I love receiving gifts and I had loads of it this Christmas! This blog post would become too long if I am to actually list each awesome gift one by one. Let me nevertheless show my heartfelt appreciation by extending my sincere thanks and gratitude to all of you amazing people. You know who you are.
But have you ever contemplated on which gift you receive this Christmas as the weirdest and most eccentric? The gift that is so bizarre it makes you laugh and chuckle because it is so you? I got one this year!
got my face printed on those socks! who on earth would think of doing that?!
hahaha! perfect fit!
My nephews Miguel and Gabriel gave me the weirdest looking pair of socks this year. Both of them I guess knows that I have the strange tendency for an excessive egotism and high-level of self-adulation! And as soon as I opened their gift and saw what it was, I was laughing so hard! These pair of socks is so me literally and figuratively!
Late in the morning today, Jan 1, a new friend whom I met in New York shared/posted in his Facebook page a video and article that highlights the tradition of what underwear color men wears when welcoming the New Year. Interestingly enough my country, the Philippines, is included in the video feature. And I was not surprised to find out that men in my country wears polka dots!
The researchers of The Underwear Expert really did their homework. To support this claim, I am exactly one of those who wore polka dot last December 31st and when I welcome the year 2016.
The round shape being a symbol for money, wearing anything polka dotted in the Philippines during New Year’s Eve is believed to bring prosperity all year round.
This tidbit of a tradition has been instilled upon me by my beautiful and fashionista grandmother, Lola Teray (Nengkoy’s mom). I remember during the early years when Lola Teray was still alive, she and her sisters (Lola Sario and Lola Beheng) would make sure to wear polka dot “daster” (house dress) every New Year’s Eve believing that it would bring good fortune in the coming year.
I adore H&M. A big chunk of my wardrobe are H&M. The throw pillow cases I gifted Nengkoy last Christmas were actually from H&M. And never did my family missed going to an H&M store every time we are in Japan.
Though I suffer from separation anxiety disorder every time I need to have some breathing space in my closet or needs to get rid of old clothes, let me publish one fab and cause-worthy project by H&M.
Icelandic legend has it that anyone not dressed with brand new clothes on Christmas Day would be devoured by the ferocious Yule Cat. Though my family is not from the Nordic country of Iceland, we do observe the tradition of wearing new clothes during the festive Christmas Day.
More than five years now, my family has kept a somewhat different variety of tradition in terms of wearing new clothes on Christmas. It is because we opt to be wearing the same design of clothing every year during Christmas Eve. Call if uniform, call it a costume or call it regalia but this tradition has kept us in a way to be more bonded as a family.
And every year, it takes weeks before the final color and design will be agreed upon. Knowing how liberal and outspoken each and every member of my family is, it comes not as a big surprise that there were lots of funny debates, hilarious deliberations and side-splitting discussions on how the style and design would look like.
A way of kicking the Yule Cat’s ass this year, my family opted for a vibrant baby pink color shirt with a somewhat retro chocolate brown design print. Here’s how it looks…
i love it!
Sino ba ‘yan Yul Kat na ‘yan? Pusang gala lang yata ‘yan!
match this with a stylish scarf and chic knitted winter hat, this fashion ensemble would be very appropriate for the would-be mild manila winter…
The Manila weather in the past two weeks has been unusually chilly. This is especially true from late afternoons until the late mornings. Between these time periods, considerable number of people in the metro as I observed are surprisingly sporting jackets and sweaters.
Temperature in Manila has always been hot and scorching all year round. Very cold countries would actually announce a heat wave in case they would experience the regular and prevalent Manila temperature. That is why, temperature has never been a topic for a Manila-based conventional conversations. But for the past two weeks, people are now talking about how chilly it has been. Also, there has been a slow down on the sales of halo-halo while sales of hot lugaw (congee) has gone hotter!
With this surprising weather changes by freaky and fickle mother Earth, I will not be surprised that in a couple of years, international weather bureaus will announce that hot tropical Philippines will already experience winter. I guess this is not farfetched because just last month snow actually fell in hot and sticky Vietnam.
