Protest Fashion and Beauty, Anyone?

After the rise of the #TakeNoShit campaign online, a famous Internet troll decided to give a piece of um, unsolicited fashion and beauty tips while participating in rallies. In case you live under a rock, let me give you a brief background on this AWESOME campaign that unfortunately got some internet trolls #SHOOKT (which is very pathetic, by the way) and prompted them to spew out nonsensical advice.  The #TakeNoShit campaign was initiated by Ateneo de Manila University instructor Nathania Chua as a response to dehumanizing (and flat-out gago) comments by netizens towards protesters who spoke out against the decision to bury ex-president/dictator/demon spawn Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. This campaign aims to provide awareness on the real-life consequences of online harassment, and eventually compel people to take action against their harassers.

Yesterday, Ilda of Get Real Philippines shared a piece of advice for protesters that caused the ire of so many people, including myself. (You can really tell that it’s fucking terrible, right?)

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Want to know why? In a time where women still continue to fight for ownership and responsibility for their own bodies and lives, there are still other people who wrongfully dictate what should and shouldn’t be expected of a woman. Rape culture still very much exists in our society, and this kind of mindset presented by Ilda is perpetuating that rape or harassment victims should be blamed for their misfortunes and dismiss men’s violent sexual attitudes as a “boy thing.” In this case, Ilda insinuated the online harassment that these women received after the protests were a product of their own doing because they were wearing short shorts and on-fleek makeup, and that they should cover themselves up to prevent being harassed. As a response to her very infuriating tweet, I thought about how people should dress and look like during protests.  I was also inspired by Irish Dizon’s Facebook post on this too.

Here’s the golden rule for rally-appropriate fashion and beauty : WEAR WHATEVER THE FUCK YOU WANT, AND LOOK WHATEVER THE FUCK YOU WANT. If you dig sharply contoured cheekbones that will pierce the flawed logic of internet trolls, go! If you want to wear short shorts, a cropped top, or even a daster, just do it. One’s clothing or appearance should not be an issue for anyone who’s fighting for a cause that’s directed for the common good. As for the trolls and harassers, please take responsibility of your shitty behavior.

P.S.: I’m going to contour the crap out of my face and wear short shorts during the rally on the 30th because I’m a concerned citizen who likes to dress good and look good for herself. Those things are not mutually exclusive. Bye!

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The Weekend

Another free-writing exercise. This time around, I will be talking about how my weekend went.

Saturday

Yesterday, I had lunch with my best friend Jow. Jow and I have known each other for sixteen years, but we’ve been best friends since we were in the fifth grade. We haven’t seen each other for months, and we really needed to decompress and see each other.

For our lunch date, we had lunch at Pancake House in Glorietta. Jow ordered the Grilled Cheese and Spaghetti combo, while I ordered Salisbury Steak. Too bad we didn’t take photos of the food, because we were really hungry at that time. Over lunch, we talked about work, writing, and life in general. We also tried catching Pokemon in between bites. After lunch, we decided to pass by Baskin & Robbins as an attempt to chill out and talk about more things again.

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Jow got Chocolate Chip, while I got Maui Brownie Madness. I usually get Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough whenever I drop by a Baskin & Robbins, but the Maui Brownie Madness is so delicious!  We also took turns in taking snaps and tried to catch for Pokemon again inside Glorietta.

After we had ice cream, we decided to head to Landmark. Jow wanted to buy the new Maybelline brow product that Liza Soberano is currently endorsing, and that said brow product is on sale. Unfortunately, it was out of stock at Landmark, so we passed by Greenbelt and checked out a couple of stores such as Muji and PCX. We dropped by PCX, and the brow product was out of stock there. We also tried some foundations and other beauty products at the store. At some point during our stop at Greenbelt, we also dropped by the Beauty Bar branch at Greenbelt 5. Going to Beauty Bar is equal parts hell and heaven, because the products that they have are so cool, yet we can barely afford them. Finally, we dropped by the Watsons at Greenbelt 1 and we finally found stocks of the Maybelline Fashion Brow Shaper Duo. Jow and I got one each after we tested them out. After deciding on getting it, Jow got a new face powder while I got some sanitary napkins. I know it’s TMI territory, but I get paranoid when I don’t have an adequate stock of period products.

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We needed to take a photo.

After we went shopping, we decided to roam around the Greenbelt area while waiting for Jow’s sundo. While roaming around, I asked her if I could charge my phone, since my phone was running out of battery. She agreed. We also stopped by Cafe Mary Grace, because she wanted to buy some treats for one of her aunt’s friends. Afterwards, we parted ways because Jow’s sundo already arrived. We parted ways, and then I realized that my phone was with her! Fortunately, my iPad was connected to the Ayala  Malls wi-fi, so I was able to message her. She then messaged me that she left my phone at her aunt’s office, so I just picked it up from there. We parted ways (again), and we promised that we will do something again next month. We’ll go to a board game cafe, perhaps? Or try a new restaurant? We’ll see.

