Lazy Bastard

From ultra feminine to downtown chic, where do you lie on the sartorial spectrum? I’d say far-left or far-right.

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“Who are your favorite designers?” is a question I’ve often asked and, in turn, answered. You can learn a lot about a person from the designers they spurt out – the kind of woman she wants to be, her aesthetic and the qualities she desires to embody.

I would often begin my answer with Valentino and in the same breath traipse off to say Dolce & Gabbana and now Gucci. If I had the money, and I mean lots of it, I’d love to wear their clothes – the epitome of romance and the pinnacle of femininity in my opinion. (Although Gucci is more for the cool chick who can pull off magpie-dressing like your typical art major but loaded. Still, everything is intricate and embellished!) Valentino’s dresses don’t even seem fit for mere humans, you know? It’s like they design with Greek mythology in mind with delicate, ethereal dresses perfect for equally delicate, waif-like ladies that only exist in a mythical world – wood nymphs, sea nymphs, goddesses, fairies or even glorious sirens more akin to Helen of Troy than a modern-day Jenner/Hadid.

At the opposite of the spectrum – and I am nothing if not not polar opposites at all things and at all times – I am obsessed with Alexander Wang (and Rag & Bone, Philip Lim and Helmut Lang). The opposite of the barefoot, braided nymph that walks through the woods following the moonlight, is the cool, effortless chick with a devil-may-care attitude from downtown. She probably knows how to ride a motorbike. We will never know. But she looks like she doesn’t give zero f*cks about what people think. That chick and the Valentino lady – these are the two personas I would like to have. (Yes, even the barefoot, braided part).

Point is, if I’m not burning cash on dainty, feminine pieces (trust me when I say even RTW, watered-down versions of anything even remotely intricate are overpriced), I’m collecting a cool-girl sartorial repertoire. Believe it or not, it’s never really been about being cool. I probably have a different version of what cool is anyway- just ask the next kid who hangs out in smoking rooms and parties ’til 4 in the morning. Sorry, #stereotype. I’m still essentially a dweeb. For me it’s more about looking and being effortless. So when I can, although most of the time not intentionally, I collect interesting basics – preferably in black or grey, like this faux leather top from Zara. And these ripped boyfriend jeans from Suiteblanco. And this penultimate chill piece – the bucket hat from Vanguard. Bucket hats are such an easy thing to throw on.

Off-duty is my actual on-duty, if that even makes sense to you. Long live easy dressing.

Top, ZARA | Jeans, SUITEBLANCO | Heels, JIL SANDER | Hat, VANGUARD from PACSUN 
Photos by Paul Mendoza
Shot in burger joint Lazy Bastard

Living Digitally

Millennials can’t live without their gadgets, especially their smartphones. I present three looks to match three recommended smartphones to optimize gadget usage and, somehow, life efficiency.

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I admit, we of the digital age are becoming helpless. We are perennially glued to our gadgets, rendered incapable without our apps, internet or battery life. We minimize the amount of physical labor we exert and are slowly losing grip on life skills. I could go so far as to say that without Google, we know nothing – no recipes, no workout routines and no self-taught lessons on how to reboot laptops. It’s not surprising then that the generational divide is growing even wider. Millennials (be honest where you lie in the generational spectrum) are often frowned upon for our perceived ineptitude. I mean, how can you quantify the limitless potential of having the internet as your personal assistant, tutor and life guide? Being glued to gadgets in whatever form is one of those tell-tale signs of a millennial. But, aside from the fact that maybe we need to learn actual skills privy to our seniors, I don’t think being dependent on gadgets is all that bad. In particular, I don’t think phone-dependence is necessarily evil.

Aside from the occasional silence over dinner (that I despise) thanks to everyone ‘gramming what they ordered instead of actually conversing, I don’t find much fault in phone-hogging. After all, these nifty little communicational devices have been lifelines and lifesavers on more than one occasion – saving us from traffic jams, moments of navigational failure, worried parents, saving our lives sometimes via 911 (in the US) and, the daily beast, boredom.

