All Posts by ‘Tania Arpa

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Goddess part trois

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Author (also friend and business partner) Mina V. Esguerra just released the third book in her Interim Goddess of Love series. It’s titled Icon of the Indecisive and it’s now out on Amazon.com as an eBook (the print version will be available soon). Hope y’all like the cover I made for it. Just like in the covers of the two previous books, this one features photography by style blogger Rhea Bue (who’s also the girl in the photos).

Spock vs Spock
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Spock vs Spock

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The so-called new “Star Trek” movie annoys the sh*t out of me (I’m not watching it, so friends, don’t bother inviting me to the screening), but Leonard Nimoy is forever relevant. And Zachary Quinto is adorbs. And this Audi ad is so full of geek and win, I now have had my awesomeness fix for the day (month, maybe).

29 September 2012 - Chuseok Festival - Fangirl Asia
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Ongaku Gayo 2013

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Ongaku Gayo 2013 - Fangirl AsiaIt’s that time of the year again when J-Pop/K-Pop shop Fangirl Asia brings fans together for a day of music and dance. An even bigger ONGAKU GAYO will be held this year on May 18 at the Mondragon House in Makati City, as Fangirl Asia partners with k-pop convention organizer KFest Manila. The particular bit of the event I look forward to is the countdown of the bestselling merchandise (CDs, DVDs) of the previous 12 months (and not just because my Big Bang babies always kick ass in that list, but it’s a definite plus). However, the other parts of the event are also a blast. For instance, there are the cover groups who dress up and perform as their favorite k-pop idol groups. This year, there will be a competition between cover groups — I’ll be one of the judges, in fact. (I was also a judge for the cover group contest in FA’s Chuseok Festival last year.)

The Rotten Tomatoes Show - Ninja Assassin
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Throwback: The Rotten Tomatoes Show audience reviews “Ninja Assassin”

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So I was trying to think up of ideas for video reviews of TV shows, and I remembered this. Ninja Assassin was a movie released in 2009, and starred Korean pop star/actor Rain. The now-defunct “Rotten Tomatoes Show” (on the cable channel Current, before Al Gore sold it) had their audience send in video reviews of it, and included a 7-second clip of my review in the show. My bit starts at 02:04. The opinions of the other reviewers don’t reflect mine, obviously. I love that movie. (Shut up.)

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A few things (indie) authors need to know about book covers

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  1. Your book cover isn’t an art thing. It’s a marketing thing. A pretty book cover is good, but what’s important is that it be able to sell the book it’s on the cover of.
  2. Do not make your own book covers. Unless you actually do make book covers — meaning, people hire you to do them.
  3. Not all amazing artists can design a decent book cover. (In the same way not all book cover designers can paint a decent portrait in watercolor, or design a corporate logo.)
  4. If a cover looks good for your print book, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for the ebook version. You can have different covers for each, or you could just make sure your cover works for both print and digital versions.
  5. If your book cover is pretty or interesting, people will talk about it. This is a good thing.
  6. Don’t underestimate the power of a great tag line. It’s the first words your potential readers will see, apart from your book title, when they look at your book cover. Try to make it interesting (maybe even clever and/or funny) and short.
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The Style Mudra has a video

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When dressing, I try to have style. I really do. But it’s hard, isn’t it? First of all, you have a budget you have to work within. Then there’s having to haul your ass off your nice comfy chair in front of the nice shiny computer (internetz) to go brave the traffic and the crowds to go shopping so you have something to wear other than that Doctor Who shirt that’s falling apart from use. Then every day, you have to put some thought into your ensemble.

The Mudra understands.

I this video, my friend Katrina, author and style blogger (Plus Size Fasyon Mudra, Mangojuiced.com), talks about what motivated her to rediscover her fashion-loving ways, and how to develop your personal style despite the demands of your lifestyle. I was happy to learn that people don’t become stylish by accident or luck, but through a little effort. I can do that! We all can.

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One O’Clock, but with an accent

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So apparently there were going to be a bunch of ONE OK ROCK tribute nights in different countries, including mine. I didn’t know it had quite a following here (or at least, in Manila). Philippine OORers (P.O.O.R.) slated this year’s for March 2 at Freedom Bar in Quezon City. We went, and we had a blast. Despite the fact that I had only heard one album of theirs, and I barely knew OOR members’ names. But, but! I had a favorite song (“Pierce”, whose name I kept forgetting also, since it didn’t seem to appear anywhere in the lyrics) so I was ready to, uh, be rocked.

There were about a dozen bands who played, with various levels of, uh, success. (And most of them needed crib notes, but then the lyrics which were about half Nihongo so I suppose it was best to play safe.) But, but! the performers’ passion for the music made the evening enjoyable. I hope there will be another one soon!

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The Women on the Web Philippines Summit on March 22-23

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After a successful inaugural launch of Women On the Web (WOW) in Singapore last year, the Women@Google group is bringing the new and improved program to women entrepreneurs in Philippines in the Women on the Web Summit on March 22 and 23. All women business owners, professionals and entrepreneurs are invited to attend the free event, so sign up here as today is the last day of registration.

Participants will learn skills and discover online tools they can use to make their business ventures succeed. The program includes an assessment of your needs, a training session on Google’s suite of tools, and a variety of industry-related workshops on topics relevant to entrepreneurs.

At the end of the initiative, you can expect to:

  • Learn how to maximize your business’ online presence, collaborate effectively within your organisation, connect with your customers, promote your business and track and optimise your efforts using online tools
  • Be a part of a strong network of women-led businesses that support one another

That’s not all. Summit participants can expect future networking and development sessions after the workshop. The Google Business Group will be working to ensure the community of women on the web can continue to update their tech knowledge.

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Park Shin Hye “Kiss of Angel” in Manila — best fanmeet ever!

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I’m seriously too spazzed out (and busy at work) to write a proper blog post of last Saturday’s Park Shin Hye (“You’re Beautiful”, “Flower Boy Next Door”, “Stairway to Heaven”) fan meeting (the Manila leg of her “Kiss of Angel” Asia tour), but in the meantime, enjoy these HD videos I took of the event. Miss Park was a hoot! She was funny and smart and charming, and everyone had a great time. And she sang one of my favorite songs from my childhood (the current version is a remake of a Smokey Mountain original), “Kailan”.

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The dessert at the end of the world

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Leche flan is one of my favorite things to eat (and cook). Anyone serious about surviving the apocalypse should know how to make it. Because when electricity becomes hard, if not impossible, to come by, you’ll need something to do with all the damn eggs before they go bad.

The good news is that leche flan is ridiculously easy to make. All you need are four ingredients — one of which is water. I use my mom’s recipe, but occasionally I change up the proportions a bit depending on how rich or sweet I want it.

My mom is a great cook, but she didn’t actually teach me how to cook. I was really interested in baking, and she did the best thing to inspire me to learn — kicked me and my sisters out of the kitchen every time she baked. I like to think she thought we were smart enough to figure it out on our own. I loved all the good things that came out of her oven, so I always took it for granted I’d learn to do it when I grew up. She did send me to a summer baking class for kids when I was about 11 years old.