We want to give props to our first online customer Bobby Linker!  (well actually, i’m pretty sure it was his mommy, Grace Linker, who did the ordering!)  It gave us a huge boost of confidence, when only a  short time of being live, we got an order from the Linkers!

In this photo shoot, Bobby is modeling the baby “Nanay Knows Best” t-shirt; and though barkada(ko) can’t take credit for it,  he’s also sporting the CUTEST pageboy cap EVER!  Grace, can i borrow it!?

Thank you again to all of our customers and future customers (wink, wink)! You are an important part of the BARKADA(KO) family!


Barkada(ko) Store Grand Opening!!!

Barkada(ko) Store Grand Opening!!!

This is my first attempt @ posting a blog from my phone! Stayed up late last night testing the new store with Ging (pronounced “Jing”, aka my sister, Arlene) so we haven’t had a chance to blog… Now here I am on the bus back into the city after working all day on…


It has been 5 years since we started Barkada(ko) & 4 since our last appearance selling our shirts at Filipino festivals across the country. We took a little break and now we’re back! Our goal is to liquidate our inventory of first edition shirts so we can pave the way for the next projects. We’re really excited about using as our web store thanks to a blog post we stumbled upon in! Since we’re a very small sis-n-sis operation, this will help out tremendously in fulfilling orders & managing our inventory! YAY!

Thanks again to family, friends, & newfound fans for your love and support over the years!!! We couldn’t have done this without you! But thanks most of all to my lil sis! She painstakingly counted, recounted, triplechecked & polybagged each remaining shirt — getting everything ready for the launch!!! All in all, she spearheaded this whole effort. She’s my inspiration! Can’t wait to live in the same city! It’s been almost 20 years!!!

Celebrating Filipino Pride Worldwide!!!

Artist Residency – Day 07

Silhouette Idea for "Experiment" Video

Silhouette Idea for "Experiment" Video

What have I been doing these past few days?  Well…. hmmm… let’s just say that Mom would NOT approve.  In addition to helping out with props and costumes, I was assigned to create storyboards for videos to be used in the play.  The videos were shot yesterday; in silhouette and are of freaky hospital scenes.  I’ll include some illustration examples here and maybe include shots of the final videos later.  I’m only including the Rated PG-13/Rated R ones.  🙂

I had intended to do a blog post each day that I’ve been here at the residency but there has been no time.  We start each day with 10am yoga (for those of you who don’t know me, 10am is EARLY) and then rehearsals all day long until 9pm.  The past few days have been especially long and hectic for me.  On Tuesday and Wednesday, I rented a car to drive 1 hr. 20 minutes each way to Monroe, NY for my work.  So that means that I would get up extra early to do drawings for the play and then come back and continue drawing.  Despite the grueling days, it’s still so much fun.  Somehow we find time to cook for each other and chill out and watch movies.

Storyboard Idea for "Girl and Assistant Director" Video

A new way to eat an old treat!


I ALWAYS run into problems whenever i decide to do jello shots!  I mean i run into problems when i make jello shots…I have no problems doing the shots…hehehehe.

I could never decide how to present the perfect shot!  I used to make the jello and have people scoop up a shot with a spoon!  (not that hygenic!); then i decided, individual shots are better so i would steal plastic condiment containers from the commissary at my work (i would also have co-workers do the dirty deed with me….stealing containers…not the other “dirty deed”).

Then finally, while searching online, i discovered a wonderful way to make the shots – USING ORANGE SLICES!  You just cut the oranges in half, scoop out the inside (you can eat these later; in my case, i fed it to a hungry boyfriend), pour the jello in and let it sit.  When it solidifies, you cut them into slices!  It looks better and it feels more organic!  The orange aftertaste is a plus too!  It tastes a lot better going down!  YUMMY!

Artist Residency – Day 01

Theater Interior

Theater Interior

I’m up in the Catskills on a 10-day artist residency with The South Wing (TSW) theater production company.  I’m working on props and costumes for “The Secret Rendezvous” – an adaptation of a Japanese novel.  Very freaky, funny, sad, and generally bizarre.  At the end of the residency, there will be a presentation to potential producers.

My job is pretty difficult because the piece is still so rough.  The scenes still need to be blocked.  The cast hasn’t been able to run through the entire play because the set is still being built.  Needless to say, the props and costumes are going to be the last to be addressed.  So, we’re mainly recycling old TSW costumes and using the cast’s own clothes.  Besides, the play will most likely change further even after the residency.  It would be a waste to sew or buy costumes at this point.

So what the heck am I doing up here?! 🙂  Well, I spent several hours yesterday organizing all the props and costumes that we dragged from the city in the 15 passenger van.  I also sit in on every rehearsal.  I’ve also been drawing and photographing the whole experience…  Oh and naps!  I’m lovin’ nap time in the sun!

Brian, on the other hand, is literally sweatin’ his butt of in rehearsals and playing with all the computer equipment to help out the team of Japanese theater people who came to work on video projections, choreography, and music.

There are 17 of us staying up here in a 3-story guest house right next-door to the theater that’s an old converted church.  Everyone is so talented.  I’ve worked with them before on a different TSW piece a couple years ago so I know most of the people on this trip.  It’s fun.  Like a working vacation.


woodenblockpaintingNow, I am by no means taking credit for the art pictured above, but i must say that i’ve ALWAYS wanted to create one large painting creating by many smaller paintings; like a mural if you will.  I thought it would be easier to tackle such a large project by doing it little by little.  Having said this, I just happened across a great piece of art at the Korean Cultural Center where i take korean language classes (yes, yes…tagalog will be next!!)  The artist took little blocks of wood and created mini-pieces of art with each one!  It really looked spectacular!!  And if you look at each block, they weren’t all flashy or intricate… but together…WOW.  Some blocks had dry cleaner tickets, some had stickers, two of them were mirror images of each other, one had a little envelope sticking out of it.  The artist used paper, stickers, paint, everykind of medium imaginable!  Totally inspiring me to get off my butt and start my “big painting made up of small paintings” project.  Keep an eye out for updates on this!