It is not my place to debunk myths about how much we use our phones nor is it my place to defend millennials and the corresponding benefits of knowing one’s way around the interwebz. I myself am a social media lurker who checks her phone every 10 minutes (mostly ‘coz it’s always on silent and I have a constant fear that work is calling), who plugs YouTube songs into my car when I’m especially lazy (Spinnr when I’m not), writes articles and saves important details on my Notes, edits and does work on the go and bugs friends and boyfriend (singular, obviously) on Whatsapp and Viber and all the other messaging apps. I also talk to Siri when I’m bored. She can get pretty entertaining. So I’m not here to judge. I am here to remind you that though it is sometimes condemned, (although I personally don’t get why- I’ve witnessed too many seniors addicted to Facebook, games and forwarding chain emails), we can still rock phone addiction in style.

Smartphones have transcended the realm of gadgets and have morphed into accessories on their own. We often buy phones based on preference in terms of jewelry or personal style. Think about it. I bet your choice of metal – silver or gold – has affected your color choice more than you care to admit. And many smartphones wow in terms of design. I mean the rose gold iPhone is gorgeous. It is, after all, pink! I may not know a lot about phone technicalities and processing specs but I do know fashion and value for money. So here are three looks to go with three of my preferred smartphones and the corresponding deals that you can use to get the best products and offers.

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First is a rose gold iPhone. Apple’s iPhone 6s Plus is gorgeous and it makes all my Mean Girls x Legally Blonde dreams come true. It’s a little huge for my tiny hands but the trend now is actually to have your phone in your hand outside of your bag for easy snapping. I got my pink iPhone from Smart and you can also get a 16GB iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus for free under the P2499 plan. I also just found out (literally, I just checked) that there are also a bunch of benefits like Uber, Airbnb and Zalora discounts- discounts that every person who might want a pink iPhone would need. I should really ask about these benefits. Let’s research together. For now, just seeing this phone – sans the case – is a visual treat. Camera’s cool too. I felt like I had to say that. (Read more about iPhone plans and benefits here)

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If you are more interested in budgeting your monthly expenses and are not a fan of either Samsung or Apple but still want an effective smartphone, you can get an Android MyPhone my28S with 100MB monthly data for just P888. The reason for this shockingly low price is that Smart wants to offer smartphone capabilities to more people and, in result, making even more people act like the dreaded millennials. Just kidding, this is a great thing. Its design also includes the Philippine map so it’s a pretty cool, patriotic choice. Make your phone standout by pairing it with loud, bright colors. A black phone needs a colorful canvas. (To know more about this program click here)

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Finally, if you’re the type who wants a phone with the best features, there are a bunch of Samsung phones to choose from. I am personally obsessed with the sleek look of the S7 Edge but the Note series is pretty amazing too. Nothing is more elegant than a gold phone which serves as the ultimate accessory. It can mean business during meetings and can go from day to party in 0 to 60. It’s such a stand out phone on its own that you can either play it up or play it down. In my case, I played it up and wore a dark blue slip dress to bring out the gold tones and play up the elegance of the phone.

No matter the packaging (and pricing) though, what smartphones should come down to is how you use it. We have different needs, and its up to you to make sure the phone you choose matches your lifestyle. I know exactly what I need in terms of apps – VSCO, Waze and, yes, Candy Crush. I also know what I need in terms of data. I don’t download a bunch of movies (I have iFlix for that) but I do spend a lot of time online. So if you’re like me and you find yourself online more often that not, you can subscribe to the new Smart Big Bytes 50. It’s a promo that’s been introduced before so it might sound familiar but the crazy new perk is that data is now doubled from 300+MB to 700MB. Imagine the digital mileage that it could mean for you. P50 is worth the digital investment. Text BIG50 to 9999 to avail of the limited offer. (Read here to know more about Big Bytes 50)

Smartphones are powerful tools – for business or leisure, for millennials or those against us. Don’t let anyone stop you from making the most out of your phones. Just don’t forget to do it in style. It’s nice to match your trusted gadget once in a while.

