ladies who lunch

i started blogging in 2009 and was widely influenced by international bloggers Karla de Rass, the young Alice Xue and Rumi Neely. however, as all other bloggers, i started obscure and wrapped in my own bubble until i met other fellow bloggers from my own town. it has been a notorious notion that the relationship with people you meet over the internet seldom last but as with my love for proving notions wrong, i am proud to say the people i’ve met over the internet, specifically in the blogosphere, have become one of my closest friends. 
i met with a couple of my blogger friends, Toni Pino and Eden Villarba last month for a quick brunch at iTea and it’s funny realizing that we all met as single ladies who just love fashion to becoming closer friends and now all happily attached and in serious relationships. Toni just even had a super cuddly baby girl, Vania whom i can’t get enough of. we’re thinking of doing a shoot, all four of us who’re happily attached (including Mildred) and maybe call it Ladies Who Lunch, what do you think? 
i wanted to take Vania home to cuddle! so so so adorable!

leopard print knit top – thrifted | red palazzos – props | sequined flats – footzyfolds | oversized sunnies – fashion de bella | brass sphere necklace – downtown find | gold petal cuffs – props | black basic watch – gifted by sister | rings: snake & leopard – gifted by dad, bangkok finds, red stone ring – downtown find | blue oversized leather bag – RAF by plains and prints

Image Map

drunken, foolish and vain: Friendster days

[WARNING: really photo heavy. you can go back if you want. that way i’ll be saved from embarrassment too. haha!]

great panic surged everyone on April 26, 2011 when it was reported that Friendster will be deleting all data and users by May 31, 2011. my Facebook friends immediately downloaded the images they had there. some of us were reminiscing the good ol’ testimonial feature that they had. i’ve owned an account since 2003 but i deleted it last year. i can’t, however, help but remember the funny, foolish and drunken days that my old Friendster account held. so following Aisa’s footsteps, here’s a look back at the old Friendster days:

this was at a bar in Ayala (i can’t remember the name) and was taken on New Year’s Eve. oooh i love this skirt. i wonder where it is now. and oh, the beret is an ode to my old hip-hop days.LOL.

lorymer villareal and me in 2004, styling and coordinating the pageant for the Computer Engineering department. lorymer didn’t go to our school then but he was kind enough to help me with the pageant. 
the tres marias. my sisters and i at the resthouse in Daanbantayan that we frequent every summer. this was in 2004.
i told you i was gangsta! LOL. now i can’t help but laugh at my humongous rock and corn rows. the corn rows happened on the night before a flag football game and were done by a friend, in their boarding house.
and then i’m all out rock! LOL again. my friends, kim, deanne and i goofing off while waiting for classes. now that i remember it, we were always waiting for classes then. especially when we were almost graduating. 

richard, me, armand and my little sister, aimee. we were waiting for the rest of our friends at Starmart, Banilad (the place to be! LOL) for our Daanbantayan trip.

my old singing days. i wish i learned how to play a guitar so that i can still do gigs. *sigh* (ps. due to being under the sun for most parts of my weekends, i saw dark as beautiful until i realized i could easily get skin cancer.)

so down with jennifer lopez! this vest was thrifted at only PHP 15.00 in our local market. i still have it after 6 years. the shoes? pointed to the pointiest. this pair was my favorite pumps.

my first job after graduating and my first set of friends after of school. incidentally, we all had the same knack for laughing, embarrassing each other and just whiling our lunch making our brains smaller. *korean peace sign*

drunken nights at the back of my friend, Ingrid’s pick-up truck. rides at the back are best done when drunk! we were on our way to the beach at 3AM, after hitting a local bar and i can’t remember this photo was taken. they say, i peed at the side of a dark street. i didn’t believe them until i saw the photo. but nuh-uh, you’re not seeing it. LOL.

karen and i on christmas 2006. we were looking for a pair of shorts to give our guy friends and we found this pair!

the day i brought Cooper, our golden retriever, to a game. i HEART you, Cooper!

