Thursday, August 16, 2012


A view of the recent flood (not Ondoy but Habagat) from the author's screened window.

As I got up this morning, I saw what’s left of our stuff that’s been washed up from the recent floods in the metro. To be honest, I can no longer remember how I was able to carry our fridge with another relative, how I tried to save on a huge sofa chair bigger than I was and how fast did the water went up. I guess everything stemmed from all the sudden rush of adrenaline. Instead of complaining, I decided to pray and thank the Lord that we’ve been all saved.
 For me, everything felt like some sort of a déjà vu. It seemed like yesterday when the same scene happened before my very eyes. The experience reminds me of how Metro Manila was devastated by typhoon Ondoy, and how we were affected by it.

 Living near the outskirts of Marikina, we are used to all the flooding so to speak. But our Ondoy experience had been different. It had totally washed off our stuff. I vividly recall how I cried a river over my precious collection of books—titles from Sweet Valley to Harry Potter to my psychology hardbound—oh, how I tried to save on them, but to no avail. The water inside our house rose up to waist-deep. We were all stranded on our second floor where we had some of the things we had saved from the flood. We had not eaten lunch that day because there was no way we can buy food. We were quietly praying the Holy Rosary believing that God hears what we implore. And surely He had heard His people.

Unfortunately, we lost the only memory of my beloved grandma in that flood—an old comfy recliner chair she used to sit on when she was still alive. It was her only memento—and it was something that we all regarded with respect. Our memory of her in that seat was something that we always cherish. As a young girl, it was where my grandma used to tell us stories of her time as well as fairy tales. My family had used it for ages. The same chair had been used by each of her grandchildren (we were ten) and great grandchildren (nine) as their parents lull them to sleep. If that chair could talk, it could probably tell lots of stories about my ancestors who previously used it. 
And I really felt bad that due to the typhoon, it got washed off muddy and it could no longer be restored back to its original form.  We all tried to look for something that could come closer to its look, but to our dismay, we couldn’t find anything like it. Of course, there were others who actually looked like it—but they’ve got none of the ultra comfy velvet soft features it had.  Until I stumbled upon Mandaue Foam’s reclining chair as I was browsing their online catalogue.  It looked exactly like my grandma’s old recliner chair! Unfortunately, due to some major responsibilities, we cannot afford to buy it at this time. So can you imagine my elation when I saw and tried to sit on the said chair in flesh? And I couldn’t contain my excitement when it was announced that the displayed items would be given away? It happened during the Bourne Legacy special screening held at the Shangri-La Cineplex recently—a partnership between Mandaue Foam and Nuffnang.  

The comfy recliner chair the author dreams of. 

 Now in my answer to the question, as to why do I deserve to win a Mandaue Foam reclining chair, I believe that I deserve to win the said chair because it will not only be for my personal use. I will be sharing it with the rest of my family and my entire relatives who are living with us.  My aunt (who has remained single since she has worked hard to help earn a living for her family being the eldest among my grandma’s seven children), now in her late 60’s will be retiring soon after more than forty years of working. It’ll be a delight to let her sit back and relax as she enjoys her carefree days at home sans any pressure from work. My uncle’s wife will surely love sitting on Mandaue Foam’s recliner chair as she breastfeeds her little one. Another aunt, who’s battling with thyroid cancer will definitely appreciate the comforts of the said chair as she fights her battle with the big C during those times when she had to undergo chemo and radiation therapy. My cousins will love the chair as it will make watching blu-ray DVDs and movie marathons more enjoyable.

I’ve always wanted our living room to have that added oomph and I know that the recliner chair will certainly do just that. We are a family of movie buffs and I know we all dream to afford that lazy-boy type of chair with footrest. I personally go for a soft, plush feeling with firm support when it comes to chairs since I do have a back problem and Mandaue Foam’s recliner chair perfectly fits that need. Apart from its resplendently elegant design, I know pretty much that underneath those velvet covers are honest-to-goodness and world-class quality materials. Mandaue Foam’s recliner chair will surely relieve all the pressures of work, will relax and help us all get to have some “me” quality time.

I am looking forward seeing an old lady with her own reflection and her struggles, the exhaustion, the guilt and fear, not often articulated in her salted gray-silver hair, that in her solo time in a special ergonomically designed recliner chair, she will be making history repeats itself: soon telling stories of her time with her grandchildren, finding solace in a recliner chair she calls her own. In due time, I’d also like to leave my grandchildren wonderful memories and stories that they would cherish forever in their hearts. 

