#16 of 1001 Awesome Things: Old School Designers

They should be good in graphic design. That was one of the requirements when we hired designers for our product clinic.
I have previously posted here what I do at work and my involvement with Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Before we launch the SMEs in the International market, we usually conduct product clinics. We invite designers to critique the products of the SMEs. Then, they usually create designs to match the products with the demand of the market. We teach them about the color trends, the styles, the tastes and even the process on how they manufacture products
I had this product clinic from Sept 4-6 and it was also the reason why I have not written a thing during those days. Anyway, we hired 5 designers, all were good in graphic design. But one of them deviated from the modern way of designing.
While the designers were bringing their laptops in small laptop sleeves, Ali was bringing a huge luggage. At first, I wondered what was inside the bag. When he opened it, it was full of different kinds of papers, crayons, highlighters, measuring equipment, post it notes and other materials old school artists use. I assume he was in his late 50s. 
He will ask the entrepreneur to sit down. Then he will critique the product and then he will start to draw using a graph paper. He will color the shades with his stabillos and then he will give the designs to the entrepreneur. The process was intense. I am not saying that designing using technology is not intense. I am sure that it has its own complexities. But while observing Ali design the products, he also connects to the entrepreneur. 
I have been receiving feedbacks from the entrepreneurs and they all have one thing in common: they felt that Ali completed the ideas they had in mind. Most of the entrepreneurs dreamt of the similar designs but they were not able to implement them because of the vagueness of the ideas. According to them, Ali made the ideas clearer. It was weird and somehow creepy. But it was awesome! 
I am not sure if Ali’s refusal to use technology made the designing process more mystical and more personal. I do not want to interpret what happened but it’s refreshing to see traditional designers helping the Entrepreneurs thrive in this fast paced world of business. How Ironic, but it’s true. 
Here’s a nice quote to end this post. It’s actually about ideas being alive:
I believe that our planet is inhabited not only by animals and plants and bacteria and viruses, but also by ideas. Ideas are a disembodied, energetic life-form. They are completely separate from us, but capable of interacting with us – albeit strangely. Ideas have no material body, but they do have consciousness, and they most certainly have will. Ideas are driven by a single impulse: to be made manifest. And the only way an idea can be made manifest in our world is through collaboration with a human partner. It is only through a human’s efforts that an idea can be escorted out of the ether and into the realm of the actual. – Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic

Half Day Random Trip at Subic, Zambales

Last Thursday, I have decided to file an emergency leave and travel to Subic, Zambales for a half day breather from work. Since I had no plans or itinerary whatsoever, I just went there, walked around the 3-km radius of Harbor Point Mall and took some photos. The gloomy weather made the trip better.


More photos here.

#1 of 1001 Awesome Things: The 1001 Awesome Things Project

August 19,2017

I love self-help books. When I was a pre-teenager, I go to this book store at the center of our city and buy these kinds of books. I even remembered having a book entitled “Teenage Book of Manners” which I found helpful during our Prom Night. Fast-forward 15 years and I am still reading self-help books. I read them simultaneously. Sometimes I skim them and I can finish them in one sitting. Sometimes I sit down, take down notes, and read each sentence carefully


I am currently reading two books now, Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic and Neil Pasricha’s The Happiness Equation. Big Magic talks about the mystical aspects of creativity and how ideas are alive. The Happiness Equation talks about how happiness is a choice. While reading The Happiness Equation, I realized that the author was actually a guy I watched on the Ted Talk site 3 years ago. He also wrote a blog called The 1000 Awesome Things where he documented everyday awesome things we take for granted like finding money you didn’t know you lost or the smell of frying onions. He wrote the blog during his dark night of the soul and as expected, the blog helped him a lot in his recovery. In his book, Neil advised counting our blessings by writing/journalling five things we are grateful for every day


So as a response to this, I planned on adapting the 1000 Awesome Things project and I will be using this site as a channel. Of course, I will not be using the 1000 Awesome Things tag because I am not sure if this was under Neil’s Intellectual Property rights.  Instead, I will be using 1001 Awesome Things. How original right? Pardon me for my laziness to think of another title. But of course, I will still maintain the minimalist theme of the blog.


That’s it for Day 1.


PS. I love Ted Talks too. I quit social media because of a Ted Talk. Read here.

Featured Photo: A Mime at Jakarta, Indonesia, October 2015.

Monday Recommendations – February 27, 2017

Yesterday, I was on my way to church, riding a Jeepney. I had to travel alone because my parents were in Manila to visit my mom’s uncle in the hospital. I sat near the entrance of the jeepney in front of the teenage guy wearing a white shirt and a red cap. Halfway our church, an older guy carrying a bunch of balloons rode the jeepney. He asked the teenage guy to move a bit and sat in front of me. I got pissed because the balloons were all over my face and blocked the entrance of the jeepney. I was actually in a bad mood that morning because my Sunday pants were all in the laundry. I had no choice but to wear the maroon pants which I only used during our office’s 80s themed party. And I had to commute wearing them. My mood changed when I saw the teenage guy looking at the balloons. He was reading what’s written on them and amazed by the red and blue balloons blocking the entrance. He’s fascinated as if it was his first time to see the balloons.

Continue reading “Monday Recommendations – February 27, 2017”

Three Reasons Why You Need to visit the National Museum of the Philippines

I must go to a museum when I travel. Fellow travelers often tell me that museums are boring. Well, there are boring museums like the National Museum of Myanmar in Yangon but that one was already justified because Myanmar’s real museum is outside their actual museum. There are those extreme museums like the one in Hiroshima and Hanoi which I find depressing because of their war and post-war feels. But one of my favorite museums which balanced the boring-depressing adjective was our very own National Museum located in Ermita, Manila.

Here are the 3 reasons why I love this museum:

  1. It is free! My first visit was during the Museum month in 2015 when the entrance fee was free of charge. Last July 1, 2016, the Philippine Government permanently waived the entrance fee to the Museum from its original fee of Php 50 for students and Php 150 for adults. So there’s no reason for a young Filipino in and near Manila to not visit this museum.

Continue reading “Three Reasons Why You Need to visit the National Museum of the Philippines”