Monday, May 18, 2015

How to start a project in Interior Design

MIDWAY through my basic course in interior design, a number of projects came in trickles and prospective clients made calls of queries about renovation of old living spaces. 
I turned down most of them and chose a select few I could handle well enough. Juggling interior design school and projects, I have learned one important lesson: Experience is the best teacher.
There are things that you wouldn't learn within the four walls of a classroom. Getting schooled means getting yourself out there and experience "life" for real. Take the client who demanded a site visit, for example. Three of us drove to her place for consultation and did an ocular inspection. We thought we have nailed it at the end of the day only to find out we all have ended up empty-handed the next day
Talk about expecting too much when a "verbal agreement" doesn't even mean a done deal. So  the first thing designers must do?  Lay down a CONTRACT and get the client to sign on. 
Trust me. A WRITTEN CONTRACT would save you from a lot of headaches later. Refuse to do a consultation work without a written contract or do an ocular visit at your cost when all the client does is talk. Reason is, when all seemed good, in the end, you will find out it is the other way around. So whip out that paper and have the client sign in. Otherwise, it is not a done deal.
In fact, we have spent a few hundred bucks for nothing. When the client was done "stealing" our concepts and figured she could do away with the designers’ fee, after getting some help from Internet resources, of course, it was then she decided she need us no more.
It was a real bummer. And I felt responsible. I brought that project to two of my friends. Well, there was nothing I can do but apologize. All efforts, gas and money went down the drain. Should have known better.
So here's a tip for budding interior designers: PUT ALL AGREEMENTS INTO WRITING. Whatever it is that you've agreed upon, fees and services, make sure you have a contract at hand. It will save you from a lot of headaches. Trust me.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Second Chances

is love really sweeter the second time around? could be. who knows?

i'm not quite sure. but being friends the second time around could really be sweeter.

you see, i have nothing against exes, ex-bfs to be exact. but some of them might have driven you away, really far away that you have to burn "bridges." know what i mean?

but this one's exceptional. i don't really mind putting the past behind if only to save the friendship, and start a beautiful relationship out of the failed one. maybe we are not meant to be in a romantic relationship and a platonic one is better.

recently, i have rekindled that friendship with fei. yep. the last one i had recently said goodbye to. and it was sweet. i mean, in a friendly way.

don't hate me though. both of us know we have broken up just last year. but heck. before that, we were friends. and it feels good being friends again. it really feels good talking to that friend you used to talk to in the middle of the night back when insomnia abounds. it really feels good talking to a lost friend again.

i know nothing about second chances. but i believe in seizing the moment before it's gone. what i know is letting someone stay if life allows it, and unlatching the door so the person you have shut out of your life could reenter and prove himself once more. and maybe, this time, both of you can make a difference.

Monday, April 01, 2013

goodbye, "Snowy"

i have finally found a new owner for "Snowy," a 3-month old Labrador mix pup. and today, i have finally given her away. big relief. whew!

don't hate me, though. i love that pup as well. but the past two months, things have become rough and i have gotten too busy to give her a bath or a brief dog walk, even. so, i let her stay for a while to the former owner, but she became sickly and ugly when i got her back.

in a desperate attempt to make her well, i put her in confinement in a dog and cat hospital, and during her brief stay there, her bills shot up to my regret.

when i finally fetched her, she shed so much of her hair and has become too thin. i don't really know how animals feel when they get into confinement for treatment, but from the looks of it, my pup has become worse.

so, being a busy bee, i have decided to give her away, 'cause with the way she looks, i don't think people would get interested into buying her.

this morning, i went back to her former owner in my intention to give her back so somebody can really take good care of her. but the old man wasn't there.

the boy who helped him sell the dog, however, was present so i asked him if he wants it. as soon as the boy nodded, i quickly tied "Snowy"'s leash on a metal post nearby and bid both of them goodbye.

i wouldn't have given her away if i have enough time to take care of her. it also pains me leaving her that way. two months might not be long enough for me to get attached. but  i took care of that pup just the same, fed her, gave her a bath almost everyday and walked her after getting home.

