The Big Project, Launched

Last night we partied. And now that we have reached the end, we can finally say Amen. 😀

Our Father in the Making

After 19 years of dreaming of this photobook (not mine, but my dear friend’s), after childhood dreams of publishing a book (now that’s mine 😛 ); after about half a year’s worth of 2-hour sleeptimes and 4AM bedtimes, countless emails and cellphone text messages, flights across the country and in and out of the country (sometimes within the same day), trudging through the streets of Hong Kong trying to locate a nondescript building where our book was to come alive on paper…

After bonding over kazillions of cups of strong coffee and even stronger bonds of friendship (some old ones further strengthened and some new ones built); after innumerable edits, edits, re-edits, more edits; after learning to use Adobe InDesign in two hours so that we could beat the impending dawn deadline…

After meeting with 62 wonderful men and their families; after gaining serendipitous wisdom from what these men had to say about their experience of fatherhood; after hearing the warm, endearing stories of their children and gaining a glimpse of the private man that only each family sees and knows; after tons of laughter; after perusing countless photos spread on the studio floor as we decided on paging and layout…

We have the book. Our Father. 62 Fathers. 62 Lives. One Journey.

Here are the photos of that night. (There was an official photographer, so these are the only ones I was able to take):

Welcome to the launch!

The Launch

We had an exclusive song given to us by Martin Nievera (he wrote and sang it; we provided it on CDs attached to the book), who was one of the fathers we featured in the book. Gooselamps lit the black frame mounts from which hung the 62 jumbo portraits (3ft x 3ft) of the fathers. As the song of Martin began to play, the gooselamps turned on one by one, shining dimly first then brightening, one after the other until the entire room shone by the soft light of the 62 gooselamps. Then the doors were opened, more lights were turned on, and everyone came in to ooh and ahh at the portraits of the fathers. It was a dramatic experience (certainly more dramatic than I describe it here).


People milled about both inside and outside, freely moving from the airconditioned area of the Blue Leaf Pavilion to the beautiful garden outside where cocktails were served: lovely yummy food (one guest asked “Are these cocktails? This is real food!!!” as he surveyed the roast beef, the 3 choices of salad served in classy champagne glasses, the pasta, the multiple finger foods which included the most delectable crunchy potato skins (my personal favorite, so it gets special mention here 😛 ), and the merengue and chocolate mousse for dessert. 25 bottles of choice cabernet sauvignon were consumed, aside from ice cold water and iced tea for the non-alcoholic guzzlers.

This is where we hung out to get a breath of fresh air (and some relief for our tired feet 😛 ) There were 2 of these wonderful Ifugao-inspired huts.


And here is the evidence that I do NOT wear dresses, nope. Seriously. 😆

No dresses here

And that’s all, folks! 😀

Will upload the next set of the Christmas Lullaby kit within the next couple of hours so see you in a bit! 😉

What do you do when you only have one hour…

to create an apple tree hat?

You get one of your kid’s caps, you pull out your storage box of odds and ends from projects past, and you do the best you can. 🙂

My son J has a book chat today, which involves a story about trees. He’s supposed to come in an apple tree hat, holding in his hands apples and apple juice. The apples were easy: we always have apples in our ref because the kids snack on them all the time. Apple juice was easy too: they take apple juice in tetra pack boxes to school for their snacktime. But an apple tree hat? With one hour to prepare?

Admission of guilt: Yes, I had last night to work on this; Queen Procrastinator didn’t really have to push it to one hour before departure time for the ride to school. 😛 But we had the book launch last night, which was extremely successful by the way 😉 and after that, our core group went to Larry’s Bar to eat our hearts out (there was extremely delicious food at the launch, but we of course could not eat as we were doing the rounds with the guests). In short, we got home pretty late, and I had a terrible headache after (too much eating after? 😆 ) so I went straight to bed with plans to make the hat this morning.

Now, I should say I have never seen an apple tree in real life. Mango trees, coconut trees, santol trees, starfruit trees, almost all tropical trees–yes. I’ve even climbed many of them in my childhood days. Apple trees, however, are not native to my part of the world. But… a tree is a tree is a tree. Especially when you have limited time and need to work with whatever resources you have on hand.

Thank goodness that last year my sister and I had a business project of providing gift basket packaging to the largest ex-pat grocery store in Malaysia. Because of that business (which involved loads of fun as we designed and handcrafted the packaging for the store’s gift baskets), I had leftover odds and ends–think leaves, branches, a little of this and a little of that.

Here’s what about half an hour of working resulted in (the other half hour spent rummaging for materials, haha!):

J’s Apple Tree Hat

Having finished that, and with a very happy little tree-hat-wearing little boy, I find out… classes are suspended today because of some disorder in the streets (politically speaking). But that’s a completely different story… and one that is still unfolding on my TV set as I watch the news now.

At least, as it turns out, we have the hat ready now, way ahead of time. 😀