November 30, 2011

Love Letters Are Rare

This is a passage from a love letter I received from Mark. We've been exchanging letters for a while since we've been having problems with time difference, internet connection and scheduling. I thought this was well written and could have been from a novel. It is quite rare to receive well thought letters from men. Expressive and passionate words  carefully crafted into letters or poetry-something that the previous generations direly miss. I do long for it as much as they do. Most people these days prefer instant messaging: texting, with methods that seem to project a sense of urgency insisting a connection or instant relationship. 
Anyway, I just wanted to share Mark's eloquence. 

"But what hasn't changed is that I miss you. I crave the familiar and the stable, even if I know quite keenly we are not in the greatest position. In many ways, right now I feel like I did when we were first starting - a young boy, disoriented, reaching out for love, that may not be there or reciprocate; love that isn't completely certain or firm, with many an odds against it. A love that is complicated, yet I still reach out and brush the complexities aside, like bystanders in the way of my path in a busy crowd. A love that may not be as I envision it; that may turn out different. A love that could see me so hurt. Perhaps, a love that is just an ideal. It doesn't mean you're not certain or don't love me. I know you do. I'm just trying to describe the feeling and show there are analogies to the past that resonate with our present circumstances."

I was moved. They don't make men like this anymore.

Listening to : Gamble by Shiina Ringo
              <3: Mark
             =( : sigh

November Mood Board

Summarizes my November. The pictures are self explanatory.

Listening to :  Blue Jeans by Lana Del Rey
              <3: Traveling
              =( : back to reality

November 29, 2011

Sweet Like Belgium

The Grand Place is the central square of Brussels. It is surrounded by guildhalls, the city's Town Hall, and the Breadhouse (French: Maison du Roi, Dutch: Broodhuis). The square is the most important tourist destination and most memorable landmark in Brussels, along with the Atomium and Manneken Pis. It measures 68 by 110 metres (223 by 360 ft), and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.[2] -wiki

The Atomium is a monument in Brussels, originally built for Expo '58, the 1958 Brussels World's Fair. Designed by AndrĂ© Waterkeyn, it stands 102 metres (335 ft) tall. It has nine steel spheres connected so that the whole forms the shape of a unit cell of an iron crystalmagnified 165 billion times. - Wiki

Everyone was more excited about Belgian chocolates than the country itself. It also didn’t help that everywhere we looked, there were sweets and waffles displayed enticing us hungry tourists.

The Grand Place charmed me more than any confectionary stand. The gothic architecture which surrounded the square stood proud like a giant fortress of sea rocks. Bright yellow lights accentuated thorn-like facades and our eyes were blinded by a thousand lit arches. It was grand indeed, something out of a dream filled with sugar.  

Listening to :  Captured by Bic Runga
              <3: Belgian Chocolates
             =( : work haha

November 27, 2011

Break and Smile

After landing from my 15 something hour flight from London to Philippines, I immediately drove to Ayala to meet with some friends and jog with my officemate as promised. The next day, I had dinner with a friend which lasted hours, we also watched a movie and had a fantastic night. Next day, my officemates and I proceeded to my friend's lola's wake in Paranaque then went to BF for dinner. It was heartbreaking to see her grandmother that way. I wanted to go to my college batchmate's wake but I was too late. That broke my heart too. 
3AM, I couldn't sleep. Was able to talk to my ex boyfriend after two years without communication. We were finally able to talk as friends and have a proper closure. I did miss him to be honest. He was a good fellow that one, a bit confused but was ever so passionate. I may have lost a friend but I finally gained one back again. 
Finally, shopped with my parents a while ago. Told my mum I was broke so she'd pay for my gas, only to find her standing next to me at the counter while I purchased 3 shoes. (I'm sorry, I just found her reaction funny). Happiness in purchases, and then you think about the stress from work you've gone through to get those shoes. Tomorrow, it's back to work for me but will watch Ms. Earth competition after office at Acacia Hotel.  My dad and some friends have been asking about the pictures and some blog entries while Mark badly needed support and comfort the entire time I was away. I felt bad for Mark. He really needed/needs someone. I wish I had more time for him. I wish I gave more time to him.
 My room's a mess since I haven't unpacked properly and I need to clean it asap before the boy comes home from Sydney. I wish I could chop my body into several pieces right now so I could attend to everyone and everything. I haven't really absorbed everything, they seem so random, so muddled, hurried. Then I paused.

I stared at my laptop and thought that this is nothing serious. I'm just quite tired but am very happy.   
After hearing about so much death while I was gone, this feeling of exhaustion is every bit of welcome; this feeling that I'm moving forward, that I'm alive and that I'm blessed to see another day. The breaking and healing of the heart is a cycle we must not endure but welcome. The ironies presented in this month; people leaving and coming back, they are all part of my November, my year.
Christmas is coming. I pray everyone embraces December with happy faces. Smile, you may be tired but you are alive.

