Sunday, October 22, 2006

Panglao's Yellow and Purple Spots

Hello, Room 1403 - my homebase for the next two nights. It was a well-deserved vacation for all of us. With my trusty purple backpack, a yellow sun hat, a snorkel, a camera and sunblock, I was all set for paradise! I didn't see a paperclip this time around but I did encounter some interesting yellow and purple spots in the three days we spent on Panglao Island. Check out these photos...

Purple, giant and alien-like jellyfish floating...
...or sunbathing on the sand... ...or just hanging out! They were so fascinating that I couldn't help but take photos from all angles... and zoomed in for an up-close-and-personal look! I loved the ube soup they served for dinner one night... yum! Of course I loved seeing yellow and purple together: along the walkways... ... and at the resort's man-made islet.

I guess I will forever see purple and yellow in a different light; these two colors will always stand out, no matter where I go. Don't get me wrong though... Panglao was in full color! Check out my other photos (in other colors) HERE - including some great videos of dolphins!

Panglao will forever be a favorite destination... with or without paperclips.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

A Purple Passport and A Yellow Hat

I'm getting my passport renewed (what's going to be my first stamp in it?) and I got my photo taken wearing my favorite purple polo. I don't need my passport to go to Panglao tomorrow but my mom bought me a cool hat with a yellow ribbon!

As you can see, I'm starting to associate anything purple and yellow with paperclips (and this blog). Maybe because I'm blogbling (babbling and blogging at the same time?) after being away for just about two weeks. Maybe because I've got a purple Stickie with a list of Blog Backlog (BackBlog?) to write and I'll never get to pack my purple backpack once I get started.

I wonder if I'll see another Panglao paperclip just as I did last year...

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Visit a Children's Art Exhibit of Hope

Gusto ko matahimik ang mundo. Sana makabenta si Nanay ng maraming bulaklak. Gusto ko maging mananahi para makagawa ako ng damit para kay Nanay. Sana maging makulay ang buhay.

An art exhibit featuring life-sized silhouettes, created by children living in poverty expressing their hopes and dreams for a better world.

14 - 27 October
10 AM to 5 PM
Museo Pambata

In commemoration of October 17th as the World Day for Overcoming Extreme Poverty. Organized by ATD Fourth World Philippines.

Who can change the world without me?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Paperclip is Nominated for the People's Design Award

My cousin sent me this interesting link today: Based purely on anecdotal evidence gathered at the baggage carousel, we feel pretty safe in saying that 90% of air passengers now travel with a wheelie suitcase. We feel even more secure asserting that most humans over the age of eight are familiar with the rounded contours of the paper clip. These objects are world famous, yes. But are they great design? Somebody thinks so—and has nominated them for the first-ever People's Design Award from the tasteful folks at Cooper-Hewitt. Though the museum has long hosted the National Design Awards, this is its first stab at a contest where items are submitted and voted on by we, the people. The polls are now open. So wander through and mark your ballot for objects as disparate as the Band-Aid, post-Katrina cottages, a baby stroller, or the Stratocaster. Then tune in on October 18 to see which one takes the trophy for the people's favorite.

True enough, the simple, comfy paperclip is nominated for the People's Design Award and here are some reasons why (and my own purple thought bubbles in parentheses).
  • Probably did more than any other single item to create the modern western office culture.(Definitely more, or at least sooner, than Post-Its!)
  • Its function cannot be improved by any design change. It cannot be completely replaced. (Exactly! Bull clips and staples don't come close!)
  • So far, it hasn't been replaced, changed or updated in any essential, structural way. I think that says enough about the ingenuity of its design. It is a great example for all structural designers out there that there is no need for excess; less is really so much more sometimes. (Simplify, simplify, simplify.)
  • Functional, accessible to all users, aesthetically pleasing to look at. What more could you want from any design? (They look even better with bright purple spots!)
  • One day my two friends were asking each other the difference between design and architecture. The simple answer being "time" - a building naturally has more time on its hand than a product. But with safety pins, paperclips and zippers, I would have to say that they are here for good. Maybe. (I think paperclips will live forever.)
  • Timeless. Unmistakable purpose. God is a paperclip. (Umm, I wouldn't go that far...)
  • Elegant yet simple. Essential. A design that makes you think, "Why didn't I think of that?" and yet you didn't. So universal that it has become invisible. (Hopefully my story will get people to take notice of this amazing invention in a new way.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

On Purple Shirts and Blink-Thinking

The last two nights have been lucky and creative, respectively, and I don't know if it's because I wore purple shirts (yes, two different ones!) yesterday and today, or used the power of Blink-thinking from Malcolm Gladwell's bestseller, Blink. The other common denominator was that I worked late in the office, but I don't think that has anything to do with it.

