A light utilitarian cover-up for blending in, i-don't-care feels. (Actually, thisclose to really not caring about looking like I'm not caring, but posting this does me in, so nulled. Forever21).
Picked up this book last weekend (yay for Philippine edition being released 2 weeks ahead of the world!). The Mango Bride by Marivi Soliven won a Palanca for 2011 and is her take on women's issues. And immigrant life. Looking for inspiration and ideas, finding oddly familiar vignettes of Manila images and sorrows detailed in halting dialogue (I mean, it was written straight in English, why does it sound translated in a lot of parts?)... I do appreciate its charm and it's part of the experience perhaps. more as the story develops I guess.
Please just LOL disgustedly at me if you've always done this. I regretted not bringing my hat to my last trip, and here I am again going away for a "beach" shoot (!) so I think I really need a hat for this one. So here is how to pack a floppy hat in your high-zebra-print backpack:
1. Flip your hat over.
2. Fill the crown with your bathing suits / underthings / the little soft stuff you'd pack. This will keep the hat's crown in shape.
3. Flip your hat back up and slide it into your backpack, brim side down.
4. Pack under and around the hat as usual to keep the brim in shape.
HATS ARE IMPORTANT! SPF! Kthanksbye. Hope this helped you!
This is an optimistic collection of appreciation for some simple things which I'm kinda glad exist, because they give purpose to summer. Or is their only purpose summer-ness? Anyway, "optimistic" because you know, I think I just had my one and only beach trip for the entire stretch of hot-sun season, and - well, am I always this bipolar (zen one post, skeptical but using the word "optimistic" in another).
Anyway, my take on a "summer must-haves" tag. Just in case you didn't know you needed SPF. :)
Sandals - they're "sandals" on the tag, but honestly they're flipflops with straps that kinda got drunk and decided to grow appendages that wrap around your ankles. And so I love them. Also, they're rubber and thus favorable for pounding concrete, hopping on over sand, or dipping in any cold stream. And they stay put! So, ten points.
Summer Dresses - two very similar-looking ones, what came over me? Actually: the fact that I have nil proper "throw on and don't care" dresses and so these. I can't do big flowers so they were perfect. And they may still fit lest I expand (oooh fighting this). Cannot stress the difference of a swingy skirt vs. jeans on a sweltering outdoor sort of day. Throw on a cardigan when it's an office meeting and there's dry airconditioning. Summer dresses are functional. Do no resist them.
Bathing suits. What I do: get them in solid complimentary colors and just do mix and match. Voila, it somehow always looks like you have more than 3 functional sets. :)
Earrings, the big kind. I miss wearing them. These are from Ai. I used to be a BIG big earrings girl then IDK what happened. I think white shirts and black coordinates (somehow never went with any of my earrings anymore *sad*). Aforementioned dresses are now the only things that look good with earrings. So better take advantage.
SPF. A different one for the face. The higher, the better. As often as possible. That's all you need to be reminded of, for the nth time.
I just discovered (sorry) the delights of having a waterproof camera and in the age of Facebook and Instagram-driven needs, I'd say we need this. Cause you know, everyone needs to see the corals and what your face looks like with bubbles emerging from your mouth. No really, they do.
So that's it. What's on your santan bush, er, list? :D
There are 46 pictures in this post, I hope that you can wait for all of them to load since there is a thoughtful random logic to their order / selection. :)
The photos you will like are probably taken by Ranie, and I say this not with bitterness but gratitude (and probably a tinge of competitive distress)
Iriga and Caramon, tailend of March 2013
Last year was my first time in Ranie's hometown and I'm glad that henceforth it can become a sort-of ritual for us. Being in his house is wonderfully idyllic and his mom makes me eat three meals a day and with no work or school (I intentionally left everything behind in Manila), I was able to sleep a full 10 hours - a feat for me. This year we took it up a notch and spent a fortnight in Caramoan, a group of islands about an hour and a half away from Naga. And accessible exclusively by boat. Naive me thought that it was purely a virgin island; I was pleasantly surprised to pass by villages, resorts, and even a community college being built along the green, bumpy, serene way. And then suddenly, water. Lots of it. And sand. The finest I've ever seen in my puny life. Then you feel the salty wind, the bright hot sun, and our day's adventure was on (PS - my favorite picture - that rainbow - is the real deal. Ranie took it using a vivid setting and I only used a Portra filter on these shots using Lightroom).
We spent an afternoon hopping through islands, climbing rocky feasible cliffs (and finding hidden lakes), meeting starfish, taking underwater shots, taking in more of that sand, and eating stick-o and jelly snacks. I slept in a tent for the first time, and it was seriously more comfortable than I expected. It was definitely the most relaxed I have been in months (overseas travel is stressful for me at some point), and I think it was the fact that it was probably the longest I've been legitimately outdoors and just sunbathing in like, a year. And at first it was annoying that Globe had no signal for miles around, but then it became OK, and quite a blessing. My favorite way to sum things up is to call it getting my 3Rs: Rest, Reflection (nothing like viewing God's creations up close to make you fall to your mental knees in prayer and praise), and Roast (am legitimately back to my post-Ilocos 1999 hue). And ok, a 4th R for Ranie, whose existence is what pulled me into this beautiful region in the first place. Thank you, then and also, hello to my new wonderful friends, your old ones. Do I sound too zen? This vacation really worked. Really puts things into perspective re: what I gun for in this life. So there. Great way to open the summer, here's to hoping it will be this amazing throughout (I'm looking at you, May scriptwriting workshop).