By Tipay. On Me.

Now we’re really disregarding chronology. Here’s a breather post from Rome before jumping back to SEA.

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Not sure if I ever mentioned it here on the blog (but I definitely did on Instagram – @alyssalapid), that I went on a 2-week trip to Europe last April. The trip involved seeing parts of Germany (Hamburg and Berlin), Paris and Milan but the real reason for going was to witness the Canonization of 2 Popes – Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII – as they were declared saints. I know. I sound holy. So to dispel your probably inaccurate, newly-formed impressions of me, you can read the tales on an unholy pilgrim (i.e., me), here just to see where my head is at when it comes to all things biblical.

Vatican posts are reserved for later though when I can finally put into words that crazy and scary experience. For now let’s keep things light in an outfit post that happened to be taken in Rome (the only connection with my intro, really.)

I’ve always known that my friend Tipay Caintic was a creative genius. She has proven time and again just how her vision sets her apart  – in Preview’s PEFTA Design competition, Bayo’s Design competition (with yours truly, I feel the need to mention), and the recent International Showcase at London Fashion Week where she showcased her collection about the infamous and heartbreaking Yolanda tragedy which hit her hometown Tacloban.

She very recently came out with her RTW collection and as a friend and fan I made sure I got a couple of pieces from her before I flew out. I like reppin’ Manila wherever I go. And to dispel fashion blogger myths that we get everything for free, I also feel the need to point out that no, I bought her pieces. As should you because 1) she’s talented and 2) that’s how normal business goes.

This gorgeous sweater with cut-outs is actually made from Pinya (or pineapple) fabric more commonly used in our national costumes. She completely transformed the fabric by turning it into a wearable knit. Again, creative genius. I am so excited for you to see more of her (and hopefully more of me in her pieces. Or maybe I’m the only one excited about that.)

Another thing I’m also excited about – resuming the last leg of my Vietnam posts. Vietnam after this post, for real this time. Then we can jump continents and talk about the Vatican. Or the Eiffel Tower. Or just gelato. Your pick.

Sweater, BY TIPAY | Skirt, H&M | Bag, LOUIS VUITTON |Sandals, BIRKENSTOCK

Newly Minted

Let me transport us both back to Manila real quick. 

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Here’s a quick breather from the Vietnam posts because 1) there’s a lot more to come and 2) talking about about it non-stop is doing nothing for my Vietnamese craving.

I’ve been hearing about this retail brand Mint for a while now but haven’t really had the chance to check it out myself until recently. Ended up getting a bunch of stuff – mostly tried and tested casual silhouettes (button downs, shirts, tanks) packed with a fun punch. This Love top was paired with a lady-like skirt to amp up what I would imagine a leading lady in a dated rom-com would wear. Because “Love,” duh. Not that I can name a leading lady right now. Mila Kunis in Friends With Benefits is all I can think of at the moment and I don’t necessarily remember her wearing anything dainty.

And because my mind is drawing a blank, I’ll make sure my next outfit will resonate with somebody with a little more recall. Angelina, perhaps? Although then leg-toning would be necessary. We’ll see how I fare in the celebrity department. In the meantime I’ll probably watch more movies to help my Hollywood know-how.

There is a 95% chance my next Mint outfit persona would resonate with someone like Wolverine though. You know, just a wild guess.

…Anyone wanna bet?

Top, MINT | Denim skirt, ZARA | Flats, COLE VINTAGE 

 

 

New In: Nicart Clothing

Introducing a brand that unknowingly gave me a prickly sand scrub. So worth it.

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Another Mui Ne post because I can’t seem to get enough of the place. I don’t necessarily know if I got my travel outfits right. People I was with were in comfortable clothing – shorts, wide leg pants, breathable tops. Maybe my dresses weren’t the most comfortable options in terms of touring and sometimes crawling but they did make for pretty photos.

Here’s one of those dresses I loved photographing. Not the smartest choice to wear to the sand dunes where prickly sand grazes your bare skin and riding the ATV down the dunes makes your dress fly in unwanted directions (mostly up). But for the love of all things beautiful, I let my legs be pricked anyway. Shoutout to new retail brand Nicart for unknowingly allowing me a thorough sand scrub. So worth it.

Dress, NICART | Sunglasses, FORME 

Location: Cliff Resort & Residences, Mui Ne, Vietnam

Pool Time: A Vacation Within A Vacation

Do you plan vacays within vacays? From hereon out, you probably should.

