Unscrew you, Technomarine!

Almost six months ago, I got a free Technomarine watch from the company I’ve been working for as a token of appreciation for the five-year service. Since getting it, I have never bothered changing the date and day because I had no clue how to work that dial to the right. As long as the time is right, then I’m fine with that. Fast forward yesterday (or today as it is already early Monday morning), I had a problem with the watch. I was on my way to UP and was chasing the time before 5:00 PM in order to get the official photos of my graduation last Saturday. I was in no rush because I thought I still had about 45 minutes to reach the UP Film Center, so I was really lax with my movement. However, I’ve noticed that the time in my watch was 30 minutes late from the time on my cellphone — my watch has stopped working.

I initially had no luck in adjusting the time, it was really difficult to unscrew this watch - Technomarine watch

We were in Trinoma to watch Iron Man 3 and I was already in the brink of visiting Technomarine’s shop on the 3rd floor because the watch is still under warranty for eighteen more months. But what would I say? Sure they will ask about what happened, and I honestly did not know whether I have mishandled the watch prior to leaving the house. I did not want to lie point blank and look foolish. Also, I did not have the warranty card with me as it was stashed in the box at home, so I subsequently decided to just visit another shop in the Makati area on Monday . So the moment I reached my room, I immediately looked for the box and check if all the accessories were still in: all clear. Being the curious, mend-it-on-your-own person that I am, I took out the little screw driver provided and tinkered with that dial. Nothing happened. I was also gullible and desperate enough to use cylindrical cap of the screw driver because I thought it was intended to turn the dial. LOL No chance. I had a feeling that I just needed to move that dial and/or unstuck something inside and then it would work again.

I understand both of the languages, but still the manual was of no help - Technomarine watch

I looked at the manual (or more of a leaflet, because it was so miniscule), and maybe I would have more luck since the first and last time I’ve looked at it when I got the watch. I might have been missing something because I was still not able to make the 1-2-3 nor A-B work. It says ‘unscrew’ the dial but  my right fingers were already sore from the repeated attempts to at least see a development. I got so frustrated that I had a momentary fit and threw the watch haphazardly to the box. Then something magical happened: it started ticking again!

Using a face towel and a microfiber cloth to unscrew the watch - Technomarine watchHowever, there was clearly a disparity with the time displayed on the watch and the actual time, and the problem of unscrewing that dial still persisted. I was worried to use a pair of tweezers, or pliers or other tools because it might put noticeable dents and it was a sure way to void the warranty. So I tried my luck with a face towel and a microfiber cloth (I usually use to clean optics) because I needed a good grip. And then for the first time in months, I finally managed to unscrew the dial. LOL I heard the “Hallelujah Chorus” being played by an invisible orchestra.

For the first time ever, the watch reflects the correct day and date - Technomarine watch

I was very pleased because I no longer have to wake up early and make a beeline for the mall to have the watch checked and be subjected, or worse, be forced to lie. I also then promise to take more care of the watch as I know I’m not too inclined to buy this kind of watch for myself. Lesson learned: be extra careful!

P.S.

Happy 4Y8M Mon! =)

For some “Fashion Ball” — we wore a T-Shirt!

The month has barely changed from November to December and it was already our company’s yearend event a.k.a. Christmas party. On one hand, why was it so early? Other companies might not have even released their 13th month pay and yet we already had our party. On the other hand, I was quite delighted with the date because it meant less traffic and it would be easier to go to-and-from the venue. And for the first time after four years, I went to the party without Faye as she was still out of the country!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The jampacked PICC Plenary Hall

Mon and I were really pinching the penny because of our trip next week so we decided to keep our outfit simple. I was initially over the Moon with the supposed Yohji Yamamoto Pour Homme top that I was about to wear, but the cancellation of the transaction meant that I had only a day to look for something to wear. Then, why bother? Let’s just wear a similar shirt!

My 'extended arm' picture taking skills still work

We have a knack for coordinating our outfits and the last time we did so was in 2010 during a ‘masquerade theme’ Christmas party.

