Sunday, March 31, 2013

pretty mug shots

I was born in a province known for its coffee, and like many other kids from my hometown, I started taking it when I was only 7 years old – yes, I got addicted to caffeine early in my childhood! I grew up even pouring it over rice topped with crispy fried meat or fish, as it was common practice. To this day, I have not heard of any place in the world where that was done, but I swear I loved the taste of it! :-P

During the many times my siblings and I stayed at my grandfather's farm on weekends, we would wake up to the strong smell of morning dew and freshly brewed coffee. My grandfather was a very simple man who owned no fine china, so we simply drank coffee from plain white tin cups with blue lids which looked like this. I tell you, those cups were a far cry from today's stylish coffee mugs – especially the ones designed by American potter/designer Jonathan Adler (below).

Adler's philosophy of maximalism is completely opposite my grandfather's very basic style. In fact, in his company manifesto, there are three points that I believe summarize the Adler aesthetic:

"WE BELIEVE that minimalism is a bummer.

WE BELIEVE that colors can't clash.

WE BELIEVE in irreverent luxury."

Well, I believe that when it comes to coffee drinking, a pretty little mug can't hurt. Especially if you get them on sale at

(Top pic) This colorful, patterned Bearbrick was created by Jonathan Adler (in cooperation with Barneys Creative Guru Simon Doonan) for the 2011 opening of Barneys New York in Fukuoka, Japan.

Adler (left), whose design philosophy reflects a vibrant/retropop/eclectic vibe, launched his first ceramic collection at Barneys New York in 1994. Five years later, he opened his own home furnishings store in Manhattan. Today, he owns over twenty boutiques around the world and a very successful online store.

Bearbrick pic and digital imaging by Yours Truly. Copyright Bearbricklove March 2013. Photos of Carnaby Collection Mugs and manifesto excerpts from / Info from / Adler pic from

Sunday, March 24, 2013

a klaus encounter with imagination

"Honesty and truthfulness are overrated. I mean that in the sense of factual truth and precision. They don’t bring that much new to the world. If I think of the best storytellers, it was not honesty that made their work great. It was imagination. I think imagination is underrated!"

– Klaus Haapaniemi, Finnish Designer

In creating his "secret" Series 25 Bearbrick (above), it's obvious that Klaus' imagination was in full force, judging from the exuberant shower of color, detail, and patterns.

The original 15cm ceramic owl from which the design was based (below) is available for sale on his online store for about $225.

The owl is a widely popular motif in design. Because of its striking silhouette and distinct features, it has been interpreted in many inventive ways in illustrations/graphics, jewellery, decor, fashion, toys, etc. But Haapaniemi's owl design, with its intricate and ornamental patterns characteristic of Scandinavian folk art, stands out and overwhelms.

That is why I think Klaus' bearbrick is the best of Series 25. Find more of his beautiful work here.

Like Haapaniemi (left), I see that more and more, imagination is taking a backseat to truth. Today, people have become obsessed with reality entertainment.  On the Internet, the abundance and accessibility of shared personal experiences in social media and blogs have overshadowed creative fiction, written or filmed. In YouTube, home videos rank higher in viewership than short art films. And celebrities' mundane tweets have earned more following than everything else online.

So what do you think? Is the age of imagination about to end? Or is it that truth has become more interesting than fiction?

Bearbrick pic and digital imaging by Yours Truly / Copyright March 2013 Bearbrick Love / Haapaniemi Ceramic Owl pic and flower details from / Klaus Haapaniemi interview excerpt from Blanca Juti / Haapaniemi pic from

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

designed by nike's ceo

You've seen this little Be@rbrick in one of my earliest posts. But I'm devoting an entire entry just for it for two reasons:

1. It's my favorite Bearbrick. The edginess, the color palette, the rich and varied textures. Awesome!

2. It's designed by Mark Parker, the Chief Executive Officer of Nike Worldwide. Cool!

After earning a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science at Penn State University in 1977, Parker (left) joined Nike in 1979 as a footwear designer. After 27 years, his visionary leadership (he was the driving force behind Nike Air) has put the company at the forefront of the multibillion dollar sportswear and sports equipment business.

Wow, sounds like one of those guys who kids wanna be when they grow up... a billionaire Be@rbrick designer!

Bearbrick pic by Yours Truly / Copyright March 2013 Bearbrick Love / Mark Parker pic from Wikipedia

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Cheers to 24!

