The Walks of Kulot

25 Creatives. 17 Countries. One Passion.

Red flags at the Cannes Lions 2013 festival

I have always reminded myself that someday I would make it in Cannes. A bucket list entry waiting to be ticked anytime soon and if not early in this lifetime I would patiently wait till I make it. Any adman would definitely dream of this privilege since Cannes Lions is the mecca of all advertising festivals.

If you don’t get it the first time, try again…and again.

Luckily, starting my advertising career at Lowe Open literally opened a lot of doors for me. I am very thankful to be given the opportunity to represent the agency (together with other young creatives at LOWE) to join the local design competition where the winners will be sent to Cannes. Unfortunately, we did not make it but then again I reminded myself that more than the prize it was the experience that mattered. Not until another opportunity came – an invitation from Unilever for its Developing and Emerging Market Young Creative Scholarship. At first I was apprehensive to give it a try since I will be competing with other talents from almost 20 countries but I realized I don’t want to regret this if I don’t give it a shot. Unfortunately, I did not make it through the first cut but Unilever was kind enough to open three more slots and fortunately I was chosen to be one of the scholars. God really knows how to make surprises and when you dream it, you can actually do it!

The Palais – this is where most of the seminars and talks are held.

60 Years of Inspiring Creativity


The Young Creative Academy by Unilever

On its second year, Unilever has been sponsoring the Young Creative Academy during the Cannes Lions festival. The Academy is headed by Bob Isherwood – Ace Saatchi and Saatchi’s former Worldwide Creative Director famous for his creative leadership which brought the agency into its top rank. He has carefully chosen speakers from the creative industry to share their experiences and inspire young creatives to do better in their chosen fields and how to make their bright ideas happen. The line-up of speakers was topnotch which included advertising legends, an award-winning director and a world-renowned photographer.


Advertising legend Sir George Lois giving his talk at the academy.

David Droga on hiring young Creatives: “I want them to be connected with the real world.”

Fruits for your picking. Served fresh daily at the academy.

25 Students. 17 Countries. One passion for Creativity.

More than anything else, meeting 25 creative (and crazy) individuals from 16 different countries was definitely one of the best experience I had so far. It was great sharing ideas and stories with like-minded individuals who share the same passion for creativity. Being together in the academy for almost a week made me realize how similar we are in so many ways – the problems we encounter, the clients we have to face but most importantly the drive and passion that brought us in the same place. The amount of inspiration I got from these people was really mind-blowing and something I would definitely be remembering always. As I look back, I did not only learn a lot but I am glad that I have made good friends along the way. And as soon as I get back to work, I will always be reminded that 24 different individuals from across the globe are fighting for a good brief, making their voices heard, and keeping their creative passion alive.

The Young Creative Academy with Bob Isherwood.

A massive Thank You to Unilever!

The whole class during our “graduation” day.

Asia represent! =)

With Erika Miklos and Fernando Machado (Dove) of Unilever.

One final group photo.

Now that the academy is over the challenge is to transform all the learnings and wisdom into great work. I am looking forward to sharing all the things I’ve learned and passing on the inspiration I’ve gained from the experience. Hopefully, this wouldn’t be my last trip to Cannes and I am hoping the next time a golden shiny lion will be sitting on my palm.

Here are more photos from the festival:

“The communicators will have a profound influence on how the next 20 years turn out…think about how to do it and do it as well as you can.” -President Bill Clinton, Cannes 2012

The “game area” at the Young Lions zone.

Shortlisted entries and winners are on display at the Palais.

More of the best works on display.

The public beach just outside the Palais.

A very busy afternoon with a lot of activities happening around the Palais.

The green ticket invite for one of the award shows.

So this is how an advertising show looks like? Definitely grand!

The Palais usually in a celebratory atmosphere after the awards show.

The Cannes Lions 60th Anniversary Coca-Cola bottle.

Festival poster all over Cannes.

I guess everyone’s wish in the advertising industry is to take home one. 🙂

The Google beach bar open for delegates.

The Young Lions party at the Baoli Beach.

Priceless Cannes.


Celebrating Chinese New Year at the Fo Guang Shan Mabuhay Temple

I have never attended a Chinese New Year celebration before. So when my friends invited me to join them at the Fo Guang Sha Mabuhay Temple in Manila for the Chinese New Year festivities I made sure not to pass out.

The Fo Guang Shan International Buddhist Center was founded by Venerable Master Hsing Yun whose main philosophy was to promote Humanistic Buddhism which actualizes the values of altruism, joyfulness and universality. Their main headquarters is in Taiwan but they also have temples in the Philippines (Manila, Cebu, Ilo-Ilo and Bacolod).

The main shrine at the Fo Guang Shan Mabuhay Temple in Manila.

