Saturday, February 19, 2011

austerity measures

My Chinese New Year's resolution (yez, Chinese New Year-- not January 1st, which for me does not feel like New Year at all since I work all throughout the holidays) is to stop spending money on unnecessary albeit pretty pretty things.

So now I must content myself with just looking. All temptilicious pictures borrowed from

Before I met the Mulberry Alexa in person in Singapore, I had a lust affair with the PS1. I still want it, especially in this new fabulous green shade. I just have to remind myself that it's the price of a secondhand car.

Proenza Schouler PS1 large leather satchel in green.

I think I may be over the Alexa. I'm really liking the Bayswater now, and the shiny patent leather brings me back to elementary school. Hmm, I would probably wear this bag with a crisp long-sleeved white shirt-- with cufflinks!-- and a tie. And just for fun, plaid pants and a newsboy cap.

Mulberry Bayswater patent leather laptop bag.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

my new look 3

Today, I suddenly decided to change my blog's template. All my life, I've been True Blue. I thought I would try going verdant for a change. After years of believing that eagles are naturally colored blue, it's not easy being green, I tell ya.

My old look.

These new templates are really so interesting!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

food porn @ pia y damaso

I love food. Am I a foodie? I dunno. What's a foodie, anyway? All I know is that I love to eat, and even though I'm not a very good cook, I like to know what's in my food and what makes it taste the way it does.

Nowadays, when I eat out, I make right-off-the-bat judgments about restaurants based on two things: The food must be tasty and it must be value for money. The ambience and service merely enhance or exacerbate the food's flavor and cost. It's always about the food.

I love taking pictures of good-looking food. I get really TURNED ON, no kidding. For that one reason, I think I may be falling in love with Restaurante Pia Y Damaso. But thank gadness, (most of) their pretty pretty food is yummy, too.

We joined a group of Ladies Who Lunch on 28 January 2011, and we all got to try a variety of dishes. I've always liked Pia Y Damaso's desserts, but I'd never tried the savory part of the menu. We started with some Crisp Cones. Light, refreshing and fun to eat.

Crisp cones with crab, corn, tomato relish. Sautéed crab meat, corn and onions stuffed into fried cones with fresh tomato, cucumber, cumin, cinnamon, parsley and lemon juice.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

i feel a change comin' on

Herodotus wrote in "The Histories": For many very wealthy men are not happy, while many who have only a moderate living are fortunate. In truth the very rich man who is not happy has two advantages only compared with the poor man who is fortunate, whereas this latter has many as compared with the rich man who is not happy. The rich man is able better to fulfill his desire, and also to endure a great calamity if it fall upon him; whereas the other has these advantages over him-- he is not indeed able equally with the rich man to endure a calamity or to fulfill his desire, but these his good fortune keeps away from him, while he is sound of limb, free from disease, untouched by suffering, the father of fair children and handsome himself. If in addition to this he shall end his life well, he is worthy to be called that which you seekest, namely a happy man; but before he comes to his end it is well to hold back and not call him happy yet but only fortunate.

Monday, February 7, 2011


Kalibo is the capital of Aklan province. It's a sleepy little town with a very laid back populace. There's no McDonald's, no KFC, no Starbucks. By 8PM, the streets are deserted. There are no taxis, only tricycles. Many buses and trucks pass through the town, but they almost never stop, their drivers hurrying to their final destinations-- either Boracay, the crown jewel of Aklan, or Iloilo, the commercial hub of this region.

Once every year, during Ati-atihan in January, the whole town wakes up and goes nuts.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Will Chinese New Year ever be declared a holiday in the Philippines?

Because my doggy-dog got sick and had to be brought to Manila, I celebrated my birthday in Manila with La Familia for the first time in over a decade. And also Chinese New Year.

ain't no sunshine

The last day of Ati-atihan, Sunday 16 January 2011, was dark and gloomy.

In fact, we all woke up at 5AM because we wanted to attend the 7AM mass at the plaza-- well, THEY wanted to hear mass. I just wanted to catch the last part, which so-oooo many people told me should not be missed.

But it rained. Very hard. For hours and hours. And our chauffeur never showed up. Ah well, maybe next year.

Our trusty chariot awaited... NOT!

When the rain started to taper off, we drove around town, visiting various friends and relatives, and eating eating eating. My gad, I ate lechon (roast pig) for Saturday lunch, Saturday dinner, Sunday lunch and Sunday dinner. I was literally pigged out.

To burn off the calories, we decided to join the afternoon procession of the Santo Niño images.

Friday, February 4, 2011

dressed to kill

The black and white group was my favorite of all the tribal dancers at the Ati-atihan in Kalibo last month, so for their photos, I wanted to try something different.

I decided to shoot them in Dynamic B&W because I figured that their costumes were in black and white anyway, and I didn't want the colorful backgrounds to distract from them. I thought I might have problems with the contrast, but thankfully, it was a sunny day.

Secondly, I shot them from not-so-conventional angles. I wanted to have a real man-on-the-street feel, and I think I really killed it.


The Ati-atihan of Kalibo is first and foremost a religious festival. One that lasts about a week and is characterized by solemn and silent prayer in the mornings, and boisterous and drunken street-dancing the rest of the day and night.

From Wikipedia: "The Ati-Atihan Festival is a feast held annually in January in honor of the Santo Niño (Infant Jesus), concluding on the third Sunday, in the town of Kalibo, Aklan in the Philippines. The festival consists of tribal dance music, accompanied by indigenous costumes and weapons, and parades along the street. Christians and non-Christians observe this day with religious processions. The origins of the festival are found in a 13th-century event, when a group of ten Malay chieftains called Datus, fleeing from the island of Borneo, settled in the Philippines and were welcomed by the Ati people, the tribes of Panay Island. The Ati-Atihan was originally a pagan festival from this tribe practicing Animism, to worship their anito god. Spanish missionaries gradually added a Christian meaning. Today, the Ati-Atihan is celebrated as a religious festival and is a major social gathering for the townspeople."

Thursday, February 3, 2011

the mother of all street parties

It's been three weeks since Ati-atihan, and I have tons of pictures that have been waiting patiently to be uploaded and bragged about. The last week of January was unbelievably hectic, with Teddy the Lhasa Apso getting sick a few days before my birthday-- possibly a stroke, said the vet. (He's recovering nicely, and is now on an anti-obesity diet. No kidding.)

So without further ado, here are my pictures of the tribal costume competition on 15 January 2011. Hala-bira!