A comment I get a lot is that I have a way of putting forth ideas and outfits differently. That I don’t seem to simply be looking at trends, following them to a “T” and then merely compiling and rehashing them as if my blog were an RSS feed of content that can already (and more conveniently) be found in legit publications. It’s because I really don’t.
I work a real job in media after all; we are trained to keep an ear on the ground for anything approaching, to keep constant watch on what’s buzzing, to track the trending. Having sufficient awareness of whatever is going to hit mainstream soon, how long it’s likely to last, and the likelihood of its fade out, I tend to refrain from hitching my wagon on it. This habit extends to real life. It feels nice to be ahead—and when not possible, to be left behind to examine something on its own merits while the many have moved on to the next hype. When people would be abuzz about the latest trilogy or book or artist, I would stay away from the news feeds and wait out the loud chatter, returning only when it dies down and I could check it out for myself without any majority opinion to sway mine.
For me, mastering trends means studying the peaks and troughs of their precedents and feeling out predictions from there. Having a sense of what’s poised to hit it big, and simply injecting bits and pieces of it into my own take on things, regardless of whether or not it is hashtag-worthy.
An enduring favorite of many, myself included, has been activewear-sportsluxe-street-urban-sporty-athletic-varsity-chic (insert other fancy terms that point to the same trend of mixing sportswear with stylish clothes here). It’s enjoyed a tenure almost as long-lasting as animal prints and spring florals, but it is a trend undeniably headed towards its demise. I feel skater skirts and dresses would function as transitionary pieces: still as sporty, but versatile enough to make the shift from sporty to, say, punk and romantic looks, less drastic. But who knows? I just like caps, and sneakers, and florals. As I said, I tend to keep to what I feel is coming and stray from what’s already out there. What counts for me is that I’m true to my style.
Clinging on to trends makes one savvy, but it also tends to blur one’s identity if left to reign over it. Like summer flings and fair-weather friendships, trends can come and go without leaving us with anything substantial. Sometimes they return, sometimes they don’t, but always they never last. They die. And it’s not just fashion. Consider this week’s Anne Curtis brouhaha. It’s got everyone clicking “Share” and making commentaries and living in the huge moment, and it won’t be surprising if "I can buy you, your friends and this club" becomes some sort of meme. But like many of its predecessors, it won’t be long before it’s forgotten.
So sure, let’s have fun with trends, delight in the excitement of choices that social media gives us access to—so long as they simply garnish what we already serve. A healthy consumption of trends means that at the end of the day, while what’s hot has peaked and plateaued and we await the next big thing, we have our own selves to always go back to. ♥
Outfit details: Nike Air snapback, Redgirl floral raglan, Mango jeggings.
SM Accessories tote bag. Much mismatch.
World Balance sneakers in my favorite color.
Hype on Lookbook and vote on Chictopia by clicking on the links above. Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @shailagarde, and feel free to leave a comment. What trends do you wish to see expire, and which ones do you want to last? I’d love to hear from you!
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.
I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath. Scared to rock the boat and make a mess.
So I sat quietly. Agreed politely. I guess that I forgot I had a choice.
I let you push me past the breaking point. I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything.
You held me down.
But I got up. Already brushing off the dust. Get ready ‘cause I’ve had enough.
You hear my voice, you hear that sound. Like thunder, gonna shake the ground. I see it all, I see it now.
I’ve got the eye of the tiger, a fighter dancing through the fire.
'Cause I am a champion and you're gonna hear me roar.
Now I’m floating like a butterfly. Stinging like a bee. I earned my stripes.
I went from zero…
To my own hero.
It’s an anthem everyone can claim for their own. But for those of you who know me and my story—the real one, not the one passed on through a friend of a friend of a friend embellished with amnesiac truths, then you’d know exactly why I wrote in Katy Perry’s lyrics instead of my own words. “Roar” is the life story of this (girl born in the year of the) tiger, and there is very little need for elaboration.
