Category Archives: Reflections

The Best Year Ever

Before I start, I apologize for the lack of creativity in the title of this year-ender post. It also sounds like a cliche that every adolescent girl says if you try to speak it aloud. However, I can’t think of a more appropriate title than this one because 2014 is basically the best year ever in my life. So I think you and I need to just deal with it. In addition to that, this is gonna be a lengthy and wordy post with almost 2,000 words. But I hope that you will stick until the end because I poured my heart to it. Ok, here it goes!

2014 was a good year to me. More than the bad, there were a lot of good things that happened. It was so remarkable that I still can’t believe that it’s almost over now. Where did 2014 go? Maybe I was enjoying it too much that it just went down the drain…in a good way. Let this post be a review of how this year became to be the best year of my life.

1. Moving to my new apartment. Doors opened when I moved out of my parents’ house and decided to live on my own in February of 2014. It’s been a plan since I got here in Japan and after years of gaining courage and money, I couldn’t be happier when I finally did it. Moving out and living on my own terms made me realize a lot about myself. Learning to be independent, being responsible and budgeting my own money are all included in that package but the best thing about it is finally having my own space and peace of mind. Like what I said, I grew up in Manila being so noisy outside but when I get home, all I want is a peaceful room to be in. Plus, I get to practice my amateur cooking skills at times.

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My first day in my empty apartment last February

2. Got promoted in my job. After 6 years of working in the same school as a kindergarten teacher, my efforts have been finally rewarded. I got promoted and I am now the current head foreign teacher in our school. I know I couldn’t get the job if two of my senior teachers didn’t leave. I didn’t want to be in a higher position either because I didn’t want extra load of work. But it happened like a bird landing on my shoulder for no reason. Through this blessing, I learned so much about coping with people at work and understanding them. I know there’s more knowledge that will come my way with this new challenge and responsibility and I can’t wait for them.

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Me while waiting for the kids’ graduation ceremony in the silliest way

3. The year of travel. Three years after I first did it, I was able to travel again. My Southeast Asian trip (Kuala Lumpur and Penang in Malaysia, Singapore for the second time around and Bangkok, Thailand) was one for the books. It taught me so many things about our Southeast Asian friends and their cultures. I’ve seen so much beauty and moreover, I was able to see my best friends again after a long period of time. Traveling, indeed, is something that you spent money on and makes you feel richer. It makes your mind and your soul fuller with all these knowledge and experience you gain from it. I even once said that traveling is better than shopping in a sense that your clothes will get old, damaged and might be even get stolen from you but all that memories you have in a foreign place will always remain and locked up in your heart forever.

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Top row: Kuala Lumpur and Penang, Malaysia, Center: Singapore for the second time, Bottom: Bangkok, Thailand

I also went to some places here in Japan like Kozushima Island and Shimoda City in the Izu Peninsula. It made me realize that there are more wonders I need to discover also in my second home.

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My Izu and Kozushima adventures with friends

4. Becoming a fan of RuPaul. RuPaul and his famous reality show RuPaul’s Drag Race has been in my radar for three years but I never really paid attention until this year. I’ve enjoyed every season and episode of the show that’s why I even downloaded his What’s The T podcast with his best friend Michelle Visage. And what a blessing! This podcast didn’t only make me laugh until my bladders bleed, it taught me a bunch of things ranging from beauty, gossip, life, love and relationships. Not taking life too seriously, the importance of vulnerability, meditation and metaphysical truth, enlightenment and others. I truly believe that this contributed on how I see and treat my life now. Subscribing to their podcast and following RuPaul were the best decisions I won’t ever regret for the rest of my life.

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5. Gaining new friends and cherishing the old ones. I’ve met new friends in my life this year and I’m so blessed that the universe continues to bless me with an abundance of good people. I know I’m a hard pill to swallow most of the time but I appreciate the fact that I’m still able to make new friendships and relationships with others. I credit this mostly to my blogging life. I’ve met (well personally and online) amazing spirits through the Internet and it feels like I’ve known them too long. Thank you and welcome to this crazy world of mine!

