Because X is the New Why*

>> Sunday, October 31, 2010

*Title borrowed from New Slang: Because X is the New Why.

Once in a while, there is a song, a book, a pair of shoes, a movie, a poem, or a website that grasps you in the hand, in the neck and grips you, comes up to you so sneakily, it's impossible to just be nonchalant and disregard it, nor walk away. It kind of creeps behind your back and before you know it, you're into deep and you just have no way to get out of it, even if you try.

Such is the instance with me and my affair with a website, so unpretentious and so humble, it took me, an internet supertramp with ADD, a while to discover. It was then during that one day I was actually on Twitter that I saw Carina's tweet, followed the link and I felt like Alice falling down the rabbit hole.

And I landed with a big, painful thud, too:

The last thing I want to hear
is a vague catch all with an accompanying
sweep of your arm
a poor excuse for a non-
relationship or an empty phrase
such as “We just are.”
What is that, really?
I am asking for a name,
a label on a jar so I can tell
whether I’m sitting on the shelf
or I should hide under the table.
Definition by Carmela Guanzon Lapena

I can't quite figure out what, or why it had felt like that {but maybe if you knew me IRL, you'd be able to point out}. All I know is, I never close my New Slang tab ever since, and aspired to become one of them, too. {Now that I've said that, do watch out because one of my essays is going online in that little treasure chest.}

If like me, you have this chronic need to tell your story, either in painstaking detail or cryptic fashion, email un-published essays to

Jacques Andre Istel, a Frenchman from California, took this plot of land and named it "Felicity: The Official Center of the World" in honor of his wife. Delusion breeds grand romantic gestures. So what can you find in Felicity? A pyramid, a church, a spiral stairway to nowhere, and this nifty bronze hand pointing at the pyramid. Sweet!

Too lazy to dwell on a theme? You betcha! Also vacations, evolution, money, deadlines, typhoons, Jesse Eisenberg vs Michael Cera, metaphysics, Buddy vs Sol, counter culture, partying, ex-boy/girlfriends, candy, urban legends, "Is Intelligent Design feasible?", famous last words, fashion, music, everything under the sun, and the sun. Write about it! Freebird!

Before we wrap up a wonderful year (because everyone knows that we have to save the December issue for Christmas), we are bringing you: The Book of Everything; a repository for work that you were supposed to submit for previous themes, but then you somehow missed the deadline, or work you just want to submit because you are awesome. Like everything.

Except for poetry. We won't take that because we don't know how to edit it.

X is the New Why. Touche.  


Things I Love Saturdays

>> Saturday, October 30, 2010

I needed a win and you, you gave it to me, TWICE. I have never doubted and I never have a reason to. :)

Sleep. Lots and lots of sleep. Twister fries and sundaes.
Pablo Neruda and rediscovering Il Postino:

If You Forget Me by Pablo Neruda, read by Madonna

If suddenly
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.

{Photo source: Mrs. Askmewhats}
And yes, we're perfect. {This is an inside joke, BTW.}

The power of a really fun scent.Of red lipstick. Of skyhigh heels.
Being the first and last exception. Handwritten letters from the other side of the world.
My new, hot pink camera. The Missing Piece.

Pineapple orange bread my mother baked for me. I seriously cried like a baby
when I started eating this. It feels so foreign, you know, having your mom bake you
something. I miss that feeling way too much.

Gin Blossoms in Manila tickets <3

Rachel Weisz as Sue Lynne in My Blueberry Nights

Reverse fan girl moments <3

What are you loving today?


I am SJP's NYC

>> Friday, October 29, 2010

If I were to be asked what perfume I was.

The bottle is undoubtedly inspired by the frocks Patricia Field makes Carrie don.

It's not really because I have always been in love with SJP's Carrie Bradshaw, it's not because I relate to Carrie's quandaries in life, too much, really, to the love for shoes {erm, no, not Manolos, not yet}, to the flamboyant outfits, to the curls {why else would I stick to this hair}, or the love for books, and old love letters. It's not even the fickle-mindedness, nor the occasional trip on the ramp. Nevermind that my cure for the blues is a session with my SATC DVDs {I even own the movie DVDs, too} or the Kiss and Tell book. It's just that, well, when I sprayed it on, it felt like it was me. It didn't feel like my ex signature scent {Burberry Brit Sheer and Marc Jacobs Daisy, things I spray when I'm ambisyosa to smell mahinhin}. It felt ME and it felt great.

My mother has always asked me if I wanted anything from SJP's merchandise {from her clothes to her first fragrances} and somehow I never found myself wanting anything from her collections --- until I saw this promos for NYC, screaming in pink, florals and a touch of zebra, too. Without even thinking twice, I ordered it from and in a matter of two days, it reached my mother's US address, and soon enough it was on my hands.

