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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no return, no exchange

blue painterly dress – props | midnight blue cotton cover-up – thrifted | ash blue belt – primal rave | gold-glitter flats – solemate, sm department store | blue satchel – primal rave | bohemian necklace – downtown find | spiral bangle – primal rave | black hat – metro department store 

the required 7-hour seminar for would-be marrying couples that we attended last Sunday was expected to be a long day of droning lectures but instead turned out to be a fun and insightful experience. real-life couples who’ve been together for 10 – 38 years conducted the seminar which made it all the more relevant because they were sharing real-life experiences. my top three take-me-homes from the seminar:

♥ marriage is not always a bed of roses
♥ issues can be solved by open communication
♥ once married, there is a strict no return, no exchange policy

this is it — there’s no turning back! after all, we already made the down payment. LOL.

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a craving i regretted

after having spent the whole weekend at home and just mostly sleeping, i was in serious need of something good to eat. reading other blogs post food porn didn’t help either. it made me all the more hungry for something to comfort me — ah, the perils of comfort food. it was 9:00 AM and i have been up for almost 4 hours. i already had a hearty breakfast at 6:00 AM but i still wanted to eat something that would fill in this void in me. (what void? i don’t know) does this sound familiar to you? do you get food cravings too?
 i wanted to eat a full order of pasta or maybe a grilled quarter-pounder and have a brownie or cheesecake after. it’s then i realized that with the coming months of conscious unemployment, shoes are not my weakness. FOOD IS!
i immediately texted karen and invited her for lunch. we decided to eat at sbarro because we know they’d have good italian food and have big servings. boy, did i regret ordering my humongous sausage and pepperoni stuffed pizza! i mean, can somebody get dizzy after eating too much? apparently, i did! i wasn’t able to take photos of the food before i started gulfing it down. i couldn’t resist the dripping tomato sauce over the baked bread stuffed with cheesy goodness and perfectly salty sausage and pepperoni. here’s how my plate looked like (and trust me, i am not doing this again!):
karen couldn’t finish her half-order of baked zitti in white sauce. she said she was drinking too much of her raspberry iced tea so she got easily full. and no, we didn’t get cheesecake or dessert after. i had to buy some menthol rub from the pharmacy because my head was aching from how full i was. describe gluttonous and that’s me!
for filipinos out there, i think you’d know what i mean by the ‘pinoy attitude’ on food. i couldn’t eat the last slice of bread on my plate. it was all too much for me! haha! to those who don’t know, the ‘pinoy attitude’ on food means that we are always too shy or embarrassed to eat the last slice. ‘pinoys’ or filipinos usually leave the last bite for someone else, afraid of being deemed ‘greedy.’ so when we share a pan of pizza or a dish of chili wings, tendency is, there’s always a last slice or piece left and we’d have to banter and tease each other as to who gets to eat the last one because we are so ‘pinoy!’
striped top – thrifted
navy blue cover-up – thrifted
high-waisted denim skirt – thrifted
grey flats with zebra printed bow – sm dept store
dog-tag necklace – custom-made
gun-metal layered cuffs – props
stone ring – thrifted at carbon
grey bag – mongkok ladies’ market, hk
brown sunnies – thrifted at carbon

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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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local love: making the most out of it

filipinos are known for our hospitality and our take-life-as-it-comes attitude. we do with what we have and have always adapted to the changes in our lives.  that is why, amidst poverty, we still have these big smiles on our faces. after all, life is too short, might as well live it right? 
introducing the no. 1 mode of transportation here in the philippines — the jeepney. the jeepney used to be old jeeps that the americans left in our country after world war II. to easily travel through the war-ridden roads, the filipinos stripped down these jeeps to accommodate more passengers, added tin roofs and decorations in vibrant colors. when i was a student, i rode the jeep everyday and to wherever i need to go. with student allowance, it was much better to use our money on food and fun rather than spend them on taxi fares. as a kid, i was always so amazed at how the driver can drive the jeep, take the fare from the passengers and give them change, all while watching the road. i used to love riding jeepneys on peaceful afternoons — where everyone is at work or in school. the roads were open and the wind was on my face. jeepney bonding was great too — just laughing it off with classmates while in traffic. i have to admit though that i am not a big fan of some jeepney drivers who speed up and just pop out of nowhere nor riding jeepneys during peak hours like 7:00 – 8:00 AM or 5:00 – 7:00 PM as these times can be a nightmare. despite these setbacks, i am still proud that once upon a time, filipinos were given lemons and made lemonade — or in this case, we were given used american jeepneys and made a great mode of transportation. 
ps. i might take a little blogging break because i think i have dislocated my right shoulder blade. it has been hurting for a month and the pain has now reached my arm so i have a hard time moving the mouse. for the past few weeks, i’ve only wanted to just lie down and watch tv instead of blog and i think that would be unfair to my readers if i don’t say why i’ve been slacking off. i will make sure to read your comments though. let’s just hope that after my check-up with the orthopedic tomorrow, all’s well with my shoulder and arm. i’ll miss you guys!
pink cotton shirt – props
floral skirt – thrifted
tan flats with a bow – parisian
canvas bag with tan leather detail – plains and prints
owl necklace – thrifted at carbon
wooden bangles – props | faux gold bangles – thrifted at carbon
tan headband – sm dept store
brown sunnies – thrifted at carbon

