That Season in Project Runway (Season 8)




I've completely lost all sense of urgency in all the other TV series I've been finishing ever since Netflix added Project Runway to their roster. I am not much fan of reality show UNLESS it involves: houses, baking (cooking IDK why I don't get too hooked) and sewing clothes* because I felt it doesn't have too much drama unless it was truly necessary. I did watch Amazing Race and Survivor but I now digress.

I've been watching PR the longest I could remember but not consistently, like I'm not sure which seasons I've fully watched since I only rely on my couch surfing skills which is pointing the down button on the remote looking for which show I like as my noise in the background. So anyway, fresh from the high from Season 7 where all of them are legit good, both Emilio and Seth Aaron are ridiculously strong and years later huge successes on different paths. It was a beautiful season where their skills are truly a highlight THAT when I got to the first episode of Season 8, I was like: are you serious?! After all the strong contenders last time we got this?!

So anyways fast forward to episode after episode and it started to become dramatic. Why is there a bully such as Ivy Higa and Gretchen to a friendless guy that is Michael Costello? It got so heated that as of writing I think, was this scripted? What was I missing on why everyone hated Michael? And why is there so much hate against him?

One of the highlights of this whole Ivy-Michael drama was when there was a team challenge wherein he was ganged on by Michael's 5 team mates who thinks he doesn't know what he's doing / doesn't know how to sew. Prior to that episode he won (to the dismay of the other contestants) and got immunity that the moment everyone from his team was "throwing him under the bus", Heidi exasperatedly said that whatever they (other designers) were doing would not be of any affect to Michael because in fact even if their team lost, he's the only guy who is safe due to his immunity. Michael cried when he was sent back to the room, retelling what happened at the panel. It was disturbing  too because no one bothered to even console him. Before the episode ended, Tim Gunn had to call out the bullies and had to specifically mention Gretchen as a manipulator. This in turn shook Gretchen's ego. This had clearly affected her work because she never won a single episode after that, other than her win at the finale, which was even a controversial win against Mondo. If by statistics alone, Gretchen, Mondo AND Michael are tie by 3 wins. Ivy, the most hated contestant on the other hand was out on the 9th episode out of 14. 

Now, just as when I am totally with Michael's, there are times after that episode that he became a bit mean on the interviews. I don't know if it's his true colors showing or he's just trying to toughen up since he could not get friends. Andy and Mondo seemed to have warmed up to him though after a few episodes. In fact Mondo apologized to Michael at some point because he believed he was being a dick in his snide remarks against Michael who just needed guidance on what he had to do. So anyway, I am not sure if it's just how they made it look like in the show but maybe in the workroom and in their apartment, THERE REALLY IS something there hence the other designers' hostility towards him. 

Another memorable episode was on the sportswear challenge where the eliminated 6 was brought back to help. Not too long Ivy Higa had to engage Michael in an argument on how he was a cheater and couldn't sew. She was nonstop in her complaints and accusations that Tim Gunn had to step in again and clear whatever rumor that was. Instead of being ashamed, Ivy Higa didn't care and a funny snippet happened. It was a genius edit wherein she was complaining in an interview on how Michael was undeserving of being there, and how karma will get back to him someday. The next clip was hilarious when at the sewing room she was in front of a machine and something suddenly poked here in the eye out of her doing and the camera zooms in on Michael's gleeful face. 

Karma actually made me search for all 4 of them: Gretchen Jones, Mondo Guerra, Ivy Higa and Michael Costello-- 8 years since the show wrapped up. Suddenly I'm someone from the "future" who can see what happened to all 4. While Gretchen Jones won, both she and Ivy Higa are still designers BUT NOT at the same level to the achievements that Mondo, especially Michael through the years. Michael Costello dresses high profile celebrities like Beyonce, Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj to name a few. He's actually a favorite go to designer of celebrities when they grace awarding bodies such as the Grammy's and Emmy's. Not bad for "someone who cannot sew". In contrast, Ivy doesn't even have her own wiki page. 

Ivy have said a lot of things in the show that are obnoxious but if anything she was right that someday, karma will hit Michael. She just probably didn't know that there are two types and the one that got Michael was the kind she never expected. I wonder if at nights she remember it still.









*FINE. I did dabble on ANTM on it's early seasons.
** Original Image from http://ruinasdeinvernalia.blogspot.com / Edited via Canva
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Tinapay's Kitchen: Easy Bihon for less than 200!




One of the easiest dishes you could whip up in the kitchen is bihon! You could basically make it any way you want, add whatever ingredients you fancy and in a few minutes, your food is ready to serve! Here's a sure way to satiate your hunger without ever thinking if you got the taste right, because it would always taste great, all because of this ingredient: mackerel in can!