What will be good in case scorching Manila will experience winter is that it is not the bitingly cold and bone-penetrating type of a winter similar to those countries away from the equator. It would be tempered type where people can simply put on a piece of scarf around the neck and will no longer look silly in case they would sport layered outfits out on the street.
Though it is a bit worrying (of course, because of treacherously distorted climate changes), for me, winter in Manila would be a welcome change. Why? Here are six advantages of having a mild chilly winter in Manila:
There would be downright decrease in electric bill since there will be lesser usage of airconditioning units;
There would be a decrease in the stench of body odors in public places – inside trains, malls, buses and jeepneys – because people will sweat less;
Fashion industry in Manila would finally take some transition. There would already be a winter collection for local fashion designers. Fashion Weeks held here in Manila are inappropriately pegged as summer and spring collections when in fact it should be labelled wet and dry season collections since these are the only seasons of equatorial Philippines.
There would be no atrocious diaphoretic beer-bellied shirtless people on the street (in Tagalog: wala ng nakahubad na malalaki ang tyan sa kalye);
Celebrities wearing jackets and layered garments who performs on TV during their Sunday weekly variety shows will no longer look stupid; and finally,
I can wear my Bershka leather jacket and Doc Martens leather boots!
I don’t know what’s the English translation for the Tagalog word panlakad. Maybe there is no single English word for it. With my limited English know-how, the best translation I can give is that panlakad are social clothes and apparels worn for an occasion, an event or by simply being out of the house and in a public place.
sporting my nengkoy shirt. di ko pa napang simba yan!
Back in the days when table salts are not yet iodized, inhabitants in the Philippines would make sure that their newly sewn or purchased panlakad must first be worn to attend a Holy Sunday Mass. Although this rare custom and tradition has long been gone, I can still remember people’s line of questioning to folks they saw sporting new clothes. They would ask, “Pinang simba mo na ba ‘yan?” (“Have you worn those in a Mass?”) It’s as if wearing new clothes that has not initially been worn in a Sunday Mass celebration is such an abomination and is a wicked habit of the devil.
The socio-anthropologist in me dictates that this not-so-ancient unorthodox yet dissipated belief may be a progeny of Filipino’s robust Catholic faith that owning and wearing new clothing is a gift from heaven, thus, it would be most appropriate to first wear it inside the house of God. Or this belief has been generated from Filipino’s long running tradition that they should wear new clothes during Christmas Day and it is a must to go hear a Holy Mass during this Holy day.
I don’t know if I should be thankful or resentful that this tradition is no longer observed. Thankful because with the volume of clothes I own, I cannot imagine how many times in a year would I be required to attend the Holy Mass. Resentful because this tradition could have at least given me another reason to attend and hear the Holy Mass.
Major Fail. That is what I can say about the recent Lesley Mobo fashion show (being part of the recent Philippine Fashion Week). The video’s first frame dated the show October 29, 2013. This made me confused. Was the snobbish-looking event held last October 29, 2012 was just a rehearsal?
The first frame also indicates that the designs would be for the 2013 Spring and Summer collection. I was expecting for a more upbeat background music to be used in the show since spring and summer seasons usually brings a more festive and cheery mood. Instead, music used was a chilly dirge-like sound. The music used made me expect that anytime in between gaiting models, a dead soul would appear and would scream at the top of its lungs to scare off the wits of the audience.
This was the first fashion show that I have seen that the catwalk was not in the hub and midpoint of the venue. The models were made to walk on a stage and along the borders of the venue. It felt like the event’s highlight was the classy candle-lit dinner while the actual fashion show was just a prying disturbance.
The event was held last October 29, two nights before the Halloween. The designs in the collection were indeed multo-inspired (ghost inspired). The show’s title should have been “Kaluluwa Ni Morticia: Babaing Itim, Babaing Puti”. Those designs were nothing but Halloween-y. Not in a fun Halloween sense but in a more creepy terrifying angle. Those designs had nothing to do with either the colorful spring or the joyful summer. Those audiences who graced the show for sure now know what it feels like dining inside the house of the Addams Family.
It was too over-thought to the point of being pretentious. It’s no longer stylish or classy.
While I was searching and relying on the powers of internet for an idea on what would be my suggestion to my family’s uniform t-shirt design for Christmas (which by the way has been part of my family’s tradition to wear on Christmas Eve), I stumbled upon an awesome Facebook page.