I wore Purple Shirt #1 for my passport photo shoot yesterday. I shut down, locked up the office and headed out to the parking lot. I noticed my left front tire needed some air. I remember thinking twice (aabot pa siguro ako sa bahay...) but decided otherwise, on Blink-think, and stopped at a gas station to get air. The Universe gave me an angel in Mang Robert who noticed that my right rear tire was completely flat! He changed the tire with the spare I keep in the trunk. Whew! I don't even want to think what could have happened if I had just kept driving.

I wore Purple Shirt #2 under a black suit (I had to be wear my grown-up hat today for the MAP International CEO Conference). From the Makati Shangri-La, I had to make my way back to the office to participate in a conference call with fellow Marketing colleagues from all over the world. We finished at around 8:30 PM and I debated between packing up and heading home, or staying and starting on my PBBY story. My Blink-think said stay. I'm glad I did. All alone in the WriteRoom until nearly midnight, I was able to write a good 1,500+ words - and a first draft that I was quite happy with!

When asked what Blink is about, Gladwell answers: It's a book about rapid cognition, about the kind of thinking that happens in a blink of an eye. When you meet someone for the first time, or walk into a house you are thinking of buying, or read the first few sentences of a book, your mind takes about two seconds to jump to a series of conclusions. Well, "Blink" is a book about those two seconds, because I think those instant conclusions that we reach are really powerful and really important and, occasionally, really good.

I Blinked and in two seconds, I decided to stop at the gas station and decided to stay at the office. Two blinks, two good decisions. Or, simply, just two purple shirts. You decide.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Power of a Silver Paperclip

You never know when ideas will come or where they come from. I spent an hour and a half this morning sitting on a dirty monobloc, waiting in line to get Roger's LTO registration papers processed. I had a bottle of water, my trusty handbook (You Can Write Children's Books by Tracey E. Dils, a gift from Papa sometime ago), a pen and some initial notes on recycled paper. And voila! The ideas just kept coming. My scribbling couldn't keep up.

Snails. The summer he turned ten. Stargazing. Connect-the-dots/stars. Lego. Ice cream (rocky road?). Ten birthday candles. Swimming. Seeing a cloud in the shape of a Range Rover? Pebbles. Sand from a sandbox. Four wheels versus two. "It's harder to fall off four wheels." Surprises. Acceptance. It's a cloudy night but there are three bright stars.

I don't like walking on eggshells. I need a friend. Don't get me wrong, it's not about love, but about respect. What role do you play? No wonder old lovers can't be friends. Sneaking out at 13. Slow dancing at 14. Give me a break. A little too well? Frigid conscience. There's something seriously wrong here. Let me be the voice of all grownup kids. Can you just let me be me? Maybe I'm asking too much.

Now the challenge is to create something out of these thought bubbles. I don't know where they came from but I'm glad I captured them in furious scribbles. Who knows? Maybe they're all from that silver paperclip attached to the LTO files. Maybe the silver ones aren't so dull after all.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

31 Artists = 31 Adventures

Thirty-one young artists who joined an art contest sponsored by Roche Philippines were each introduced to The Yellow Paperclip with Bright Purple Spots. Thanks to Susan, my friend from PSTD and a true DDI champion, who thought of sharing my story with them, there are now thirty-one new adventures for my paperclip... and I'm sure they're extra colorful ones!

Monday, October 02, 2006


It was Becca. She started my great adventure around the world.

These lines speak the truth for both The Yellow Paperclip with Bright Purple Spots and myself. Becca really did start one of my life's biggest adventures - my storybook and all the stories I can share because of it. I love telling the story of how she helped develop the adventures of our Yellow Paperclip. It was one of my earliest posts - read it HERE.

In celebration of Becca's 12th birthday, we had a unique and colorful birthday celebration at MMLDC yesterday afternoon. Check out our birdmasks! My homemade mask looks really daggy next to Becca's cool and sophisticated purple one! Nonetheless, it was still well-worth the 100 kilometers I drove to and from home.

Happy birthday, Becca! I wish you many colorful adventures in the years ahead! You're really a bright purple spot in my life!