Sunday, September 28, 2008

Mama passed away yesterday

To my family and friends who catch up on my life through this blog,

My mama, the delightful and wonderful Aurora Beltran Amper, passed away yesterday afternoon. Very suddenly. We are all still in shock. She wasn't sick, in fact she was being her usual vibrant self. She was just having a snack and couldn't resist her chocolate milk. She kinda choked on the choco milk, started sneezing and coughing. That was all actually but so many things happened at once--her asthma and acid reflux kicked in. It took a few minutes before she lost consciousness and passed away. It was a quick death, which we are grateful for, but we all wish we had had more time to say good-bye. Which didn't happen. Still, Mama and the rest of us are very vocal so we always told each other we loved each other. That is our only comfort.

I want to tell you all that I appreciate you in my life. I may not be present with you, I may not call or visit, but I know how important you all are and thank you for your part in making my life what it is--so completely happy. Maraming maraming salamat!

Mama's wake is near our old house in Antipolo. Marian Memorial Chapels along Marcos Hi-Way. Just past Sta. Lucia and Robinsons East Malls, along that long stretch of road that is so scary to drive on, towards Masinag Market. She will stay there until Thursday. We haven't decided what her interment details are.

Please pray for the family and friends Mama left behind. She was such a bright light! We feel so lost in this sudden darkness.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

All wigged out!

Just came home from a L'Oreal Professionel party. It was sooo fun! The invitation said to come in your best spy outfit but I totally forgot and wore my sack dress instead. So everyone looked amazing in black sexy slithery things while I looked like a sack!

Anyhow, the party was to introduce the Autumn/Winter hair colors--mysterious looks mostly (hence the espionage theme)--and L'Oreal got the best hairstylists in Manila and Cebu to create wigs for the guests! And that was when things got interesting. Here I am getting prepped for the photo shoot:
That's Angelo Falconi III putting on my wig.

This is Francis Lee from Bridges Salon in Cebu City.

Ro-An is from Yes! magazine and we are
trying hard--but failed!--to keep straight faces.

And here are the results!

In the deep red-and-light brown super layered cut.
Pardon the suicidal gesture. I have no idea how to pose with these things.

In the black-and-blue bob, styled by Jasmine Lisbona of Hairworks Makati.
I actually wanted to smoke that cigar.

In the copper-and-gold ash blond skull crop.
I stopped posing with the props. Oh, and I totally love this drastic short cut!

Which ones do you like? I'm totally digging the blond crop but when I showed the hubby my pic, he went in absolute shock: "Yikes! No! Please no!" Harhar. He knows I've been dying to cut my hair forever. I don't like long hair on me at all!

Outfit details: Ruth & Esther dress, Nine West beige pumps,
pink enamel earrings from NYC, bronze watch from Wristaker

Oh, the dress is called my sack dress because it is the color of potato sacks and feels like one, too. I just wear a slip underneath so I don't feel scratchy. I bought it because... well, ever heard of that saying, "She's so gorgeous she can wear a sack and still look great"? Well, darlings, this sack literally makes me feel that way!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Shoes, shoes, my world is shoes!

Okay, that last post was way too serious but something we must all take very seriously. I've already gotten the list of congressmen who authored/sponsored that Anti-Obscenity and Pornography Bill and I will post their names and photos soon! Do NOT vote for these Pharisees!

Now, back to regular programming...

As you know, I love to shop online. I just found this fabulous shop called Urban Original. O. M. G. That site is, for me, pornography. I just got so turned on by all the yummy shoes, I nearly fainted with pleasure. There are so many fabulous shoes and they're so cheap, too! I had too many moments where I had to stop and blink hard because I was getting dizzy with desire.

So anyway, I've picked out the ones I really want. I'm going through a prim-and-proper shoe phase. These days I kinda like my feet covered up. Must be because of all the Fall fashion in the magazines... or the fact that it's rainy season here and I walk to work now so I hate getting my feet wet! Anyway, these are my finalist babies. Help me choose!
Camel Open Toe Strappy Gladiator Sandal, $18.99
Well, it's in so we might as well own a pair.

Brown Patent Pointy-Toe Oxford Lace Tie-Up, $13.99
Sooo sexy. The tie-up detail and the super elongated toe
remind me of corsets and 19th century primness.

Beige Spectator Two-Tone Oxford Lace Pump, $18.99
Another breathtaking beauty. Again, I love the lace-up factor.
In fact, I love everything about it!

Gray Pointy-Toe Oxford Buckle Stiletto Ankle Boot, $19.99
Is that frikkin' fantastic or what! It's very dominatrix, eh? So hot.

