the beach x rum-spiked shakes ~ boracay day two

day two was spent entirely at the beach, as it should be. we woke up late and missed our free breakfast from Microtel so we had brunch by the sea instead. of course, we started the day with beer matched with a fatty double cheese ham sandwich — the perils and at the same time joy of a vacation = pigging out. 
while harry took a swim, i spent the rest of the morning until past noon, sitting on the lounge chairs, reading a book and still tuned in to my iPod. that was the perfect morning for me. by 2 in the afternoon, we had massages, compliments of the resort, beside the pool which we wished would last longer. by 4, we walked past the boundary of Diniwid and the beach stations to visit a Estacio Uno to have a quick ocular and meeting with management for a client whose wedding Cuckoo Cloud Concepts will be styling this December. yes! i had to insert a bit of work but it was still fun because the manager was really accommodating and told good stories of his life in the hospitality industry. 
the sunset was still something we looked forward to and we finished the afternoon with a touristy bottle of shake spiked with rum, paired with a chori burger and a longer walk from station 1 to 2 for some heavy dinner. 

floral cutout cropped top – gifted by sister | white denim cut-offs – thrifted | oversized sunnies – urban outfitters | bangles – bangkok finds | bead bracelets – downtown finds | elephant tusk necklace – bangkok find
mismatched bikini – props | blue floppy hat – boracay find | oversized sunnies – urban outfitters
polka dotted bikini top – props | white denim cut-offs – thrifted | striped multi-color knit bag – gifted from sister | blue oversized floppy hat – boracay find | oversized sunnies – urban outfitters | bangles – bangkok finds | bead bracelets – downtown finds


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sunset city ~ boracay day one

two of the things i look forward to when visiting Boracay: the awesome i-never-get-sick-of sunset and the beach bohemian culture. Harry initially wanted to go to Palawan for our honeymoon but i asked him to compromise and booked a resort on the farther side of the island, away from the crowd yet still near the amazing beaches of Boracay. 
day one was spent just lounging around, reading a book while waiting for Harry to sleep off his night shift (which he came from before we flew here) and listening to good indie music while experience the amazing sunset. the rest of the night was spent walking on fine white sand — holding hands of course, looking for good food at the beach stations and discovering Ti Braz which became our day-ender until we left the island. one thing we also realized and became a habit during the stay is that beer is only P20.00 more expensive than water. so naturally, since we were on vacation, we bypassed water and drank beer all day. 


white one-shouldered maillot – nudo swimwear | floral pencil skirt – props | embroidered and beaded sandals – people are people | rainbow knit bag – gifted by sister | elephant tusk necklace (which i lost during the trip) – bangkok find | bangles and bracelets – bangkok and downtown finds

forgive the haggard, make-upless face. this was during the later part of the night. anyway, i realized while preparing this post that i haven’t posted any details about our wedding. You can find our bohemian wedding here. hope you guys love it! 

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a little sacrifice goes a long way

next on the queue of my posts is Harry and mine’s February Boracay honeymoon – vacation but since we should all be in a somber mood for the Holy Week, i figured i should post them starting Easter. here’s a regular daily outfit post, after one of our Cuckoo meetings. this was taken last January, when we spent the whole afternoon discussing our business plans for the rest of the year. 
working freelance was something both April and i decided to do in October when we launched Cuckoo Cloud Concepts and definitely, one of the major advantages is flexibility and being able to manage our own time without being strapped to corporate necessities. nevertheless, freelancing is hard and certainly has a few downs as well. since we’re a start-up company, we have to let go of personal wants to allocate funds for materials, fare to and fro supply stores and our workplace and we have to accommodate long working hours. it’s hard not to be able to expect a certain amount of earning every month for the bills and we’ve had to depend on our super-supportive hubbies to get through. 
they say though, and this has been a tried and tested testament, that a little sacrifice goes a long way. we’re lucky enough to have such supportive people in our lives to cushion our sacrifices but we know that when we work hard with what we’re passionate about, we will surely get there. security and stability will come. for now, we just have to work our asses off. 