Military-inspired jackets with painstakingly-made epaulettes from 2010's Christmas Party

Anyway, we traditionally invite a guest host every party (a celebrity) but this year, we invited two hosts. First was Rovilson Fernandez (from the ‘Amazing Race Asia’ fame, whose partner Marc Nelson has coincidentally hosted our party last, last year) and Joey Mead (current judge on ‘Asia’s Next Top Model’). Rovilson was unexpectedly funny because I thought that he’d end up being like Marc, who was eloquent, but lacking in the humor department. I had high expectations with Rovilson because Luis Manzano really carried the whole event last year, so the former had big shoes to fill and it was surprisingly well-done. As for Joey Mead, the girl was a goddess. My jaw dropped because I did not expect her to be that beautiful, and the girl can really walk. O_O

Rovilson Fernandez and Joey Mead --- such a beauty

Joey Mead schooling everybody over her runway skills

Anyway, more than the hosts, I had a great time seeing interesting looks from others who attended the party. There were several fashion contests/segments and there were two outfits that really caught my attention. The first one was a girl wearing a tuxedo and I think that it was an excellent take on Yves Saint Laurent’s ‘le smoking‘. What I loved most about it was the fact that she was not tall nor extremely skinny but she did not end up looking like a penguin. I was living for her! Her ensemble reminded me of one of Minzy’s (from 2NE1) look from the ‘Can’t Nobody‘ music video. And the second one was this, let’s admit it, costume and replica of Lady GaGa’s infamous red lace outfit from 2009 MTV VMA. I was not familiar with the candle thing but maybe GaGa carried something similar to that but the people went crazy when he got at the end of the runway and blew the flame off. Werq!

Ugh. Why an out-of-focus shot. I really love this girl's interpretation of Saint Laurent's 'Le Smoking' - it also reminded me of Minzy's look in the 'Can't Nobody' music video

'Le Smoking' Minzy in 2NE1's 'Can't Nobody' music video
(Photo from forums.allkpop.com)

Chanelling Lady GaGa's 2009 MTV VMA red lace outfit --- that was some MAJOR dedication

But I was more happy to see Mon go up the stage with his teammates, to accept an award recognizing their efforts. I really liked how he looked on stage with a leather jacket and white skinny jeans, together with that black shirt. I had been pitching to him the idea of wearing this leather jacket I personally intended to use for our trip to Seoul and he only agreed last minute before we left the house.

Mon and his teammates, recognized on stage

Mon looked dashin' =D

The food was great as well. I couldn’t remember who was the caterer last night but we had several trips back to the buffet table. I didn’t even care about dieting nor the fact that I was still drinking CarbTrim — let’s now see your efficacy! Unfortunately and unsurprisingly, I was unlucky with the raffle. I was so unlucky that my ticket number 1414 was almost picked several times. The numbers, 1412, 1413, 1415 and 1417 were picked out of the bowl, as well as 1424, 1434 and also 1484. Fate has to remind me again that I should work hard if I want something and not be dependent on luck.

With his, hopefully, winning ticket for the raffle

To make matter worse, the committee in charge of the program had to drastically and deliberately delay the raffling off of the MacBooks. There was a band who sang non-stop for more than 30 minutes, as if it was a shaking-off medley to test the people waiting for the raffle. It actually worked because when they began drawing out stubs, a string of names had been called and the people were no longer present. It was literally a drawn out event that the whole thing had not finished until a little past 2 AM.

Mon and I's most decent picture together using my camera LOL - Manila, Philippines "mulberry bag philippines" comme des garçons
(The best picture that our crazy and energetic officemates can take, given the festive atmosphere)

I just dragged Mon to the ‘wall’ (or whatever you call it) because we haven’t had our picture taken with it. The raffle was almost over when we positioned ourselves to take pictures and we had to rush taking each others’ photos. We then ran out of the venue, a time-tested tactic of ours, to avoid the rush of people scrambling to go home.

Black 'Red Heart' shirt from Play by Comme des Garcons, brick pants, black 8-hole Doc Martens, black Mulberry Bayswater in Congo leather - "mulberry bag philippines"

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A better shot of the two of us!

