A tribute to grandfathers, and consequentially, a treatise on regret.
The harsh way to put it would be that I traded my grandpa’s heirloom for a battery-operated facial scrubber.
Two years ago in March, I celebrated my birthday with relatives in California. It was a delight getting to meet them for the first time in my adult life, when I could actually remember things and understand the conversations in the Kinaray-a dialect. The experience was only made more delightful by one thing: the opportunity to be with my only living grandfather, Tatay Bening.
Tatay Bening was my dad’s uncle. He was turning 93 the following month. A former public school teacher and war veteran, he was still sharp as a tack and fun to be around. Just like my siblings and I grew up with our cousins, my dad and aunt grew up with theirs, and Tatay was the head of that big brood.
I have always had a fondness for the elderly. To me they are living legacies, their eyes our windows to the storied past. Grandparents, most especially, are the only real connection we have to our heritage, their wisdom our key to unlocking various mysteries surrounding who we are and what we are to be.
And I have always believed that in much the same way a father is instrumental in shaping a daughter’s identity, so is a grandfather to a granddaughter.
I yearned for a Lolo growing up. My parents’ dads were not really around, so I could only imagine what it was like. Hearing stories of the war, of dapper men on the streets of Bacolod or Angeles wearing suits and top hats, of love, fiestas, school, trade, travel, music in those days.
Rummaging through their antique chests and being given mementos: a tobacco pipe, a worn-down camera, a battered old typewriter, a vintage pair of spectacles, a moth-eaten set of books. Singing along with them while listening to AM radio stations on a Sunday. Having my feet on top of theirs and dancing while the vinyl player cranked out Debussy.
When love caused you pain, will you be brave again?
Shai Lagarde @shailagarde
Charlie Sutcliffe @C_Sutcliffe
Michael McDonnell @iiitsmichael
Aliza Jimenez @aliza_jimenez
Charlene Ajose @charleneajose
Styling by Shai Lagarde and Chris Lee
Shirts and Metallurgy jewelry from Me&U.
Directed by Rember Gelera
Assisted by Krista Garcia
Post-production by 4Play Studios
Music: “Your Ex-Lover Is Dead” by Stars
Used with permission from Atlas Artists
Special thanks to Migs Apacible and Kaye Holmes.
Co-presented with Me&U (www.meandushop.com) and M+Y Steel (www.mplusysteel.com). Me&U has branches in: Eastwood, SM Megamall, SM Mall of Asia, SM North EDSA, SM Pampanga, SM Clark, Shangri-la Plaza, Market! Market!, Alabang Town Center, and Robinsons Place Manila.
It can’t be helped that we tend to view things from the perspective of the majority. This is what works, this is what should be, this is the accepted practice, this is the norm. The standard.
It also can’t be helped that despite what we know better, sometimes we succumb and view ourselves from this same perspective. Am I—the clothes I wear, the things I accomplish, the talents I possess, the company I keep—good enough, from this perspective?
And therein lies all the self-doubt and insecurity and failure to see things properly. We become so engrossed in what they say we should know, not what we already know. When we pit ourselves against others in a game of Who’s Better, we never win.
I’ve experienced this so many times growing up that I can’t even count the incidents. I’m a bit like Mike Ross of Suits, however, in that I can remember in vivid detail the littlest details from the past, all the way from when I was three. Let’s go as far back as pre-school.
I was the youngest, and everyone else was painting their eggshell mosaic in the basic shades that came with the watercolor palette. I mixed some colors in mine, so my mosaic looked different. Though my work got hung on the bulletin board, I resorted to using basic colors for the next project to make them stop calling me weird. Another time when I was seven, the teacher taped a “King David” card on the blackboard, with a dozen random words on the other side. We were to pick a word that describes King David and place it around his name. I raised my hand, got my turn, and picked “ruler.” I was promptly laughed at and told that rulers are school supplies.
I could go on and on, but the point is, the more I tried back then to be on the same plane as the rest of them, the more I felt the disconnect. It was quite the struggle, trying to find your place while trying to not be out of place, as you may have felt too.
When love caused you pain, will you be brave again?
Featuring Shai Lagarde (Love Chic) and Charlie Sutcliffe (Juan Direction). Directed by Rember Gelera. Produced by Me&U and M+Y Metallurgy. Music “Unspoken Definites” by Up Dharma Down used with permission from Terno Recordings.
Share the trailer as we count down to its launch! For updates, follow @shailagarde @meandushop :) #lovechicunspoken
The Silver tickets to Disclosure I’m giving away have just been upgraded to P2,800 Gold ones! Details after the cut. But that’s not all I meant by my title.
Awful stories have been occupying our news feeds recently: Palestinians being murdered in Gaza while Israelis cheer on, a Malaysian Airlines plane carrying 295 people getting shot down in Ukrainian skies by rebels, “public servants” in the Philippines raking in billions of pesos in taxpayers’ money while Filipinos languish in deplorable conditions as we endure one calamity after another. We’re constantly faced with universal struggles that platitude-laden websites like Thoughtcatalog and Elite Daily have cashed in on numbered Do’s and Don’ts promising to make life easier.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned, not just from the stories I come by every day but from my own, and those of the people I’m surrounded with—family and friends, blog readers, kind strangers—it’s that life may not always get easier, but it does get better, always.
