Thursday, April 28, 2011

Yearbook pictorial


Last Tuesday, I had a shoot for the yearbook with the rest of the committee. I was tired because I just got back from Puerto Galera the previous day but I missed my friends so much that I didn’t dare miss it. Here is an outtake of my creative shot.


My peg was Josh Hartnett’s ad for Emporio Armani’s Diamonds for Men, a fragrance that came out around 2008. I’ve always been in love with the ad since it came out and decided to use it as inspiration when we decided to theme our shoot as high fashion.


This is Laura Recto, our editor-in-chief. Nikko Panti and I styled her and used Liz Uy’s recent Preview cover shoot as a peg. We had a hard time trying to breathe life into Liz’s ensemble but I had a stroke of inspiration when I found a large cloth among the costumes of Colorpoint. Everything else just fell into place and bam! She looked picture perfect.

After the shoot, Nikko, Jan and I went to Robinson’s Manila to check out some stuff. It was such a wonderful feeling to be with them again.

Friendster

I never thought Friendster would affect me like this. I almost forgot about the site ever since I started Facebook. When I heard that it would shut down, I never bothered to worry about it or even have an opinion. I just thought, oh well. That’s life.

On a whim, I decided to open my Friendster account for one last time. It was a whirl of emotions. I felt loved because all my testimonials had good words. More than half of them said they missed me, they loved me, were asking where I was, etc.

It also brought back a lot of painful memories. I saw my exes, guys I went out with who I gave my heart to, and two exes who passed away, one of them including my first love. My first love was a great guy - he left me but he taught me to love. Honestly, I was very wild back then but he told me to focus on my life and pick up my act. The reason why I’m so successful is because he inspired me to be the best I can be.

I feel so nostalgic. My Friendster account is full of people who loved me, hated me, screwed me over, and knew me inside and out. But I understand that all things must come to an end, including Friendster. What I don’t understand is how I don’t recognize some of the people who tell me that they miss and that we should hang out again.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Graduation.


After spending six years in college, I finally graduated. It wasn't as emotional as I thought it would be (I even contemplated wearing liquid eyeliner to my graduation so black streaks would run down my face because I thought I was going to cry) but a different series of emotions took over me as I was in the ceremony: boredom, excitement, some fear, and a tremendous relief as the weight of so many responsibilities were taken off my shoulders. Of course, I still have to publish my last issue as editor-in-chief (yes, we're still not yet done) and edit all the writeups for the yearbook but knowing that I'm a graduate makes it easier for me to breathe. I received a gold medal for leadership, by the way. But right now, what do I do next?

As I was celebrating at Yakimix with friends and family, I realized one thing. I'm now unemployed. I have now joined the millions of Filipinos with no jobs and no futures. So I cruised some job portals and decided on a career in public relations. I don't know where it came from but it seemed like a natural choice for someone as talkative as me. My original choice was to apply as a writer for a fashion magazine (I even applied for Mega late last year but they couldn't accept me because I was still in school) because I wanted to marry my two loves: writing and fashion. But I guested on a show on TV5 and one of the hosts, Direk Joey Reyes (director of Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo and its sequel Sakal, Sakali, Saklolo) said that there's no money in writing. I knew that but ever since my mother stopped giving me allowance, I panicked and realized that I need to replenish my supply.

I was advised not to make writing my primary source of income because there's no money and I might tire of it. But because it's my edge, I decided on public relations. I might pursue corporate communications but PR sounds a lot more fun. I have most, if not all of the requirements, so I think I have a chance. I don't have a degree in journalism or mass communications but I have six years of experience writing and have had four editorships, I have participated in three journalism seminars hosted by the prestigious universities in the country, have organized one myself (with Charie Villa as speaker, among notable others), I have been nominated for Best Personal Blog at the 2009 Philippine Blog Awards, was awarded a gold medal for leadership (in case they want someone who works under pressure), I speak good English, and I interned for the marketing department of my school.

Ever since I told my mother I'm qualified to graduate, she kept bombarding me with job opportunities. For some reason, my mother is well-connected and she is friends with or related to media moguls, founders of film production companies, celebrities, executives, and owners of some of the hottest real estate companies, clubs, bars, and restaurants. She kept suggesting that she could help me find a job, which I kept saying no to. I don't mean to sound arrogant, but I want to make it on my own. And I think I can.

I know many people would kill to have a contacts list like my mother's, but I plan to be one of those people who will get a job based on what he knows, not who he knows. If I knew that I could get a job at Viva Films or Century Properties, I wouldn't spend six years of my life spending sleepless nights trying to get a grade of 1. I would have settled for 3s if I planned on getting a high-paying job because I'm related to an executive or I'm friends with a COO (child of owner). I wouldn't have joined three papers, the student council, the debate team, the theater group, two socio-civic organizations, and the yearbook committee twice if I was aiming for nepotism. I have good credentials. And I want to use them.

