Today is one of the most polarizing universal holidays. Love on a normal day is equal parts bewildering, captivating and frustrating as it is; on Valentine’s Day, whatever effects it has on a person is magnified a hundredfold—single or not, happily taken or secretly, miserably so.
I must admit that when I was younger (and thus more prone to angst), I wasn’t the biggest fan of February 14th. Sure, I was a hopeless romantic—still am, but it’s also why. I felt that Valentine’s Day tends to become a vehicle for lip service and phony, seasonal gestures of love, done more out of obligation and peer pressure rather than sincere intentions.
During last year’s experience though, I realized it wasn’t so much the overcommercialized Valentine packages, the illicit competition among coupled-up friends trying to outdo each others’ gifts, or the woe-is-me posts of the single and uncommitted my newsfeed is inundated by.
Last year, I got to experience Valentine’s the way I never have before, and it has helped immensely in how I view it now. I still remember vividly how my mom and dad drove me all the way from Pampanga to Manila so I could attend a brainstorming with my co-producers at the “Etcetera” office. The meeting (and my angst-ridden reverie) was interrupted by a knock on the conference room door: a rose, a grande Green Tea frap with generous sprinkles of chocolate powder on top, and a love letter from one of my best friends, Joanne. After work, my parents and I went to dinner and I got a second rose from my dad.
Those gestures were so simple, but felt as if a switch had been flicked on within me that made me see the light after twenty-something years of self-aware existence. Valentine’s Day wasn’t as trite, overrated, banal or clichéd as I’ve used to view it, after all: it was simply that I had been looking for the fulfilment it brings, in strictly romantic terms. And as I’ve gotten to learn to my utter benefit this year, romance tends to be the kind of love quickest to fade, while friendship endures so much more.
In the beginning of last year, I felt like it wasn’t going to be my time. Everything I wished for, planned for, invested in, and forced myself to believe in was gone in a snap, and all I really hoped for then was to feel less miserable than I did. With expectations at an all-time low, I got the surprise of my life when, from that Valentine’s Day all the way up to today, all kinds of love started to pour in and turned my life around.
This year, all the clichés and tired expressions have real meaning. I see how true it is that giving feels better than receiving—I’ve been receiving so much, and it’s when I get to pay kindness forward that the feeling of gratitude comes full circle. How true it is that you can’t give what you don’t have, or teach what you don’t know. How true it is that real love is friendship: looking after a person’s well-being and happiness while having enough self-worth to know what you deserve. Now I do. :)
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone. Warm hugs from Olaf!
A breezy top with jeans and boots is pretty much a manifestation of how I feel about the current transitional season. It won’t be long before temperatures start rising again in time for the summer, but I’ve always been a cold-weather girl so I wanted to hold on to whatever few and fleeting chilly spells we can still enjoy.
Hot or not, I love how the bright colors of spring/summer can perk up any outfit and give it that carefree, casual feel. Check out this ombré orange necklace! It’s not really my favorite shade, but I’ve been wearing this piece a lot because it just seems to make my outfits happier somehow.
Yellow and green are a different story—two colors I love wearing. Especially yellow. I got this bag from my aunt exactly a year ago during my birthday trip to the US and I’ve been wearing it to death every chance I get… I tend to do that with gifts from loved ones.
If you’ve been a longtime reader of this blog (and I sure hope you are!) then you’ve also seen these boots a lot. Because really, what can’t you wear with a nice pair of brown boots?
I seldom wear jeans anymore and usually go for shorts or dresses, but I’m glad I went with my gut that afternoon. As with most of my outfits, I put this together at the last minute to go and attend the Philippine launch of American Eagle Outfitters. Maybe because I’ve been a fan of the brand since college, my chosen neon-and-jeans ensemble was spot on with AEO’s Light and Bright Spring Collection.
Style steals from Divisoria. Polka dotted dress for P80.
We had this outfit shoot during my sister’s graduation from Ateneo Law School, hence the color choice. That was months ago but for some reason, we’ve forgotten about it until our recent computer spring-cleaning. Better late than never, as they say! And yes, this dress cost just 80 bucks. I got the cropped blazer for less than P500 as well. I just jazzed up the outfit with a bright pop of pink, black tights and an updo. Budget-dressing is a fun exercise for when you want to look like a million bucks for a fraction of the price.
Divisoria dress, SM Department Store cropped blazer, Simply Vera checkered tights from Kohl’s, MK Hamilton Ostrich-embossed tote, Schu brogues. Hype this on Lookbook here.
As my family and friends know, I’m not actively into expensive bags; meaning, I can appreciate their beauty and value but I’d probably feel a terrible case of buyer’s remorse if I saved up and bought one for myself. I don’t really have disposable income, so I’d end up imagining all the other things I could’ve bought with the money. But this electric pink Michael Kors is special to me because it was a birthday gift from my aunt and uncle. Got this at Barstow during our drive from Longbeach to Las Vegas last summer. I absolutely loved every moment of my month-long stay in California, and this bag reminds me of all the fun times I spent with my dad’s side of the family there.
I’ve had these brogues for some time now and I still can’t get enough of it. And “check out” the tights (pun intended).What about you? Go ahead and share about your favorite fashion item (to splurge and thrift) and even better, show us how you would style them. ♥
Human shirt dress and Abercrombie & Fitch cardigan. And check out these cool digs and umbrella! In school, we are taught that there are only have two kinds of weather in the Philippines: sunny and rainy. We’re also taught which months fall in the wet season, and which ones fall in the dry. In real life though, as evidenced by the December rains, we learn that we only have one kind of weather here: unpredictable. Which is why we should always be rain-ready.
We also got this schoolgirl umbrella from Bangkok. So handy and cute!
These Plueys nude rain booties with bows from ReadyForRain.com are both adorable and utilitarian. Makes wading through mud puddles and shallow floods sort of bearable—or at the very least, stylish.
Nails that match the weather. “Nimbus Gray and Silver Lining” manicure, courtesy of Freyja Day & Nail Spa. So. They say the rains aren’t going away until at least February. Are you rain-ready? We know we are :)
I sometimes get asked how I conceptualize my shoots. Nothing cerebral with my process. I don’t. Mostly I just check my closet and see how I can make what’s in them work, then find a nice random spot (in this case, the rooftop parking of a mall) then click away. The story comes to mind just when I’m about to post. It’s a whole lot more fun that way.
Doggie-print hooded shirt, thrifted. Doc Martens-inspired boots, Asian Vogue.
So this is just us, but yeah, it doesn’t always have to look so put-together. Pretty doesn’t always look fun, but fun always looks pretty.
I was invited to the ACLE (Alternative Classroom Learning Experience) of UP College of Engineering to talk “Styling for Different Body Types on a Budget” yesterday (thanks guys!).
These boots are divine.
Hype this on Lookbook here.