one thing i realized, it's hard taking care of a pup. it's not easy as 1-2-3. owning a pup or a dog is a lifetime commitment, and it takes a lot of patience, time, and money to get things going smoothly. i paid P5,000 for her hospital confinement, not to mention how costly dog food and medicine/vaccines are. 

i shouldn't have bought her in the first place. well, lesson learned. i have to nip it in the bud before things get worse. for her welfare, for my welfare.

here are "Snowy's" pics when she was still 2-months-old and still healthy looking.


cheating landlord and jacked-up water-electric bills

when things fall into place, it's happiness.

today, one of my wishes was granted. been through a lot for the past two months. life was hard. financially. physically. emotionally. but the third one was the hardest.

but today, news came in that i can move in my condo soon. and this time, i would no longer be putting up with the policies of the landlord, paying up jacked-up water consumption bills nor electric bills that don't reflect the least bit of our "REAL" consumption.

that damn cheat. maybe he though he'd go away with it forever. but soon, i would be liberated of this "putting up with the cheat" thing 'just because i could not find a better place closer to my work. soon, gone will be the days of silent misery, cause i already have my own. thank God.

you see, i have dumped all my money into this apartment near my work for almost a decade. twice i tried leaving, but i could not find a better one.

there is nothing wrong with the location nor the fee we pay for the rent. major problem is one water meter is being shared by all the other tenants in this whole 4-floor building. and each month, i get a bill that suggests i have a swimming pool right inside my apartment! 

and here's another mystery. only those at the 4th floor (just three tenants) are not allowed to have their own electric meter for each? what a cheat, right? and we don't get a copy of the official electric and water bills ourselves for reference or to have a good close look.

i don't have anything against people who run rental businesses. but some of them are real cheats! we do have an inkling that the tenants are also paying for their water consumption, including electric consumption for so called "maintenance", a.k.a current used for lamps on the staircase shared by all tenants and those in the garage and near the gates.

i could only sigh in disbelief. but now, i don't have to put up with all of these any longer. leaving that apartment would be total liberation from a cheat. i hope things will turn around on him and he would get what he deserves. 

note: if you want to know where and what is the name of this apartment to avoid unnecessary headaches, just e-mail the writer. i would gladly help you identify the place so you won't undergo the same problems i had. to give you a clue, it's a building near the Inquirer office at Yague St. cor Zapote St. in Makati. In comparison to other apartments, it's affordable, but because of the jacked-up water and electric bills, I have been paying double the price of the rent which is P15,000 a month, P7000 for the apartment, P5000 for the electric consumption and P3000 for the water consumption. isn't that injustice?

here's a pic of my soon-to-be home. it's on the third floor of the first building on the left side, near the pool. my unit is facing south, though, so you can not see it on this picture because it is on the other side of the building.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

"some things aren't what they seem"

"never thought that would be easy! always think juggling things between school and career's hard," exclaimed a friend.

"it is. i only make it look easy."

same thing applies to painful situations we go through. in which i wish i were weak just so everybody would come to my aid each time i go through one. that way, it would have been easier to take on the world.

don't you know that strong people also have breaking points? they also cry when they are alone, when everybody's gone and no one's looking. these people have their own weak points, when their armors start falling off or cave in to the pressure. cause some things aren't what they seem.

i am one of those folks. everybody sees me to be a very strong character, who doesn't crumble or fall apart. i do, too, at times. i just make it look easier. 

yup. i come off like one tough jock who doesn't crack at all. but honestly, i cry a lot when unsolved problems felt overwhelming, when pressure comes too strong i could feel it in the inside.

problem is, people were used to what they usually see from the outside. a pillar of strength, someone to lean on when things get tough. the part they miss is that, these strong people are also human. they also need help and most especially, they have the right to feel weak.

i've always been the one who usually comes to a loved one's aid, an ear who listens, a person to go to when problems arise. but when it is my turn to feel weak and get aided as well, nobody rushes to my side (except for past boyfriends, of course). and it's painful. it's painful dealing with the whole world alone, because in their eyes, you can always look out for yourself, fend for yourself, or deal with it. "kaya mo yan." 

