Blast From the (Recent) Past

bethlehem4

bethlehem3

As you probably already know, I’m not the biggest fan of cold weather. Interestingly, the usually sweat-inducing Manila has been offering chilly weather recently and I haven’t been that ecstatic to go out nor dress up. Thanks to the drop in degrees though, I remembered 1) my recent cold trip that actually called for wearing something thick and warm but I was somehow completely off the winterwear mark (see exposed belly above) and 2) that I still needed to blog about said trip (and said lack of winter-dressing know how).

So here’s a quick outfit post on what I wore to the lovely city of Bethlehem – first city of the trip. My posts may not be in chronological order but I think they mostly mimic how my brain works with bits and pieces of the puzzle forming some haze and distractions sprouting here and there making me lose sight of chronology altogether. I was reminded very recently of the trip via a beautiful (teaser) video and I felt all sorts of nostalgic. Let me tell you, when that happens, my next step mostly always involves tackling my emotions and because as an only child with no sibling to run my emotions by, that would most definitely translate to a blog post.

I hope you’re up for the read – it’ll be ready soon.

Coat, ZARA | Crop sweater, NAVA | Jeans, TOPSHOP | Sunglasses, RAYBAN | Sneakers, NIKE 

 

Childhood Color Influences

forme_60s_1

forme_60s3

forme_60sB

forme_69s5

Light blue has disappeared from my wardrobe since the demise of Lizzie McGuire. Hilary Duff, although embarrassing to admit, was the only real influence of color in my life (discounting red, of course. Even as a child the bold color has always been an obsession.) Her influence on me was so strong she even started an obsession with pink leopard print rhinestone pants complete with a year-round hunt for a pair that eventually turned futile. I should’ve known. How many brands actually make pink leopard print rhinestone pants? (For the record, she wore it in one episode and I couldn’t take my mind off it since.)

Fast forward a decade later (without my Lizzie McGuire), I’m letting color seep into my wardrobe again albeit piece by piece. Pinks and purples have made their way through but light blues have always been a huge hesitation. Somehow, they remind me of children’s drawings of clouds and that usually turns me off. I do know why I was drawn to this particular piece though – the racerback cut is certainly not for children and the 60s mod reference is too strong to ignore (and any Mod reference ultimately leaves my wallet high and dry). Of course, the brand, ForMe, is one I feel fiercely loyal to that if they serve me a piece that catches my eye, no matter the shade of blue I will be willing to try it out. Trial led to falling in love and I have worn this a bunch more times since purchase.

I’m not the only one who loves it though. My mom wanted to get the same exact piece for herself but the branch she went to didn’t have it in her size. And before she gets over to the other branches to snag what may possibly be the last piece, I suggest you beat her to it.

So while I still don’t know where to get my pink leopard print rhinestone pants (and I’m not entirely sure I still want to), at least I know where to hunt for more color should another bout of post-Hilary Duff color-cravings arise. My mom and I will see you there.

Top, FORME | Skirt, H&M | Heels, ALEXANDER WANG

A #SmartSinulog Recap

I’m still on a Sinulog high and would probably feel intense longing every time I look back on my past weekend until next January when I go to Cebu again for another paint-laden weekend.

Absolutely blessed to have gone to Sinulog with Smart Communications. They gave me and my fellow bloggers the absolute best Sinulog experience (I’m sure everyone can attest to that) and their thrust is to give everyone a chance to experience Sinulog (and the rest of the festivals) in the best way possible, hence the hashtag #SmartLiveAllOut. So let me give you a quick list of what went down during my Cebu trip, tips that maybe you could use for next year’s festival and just a general peek of how I lived all out in the beautiful city of Cebu – an experience I’m ecstatic to share and relive.

