i’m leaving.

these photos have been sitting here for a very long time. far longer than they’re supposed to.

like the clothes on my bed and the books on my floor. all waiting to be sorted so i can start packing already.

but that’s the thing with leaving. i hate packing. more so when you’re leaving with no idea of when you’re coming back. so you wanna take as much of your old belongings with you to remind you of home. probably just as much as you wanna postpone the whole packing business to some inconvenient time where there’s no room left for sentimentality. say, a day or two before the trip.

yes, i’m leaving. in exactly 12 days, i will be flying to melbourne to be with jeff and to start another chapter of my life with him where new adventures and a whole lot of photoshoots await. it’s exciting and scary at the same time but i know i’m in good hands.

the day i received my visa, i was so happy i could cry. funny enough, two seconds later, i was literally crying. like, full on. the thought of leaving all the people i love behind and not knowing when i’d see them again made me bawl. you should have seen me as my sister saw me when i barged into her room. i probably looked like a borderline nutcase in the process of entirely losing her mind. i mean, when you’re feeling both extremes of the emotional spectrum at the same time, how much crazier can you get?

at 2am, i was dialing jeff on viber. not for a booty call, but for an emergency crisis intervention. practically begging him to tell me everything’s gonna be fine. not with me (because i know i’m gonna be okay), but with the people i’m gonna leave behind. my parents, most especially.

and like a true shrink with the soothing talents of a pastor, he offered me words of comfort that i know i’m gonna remember forever. about how, someday, technology would be so advanced that i can communicate with my loved ones here through a special helmet that would allow me to see and talk to them real-time.

“kind of like how Professor X communicates with the x-men?” i asked tearfully.

“yes! but even better because there would also be robots…” he went on and on.

i didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

so once again, i did both. which made me feel even crazier. but the happier kind of crazy, i guess. just knowing that somehow, someone’s got my back. (even if that someone’s idea of “words of comfort” involves words such as “aliens” and “robots” and some other stuff that science fiction is made of. lol. i appreciate the effort though, jeffy. haha.)

the special helmets and robots might take a while before they become mainstream. for now, let me just post these pictures as a remembrance of the happy times last summer. (and also to move on from this backlog!)

p.s. pardon the vanity poses. obviously, that’s what happens when you have a photographer boyfriend.

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i’m trying to be modest about this but guess who won the best cebu personal blogger 2014?! =D

“daddy, look!” i whispered excitedly, clutching the trophy in my arms. it was heavy.

you should’ve seen his face. it was definitely the kind of look a father proudly gives his daughter who has accomplished a little something in this 21st century.

the kind that briefly congratulates and then asks, “what is a blog?!”

lol. my dad’s really cute. i love him so much. =)

best cebu blog award 2014

so, yeah, i won. and the said trophy sits smugly in front of me as we speak.

BEST CEBU PERSONAL BLOGGER 2014. my name written in script right below it.

to be honest, i never really called myself a blogger. the term made me cringe. made me feel like an impostor. as far as i was concerned, i was just this random chick who happened to write about random shit online for posterity’s sake. i did it (and still do it) because i enjoy doing it. i was as happy doing it then when i only had girly as my follower (bless her) as i am now that it has multiplied four hundred times (bless you).

because of that, i didn’t really feel the need to market my blog. i’m too shy to ask people to “like” or to follow me (although it pleases me to know if they genuinely do). it’s a popularity contest and the limelight hurts my eyes. so much so that girly took the initiative to create a facebook account on my behalf so i can join blogging events and stuff like that which i didn’t have access to until the middle of this year. i guess you can say i was a little too blissful playing alone in my sandbox.

if there’s two people i wanna thank right now for bringing me out of my hermit shell and to embrace all the opportunities that this blog is opening up for me, it would have to be girly and jeff — girly since day 1; and jeff since that day he found out about my blog and started stalking my bikini pics. hahaha. i kid. he fell in love with my brain first. or so he said. i might have to double check on that. lol.

also, i wanna thank each and everyone who graced the pages of this blog with their faces and their memories. rest assured i sincerely plucked out photos of you with your best angles in them, unless they contradicted my angles. in which case, i win. (makes you wanna start your own blog now, huh?)

best cebu blog awards 2014

and, of course, to the people behind best cebu blogs awards — the organizers, sponsors, and participants — everyone who directly or indirectly contributed to the success of the event, a BIG THANK YOU to you all!