Photography by TIPPI SY
Makeup by RACHEL TORRES
Look with iPhone: Halter top and fringe skirt from NAVA
Look with Myphone: Romper from SHEIN.com (buy style here); Sunglasses from FLY SHADES
Look with Samsung: Blue midi slip dress from SUNE; Shoes from JIL SANDER
Special Thanks to Danika Navarro

Homogeneity and Twinning

Out of character in an outfit but, hey, to hell with it.

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Time and again I’ve been asked to describe my style. And time and again, when I do remember my rehearsed press release, my answer is usually along the lines of “minimalist with bohemian touches.” But instinctively, my mind wants to say street. Even if I’m a long way from actual street culture that I imagine is rife in the streets of LA and New York, for some reason I’m always thinking blacks, loose shirts and what can only be the opposite of what I usually see people wearing at events.

But maybe that’s just a product of my imagination and my desire to not be grouped with the rest of the fashion savvy and trend-driven. It is, after all, a job requirement to stand out from the lot. And that lot has been packed, mind you. So obviously, my subconscious would want my narrative to be somewhat distinctive.

I bumped into some editors early this week and they told me, thanks to a recent feature, that they were happy to find out I was more than just a blogger. And even if it’s something that happens a lot it is getting harder and harder to fight the stereotype. How often do we really have the chance to show substance, depth and the fact that we also do hard work (sometimes, hard labor) outside of posting OOTDs (and share that being a blogger, in itself, is also hard work. Trust me.)

But distinction on the basis of style alone is even more difficult to achieve. Homogeneity is upon us and I can’t really say I’m this or that, let alone a flag-bearer and sole constituent of a categorical, stereotypical style box.  So although I want to say (or think) I’m original, I’m not. So no, I’m not really street in a sea of similar OOTDs. I, too, like certain trendy pieces and looks that are lapped up by the next blogger and fashion enthusiast. Hell, I was going to an event last week and if I didn’t change at the last minute I would’ve been matching a friend who wore the exact same top (and matching neck scarf) I was intending to. Hashtag: Twinning would have been a little too literal.

Which brings me to the look at hand. Though the off-shoulder top is something that I would wear in a heartbeat, the skirt is not. I do err on the feminine side for the most part but I tend to shy away from anything frou-frou and what can only be mistaken as a prom look. So this outfit is a little foreign to me and one I would probably only wear to a wedding, even if I’ve come across the same silhouette and the same look on different occasions. In fact, this skirt was purchased for that purpose and that purpose alone. But, as fate would have it, it didn’t end up being worn to a wedding because I felt uncomfortable and out of my style comfort zone and went with something else instead. Staying true to one’s self is a pretty big barometer of what I walk out of the house in.

On a day when everything was met with an attitude of nonchalance and a “to hell with it” mantra, I finally got to traipse in the skirt. Glad I did too. If only for the wind in my skirt making it more Marylin Monroe than I originally intended, even if I felt slightly out of character.

Off-shoulder top, GOBUY.com.ph; Skirt, FOREVER 21; Bracelet, IMONO PH; Heels, LORD & TAYLOR

A Ballerina Step With Menina

Making my ballerina dreams come true even just for a day.

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When I was 5 years old, I donned a tutu for the first time and took ballet classes. Unfortunately, amidst the plies and the pink leotards, the twirls and the high buns, I lost my way (after just a few months). I never even made it to beginner’s recital and never tried ballet again although I do twirl from time to time in the comforts of my room.

Fast forward decades later and the little girl in me still dreams of moving like the pink woman in the music box I once owned. For years, I have always been envious of ballerinas. Their poise, their grace, not to mention their flexibility, are traits I’ve always wanted to have. Not so much the crazy that came with Natalie Portman in Black Swan (I’m still pretty scarred by her plucking her own feathers) but, on the flip side, there’s still a Fleur De Lis soundtrack ingrained in my head whenever I think of childhood memories in leotards.