1. Secure the big Amazing 4: Amazing room (1) at an amazing hotel [Marriott] (2) with an amazing roommate [Dani Barretto] (3) with the most amazing company (4). Once that’s done, you’re good to go.

smart_live_all_out_sinulog_alyssa_lapid

smart_live_all_out_sinulog_alyssa_lapid16

2. Get Your Lechon On.

Cebu has, by far, the best lechon I have ever had and probably the best lechon I will ever have. But Cebu isn’t just known for their lechon but for their food in general. True to form, this trip we ditched some parties (yes, you, yacht party) to go for a food trip in the guise of a “fun spontaneous adventure.” We honestly just wanted to eat. Unfortunately, we couldn’t eat every hour on the hour so other activities had to be included in our otherwise fattening itinerary. My absolute favorite meals were the spicy lechon from Ayers (must try!) and the pork steak from Casa Verde.

smart_live_all_out_sinulog_alyssa_lapid2

smart_live_all_out_sinulog_alyssa_lapid3

3. Let your “Fun Spontaneous Adventure” scare the hell out of you.

In our case, the serenity of the yacht was traded for two activities a little too extreme for my usual self – riding the Edge Coaster (a ride that tilts you on top of a building, Crown Regency to be exact, for “a view” of the city) and the Sky Walk Extreme where you walk on some tiny railing (with glass trails) to again “see the view” of the city with nothing but a harness to keep you safe. If you were wondering, the Edge Coaster is much tamer than the Sky Walk Extreme that made me and a couple others cry. My tears only stopped flowing when I realized someone was even more scared than I was and the way he manifested his fear made me laugh. (Thank you, Tob, for saving me from a nervous breakdown 38 flights up.)

smart_live_all_out_sinulog_alyssa_lapid6

 

smart live all out

4.  Party like there’s no tomorrow.

Well, in our case, party like there’s no morning plan (because there always was). Had an amazing time at Barcode getting amped up for the Sunday party. You know it’s an awesome party when you have to take drastic measures (and a really long period of time) for you to get from the gate to the actual event entrance.

smart_live_all_out_sinulog_alyssa_lapid7

smart_live_all_out_sinulog_alyssa_lapid8

5. Join the Parade

Somehow. Now, if you have your own float, then that is amazing. Good for you, really. We did have our own float – us Smart Ambassadors were in the Smart float happily and breezily riding our way through the town. Until we decided to walk. If you didn’t know, the Sinulog parade is swarming with people and walking takes a whole lot longer because pushing and shoving gets both tiring and time-consuming. The most interesting (and maybe scariest) part was when we decided to make our way back to the float. Interestingly, this was also the time when Showbiz Wonder Kim Chiu’s float made its appearance and caused what seemed to be the beginnings of a stampede. Imagine us going perpendicular to the flow while the crowd was tugging at us and pushing us from both sides. I would like to dub it as a “Crowd Hurricane” with the force so strong our train of locked elbows was rendered useless and we had to fend through that slur of waves individually.

smart_live_all_out_sinulog_alyssa_lapid4

smart_live_all_out_sinulog_alyssa_lapid5

smart_live_all_out_sinulog_alyssa_lapid413

smart_live_all_out_sinulog_alyssa_lapid12

smart_live_all_out_sinulog_alyssa_lapid17

6. And everyone’s saving grace post-parade – Go to the #SinulogInvasion party at Baseline.

The most awaited party of the festival entailed a lot of paint throwing (I was mostly on the receiving end) and again wiggling our way through the hyped up crowd. The DJs were all so good (shoutout to my favorite DJ Nix Damn P) let’s just say I fist-pumped half a year’s worth of parties that towards the end of the night I could only do about 5 consecutive fist pumps each arm. Though switching arms as often as I ended up doing didn’t look cool at all, I didn’t care. Full disclosure: I enjoyed Sinulog a whole lot more than any Boracay party I’ve ever attended. It was that fun. (Another shoutout this time to Spectrum and Kaz Onozawa for throwing an amazing party and partnering with two brands I absolutely love – Smart and Pormada).

smart_live_all_out_sinulog_alyssa_lapid11

smart_live_all_out_sinulog_alyssa_lapid9

smart_live_all_out_sinulog_alyssa_lapid15

I remember sharing back when I was fresh from Boracay that I loved the mentality that the #LiveAllOut campaign is trying to cultivate.  Honestly, while I know that #SmartLiveAllOut – by tying up with the different festivals complete with a long list of perks and freebies for Smart users – is trying to show you how to get the best festival experience, my takeaway goes a little beyond just festivals.