While I was doing my research for Series 24, I was struck by the beauty of the Flag bearbrick. I had no idea which country it represented and had to Google it using the key words "flag" and "dragon".

It turned out to be the flag of Bhutan, a landlocked kingdom at the eastern end of the Himalayas. I also found out that according to a BusinessWeek survey, Bhutan is considered the happiest country in Asia and the eighth happiest in the world. After doing another Google image search and seeing how it looked, I understood why. Check it out here.

Well, next to Bhutan, I suppose the happiest place can only be... Bearbrickland! Presenting the complete Series 24!

Upper row, left to right:

Basic (Metallic Green)
JellyBean (Cola Soda)
Pattern (Gossip Girl)
Flag (Bhutan)
Horror (Madoka MagicaCharlotte, the Dessert Witch)
Cute (PeanutsSnoopy)

Bottom row, left to right:

Animal (Felix the Cat)
Hero (The Dark Knight RisesBatman)
Artist (Kyary Pamyu Pamyu)
Artist (TaroutBrickun)
Artist (Neighborhood Technical Apparel)

Upper row, left to right:

Secret Hero (The Dark Knight RisesSelina Kyle)
Secret Horror (Gekidan Inu Curry)
Secret Cute (MonstockFueki Kun)
Secret Artist (TaroutBrickie)

Bottom row, left to right:

Secret (Zarigani Works)
Secret (AA=Takeshi Ueda Pic )
Secret (Phantaci)
Secret (Yukikuroda)

So which bear of the bunch makes you smile?

Pics by Yours Truly / Copyright March 2013 Bearbrick Love

Sunday, March 3, 2013

the be@rbricklover be@rbrick

When I celebrated my birthday last year, the guys at the office surprised me by designing a bearbrick in my likeness. It had my signature black eyeglasses, shaved head, and wore an exact replica of my then favorite Armani Exchange dotted black shirt. And if you looked closer, you would also notice that it had speckled shoes on, a representation of my Giacomorelli loafers with metal studs! 
But that's not all. They also created bearbrick lookalikes of everyone in the office and made a banner (below), cake and face masks out of them! 

My hand-painted custom bearbrick came in a special edition box, with the logo of its creators, Ray X Dan, two of the youngest and most talented art directors in our office.
I tell you, the best thing about being part of an advertising agency is the amount of creativity that surrounds me. Everyday is refreshing, inspiring.

And every birthday can be truly extraordinary! :-D

Pics by Yours Truly / Copyright March 2013 Bearbrick Love

Sunday, January 15, 2012

pretty pleasing in pink

Someone I know who recently attended a business seminar said that their speaker gave them a very important success tip: "There is a particular shade of pink which, if worn to a business proposal presentation, would ensure the wearer of an approval."

Since I make a lot of sales/advertising/creative pitches myself, I scoured the Internet for pics of men in pink, so I could get an idea of what shade that might be. Check them out:

Players in Pink: The Catani Football Team (above) and the Middlesex Country Cricket Club (below) dress up in support of breast cancer awareness.

Posing in Pink: Men on the street, from Asia to the U.K.

Pop Group in Pink: Japanese boy band Arashi during their Around Asia Tour 2008.

Prickly in Pink: Sprockettes (All-Ladies Mini Bike Dance Troup) tees look cool on angry-looking guys.

Pumped-up in Pink: Wrestler Dave Batista at WWE's Diva of the Year 2009 (where he did a "Kenya West").

Prisoners in Pink: Maricopa County Sheriff Joseph Arpaio introduced pink fashion to disgruntled inmates.

Baby pink, medium pink or hot pink? Which shade made you like (or trust) the wearer more?

The way I see it, any pink shirt can make a tough guy look tame, and a hardened criminal appear harmless.

But beware, it can make guys look downright silly, too!

(Top Pic) The pink Fujio Akatsuka Bearbrick was created by the Beams retail chain in Japan to promote Mangart Beams T, the new line of Manga-inspired Tees at their concept shop in Daikanyama, Tokyo.

The bear is based on the Iyami character created by Fujio Akatsuka (1935-2008), a famous Japanese manga artist. You can check out his official website here.

Bearbrick pic by Yours Truly / Other pics from,,,,,,,

Monday, October 17, 2011

what's in a name?

All my brothers' names, including mine, start with the letter "A". Antonio, Ariel (me), Armond, and Achilles. I don't know if the letter had any significance to my parents – it never occurred to me to ask them.

