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3 Nights in New Delhi: What to Do

 

I know now may not be a good time to catch up on my travel blogging. But in a melodramatic way, I’m back to writing about the places I’ve been to, just in case I forget. The world will never be quite the same again after this lock down and I want to remember every bit and piece, every memory.

I must admit, India has never been in my list of countries to go to. I have the usual suspects though – France, Japan, Switzerland, Iceland – relatively cold places. And cold places are all the pleasantness in the world when you live in a country as constantly hot and humid as the Philippines. Hahaha

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But my husband is all for anything off the beaten path, and with the promise of all that spicy food, we headed to New Delhi with curry on our minds.

I am not one of those adventurous budget travel backpackers. Not that I wouldn’t have loved to. The thought of that 10 years ago would have been thrilling! What I am though is a mom who has limited time to spend away from my then 3 yr old son and a husband who doesn’t like the thought of the uncomfortable unknown in a foreign country. So I travel with ease and comfort on my mind. Its a much needed vacation after all. Most of our trips last for a week, 3 weeks at the most. It’s the usual dependable stuff – get a decent hotel with airport pickup, sign up for a tour or two, spend at least a day exploring things on your own, get an Uber when time is of the essence.  That’s my take on it.

 

Hotel

We stayed at Radisson Blu – yes, I am the predictable mom who stays at chain hotels hahaha. Just a tip though, there are several branches of this hotel all over Delhi. The one we stayed at was near the Indira Gandhi International airport and was too far from the center of Delhi. With the daily traffic jam, it took us an hour or so to get to the tourist sites. And going back to the hotel at the end of the day was a bummer too, especially during rush hour. Being Filipino though, the place reminded me so much of our very own disastrous commute in Metro Manila, so it was no biggie. But if you’re used to much less traffic though, you may find it a tad bit stressful. Get a hotel in a more central location. Trust me.

 

We arrived in Delhi a little after lunch. It was a hot, dusty day in the middle of May. As usual, I arranged for airport pickup (it’s what I always do when I travel to a country for the first time) but Radisson Blu didn’t send anybody to come get us. Bummer! And yes, I left a nasty comment on Trip Advisor for that mishap, especially after emailing them a couple of times to confirm. You’d think you can never go wrong with a dependable chain hotel right? So there we were, tired and sweaty under the midday sun, desperately trying to book an Uber. We waited for nearly thirty minutes (yes, I know you can argue that we could have used that time to look for a bus or a train, but old habits die hard I guess). Good thing Radisson Blu is just a few minutes from the airport, just off the Delhi Gurgaon Expressway. We checked in and rested for a bit before meeting our guide for a short afternoon tour of Jama Masjid and Chandni Chowk.

 

Pro Tip #1 India won’t change your Bangladeshi taka for rupees

Before going to India, we stayed for 3 days in Bangladesh. Upon leaving the airport in Dhaka we had some taka left but we opted to just exchange it for rupees when we reach India. Turns out (for some reason unknown to us) not a single one of the money changers at the airport or most anywhere in Delhi would accept Bangladeshi taka. A friend of ours from Bangladesh did a bit of research and told us a local market in Delhi has a money changer that may allow us to exchange our leftover taka. So yes, we spent an entire morning looking for this oasis in the outskirts of Delhi. Hey, don’t judge me though, the amount was significant enough to spend for another decent tour and some souvenirs.

 

Jama Masjid

Jama Masjid is the second largest mosque in India, built by the very same man responsible for the magnificent Taj Mahal, the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. Built using red sandstone, this impressive example of Mughal architecture can be found near the Red Fort and towers above the city street with 30 steps leading up to its entrance. Before going in though, you need to pay 500 rupees (35 rupees if you’re Indian) and you need to remove your shoes. Yup, you read that right.

Pro Tip #2 Wear socks or bring a pair

If you’re visiting for the summer, wear socks for tours such as this. Unless you’re comfortable walking barefoot with a crowd of people in a Mosque, it pays to be prepared with a pair of socks in your bag somewhere. And some hand sanitizer, and possibly a cloth mask for the dust. I know, I’m sounding like such a mommy. Hahaha.