Let’s talk #YOLO. You Only Live Once is one of the most used and abused statements to sort of make people take the plunge, reminding us that we only have one life to live so we might as well make the most out of it. But personally, I think #YOLO has now been tainted and is now mostly reserved for justifying reckless behavior. #YOLO usually comes right before doing something crazy (in every sense of the word.)

So let me introduce #LAO (LAO pronounced as LAH-OW as opposed to YOLO as YOW-LOW). Because I haven’t really written down any resolutions this year yet (only a bucket list), I would like to make a sweeping statement: this year, and the years thereafter, I would resolve to #LAO instead. Meaning, no matter what I do, no matter the circumstance, I will fully live. That entails fully feeling emotions and giving everything 100%. I despise routine and how it boxes us in keeping us within the corners and limitations of our day-to-day transactions. Constantly remembering to live all out, at least in my experience, tugs at those walls and breaks them. But I’m getting a little too dramatic for a #craziiinulog blog post.

My point is, I hope that the live all out mentality is something we all take to heart, festival or no festival, because it means so much more than just a hashtag.

Meanwhile, I will stuff my face with what’s left of my take-home lechon to alleviate my separation anxiety from Cebu.

I did say I was gonna #LAO. (Can this please be a thing?)

A very special thank you to Smart and the Smart team – Ms. Abbie, Kim and Tob – for a wonderful Cebu trip and for taking such good care of us. Having terrible #sepanx and I honestly can’t wait for our next trip together. Thank you thank you thank you – this was one for the books. 

Matrix Philippines Dual Colors Giveaway

Alyssa - Poster_matrix

Just before 2013  ended, I had the privilege of getting my hair colored as a kick-off to being one of Matrix Philippines Brand Ambassadors.

I’m a hair loyalist and it’s mostly due to the fact that I’ve had several horror stories with treatments growing up. Let’s recount.

When I was in 4th Grade, I attempted to get blonde highlights. I don’t know what I was thinking at 9 years old but I went through with it and got gold streaks on my otherwise dark canvas that resulted in a lot of tormenting from the “cool kids” in school. Actually, until I tried getting highlights with Matrix last December, that memory would always somehow find its way back into my consciousness killing my desire to get highlights each and every time.

When I was in 2nd year high school, I tried rebonding my hair. But back in ’02, straightening meant flattening and my hair ended as a lifeless, volume-less limp. With absolutely no body, my ugly-duckling phase, completed with my then round cheeks were highlighted and trust me, it was not flattering. At all.

Fast forward two years later, in my high school senior year, I tried the opposite of my last treatment: I got a perm. Getting your hair curled now is more Lana Del Rey than Destiny’s Child-era Beyonce but when I had mine done, somehow the curls ended up really tiny (read: kinky) and started all the way up the roots. (Imagine Sto. Nino’s hair on me.) Ironically, right after the treatment I had to go to church and unfortunately throughout mass I kept bawling and pulling my curls out in a desperate attempt to loosen them and reverse the horror I just put myself through.

Needless to say, I never touched treatments again. Until December.

I have honestly been looking for a trusted brand that I could let touch my hair. My hair makeovers have been limited to haircuts (albeit drastic) and DIY colors (that for some reason wouldn’t stick.) So when Matrix came in the picture, you know, the #1 American Salon brand in the WORLD, hair possibilities were playing in my head and I was ecstatic. (Even my mom was extra excited, she loves Matrix and was loyal to it when she was still in the US.)

So despite horrific grade 4, highlight-induced trauma, I decided to toughen up and try their new service called Dual Colors (base color + highlights). I went the extra mile and went for the Miami Glam look – the service that offers more visible highlights as opposed to the subtle streaks of the other style, New York Chic. I was admittedly scared at first but ultimately fell in love with the result. Just as expected. (See below photo for proof of happiness.)

Alyssa_matrix

I got these hair colors for your reference: Base Color-WonderBrown 7 Mocha l Highlights- WonderLight Clear. I think you’d also like to know that for highlights and lightening, Matrix does not use bleach because of their line Wonderlight’s technology. Both base color and highlights are also done in one application, as opposed to other salon brands that take forever. So it was actually really convenient, quick and, my personal favorite, pain-free.

And because Matrix and I want you to experience what I did (minus the horror stories and the resulting trauma), Matrix and I are doing a giveaway for you and your lucky friend. 