I was on my own for the rest of the day, so I decided to do my usual routine whenever I go to the mall.  I window-shop, leech wi-fi, go around, eat, the works. I dropped by the Color in History exhibit at Ayala Museum, which was on free admission. While there, I saw one of the women that I looked up to back in high school.

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Meet Ms. Villegas! Ms. Villegas was my Literature teacher back in third year school, and she was one of the teachers I had in high school that I admired. She had an immense passion for writing and literature, which inspired me to read more and write. We talked about life in college and in high school, as well as some stuff about the exhibit. It was nice seeing her!

 

Some photos from the exhibit.

After I dropped by the exhibit, I did my usual routine. Along the way, I bought a notebook for my mental health journal from Papemelroti. I was also able to try out a bunch of makeup, but I recently promised myself to buy less makeup in the coming months. I was also able to catch a lot of Pokemon yesterday.

Sunday 

Sundays are usually chill days for me. I woke up at 6:45 am, which is something I consider early (I usually wake up at 8:30 now). I had pancakes for breakfast. Afterwards, I went back to my room to check stuff online. I ended up feeling ambivalent after, since I learned that President Duterte said something absolutely shitty. His charm is comparable to a cult leader, with his supporters blindly attacking those critical of his administration with rude comments. His comments have made my day a bit terrible, but thankfully there are some things to be happy about.

First, there’s the release of Frank Ocean’s second studio album, Blonde. I like Frank Ocean and his music, and his songs hit an emotional nerve for me (“Thinking About You” made me cry). Next, I finally got some alone time— well, sort of.

My brother asked me to buy something for her (He and her are my brother’s preferred pronouns) at SM Bicutan, so I obliged to her request. After I did it, I spent the afternoon at Bo’s Coffee to write in my journal and use the wi-fi. I was also craving for coffee, so I ended up ordering an iced latte with vanilla syrup.  In a previous post, I mentioned that I will try to stay away from coffee as much as I can, but  I realized that I still need coffee once in a while. Afterwards, I roamed around the mall, with Booksale as my last stop. The Booksale branch in SM Bicutan has a couple of rare finds; I was able to find some old issues of i-D, The Fader, and Wired there a couple of years back. I didn’t want to buy anything at first, but the preloved book section came calling. I ended up getting Steve Martin’s novella, Shopgirl! I have a lot of books on queue, but this book was one of the books that I’ve been meaning to read for quite a while now.

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After I went to SM, I went to Army Navy. I wanted to try Army Navy’s steak breakfast burrito, so I ordered one with some extra bacon. I really liked it, and sour cream gave the burrito an extra kick. It’s the perfect all-day breakfast meal, and I highly encourage meat lovers to try it!

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(P.S.: I am just going to eat bacon less. Maybe when I’m out of the house.)

Before I went home, I did some window shopping at a Korean general store in Better Living. I found some Face Shop products, as well as some Pepero variants that I have never heard of.

And oh, Jow and I decided to go to the Philippine Readers and Writers Festival this weekend. We’re usually not morning people on weekends, but we will go to two of the morning talks on Saturday because the topics are right up our alley.

This weekend was a good breather. Friends, food, and alone time? Yes, I know it’s a strange combination, but this is how I would want to spend my spare time. I have to read Shopgirl now, and probably try to sleep.

An attempt to write again

Recently, I hit a wall with my writing. As I mentioned in my previous post, I found it difficult to write something— whether it’s an article for work, or a personal piece. It sucks to feel stuck with the current trajectory of my progress as a writer. What the heck, I can’t even be considered a writer by certain people because I don’t have a lot of experience, and my vocabulary is not as sophisticated as theirs. But on the flip side, this is the way that I write, and I will continue to form this writing voice that shows who I really am. Fuck what they think.

As a headstart in improving my writing skills, I discovered this little challenge called My 500 Words. My 500 Words is a writing prompt by Jeff Goins, which compels people to write something in 500 words, for 31 days. I really want to be able to get better at expressing myself through writing, and my fellow writer friends told me that I just need to keep writing to grow and improve. I also want to stop the habit of constantly berating myself for “not being good enough,” or being overly self-conscious about by my writing. There are several prompts in this challenge, which include free-writing, goal-setting, and storytelling. I am excited to do this challenge, and I am hoping that this will help me relax and love writing again as a craft. Wish me luck!

P.S.: Lea, please keep writing. You have a voice, and you can write. There are people who encourage you to keep on honing your craft. Listen to them, and not those who say otherwise.

(PPS: I will take on this challenge in two ways: write blog entries or write a personal entry in one of my many, many journals)

 

 

Best Meal Ever?

One of the writing prompts that I found on Man Repeller’s Writers’ Club was to write a 500-word piece about the best meal that I ever had. As a self-proclaimed hungry girl, it’s very difficult to decide on the meal that I would gladly call as the “best meal ever,” since I’ve encountered a lot of great dishes over the years. More so, I needed to come up with a criteria of sorts to justify the reason why I chose a certain dish to be the best meal that I ever had. Questions such as, “Is the dish something worth going back to?”,”Does the dish give me a huge smile on my face?”, and “Is the dish worth paying for?” are just some of the questions that have guided me in choosing some of my favourite dishes. Given these guide questions, I came up with a shortlist of my favourites: the sisig from Recovery Food, the Bacon Breakfast platter from Army Navy, the Salisbury steak from Pancake House, and my dad’s homemade bacon and mushroom carbonara.