 

Chandhi Chowk and a walking tour

After touring the mosque, we headed to Chandni Chowk for a street food tour. Yes, we just had to kick start the trip with a must-have eating session. But first, here’s a little background info on Chandni Chowk. It’s considered one of the oldest and biggest markets in Asia, subdivided into different parts with different products. If you’re Filipino like me, its much like Divisoria (complete with the crowded streets and the overwhelming array of things for sale, and street food on every corner). While writing this, I have been to India twice already but I have yet to explore the entire Chandni Chowk area. I’m a fashion designer and as usual, I am always in the lookout for materials I can use for my designs. That being said, I specifically asked our guide to point me to Kinari Bazaar after our afternoon snack. Kinari Bazaar has all the frills and bling you need for a traditional Indian wedding- so the lace, sequins and beads were all there for me to drool over hahaha. It’s actually pretty cheap too, even cheaper than Divisoria.

 

Pro Tip #3

Indians love their shiny shimmering and splendid weddings. Yes, the stones, crystals and beads were there but most of the stores carry them in sizes that were a tad too big for my taste. But don’t take my word for it, maybe I just have to look into a few more stores on my next trip (oh please COVID be over soon). Kinari is Disneyland for a fashion designer like me.

 

On our second day in India, we asked our guide from the Chandni Chowk tour to hook us up with a private car and a tour of Taj Mahal and Agra Fort. Thanks to the Yamuna Expressway, we accomplished this in just one day. We left the hotel at around 7 in the morning. Most tips would say its better to leave Delhi earlier so you can reach Agra before the big crowds arrive. But having just arrived in India a day before we had no energy for a super early wake up call. It took us about 4 hours to get to Agra. I kind of thought the driver could have done better what with him just driving at maybe 60 km an hour. I very nearly wanted to grab the wheel hahaha. Patience patience patience.

 

Pro Tip # 4

I don’t really know why but for some reason, Indian men prefer to talk with men and not their wives. From the airport in Delhi as I was lining up at the money changer, Indian men ignored the fact that I was there in front of them and just simply cut the line, like I was invisible or something! The fact that some of them thought I was Indian too, didn’t help at all (apparently I look like one of their own) It’s like they expected me to understand the blatant display of gender inequality.  Hahaha. This didn’t really sit with me all too well. My husband appreciates the fact that I take care of everything when we travel – all the plane tickets, hotel bookings, tours, tips, everything. When the Indian driver or receptionist asks questions – they expect my husband to answer. Too bad they had to talk to the nosy little Asian wifey.

 

Taj Mahal

You can’t really go to India without seeing the Taj. I know some say its a bit overrated, but this white marble mausoleum is a sight to behold and I should know. In comparison to what I have seen so far in Europe ( Versailles, Windsor, Buckingham, Sterling, etc ), the Taj is just something else entirely. Its scale, its magnificence, its heartbreaking back story. The Taj Mahal was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial to his beloved favorite wife Mumtaz Mahal, when she died in childbirth in 1631. Located in the center of a 17-hectare complex and surrounded by manicured gardens, its the best example of Mughal architecture India has to offer. It’s a love story set in intricately decorated ivory-white marble. And you can’t beat that!

 

Agra Fort and The Shish Mahal’s Hall of Mirrors

After a big lunch of mutton Biryani, we headed to Agra Fort for the second part of the tour. By this time it was about 2 in the afternoon and the heat was a killer. We noticed there were more visitors in the afternoon as well. So if you can afford to rise earlier, and make the trip before the rest of the tours, you can have more time to roam around.

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Pro Tip #5

Always bring some water with you.

