16 January 2017

Welcome to New York

For the sake of easier comprehension, let's categorize the 3 families into Valles of US, Valles of Australia, and Valle - Peraltas of the Philippines. The last 2 families drove to New York to supposedly attend the famous Ball Drop in time for the New Year Celebration however, as later on proven, New York is not suitable for kids. Which makes me wonder how Kevin had so much fun all by himself. I digress. Prior to the trip, I've been most excited to visit New York. Suffice to say, I've had the most fun in there as it was only in New York that all my usual selfish reasoning and babbles had the chance to come alive (hehehehe I particularly indulged my selfish side when my parents ordered my brothers to accompany me in Saks Fifth Avenue). Just kidding. My Mom didn't fall short in reminding me that the main purpose of the entire trip has been to "build memories with the Valles".
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Trench coat: Atmosphere | Top: borrowed jacket | White pants: Stradivarius | Boots: from department store in US | Bag: Balenciaga

I've always loved the energy in New York. Kind locals to tourists? Forget it. Everyone seems to always be chasing after something. That pedestrian light that goes on and off? It's just there to serve as 'guidance' so it is generally up to you when you'll cross the street (very much like in the Philippines). Respectful private drivers? "Get out of my way beep beep" (another very much like the Philippines). 'It's orderly in the US' ideology? Oh come on, don't fool me. Pet-friendly? The only animals I see there are rodents the size of a cat. Still want to go there? YES, BY A HUNDREDFOLD!

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My aunts think that New York is the fulfillment of the illusory American Dream, depicted by movies and songs as this 'concrete jungle where dreams are made of' when in fact, it's nothing but a hype. For me, though, New York IS among those places I'd want to go back to over and over again. Everywhere I looked amazed me: the Christmas display of Saks and Macy's, the cold winter breeze, the seemingly 'uprooted' trees due to the season, the different languages that fill one's ears, the high taxes added to every purchase no matter where you shop, the long walks, the dreadful traffic, the yellow cab driver who demanded for "Christmas tip" on top of the meter, the snobbish sales associates who would look at you from head to toe and reluctantly give you your size so when you actually buy the pair without asking for its price they seem surprised and eventually treat you as though you're their best friend, the equally snobbish other shopper whom you saw looked at you with judgmental eyes and was equally surprised when she heard you ask for the designer pair using its actual name and evenly more surprised when you whipped out your wallet and handed payment for the pair she knew costed a lot, the once rude sales associate from the other brand which you initially visited who gave you the once over and decided you're not worth her time so she chose to talk to the next customer who walked in the shop only to give you the second glance when you returned to the shop with the paperbag containing the recent purchase which is a statement on its own and so she left another customer in favor of you, the entrepreneurial guy who sold "dope candies for adults" beside his van painted with different flavors of his "doped" lollies despite knowing that drugs are not legal in the state, and lastly, the Rockefeller Center which clearly failed to serve as the perfect background for my Kevin-McAllister-in-New-York-dreams as the tourists littering the area just wouldn't stop pushing.

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Just the same, New York is known to be the place where you can be whoever you wish to be if you only have the guts to do so. Say what you want about NYC but it still holds my complete devotion captive. Whereas others see its snobbishness as a con, I consider it among NYC's best characteristics. See, that's the thing about New York. You can judge whatever and whomever you want to judge and still end up being proven wrong.

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On a side note, I bought the pair of boots I'm wearing in this set with this design from HERE as inspiration:

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The title's from Taylor Swift's 1989 album, which I was able to completely listen to
for the 1st time on the plane ride from Manila to Washington Dulles. Also,
Taylor's billboards are all over Times Square so it's fitting that her song's
been made the title

15 January 2017

Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I still have plenty of  travel-related posts pending from 2016 namely: February – Hong Kong, March – China and Japan, May – Singapore, October – Hong Kong and Macau plus a few in-betweens that all took place here in the Philippines. But let me set them aside for a “few” more posts to give way to a 3-post about my Holiday 2016. Without a doubt, seeing my Valle cousins has been the highlight of Holiday 2016 if not the entire 2016.

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Snow jacket - Puffer: Guess / Pants and gloves: Uniqlo / Snow boots: borrowed from my Tita /

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My younger brother Gio, being in the US for his practicum, paved way for the happenstance of the entire family’s Holiday vacation. My cousins from Australia flew in a week earlier than we did. Once everyone was in the US, the riot began. The snow, much to the disappointment of all the adults and the annoyance of my younger cousin Alexandra, only showed up in the morning of 6 January; by then, everyone else had returned to their respective home countries save for Gio and I. Just the same, we all drove to Wisp Resort to ski and just to enjoy in and the snow.

