Does Mr. Grey exists?

I want to write a blog about the guy that I’ve known for a year and half and just met yesterday. I regret that I didn’t met up with him when he was asking me a year ago. I was just so scared and unsure which I think it’s normal for a girl meeting someone over the internet. When I was reviewing our conversations from last year in Skype and Viber, I was such a bitch declining him so many times. He was asking me nicely that he wants to get to know me and he would like to see me… till I finally decided to see him. I think I just met another version of Mr. Grey or Mr.Big!!

Chris North
John James “Mr. Big” Preston (Sex and the City)

This guy works as a global business professional for an oil and gas trading company. He travels to other corporate locations and vendor offices across the country, or even around the world, to negotiate and discuss with the clients. He lives in a serviced apartment hotel and his company pays for it. I feel like his job is quite exhausting because he needs to pay attention with macroeconomic and industrial effects of oil and natural gas prices which changes from time to time. OOoops, I failed in my economics class many times. I hate stocks exchange and other blue, green bars on my screen.

Moving on…

No words can explain the feeling when I first saw him. I was so speechless. The way he stood and carry himself would make you melt.
He was wearing white jeans, fitted polo tee which you could really see his well-built body, and a pair of genuine leather casual male sailing shoes. He’s about 190cm in height, dark dirty blonde hair, pointed nose, his eyes were deep set and colour blue, he got a rectangular jawline and just when he smiles, he bites a bit of his lips which OMGGGGGGGGGGGG will make you fall.

I thought that this kind of man wouldn’t exist. I thought he’s just a fantasy or a dream, and if it’s real, I wouldn’t really have a chance to meet him but I just did!

We had a great night together. We talked about so many things like: Foreign employment in Singapore, how we both ended up getting a job here, how long we’ve been here, how China wants to claim all the surrounding islands across ASEAN countries, how to get a PR and its benefits and disadvantages… about oil and gas price changes and economy, how much is my rent and how big is my room, plans of getting a condo and invest from it… We also tackled about traveling, how many countries he had been and lived… We even watched “The Interview” and laughed about how crazy the movie was. He had been in North Korea before, and explained me the 3 symbols on the stadium..

I don’t need a sugar-coated conversation to keep it going on and on… It’s just we’re so interested of each others’ stories. I am not a type of a girl who makes myself look cute in-front of a guy.

I don’t need to talk much in detail about what happened during the night with him, but it was so amazing to be with him. He’s very nice, a good conversationalist, intelligent and charming.

At the end of the day, till we meet again, I wouldn’t expect too much from him. I feel so intimidated hahaha.

Camz V.2 goes Responsive

I designed and developed my website 3 years ago, and it’s not a good excuse to say that I had been busy to my full-time job and freelance projects that’s why I wasn’t able to update my personal website/portfolio.

I received few comments about my website and most of them are:

  • “You got an annoying sidebar that sticks on the left side…”
  • “I hate that when I visit on my mobile, I can’t even read properly the content because of your annoying sidebar..”
  • “I like the idea of your website, but can you make it responsive?”
  • “Hey Cam, I glanced to your website, it’s good to maintain the minimalist design, but I feel like it’s too old school, isn’t it? I mean in terms of not being able to adopt to new mobile technology?”
  • “Can you write more articles? haha..”

So here’s the update. The current status of my v.2 is at 50%. Design wise, I retain the concept on v.1, but usability, I enhanced a bit. Development? I need to re-code my blog to make it dynamic :D

Camz v.2 Coming Soon!
Camz v.2 Coming Soon!

This v.2 will be fully responsive, meaning, it can be viewed to different screen-size and works to all major browsers from IE9++, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari.

Let me tell you a bit about CAMZHOT.
The colour scheme, style and typography reflects to the personality of (me) as owner of the website. It has a huge impact on our emotions and other aspects of a well being. As you can see, Black, White and Red are the shades of my website.

There is a meaning why I picked these colours. Red because it simply reflects to me that I am aggressive, associated with passion, love, sexuality, enthusiasm, life, determination and anything that is strong. It is also linked to the most primitive physical, emotional, and financial needs of survival which explains that I am a freelancer, that in-spite of my full-time job, I also do side line jobs to support my family.

