run with horses

our visit to Gaite Ranch last February all the more confirmed my love for animals. we visited the ranch in Toledo for yet another ocular for Cuckoo Cloud Concepts and fell in love at first sight not just with the animals but the place as well. the venue had such a homey yet international feel to it that it was easy to just spend the afternoon relaxing. their free wifi in their lobby and restaurant was a plus too. 
there’s really something about animals and their unspoken affection for humans that tugs at my heart. the place was packed with horses and if only i can, i would have loved to run with them. while on our way to the aviary, we also met Trager, the ranch’s resident bulldog who was very sweet despite his tough exterior. Trager loves to have pictures taken, as long as he is sitting on a chair. i wish i had a bag big enough to fit Trager in. 

floral tunic – thrifted | denim cut-offs – thrifted | brown boots – props | oversized sunnies – urban outfitters | braided tan belt – props

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unplanned trips make the best adventures

one of the challenges of ensuring a good photo shoot session is finding a good location. i have been finding myself craning my neck during road trips or even short trips to visit a place to look for a good spot to do a photo shoot. i usually sleep during trips as i find being in a vehicle lulling. however, Cebu City is really small and with soon-to-be married couples now investing more on a great engagement sessions, it has become difficult not to have the same location as the other. depending on the skill of the photographer, some common locations can still become different. nevertheless, finding new ones is still part of the highs of a stylist’s job. 
last February, in an effort to find new scenery and to cheer up our beach-loving pregnant friend, Mildred — who is incidentally the wife of Marlon Capuyan, one of the highly talented photographers that Cuckoo Cloud Concepts have frequently collaborated with, we went on an unplanned southern road trip. just a simple text, “let’s go to the beach” (cue Nikki Minaj) and an “okay, I’ll tell Harry. see you 8:00 AM tomorrow,” we were off! certainly, unplanned trips make the best adventures. no expectations, just enjoying things as they come. 
do keep your eyes open for the editorial that we have been working on for the top wedding blog in the country. *palpitations* our hearts and souls have certainly been poured into this endeavor. 

polka dot maillot – cotton on | high-waisted cut-offs – thrifted | knit cover-up – thrifted | black turban – bangkok find | tan fringed bag – urban originals | oversized sunnies – urban outfitters, gifted by sister | bangles – downtown finds | elephant tusk necklace – bangkok find | multi-colored braided belt – borrowed from sister

p.s. my flip-flops is one of those, “omigad, i can’t believe i bought this. it looked good with one outfit  but i can’t wear it again.” and i wore these because the trip was very much unplanned and we literally had ourselves running out the door early in the morning. 

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nostalgic for summers spent with watercolor and acrylic

here’s a continuation of our little mission to rediscover our city. this time we visited the San Pedro Calungsod Chapel, which i wasn’t able to fully see on our last trip and dropped by Fort San Pedro as well. 
the newly erected San Pedro Calungsod is as magnificent inside as it is on the outside. the interior is very zen and the decor is minimial but it gives you a different sense of serenity when you’re in it. i think the chapel being right by the sea adds to its charm. Fort San Pedro, on the other hand, has been standing on the island of Cebu for more than a century and is still one of the amazing structures in the city. i cannot believe that the stones on its walls were actually constructed using egg yolks and were done by hand. walking around the Fort made my sister and I nostalgic for the summer we had studying art and we spent 2 weekends hanging out by the park near the Fort, painting with oil and watercolor. 
white tank top – thrifted | teal palazzos – props | knit cardigan – thrifted | animal-printed flats – props | animal-printed belt – props | brown hat – metro dept store | tan fringe bag – urban originals | black watch – gifted by sister | rings – downtown finds | bracelets – braids and bonds | downtown finds | elephant tusk necklace – bangkok find

p.s. please don’t mind the heavy eyebags — i am still recovering from night shift syndrome and have not managed to flip back my sleeping pattern. not to mention that the females in my family suffer from insomnia. *sigh*