Black Patent Round-Toe Oxford Stiletto Ankle Boot, $20.99
Looks like something from the future. I love how it's super sleek.

So! Which ones? All?!? That would only cost me USD 93, plus shipping (yes, they ship to Manila!) so only about USD 130 (PHP 6K++) so the shoes come out as only PHP 1,200 each pair!!! Why, I do believe I'll take them all. What do you think???

P.S. I kinda also like the multi-color multi-strap crocodile heels. They're funky, although I just know my husband will think them horrendous. Should I include those, too?

*all images from Urban Original website. Please shop at their store!

UPDATE: The hubby thinks I need to replace my two phones because they're 3 and 4 years old. Yeah, my Sony Ericssons look really beat up but they still work perfectly and don't give me any trouble at all! Hmm, for the same amount: 5 pairs of shoes or 1 new phone? Man, I don't even know why there's a debate! Still, in a marriage, the budget's not mine and mine alone anymore. So, dear shoes, another time!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Read the fine print! The Anti-Obscenity and Pornography Act is just wrong

Gwyneth Paltrow and Joseph Fiennes in a tender and beautiful scene
from one of my favorite movies, Shakespeare in Love.
According to Filipino lawmakers, this is pornography.

The Anti-Obscenity and Pornography Act of 2008. Wow. Sounds really good, right? Okay, I promised I'd keep this blog fun and shallow but this is an issue Vince and I feel very strongly about—as artists and as Filipinos. The Anti-Obscenity and Pornography Bill may sound great but basically it says that as long as anything (photo, song, movie, book, etc) causes arousal in a man, it is considered porn. I cause arousal in my husband—am I obscene now? The lips of Angelina Jolie can cause havoc in a man's pants—shall we ban her lips now?

According to this bill, as long as the naked body or the sexual act is described, it is porn. Great works of literature—Shakespeare, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, even the Bible!—have sexual acts in it. Can you imagine Filipinos deprived of these books? Great works of art show the naked human body. Shall we now strip our museums of these paintings and sculptures? I'm not even going to use art as an example. What about our favorite TV shows Gossip Girl, Mad Men, Lost, American Idol (the songs!), The Tudors, Battlestar Galactica, MTV videos, etc? What about our favorite movies? I can go on and on. Even my job is at stake here. If the government prohibits movies, TV shows, books and songs that describe/show sex and the human body, then what the hell am I going to print in OK! magazine?!

























Alas for my
magazine! Jennifer Aniston's breasts, Angelina Jolie's lips and the sexy bodies of Katie Holmes and Cameron Diaz will soon be banned by the Philippine government.

While I am, of course, against the exploitation of women and children in pornography, a vague description of "as long as it offends people" and "causes arousal or sexual thoughts in a man" is very dangerous. Who decides what is obscene? And why is it that a woman's body is considered obscene anyway? Besides, absolutely anything can arouse a man, dammit! The bill may start with just breasts but soon our legs, butts, arms, necks, hair and faces will be used against us.

While this bill hides behind the noble excuse of protecting our moral decency, what it's really doing is attacking our freedoms. Freedoms we women have fought for hard and long and some of us even died for them!

It boils down to this: No one tells me what to wear, what to watch, what to read, and what to do with my body.

This is what will happen to our paintings. Image from John Silva's blog.

This bill must not pass. Please be aware of what our lawmakers are trying to do—stifle our freedom of expression. If you care for free speech, please send an email to the Justice and Human Rights Committee headed by:
Senator Francis "Chiz" Escudero (sen.escudero@gmail.com),
and to its members:
Benigno Aquino III (benigno_aquino_iii@yahoo.com)
Rodolfo Biazon (ponbiazon@yahoo.com)
Alan Cayetano (alancayetano@yahoo.com)
Juan Ponce Enrile (senator_enrile@senate.gov.ph)
Gringo Honasan (gringo_chq@yahoo.com)
Jamby Madrigal (man@senate.gov.ph)

(That's also a good list of people you should NOT be voting for, if they pass that bill. Why would anyone in his right mind mess with our basic right to freedom of expression??? That's political suicide.)

Please tell them to stop this bill. Please tell them that this bill is against freedom of expression. Please tell them that this bill violates women's rights. Please tell them you are a free-thinking intelligent voter who will not and can not support lawmakers who will pass a bill that suppresses our basic freedoms.

