Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Happy 5th Birthday, Nuffnang!

After all the free gadgets, free trips, and free din-dins you've given me, I can only think of the best to give back to you on your 5th birthday, Nuffnang.
I've thought about this for a long time.  In just a few months of being a Raketista Nuffnanger, I feel like I've known your taste forever!

Let's see.
Stiletto Blue Birthday Boots would be awesome on you!  Seriously!
Well... IF you were a woman.
And... IF you had feet.
Eherm... ok, I think I'll keep this pair.  But only because it's not your size.

Aha!  A concert!  Your very own concert!  A Birthday Blues Concert!  Can you imagine us doing duet upon duet while the audience throw roses at us?
Or... tomatoes.  Depends if they're in a blue mood.  Hehe...

Ok, THIS has got to be it.  A Birthday Blue Blitz down a snowy ski slope!  HOW EXTREMELY COOL IS THAT?!  We'll go down from the highest mountain and kiss the raging icy wind until we both turn blue from utter delight!  Or frost bite.  Which ever comes first.

Or... I can just hug you, and kiss you, and thank you for everything this coming Monday at your Blue Birthday Bash at the Borough.  That's an idea!  You have given lots of Raketistas that much needed break in Cyberworld, I'm sure putting us all together for mega hugs will definitely make your day.  Er, night.  The party's from 8pm to 12mn.  Hah, details.

Raketista Nuffnangers one and all, be at the Borough, at The Podium Mall, 12 ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City on February 27, 2012 and party life a Nuffstar from 8pm to midnight!  It's a guaranteed blast, thanks to these fab sponsors.

Oh, and be in BLUE.  That's the birthday celebrant's favorite color.
From RaketChick, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, NUFFNANG!  Make your fifth the shiznit!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Onward to Best Food Forward 2012!

I'm an ex-anorexic/bulimic writing about food.  Am I credible?  Certainly!  Because last Saturday at the Best Food Forward Nuffnang chowdown event... I have seen the liiight, brotha!

It was at a lovely Magallanes home where some lucky bloggers were invited to the sneak peek din-din of the second Best Food Forward food fair that's slated to give the populace the munchies come March 24-25, 2012 at the NBC Tent, Bonifacio Global City.  The first Best Food Forward was a rousing success.  And when the iron is hot, you strike it like the food devil!

The feeling when I walked in?  'Overwhelming' doesn't quite cut it.  There were tables manned by the most welcoming concessionaires.  There was the unmistakable waft of goody-goody aroma in the air.  In my psychologically twisted past, I would've shrunk from such an onslaught.  But that day, I dove into the feast like a starved beast!  Get a load of these delectable numbers and tell me I shouldn't have.

Let's start it off with the appetizer.  CARLO'S KITCHEN's Crunchy Belly definitely hits home! It's addicting.  It's sinfully scrumptious.  I want it to sit in front of the TV with a bag of it.

Now, for the heavy stuff.  MANANG'S CHICKEN takes doubledeepfried very seriously.  It's doubly tasty, too.  Sweet and spicy that totally negates the need for ketchup or gravy.

Have you ever uttered the words 'pizza' and 'healthy' in one sentence?  You will now.  QUANTUM CAFE's vegetarian-friendly pizzas are simply divine! 

This is kebabilicious!  Different flavors skewered to perfection.  You don't believe me?  Well... SKEW YOU!  (That's the name of the food place.  Cool, huh?)

I have always loved quiche.  But SIMPLY PIE's Spinach, Feta, and Sundried Tomato simply blew me away.  I wanted more, but one little piece is surprisingly filling.  Awesome bang for your buck.

Dessert time!
Let's go Filipiniana, shall we?  CHOCO, ATBP. has the awesome cocoa fare down pat!  From my favorite hot choco drink to dreamy brownies to the happiness of cupcakes.  Oh and the syrup... glorious choco syrup...

And then there's this baby.  CASA SAN LUIS' Le Grand Chocolat.  Layers and layers of chocolate and mousse with a disarray of Chocnut on top.  Yes!  Chocnut!  I die.  *takes another bite*  I die again.

You cannot have cake without ice cream!  That's why PINT HOMEMADE ICE CREAM exists in this wonderful world.  See that deeply dug hole in the Banoffee flavor?  That's all my undoing.

Time to cap it off with a little magic.  BUTTERBEER!  You got that right.  It's the drink popularized by Harry Potter, Ron, and Hermione at The Three Broomsticks.  The good news is that you don't have to apparate yourself to Hogwarts for this because a 12-year old bartender has made it available right here.  I had 3 of these.  Don't tell my mother.

Of course, I wasn't leaving without take-home.  Spreadable pure love is FRUIT GARDEN's fruit jams!  Mango Durian, Mango Guyabano, Mango Jackfruit --and Mango Ginger!  Sweet, sweet ingenuity.

What does this have to do with being a Raketeer, you ask?  Have I totally changed my blog's format?  Heavens, no!  The Best Food Forward is all about entrepreneurship, man!  And nothing says self-sustenance better than the money-making sustenance of good, creative, luscious food.
So make it to the full fiesta.  BEST FOOD FORWARD, March 24 and 25, NBC Tent, Bonifacio Global City.

