Filipinos are still on a high from Megan Young’s Miss World win, and rightfully so. It isn’t every day that a simple lady from a small town in Olongapo gets to fufill her and every other girl’s childhood dream of becoming a princess (in this case, a queen).
Wearing glamorous gowns, beautiful heels and a glorious crown over your crowning glory? Bringing honor to your country amidst pork barrel scams and celebrity sex scandals? Being given a chance to make a profound difference in the world? Check, check and check.
I possess neither the height nor the body proportions it takes to even make it to the preliminaries of any significant pageant of beauty and physiological symmetry (save for the occasional local santacruzan, which hardly counts), but here are three reasons I’m completely okay with that.
One, I’m average. I’m only 5 feet and an inch tall. My skin is far from perfect, with little scars here and there and breakouts every once in a while when I wear makeup for more than a few hours or don’t drink enough water or get enough sleep. My hair is always all over the place: if I comb it, it looks like I have a household broom on my head. If I don’t, it looks like I slept on it and headed out. I have braces to align my crooked teeth, but there are no braces for my crooked grin. I may meet society’s standards in terms of butt size, but I can’t say the same for my chest size. Haha. I am average, and I say that with pride and loving self-acceptance, holding the torch for average girls all over the world.
Because there are more of us, and we are faced with a happy challenge: that of learning to love our physical average-ness, while at the same time discovering which aspects about ourselves enable us to be above average. Intelligence? Charm? Sense of humor? Musical talents? Artistic skills? Numerical aptitude? A penchant for finding the perfect gift or gesture for anyone’s birthday? Whatever they may be, they are the brushes with which we can paint the beautiful portrait of our above average-ness on a blank canvas of average-ness.
Two, I am unique. I may be average, but I am not generic—big difference. Average has the chance to command attention by standing out; generic stays in the background unnoticed, with nothing new or different to offer. I can pull things out of my pocket that no one else can have up their sleeves. The movie Hugo got it right about unique individuals: “I’d imagine the whole world was one big machine. Machines never come with any extra parts, you know. They always come with the exact amount they need. So I figured, if the entire world was one big machine, I couldn’t be an extra part. I had to be here for some reason.”
Three, life is one big pageant anyway. Society is one big panel of judges, and there are universal criteria wherever we go. We are judged by how we look, what we wear, how we carry ourselves, what we want to say and how we say it, the culture and values we represent, the people we associate ourselves with, the beliefs we express and convictions we uphold, how we answer questions we are presented.
In this way, the world indeed is a stage, and every day is a part of the competition where we get to prove our grace, poise, skills and intelligence—not only to the judges and audiences, but more importantly to ourselves. In this way, we can all aim for peace, love and balance in the world, even in our tank tops, jeans and sneakers. :)
SM Accessories transparent cuff and bird-and-flowers pendant.
Bags In The City “Xavier” handbag.
World Balance “Vanity” sneakers. Apt sneaker name for today’s thoughts, yes? Apt, and ironic that there is none of the discomfort or superficiality that usually come with the word: these sneakers are about as simple, soft and comfortable as you can get. If you’re following me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, you can win a pair for yourself.
Doing a different kind of matchy for Father’s Day! I waited for my dad to get dressed and then patterned my outfit to his.
Yes, my penchant for themed outfits stems from childhood. On special occasions, or just whenever we feel like being corny, my family would go out dressed in matching colors or a motif of some sort. It’s a good thing my dad has a lot of pink and light blue shirts. Haha.
Favorite colors aside, my dad and I have a lot of things in common. People say I got my quirky laughter and witty humor from him, which I always take as a huge compliment because my dad can really work up a crowd. I’ve never heard of a seminar he spoke at where people weren’t held captive by his stories, spontaneous jokes and occasional bursts of song-and-dance. He’s a quick study, able to do a little bit of everything and has a seemingly bottomless arsenal of general knowledge, and I hope I’m a little bit like that too.