Hotel Toiletry Temptation

Toiletries at London Hotel, NYC

Toiletries at London Hotel, NYC

Brian and I did a video shoot for a press event in the Penthouse suite at the London Hotel in NYC.  The suite was jigganormous!  Two floors!!!  2 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms (which were as big as the bedrooms), huge living room, and a kitchen.   And there was a spectacular view of the Hudson.

(We were there to trail celebrity makeup artist, Mally Roncal, who was doing the event as a spokesperson for Q-tips.  Who woulda thunk that Q-tips was so ballin’?) Anyway…  we used one of the bathrooms as our charging station and storage for all our equipment.  You might think that a bathroom would be GHE—TTO.  But goddamn!  That bathroom felt like it was bigger than our apartment!  All day long we were going in and out of this bathroom to replenish batteries or download photos/videos.  Each time, I kept on eyeing the toiletries!

I had to fight every Filipino fiber in my body and soul NOT to dump all this loot into my shoulder bag!  These bottles were HUGE for hotel toiletries!  In the end, I resisted the temptation…  After all, I don’t have any room (or need) for them.  I know.  So un-Filipino of me.

Seafood Heaven!

Master Chef Brian w/ the Lobster Tails!

Master Chef Brian w/ the Lobster Tails!

Every year, my good friend, Heather, hosts a big loft party to celebrate her birthday and cherry blossom season.  I’m usually involved in the party planning and Brian has been our volunteer gourmet caterer.  This year, Heather wanted the party to be more low-key.  None of us had a whole lot of time this year to plan or prep.  “No more puff pastries in and out of the oven and no more sushi rolls hand-rolled all night long.”  This year, we simplified the menu to stuff that could be prepped well in advance.  Well….  we kept that plan for about two New York seconds!

The day before the party, B got a call from one of his buddies who wanted to pass on some unused seafood from a photo shoot.  When Brian met up with us at party central, we were expecting a little bag of something.  Uh…. he showed up with 60 lobster tails and 8 lbs of beautiful shrimp!  Wuhhhhhh?????….  It was so much food, we didn’t even use it all.  For a party with 50 guests, we only used half of the stash.  That yielded several dishes!  Lobster Salad w/ Miso Butter and Shiso (Japanese Mint) on Toasted Baguettes, Shrimp Cocktail w/ Turkish Pepper Dipping Sauce, and Shrimp, Avocado, & Japanese Cucumber Rolls.  With the lobster shells and shrimp tails, Brian made an amazing seafood stock which we’ve already used for some amazing after-party lobster risotto. YUUUUMMMMMMMY!

Needless to say, everything was a big hit!  Next year, it’s going to be hard to top this spread!  [Especially if we’re going to be in LA! ;)]

This will undoubtedly be the first of MANY posts about the gastronimical heaven that is now my life thanks to my husband, Brian.

Seafood Spread!

Seafood Spread!

“I Heart Photography” – Exhibit A

djjohn2I’ve been known to start many things…i started painting, i started playing the drums, i started reading a book a month….
My problem is that i tend to lack the motivation to follow through….i have a four year old, UNFINISHED painting hanging on my wall (my boyfriend decided that it best we don’t wait until i finished it because “never” is a long time from now); i have a drum set collecting dust upstairs (the upside is that i’ve started to revitalize my artistic juices by drawing happy faces on the layer of dust that has ever so evenly collected on the snare drum), and books…what’s that? oh yeah, they are those things i use as placemats when i’m eating in front of the tv….GOOD GRIEF.
Long story short (too late for that now, whoopsy!), i’m hoping that my newfound interest in photography does not suffer the same fate as my other hobbies.  So i’ve decided to pick some of my favorite pictures that i’ve taken in the hopes that i will keep my own interest! (isn’t that wonderful that i have to play games even with myself!).
I took this picture @ Josephs in Hollywood.  Siiiiiick beats were provided by Victor Yim, Sonny Lim, and John Lee (pictured above).

New Tea Kettle

OXO Tea Kettle

Waiting for the bus today, I decided to make a quick stop at the “Gourmet Chef” store to pick up a much-needed tea kettle.  (My husband, Brian, and I had trashed my little 2-cup bachelorette one by melting the plastic spout cover and sealing the damn thing shut.)  Yesterday, I had already dutifully scoped it out and later did a few price comparisons online.  OXO was definitely the way to go!  Coupon in hand, I marched in to make full use of my 5 precious minutes before the bus’s arrival…  I grabbed it ready to go but then was shocked by the price tag.  $59.99!!!!???  What the..?  For some reason, I had $39.99 burned into my brain.  Wishful thinking, I guess.  I was so disappointed.  Was it still worth it?

After some tedious questions and inspection by the cashier and her manager, I did it!  I scored an extra 10% off in addition to my 20% off coupon!  Yippppeeeeee!  Just when I thought I was causing a scene and feeling ghetto while I was at it…  (I did in fact look like a bag lady today.)  The deal was done!  “Sure,” just like that, the manager just ordered the cashier to do it.  I didn’t even have to try very hard!

As I stood in line for the bus, I was beaming ear to ear.  I normally would never have tried to do that.  I don’t know what possessed me.  Probably tax time and the need to save every damn dime….  It was so Filipino of me!!!!  I should call my mom and tell her.