Sarah Jessica Parker SJP NYC was developed by perfumer Honorine Blanc; the notes include mandarin, white osmanthus, strawberry, gardenia, honeysuckle, mimosa, rose, sandalwood, vanilla absolute, rum flavor and creamy musks. It is available in 15 ($25), 30 ($35) and 60 ($49) ml Eau de Toilette.

Generally, SJP's NYC is more strawberry-based than anything, and all the other notes in it smelled like an explosion fruits and flowers. It dries up nicely to a more musky than citrus scent, which is refreshing, considering I've always thought I'm a citrusy girl. SJP NYC, to put it bluntly, translates to girly, youthful fun. I have a habit of forming descriptions for perfumes as I perceive them. Little bit of trivia: I associate perfumes with people, too. If we've been friends for a considerable amount of time already, I have a way of identifying you by scent. Oh gosh, is that creepy?

Going back, exposing myself with a lot of perfumes over the years, I have learned to associate each of them {scents I have used through the years} with descriptions in my head, some of which are:
  • Burberry Brit Sheer - {age during use: early 20s} mahinhin, reserved girly girl, someone who looks up to Audrey Hepburn, someone I'd like to be, but isn't =P
  • Burberry Weekend - {age during use: early 20s} no nonsense woman, the good kind of bitchy, almost obsessed with details
  • Elizabeth Arden Sunflowers - {age during use: 18 onwards} sunshiney, always positive, always happy
  • Liz Claiborne Bora Bora - {age during use: 15 onwards} smells like lola spirit
  • Clinique Happy - {age during use: 12 onwards}this has been my signature scent back in sixth grade and I associate it with fun times, first crushes and lots and lots of giggling.
  • Clinique Happy Heart - {age during use: college days and a little during my early 20s}I remember when I first fell in love {of course, back then I thought it was truly falling in love}, romantic days, love letters and sweet text messages.
  • L de Lolita de Lempicka - {age during use: 23} fierce, tough, free-spirited, artistic and not a care in the world. Oh and I've been told I smelled like chocolate with this, too. Unfortunately, I have bad memories with this, too, that I don't use it anymore.
  • Gap Dream - {age during use: 13 till 18}this is the perfect "I'm a teenager" scent, IMO. Clean, light, and whimsical and not to forget, unisex.
  • Clean Baby Girl - {age during use: 23} just like how the name sounds, it smells clean, like a baby and very, very mahinhin girly
  • Marc Jacobs Daisy -{age during use: present} the scent reminds me of baby powder, mixed with floral notes, like a very soft spoken, feminine, can't-break-a-glass girl. Again, my ambisyon.
Now that I finally have met my fragrance soulmate, I can't help but grasp for the words to describe the whole "sniffing" experience. Incidentally, most of the adjectives I could think of start with the letter F.: fun, flamboyant, frivolous, flirty, frilly, fresh, fabulous. If I were to describe myself from outside looking in, that would be what I'd see. Of course there'd be not-so-good things, but who wants that in a scent, right?

After much stalking,  I saw that there had been a blogger event for SJP NYC's launch and I'm dying of envy:

 The Blogger Brunch venue

The Sweetie Pie restaurant <3

My signature color <3

The SJP NYC dress is pure <3, too.

Blogger and beauty editor Andrea Lavinthal is a deadringer for SJP.

Dear SJP, hope to meet you soon. Love, Fan Girl

SJP's NYC is (I think) not yet available at Rustan's or malls but they sure are available online at sites like at $49 (60 mL).

*All photos, except those with my watermark are from the SJP Fragrances Facebook page.

Have you found your fragrance doppelganger yet?
Share with me, please?



>> Thursday, October 28, 2010

And truly, it was all gold everywhere.

Hostess of the mostess, Tessa Prieto-Valdes and Ponds Senior Brand Manager
Jacqe Yuengtian
{right}and dermatologist from Ponds {left}

Even the invite is gold <3 and the Aranaz peacock clutch is <3 <3 <3

I still have not much words, {wearing 4 in. heels for the whole of Tuesday must've accidentally killed my brain cells} more like photos from last Tuesday's Philippine Fashion Week opening, hosted by Ponds, at SMX. As if the fashion scene can't become any bigger, four of most radiant designers have come {Dennis Lustico, JC Buendia, Jun Escario and Rajo Laurel} together, with their gold goods, as their muses {equally huge names, too} parade around in their collections. I haven't been to many PFW shows but this one was especially delightful since every designer had something to say about his muse, and vice versa, some sort of a backgrounder to their relationship.

