30 March 2013

At the Eleventh Hour

Hellooooo! How's your Holy Week going so far? I'm enjoying mine as I am feasting on sumptuous Swiss meals after a long day of observing Christian traditions. Anyway, since I was able to sneak off a few minutes today, I'd like to share what I wore in the batch party that I attended last 23rd of March. My batchmates and I are looking forward to the much-awaited culmination of our college life, aka graduation, which will start commencing this term for the others while which will happen for me next year February. That is, if everything else will sail smoothly. But before we part ways, the university held ID110's last grad ball in PICC. The party was entitled APO110.
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my date for the night/ one of my few favorite persons in college/ my style sister, Lina Domingo. It's also worth mentioning that she's one of my tallest friends EVER. In my defense, she stands at 5'6 so don't bother asking me why I look like a midget standing next to her. Hahaha!

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I know, I know. The big question is, "WHY ON EARTH DID YOU NOT WEAR A BALL GOWN?"
Truth is, I wasn't prepared at all. I only knew of the event two days prior to it so there was no way that I could've demanded my mom to accompany me to go to my favorite atelier shops in the metro. I did the best that I could in looking for an alternative cocktail dress and this is what I came up with. I know I could've done better. And probably Lina was right when she said that "Of all the people I know, YOU are the one who makes formal events a big thing". Time was my enemy so I had to make do with what's available. In all honesty, even though it's a tame one, I liked what I wore. Actually, I love it. It's ruffled all over and had it become a long dress, it would've looked like a ball gown too because the bottom is flared. I love the dress and if only it's mine, I would wear it again in another important event. Yep, I just borrowed it. I borrowed it from my 4 year old cousin! Perks of being a very petite girl :)

I wasn't wearing my heels when I took these pictures because they were shot when I reached home already. For the first time in my life, my feet gave up on me!!! I've never felt as much pain as I did that night. Hmm. Maybe that only meant I enjoyed APO110 so much! In fact, I did. It was so fun bumping into the other students who have made my almost 4 year stay in DLSU memorable and bearable. Animo! (Yes, those are band aids on my toes)
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Dress: Debenhams Kids| Belt: Promod| Bag: Vivienne Westwood| Shoes: Zara| Ring: Aldo| Bracelets: H&M

Before I forget, let me just say that I'm sooo touched with all the comments that I am yet to approve. Give me until Monday to sort them out Hihi
Enjoy the rest of your Holy Week and make it count, friends!

23 March 2013

Travel Philippines: Sagada, Mountain Province

I survived

I've never found a shirt that says "I survived" more fitting than the ones sold in the souvenir shops of Sagada, Mountain Province. Although I am generally an outgoing person, the adventures that the place has in store for its tourists are not something to treat lightly. They demand so much of one's energy, endurance, determination, skills, and sheer willpower. I'm quite handy with the former requirements but willpower, well that's a different story. My willpower doesn't easily manifest itself. Subconsciously, I try to find alternative ways to meet a certain goal when affronted with tedious and challenging obstacles. But when the tide gets too tough, as in "you can cry all you want, but unless you do something about it, nothing will change" type, all I've got is to turn to myself and extract whatever willpower I have. Last thursday, I accompanied my Tito Rolly and Tita Aida to their supposed us-only trip to Sagada. But hello, when it's something that can concern me, no one can leave me behind. Hahahaha
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Manila to Baguio is approximately 6 hours. We left our car there and took the bus going to Sagada. The trip was another 6 hours.
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NOTE: If you're in Sagada, make sure you try the Lemon Pie here. They're very very very delicious! I had two slices of it every night as my dinner.