The Fort was massive, with intricate structures all throughout made of colored stone and marble. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is about 2 kilometers away from the Taj. It was the main residence of Shah Jahan and the other emperors of the Mughal Dynasty before the capital was shifted to Delhi. There are several spots of interest located inside the Fort. But my favorite has got to be the Shish Mahal and its Hall of Mirrors. Yes, India has its own Hall of Mirrors as well. It looks nothing like the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles but it is a bit more interesting. Closed off to most tourists, the Shish Mahal is part of the summer palace built by Shah Jahan. It features exquisite glass mosaic throughout its walls and ceiling. The glass pieces would reflect the light from any source and it would twinkle like stars in the night sky. We actually got to do this with candles! Our guide in Agra offered to take us inside the chamber for an extra 500 rupees, hahaha. Bribery is key. Oblivious to the crowd outside, we got in thru some sort of side door, handed him the money and from a little spot in the corner, he picked up two candles for us to light up. It was pitch black inside but the minute we moved the candles the room was sparkling! Here’s a link to the video, I was clueless for the first few seconds though. My husband had to ask me to move my hands hahaha

Hall of Mirrors- Shish Mahal

 

Qutub Minar

Qutub Minar is also a UNESCO world heritage site and the highest brick minaret in the world. Its located in the Qutb Complex in the heart of Delhi. It also houses the mysterious 1, 300 year old Iron Pillar – standing tall, proud and untarnished after all these years. There are several theories and explanations for this though, I like this write-up from Historic Mysteries if you want to know more.

https://www.historicmysteries.com/mysterious-iron-pillar-of-delhi/

There are a lot of IG-worthy spots throughout the complex for taking pictures. But to be honest, aside from posing for photos, I equally enjoyed chasing after the adorable squirrels running about (yes, we don’t have cute rodents in the Philippines, just filthy huge rats that ruin your day). On a normal day, the entrance fee would be 250 rupees for foreigners. It was our lucky day though, there was some kind of festival or celebration (not sure if it was World Heritage day, because I am writing this in 2020 and this was a trip we made back in 2018, ooops) and we got in for free.

 

Lajpat Nagar Central Market

Before going back to the hotel, we stopped by the Lajpat Nagar Central Market for some souvenirs. Less crowded than Chandhi Chowk, Lajpat Nagar is also known for its fabric and trimmings. I bought some traditional Indian snacks, scarves and colorful earrings for the ladies back home.

Pro Tip #6

We spent about 30-40 minutes trying to book an Uber from Lajpat Nagar. We had to walk a couple of blocks away from the market to get a ride. If you do want to visit, do it during the day and not so late in the afternoon like we did. 

We ended the day with an eat-all-you-can dinner at the Great Kabab Factory. There were six kababs, a few curries, dals, a biryani, some dessert and very attentive waiters who made sure our plates were never empty. A word of warning though, its a bit pricey and the food is so good but you have to be really really hungry. If we knew what we were in for, my husband and I would have gladly missed lunch to make room for this meal hahaha.

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Its day 32 of our community quarantine here in the Philippines. If there’s some silver lining to this COVID crisis, it is that nature is healing. News reports have said that the air quality in India is improving immensely. For the first time in 30 years, the snow-capped beauty of the Himalayan mountains can be seen from parts of Northern India. When this is all over, I would like nothing better than to go back to this wonderful country and experience it under a slightly better patch of blue. Yes, Great Kabab Factory, we will be back for you!

How are you quarantine-ing over there?

A blow by blow account of Quarantine Day 15…

Dear readers, are you still there? As you may all know, we are in the middle of an end-of-days epic movie about a deadly virus that is yet to turn us into writhing, nocturnal, flesh-eating zombies. Crossing my fingers (and my knees, and every other body part available). The world is at a standstill and for the past 15 days I have done everything from Korean dramas to cooking to sampling servings of anxiety attacks triggered by all the posts I have been binge reading on Facebook. So I decided to revisit my blogging life, all previous 89 posts in fact! Hahaha my my, did I have a lot of time back in 2013.

Fast forward to 2020 and I am a mother of 2 ( 4 yr old Sage and 4-month old Ava ), a fashion designer with my own label (a career that spanned 5 years and abruptly closed with a lavender pleated organdy prom dress 15 days ago thanks to COVID 19 and Enhanced Community Quarantine). Yes, at Day 15, some of you may be just like me, wondering if we will ever have a career to get back to. Or if the world as we know it, can ever be the same again. Just reading this aloud makes me all sad and lonely. So let’s get back to the topic and I will attempt to brighten up your day and mine with a blow by blow account of yet another exciting day in quarantine.

