A typical weekend (i.e. lazy) look: slip-on dress, minimal accessories, bed hair and basic eye makeup. Takes five minutes. :) Photos by Don Michael De Leon of Happy Fingers Photography. Check out his works on Tumblr too.
The thing I like best about Don’s photos is how he captures portraits and textures of things as they are, as opposed to trying to make them always look picture-pretty; as a result, his shots have an honesty and “realness” to them that one rarely sees anymore. For our first shoot, I told him I’d go fuss-free and just let him take the reins, see what comes of it.
I mean, sure, there are days that require planning your look in advance, getting all dolled up and dressed to the nines. But to be honest, I quite enjoy days like these. Days when there is no itinerary, when the agenda is anything and the destination is anywhere.
Days when you can just relax with people you’re comfortable with, not having to think about what to say or how to act. When you can just goof around and not care so much.
As children, we didn’t really make a big fuss about the many things people make a fuss about now. With homework done and nap time duly over, we would spend our after-schools and weekends playing, roaming the neighborhood on bikes or skates or just our slippers. It was day in and day out of living simple happy lives, free from bouts of overanalyzing and instant-replays of our mistakes, and the inner struggles between our childlike honesty and society’s dictums of propriety. Something I personally miss about the nineties.
Well, we may not play taguan (hide-and-seek) or langit-lupa-impiyerno (heaven-earth-hell) or agawan-base (capture the flag) in our ratty old clothes anymore, but on a rare day of respite like this, we can let our hair down and leave the fussing for another day. •
Speaking of letting our hair down, here’s a song about not worrying even when sometimes, we get things wrong or feel afraid. Played on a pink ukulele for added happiness. Enjoy! :)
Worn on a lovely Saturday out with my mom. Shot on a wide open field just outside our village, near a small plaza that houses our favorite homey café and restaurant. I’ve been based in Pampanga since December, the longest I’ve ever stayed here ever since moving to Manila for college many years ago. When I was younger and San Fernando was not yet the bustling and progressive city that it is today, I dreamt of going to Ateneo and getting a job and living in Manila. I thought of it as this place where you have access to everything: the good malls and restaurants, the good theme parks, the good hospitals, the TV stations and magazines and advertising agencies where I wanted to end up working.
Grass really is greener on the other side—as soon as I got to Manila, I found myself always wanting to go home! I was overwhelmed by the intense traffic, the faster pace of everything, and the way people my age seemed worldlier, socially savvier and more wais about certain things than I was. I started to appreciate the simplicity and mellowness of life in Pampanga. Makes me think how we can take for granted the things we grow up with, keep longing for that which we do not have. When we finally have a taste of it, yes, it is wonderful and amazing, but often turns out to be not exactly what we had imagined. We discover that like anything in this world, there are trade-offs and downsides to every perk and upside. And then we realize that what we’ve always had is what we’ve always wanted in the first place, or at the very least, that it wasn’t so bad after all.
Every time a new school year starts, I think of all the freshies out there and wish them well—especially those on a scholarship like I was, because it means additional expectations and challenges. As the first one in my family to leave town, I know how it can take a while to get adjusted to everything in Manila, to develop and polish everything from the way you dress to the way you relate to people and the way you speak and present yourself, while still retaining your values and identity. Above all, to learn to be strong through trials and temptations that will come your way while your family and support system are miles away.
Of course, it helps a lot that my house is just an hour or so away from Quezon City and that whatever is there is also here now. Still, it wasn’t always the case, and it took me quite a while to get the hang of things, and there was a lot of hard learning that had to happen (there still are, actually). I always say that in my years in college, I learned infinitely more from life outside those classrooms than inside. I’m glad I got to experience both sides of the grass—only here, grass might literally be greener. Heh.
Changed my hair because we were planning to shoot a song there and the wind was blowing my waves all over the place. I do a decent French braid, but my mom’s is definitely loads better, don’t you think?
Anyway, we tried to do a couple of takes but there were a lot of welcome distractions: the sound of birds, dogs barking and children having picnics and playing around. We ended up making friends with them instead!
The girl holding my ukulele, Angelica (same name as my mom’s), was the first one to run to us. She sat down beside my mom and quietly watched me sing and play. Soon, her sister and friends followed and we had a fun chat with them. They told us they live nearby, at a car muffler shop, and they often come to the fields to have lunch under the trees. A great idea that I can’t wait to try with my family when we’re all home.
So I ended up doing the song in our basement, where I also did this and this. :) “On The Side Of Me” is by Corrinne May, a Christian musician from Singapore. I’ve always loved this song, and I decided to sing it as thank you to my family, friends and blog readers—the words are so real for me I wish I wrote them myself. Hope you like it! I don’t have much yet, but you can watch my other silly videos and subscribe to my channel here.