 

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Been out and about a lot recently – the good kind though where you get to experience new things and take in everything you can. Although if you’re anything like me, you probably always leave feeling like you want to take in even more – making your lust for life ever insatiable.

Finally settled back in Manila today from Vietnam. I owe you guys a bunch of other recent trips I have yet to blog (aka Europe) but I think I’ll start with the most recent one because remembering oriental places and names eats up so much more memory space in my brain all because said brain didn’t think to write them down in the first place. I overestimate the retention capabilities of my memory a little too much.

Although there were honestly so many things that I got to do/see in Vietnam, here are some photos from my vacation in a vacation, my Mui Ne pool experience. I knew I’d be lounging by the pool I just didn’t expect the pool to be this awesome – complete with a pool bar that serves the most amazing drinks (shoutout to the Cliff Resort & Residences). Good thing I got a Yamamay bikini right before I left. A plain, recycled Bora bikini wouldn’t have done the experience justice.

Leaving you guys with a bunch of water photos because 1) the whole trip was so jam-packed it deserves – and mostly demands – more than one blog post and 2) it’s still summer and these photos might just inspire you guys to book a trip to the nearest resort (which I highly suggest you do stat).

Take me with you?

Bikini, YAMAMAY | Coverup, SABRINA BY TEENA TAN | Sunglasses, FORME 

Location: The Cliff Resort & Residences

Every Summer Has A Story

Wanna swap tales of summer? No? Well, here’s mine still.

 

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Summers don’t really feel the same post-graduation. The anticipation is almost non-existent and the actual vacation even more so. And though the New Year already rakes in beach #TBTs, the only clear signs of summer’s arrival are the scorching heat and subsequent sweat-soaked garments (or maybe that’s just me).

This summer was a little different. I found myself on a two-week coat-laden vacation in Europe that felt a little less ‘summer break’ and mostly just ‘break.’ But the tales of cold in April are set for different posts.

What seems to be my summer constant though – something I always look forward to – is a trip to Boracay- #Laboracay to be exact. I’m so thankful I was able to go with Smart again this year to what may be my absolute favorite Laboracay to date (and with a 3-year track record, I think that statement bears much weight.)

Last year, I was introduced to the concept of Living All Out c/o the ubiquitous Smart hashtag and care of the Smart team. If you need a guide of how to #LAO (a more responsible version of #YOLO) in Boracay, or any other beach for that matter, I suggest you check out the post. In a nutshell: eat amazing food, book an amazing room with amazing roommates, always make sure your hand is holding a full cup, strut your stuff in your swimwear of choice and try things you’ve never done before. All of which, I happily ticked off this trip.

I’ve already mentioned several times that what I love most about going to a #SmartLiveAllOut trip is the mentality that permeates the entire journey – experiencing things fully, jumping in no holds barred. This mindset has been drilled so deep in my head with a full year of being with Smart (not to mention using their products incessantly) that without bias I think every single trip of mine has been experienced with a whole new #LiveAllOut filter – in my head if not on Instagram.

What differed this year was the fact that ways to live all out were handed to me as opposed to me actively hunting them down. There were so many parties that were brought to us by Smart – foam parties at Tides, packed sunset parties at White house and our nightly nightcap, Sunkissed at Pearl of the Pacific. There were lots of activities to choose from – volleyball, water sports, sleeping and eating and much, much more. Always true to our hashtag, we kind of tried them all.

But let me share some memorable firsts for this trip.

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1. Attending a foam party. In my wildest dreams (aka a Frat/Sorority movie), foam parties involved slides and pools and a bunch of other Greek house stuff. In Boracay, I was submerged in what I can only describe as a foam waterfall – half of the time partying, the other half figuring out exactly what mixture it was made out of. The texture felt eerily fascinating.

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2. Throwing (fun) things at party-goers. I’ve never tried attacking people with anything before – water guns (which may or may not have contained something other than water. Poor unknowing recipients), alcohol (never tried making people take shots before because, hello, budget) or even try throwing merchandise at an eager crowd. I think I liked throwing a shirt best. I don’t think it could compare to the clichéd eagerness of single girls at a wedding’s bouquet-throwing but it was pretty cool still.

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3.a. Water sports. Paraw-sailing I have tried before. It requires very little from my end that it’s the most non-committal activity available. Paraw-sailing with matching swimming in the water that was supposedly 5-feet according to our rower that ended up being a little less shallow than promised (more than double the depth actually), was a first. Patting myself on the back for not feeling brave enough to try to jump without a life vest. Coward’s intuition.