I've always been called an idealist. Perhaps I am, or maybe everyone else is cynical. You might tell me that there's not enough jobs to go around but I had a chance to talk to Ms. Criselda Sy, the director of Bureau of Local Employment at the Department of Labor and Employment and she told me that the unemployment rate of the US is higher than that of the Philippines, and the primary reason why so many Filipinos are unemployed is because of choice. Being unemployed sounds terrible to me and I have no plans of becoming a bum. The thought of lounging around and doing nothing for a year just doesn't cut it for me. I'm sorry but I have ambition.

Direk Joey laughed at me good-naturedly when I told him of my writing plans. He said that it's either I'm an idealist, or I'm rich. I might be neither one of them, I might be one of them, or I could be both. I don't know. Perhaps it's my morals but I think the only time I'll ask for help when it comes to my career is when I find myself stuck in a rut.

Half a million a year with a monthly trip to Singapore and London, you say? Thanks, but no thanks, mom.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Vogue Nippon, March 2011


The cover featuring Izabel Goulart in Dolce & Gabbana, shot by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin


A feature on Angelina Jolie, with a photo shot by Mario Testino


Interesting eye makeup from Look Out!, a fashion editorial styled by Aurora Sansone


A feature on Tom Ford


The Return of Splendor, styled by George Cortina


Coordinating Lesson with looks from Marc Jacobs, YSL, and TopShop


From Fred and Ginger, styled by George Cortina and shot by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin


From The Look Says It All, styled by Anna Dello Russo


World Traveller, a feature on vacation spots


The supplement, Nippon Vogue Color Bag and Shoes Dictionary


Yellow

The March 2011 issue of Vogue Nippon was boring compared to its other issues. Perhaps it was the lack of interesting pictures, which is what I look at when I read foreign editions of magazines because of the language barrier. I did, however, like the cover because of the use of animal prints, even on the title!

The issue is titled Catch The Look and it featured looks by fashion personalities like Alexa Chung, Anna Dello Russo, Taylor Momsen, Vivienne Westwood, and Carine Roitfeld; and the makeup of Faye Dunaway, a young Jodie Foster, Grace Coddington, Jerry Hall, and Jane Fonda. 

There were several features that I wanted to read, such as the ones for Angelina Jolie, Tom Ford, and Tommy Hilfiger. But because it was in Japanese, I had no way of understanding it. In fact, the December 2010-January 2011 issue of French Vogue did an extensive feature on Tom Ford and I couldn't read it either, doubling my frustration.

The editorials were good, but I noticed the decimated number of pictures. Some editorials only had four shots. But they made up for it by being dramatic, especially Fred and Ginger, The Look Says It All, The Return of Splendor, and the eye makeup of Look Out!

The issue also featured top vacation spots which ignited my wanderlust. They featured wonderful places like Greece, Morocco, Maldives, and Shanghai, the last of which I'll be visiting in May. I'm looking forward to buying cultural items like Mao memorabilia and of course, stacks of Vogue China.

The issue came with a supplement, a dictionary of bags and shoes arranged by color. The dictionary is a wonderful guide, and I had fun sifting through the items. Arranging it by color was a brilliant idea and I think every stylist/style-conscious person should own a copy.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

On threesomes.

Whoever invented the concept of threesomes is a genius. Imagine, the pleasure of sex multiplied by two. You get an extra mouth, an extra pair of hands, and an extra sex organ to work on you to enhance the sensations. But no one seems to be talking about it, or even acknowledging its presence. In a generation where we are defined by pre-marital sex, one night stands, and children born out of wedlock, what is the position of threesomes in society?

"Sex is good when there is adventure and a threesome doubles the excitement," Sybil texts me when I ask her thoughts on the subject. She is a very good friend of mine and we talk about the most insightful and trivial things. Sex included. Sybil, a call center agent, is one of my more liberal friends but I was surprised when the girls I asked were just as open to the idea.

Mia, a writer friend, thinks it could be fun. I was shocked because I pegged her as conservative but she readily answered my questions. "I've never experienced it but I'm not ruling it out. Also, I think I have to know both of them to feel comfortable and I want two guys with me because I'd probably get so jealous if it were two girls and one guy."

Sybil said the same thing but she added that if I ask guys, 99.9% of them would prefer two girls. I found the thought interesting so I also texted Syd, our friend who works as a consultant in a firm in Alabang. He called me in the middle of work just to say "I'd prefer two girls because I wouldn't feel comfortable if a guy's watching. I won't get hard." I also asked Syd if he was open to the idea of a threesome and he said yes, of course. Why? "Because it's awesome," he replied, laughing.

Universally, guys seem more open to the idea of threesomes than girls. You'd see this by the number of letters submitted to Playboy and Penthouse (and FHM) on the subject, proving that a threesome is one of a man's biggest fantasies. My friend Andrew gave a very detailed account of his thoughts on threesomes and he seemed to be really into it. Mia assumes that guys are more receptive to the idea because of society's double standards. She said that if girls say they want it, people think they're sluts.

Some of my other friends didn't agree with the concept of threesomes. Nina, a recent graduate of BS Psychology from a prestigious university said that she's okay with other people doing it but not her. "I have a really romanticized idea about sex. An objectification of the act would make it less than what it's supposed to be, which is very intimate." Another good friend of mine, Effy, agrees with Nina and says that sex is something you share with the one you love. It's sacred and it's just between the two of you. I had a brief conversation with Greg, my ex-boyfriend, this afternoon and he said that sex between two people is rowdy enough. I wonder if he meant me.