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what we take for granted could surprise us

it’s funny and sad how by looking ahead, we take for granted what we have near us. it took a visit from one of my sister’s classmates in Uni in Sydney for us to get the chance to explore the city and re-learn our history. it was an afternoon city tour, visiting local tourist spots like the Heritage site, Metropolitan Cathedral, Magellan’s Cross, Sto. Niño and Taoist Temple. these sites were the usual spots we visited back when we had elementary field trips but it’s been awhile since we’ve been here and actually absorbed the history. 
Aqui, her husband, Manij and her mom visited my sister, Aimee last January. although Aqui is from Pangasinan, another province in the Philippines, it was her first time here in Cebu. they met in school and became fast friends. for the people who took my sister in and took care of her while she’s miles away from her family, we made sure their first trip to our city was worthwhile, no matter how short it was. 

white button-down – props | denim cut-offs – tommy hilfiger | tan fringed leather bag – urban originals | turquoise flats – solemate, sm dept store | braided tan belt – props | black wide-brimmed hat – cotton on | geometric earrings – | rings and bracelets – combined braids and bonds, downtown finds and gifts

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breakfast road trip

one of the things Harry and i promised to do this year was take on more adventures and travel more. we didn’t get to do as much last year or even in the later part of 2011 because we were dead serious in saving money for our wedding. we decided that 2013 will be the year for adventures, even if it’s just an out-of-the blue road trip to south reclamation area to visit the Chapel of San Pedro Calungsod. we drove there really early in the morning and by early, we meant the sun-was-still-rising early. it was refreshing to be up when every one else were still sleeping and having the road to ourselves. it felt infinite, like everything was alright in the world. 
the place was still closed though, which we didn’t consider when we left home. so we just strolled around the place and reveled in the amazing structure which is said to be made of a hundred walls. the walls created these beautiful shadows at different angles, it was also a little eerie. after saying a quick prayer, we headed back to the city to have breakfast and start the week right. 

lace boho top – thrifted | pale lilac jersey maxi skirt – props | double braided belt – props | grey cotton flats – solemate, gifted by sister | black studded chain backpack – thrifted | coin necklace – pink pvssy bangkok | claw cuff bracelet – borrowed from mom | rings: wasp – downtown find, owl – gifted by a friend, gecko – pink pvssy bangkok, butterfly – accessorize, gifted by a friend

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hale manna part 1: tribal print x polka dots

it has really been awhile since i’ve enjoyed the beach. aside from having to maintain long hair to prepare for my wedding, i also promised myself last year to achieve my natural fair skin — which we got a hint of from my mom. i’ve been avoiding the sun and have been wearing sunblock everyday. whenever i need to be outside, i cover myself with long-sleeved cotton tops and oversized hats. last year, i only visited the beach once and we were under the shade of the boat, most of the time. don’t get me wrong, i have no regrets — i wanted to be fair so i will stand out in my wedding dress but i’m sure you can all imagine my relief when we got to hit the beach this year. 
words can’t describe how beautiful hale manna in moalboal is. pictures can’t even do it justice because you need to be there for the experience. yes, the sand is not as fine as that of boracay’s or bantayan’s and 25% of the resort is by the cliff but the serenity you feel when you’re in the place is beyond measure. the beach is lined with small huts that house mattresses, overlooking the ocean so we got to spend a whole afternoon relaxing. the service and amenities were amazing too. it didn’t feel like we were in a resort, we felt like we were in tita’s rest house. we were pampered beyond belief. 
hold on to your seats, this will be the first of 3 posts of our hale manna vacation. 

tribal printed swimsuit top – props | polka maxi wrap-around skirt – thrifted | elephant tusk necklace – bangkok find | oversized sunnies – urban outfitters, gifted by sister | bangles – braids and bonds & downtown finds