I wake up and begin the day by consciously inspecting my throat and my ability to swallow and breathe, so far (and thank you Jesus) without any difficulty. These days, I find it easier to just keep busy. Because I realized that scrolling through social media and doing absolutely nothing has made me one frequent “swallow” monster. hahaha. Raise your chlorine-disinfected hands if you do this too!

Then before breakfast, we head to the front yard for some much needed sun. I let the kids enjoy it for 30 minutes or until they get hungry. I’m lucky enough to live in a subdivision where most homeowners love to stay within the confines of their high steel gates, so even before this quarantine started, we virtually had the entire street to ourselves anyway. My 4-month old Ava takes cues from her older brother now. She will wake up when he wakes up, and sleeps when he sleeps. Just imagine the nightmare that is bed time. Meanwhile, Sage is the typical jealous older sibling who grabs her milk bottle while she’s drinking. Aren’t they just adorable?

After our very typical Filipino breakfast, Ava succumbs to the wrath of Cetaphil and her daytime bath begins. Fun fact, a Filipino breakfast is just like any other meal but with eggs. Having fried chicken? Just add eggs and call it breakfast, hahaha. Or leftovers from the night before, just add eggs and call it breakfast too.

I take a bath too. Yes, daily baths are still a thing, even if I know I will not be going anywhere. And even if it sometimes feels like such a waste of good soap and shampoo, I take it as a step more than the daily frequent hand washing. I must admit that sometimes, after a trip to the grocery store, I spend an additional 15 minutes bathing all over again. Squeaky clean and nowhere to go, I head to my favorite brown leather nursing chair just in time for Ava’s second milk meal of the day. And its just 10 am.

Ava finally naps and I get to prepare lunch. Yes, quarantine life is damaging to your diet. I don’t workout and post videos, my postpartum body and postpartum hormones just can’t. But do check in on day 30, and I may be a changed woman.

I go upstairs to check on Sage and his school activity for the day. March is yellow month so everything is in yellow, yellow crayons with little bite marks all over, yellow pajamas, yellow food color on rice for scooping. Oh and yes! I made cut-out yellow stars to give him points for getting activities done. I posted stars inside the bathroom for each time he pee’s and poo’s, and that’s a lot of yellow too!

After a lunch heavy with vegetables and some meat, I try to finish at least 2 of Sage’s pajamas from a pile I have set aside for mending. He has grown several inches taller and I attached an extra six inches of fabric on the hem to accommodate his additional height. Good thing I have lots of extra fabric lying around from the studio (which was operational with clients and staff just 15 days ago).

Then I have my second cup of coffee. And for good measure, I swallow and deep breathe a few times again.

I take a short nap and dream about brighter, non-quarantine days ahead. My nap times usually vary and for how long depends upon whether or not I had enough sleep the night before, or if I stayed awake worrying about the future of the human race. Either way, I always need my nap. With or without the virus, I have a 4-month old with a haywire sleep pattern and coffee and naps are all I really need in this time of COVID.

In the afternoon, we take a quick stroll outside again with Sage riding on his little red bicycle and Ava not taking her baby eyes off her big brother.

After dinner we join Sage upstairs and we video call the oldies (aka grandma and grandpa) using Facebook. We share detailed accounts of what we had for breakfast, lunch and dinner and the occasional funny moments like Sage trying to bite off Ava’s foot or Ava rolling over for the first time.  It’s 10 pm and another day in quarantine comes to an end.

Its funny how we often neglect the ordinary. Trips to the grocery. Going to the movies. Starbucks. Driving around town. Weekends out. School. Office. Errands to drive to. Walking. Talking to a random stranger. Hugs. Kisses. Awkward high-fives and fist bumps. Clients that never seem to come on time. A million other things that used to matter. And now don’t.

