Monday, October 31, 2011

MUSIC MONDAY: Jason Mraz - The Beauty In Ugly

♫♪ You make all the fashion statements ♪♫♫

♫♫ Just by dressing up your mind ♪♫♪

♫♪♫ And if you wanna get free ♪♫♫

♪♫♫ And if you wanna do the passionate thing ♪♪♫

♫♪ And if you wanna get smart ♪♪♫

♫♪For the sake of your heart and all ♫♫

♪♫ You should own your name ♪♫♪

♪♫♫And stand up tall and get real ♪♫♫

♫♪And see the beauty in ugly ♫♫♪♪

♪♫♫ See the beauty in ugly ♪♪♫

Just got home from the Jason Mraz + Toca Rivera's acoustic concert here in Manila. As you can probably tell, I'm still floating in air with unbridled love, inspiration, hope and gratitude. In spite of my distance from the stage, I could feel his warmth, the genuineness in his "I love yous" and his playful energy. It was beyond beautiful!

Speaking of beautiful, "The Beauty In Ugly" was not included in last night's setlist, making my heart crave for this particular track. I suggest you put this song on repeat mode today, too. Spread the love!

Lipstick of the Day: Milea's Cherry Red

For my vegetarian dinner with rawk star friends in Green Halo and the big date with Jason Mraz the previous night, I opted to use something eco-friendly for my lippie. I'm your typical matte lipstick fan, but I really enjoyed how the glossy Cherry Red from Milea looked on my lips. It was initially disappointing that it went pink instead of its expected hue but I've grown to love how playful and wet it look against my pleasantly toasted skin. Organic products calls for frequent retouches as they don't stay long. However, this one stayed with me until I was crying my eyes out when Jason Mraz performed his final song, "I'm Yours", which sadly reminded me of my brutally murdered officemate.

Applying Milea's Cherry Red lipstick

See how pinkish this Cherry Red lipstick looked on me

Close up!

Enough of my wet lips. Now it's your turn to wet yours for these yummy treats from Green Halo in Cubao Expo.

Sipping Green Halo's gayuma drink. With vanilla and rose essences.

Me and my spicy veggies in curry and tomato sauce.

Tableya cake monster! One slice is NEVER enough!

Ready for the raw vegan rawk star Jason Mraz [and Toca Rivera]!

Outfit of the Day:

Yellow off-shoulder top from ukay ukay

Star earrings from Divisoria

Mum's leggings

Rusty Lopez paisley printed slip-on sneakers

Photos by Andrea Banalo.


Before I shed buckets of tears again, I shall leave you with my deceased officemate's rendition of "I'm Yours". May he rest in peace.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Lipstick of the Day: Maybelline Summer Sunset

As if the 3-day frolicking in the shores and pools of Camiguin were not enough, I just had to conclude this eventful week with a midnight swim with the cousinhood. It's Kay's 21st beerday par-tey!

Nekkid lips, mahogany brown skin

Guess who forgot to bring sunblock and too lazy to look for one during the trip?

When the failed attempts to do synchronized swimming and other water games turned to another seemingly endless episode of camwhoring, we girls clamored for our favorite weapon. Puta red lipstick, please!

Zeze took heed and offered her Maybelline's Color Sensational lipstick in Summer Sunset. I may be biased and all, but I think it looked pleasant on my badly sunburned skin!

See how Summer Sunset looked on Minnie's sunkissed-in-Boracay skin, Judith's pale-in-comparison-to-ours skin and my toasted-in-Camiguin skin

Seksi back!

P.S. Too bad I just saw a brilliant post like this, so please bear with me and my medium shots. Next time, I'll put more emphasis on the lipstick.

Photos by Chad Barreyro.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

WORLD PREMIERE: Double denim bikini

Guess what? The double denim mania didn't end here. For this much-deserved returning trip to the breathtaking island of Camiguin, I felt the need to look for something new in Speedo. At the risk of sounding defensive, this is not a sponsored blog entry. What other brand can my vulnerable twins cling to?

Anyway, this tankini was actually my third choice but when the staff informed me they didn't have my cup size for my desired designs, I tried this pair with a heavy heart. Sure, the maong print feels kikay but it seems ordinary. Plus, I could tell its plain print won't help me conceal my bulges. I've had my share of wide-eyed stares from the locals the last time for wearing a tie-dye tube dress (actually, it was a long skirt but I wore it as a tube dress) and I estimated they're not used to exposed big arms and screaming cleavage among tourists. What more if they'll see my belly rolls? Then I re-realized that, as I've mentioned here, we must shed our inhibitions instead of our excess fats and, as a heavy packer, I have no room for worries in my travel bag. The beach is MY runway, too!

