Day Tripping

This antisocial extrovert has conquered her fear of day-trips. Let’s see what’s next.

subic 1subic 3 subic1Long drives aren’t my cup of tea. Getting carsick has always been an issue growing up and I’d rather go on long plane trips than sit in a car or bus for hours on end. New highways have made it easier of course (thank you, government. #finally) and I have reaped the rewards of a new road just recently on a day trip to Subic. Headed to a hotel to chill for a bit and then went to the beach for a quick dip.

I have realized that I’m an antisocial extrovert. It’s so difficult to drag me out of the house and the idea of spending a ridiculous amount of time with people gives me anxiety – especially overnight trips and longer. Unlike introverts though, the moment I get to the place and start talking to people I immediately have fun. I feed off other people’s energies and tremendously enjoy conversations to the point that time flies by a little too fast. Oh, but the process of physically getting from point A to point B is a never-ending internal battle that often requires a lot of convincing and an expert weighing of pros and cons. The drive to the beach was worth it even if we took a few longer turns in between (story of my life apparently entails always getting lost) and similarly, while the idea of getting dripping wet kind of freaks me out (wet bathroom floors are my least favorite thing on Earth), I can spend hours in the water. My fingers could turn wrinkly and I still wouldn’t budge. Unless the lifeguard asks me to. I adhere to authority.

It’s a holiday again soon and I can’t wait to spend another day in the water surrounded by friends. I just bailed on my last overnight invite (told you, anxiety!) but day trips don’t seem like too much of a commitment.

My bikini has been prepped.

Dress, FREE PEOPLE | Crochet bikini top, HOLY SWIM | Floral shorts, FORME

Cotton Candy Sneakers

Traded my sandals for sneakers and took a different sartorial route.

Alyssa Lapid 3I’m always jumping at the chance to work with different people and try out different things. I’m typically safe in my everyday choices – in life and sartorially. Even with food I don’t stray from my tried and tested restaurants and fail-safe dishes. But when opportunities are thrown my way I tend to grab them. Last week I got the chance to shoot with fashion photographer Ronan Capili. We spent 5 minutes at most taking photos and it was so light and easy I’m glad I made my way to the shoot. I did manage to get lost in a pretty straightforward route and had anxiety over which lane to take but eventually ended up exactly where I needed to be. Driving is so stressful.

To make things a little more interesting, I also traded my sandals for sneakers, specifically, singer Demi Lovato’s new Colorful Comfort collection for Skechers which have memory foam so they were particularly comfortable. I’ve always admired people who could wear trainers and still look stylish I just never thought I’d do it myself. To inspire the outfit, I even created a Pinterest board (here)  – my preferred solution to all creative blocks. Breaking the stereotype that sneakers solely equate to sporty looks (pun intended), pink was the obvious feminine choice. In hindsight, I didn’t intend to look like a sorbet but if that’s the vibe you’re getting I won’t refute. This new Demi Lovato collab pair actually reminds me of a cross between blueberry yoghurt and spun cotton candy and reminders of ice cream variants/sweets are always welcome in my book.

Photography by Ronan Capili

Top and Skirt from SM WOMAN | Sneakers by SKECHERS

Toughen Up, Champ

Let’s talk about drawing strength and boxing champions.

IMG_3210IMG_3229 IMG_3261IMG_3175 2IMG_3181IMG_3196IMG_3204

Looking at these photos, I was trying to pinpoint why they feel and look so different. I realized after certain Instagram comments that this set seems unusual because the outfit and  the attitude in some shots evoke a tougher exterior – much tougher than my usual feminine rendition.

Interestingly, I’ve never considered myself tough. I have always been emotionally volatile and extremely empathetic to the point of me being brought to tears with random senior citizen sightings or animal videos that pop up on Facebook. That’s the truth. And though it makes me seem like a whiny human being, tears have always flown freely and that’s not something I’m ashamed of.

