It makes me happy that more and more people are discovering for themselves the dupery that is our old-school History books. Growing up, my father used to give us alternative reading materials that questioned the veracity and accuracy of the almost-legendary anecdotes of centuries past—how some figures tended be overrated, while others overlooked.
For me, one of these is Gat Andres Bonifacio. (“Gat” is kind of the Filipino equivalent of “Hon.” and I believe it is short for “Gatpuno.” As an etymology enthusiast, I’d like to think this in turn comes from the word ugat-puno: the roots of a tree. An apt metaphor for an organizational leader who rests as the foundation underneath the branches to give it nourishment, grounding and support.)
As with Rizal, I could not let Bonifacio’s sesquicentennial go by without a brief nod to the unspoken truths about his contributions to our rich history. Instead of having to dish out one “Did You Know That…” after another, I’m delighted to link you to credible online resources: the Philippine government’s marvelous efforts here, GMA Network’s special report here, and Rappler’s factoids here.
I must warn you though: reading about these growing up, hearing them from my father or Ateneo teachers, is why I have never been a fan of Aguinaldo. I sincerely do not mean to discredit his legacy or disrespect his descendants, but honestly, and contrary to how he was portrayed in my textbooks, as a young girl I’ve always viewed him as one of those trapos (traditional politicians) who go to great lengths to make themselves appear most heroic. Who plot against the threats to their success, and engage in grandstanding and elaborate PR schemes to claim credit for the effort of others.
On another note, perhaps this is why I’ve never been able to relate with Rizal until I got introduced to “Without The Overcoat" and related readings. He was always depicted in traditional History books as almost legendary, superheroic, that it was difficult to see him for the human being that he was, faults, foible and flagrancies all.
I like it better when people are shown—revealed for who they are. As Bonifacio’s supporters are now seeing, and as I know I will too, the truth about people eventually shines through. ♥
Outfit details: Forever21 floral dress and dotted socks, Parisian wedge booties, Michael Kors ostrich Hamilton bag.
SM Accessories necklace and bracelet, Nail It! manicure. All together now a la Love Actually: “I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes… Christmas is all around me, it’s everywhere I go…”
Slickwraps iPhone 5 wrap from Wrapped Up (that’s too many wraps in one sentence I could almost write a rap about it—ooh, alliteration. Okay, I’m just rambling here). This is officially my favorite of all the cases and wraps I’ve ever tried. My phone is protected all over in wrapping that looks and feels like wood. Plus, it doesn’t make my phone bulkier so I can even put on a hard or silicon casing over it. Then again, it easily matches anything I wear, so I probably wouldn’t have to. Check out the other wooden and carbon fiber gadget wraps by clicking their link above.
A birthday gift from an awesome trip to my awesome uncles and aunts in the States. When styling, once in a while I like to have cheeky themes within my outfits, sort of like an inside joke that only I am in on. For once I’ll share what this outfit’s is: dots on the bag, and dots on the socks. Heh. That’s it, really. I just like to have certain things that match but don’t really.
Forever 21 wedge booties. I haven’t gone shoe-shopping in a while and my penchant for neutral-colored footwear, especially those of the height-increasing type, was reawakened when I spotted this pair on a mannequin.
Needless to say, I fell head over heels. (‘kay, that was quite awful)
Hype this on lookbook above, vote on Chictopia below.
How we use our freedom speaks of our priorities. It’s been a week since Yolanda, but thousands will be reeling from its aftermath for weeks more. For those of us who won this lottery and were spared, offering a bit of our time, resources and sensitivity is the least we can do.
Despite that (or, because) we are not directly affected, we can make use of our freedom to help out, just as we would if the storm struck one of ours. Yes, life goes on—given enough time to recover. Would we be comfortable showing our shopping loot to a friend who just lost everything in a fire? Sharing PDA photos with a friend whose loved one just died? Recounting our fancy dinner to a friend who just got laid off his job? We’d be free to, but we wouldn’t. We’d let them know that we are one with them in their suffering. We’d be responsive to their needs.