All you have to do is:

1. Like the Matrix Facebook Page 

2. Post a photo of you and your chosen friend on the Matrix Facebook Page telling us why you deserve to win the Matrix Dual Colors Salon Makeover (post just once)

3. Follow @alyssalapid on Twitter

4. Tweet “I just joined the Matrix Dual Colors Power of Two Giveaway at http://alyssalapid.com and www.facebook.com/matrixphilippines #AlyssaLapidGiveaways”

* TWO winners will be chosen at random by Matrix Philippines

Trust me, you want to get this makeover by the #1 American Salon Brand in the world.

Ask your salons and hairdressers for a Matrix hair color.

#SmartSinulog: The Essentials

Sinulog is in a few days and I can’t wait to visit Cebu and experience this much awaited festival. I’ve never been to Cebu and I’ve never been to Sinulog so I am ecstatic. So to show you exactly just how much, I didn’t just list down the festival essentials for you – I drew them, penned them and painted them for your pleasure – and I haven’t used watercolor in more than a year. That is how much.

So here are some things that I think would help out fellow Sinulog newbies in not making fatal wardrobe errors:

sinulog

1. A big bag to house ALL your stuff that by day 2 you would probably realize you terribly overpacked. That’s fine. Don’t fret. We all do. 

2. Closed shoes. Preferably a pair you don’t mind getting ruined. 

3. A white t-shirt that would serve as a perfect canvas for paint. And to put it bluntly, yes, it’ll be the sacrificial lamb.

4. My Smart iPhone 5c for proper documentation. Along with a zip-lock bag that is. Unlike the shirt, I can’t afford to make this sacrificial. 

6.  A bikini to wear under that white t-shirt that will inevitably get massacred. Also, why not?

7. A saddle bag to sling over your body for easier party going. (You’re welcome.)

8. A plethora of sunglasses.

9. A watergun. (This was actually suggested by a friend and for that I am thankful.) We both/all need to get one. 

And, if you were wondering where number 5 went, well, it’s actually the white space symbolizing free stomach space to fit all that Cebu Lechon in. I haven’t packed a thing yet but this I will not forget (unlike how I forgot to include a number 5…)

So you finally pack right. You’re happy. But, the satisfaction doesn’t end there. Smart is giving you a bunch of perks and freebies so you (and by you I mean I) can enjoy Sinulog more with the new #SmartLiveAllOut passport. It contains all the places you should be and it allows you access to Live All Out hotspots, FREE shuttles to and fro said spots, entrance to parties and events AND more freebies in the form of, errr, drinks and other goodies you would definitely want to keep. All you need to do is load P100 for Smart subscribers (or get a Smart sim and load P100 if you aren’t). Easy.

 PASSPORT SPREAD FRONT PASSPORT SPREAD INSIDE

#SmartBroLiveandLoud will also be taking Sinulog in the form of Cebu’s first ever interactive concert. Don’t miss Rico Blanco, Barbie Almalbis, Franco and a bunch more bands this Friday at Mango Square, Cebu. Also, don’t forget to visit http://smrt.ph/liveandloudcebu for a chance to win one of six Smart Bro devices.

LAL Cebu

See you guys in #SmartSinulog! I cannot wait!

 

Identity Crisis

IMG_5253

IMG_5245

IMG_5261 BW

IMG_5196

IMG_5179 copy

Alyssa Lapid 2

Sharing with you the rest of the photos from the Interaksyon shoot/feature a few months back. While I wanted to selfishly keep some so I can repeat backgrounds without anyone noticing, I don’t trust myself to get my ass over there to shoot anytime soon and these photos would unfortunately be put to waste. I already do enough of that on my own, I need not let photographer/interviewer/columnist Elisa Aquino’s talents be left unshared.

I was tasked to wear something that best describes my personal style or represents me as a person but now looking at the outfit I kind of can’t put to words what I was thinking then. Chained and bound? (See bag). Torn and tattered? (See sides of cropped top that are intentionally ripped, if you were wondering). Even worse and more suggestive – cougar? (See leopard print shoes.)  I don’t think I would want to be any of those. (But check back with me when I’m 40 I might just grow into the post-Friends character of Courteney Cox.)