I wanted our t-shirt design this year to bear our beautiful family’s surname in Arabic calligraphy. I surfed on through the internet but there seem to be very limited source where I could adopt my surname written in classic Arabic calligraphy.
Thanks to Arabic Calligraphy Names, a Facebook Community Page, developed by an artist and graphic designer named Nihad Nadam. By “liking” this amazing community page through your own Facebook, you can actually have the chance that your name be chosen and written in Arabic calligraphy form. What is more remarkable is that Nadam’s work is FREE of charge.
My surname was luckily picked (since I accumulated significant numbers of “likes” on my request/comment) to be written in calligraphic form. And in just a couple of hours Nadam, the Genius, had it published on the community page for me to see, download and adopt.
Here is how it looked like…
Through the help of my officemate Frankie (who is an equally awesome graphic artist), this is how my first t-shirt design suggestion looked like which I presented to my crazy relatives…
Thanks Mr. Nihad Nadam! I tremendously adore your work…
Resorts World Casino at Genting Highlands in Malaysia refused to accept fashionably dressed people in their establishment. I was in my premium Japanese-branded spring/summer ensemble – three-fourths cut sleeved plaid shirt matched with rust-colored twill shorts, trendy almond-toed gray loafers and of course premium branded underwear – all in extra fine cotton fabric when I was refused entry.
The security at the entrance door refused me entry because according to him I was in shorts cut above the knee. While being reprimanded, I wanted to answer back the uncouth obsolescent security officer that shorts cut below the knee are sooo ‘90s! The security officer and the Genting Highlands management in itself do not realize that the cost of my chic and trendy shorts would probably be more expensive than the gown worn by the lady who entered before me at their starting-to-dilapidate entrance hall.
Too bad, Genting Casino refused me entry simply because of my chichi-looking shorts when in fact I was all ready to splurge millions of ringgits in their establishment which in a way can help rehabilitate their somewhat old and outmoded facilities. Instead, me and my colleagues settled for the nearby Starbucks.
inside the church in kuala lumpur
Later in the afternoon, I joined my colleagues’ plan to hear the Holy Mass celebrated in one of the few Catholic churches in Kuala Lumpur. I was hesitant to join at first because I might also be refused entry because I was still in my chic fashionable shorts. I thought that if hell (the casino) can refuse me entry it is by all means that heaven (church) would definitely not allow me in.
But while making my way under the roof of heaven here on earth no one frisked or stopped me. And when I was regenerated by prayers and while stepping out of the church, I realized that heaven is truly more fashionable than hell.
I always believe that fashion is governed by the temperature. People for sure dress up differently when they go up to Baguio. It’s a strange thing that happens unconsciously. You can’t just pack a simple shirt, singlet, shorts and jeans when going up to spend a day or two in Baguio. That is why for me cool breezy Baguio City has the full potential to become the fashion capital of the Philippines.
People in the Pine City can wear lots of layers, lots of dark or neutral colored fabrics and lots of accessories to go with it. Baguio can have warm sunny days from March to July and very cold weather from August until the end of February which means it is but logical to see true shifts in wardrobe throughout the year.
In Manila or other places in the Philippines that has invariable temperature donning in a trench coat or wrapping your neck with a scarf would simply be laughable. When a lady feels cold in Manila, which is never an outdoor occurrence but usually inside a cinema, a mall or a hotel, she would simply wrap herself with a shawl or ask somebody to adjust the aircon. But in Baguio, when it’s cold outside you would have to have chic overcoats, trendy scarves, stylish knitted hats and even fashionable knee-high leather boots. Thus, you could simply play dress up!
Too bad, only few Baguio inhabitants seem to have embraced the idea that their place can be the true fashion capital of this country because of the climate. They are so drawn with Manila-fashion they do not realize that they can actually improvise and vogue-up the Pinoy fashion which could flicker worldwide fad, craze and attention.
Yeah, living in Manila looks good but staying in Baguio feels good. If Baguio is a drink, it is a Martini while Manila is an Iced Tea. When it comes to fashion, Manila is the Los Angeles of the Philippines but Baguio can be its New York.