Where I’m from, summer was ages ago, and so was the CloseUp music festival “Summer Solstice” where I wore this outfit to. It’s still summer in the Northern Hemisphere though, so technically I’m not off-season. Haha.
I didn’t really feel like writing this just another event post so I shelved it for a while; the afternoon heat today got me thinking of it again.
In a nutshell, CloseUp Summer Solstice was a 12-hour music festival that featured local and foreign artists of varying genres. It was held April 27 at the MOA concert grounds.
I went with one of my good friends, Chris Everingham.
Of course, as soon as we got there we saw a lot of other friends. It was like everyone congregated there that night.
I’ve never gone on a night out of partying and clubbing before this (and I say this with only mild embarrassment, heh), so to say that it wasn’t bad for a first timer would be an understatement. The music was amazing and the crowd was awesome.
Familiar faces were everywhere, too, so you never ran out of people to enjoy with.
When things wound down, we hit the nearby Army Navy to chat and chow with friends.
Popples, Martin, Lana, my cousin Jeru, Shaoi and Robbie. They’re friends from different points in my life, some way back and others more recent, but one thing they all share in common is the feeling of ease being around them brings. In all honesty, it was the company of these guys that made it more worthwhile to go to Summer Solstice.
I think back to when I first encountered the term in high school. It was the title Filipino National Artist Nick Joaquin’s short story, set in the Philippines in the 1850s. It revolved around the “Tatarin,” a three-day pagan fertility ritual held during summer and ending in a festival. Drawn to mystical-sounding titles, I pounced on the story, and my thirteen-year-old mind was entranced by the delicious images conjured by Joaquin’s prose. Thus began my fascination for solstices and equinoxes, seasons and transitions.
Perhaps owing more to my penchant for finding connections than anything, I noticed how both the story and the event involved dancing, a festival, and the merging of divergent cultures. Both, too, are rife with symbolism—then again, maybe the use of “summer solstice” in itself evokes it. A solstice (literally, “sun standing stlll”) is when the sun comes to a stop before reversing its direction, marking the beginning of a season. Around the time of the event, an experiential solstice was upon me as well: days were long, everything was at a standstill, and I was wondering when the wait for change anew would be over.
Of course, seasons never fail. At the precise and perfect timing, the change occurred. And here things are, more vibrant and alive with possibilities than ever before. :)
Event photos by Jeru Paguntalan and Martin Adelantar of Illustrato. Outfit details: Forever21 corset top and maxi skirt, CMG platform sandals, SM Accessories clutch bag, headband and bracelet. Hype this on Lookbook here, vote on Chictopia here.
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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.
Hello, everyone! Hope your Holidays were a blast. Christmas season is officially over as of today (Happy Three Kings!) but let’s keep things in a festive mood all year round, shall we? Kicking things off with our first blog post for the year—a party diary!
The Power Plant boutique of Cole Haan became filled with pretty lights, good music, fun food and great company on October 25, the brand’s Fall/Winter Launch Party. Taking the spotlight was the Women’s LunarGrand Wingtip Collection.
Dark Brown Suede/Orange, Navy Suede/Topaz and Gull Grey Suede/Volt. Everyone loves their brogues for sleek style and comfort, but these ones are simply as far out as their name.
Also in LunarGrand Wingtips were two very familiar girls: models Julia Sniegowski and Helena Belmonte.
Hollywood pop star Joe Jonas visited Manila last week to join Bench’s lineup of international endorsers.
I’ll always be a sucker for accessories. I try to make up a little story or theme behind the pieces I put together. Can you guess what this one is about?
My favorite F21 booties for making me look taller without making my feet hurt walking or standing around in events.
The Rizal ballroom at the Makati Shangri-la, abuzz with anticipation while everyone waited for the presscon to start.
PR maven Thysz Estrada flanked by blogger sisters Verniece and Vern Enciso
Starstruck with bigshot producer Mike Carandang (America’s Next Top Model, The Tyra Banks Show, Jerry Springer). It took us a few minutes and a lot of coaxing from Thysz before we could approach him, because being a producer herself, Shai is a huge fan.
The day’s host Raymond Gutierrez addressing Joe Jonas fans, who had gathered at the event for a meet-and-greet with their idol. At left, Mike and Shai trying to capture the flurry.
As soon as Raymond took to the stage to announce Joe’s arrival, the fans were all screaming, “I love you Joe!” And then, there was popstar pandemonium.
Joe in his “More fun in the Philippines” Bench outfit. Best known as the lead vocalist of teenybopper pop-rock band The Jonas Brothers with his brothers Nick and Kevin, Joe has since done away with his heartthrob-next-door image in favor of a more mature one, both in terms of his looks and his sound.