Menina Step Philippines is a brand of ballet flats from Spain that made its way to Philippine shores just last year and being a fan of the brand and a certified Menina Woman, I felt it was about time to finally bring to life my dream of feeling and looking like a ballerina. Menina Step‘s selection of ballet flats is a dream and tip-toeing in the daintiest of pairs from snakeskin to leopard print was a fun touch. I originally intended having actual dancing layouts but skills are not something you can gain overnight and I had an amazing time shooting even if my intended dance shots were futile. Seriously, the photos we took ended up having the funniest-looking high kicks that seem more fitting of a Charlie’s Angels blooper reel than any impressive Black Swan sequence. Still, the photos turned out to be exactly like I imagined featuring the wardrobe of  any off-duty ballerina – or at least my version of that.

I do hope you enjoy this ballerina-inspired shoot. And if you’re in need of putting a little pep in your step, the best way to do so is to feel as nimble and as lithe as a ballerina. And the key to doing that is to have the best footwear possible – Menina Step for that ballerina step.

Also, you can add faux freckles (like we did) to add to the imagery. Because for some reason, ballerinas in our heads have tons of dark spots.

Photography by Elisa Aquino

Hair and Makeup by Rachel Torres

Footwear from Menina Step; Look 1: EMMA LEOPARDO ROSA leopard print flats; Look 2: MADRID in EVENING DUSK snakeskin flats; Look 3: VALENCIA in BLACK DIAMOND balck flats; Look 4: ZAHARA Gold flats; Look 5: VALENCIA in BALLERINA PINK

Special thanks to Menina Step Philippines, Alexys Delgado and Shari Macainag for the help. And a big thank you to Elisa and Rachel for making this possible

Free People, Free Spirits

Can I just wear this dress to all weddings from hereon out? Will the church ban me for showing sideboob?

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Throwing back to beautiful Michigan days because I don’t want another year to pass before I get to post shoots I enjoyed. Every single time I go back to Michigan I make sure to scour outlet stores for Free People items on sale. I am obsessed with the brand but sometimes I just can’t justify the hefty price tag for just apparel. I’d rather invest in a pair of shoes or a bag I can pass on to my grandchildren. Luckily, my state is full of outlets and one in particular, Lord & Taylor, carries Free People for a lot less. I personally don’t mind buying pieces from past seasons if I really like the piece and if it means I get to save a lot of money. I really am a smart shopper when I’m not being impulsive and not fixated on a certain item. And, if you must know, I’ve been keeping my clothing budget so my 2016 resolutions are right on track.

This dress is one of my favorite maxi dresses and it fits the bohemian vibe perfectly. It’s the kind of dress I would wear in the forest like a wood nymph if I ever do find myself in a forest. Although I think the gorgeous lake in the background more than makes up for the wood nymph reference.

Weddings are filling my calendar and I really am at a loss for what to wear. I’ve previously worn black and sexy and I felt uncomfortable on both counts – priests may not appreciate the display of skin and the couple would probably mind the grieving vibe – like I’m somehow opposed to their union or, worse, set out to object in the ceremony when the opportunity comes up. So unfortunately, no matter how much I love this dress, I can’t wear it to upcoming weddings because though it’s most definitely not black, the mere hint of a side boob may get me kicked out, or worse, shawl-ed by the ushers. Full disclosure: I was given a leaflet once too after mass because I showed slight “shoulder”.

I’ve been on the lookout for dresses but I haven’t really been to enough weddings to know #MatrimonyChic. From what I gather on Facebook (thank you, social media), weddings are events where everyone is expected to glam up – entourage party member or not. I was actually looking for something red inspired by the running lady emoji (a la Gucci) but I can’t seem to find the perfect one just yet. I should really work double time on this dream dress though because it’s also time to find the perfect outfit for the coming Chinese New Year. I may not be Chinese, but I do like my tikoy.

