Saturday, May 30, 2009

Passion for Fashion

A day after my epic break-up, I received a call from my agent and she wanted me to go to Makati and give her my documents in preparation for my next ship assignment. The next day, I went to my friend Cassey to crash in on his pad in Sampaloc for the week. When I got there, he asked me if I brought a "fashionably chic" ensemble with me. When I asked him why, he told me he had 8 invitations for the Fashion Week - Grand Allure Show dated May 29, 2009 @ the SMX.

This made me crazy nervous. 1st off, I don't really consider myself being fashionable. 2nd, I don't change my whole wardrobe every season. 3rd, I don't buy tier 1 signature clothes (though I have some cheap accessories from Armani , Gucci and Chanel). 4th, I don't know the newest prints, silhouettes and colors for the season.

In short - I don't know anything about fashion.

While most seafarers go to the nearest malls when they are on shore leave to buy signature clothes, I on the other hand, never bought any piece of clothing from outside the Philippines. I only buy accessories like sunglasses, belts, shoes, etc. The real reason? Why pay so much for a piece of designer clothing which you can't use the next season? A friend of mine told me, that for an outfit to be considred "vintage", the textile should be at least 20 years old. So if you buy a designer outfit now and it goes off season, the next time you can wear it is in 20 years right? ... That, and I don't have the money to burn ...

Another reason why I don't buy neither generic nor designer clothing form outside the country is that I really want to help our economy ... for real!!! I mean when you buy outside, the income goes to them as well as the sales tax. Aside from that, clothes here in the Philippines are actually good. A lot of people I work with on-board (non-Filipinos like Italians, French, Canadians, etc.) often ask me where I buy my clothes, and they usually get surprised when I tell them it's either Solo, F&H, Oxygen or Bench when they expect me to tell them a name of a designer store in the US.

Since I didn't bring a ball gown with me, I went shopping for clothes at Trinoma and found a pretty good shirt in a store called Diego to wear for the event. The sales rep, Whaqs, was really cute and helpful and he was the one who suggested a shirt for me when I told him - "I need to look like I know something about fashion". He gave me a white polo with intricate plaid details and stitch work which was very hip but not trendy. I matched it with a blue metallic finished bootleg and a pair of Addidas/Goodyear sneakers.

We went to the show and I was really excited because there were 16 designers who were going to be featured. I'd finally be updated on the latest things that budding Pinoy fashion designers have to offer.

The designer who gave us the invitation was Jaz Cereso. Most people know "her" from being part of the 1st Season of Runway Philippines. I wasn't able to actually meet her in person because they had an after-event-party and an after-party-after-an-after-event-party.

I only got bugged with the fact that it took me like an hour and a half to prep for the event, an hour drive to go there and another 30 minutes walking from the SMX entrance to the hall - all for a 45 minute show.

The show was really fast - no designer vignettes, no dramas, no elephants and no fire-eaters. The show was nice because it didn't look like a circus, but the people watching looked like the actual circus. The audience was a smorgasbord of pseudo-couture, pseudo-punk, pseudo-emo, laidback, and extremely laid back (read: flipflops, chino lorts, vintage design shirt and a bag you can fit the Titanic in). I didn't know that "fashionably chic" was the new term for "what you wear to the mall".

In my 45 minutes of stay there, I saw a belly dancer, a gladiator, a walking afro, men wearing Queen Amidalla's make-up and women who looked like cake foundations. If I knew I was going to a costume party, I would have gone in my fuchsia-sequined tube top, shining-shimmering-splendid pink tangga and purple roller blades.

I know that fashion, like beauty, is subjective. But how do you really know if you are being fashionable or just playing a pseudo-intellectual victim???

(Here are some of Jaz Cereso's work that were showcased. Her theme? ... Playing Cards ... go figure. Pictures grabbed from:

Monday, May 25, 2009

Love Lost

I've waited 3 years for a new relationship.  Well, not really "wait",  because whenever I'm on vacation, speed dating services would envy me at how fast I go through dates.  Whenever I wasn't on a date, I went out with friends to "hunt" at clubs and bars - 99% of which ends up with my friends carrying new human accessories with them, and me, just a lighted cigarette and a sure-fire hang-over.  My friends kept on telling me that I have really high standards and whenever we go out, my constant blabber of "Nobody's interested in me" is more of a "Nobody here is interesting for me".  Even now, I don't know which is which.  During this vacation though, I went out with one guy who I'll hide under the name of Marshall ... and I almost thought that he was THE ONE.

Marshall didn't exactly fit into any of my "Hot List" pre-requisites but there were things about him that intrigued me.  In fairness to Marshall, he was not bad-looking, he's successful for his age, he's really sweet, honest and above everything else - I knew that he loved me.

After our first bed bout, he introduced me the next morning to his neighbors as his "partner".  Flabbergasted would be too weak a word to describe me, but I was too polite to shout-out that I wasn't his partner and was more of an ONS.  The next day, we went to my favorite acoustic bar here in Olongapo (Brew's Bistro) for a couple of drinks, and to my surprise, some of his office-mates and staff were there. Again, he introduced me as his partner.