I guess at the end of the day, this pandemic has its lessons. And we’re learning. One quarantine day at a time.

How is everybody else doing so far? Keep safe!

Shooting for the stars: my first Marketing Class project in photos…

Aside from the usual pattern-making and fashion design subjects at school, I also enrolled in Fashion Marketing – yes, our school believes that fashion is serious business, hahaha. For our first major project, we had to come up with a rad ad campaign using our own self-imagined brand. And in my sleep, the universe conspired to lure me into a brand image that clearly embodies my hopeless romantic self and my previous job as a wedding video editor-yes, it simply can’t be Sportswear or corporate or comfy casual. My dream brand just had to be bridal. Oh and the fact that I’ve just been proposed to by my boyfriend of 5 years and am in the midst of planning a wedding had absolutely nothing to do with it. Smirk.

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And since fashion education is by no means cheap, I had to think of ways to meet this class requirement without overspending on a model, a photographer and a good location. Enter the talented girls of Mayad, who with an ample amount of Starbucks and a flick of their magic wands, can do just about everything in the realm of the wedding industry.

20140214-130640.jpg Sheena, the marketing manager, left her emails for a while to tend to hair and makeup. Marga, the onsite editor, unleashed her inner Cara Delevingne to the delight of the renovated white dress that I got for 100 pesos. And Carmela and Katrina, let go of the video to focus on the photo. May I also add that some of the guys were also there to lend a hand ( a shout out to King and Alvin! ).

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20140214-130723.jpg. The wonderful location for this shoot is none other than the Mayad office – I disrupted the peace and quiet for a good three hours for these shots…hahaha…

20140214-130755.jpg. Now let’s get on to the DIY part! Seeing that I had to channel the rebel bride vibe (I usually hate anything normal looking), I went off in search of a unique veil and headdress. Much to my delight, I discovered some bits of black lace (remnants of a time when I didn’t really know what corded lace was and I ended up buying this heavy black thing in bulk, haha)…. Good thing there are affordable variants of tulle so I helped myself to several yards from Divisoria (the ultimate haven for the financially challenged shopper). I opted for a side veil (if there really is such a thing hahaha, I’m just probably making this up as I go along) The fake flowers are not at all labor intensive. You can buy them most anywhere. These are actually 5 separate pieces of fabric flowers, meant to be worn as a head ornament since it had elastics attached. I got some wire and wound all 5 in place for a makeshift bouquet bracelet (like the ones you see during prom season). So with the help of my Mayad friends and lots of fabric glue, I got my ad campaign and forgive my lack of humility for the moment but I think it looked mighty fine! 🙂 cheers to brides and talented buddies!

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Patterns and Bustles: My first school project!

I know I have been in hibernation again but its been a productive one! 🙂 A few months ago, I enrolled in a fashion course at the Fashion Institute of the Philippines to finally honor a childhood dream fueled by paper dolls, notebooks full of scribbles and a love for Jem and the Holograms, and its been a whirlwind romance since then. Now I get to daydream about whimsical oddities for school projects, and splurge on the luxuries of art supplies without feeling guilty because its basically a “school requirement”.

For my first project in advance pattern-making, we had to make a garment with a Steampunk theme (to my delight of course, I’m such a sucker for all things vintage). Below is the product of a two-month crash course in basic fashion design, I think its adorably amateur but there’s always a first time for everything, right?

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I patterned a halter shirt with a stand-up collar and I used nude metallic tulle to play up the floating leather cut-out appliques. The mischievous mess of dark purple chiffon is my take on the Victorian bustle, hiked up way above the knee and gathered in several places to show off the legs. (this is my first attempt at draping, so be kind, hahaha).