He sang three songs from his debut album Fastlife, and you could hear the fans singing along in between shrieks of “Marry me, Joe!” and “I love you!”
…to which Joe graciously responded with a smile and a thank you peppered with a few Tagalog words: "Mabuhay" and “Mahal ko kayo!”
It was awfully nice of the Bench and Joe Jonas teams not to cordon off the stage area. Bloggers and members of the press were allowed to get as near to Joe as it gets, allowing us to take a lot of close-up photos.
After the mini-performance, Raymond proceeded with the Q&A session.
We got to ask: “What’s the most memorable thing a fan has ever done for you, whether it be sweet or weird?”
Joe gave two answers: a hippopotamus named Joe Jonas, and a few stars in the galaxy named after him.
Mr. Ben Chan thanking Joe and the press for being there that day: “It’s more fun with Bench!”
With Patricia Prieto and Alyssa Lapid. Getting together with fellow bloggers is one of the main reasons events like these are worth going to!
Class picture: Thysz, Reg Rodriguez, Aisa Ipac, Tin Iglesias, Anagon, Kaye Awatin, Sarah Tirona, Tracy Ayson, Paul Chuapoco. We’re all getting together again this Saturday at Bloggers United 3. Details about the bazaar and how to get there here!
Outfit photos by Jeru Czar
Upon registration, participants are given colored markers to express their love for Etude House on this wall.
Top view. They really went big with the playhouse/fair concept.
Throw the velcro balls to win the beauty booty of your choice
Sweet treats from Tous Les Jours
Real-life ballerina music box
There was also this incredibly cute pink Beetle with the false eyelashes and lipstick which Shai wanted to drive home.
It wasn’t just all fun and games though. There were also educational talks on beauty, fashion, and skin care.
There was a long line to get inside the beauty area, where princes and princesses (what they call Etude House customers) are treated to a free makeover and beauty crash course.
Super fun relaunch of sneaker great Keds in the country, held at Ronac Art Center. “Keds: The Original Sneaker Exhibit” featured a gallery of shoes, designer collaborations, print ads and photos of Hollywood icons who have worn Keds through the years. Some of the shoes were shipped all the way from the US and Japan archives!
Among the many celeb Keds fans present was rock legend Pepe Smith. The main stars of the exhibit, however, were these sneakers, painted by some of today’s most talented young artists.
By our dear friend, Valerie Chua
By CJ de Silva
By Danika Rio Navarro
By Julius Sebastian
By Soleil Ignacio
Even the food looked (and tasted!) great.
With Val, her friend Irene, and Keds Philippines’ Katrina Ong, who also handles the marketing for Sperry Topsiders. Check out the Keds Philippines Facebook Page to view more photos and learn more cool stuff about Keds. For example, did you know that the term “sneakers” was all thanks to this brand? It’s because when you wear Keds, your footsteps are so quiet you could sneak up behind anyone.
See the latest styles here, then grab your own pair from any of these stores: Complex Lifestyle Store Eastwood Mall, Festival Mall and Alabang Town Center, Hideout Greenbelt 5, SM Supermalls, Rustan’s, Shoe Salon, Ayala Center Cebu and the Keds x Sperry Top-Sider Pop-up Store in Mega Atrium SM Megamall.
This grainy photo of Kim Hyun Joong (looking at me, I swear!—Shai) is the only one from our iPhones worth sharing. Tricia happily allowed us to grab some from her blog because—we have no excuse—we brought our camera but forgot to put the SD card in. Lesson thoroughly learned: never, ever forget the memory card of your camera the night before a press conference by The Face Shop for the Asian Tour of a Korean star who played Ji Hoo in “Boys Over Flowers.”
Along with some beauty and fashion editors of magazines and fellow bloggers who were present, Shai got to ask KHJ one question: “What daily skin care advice can you give Filipino men?” His reply as translated from Korean: “Because of the kind of weather we have in the Philippines, it is important to always wear sun block when going out, as well as moisturizer at night to prevent the skin from getting damaged.”
This pretty shot is a hint at how frenzied the press con was. The usually nonchalant members of the media were suddenly like giggly high schoolers as soon as KHJ entered the room, and the flashbulbs never stopped until he was completely out of sight.
The Gondo Girls minus Crissey and Feanne: Domz, Val, Marj, Tricia and Shai. We’re usually shy around people in events, so coming and bonding with such wonderful friends makes it a lot less awkward and a whole lot happier.
Laidback tops, statement necklaces, tiered bottoms, and snug boots. Love it whenever Tricia makes a cameo!
Photography credits: Tricia Gosingtian