Here are some favorites:

Joey Mead in Jun Escario

Marina Benipayo in Jun Escario

 P's girl crush Mika Lagdameo in Rajo Laurel
{in the background is my girl crush, Preview Fashion Editor Daryl Chang}

Amina Aranaz in Rajo Laurel{this is, by the way, my favorite-st of all}

Divine Lee in Rajo Laurel

 Tweetie de Leon - Gonzales, Ponds Gold spokesperson, in Rajo Laurel

 The entire Rajo Laurel collection for Ponds Gold Radiance

The obligatory wall shot. *must wait from photos from Nikki and Phoebe*

Mrs. Askmewhats and Me and our identical dresses :)
Dress: Cole Vintage
Shoes: SM

Are you going to any of the PFW shows?
And do you have any favorites from this collection, too?

*Thanks to Ponds, Nuffnang and Visions Express for the invite.

Love, sunshine and gold fairy dust,


Conversations with Mama #2

>> Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Me: Have you ever gone through quarter life crisis?
Mama: Yeah, but I hardly noticed. Why do you ask?
Me: Because I think I'm going through it now.
Mama: You've been in a crisis all your life, anak.
Me: WHAT?! Not just in my twenties?
Mama: Oh no. Lagi mong hindi alam gustong gawin sa buhay mo eh. You are always in a rush.
Me: Ganon?
Mama: Yes.
Me: I've always thought that was normal.
Mama: You were never meant to be normal. You were never meant to blend in.
Me: Oh my gosh, I'm going to start sobbing right now.
Mama: Ang drama mo talaga kahit kelan.

 Wisdom from Skype.

Incidentally, this is what God has to say, too:

Love, love and more love,


Twenty Four Awesome Things for Twenty Four Awesome Years

>> Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I hit the quarter mark of my life in twenty days and somehow, it all feels like these all at the same time:

  • exciting
  • blah
  • scary
  • whatever that feeling is that makes me blush
Truly, the twenties is an amazing phase, having almost completed half of it feels like an considerably mind-blowing feat, sad to have passed by it, excited to tackle the next five years. When I was young, I have always dreamed of living in this age bracket. I have always wanted to be free to do everything I want, to fly anywhere I wanted to, to drink as much as I can, to come home at a time I deemed acceptable, all those while having finished the necessary schooling years. Now that I'm in it, I realize that I have been living my seven year old self's dream, if not better. Life doesn't fail to deliver anyways. Many times, I wish it could be better but looking back, I am eternally grateful that I've been given the opportunities to live my life, the way my heart had called for.

And so, in honor of the twenty four years that I've already been here on this earth, I'd like to list down twenty four awesome things I have made and accomplished, if only to remind myself that the twenty fifth needs to be in the same level of awesomeness if not more, because to be lesser would be an insult.

In no particular order, I have:

  1. Walked away from a job that paid well but drained the living lights out of me and found a career that defined love, so much so that money was never an issue.
  2. Dipped my toes on scuba diving and got to discover a different world under the sea. Would've been nice to meet Little Mermaid, too but maybe next time.
  3. Fulfilled my 2010 wish of sitting on oldschool desk chairs and going back to school, albeit shortly.
  4. Traveled to South America, explored Mexican cities on my own {on a 12 hour layover} and came back a different part of the river.
  5. Bought a car with my own money and in cash with no concept of how to bring it back home, having no driving skills at that time.
  6. Ended a relationship, albeit after months of deciding on it because it wasn't good for me, or for anyone, anymore.
  7. Got published in the biggest and most widely read newspaper in the country thrice, as well as in a magazine I believe in.
  8. Made friends on my second job, not knowing that people, despite being already in their twenties are still capable of making authentic, real friends you know you'd trade sleep for some nights.
  9. Climbed a mountain and braved the rapids of Bacolod, Liliw and Cagayan de Oro, respectively.
  10. Admitted to a guy who I wasn't sure if he liked me, that I liked him, too, and if he could please stay.
  11. Took a stab at investing instead of waiting for my business genes to come and I am proud to say that I can retire if I want to. But I wouldn't {Mother, please do not panic.}.
  12. Quit smoking for three weeks, got back into the habit and is now trying to live nicotine-free.
  13. Visited underrated tourist spots in the country and frowned at how they are, indeed, underrated. Maybe it's best for them to be, else they get appallingly commercial, too.
  14. Ran and many other things, for good causes.
  15. Heeded the call of independence and moved out from the familial residence and out of the parental dime before I've been 20.
  16. Conquered my great fear of roadtripping and vowed to do more of it in the future.
  17. Conquered some parts of Asia with my bestfriend and then with my friends from work, then SG by January.
  18. Lived through heartbreak after heartbreak, and even though at some point, I feel like I did some really stupid things {like break someone else's heart}, I think I have emerged a better woman because of it all.
  19. Bought my mother a piece of real jewelry.
  20. Been on a billboard {in Chinatown, too}, on the newspaper and flyers.
  21. Been a good daughter and allowed my mother to find her happiness. Without me. At 17.
  22.  I've finally learned to forgive myself, and to not apologize for who I am and is becoming less and less self-deprecating.
  23. Won an editorial contest and got sent to the southern part of the country to represent the region, got offered a journalism scholarship but turned it down to follow and find out what my heart wanted.
  24. Drafted my life's plan for my twenty fifth year and keeping myself all hopes that I'll have a blast on my silver year.