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This will be the 1st of numerous USA-related posts.

16 December 2016

There Are Storms That We Cannot Weather

My Grandmom and I watched the production of Les Miserables in Solaire Theatre last April 2016. I kid you not when I tell you that during the 15-minute interval between the 2 Parts of the show, a refined-looking woman (her Chanel 2.55 was dangling from her shoulder while her Rolex-clad left wrist was pointing at me. I have quick eyes on strangers talking to me hahahaha just kidding, she just really looked so elegant that I couldn’t help but give her the once-over)  approached me and complimented me on the top that I was wearing. Lala and I were queuing in line at the loo when she just started conversing with me. She said that she would want to get her daughter the exact same top. I was so touched and grateful that not only did I give her the website from where she can order it but I also offered her personal delivery, provided that she lives in Metro Manila. I was very much touched because you see, I was wearing a top from my friend and I’s clothing brand, ARKIPELAGO (Nothing makes me happier these days than hearing positive comments about our clothes hehehehehe)
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Top: ARKIPELAGO / Pants and Heels: Zara / Coat: from Malaysia / Bag: Goyard / Watch: Tag Heuer
Regarding the musical, perhaps it’s because there’s already a movie to which I can readily compare the production with (although I know that they are 2 separate mediums so as such, they should be evaluated using different parameters yet still), that I did not like the production at all. I couldn’t feel anything from Fantine nor Eponine’s deaths. Not even Gavroche could make me sympathize with their plight. Then again, it could be because I normally respond better to the villains, to those who do the atrociousness, to those who unmercifully do what they need to do to get what they want. Between Jean Valjean and Javert, I’m more Team Javert. Don’t misunderstand me though. I’ve absolutely loved the movie version so it’s not the story that bored me. It’s the rendition. I hated it more than I hated Daisy of The Great Gatsby and that’s saying a lot.

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Now on to more important matters: THE HOLIDAY SEASON!!!!! I’m so excited for all the things my family has planned for this year. I haven’t seen my younger brother Gio for a year now due to his internship in the US but it seems that I’m about to see him in a few days yahoo!! Why is it that whenever it’s Christmas, aside from the pounds that add on to my usual weight and the excitement that envelopes me, it’s also the time of the year when I start questioning if I’ve done things in the past year that have brought me closer to the grand future that I wish for myself. And I guess it’s been a universal Christmas theme in my blog to ask the same questions year after year, only in different methods. Like HERE or HERE or HERE.

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Nonetheless, the Holiday Season will always be my favorite season, no matter how good, bad, or worse, nondescript the year turned out to be. And make no mistake, crises brought on by my tendencies to embrace shallowness eclipse all other crises, existential ones included. Hahahaha

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30 November 2016

Late Night Shenanigans

It'll be December by tomorrow and I can't help but get giddy just by thinking of what this year's Most Wonderful Time of the Year has in store for me!! 
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Blazer and shoes: H&M | Inner top: Topshop | Shorts: Zara | Gloves: from night market in HK | Bag: Michael Kors

My birthday wish for 2016 was all about starting new things and seeing more of the world. How lucky I've been to have both of my wishes come true! I've started ARKIPELAGO with one of my trusted friends Tatiana and I've gone on numerous trips for the past 11 months (and I'm still about to go somewhere this December for the Holiday), at least numerous enough with what my approved absences allowed. Speaking of which, this post is somehow a bit of both. Last February, I went to Hong Kong with my fellow simple girls Tatiana and Abby, and Tats' boyfriend Ron. We coincided this trip with Tats' birthday as well as the pre-launching of ARKIPELAGO.
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For our 1st night in HK, we had dinner in Budaoweng Hotpot Cuisine. Then we proceeded to Lan Kwai Fong to get everyone in the mood that dictated the rest of how the trip went: chill and up for anything. I'm a very easy person to travel with, honest! We're all quite chill persons to travel with for that matter so we decided to call ourselves The Simple Girls. Cause you know, we don't require to be fed in fancy restaurants all the time. We get by with food from a decent place and we definitely wouldn't mind buying off from the 10HKD-per-shot lady who's selling it along the street in between the bars in Lan Kwai Fong. Just the same, we wouldn't mind receiving drinks from friends of friends who turn out to be the actual owners of one of said bars. Or we're up for it even if we'd have to buy for ourselves the 120HKD-per-shot tequila just because we can't wait for the friend/owner to arrive. See, we're chill and up for anything right!

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I will post about the rest of my HK trip last February in a couple of months. And I promise that I won't leave the blog without any post in December so, later 'gator!

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