ACTIVITY 1: Spelunking in Sumaguing Cave. There are areas where big chunks of white stones were where you have to step on. They're very slippery and as expected of every caves, all the big stones were cut unevenly. Stalagmites and stalactites amused us along the way. The water inside was icy cold. You cannot go further into the cave without holding onto the stones which were covered with bat poops. You can cry all you want but unless you grab on to the bat poop, submerge yourself into the icy water, slide down the rough stones, you're not going anywhere.
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ACTIVITY 2: Catching the Sunrise in Kiltepan. We woke up at 5AM to be on time for the predicted 6 30 sunrise. I don't get cold easily so if I put on a thick jacket, that's because it's really cold. As soon as we've reached the mountain top, we were greeted by the sudden breeze. The fog was too thick creating the illusion of clouds. You'd feel that the clouds are just an arm's reach away.
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ACTIVITY 3: Trekking Bomod-ok Falls. It's very cold in Sagada since it's on top of the highest mountains in the North but at noon time, when the sun is directly shining above you, you'd still feel your skin burning. I wore an oversized sweater to defend me from the blazing heat. No matter how stupid I looked, I didn't really care as long as I'll be able to protect myself. It took an hour going down towards the majestic falls. To go up, it takes more hours. Thank goodness for the picturesque place where we're walking, at least the discomfort became bearable. Imagine walking along the rice terraces that I've always dreamed of seeing in person. You can cry all you want but unless you force your legs to climb another stairs up, you don't succumb to thirst, you brave the intense sun, you won't see the beauty that awaits you.
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ACTIVITY 4: Getting to the Hanging Coffins. The best part of this entire trip has to be this. Hands down. The way going to the coffins starts with passing by the cemetery, trekking the rain forest, and finally coming front and up close with them. When we reached the coffins, the rain poured heavily. We were trapped so we decided to wait until the sky clears up. Night time was about to dawn on us and we didn't want to take the risk of staying behind. Amidst the heavy rain, we trekked out of mountain. It was extra slippery so when I tried to reach for the big stone ahead of me to help me get up from where I was currently standing, I got dragged down by the flowing mud. I fell down straight to the puddle of mud. I was drenched in rainwater and mud yet I felt so motivated to climb up. You can cry all you want but unless you stand up from the mud where you're subjected to, you rely on yourself since the others whom you're with were also dealing with their own struggles, you don't mind the dirt and the scary feeling of the place, you will not go anywhere. The entire experience was eerie but it's an experience that I will never forget.
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As for the food, I've always been keen to try the local cuisines of any place I visit. The rice the entire Sagada is serving is either brown or red rice. It was a good thing for me since the rice served in our home has been red rice since last year. I loved the pure carrot juice and cake. And I very much liked the taste of the lemon pie and egg pie.
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This is how their bar looks like. The night wasn't ripe yet so it was just me who was in there. Notice what I'm wearing: my PJs. I've sworn never to get out of the house (or my room if I'm in a hotel) wearing my PJs but the place gives off the laid-back appeal so I braved it.
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I missed going to Baguio!!! I don't mean to offend but I personally think that the best thing to do in Baguio is to sleep. But you know those places that charm you in a certain way that you find indescribable, that's how the city affects me. I love it and I've always felt at home there for reasons that I can't put my fingers on. Here I am in front of the Viray-Peralta house with Manang Dolor who's been there eversince I can remember.
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Just when you think you've been wow-ed enough, you'd see more of Sagada. Nature is truly the best architect.


Thanks to Kim Sta. Rita for lending me her trusted shoes.
Thanks to Tita Aida and Tito Rolly for being the sweetest!!