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From top left: With Misaki Hoshi of Vintage Qoo, With Saki of H&M PR Team, With Natalia of Tokyoholic.me, With Harajuku fashion icon Elleanor, With Ashley, Misato of Funktique and Tokyo-based Singaporean designer Josiah Chua, With Japanaese brand MYOB creative directors Tanimi and Comi, With Yiling and Dann, and with LATokyo team Leo and Eddie

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From top left: With the Philippines top female fashion bloggers Laureen Uy, Tricia Gosingtian and Camille Co, with the Magno siblings Angel, Aemanuelle and Aivan , with my JP-based blogger friends Kaila, Emika, Kiko and Ashley, long time JP-based friends Dhang Corpuz of FilJap Magazine, Mariye, Din, Ogh, Rexcy, Carey, Ashley and visiting Justin, and with Harajuku style icons Elleanor and Hirari Ikeda

But I wanna be more thankful particularly to those people who’ve been with me even way before I came here to Japan. From my elementary and high school clique to university friends, I’ve learned that friendship is like shopping for clothes- quality over quantity. It doesn’t matter if you only have a few friends but what really matters is the fact that they’re the ones who’ll stick with you till the end. They are the ones who’ll cheer and support you all the way and who’ll break it down for you once you lose your way and get blinded with your ego. The people who can do all of the above are who you call true friends. The numbers don’t matter as long as you have a strong wall of these people at your back. And this year, I’m really thankful for realizing who they are in my life.

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From top left: With my best friend Zowie and her daughter/my goddaughter Raya, With high school best friend Micko in Singapore, With my best friends from theater days Joy and Apprelle in Bangkok and with one of my grade school best buddies Jowen in Ginza 

6. Finally understand and experiencing the essence of family. I grew up in a broken family that gave a me a deep wound in my heart that won’t be healed forever. My life will always be an incomplete jigsaw puzzle. But this year, I was able to celebrate most of the occasions with my family here in Japan, especially Christmas and my birthday which I used to celebrate alone or drunk with my friends and neighbors in Manila. That’s why family celebrations don’t really mean a thing to me while I was growing up. I didn’t really have a full understanding of family is. Or better yet, I didn’t have a family  that made me feel belong. Even if my grandparents and my relatives tried their best to fill the hole, they just could not. This year, finally, after, moving out and finally getting my personal space, I realized that nothing beats the presence of family. Though you will need to be alone a lot of times in your life, there will be moments in life life that’s worth sharing with a group of people who know you in a more personal way. And that’s your family.

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7. Finally realizing that I’m a goddamn lucky person and finding happiness from within. When I came to Japan, I had to remap my goals because everything just got swirled by a huge hurricane. I used to hate the fact that I was here and I felt so unlucky and damned because I was getting left behind by my peers who were advancing in their lives with their doctoral degrees and university teaching careers. I wanted the same in my life but I was brought to a foreign path which I thought was too dark. I felt sorry for myself and usually questioned why it happened to me. When I went home to visit three years ago, a wise professor told me that I shouldn’t compare my life to other people because my luck is different from the luck of my peers. I didn’t get it at that time but I certainly do now. I live in a first world country where living is easier compared to where I grew up as a little boy. I have a good job that pays my bills and lets me do whatever I wanna do in life like shopping and traveling. I can do whatever I want in my own terms because I’ve learned how to be dependent on myself. I didn’t have to sacrifice anything in my life and suffer so that others could realize their own dreams. A lot of people are dreaming about the life I have which I used to take for granted. Since then, I learned to appreciate more what I have in my hands. I can dream bigger but I always feel thankful for what’s on my plate now. Through that, I found happiness deep within. It’s the kind of happiness that’s so simple and yet, it sheds a warm light that fills any void in my soul.