Red also represent both cupid and the devil which I think it’s matched with Black and White colour. In Asia, specifically Chinese, there’s this symbol called Yin-Yang. A round symbol that is equally divided into 2 colours. Yin is the black, while Yang is the white. Basically it explains that no matter how bad(black colour) the person is, there is a good inside of them. Same as a good person, they have an evil side.

And most of all, I believe in the saying that:
“If you think facts or situations are black and white, you have a simple and very certain opinion about them, often when other people think they are really more complicated.”

You might also ask why CamzHot.com?
Before I bought my domain, I was playing an online game with my friends and we discussed about what domain should I name my website? We ended up pointing out my hobby and what I like most. So we ended up to:

Why CamzHot?
Why CamzHot?

It was actually CamzShot. After a year, I forgot to renew, so the domain has been locked and I can’t get it anymore.

CamzShot forms a weird sound and make people think what is really inside that website? Attracts attention and gives people a curiosity. To sum it up, the design of my website is plain and simple. In short, minimalistic style. Nothing fancy and glamorous.

Clients from HELL: Product’s Packaging Design

I’ve been a fan of this website called “Clients from Hell“. Basically, it features a collection of anonymously contributed client horror stories from designers and I can really relate to them. I experienced some of their funny stories.

I recently have another packaging design project and it all went to air. I’d like to make my story short and sweet. So, my client asked for a quotation if how much will it cost to do 3 packaging design, different sizes and different products to present.

PACKAGING DESIGN CONCEPT
Let’s say for example, you’re selling a “Mango Pie”. Your packaging design, of course, will show a mango element, and a final product of how does your “Mango Pie” looks like. So I think the main key is a “Mango”.

Basic design steps:
1. Know what is the branding colour, if they have CI guide, much better.
2. Typography
3. Design creative graphic elements for visuals
4. Blend it with “Mango” and a “Mango Pie” picture
5. Fantastic and eye-catching copy-writing
VIOLA!~

ABOUT YOUR PRODUCT
Again, you’re selling “Mango Pie” and by nature: We, as a consumers, are very visual. What we see is what we always wanted especially when you’re buying something. So you’re expecting that – that product in the picture may not be exactly the same as the actual, but at least, it’s quite accurate.

The thing is, my client doesn’t have any original pictures of their product. So, how are you going to find resources? We buy stock images.

Stock photography is the supply of photographs, which are often licensed for specific uses. It is used to fulfill the needs of creative assignments instead of hiring a photographer, often for a lower cost. Today, stock images can be presented in searchable online databases. They can be purchased and delivered online.”

Dietary supplement - Stock Image by iStock Photos
Dietary supplement – Stock Image by iStock Photos

Based on my knowledge and experience, a product design especially if it consist with human elements and other realistic photos, you’re required to:

  1. Must have your original photographs of your product. In that sense, you hire photographers to take photos of your model or the product you’re selling.
  2. If (1) is not available, then you will purchase a stock photos that will represent your product. Remember that you’re selling a “Mango Pie”, so you’re not going to pick an “Orange”.

So on my quotation, I listed that each design can have at least 2-3 stock photos.
A little secret on how I quote my project is based on: (a) Creative concept (b) Time and Effort required (c) Quality of work (d) Product requirements (e) Additional charges if any.

And before I perform my work, it was all clear and explained on my quotation and she agreed on it.

After few days of revisions and minor changes, we discussed that the design is finalized, and before sending the source/working files, I need to get paid and submitted the total charges.

My client was so surprised with the total charges although my friendly price gives enough reasoning and justice, but in the end, she still ask for CHEAP PRICE. I’m like.. What???! I feel insulted, and she feel cheated?

So funny to hear her saying “I feel cheated” when I can really throw her all the conversations from chat and emails attached with quotations. I don’t understand what more they want to lower down the price, if I do, it’s like a slap on my face that I am working already for free.

Maybe, we need to be brave enough to say that our profession and skills doesn’t deserve to be treated like nothing. Yes, we are “FREELANCERS”, but it doesn’t mean, we work for FREE. What matters is that, you’re truthful to your job and you do what you can do to meet client’s requirements without regrets on your service because “some clients” are abusive and they will use a lot of excuses to bring you down. So~ be careful.

