rhinestones

Finish Line

I’m back in Naga City to witness my brother’s graduation at Ateneo de Naga University. Everyone who knew us intimately knows why this is such a momentous occasion for our family. Despite his shortcomings (because honestly, who doesn’t have one?), my brother is the most selfless person I know; he sacrificed a lot for our family to survive–and I respect him for that. I wouldn’t be where I am today if not for his sacrifices.

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I could not recall how many times I felt depressed when things don’t go according to plan. I have this 10-year plan I drafted after finishing college–a list of things I should accomplish before I turn 30. 5 years have passed and I’ve only done about 20% of that list. Before I would often feel disappointed at myself for not being able to follow ‘the plan’, and it didn’t do me any good.

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Slowly I began to accept that life is too uncertain, it’s impossible for us to control everything. One person told me I should be thankful that at least I know what I want in life and that I’ve done something worthwhile with it. After hearing those words, I began to relax and take things less seriously and welcome spontaneity.

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If my brother was able to face life despite the fate he experienced, why should a simple mishap like derailed plans stop me from living?

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EZRA dress from Zalora | MANGO quilted bag | TWINKY heels |  SM Department Store sunnies

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These photos were taken at Ateneo, my alma mater. I remember how happy I was when I marched through the four pillars and received my hard-earned diploma. Unlike many others, I wasn’t afraid of what lay ahead. I was eager to start working on my future. There was no ounce of fear, just hope.

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My mom taught us not to feel bitter towards life during difficult times, instead be grateful for they teach us how to be brave and strong. Of course, mothers know best. 🙂

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Throwback

EXCUSE MY HAIRRR!!! Anyhoo.. I’m not sure if I have shared this, but I was a teacher before I began blogging here. If you check my About page, it says there that I was a graduate of AB-BSE, a double-degree course which stands for  Bachelor of Arts-Bachelor in Secondary Education. Ateneo de Naga University’s College of Education offered me a full scholarship so I accepted it. I mean, who can say no to a 100% free education? So I took it, even though I was not really passionate about teaching; but I love learning so much—and they’re pretty much the same so I studied my ass off and graduated with high honors. I am a person who doesn’t let issues like that hinder me from reaching my goals. A lot of people cannot afford to go to college and passing up an opportunity like that would have been stupid.

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Right after graduation, I taught my very first subject—English—to high school kids. I was immediately assigned to an advisory class, LG 1329, who are coincidentally graduating on March 16th (I’m proud of you, guys!). I haven’t realized it has been that long since I left my hometown. Teaching is so stressful, but sometimes I do miss it—despite being underpaid. That satisfaction and happiness you feel when children learn from you is priceless.

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Because of my experience, I gained more respect for teachers. And it still saddens me that they do not receive the proper, if not the best, compensation. They spend more time with the children than the parents. They guide them and prepare them for their future, and that for me is the most difficult and challenging occupation in the world. I’ve been there, I know how hard it is to be the second parent.

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I can only hope the government will fully realize this and reward teachers with what they really deserve—a good compensation, a better retirement plan, as well as a more effective teaching facility.

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Ah, March always makes me sentimental. It’s a month full of laughter, tears, and excitement. It’s usually the month where things end and begin—school, relationships, summer, etc.

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And speaking of summer, it has been pretty hot in Manila lately so I decided to wear my backless peplum top from Forever 21 and my scarf print shorts, which I bought ages ago at a bazaar. I’ve learned from a blogger that when you’re selecting backless tops or dresses, always choose the one with a modest front to prevent yourself from looking very tacky. It’s much sexier that way. *wink*

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Forever 21 peplum top and suede flats | Scarf print shorts from bazaar | Thrifted bag

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Electric Dreams

A dream. It’s what fuels us to continuously live. I think, it would be the saddest thing if a person doesn’t dream at all. I created this blog because I knew this would be my gateway to fashion. When things didn’t go well as I had expected, I sank into depression and stopped blogging for a while. But then Chad encouraged me to keep on going, he knows how much I love fashion and that I would keep on doing it–blogging and sharing ideas–anyway. And he was right. When we dream, and we’re passionate about that dream, nothing can stop us from reaching it. This blog has been around for three years, and I don’t see any sign of stopping.