We got home in about an hour, which was pretty fast, considering we went all the way to Marikina. I just felt a bit nauseous, maybe because of the glutton-fest that had happened a few hours back that I had to drink a can of pineapple juice. When I was already checking over my bag from last night, I was mortified to see that the bottle of alcohol inside had accidentally opened and spilled on the bottom of my Bayswater. >_< I was hoping it would dry off but as it has already happened last night, then the mark will most probably be permanent. Why haven’t I checked on it last night? I could have done something to prevent it. Big consolation: the liquid hasn’t penetrated the leather and the finishing/sheen from the outside was not affected.

Alcohol stain inside my Mulberry Bayswater

All in all, the alcohol stain hasn’t dampened my spirit. I had a fun night even if that raffle has annoyed the hell out of me.

90s party music was pure fun!

A few days ago, I decided to go grunge for the party. However, Mon dissuaded me that the thing I was going for might be too much and I decided to narrow it down to a denim vest. I took out this denim jacket from the bowels of our storage room and was already resolute to remove the sleeves. I remember buying it from Robinsons Metro East department store more than 10 years ago and I had worn it just once — I regretted buying it afterwards. LOL

Denim jacket, ready to be ravaged - Manila, Philippines

After about an hour or so, I was able to transform the jacket to a vest, sparingly embellished with my favorite studs to give it a little character. Maybe it was a good thing that I had little time to do it because if I had more time, the vest could have gone over-embellished and would have crossed the gaudy side. I originally thought of wearing a white shirt with a bejeweled skull design on it but finally talked myself out of it. Then of course, nothing says 90s more than a good ‘ol Prada nylon backpack!

DIY Studded denim vest - collar

DIY studded denim vest, dark blue V-neck shirt, Jag jeans, Prada nylon and saffiano backpack, TechnoMarine watch, studded cuff and beaded bracelets - Manila, Philippines

We arrived late in the party at around half past nine, but we still were the first people to arrive in our group. Then one by one until 11:00 PM, everyone has already arrived and we started having a great time. And I think the best part of it was to see my teammates dress up as the Spice Girls (albeit toned down)! Clang as Posh was definitely the bomb, with the the LBD, black heels and the bob wig.

Mon and I with my teammates

Birthday boy as Sporty with the Spice Girls - Spice Girls costume

Girl power!

With my pretty girlsIt was the perfect event to party with these guys, because honestly, I have NEVER met another bunch of people like them who are, admittedly, the best party people. It has been a long time, in fact, years, since I last indulged myself with booze and good music.

With LR =D

Mon and I

Happiness!

Speaking of good music, last night reminded me of how much I love 90s music. From Mariah’s Breakdown, Diana King’s Shy Guy, Robyn’s Do You Really Want Me, TLC’s No Scrubs, Ghost Town DJ’s My Boo to name a few. It was the perfect playlist, sauf when the DJ played The Corr’s Breathless. O_O It was the most non-dancey music out there and I have no idea why it was played. Anyway, I went home looking for copies of the music played and the entire Sunday afternoon was full of 90s nostalgia.

Reciting Mariah's 'Breakdown' word for word!There was also a surprise guest. =D Ali was very ecstatic since last week because one fierce queen  had agreed to come to the event. I was eagerly anticipating this because it has been years since I last saw a drag performance in person.

Perfect impersonation of Mariah Carey's Can't Take That Away - look at the live video played at the back LOLI can’t stress enough how delighted I was to have attended Ali’s birthday, especially partying with my teammates after a long time. And also, a big thanks to Mon for allowing me to drink even just for one night, =D Again, Happy birthday Ali and thanks to the wonderful one-night time machine!

Birthday boy with his cake - Citizen Pub and Burger bar
*All watermarked photos courtesy of Shot and Shoot Productions

Hats off to my five years!

I left the house quite early because we had to be in the office for our ride, which left exactly at 2:15 PM. I was not quite sure with the Jil Sander shirt I planned to wear, so I brought another shirt with me just in case I had a last minute change of heart.