 To everyone who has made my twenty four years awesome, I will forever be grateful to you. Cheers to more awesome years. <3

This post is inspired by this.
As for the photo, no copyright infringement intended.

Love, peace of mind and natural highs,


Things I Love Sundays

>> Monday, October 25, 2010

Long weekends. Long, lazy weekends.
Curling {cuddling} up in the corner of my bed and reading a good book.

Notes from bosses who knows what to do when someone from
their team wants to run around screaming.

Hi Tara,

Just a note. I know how much stress this project has brought you and I am also aware that this is a “stretch objective” in as much as it is really a multi-dependency type of deliverable. Don’t let the hurdles defeat or demotivate you but always use each challenge as an opportunity to learn and improve. There will be many more projects in the future so consider this an immersion and am sure all the little hitches will remind you to avoid them next time…so it’s really a learning experience =) For now, konting tiis nalang and a little bit more push… and we’re almost there. Just a short note to lift you up =) 

Thanks for seeing this through vigorously despite all the challenges, Tarajing. Dahil dyan may pasalubong ka.

This new kick ass app at iTunes called Instagram.

That's my dresser {which I finally organized!}.
Photo taken using an iPhone through Instagram

Frozen yogurt and girlfriends <3 {and Thai food, too!}

Red Mango Green Tea yogurt with Honeydew

My Blueberry Nights, because merely listening to Jude Law {playing
an emphatic cafe owner, Jeremy}and his accent is worth the watch, among other things.

Armie Hammer as Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss on The Social Network.

I die of visual fixation.

Purederm's Hydro Pure Gel
I used this on Sunday night, had immediate results {hydration can really work wonders}
and when I woke up, I had even softer skin! I like the fact that it does a lot to
my parched skin and it smells a little like Elizabeth Arden's Green Tea. I really wish
I had more time everyday, I would have injected this to my daily skincare regimen.

New sheets, handwritten letters, football jerseys and laughable questions.

My favorite bookstore called again. It's here!

Overseas telebabad sessions with Champ. Reading out loud over desserts.

Dress Shopping! <3
What do you think did I end up buying?
{left: CCI, middle and rightmost dress, from Cole Vintage}

PH Care wipes. Because we all need a pack. All the time.
Ooh, and it's minty, too.

Yankee Candles <3 Makes the mood even better when I'm reading or blogging
but my favorite scent would have to be Christmas Berries <3

*Images of Armie Hammer and the Yankee candle are not owned by me. No copyright infringement intended.

What are you loving today?


Into the Wild

>> Sunday, October 24, 2010

“Make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances & yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, & conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, & hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new & different sun. If you want to get more out of life, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security & adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning & its incredible beauty.”

—Alexander Supertramp / Christopher McCandless, Into the Wild.

The quote above, unlike the first time I ever posted it here in this blog, is not a mere complimentary quote of what I had been aching to say the past few weeks. During a send off dinner with my former boss and colleagues, we had asked each other what our top of mind favorite book was. I had thought then, that maybe it was the minute milliliters of alcohol in my system that forbid me to jog my memory farther than I could, as I could only come up with Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild, a suspense, non-fiction book I've picked up ordered online after stumbling upon the quote above, two genres I've never quite ventured into before as much as I do with anything non-suspense and fiction. The quote appears to have been uttered by someone crazy --- but then, I had no idea how crazy, Christopher McCandless, until I finished the book.

In the early pages of the book, McCandless' letter of help was quoted, and from then, a cold tingle race up my spine every single time I pick this book up:

SOS. I need your help. I am injured, near death and too weak to hike out of here. I am all alone, this is no joke. In the name of God, please remain to save me. I am out collecting berries close by and shall return this evening. Thank you.

Chris McCandless, August?

Into the Wild is Jon Krakauer's account of how young Emory University graduate Chris McCandless' packed his bags, gave away his savings to a charity, abandoned his car and his possessions in search of the wild --- and then turning up dead inside a trailer bus, found by moose hunters in Alaska. For those paragraphs alone, I have spent weeknights with my heart beating against my ribcage. It's amazing why even though I knew the protagonist ends up dead by the end of the book and yet, you wait and read with bated breath because every single revelation serves as a hint to many things: why Chris ventured into a great Alaskan odyssey, what / where / how he died, why he chose to put up a wall between him and his family, the logic behind changing his name to Alexander Supertramp and the people who have influenced him a great deal, one of which I'd like to express sadness over is Jack London, author of the novel The Call of the Wild, whose famous words, below, were among the biggest inspirations of Chris in setting out to venture into the wild that is Alaska.