Forever21 tiger shirt, Miss Sixty shorts. Special thanksJoanne Pecson (pictured above) and ETC Channel for inviting me to be the inspirational speaker on personal style during the ETC Campus Tour in UP Diliman a few weeks back.
Antler Accessories necklace to go with the shirt’s studs.
Forever21 nude stockings with cross prints, Skechers +3 wedge sneakers.
Gel nails by St. Nails Spa.
Hype this on Lookbook above, favorite on Chictopia below.
Five months ago, I wrote “Transition.” It was the middle of spring, and although I live in a country that only has sunny and rainy days, the events in my life seemed to be changing the way the seasons do. I had just come from a harsh and dark winter, and in time, the cold melted and ushered in a lush, vibrant environment where everything was growing.
In the summer, I moved on to a fresh new start and decided to “Keep Walking.” When I turned my back on all the baggage weighing me down and the garbage bringing out the worst in me—the things and people that were keeping me from being my best and most genuine self—everything became clear as day. That “Clarity" made me take responsibility for the choices I made in the past couple of years. I saw clearly the short-term consequence: a wounding, a purging, an emptying out.
I also saw the long-term consequence: a healing, a rediscovering, a filling up with real love and genuine happiness. Now, it is autumn. The season for shedding the bits and pieces that aren’t needed, in order to make room for an eventual and inevitable rebirth. For more amazing challenges and experiences. I’d like to believe this is the season I have come full circle. ♥
Outfit details: Shop Enna olive green one-shoulder bodycon dress. I enrolled in 360 Fitness Club last September and aside from most obvious reason being to take good care of my health, clothes like these are why.
The birthstone for March. I also wore it with this sporty outfit.
Hype this above and vote on Chictopia here.
What would be a transitionary outfit from summer to fall, if we had four seasons instead of just wet and dry.
Indigenous tribal-print backpack from Davao.
In this time and age where efficiency is king, versatility is key. Things—and people—have to be as functionally maximized in all other aspects as they are in one. Everything is expected to be transitionary, hence the popularity of multi-way pieces, all-season ensembles, and day-to-night looks.
And us? We have to know how to “Work Hard, Play Hard.” We can’t just be one or the other; to make the most of the “Sweet Things” in this “Beautiful World,” we’ve got to be ready and raring for both. To be able to enjoy “Silence” as much as we enjoy the exciting “Elements of Life.” To say to ourselves, “I Will Be Here” as we seize the day, and then gather with our friends afterwards and say, “We Own The Night.”
I just served you up with some of the smash hits created by legendary Dutch musician and record producer of Electronic Dance Music (EDM), Tijs Michiel Verwest. More popularly known to you and me as world-renowned Grammy Nominee DJ Tiesto, he’s coming back to Manila next week and I’m giving away tickets.
But first, a look-back at his DJ career. It began with Tiesto playing mostly New Beat and House Music in small clubs in his hometown of Breda, the Netherlands. He rose to popularity in the early 2000s after his performance at the Live at Innercity: Amsterdam RAI party, and the release of his first solo album “In My Memory” and has since been producing award-winning EDM hits and albums, holding world tours and concert parties, and receiving countless recognition for his music. One of Tiesto’s albums, “Elements of Life,” was number one on the Dutch album chart and Billboard Top Electronic Albums in the US, and was awarded Best Electronic Dance Album in 2008.
One of Tiesto’s most notable performances was at the opening ceremony of the Athens Summer Olympics, making him the very first DJ to play live on stage at an Olympic event. He was also the very first DJ to rank #1 in the Top 100 DJs list by DJ Magazine for three years straight. His other awards include Best International DJ at the DJ Awards (2008), The Best DJ of All Time and The #1 DJ by Mixmag Magazine (2008), International Dance4Life Ambassador (2006), and The 40th Greatest Dutch Citizen of All Time and Officer of the Order of Orange–Nassau by the Dutch Royalty (2003).
With a proven track record, there’s no doubt Tiesto is one of most sought-after EDM DJs in the world. In the Philippines alone, he’s spun his tracks in front of the hottest clubbers, EDM enthusiasts and personalities in two of the biggest and hippest dance arenas in 2008 and 2009.