Alexander, a 22 year old call center agent I met weeks ago seems to have mixed feelings about the idea. "I'm not really open to it but if my partner likes it and it doesn't hurt me, then go. I know it would affect the relationship but the reason why my partner would seek others is because I'm not enough. So I'll give them the choice. I just want my partner to be satisfied."

A threesome between three single people is ideal, but what about couples who participate in threesomes? Sounds weird, but it happens. Sybil is in a relationship and she said that one of them has to be her boyfriend. I wanted to ask her more about this but I think she was already busy. Personally, it takes a lot of guts (and trust) to invite an outsider for a romp in the sheets. An ex-boyfriend once kept dropping hints about having a threesome and I kept saying no. There is the danger of being left out or being betrayed by your partner.

What is this fascination with threesomes? Why are people (secretly) trying to get it? Okay, I'm a bit exaggerating when I said that everyone is into it but what my friends said proves that threesomes aren't as taboo anymore. Even Nina, who seemed decided against threesomes, used to fantasize about it. She said that she used to imagine what it would be like and feel like. There is also this one guy I met several months ago who seemed to prefer it over regular sex with one person. I asked some of my friends on Tumblr and Twitter and they said that many people like threesomes because it's fun, exciting, and the idea of having two partners is better than one. Woody Allen was quoted as saying sex is a beautiful thing between two people. Between five, it's fantastic.

Of course, I am not a stranger to this phenomenon. My most recent encounter was with the guy I was telling you about, the one obsessed with threesomes. We dated for a bit and he managed to convince me to participate in a little m√©nage √† trois action. So he picks me up and we head to his friend's place, who I didn't know. I had no idea who he was, what he looked like, and what he does (which is a disadvantage, if you ask me). So we show up at his friend's place and I was surprised to see that the guy was from my school. Even worse, he was a professor from my school. I freaked out and left. I was severely traumatized and vowed never to participate in threesomes unless I knew everyone involved.

Candace Bushnell once wrote that threesomes are a sexual variant instead of a sexual deviance, and I agree with it wholeheartedly, in spite of what happened. Threesomes can be fun if no strings are attached or if you're the outsider. It's definitely something everybody should try, or at least think about, because as they say, two heads are better than one (if you know what I mean).

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Vogue Nippon, January 2011

The cover featuring Gisele B√ľndchen in Gucci


The supermodels of the 90s: Naomi, Claudia, Christy, Linda, Cindy, and Kate


The supermodels of the 2000s: Gisele, Karolina, Natalia, Gemma, Lara, Lily, Freja, and Karlie


From The Elements of Wonder, a jewelry editorial. The pieces are superimposed on photos!


Choose Your Icon, Anna Dello Russo cites Carine Roitfeld (a good choice)


What Makes an Icon?


Kate Is Vogue! Kate's Vogue covers from French, Espana, Russia, Nippon, US, and Australia


A beautiful beauty editorial featuring Dior nail polish


Mina Kawai (a doll, literally), the beauty editor in Balenciaga


Always Playing The Star, styled by George Cortina


Another shot from Always Playing The Star


Anna Dello Russo

I finally got around to blogging about the January 2011 issue of Vogue Nippon. I've had it since November and I've been meaning to share some of my favorite parts but life happened so I forgot about it. The issue is about icons and everything about it. I think it's appropriate that they chose Gisele to be on the cover, who personifies the fashion industry. Not everyone is its abject slave but even the most unfashionable person knows who Gisele is.

The content focuses on icons, both past and present, which makes the issue cohesive as compared to other issues of Vogue Nippon. There are articles on what makes an icon, which I'm dying to read; the fashion icons of the past two decades; the icons of fashion insiders (no one chose Anna Wintour and Mitsuko Watanabe, the chief editor chose Rei Kawakubo); international icons from the US, Italy, and France; and how to dress like Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, and Faye Dunaway.

The staff of Vogue Nippon seems to have an unwavering loyalty to Kate Moss because she seems to be featured in every issue. This issue isn't spared and there is an entire layout dedicated to her Vogue covers. I'm not going to lie, I love Kate so I enjoyed the special, which included her looks from the past 20 years and famous photos shot by the best photographers like Mario Testino, Patrick Demarchelier, Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, Terry Richardson, and Mario Sorrenti (who shot Gisele for the cover).

I was disappointed with the editorials, mainly because Anna Dello Russo didn't style anything, but I'm starting to like George Cortina, who styled Always Playing the Star. The contrast between the luxurious (and somewhat tacky) clothes had a nice contrast with the run-down background. Some of the other shots involved Edita Vikeviciute standing in what looked like a maintenance area, in rubble, and walking along the shore amidst people and boats and sand. There is of course that wonderful shot where she stands with the elderly women, who look so real as compared to Edita.

The issue came with an Emilio Pucci mirror, which I broke when I was on my way home from Cubao X last Saturday. Sigh.
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