I didn’t realize weddings were also a hassle to the guests. I attended one recently where we were literally forced to line up with the single ladies to “catch the bouquet.” I was not happy. Wedding traditions can be real weird and surprisingly require a lot of audience participation. Although given that I wasn’t invited to a recent wedding by one of my supposed close friends in college, maybe I should just be thankful I was invited? After all, each additional guest comes with a corresponding price tag.

Anyway, if I do find the perfect red dress or end up investing in a gorgeous piece, I’ll probably 1) wear it to all weddings from hereon out and 2) keep it as far from the bouquet throwing as humanly possible, preferably right next to the buffet table.

Dress, FREE PEOPLE

A First-Timer’s Guide To Bohol

If you’re a first-timer in Bohol, here’s my cheat sheet on when to see the tarsiers and when to strut in your bikini.

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This tarsier was caught sleeping, as per usual. bohol-photosbohol-photos5

Bohol has always been at the top of every must-see destination list in the Philippines. But I’ve never had the urge to go until recently. I had no expectations or musts other than seeing the tarsiers because with my limited knowledge of the province, I thought that’s what Bohol was all about. So on a jam-packed two-day trip, I tried to see as much of Bohol as possible, plotting the earliest of mornings and longest of days.

We went straight to Bohol Bee Farm the moment I arrived. The famous organic restaurant let me tick an entry off my imaginary bucket list when they served flower salads. I never knew I even had the urge to try flowers but I figured it’s one of those things you just go for. The flowers weren’t bad but not particularly good either, and I’d really rather see them planted or in a vase by my side acquired through some romantic gesture. The honey ice cream, among others, was pretty good.

A two-hour drive led to one of the most touristy things to do in Bohol – seeing the tarsiers. The Bohol Tarsier Sanctuary charges a P50 entrance fee which entails walking a short cordoned path and stopping every few steps to spot the world’s smallest primates. There were about 6 stops with visible tarsiers but unless you have a camera with a pretty powerful zoom, taking photos is pretty futile. I could barely see their big eyes (that friends use to mock me, mind you) because they apparently sleep all day and I caught them at a bad time, apparently. Not-so-fun-fact: Tarsiers are people-averse and tend to commit suicide by banging their heads on trees or refusing to eat when they get stressed. Noise and light (i.e., that of a camera’s flash) cause stress so visitors have to be extremely quiet in the sanctuary.

One touristy thing led to another with a trip to the famous brown Chocolate Hills, that supposedly look like a lump of Hershey’s Kisses. Again, a caveat: they are only brown during the summer when foliage is dry. The rest of the year, they’re pretty green. Still, we couldn’t miss it (although, read through, we did). We took ATVs (the 30-minute package) to see some of the nearer ones. The hills in our route were in chunks – threes, fives and eights but the ones bunched together required a longer ride so it was slightly underwhelming to see just three hills. Still, the ride was fun, albeit a little pricey. Unfortunately, we were too little too late when we went to see the actual view of the Chocolate Hills from the Chocolate Hills Complex. Although I wanted to bask in the glory of Philippine destinations and see Bohol’s 1,770+ hills,  I guess it can just be a good enough reason to come back. We passed by the Mahogany Forest, a man-made forest, on the way back and it was pretty impressive. Again, no photos. We didn’t want to risk taking photos in the middle of potentially dangerous winding roads.

We finally got to check in at Amorita in Alona Beach after hours of driving. The exclusive resort was gorgeous and all sorts of awesome. Even the rooms are interior design #inspo-worthy. For our late dinner, we headed to Alona Beach, right by the resort. Surprisingly, the beach strip was reminiscent of Boracay with restaurant upon restaurant and al fresco seafood options lined up for tourists’ pleasure. Eating freshly grilled seafood on the beach with rustling waves and powdery sand between your toes is definitely an experience. One that I would like to have constantly. We capped off the night with our fair share of fruit shakes and crustaceans.