"some things aren't what they seem." indeed they are not at times. so next time you think that strong character can do it alone, why don't you ask if he/she needs a hand. maybe he or she's in the verge of crying, but he/she can't 'cause no one would understand. 


Thursday, January 17, 2013

... fei ...

wish i am brave enough to follow the desires of my heart. 

that way, life would have been easier, like how things may happen naturally and spontaneously.

 but i am not. things between us have changed. and i should have left them all behind, to start with a clean slate this year.

time must not have been on my side. i never knew we'd see each other again. the whole of last year was a blur and i thought writing you off would end things over.

but no. i was mistaken. and here you come again getting in the way of my recovery. i have promised myself i won't cave in. but with all the strength i have mustered to keep you at bay, away enough from this tender heart, it all went back to the same. that feelings i fought off which mostly kept us together is back with the same degree of tenderness in me. and i hate it.

wish i could finally close the door on you and move on. wish this year, things will be different. i haven't been brave enough to admit my feelings to you. wish i could have told you i want you back in my life, that i have waited for you though i had been wishing you won't come back 'nymore.

wish i could turn away and forget i met you along the way.

wish i could but i couldn't. one thing i ask. just move on. go away and never come back  'cause i might be with someone else, but my heart is still with you just the same.

i'm missing you,fei. wish i could stay the same, but i couldn't stand the distance anymore. it kills me being away from you.

wish i could. but i am not brave enough to follow my heart.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

a year older, a year wiser, or so i thought ;)

do birthdays really go unnoticed for the young professionals?

i mean, "busy bees" don't really get enough time to unwind, you know. and for us who work in the media, holidays have long been written off our hectic schedules. they simply "don't exist." even Christmas and New Year, you ask?


you see, i haven't done anything special during my birthday, 'cept for watching a last full show.

okay. "The Avengers" movie was great, but there's nothing special in "just" watching a movie, know what i mean? of course i did watch it with some friends, and i finally discovered i'm still capable of "crushing" on some hollywood hunk. thanks to mr. chris hemsworth of Marvel's "Thor."

but going back to the topic, i usually go out with loved ones during my birthday. a special someone would have sufficed, but spending that special day with family could have been better. however, being a "busy bee" for quite a while now, taking sometime off from work ain't easy at all. summer has always meant working my ass off while the rest of the family are back home in the province enjoying summer break.

i don't mean to complain about the kind of job i have. but last time i checked? at least i had the whole day to myself during my birthday last year. i had planned out going to the spa for some pampering, but it's been a week after colleagues and friends had sung me a birthday song, and here i am, still not able to pay the spa a visit.

there are some nights i stay awake and do some rethinking regarding my career. i don't know. i'm quite sure there are a hundred who would want to swap their jobs with mine, but seriously, going on a sabbatical has finally looked appealing to me.

i mean, have you imagined traveling the world, trying out the latest restaurants or even dipping in the marvelous waters of the Philippine islands? there's a lot you can do without having to worry about pressure, beating deadlines, or waking up when you still want to sleep.

well, i still have a choice, though. i have been counting on myself after getting a year older. this june, i'd be back to UST grad school once again, hoping i'd manage to finish my mba by the end of the year.

so what's the plan? it's gonna be a smooth transition to teaching while building my interior design career on the side. there's one question i haven't settled, though. 

and this december, that's the time i'm gonna find out. there's one promise i've made to myself: if i'm going to pass the entrance exam for that discipline, i'm meant to be what i might have been, even if it means starting out from scratch or going back to the bottom of the ladder. it's been a childhood dream, you know. and dreams like that don't die at once even if you have grown old. but if not, then it's gotta be interior design for me.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


"You make your choices; you live with it."

