Emerald

Hello! I know this blog was supposed to be posted two weeks ago but I got really busy and sick. Schlemiel me contracted some kind of infection, which left me ill all week. I’m not the kind of person who falls ill all the time. Maybe twice or three times a year, but not every month! Maybe time to re-evaluate my priorities? Something good came out of those two grueling weeks though–I realized I’m really fortunate for having the best and the kindest workmates and friends.

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Some of them covered for me while I was sick, and were genuinely concerned for my health. Being away from home for more than five years, I’ve become quite accustomed to taking care of myself–although every once in a while I would text my mom, telling her how much I miss the back massages she used to give me and my siblings everytime we’re sick. Sometimes it can get really lonely being alone, but that’s life I guess. At some point you have to leave the place grew up in and live in an unfamiliar city to actually grow as a person.

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Being in a strange place has its perks. When I arrived in Manila, I felt relieved. Finally I can leave behind all the bad memories and start a new leaf. I never knew anyone in Manila, save for my sister whose only address I know at the time. I and a college friend came with two big bags in each hands, traveled to Quezon City (a two-hour ride from my sister’s place) and looked for a room that we could rent. Our first months were not easy–our salaries were barely covering our needs; our room was too small for us both. We separated ways a year after and found myself living with three of my then-officemates afterwards.

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Many have told me how brave I am for leaving. Naga is a wonderful place, but I knew long before college that I’m destined for something greater, far greater than what people had set out for me. Maybe it’s because of my youth, but I’ve been like this for as long as I can remember. Add to that my dream school, University of the Philippines – Diliman, is just a stone’s throw away from where I’m currently living. As soon as I settled myself in our new apartment, I enrolled in a Master’s Degree program, got a nice new job, and met new friends.

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SM GTW dress | Zapatto wedges

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I remember when I was just starting out in the big city, I made a dream wall where I posted things I wanted to achieve in five years–tangible and otherwise. I’m about 95% done. Looking back at some of the obstacles I faced, I think I deserve a pat on the back. For taking risks and facing the consequences after. For failing many times, but never giving up. Now I’m pretty much satisfied with what I have–really awesome friends, enough ‘resources’ at my disposal, and I’m marrying the love of my life. Things may have not started off right, but as they say–your end is always better than your beginning. Just hang in there. 🙂

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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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Earthy

I think one of the most difficult color to pull off is green. It’s a color that only suits some people. A dash of green here and there is easy, but an all-green ensemble is tricky. And you know me–my style is safe, plain, and minimalist. If I can avoid bold colors and styles, I would. But sometimes experimenting is good, how else were we able to identify the clothes that suit us if not for that little adventure at the mall or in our bedroom? So when Rosegal offered to send me a product for review, I chose the color which I’m not quite comfortable at wearing; after all I got nothing to lose.

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The package arrived about two weeks ago and this is what Rosegal.com said it would look:

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I chose the Zipper Sleeveless Simple Style Polyester Round Neck Women’s Dress because I thought it would be great for work. I’m not the pantsuit kind of girl; I like wearing dresses because they make one look very feminine. And this is how the product actually looks:

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The dress I received does not 100% look like the dress posted on the website, but nonetheless quality is excellent. The stitching was even, which is my primary concern when buying online, and has qualities that are similar to their claim, like the gold zipper at the back and the material:

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The only thing missing was the belt. It wasn’t mentioned on the website that the belt is not included so I assumed it is. Apparently not. Luckily, I have one that matches the dress perfectly.

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Rosegal dress | Vida sandals | Boutique de Reines bracelet | TMART ostrich bag | SM Department Store belt

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I might have chosen the wrong size as the waist part was quite loose. I think the dress would look more stunning if the skirt was more flared and the neck part more closed, like the one posted on the website. Other than those points though, the dress was pretty and very well made.

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Also I realized after seeing the photos, green is not that intimidating–it’s the contrary actually, very refreshing. Sometimes we do have to risk some things in life in order to find what’s best for us. Without doing so, we are preventing ourselves from seeing all the other possibilities and opportunities the world can offer us–fashion-wise and life-wise. 🙂

PRODUCT RATING: 3.5/5 and +++ points for awesome customer service

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There’s a giveaway ongoing here on Metamorphosis. You can join here.