"The dominant primordial beast was strong in Buck, and under the fierce conditions of trail life it grew and grew. Yet it was a secret growth. His newborn cunning gave him poise and control."

- Call of the Wild, Jack London

The author further laments, "London's fervent condemnation of capitalist society, his glorification of the primordial world, his championing of the great unwashed --- all of it mirrored McCandless' passions. Mesmerized by London's turgid portrayal of life in Alaska, and the Yukon, McCandless read and reread The Call of the Wild, White Fang, To Build a Fire, An Odyssey of the North and The Wit of Porportuk. He was so enthralled by these tales however, that he seemed to forget that they were works of fiction, constructions of the imagination that had more to do with London's romantic sensibilities than with the actualities of life in the subarctic wilderness. McCandless conveniently overlooked the fact that London himself had spent just a single winter in the North and that he'd died by his own hand on his California estate at the age of forty, a fatuous drunk, obese and pathetic, maintaining a sedentary existence that bore scant resemblance to the ideals he espoused in print." In the span of ten seconds, everything that I had hoped, envisioned if Chris McCandless lived to tell tale flashed in my mind, if only he has not imbibed the intricately-woven fiction of Jack London, and they all came crashing to me because it's hard not to ingest the wisdom you glean from a piece of literature, not when the authors, as one reader would always presume, mirrors themselves into their work. And for Chris, who mirrored a supposedly mirror of Jack London's life, had cost him his life.

McCandless as a character is an awful lot of fascination inducement. Krakauer reveals his character, as someone who was a smartypants in school, albeit anti social at times, but highly idealistic and acting upon them. However positive, McCandless has shown immense affected-ness for what his family has turned out to be, an aversion to how at some years of his life, his family history seemed to have been made up of lies, and inadvertent deception but that doesn't color my opinion of his. In the course of reading, I have gleaned that Chris was indeed a man of principles and his kindness amongst the characters he had encountered {Ronald Franz, amongst others, wanted to adopt him as his own} have illuminated a person who lived by good morals and sociable skills, had he chosen to show it.

If this adventure proves fatal and you don't ever hear from me again I want you to know that you're a great man. I now walk into the wild.

- Chris McCandless to Wayne Westerberg, his final postcard sent

The real Christopher McCandless aka Alexander Supertramp

He's got game {referring to animals caught for dinner}!

The photo on the book's second page of a happy Chris still
haunts me to this day.

During the time that Krakauer had released the original article about Chris on Outsider Magazine, letters have poured in, saying what a fool McCandless have been, ignoring Boy Scouts' rule #1 of being prepared. It was then at that time that Krakauer was propelled to retract the history of Chris and his great Alaskan odyssey. It is in this part that I fall in and over myself. I am always in awe at how fiction writers tend to have the inimitable skill to put their experiences and thoughts into words; into paper. Surely, Krakauer saw himself in McCandless, once and maybe countless times, having climbed the Stikine Ice Cap alone, and Mt. Everest {a book I need to find ASAP, too} but that is where the similarities end. Through this expeditions, explorations of the uninhabited, Krakauer lives to tell his tale -- and some others, too. His book is a living testament of his ability to piece together a piece of history of which he did not partake in, dedicating a year of his life building evidences: postcards from people whose lives were touched by Chris, Chris' journal entries, his photos, his highlighted passages in the books found on the bus, the McCandless family, who may have to deal with the tragedy much worse in recount of every detail that was their loved one. Krakauer showed deep research in describing painstakingly in detail all of the trails that Chris had taken, where he left his car, or what was left of and in it. How he had taken a brief stint as a McDonalds' crew, living in his car, or in the streets and shaving at the fastfood bathroom. He had a picturesque chapter of Chris' and Carine's {the subject's sister} relationship and how crazy Chris was over their dog, Buckley {in true Jack London fashion}. These were the one of the many attributes that contributed to the epic tragedy in the span of four months that McCandless had been tramping from Fairbanks, AK. Even if Krakauer has shown deep fascination with McCandless' character, he did not fail to show the other side of the coin, to help the reader discern whether his foray into the Alaskan wild was an act of folly or novelty. If Chris was looking down from heaven, he would be smiling at Jon Krakauer.

