bangkok tales episode two: floating market

a kind note to all: this is going to be a picture-heavy post so you’re patience is greatly appreciated. 
photos are a combination of my canon sx20 and armand’s nikon d5000.
the floating market is part one of the second day in bangkok.
i can’t believe that even in Bangkok, we practiced the so-called ‘Filipino’ time. Filipinos are notorious for being late and this day was not an exception. room 2042 woke up 30 minutes prior to the schedule meet-up because instead of pressing snooze on their alarms, they turned it off. so naturally, at 15 minutes late, we had to enter the van with embarrassed faces as our tour mates might have been slightly pissed off.
we were brought to the floating market by a long speed boat which passed by several houses by the river. it was interesting to note how the rivers has served as the community’s passage way and how their livelihood has adapted to their location. it was really surprising (well, shocking) to see one lady washing their dishes on the mossy river water. we all opted to think that the water is full of nutrients that it is actually healthy to wash their dishes, fruits and vegetables there. *crossing fingers*
the boat ride cost 100 Baht and it was basically just so we can experience riding in the long wooden boats that they use to travel through the market. old ladies who were surprisingly still strong were manning these boats, including our own boat. you can find anything there from noodle boats where you can actually eat the noodles they cook in the boats, boats with fruits, vegetables, flowers, accessories, hats and even house ornaments. the boats travel slowly through the market and even bumped into each, naturally as if they’re not afraid of it breaking. i have to say the floating market is one surreal and different experience.
on me: white boho top with lace detail – thrifted | black shorts – maldita | grey espadrilles – carcar find | straw hat – khaosan road find | black handbag – nine west (you might notice i am lacking my usual bangles and necklaces — i was expecting to be shopping accessories on the 1st day but they turned out to be more expensive than expected)

on aimee: white lace-up top – thrifted | blue vest – thrifted | grey denim shorts – thrifted | black flip-flops – havaianas | white braided belt – sm dept store | dog tag necklaces – custom-made

i wish i can tell you what kitoy and armand wore but sadly, i missed asking them outfit details. 

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melancholic excitement

ever since our family went on a hongkong trip last year, we’ve decided to take family trips outside the country at least once a year. since both my mom and dad are almost retiring from their jobs and all of us siblings have graduated college and are all working, we thought we deserve a break every year. this year’s trip is to Bangkok, Thailand. our local airlines Cebu Pacific, despite some people’s bad experience with it, has regular seat sales and luckily, we were all able to avail of the sale having our round trip tickets at half the price! so we booked our flights months ahead and have been counting down to the day of our trip — which is tomorrow. 
ironically though, i am both utterly excited and sad to leave because for one, our grandma passed away last week in Texas and will be brought to Cebu this week when we’re not here and secondly, Harry is still in the hospital and will still be by the time i leave for Bangkok tomorrow. i am very much worried for him as his fever has been going up and down for the past 4 days. he’s had a diagnosis of two bacterial infections and  might have another diagnosis of dengue fever. i badly wish that i can cut my body in half and enjoy in Bangkok with family and take care of Harry too.
on a brighter note, that ring on my ring finger was given to me by marianne for my birthday. it is an owl’s head and it has wings on the side. i know didn’t do the ring justice with the photos i took. my sisters even thought it’s a frog. nevertheless, i love it! it has so much character and that’s exactly what i want to exude. thanks yannie for the gift!
also, a surprise awaits you my readers this coming august 20-23. make sure to check out my blog on those times!
blue plaid dress – thrifted (mink)
grey gladiator flats – parisian, sm dept store
owl ring – gifted from marianne
rectangle stone ring – props
layers of gun-metal bangles – props
gun-metal reindeer necklace – bubble bee tea house
dogtag necklace – custom-made
work watch – swatch

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never much of a follower

it’s funny how i’ve only started wearing gladiator flats now when the craze over it had died and other fashion experts have actually said it ‘is’ dead. nah, the hell with trends, i never go along with most of them anyway and i love them now and that’s all that matters. come to think of it, i never did like going with the crowd too much. not that i do it on purpose but sometimes i just allow everything crazy to pass before i start looking at it and get interested in it like how i’ve only started reading the Harry Potter series right when everybody else was on Book 4. i started reading the series on semestral break 2002 and boy did i catch up with everyone then by reading all the first 3 books over the 2-week break. or like when a song is all everyone can talk (or sing) about and i only stop and listen to it when everyone else has moved on to the next. i guess the craze over something distracts me from the actual purpose or meaning of the thing or i guess this is just some crazy bullshit i have in me just because i grew up a weird middle child. LOL.
so anyway, my family and i had an early trip to Simala today so we can give our thanksgiving and also send our petitions to Mama Mary. i am spiritual at most but also religious on a few occasions. i’m not a perfect catholic but i do have a strong faith in something bigger than us. everything i do, i put 100% in and the rest i pray for. as the trip was due south, we couldn’t help but drop by the shoe capital of Cebu — Carcar and buy ourselves some shoes too. my mom and sisters bought themselves some ballet flats for only P300 ($6) and we all bought TOMs-like espadrilles from a local store there for only P300 ($6) too!