Thousand Miles to go

The Amtrak Experience last December 2013 Winter at Penn Station, New York City.
The Amtrak Experience last December 2013 Winter at Penn Station, New York City.

As of today, I realized that I just traveled a total of 28,521.912 miles since I was 16 years old internationally.

With 13 different countries including stop-overs, almost hundreds of cities, provinces and states, 7 different airlines, approximately 21 returning flights, 54 land transfers by train, bus, cars including motors, 4 sea transfers and 2 returning sea planes. Captured thousands and thousands of photographs, and visited numerous of temples, ruins, sky scrappers, historical places landmarks, museums, beaches, lakes and mountains.

There’s still a lot of rough roads and long hours of flights to go, beautiful things to see, experience the culture and local living, and most of all, meet interesting and lovely people from different places.

I know there are many travelers out there who were able to go to more than 20 countries, but for me, I am not in a rush. It’s not about travel competition. It’s about time and opportunity. I work full-time in the office, I have limited vacation leaves and most of all, money.

I just have to be patient because I am a Philippine passport holder, and I’m required to undergo VISA appointments to numerous countries. (Please read my Amsterdam Job Offer and it all went to nothing). One of the very challenging part is providing my bank account statements. It’s quite tricky, because you don’t know exactly how much is the right amount they are looking at. The embassy wants to make sure you are capable of traveling and you are not a problem in their country. I am really jealous to some citizens who are VISA-free. They don’t need to submit lost of documents, letters and shit.

But then, I make sure that one day, I’ll be able to make it. What matters to me is that: I have lots of memories to cherish than buying things and waste it.

My next travel destination will be next year. I’m looking forward to see West coast states, India, Myanmar and Australia. We’ll see how it goes haha :D

Truth about my HTML/CSS Life

I learned CSS on my own when I was 14 years old. It all started in Friendster where I am addicted creating dummy accounts just to write testimonials on my profile. While I got attracted with bling bling signatures, and started to ask how the fuck they do that. I have no idea how I get myself looking at HTML codes, I just woke up one day reading <a hrefs> and <imgs> tags.


Glitterfy.com – Bling Glitter Graphics

Basically, I am a very jealous type of person and as much as possible I want to do better things than what they are doing. And of course, to make an improvement, I do it in a silent way. I admit and consider to label myself (sometimes) as a great stalker. I visit my friend’s profile counting how many testimonials they have and compare to what I have and make sure I am always still on the top notch. The more testimonials you have, the better profile status you get.

Until, again, ONE DAY, someone beside me renting in the computer cafe got this fancy background images like a matrix, with colourful fonts. I was like, HOW!?!

2003_friendster_profile

I tried to remember his name on the screen and searched him after he left the cafe, I found his stunning profile, and I was able to track the website where he customized it because of the so-called “CREDITS” link to PimpMyProfile website generator.

2003_friendster_custompage

I did it too! My Friendster profile has already background and got different font colours and styles. I bragged about it to my friends. The next day, my friends customized their page too. I can’t accept the fact that someone did the same thing as mine.

To make myself look cool, I studied on my own what is HTML and CSS, I been reading the page source codes and I still have no idea what is <html>, <p></p>, <style>, <body> and etc. Spending my days in front of computer during summer and writing codes just to make my profile totally different and I made it. Due to my hardwork and jealousy, I revamped Friendster’s standard profile page. I hid certain tables and divs.

From that experience, I got this first freelance project. I received inbox messages from my friends how I managed to do that. I am way too ambitious and offered them to pay me Php50.00 which is approximately $1.30 then I can work with their page.

Till then, I’ve known HTML and CSS for the past 10 years. At my young age, I discovered so many things and up until now, still learning how to manipulate the page with the use of CSS. I am not saying that I memorized everything, but then, “WHAT IS WEB RIGHT NOW?”. We can copy-paste and modify to make brilliant things. I am not being hypocrite, I think most of us, Web Designers, have this in common. We know the differences of each tags, properties, elements and values. We also do research, testing, modification and revamp.

At the end of the day, we are just following one rule/standards no matter how fancy things are. Time flies so fast so does technology.