Speaking of travel bag, I brought my Speedo orange haltered tankini top, too, but I decided to wear this denim swimwear for 3 consecutive days in the island for tan line consistency. Smart move, yes? This post will be too photo-heavy and self-serving. You were warned!

For our first day, we got ourselves toasted in White Island. Sources say that it is a white sand bar which can either form letter C or I depending on that day's current. When I first went there in 2009, it formed a C. I was hoping it will be an I this time. But, noooooo. That must be the Universe's way of saying there will still be a third time for me to commune with this island.

Walang kamatayang jump shot!


With my BFF Lakapati

Uhm, I'm not THAT tall really.

That evening, we treated ourselves to a soothing massage that only the Ardent Hot Springs can offer. It would have been the perfect start of our itinerary after our immensely exhausting trip from Bukidnon, but we arrived in Enigmata Treehouse around 21:00 and we're easily reduced to snoring cows right after dinner. If you can afford to, you might want to take a chopper right after white water rafting in Cagayan de Oro and have yourselves dropped off here. It's the best nightcap for your washed out muscles!

♫♪ Ma...ri...mar! Awwww! ♪♫♫

Shoulder massage, please!

Somebody did NOT forget her puta red lipstick at the treehouse!

The succeeding days witnessed us explore other God-given marvels like Katibawasan Falls, Sunken Cemetery, Giant Clam Sanctuary and Mantigue Island and man-made havens like Soda Water Pool (where my BFF and I felt greatly uncomfortable to be the only females in the area). We didn't have much photos taken as we unanimously decided to jump straight to the arresting waters, float away and/or snorkel away to burn our skin further.

Buuuut I can't resist to share this lovely photo as an evidence of how the cosmos conspire to make kindred spirits meet. One moment we were splitting the boat fare with this couple from Peterborough County in Ontario, Canada, then we were gushing about our raw food diet and how it altered our lives for the better the next. Guys, meet Jerry and Liza!

Meeting fellow raw foodists in Mantigue Island! L-R: Jerry, Liza, Lakapati and her husband Alvin and moi!

Thursday, October 20, 2011


As mentioned in the prior entry, being garbed in red and/or ethnic accessories is a great demonstration of partaking in the Talaandig festivities. Inasmuch as I would like to cram every red clothing I possess into my luggage, particularly the ones that hardly made it past our main gate, I had to select wisely. I'm NEVER known as a light traveler but, considering our 6-day travel that would require us to lug our belongings around Cagayan de Oro, Bukidnon and Camiguin (NOT in that order), it's about time to get in touch with one of my father's best talents.

For this big day, I already knew that I must wear the Bontoc skirt I once bought from Kultura in SM Department Store and my Mangyan headband and bracelets. But what to wear in between? Heard a tiny voice urging me to leave my casual red t-shirts and red tube top behind. I'm sure you will agree.
Remember this entry? I saved that red tank top with a flashy bib design for a team building that never happened. Imagine my high-pitched shrieks of excitement when I unearthed this forgotten favorite. Problem solved!

We were truly blessed to have witnessed a tribal wedding. Aaaaand I must admit a part of me started fantasizing of my own. I'm blushing here in recollection.

Have I told you that, for the Mangyans of Mindoro, that headband symbolizes a person's search for his/her mate?

Outside Hall of Peace

With a soil painting. Photo by Lakapati

Love the skirt you're in!

Later that evening, I expressed that I can no longer stand the blistering cold. Datu Alimuwan, standing next to me, was not surprised since I was wearing a skirt. What really impressed me was how he specified it was a Bontoc skirt. In the metro, it was easy to dismiss someone who makes such comment as metrosexual or gay, right? In Bukidnon, it was all about cultural awareness. In fact, this trip proved that indigenous groups hardly confine themselves within their own tribe. They have this strong bond with others.

That being said, do not be surprised that I had to cover myself with an equally red jacket on top of my tank top. Bukidnon boasts of this centralized air conditioner that just won't turn off. No amount of tiis ganda will let a poor vata like myself get away with it.


Handa...awit! Photo by Gerald Rago.

