Tag Archives: fashion
8 Oct

mochacafe:

(via ohsopictures)

Would totally wear this.

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The Glad Hatter

24 Sep

Ask any of my relatives what food item I resembled as a baby, and you’re likely to get this common answer: a siopao. I owe this largely to my complexion and round, bald head.

This baldness at birth is a staple in my father’s lineage – an heirloom propensity where even the girls are not exempt.

My mother happily took to dressing me in dresses and hats, perhaps in an effort to make me look less of a baby boy.

Me on my first birthday

This tradition continued until I was about two, when my head was shaved for the last time.

Angel at age 2

Angel at age 2

When the hems of my dresses grew longer, my hair too grew out as I outgrew my hats. 

But my affinity for them couldn’t be capped so easily, and this outfit pays homage to that fondness.

Sometimes I come across pictures from the 1930’s and older, and muse over how sharply people used to dress. Besides providing protection from the elements, hats indicated social status and functioned as confidence boosters. 

Today, one would be hard-pressed to find occasions to wear hats, especially in a tropical country like the Philippines. But I subscribe to the notion that non-occasions can be occasions in themselves — hence my sporting a hat and a dress to school one Tuesday in August. 

For an even more vintage feel, my wuvly photographer and I headed to the art deco-inspired Aldaba Hall for this shoot.

The printed yellow dress is a P35 ukay find from Ayala. My gray hat (P269) is from Landmark, worn with shoes by Comfit and a quaint mustache ring. 

New finds and old favorites

14 Aug

Have any of your favorite eateries ever closed down?

A number of mine already have in recent years, and I realized how old I’m getting instrumental they have been to my dietary and social needs.

I remember many merienda sessions and night-outs with college friends inMaginhawa Street. Among our most frequented chow spots were Combi, which specializes in rice toppings, and the Persian diner Alfahkr’s (if your pronunciation sounds obscene, then congratulations, you’ve pronounced it right). Both of them closed in 2011.

Backtrack to an earlier period in my life. As a child and pre-teen, I loved spending afternoons after school at the Yum Yum Tree, what was once (huhu past tense) this cozy little café in Rustans Harrison Plaza, a stone’s throw away from where Mama used to work.

At YYT, my awkward, pimply prepubescent self developed a love for milkshakes and chicken cordon bleu. That was where I swapped stories with my parents in between bites of clubhouse sandwiches and the house burger. But all that was no more when Shopwise replaced Rustans inHarrisonPlaza.

Last Sunday, Mama and I grabbed a bite at Benny’s, a bistro with Filipino roots sprinkled with Italian sensibilities. It now stands where the Rustans Makati branch of YYT used to be. Most of their menu choices are local fare, but they do have a deli section for cold cuts and an open counter for customized pasta.

The attending waiter Arnel struck up a conversation with Mama and mentioned that he used to work for Yum Yum Tree. He had recognized her as one of the many employees who whiled their lunch breaks and merienda hours in the café.

While a sudden wave of nostalgia made me miss YYT, I happily indulged in Benny’s culinary offerings.

Clockwise from the empty plate and utensils: Bam-I, Benny’s Panini, Chico Shake

We had Bam-I (sautéed sotanghon and canton noodles with meat, seafood and vegetables) and Benny’s Panini (turkey ham, prosciutto, emmenthal, cheddar and garlic-herbed cheese drizzled with cranberry dressing on wholewheat bread). For my drink, I had theirChico(Sapodilla) Shake, a sweet, earthy fruit drink with a nutty aftertaste.

That day’s outfit had a touch of the sentimental in it. I paired a white straw hat from an elementary school costume with black shorts and a ribbony-printed chiffon blouse (P65) from an ukay-ukay. My favorite black closed wedges with golden stitched curlicues are by Gibi.

I am really loving hats right now, and I hope to collect more of them in the coming months. Look out for the next outfit post, where I’ll blog about the fun in donning a straw hat to school (schizo weather and curious stares notwithstanding).

Cheers!

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.