The theme of this year’s Chinese New Year Celebration is the cultivation of the mind. The FGS Mabuhay temple has prepared various activities to those who attended the special celebration. At the temple reception area, I was given a sheet of paper with four blank circles and I was told that I have to visit the booths inside to complete four stamps to get a special prize. The activities included Prostrating to the Thousand Buddha, Sutra Transcription, memorizing three statements from Ven. Master Hsing Yun’s calligraphy exhibit and taking part during the incense offering.  Being a first timer I found these activities very engaging since this is something new to me. I was very enthusiastic to complete my stamps and I got a special golden envelope with Chinese prayers inside. I have no idea what it was for but it must be a lucky charm!

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December 20, 2011, 3:03 pm
Filed under: SIDETRIP | Tags: , , , ,

Spectacular Spectrum at the Ayala Triangle

On its second year, the Symphony of Lights at the Ayala Triangle is a spectacle not to be missed this holiday season. This year’s theme is called Spectacular Spectrum which features thousands of colorful Christmas lights perfectly synced to the tune of famous Christmas songs like Jingle Bell Rock, Last Christmas and All I Want for Christmas is You.  My favorite part was when the tune of Winter Wonderland was played and white Christmas lights and falling LED lights lit up the trees. It was really a visual spectacle which left me in awe.

The inflatable star.

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WOK Sidetrip in SG.

It has almost been two months since I’ve visited Singapore and I haven’t blogged about it yet here in WOK. Anyway, it’s better late than never.

Much has been said about the Lion City and most of them are positive comments and being there myself to see and experience how Uniquely Singapore it is, I couldn’t agree more with the good remarks I’ve heard about this country. Anyway, I wouldn’t give a detailed explanation about everything but I made a list of the top 10 memorable sights, experiences, and mini-adventures from the trip. Enjoy, lah!

The Merlion

1. The Merlion and Esplanade

Of course, a trip to Singapore wouldn’t be complete without having a mandatory tourist-shot with the Merlion or the durian-shaped Esplanade as background for your souvenir photos. I’ll keep my photo for private viewing only. The Merlion is a famous landmark in Singapore. One is situated in Sentosa and the other one (pictured below) can be seen near the Esplanade. I learned that the lion’s head represents Singapore’s original name which is Singapura or lion city. The Esplanade on the other hand, is Singapore’s cultural hub where theatrical shows and exhibits are held.

The Merlion and the Esplanade: Two of Singapore's famous landmark

2. The Garden City
If there’s such thing as a pocket-garden country then it would be Singapore. Trees serve as shade under the scorching heat of the sun and plants are properly landscaped in sidewalks. The sight of greens and the scent of freshly cut grass exudes a breathe of fresh air. Singaporeans and tourists alike are also encouraged to Recycle and segregate their garbage properly. It just shows that a well-preserved environment co-exist with a progressive economy.
Singapore, a garden city.



3. MRT
Singapore’s mass transportation system is efficient, fast and always on time. Hopping aboard the MRT can take you to all points of the country. I remember during my Community Development class in college, my professor stressed that an organized mass transportation system is key to a progressive economy. It makes people more efficient and it lessens stress among the workforce.

Singapore's MRT from Changi Airport

4. Value Hotel, Thomson
Looking for an affordable accommodation in Singapore? I recommend that you stay in Value Hotel. We stayed at Value Hotel, Thomson. It is newly renovated and near the Novena MRT station (a 10-minute walk away from the station itself). Don’t be surprised because just like other budget hotels in SG, the rooms and bathroom in VH are small but clean. Oh well, who needs a big room when all you need is place to snooze off.

Value Hotel (building in pink) in Thomson Street.

View from Value Hotel's Swimming pool veranda. A typical street in Singapore. Traffic-free and clean.

5. Boat Quay
I was lucky enough to be treated for an early dinner by my grandmother in Boat Quay. I learned that Quay is pronounced as “key” and not “kway”. Of course, we ordered Singapore’s famous Hainanese roasted chicken and Chili crabs. I also had the chance to taste Singapore’s local beer – Tiger. Boat Quay is a famous dining place in SG. A stretch of restaurants offering different cuisines can be found here and guests can dine in an alfresco area by the river. Good thing, the river is clean and doesn’t have an awful smell.

Early Dinner @ Boat Quay. We're lucky to be accomodated by a Filipina. Truly, Pinoy hospitality at its best!

Singapore's local beer - Tiger

It is best to have dinner at Boat Quay at night so you can enjoy the sight of lighted buildings by the river.

Restaurants along Boat Quay.