We were up at 6:30 the following morning for an island hopping tour that kicked off with dolphin-watching. There’s never a guarantee that dolphins would show up- the whole point is to catch them in their natural habitat. It took a while, more than an hour of waiting actually, but they did show up in bouts. All the boats that were waiting (there were too many) would flock to wherever area the dolphins were last spotted in. It was pretty cool to see though. There’s just something so captivating about marine life. And if I’m the only one sharing this sentiment, it’s highly likely I was Ariel in my past life. (Okay, in actual statistics, the probability is low but you get my scaly point.)

We then headed to Balicasag Island for snorkeling. Again, there were too many people. And when I say too many I mean I got kicked several times by random people snorkeling in the same small area. The sight itself was gorgeous. Waters were crystal clear and a breadth of marine life was present in such a short stretch of sea. I got swarmed by fish when I got bread and in a brief moment of panic I let the bread go in fear of too many fish near me. I only like seeing them from afar, apparently. A few meters of shallow water led to a huge dip where the depths of the sea took a haunting turn. Beautiful but haunting. You couldn’t tell just how deep the water was and occasional sightings of much bigger fish took me a little by surprise. I had to keep heading back to shallow waters to gain confidence. Do wear a life vest. Don’t wear flip flops.  I honestly don’t think snorkeling in Balicasag is something I want to do again though because it was literally crowded.

We were asked to head to the Virgin Island next to see a long sand bar but hunger got in the way and we headed back to Alona to eat. Pro foodie tip: if you stay at Amorita (or maybe even if you don’t), try their Crispy Pork Sinigang. So. Good.

We spent the next few hours relaxing, biking around the resort and inevitably falling off my bike and hitting a stretch of shrubs (true story, I hurt my ass), and eating some more. Capped off the night with another amazing dinner and a massage on the beach. Bring your own towels (2, at least) if you’re bacteria-conscious. I didn’t bring enough and was fidgety throughout. The massage is pretty pricey too, P500 for a full body service but after hours of walking, falling off a bike and getting hit by fellow snorkeling tourists, it was worth it.

A two-day trip definitely wasn’t enough to see the beauty that Bohol has to offer. But I’m not complaining. I’d love to go back (and I just might this year for a wedding) and I can’t wait to try new things when I do.

In the meantime, I’d keep throwing back bikini shots because that’s all I have to remember Bohol by. Or at least the only Instagrammable ones.

Bikini and swimsuit from FLOAT SWIMWEAR

Touring Intramuros

Touring Intramuros after nationalistic movies and an appreciation of former history lessons makes the trip well worth it.

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Intramuros will always be special to Manila and if you’re a tourist in the Philippines, Intramuros is one of the top cultural sites to visit. It’s rich in history with museum after museum showcasing life in old Manila. It’s also highly photogenic lined with buildings and cathedrals both ruined and restored. It’s not uncommon to spot guards in uniforms of old or newly-wed couples being photographed against backdrops of stones, tourists on bamboo bikes or kalesas (horse carriages) and diners in and out of famous Pinoy restaurants.

I remember being asked to visit the place several times back in college but when you’re a student, the appreciation for any place is different. If you’re required to go somewhere with a looming deadline it rarely ever feels more than just a school project. When you’re actually of voting age or very much aware of what’s happening to the country or, better, questioning it, you tend to appreciate on a deeper level what these cultural sites mean and symbolize.

The film Heneral Luna took the Philippines by storm late last year in the best way possible. Based on my social media feed which is where everything is pretty much based these days, I see how it instilled a more patriotic community or, at the very least, sparked a sense of nationalism that the youth seems to have lost – not for lack of care but for lack of hope. Ironically, the upcoming elections in the Philippines seem to dimmer the idea of a brighter future and dampen the very idea of “hope.” A new set of (probably) corrupt and incapable officials are running and though the permutations of winners and political parties may differ – no matter the outcome, the Philippines seems, to put it bluntly, doomed. Truly, Manila is becoming less livable by the minute. Traffic is getting exponentially worse. Where funding (not to mention one of the highest taxes in Asia) goes is highly alarming. And stories of even the purest of intentions being turned otherwise and swallowed by the system are spreading like wildfire. Do people who genuinely want to serve still exist? I’m sure they do, although they’re probably just a discardable fraction. I’d still like to think there’s always hope though. At least I hope on hope.