Perks of being Filipino

It was the saddest story of my “soon-to-be” career. Recently, I applied as a Web Designer in a reputable and well-known company called Booking.com. The result of my interviews and practical exam were positive, everything went smooth till it reached to the point that I needed a fucking VISA to enter Europe.

After so many phone calls and e-mails from their HR telling me that the recruiters liked me so much and they want to work with me so they are offering me a job in Amsterdam instead of Singapore. Then they asked me if I am willing to work there and they would like to invite me to visit their place as they will provide the flight and accommodation at the same time, introduce me to the team and etc etc blah blah blah. I told them that I needed a VISA to enter Europe and they agreed to it that they will be providing me a letter of invitation for the Embassy.

The set date was October 15-18, and I told them that I will be going back to Philippines on Oct 1-6 which I planned it long time ago. Meaning, I can only set an appointment for my EU VISA once I come back to Singapore on the 7th of October because (of course I am traveling) I will need my passport.

They also realized that the time buffer in VISA processing is quite long and they can’t wait for me anymore.

They should’ve known in the first place that they are hiring someone from another country. I don’t think it is reasonable to be “unaware” since THEIR ADVERTISEMENTS on different job portals says that they have SMOOTH INTERNATIONAL RELOCATION PACKAGE. Same as their short documentary video in YouTube that a group of people working in Booking shared their experiences in relocating to Amsterdam,the Netherlands (Reference: Click Here). They giving so much hope to people dreaming that it’s gonna be another level of their career, but in the end, they will just leave you like nothing happen.

What is more depressing is that they closed the Web Designer position in Singapore and they didn’t bother to think to reconsider me to work here! Why??? I don’t get their logic! If the company wants to hire you, they would probably find a way to make things easy with Plan ABC’s. I wonder if they’re on my feet, How does it feel? YES and I UNDERSTAND that this kind of situation will come across to your life. YES YES I know that Life is fucking UNFAIR. YES YES and I know we all make MISTAKES. YES YES and I know sometimes, people are being UNAWARE of things. YES YES I know they ask for an APOLOGY, but the damage has been done. My dreams and hopes disappeared like SHIT.

In addition, it’s not my fault that I was born in a third world country, that one of the perks of being a Filipino is to have a VISA in order for me to enter a specified country. Unfortunately, it’s A LOT OF COUNTRIES. I feel so bad that just because of this, I will miss an opportunity. I thought that I would be able to FULLY SUPPORT my family because I am gonna earn EURO which is x60 of our currency. All I was thinking is my career and my family. That’s the only thing that runs in my mind.

All of these things made me cry overnight and I feel like I wanna kill myself or chop my passport. Sigh.

Do you believe in dreams?

Do you believe in dreams? Or do you believe that those unexpected things will really happen? I am a victim of this fortune. I am not so sure if this will really come true, but it’s almost there.

I recently applied for a job as a Web Designer in a very well-known world leader in booking accommodations online – Booking.com. It was 1st week of September that I received an email regarding to my application that I had been shortlisted and asked me to allot a time for a Skype video call interview with the recruiters. The interview was scheduled last Monday (8th of September around 9pm) It was pretty intense because first of all: it’s a video call! I am concerned of how I look on web cam, do I look good? am I too Asian? LOL! Anyways, to sum it up, I was able to answer the questions confidently to the best of my knowledge.

I received an email from the HR on the next day telling me that the recruiters will fly from Amsterdam to Singapore for a face-to-face interview. I was sooooooo excited and at the same time nervous, that I will be able to see these two good-looking man for real! HAHAHAHA. (Oh-em-Gee, I’m too perverted) Sorry. Anyways, moving on. I was scheduled on the 12th of September at the grande building of Marina Bay Financial District. I really love this place because of the ambiance and the people around will give you more encouragement to work. Everyone’s busy and well-groomed (Maybe because it’s the Financial District of Singapore). I always dreamed to work in a very professional environment where everyone wears suits and ties, skirts and heels. I don’t know, I am too modern and futuristic.

Again, I had a pretty intense conversation with the recruiters and some people from other department. I gave all my best and energy just to get this job. I really want to and I am dying for it. This company is a big shot and has a lot of things to do. I would really like to extend my experience and explore more because I am too young. I still have lots of things to learn!