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

9 Aug

The Mean Reds and Friends as Tiffany’s

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.

The desire to 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.

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.

31 Jul

Because I can be a shy, shy demure girl…and because “Details in the Fabric” by Mraz and Morrison is stuck in my head.

Calm down
Deep breaths
And get yourself dressed instead
Of running around
And pulling all your threads saying
Breaking yourself up

If it’s a broken part, replace it
But, if it’s a broken arm then brace it
If it’s a broken heart then face it

And hold your own
Know your name
And go your own way

And hold your own
Know your name
And go your own way

And everything will be fine
Everything will be fine
Hmm

Hang on
Help is on the way
Stay strong
I’m doing everything

And hold your own
Know your name
And go your own way

And hold your own
Know your name
And go your own way

And everything, everything will be fine
Everything

Are the details in the fabric
Are the things that make you panic
Are your thoughts results of static cling?

Are the things that make you blow
Hell, no reason, go on and scream
If you’re shocked it’s just the fault
Of faulty manufacturing.

Yeah everything will be fine
Everything in no time at all
Everything

[Chorus]

Are the details in the fabric (Hold your own, know your name)
Are the things that make you panic
Are your thoughts results of static cling? (Go your own way)

Are the details in the fabric (Hold your own, know your name)
Are the things that make you panic (Go your own way)
Is it Mother Nature’s sewing machine?

Are the things that make you blow (Hold your own, know your name)
Hell no reason go on and scream
If you’re shocked it’s just the fault (Go your own way)
Of faulty manufacturing

Everything will be fine
Everything in no time at all
Hearts will hold

Tomorrow, my thesis partner and I — as with the rest of the graduating (must. have. conviction.) batch of journalism majors — will be submitting our concept papers for the perusal of the faculty. Deep breaths and fingers crossed for the months ahead!

It’s so easy getting caught up or overwhelmed with the big picture that the little things sometimes escape our notice. With this in mind, I’m trying a new approach in this outfit post by shifting attention to details (in the fabric or otherwise).

I wore prints on prints for the first time today, but made sure the colors were complementary to keep from looking outlandish. The paisley top (P250 on a Christmas sale) is from a Korean outlet store in Harrison Plaza, and the printed skirt is a P105 find from a Makati Cinema Square thrift store.

Topped off the look with dangling earrings (P10) from a garage sale, a gold watch borrowed from my mother, a charm bracelet given as a gift, and a ribbon ponytail (P15) from Times Plaza in UN Avenue. 🙂

Photos by Raine Calucag.

Last Friday Night: The Cheat Date

30 Jul

There is no state of bliss like sleeping in, especially on a weekday. It’s a privilege I’m unlikely to bask in once I trade my class readings for office memos, and my Form 5s for tax returns. That’s why every year since 2010, I strive to leave at least one whole morning free when mapping out my schedule for the semester.

This sem, Fridays are my staying-in-bed cheat days, what with a lone interpretive writing class (granted, it’s a three-hour class) at 1 p.m. Last July 27, though, I unintentionally took the lollygagging a little to the extreme. I woke up feeling ill at 10 a.m., ate breakfast, did my morning routine, and plopped back into bed an hour later. 

I woke up a second time at 2:30 p.m. In my groggy state, I read a text message from my prof: she had called off our class and required us instead to catch a forum from 1-4 p.m. that day. 

I reached school just in time for the forum’s end. YAY. Thankfully, I ran into classmates who were generous enough to fill me in on what went on during the forum.

Lesson learned: Never doze off after accomplishing morning routine. If it can’t be helped, at least set up an alarm.

That night, I was lucky enough to have enjoyed the company of my batchmate and good friend Jiru. I was up for some redundancy that night, so we trooped to Maginhawa for a double burger cheat date (no hard feelings, grad pic diet) — whetting our appetites first at the Burger Project and hopping over to The Iscreamist for dessert.

The Burger Project lets diners customize their own burger, with a range of patties, sauces, buns and add-ons to choose from. As a bonus, you can even name your creation and they’ll have the recipe recorded, allowing you to order the same thing during your next visit. 