Still, over the years, I’ve learned the value of being tough when needed. Being bullied, experiencing hostile work environments and just a lot of negative energy thrown my way have taught me the importance of toughening up or, at the very least, putting up a resilient, impenetrable facade. The adage ‘Fake it ’til you make it’ has surprisingly worked on several occasions and has proven to be the better approach than being emotionally honest. Unfortunately, some people still see emotions/reactions as signs of weakness and are met with sexist blows. So much for progression. I know. In turn, even when advising friends on how to approach the workplace, I have often logically advised against confrontation and flaring up.

Being tough is actually really difficult emotionally and physically (as proven by my struggle in yoga) which is why I greatly admire people who are. One of them is Manny Pacquiao. He needs no introduction but for journalism’s sake: Manny is a Filipino boxing world champion who has defeated many a big name and has been a crowd favorite since time immemorial so much so that even his wife and mother have become pop culture icons on their own. Aside from him being  skilled and having amazing discipline and work ethic, I appreciate how he’s so open to being physically vulnerable. I mean, he takes punches for a living. And I see that vulnerability as being tough. But it’s not just physical pain that he faces head on, it’s a combination of psychological, mental and emotional factors too. If I knew that somebody was literally betting on my opponent beating me and praying that I lose, that idea might keep me awake at night (even more than usual) and plant deep-seated self-doubt that can only be undone by a therapist. Manny hears criticism and taunting left and right, it’s part of the job, but he’s still so confident and seemingly invincible and to me that’s admirable. I’d barely be functioning.

He has an upcoming fight in a few days against Floyd Mayweather that the world is looking forward to. Though I personally cringe watching people hurting each other for hours, I invite all of you to watch the game on May 2, 2015. My favorite network Smart is offering a lifestream view of the fight through the Viewstream app on any mobile device LIVE and commercial-free for only P499. No credit card is needed, it can be charged to your postpaid bill or prepaid load for Smart, Sun and Talk ‘N Text subscribers.

I will most likely cover my eyes during parts when I think he’s getting hurt (and maybe feel a little bad for Mayweather when knocked to the ground) like in a horror movie but I’m definitely waiting for that winning moment.

You watching may not entail any realizations on being courageous and how you can also apply Manny’s principles in your own life but as a person constantly grappling with the idea of being strong and impenetrable, Manny is my hero. And I’m 100% certain I’ll be inspired by his game – win or lose.

Let’s talk about it online? Use the hashtag #SugodManny to show your support for our champ or just engage in dialogue. My expert live tweeting may include “OUCH.”, “I CAN’T LOOK” and “OMG OMG OMG” but you are very much welcome to join in the conversation – before, during and after the fight.

Photography by Elisa Aquino 

Makeup By Jart of MAC Cosmetics 

Enjoy other perks such as exclusive Manny stickers on Pinoy Stickers, Viber, Line, and WeChat. Just text MANNY to 2600 to get FREE stickers; exclusive Manny-themed camera templates on the Camera 360 app; An exclusive footage of Manny’s training on Viewstream for Smart, Sun and Talk N’ Text subscribers

Kicking Off Summer

Kicking off summer by reminiscing waters I didn’t swim in. Still, better that than nothing, right?

Rags-2-riches-lookbook-look4-8Rags-2-riches-lookbook-look4-10Rags-2-riches-lookbook-look4-7Rags-2-riches-lookbook-look4-4Rags-2-riches-lookbook-look4-6Rags-2-riches-lookbook-look4-3Rags-2-riches-lookbook-look4-2

Summer in Manila is scorching. Prickly heat, severe sweating and rushing from AC to AC (establishments not rooms) characterize the dawn of April heat. It doesn’t help that my Instagram feed is full of folks from New York and Europe all seemingly still wrapped in heaps of layers. You either love the tropics or you hate it – it’s fairly seasonal.

I know in my heart I should be lounging by pools day in and day out but pools don’t always present themselves to me. And let’s not get started on the island girls I follow on social media. Their posts are all of bikinis and after a while you start to feel sorry for your beach-less, computer-fixated life. I know I do. Ironically, I was in a pool over the weekend but it was for a shoot and it was empty and devoid of both water to splash around in and the intoxicating smell of chlorine.