What I was told, however, was that my grandmother (who was into names and numerology) made sure we had lucky names. According to her, the letters in people's names corresponded to numbers. And these numbers all fell under four different fates: Buenas (lucky), Penosa (painful), Peligrosa (dangerous), and Muerte (death). Now, don't ask me if this is a fair segregation – apart from one, all the others seem to suck.

Do I believe in this kind of thing? I don't know. But I sure got fascinated by what people said about the name of Manny Pacquiao, the Filipino boxer who is currently the world's best. They say his name is very lucky indeed: "Manny" sounds like "money", while "Pacquiao" sounds like "pakyaw" (which means "to get everything" in the Filipino language).

Interesting analysis, for Pacquiao now ranks 6th in's list of the world richest athletes. :-)

So parents, how about naming your baby "Euro", "Dollar", or "Gazillionaire"? LOL

(Top) The Fujio Akatsuka Bearbrick with the letter "A" on its chest was created by the Beams retail chain in Japan to promote Mangart Beams T, the new line of Manga-inspired Tees at their concept shop in Daikanyama, Tokyo.

The bear is a representation of Fujio Akatsuka (1935-2008), a famous Japanese manga artist who created many famous cartoon characters such as Daddy Bakabon (see t-shirt below). You can check out his official website here.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

ode to 22!

nothing's more addicting
than bearbrick collecting
hundreds, thousands, or more?
it's so hard to keep score!

there's no end to the obsession
till the last one's in my possession
i can't explain the lust
it's bearbricks or bust!

fast forward to july
a new series to buy
can't find them at the mall?
i say eBay them all!

guys, here's series 22!

Upper row, left to right;

Basic (@ Gold)
Pattern (Let's Play Uno)
Secret Pattern (Let's Play Uno)
JellyBean (Pastels)
Flag (Jamaica)

Bottom row, left to right:

Hero (Green Lantern)
Cute (Cars 2)
Horror (Pirates of the Carribean/On Stranger Tides)
SciFi (Black Rock Shooter)

Upper row, left to right;

Animal (Pirameki)
Secret (Medicom 15 Years)
Secret (Bape)
Secret (Long X Boy London)

Bottom row, left to right:

Secret (Hanakuma Factory)
Secret (Happy Socks)
Artist (House of Pain)
Rare Artist (Sasquatch)

it's quite hard to decide
which bear i'll set aside
as my favorite of the lot
it's the gaudy gold one – not!

the colored camo's striking
and black stripes are to my liking
need a bit of time to think...
         the happy socks in pink!

Pics by Yours Truly / Copyright Bearbrick Love July 2011

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Monday, February 14, 2011

i heart eavesdropping

Last weekend, I paid a visit to my chiropractor, Dr. P. I wasn't in any kind of extreme pain, really; my back just felt a bit stiff and I thought the doctor could simply snap my misaligned bones right into place.

While I was waiting in my cubicle in a pale blue examination gown with packs of hot compresses on my back, I suddenly heard voices. They were coming from the next cube – that of a father (who I imagined was in his thirties and an American, judging from his accent) and of his son (who sounded like a lovable 3-year-old).

The dad spoke first. "Now, you just keep still there while Daddy gets a massage, okay? Can you do that? Then after we're finished here, I'm going with you to wherever you want to go."

The boy replied, "Okay, I'm going to sit here and... and wait for you. Then... then I want to go where you want to go, too, 'cause I love you... I love you all the way to Pluto!"

"Really? Well, I love you all the way to Pluto and back."

Not to be outdone, the little one quickly said, "I love you to all the way to Pluto and... and... to all the planets in the world! All the planets!!"

At that point, I was smiling and waiting for his dad's answer. There was a bit of a pause, then dad let out a very slow and breathy "Wow!" I could almost see him smiling, too.

After an hour, I walked out of the clinic feeling better, thanks to Dr. P's healing hands, and the infectious love between an anonymous father and son. Some say laughter is the best medicine; I say it is love, too.

It's Valentine's Day. Share the love, people! :-)

(Top pic) The Bearbrick with the heart icon was designed by New York grafitti/graphic artist and illustrator Todd James a.k.a. REAS. It was one of ten (10) Bearbricks from the Bearbrick World Wide Tour (BWWT Set B).