Oh yeah... I segue good. :P

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's and Initiatives

It's Valentine's Day and I'm here to tweak an extra mushy post into something extra business-y.  Yes, I am that romantic.  But seriously, what Kalakal Kid did for me this year is one for the books on Public Display of Affection, and one for the volumes on Creative Initiative.  Let me explain why.

We're saving up for something huge.  So we made a pact that we shouldn't splurge on Valentine's gifts this Season of Mush.  We'll just have a simple dinner at home and reminisce on the good ol' days.  Fair enough.

Naturally, this rebel of a husband broke the deal.
It was late that night when I heard guitar-playing at the front gate.  Then, I heard singing --my husband's!  I was immediately on my heels, my heart thumping like a junkie's, when I tore the door open.  And there he was --Tough as nails Kalakal Kid serenading me for the whole neighborhood to see.

I melted.  Applauded.  Squealed like a high school girl.  (RaketChick does that every now and then)

If this were a client presentation, this man would win that most-coveted business pitch single-handedly.  Why?  Because most clients nowadays are in low-budget mode.  They don't expect anything fancy anymore.  Just the bare minimum.  So when a Raketista comes forward with more than what the client bargained for --it's just fireworks.  It's love at first sight.
Honestly, your creativity should never be dictated by budget.  There should still be ingenuity on your part.  Nothing horrendously breaking your personal savings account, but a little extra that says you care about your client's brand more than anyone else.  Your initiative can be simple, as long as it tugs on a client's heart strings.  And usually, it's the simple things that do.
Remember... Initiative is what sells you.  Initiative is what seals the deal.

I can vouch for that.  I mean, this wonderful man-o-mine just won my heart all over again.  (Yes, I went extra cheesy on that)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Make Mine Maturity

The Primadonna Client.  The Cranky Production Head.  The Out-of-Control Control Freak Agency Rep.  These are the cast of characters seated at the round table of bad vibes.
If I were still comfortably employed in a huge firm, I would've proudly entered the fray as the Creative Bitch.  I've always had the claws and the caustic tongue for it.

Surprisingly, however, I came in level headed instead.  No screaming along with the nasty bunch.  I just sat there, managed a smile, and easily went through the motions of being boxing referee.  Now that's something I never used to do.  I loved a good mayhem in the old days.  I would pit myself against giants just to get that adrenaline rush.  Industry warfare was my shtick.  The bloodier, the better.  I mean, really --what did I stand to lose?

But, like I said, not anymore.

Freelancing changes you.  It gives you that little ditty called maturity.  You get exposed to all sorts of people, humbled by a gazillion experiences, and then you realize that everything depends on how you manage your affairs.  You learn to rely on your professionalism.  You learn how to play politics to keep the peace.  You learn to be no-nonsense and fair.  Not only because you have your irregular paycheck on the line, but also because you'd want to keep relationships.  Relationships are damn important when it comes to self-sustenance. When I used to sit in an office and knew diplomacy was someone else's responsibility, I never really cared.  Ha!

Thanks to my mediating powers, the meeting ended smoothly with only a bit of bruised ego (not mine) as minor casualty.  I rose from it calm, collected, content.

Professional maturity.  Yep, I went through hell to get it.  But now that I have it, the trick is to really, REALLY, keep it.  Smiley face, don't fail me now.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The X-Deal

Scenario:  Your client's budget is low.  Like 'wading in weak flood water' low.
But the product he's selling is great!  Like 'marinating in sweet, bubbling jacuzzi' great!  You'd love to work on this project!  In fact, you did the math in your financially-focused head, and the kind of awesome output you can do for this should amount to a gazillion monetary bonds.

But, alas, that is not the case.

Do you walk away?

Au contraire, you Raketista you.  You don't walk away from a creative mine field.  You grab that mother by the balls (or... father... by the balls... eh?), work your creative magic, and take that product to the jacuzzi-stardom status it so deserves!  It's a mission!

Now before you say "Mission shmission!  Freelancing is a business!", blink your eyes a couple of times, and realize that there is such a thing as *fanfare* an X-Deal.  Now you're giving me that look that says, "Cheapskate!".  Cheapskate Shmeapskate right back at you.  You're only cheap when you don't know how to nego for a fine X-Deal.  You don't just sit there and demand, "Ok, I'll take your flood water money, but I want... that desk calendar, too!".  Duh.  You do research.  You find out what good your client's product can do for you personally.  You peek into what other products your client has.  You check out his partners.  Dig into what other assets he has lying around that may or may not have anything to do with his brand but may have a lot to do with you.

For example, I have cleverly nego'd for the following:
  • A swanky members-only resort club swimming spree during a summer break when vacation money was low
  • Boxes of cookies, snacks, and portable lunches at the start of the school year
  • Crates of cooking oil when Kalakal Kid (my art director hubby) started dabbling in culinary arts
  • Free movie tickets and event passes for the entire family at a time when I couldn't even afford a pair of 3D glasses
  • And more!
When freelancing, it's not just about the money.  It's about being practical and getting to what makes you happy, faster, easier.  Your services being paid in kind isn't a bad thing specially when the timing is right.  A barter trade --as long as you stay shrewd and fair-- can be the most awesome deal you've ever cut.
And, if your client has a great product, he'll be more than glad to give you first dibs.

So don't be ashamed to ask for an X-deal.  Don't be afraid to name what you want.  And be open to a happy compromise.  Hey, it's Raketsville!  Anything's possible.