One of the things my mom loves about my dad is how his eyes sparkle with intelligence. I agree; my mom was the one who mostly taught me English, Humanities and creativity while my dad was the one who taught me Maths, Sciences and analytical thinking. I remember him teaching me two-digit division when I was five! I hated it at the time, but now I wish I paid more attention. Haha. My books back then were filled with circled words: whenever we came across a term I wasn’t familiar with, he would encircle them with a pencil and scribble its definition. It wasn’t all left-brained for him though. He’s a compelling storyteller, a darn good cook and a sweet nurse: I grew up practically living in a hospital due to weak lungs, and even though there were many things I wasn’t allowed to eat or do (e.g. watching cartoons would make me laugh, and laughter would set off an asthma attack), I never felt like I had a deprived childhood, because Papa was always there singing for me, reading to me, carrying me, bringing me everywhere. Then until now, there’s always something to be learned just hanging around him: you would drive by a city and he would tell you a building’s history. You would listen to music and he would tell you trivia about the artists of that genre. You would eat at a restaurant and he would tell you how a particular dish is prepared depending on the region. Sometimes I would doubt the veracity of his stories or assume it to be one of his poker-faced jokes, but then I research about it and they turn out to be true. Long before National Geographic and Discovery Channel, we’ve had our own live version.
The one quality of my dad that I aspire most though is his remarkable resilience. Looking at him now, one probably wouldn’t be able to guess what he’s been through. Think of some telenovela plots you can remember and then mix them up: riches-to-rags childhood, growing up with an absentee father at the care of relatives in Iloilo while his mom worked as a labandera (laundrywoman) in Forbes Park, working as an ice candy vendor in the marketplaces of Caloocan and then as a construction worker in Merville among many other odd jobs while paying his way through school. His career is just as storied: he’s held high positions in the banking, foreign service, business and power industries and has had more economic ups-and-downs than a Ferris wheel, but he plowed through and bounced back each time. He’s been mistaken for a CPA, lawyer, professor, restaurateur, and an engineer of all sorts, because even if he is none of the above, he displays unparalleled excellence in any field he gets into. I may sound like I’m a gushing daddy’s girl, but if you meet him, you’d know what I mean. He has his own version of “Bloom where you are planted” that I often share in my own talks: “Ang diyamante, kahit ihalo mo sa buhangin, kikinang at kikinang pag nasinagan ng araw.” (A true gem, even when hidden in the sand, shines brightest under the sunlight.) He teaches us by words and example that though you can’t always control your circumstances, you can always control your attitude and make the best of any situation.
Despite knowing all these, many times in the recent past I’ve found it easier to give in to emotions or laziness or self-doubt. When confronted with daunting situations, I would forget to stop and ask myself, “What would Papa do?” and go on to act however I felt like acting. But I take comfort in another thing my dad likes to tell me: “You can only be who you’re not for so long. You won’t be able to sustain it, and sooner or later you’ll be forced by circumstance to go back to your core.”
I’d like to think I’ve been on my way back to being who I’ve always been supposed to be. After all, I am his daughter, and he is my dad. ♥
Outfit details: Lee Cooper sleeveless button down, Betty flap shorts, Crocs strappy slip-ons, SM Accessories bag.
I’d love to hear your stories too, so go ahead and leave a comment below.
Happy Father’s Day to all dads out there!
As I write this, the A/C and fan are on full throttle and bright sunlight gashes through the window despite the blinds being drawn. Seems like summer doesn’t just want its presence felt; it wants us to be looking it in the eye. Lol.
No complaints there, though. It’s the best time to be donning breezy outfits, few accessories and barely-there makeup. Forever21 dress, SM Accessories, Parisian shoes.
Coinciding with the coming of summer is the coming here of one of today’s hottest actors, “Hunger Games” star and newest Bench endorser Liam Hemsworth. This is what I wore his lunch tête-à-tête with the media a few weeks back.
Here’s what went down with the hottie from Down Under as he talked “Hunger Games,” action films, beating up Thor and men’s fashion.
Shot with my DSLR on my right hand while my left hand was shooting with my iPhone (just to be sure). Haha! Just think of the shakiness and un-enhanced audio as your way of feeling like you were actually in the room—it was utter and enjoyable chaos.
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…
…and a pair of distressed denim jeans for P350.
On busy work days such as this one, I can’t afford to take longer than ten minutes to get ready. So what I usually do is just pull on the something simple and comfortable, but still with some interesting details here and there.
In navy and maroon shades during our fashion blogging workshop for Myth boutique a few weeks ago, where we busted some myths (pun unintended) on blogging and bloggers.
Runway Dreams floral bustier top, The Catwalk long white skirt, SM Department Store striped socks, Crocs mini wedges, Chemistry bangle, Antler Accessories necklace, sunnies from Divisoria. Hype this on Lookbook here.