As I end this blog entry, I could only cross my fingers and wish upon a star that hopefully, God willing, I could give my family the recliner chair that we once lost in the flood. J

Purple Plum Fairy thanks Mandaue Foam for the Fantasy pillow they gave us in exchange of the relief goods we had donated. My sleep had never been this good.

Mandaue Foam's Fantasy Pillow
Disclaimer: I am not compensated for this post. Opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Are you a budding shutterbug or a professional lensman? Are you 18 years old and above? Do you have photos with shadows on them? Then LEE Jeans Philippines invites you to their SHADOW PLAY online photography contest. Capture and share original photos with a camera of your choice (i.e. mobile phone or SLR cameras) and interpret through photography the diverse and dynamic city scenes via the shadows they create—from the basic shadows formed during sunrise or sunset, shadows of children playing, shadows created by trees or houses to electricity poles or even any object due to non-natural light sources. Go ahead and play with the shadows in their photographs and each photographs must be captioned with a maximum of 10 words.
A LEE Jeans Philippines executive explains the mechanics of the Shadowplay contest.

Participants can upload as many as three photo entries (800 x 600 pixels, 72 dpi, JPEG format) to the LEE microsite,
Each week, LEE Jeans Philippines will be announcing four winners based on the number of votes in the LEE microsite and its artistic merits—how the shadow was captured, with subtle or no reference to the object forming the shadow.

LEE Jeans Philippines executives.
 Only ORIGINAL photo entries are allowed (photo manipulation such as the use of Adobe Photoshop or any similar software is not allowed) and will be shortlisted weekly based on the top number of votes in the LEE microsite, and then judges will choose the winning photos from the shortlist based exclusively on artistic merit.
Don’t worry though because the auto-likes and bots entry likes aren’t allowed too. And this isn’t all about getting the most number of likes—it’ll only be about 25% of your score anyway. Here are the criteria for judging:
Composition and unique subject matter 25%
Storytelling 25%
Lighting/use of shadows 25%
Votes 25%
Total: 100%

Three of the four weekly winners will each get Php 1, 500 worth of LEE Gift Certificates and one major weekly winner gets a Limited Edition LEE x Sardinia Lomography camera. Shortlisted photos who did not win in a particular week can still get picked in succeeding weeks if it receives majority of votes in the microsite.

Weekly winners are then qualified to join the final judging for the grand winner. Three runners-up will each get a LEE x Manila Fixed Gear bike designed by a collaboration team headed by visual artist Kiko Escora, and the Grand Prize winner gets a whopping USD $2,000! Winning photos will also be uploaded on LEE’s LED Billboard on EDSA.

The author with the LEE Logo.

You’ll definitely feel like on top of the world with such huge prizes at stake! Not to mention, imagine your photographs on LED billboard? It’ll be bigger than life and you’re sure to be on the cloud nine if you see your masterpiece on that long EDSA stretch, right? Plus, you’ll surely want those amazing prizes, don’t you?
So what are you waiting for? Don’t miss this chance to win fab prizes! Go through the city, play with shadows, get your cameras ready, join this contest and tell a little bit about your snapshot. Hurry and upload your entries now. Contest will run from August 1 to 31, 2012 only! Grand Prize winner will be declared on September 1, 2012.

For more information on Shadow Play, log on to the LEE microsite at or visit/like their Facebook fan page and follow them on Twitter!/leejeansphils.
Purple Plum Fairy thanks LEE Philippines, Ms. Yenny Gonzales, and Mr. Rommel Cortez of PRO Solutions Management.

Monday, August 6, 2012


I’ve always had the penchant for visual arts. Through the years I have enjoyed going to art exhibits but sadly I never had the talent to create my own. To compensate for such, I can probably say that I’m blessed to be given another gift—that of creative writing. I had the talent to weave stories out of everything. But then again, that’s a different art. So each time I am invited to go to an art related event—much more if it’s an invite from my former college instructor turned visual artist, Ms. Juno Parungao, that’s certainly something I do not want to miss. But before I further discuss the Art, Astrology and Crystals seminar workshop I recently went to, allow me to introduce who Juno Parungao is. 

Visual artist/psychologist and astrologer Juno Parungao.

