Tag Archives: fashion blog

Cubao by night

10 Aug

Amid the onslaught of inclement weather this past week came a ray of good news. PinoyExchange had an online promo for Snow Patrol concert tickets, and I was among the winners.

So last August 9, Raine and I trooped to the Big Dome and sang-swayed-swooned along to songs that had been part of our lives for the past ten years.

Post-concert happy child.

Post-concert Energizer bunneh.

The afternoon before the show, I played Fallen Empires tracks on shuffle to incubate the concert mood. The sound of Snow Patrol has grown through the years, with their latest album as an epitome of a fresh musical frontier for the band. It was this spirit — a rockish vibe melding the edgy and the sentimental — I tried to channel for that night’s outfit.


Derpina fez.

The brown jacket (P200) is from a (now closed :’(( ukay in Makati. The grey tank top, khaki mini skirt and blue-brown ribbon are gifts. Almost three years ago, I bought the cassette tape necklace for P100 at the UP Fair.

I’m crazy about the footwear: a pair of Nike Lab G Series motocross booties (originally P1200, eventually sold for P600) snagged at the Sagada Ukay-Ukay in Quezon Avenue.

The concert wrapped up around 10 p.m. Raine and I spent the next hour shooting at a lamppost-lined lane a few blocks from the Araneta Coliseum. It was raining by then, so we had to shelve plans of exploring the Cubao X night scene — hopefully not for long though. Until then, I’ll be looking forward to the next Cubao detour…and maybe, just maybe, another shot at free tickets sometime somewhere.

Photos by Raine Calucag and me.

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The Mean Reds and Friends as Tiffany’s

9 Aug

Growing up, I had my fair share of advice from adults and self-help books to be judicious in finding company. “Be careful choosing your friends,” a particular book said, “you become who they are.”

With time I came to realize that friendship, as with any relationship worth its while, becomes less about enabling circumstances and more about the choices we make to stay connected. This becomes especially true when circumstances – for reasons geographical, professional, spatial, or if you want to go all Bradbury or Spielberg about it, dimensional – make togetherness anywhere from a notch to an eon more difficult. Ultimately, the desire to connect — or re-connect — is a commitment.

Nineteen years ago, I was born on the last week of July in the midst of a thunderstorm. Every birthday since, it had been a challenge to invite people to celebrate with. Varying degrees of rain were constant gatecrashers at my parties, after all. But this July 29 was a different story, with some of those I hold dearest conspiring for a surprise get-together.

The tapestries of each friendship are as diverse as the people themselves, but a single thread binds them together. They are among the first people I could, would and do turn to when I get a bad case of what Audrey Hepburn (as Holly Golightly) called the “mean reds”.

My birthday outfit was inspired by the iconic “wild thing” Miss Golightly.

The Taylor black brocade dress (P250) is from Red Tomato. Black leather platforms are by Gibi. Layered teardrops choker (P150) is a tiangge find, and the necklace used as a hair accessory is a birthday gift.

Here’s one of my favorite scenes from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, where Holly explains the mean reds to her writer-neighbor Paul Varjak:

Holly: Poor cat! Poor slob! Poor slob without a name! The way I see it I haven’t got the right to give him one. We don’t belong to each other. We just took up one day by the river. I don’t want to own anything until I find a place where me and things go together. I’m not sure where that is but I know what it is like. It’s like Tiffany’s. 

Paul: Tiffany’s? You mean the jewelry store. 

Holly: That’s right. I’m just CRAZY about Tiffany’s! Listen, you know those days when you get the mean reds? 

Paul: The mean reds, you mean like the blues? 

Holly: No. The blues are because you’re getting fat and maybe it’s been raining too long, you’re just sad that’s all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you’re afraid and you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling? 

Paul: Sure. 

Holly: Well, when I get it the only thing that does any good is to jump in a cab and go to Tiffany’s. Calms me down right away. The quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there. If I could find a real-life place that’d make me feel like Tiffany’s, then – then I’d buy some furniture and give the cat a name! 

In another scene, Holly said, “Anyone who ever gave you confidence, you owe them a lot.” I may not see these lovelies all the time, but everyday I’m grateful for the likes of them, who make me feel like Tiffany’s — and eons, eons better.

via Tumblr http://bargainmuse.tumblr.com/post/29045759294

6 Aug

I’ve never been out on a date for my birthday, so when Raine — among my favoritestestest people in the world — asked me out, I squealed a yes even before I could blink.