     That night, I had a beef patty with lettuce, tomatoes, caramelized onions and gruyere cheese, drizzled with Burger Project’s Special Sauce and all wedged between two sesame buns. YUM. 

     Over at The Iscreamist, I tried the Burger variant of their Dragon’s Breath concoctions. The latter are basically cookies on popsicle sticks with Macaron, Bacon Popcorn, S’mores and Burger variants. It’s served in threes or fours with a cup of liquid nitrogen. 

The diner dips the cookie into the cup (effectively flash-freezing it) and pops it into his/her mouth. Then he/she sits back as smoke flares out from his/her nostrils and mouth, in a very bad-ass dragonesque fashion.

T’was my first time to try Dragon’s Breath. Jiru was kind enough to take a video as I floundered and slightly panicked as the first frozen cookie stuck to my tongue. Will upload it the next chance I get. 

And because he’s such a sweetie, Jiru capped off the night by giving me my first birthday gift this year: my own copy of The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. ❤

It rained for most of the afternoon and well into the night, something I failed to anticipate when I slipped into today’s outfit: an Express tank top (P100 from an outlet store) and a girly little skirt from the Makati Cinema Square ukay (P105). The silver ballet flats are from the Marikina Shoe Exchange, and the bright blue ribbon was a birthday gift from last year. 

I set out to try a different outfit shot last Friday, so I set my camera Sheldon on self-timer. This was the result of 561489 takes (after a time, all the futile jumping started feeling like a workout…yes, grad pic diet, I hear your evil cackle loud and clear) and a close encounter with a twisted ankle.

Cheers!

30 Jul

Designed by Guel Karaan for UPJC

Prof. Mikee Inton at the UPJC IF

Org buddy Flo and I doing a Charmee ad

With Alex, my baby shark Ate >:)

Because vintage

Because still vintage

Out and About

Among the most unique facets of studying in a liberal institution is the diversity of learning experiences inside and outside the classroom. It’s only in UP, for example, where one would find courses like Queer Theory, Philosophy of Love and Sex and LGBT Psychology.

I took the latter subject in 2010 under Prof. Eric Manalastas. One lesson I will never forget is his comparison of the LGBT community to other minorities, particularly those based on race and economic status.

The key difference, he said, was that if someone were African-American or poor, at least one of their parents would belong to the same minority group. The same can very rarely be said for LGBTs – even within one’s own family, support systems can be hard to come by.

As a minority, and especially in the context of a dominantly Catholic country like thePhilippines, there is propensity for the LGBT movement to be sensationalized, misrepresented, or worst, underrepresented in the media.

Last July 26, the UP Journalism Club launched the Issue Forum (IF), a series of monthly dialogues anchored on the most pressing issues in Philippine media and society. This July’s IF delved on the current dynamics between the LGBT community and media. Talk points included media coverage and treatment of LGBT-related stories, LGBT media practitioners and the media consumption habits of LGBT individuals.

The University Student Council’s Vice Chairperson Alex Castro, Reverend Ceejay Agbayani of the Metropolitan Community Church-Q.C., Prof. Mikee Inton of theCollegeofMass Communication, and TV5’s Research Head Danton Remoto facilitated the discussion.

After the forum, we JCers feasted on palabok, pichi-pichi, communal Coke and Chupa Chups for my pre-birthday treat.

Today’s look was inspired by the white trapo (cloth rag) used by drivers to clean up their taxis, jeepneys and what-have-you.

Of course I kid. But admit it, the resemblance is uncanny. Haha!

I couldn’t resist playing around with filters for a few vintage-esque shots (last photos in the set), because the hie-thee-hither hem of the dress reminds me of playful swimsuits from the 1950s.

This ruffled, floral and flitty little number cost P130 from a thrift store in Buendia. The gold ribbon is recycled from last year’s birthday gift, and the gold ribboned shoes are from Landmark.

Photo credits to Jodesz Gavilan, whose prodding and encouragement propelled this blog’s creation.