session, we were sent outside to create two Chindogus from nothing.

Chindogu is a Japanese art of creating things that seemed to be useful to humans but turns out to be really nothing.

For one hour, our group scoured the bookstore for materials we can use to come up with our own Chindogu items. It was extremely difficult for us to come up with an idea since the time was short to even conceptualize let alone create another one.

 

After 15 mins, we noticed two girls sitting in a couch playing with their phones. We were thinking that those two girls were probably getting their hands stiff since there was nothing their arms could rest on.

 

And voila! There came our AHA! Moment, create a minipad rest with laces that can hang both on your shoulder where you can just put your cellphone on.

 

The second item was a cap with two CDs protruding in each side. This allows the person wearing the cap to see what is behind him/her. The idea is the person will always feel safe in times of great doubt or danger in your environment.

 

I was assigned to wear the cap and I actually felt safe when I wore the item. Needless to say, our group was able to elicit laughter from the class.

 

After the presentation, our professor asked the class to vote for the Chindogu item they think was best.

We could not vote for our own but what surprised me was that the class chose the cap with the protruding CDs side by side. WE WON!

 

But what really is Chindogu all about? Is it a form, or a function? This is the question one would always find in the cosmic universe. But if you ask me, it is a form, a form by which a person/s is/are allowed to express him/herself through creativity by making ideas come to life.

 

Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi asks not what is creativity but rather poses a question by where creativity is found. He said that it can be found in what he calls the Systems model. It is composed of three categories, the domain-which is the set of symbolic rules, the field-which consists of individuals that act as gatekeepers, and the person itself-the purveyor of the idea.

 

He says that a person cannot be called creative if the idea is not accepted in the domain. And I believe that this is what our professor was trying to communicate to us: Are we or were we creative in every sense of the word?

 

I say yes, we were, or we are. The fact that the items we created were accepted by the class means that it is an affirmation of how we thought and the ideas that we came up with.

 

It is of course the same with Chindogu art. No matter how weird this process is, I consider it creativity. People would not have imitated and created their own Chindogus if they thought it weren’t novel.

 

 

 

 

Session on May 5- StreetEats: The Universal Pinoy Food Cart

“Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward; they may be beaten, but they may start a winning game.” -Goethe

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In all areas of Pinoy POP culture, one can find not only one but a gazillion of ideas waiting to be unleashed by an AHA! moment.

Last May 5, we were tasked to work with our group mates on creating the universal streetfood.

Sounds complicated eh?

Here’s how it began:

Our lecturer Atty. Elgene Feliciano asked us to utilize The 6 Thinking Hats by Edward de Bono

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Edward de Bono: The Genius of The 6 Thinking Hats

He created this mind tool to help people generate all possible ideas for a particular concept. In essence, the thinking hats consists of 6 colors:

6 thinking hatsAs we gathered ideas, we noticed that the thinking process was fast, quick, and concise as we made sure there were no limits on how we generate and let our creative juices flow.

The good thing about this method is that it allowed us to free ourselves from inhibitions and be as creative as we can be.

The more outrageous it was, the better. After drawing our blueprint in a bond paper, we started sketching the material in a manila paper.

Here’s how it looks:

Business Plan: Put together all Pinoy street food in one cart
Business Plan: Put together all Pinoy street food in one cart

 Our universal street food is called Street Eats, a food cart that goes around in universities with a STOP, EAT, & GO concept.

To capture our target market, we will utilize the social media in announcing the areas in campuses where we will be present.

The features of this cart are as follows:

1. Stackable chairs and tables. Paper plates and a separate area for putting used cups.

2. Contains all Pinoy street foods so the students can choose anything and everything.

3. To Go order area where those in a hurry can be accommodated immediately.

4. A megaphone to call those who are standing by to come and eat.

5. Provisional fan to keep mosquitoes away from the customers who are eating.

In the end of the presentation, our lecturer  commended our solid plan for recreating the perennial street food carts which are usually considered to be dirty and conventional.

