Tag Archives: thrift store

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. 

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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.

26 Jul

Squarepants and Goody Blue Shoes

A week shy of my first year in college, I bought a pencil case with SpongeBob’s googly eyes as its design. That first purchase launched a humble collection of anything yellow, square, buck-toothed and porous.

We moved to a new home when I was a sophomore. After 16 years, I could finally enjoy the independence that came with having my own room. When I opened the door for the first time, I beheld my mother’s thoughtful little surprise — a fluffy comforter featuring numerous pajama-clad SpongeBobs. So much for feeling like a grown-up. 

I haven’t watched a single episode of SpongeBob since 2009, and it’s been ages since I’ve added any new memorabilia. In fact, I’ve given away some of the items as gifts to fellow enthusiasts, mostly kids. But there are some things in my erstwhile collection that I simply cannot dispense with.

This bright yellow jacket is one of them. We’ve been together three years; it’s among those articles of clothing I’m unlikely to give up, unless it gives up on me first. 

I love how the jacket adds instant cheer to any outfit, especially during the rainy season. It also makes the more formal pieces in my wardrobe, like this Vera Wang dress (P350) from an export overruns store, a little more dressed down for a school day. 

The fresh take on the Mary Jane is from one of my favorite shoemakers, the Marikina-based Landi & Nuti. 

Ribbons of all colors and sizes are a staple in my wardrobe. The one featured here was a birthday gift from last year, along with the teal bangle. 

26 Jul

Every girl weaned on pop culture must have grown up having a favorite Disney princess. Mine was Snow White. I even had a Snow White-themed seventh birthday party, complete with costume and boy friends who doubled as well-wishing seven dwarves.

My reason for liking her was simple. As a child, I felt that pale Snow White with her apple cut (heh) bob and high propensity for breaking into song was the most relatable in a gaggle of long-haired, mostly Caucasian girl royals. Besides, I had (and still have) a relatively bigger shoe size than most girls, and was horrified to realize that my feet resembled the evil stepsisters’ more than it did Cinderella’s.

Last Tuesday’s outfit took inspiration from my favorite apple-munching princess. The top is from Samlin, the skirt an ukay find from Philcoa (P35), and the shoes from Grendha. The whole look is topped with a ribbon recycled from a birthday package I received last year.

Photos credits to the owzum Raine Calucag.