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Saturday, April 30, 2011

McQueen is truly dead

This is a working weekend for me at the entertainment magazine I work for because of the royal wedding. The entire staff is all busy looking through thousands of photos and researching all the details. It's very exciting and terrifying at the same time because we have to finish this issue in 2 days so that you can have it by next week. Fun fun fun!

I was squealing and gasping the entire time. So many thrilling moments! When William and Harry departed Clarence House, when the Queen showed up in sunny yellow, when all those gorgeous Philip Treacy hats paraded outside the Abbey, when I saw those trees in the Abbey, when Pippa showed up (I though for a moment she was Kate), when Kate finally appeared, when she met William at the altar, when I saw all those magnificent horses and the cavalry, etc etc. Of course I clapped most during the kisses at Buckingham Palace! Love it love it love it!



Anyway, I think I'm one of the very few underwhelmed with Catherine's dress. Underwhelmed and disappointed. It's a lovely dress and she looked absolutely amazing in it but... it's not the Alexander McQueen the fashion world remembers.

I'm not dissing it, okay? Like I said, it's a gorgeous dress--simple, elegant, lovely. But those are adjectives you don't really use to describe a McQueen. McQueen is--rather, was--the rock star of the fashion world. He's known for his bold, out-of-this-world, outrageous, sexy, controversial, shocking, theatrical, lavish, rebellious, fantastical, edgy, avant-garde designs.

I honestly could not imagine classic, elegant, sophisticated Kate wearing a McQueen! Just look at his designs as worn by the Great Cate Blanchett:




When I heard the rumors that Sarah Burton for Alexender McQueen might be the lucky designer, I got so excited. William and Kate are known to be a modern couple but even I didn't expect they'd be that modern. Here's the bridal dresses from his last collection:




I was sooo excited to see if Catherine will actually be able to pull off a McQueen! Well, turns out Sarah Burton designed a very Kate Middleton dress for the new duchess. Compare her wedding gown with those dresses up there. Not even close. There's nothing McQueen about Catherine's dress at all.

When I saw Catherine in her gown, I said, "Oh, it's gorgeous! She looks lovely!" And then I got sad because that beautiful gown just emphasized the fact that a true design genius is dead and gone.

However, I figured that Catherine chose the design house of McQueen because he was one of the most celebrated British designers of all time. But if she had actually worn something outrageous, well, that just wouldn't get the approval of two billion people who want their princesses to wear fairy-tale gowns, not cutting-edge fashion!

So great choice, Catherine! You wore something very British and were able to marry tradition with modernity. You've proven to be a master at compromise. So very you and William!

* * * * * * *
See what other designers have to say:
Top designers Lagerfeld, Givenchy and Lacroix give their verdict
San Francisco's top wedding designers weigh in

And what Preview editor-in-chief Pauline Juan has to say:

For the latest Philippine news stories and videos, visit GMANews.TV

For the official wedding photos (so breathtakingly beautiful! The one with the kids is my favorite!), click here.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"Here is the stuff of which fairy tales are made"

Many of you were moved by the wedding sermon I wrote about last week. Now let me share with you another one. Nearly thirty years ago, the Archbishop of Canterbury told Prince William and Lady Diana and the 750 million people around the world watching their wedding that marriage is not a fairy tale and yet married people truly can live happily ever after.



Did you watch it? I hope you did because it sure sounds so much more meaningful when intoned with a British accent! In case you didn't, these are some of his beautiful truths:

"Here is the stuff of which fairy tales are made. The prince and princess on their wedding day. But fairy tales usually end at this point with the simple phrase: 'They lived happily ever after.' This may be because fairy tales regard marriage as an anticlimax after the romance of courtship.

"This is not the Christian view. Our faith sees the wedding day not as the place of arrival, but the place where the adventure really begins."

The Archbishop then talks about how marriage is not the end of the love story, but the beginning. It is when creation happens--creation of a lifelong partnership, creation of a family, creation of the building blocks of society. So through marriage, we are given the power to shape the future exponentially.

"If we solved all of our economic problems and failed to build loving families, it would profit us nothing. Because the family is the place where the future is created good and full of love, or deformed."

He then adds that every married couple is a "royal" couple, especially on their wedding day. And that is true, or why else do we wear the gowns, have an entourage, be toasted and celebrated and adored? Some brides even wear tiaras!

"Those who are married live happily ever after the wedding day if they persevere in the real adventure which is the royal task of creating each other and creating a more loving world.