And if you were waiting for me to resolve the look and tie the elements and my self-assessed character altogether, I’m sorry. I can’t do it for my peace of mind either. Three cups of coffee and my mind draws a blank. You can check the interview if you haven’t yet and hopefully my answers would give you a glimpse of who I am and maybe you, with or without the caffeine, can solve this little puzzle for us both.

I’m willing to wait. But please, please don’t conclude cougar.

Top, PROUDRACE | Skirt, AMERICAN EAGLE OUTFITTERS | Bag, ALEXANDER WANG | Heels, CALVIN KLEIN

photos by Elisa Aquino

Also, if the Courteney Cox reference didn’t ring a bell, it’s Cougar Town. You’re welcome.

Interaksyon Feature

IMG_5261 BW

As much as I love interviewing people, I actually also enjoy being interviewed. Mostly because I like (honestly) answering questions and unearthing the whats and the whys that I may not have been fully aware of. (Let’s also not discount the fact that I like to talk.)

Had the pleasure of being interviewed by the lovely Elisa Aquino for Interaksyon.com and had an amazing time. I was obviously more talkative than the usual capacity of people’s phones but the turnout was wonderful.

Here are a few excerpts from the q&a part:

What moved you to pursue fashion? Was there a pivotal event that led to your choice?

Oh yes, pivotal is the word. After college I started working for HP, it got pretty technical and I felt like I was slowly losing my sanity. (Truth). Then I started seeing fashion blogs and when I finally got the courage to start my own, I realized I knew absolutely nothing about fashion. So I enrolled in SoFA, became a full-time employee AND a full-time student for three months then I finally quit my job and jumped with my two feet into fashion.

How was the transition from a Management Engineering student to a fashion stylist like?
Very different. I mean I loved my course, what I studied, and numbers—the whole shebang. Transitioning to fashion, in general, was easier because the management side of me was always on auto-pilot (still is).

The interesting and I guess the humbling thing about the shift was that I was trained to plot my direction in a corporate ladder—it was very structured; output and performance were measurable; and there was a sort of safety net that you didn’t have to start at an internship anymore because you already did that in college.

But in fashion, I was back to zero. I had to do so many internships/jobs that I never thought I’d accept. Even the set-up of say, styling, where you have to physically kneel and dress people and run around after them—it was all very humbling. I’m still learning.

What is the most fulfilling thing about being one?
It’s been said a lot, I think, but truly the most fulfilling thing about blogging is being able to inspire people. If they’re inspired by the style or the writing—that’s awesome and I’m eternally grateful for the opportunity to be someone that people find inspiration in—but what I love most is when readers are inspired by the journey—following dreams and pursuing passions. That’s my absolute favorite.

Read the full interview and more right here.

p.s. if YOU have any questions for me, throw away! You can ask me anything in the comments section, on my Facebook page, on twitter/instagram (both @alyssalapid) or in an email. Trust me, I enjoy answering them.

photo by Elisa Aquino

Bethlehem, Palestine Photo Diary

bethlehem21bethlehem22Met an adorable kid selling adorable trinkets bethlehem20 bethlehem16

Church of Nativity: The Birthplace of Christ and the many, many tourists bethlehem15 bethlehem14bethlehem12 bethlehem11

Shawarma hubs and KFC by the city center to whet your appetite bethlehem9bethlehem2 bethlehem8

The star marks the spot where Jesus was born bethlehem7 bethlehem5 bethlehem4bethlehem10

Bethlehem, Palestine.

Spending the day Jesus was born in the actual place where Jesus was born tops my Awesome Christmas List. Yes, it was a pilgrimage, and yes, it’s probably slightly out of character but it was, in all senses of the word, magical. Most often I feel removed from what we’re celebrating (and, well, praying in general actually), but this pilgrimage changed that. When I find inspiration to finally put into words the whole experience in one post, I will. But for now let’s take it by city.

The first couple days were spent in Jesus’ birthplace, Bethlehem and I was corrected multiple times that I was in fact, not in Israel, but in Palestine. Like Israel, every single structure is made of stones and every single structure, therefore, in my eyes, was deemed beautiful.