Christened Joanna Eunice V. Parungao, she is now more popularly known as Juno Parungao—is a psychologist, astrologer, crystology, educator, scholar and painter. She is also one of the founding members of JIV Manila Art Group or JIV Manila—a collective of artists, scholars and art consultants forwarding contemporary art practice and appreciation. Parungao is also known for her non-objective paintings based on astrology and psychology. In case you are not yet familiar with her, you’ve got to know her because she is the only artist who does astrological portrait in the world! Yes, she could make and create a portrait based on your birthdates, time of birth, and personality. Parungao also merges Western and Eastern astrology readings and gems in filling up canvasses with philosophical visualizations through a play of colors and textures utilizing other tangible materials such as stones, beads, papers and found objects. Her astrological portraits, portal paintings and after-crystal paintings have been around the metro since 2008.

Artist/psychologist Juno Parungao with blogger Alwin Aguirre.

Juno started collecting stones when her family went to Baguio City as a child. Her interest in crystals and precious stones began in her early puberty, around 11 or 12 years old. At such a tender age, she already had understood that these precious stones have a “life” of their own. It’s quite expected that she eventually incorporate her fondness for these stones into her art.

So going back to the Arts, Astrology and Crystals talk Juno Parungao had last August 5, 2012 held at the U-View of Fully Booked in Bonifacio High Street, Taguig City.  Purple Plum Fairy had been one of the lucky five bloggers invited by Ms. Parungao. In the said seminar, Ms. Juno discussed the origins of crystals, the different beliefs on them and the power these precious stones and gems could create which could benefit us all. She had also covered the different zodiac signs as well as its corresponding birthstones.
One of Juno's astrological portraits.
 Personally speaking, I am not into zodiac signs.  Although I know what my zodiac sign is, I am not familiar with what it’s supposed to be. I believe more in what each of us can do, if we have the will and the power to do things. But I tried to listen to Ms. Juno’s talk and I’ve begun to understand its very existence in human lives.

Juno Parungao's painting. 

 During Ms. Juno’s talk, she also taught us how to properly clean the crystals as well as tips on how to choose crystals, how to differentiate fake from the authentic ones. I was even surprised to know that there’s a crystal that is sort of like a “Viagra”—a cure for the sexually impotent ones.
Juno Parungao's Garnet

Juno Parungao's painting.

Juno Parungao's Fire Opal

Juno Parungao's ROSE QUARTZ

Juno Parungao's ONYX.

Juno Parungao talks about the healing power of crystals. 

As a token to those who came to listen and learn from her talk, Art 360 and JIV Manila also gave free 15-minute Tarot Card readings for everyone. I’ve only had one tarot reading in my life and that first time wasn’t impressive at all. But this time around, even if I had some doubts at first, I was surprised by what the tarot cards showed. I didn’t need to ask questions—but the answers were all laid out before me. Of course, there were some things I could really say that isn’t true—like I was told I had not gotten over my last love. The cards said he’s totally moved on and that he’s now married. I knew that I had gotten over him a long time ago even before he got married. I should know, after all I was the one who called it quits. And two years ago, I even met him and his wife, details of which I even wrote it here on my blog. I must admit I had not found someone else after him, but it doesn’t necessarily follow that I had not moved on yet, does it? However, the rest of what the cards said seemed so true. Indeed, the Tarot cards were able to see the subconscious side of me.
They even sold crystals and stones at the venue,

Ms. Juno gave us all enlightenment on the power of astrology and crystals. I couldn’t help but admire her talent for the spectrum of colors and textures displayed on each of her art works, apart from her knowledge in astrology. My blogger friends who went to see her art exhibit wanted to save money to be able to afford her astrological portrait soon (roughly around Php15, 000 each on a 20 x 20 canvass frame). 

JIV Manila's Kevin Tabora reads Tarot Cards for the guest.

Interested with Juno Parungao’s astrological portrait and her art works? You could still catch her work in JIV Manila’s upcoming exhibit called INSIGHT: SOLILOQUIES IN THREE with fellow artists Alain Austria and Crown Dolot at the GSIS MUSEUM beginning August 10, 2012. Exhibit will run until August 31, 2012.
For inquiries, please call (632) 455-4429 or call the JIV Manila Office at (632) 964-5951 or log on to
Purple Plum Fairy thanks JIV Manila, Mr. Kevin Tabora and Ms. Juno Parungao.
Disclaimer: I am not compensated for this post. Opinions expressed are 100% my own.

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