Hype this on Lookbook here.
Hype this on Lookbook here.
Bangles and wristbands from SM Accessories.
When we saw these pieces in the Giordano store in Trinoma, we immediately knew how we wanted to go about the shoot—nothing fancy and with minimal styling; just candid fun, fun, fun! We love how Giordano’s latest collection adds a colorful twist to classic pieces such as striped collared shirts.
And who wouldn’t love these bottoms? Especially since they come in our favorite pastel pink and blue, for which we will forever love Giordano. Summer may be over, but on Love Chic, it never is.
Like Giordano on Facebook here.
Hi from Bangkok! We’re here with Shai’s mom to do a little bit of touring and a whole lot of shopping. It’s Seph’s first out-of-country trip and second plane ride.
We wore really casual outfits for this nighttime flight, as it’s a hassle taking off socks and accessories and layers of clothing for security checks in the airport. Not to mention that Bangkok is just as hot as in Manila. Adidas shirt, Ice Watch, Human shorts, blue and grey Sperry Topsiders, man-purse from a bazaar. Hype this on Lookbook!
Chemistry top, Human drop-crotch pants, silver Sperry Topsiders, SM Department Store hairband, Forever21 bracelets, and Charles & Keith shoulder bag. An outfit that takes five minutes to put on. Hype this on Lookbook!
Food. It might seem like a silly joke (“We came all the way from Manila to eat KFC”), but a country’s fast food says a lot about their culture as well—we found out for example that Thai fast food chains offer yummy chocolatey drinks like Milo, and seldom have anything on the menu that isn’t spicy or doesn’t taste like curry. Like these shicken strips.
Instead of gravy, this is what they have, other than ketchup (which they call tomato sauce). After dinner, we took a walk outside looking for dessert, because Bangkok’s street food has a strong reputation for being truly awesome. Alas, there weren’t any stalls open nearby and we ended up here.
The sandbags are for protection against unexpected flooding, as areas surrounding the city have been experiencing the past few days before we got there. Getting inside McDonald’s became an adventure in itself.
A tall glass of Ovaltine Swiss. Why don’t we have this here? If we did, we wouldn’t need to go to our coffee and tea places for our frap fix.
A seriously delicious drink that we ended up gulping down before we could take more decent pictures.
We’re glad we brought our Sperrys to this trip. Pretty handy and stylish for traveling, as we found out the next day.
We spent our first day in Bangkok on a tour to different Buddhist temples. This is the temple of the Reclining Buddha, a 200-year-old giant statue.
Which we found pretty awesome, considering we’re only used to seeing Buddha images seated like this.
As if being a massive statue wasn’t enough, the Reclining Buddha even has intricate designs on its feet.
These must make amazing footprints on the beach.
View from behind: Buddha’s got spiky hair
Souvenirs were being sold outside the temple, but we got a different kind of souvenir.
Some dude on the street randomly placed this giant snake on Seph’s shoulders and made us pose for the camera, then made us pay 360 baht. Can you say “holdap?” Lesson learned: Learn to say “No, thank you” when in a foreign country.
We went back to the hotel for brunch after a tiring and fulfilling morning.
Chili-filled rice meal with chicken, veggies, peanuts and special sauce for Seph.
Chicken fillet with crunchy bits of we don’t know what, and cucumbers in some sweet and spicy vinegar sauce for Shai.
In their food courts, you exchange your baht with coupons and use these to pay. We had some extra coupons left, and bought these.
Milk tea (won’t be the last time we’ll be having this, as you’ll soon see) and chocolate ice cream. Both tasted heavenly.
And then it was back to the city for round two of the temple tour.
Spotted: Reclining Buddha, now standing tall. Whoa.
Oh hi, how’s the weather up there?
On another note, we couldn’t help but marvel at the elaborately designed roofs and buildings on the temple grounds.
Other than taking pictures and goofing around, we spent some time reflecting and being thankful for our blessings inside one of the smaller temples. Day 1 has been wonderful so far, and we have a feeling it will keep getting better.
DOT DOT DOT:
For the record, nope, we don’t go around everyday looking like twins. But there are some days when we do find super matchy outfits in our closets and decide to goof around like a couple of cheeseballs and wear stuff like these.