Night Life in Boat Quay

6. Hawker Centres
But if you are on a tight budget, these Hawker stalls which are all over the place in Singapore would suffice your hunger. Hawker centres can be found anywhere in Singapore. These are Singapore’s version of street food but prepared in a hygienic way. Famous hawker food offerings include Hainanese Chicken, chicken cooked on chicken stock prepared over rice;  Satay,  skewered meat with sauce; Laksa, noodles in coconut chili soup and many more. For a taste of Singaporean dishes here in Manila, you can visit the Makansutra restaurant at the Manila Ocean Park in Roxas Boulevard.

Hawker Stalls in SG.

7. Lucky Plaza
I never felt I left home when I was in SG. Pinoys are everywhere and a mall in SG became popular because it became a favorite hang-out place among our kababayans. I checked out Lucky Plaza and I was surprised that almost all of the people inside are Filipinos. There’s even a store inside selling shampoo, facial wash, chips and crackers etc. all from the Philippines. It looked like a sari-sari store. Check out the print ad below. The copy is written in Tagalog! This just show the enormous number of Filipinos in SG and they even have their own community – Pinoytown?

Pinays at Lucky Plaza

8. Little India
Indians are the third largest ethnic group in Singapore and Little India is a neighborhood in SG where Indian settlers and merchants can be found. Since I haven’t been to India, I thought of visiting the place so I could immerse myself with the colorful and rich Indian culture. I wasn’t disappointed because everything from Indian food, merchandise, silk and even bollywood films can be found here. Colorful houses and architectures (pictured below) are common scene in Little India and during my visit I was lucky enough to witness an Indian wedding happening in one of their temples.

Colorful architecture

Indian Wedding

9. Orchard Road
I remember two weeks after my SG visit, Orchard Road was in the news headline because it was submerged in flood. (Check this link for photos) Good thing, I was able to take a decent picture of the famous ION orchard during my visit. Orchard Road is a stretch of shopping malls with stores ranging from high-end brands to factory outlets. This is a must-visit place for those who are in need of retail therapy.

ION Orchard's exterior

10. Universal Studios Singapore
I told myself that it is a must that I visit Universal Studios Singapore during my short stay in SG. Thank God! for Resorts World for bringing the famous amusement park franchise in South East Asia, at least it’s much closer to home. Most of the theme park attractions are based from famous movies like Shrek, Madagascar, The Mummy Returns, Battlestar Galactica, Jurassic Park, Waterworld and many more. I think Universal Studios is more appropriate to teens, young adults and families as compared to Disney theme parks which cater more to kids. So, let me show you some of the photos I’ve taken in Universal Studios Singapore.

The famous Universal Studio's globe


A statue upon entering Hollywood in USS. Behind is the Battlestar Galactica rollercoaster, which unfortunately is closed until September 2010.

Walk of Fame


It was no surprise to see Filipino artists in Universal Studios Singapore. Most of the singers and dancers during the street performances are Filipinos and it makes me proud to see our kababayans deliver a world-class performance and is well applauded during the show.

Filipino singers and dancers at the Kowabunga Kove street show

All Pinoy Hip-hop group in USS


Mel’s Drive In is a 50’s inspired diner located at Hollywood in USS. They serve your all-time favorite American meals like burgers, fries, chicken fingers, shakes and a lot more.

Mel's Drive In

At Far Far Away Land.

Far Far Away Land. Looks exactly thesame as the one seen in the Shrek movie.

Shrek's 4D-D adventure at the Shrek Castle.


Kids enjoying the fountain at the Jurrasic Park area

I'll come back for you!

The amazing stunt and pyrotechnic show at the Waterworld.

For more information regarding Universal Studios Singapore, please click here.

The Lion City continues to be a benchmark to its neighboring countries in South East Asia. They have proven that with discipline they can be one of the most progressive and highly-industrialized countries in the world. But aside from being a modern city, Singapore is a melting pot of Chinese, Malay and Indian influences. The mix of a cosmopolitan city and the medley of various cultures truly makes Singapore Unique. My list is just a few of the sights you might want to visit in SG, but for sure there is more to discover and experience in this unique country.

For more information regarding Singapore, please click here.

I WOK'd in Singapore.


Their mass transportation system is also efficient, fast and always on time. I remember during my Community Development class in college, my professor stressed that an organized mass transportation system is key to a progressive economy. It makes people more efficient and it lessens stress-levels among the workforce.