18 March 2013

Asylum

I visited my Tito Roy in his resting place some Sundays ago. Whenever I visit my Tito Roy, I always see to it that I bring my camera along. I find the silence in the place comforting, the capaciousness soothing, and the solemnity consoling. Besides, the pictures always turn out great. Hahaha. After, I proceeded to St. Luke's hospital to visit another Tito who underwent an operation. I donned my most comfortable dress that is a combination of a make shift dress and a shoulder-padded one to help me get through the activities for the day.
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A few weeks ago, I watched Silver Linings Playbook in my friend's place. It made me laugh so much and made me think that JLaw really deserves the Best Actress awards she got the past award season. But more than the humor, my friend Kim and I came to this conclusion: everyone in the world is crazy, no exceptions. What differs is the intensity of craziness from one person to another but bottomline is, we are all suffering from some mental illness. Perhaps we're just lucky that we're undiagnosed. Let's talk about my favorite subject in the world aka ME. My thoughts are very unstable. They change rapidly and they happen without warning, without excuses, without remorse. I commit plenty of errors, most of which I try to fix but the others, I let them be. Generally, I own up to my faults. But there are a few people who make me irrational to the point that I forget all reasons and become very vengeful. Nietzsche was probably right when he said that humans are instinctive, not intellectual, creatures. When push comes to shove, we rely on our instincts - to fight back. I try to be nice but I can only take so much. Who knows if I'm just defending my shortcomings subconsciously or if I'm just trying to appear nonchalant. Whatever floats your boat, so be it :)
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Whew, wasn't that a good segue? From the lesson I've gained from the movie to the lesson I'm learning from one of my subjects this term. Oh, you don't think so? As in, you don't think there's any connection at all? Your fault, you should've widen your comprehension. Hahaha Yep, I am currently writing a paper on Nietzsche but since I can't grope for good words, I just updated the blog. Nice, right? ;)
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Dress: hand-me-down| Shoes: Zara| Bag: Fossil| Bracelets: from my friend Tintin| Ring: Aldo

"The world will break your heart ten ways to Sunday. That's guaranteed. I can't begin to explain that. Or the craziness inside myself and everyone else. But guess what? Sunday's my favorite day again. I think of what everyone did for me, and I feel like a very lucky guy."

11 March 2013

Old Soul

In the few times that I was asked if I would rather live 50 years ago or 50 years in the future, I never gave a black or white answer. Truth is, I'm not one to ponder on something that is beyond my reach or the confines of my reality. Yes, I am a dreamer and a grandiose one at that but all my dreams have a scintilla of possibility, at least. Anything that I cannot foresee, I let go. But of course, I am susceptible to further prodding. So if you'd really ask me nonstop to choose just one, I'd probably say "For a day, only for a day, I'd rather be in the past". Our past has a certain charm that never fails to intrigue me. 

My Tita Aida arrived in the country the morning of the 7th. She shares the same birthday with her older brother who happens to be my dad. For their joint birthday dinner, we chose to dine in La Cocina de Tita Moning. The mansion turned restaurant-museum serves a 7 course Spanish-Filipino meal and the experience of seeing how Manila is like in the late 1930s. I guess we can be considered a family of foodies as we try to sample all the best culinary places in the metro but our love of trying new dishes doesn't stop there. We're after the total experience which can be associated with the ambiance and the presentation of the table wares and the food themselves. Extra bonus, of course, for the personal touch. In all the aforementioned criteria, I am giving La Cocina a perfect 5 star. Try it, you would get your money's worth :)

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Since I know the place is calling for a vintage vibe, I threw on the most vintage blazer I can find in my closet. Tadaaaa! Here's my green blazer which I inherited from my great grandmom. She wore it around whatelse but during the 1930s too.
Blazer: from my great grandmom| White lace romper: Zara| Necklace: H&M| Belt: Mango| Bag: Michael Kors| Shoes: Zara

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table set-up for the night
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top: mirror shot taken as soon as I've reached the second floor of the mansion
down: the huge painting of the girl behind me is by Felix Hidalgo and he entitled it "La Inocencia"
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radio room
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Left: I am standing beside a real cadaver. Moomoo!, Right: in front of the house
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living room
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birthday celebrants of the night: my dad and my Tita Aida, and their cakes
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Clockwise: hallway leading to the library, my ultimate dream of using a bell to call on for help (Ate Lea! Ate Lea! Hahahaha), stairs, inside the clinic
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the owner used to hold his clinic inside the mansion, the skeleton hanging is the actual cadaver used while the owner was studying in medical school
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who wouldn't want to have tea if your teapots and cups are made of gold, right?
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I wasn't able to take photos of the entire 7-course meal. There are other set menus to choose from, should you want to experience it too.
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dressing room
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Cultural dining at its best, don't you agree? :)
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