goofy face time with my nieces! this was on the summer of 2007.
stacey. my first car that i inherited from my dad. my training car. my bump car. i miss you, Stacey. wish i didn’t have to sell you.
at my friend’s sister’s black and white party. as you can see, i’ve had a knack for polka dots even way back. this was taken on June 2007.
the defensive line waiting for our turn. flag football will always have a place in my heart
aimee and i pretending to frolick in Malapascua in July 2007. our big sister was taking our photos so we pretended to walk and run around. but no, my love for her is not pretend. 
the injured drunkard. this was taken almost a week after my sports accident. i was in denial that my knee injury was serious so i went with my team to Bantayan island and braved the 3-hour land trip and ferry ride, in crutches! when i got back home, i learned i could never play football again — i tore a ligament on my right knee and it required surgery. :,(
this night was when Harry met Yapi. i don’t usually go to office parties but was forced by my friends to because i just shunned Harry a few days back as i was too insensitive to notice he was making a move on me.  one of the nights that i will never, ever regret!
my second Etelecare team. these guys are goofballs and pains in the ass but i loved and coached them to death to be better performers. 
christmas day 2007. i was heart broken, losing hope and drunk (yet again). my friends and i drove to gas station in the north reclamation area, bought a few bottles of beer and goofed off on the street. i remember drunk crying on this night too. *hush*
Vudu party on new year of 2008. this is the last time my sister Aimee and I, together with our friends, attended the open bar new year’s party at Vudu. the red dress started my polka-only new years too.
my first time in Boracay on February 2008. i haven’t been back yet and i plan to do so this year. is it just me or is the sand in Boracay really annoying? it’s sugary fine that no matter how you wash off, they stick to your body until you get back home. it settles into uncomfortable areas too. haha!
the last time my old flag football team, Dark Angels, got together before i officially retired (after my injury) and dived deep into work. one of the best times of my life. 
trues humbly united gather souls. my best friends in the whole world. we have been friends for more than a decade and i’m so lucky to have them. this was taken on September of 2008.
the crazy Vonage retention parties. a retention account is crazy hell but the same effort we put into working hard, the same effort we put in partying. as they say, work hard, party even harder!
my family on the New Year of 2009. one of my last Friendster photos. hello Facebook! 
so there you go. i have tons of photos in my disk drive but i wouldn’t want to bore you. it was weird and awesome browing through old photos. i had to delete a few to officially erase the foolishness but one thing i realized from browsing through them is that life should have no regrets. i’ve always had the Meet Joe Black line as my motto: ‘run the risk…if you haven’t tried, you haven’t live” and i can tell, i have lived!
[NOTE: photos were taken using camera phones, my sister’s trusty old canon ixus or armand’s old DSLR.]

Image Map

photo session: head wrap

remember the behind-the-scene shots i posted about our farewell party for my sister last December? finally, with Armand’s hard work and multiple insertions to his busy schedule, the photos are here:

styling by gizelle faye sembrano
make-up by gizelle and armand
photography and editing by armand alforque

Follow vanilla ice cream

photo session: alter ego

just because i own a camera, doesn’t necessarily mean i’m a photographer. i dream of owning a DSLR but i’m afraid i’d only waste it by not having enough talent and will to learn photography. when my friends insisted we’d have an impromptu shoot on our sleepover last weekend though, i couldn’t resist. here’s my second attempt at photography. the first one being this one here.

our shoot is aptly named, ‘alter ego’ because i styled my friends in clothes they don’t wear, in a style that’s not themselves. meet the cast:

april, the sweet and bubbly girl whose style staples are graphic tees, jeans and ballet flats or converse chucks. 

ivy, the outgoing but conservative nurse whose usual outfits are classic shorts, embellished tees and dresses

arlene, the funny and spirited government worker whose style is mainly composed of the basic leggings or jeans and feminine tops. 

mabelle, the loud and spunky sales rep whose usual style includes denim shorts or jeans and body-hugging dresses. 

photography and styling by me
make-up by mabelle

Follow vanilla ice cream

our bipolar weather

if you find yourself squinting when you look at my photos, that’s because it was extremely hot when these were taken. the rain has decided to leave our city and has allowed the sun to shine at its fullest. it’s only February but we’re already dressing up like it’s summer. i guess summer has officially begun here. i’m screaming rain and colder weather but there’s no stopping the sun. 
anyway, did an impromptu photo shoot with my friends in my room last night. only used my canon powershot sx20 and an ettl flash. dressed them up in clothes they don’t normally wear and i had a blast seeing them channel a different personality. will try to edit the photos as soon as possible so i can show  them to you guys on my next post. plus, my friends are bugging me to post them ASAP as i’m usually the one who’s too lazy to post photos in facebook. i stopped at day 2 when i posted my bangkok photos last august 2010 because i was too lazy to continue on to day 5 and i haven’t posted my new year’s and sinulog photos yet. haha! who here is lazy and a slow-poke in posting photos to facebook?