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what they call, "the filipino time"

as i am writing this, my friends and i are preparing a bridal shower for our friend, april mae. she requested for this night though so it’s not much of a surprise. anyway, the bride is aware that we’re to meet here at my house at 9:00 PM but my friends and i decided to surprise her a bit by all being here at 7:00 PM and start preparing. well guess what??? it’s quarter to 9:00 PM and nobody else is here but me and candace — haha, the two of us being eternal early birds for all dinners or events that we have. and that is ever since high school. i have a feeling that we will be more surprised by the bride than she by us. we’re bad friends huh? 
embroidered peasant top – thrifted
jeans – chillypapa
cream peep-toe heels – janeo
tan shoulder bag – thrifted in baguio
pink and gold layered bangles – from india (a gift)
wooden green bangle – props
elephant long necklace – thrifted in manalili
sunnies – thrifted in carbon

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a little drizzle would do

it rained last friday night and i could just imagine how the plants are smiling and singing praises. it is scorching hot here in the philippines with the el niño phenomenon and saying goodbye to boots and what little leather we can wear is not the worst we’re experiencing.  the phenomenon has caused all the plants and crops in our country to wilt and die. cattle are dying too. fish prices are going up because the fish ponds are drying up and fishes are literally boiling in the water. so when it rained last friday, i couldn’t worry about getting mud on my suede shoes but smile of the hope that we can get through this drought. and with this, i’d be happy to take photos inside my bathroom to get good lighting just as long as it is raining outside. 
printed dress – thrifted | brown leggings – ??? | tan ballet flats – parisian – sm dept store
vintage car watch necklace – thrifted at manalili | bangles: wooden – raw materials store, faux gold – props and gifts
on another note, i have been following ‘project runway’ for years and this season is my favorite because of jay nicolas sario. he is a filipino who migrated to hawaii when he was 17. his design aesthetic is amazing and i am loving how he surprises me with his creations — especially the black dress he made out of burlap (or potato sack). i have a few designer friends (most are gay like jay) and i can’t help but feel that it is one of my friends on the show — the mannerisms are the same. here is jay nicolas sario and a few of jay’s works (photo credit: google images and mylifetime.com):
proud to be ‘pinoy’!

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day three: culture immersion

**i apologize for another heavy-image post. just had to relish our last at the town of moalboal.**

believe it or not but i think this is the first beach trip where i didn’t spend the whole day under the sun and just frolicking in the waters — it was because the water was freezing and the wind so chilly. harry and i made vodka sprite (absolut + sprite..duh! LOL) and placed it in a water bottle just to disguise it but it couldn’t help the cold. summer may look like it’s here but i love how it’s still windy.
we left the resort after lunch and took a tricyle (auto richshaw) to town to ride a van for hire (v-hire in cebu). it usually takes an hour for the van to leave because the driver has to wait for it to fill up. harry and i were the first to occupy the van so we had some time to observe how life is lived in the town of moalboal. we bought fried fritters on the street (fried bite size pieces of chicken, lumpia) and the buy-one-take-one burger from minute burger. it was a coincidence that the high school there had their field demonstration on the open space in front of the church so lots of people were there. notice how cute the old couple is — together walking in the park with their walking sticks. and of course, the town fashionista — with his (or her) sparkly purple belt strutting the streets. 
til’ next time! back to reality. (roll credits…)
knitted dress – thrifted
blue swimsuit – rustan’s
brown and blue flip-flops – havaianas, make your own
bangles – props
white graphic tee – roxy
sunnies – thrifted at carbon

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hush now

this is me trying to be quiet since my sister is sleeping. i’m on her bed as it is near the window (better light, better pictures). she got mad at me for this because i eventually woke her up…haha! and yes, at 25 i still share a room with my sister. here in our country, it is not necessary to move out of the house after turning 18. we stay with our parents yet we do pay the bills..hehe. they took care of us and bore with our craziness, so it’s our time to take care of them. of course, i’ll soon get married and have a home of my own but i’ll always stay close. i am one those lucky people who not only are close to their parents, but we share a real friendship too.
i had to make do with a shoot inside our room as i was too lazy to find a good spot outside or ask our ‘manang’ (our house maid who has been with us for 10 years — i love her so!) to take a photo of me..i just got home from a 4-hour OT at work because we had to close a lot of work queues. it was the least i can do to support my team as they have been working their asses off. i hope we get through this week. so far, this has been the longest week ever..and i can’t wait for the weekend!
printed top – props
black blazer – thrifted
jeans – chillypapa
black studded flats – mongkok ladies market, hk
long chained watch – hk souvenir shop
dog tags – custom-made
ring – props

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