At times we are not aware of how we affect other people's lives. At times what we consider as 'no big deal' means the world to some. As Dante Alighieri once put it, "A mighty flame followeth a tiny spark."
So, why am I suddenly all philosophic? Well, I don't know. It's perhaps because of a surprise visit of an old friend, who seriously is a different man now. He was a colleague in our university's yearbook staff, which I once headed. He was practically everything a mother could complain about - party animal, drunkard, survives school through classmates' generosity - but when he became a part of our 'family', he was slowly transforming into a responsible, obedient and responsible man. His close friends (a.k.a. frat brothers) and classmates would always credit me then for his great transformation, but I would always tell them that it was he himself who chose to change and that we were only there to help him through.
Today, he went back to the university and visited us in the office (I now serve as adviser to the group), and my heart is just filled with joy and pride seeing him again, hearing all his stories, and poking fun at his new dialect. He is a totally different man today, talking to me in metaphors and inserting bible verses into our conversation, and I just couldn't help but be prouder. Then, in the middle of our fun talk, he told me how thankful he was to me for giving him that only chance he needed to change his life, for all the skills that he acquired from the team that he is now able to apply to his work (he is now a supervisor of some sort), and for the good character that he has built while being a part of us. Right then, I just know that we are really doing the right thing; that in Pylon, we not only build skills, but most importantly, we establish character.
So, how was all that related to my outfit? Well, I don't know. Honestly, it is not, but I know you'll excuse me for ranting once in a while.
Now, on to my outfit. If you ask me to dress smart casual, I'll show up with this - plain polo, high-waisted shorts, flats and some simple accessories that add pops of color. This look gives you a casual, laid-back feel, without sacrificing smartness and flair, just perfect for weekend breakfast/coffee meetings.
"Filipinos want beauty. I have to look beautiful so that the poor Filipinos will have a star to look at from their slums." - Imelda Marcos
And the woman thought she deserved a beautiful, grand house everywhere she goes, too.
The Sto. Niño Shrine and Heritage Museum is one of our major stopovers during our short trip to Eastern Visayas. This imeldific mansion, which may look like a shrine upon entrance but will eventually transform into a lavish, ostentatious structure upon further exploration, is just one of the 29 rest houses of the former first family. This is one of the Marcos properties that have been seized by the PCGG and is now a public museum.
Upon entrance, you will be welcomed by a serene chapel. At first I thought this is all that's inside, but the guide hurried us and told us that we still have a lot of rooms to see.
The mansion has 13 guest rooms with different themes and design, but is similar in its extravagance. Each room is like those of first-class boutique hotels where every piece that you see is for sale. When we entered the first room, I was having a hard time choosing which spot to take pictures first. Two minutes later, we were hurried again by the guide, and I was really dismayed over not being able to capture enough of its grandeur. When we were led to the second room, I just knew then that I really wouldn't be able to have enough just after one visit. The next rooms seemed to be better than the previous ones, and one will always get blown away with all the beauty that await.
Each guest room has a diorama like this that represents the major milestones in the life of Imelda Marcos. How cool is that? These figures totally make the regular framed photos a cheapo.
Further into the mansion is this humongous receiving area that connects to the various rooms in the ground floor, including the dining/conference room that holds a 40-seater dining set that's made of hard wood. It's so long you won't even hear what the person at the other end is saying. I wonder if meetings then included much shouting.
Apart from the fountain in the middle of the huge receiving room, this bas-relief of the Malakas and Maganda legend is also a major point of interest seeming to invite all the guests' attention. It's such a beautiful piece of art that's entirely made of hard wood.
The gigantic floor-to-ceiling mirror fronting the grand staircase is pure joy for people who love taking mirror shots (ehem, just like us).
The grand staircase leading to the equally lavish second floor is, well, GRAND, in every way. And yes, your eyes are right about that red carpet!
Apart from the huge receiving area in the second floor, this grand ballroom also takes up an enormous space. Uh, no. You're just looking at the majestic chandelier. Just shift your focus a little. A little more... aaannnddd.... there. You're now seeing the ballroom. This is where the grand socials were held before. Opposite this angle is an elaborate King and Queen chairs where the hosts would sit for some drama.
This receiving area on the second floor is filled with various art pieces, including some antique Chinese jars, antique paintings by famous artists, majestic chandeliers, bronze sculptures, and some elegant furnitures. Most of these were acquired and imported from various countries.