printed top – thrifted
plaid vest – manager’s garage sale
denim shorts – beads and blooms
floral scarf – thrifted
clustered bells necklace – pratunam, bangkok
layered necklace – carbon find
rings: blue stone + alligator + armor ring – carbon finds
leopard print flats – parisian, sm dept store

Follow vanilla ice cream

dotted and sober: how i met 2011

LIFE CHANGING — this is how i sum up my 2010. i left a high-paying job that made me unhappy and immersed myself in the world of the unknown, visited Bangkok and finally rode an elephant, invested a bit in the retail business which is enough to sustain my savings for the year and by the end of the year, both my sisters moved out of the house leaving me as an only child to my parents. i must say if this was how my 2010 went then God must be preparing me to conquer the world by 2011. so 2011, bring it on! ♥

as with the many changes in my life last 2010, my family and i celebrated new year’s eve differently this year too. my mom and i finally got over the melodrama and were well-prepared for our new year’s eve feast. instead of eating at home though while counting down for the new year, we ate early and drove up to one of the mountain subdivisions here in Cebu to watch the fireworks all over the city. the city was in a fog of firework smoke and looked like it was on fire with all the lights. it was amazing. 

my friends and i then met up at penthouse to party til’ sunrise. unfortunately though, the party ended a little early at pent and the dance floor was half empty by 4AM. we headed straight to vudu and danced til’ the sun had risen and our feet got so sore they became numb. original plan was to drink til’ we drop but we were so sober when we got home that we ended up eating home-made sushi at our place before packing up and sleeping at 7:30 AM. 

i hope all of you had a blast on your new year’s celebrations! have a great year ahead!

ps. aren’t my sister’s aldo strappy sandals just beautiful? so jealous.

polka maxi dress – platinum mall, bangkok
black studded wedge booties – ebay find
white fedora hat – pratunam, bangkok
necklaces: round engraved – gifted from gelie | angel wings – carbon find
bangles – carbon finds
rings – platinum mall, bangkok

Follow vanilla ice cream

Vanilla with Orange and Banana in the Tropics! ♥

this is a long overdue post. met up with len david of orange and banana mondays over for lunch at bistro ecila 2 weeks ago and just had a blast chatting over just about anything. i tend to get shy with new people but both our talkativeness totally overcame any shyness or awkwardness. thanks len for meeting up with us. we should definitely get together when you visit Cebu again. 

although i love how it got back on the runway because it gave me a reason to wear one of my favorite pieces of clothing but i’ve been wearing maxi skirts or dresses more lately as a better alternative to jeans or leggings when i am super lazy to shave my legs. i mean, what girl isn’t lazy to shave her legs? or visit a waxing salon. LOL. 

current plans:

  • stay in and watch old romantic comedies or movies — sweet november, 10 things i hate about you, mad love, 500 days of summer, etc. 
  • visit a charity with my friends this january 2 using the money we earned from the garage sale we had last october
  • go thrift shopping to fill some recently vacated areas of my closet
brown maxi skirt – thrifted
crocheted pink cover-up – thrifted
white tank top – thrifted
beige suede booties – gold dot
necklaces: diamond-shaped pattern – gifted from ivy | fairy – gifted from sis
owl connector ring – carbon find
bangles – carbon finds
brown sunnies – carbon find

Follow vanilla ice cream

should we even celebrate farewell?

i promised i wouldn’t cry until we get to the airport so i didn’t. probably th last get together with friends before my little sister parts with the city she was born in. these are just some behind the scene snapshots of another amazing photoshoot with armand alforque. this photoshoot and paying half of the hotel room is what he called his christmas gift to us.