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2014 was so good that I’m quite scared what 2015 Year will bring to me. Yet, I learned also this year that the NOW should be the one that always count. The past is in the past and thinking of the future might make you more anxious so the only thing that you have in your hands is the present (nope! I’m not gonna cue Let It Go here). That’s the only thing that you can change and it will only change for the better if you choose happiness. It’s hard to let go of a beautiful past but there’s always a bright promise from the future so I will face 2015 with great hopes.

Have a good year everyone!

“Dear universe, thank you for a wonderful year of blessings that you gave me. I keep all the positivity within me and release all the hurt and pain of the past and may you transform them to an energy called love. Guide my thoughts and feelings so I may face the future with optimism and strength. Let the people I love feel the warmth of my heart and may you also bless them with all good things. Thank you.”

*chu*

Miley Moment

Another Tokyo represent moment!!! This is what I wore to meet up with Lookbook icon Benjamin Galbraith and his friend Zach who has the most diverse and eclectic music choices. Thank you to my dearest fashion brother Kiko for introducing me to these guys who successfully accomplished the almost impossible task of making me love tailored suits. Not that I’m having a style metanoia again but at least I know now where to buy and what to do when I need to be more prim and proper. I also got to know the very cute Izumi who’s young, energetic, stylish and kind-hearted enough to take these shots and capture my Miley Cyrus fashion moment (minus the foam finger). This is one of the best things that blogging brought me- meeting different kinds of people and making new friends who help me widen my horizons.

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My blogging sister Ashley once said that fashion blogs are boring and getting emptier. I believe it’s true especially when bloggers become more commercial and less personal. Some are just all about the perks, the free stuff, the glamour, the events and runway show invites, the snaps for magazines etc. I admit I was like that in the younger years of my blog but then, time and experience helped me go back to the basics and the core reason why I started blogging- to share a part of myself. When I was in high school, my computer teacher defined blogs to be simply online diaries. That got stuck in my head. Blogs should be more personal like a diary. Something that will take readers to the soul of the blogger and will help them to know more about that person. Bloggers should be able to share their thoughts and emotions in the most heartfelt way and touch the readers and get them engaged.

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SPINNS Harajuku Tokyo tee and pendant, H&M shirt and pants, Zara shoes, Michael Kors watch and OS Accessories Walrus cap

Moreover, as much as I love my readers who continue to support me for more than three years, I mainly blog for myself. I do this to have a venue where I can hone my capabilities- writing, story-telling, photography and all those stuff. If my readers love what I do or what I wear, I truly appreciate the appreciation. I don’t have any other reasons like to become a style icon and ask people to copy what I wear. I actually hate it when people copy others (bloggers or celebrities) that’s why I am a strong proponent of finding one’s own style and striving hard to be unique and creative. But I also respect it whenever others tell me how horrible or trashy I look. It’s their prerogative to have their own opinions but I am only born to do what I need to do. I was never born to be a pleaser. There’s only one person I have to please and that’s myself. So it’s either you hate me or you love me. If you hate me, then you can just go to a place where my face, my style and my blog won’t bother you. If you love me, then you are more welcome to stalk me and read my blog anytime you want. In the words of RuPaul, “No T, No Shade”. No disrespect but it is what it is.

*chu*

Photos by Izumi Nagai and post-processing by Rexcy Domingo

 

Realizations With Remi

I was so happy to see my friend Remi again before I left for my Kansai trip. I met him two years ago here in Tokyo when he was still a Japanese language student. We hanged out a few times until he left for New York to pursue law. After finishing his summer internship last July, he decided to visit Japan with some of his friends. Lucky that he gave me some of his precious time for he was busy showing his friends around the city and he was also scheduled to leave for a trip to Kansai and Kyushu area.

The catch up session I had with Remi gave me some realizations which I think will take with me for the rest of my life.

* I’ve always felt that I’m STUCK here in Tokyo but at least, I am stuck in a very beautiful city that can offer me lots of opportunities.