 

black safari top – thrifted | printed leggings – props | chain backpack – thrifted | silver ballet flats – rubi shoes, cotton on | gun-metal silver necklace – downtown find | claw cuff – bangkok find | beaded bracelets – downtown finds, braids & bonds | rings – downtown and bangko finds | black watch – gifted by sister | oversized sunnies – urban outfitters 

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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 – lovechic.ph | 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 3: mornings by the beach

we did take a dip when the tide rolled in the night before so our time at the beach wasn’t wasted at all. tired from the late swim, we slept early and woke up early enough to enjoy the cold morning breeze. the tide was mid-level and we were able to kayak safely over to the hut on a raft in the middle of the sea and swim with the fishes. the water was so clear, you don’t need a snorkel to see the corals and colorful creatures below it. okay, okay, so i am a good swimmer but i cannot snorkel for the life of me. i don’t know, i’ve tried it several times but end up getting water up my nose. sue me! LOL. 
after the swim and before our sumptuous lunch, we spent the great part of our morning lounging, the best way we know how. 

printed monokini – bangkok find | denim cut-offs – tommy hilfiger | pink flip-flops – havaianas | oversized sunniess – urban outfitters, gifted by sis | black wide-brimmed hat – cotton on

we went home around 3PM, hearts a little heavy and promising to come back soon. my sister will be leaving for Sydney in a few days and we had other duties to attend to but our stay in Hale Manna will always be something we will remember. 
we couldn’t pass up the chance to grab yummy dessert on the way back to the city and dropped by the milk station in Barili. a cup of homemade ice cream (okay, i got 3 cups, shared with Harry since i couldn’t decide on flavor) and locally made barquillos completed our weekend vacation. 

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hale manna part 2: afternoon bliss

since we arrived at the beach past 2PM, the water has receded by the time we got settled in our room. actually, our detached bungalow which housed 8 beds was a dream so we found ourselves rolling in our beds, eating and just having fun — we almost forgot we were at the beach, so it took us more than an hour to get settled. what a waste of a beach right? well, it’s our vacation and we call the shots. 
so we stepped out and just spent the rest of the afternoon lounging by the beach, waiting for the sunset. my sisters, my mom, dad, cousin and I stuffed ourselves in the cabana and played that app game with the icons. i think Harry even dozed off in one of the hammocks and my brother-in-law Warren still couldn’t disconnect himself from his Mac. an afternoon by the beach, in our own version of afternoon bliss. 

polka dot ruffled maillot – cotton on | white denim cut-offs – thrifted | black wide-brimmed hat – cotton on, rubi shoes | oversized sunnies – urban outfitters, gifted by sister | bangles and bracelets – downtown finds 

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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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take risks — start with your hair!

meet my hair that’s a result of an utter sense of freedom and relief that the wedding planning is over and i get to do anything i want that will not do injustice to my beautiful wedding dress. last july 2012, when i got my roots retouched for my engagement session, i had my hair stylist promise that she’ll do my hair ombre after the wedding. 
i was wed on December 22, 2012 and on the afternoon of December 31, to greet the new year I made true to that promise of changing my hair drastically. it’s the craziest thing i have done appearance-wise and because it’s crazy, it’s all the more reason that i love it. every time i look at the blond roots, it reminds me of my vow to do the things i love and with passion. to embrace life freely and take risks. 
the photos were taken prior to our cut & style activity with islands souvenirs. i initially planned to wear denim cut-offs which has recently been my go to closet item but decided against it knowing that Eden will be there — we have a standing joke of dressing simply every time we get together which we somehow can’t manage. what can we say, we’ve learned a lot from Chanel — we dress up every time we go outside because we never know we’ll have a date with destiny. right? 

floral cropped top with cutout shoulders – traded with sister | jersey maxi skirt – props | mustard platforms – zalora by centropell | oversized leather bag – R.A.F. by plains and prints | rings: blue stone ring and cross connector ring – downtown finds | butterfly ring – gifted by a friend | bracelets: brown and pink stone bracelets, green spiked bracelet, chain and braid bracelet – downtown finds | wooden bangle – bangkok find | angel wing necklace – downtown find | black watch – gifted by sister

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