This October 3, Tiesto will be coming back to Manila for his very first concert party at the Big Dome as World Wide Womb, Ovation Productions, Driven Manila, and Republiq present Tiesto Live in Manila with special guest, the fastest-rising and most exciting female Australian DJ Tigerlily. Tickets are now available at Ticketnet. You can check out www.ticketnet.com.ph, World Wide Womb and Republiq for more info, or call +639175508888 for VIP tables. Of course, you can join my giveaway first for a shot at scoring tickets for free.
Unplanned shoot on a clear night. Filled in my brows, slapped on eyeliner and headed out with my mom for a few snaps, just as the sun had set.
I just bought this camo dress and remembered the awesome coincidence that I have a New Era cap and sneakers to go with it, so what the heck if we had nothing but lamp posts and a camera flash. Hype this outfit on Lookbook here, vote on Chictopia here.
This giant toy soldier behind me is one of two that stands guard day in and day out at the entrance of this village. I think they were supposed to only serve as decorations last Christmas, but nobody had the heart to take them off-duty, and their post became permanent.
There’s something quite liberating about gung-ho guerrilla shoots such as this one.
Zero makeup save for the eyes, unkempt hair, sneakers. For the more glamorous fare, there’s almost that pressure to aim for the prettiest look and the best poses.
With this one, you can’t really try for more than a few shots per area. Everything has to be done quickly, so you have to take whatever you get and work with it.
If you’re familiar with “Game of Thrones” then the title requires no explanations. The Night’s Watch is a military order sworn to protect The Wall, a massive structure made of ice, stone and magic that separates them humans from the wildings—nomadic folk and supernatural creatures that pose a threat to their kingdoms.
Majority of its members are former criminals, bastards and disgraced noblemen who were given the choice between condemnation or redemption by serving in the Night’s Watch, and chose the latter. Redemption themes hit close to home as you may know, thus this title.
May we all be to ourselves and our loved ones as the Night’s Watch are to their kingdoms: flawed, yet redeemed by a commitment to defend and protect our own from external forces that attempt to break in.
SM Accessories silver cuff and ring
Adidas camouflage sneakers with pink stripes and laces.
And this beautiful Raga wristwatch from Titan. I just love elegant sparkly watches that are just as beautiful as bracelets so I can wear them in contrast to more streetwear-type outfits. Titan’s Raga collection has a lot of these.
Pretty, yes? Here’s a little something for you, too: get a chance to win this Titan watch by giving the best answer to one simple question.
Hello! After another fun week out of town for work, I’m back with a new blog post—a hot “The Killers in Manila” tickets giveaway! Read on to find out how you can score them.
One of their songs that I really like is “Smile Like You Mean It,” for when things don’t go the way we expect. It’s a catchy tune for a somber self-reminder to try and muster a smile no matter what curveballs life throws our way. To always look on the bright side. For me, The Killers really killed it (hehe) with that one.
It may seem simplistic and clichéd, but it really does work. Studies have been made that show that when you smile, even when you don’t necessarily feel like smiling, your facial muscles send signals to your brain that you are feeling happy.
Your brain then releases chemicals that in turn makes you genuinely feel better about whatever it is that’s bothering you, and your mood gets turned around.
It’s one of the few instances when it’s okay to “fake it ‘til you make it.” So go ahead and smile! It’s not known all over the world as the universal best medicine for nothing. Speaking of which, here’s something to smile about. Who wants tickets?
The Killers performs on Thursday, September 26th at the Smart Araneta Coliseum and I’m giving away free passes to three (3) lucky winners, courtesy of SM Accessories. One gets a VIP ticket, while two readers each get an Upperbox A ticket.
More often than not, people with a common destination in mind tend to think of taking the same path towards it. They see others reaching it and get convinced that all they have to do to get there themselves is do what the successful have done.
The arrows all point to the same direction, convincing many that there is but one established way of doing things. “If others can do it, so can I” becomes misconstrued to mean “If others can do it this way and make it, so can I.” They join the mainstream, the popular, the “safe” and the status quo where the pioneers have made their mark and throngs of conformists have already flocked towards.
