PACQUIAO: Up Close and Personal/Day Two


The site of the historic first meeting between Manny and Barkada(ko)!


We were still reeling from our meeting with Manny and little did we know that it would get even better!  Since we didn’t have a chance to give Manny the illustration that my sister had specially made for him, we decided to go back to the gym the following day.  When we arrived, we realized that it was not an open training day but a media day; meaning open to the media only!  WHOOPS!  With the urging of our new friend Romy Medina, who we had met the day earlier, my courageous sister decided to go into the gym anyway carrying off her camera plus my camera in the hopes that it would give her a more “media” look.


A shot Ardith took while going on her solo paparazzi mission.

After 10 minutes or so, my sister pops her head out and frantically tells me that she doesn’t know how to take video on my camera.  I rush upstairs and luckily, security is busy with other things so we start taking pictures – double trouble style!!

Looks effortless when he exercises!

Looks effortless when he trains!

Then, more wonderful luck!  We see our new buddy, Buboy, who’s with Manny and motions to us to come closer!  Like “Manny’s-jump-rope-is-almost-whipping-us” close! Like “I-can’t-focus-my-camera-because-he-so-close” close!


Blurry...but CLOSE!!


Hope that jump rope doesn't hit us! (Yes, the jump rope is there! You just can't see it because it's moving so quickly!)

Then Manny moves to the ring!  Again, we get primo spots and situate ourselves right in the front.  Manny’s speed and agility are truly amazing!  Trying to take clear pictures proves futile because he’s just too quick!


Don't blame us! He's just too quick to capture on film!


Don't forget to stretch!


This shot is: A) Shot of Manny doing ab work B) Gratuitous Stylized Shot C) Product placement for Everlast D) Priceless

After Manny’s workout, security informed everyone that media day was over – which in security talk means “EVERYONE GET OUT!!!”  We were collecting our stuff and heading towards the door, when we hear “SSSSST,SSSSST!!!” (Filipino way to get someone’s attention); low and behold it was Buboy!  He knew that we still hadn’t given Manny the illustration/print that my sister had designed.  So while everyone else had to file out, we got to go into the ring with Manny, take some more pics, and present him with print – a symbol of our appreciation to him – the Pride of the Philippines!!

No doubt that this experience is forever burned into our brains!!!  I’m sure we’ll come up with artwork inspired by the great Manny Pacquiao.  In the meantime, please visit our online store to get your Philippine-inspired tshirts to wear on Saturday, November 14th, 2009, during the Pacquiao-vs.-Cotto fight!

Stay tuned for more photos and videos of our Pacquiao encounter!!!


Thanks Buboy for Everything!!


Good Luck Manny!


Manny and the Barkada(ko) ladies!


People were wondering who we were and why we got to take pictures with Manny. Just kidding! I took this shot way before we got our pictures taken with Manny! hehehe

PACQUIAO: Up Close and Personal/Day One


Posing for photographers at media day at the Wild Card Gym, Los Angeles, CA.


My sister and I had the honor and privilege of meeting the Pride of the Philippines, Manny Pacquiao!  We never dreamed this could ever be possible but our good friend (and OG Barkadako model) Gary Zane introduced us to his friend/former co-worker Roweena Encarnacion, part of Manny’s LA inner circle!  We met her at the Wild Card Boxing Gym where she was sporting the Barkadako Flag shirt!  Love it!

roweenaardith copy

Ardith with our new friend, Roweena.


Wild Card Gym, Los Angeles, CA

While waiting outside, we decided to practice our paparazzi skills:


Michael Koncz's secret meeting...hmmmmm


Shawn Porter, part of the sparring squad, poses for pics with fans.

While Manny was finishing up his closed training session, we met lots of fellow Manny fans, supporters, and friends.  The most popular probably being one of his trainers, BUBOY!  Super friendly and super funny!  He even gave us a stylish Manny Pacquiao Sweatshirt.  While Buboy was chatting it up with us and the rest of the folks waiting, HBO was filming him for the HBO 24/7 show.  If you watch the 3rd episode of the Pacquiao/Cotto series, you can catch a blurry glimpse of us! Check out the HBO website for more info!


Buboy in a BARKADA(KO) sandwich!


Pacquiao sweatshirt from Buboy!


HBO 24/7 crew filming Buboy.It is this very film crew that immortalizes the Barkada(ko) ladies in HBO history!

While we were outside, Manny had already ended his training session and was at his regular eating spot – a Thai restaurant in the same complex as the Wild Card Boxing gym.  A group of fans had formed outside waiting for Manny to finish his dinner.  We were thinking that this was the end of Day One: Mission to Meet Manny but to our surprise, with the help of Roweena and Buboy, we were ushered inside the small restaurant. YIKES! We walked in and there he was!  I looked around and recognized almost everyone.  From his trainers, to security, to his brother — pretty much everyone had a purpose there except for us!  We attempted to look like we belonged but we were the only two people with gigantour cameras around our necks; and the fact that we had identical crazy looks on our face from all the excitement didn’t help our efforts to blend.  A few minutes later, Manny got up to leave for the Jimmy Kimmell show – and that’s when Buboy urged us to get up so we could get a picture with him.  Even though he was late for the show, he was nice enough to stop and take a couple of shots with us.

first copy

Posing with the Barkada(ko) posse before heading off to the Jimmy Kimmell show!

BEWARE: The Cute Factor in following pictures – VERY HIGH.


Just when i thought our little models couldn’t get any cuter, i got these pics from BARKADA(KO) customer Grace Linker!  Adorable sure does run in the family.  Bobby was our first blog and facebook model and now his older sister, Ava has joined in on the fun!  Alright everyone, let’s do a collective “awwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!”

They are both modeling the baby and kid’s ARNIS shirts.



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!

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!


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!

“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).