Ingredients:

3-4 cloves of chopped garlic

half of white onion, chopped

2 small cans of mackerel (Whatever brand but I am partial to Saba)

precut mixed vegetables (You can get this from SM: carrots, cabbage, sayote, etc. I get a handful of that, or you could add more if you wish)

2 blocks of bihon (I used Golden Bihon, the regular pack they have. They usually have 4 blocks inside and I only get to use 2 for this recipe)

1/4 ground pork (Or you could use beef)

Steps:

Cook the ground pork until brown. Add your garlic and white onion. When the onion is a bit translucent, pour the cans of mackerel. Using one of the cans, add 5 cups of water. When it starts to simmer, add the bihon. When the blocks have already absorbed all the water, add the vegetables. Leave it cooking for around 5 minutes. Serve.

Depending on your appetite, you could have at least 4-5 servings! Best of all the price is not even 160 PHP!
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Day Trading!



I've been into stock market for some years but only this year have I finally decided to actively trade. Don't get me wrong I love my bluechips (I have two that I've got majority of money on and are left on it's own) but now I wanted to test myself in earning via day trading. I was inspired by my officemates mostly, although I don't talk to them or anyone for that matter on what I'm currently doing. I see this as a challenge if I could earn a bit more than just doing long term.

Rules I live by:

+ In choosing companies +

I am at my core classify myself as an investor. This is why my initial picks when I started are those companies I believe would have the most potential to grow as the years go by. Going by this, my risk factor is not really high. Whenever I pick a company to trade for my experiments I am still careful in which I actually buy and I actively avoid companies that have a reputation of being too attractive to players with so much cash and are extremely risky. This is also the reason why I do not read forums. I don't want my picks to be affected by other people no matter how good they are. The last time I did that I lost money even if it's against my indicators. My logic is this: The time they share with you their picks, they've already executed the trade. You are basically late to the party. They're just waiting for others to follow suit.

+ In setting aside cash +

Since I'm a bit risk averse and I am technically a baby in day trading, I've only set aside a modest 100k in my portfolio and is also the maximum I trade with fees included for my tests. As I've mentioned earlier, I do not want to touch the money I have in my bluechips, so I'm stuck with that amount for a while until of course all my planned trades do well for me to double it via what I'm doing now (no adding of funds yet because I still have plans to increase my available cash for a secret project). This means that my earnings are not as mind blowing as you might expect. I am good with a 5%-8% win and then I'm out. Two mottos to live by:

1. Do not be greedy
2. Make the plan, execute the plan.

#2 is extremely difficult. This is why I've chosen to do a GTC to prevent me from awaiting my SELL whenever the stock I'm trading currently shoots up. I know I'm not realizing the full potential price of the stock I bought, but I really want to honor my plan. After all, I've already got what I expected to get. On a sinking ship, the rats are first to leave. I want to be that rat and cash in and not be the captain who is last to leave.

+ In making plans +

I've prepared a spreadsheet on how much I'm willing to buy and sell a stock complete with the fees that accompanies it. This is why I already know how much I'm risking and getting in return or lose in case it lowers by some points. This is helpful to check along with the charts if the value I wanted the stock to earn is feasible. If let's say the only way for me to earn from the stock with my 100k is an increase in 10 points WHICH is a price that was never reached in 52 weeks, I say no way. I'd go back picking another company instead.

+ In executing plans +

I have an expiration of two weeks for the stock I'm holding to reach the price I want or I sell a loss. The reason for this is so I could move on and find another company that would let me regain what I've lost. Two weeks is quite long if you think about it so it's either that or my loss has already surpassed the gain I'm hoping for. My logic for this is if I could not get that gain, I am not doing myself any favor by losing more than what I planned it for. Mottos:

1. Do not fall in love with any stock.
2. (Again) Make the plan, execute the plan.



If you are doing an ELI5 with anyone, stock trading for me is just buy and sell. What makes it hard is the psychology of the players involved. It also gives me a lot of comfort that not one person can predict the market 100% of the time. Another motto to live by that was told to me by an online friend: Stocks is not rocket science.  So yeah. Let's do this!
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Huawei P20 Pro





I have extremely gone overboard with this purchase but does it really live up to the hype all of the countless videos I have watched? Here's what I've experienced so far.

So What's in the box?

Phone itself
Type C Cable and Charger
Adapter for non type C earphones
Earphones with Type C cable
Sim Card poke thing (no idea the proper name for that) 
Phone Case (Some videos don't have this so I was a bit worried. Thankfully the one I got have one)
Manual

Also, the phone comes with two plastics on screen, first is the the sticker you really remove and the other one you can leave off for use. I didn't realize this at first, only after I was sold a different case and screen protector. I should have checked what's in the box before I agreed in the additional purchase.