"This is our prayer for Charles and Diana. May the burdens we lay on them be matched by the love with which we support them in the years to come. And however long they live, may they always know that when they pledged themselves to each other before the altar of God, they were surrounded and supported not by mere spectators but by the sincere affection and active prayer of friends."

Well, as we all know, that marriage wasn't supported by the love and prayer of friends. The world, strangely, seemed to want to tear apart Charles and Diana. And all marriages in general, come to think of it.

So may we all support our marriages and families! And to William and Kate, you have our best wishes and sincerest hopes for a life lived happily ever after.

photos from here, here and here

Monday, April 25, 2011

Blogging from the iPad

Testing testing! I hope this works! Text and photo. As you can see (if the photo shows up, that is), I'm not ready yet! But I can't resist showing you my boy, who was puzzled then amused by my hair contraptions!




- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Suuuuuper happy!

Hello everyone! How was your holiday?

I've had a lovely two weeks. Went with my Sales family to the truly incredible Shangri-la Mactan for the very first time (thanks, Mom and Dad!), happy with how things are going at work since a huge problem is finally going away (hooray!), had an amazing anniversary week with Vince, met the coolest mommy bloggers ever over milkshakes and mocktails, gave my Topaz Mommy blog a fab makeover, and really enjoyed the Holy Week cocooned at home with just my boys.

Plus, I've been winning auction after auction on eBay! I now have a cute new Marni dress, a whimsical Gucci bag, a sheet of Peter Rabbit stamps and a bottle of my Lanvin perfume (the one on eBay is about P2,000 cheaper than the ones sold at the mall!). I'm sooo happy! I still have my eye on four designer dresses. Bidding ends on Wednesday. This is sooo exciting! I hope I win them all!

*family photo from my sister-in-law Lizelle =)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Need to inject color to my wardrobe (plus other reflections)

Here's my son Vito, happily toothily smiling for the camera (click pic to enlarge). He's super cute, isn't he? There's more and better photos of my darling boy in Topaz Mommy.

As for the outfit, I'm wearing a Bench tank, Kate Moss for Topshop wool pants, Cole Vintage flats, Sopia bib necklace and, for a pop of color, my Cambridge Satchel.

I've taken to wearing blacks, grays and beiges. It's rather boring. I don't know if this is a phase because I'm feeling insecure about my stubborn belly fat or because black hides baby spit and food stains or I've truly become boring. If it's permanent (heaven forbid!), I guess I should start buying bright accessories, like Furla's candy bags which I covet.

Hmm, which reminds me... On Twitter today, fellow mom bloggers Martine and Eliza and mompreneur Paola and I chatted about how women would sacrifice food, apply for endless payday loans, and go into credit card debt just to buy designer bags, specifically bags that go for obscene amounts. I said that if I had that much money to spend on frivolity, I'd rather buy jewelry. And I actually do. Jewelry appreciates in value (the price of gold hit a record high recently), is easy to pack and hide should you need to flee (must stop watching crime shows--I'm beginning to think like a crook!), and is easy to sell or barter. Bags? Imagine packing all of your Birkins and Pradas while fleeing the country. Jewelry is easy--just sweep into a bag (preferably the understated and roomy Mulberry Bayswater) and go.

However, I have nothing against buying designer bags. If we can afford them, why not? But I think there's something seriously wrong about getting into debt or sacrificing on essentials like food or the children's education or living in squalor just so you can tote a Goyard, a Birkin or a Chanel. Or the latest gadget. For example, I always get supremely irritated that certain relatives of mine have smart phones and game consoles and yet can't pay for their kids' tuition fees. Really.

Reflection. Literally!
Me, I live a good life. I have nice clothes and a few nice bags (mostly from eBay!). I eat good food. I live in a nice house filled with nice things. I have a small library. I have no debt. I can afford to live my nice life.

But people don't see beyond my nice life. They don't see that I spent 1999 to 2009 working my ass off, working 24 hours sometimes, eating very little or skipping meals altogether, skipping doctor check-ups and maintenance meds for my asthma, carefully using and cleaning clothes and shoes so they will last longer, scraping together every peso and enduring the glare of bank tellers while I count out coins I saved up to deposit to my bank account, and delaying marriage and kids because I wanted to have a better life first.

All people see is I'm lucky. All they see is my glamorous life. And it is a wonderful life filled with nice trappings. I love my life. The best part is I deserve this life because I earned it. Every bit of it. So if I go out and buy a Furla candy bag tomorrow or a ruby ring or a painting or a dozen books or an orange Zara dress, I can do so and most happily, too!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What I wore... to a TV interview about the royal wedding

I've been doing interviews left and right for TV magazine and lifestyle shows in preparation for the royal wedding next week.