I believe we are all better than that. That each of us can look within us and find something only we can offer, something that we can use to reach our goals without having to look at how others do it and pulling a monkey-see-monkey-do.
There is value in refusing to just go with the flow, about resisting the bandwagon, about veering away from blind groupthink.
In sitting ourselves down and assessing things from our perspective and standards, not others’. In considering channels other than the beaten path.
In a world where every industry is saturated, governed by a silently acknowledged hierarchy, controlled by networks and machinery, it would be naive to think that taking the alternative route—the best one depending on our identity, values, belief system, skill set, and unique characteristics—can guarantee success a hundred percent.
What it does, however, is guarantee that we would never end up compromising who we are and giving up what we believe in for the sake of making it.
It guarantees that whatever and however long it takes, we would have a better chance of getting to our destination much happier and content with the path we’ve chosen to take.
And whether there are others with us or none, we would be able to say, “Go ahead, everyone else. I’ll make my way through this other route.
See you at the end of this tunnel, whoever gets there first.” :)
Shot by Don Michael De Leon of Happyfingers Photography. Shop This Easy dress, my friend Magel's jacket, H&M stockings, New Era baseball cap, Janylin flats. Hype this on Lookbook here, vote on Chictopia here.
It’s really cool how this racerback can be sporty, dressy or casual depending on what you wear it with. It’s got the right balance of being loose on top, snug and fit at the bottom, which is how I usually wear these things. All you really need to transform this dress are the blazer, shoes and accessories that would fit the look you want to go for.
For the bag and the jewelry, I played around and deliberately chose items that wouldn’t normally go well with this look, just to try and put dainty and athletic-chic together.
I usually wear this carry-all to the office or when running errands for easier stashing of everything. It’s got a frilly pink charm and comes with a pink polka-dotted wallet, but they make it look too Paris Hilton so I thought best to do away with those. Heh.
White, black and pink, just like the bag. Same shoes I wore on this post (also with a dress, just to show that sneakers don’t always have to be worn with jeans or shorts). I’ve always found this color scheme so easy to style. The black balances out the otherwise ultra-girly combo of pink and white and gives any item an understated edginess.
Here’s another pink-and-white combo that doesn’t scream girly, thanks to the rubber studs. iPhone 5 case from Beyond The Box.
How the white hard casing looks without the rubber cover. Industrial-chic is what I like to call it, but I don’t really know (and yes, this is an upside-down photo).
Aren’t these Silverworks necklaces just adorable? They’re my current favorites.
The top pendant is aquamarine, the birthstone for March. The customized nickname isn’t just pretty, it also helps café baristas take my order. No need to spell out my name—just point. Haha. I like wearing these two together as a representation of who I am. They go perfectly with my other two treasures.
My Pandora silver charm bracelet, also with aquamarine. I picked out the charms with one of my best friends, Joanne, and each one has a profound meaning. Wearing this helps to remind me of the things I strive for, of the things worth believing in, and the things I should never lose sight of.
My Me&U ring, given to me as a gift by the shop’s owners. The couple have become two of my dearest friends ever since meeting them through this blog. It’s a reminder that although some things aren’t meant to last, some things definitely are, and it’s these that we must always value and appreciate.
I guess I put together this look not only for the styling of it, but more importantly for the commonality that I saw in all the pieces: their versatility. I’ve been busy with work the past two months that I’ve struggled to divide time and energy equally among family, friends, fitness and self-improvement. As today is the first of September, my new-month resolution is to do away with the reasons (i.e. excuses) for not being well-rounded, allot enough time for everything and everyone and learn to make better use of every 24 hours I’m given. :)
Share your thoughts about this look or about whatever by leaving a Disqus comment below or tweeting me @shailagarde. Happy September!
I thought I’d do something different for this one.
Japanese Candy contact lenses match the tie-dye headband, no?
Cuff and butterfly ring from a bazaar, Nail It! manicure.