Impromptu one-take before bed. Yep, use it or lose it—rusty pipes from a few years of dormancy. Time to flex ‘em vocal muscles again. :) Video requested by my brother Vince’s girlfriend, Winona. It’s their birthdays on June 18th. ♥
I’ve loved “Suits” from the moment I watched the plug for its pilot episode. I’ve seen each episode at least eight times! Haha. I grew up with lawyers in the family, and I’ve been into law series for years but “Suits” is the first time I could relate to each character: their good side inspires me to do better, their bad side inspires me to learn from mistakes and do better. I’m especially enamored with the women on the show: not just because of the way they power-dress, but more because of their strength and beauty.
I rarely do work wear as my jobs don’t require it, but lately I’ve been playing dress up with my little sister’s wardrobe, pretending I’m Rachel or any of those girls on “Suits.” Sure, they’re just TV characters, but I’d love to be like them (and okay, get to meet someone like Harvey Specter) in real life. How they constantly push themselves and strive to be the best in what they do, and how they display grace under pressure and maintain their sense of humor even under duress.
And speaking of Suits, Mike Ross himself has taped a video greeting for my upcoming birthday, which is pretty awesome:
Many thanks to my dear friend Joanne Pecson for this!
The day started with a migraine attack. Those who’ve seen me with one, know how bad it gets every time. All I see are blinding flashes of light for a half-hour, my limbs go numb, and unless I take meds, I throw up from the pain. Not a pretty sight, and definitely not a pleasant experience. Pretty traumatizing in fact that when I feel one coming on, I panic. But this time felt different—like nothing could stop me. I was excited to get to work!
Work meant going to the press junket for actress Troian Bellisario who plays Spencer Hastings on “Pretty Little Liars.” She was in town with her boyfriend, Patrick J. Adams, who plays Mike Ross on “Suits.” While I don’t follow “PLL” as religiously as “Suits,” I watch it for Troian. I find her beautiful, smart, independent and whole, a kind of girl I strive to be. Ever since I knew about them individually and as a couple, I’ve wanted to meet them.
So as soon as my vision returned, I drove as fast (and carefully) as I could from Pampanga to Quezon City, where my friend Abi joined me. She took over the wheel so I could do my makeup and try to fix my hair—in the end though, I just let it fall however it wanted. Haha.
My nails have been craving for servicing, too. I’d been practicing on the ukulele and I thought a manicure would be counter-productive. Heh. Just hoped the skirt, clutch and bracelets made up for it.
Thanks to a throbbing head and lack of prep, we arrived late at Marriott Hotel where the junket was being held. Now I admit, sometimes I can be a worrier and panic when things don’t go my way. But for some reason, the idea that I went through all that trouble and drove a hundred kilometers for nothing wasn’t bothering me one bit. Somehow, I felt like things were still going to be great.
And I was right. A few minutes later, I was taking Instagram photos with Troian and taking a video of Patrick saying hi to me.
Plus this awesome video of him greeting me on my birthday.
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!
Cebu is filled with young and creative entrepreneurs, one of the things we’ve come to see first-hand when we came to visit. Here, a date at Sprockets, owned by Rachel Arandilla, a fresh grad and college prof (yes, she teaches part-time at the College of Architecture and Fine Arts of the University of San Carlos—see what we mean about young and creative?). More about her and the café in this video!
See that still shot of a cheesy pizza? It’s just one of the many awesome things one would be delighted to find at Sprockets.
Reposting a tutorial vid I made way back. Animal print is a trend that never goes away!
Click the poster to watch our latest video, “Ligaw.” Filipino title means “courtship” while the Korean title means “love at first sight,” giving you an idea what the video is all about. And now, we’re giving you a chance to take home something from “Ligaw,” aside fromkiligand happy feelings! Prizes in store:
Metallurgy “Puzzle Love” necklace. Photo by Tricia Gosingtian. Made of hypoallergenic surgical steel (won’t irritate acidic skin, won’t rust or get scratched easily). We didn’t get to show this in the final cut of the video anymore, but these are what’s inside the boxes in the ending.
Love-a-lot couple outfits. Photo by Richard Romero. While other shops carry his-and-hers couple shirts, only Me&U offers couple outfits that are actually stylish enough to be worn individually, like this shirt and dress.
Love-a-lot “Love’s Coming” iPhone cases. This is a new collection in the Me&U stores, and the winning couple will be one of the first ones to have it! Here’s how to join:
This video is up on the Nivea Philippines Fan Page! Watch, comment and share on your Facebook wall to win awesome prizes.
Our pretty media savvy Shai Lagarde of Love Chic reveals what she does, what she’s most passionate about and her secret to how she sparkles all day, everyday! Comment here HOW she sparkles and share the video for another goody bag!
Skin care by Nivea Sparkling White and makeup by Majolica Majorca.
Three looks from Forever21 using four pieces. Mixing and matching is always fun.
Hype this on Lookbook. If you want your own beauty booty, have a face affair with us! A sparkling you up close can also start here. Get a makeover and a chance to win P30k worth of NIVEA, Forever 21 and Majolica Majorca products. Click here to join.