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.
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.
Best thing about this season? You can wear your favorite hues and pretty much get away with it. I just love color!
This is what I wore to a casual meeting today. Since it was a hot afternoon, I thought I’d go all summery chic, wear a lot of brights and bare a little skin.
Speaking of bare, I didn’t have the time or patience to do full-on makeup, so I just brushed on a little blush, put on some red lipstick and left the rest of my face alone. There’s a lot going on in my outfit already, plus sunnies make great concealers anyway. Haha.
Pulled my hair into a messy bun because it’s the easiest lazy hair style to pull off, especially when your hair is the naturally wavy type that doesn’t like to be combed.
I was never a fan of sunny days, but I noticed that a lot of the things I used to like and not like have been evolving. Lately, I’ve been thinking of the sun as something to look forward to.
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.
CPS Chaps top, flea market chiffon skirt, Aldo socks, Call It Spring wedges, SM Accessories belt. It’s the same style of shoes I wore in this layout except in a different color. Hype this on Lookbook here.
Barette and men’s eyeglasses from SM Accessories. Red bangs, black roots and blonde tips. Ayayay. Clearly, the ombré hair needs retouching.
Metal with petal. Connector ring and studded clutch from SM Accessories. With just a rose ring and a beige bag, this look would be too sweet and feminine for my style. I like how all the hardware adds toughness to the whole look.
This feather hairclip is so pretty, but the way my hair is naturally messy like that, I’m thinking it would probably stand out better on straight hair. Still, I’m a sucker for feather accessories and I just love this.
When it comes to accessories, I like to work with a certain subtle theme. Sort of like an inside joke with myself. In this case, a ring leaf because my bag is green.
Gold shoes are quite hard to pull off for a casual look, simply because gold is associated with glamour. But when it’s a pair of flats in a simple enough design that’s comfy to walk around in, gold makes for fun footwear.
Beauty notes: Maybelline Pure Liquid mineral foundation, The Face Shop Face It designing dual shading pact, Topshop lipstick. Don’t you just love how the sunglasses match the top perfectly?
Wedges again! I added yellow orange to the black and white colorblocking to amp up its ’60s-era feel.
So why the title? Because I humbly and sincerely believe that the best way to blog is to be yourself. Long before it was considered an actual career option, blogging in its purest sense was all about putting your heart and soul out there in an honest yet considerate, opinionated yet eloquent, consummate yet ethical way. And to play with the phrase’s actual meaning, it’s your self you should be seeing when you look in the mirror that is your website—not a stranger in a costume striking a pose. Otherwise, therein lies the danger of losing touch with what’s real and what’s important.
This pair of Call It Spring wedges look amazing, notwithstanding my un-pedicured footsies. The color is right between my two favorite shades of red, corral and watermelon. I can’t think of any season I wouldn’t wear this, but the wooden element makes it perfect for the summer.
Hope you’re having a wonderful summer, wherever you may be at right now!
Gray and white embellishments reminiscent of Cirrus nimbus clouds (or so we say, hehe). Kashieca top, CPS Chaps skirt, Call It Spring sandals and clutch, SM Accessories headband, glasses and bangle. Hype this on Lookbook here.
I seldom wear sandals because they’re either too flat (having a tall boyfriend has its inconveniences) or too strappy (I’m a brisk walker and straps end up hurting my feet or snapping after a while). But these aren’t just sturdy enough; they also have cute kitten heels! Perfect shade of brown for the summer too.
What about you? What mundane things do you find breathtaking? If you haven’t stopped and smelled the proverbial roses in a long while, this season would be the best time to. Beauty can be found in the simplest of things—all we have to do is look. :)
We had no plans of weighing in on the recent controversy involving FHM Philippines' March issue, but while uploading these photos for just another fashion post, we were reminded of it by word association. Colored background, black and white… It might've been in the back of our heads all this time, as an issue that's close to home for us both. So what the heck, let's throw Lookbook captioning out the window for a moment and throw in our two cents.
Unless you’ve been in hibernation, you probably know that the magazine’s original cover this month featured British-Filipina actress Bela Padilla posing for the camera in a swimsuit, surrounded by five dark-skinned Filipinas in blackface who are either looking down despondently or looking up in awe at this fair-skinned beauty who is “Stepping out of the shadows” (the caption). Guess we don’t need to elaborate on the message this cover clearly sends out. Following a slew of comments from offended netizens, the men’s magazine has recalled the cover and released one with the photo and caption replaced.
All should be well and good now, except it quite isn’t. Because this isn’t the first time we Filipinos have displayed ignorance and insensitivity regarding this, and it probably won’t be the last. Not while the people involved admit outright that they see nothing wrong with blackface, and do not regret having participated in it. Not while again and again, TV shows portray characters in blackface who would be maltreated, ridiculed and hated just for being dark, while becoming lighter-skinned would bring them a better life. Not while we’re okay with how newspapers and magazines continue to paint non-black models black for the sake of art or advocacy without realizing or considering the impact the photos would have, regardless of the accompanying text’s intentions. Not to mention the comments on blog posts about the issue that go along the lines of, “Things are blown out of proportion. What’s so racist about that cover? What’s wrong with painting them black?”
What makes it ultimately tragic is the irony of it all—how we as a people have been victims of white supremacy and racial discrimination for centuries, and yet we ourselves have been participating in it, knowingly, willingly and unabashedly.
Look at Charice. Immense talent, charm, dedication, but with looks that don’t fit the bill as far as Filipino audiences are concerned. She’s been trying to make it in the local music industry but nobody here would give her a break, preferring the mestizos and mestizas with less than stellar vocal pipes. But when Ellen Degeneres gave her a break and the western world embraced her, “Oh, she’s world-famous now, I’m so proud to be Pinoy!”
When I was younger, I auditioned for a TV project. After my turn, I was told flat out by the casting panel, “You’re really good and we want to get you, but the audiences will want something else.” They ended up casting a pretty Caucasian who couldn’t act or memorize lines. The project eventually bombed. Rejection is part of the industry I work in, and it would’ve been fine each time it was because I screwed up or wasn’t right for the part. But what stung was each time that it was because I’m not the typical Pinoy standard of beauty: porcelain skin, aquiline nose, bright-colored eyes.
So when I got to work for a teen magazine and then as producer for TV shows, I made the most of the opportunity: since everyone else was already pitching the standards, I made sure Pinay models and local talent weren’t ignored—those who weren’t just book-worthy because of a foreign-sounding last name or paper-white complexion, but models who actually knew how to pose and project, whose faces were actually for modeling. Talents who actually had talent other than smiling about their easy-earned stardom.
We get to talk often with teens and young adults about their personal issues, and colonial mentality and the insecurities it brings is one that affects us most. We’re happy to notice the changes for the better: morenos and morenas taking the international fashion world by storm, global artists of Pinoy descent proud of their roots, among others. But with something as recent as the cover photo brouhaha, it’s obvious we have a long way to go. We’ll just have to keep doing the little things we can until we get there.
Bright floral prints never fail to liven up drab days. If you’ve seen our blog Archives (or if you’ve been reading this blog long enough—and thank you!) you’ll notice how we love playing with prints. One of the reasons to love summer.
Pre-styling for a shoot: getting ready to Call It Spring #iPhoneography
Heading off to church for the nightly Christmas mass!
Photo by Richard Romero