Maroon Valley

Christmas is just a few days away so I decided to wear a color I never wore for an outfit post before. I don’t know exactly why I had not tried it because I actually like maroon a lot. There’s something about it that gives me warm fuzzies, reminds me so much of love and celebration during Christmas time.

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It’s also my school color—kinda weird hearing myself saying “my” school though. About 10 years ago, I only dreamed of becoming an Isko, the term used to call people who study at the University of the Philippines. Now here I am living just outside its gates and literally attending classes. They say dreams don’t wait. Maybe some, but I’ve always believed that we can achieve anything, at any age, as long as we persevere.

IMG_3560I haven’t achieved all of my goals yet, but I can sense that I’m getting there. Sometimes I would even feel very restless when I don’t have anything productive scheduled in a day, especially during my break from work. It always feels like I wasted an opportunity to do something worthwhile. So being in graduate school helps lessen that feeling of restlessness.

IMG_3568Otherwise, you would find me in the mall or in front of my computer looking at clothes. And that’s exactly what happened to me last week. I wasn’t supposed to buy anything before next week but I couldn’t help it when I saw this bag at Dorothy Perkins. I’ve been searching for a good black bag, so when I saw this I knew I had to get it. Same goes for these Bershka maroon pants that I got from Branded for Less and bowler hat.

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Every day it’s becoming increasingly cold here in the Philippines so I took out my fantastic furry sweater which I bought for a very low price from an online tiangge. These pretty shoes, on the other hand, are from World Balance. Honestly, I’m not a big fan of sportswear because I’m not a very sporty person. But I was so surprised when I found out that World Balance actually has a line of shoes fit for girly women like me. As many of you would expect, I chose the pair with pink on it. I just thought these would be perfect when I finally sign up to a yoga class. They’re very comfortable, and the insoles feel incredibly soft. And it meshed well with the whole outfit, too. World Balance has just released their Sports Active and Street Casual Collection and I’m pretty sure there’s a pair there you’d be interested in. You can check them out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

IMG_3572World Balance GIA shoes | Dorothy Perkins shoulder bag | Bershka pants | Liz Claiborne watch | SM Department Store bowler hat | Pre-loved furry sweater

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Cat Power

As you may already know, I’m a biiig cat lover. I think it’s my spirit animal. Cats are free thinkers, independent, and loving—three qualities that I value a lot.  I’ve been living independently from my family for two years now. I miss them a lot, but I feel more secure with myself when I don’t depend my life on anyone. None of my family supported my plan to leave Naga City, but I did it anyway and I never regretted my decision. I refused to live with my relatives in Manila, so I got an apartment with my friends instead. It’s difficult sometimes, you know, making ends meet, but the life I chose gives me more fulfillment, especially when I get to assist my family financially back home. I know in the end, things will become much better. Light at the end of the tunnel, remember?

Anyway, I got this kitty headband from a shop called Yhansy. I was a bit disappointed when the shop wasn’t giving me the tracking number of the shipment and that it took the courier 10 days to deliver it to my house. Nevertheless, all the bad vibes disappeared when I saw how adorable the headband was.

Paired it with my kitty shirt which I bought at a bazaar in Farmer’s Market, Cubao. I bought two colors actually (which I will show soon), but I opted for this one to match my skirt…

…which I also bought at Fashion de Lite ukay-ukay (thrift shop) in Cubao. It only cost me Php 50! Look at those distressed leather and velvet panels… lovely, aren’t they? 😀

And these pair of cute ballet flats were only bought for around Php 200. SM Department Store was on sale last week. I wasn’t supposed to buy anything fancy, but Chad and I passed by racks of pretty shoes with a sign saying ‘buy any two for 399.75’. WHO COULD RESIST THAT, REALLY? So I bought these heart-y flats along with a dark green pair. 😛

Yhansy kitty headband | Kitty shirt from bazaar | Thrifted distressed leather + velvet skirt | Solemate flats | Sling bag from Dushbag

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Here’s a a wonderful I Found a Reason cover by Cat Power. You might remember this song from V for Vendetta. I love that film.