* If a person made a strong positive impact on you, you will know and remember every single important detail of that time you’ve spent together. The things he loves and hates, the way he acts and thinks, etc.

* Some people can just get away with the past with the forgive-and-forget method. They need enough time and space calm their nerves down and move on with their lives until they’ve almost forgotten about that situation. However…

* …there are also some people who needs official closure. They are the ones who settle unfinished businesses of the past by sitting down, talking about it and finally putting a conclusion to everything that had happened. They believe that closures put an end to all the misery and useless hoping.

Just saying!

*chu*

Will You Be My Friend?

There are so many reasons why you never should:
I’m sometimes sullen, often shy, acutely sensitive,
My fear erupts as anger, I find it hard to give,
I talk about myself when I’m afraid
And often spend the day without anything to say

Often I’m too serious, seldom predictable the same,
Sometimes cold and distant, probably I’ll always change.
I bluster and brag, seek attention like a child.
I broud and pout, my anger can be wild.

I had a small misunderstanding with a friend from the Philippines over some petty issue. I admit, it was my fault due to my occasional (you can also say usual) tactlessness. In my pursuit to be a more matured person, I approached him, said sorry and explained myself why it all happened. I knew it’s one of the most sincerest apologies that I have ever done because I wouldn’t bother doing it if I wasn’t guilty…or if the person doesn’t matter in all aspects. After all, we’ve been friends since we were 10 and I thought that was reasonable enough for him to accept my sorry and brush everything off from our shoulders. But then, he chose to be devoured by his anger and wouldn’t talk to me until this moment that I’m typing this entry.

I’m the kind of person who’s hard to deal with. Loud, temperamental, vain, tactless, a bully (sometimes but not all the time)- put all of those together and you find yourself a big ball of trouble which is me. I say nasty things and harsh words (intentionally and unintentionally) most of the time. I do things that don’t approve the standards of others. There are times when I mistreat people and make them feel very low. Often times, I get myself into trouble with everything that I mentioned. But, truth be told, it’s never my intention to hurt anyone or make anyone feel bad about themselves. I’m not the type who seeks joy in the grief and pain of others. I guess I’m just being human, imperfect in nature, flawed in more ways than one.

Will you be my friend?
A friend
Who far beyond the feebleness of any vow or tie
Will touch the secret place where I am really I,
To know the pain of lips that plead and eyes that weep,
Who will not run away when you find me in the street
Alone and lying mangled by my quota of defeats
But will stop and stay – to tell me of another day
When I was beautiful.

A friend
Who, when I fear your closeness, feels me push away
And stubbornly will stay to share what’s left on such a day
Who, when no one knows my name or calls me on the phone,
When there’s no concern for me – what I have or haven’t done –
And those I’ve helped and counted on have,
oh so deftly, run.
Who, when there’s nothing left but me,
Stripped of charm and subtlety,
Will nonetheless remain.

That’s why adore people who get along with me and my crazy antics. It takes a lot of understanding to get my jokes. It needs more hanging out with me to read between the lines of my stinging words. Maximum doses of patience are required to stand my vanity. And it takes a lot of strength and love to accept me 100% all natural with no added flavors. I wanna say thank you to those people who didn’t give up on me even if their first impressions were as bad as hell. I know that they are the ones who got far worse than any others but chose to scream with me in the roller coaster ride of my friendship. Thank you to the people who chose to embrace my imperfection to fully enjoy what I can offer as a person.

But I will make you laugh
And love you quite a bit
And hold you when you’re sad.

Though flawed, I believe that I can be a good friend, especially to those who are good to me. I am very vocal about my feelings to my friends. I tell them how much I care and how much they mean to me even if I usually pick on them. I feel good to make them laugh and smile whenever they are with me, giving them a good time while being in my company. I’m very protective of my friends too. I usually stand in front of the line whenever they fight their battles. I don’t like leaving them behind especially in times when they need me the most. As much as possible I want to make them feel that I’ll never forsake them no matter what.

