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 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 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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never too old for sinulog

the Sinulog festivities have grown over the last years. more and more people flock to Cebu from different parts of the country to venerate sto. nino and of course, to experience how it is to party in Sinulog. the first photo below is how Sinulog looks like in Cebu. imagine that volume of people and multiply that by 100. now imagine, half of these are inebriated and are most likely to splash water (or beer) on you or paint your face with poster color or worse, black oil. don’t expect to go home clean and untainted — especially if you’re intent on partying. be prepared to give your Sinulog shirt a good funeral because you will never be able to wear it again. this year, we even saw everyone sharing the love, holding placards saying “free hugs.” Sinulog is indeed a happy time. 
when Harry and I were asked what we’ll be doing this year for Sinulog, we figured we’re too old for the street party and planned on staying at home. after all, we’re an old married couple (or we feel like one). admittedly, after last year’s tragic incident, Sinulog has scarred me. good thing we went out though because that was one of the most fun we’ve had in a long time. it was also a great time to spend with my sisters — as we danced crazily, not caring what other people would think. 

neon striped top (which died at the end of the day) – props | denim levis cut-offs – thrifted | grey flats – solemate, sm dept store | tan fringe bag – urban originals | black hat – cotton on | feather necklace – downtown find | oversized sunnies – urban outfitters | bangles and bracelets – downtown finds and braid & bonds
where is my Islands Souvenirs cut&style shirt? i wore the pink at the beach and gave the other one to my cousin after her pleas. LOL. 

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pit senyor! x islands souvenirs cut & style your sinulog shirt

my hectic schedule (and not being able to blog for days) might not show this but it was truly an honor being one of the ambassadors for Islands Souvenirs Cut & Style Your Sinulog Shirt project. headed by Kryz Uy and together with Eden Villarba, Marco Diala and Gillian Uang, we were all given a chance to show our creative side and style the popular Sinulog shirts from Islands Souvenirs. 

each of us were given shirts and were tasked to create two styles. one pair, they display on the Islands Souvenir shops and the other, to be worn by us. the event took place last week and i couldn’t wait for Sinulog day and had to bring my shirt to the beach, last weekend. here’s my first design: 

DIY shirt – Islands Souvenirs | white cut-offs – thrifted | yellow beaded necklace – props | elephant tusk necklace – bangkok find | bangles with beads – braids and bonds | red bangles – WAGW | beaded bracelets – downtown finds

it is very easy to make actually and here’s a guide on how you can create this style:

♥ first, cut off the edges of the shirt — from the hem, the collar and the sleeves. you can go sleeveless or like me, cut it shorter to cover your arms a bit. i also cut the collar deeper in the back. it is Sinulog after all and the streets will be swamped and you’d need to breathe from all the partying.

♥ dip-bleach (if it’s colored) or dip-dye (if it’s white) the shirt and prepare a small bottle of bleach or a packet of colored dye
♥ dip a smaller part of the bottom for 30 minutes then dip the shirt halfway and leave it for 4 hours (or until you reach your desired shade). 


♥ when you reach the desired result of your shirt, wash them in water and soap and hang to dry.
♥ once dry, begin cutting the shirt in fringes.

♥ for a more stylish effect, you can cut the front strips thinly and braid every fringe or so.

you still have tonight and tomorrow morning to style your Sinulog shirts! and as an added treat, if you wear your Islands Souvenirs shirt to VUDU’s Sinulog Party Series, you get free cover charge!

see you all on the streets! pit senyor!

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Fashion Institute of the Philippines launches in Cebu!

my prayers have finally been answered. fashion has come to Cebu in the form of the Fashion Institute of the Philippines. although Cebu has been a lover of fashion for decades and we have long produced amazing designers that have conquered not just the country but the world but Cebuanos had to go far and wide to learn fashion. it was only until recently that proper fashion education was  bestowed upon us and if not for my wedding planning, i would have enrolled myself in one of the classes (or maybe two classes). maybe next year then. who wants to go with me?
check out Fashion Institute of the Philippines‘ website for the different courses offered and its schedules. classes for Basic Fashion starts next Monday, March 12, 2012. ♥ ♥ ♥

check out Vanilla Ice Cream tomorrow for the announcement of the winner of $100! ♥

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blanc magazine online

on january 12,  Cebu’s underground youth and stylistas gathered for the launching of blanc, an online magazine that chronicles the latest fashion, art, androgyny, culture and most importantly, street style of Cebu. according to blancs editor-in-chief, josei ouano cuizon, the magazine started a year ago after a group of stylish friends were talking about what they wanted and didn’t want in a fashion magazine. well surely, after hours of talking, one of them may have strongly suggested that they start their own. 
apart from Bloggers United 2, never have i attended an event where street style was so rich and prominent, i didn’t feel odd wearing an overly-colorblocked outfit. we were surrounded by strong individual styles and not with the usual identical body-con or bondage dresses. and with my CFB sisters there, even rain couldn’t stop us from having fun. 
the fashion show of creations from a few of Cebu’s young designers
the amazing blanc magazine staff
cebu fashion bloggers in action — garbed in our distinct styles

here it is: the first official issue of blanc magazine with the queen of cebu, bee urgello, on the cover

for a lethal dose of underground fashion and art by Cebu’s youth, it is imperative that you:

bookmark blanc magazine‘s website
like the facebook page
follow the magazine on twitter

photos grabbed from:
 toni of perfumed red shoes | jeemah of cupcakes and choices | gillian of by details
phil of the fourth kid | angeli of miss enthusiast

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the maze teen model search

in my resolution to be a better blogger, a Cebuana fashion blogger at that, by doing more posts, saying yes to more events and supporting the local fashion industry in any way i can, i said “yes” to Eden’s invite to attend as one of the guests for The Maze Teen Image Model Search which was held at the Ayala Activity Center last January 7, 2012. 
Maze, which coincidentally is where my sister’s retail shop Props is located, is a one-stop hip shop in Ayala Cebu where one can find every fashionista’s needs, from chic dresses & accessories and even tech gadgets. 
the cebu fashion bloggers on front row
i gotta’ hand it to yves camingue for the styling in this segment of the show. tribal prints overload, layered on each other — i drool! i was literally bouncing in my seat!
the fans were the funnest part of the search — they went crazy for their model bets!
the talented hosts, eden and mark in their costume changes — of course styled by yves. turquoise is the peg for the night and i love it!
the lovely ladies in their gowns designed by Cebu’s Young Designers and wearing shoes by Shandar
my favorite in the search — she was chic, she had potential and best of all, she tripped so many times in this dress and even fell but she picked herself up and forged ahead. ♥

kudos goes to the Carolyn Tan, the CEO of Hype Management and Development Corp., for donating P15,000 to Clothes for Life — an association of fashion designers spearheaded by Cary Santiago and Wendell Quisido and supports several beneficiaries, including the Little Lamb Children’s Center (source:

and the winners are…

naomi grace and john paul

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