The actor said it, loud and clear, and the thought-provoking line had me nodding in agreement.

okay. it wasn't a movie rerun on HBO. in fact, i was in the office, sharing the same kind of reaction with a friend. she was watching a drama on her pc and curiosity has gotten into me.

indeed, we make choices we thought we can live with for the rest of our lives. problem is, what if we had taken the wrong turn and made poor choices along the way. question on post: "Can you live with it?"

making choices is not easy as 1-2-3. some things are at stake and every choice comes with a consequence. i made a very important decision 2 years ago. one choice is to neglect my career and go for relationships, and the other is to ditch a relationship in exchange for a better career.

now, it has got me wondering. in retrospect, i deem it unworthy ditching a relationship for a better career. what i am saying is, isn't it better to strike a balance between the two?

i still have 5 major MBA subjects left unfinished anyway, and i was only halfway through my interior design associate degree. and the consequence? of course. what do you expect. the boyfriend left me. how else can you imagine the consequence to be?

i was contemplating getting back together with ex-bf number two. we still have an "unfinished business" anyway, and just like me, he's still enjoying singlehood as of the moment. only problem is, i'm still inlove with an ex-flame. this situation has left me undecided over two choices at hand, whether to go for ex-bf 2 or go for the person i'm in love with. what about the career, you asked? Ow. i dare say i should be content with the writing career for the meantime and neglect not relationships for the second time around. i mean, i'm willing to give relationships in my life another chance. why not, right?

but i'm still undecided. *sigh* choices. each has a corresponding consequence. so i better have the best choice this time around. something that i can live with for the rest of my life. :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

draw the line

there's a fine line that separates friendship and romantic relationship.

i bet there is and that is where you draw the line. morality. heard it?

i've seen movies like "friends with benefits," "love and other drugs," "no strings attached." movies that seemed to have redefined the sacred meaning of friendship for some kind of "biological needs."

but then again, for those who are not fans of "casual encounters," i believe that only those who lack the basic standard of morality get involved in these kinds of activities. for having said that, i might have "stepped on hard on someone's foot" right now. and yeah. i know it hurts.

considering that i've had a lot of guy friends back in college, i must have to say that anything that goes beyond friendship (say, getting attracted physically) is friendship no more in its truest sense. it is something else, like an affair.

why am i saying this? i should know, because i have kept all my friendships with men well within the boundary of friendship. "friends." nothing more, nothing less. unless both of you get attracted to each other in the long run, and both of you decided to take a shot and go one step higher: bringing it to the next step called "boyfriend-girlfriend" relationship.

Other than that, it is nothing but a goddamn affair. i could hear a lot flinging expletives at me now. might be a sharp "hypocrite!" and so on and so forth.

but hey. i don't mean to offend anyone. partly, i have been kind of disoriented regarding the proliferation of "casual encounters." and now that the concept has already kept hold of the big screen, and films just keep on showing such kind of relationships, i should well be aware of it. not to be a hypocrite, but to be more of an assertive person guarding her right and dignity.

some people would enjoy "no strings attached" relationships but consequently, they would have done otherwise. in Filipino, "hindi porke't uso, makikiuso ka na rin."

okay. for those who have been in such affairs, forgive me. just airing my view on it. "to each his own."

Sunday, January 02, 2011

receiving the best gift for Christmas

It's the start of the year. new perspective. new heart. new frame of mind. time to weed out bad vibes and usher in the good one.

and the best of all? i received the best gift last Christmas.

nah. it was not something fancy. not expensive either. it's priceless. and nothing beats that.

renewing my faith is the best gift of all. and thanks to Jodee. well. what can i say? i'm the happiest person ever. restoring and strengthening your faith in Him is something that is priceless.

and Christmas 2010 was the happiest ever. It's because the whole family is complete. Dad is present. we've been longing for that for years...for the family to be complete during Christmas. and i really thank God for all the blessings and for the true happiness in our hearts.