November 26, 2011

London's On Fire

Now I know why they called it "Big Ben" teehee

This is actually a view from the London Eye

House of Parliament

Westminster Abbey

Windsor Castle

We were not allowed to use our cameras inside the castle so I took these photos from Google,  but basically, these are the rooms we saw.

I have no idea how the hell the photographer did this but based on the angle of this pic, he was in a hurry.

Scenes and guess what I saw near the stations: my own cookie stand lol


Mark told me that he didn't like London much. He said it was a bit depressing, cold and has this dark aura. Contrary to his musings, London welcomed us with a weather in a happier disposition due to sunny skies; the cold wind however,  was not as forgiving. An hour after resting our luggage in Novotel West, we  were whisked to Windsor Castle-the queen's favorite.  According to our guide, the queen was in the castle while we were walking around since her flag was raised on top of one of the towers. Shame I didn't see her. Some of our friends saw the Queen after an event at Westminster.

I felt so bad that we were not allowed to use cameras inside and share the grandeur of the palace. My amazement did not stem from the amount spent on the treasures inside or how much gold was used on the ceilings inside. I was more enthralled by the history of every painting, furniture, garment and weapons. I was hungry for the stories behind the castle I had to spend more time in each room, much to my grandmother's annoyance. She said, she had seen many a castle before and was more impressed with the castles she visited in Russia. I didn't care. Buildings are like people with different characters, personalities and history. Nothing is ever the same.

After dinner, I went out with some Filipinos we met during the tour and indulged in the beauty of Westminster at night. Wandering outside the House of Parliament, I couldn't help but recall the scenes from "V For Vendetta" and how they blew the whole building. Now I actually feel bad for cheering when Evey bombed the magnificent structure. Golden lights from "Parliament"  reflected on the north bank of River Thames gave Westminster an ethereal glow like a thousand candles on a pond. If only I had a more cooperative and advanced camera, I would have loved to spend an  evening capturing the city.

Inside one of London Eye's ovoidal passenger capsules,  we were able to see London in a whole different perspective. It wasn't as brooding and depressing as what Mark told me, although I do understand that London is usually dark because it's almost always cloudy. That night, however, was magical. 443 ft and the city was on fire. What an awesome welcome from Europe, couldn't wait to go to our next destination.

Listening to : 505 by Arctic Monkeys
              <3: London
             =( :  cooold

November 24, 2011

Hello Europe and Packing Tips Part 1

One rainy May afternoon, my grandmother casually asked me if I wanted to go to Europe with her. Not knowing it would push through, I gamely said "yes". We didn't think about the trip for the next two months or so until one day I was asked by my parents to fill up some forms for my UK visa. I was not really paying attention to it since I was too busy with my new work. We were supposed to go with some relatives but some backed out. We also had to move the trip from October to November since we were waiting for my aunt's visa which was eventually denied even though she has traveled to more Asian countries than I did. A tip if you're planning to go to Europe: don't buy tickets or book anything until you get your visas. We had to move our flight three times, switching from Qatar Airways to KLM back to Qatar Airways. 

Anyway, that's our route up there.  Quite tiring but it was worth it. 
Qatar Airways and Doha International Airport
Had a really pleasant flight since it was a 5 star airline. Really good service.

I just love that it's touch screen. I've had something like this in Air New Zealand or Qantas but I don't remember them being touch screen.  I wasn't able to sleep because of the movie selection and oh oh oh they had The Big Bang Theory!! How awesome is that?

Anyway, one of the most stressful and fun part of traveling is packing. Here are my top 5 tips on packing if you're going on a group tour.

1. INVEST in a good, sturdy bag/luggage. Never buy cheap ones. If you plan on traveling a lot, your luggage will most likely be thrown around a hundred times. You have to protect your belongings and valuables and your first line of defense is a good luggage. I know a lot of people who bought bad luggage bags and ended up with stolen/lost items and big problems at the airport with their panties on the floor. Not cool.
This is our handy Samsonite. It's been to more countries than I did for a couple of years.

2. PACK LIGHT. If you're going on a tour or basically anywhere, you will always be on the go and would literally live out of your suitcase. Believe me, no one wants to look as if they brought their whole house.  It's inconvenient and luggage weight restrictions vary from airlines to countries.  Always check whether you have the right luggage weight and size before traveling. I only brought this Samsonite luggage and my Topshop satchel. I'm glad I did since I was able to have more room for things I shopped like a new bag, chocolates, clothes etc.

3. PACK LIGHT: EDIT. It's very tempting to use the cold weather in Europe as an excuse to bring more clothes and to be fashionable and I tried. I really did but hell no. The first thing  I learned when traveling is 'WAG MAGMAGANDA'. Comfort should be your priority. Those chicks in Lookbook in European countries can afford to look awesome cos they live there. But when you're traveling in a group where you have to wake up at 5am or 6am in the morning, follow your tour guide across a whole town, check in your baggage at airports and seaports, it is ridiculous to wear heels. If you're from a sunny country like the Philippines and cannot handle sub zero degrees then don't wear (just) stockings because they make your legs look thinner and longer.  If you think you'd want different jackets for different days then go ahead. As long as you could fit them in your luggage then go. But if you're like me who could only fit two super thick and heavy wool jackets then fashion be damned.