Two years he walks the earth. No phone, no pool, no pets, no cigarettes. Ultimate freedom. An extremist. An aesthetic voyager whose home is the road. Escaped from Atlanta. Thou shalt not return, 'cause "the West is the best." And now after two rambling years comes the final and greatest adventure. The climactic battle to kill the false being within and victoriously conclude the spiritual pilgrimage. Ten days and nights of freight trains and hitchhiking bring him to the Great White North. No longer to be poisoned by civilization he flees, and walks alone upon the land to become lost in the wild.
- Alexander Supertramp May 1992

One doesn't need to have an appreciation for the great outdoors {if there was, this post would not exist}but the book strikes so many chords --- exploring, injecting change into one's life, getting out of comfort zones, getting out of parents' dimes, touching people's lives and letting oneself be touched, inhaling the sweet scent of nature. It poses so many threatening circumstances --- being trapped in a place where grizzlies could come eat you alive, come charging at you and eat your head, where no food can be gathered for months, where it's cold and every appendage could come off your body. The book was a rollercoaster of lofty dreams, and subsequently a slam in the wall we call reality but more importantly, it was a testament of how sometimes, dreams and acting on them could mean your end, but it's inevitable to dream and to go where the bold never dared to go. Krakauer explains and couldn't have said it better:

It is hardly unusual for a young man to be drawn to a pursuit considered reckless by his elders; engaging in risky behavior is a rite of passage in our culture no less in most others. Danger has always held a certain allure. That, in a large part, is why so many teenagers drink too much and take too many drugs, why it has always been so easy for nations to recruit young men to go to war.
The ending crept up to me like a sucker punch unwarranted, for when I thought I already thought I knew what was to happen, I was in for a surprise. The poignant ending that involved a helicopter and the McCandless family was yet another what we call an emotional blackmail, that while it was hard to stomach, became apt and fitting. The best, at the same time, worst part of it was that it happened in real life.

It's been two weeks since I have uttered this book / author as my favorite and till now it still remains up there. It's true when they say that you find people, places, roles in movies that are the anti-thesis of you and yet you find yourself consumed and in rapture. This is my anti-thesis and I have fallen madly in love.

The book has been published in 1995 and I doubt if there are any copies lying around Book Sale or even my favorite bookstore, but a movie came out in 2007, directed by Sean Penn. Friends who have caught this said it's an amazing movie. I've yet to see Emile Hirsch's Chris McCandless.

Still, the last sad memory hovers round, and sometimes drifts across like floating mist, cutting off sunshine and chilling the remembrance of happier times. There have been joys too great to be described in words, and there have been griefs upon which I have not dared to dwell; and with these in mind I say: Climb if you will but remember that courage and strength are nought without prudence, and that momentary negligence may destroy the happiness of a lifetime. Do nothing in haste; look well to each step; and from the beginning, think what may be the end.
Edward Whymper, Scrambles Amongst the Alps

*All images, except the first one, are not owned by me. No copyright infringement intended.

What about you? What's your anti thesis?


Do What You Gotta Do

>> Saturday, October 23, 2010

“Make a radical change in your lifestyle & begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances & yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, & conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, & hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new & different sun. If you want to get more out of life, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security & adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning & its incredible beauty.” — Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild.

It’s the year 2010 and you still don’t know what you want or what you want to do.
It was one of those afternoons and I was on YM with a friend from the other side of the world. We were gabbing about you know, what browsers we use and why breakfast is the best meal in the world, the usual stuff, when it hit me. It really isn’t about what you do, if it’s in or not. It’s how much you want it.

Is it to write novels? Make clothes?
You see, the greatest change can only come to the people who are deeply passionate for what they do, both for self and work. If you do want to have the change you’ve been dreaming of, it’s time you get off that chair and consciously and deliberately act out your plans.

You dream of being a freelance writer, a TV star, a modern jazz dancer, or a rockstar, and yet, you choose to slave away in that thing you do, and remain to be a daydreamer. If you’re looking for the reason why you hate waking up in the mornings, or why you can’t wait to dash out into the door the moment the clock ticks 5:00, then this is for you.

How do you jumpstart your most fabulous life doing what you really want?

1. Find out what your passion is. For sure there were many moments when you’ve daydreamed, since the beginning of time, some sequence with you and your dream job involved. Was it one with you on the red carpet as an actress? Did it include you cooking up some amazing dish for a five-star hotel? It could be something you’ve talked about millions of times. Dig, and thou shall find.
2. Find out what your strengths are. If you’ve been told by your boss that your Photoshop skills are rad, or if your girlfriend says you have an amazing knack for fixing electronics, don’t let it just be another compliment. Unconsciously, you may be doing very well on what you like to do and that may just be the universe telling you that this was what you were meant to do.