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After several days of messed up REM cycles, the finished product looked like this! 🙂 You may remember my DIY pillbox hat from a few entries back, its become pretty useful. haha

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My new-found passion is bit like Nursing too. There are scissors, and needles but less gore, 🙂 And I don’t have to wear white shoes!
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I spotted some bronze buttons on sale so I added a makeshift “steampunk spine” to hide the back zipper…IMG_9683

And yes, never forget the power of good metallic spray paint to transform odds and ends into Steampunk gear, 🙂

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These are some raw shots from our shoot, ( I made that metallic skirt in under an hour when I saw that the clumps of chiffon can’t possibly look wholesome without anything underneath, hahaha)

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Cheers to first projects and second chances! 🙂

Credits: HMUA- Nia Laureano, Edel Cabizares Santiago

Photography: Jose Paolo Honrado

Model: Arie Reyes

Location: Klaire Reyes Yapyuco

Cafe Italliani: Italian Coffee, Ilonggo Hospitality…

No matter what I find myself writing about, there will always be room for new coffee adventures for me and this little blog. So when I went home to my Iloilo a few weeks ago, I was psyched to discover a new coffee shop in full bloom!

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I was invited for afternoon coffee by my pretty friend Ann, who I haven’t seen in quite a while. So I amateur drove to Robinson’s (one of our local malls in the city) to meet her. She introduced me to Cafe Italliani and yes it was love at first sip. Take a look at my Italian soda and be very very jealous, hahaha.

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The Cafe, which can be found at the 2nd floor of Robinson’s mall, is owned by budding entrepreneur, Alexis Evidente, who in one single breath informs me that he is not an English-speaking Italian or a full on American, he is just an Ilonggo who happens to speak very fast, fluent English, with a big dream and a love for red and pink shirts.

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Armed with a previous experience in an L.A.-based valuation company that handles all sorts of clients from MGM to small hospital groups, he decided to fulfill his life-long dream of opening a coffee shop that serves quality coffee made from bold, full-flavored beans. He was even kind enough to give me a short lecture on coffee (this entailed tasting the beans and comparing them, something I’ve never done before despite my self-professed love for these ravishing roasted beans, hahaha).

And yes, you may as well know that what you get inside your little cup (you get to have your own cup when you become a regular customer by the way 🙂 ), is real Italian coffee, made from the very same beans used in the Vatican! It’s like having afternoon coffee with the Pope! 🙂

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And because Alexis believes in sustainability as the key to business success (fair price, fair profit), you get to enjoy these thirst-quenching treats without the budget suicide. Sweet! 🙂

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As I always say, a good cup of coffee is always heightened to perfection with something sinful and saccharine.
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When are you going to have your first sip of Italy? 🙂

My Second Story

Hi wordpress friends and fellow earthlings, I’ve been busy and I know you’ve missed me hahaha, but my long absence is due to some courses I have been taking at the Fashion Institute of the Philippines (which may produce lots of posts about recycling pattern paper and scrap fabric in the near future ;-)) and to the birth of my online store at Facebook (where I have been flooding my timeline with thrifted/”ukay” finds). I figured I might as well turn my hobby into an income-generating past time or risk stocking up on great finds that a.) I have YET to wear

b.) are too big or too small for me

c.) are too big or too small for my sister, or

d.) are too weird for my mom.

Yes, you guessed it, I named it “The Second Story”, partly because I believe that well-made clothes and vintage treasures have a second story to tell, partly because my boyfriend is confusing me with his conversational construction and engineering terms, and partly because, aside from nursing and my love affair with the surgical ward, I believe its never too late to pursue my passion and begin a new chapter, to tell a second story ;-).

Here’s a peak at some of my store items…

a little bit of black…994842_591492117540914_1280783845_n6201_582377691785690_1589161859_n

some high-waist jeans/shorts that I shortened to perfection…

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some daisy dukes that I embellished with lace and faux pearls…

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and yes, some vintage tops! 1012351_584411848248941_1108863480_n 1017175_584411841582275_23813879_n yslThe best thing about this little project is the fact that I get to keep and wear the leftovers! Like this vintage, union-labeled black, white and neon yellow button-down, 🙂

Visit my Second Story someday soon, https://www.facebook.com/TheSecondStory

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15, 185 Lanterns for Peace!