So here I am reminiscing the second to the last layout from our Rags 2 Riches Viaje lookbook shoot with my homegirl Danika who by now can seem like my lesbian lover especially in our Fault In Our Stars-style shot (see last photo). Alas, neither of us is willing to be Ansel Elgort and only the Shailene to his knight in shining armor. Or boy-next-door. Whatever, I didn’t read the book nor watch the movie. Sad story lines are not my cup of tea.

Fun times though. Dipping our legs in the coldest of waters, sipping tangy orange juice and beating the heat with giggles; Not a bad way to kick off summer.

Photography by ShutterPanda
Makeup by Lea Ancheta
Styled by Bea Constantino

Coffee Dates And Tete-A-Tetes

Currently on my third cup of coffee for the day. Reality mimicking art?

IMG_1686R2R-15 R2R-14 Photo-123Photo-102IMG_1701IMG_1691IMG_1728 copy

Coffee dates are tete-a-tetes I always look forward to. First, there’s caffeine. I don’t know about you but I drink about 3 cups of coffee daily because, #ICantDeal. So a coffee shop setting where somebody else is making aromatic and strong coffee for me is always better than making myself an ice-cold (instant) cup. Though most days, I really don’t mind. Second, the ambiance is perfect for talking and catching up and there’s nothing I enjoy more than getting to talk to friends one on one. My only child syndrome is in full throttle in person. Third, everything is Instagrammable (especially the slices of cake) although I don’t really snap shots from coffee houses. Interestingly, I do see a lot of folks patiently styling product shots and it amazes me how much they are willing to do for the Insta – even somewhere as public as a Starbucks.

This set of photos marks the 3rd layout from our shoot with Rags 2 Riches for their latest Viaje collection which also means I’m nearing the end of my R2R series. No more smiling photos in the next few posts. And no more BFF photos.

Speaking of friends, Danika and I have been friends for about 9 years now. We were batchmates in college and were part of the same dance org back in my nimble, streetdance days. We only got closer when we both started blogging but still, we found it funny when we learned that the owner of Rags 2 Riches was impressed with the photos because we looked like genuine friends. (Well, that’s ‘coz we are, Reese!)

It’s currently 1:00 AM and I have half a cup of coffee beside me – what’s left of my third serving for the day. So not only is it real that we are actual friends, us clutching our coffee cups for dear life is a faithful representation of how we both are in real life as well.

Photography by SHUTTERPANDA
Styling by BEA CONSTANTINO
For RAGS 2 RICHES VIAJE

Sweet Dreams Are Made of These Suite Deals

Suite dreams are made of these (hint: discounts). P.s. I spelled it right.

elephant-suiteblanco-suite-deals4elephant-suiteblanco-suite-deals3elephant-suiteblanco-suite-deals2elephant-suiteblanco-suite-deals5elephant-suiteblanco-suite-deals7 elephant-suiteblanco-suite-deals9elephant-suiteblanco-suite-deals1elephant-suiteblanco-suite-deals11 elephant-suiteblanco-suite-deals12

elephant-suiteblanco-suite-deals13elephant-suiteblanco-suite-deals10

Certain childhood films can have unbelievably scarring effects. For some, the torment may come in the form of unforgettable poignant scenes like in Bambi or The Lion King. For others, in the form of the most terrifying vivid scenes. Pinocchio, All Dogs Go To Heaven and Dumbo were the worst for me. I especially didn’t appreciate those scenes of – and I quote from a movie blogger- “horrifying phantasmagoria.” Remember the supposed dream scenes in Dumbo and All Dogs Go To Heaven that felt like nightmares you couldn’t get out of? I don’t know if the movies or the specific scenes were actually intended to frighten kids or teach them invaluable life lessons (such as the existence of hell) but you went dark there, Disney. For the longest time I couldn’t even look at a cartoon elephant and not cringe. Unfortunately, there are some things forever etched in my memory.