 

And now, Monday morning, went back to normal, my exhausting sad life is back, sitting in-front of my desk, replying emails and continuing doing my projects when the HR from Booking called me regarding to the result. I FREAKED OUT LITERALLY!! I almost cried when she said that they need a Singaporean blah blah.. I knew it, it’s all about the quota or whatever the reason it… and then suddenly she told me about the offer to move to Netherlands. I was like WHAT THE FUCK AM I DREAMING OR NOT? She had mentioned everything about the result and what will be the next procedures. OMG JESUS! She even told me about a business trip going to Amsterdam. WHICH I NEVER THOUGHT OF GOING THERE BECAUSE FOR ALL I KNOW IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR ME TO GO TO EUROPE. I am way too poor and can’t afford to travel there… and there you go… AN OPPORTUNITY APPROACHING TO MY LIFE. I CANT MISS IT! I SWEAR TO ALL THE ANGELS AND DEMONS OVER MY DEAD BODY. I WANT IT!! Unfortunately, my stupid Philippines passport requires a VISA to Europe. Huhuhuhu. I don’t wanna lose hope :( But I am still looking forward for it. I wanna cry if I didn’t get this. It’s really almost there.

 

At the same time, it’ll be my chance to earn EUROS, save and support my family. For the past 3 years in Singapore, I feel guilty that I only give a few of my salary to my parents. Because if I gave all, I won’t survive anymore. But please for the sake of opportunity and responsibility. I’d like to work in Booking.com :( I watched the videos from recruiting website, the employees reviews, and I even stalked the people in instagram who works in Booking LOLOLOL. I started to read articles about Amsterdam, expat life, blogs and stories. I think I’m getting obsessed. And who knows, I will meet my future man there?!! HAHAHAHAH. I am Single and ready to mingle and tingle. :(

My broken ankle got friendzoned

Last Tuesday, I was going off to work and I accidentally tripped off our stairs. My flat shoes was really loose and the incident was too fast, I didn’t know it gonna be like that. LOL. So I asked my housemate to buy me a bandage and an ointment to treat for the moment before I go to the clinic after lunch time. The doctor prescribed me few medicines and given me two (2) days Medical Leave. It wasn’t that really bad, was just a minor sprain that twisted my ankle.

On the next day, I feel relieved but I could still feel some throbbing on my ankle. However, that night I’ll be having a dinner together with our creative team, and from other department. I don’t want to mention all the things in detailed, but to sum it up, the guy I used to see, joined us at the bar. He was a few hours late, but it’s okay, we just hang out as the night goes on.

A lot of laughter, jokes, mix emotions and shits happened that night. I didn’t really care but after our dinner, on our way home, I was with him sharing a cab. I felt something strange. I think I have a mood swings lately. I was just looking far at the window. Thinking too much and wishing that I want to end the night coz I had a rough day dealing with my sprain and my heart. Maybe I should stop chasing the stars that I could never even reach from afar. Fucking emo right? L-O-L.

I know this has been an obsolete lines to say but I’d really rather have a broken ankle than a broken heart. I may fell off the stairs and sprain my ankle many times, at least in few days or a week time, it’ll heal. Unlike falling in love, no matter how many days and years had passed, a broken heart can never be mend.

I met this guy

There’s this guy I met in an online dating app, it’s the so-called OkCupid. To be honest, most of the people there looking for fun, casual sex and if had a chance, a lover or a partner. I am not literally looking for fun, but I am just lurking around and see what’s going on, see the faces of handsome guys, and read their profile. Because I know I had no chance to date them because I am only an ordinary girl with no appeal. I am just a normal human being. There are guys who sends me messages, but it’s all the same like “Hi” “How are you” “Hello”… For me, it doesn’t make sense, maybe find another line to start a conversation?