To make up for the long intervals between posts, I’m giving away (2) Silver tickets to Disclosure in Manila on July 24th. Details after the cut.
So here goes another chilly, clammy rainy evening with the breeze wafting through the thin mesh window, one of those nights that somehow manage to simultaneously bring forth a slew of thoughts and reflections and strip you of the eloquence to express them elegantly. For someone who writes for a living, these nights are both intimidating and freeing.
Intimidating, because how you string your carefully thought-out words together is how you get things done. An idea gets shaped in your head, and you wrap the right words around it so you could turn its intangibility into something others can grasp. Without the ability to communicate that, your idea is just that: a blob inside your mind.
Freeing, because when your brain is a constant, blurry flurry of ideas, dreams, plans and expectations, the barely audible sound of the drizzle outside causes you to space out in a good way and just breathe and let everything float on by. Your mind is cleared, not unlike when the rain cleanses the air.
Harvey Specter said it well. “People respond to the way we dress, so like it or not, this is what you have to do.” As the enrolled and the employed make their way back to their desks after savoring the remaining vestiges of summer, the fresh grads make their way forward into the proverbial real world. If you’re one of them, Harvey’s words are as much for you as for rookie associate Mike Ross. Your interview outfit is as crucial as your résumé and cover letter as you look to land your first job, no matter what field. I’ve put together a few industry-appropriate looks you can base your interview outfits on.
Corporate. Involves dealing with clients—sales, accounts management, communications, public relations, marketing, law, real estate, banking, or finance.
Play it safe: You’ll typically be interviewing for an office with a conservative workplace environment, so stick to an impressive professional look: crisp button-down, black or gray suit and pencil skirt or pants with classic accessories.
Play it up: Conservative doesn’t have to be boring. Keeping the rest of your outfit within the traditional silhouette, try a button-down and tailored blazer in a light pastel hue that’s pleasing to the eyes. Keep accessories simple and elegant.
Creative. Involves, well, being creative: fashion, graphic design, art direction, writing, editing, photography, media, advertising, music or theater.
Play it safe: While a creative job means no one expects you to show up in a business suit, you’ll still have to exude professionalism and reliability. The idea is to show that you’re chic and smart: try trendy pieces mixed with structured items.
Play it up: Even if employees turn up in jeans and sneakers, don’t. Show you made an effort to dress well for that job. Let your outfit tell a bit about your individuality through interesting prints and a quirky accessory, but nothing over-the-top. Keep it balanced.
Slipped on this little red dress for a hosting gig last week. Titan, the fifth largest wristwatch producer in the world, launched their first store in SM Clark Pampanga last week with a gathering of media and guests at the Activity Center.
I chanced upon an awesome Mango sale the night before and saw a black version of this dress, but how many LBDs does a girl really need? To avoid the unnecessary acquisition but still be able to justify the purchase, I went with the red one.
It was pretty much spent indoors and in cold places, and I can’t say I won’t miss the clear skies and the general feeling of longing to laze around in a cabana whiling the worries away. So I figured I’d do a proper send-off by going on a mini summer vacation, in something season-appropriate: pool-party garb. One for the road, so they say.
Milly neoprene bikini in Candy Pink, Triangl. White mesh vest as cover-up, 101 New York. Necklace, SM Accessories.
Aqua chiffon button-down as cover-up, Ensembles. Hat, SM Accessories.
For a number of reasons (not least of which is that I’m not exactly the most toned of bodies in a day and age of toned bodies), I can count all the times I’ve ever been in a two-piece swimsuit: a couple for the Boracay specials of the TV shows I co-produced, once to demo which bikini suits what body type (me under the “petite” category). The only time it wasn’t for a job was when I went diving, but I’m in a suit all day anyway. Needless to say, being out there in one for the sake of spontaneity feels refreshing.
I love the comic book pop art vibe of this pair. It balances nicely with the candy pink—something I always try to do to regulate an otherwise too girly look.
Destination optional, soundtrack compulsory. While I may not be a huge fan of summer, road trips are a different story. There’s something about long drives, snack stopovers and in-car slumbers that feels to me the way reading a riveting book feels: an adventure awaits you at the end, but at the same time, another one is happening during the journey itself.
It’s been a year since my last road trip, so I figured I could use the last few hurrahs of the season to go on one. Before posting up snapshots and stories about that trip though, I’ve assembled together my road trip essentials to share with you guys. (A similar article appears on Beautybook, where I’m currently a contributor.)
With temperatures at an all-time high this week, it’s lovely to hear the soft peal of thunder over the hum and buzz of the air conditioning tonight, isn’t it? While it’s still officially summer, I thought tonight’s rainy reprieve might be a cool (pun unintended) time to post something other than the bikinis and maxi dresses that the newsfeeds are currently rife with.
I waited until our date was over before I wrote this, hoping I’d be able to find enough words to keep this Mother’s Day tribute sweet and succinct without missing anything. But my mom isn’t the easiest to write about. What she is to me cannot easily be put into words, but here is an earnest attempt.
Freezing on board the ferry to Nami Island. We squeezed in the rest of our South Korea itinerary on our last full day, starting with this trip to beautiful Naminara.