Two decades later though, I can now look at graphically rendered elephants and not feel the same paranoia I once did thanks to a recent shopping trip. I mean, the elephants – pink as they may be – are on a dress and I guess that fact alone offsets any fear attached to the unsuspecting animals. The fact that the dress is on sale made it even better. One of my favorite brands, Suiteblanco, is actually holding a promo for the month of April where every Monday, Wednesday and Friday a special item will be given a 10% discount. It really is just for the love of all things sale and to give shoppers a special something. Every single piece in this look is going on sale this week – the shoes on April 6, the dress on the 8th and, my personal favorite, the bag on the 10th.

The mechanics to avail of the promo (and stalk which of your favorite items are going on sale) are pretty simple. All you have to do is follow the @suiteblancoph Instagram account, like the photo of the item on sale and show the salesladies your double-tap to get a special 10% discount off that item upon checkout. Easy. If I could just get discounts from all their Insta photos I already willingly liked, I’d be garment-rich. I would suggest you hang around malls – preferably SM Aura or Makati – to make sure you don’t miss on discounts.

Shoutout to Suiteblanco for not only enabling shopping tendencies (read: oniochalasia) and allowing us to shower ourselves with much deserved pieces minus the guilt, but also making me aware of a childhood burden apparently already lifted.

Certain fears are still inexplainable and irreparable though like going down escalators. But that’s an issue for another day.

Untitled-1

Here are some additional favorites from Suiteblanco. Check them out on Insta – these might just go on sale! 
Dress, bag and shoes all from SUITEBLANCO
Photography by PAUL MENDOZA
This post is in collaboration with Suiteblanco

 

White On White

White on white entails a certain kind of gal – one who doesn’t squirt ketchup on anything other than her french fries. Are you that kind of girl?

rags-2-riches-viaje-lookbook-look2-18rags-2-riches-viaje-lookbook-look2-5rags-2-riches-viaje-lookbook-look2-11 rags-2-riches-viaje-lookbook-look2-16rags-2-riches-viaje-lookbook-look2-13rags-2-riches-viaje-lookbook-look2-10rags-2-riches-viaje-lookbook-look2-7 rags-2-riches-viaje-lookbook-look2-6rags-2-riches-viaje-lookbook-look2-3 rags-2-riches-viaje-lookbook-look2-2 rags-2-riches-viaje-lookbook-look2-1

I’m not sure which is really considered devoid of color – black or white. (This may also be an existential question asked by both hues.) But for the benefit of this post, let’s assume that black is, indeed, a color and white, the absence of it.

All white looks have been, for quite some time now, on trend. White on white on more white has been all over my Instagram feed. Interestingly, I’ve personally never been drawn to it. Pure, clean, pristine are not words or associations I’ve come to prioritize. Not that I look in the mirror every time I dress up and consider the themes that my outfit evokes. No, far from that. I’m just trying to rationalize my aversion to white. Blacks, pinks and reds have been my colors of choice growing up and not much has changed. The few white pieces in my wardrobe mostly only see light of day when church demands a white “blouse” every first week of the month. #ChoirDuties. #Uniform. #LetMeNotExplainAnyFurther.

So the polished white on white look was never even considered an outfit option despite it being omnipresent. I mean that entails a certain kind of lady – one that doesn’t get dirty nor accidentally squirt ketchup in places other than her french fries. She’s also the type whose clothes are perfectly ironed with nary a (hair)strand out of place. And if she doesn’t even eat fries, she’s a little too stuck up for me. I kid. She’s just a little too prim, too proper for a klutz like me.

Luckily, the klutz in me took a well-timed break for the recent Rags 2 Riches lookbook shoot. Stylist Bea Constantino put me in this gorgeous white on white ensemble. I really do like how it turned out and happily ate my then unspoken words. The throw-on chambray polo made all the carefree difference, and for making sure we were comfortable in our looks, I will be forever grateful to Bea.

Now, while I probably won’t be scouring stores for permutations of this all-white ensemble, this turned out to be my favorite look from the shoot. For now, let me go back to wearing all-black again and ordering a large serving of my favorite McDonald’s fries.

And if you were wondering, I do share.

Photography by SHUTTERPANDA
Styling by BEA CONSTANTINO
Make up by LEA ANCHETA  
For the #R2RViaje Collection 
Featuring the PATRICIA clutch with interchangeable flaps