I'm a lot familiar with the British royal family history and answered all the questions happily. But there were two questions that I stumbled over:
1. Is it true that Kate Middleton is the oldest royal bride ever?
2. Is it true Prince William split up with Kate many times over their eight years together?

I actually answered the first one with Kate, at 29, is old for a royal bride. Then when the interviewer joked, "Oh, so she's the oldest royal bride!" I laughed, "Yes, she's old!" But of course that sounded like "Yes, she is the oldest bride ever!" Kate is not the oldest bride. Remember that her mother-in-law, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, married Charles when she was approaching 60. Then there's Anne Boleyn (married at 32), Katherine Parr (31), and the oldest monarch that was also a bride, Queen Mary I (married at 38). Hehe, nerd alert!

For the second question... Well, that's a bit tricky. I read somewhere they broke up twice while other sources said they broke up just once. So I said they broke up twice. Now, after watching the engagement interview the couple granted ITC, I confirmed they really only broke up once. Oh well!

Here's what I wore:
But first! My TV makeup. I usually just use Myra tinted moisturizer for work but for TV, I use a massive dollop of La Mer liquid foundation, La Mer concealer, La Mer dusting powder, Nars blush, L'Oreal eye shadow palette and ModelCo eyebrow powder.

I want to point out my many baby hairs, by the way! After four months of post-partum shedding, my hair is finally growing back. My hair's still alarmingly thin, however, so I'm still on the lookout for the best hair loss treatment.
Then I ran to the neighborhood salon for a blow dry. But they were super full so I went to another salon, which gave me a really crappy blowout (see below).
And finally, here's what I wore: Forever 21 tank top, Zara blazer, Levi's Lady's Style jeans, Benjie Angeles hardware necklace, Cambridge Satchel and 6-inch color-block sandals from Urbanog.

I love my Cambridge Satchel!

Join Bayo's summer internship program!

Seems like everybody's off to the beach or have jetted off to another country! Myself? We've already spent a lovely long weekend at Shangri-la Mactan (photos as soon as I resize them!) and we're already looking forward to a few quiet days spent here in empty Manila.

Of course, by next week, we'll all be back to the daily grind. Except students on summer break, you lucky you! Now, if you're a young sweetheart who loves fashion and you want to see what's it like to work in the glamorous, cut-throat, competitive and yet super fun world of clothes and accessories, you just might want to check out Bayo's summer internship program.

I never got to be an intern when I was in college. But I did work for our church as the receptionist. You know, I learned a lot from that summer job and got great career advice from my boss and mentor, Pastor Eddie Lyons. I learned how to be very polite, to be of service, to make the caller feel important and to get straight to the point. So I'm glad that I was a receptionist because it sure has helped me get to where I am today!
Here's the application form you can just download. Bring it to the nearest Bayo store. Application has been extended to April 30 so you still have time. I know the jpg says to email it, but good luck editing that file! And good luck on your summer adventures!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My heart is overjoyed for Anika's heart!

On the very last day of March, I saw a Tweet on my Twitter feed. It was asking anyone who saw that Tweet to help Anika heal her broken heart. I clicked on the link and saw a beautiful little girl. She had adorable ringlets and a sweet, shy smile.

Anika also has Single Ventricle Defect. Our hearts have two ventricles--one pumps blood into our lungs, the other pumps blood to the rest of our body. Anika only has one ventricle. She has literally just half a heart, and it's beating extra hard to keep this little four-year-old girl alive. She needs two expensive surgeries to fix this rare heart problem.

When I found out about Anika, my own heart broke because, for one painful minute, it was Vito I saw lying in that hospital bed. If only I had billions and billions, Anika! Instead, I blogged about her and Tweeted and re-Tweeted. I wanted Anika to live! She was born the day before my wedding, a fairy-tale day, and I want her and her parents to live happily ever after.

Today I heard the bestest news ever! Put on your gowns, ladies, and tie your bow ties, gents, while we bring out the champagne because Anika's got the most amazing birthday gift. But I won't tell you here. Let Anika tell you herself!

Thank you to everybody who re-Tweeted and spread the word about Anika. Thank you to the generous souls who contributed to her surgery fund. Thank you to everybody who stormed the gates of heaven. But we're just halfway there! Please keep spreading Anika's story and praying for her complete cure. God bless you!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

On the importance of a very public wedding

It's the eve of our fourth wedding anniversary and Vince and I found ourselves talking about how we ended up having the wedding of not our dreams. If you know us at all, we're not the sort of people who dreamed of white gowns and designer bridesmaid dresses, tearful speeches and towering cake, first dances and gorgeous photo shoots, and all the extravaganza that weddings entail.