Adam Saaks x Ed Hardy style. Haha. A bit of DIY know-how helps to jazz up your wardrobe every now and then.
I was going to wear the shirt as is, maybe pair it with shorts and knee-high boots or something, but there was a new pair of scissors lying around the house and I was bored. And so…
Photos taken with my iPhone (follow me on Instagram @shailagarde!) I didn’t plan on doing a tutorial and was just taking photos to document my first time to DIY a shirt this way. I basically just cut off whatever I felt like cutting off, stretched the cloth a bit, then weaved the strips together like I used to when I made friendship bracelets in high school. Then I kept cropping the shirt until it was the length I wanted.
So when I put on the shirt, I just grabbed whatever pieces felt right to pair it with. Now I don’t really know how to describe this look. Part-boho, part-rocker, part-casual? Hahaha.
So what do you think? Is it something you’d try? Feel free to leave a comment below, or tweet me @shailagarde :)
One of those rare days when a cool breeze is in the Manila air even as the sun bathes the city in yellow warmth.
It is timely, too. Today is the birthday of one of my best friends, Megan, who’s now living her dreams and chasing after a few more in the UK. She studied at the London campus of the Italian fashion school Istituto Marangoni, and now has her own brand of lingerie catering to petite women. Apart from these, she juggles married life with contributing to lifestyle publications from time to time and working for a trendy food company in the city. Since the weather permitted it, I decided to go London-street for this tribute post.
Unlike with my other posts for family, friends and loved ones, this won’t have photos of beautiful Megan as she’s quite the private person. She’s always been the more no-nonsense between the two of us, and by always, I mean ever since we were five years old when we first met. Despite my being the eldest and her being the middle child, she’s practically the older sister I never had. Megan taught me and got me through a lot of things growing up: riding a bicycle, having crushes on silly boys, playing pranks on friends and school personnel, creating graphic novels of superheroes out of stapled pages of bond paper even before the term “graphic novel” was coined, writing songs for said graphic novel that we imagined got adapted into a television series. She dreamed up dreams with me, about someday making it big as a (insert wildly random occupations here—from tollway cashier to squeegee window cleaner at a local McDonald’s to astronaut to fashion designer-supermodel) and traveling the world.
We met in pre-school and were classmates all through grade school. Megan lived a walking distance away from my house so we would often have sleepovers. And since the Internet then wasn’t what it is today, we spent our idle days playing outside, or thinking up words for Boggle and Scrabble or juggling our Memory or strategizing for Monopoly. We read storybooks and Archie Comics and Readers Digests. We wrote songs and pretended to be the best pianists and created soap operas and cut the hair of our Barbies and customized their clothes. We just basically let our imaginations run free. In high school, things changed a little bit when she transferred to a different class and I moved to a house farther away. We formed our own groups of friends and started to focus on college and it got harder to keep the sisterly bond between us. In college, she remained in Pampanga while I went to Ateneo, and the weekly talks became monthly calls until they eventually became sporadic texts and online messages.
Curiously, despite having minimal interaction through the years, Megan and I ended up pursuing the same paths: we both dabbled in a little bit of modeling, dipped our toes in a lot of fashion, worked in advertising and media. Even more curiously, it was when she left for London, and eventually got married, that we actually got back in touch more frequently than ever before. We would exchange stories of travel and lessons and “mistakes” (she never approved of the term and believes our decisions, good and bad, are meant to shape us into who we are) and photos of random things that we encounter every day. These days, Viber and Facebook have made this even easier.
Megan comes back here every now and then but we rarely see each other for more than a day. It’s been a dream of ours to explore London and New York together, to finally be able to travel and experience things together instead of just vicariously through each other’s camera phones. I’ve been saving up for a trip to either or both cities with her sometime in July next year, and I can’t wait! Until then, here’s to playing dress up and delighting in a friend’s stories, like we used to do when we were little girls. Happy birthday, love!
Outfit details: The SM Store dress, Folded & Hung blazer.
H&M stockings, Forever21 wedge booties.