I want to keep my Shakespeare plays, my Bible, my DVDs of Shakespeare in Love and Love Actually, my CDs of Britney, my treasured art prints of Gustav Klimt (left, the exquisitely beautiful Sea Serpents), my books on Renaissance Art!!! Art is NOT PORN. The human body is beautiful. Sex is beautiful. It is depraved and immature minds that think women and sex are sinful. If you are a Filipino, please support and protect your freedoms. If you are not a Filipino, please blog about this and condemn this bill.

Please please don't allow our government to strip us of our fundamental freedom of expression. Please don't let them make the Philippines into a barbaric state.

For more information on this bill, please read John L. Silva's post on his blog. Mr. Silva is senior consultant to the Philippine National Museum.


*Shakespeare in Love clip from The Oscar Guy. Magazine covers are the March 2008 (Cameron), July 2008 (Jennifer), September 2008 (Angelina) and September 2007 (Katie) issues of OK! Philippines. Klimt art print from my favorite online print store, All Posters.

My yearbook photos

This is super fun! What if you had lived in the past? What would your yearbook photos look like? I found this incredibly fun site called Yearbook Yourself! that helped me find out what I'd have looked like way back in...

1960

1966

1968

1976
(the year I was born!)

1978

1984

1992
(Vince says I look exactly like him here. Ya, I married my clone.
I guess that's why we like staring at each other. Hahaha!)


1994

2000

OMG. The hair! The hair! Thank God for modern hairstyling! The 1978 Afro had me laughing till forever! You know, my mama used to have an Afro. She rocked it, too, with metallic blue eyeshadow and fuschia lipstick. But that's because she's insanely gorgeous. I'll try to get a photo of her in that hairstyle. My mama's so stunning, she'll knock your socks off. Too bad I'm the spitting image of my dad! (Love you, Papa!) Ya, if my dad had been a woman of 31, this is how he'd look like:

Same huge ears, same long face, same smile, the exact same eyes. I have a nicer nose though. I'll try to get a photo of my dad, too. He looks... okay. Like me! Hahaha!

Hmmm... I think I look pretty cute in the cat's eye specs. What you think? Perhaps it's time for me to ditch the contacts and start wearing glasses again.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Must. Have. THIS!

I don't like monogram bags. They're vulgar--all that branding screaming in your face. So every time I see anybody toting a bag with huge logos on it, my mind starts chanting "insecure-insecure-insecure..." Despite this, I am not a-hatin'. A lot of my friends are into the whole logo thing. I tease them mercilessly and they tease back that I just can't afford their bags. Haha! Touché.

This doesn't mean I'm against designer bags. I love designer stuff! They're usually very well made and of high-quality materials. But what I can't stand is when they do the huge branding. It is perfectly wonderful to have designer bags but not to be flashy about it. For example, the Fendi bags I own have their logos (my initial F, hence my propensity to snatch up Fendi stuff) discreetly tucked away at the side or on the hardware. Flashy logos are so working class really.

But when I saw this bag, the new Gucci Babouska Medium Boston Bag, I just gasped! I want it!

Why??? Look at those GG logos peppered all over it. Look at the strange way those rabbits are drawn. Look at how the embroidered objects are so random, they don't make any sense at all. It looks like a kid vandalized her momma's bag. Yeah! It's so absolutely hideous, I love it!

Of course I want it because I'm the mother of two very cute and fat rabbits, and my favorite book of all time is Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. I love it because it's so fantastical and quirky and full of whimsy. It looks exactly like a bag a grownup Alice would own. C'est moi! And you can bet it's a great conversation piece because it's just so damn fugly, it's exquisite!

It's also USD 1,950. What the fuck.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

URGENT! Need help with baby names!

No, I'm not pregnant =D

I'm writing an article for Smart Parenting magazine and it's about popular baby names Filipinos give their kids. I thought Jennifer and Karen and Michael and Mark would be on top of the list but apparently yun yung trend with our parents. So, now that our generation is the one having babies, please help me!!!

1. What are the names of your kids? What are the names of your friends' kids? I need the names of kids 3 years old and below.

2. Also, saan galing ang mga pangalan nila? Did you name them after saints, favorite movie/book/TV characters, distinguished family member, etc?

3. What are your considerations for naming your kids? Example, dapat di ma-mispronounce (like my name!) or dapat madaling i-spell.

Yun lang! Pleeeeease help me! This article is due on Monday and now lang na-assign sa akin!!! Just give your answers sa comment box please. Ask your friends for help. I need at least 500 names to kinda see if there are trends. I'm calling the NSO non-stop! Help! Help! HELP!

THANKS!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Britney's sooo back!