By that time, I was really thinking that the 2nd day of date isn't safe to make it official.  But when I gave more thought about it, I usually only stay in the Philippines for 2 months so time is of the essence.  I gave-in and started to really consider him as my partner.

Our first week was great.  I honestly can say I fell head-over-stiletto-heels on him.  He did small things when we slept together that made me feel so safe ... and so loved.  After a week, he introduced me to his mom.  His mom bought us a set of "partnership ring" after I left them for their mom-and-unico-hijo lunch date.  I know it sounds telenovela-like and all but that was what he told me when he gave me "the ring".

To cut this crap short, we spent a total of 1 month together that was really "fitzgerald".  He became really demanding.  He made small issues into big fights (like my not texting back in an hour made him sure I was sleeping around with somebody else).  One time, when I told him I didn't want to talk to him because I was really angry, he went to the nearest bar and drank until he passed out.  His girlfriends who were with him got their panties in a bunch and heckled me while I was getting my haircut through text messages and phone calls.  There were so many drama scenes during our month together that even Judy Ann Santos would trade her career for a preview of it.

The biggest blow to our relationship though was when I found out that he had suicidal tendencies.  I only found out about this when he told his friends that he would "do it again" (he's done it twice before he met me) and they begged me to talk with Marshall because he was really going to do it again if I didn't.  This got me to really think hard.  In the end, I thought of breaking up with him when I leave so that I wouldn't have to face the climax of the drama series that was our relationship.

The day came when I really had enough.  He did his usual stunts to get me irritated so that it'd escalate into another fight and another drama - but I kept my cool.  He did everything from not talking to me and making faces, to throwing his phone on the table when I  started laughing with our friends, flirting with gays and girls who were close to his reach and a lot of other things - all to start a scene which I didn't give him.    

When we got to his house, he did something again that really got me irritated so I told him that I needed to sleep and that we'd just talk the next day.  He went into his staple "crying gig" to get me talking but I stood my ground (though I was lying in bed) and just shut up.  I was really considering NOT to break up with him that night because I know how fragile he was.  But when he said "Pagod na pagod na ako sa pag-iyak!" (I'm so tired of crying!), that made me realize something:

Was I being selfish?  Was my trying to prolong our break-up until I left for work again, hurting him more?  I know I still love him (even until now that I'm writing this), but I know it's not enough for a relationship anymore.  I knew that what I was feeling for him then was more of pity than love.  So I got up, dressed up and was about to leave when he literally begged on his knees in front of me and told me not to make my decision yet and to still think about it.  It was Tuesday then and I told him I'll tell him what I think by Friday.

He did keep his end of the bargain though. He didn't text me the whole week, didn't call, didn't send me any IM's and didn't tell anybody of what was going on.  Though I know these were difficult for him, my decision was still the same - I didn't love him as much as I did before and I will only be hurting him more if i pretended otherwise.  I respect him too much to make a pantaloon out of him so I broke up with him amidst all the crying and the blatant threat of hurting himself if I leave.

When our common friends and I got to the nearest comedy bar for a couple of drinks to gab about my epic break-up, Marhsall started texting me his "Goodbye and take care of yourself" messages.  I had a gut feeling that he was really going to commit suicide again so I asked one of our common friends to check on him.  A couple of minutes after our friend left, I got a text message from Marshall's best friend that he slashed his wrists and he was in the hospital.

We went to the ER, and thankfully, his wounds were only epidermal and his neighbors and my friend who I sent back - got there in the nick of time.  He didn't loose that much blood so he was sent home the same night.

As of this writing, Marshall is still in Baguio to "soul search".  He has sent me several messages through text and IM's - all of which I never responded to.  But each message though were like knives cutting through my heart.  Every time I see him leaving traces of his viewing my profiles online, it makes me wonder if I have turned into a monster.  He loved me (and based on his last message 1 hour before I wrote this - he still does).  But what did I do to him?  I've hurt his feelings enough for him to try to kill himself.

I don't even know why I'm writing this.  Maybe because I need somebody to tell me I haven't turned into a heartless bitch. Or maybe I need to feel people empathizing with me more than Marshall. Have I done the right thing? Or have I just lost the only person who will love me for who I am for the rest of my life? .... 

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Immortality, Here I Come

I'm actually coming back from a 2-year hiatus from blogging.  I first tried blogging because a friend of mine had this hugely successful blog that was part-fiction part-reality.  I honestly envied him for he had a following of gazzilions (ok that's a hyperbole, more of a hundred readers per day).  I tried doing an online novel and for sometime, it was a success.  But the thing is, I dunno, just got tired of it, and I decided to stop.

If my former blogs were fictitious by nature, now I'm planning to blog about MY life.  Who knows, I might smack my head on a cymbal and get amnesia in the future so I guess I'd have to document my craziness online.

And another thing, as Shakespeare once implied in his 18th Sonnet, literature is the only thing that can make us truly immortal ...

... so i guess, this is the start of my immortality, and I hope you enjoy the ride with me ...