Pic by Yours Truly. Copyright 2010. Background painting detail by Filipino contemporary painter Popo San Pascual.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

21 in 2011

Somebody wrote to me last December 5, 2010:

Hello Mr. Comia.  I am writing to wish you well and was wondering if everything is all right, as I haven't seen you posting on your Bearbrick blog for quite some time.  I enjoy reading and looking at all of your beautiful pictures and frankly am quite jealous of your extensive collection.  I send you positive energy and well wishes for a happy holiday and a blessed New Year.

Sincerely, A

I wrote her back, telling her how touched and thankful I was for her inspiring email, and that I would be blogging about my new Series 21 very soon. Well, A, as promised, here they are!

Upper row, left to right:

Basic (@/Metallic Red)
JellyBean (Pale Lime)
Flag (Mexico)
Animal (Karel Capek/Buzzy the Bee)
Secret Animal (Karel Capek/Cotty the Ladybird)

Bottom row, left to right:

Pattern (The Prodigy/Invaders Must Die)
SciFi (Tron/Daft Punk: Guy Manuel de Homem Christo)
SciFi (Tron/Daft Punk: Thomas Bangalter)
Cute (Barbie/Original Swimsuit)
Secret Cute (Barbie/Pink)

Upper row, left to right:

Horror (Twin Peaks/Laura Palmer)
Secret Horror (Twin Peaks/Dale Cooper)
Hero (DC Comics/Batman)
Secret Hero (DC Comics/Superman)

Bottom row, left to right:

Artist (Eric Haze)
Artist (Holiday Japan)
Secret Artist (Mark Ward)
Secret (Black Rain Music/Kaiki Gesshoku)
Secret (Rubber)

There you are, 19 Bearbricks from Series 21.

Did you notice that aside from Basic, Jellybean, Flag, Animal, Pattern, SciFi (SF), Cute, Horror, and Artist, there is a new category called Hero, as represented by the Batman and the (rarer/secret) Superman bearbricks?

While those two choices seem predictable (they are not the first issues of those characters), I won't complain; it is a brand new year, a time to inspire hope and encourage change. Certainly, the addition of heroes of any kind is most welcome!

Let's make it a happy and heroic 2011, Bearbrick lovers!

Pics by Yours Truly / Copyright Bearbrick Love January 2011 
Thanks, Rareak, for helping me complete this collection.

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Friday, July 30, 2010

first steps

Yes, it finally walks!

No batteries needed, just wind it up.

What big feet! I guess this is evolution.

Wanna see it in motion?

Or slooooow motion? LOL

I wonder what's next. Tumbling bearbricks? Talking bearbricks? Like those freaky dolls on Youtube, will they start peeing, too?! Oh well... as long as you don't forget about design, Medicom! Hint: industrial designer Philippe Starck, fashion designers Dolce & Gabbana, shoe designer Manolo Blahnik, illustrator Takashi Murakami, graffiti artist Banksy... my wish list goes on and on... and on....

Series 20 Basic @ Bearbrick pics by Yours Truly / Copyright Bearbrick Love, July 2010

Sunday, June 20, 2010

3 X a lemon

Lemon 1:

About four years ago, I had to drive myself to a meeting because my driver, Guido, was on sick leave. After I parked on the street, I rolled down my car window to pay the attendant (who walked over to collect the parking fee). As I got my receipt and pressed the switch to close the window, I suddenly heard the sound of shattering glass! It was loud; I quickly turned around to see if any other car had hit mine. Nada. So I continued to close the power window. But the glass wouldn't roll up. Wouldn't roll up!?!! I had never heard of a car window crashing like that before. And it was a BMW, for heaven's sake – a German-engineered car!

Since I couldn't leave my car – open window and all – on a busy city street, I never made it to my meeting. :-/

Lemon 2:

Just recently, two friends and I decided to meet up for cocktails. One of them, C, was unusually late. The excuse? Her sports car's window slid down and wouldn't roll back up – just like mine. She had to go home and switch rides! Yes, it was a BMW, too.

Lemon 3:

Then C told me a about her lady friend who drove across Quebec in a BMW. Same thing – the window crashed. But since it was a long journey, the window had to be patched with plastic and packing tape for the rest of the trip. A BMW with plastic-covered windows!?!!

Well. That's why today, I drive a different car. :-P

(Top Pic) The BMW Bearbrick. The blue sky and white clouds imagery stands for its claim of "less emissions".