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I guess some people noticed us, and how much work we put in our craft, that Ateneo de Naga University, our alma mater, invited us to talk about what we do on February 28’s Alternative Class Program. I talked about blogging, while Chad shared about photography. The experience was overwhelming and humbling at the same time. We’re quite aware we’re  not popular, but we do know we’re passionate about what we do, and that alone, I believe, makes us worthy of being speakers.

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While a few students did not get the purpose of sending unpopular people to speak to them (which saddens me a bit quite honestly), a handful in my class told me how inspired they were upon hearing my lecture and personal struggles. What I appreciated most were their sincere questions, because that could have meant they related to me. And therefore my purpose was accomplished.

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After my talk, we took pictures of Jamie and Danica, who have been both very helpful to me. Jamie Lou Borile is a quirky girl who currently administers the Bicol Fashion Bloggers group. She accepted my application to join the group late last year upon finding out that Bicol has finally began to form fashion-loving circles. Danica Salazar, on the other hand, was the topic head assigned to me. She was very kind and was very attentive to my needs; without her and her partner Alecxa, I wouldn’t have survived the day. I can totally see a bit of myself in Danica, as she was very enthusiastic and interested in learning more  about blogging. 🙂

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Prior to the big day, Chad and I decided to visit the places we used to hang out in. We finally got to eat Cha Cely’s kinalas in Barlin after so many years. We visited Plaza Quince Martires, Chad’s place of solace when he was young. I like going to places Chad spent time in and having my photo taken there. We’ve been apart for way too long, I want to remember him in every way possible.

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I forgot to bring a lot of my stuff with me so I had to borrow some of my sister’s things. This dress was a gift from me (lol) last year after winning Nivea’s Face Affair. This bag is hers as well. Now I miss my sister.

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 Forever 21 dress | Marikina-made wedges | Bag from Marinduque

Here’s a video Chad made about three years ago, which uses Lali Puna’s version of Phil Oakey’s Together in Electric Dreams–which also happened to be Ateneo de Naga University’s Alternative Class Program theme this semester. The sky and stars are a few of our favorite things, they remind us of our dreams and the infinite possibilities of life. I hope you’ll like it!

P.S. Thanks to Roe Ondis and the rest of the AdNU Supreme Student Government for having us! 🙂

Lust for Life

I’ve had a rough week. Actually, it’s been going on for months now and that’s mainly because I’ve made choices that demand everything I have. I feel good about it though—that only means I’m much braver and more aggressive now in pursuing my dreams. As Richard Nixon once said,

If you take no risks, you will suffer no defeats. But if you take no risks, you win no victories.

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That applies to fashion as well. I’ve read a lot of times online that long skirts are not advisable for petite women like me. They say it makes us look smaller. Heck no, although I did subscribe to that rule in the past. I avoided anything that fell below my knees. And then one day I just got tired of wearing shorter skirts and decided to try on longer ones in 2011.

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My first ever long skirt is this black maxi from Forever 21, which I bought online. Black gives a slimmed down illusion so it helps petite girls look less wide. I used to pair it with oversized shirts, which apparently didn’t work.

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I always try to make my outfits look balanced. And since a maxi skirt covers the whole lower extremity of the body, why not show a little bit of skin up there. (*wink*) A tank top or bustier looks great with maxis, IMO.

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See, if I didn’t take that risk, I would have not known that small girls like me can wear maxi skirts. I don’t even think I look shorter. What about you?

Bustier from Eastwood bazaar | Forever 21 maxi skirt and vest | Thrifted sequined flats and bag

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Boutique de Reines Giveaway 2.0 is still ongoing! I will be at the Ateneo de Naga University on February 28 for the Alternative Class Program. See you there? 🙂

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