Together, we indulged in an evening of story-swapping and gustatory revelry with entrees at the Stella Wood Bistro and dessert at The Diamond Hotel’s Cake Club. For the main course, I had my fill of bone marrow with garlic focaccia crisps, served with a rosemary sultana compote and gremolata.

After we had asked for the bill, I oh-so-pointedly mentioned that it was my birthday. And what do you know? The waiter came back with two scoops of Arce Dairy Mantecado ice cream. The flavor was a childhood favorite, and for that moment I felt nineteen going on nine.

Our idea of a post-dinner workout involved the most unorthodox of fitness equipments: DSLR, lamppost, busy sidewalk and the added bonus of a drizzle. We like to think we burned a good deal of calories chasing our shadows on the pavement, twirling, jumping and posing for outfit shots.

That day’s outfit featured a black and white semi-sheer dress (P60) from a Makati ukay, a ribbon recycled from a birthday package, my favorite black doctor’s bag (P250) from a Japanese thrift store and red rose shoes from Landmark. 

It would later turn out that whatever exercise we deluded ourselves into doing was for naught. Our desserts at the Cake Club made doubly, triply sure of that. I’m not very fond of chocolate cakes, but the promise of dark chocolate in the Supermoist Chocolate Cake made me rescind initial distaste. Happily, it didn’t disappoint.

Moreover, Raine had been gushing about their Baked Cheesecake Ice Cream (BCIC) since the summer, and I understood why upon the first spoonful. 

Think of a chunky cheesecake with a nibbly crust. Now add milk and velvety cream, and there goes a humble approximation of the goodness that is BCIC. 

Before paying the bill, I casually mentioned again that it was my birthday. The waiter promptly excused himself and returned with a menu. I got to choose two ice cream flavors on the house, and happily settled for the robust black sesame and the sherbetesque lychee.

That night was the caloric equivalent of raising two fat middle fingers up the face of my so-called grad pictorial diet.

But I’ll never forget what Raine told me when I thanked her over dinner for the birthday treat. She said she had given her gift some thought, but ultimately opted for something impossible to replicate or replace: “I realized I can buy you anything at anytime. And anyone can do the same. But I can’t really buy you memories for you to keep, so I’m gonna give you one for your nineteenth.”

And what a memory it was — rambunctious, spontaneous and overall precious, long after the moon pulled back the strings of rain, and long after the plates had been cleared away.

Photo credits to Raine Calucag.

Bargain musings

25 Jul

In a matter of days, I’ll be blowing 19 candles on what would hopefully be a dark chocolate and cherry cake. In a matter of months, I’ll be among the latest sunflower children of UP Diliman, shifting the sablay from the left to the right shoulder in parting with my alma mater, and in anticipation for what awaits outside it.

The past few weeks marked the last of many firsts, and the first of many lasts. This Bargain Muse venture is among my firsts, and I hope to make it last for as long as I can.

The idea for this blog came to me one day on a trip to my favorite wonderland, an ukay-ukay. My browser has seen its fair share of fashion blogs, most of which feature branded clothes or accessories equivalent to anywhere from 1 to 15 unit/s of my tuition. Not that there’s anything inherently bad about that. Everyone’s free to spend their resources the way they want to, after all.

For my own part, I believe spending isn’t a pre-requisite to a diverse wardrobe. Each article of clothing is an investment – just as there are costly options, there are also those to be had at a much cheaper price. And as I’ve discovered time and time again, relatively lower prices do not have to equate to tacky designs or poor quality.

Bargain Muse celebrates this affordable ingenuity. There is value (and unparalleled thrill!) in getting not just more, but the mostest bang for your buck. This blog is an account of the little treasures I find amid yard sales, stuffy thrift stores and unkempt cardboard boxes – clothes and trinkets that lay still on their racks, begging to be rescued from their neon plastic hangers.

At the very most, I hope to encourage others to explore the infinite possibilities of bargain shopping. At the very least, I hope to meet others who share similar interests, particularly the idea that one need not shell out too much to dress presentably.

Cheers!