Sunday, May 30, 2010

the best seats in barcelona

For most sports fans in Barcelona, seats to "El Clásico", a football match between their home team (FC Barcelona) and its fiercest rival (Real Madrid), are probably the most-prized.

But for an ordinary tourist like me, there is no seat in the city as incomparable as the long, serpent-like bench at Parc Guëll, a garden complex built in the early 1900s (below).

Its winding lines form small enclaves that are quite cozy.

But apart from its very unusual shape, what makes the bench outstanding is its mosaic surface, created from hand-painted tiles of various shapes, colors and textures.

Notice how the tiles are not as randomly arranged as they initially appear to be; there is order in chaos! I want to recreate this look for my bathroom. :-)

The genius behind this strangely beautiful and original park is Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi, the same creative mind behind Barcelona's most famous tourist spots: Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlló, and Casa Mila.

Below is the view of the park's main entrance as seen from the bench.

Unlike the seats to the much-awaited football game, sitting on the Gaudi-designed bench of Park Guëll (which is now considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site), will not cost you a cent! Another proof that life's best doesn't always come with a price tag. :-)

(Top Pic) The FCBarcelona Bearbrick was created to promote the Futbol Club Barcelona or Barça, which is considered the second richest football club in the world (€365 million in revenue)! If you bought this bearbrick, you now know where your money went. :-)

Pics by yours truly, Copyright 2010 / Info from Wikipedia

Saturday, May 8, 2010

dazed and confused in seville

Last month, on our way to Barcelona from Madrid, Jun and I decided to make a little side trip to Seville, the fourth largest city in Spain. When we arrived at our hotel, we asked the receptionist which tourist spot we should visit first, and her ready answer was "Plaza de España".

The plaza, a 15-minute walk from our hotel, was as beautiful as we expected it to be. For me, it is one of the best examples of Moorish Revival architecture in Andalusia, one of Spain's autonomous communities.

Built in 1928 for the Spanish-American World Fair, it was designed by Sevillan architect Aníbal González. Today, it houses mostly government offices and the Seville town hall.

Because it was a Sunday, all the offices were closed and the plaza was populated only by tourists like us. And the only thing we could hear was the powerful duet of the couple below.

Along with four other tourists, we stood watching for about 15 minutes before dropping some euros into their guitar case.

After that, I decided to set up my tripod to take some pics while Jun began texting on his mobile phone. So I put down my bag on the floor and placed my jacket on top of it.

While I was focusing my camera, I suddenly heard a rustling sound. I turned around and saw my jacket sliding across the floor, lifted by the wind. So I picked it up and quickly tried to dust off the dirt from it.

I didn't realize until five minutes later, after I've taken some pics, that my bag was missing!

Imagine my panic – my passport, mobile phone, money and credit cards were in there! Fortunately, a security guard arrived, and I tried as hard as I could to tell him what happened. It wasn't easy – I was flustered, hysterical, and desperate, and I had to translate everything to Spanish!!!

But Mr. Security wasn't much help – he only advised me to call a number and make a perfunctory police report. #%*?!

Then suddenly, from nowhere, I heard a loud male voice: "Hola....... un bolso con un PASAPORTE FILIPINO...." (
Hello....a bag with a Filipino passport....)

I turned around and shouted. "That's mine! That's mine!"

The tall Spanish gentleman who found my bag turned from the guard to me and suddenly spoke in English, "We found it at the other end of the building. It was left on the stairs... open... probably by the gypsies who we saw leaving the area..." His companions, a bunch of young Germans, nodded to affirm his story, and asked me to check the contents of my bag.

Everything was intact – passport, credit cards, etc. – except for the cash (200 euro) and my Nokia mobile phone. (It was a good thing I left most of my cash at the hotel!)

I told my heroes, "You guys are from heaven! May I treat you to dinner? I still have my credit card."

The tall Spaniard replied, "Thanks, but you already lost money. Besides, we are on our way back to Madrid straight from here."

So I thanked them profusely, and we all parted ways.

I felt terrible about losing my phone – who wouldn't? Nonetheless, I got my passport and my credit cards back, and that made me happy enough to smile again. Whew!

Before we left the plaza, Jun and I passed by this area (above), so I brought out my camera and took a shot. It was a beautiful scene, but when I look at it now, all I can think is – I want to put that #%?^!? bastard who stole my bag behind bars!!!

(Top pic) The Mañana Banana Bearbrick (white version) by Pamtoy, released in July 2005. This also came in brown and GID (Glow In the Dark).