(Please pardon though the spikes as it’s our group mate Sharky’s idea. )

You might be tempted to ask or wondering how it worked for our group. My answer  is that we didn’t stop each other’s suggestions no matter how ridiculous our ideas sound. Two heads are still better than one after all. But you have to make sure and take into consideration that sometimes, “HEADS ARE JUST HEADS” so it is important that everyone is indeed contributing to the process.

The most important lesson I have learned from this as an individual is that you have to wear all hats simultaneously because after the process, you are able to tweak those ideas into something more tangible and realistic.

Creativity after all is more than just a concept, it is about putting ideas into life.

Creativity, Where art thou?

CREATIVITY, WHERE ART THOU?

creativity

For some, creativity is innate.

For others, creativity is rare to find.

For centuries, ordinary people have always been on the lookout for  this rare magical gem.

Is it really an intangible thing?

Or is it something that has always been present inside the human psyche just waiting to be tapped?

For me,creativity comes in many definitions as evident by the proliferation of intellectuals whose ideas have transcended upon generations and defined this enigmatic word at their own terms.

As a communicator, creativity is when you think you can’t do it. It’s that Eureka moment after a few seconds of uttering the negativity, you suddenly realize and quip, “Oh yes, I can!”

The question which troubled many of us is that why do we always  have to experience the blank of state of mind before arriving at this destination we all call creativity?

The answer could be this: Failure.

This word has been the bane of humanity that prevents us from being positive at our aim to success. It’s those failed attempts that scares us to make a try and be the best of who we can be.

These are the situations that puts a person at risk and be seen in a negative light.

“If I challenge the statusquo, I may be branded weird, abnormal, or worse-heretic! ”

But how come, we never dared say, “Why not? Who  cares anyway?” or compare ourselves with others.

“If that person can do it, so can I, even better!”

So the next time you get a chance to spur things up and let your creative juices flow, tell yourself:

“I can! I am not going to be the next big thing.

I will be the FIRST BIG THING.”

Remember, creativity is not just when we are able to rehash old ideas that pass for new trends.

It is when one is able to reach new heights through the unconventional path. After all, what was creativity invented and intended for if not use it for looking things at better perspective?

And when you wake up in the morning, don’t grumble and say: “Oh, this again!?” instead, ask yourself,

“What new should I do today?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Google your way off to success

HOW TO GOOGLE YOUR WAY OFF TO SUCCESS

 

Larry Page and Sergey Brin’s story is no ordinary feat. As Stanford graduate dropouts, these two engineers’ perseverance in building a company that will virtually connect people globally is a proof that there is nothing in this world that cannot be achieved when we tap our inner creativity.

 

In the early years of Google in 1997 when it registered as a website, Page and Brin caused Stanford’s IT system to break down. A turning point when both young gentlemen decided to go and be on their own and start making history. It was of course extremely difficult to gather funding for their start-up business as nobody believed that what these two individuals were doing can ever come to fruition.

 

This is when angel investor Ram Shriram came in and started believing. Another one is Jeff Bazos of Amazon.com who provided just right to enable Page and Brin to finally get things moving.

 

And so Google became the powerhouse it is today armed with its vision tagline DON’T BE EVIL.

 

But this was just the start of Google’s long battle with cynics over privacy issues. Questions were thrown over like garbage, things like, “Is my account really safe with Gmail? how come the ads were so targeted I can’t believe it’s happening!

 

Other factors that came into being were Google’s financial stability as the company was getting around easy but making money is not.

So how did Page and Brin turn the tables and show the other side of the coin?

 

1. They listed in NASDAQ in August 19,2004.

2. Google bought Youtube for $1.65 billion.

3. They launched Google Ads and Google TV

 

These to geniuses were engineers, but they were able to acquire the right business acumen to deliver and be the best at what they do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Google indeed has changed the way we think, communicate and acquire information. But what some of us overlook most of the time is how it was able to permeate our lives that we have somehow become dependent on Google’s creative information acquiring machinery. I do not of course say that it is a bad thing but I would like for you, my reader, to think, what would our world become of without Google?

 

Oh, and you might ask me how you too, can Google your way off to success?

 

The truth is, I have no idea. I’m guessing, only you can answer that.

After all, that is what creativity is for right?

 

Start small, but think big. For big things come out of small beginnings.

 

Whatever it takes,

Yannah