And to all those people who never seem to get the way I am, I fully understand you. It’s hard to comprehend someone like me and I don’t blame you if you choose to drift away from me. I know my imperfections have hurt and disappointed a number of people but I’m always  grateful to those who saw the better side of me. If you think you are one, let me give you a hug and whisper to your ear a heartwarming “thank you”.

Will you be my friend?
For no reason that I know
Except I want you so.

*chu*

PS: Poem by James Kavanaugh. The words are altered in a way that will complement the thoughts of this entry. To appreciate the poem in its original form, click HERE.

Evolution

The second year of my blog was a blast for it allowed me to share to you guys everything that I enjoy doing. I was able to write travel posts from the Philippines and to Singapore, which was my first travel abroad ever. I attended fashion shows and shared to you my experience in the runway. I met a lot of people who I only thought I would always see in magazines and the internet and attended parties which gave me the opportunity to gain more friends. And of course, I was given honor for showing excellence in something I enjoy. Who would have thought that my talent in complaining, ranting, cam whoring and social climbing would open doors for me?

Collecting all of my outfit photos in a year for one post wasn’t an easy task for it required me almost an hour to finish it. It gave me a smile on my face, even a burst of laughter, to see everything that I wore for the past year- mix-and-matching, mismatching prints and textures, crazy hats and head dresses, bold colors and a whole lot more. Here’s a look of my outfit posts from May 2011 to present. Just click on the photo to go directly to the entries.

I wanna express my gratitude to you, my dearest readers, for sticking with me for the past two years. Thank you for playing a big part to the success of JC. Thank you and I wish that you’ll stay for more. I love you!

Cheers!!!

*chu*

Happy Mom's Day 2012

This morning, I woke up at 5:00 in the morning coz my asthma was killing me again. I didn’t want to go to the doctor because I knew that by breathing through my nose for 30 minutes, I would be able to loosen my air pipes again and be back on track. But my mom insisted that I should go so she woke my dad up and asked him to drive me to the nearest hospital. She always knew how much I’ve been suffering from this lung killer since I was little.

Now I’m feeling better as if nothing happened this morning. I feel good and look! I’m even blogging about it. There were many times in the past (even until now) when I feel flying away from home and do things solo already coz I think it’s about time for me to do so. But when times like this happen, I always realize how lucky I am that I’m  living with my family, especially my mom. A lot of my friends who are working abroad told me that they still often get homesick even if they’ve been already there for ages. I’m glad it’s not the case for me because I have my mom to back me up.

I may not be able to say this every day because my mom is hard as a rock (yet softens by the sight of a pretty purse from Coach) but I really love her and I am thankful to the heavens above for giving her to me. I won’t forget everything she has done for me since day 1 and she will always be a part of whoever I am now and whatever I’ll be in the future. I love you mom. I think I will be a secret mama’s boy forever…next to being grandma’s boy.

And to all the mothers out there, happy mom’s day to you! You deserve all the best things in life because you have the hardest yet most gratifying job in the world.

*chu*

Fashion Is An Art

Are you guys aware of Pose?

It’s a new smart phone application that allows users to share their fashion looks and be connected to other fashionistas as well. It’s similar to Lookbook (more like a mobile version of it, actually) only with different teminologies (look=pose, hype=love, comment=talk). It’s also a very fast and convenient way to share your looks (oops! I mean pose) because you don’t need those prerequisite processes that you do in making a Lookbook post. All you have to do is to ask a friend to take your picture or find a mirror where you can take a shot of your reflection, upload it, tag the brands of each clothing in your look and voila! You have one pose. Interesting right? Pose can also be a source of inspiration for future outfits.

So one day I posted this look (oh please let me use this because the word pose really sounds inappropriate) which I’ve already featured here in JC last year and I was lucky enough to be chosen as one of their featured poses in their Discover page. This means that I get the privilege to have more exposure from other Posers (hmmm! I think Pose should credit me for coining this term) and have the possibility to gain more loves, talks and followers.

Click for more photos and reads

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