oh, and guess what, two of the bloggers i follow won! i am so happy for them. it’s just a really different feeling when somebody you actually know wins. well, not actually know know but, you know. reading their blogs makes me feel like i get first dibs over some aspects of their lives. jump over to their website. they’re pretty cool. =)

  • best cebu travel blogger: gian and his “sweetie,” sheila of adrenaline romance. they’re this really cute couple whose idea of a perfect date almost always involves jumping on a plane to somewhere to do adventurous stuff together. (i asked gian over twitter if i can expect a destination wedding soon. guess we’ll just have to keep ourselves updated through their blog. hehe.)
  • best cebu photo blogger: jewel delgado of jewelclicks. remember my bric’s post? that’s how i met her. she was so kind as to babysit my trophy for me that night. (thanks, jewel!)

to all the winners, congratulations! (same goes for the finalists too. because win or lose, the fact that you’re all following your passions is awesome enough as it is.)

bric’s: italy finally found its way in cebu

as far as bags and luggage are concerned, that is.

bric's milano

founded in 1952 by mario briccola, the classy, high-quality leather goods come from a tradition unique in the world that guarantees the elevated quality’s standard of a bric’s product. when one speaks of “made in bric’s,” one refers not to the geographical provenance of the company but rather to the genius of italian know how, from which an idea is born, and to an all too unmistakable style. (from bric’s brochure)

bric's milanobric's milano

and when they say style, i reckon it’s not so much about being trendy as it is about being classy. because judging from the looks of their bags, you’d probably get the impression that the designs are pretty safe but you have to admit: they do evoke a subtle sense of elegance that neither screams nor shouts, but quietly sits there with the confidence of a lady who knows her worth without having to prove it to anyone else. because everyone else pretty much gets that vibe, anyway.

bric's milano

i don’t even know if that makes any sense to you right not but that’s one of the things that draws me to their products. the simplicity of it that cannot be underestimated by looks alone because there’s a certain timelessness about it that speaks of quality.

bric's milanobric's milano

there are quite a number of items to choose from, depending on what suits your needs and your lifestyle best. their luggage is their bestseller and really, i’m not surprised. they make you look and feel like a thousand bucks — a jet-setter with a propensity to travel in style, minus the flagrant display of monograms.

bric's milano

as a matter of fact, my sister and i modeled some of their bags and boy, did i fall in love with this one in particular. it’s so me! just as that luggage is so my sister, the traveler that she is. (check out her blog!)

let’s just say we both rocked ‘em! and with the neutrality of the colors and the designs, i’m pretty sure most everyone can. i would say any “basic bitch” would but what the hell does that mean, anyway? more importantly, what’s so offensive about it?

bric's milano

oh, and guess what? i met jewel of jewelclicks.com, another blogger in cebu who’s nominated for the 2014 best cebu fashion blog and best cebu photo blog.

(this blog has been shortlisted as a finalist for the 2014 best cebu personal blog, too, but i never told you that, did i? well, now you know. hehe.)

she sure is one chatty lady! a very lively girl. we both found it funny how are names would have been exactly the same, if not for their last letters.

jewel x jewey is what she labeled that encounter. i liked the sound of that. =)

a belated birthday letter

my birthday was over  a month ago. this came in just today.

but it melted my heart, regardless. her letters never fail to make me smile. =)

aeva letteraeva letteraeva letteraeva letter

cole haan: of quality and style rolled into one

cole haan

“OMIGOD, THAT IS SO ME!” was the first thought that entered my head. the ones after that were basically a tangle of mental wires short-circuiting the fuse in my brain as the statement “that is a really nice bag.” simultaneously turned into a question of “would santa buy it for me?” thereby reducing me into a 6-year old who still believes in that bearded old man up in the north pole who can magically squeeze himself, his tummy, and his sack full of toys down a narrow chimney.

and all because of a bag. with matching wallet, to boot!

at least that’s what that cole haan bag (and let’s not forget the wallet) did to me. like all of a sudden, it was christmas and i just wanted to scribble that one particular item on my list regardless if i had been naughty or nice. (i was nice. sometimes.)

but, yeah, being inside the newly-opened cole haan shop at ayala center cebu is so much like being a kid in a candy store. and we’re talking real yummy candies here. definitely the kind that keeps you coming back for more.

cole haancole haancole haan

a little fyi: the company has been around since 1928. if you do the math, that means they have been around long enough to figure out what exactly makes a shoe the shoe, you know what i mean?