Gray CK Calvin Klein and Jil Sander dress shirts - Manila, Philippines

But in the end, I decided to stick with my original plan, even if I had an inkling that I might be under-dressed for the event because of the shortage in sleeves. The invitation called for ‘Business Formal’ but I just pretended that I didn’t get the memo.

Mirror, Mirror - Jil Sander dress shirt, short sleeves

Jil Sander shirt with contrasting cuff sleeves, tailored skinny pants,  black Lanvin leather belt, Prada leather shoes and black Gucci sling bag - Manila, Philippines

We arrived early in the venue at Endurun, McKinley Hill. It was my first time to set foot in that place and I readily appreciated the architecture of the building upon entering ‘the gate’.

Enderun in McKinley Hill

While waiting for the event to start - Enderun, McKinley Hill

I was with few of my officemates that I sincerely like(Ayen, Kait and Rev), and it was also delightful to be with other people I knew from other teams. It was like one big reunion and nostalgia as we all realized that we have been employed for five years already in the company. We can now search for opportunities elsewhere, just kidding.

Rev, Ayen and I

Ayen and I

The program immediately took off with the awarding of plaques of appreciation, first, to those who have been employed for five years in the company. Of course, none were paying attention to the plaques but as to WHAT would be the other thing handed out. It was a paperbag for a TechnoMarine watch. We all sighed in relief. Days before, there was a rumor that they might give us Tiffany ballpoint pens instead and I was personally hoping that the rumors were not true. The year before, they gave out Charriol bracelets and I expected no less than that. In fact, I’m fine with the bracelet but a watch was of course more welcome. =D As there was a disproportionate number of people who were employed for five years, it took a much longer time to hand out what must be given.

With Angel

Then a sort-of appreciation speech was given by two people from each batch and Angel, a classmate/course mate of mine from UP Diliman, was one of them. She went to to give her experience right from the beginning, and I mean from the beginning beginning when she started out with her interview. She also mentioned memorable events from her first months, particularly that Manila Peninsula rebellion on November 29, 2007, which was also the same date that I have signed my contract before officially starting four days after. She proceeded to share everything that happened to her, including her growth within the company and it made me realize one thing — girl was lucky to have that opportunity because she has been promoted four times within half a decade. And what about me? I realized early on, like right on my first year, that I have limited growth opportunities within the group I found myself in. Then I decided to go back to school and take my master’s degree. =D Let’s see what might happen within the following year because I see significant changes happening.

Enderun at night - McKinley Hill

Pretty yellow lights - Enderun, McKinley Hill

With our former manager, Ms. Fen

Anyway, the night had fallen and the program was finally finished. We proceeded outside for the cocktail party and we have been b*tching moments before how famished we were. Frankly, I did not care much about the things I put on my plate, and the only thing I can remember was that they served three kinds of pasta. The waiters were frequently passing by our side of the ‘lawn’, and we just kept on getting sweets after sweets. LOL Rev managed to get boxes of cupcakes for us, which I have reserved to give to Mon. He likes desserts a lot, non? =D

Cupcake for Mon

So now, what about that watch? I had opened the box in the venue right after receiving it but I waited until I got back in the office to inspect what was inside. It was a Technomarine Cruise Original 110042 watch. I searched for it online and it was at sold at US$ 375 in their website. *wolf-whistles* It wasn’t bad after all, even if I knew that they might have gotten a considerable discount since they have bought a lot.

The watch - TechnoMarine Cruise Original 110042

Had to change from white to black immediately - Technomarine Cruise Original 110042 watch

My initial instinct was to remove the white straps and change it into black. More discreet and less prone to any grime and dirt (though I’m perfectly sure that the straps were made to be more or less resistant to superficial dirt). Then I found out that there was a hidden ‘something’ underneath the white strap — our company logo. It was as if I instinctively removed the white straps, without deliberately knowing about that. But think about it, with the changing of the straps, I can be creative with the combinations so it was like getting several watches in one. LOL

I remember categorically saying in my first interview with my then-soon-to-be managers that I would stay in the company for two years, three years tops. Never say never. I definitely know that I will not stay to reach ten years and I foresee a maximum of 18-24 months before I call it quits. Time to plan this time well.