Films like Heneral Luna need to keep being made to serve as an eye-opener to the youth and help  promote a stronger sense of love for country in the next generation of politicians. I’m so sick of #trapo and I’m sure so is everybody else. The country deserves so much more than the power hungry who would kill (maybe even literally) to lead it.

Touring Intramuros then takes on a very different light. It doesn’t only serve as a beautiful backdrop for outfit photos, which honestly was my sole initial intent, it also becomes a reminder of the past in a critical time we should be thinking about the future.

Dress, Zalora | Jacket, LEVI’S | Scarf, ZARA | Sandals, TRES SHOES

New Year Red

Painting the town red this New Year.

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Celebrated Christmas Day in black so I knew I had to get the juju back and spend New Year’s in red (or is that just a tradition for Chinese?) I have decided that 2016 will be my year of Recalibration. It’s about fine-tuning what’s best for me, deciding whether or not certain projects and jobs still resonate with me, and being a better companion to myself. Some of my resolutions include not splurging on anything designer (with a caveat: unless it’s on sale and my birthday), scheduling one day a month to go out with friends (it’s harder than it sounds), being stricter on myself in replying to work emails and work Viber messages (no weekends unless absolutely imperative and no replies after 10PM) and not fueling negativity. There are a few more but they’re pretty #basic.

I also saw something Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love, posted on Facebook about starting a gratitude jar and I think I’ll get that going this year. It’s about writing little things that make us smile each day to be read at the start of next year to remind us that grace is always with us. I really like the idea of always looking for light in the darkest or dullest of moments. It’s a challenge but it can be done.

Sartorially, I don’t think I have any particular resolutions. I noticed I bought a bunch more accessories towards the end of the year so it seems like after my jewelry hiatus, I’m finally ready to wear them again. I’m also going through all of my clothes today (okay I’m giving myself ’til the end of the week for this) to sort out which ones I can rework back into my closet and which ones I can donate.

Speaking of clothes, I wore this outfit pre-New Year’s but liked it so much I wore it again during the first day of 2016. This red sweater from the Uniqlo x Lemaire collection is one of my favorite buys and I’m maximizing mileage before the fiery heat of summer makes its presence felt in a few weeks. I’m also pretty obsessed with my bling-ed out Fossil watch. I got it when they launched their Fall collection with the deconstructed bags and Boyfriend watches for the ladies. Do check them out if you’re looking for an everyday timepiece. Their designs go from ultra-femme to traditional tomboy so they fit every mood and outfit.

Capped off the look with my Hush Puppies loafers that I’ve been abusing and a Dolce & Gabbana inspired headpiece-turned-choker. 2016 is looking bright. Like 50 Cent circa In Da Club bright. Must be the gold but I’d like to take it as a shiny, bling-ed out sign that 2016 is gonna be awesome.

Sweater, UNIQLO x LEMAIRE | Jeans, SKECHERS | Loafers, HUSH PUPPIES | Bag, GUCCI | Sunglasses, RAY BAN | Watch, FOSSIL | Choker, ZARA 

Slipping On Loafers

Anybody here obsessed with loafers? Teach me your ways.

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Lazy days call for minimal effort. And sometimes that equates to not wearing the usual amount of clothes that you normally would. Case in point: my lack of pants. This “dress” is actually a top and it’s pretty short but thanks to the resurgence of 90’s styling tricks, it was the easier choice to just throw over a denim jacket to cover areas that should be kept covered and walk out of the house with zero worries of pulling a Paris Hilton.