Cole Haan was formed in Chicago in 1928 by Trafton Cole and Eddie Haan, who built the company on a reputation of quality, craftsmanship, style, and service. Cole Haan—which began life as a men’s footwear brand but expanded into women’s and children’s products as well—has sought to maintain this spirit throughout its more than 70-year history. (source)

good thing they ventured into women’s shoes as well because the following are holiday temptations themselves.

cole haancole haancole haan

in a perfect world, i’d be rocking these babies right now. =)

speaking of christmas, you might wanna visit cole haan at ayala center cebu and surprise that special someone in your life with a little something from the shop. who knows? you might just get something naughty nice in return. wink, wink. =p

world toilet day

truth be told, i have never heard of “world toilet day” until about 2 weeks ago. apparently, world toilet day has been celebrated every november 19th for years! 13, to be exact. and they even have an organization for it which was founded on the 19th of november 2001, with the inaugural world toilet summit held on the same day in singapore to address the issue of sanitation all around the world (thus, the date).

philippines included.

i could crack a couple of shitty jokes right now but a verbal diarrhea of senseless humor might seem too, uh, tacky. and believe me when i say that those puns were definitely not intended. it’s just that, you know, toilet = shit. it’s the kind of mathematical equation whose solution is as automatic as 1+1.

this shit is serious. (i’m sorry but i had to say that, for emphasis.)

anyway, if there’s one person who feels so deeply about the issue, it’s jeff. growing up deprived of basic sanitation, he recounted tales of how and where they shat before. describing their toilet facilities, he spoke about how a deep hole was dug in the ground with two slabs of wood placed on top where they could squat. “it was fucking scary! i was afraid of either inhaling all those bacteria — or falling right into the bacteria!”

sure, we laughed about all of it last night but i have to admit the gravity of the situation is real. however, the libran that i am, i tried to weigh things out. i even had the audacity to downplay his experiences by suggesting, “but jeffy, maybe it was because you lived in woop-woop. the city’s toilets probably weren’t that bad!”

“no, it was like that even in the city, boo. that’s just how the toilets were back then.” 

“back then” was more than 20 years ago. by now, you’d think the toilets have changed together with the times but i have to admit: it’s something that’s still happening now. especially in rural areas where underprivileged communities live.

and frankly, even in the city where establishments don’t give a hoot about providing their customers with decent restrooms. (gawd, i hate that!)

which is why i am supporting Domex in their efforts to achieve their One Million Clean Toilets Movement. they produced this video which shows how underprivileged Filipinos welcome the “arrival” of clean toilet facilities in their communities to make people realize the value of a toilet which many of us take for granted.

“By watching the ‘Fiesta’ video and asking our friends to watch it, we are not only raising awareness for toilet appreciation and sanitation, more importantly, we are helping less privileged communities gain access to clean toilet facilities,” said Benjie Yap, Unilever Foods and Home Care Vice President.

Each unique view translates into a pledge for the advocacy campaign which collects pledges from households to conscientiously maintain their own hygienic bathrooms. For every pledge received, Domex will donate P5 to UNICEF’s sanitation program, towards improving access to basic sanitation in deprived areas around the world, including the Philippines.

so, yeah, if you want to make a difference in your own little way, just watch the video below. it’s that simple! (and what’s 1 minute and 8 seconds of your day compared to a lifetime of health that you can give to these people?)

geriatric girl bonding

after last night, it’s no longer a question of probability. it’s official: we are old. something we have learned to accept and laugh off because the idea of actually being surprised as to why the bars are still packed with people at 1 in the morning is so funny.

a million years ago, weren’t we a part of that early morning crowd? taking the cue to go home only when the dawn cracks and sunlight starts piercing the clouds, into our bloodshot eyes? nursing sore vocal cords after another sleepless night wasted on buckets of red horse and horrible videoke sessions?

the social cafe cebu

now everything’s smooth and geriatric generic. simple dinners are the way to go. (it’s easier on the joints.)  last night’s girl bonding at the social café consisted of a few slices of pizza (aptly called “three little pigs”), a couple of pieces of chicken, several potato wedges, a glass of margarita, and a whole lot of selfies.

the social cafe cebuthe social cafe cebuthe social cafe cebuthe social cafe cebu

and maybe a bit of videoke for old times’ sake before calling it a night.

regardless of how the scenario has turned out — and will turn out over the next few years, one thing will always remain constant:

the social cafe cebu

i will always and forever love these girls to death. even to the point of shamelessly applying falsies right in the middle of the mall where human traffic was heaviest. (because somebody snipped off the tips of her lashes hoping it would grow long, like babies’ do. lol.)

one of the major perks of getting old?

no longer giving a f*ck. =)