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catching up: tagaytay in june

okay so my last post in july was apologetic for not being able to blog for a month and it contained a promise that i will blog sporadically. it’s already september and i’m as sorry as ever. 
not just sorry to my readers (whom i hope are still around) but to myself as well. over the last 2 months, i’ve let work take over my life. i finally understood why my former manager was always frantic and seemingly all over the place because i’ve just become her. i’ve lost any grace  and is constantly overwhelmed with things to do, it’s no longer humorous. i started blogging to take a break from work and i should’ve kept going. this is me, moving forward. 
CATCHING UP: this was the day after bloggers united when my relatives, mildred and i visited tagaytay. it was my first time and i fell completely in love with the place. i wish we didn’t have to leave. i imagined myself living the laid back life — opening up a small cafe with a small collection of my favorite books to read and a little corner where i can sell clothes. oh tagaytay, i hope to see you soon. ♥ ♥ 
chiffon leopard mini-dress – props | black cutout cardigan – bangkok find | pink satchel – props | black tights – metro ayala | black studded belt – props | gold lace-detail necklace – | bangles – borrowed from sis | rings: cross connector and armor ring – downtown finds

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my second home

Dumaguete has always enamored me, even as a kid. in summer, the ferry from Dipolog usually stops over en route to Cebu and my cousins and i would step off for a bit, walk around the boulevard and eat street food — barbecue and tempura. as we’re walking, i’d crane my head to peak at the establishments along the boulevard and the streets beyond them, thinking to myself how peaceful and adorable everything is and imagining myself walking in and out of those shops. 
then i met Harry, who was born and raised in Dumaguete and i actually lived my imagination. Dumaguete became my second home and i now consider it as a tranquil escape from the city life. i no longer have to crane my head to see what’s beyond the streets along the boulevard — i have actually walked those streets beyond. the place is as quaint and peaceful as i’d imagined, even after all these years. and what do i do every time i’m there? this i never miss — have a slice or two of Espanola pizza at Hayahay. the yummiest pizza ever. 

polka dot mini dress – bangkok find | sheer cardigan – thrifted | grey flats – solemate, sm dept store | tan bag – sm dept store | black hat – metro ayala | bangles – downtown finds | wasp ring – downtown find | necklaces: elephant tusk – bangkok find, black stone with chain fringe – downtown find | leopard print scarf as bag accessory – gifted by Aqui

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sayin’ goodbye to dumaguete + getting ready for another trip

it took me a while to fall asleep the night before we left. i just wanted to stay there in our suite forever. Harry’s been convincing me to move there with him. yeah, i didn’t mention this but Dumaguete is Harry’s hometown. he’s illustrated a simple life for me and suggested i open up a clothes shop near their biggest university, Silliman. i’ve considered it and pondered on the thought all night but i love the city so much, i just can’t leave Cebu. so i took one last look at the moon over the ocean, nestled myself in the sheets and hoped i could sleep longer so i can stay longer in Dumaguete.
meanwhile, as you’re reading this post, i would at the time be already in Bangkok. my mom, sister and i have decided to put up a wholesale business selling clothes, shoes, maybe bags and of course, accessories. this will be one of the many trips we’ll make to Bangkok this year. and no, this is not the big project i was talking about. you have to watch out for that too. 
so if you plan to do a shopping trip to Bangkok, here’s the best way to pack:
♥ bring the essentials like shampoo, soap, lotion, etc and place it in a foldable travel kit — mine is the grey patent one)
♥ pack only 3 pcs of clothing and make sure to prepare for the very humid weather there — i packed a graphic tee, a pair of shorts and a printed cotton dress
♥ bring a pair of slippers and a pair of comfy sneaks
♥ most importantly, leave A LOT of space for new buys
black and white star-printed dress – thrifted
navy blue cardigan – thrifted
black oversized bag – parisian, sm dept store
white flip-flops – havaianas
printed fedora hat – sm dept store, men’s dept
floral sunnies – carbon find
owl necklace – carbon find
armor ring and skull ring – carbon finds