This weekend, the Ateneo de Manila college covered courts is open 24 hours to donors and volunteers. While there are many other centers (there are actually two other courts for relief operations on campus), this is where I always go to help out. It’s like coming home. This is where the OrSem is held, where freshmen are first taught the Ignatian value of magis: the pursuit of excellence, not merely for one’s own benefit but to be men and women for others. Sentimental reasons aside, it’s also because volunteer work here doesn’t feel like work at all.
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.
After “Ligaw,” we’ve been getting requests to do videos on a more regular basis. Since we do everything ourselves with the help of friends, doing a video like this takes weeks of preparation, shooting and editing. But yes, a follow-up to “Ligaw” is in the works!
Seph: Chemistry outfit, Ferretti shoes. Shai: Simply Felice dress, Ferretti shoes. Photo: Jeru Czar. We’re trying to come up with something compelling to say about the fashion, but there’s really one thing on our minds at the moment.
- Home remedies for flooded or stranded people - contains health and safety tips as well as additional links to government and non-government institutions that can help
- Local and overseas directory - Where to send your donations (complete list)
- Quick ways to donate - everything you need to know about donating
- Updated list - evacuation centers and relief operations all over Metro Manila
- Cebu City drop-off points
Davao City drop-off points
Hollywood pop star Joe Jonas visited Manila last week to join Bench’s lineup of international endorsers. What we wore:
Another one for my collection of slouchy messenger bags.
My trusty boots for those days when I need to wear something really casual, but still stylish.
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.
The main man, Mr. Ben Chan!
PR maven Thysz Estrada flanked by blogger sisters Verniece and Vern Enciso
With Val Chua (Happy birthday today!) and Marj Sia’s little sister Mel, who we hear from her ate is a big Joe Jonas fan.
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
Just got these from Mandaue Foam! We’re slowly but surely getting started on our home decorating project, which we’ll be blogging some photos of every now and then.
…On a graffiti-filled rooftop of an abandoned building. Pity we couldn’t show you just how high up we were—the lower floor is filled with trash and weeds and other unsightly things not suitable for anyone’s sensibilities. When we say abandoned building, we mean abandoned, even by any hope of salvation. We mainly just braved that rooftop and sat on the edge for our own sense of fulfillment.
Anyway, we’re usually a little more subtle now about our matchy outfits than this, but this was for a Valentines PR collaboration with Skechers Philippines (posting only now because we’re Slowpoke like that) so it’s cool.
Besides, it could be a lot cheesier. We could’ve been posing sweetly with the lines of some song sprawled on the picture and the letters L-O-V-E behind us. Oh wait…
Well, still could be cheesier. We could’ve been wearing all red and, you know, have a red heart-shaped balloon or something. Oh wait…
Darn it. All right, we’re cheesy. Still a better love story than Twilight.
We’re both wearing Skechers Go-Runs. Special thanks to Jay Dalisay and Katrina Ong for tapping us for this project. Check out Skechers Philippines on Facebook!
Click pics for other outfit/photo credits.
TUMBLR x YOUNG STAR:
"Tumblr succeeds as an outlet for creating cultural niches online, and thus, the genesis of the self-made tastemakers and editors-in-chief—in fashion, music, movies, art and photography. We at Young Star thought it was about time to meet the Royal Tumblr Family.” —Re: Blog by Karen Bolilia (read more)
We still feel as bashful and giddy as when Karen first got in touch with us for this feature. Thanks and a virtual hug go out to Love Chic friends and readers. We owe it to Him and you.
Seph: Vespa shirt and Ransom hi-cuts, Adidas. Blazer, Penshoppe. Necklace, Me&U.
Shai: Tank top, Just G. Skirt and shoes, SM Dept Store. Button-down, Forever21.
Photos: Hannah Reyes.