Going back to the guy I just met a few days ago, well I think it’s already a week. It was so surprising that he is living behind our place. Just a few walks and tada! So I had a chance to meet him in person. The first time I met him, he said he’s just gonna pass by to my place since his way going to the bus stop is there. It’s unplanned and a surprise, so I went downstairs and saw him waiting for me. He’s very tall, about 186cm?? For me he is tall because I am Asian. He got a nice pointed nose, fair skin, deep set eye, I think his eye is blue, a dirty blonde hair (I am not good in naming hair colours though), and he smells good. He’s from Ukraine, decent and very friendly. Seems like I found a prince charming. hahaha.

I liked him, maybe love at first sight? haha. Maybe I got attracted by his height and eyes. The first time I saw him and talked to him, I am very nervous and I can’t even look at his eyes because I am shy. It was so funny he smelled me, I didn’t know he’s gonna do that… Luckily I smell nice haha :(( and I like when he smiles. The meeting was short because he got to go. I am so happy to see a guy like him. I went upstairs and left me a giggle.

After that, we used to talk in whatsapp, but I think I talk more. I used to share pictures that I took from different places and other funny stuffs I found in the internet. I asked him a lot of questions because I am interested to him. One day, I asked him what are his travel plans, if he had done diving or what he usually does in weekend. I wanted to go to Bali and try some water adventures there, and asked him if he wanna go. He would love too but then, he’s going to leave soon and besides he got no Indonesia VISA yet. He’s gonna leave Singapore maybe on the 1st or 2nd week of June and will fly to northern Europe. I feel like I got hit by a very sharp arrow in my heart and started to cry. But it’s okay, that’s how it is. People come and go, even a short period of time.

I had so much fun every time we take a walk in the park and chat about things. Share a few experiences. I wish he could stay longer because I want to make friends with him and hang out. He’s cool.

Lonely
photo credit: Waheed Akhtar Photography via photopin cc

I used to go behind Labrador Park, from there I walk going to Keppel Bay and Reflections. I like it because it is something I could never have. Something I can only see from far and would never have a chance to get in my hands. I see a lot of luxurious yatch, landed houses and condos. Happy family living together in a luxury. Very nice and neat place. Beautiful people and cute pets. I’ve been dreaming that one day I could bring my parents there, got a decent job that pays me well, travel and go to different places I want. Experience all the cultures and etc.

So this guy I met, I wish I could see him more often before he leaves Singapore. I want to spend sometime with him because I know he got interesting things to share with me.

Maybe I am lonely? Maybe I am looking for a partner? Maybe I am too tired being single? Maybe.
I don’t wanna be emo. As much as possible I stay away from my feelings because I might end up hurting myself again.
I also don’t want to assume and expect something because I know it’s not gonna happen. It won’t… and never will.

Here I am, wring this blog post, lonely, talking to myself. Why am I here? Why am I bound to be lonely?
I’m sick of being alone. Nobody wants to be alone, everyone deserves to be happy. Why can’t I be happy?

Design for a Cause

camz-design-for-a-cause

Design for a Cause.
Though I had been working as a Senior Web Designer in an IT Solutions company, my salary doesn’t give enough justice to pay me. It’s a long story why I’m earning this kind of amount, but to sum it all, when I moved to Singapore, I actually didn’t know what is my rate and having a doubt in currency so the company decided what to offer.

I noticed that cost of living in this country is too tough and I had to propel my career as a freelance designer to survive. It’s actually really tough to work as a foreigner in Singapore especially if you’re an ordinary worker because you only depend on your working VISA category. Once you quit your job, you make sure you have another company with a slot for foreigner-quota to hire you, otherwise, you have 30 day(s) to clear your things.

With the use of my skills in web technology, I’d like to re-brand my website as a personal fundraising site which will help me support my family and at the same time, my health. I know it’s impossible for me to do all these things in one-shot, and all these costs stop me from saving for my future. I had to risk and take a lot of projects even the price they wanted to pay is unreasonable.

This “Design for Cause” will express how much the opportunity means to me and how we can help each other meet our goals = (Client and Designer).

In the future, my design for a cause site will:
* I can offer you a customized design whether you want a personal blog site, informative start up company website or a simple e-Commerce site.
* Take your time to give me your website specifications, do not forget how much you’re willing to donate.
* Once I receive your specs, I’ll have to review and make evaluation then I’ll get back to you regarding to the materials I need, timeline and target launch date.

More details coming soon! :)