First things first


The most painful thing whenever you change phones is redownloading all apps you used to have and saying goodbye with the messages and calls you've accummulated. Granted I don't have that much important SMS anymore but I really liked to see the history of messages I had especially with banks. But as I've opened the phone, I was given an option to transfer. IT WAS SEAMLESS. This is the least effort I've exerted into moving my stuff from the old phone to this. They have an exclusive app that you can install from your old phone to which it will automatically transfer everything you have! Yes, EVERYTHING. Even the messages and phone calls get saved. Obviously logins have to be redone but it's easier than manually downloading all of the apps I had on the old phone. I was also surprised to see the last photos I had there were also moved.

Ease of Use

The UI of Huawei is fantastic. My nitpick would have to be how I need to adjust my eyes on how large the notifications would get. I hope I could get it to be much much smaller but I couldn't see any setting to do so. I also had to relearn how to clear apps from the tray when you swipe down and up that unlike in Moto where I had 
to scroll further up or down to see where the Clear All option is. Here in P20 I just need to click on the garbage icon that is always at the bottom. 

There are also a few tricks I've learnt in the few days I've acquainted with EMUI and here are some I have learned so far (will be updated if I discover some more):

1. Double clicking the down volume rocker while locked will automatically take a snapshot. This is handy when there is something you need to document at the spur of the moment. *

2. Swiping up from the edge of your phone while locked will reveal reveal a few useful icons: Play, Gallery, Recorder, Flashlight, Calculator, Timer and QR Code Scanner. This would allow anyone instant access when you just need a utility ready and no need to unlock the phone. *

3. Always Information On is really good to keep track of time, charge and date. It's simplistic and you wouldn't need to unlock just to get said details. There's also additional info when you click on the lock button, pedometer, time and date and an additional line of text you could modify. As I've done with other phones that is capable of this, I've added my email and landline in case of emergency.

4. Do not disturb in Huawei has additional option to be scheduled on specific day. Helpful to lessen distraction. 

5. Huawei have it's own cleaner (Although I still have Files Go by Google)


Battery Life

Yes, It seems there is no need for me to charge until I get home even with my usage: all day mobile data, a few games and even video streaming. I hope it stays the same until I am ready to give it up.

Speakers

Surprisingly loud and clear. For control I always check my uploaded videos on any phone I currently own and this takes the cake. 

Camera

Ok so before I give it high praises, let's take a moment and do not appreciate how the front camera sucks big time. I know I wanted clear skin but I don't want it to look liquified. Even my sister who's peppered with moles in her face have no traces of it when taken a photo of. I tried doing a portrait at the rear but who are we kidding here? Aren't we done with that kind of selfie where you have to take it multiple times from the rear and check if YOU ARE on the photo? I have already disabled beautify and yet my photos still look fake. If you are a selfie person, I HIGHLY DO NOT RECOMMEND YOU TO BUY THIS PHONE. I rarely do selfies anyway so it is easier for me to overlook it. 

Sample Shots:






I am loving this phone so far and I do hope it would last me a long time. I can't wait to test it's capabilities the next time an opportunity arises.

Notes: 
Purposely no watermark / filters / editing were used on sample shots.
Night Shots to follow.
*Features are also available on other Huawei models. 


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Sa Wakas (05.26.2018)





When I heard that this would be the last run of the musical based on Sugarfree's songs, I thought it would be nice to support a local production. We were able to get the 2nd to the last day of the show on an most opportune day (Sat). Too bad Ebe didn't show up  (we were expecting him on the last shows but oh well).

Sa Wakas revolved on the love life of Topper and recalls the story of the two women he fell in love with, Lexi and Gabbie that unfortunately was an overlap. He recalls the important events, how they met, the beautiful moments in between and how it have become sour. The audience are tossed in varying situations that more or less we have experienced alike sometime in our lives. They didn't set us up for outrageous meetups which I truly like. No one dances that stupid rain song in real life you know.

Although the story is simple, I liked the portrayal of scenes. On the top of my head I was impressed with the phone call where both girls were talking to a friend of theirs, moving back and forth on the contrast of how they view their shared lover. There's also a pinch of spontaniety at times that would not surprise us if it were truly adlibbed. It's very effective in fact that you could hear the sighs, laughs and disappointment awws of the audience.

The ending could be a deal breaker to other patrons, but leaving it open ended was smart. The musical ended on the first scene we started and we are all left with Topper closing the box of the engagement ring he found while cleaning his room. Whether you believe in the love that both Popoy and Basha have (it did have that vibes so when they started mimicking scenes**) or a chance for a new love, it's left up to the viewer.


**There's this scene when they are screaming their heads off it reminded me of the trailer of the last movie of One More Chance. It was the only reason I wanted to see the film and we didn't get it there. This though, had what I missed from said sequel.