3.b. Water sports Part 2. I’ve always wanted to try Flying Fish – where a big floating device is latched onto a speedboat designed to literally make the device flap like a flying fish with the riders (aka us) flying out. I didn’t realize it required muscle strength and an unparalleled amount of determination but I held on tight and didn’t flail. My technique stays with me though, I’m sorry.

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4. Spending quality time with awesome people. Not that it’s a first but there’s always something new to learn, share and laugh about so I’m including it still. Especially since bonding moments were often incited by group trips to the bathroom. #girls.

By now I’m pretty sure you know what I would like to preach – that you should Live All Out too no matter where you are or who you’re with. But I’ve written about that so many times I want to zoom in on something else this time.

Throughout the trip we’ve been seeing a bunch of people with Smart t-shirts (similar to the one I threw at the crowd) that say, “Every Summer Has A Story.” I realized, after decidedly wanting a shirt but not being able to get one, that I completely agree.

I figured the whole notion of living all out is but a means to an end – the end being a beautifully crafted story; #LiveAllOut: a lens or filter if you may, in which you choose to edit certain experiences and say yes to those you otherwise would’ve let pass; A lens in which you string together a series of memories so beautiful, funny, captivating, unique, sometimes even not-so-awesome, to remember an experience by.

And because the summer experience is so hard to come by (vacation leaves are a pain), writing a summer story becomes much more precious. With Boracay now out of the picture, I promise to continue crafting my summer story – beach or no beach (although preferably with one) – in the frame of mind of my favorite hashtag.

I’m flying out tomorrow for Vietnam and am extremely excited to paint the second (or third?) part of my summer story.

Now that I’ve shared mine (or at least a chunk of it), tell me, what’s your #SmartSummer story?

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Thank you for another AMAZING trip @SmartCares – Abbie Real, Tob Castaneda, Chrissy Liwag – and for taking such good care of us. My summers are filled with beautiful stories thanks to you. ‘Til the next! 

 

Summer Sunnies

Giving me some serious shade.

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I’m pretty nocturnal as it is. I know it’s not ideal but my brain seems to work best after the clock strikes 12. Dub me an inverse Cinderella if you may with my beautiful sparkling pumps taking me to the palace of productivity (unfortunately minus the prince charming, but consequent income is way better than a knight in shining armor). I’ve actually been wondering why I haven’t been wearing sunglasses lately even if it’s my guilty pleasure. Disposable ones are a weakness of mine (along with lipsticks and cheese fries). After much investigation, I realized it’s because I don’t get to go out much with the sun still up. But since summer has forcibly made its way into all of our lives with rays burning bright (or just burning), I am committing to tweaking my vampiric tendencies and going out more with the sun still up lugging around some of my favorite new sunnies I have yet to enjoy. (Before my mom, in the spirit of Mother’s Day, grabs all of them. She already has her eye on my flash lens [upper left] pair.)

Sunglasses (Clockwise): Flash lens by Fly Shades, Brown sunnies by Fly Shades, Tortoiseshell cat eye by Sunnies by Charlie, Black round lenses by Fly Shades

Photos by Ralph Mendoza 

Homie

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I never thought I’d find myself in the throngs of street wear post graduation. True, for a very brief moment I was a street dancer in college (this brief moment happened ages ago so if you ask me to dance a la Step Up, sorry, I can’t and I won’t.)

A few years post required rubber shoes and hip hop dance music, in my not-so-comfortable but familiar bubble of heels and pencil skirts I chanced upon another side of fashion – street wear labels both local and international. Though I’ve learned to love the brands I got to work with, street wear was a different language still – one so embedded with “dope” and “homie” I had no idea how to speak it.

And maybe I never quite did learn. I was always a little too feminine to embody street fully – my heels never really looked natural beside the latex sneakers everyone seemed to know about and interestingly also own. But I have learned to appreciate street wear – mostly because of those advocating it locally but also because of the way it questions the very notion of couture and anyone who feels empowered to question the likes of Karl Lagerfeld (or in the case of Crooks and Castles, Versace) will always command my respect.

So although I probably won’t use it in day-to-day conversation, my embellished headband-wearing self totally understands the concept of “homie” and supports it the best way I know how – via a dedicated blog post.

Homie Sweater, PENSHOPPE (all the way from Fairview Terraces!), Skirt, OXYGEN | Headband, FOREVER21 | Sandals, LORD & TAYLOR

photos by Ralph Mendoza