But let’s zoom in on the shoes. I don’t think I’ve ever worn loafers in my life but a recent trip to Hush Puppies changed that. I’ve been seeing loafers on my Insta feed for some time now. I mean, how can you come across those fur-lined Gucci loafers and not give a double tap or at least a double take? I just never thought that they would suit me. My usual psychology behind my aversion to closed flat shoes is that  -and this is possibly all in my head – they tend to make my size-6 feet look even tinier and my 5’2″ frame even shorter. Of course, I fell in love with the prospect of trying something new (it is the New Year after all and being brazen comes with the season) and actually got two pairs of loafers. Again, it’s Christmas and a time to #indulge so more than one gift to one’s self is completely acceptable. I didn’t realize that loafers could bring a level of nonchalance to a look. I used to think only pieces that leaned more towards street wear or loose-fitting bohemian choices could give a sense of effortlessness but loafers are apparently an easy yet incredibly chic touch. There’s a lot more looks that I’m extremely excited to experiment with using my new loafers. I even created a Pinterest inspiration board for it – my answer to most creative brain drains.

Anyone else here obsessed with the masculine slip-on shoe? Teach me your ways. I’m willing to be your padawan.

Denim Jacket by Levi’s | Loafers by Hush Puppies

Photography by Ber Garcia

This post was in partnership with Hush Puppies Philippines. Check them out for stylish and comfortable pairs at hushpuppies.com.ph

Avocado-Colored Dreams

What are your dreams made of?

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To borrow the words of Adele, hello, it’s me.

I realize that prior to last weekend’s post I haven’t written anything on this website for more than a month. Inspiration-block is an actual thing, apparently, and the whole gamut of my creative juices has been sucked dry by other outlets. Even Instagram (@alyssalapid if we ain’t friends there) has been a little hard to “curate.”

In terms of life updates, my hair is now shorter (not seen here and yes, we start with the physical), work is pretty much consistent not to mention consistently hectic. I’ve been to the beach twice in the past month in two different provinces which was great. Work is hectic but vacations packaged as work (or is it work packaged as vacations?) were also pretty constant recently.

This year has been tumultuous to say the least full of high ups and steep downs. I cannot wait for the year to end. The idea of a fresh start, like a fresh notebook or a new planner, is full of promise in my optimistic eyes. Funny how my optimism hinges on timing. I wonder if I would be as optimistic without the promise of the new year. Probably not. Either way, I truly believe that the new year brings a clean slate and a chance to start over and I never pass on a fresh start.

So before I bid the year adieu, let me share some of my more memorable trips and favorite looks. I realize that I’ve merely been microblogging and I truly prioritize this website above all other forms of social media so my life and wardrobe updates definitely have to be reflected here as well.

I shot this look about a month ago with Ber Garcia featuring two of my favorite local brands Neon Island and Tres Shoes. If I’m being 100% real, these items have been on rotation the past couple months. Both the dress and the sandals are such easy pieces and they’re absolute no brainers in my book. With the 70s back in full swing, the dress is an obvious on-trend choice that reminds me so much of a young Jane Birkin. In my eyes, local brand Neon Island can do no wrong and I will forever be a fan. I don’t think I’ve missed the chance to purchase at least one piece from every collection they’ve put out.

The shoes from Tres, on the other hand, are new favorites. I never thought I’d be so attached to avocado-colored footwear but here I am risking looking color blind pairing these green slip ons with absolutely all options in the color wheel no matter how radical they may seem. This time though I got it right – the chambray dress and the fruity slip ons go well together.

I do hope to see you again more consistently on this space. Feel free to comment on what you’d want to see more of or whatever it is in your mind. Or at least echo or refute what’s on mine. Tell me I’m not the only one addicted to the high that the new year brings? Please? Am I really the only one with a new planner eagerly waiting to write on the first few pages of January?

Dress, NEON ISLAND | Sandals, TRES SHOES
Photos by Ber Garcia