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Dumaguete Day Two: A Motorcycle Ride

remember when i mentioned how our suite had a view of the ocean? this our view and we woke up to this every morning. 

so day two of our Dumaguete adventure consisted of a lovely brunch at Mamia restaurant — we were seated outside so we had whole view of the ocean, a long but super fun motorcycle ride to Valencia — this quaint and natural town in the hills of Dumaguete, a little trip to Dumaguete’s famed Forrest Camp, a short visit to their new Robinson’s mall and a quiet dinner with Harry’s best friend, Richard at Hayahay over their oh so yummy pizza. might i add that Hayahay is also fronting the ocean and we had the amazing view of the full moon shining over the waves.
it was amazing having spent the whole day just relying on Harry and not having to drive anywhere. he took control of the day and i just sat behind him on the motorcycle, with music from my iPod and the wind on my hair. i dream of more days like this. i happen to like being taken cared of by someone i so love. 


the food:
the food photos are only of the ones we had at Mamia restaurant because Harry and i once again forgot to take photos of our yummy pizza at Hayahay. LOL.

printed dress – gifted from Sweet (as the prize to her fashion stylist contest)
blue beaded sandals – khaosan road, bangkok
printed fedora hat – sm dept store, men’s dept
black handbag – nine west
necklaces: elephant tusk – bangkok | diamond shaped pattern – gifted from ivy
armor ring and skull ring – carbon finds
bangles – carbon finds

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Dumaguete Day One: Moonlit Stroll

i apologize if i’ve been MIA for almost 4 days. i fell hard in love with dumaguete that it took me a while to recover. here’s day one of our trip — discovering that our very affordable suite in one of the hotels near the famous Rizal boulevard has floor to ceiling windows, overlooking the ocean; each having two of the infamous Taster’s burgers right when we arrived, meeting up with one of Harry’s childhood best friends over dinner at Cafe’ Antonio and drinks at Hayahay then just taking a long walk along Rizal boulevard, with the waves crashing against the rocks and over good conversation.
the food: 
(1) our Taster’s burgers — Harry and i were such pigs that we ate two each; the burgers were nothing fancy really as they came with the usual coleslaw and mayo-ketchup sauce but the meat was just juicy even when it was thin and the burgers just screamed home-cooked goodness;
(2) my Jamaican porkchops at Cafe’ Antonio; wasn’t able to take a photo of Harry’s baby back ribs because we’re such terrible food bloggers that we forget to take out the camera before we start devouring the food;

black dress with crocheted details – thrifted
blue beaded sandals – bangkok find
black purse – nine west vintage
necklaces: elephant tusk – bangkok | diamond shaped pattern – gifted from ivy
armor ring and skull ring – carbon finds

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bangkok tales episode six: i wish we can stay longer…

so it’s out last day. with the visit to safari world, i am utterly torn between loving elephants or giraffes! giraffes are just gorgeous…i love their eyes and how amazing their print is. i love that they have somehow evolved long necks to survive and adapt to the changing world. i once saw a discovery channel feature on crescent island in africa which made me cry and made me long to see a giraffe…so i don’t know, i’m torn. (listen to me talking like crazy here…haha!)

overall, bangkok was a blast —- the shopping there is the best! and the food, my gosh, is just incredible. what i didn’t like though was the terrible traffic and the very humid and hot weather.there were some family drama that went on but it was still all worth it. i cannot wait to go back to bangkok and do more serious shopping! no more tours, just SHOPPING.

ps. the double belts was a crazy idea that didn’t turn out too well, i know. armand wanted to take off his brown belt (mine was tan) and i wanted to try and wear both of them.

striped tee with sequined pocket – platinum mall, bangkok
polka dot shorts – pratunam, bangkok
woven oversized hat – khaosan road, bangkok
grey espadrilles – carcar, cebu
black bag – nine west

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