Cristina (Scarlett Johansson of Vicky Cristina Barcelona) didn't know
what she wanted either, but her talents told her

3.What’s your value? Finding the intersection between what you’re good at and how much people are willing to pay you for is tough. If you can’t find a way to get paid to do what you love, the other stuff doesn’t really matter. As my friend J always tells me, you have to be more assertive when it comes to pricing your outputs.
4. Commit. The biggest mistake we make after dreaming is forgetting (or maybe deliberately forgetting) to commit to it to makes sure it happens. Mindsets such as “I don’t know…” or “Maybe someday” ruin the whole purpose of you wanting to be something and won’t lead you to your passions.

5. Let go. There is merit in learning --- as well as un-learning. Let go of old patterns, bad habits (you know you do know which ones) and myths such as “It ain’t work if it’s fun.” It’s not at all easy, but it’s worth it.

6. What will you give up? There is only 24 hours in a day and while thinking you want to be productive does not exactly translate to actually being productive, it’s best that you prioritize your passions and work toward each one at a time. Do you absolutely think that going out each night adds to your value? Think again.

7. Say yes to yourself. As soon as you’re decided to become a teacher/coach/painter/astronaut/mathematician, give yourself the license to call yourself such even if you’re still on your way to fulfilling it. If there is one thing we haven’t been accustomed to is that we never really own something. So own your passion completely and unreservedly then see yourself nearer and nearer to it.

No one holds the key other than you.Source

Of course, there is more to the journey towards what you love doing than these steps. However, it is usually the first step that’s the hardest but a clear mind and lots of commitment help. As they say, there is nothing you can’t get if you want it that bad.

*Image copyrights belong to respective owners. No copyright infringement intended.


I Need to Amp up my Skincare Regimen

Because, faux humility / fishing for compliments aside, I really look dull.

While the main culprit really is my faulty lifestyle, I am more than ever, convinced to pay more attention to my skincare regimen. As vain as I would like to think I am, I have not really paid so much attention {and investment} to my skin. When I was younger {like ten years ago}, I was so hell bent on getting clear skin and eliminating teenage acne that I wreaked havoc to my super young skin, having exposed it to a barrage of dermatologists and treatments but I guess, the elusive poreless, super soft and super smooth skin just wasn't for me.

Since then, I've decided that I'll just stick to things that don't fire up my acne triggers and so far so good. Until today, when I've been looking at my recent photos from bloggers I've been spending time with these days. Despite my efforts to try to look radiant {making daya with make up ha ha}, I look dull and my skin is really blah. Really, really. I have a very basic skincare regimen, though I only use Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Serum occasionally since most nights I'm dead tired to add another step, my lifestyle is the utmost culprit {Case in point: I'm typing this at 4:36 AM on a Saturday morning, after I've taken a puff of MLs}.

Source. Miss Kikay Corner and Me at M Cafe, Greenbelt Cafe

Me and Miss Gee and her Pink Nouveau  lips{Source}

The BFF and I {Can we please set date night already??? :)}

{That, and I need to find a lipstick that will distract me from my blah skintone.}

Aside from the pictures, why my mind has been constantly plugged into skincare is because on that day that the photos were taken, I've attended two events: one for L'oreal and one for Obagi. Both events were informative, I ended up mentally noting I had to earn more money to support my cause of better and more radiant skin. Now that I'm about less than a month away from turning 25, I have to be more careful of the things I eat, inhale, with my lifestyle and start veering away from my sedentary lifestyle.

That, and I have to start doing something with my skin. On the photos, it looks like there isn't much of a problem with it. In real life, it's extremely dull and I have a couple of bumps and red spots here and there. It's not pretty :{

I've heard of Obagi from frequenting sites such as and from reading magazines that share how effective {and expensive} this skincare treatment system is. Plus, a dear friend has undergone the expertise of the Obagi products, too. I have always been convinced, but since it was expensive, and can only be purchased through an accredited dermatologist, I've put it in the backburner for a while.

And so, as a resolution, I'll be carefully evaluating the following products so I can achieve beautiful, radiant skin {who doesn't want that, right?}. And as always, I'll be chronicling my experiences here.

Project: Hello, Beautiful Skin
Subject: Me, of course. I'm my own guinea pig

Obagi Exfoderm Line {and maybe a treatment, who knows?}

L'oreal White Perfect

Ponds Gold Radiance 

I'm terribly excited with all these skincare stuff I'm about to experiment with but at the same time, scared, too but what the heck, we only live once! And in this lifetime, I want healthy and beautiful skin.

Anybody tried any of these stuff above?