Bethlehem is this small town that’s a little less rich than its other more famous biblical counterparts. The churches we visited, although now currently churches, were all monumental areas in Jesus’ life and the original form was kept in tact somehow (e.g., churches built on mountains had glass panels on the floor for viewers to see the actual rocks), etc.)

In no particular order, the tour group visited the Church of the Nativity, kissing the exact spot where Jesus was born and praying over the area the animals were supposed to have been in in the manger. We also visited the natural cave where the Three Kings were first said to see the guiding star (from the Guardian Angel).

Another site was the Milk Grotto where Mary nursed Jesus and where her milk supposedly fell. It’s a go to miraculous place for women who want to have children but the place has also been getting testimonies recently of cured illnesses such as cancer. (For those interested, there are milk powder bottles that you can purchase there that you include in your daily drinks. Skepticism is not something that I’ll try to entertain here but one of the people in our group is actually a devotee. He and his wife have been trying to have babies for 7 years and he firmly believes it was the milk that helped them. She’s currently pregnant right now.)

A few non-religious notes include spending a night at the city center for a concert that included different talents hailing from countries all over the world. We, of course, had representatives with world-class performers Isay Alvarez and Robert Sena serenading us with a medley of both Christmas songs and their forte, theater pieces. And I know it’ll seem biased but I heard the rest of the performers throughout the night from my hotel room (we only watched the Filipino segment), but I truthfully think our reps were the best. Even the Palestinians agreed.

Spent Christmas Eve playing getting to know you games which was fun. I never lost, of course. But not losing involved pushing people out of their seats and bullying them into doing by bidding. Not easy, but accomplished. A round of pleasantries, exchange gifts and, most importantly, a round of drinks were the line up for the night. The drinking part included even more games but, again, winning makes all exertions of physical efforts better.

Jerusalem photos are up next and I wish I could do the place justice because honestly, while I enjoyed Bethlehem, my new favorite country has got to be #Israel.

Hair Care: Biolage

biolage2 biolage1

My hair has a life of its own. There are times the curls fall just right and I can wear them down all day. Most of the time though I see it as a giant ball of frizz beyond my control.

It’s partly my fault, I guess. It’s so low maintenance I don’t even wait for it to dry. Air-drying happens before others’ very eyes and the transformation from semi-decent to fully-scandalizing is palpable and happens more frequently than I care to admit.

Hopefully not anymore. I recently just signed with an amazing brand, Matrix (America’s #1 salon brand to be exact), as one of their brand ambassadors and not only do I get to try out Matrix’ best sellers like their hair colors, rebonds and other treatments, I also get to use their hair care line Biolage. I’m currently religiously using their shampoo, conditioner, treatment and Exquisite Oil. For someone who doesn’t take care of her hair (I don’t even condition regularly), I’m seeing the difference between off-the-shelf products and professional care.

I even insisted on bringing my products to a trip despite a mere 30-pound luggage allowance. Luckily, I didn’t have to charm any officer. My charm seems to run dry the moment I step into airports (mimicking my face and body that are unfortunately also rather flaky come check in. There’s something about knowing I lack lotion in my hand carry that automatically sucks the moisture out of my body.) But not my hair. Finally, my tresses are saved.

I’m praying it’s on the road to Hollywood glam (read: sheen and bounce) but I won’t hold my breath. Only Kim K has a 24/7 on call hair stylist.

Fortune Tellers

river island3

river island

river_island2

Bought this fringe kimono because it felt like it would either make me look like a long-lost Olsen twin or a contemporary fortune teller – either of which I don’t mind being mistaken as. Neither happened though. I’m not blonde enough to be an Olsen and am unfortunately not mysterious enough to pass as a psychic.

Nonetheless, I’ve been in love with this blanket-looking item (that happens to have fringe, a velvet trimming and beading) since purchase a month back and have been abusing it every chance I’d get – including a shoot I did that I can’t wait to share with you.

Meanwhile, I’ll be collecting more weird pieces that make for great conversation starters. Or at least make me feel a little closer to looking like the identical fashion moguls. Did I ever mention I was obsessed with the twins? No? Well, now you know.

Fringe Kimono, RIVER ISLAND | Dress, PROUDRACE | T-strap heels, PRIMADONNA | Beanie, COTTON ON 

photos by Bea Benedicto