Adjacent to the receiving area is another conference room with a longer table than that of downstairs. This one might have been for very important/controversial meetings since the walls are sound-proof.
The mansion's second floor also holds the presidential family's bedrooms. This one below is the former President Ferdinand Marcos' bed. Adjacent to his room is his personal bodyguards'.
Aimee must have felt like a real princess with this bed.
And this one, my friends, is Imelda's bed. I wonder why the couple have separate rooms.
Imelda's room is huge, and her bath/comfort room is as big as the guest rooms. The room is filled with beautiful furnitures and grand pieces. Well, what do we expect? It's the room of the woman who always claimed to be allergic to ugliness.
During our visit to the mansion, I was filled with an amalgam of emotions. There was, of course, great appreciation and a hint of envy, too. Seeing the overall intricate beauty of the structure, who wouldn't be? Then there also was some sort of animosity over all the extreme lavishness, while the majority of our countrymen remained living despondently in, as Imelda put it, 'their slums'. Most Filipinos then were trying to make ends meet; providing for their families and religiously paying the taxes. And here's the country's first lady living in a lavishly extravagant (redundancy intended) lifestyle with "five-million-dollar shopping tours in New York, Rome and Copenhagen, and sending a plane to pick up Australian white sand for a new beach resort" (Wikipedia).
Oh, well, everything that happened, happened years before I was even born. Though history lessons and granny's stories portray how painful their experiences were, I know I don't have that much right to dwell on this issue. The Filipino people have long moved on. They've so much as moved on that they even managed to elect Mrs. Marcos and her children to government positions again. That must have been what the "forgive and forget" mantra means. Just how stupid can we still get? (*sigh)
"If you know how rich you are, you are not rich. But me, I am not aware of the extent of my wealth. That's how rich we are." - Imelda Marcos
I know, I know, you don't have to shout that to my face! It's been soooooo long since my last outfit post, and I don't really have a very plausible excuse ready. This blog never left my mind, but there are just so many things going on which makes it so hard to take outfit shots regularly.
Anyhoo, here's one that I managed to have taken last week during a short visit to the mall after office and after Jheck's shoot, and yep, you guessed it, before our double dinner date/blog work over at 2 Story Kitchen.
Here's the thing. I'm having trouble concentrating on this post right now. I'm STRESSING over all this delay in the local election results! Ugh! Where the F are the results now? Where're the remaining 50+% of the election returns? An incompetent, inexperienced lady just got voted for Senate! An ex-president who was ousted for corruption just got elected Mayor of the country's capital! The transmission of results is snail-slow in Negros Oriental and leaves a very small margin between the votes for the vice-gubernatorial candidates! AND my phone is beeping non-stop with texts for updates! How can I NOT be STRESSING! HOW?!
Whoa! Sorry. Now you're stressing, too. Let's just talk about the look, shall we? Now let me check that title again. Oh, alright. Office comfy outfit for me is summed up in this formula: Oversized polo + jeans + flats = Instant Office Wear. I love how I can always rummage through the boyfie's closet and steal borrow some of his long sleeved polos and wear it to work when I run out of them. And this happened for quite some time this week, though this one that I'm wearing here is a new find from the thrift store.
People around me have noticed how I've gained some weight. Therefore, apart from doing Zumba workout regularly (I'm on my third week now. Yay!), I make sure I wear clothes with prints that won't enhance my additional weight. I now go for vertical stripes and prints that will elongate and slim down my figure. So when I found this polo at the thrift shop one time, I just grabbed it and brought it to the counter without even trying on. Thankfully, it came out to be just the exact oversize that I like.
This pair of boyfriend jeans is another thrift find. I've been looking for them ever since I started drooling over how Bestie looks so good in them. I love how this one is just the right fit, too, - not too loose, not too tight. And look how the slim red belt gives the look a nautical vibe! Lakas maka-summer!Haha!
I wish all this stress will be over soon. I've already been through so much these past few weeks, and I HAVE to look good for an important shoot this weekend. Yay!
Polo, jeans, bag - thrifted
Closed low wedge shoes - Zara
Necklace - Mags
Two-stone ring - Given (Thank you, Ma'am C!)