Love, love and more love,


Charmed! With the New Charm Luxe Kabuki

>> Thursday, October 21, 2010

My biggest qualm about replacing sponge and puffs with brushes is that they tend to be really bulky. Back in the days when I still had the luxury of time to shake my booty at the most happening clubs in the metro, I had a teeny weensy handbag with my MAC Studio Fix compact and my Venus and Mars large brush. I didn't really have any room for anything more, save for keys, a wad of money, my phone and a pack of oil blotters and an occasional lipstick. Most brushes, as I am sure you can relate to, has that tendency to hoard your bag's space.

 The Charm Luxe Mini Kabuki Brush on my office table
{notice the ashtray which I use as a caddy for USBs and my mirror, of course}

The baby brush comes with a pouch, too. And it's WASHABLE!

And while I still do love my V & M brush to this day, I don't like the fact that it's so hard to fit it into some of my evening bags. Everyday is not a problem, I have a big-ass bag I lug around and I can carry five of them if I had to. But for night time, and for dates, we all need a little baby brush to tote around. Cuteness mandatory.

Charm's Luxe Kabuki Brush is a heaven-sent.

This is the even more travel-friendly and space-saving version of the Charm Luxe Kabuki Brush, which is perfect inside your clutch bag, or any smaller bag! You never have to skip bringing retouch tools, as the Charm Mini Kabuki Brush, is small, but terrible. It might be small, but it is dense enough to pack on foundation, blush, and finishing powder! You never have to struggle for space with this little wonder!
I got the baby brush on a Monday night and after careful but thorough washing, I finally got to use it on Wednesday, during my rush morning routine. What I noticed, without intending to, is that it was so dense, it took more than one night to dry it off.

Now, on to the good and the bad.

The Good:
  • Like a good soldier, the Charm Mini Kabuki Brush delivers where we need it the most. Every makeup aficionado knows that one of the philosophies of good makeup is having a stable and even base. The entire face is our canvass and thus, an even application of foundation {mineral or otherwise} is an important feature of a brush. Glad this does that. Otherwise, what's the point?
  • Density, as I've mentioned above is a noticeable characteristic of this brush. The brush is so packed it took more than one night to dry it off completely. As it is dense, it packs just enough powder to deposit on the face and it's good that it feels like there is no product wastage.
  • No shedding. Washed this pretty vigorously {OC much?} and I'm wonderfully surprised I did not see any white/pink strands on my green lababo. 
  • The super short handle gives me full control of the foundation application, thus giving justice to the brush's density.
  • IT'S PINK. Need I say more? Though of course, some people don't like their brushes' hair pink nor white so that may be bad for some.
  • It goes onto my face really softly
  • It's so tiny I don't have to bring my big brush anymore. YAY! More space on my already super sikip makeup bag. Funnily, I have quite big long fingers but the baby version {there's a mommy version} fits quite snugly into them when applying my makeup.
  • The pouch solves the problem of where to store the brush inside my bag. I like it that it has its individual pouch that I can wash every time baby brush goes to cleaning.
  • I can fit in little jars of mineral makeup for night outs. Except that I don't go out at night as much as I used to. Still.
  • Price at Php 300 is very reasonable. Oh and it's available online, too! 
  • The hair is made of synthetic material, the foundation {and blush} will not color the bristles permanently.
The Bad:
  • I wish I had it sooner.
And just to show my foundation application for the day, here's a different FOTD {because I snapped away and read a very nakakataranta email at the same time, hence the face.}

Eyes: Maybelline e/s
Mascara: Maybelline Cat Eyes Mascara

Blush: NARS Oasis

Lipstick: NYX Rose

Overall Comments:
  • The Mini Kabuki Brush is one that's limited to owner's use, I can't imagine using this on any one of my random makeup gigs, which is fine because the only person I care the most applying foundation is of course, in true narcissistic fashion, myself. If you need a brush for yourself, anywhere, this is what you'll be needing.
  • I've always meant to get this and now that I have it, I really don't know what took so long. Thanks again, Sophie!
  • I'm kind of scared the aluminum handle would turn wonky or rusty after a lot of washes but I don't think this will happen in the next couple of years, except if it gets run over by a ten wheeler truck, which I promise not to let happen. Plus, I wouldn't really have it any other way because plastic would have been tacky.
  • If you're not iffy using the same brush for a blush brush, this little baby can do that, too!
  • This is a great makeup bag staple, especially for us girls who do not retouch eye makeup anymore, just foundation and blush and lippy. 

Hmm, I think I know what I'm getting someone for Christmas =) {that's you, C!}

Do you own any kabuki brushes? Or this one from Charm, too?
What's your experience?

*Product was given to me as a gift but everything above are all my non-influenced opinion.

Pink things and butterfly kisses,



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All I Want to Do

1. Go to NYC. 2.Create and not touch an emergency fund. 3. Tell someone I love him. 4.Cook a five-course meal and serve it to someone I love. 5. Love my imperfections but improve them, too. Read the rest here. Read the the 30th version here.
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