Nope, we are not fans of, in our minds, such corny fare. Even now, yes, even with our lovely wedding that had a designer cream mermaid gown and avante-garde striped dresses for the entourage, no dramatic speeches, no dancing, no silly souvenirs and no photo shoots fit for fashion magazines. We toned it down, waaaay down, but we still had a wedding that was nowhere near the simple, just-the-two-of-us affair we had wanted. 

Do we regret it? Nope, not at all! Having been there and done that, we now see why the oldies insist that weddings be grand. Let me tell you about this pastor who gave the most memorable wedding sermon ever.

The couple were about to exchange their wedding vows and the pastor--I forget his name--suddenly called the attention of all of us gathered there. I can't recall his exact words so I will paraphrase. He said, "This young couple are promising each other forever and you, all of you, now are guardians of that vow. If one of them slips, if one of them strays, if one of them forgets, you who are here must remind them of this day. You, by being here, are bound by their oath and it is also your duty to make sure this couple stand by theirs. You are not just guests. You are guardians."

He added, "It isn't easy to be married. It isn't easy to stay married for the rest of one's life. We humans are too weak. And in the end, we die. That is why when two people promise to love each other anyway, in the face of the certainty that life is filled with temptation and defeat, it is almost ridiculous. Or it is divine. There is no other way to explain it. Nothing on earth lasts forever because even these wedding vows end with till death do you part. But love, love transcends death. And everyone here witnessing this marriage will have a memory of this day and while those memories last, this love lasts, this promise stands."

At our wedding four years ago, 140 guests showed up. Then the wedding came out in the pages of Inquirer and Wedding Essentials magazine. I don't know how many people read those. It's safe to say that there's a lot of people out there who know I'm married to Vince and that he's married to me. If Vince and I had gone ahead with our plans to elope to Vegas (okay, that's a joke), it would be too easy to hope that no one will know or care if we forget our marriage once in a while or maybe even just quit it altogether. 

But we have guardians. Our marriage is protected, whether we like it or not, because while those memories last, this love lasts, this promise stands.       

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

William & Kate's royal love story on TV

William and Kate, er, excuse me, Catherine, are getting married in a little over 2 weeks and if you want to know their love story, there are a ton of books and magazine articles (such as the December, January, February, March and April issues of OK! Philippines! Grab your copy now!) out there detailing it. Or you can just watch this:

I can't believe they couldn't find actors who looked like William and Catherine. Seriously. And that part where Kate storms out when she sees William hugging another girl and the scene where she and William have a near shouting match out in the halls of St. Andrews for all the school to see? Sounds very improbable. Still! I'd drop everything to watch this!

Pretty shoes

Last Thursday, I had dinner at Nikki and Bern's townhouse. They threw an intimate party for our friend Nicole. I didn't realize it was that intimate, though! It was just Nikki, Bern, me, Nic and Nic's friend Tata.
Nicole and I love milk tea!
On a diet, Nikki gets "upset" at dessert: profiteroles!
Tired me with Bern and Nikki

We talked about a lot of things and so ended up going home past midnight.
Nic and Nikki, still pretty at midnight!
Nic's been hanging out a lot with Tata.

I can't tell you what we talked about so I'll just show you our shoes!
Nikki. Everyone should have yellow shoes!
Nic's Aldo nude pumps are a classic.
My two-tone Sapato Manila heels
Tata's sandals

What shoes are you wearing today? Me? As in, today today? I'm wearing Janilyn flats!

Monday, April 11, 2011

12 years of kisses

On April 18, Vince and I will be celebrating 4 years of marriage and 12 years of ridiculous happiness. I met him on April 5, 1999, on a bus filled with writers. Little did I know that the boy with the hangover and the messy long hair would become my husband and the father of my child.

Vince said he knew instantly that I was The One. Within a week of meeting, he and I had shared the most intense conversations. He wrote me poems, serenaded me, gave me chocolates and, because I am not one to waste time, I rewarded him with a kiss on April 18, just 13 days after meeting. Best. Kiss. Ever! Kissing Vince for the first time was beyond strange because that kiss felt like a life-changer, like I had been waiting all my life for that one kiss. In fairy tale parlance, it was true love's first kiss.

On Monday, it'll be 12 years of kissing. We still like kissing. We kiss so much, Vito wants to join in. He looks at his parents kissing and makes smacking sounds himself!