Last May 24, we had the privilege to witness a new Guinness world record when we signed up as volunteers for the  “The Inaugural Light of Peace Event in the Philippines”.     Organized by the Middle Way Meditation Institute, the event’s main aim was to promote world peace (yes, it’s a beauty contest cliche, but I do want world peace 🙂 ) thru inner peace. A total of 10, 000 volunteers flooded the football field of the UP Miag-ao Campus to launch an overwhelming 15, 185 lanterns, beating the previous record held by Romania (12, 470 lanterns).

This first batch of pictures were taken during the orientation last May 22, I figured you might want to see some behind-the-scene shots before I show you the pictures from the big day, haha…

 

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                   IMG_20130522_165354                         Volunteers listening to the orientation.

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The last batch of lanterns being made.

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The stage, all set for the record-breaking day…                         IMG_20130522_175313And me, always on the look-out for a proper “selfie” opportunity. hahaha

On the 24th, I set out for Miag-ao at around 10 in the morning, with my Dad and my little brother in tow (that early, they were in fact, that excited). Volunteering has its perks. For one, I had plenty of parking space. Coming a few hours later would have meant my social demise (yes, I have very limited parking skills).

At around 2:30, people started pouring in, by cars, by buses, by truck loads…

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They lined up and were ushered into the field, with their cameras, their water bottles, their white tee’s and their little dreams of peace. 249178_4999942872754_106002877_n        263370_5000187798877_1425437562_n

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My dad and my boyfriend lighting up their own lanterns (guess they did not get the memo about the white tee’s, hahaha).

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And yes, at the count of three, and after 10 minutes, those 15, 186 lanterns were lit up for peace.  🙂

Postscript: You can watch a short amazing video of the event, made by my friends from Revery Films, here on this link: http://vimeo.com/67009348

A whole new world!

Hi guys! I have just recently opened an online store on facebook with my fellow thrift-loving sister Jam, its called The Second Story (partly because we believe that timeless thrifted pieces have a second story to tell and partly because my boyfriend is in the construction industry, hahaha). So I put up a new blog, purely devoted to my thrift hunting adventures, just so it doesn’t get too crowded here, you can view it and follow it here, http://thesec0ndstory.wordpress.com/.

And thank you, in advance, for supporting my grand new adventure! 🙂

DIY Butterflies and a Fiesta!

My sister, who is certainly not so little anymore, had to join a parade for our hometown’s fiesta celebration (its a traditional Filipino thing). And yes, a makeshift float was in order! What can be more lovely than a little garden at the back of a pick-up? So we arranged to rent some plants and I looked for some butterflies to spice things up. Turns out, the ready-to-display kind (made of mesh fabric, paint and silver dust) was way too expensive for my budget. My economical funk was in full motion, so I ventured to the nearby wet market to get some local craft supplies.

Here’s the slightly more usual, more pricey version…

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Here’s a step-by-step DIY for my own butterflies.

I used a local fiber known as abaca, from a banana species that grows in abundance in my beloved Philippines. It can also be found in Ecuador and Costa Rica. (so says the all-knowing Google, hahaha). I also bought some thin wire (the thinner, the better) and I stumbled upon some extra silver dust in my supply chamber (also known as my mostly messy room).

Start by cutting out a butterfly shape onto the abaca fiber (be sure to use the kind that has been treated into a stiff board).

Then, use the extra scraps of fiber and fold them until they resemble a cigar-shape that’s exactly the size of your butterfly’s center.

With the thin wire, attach the cigar-shape on your butterfly, weaving the wire in and out of the cigar.

Leave some extra wire at the end of your butterfly. You will need this extra length to attach the butterflies on the sticks/twigs.

Line the edges of your butterfly with glue and sprinkle some glitter on them. Let the glue and glitter dry and shake off the excess glitter.

Attach the butterflies on the twigs. You may also attach them on real plant stems, or any other appropriate surface.

By the way, this is the most basic butterfly I could muster (it was a DIY cram, hahaha). You can add more layers of abaca fiber and certainly the world needs more glitter!

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And voila! I freed them multi-colored butterflies into the sun, where they filled the blooms with color and the fiesta with lots of fun!

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