ps. thank you everyone for the love and encouragement on my last post! i did come up with a good column idea for Instyle Cebu so kristine and i are in the works on establishing it. i knew i can always count on you guys!

mix prints dress – thrifted
mustard green cardi – thrifted
taupe gladiator flats – parisian, sm dept store
owl necklace – carbon find
black wallet – xoxo
work watch – swatch

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letting go of some comforts

my sisters and i have lived comfortably since we were young even when my parents were just making ends meet when it comes to house rent and bills. they’re both dentists and unfortunately, dental services here in the philippines are not as valued as it is in the U.S. filipinos have a ‘bahala na’ (never mind) attitude and would rather attend to other concerns than the state of their teeth. but even so, my sisters and i always had new shoes for the new school year, new bags and quality school materials. we always had birthday gifts and christmas gifts to look forward to. no, we were never given anything we wanted all the time. the gifts we received were always for special occasions and always something we worked hard for. i remember back then, aimee and i wanted barbie dolls but we would be told, “if you want one, save for it.” so we’d be given daily allowances (like P5 or P10 a day) and aimee and i would save that until we could afford that barbie or that tweety bird bag (i was a sucker for tweety bird then! haha!)…some gifts would be for prizes from high test scores or in my case, being at the top of the class.
my parents taught us the value of money and the importance of saving up. they taught us how to work hard and to sacrifice a little. i worked a full shift at a call center when i was on my graduating year in college and only slept 4 hours a day because i had to complete my thesis at the same time. i complained but i was happy being able to help my dad. sure, aimee and i are brats but not because we were given every material thing we wanted but because we know that our mom and dad are always there to back us up. (that is why, in college, our dad would drive us to vudu and fetch us there at 4:00 AM…hehehe. our dad is the coolest!)
as i am planning for un-employment, i won’t deny that i am worried for losing some comforts as i let go of my big salary, but i also know that i have been through tougher times. i have to temporarily let go of shoe shopping and weekly massages or movies but i know i will survive this.
striped top – dkny (thrifted!)
white tank top – random
boyfriend jeans – abercrombie
grey flats – so fab! (gift from big sis)
grey ombre pashmina scarf – hongkong street
round imprinted necklace – a gift from angelie (thanks!)
cuffs – props
square ring – props

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summer of one-oh! ocean series: dry and salty

the beach was too beautiful to pass up. it was sunday and the workers were not there destroying the sea wall with their loud drills. it was peaceful. the water was blue and the sand as white and fine as ever (yeah yeah, not as fine as boracay’s sugary sand but still beautiful). but before hitting the waters, my mom, dad, his friends and i decided to ride up to the main town of bantayan to buy some of the island’s famous dried fish. i don’t know in other countries, but here in the Philippines, we can live off on dried fish and rice, matched with tomatoes and maybe, onions. bantayan had a separate market for dried fishes alone and they even had dried squid. we also bought a bottle of ‘ginamos’ which is  salted, fermented fish and guess what, some caviar for only P60 a pack. woah! couldn’t wait to try it when we get back home.
upon getting back, we had lunch at a small ‘carenderia’ — a very small eatery by local people, bringing along the crabs and rock lobsters my dad bought early in the morning. eating at a ‘carenderia’ is the best and cheapest way to get good local food when you’re in places like this. no etiquette to observe and no utensils needed either. we dug our hands into the crabs and lobsters, paired with native noodles (pancit) and some tomatoes and onions. yum! the best lunch ever! 
ps. those are aimee’s yellow polka dotted toenails. insane! LOL.
floral maxi dress – thrifted
black and white bikini – props
tan leather bag – thrifted at baguio
blue and brown flip-flops – havaianas
blue polka scarf as bandana – thrifted at sindangan
bangles – props | gifted | random