SM Accessories hat, Japanese Candy contact lenses.
SM Accessories necklace.
SM Accessories studded clutch bag. Rightmost ring from Me&U, the rest from my mom’s drawer. Haha.
Earth, fire, air, water. The Greek classical elements fascinate me, but it’s the fifth one, æther, that I find most magical.
In Greek mythology, Æther was the first-born elemental god, the personification of the clearest, brightest sky in which the gods of Olympus lived, and the pure upper air that they breathed. He is superiorly illuminated, and this brightness shone down all over the mortal world. At night, Æther’s mother Nyx (“The Night”) called upon her husband Erebus (“The Dark”) to blanket the world in darkness, and in the morning Æther’s sister Hemera (“The Day”) dispersed this dark mist away so that his light may be seen again.
Thus, in classical Greek science, æther is the quintessence (“quint” meaning fifth) that is not of this world. Medieval philosophers believed that the cosmos and the stars were formed and surrounded by æther. Whereas the first four elements were earthly and subject to change and corruption, æther, the “air of the gods,” was heavenly and unchangeable. If earth is green, fire is red, air is yellow and water is blue, æther is purple: a color that, unlike the colors of the earthly elements, is rarely found in nature.
In fact, it is common knowledge that purple is the color of royalty and power and this is why. Before people discovered how to synthesize dyes, the only way to produce about 1.5 grams of purple dye was through a painstaking process that involved the beating, drying and extracting of mucus of some 12,000 Murex snails!
In color psychology, purple is associated with noble things: good judgment, fulfilment, inspiration. It is the perfect balance of red (masculinity, warmth, energy) and blue (femininity, coolness, stability). For those who believe in chakras, purple is the color of the crown chakra (top of the head) that connects the spirit to universal sources of energy and wisdom.
Æther. Heavenly air. Purple quintessence. The perfect balance. People turned to mythologies and associations to explain the way the world around them worked. Going back to the basics, breaking everything down into the simplest, most essential parts of which they are made. Believing that the balance of elements leads to harmony and the disturbance of this balance leads to chaos. Looking to what’s tangible to explain the intangible. I guess no matter how scientific and modernized we have become, my fascination for the old ways of looking for answers in the mystical and mythical would always hold. Some things are best learned when felt with the heart rather than explained with the mind. :)
Outfit details: Shop Enna peplum dress. Check out their shop for flirty and feminine frocks.
Isn’t the lace back gorgeous? Just the right amount of sexy and sweet.
Japanese Candy contact lenses. They’re in chocolate brown so it’s not really obvious, but they basically round out the irises and make them look bigger. I wear contacts to help with my 750/750 vision, but it doesn’t hurt that this online store has some seriously cute pairs.
SM Accessories eggshell and gold bracelet and necklace. I don’t really mean to choose matchy things, but their collections are always well-curated that the pieces usually end up complementing one another.
Renegade Folk heels. Still as wonderful as when I first got them close to two years ago.
Photographed by Anton Holmes. Special thanks to Noni Mortel.
A wildcard is an opportunity out of the ordinary. In baseball, it gives an inside chance to non-division winners to make it to the World Series.
In many other sports and competitions, it essentially means the same thing: a second “in,” a chance to redeem oneself despite failing to make it under normal circumstances.
Many times in life too, we only either win or lose. And when we lose, there’s no going back. But every now and then, wildcard opportunities present themselves and offer a way back in.
When we tasted the devastating bitterness of a loss, the initial reaction was to cower and reel. And then we thought of all the things we failed at, berated ourselves for whatever we did that cost us our victory, for not having thought of a different play instead.
And from there, painful loss turns into hapless hopefulness: “If only I could get another shot at this. If only there was a way to try again and win it this time.”
Because this time, we know so much better. Among other things, we know that it’s not because we didn’t have what it takes: the drive, the skill, the experience. We know that sometimes, having what it takes is not enough; that fate is the other side of free will’s coin and that circumstances will sometimes be unkind, but that in the same manner, things could turn around. And when they do, we are more than ready.