For the past week, my daily staples have always been my jeggings, closed shoes and of course anything to cover up my arms (most importantly). Since our trip from argey's hometown (to celebrate his birthday), I have had these rashes that seemed to occur because of the heat of the summer, probably dust and (got worse) because of my lunch and dinner chicken meals. Ugh! Seriously? But I'm glad the rashes have gone (almost), however the itching hasn't stopped yet. And, I have to always carry with me my handy dandy calamine lotion just in case.
It has been a week of living indoors and going out for important matters only, going off to the mall when my itching starts again (just to get free airconditioning haha!). Though what I miss the most is eating chicken. I'm not really allergic to it, but just to prevent the rashes and the itching, let's just try to avoid these kind of food. Sigh! Discipline, work your magic!
Don't these pictures look like they're borne right out of an interior design magazine? Well, that's because they are! Nope! Haha! Just kidding. Seriously, this is how 2Story Kitchen looks like from inside. All these beautiful, artsy details just make you want to have a picture with the entire wall as the backdrop.
If you visit Arts & Crafts sites like http://www.etsy.com/, you will even more appreciate this shop's interior. Like, really! Everything is just so pretty you would want to take all of them home with you!
Of course, us, girls, just can't let a wonderful place like this go to waste, can we? So, here we are cam-whoring like crazy! You honestly can't blame us. Visit the shop, then you'll know why.
With all these beautiful details, one will know that 2Story Kitchen's design and interior are well-planned and meticulously thought of.
I love how each dining area on the second floor is contained in individual cubicles, like those of Korean or Japanese restaurants. Each dining area is so cozy, it won't seem right to just use it for dining. You also have the option to whether get the comfy low-rise tables and just sit on the carpeted floor or dine in those 4-seater cubicles and get some privacy. Each option is a win that you'll really feel how one visit just can't be enough.
I love how each table has this special bell attached that makes getting the waiters' attention never a hassle. Seriously, every food shop just got to have this!
Alright, now let's talk about the food.
We ordered their special Blended Iced Tea and Mango Shake for our drinks. The iced tea blend is heaven, as all iced tea shakes are; but the mango shake is a little bland. What's particularly interesting in these drinks, however, is that you can't feel the ice melting on your tongue in every sip. It's THAT well-blended!
Jhet is currently having allergies attack, so she stays away from chicken and seafood, except fish that is. She ordered this Garlic Fish Fillet, and had this to say: "The combination of the garlic, calamansi and this sauce, is a joy to the palate." And joy it really was. The yellowfin tuna was so tender, and it didn't have that particular fish smell and aftertaste that I just can't take. This is surely gonna end up in my order list when I come back.
Keith got this Herbed Pork Chop, and man, Jhet and I ended up eating like half of it! Haha! The pork is so tasty, and tender, and just perfectly cooked. What I always hate about herbed pork chops is the conspicuous presence of herbs that makes the pork chop look like it's been dropped on a freshly mowed lawn. 2Story's presentation, thankfully, did not include the cooked herbs, yet you can really taste its presence in the recipe.
Jheck had the Chicken Milanese. It's so crispy and crunchy on the outside, yet the chicken's perfectly tender inside. The meat is also filled with so much flavor, and the crispy breading complements it rightly.
Aanndd.... I got this! Ham Pimiento Pasta! Well, this is actually my first time to try this pasta, and it already gained a spot on my must-cook items list. If I 'decoded' this recipe just right, then I might be able to replicate it at home. *fingers crossed. One thing, though, I think there's just too much pimiento in here. It's better, I guess, to have more of the ham instead.
We also got to try their Grilled Chicken Sandwich. Well, this tasted great, but I think we could use a better toasted bread. The grilled chicken's worth it, though.
For dessert, we ordered Snowman Waffle, and we're glad we ordered just one for the four of us, because the size is just plain scary. The waflle's great and the caramel-topped whipped cream is pure delish, and well, you know how good ice cream is.
2 Story Kitchen's hip and edgy look and its unique interiors really add a whole lot more to its guests' delicious gastronomic experience. Its comfy and cozy atmosphere is so captivating that it makes you want to just stay there for the entire day. It also makes us, Dumagueteños, happy to have a wonderful hang-out place like this to add to our long list of must-visit sites in the city.
2 Story Kitchen is the former Noriter, which was once located just across the Street. It's in Sta. Catalina Street, beside the old Avon Building.
Will we come back? Oh, geez, I wanna eat there again tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that... I can live there!
Will we recommend it to you? Absolutely. And we know we won't be embarrassed by doing so.