Note: If you're traveling with your boyfriend and he's willing to carry everything for you then you're in luck. :)
I wanted to bring all of them. Leather jackets, military jackets, tweed jacket, several knit ones but no, ALL of them had to be cut from the list and I'm so glad I did. No matter how much I would layer, these jackets will not protect me from zero degrees weather.  I had to be realistic.  They would not fit in my luggage because they're heavy and thick and I still had electronics to bring and pasalubongs to take home.
4. Zip lock bags. They're a must especially if you want to pass through airport security and still bring your moisturizers and make-up in your carry-on bags. I also used them to separate some jewelry, medicine etc. Really handy.  

5. Make A List. To ensure you have everything in order, always write down the things you need. You will be staying in different hotels and if you are a slob who would unpack everything in each stop, then you really need a list to organize your thoughts and know which is which and where are they located. 

Categories in my list include:

a. clothes (jackets, shoes, cardigans, undies, socks, leggings and tanks for layering etc.)

b. toiletries (toothpaste, toothbrush, facial wash, toner, cotton, make-up remover, soap, shampoo, napkin, moisturizers and a whole looot more. Note: some hotels in Europe do not have toothpaste for some reason)

c. electronics (DSLR, digicam, laptop, videocam, Ipod and their chargers etc. Note: UK and the rest of Europe have different plug holes so I brought a universal/global plug adapter)

d. make-up (mostly tinted moisturizers, lip balms etc.)

e. medicine (mostly medicine for my stomach, colds, pain etc.)

Hope this was helpful. This is gonna be the start of my Euro trip series in my blog. 

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Listening to : Sweet Disposition by Temper Trap
              <3: Europe
               =(: I easily get cold

November 01, 2011


I'm finding my way back to sanity, again 

Though I don't really know what 

I am gonna do when I get there "

                                                         " Take a breath and hold on tight 

Spin around one more time 

And gracefully fall back in the arms of grace "

I am looking past the shadows 

Of my mind into the truth and 

I'm trying to identify 

The voices in my head 

God, which one's you? "

" Let me feel one more time 

What it feels like to feel 

And break these calluses off me 

One more time "

                                                          "   I don't want a thing from you 

Bet you're tired of me waiting 

For the scraps to fall 

Off your table to the ground 

I just want to be here now "

" I am hanging on every word you say 
And even if you don't want to speak tonight 
That's alright, alright with me "

 " 'Cause I want nothing more than to sit 

Outside Heaven's door and listen to you breathing 

Is where I want to be "

Black maxi dress from Freeloader, H&M neckpiece from my aunt, jewelries from Sydney, Janilyn wedges

About the dress: I bought this maxi dress over a year ago and wore it only once at the mall.  

Neckpiece: I actually saw some bib necklaces like this at the mall for really cheap prices so I was surprised when my aunt bought this from H&M in HK and as a Christmas gift last year with the tag and all. I actually used this in my Vintage Kind Of Love For Chanel shoot.

Shoes: Killer wedges I tell ya! Wore these once at Visions Exhibit in Amber and did not trip the whole event but alas! I went out and almost fell 3x walking to our car. Mark had been dying to get me these shoes and would not stop until I bought them so there you go, impractical way of spending money for love.

About the song: I actually wanted to put "Almost Lover" as a title since the whole theme looks like I'm mourning or saying goodbye to someone which I actually am in the process right now. Upon reading the lyrics of "Breathing" by Lifehouse, Mark and I agreed that the content was more "beautiful" and moving.  

My first fashion shoot for November or in a long time. I've been busy blah blah and oh my Euro trip was moved to November 12  because my auntie couldn't come with us anymore. Talk about heartaches. I still can't write about a heartbreaking experience I went through thus the "all black" and brooding atmosphere of the shoot. Hopefully, I could share it on a future post.  
On a positive note, when I return to Manila after Europe, I will rest on my love's muscly arms. <3

Listening to : Breathing by Lifehouse
              <3: maxi dresses
              =( : goodbyes

Parque Espana Halloween Movie Party

Breath-taking. See those twin towers? That's where I work.

with the fun bunch lol


si ateh

muni muni

I jog there after office hours

Insular Life building, Alabang
After my Halloween party with the kiddos of Insular Life, I was invited by my closest friend at the office, Allison to Parque Espana's penthouse for a Halloween Movie Party with the "grownups". My exhaustion from the previous party was obliterated upon gazing at the scenic skyline of Alabang. The cool breeze and southern lights soothed my weary mind and were able to calm my nerves. I really have to thank Allison for this. If I were to have a best friend in our office, it would be her. We would have lunch together and actually go out once in a while. I'm very thankful to have her. She's currently in Hong Kong strutting her stuff in Disneyland. You go Allison! Haha. I hope she reads this. Good luck on your gig!

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Listening to : Blind by Lifehouse
              loving: skylines
             =( :
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