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summer of one-oh! ocean series: island love

 some people are allergic to the beach — some by conscious choice, while others really break out and have rashes. if i were either, i would rather die. i love and live by the beach. this is our farewell to summer.
on may 29 and 30, my family and i headed north west to the island of bantayan. while my sisters and i have been there 3 or 4 times on different occassions, it was my mom and dad’s first time there. both of them having recently reached 60, they have resolved to travel as much as they can. that was one of the big pushes for our hongkong trip last november 2009 and for our upcoming bangkok trip this august 2010. 
we stayed at marlin’s resort. ironically, just a day before our trip, it was on the news that sea walls in Region 7 beaches are to be destroyed as they are badly affecting the environment.  they change the course of waves. in my perspective, they ought to be destroyed too.  long stretches of beach looks much better and natural for me. the destruction was taking place right when we arrived so the first day was a chillout day. aimee and i came from our night shifts (aimee being a nurse) so we were pretty tired. my big sister just simply doesn’t function well during the day…so she says she was tired too…buhu. we just stayed in, most of the afternoon, munching on chips deluxe (yum!), cheetos and popcorn, watching tv and laughing with mom and dad. swimming was only later in the afternoon when the workers left for day. for dinner, we had pizza at balikbayan restaurant — just 2 blocks away from our resort. definitely a must-try when you’re in bantayan!
more of day two on the next post!
on me:
floral bikini – props (yes, props is a store in SM)
white embroidered dress – thrifted
brown wooden bangles – raw materials from manalili
purple wooden bangle – props
faux gold bangles – a gift from india
brown sunnies – thrifted at carbon
on aimee:
white tank top – metro kids’ section
striped jumper – thrifted
yellow sunnies – thrifted at carbon

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behind the flowers

one of the best things about living in cebu is not is it just 30 minutes away from the beach, it’s 30 minutes away from the idyllic mountains too. this was taken last wednesday morning as my mom, dad and i drove to babag to buy some flowers for the resurrection carro. i blogged about this previously, at how we design the cart (carro) for jesus’ resurrection on the dawn of easter. i brought my dog for him to experience more of the world — and he got so restless in the back seat, barking at everyone on the road.(LOL!) on the way there, we saw some healthy cows and a horse! naive me had to take some pictures of them. they looked so free by the side of the road. when we got to the flower farm, we had to wait for them to wrap up the flowers so they offered us corn to munch on while waiting. yummy! so fresh! 
i love drives like these with my mom and dad. i get to be a kid again. i get to be my daddy’s little girl again. (he took all of my photos, by the way!)
here are other photos i took there:
the title of the post is ‘behind the flowers’ because i basically spent half the time there taking photos of the farmers behind the lovely flowers. 
beaded top – maxi skirt trimmed down and worn a top
black cardigan – bossini
black leggings – random
tan fringe sandals – katrina
thin gold belt – props
layered beaded faux gold bangles – gifted
brown sunnies – thrifted at carbon

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the ‘barla’ incident

photos (from top clockwise): me, the barlas, mom and gianne frances, me and my cousins – cookie and lilac, mom and dad, my robot necklace
family will always come first for me. when all else fails and the rest of the world abandons me, i can count on my family to be right behind — waiting to catch me. 
last sunday was the christening of my cousin’s baby girl — gianne frances. and i was one of her godmothers. that means more gifts to buy by christmas…haha! i was happy to have spent time with my cousins, especially my favorite cousin, lilac (on the 3rd picture). our age difference is almost 15 years but we just think alike. they call us ‘the barlas‘ after this long, black and bony fish.  
 why barla? well, every holy week, we go home to our province in zamboanga del norte and spend time at my grandparent’s house. we take care of the easter breakfast for the church and the ‘carro’ of jesus on his resurrection. while in there, we mostly eat fish for fasting. our late lola (grandma) used to buy this fish called ‘diwit‘ which is so yummy. the ‘diwit‘ is a long and flat fish. one summer, my cousin and i volunteered to shop at the market for dinner. we were so excited to have found ‘diwit‘ at such a cheap price — P60 per kilo. we immediately bought it and were so proud of ourselves. we even bought sweet mangoes for dessert. when we got home, we were scolded by our moms because what we bought is not ‘diwit‘ but barla! they look the same — same shape and length but the barla has almost black scales. the barla is sooo bony that we can barely eat any meat on it. we became the laughing stock of the whole holy week and our relatives couldn’t stop joking about it. LOL.
what about you? tell me of a family blooper you experienced.
striped dress – thrifted | long navy blue top – thrifted | suede belt – big sister’s | 
suede brown wedges with rhinestone details – celine (mom’s gift) | faux monogram bag – thrifted | robot long necklace – APM | bangles – gifts

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