Twelve years. It certainly doesn't feel like 12 years. Well, I feel older now, calmer, wiser. My cellulite and fine wrinkles, my exhaustion after a long day all point out that I am definitely getting old. But when Vince kisses me, I am transformed back to that 22-year-old girl who never dreamed she'd find love but found it anyway when she least expected it. His kisses (and everything that follows the kiss!) keep me young and well and truly in love.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

It's Valentine's Day all over again!

So Vince ordered the Cambridge Satchel from chocolate schu bar for me. It was his Valentine's Day gift. I was over the moon, I tell ya! schu told us to expect the shipment by March but delays in shipping do happen--I know this because I shop online a lot so I didn't mind at all.

And then, last Friday evening, Ruby of schu DM'd me on Twitter:

I was sooo excited! I kept Tweeting my excitement!

However, I had to wait till today before we finally picked up my new bag. Apparently, I am patient after all!
Vince gives me the best gifts--Vito being the bestest!
Unwrapping!
Et voila!
Sunshine!
I love it!!! Will post a detailed bag feature on Beauty For A Living soon! Sigh. Happy Valentine's Day! Thanks, Vince!

Saturday, April 09, 2011

A day in the life of moi - April 7, Thurs

I promised to do a regular "A day in the life" post but I'm telling you that not one day is the same for me. That should make that kind of post fun and easy to do, right? But no. I'm exhausted just thinking about it! When I tried doing it, I couldn't decide on whether I should take photos of these: breakfast, lunch, dinner, meetings, where I am, who I'm talking to, etc. It just seemed too trivial. As in, do my readers even want to know this??? So I'll do a "A day in the life" post maybe every other month or so. That's still regular, ya know!

For our first ever "A day in the life" post, let's take on April 7, 2011. Here's what happened on that exceptionally busy day:
I love breastfeeding Vito! 
I always start my day very early. Vito wakes up between 5:30am to 6am. He climbs all over Vince and me, either slapping or shrieking us awake. We play for about half an hour then I breastfeed him before he has his breakfast at 7.

After Vito has breakfast, his yaya takes him to the playground. Sometimes, I prepare Vince's packed lunch. Most times, I go back to sleep. Then Vince and I have breakfast. Vito comes back at around 9, just in time to say "bah-bah" to his "pah-pah-pah." Usually, Vito has a bath then he breastfeeds again and sleeps. Then I shower and prepare to go, usually after I've had lunch at 11:30am.

That Thursday, however, I had a brunch event so Vito also said "bah-bah" to "mama-mama." Heartbreak! Especially since I knew I was going to be home very late that day. Sigh.
Zara dress, Sapato Manila shoes


La Mer event was at Robot Lounge
My first event was the launch of La Mer Whitening Essence Intense. Will write about that in my beauty blog soon. I had a lovely time seeing La Mer's Ina Casas. I love her! I also had a serious chat with Preview's Pauline Juan. But I can't reveal what we talked about.

Then off I went to the office for the monthly publishers' meeting. That was an exciting meeting since we all talked about the biggest ever issue of the magazine I edit--the royal wedding issue coming out in May!!!

Then off I left for a meeting with Just Jewels at Glorietta 4. No photos either! Suffice it to say I had a very productive meeting with the jeweler and I'm so excited about working with them (and, personally, adding more pieces to my jewelry box!).

Just across the Just Jewels shop is Cole Haan. I fell in love with two bags:
Heritage Weave Hadley Messenger in Cashew
Vintage Valise Claire Mini Satchel in Woodbury
Cole Haan offers credit card holders a crazy 3-month, 0% installment plan on anything and everything! I seriously was tempted to swipe away! But I'm saving up for a fantastic anniversary gift for Vince. So Cole Haan bags, please wait for me!

I look so tired!
Then I walked to SM Makati for the opening of Forever 21. Wrote about that on Beauty For A Living. I had to pass by Watsons first to buy these amazing band-aids because all that walking in heels caused a painful abrasion at the top of my heel.

Stringy-haired me with the lovely couple
I ended the day with dinner at Bern and Nikki's. She threw an intimate party for our friend Nicole and we ended up going home very late. Stupid me didn't bring my breast pump so I was going insane with pain from my milk-swollen chest (remember I last fed Vito at 7am!). So I stumbled home, dead tired and in serious pain, but I had to express the milk first. After filling up two bottles, I finally crept into bed, snuggled against my husband and my little boy (who helped drain more milk), and... Nope, I was so exhausted and in pain, I couldn't fall asleep!

And that was my day! Whew. Goodness me. What a long post! And that's why I don't think I can do this kinda post often!

If you really want to know how I go about my daily life, follow my Tweets!

Cole Haan bag photos from their website.