WOK@the Sto. Niño Fiesta
January 12, 2010, 3:36 pm
Filed under: SIDETRIP | Tags: , , , , ,

A kid carrying an image of the Sto. Niño

Every third week of January, the whole Christendom in the Philippines celebrates the much anticipated feast of the Holy Infant Jesus – popularly known as the Feast of the Sto. Niño. It is a celebration that also commemorates a special event in the history of the Philippines when the Spaniards first introduced Christianity to the natives of Cebu. It is believed that during Ferdinand Magellan’s voyage, he came across the island of Cebu where he met Rajah Humabon and his wife Hara Amihan. They were invited to pledge allegiance with Spain and as part of the colonization, they were baptized into Christianity. As a token of their baptism, an image of the Sto. Niño was given to them and was believed to be the start of the Filipino’s devotion to the Holy Infant Jesus. The Sinulog Festival in Cebu is known to be the most extravagant and lavish celebration of the said festivity but different churches in the country –like the Sto. Niño de Pandacan in Manila and the Little Shrine of the Sto. Niño in Mandaluyong– also celebrate the same feast similar to the Sinulog. Street Dancing and a parade of the images of the Sto. Niño has been a tradition during the event. I was lucky enough to be part of this yearly tradition at the Little Shrine of the Sto. Niño in Mandaluyong that celebrates the feast a week ahead, and I am always amazed with the energy and enthusiasm of the people who attend this special feast – as we chant “Viva! Viva! Santo Niño!.”

This kid brought her image of the Santo Niño as she waited for the procession.

The Celebration
At 2:00 PM, the celebration started with a mass at the Little Shrine of the Sto. Niño. The church was jam-packed with devotees from different parts of the Philippines and abroad who just came home to join the fiesta. After the Holy Mass, the sound of drums and percussion instruments gave off a dancing beat which can be heard from outside the church. The upbeat music signaled the start of the procession, and devotees started to leave the church and line-up outside. The event calls no age group, because both kids and adults enthusiastically joined the parade carrying their images of the Sto. Niño. Most of the groups from the Philippines even made their mini “carosa” decorated with fresh flowers and garlands with the image of the Sto. Niño at the middle. As the music continued, devotees started to dance their images to the beat and everyone seemed to be enjoying the festive mood.

A drum and percussion group performed outside the church.

The queue of devotees outside the church waiting for the procession to start.

The queue of devotees outside the church waiting for the procession to start.

The streets of Mandaluyong was jampacked with devotees from the Philippines and abroad.

Cool Niño. Filipinos are fond of dressing up their Santo Niño images and this one in the photo is no exception.

This group of devotees joined the procession with matching red and white Filipiniana costumes.

This group of devotees joined the procession with matching red and white Filipiniana costumes.

The Ati-Atihan and the Pinoy’s creativity
During the procession, Ati-atihans dressed in colorful and flamboyant costumes gyrated to the beat of the drums. The Ati is a tribe in Panay island practicing Animism. Their pagan practice of worshipping their Anito gods or spirits from nature was later made into a Christian practice after they were converted into Christianity by the Spaniards. Today, dancers imitating the original Ati tribes can be seen dancing to tribal music in every Sto. Nino fiesta around the Philippines. This practice has also been a showcase of Pinoy creativity and resourcefulness because it is a challenge among the Ati-Atihan tribes to come up with an extraordinary costume that will stand out from the rest. Best in Costume and Best in Choreography are usually awarded to the best Ati group who performed well after the procession.

This dancer leads the group in synchronized street dancing.

One of the Ati-Atihan dancers.

Colorful costumes with ethnic influences are usually worn by the Ati-Atihans. But i guess the one in Ilo-Ilo are the authentic ones.

This group of street dancers made use of the "salakot" (farmer's hat) as props in their stint.

Beaded strings as part of their costume.

The Sto. Nino
At around 4:30 PM, the devotees are still in high spirit dancing, walking, and dancing around the outskirts of Mandaluyong. The loud music served as a siren to those in their homes to come out and pay homage to the Sto. Nino. Families brought out tables and made a make shift altar outside their homes and lighted candles as the procession passed by. Everyone was friendly and some families were kind enough to give water to tired and exhausted devotees who joined the procession. At the tail end of the procession, was the carosa of the Sto. Nino of Bulusan – the Holy Infant looked regal in his red suit and cape. A marching band followed the carosa playing music simply fit for a king. As usual, the procession ended at the chapel as the whole congregation sang the Santo Niño song with much fervor and enthusiasm.

The carosa of the Santo Niño.

The Sto. Nino fiesta was indeed a phenomenon. I am amazed how the Filipino’s faith to the Sto. Nino can be infused with merry making. Maybe, the subtle message that we can obtain from this is that sometimes it is okay to be child-like (not childish), just like the Santo Nino. His obedience and innocence is something that we must always emulate. I might not make it to the Sinulog Festival in Cebu this year, but being part of the fiesta in Mandaluyong gave the festivity more meaning. The flamboyant costumes of the Ati-Atihans, the tribal beat and the street dancing are just added flair to the occasion but what mattered most is the message the Sto. Nino would like to impart to his devotees – that just like him we must continue to grow in faith and love for God.

Santo Niño.

Viva! Santo Nino! Pit Senyor!