Let's all look forward for the better this 2011. Happy new year everyone! :)

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

getting the hang of it

it started out with a text message from my aunt and a prospective client. the next thing i knew, i was standing next to the client, talking and getting the 'taste' of how is it like to be in the actual jobsite.

No. it was way too far from having my own interior design. not now. not yet. but already, i felt like i was already doing my very first project. well, that was how it felt.

First off, you wake up early. dress well before you go. check yourself on the mirror. one final look to make sure you are presentable or you're gonna lose that client even before the very first talk.

and so off you go. and when you finally meet her, be professional and friendly at the same time. warm enough to earn her trust but professional enough to stand your ground. somewhat making an impression that you are there to do business in case she missed the part that you're gonna lay out a proposal any time.

it was a 200-square-meter would-be culinary arts training center cum resto-bar on the second floor of an arcade building at the corner of Tandang Sora and Commonwealth in Quezon City. perfect location at that.

i got warm greetings from the two chefs and a beso-beso from the owner. so there. trust was established. then the talk went on naturally. just like meeting a new friend or a new classmate.

and next came the chef's design idea, making sure every detail was absorbed by the would-be designer. but reality check, i wasn't going to be the designer. funny, huh? not at all. 'cause it was like an apprentice on my part. a classmate of mine would be doing the actual design and i get at least 30 percent of the pay plus the on-the-job training from them. clever, don't you think?

the next day, i was back to the place, with my classmate and her boyfriend in tow. there we were talking to the client like real pros. i mean, that was how it felt haha.

i had another appointment earlier. one thing i had to forego in exchange for a dream of a lifetime. i mean, this is gonna be the stepping stone of a dream career. yeah, yeah. i know. i can't do without my writing job. it is what sends me to interior design school, right? but no worries. i take every minute of it seriously. yeah. seriously. i better love what i have now so i can have that job i have been dreaming about...soon.

but going back. the client was nice and all that. but some of her staff members, i mean the people she chose to employ for her culinary arts training center, were there, too, driving a hard bargain. that's what you call haggling, folks.

so the talk that was supposed to last an hour took us at least 2 and half an hour later with just the 3D plan. uh-oh. at least the owner agreed to look at a proposal and things will start from there.

so there. after some more talking, we left chocolate kiss at UP Bahay ng Alumni a little bit satisfied. but we're gonna be back to the site tomorrow in the afternoon. and this time, the actual measuring will take place.

now, what can i say? well, i'm getting the hang of it :))

Thursday, April 29, 2010

great lesson

"...let your own discretion be your tutor, suit the action to the word; the word to the action..."

the line on top said it best: caution.

strangers online could never be trusted. so choose those you can really give your trust. 'cause one way or another, though you would be a good play actor, you could be deceived by what seem to be other people's sincerity.

think twice and let the line above be your guiding principle. Look before you no one but yourself. looks can always be deceiving.

so next time you go out there, beyond the boundaries of "uncharted waters," be cautious and think of the motives of others. action always speaks louder than words.. cause sometimes, people may say exactly the opposite of what they really mean. He might say i am sincere but he might just be fooling you.

be wiser, people. nakakatakot na ngayon ang mundo. andaming manloloko. trust me and take my word for it. so be careful, especially when dealing with strangers.

as mothers always say, it would be best not to talk with strangers. and believe me, words are the least reliable purveyor of truth.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

life is all about discovery, exploring, experience, learning, going places and meeting people

it was just so right discovering different niches other than yours. exploring other places, going places, meeting new people, talking to strangers, mingling with different kinds of crowds other than was just so right.

getting out of the confines of office life just brought me new realizations...realizations that there's a lot to be discovered out there. i don't wanna be trapped in just one place anymore; no longer want to talk to the same people forever. people need to grow, expand their horizon, explore much as they can, discover the world out there while they can.

there is just too much to explore, to experience. life is all about constant learning, adding people, talking to different people, getting exposed to different is all about discovery, exploring, experience.

yeah. i just realized that life must be lived out to the fullest. that is the purpose of it.