ps. i might not be around to blog much these days. last week, my big sister’s wedding and work has taken over my life. the next couple of weeks, i’ll be busy preparing for my little sister’s departure. a lot to deal with, i know. after all, there’s just 3 of us and after two weeks, there will be only me left at home. so please bear with me and i do hope you still continue to look forward to my post.

floral maxi dress – thrifted
orange scarf as turban – gifted from sister
photoshoot details: 
make-up and styling by armand and me
photography by armand alforque

Follow vanilla ice cream

friendship is a promise |

(m.i.a. in this photo: candace, karen, maiz, bufal and riza)

as i continue to look back on my teen years, i cannot help but feel grateful for the friends i have gained
along the way. i am even more grateful for the friends i’ve met when i was 12 years old and have till’ now. our group does not only embody friendship but also of a promise and sisterhood. we’ve watched each other as we went through the fun of graduating grade school, to the confusing and interesting high school years, to the new experience of college, to the anxiety and excitement to starting our careers and even to witnessing how each of us have slowly found the love of our lives.

i may have the tendency to pile on stand out accessories with layers of bangles on my left arm and a row of rings on my fingers but a classic piece of jewelry always still catches my attention. with quite a line of jewelry from, i wish that i can buy promise rings online for all of my best friends. promise rings are traditionally given by a guy to a girl before an engagement but tradition definitely cannot dictate the promise of sisterhood that we have for each other.

Follow vanilla ice cream

bangkok tales episode three: a dream come true

when we were planning our trip to Bangkok 5 months prior, one of my wishes was to ride, hold and feed an elephant. it came true on our second day in Bangkok! right after the floating market, we visited a place where we can ride an elephant for 30-40 minutes for only 600 Baht. our elephant’s name was Nhuong Nuon and she’s 25 years old. she’s really sweet, kind and didn’t give a fuss at all. she made the ride worth while because she kept stopping to pull out grass to eat and had to poo-poo 3 times! LOL. our elephant driver was really kind too as he got off Nhuong Nuon and volunteered to take photos of us while Nhuong Nuon followed him. i had the time of my life on that 30-minute ride!
we also dropped by Samphram Zoo to watch an elephant show — which was equally fun as well as the elephants were sooo adorable! one young elephant wouldn’t stop dancing, bouncing his head and wagging his right leg every time there’s music. at the end of the show, the elephants lined up and we had the chance to feed them. of course, i immediately jumped at the chance too! other than the elephant show, we also fed a line (or bunch) of crocodiles with chicken meat and took a picture with two tigers! oh how i love animals!
the day ended with scrumptious and cheap thailand street food — coconut and corn fried dumplings, sesame pork (my fave!) and grilled pork & fish balls. we also hung out across the nearby 7 eleven for a bottle of drinks — bacardi for aimee and me and singha beer for the rest.
shopping post tomorrow — 3 items for sale so do check it out!

Follow vanilla ice cream

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. 

Follow vanilla ice cream

volume one: i have never…

i mentioned on my previous post that my friend, Karen and I are planning to make our month-long work break more memorable by doing things we’ve never done before. here’s the first five things we are going to do:
    1. EAT TUNA SASHIMI. i have never eaten raw tuna. although i do eat salmon but i have always found the darker meat color of the tuna revolting. 
    2. LEARN TO COOK A FILIPINO DISH. i do know how to cook as long as there is a recipe so i know how to cook italian or thai food but i have never learned how to cook a filipino dish. filipino food is the way to a man’s heart, is what they say.
    3. PEEL AN ORANGE. yes, peeling an orange is the most normal thing in the world and it’s weird why i haven’t done so. well, try being a 6-year old who ate a dozen oranges with your cousin and ended up getting sick because of it. i mean, really really sick that every time you smell an orange, you feel nauseous. 
    4. GO KARTING. the kartzone race track has been in cebu for quite some time but i never got around to tryng it. now is the time!
    5. EAT A BALUT. a balut is the infamous fertilized duck that is boiled and eaten in its shell. i have eaten balut before but only the young one, with the regular yolk and balut soup. the one i have yet to try is the 16-day old and above balut that already has formed duck embryo so you can see its bill, feet and some feathers. my sister aimee, believe it or not, loves this food and i am too chicken to eat it. haha! good luck!
day-end posts will be made right after we’ve undergone one adventure. we shall commence next week!

Follow vanilla ice cream