Please watch the first few minutes of the video in this MTV VMAs link.

When she walked to the stage to her tune, "Baby, One More Time," my eyes all but fell out crying. My baby's baaaaack! And in a big way, too. Britney won Best Female Video, Best Pop Video, and the biggest award of all--Video of the Year!

Just proves to all and sundry that everyone deserves a second chance and we can all rise from the deepest darkest pits of hell. Welcome back, Britney!

*image from mtv.com

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Vanity, vanity... photos of what I wore

Because of some outfit-for-the-day sites I've become addicted to, I've snapped myself in some of my clothes these past few days. The photos aren't as nice (gosh, what cameras do these people use?), and the clothes aren't as amazing (how can I ever be as stylish as these people?) but it's a start.

Going to: driving class
Wearing: pale pink bell-sleeve top from Korea, Levi's Lady's Style skinny jeans, Nine West brown heels, Liz Claiborne multi-colored bag, Maldita shades
(Mental note: open neckline more to show off Liz Claiborne pink rose quartz necklace)

Going to: radio tours to promote OK! magazine, here at NU 107.5
Wearing: Karimadon baby-doll dress, Steve Madden ballerina flats
in satin and leather
(Mental note: avoid this pose; makes legs look bigger than they are)

Going to: press preview of The Tudors at Greenbelt 3
Wearing: Jockey undershirt, Kate Moss for TopShop wide-leg wool pants, Kenneth Cole Reaction platforms, Fino satchel, Jieux necklace
(Mental note: avoid this pose since I look like I'm scratching my bikini line)

Going to: the grocery next door
Wearing: Bayo Fabulously Pinay tee, Chocolate shorts, Schu
pompom and tweed flats, bayong from Subic
(Mental note: always brush hair even for quick errands next door!!!)

How I shop but don't drop!

Preview magazine's editor-in-chief writes in a recent issue that every fashionista's mantra is shop till you drop. Well, I shop, and for hours on end too, but i need never drop because I do almost all my shopping online!

Online shopping is the best for people like me who hate dressing up just to go to the mall (though I do like dressing up for dinner and the movies), hate parking, hate crowds. At home, barefoot and comfy in my cotton dresses, I sit in front of the computer and shop away. I've bought designer dresses, unusual shoes, vintage bags, rare books and my lovely art prints from various shopping sites online from all over the world. I can even get hay and other goodies for my rabbits because there is absolutely no decent rabbit shop in this country. Anyway, I'll tell you more about my favorite sites in an another post and will include pics of the stuff I've bought.

So how is online shopping? Well, it's not as easy as mall shopping, I'll tell you that. You have to have an international credit card or PayPal. But a lot of sites don't accept cards with non-US billing addresses. Then when you do purchase, there's the waiting period that can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks! The shipping fees can be expensive, too (the trick is to buy in bulk). Shipping can be a problem since a lot of nice sites from the US don't ship to Manila. You have to have a US address. So most of the time, I only shop at the local Multiply and eBay, and occasionally, I'd shop at sites that do deliver worldwide but FedEx can be very expensive (but safe. I love FedEx!). So when I hear that a friend or a relative is coming home to visit, I immediately ask if it's okay to have my shopping delivered to them! And that, my friends, is the best way to curb your shopping expense since I only get to shop big time when someone comes over from the US of A.

But--be still, my beating heart!--my husband just told me about the MyUS.com website. It's a mail forwarding service that his friends use when they shop for sporting goods and gadgets. The stuff they get comes out much cheaper because all the prohibitive taxes our government imposes on imported goods are stripped away. They said they've been members of MyUS.com for years and they like it for its professional and discreet service and that the service delivers fast and for much less. In fact, Vince tells me he's signing up. Oh dear, if he signs up, I'll bombard him with my shopping! MyUS.com promises to receive my stuff, repack it and ship it to my doorstep. They'd even do the paperwork for the customs.

So the bottom line is I get to enjoy the shopping selection in the US, the prices they have (my goodness, their fabulous shoes are like $8-$12 only) and the huge discounts as if I'm a US resident!!! With MyUS.com, I can buy practically everything for much less--magazine subscriptions, shoes, clothes, books, furniture, gadgets, toys for the rabbits and me, medicines and beauty products, jewelry, stationery... OMG. I'm trembling as I type!

Now I know we all have a relative or a friend abroad so I'm pretty sure this post got your attention. Wouldn't it be great if we didn't bother them anymore with all our shipping needs? My goodness, and all that shopping we can do! I can't wait!

Sponsored by MyUS