After much deliberation, I finally settled on choosing Army Navy’s Bacon Breakfast Platter as the best meal that I’ve ever had. I know it’s unhealthy, but it’s just so damn good. It has been my comfort food at work, and I love how it has become my mood-booster on seemingly depressing work days. Anyway, the dish consists of fairly simple ingredients: fried rice, fried egg, longganisa, and bacon. The ingredients mentioned are already breakfast staples in households, but when you combine these all in one dish, you will be immediately transported into your home during breakfast. For this dish, I would consider the stars of the dish would be the bacon and the longganisa because of the salty-smoky flavour that these viands provide. In my case, this dish reminds me of breakfast chats with my dad at home during the weekends. It’s just so comforting, especially on days where you feel like crap.

However, given the calorie content and the health hazards brought upon by this dish, it is obviously not advisable for daily consumption. I do suggest that you eat it on days where you feel very hungry and sad, or when you feel like you deserve it. Anyway, if you do eat it, enjoy it while you can, and maybe get an extra helping of egg (or two).

 

 

 

Life Pegs: Leandra Medine

It is no secret that Leandra Medine is one of the many people that I look up to. Aside from my father and my closest friends, I consider Leandra Medine to be the model for the type of creative life that I would like to emulate. In case you do not know her, she is an author, podcast host, fashion icon, and the founder and proprietor of that little fashion blog called Man Repeller.

Anyway, the top reason why she is one of my life pegs is because of her writing style. Her writing is humorous, self-aware, honest, and engaging. In a blog entry called “Why I Don’t Wear Makeup,” Leandra candidly shared the reason why she refuses to wear makeup. The piece was a love letter in being comfortable in one’s skin, especially in this day and age where women experience some form of pressure to look their best— especially in a field where looks matter. After reading this piece, it made the makeup fan/hoarder in me realize that it is perfectly okay to go bare-faced or wear a full face of makeup— just as long as I am okay on the inside. In addition, the piece also made me come to terms with my messy, wavy hair, large nose, and dark under-eye circles. This piece showed her honesty and candor, and that is something that I found admirable from her, and other writers as well.

Self-love and humor aside, another reason why I love Leandra Medine is because she is such an entertaining interviewer and compelling podcast host! If you watch her interviews with fashion icons and all-around cool people such as Iris Apfel, the Haim sisters, Jenna Lyons, and Ines de la Fressange, I think she was the only interviewer that I knew that made Danielle Haim talk for a solid minute. In addition, her Monocycle podcast is honest and engaging. Although this podcast of hers is fairly new, the topics that she discussed in this podcast are quite hard-hitting and personal, in a sense that listeners could strike a chord with the things that she talked about, such as dealing with confidence, embracing vulnerability, and putting a halt to self-sabotage. One day, I hope to be as articulate and as engaging as her whenever I talk to an audience.

Last but not the least, another reason why I look up to Leandra Medine is because of her determination and passion towards Man Repeller as a resource for fashion, lifestyle, and creativity. When Leandra Medine initially started Man Repeller, she used it as an avenue to express her personal style, and that she believed that being a “man repeller” meant expressing your own style freely, without immediately confining yourself to certain trends or societal norms. Over the years, Man Repeller has gained the attention of numerous style publications (both print and online), and a strong social media following on Twitter and Instagram. Because of its subsequent growth and influence, Man Repeller has transformed into a full-fledged fashion and lifestyle site. Leandra Medine’s vision to create an authentic, inclusive platform for women who share a passion similar with Man Repeller is something worth looking up to, and I hope to create a platform that allows young people to share their interests, feelings, thoughts, aspirations, and passions— without any judgments.

Geez, I have a lot to say about Leandra Medine. But to put it simply, she is an awesome woman that young women like me can look up to, especially in the field of creative self-expression. I hope her blog will continue to inspire and compel young women (and girls) to be comfortable in their own skin, live creatively, and have fun with life.

 

 

Sources:

Image from Google

You can learn more about Leandra Medine on manrepeller.com, and you can subscribe to her Monocycle podcast on iTunes or Soundcloud. 

Project 52: Lea’s Writing Project

 

I don’t normally pursue personal projects that require long-term commitment, since I never really follow through with them anyway. However, this year, because of my new personal motto of “being intentional,” I decided to take on a year-long writing challenge of sorts. This year, I will be writing on a weekly basis on my blogs (WordPress or Tumblr, depending on the topic and the speed of my internet connection), and I will be writing about anything and everything that tickles my fancy. Aside from this weekly writing challenge, I have also challenged myself to have my work published this year. Even if I have a day job, having a creative outlet such as writing will help me feel more at ease and achieve some balance in my life.