Out hosts Datu Muilaw-ilaw (aka Datu Anilaw) and Senyora Magawgaw Bai Manduhin-e (aka Lorie). Happy 1st wedding anniversary!

L-R: Moi, Kat, Lorie, Datu Anilaw, Mikey Bustos este Alvin and Lakapati Basa. Photo by Gerald Rago.

Lorie while getting her headdress done. Photo by Gerald Rago.

The entourage. Photo by Lakapati.

While the negotiation for dowry is ongoing, the bride is hidden from public view.

The wedding ceremony. Photo by Gerald Rago.

The newlyweds get media attention

The tribal wedding cake!

Fifth wheel? With the newlyweds Sagyawan and Charlyn Saway and recently married Mikey Bustos este Alvin and Lakapati Basa

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I'm not sure if my longtime online-turned-offline friend Lovelove would be delighted to hear this: It took me at least 6 years before I get to world premiere her sweet present all the way from Davao. My bedroom walls could serve as a witness how I wanted to use it as soon as I received it, but never really found the perfect attire to go with it. If it weren't for Kat's reminders to bring red outfits to appear festive for the Talaandig's festival, I wouldn't have racked my brains for mix-and-match possibilities for this shawl. [insert apology here]

Per my pre-travel outfit plans, I was supposed to wear a tube top underneath the shawl. I imagined how cute the slightly peeking sweetheart-cut of the top will be. But this idea went to the backseat upon realizing that it was brrrrrrreally cold in the foothills of Bukidnon! When I showered the morning after our arrival, I immediately fished for this long-sleeved tan top for apparent reasons. However, I felt incomplete not to don anything red. It was just the eve of the tribe's big day, but I really felt compelled to match the elders' dominantly red clothes.

Out of curiosity, I slipped this shawl and the ethnic necklace on top of the long-sleeved blouse and posed in front of my newfound friends Kat and Lorie for comments. In spite of their nods of approval, I felt the shawl should go with something tight-fitting. But, heck, I decided to go with it.

That's me against this soil painting about breastfeeding. Photo by Lakapati.

Plurkers Lakapati, moi and Kat with the Kublai Millan sculpture.

Talaandig soil painting

Talaandig soil paintings

Talaandig soil painting

Talaandig soil painting

Talaandig soil painting

Believe it or not, the artist behind this soil painting was a 3-year-old Talaandig. He's now 5 years old.

Lunchtime with Kat

When the temperature dropped even lower by nighttime, I opted to convert the shawl into a scarf. Believe me, it felt worse than what I had endured in Sagada! I had trouble falling asleep as I felt the chills penetrate my every core. But then again, I was far from prepared (i.e. except for one jacket, everything else is practically beachwear). Lesson learned!

Dinner time! Photo by Gerald Rago


We were lucky to have met Nanay Ipa. She treated us to a lengthy recollection of her life and experiences as a baylan and generous explanation to all queries that we have about their culture and tradition. I remember her say biblical passages like "Men can't live on bread alone" and wise reminders like "Sa langit, walang paligsahan" and that we must offer a prayer before taking any of God's creations for our nourishment. I felt my heart broke into pieces when she said angels play with our hair, hence we must not subject these sacred strands into damaging medicines or chemicals. She had this contagious smile that makes us all feel light and loved whenever she flashes a smile. I just sighed after recalling her sweet aura.

Nanay Ipa and her betel nut offerings

Gabfest with Nanay Ipa

We were part of history. Happening before us was the peace pact among tribe leaders in Mindanao who agreed to review the peace treaty with the Bangsamoro. Our brothers and sisters in Mindanao find it difficult to assert their own rights, particularly their territorial rights, as this treaty was made orally and passed likewise from elders to today's generation.

However, there's light at the end of the tunnel. In our conversation with Datu Anilaw, he mentioned of how a certain CariƱo (if I remember correctly, movie star Robin Padilla's uncle) fought for his rights in Camp John Hay in Baguio that was sold to the Americans. He inherited such property from his ancestors and had no recollection of selling them to foreigners. He lost his case and appealed to the Supreme Court in the United States and was granted ownership due to its similarity to the case of American Indians.

In a nutshell, this peace talk roots from their burning desire to reverse historical injustice brought about by colonization and fight for authorship of our own development. And this matter concerns us all Filipinos, not just the non-Islamized indigenous people of Mindanao.

Photo by Lakapati.

The tribe leaders in attendance. Photo by Gerald Rago.