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. =)

writing in pictures

he said he’s not a writer. said his handwriting is shit and that he can’t be bothered to read, much less write.

and yet the words flood out of him in his music.

drips out from him when he talks about cameras and 1960′s vintage lenses.

whatever’s left sometimes finds its way on my christmas card. a holiday greeting so lengthy santa’s elves complain. (merry christmas, boo! love you! xoxo, jeff.)

his poetry takes on a different platform, i guess. because more often than not, he writes in pictures. and granted that that famous quote is true, then i guess he just unknowingly wrote 7,000 words with these pictures alone.

okay, 7,084 words if we have to be really anal about it.

the extra 84 words? let’s just say the dude’s now microblogging on his facebook. =)

sheep

This is a sheep that lives its life in Hallam as an alternative lawn mower. I some time find him crossing the broken fence over to eat a much greener pasture his full of smiles this one.

sheep

The family of sheep’s grazing living a blessed life until the heat catches up with them, aside from that its a nice break from the day to day suburban life and you neighbours has a picture perfect post card framed farm house just a few houses away .

hallamhallamhallam sheephallam

“when you get your australian citizenship, boo, the government’s gonna give you a seed or a potted bottle brush plant (above right). the bottle brush plant is an australian indigenous plant. it’s more common in victoria so it’s a state plant, i think,” he said before dozing off. (he’s gently snoring as of this writing.)

considering how groggy he sounded when he said it, i think i’m gonna have to verify the plant’s name with him tomorrow when he’s awake enough. not that i don’t trust him. but he sometimes makes up stuff and declares them “facts” just to mess with my brain, knowing full well how gullible it is. purely for his entertainment.

this one time, he told me there’s this huge cruise ship docked at st. kilda that’s manually rowed by hundreds of men. i know that sounds crazy in this modern day and time but you know what’s even crazier?

i totally believed him! heart, body, and soul.

until he started chuckling like a madman which immediately developed into full-blown hysterics. while i sat there annoyed by his amusement over my apparent stupidity. wondering how or why i even fell for it in the first place.

so, yeah. god knows how many “facts” i proudly cradle in my head, courtesy of mr. jeff valledor. who’s probably secretly laughing his gums out at the thought that i could probably start a religion with those beliefs.

because who doesn’t love penguins?

if there’s one thing i totally enjoyed at the melbourne aquarium, hands down, it would have to be those penguins. (and that big aquarium too so make that two things.)

because who doesn’t love penguins?

i think they’re the most romantic of all the creatures in the animal kingdom. and as corny as i am about to sound, i totally dig the fact that they believe in one true love. okay, fine, monogamy — of how they search for their partner and sticking to that one partner for the rest of their lives before the seals make a meal out of either one of them.

okay, so apparently, prostitution is as real in their world as the threat of being eaten alive but i still think they’re the most romantic of all the creatures in the animal kingdom. also because i’m stubborn like that.

for those of you who find the idea of penguin prostitutes scandalous, here’s a little shocker for you which i got from this website which may or may not be telling the truth that i am too lazy to verify.

Penguin females have been observed trading sex for stones! These stones are valuable to females because they are necessary for building nests. Male penguins are known for being monogamous, so it is these females that venture off to make some rocks by making some beds rock!

They typically target single males in order to avoid unnecessary complications, however scientists believe the intercourse is not merely for the stones because females would need to copulate with hundreds of males in order to build a decent nest (they only take 1-2 stones each time, and a nest requires hundreds!)

Scientists theorize that the females may be testing future mates in case their current partners happened to die.

so, anyway, here are some of my favorite photos that jeff took on that day. and by “that day,” i mean last january because this is one hell of a super belated post.

(full disclosure: this blog is practically riddled with super belated posts galore. but you probably figured that already.)

sea life melbourne aquarium

“hey, bro, don’t look now but there’s this really hot chick walking this way.”

“niiice…!”

sorry. i just had to add that bit of a conversation i imagined those dudes were having. lol. alright, moving on…

sea life melbourne aquariumsea life melbourne aquariumsea life melbourne aquariumsea life melbourne aquariumsea life melbourne aquariumsea life melbourne aquariumsea life melbourne aquarium

 if you wanna see pictures of cute baby penguins who take shelter at st. kilda breakwater, jump on this link.

(warning: that was also the same night i threatened to hit jeff with a torch. i was kidding, of course. as morbid as my sense of humor can get, it would not allow blood on my hands.)

p.s. i read that st. kilda post again and nowhere did it mention about the torch episode so, uh, this is awkward. scratch that previous paragraph. pretend i never said that. hahaha.

raindrops keep fallin’ on my head

this song.

 on constant replay for almost an hour now.

 a newfound temporary obsession to compensate for the loss of words.

writer’s block.

 is that what they call it?

reposting this in honor of my mom. funny how, 5 years later, every word still holds true. happy birthday, mommy.

looking back now, i find it somewhat surprising how i used to write so openly on my blog before. but then again, this was during the era of the now-defunct multiply, where i could count my faithful readers by my fingers, plus maybe several toes. but it never really rippled out extensively into the vast ocean of the blogosphere. not that it does now but, i don’t know. somewhere down the road, i became more cautious somehow. more guarded. the fear that chokes my muse into silence lest she be misconstrued is the same fear that makes me relegate the darker memories into the annals of my journal. right where they should be. there’s enough drama in the world as it is.

when i’m 80 and i still remember my name (or more importantly, my password), i want to read this blog with nostalgia. with a thankful sigh for the wonderful days. the beautiful memories. looking at the smiles of the people who once upon a time graced the pages of my blog. and my life, for that matter. the same ones who got me through my darkest moments in their own little ways whether they knew it or not.

because i did have my fair share of those moments. you might never really read about them here. i preferred to look up at the stars.

so anyways, i wrote this highly emo post ages ago. something about my mom, and how much i admire her for the tough cookie that she is. (right, jeff? lol.)

it’s her birthday today. and as much as i wanna write a brand new post about her, i much prefer to stick to the classic one that still holds true even after all these years. tried and tested.

mommy's family