This is why many wildcards end up as winners. :)
Outfit details: Divisoria batwing hoodie, Hang Ten denim shorts, H&M stockings.
New Era limited edition Stars and Stripes July 4th baseball cap.
SM Accessories bracelets, cuff, bangle and ring.
SM Accessories quilt shoulder bag.
Asian Vogue platform wedges. Hype this on Lookbook here, vote on Chictopia here.
Ph: Don Michael De Leon of Happyfingers Photography (Tumblr | Instagram | Facebook). Special thanks to Magel Ordoñez and Anton Holmes.
I write this from the balcony of my hotel room overlooking a ridge whereupon bright city lights are sprawled as far as the eye could see, twinkling and substituting for the stars that have opted to go into hiding this rainy night. The breeze is the kind of cold that makes you long for a warm embrace or a fluffy hoodie (I have the latter), and ever so slightly smells of pine trees. Today was 11 hours of being on the road for ocular visits and meetings here in Cagayan de Oro, but I don’t feel tired at all.
Let me tell you a secret—well, it’s not so secret actually. I can be quite stubborn when it comes to pursuing my passions. I graduated X years ago, but this is my first full-time job. I’ve always seen corporate work as very rigid and constricting, compared to working freelance where there are no dress codes, no time records, no company memos to adhere to. You get to do what you want, when you feel like doing it, where you want to do it and in whatever outfit you please. Never mind that there isn’t much economic stability and career sustainability—so long as you’re happy and following your heart, right?
That was my mentality about pretty much everything else, not just career. So long as you follow your heart, everything else will fall in place. Inversely, if you do things you have to even when you don’t want to, your success won’t be as fulfilling. I saw it as a battle of the heart and the intellect, and I always wanted for the heart to win. But I’ve seen the glaring holes of this naive polarity in events of the past few years that it got me questioning. Does it really have to be one or the other? Can we not find a middle ground where we would be able to do the right thing as determined by the mind, and still be able to do the happy thing as determined by the heart?
As it turns out, of course we can. The confusion and frustration of not knowing which path to take, of waking up in the morning very unsure of our next step, of every uncertainty that comes with that familiar experience we all like to call quarter-life crisis… all of those things are not because we lack the skills, the knowledge, the experience or the clarity to find the answer to our questions. Chances are, the only thing we’ve been lacking all along is the willingness to listen to what that answer is.
My phone’s Viber just beeped: three messages. From my family’s group thread, my boss, and a friend, all asking about my day and telling me to rest well. The rain has mellowed down into a light drizzle. I can hear the drone of the TV in my room: Cesar Millan’s voice and the excited barking of small dogs. Except for these sounds and the humming of the airconditioning, everything is quiet on all fronts. How did it get from the noise and chaos of uncertainty to the peace and silence of clarity? I stopped being stubborn about always doing what I wanted, and tried this time to listen to my elders and do what I needed. I tried a path I never would’ve tried had events early this year not transpired.
That choice led me to a job where I get to do everything that I’ve always known I wanted to do since I was five: write, tell stories, shoot pictures and videos, travel. There is a dress code, but the women of Suits have been teaching me how to dress up for work, and it’s been fun. It’s a nine-to-six job, but even when I’m not traveling like this week, my boss encourages me to get out of my desk every now and then and do whatever I need to get my creative juices flowing. “Less bureaucratic. I trust you,” I was told. The pay and perks are more than enough to enable me to pursue all my other passions and still have a lot saved for the future. Working for a company that values God, family and work in that order results in office people being nice and contagiously positive. Above all, I no longer wake up in the morning not knowing where I’m headed. “I can see clearly now, the rain is gone.” :) It amazes me and my loved ones each day how much things in my life have changed for the infinite better, and if there’s anything I’d wish on others, it’s this same gift of clarity.
Look details: Philosophy top, Veva Deeluxe pencil skirt, Janylin peep-toe heels, Euphoria chain necklace and bracelets, SM Accessories ring, Nail It nails, Japanese Candy contact lenses. Hype on Lookbook here, vote on Chictopia here.
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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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