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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Our big boss just came back from Cannes competition in France and he was all smiles. 2011 year was a great year for Team Philippines! Hauling home the most medals for the country ever, Filipino agencies had several short lists, 2 Silvers, 1 Gold, and 1 Act Grand Tribute. It's great to see the Philippines making waves in a prestigious international competition like Cannes. Once again, our young clients blazed a trail in the Young Marketers Competition with a Gold Win. Congratulations Angeline Go and Justine Ferrer from Del Monte. I hope you guys become visionary brand people one day.

Watch the video. I hope their company sees the potential in their award-winning idea. Del Monte should seriously think about implementing it to boost their brand affinity and as part of their corporate social responsibility program. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I'm so happy about my latest article, "Rizal: Man of Mystery" which delves into the enigmatic rumors surrounding our national hero, Jose Rizal. It was one of the most enjoyable things I've ever written and it's my first article for


Here's an excerpt:

"The most infamous mystery is that Rizal fathered the German Fuehrer, Adolf Hitler.  This rumor began circulating because of an educational film about Nazism and World War II.  In it, a framed photo of Rizal was found hanging on Hitler’s bunker.  This poses the question, “Was Hitler a fan of our national hero or was it something more?”  Jose Rizal was educated in Europe and he spent a great deal of time in Germany.  To this day, he is revered with a street and statue in Wilhelmsfeld. In fact his novel, Noli Me Tangere, was first published in Berlin in 1887. "

For the complete article, click on this link.

Monday, June 20, 2011

I spent the start of my long weekend deep in Rizal research, reading about the world’s perception of our national hero. As expected, his love life is a curiosity for many.

Described as somewhat of a womanizer, some historians believed he was commitment phobic.  When he becomes close to a woman to the point of "intimacy/revelation/love", Rizal runs away. But one woman one woman who seemed to have captured his heart completely was Leonor Rivera. The Filipina he was engaged to marry. 

She is described as a “pretty woman” whose physical features included having a “high forehead”, “soft and wavy hair”, a face that supported “almond eyes”, “small and pensive mouth”, and “engaging dimples” in Rizal: Philippine Nationalist and Martyr. Reading this, I remembered some old photos I had. I was supposed to use them on a feature about fans but I think the mood of the photos perfectly portray the sadness of their doomed romance. 

The two were in a long distance relationship as Rizal had to be in Europe for his studies. They would correspond only through letters, which eventually were intercepted by Leonor’s mother. Believing that Rizal was a subversive, her mother kept them from her, and arranged for Leonor to marry a British engineer, Henry Kipping. Leonor, thinking that Rizal had forgotten her, agreed but only on the condition that she’d stop doing the two things she loved which was to sing and play the piano. She also proclaimed that she would die young and that she did. She was buried with the letters of Rizal stitched to her gown.

Rizal immortalized her as the character Maria Clara. Click this link to see a sketch that Rizal made of her. 

Thanks to Bryan, a good friend, a great tour guide, and an all-around Rizal enthusiast. Check out his blog on this link. 

Outfit: Dress from Deng Tee; accessories and fan from yours truly 
Photo credits: Ms. Kaity Chua
Styling credits: Deng Tee and Cay Kho


Saturday, June 18, 2011

I bought Rogue's June issue which had a very extensive feature on our President Noynoy Aquino. I'm reading the article now but I found this informative as well- A page dedicated to the Modern Man's Barong. This is a good guide for anyone wanting to update their wardrobe with a new Barong Tagalog.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Over the weekend, I was collaborating with a fellow Inquirer contributor on an Independence Day article on fashion that's Filipino. Unfortunately, our article didn't make it in time for the weekend run. But I'm glad I got to clarify my thoughts on the importance of taking inspiration from your own backyard. The reason I started blogging is because I believe that we take our own culture for granted by following styles and trends from other countries. We have to love our own. We have to create a distinctive Filipino aesthetic.

With that, I present the Barong Pambabae.

This is the first time I've ever donned a Barong Tagalog. I must say, I felt empowered. And chic. Maybe, it's because I'm wearing something traditionally made for men. Maybe, it's because this slim-fit barong belongs to the fashion forward Sib Sibulo.

Barongs are made of lightweight, translucent material. It dates back to Spanish colonial times and was derided as Indiowear. Some historians believed that the Spanish stipulated the barong as the outfit for native Filipinos because you can see through the fabric. It made it easier to spot concealed weapons. (Now it's good for hiding jabar.)
I'm happy it became all the rage again in the late 1950s when President Ramon Magsaysay made it his daily uniform. I'm definitely going to have my own Barong made someday. I'll get the expensive one made from Pineapple fiber. I think this one is made of Banana or Abaca which is reasonably priced and less prone to tearing. I imagine wearing it to a wedding while everyone else is a long gown. Snazzy.

Outfit: Sib's groomsman Barong Tagalog; My grade school Doc Martens;  
Pocket watch, antique cane, and woven hat from Chris Yambing.
Photo credits: First one by the foxy Mr. Chris Yambing
The rest from the lovely Ms. Kaity Chua.
Styling credits: Deng Tee and Cay Kho

Monday, June 6, 2011

Oh my Alvarez! Bigla kong namiss si Rudy Fernandez at kanyang maong na jacket at bigote. Go Pepsi Pinas! Let's bring back good old Filipino action films where the guys being shot at shake uncontrollably before dying. Love love love the lines and humor.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Taken by Cars is one of my favorite Filipino bands so when I heard they're releasing their sophomore album I was psyched. I haven't had time to go to one of their gigs or get their album so it was awesome stumbling upon their new video for their single, "This is Our City" directed by music video auteur  Quark Henares.

I love the idea of having Intramuros as a backdrop with the girls styled in modern baro't sayas. It reminded me of the shoot I had with Kaity Chua in Intramuros. I was experimenting with the idea of creating a fashion blog solely dedicated to modern Filipiniana fashions. But I realized how logistically difficult that would be. The main problem being I don't have enough Filipiniana clothes to modernize. While I'm slowly building up my wardrobe, my goal is just to wear something Filipino made or designed every single day. Just a little way for me to support our Filipino designers and retailers.

Here are the shots of that shoot. My interpretation of a modern baro't saya.

These photos were taken on the sly because the Intramuros Administration doesn't allow photo shoots (fashion editorials or wedding photos) without a permit. But, but I'm just a blogger! I think it's silly because the more beautiful photos of Intramuros out there, the more people will be curious to see it. A lot of our countrymen are not even aware of our walled city. Start charging when the tourists are flocking in by the hundreds of thousands. For now, let us help you promote it.