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Thank you Sense 8!




I have just finished the Finale. It was an amazing episode, all the cast were there (LIKE ALL!!), their loved ones are there, everything that would we imagine to happen on a 2hr 31mins finale was there. I was happy the entire episode albeit there are times that I was scared and shocked but over all the closure we've hoped for was wonderfully delivered by the Wachowskis. I started crying when the credits rolled in and how we were acknowledged with big white letters: FOR THE FANS. 

It was a roller coaster of a ride with Sense 8. I remembered stumbling on finishing the first episode. But after I powered through it I started to be amazed at the universe of Sense 8. It was refreshing and one of a kind. It's a series I could not compare with anything else and I kicked myself multiple times why I haven't seen it much sooner. Everything about it works. The chemistry of the actors, the amazing shots and how they were able to pull it off, having all 8 being in different countries all at the same time. 

When I was done with the series I can't stop talking about it, encouraging people to watch it too. So far no one who I've recommended it to disliked it. I mean how could you? All of the 8: Wolfgang, Kala, Riley, Will, Capheus, Sun, Lito and Nomi are all charming in their own ways. All of them couldn't even be different in backgrounds and nationalities even, but that didn't stop them in cooperating and finding families with each other. Every time they found one of them in danger they pool all of their resources to aid their co-sensates. The whole series was a journey where everyone of them were able to rise up to any situation you put them through. I rarely wish I live in a fictional world but watching them made me feel like I'm the ninth sensate of the cluster. Happy when they are, sad when they are. Their parties are truly one of a kind and I love repeating them over and over. That is why when the cancellation happened out of nowhere, I was devastated. 

I remembered it was a Friday here in Manila and I can't properly work. Those were agonizing days.  There were so many things left undone, most especially after a dreadful cliffhanger. Netflix is not budging too and we all felt helpless. They were saying that no one was watching it to merit such a budget. Obviously it would be, THEY ARE NOT MARKETING IT!! Add to that the logistics of moving so many people around the globe that is not only daunting but extremely expensive. And hearing all those OTHER series that we wonder why in heaven's name get renewed (I am looking at you 13 Reasons Why) I could say in full confidence that the fans were all pissed off. What's worse is they've bumped it off the main list! 

And then, a miracle happened. We were given a Finale. It wasn't the ALLEGEDLY last 3 seasons, but this was all the closure we need (for the meantime perhaps?). I know it would have been better but this is what it is. It's bittersweet of course but who knows? With what I've just seen, my sensates found their happy endings. The journey was terribly short but I'm glad to be on a time to have seen it. 

Thank you Wachowskis and all the crew!

Thank you Wolfgang, Kala, Riley, Will, Capheus, Sun, Lito and Nomi! 

Thank you for a beautiful story about love and all forms of it. Amor Vincit Omnia!
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Devious Maids



I've spent hours in Netflix for the past few weeks and I feel like I've been neglecting my Iflix subscription lately. After Family Guy expired I would like to check titles that I don't see in Netflix. I would love to get back to watching Once Upon A Time but I don't feel like diving into another long one. So I momentarily stopped watching Money Heist in favor of another light hearted comedy ala The Good Place and tried Devious Maids.

The first episode like everything else made the distinction of the characters which to love and hate. Eventually I ended up loving the characters I didn't much like before. By the end of the series, I find myself already missing a part of me that I would never have anymore: watching Evelyn and Adrian Powell together again. Another why-do-they-have-to-cancel-this-show moment.

Devious Maids has Desperate Housewives feels only with maids and lead by Latina actresses. I haven't finished DH but I remembered it going a bit dark as the series progressed while Devious Maids remained their tone all throughout the 4 seasons of being light even if we see characters, even major ones, dying.

Every season of DM starts with a murder mystery that our maid protagonists have to solve being involved in it one way or another. The entire plot is resolved each season. We also get different sub plots on every characters' lives to which by season 4 we are left with the 4 maids and their personal lives and the 3 rich people left: Evelyn, Adrian and Genevieve (not including Gail even if she pops up from time to time).

The charm of the series is how it  has included most soap opera tropes and comes out fine. They have amnesia, someone ran over by a car, extremely rich men, extremely handsome men, maid and boss love affair, secret kid, love triangles, the list is endless. Also a shout out for S4 that even though it felt rushed by the end, that mystery of why one of the mains from S1 was killed was timely to recent sexual allegations IRL in Hollywood. While it's just fictional, seeing some type of justice on screen really felt good.

I will surely miss this show even if I wasn't there when it was at it's "peak". Only a miracle could merit a 5th season and I doubt we'd be getting anymore. All I know is that even if they ended with a major cliffhanger, I am more than glad that *SPOILERS* the Powells still ended up together.

Image from screenertv.com

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