Swimming, Drowning, Surviving Feat. Chan Tan Photography

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I am no Gabriella Montez so I do not soar nor do I fly and the stars are not always within my reach. Instead, I swim through life often to find myself drowning in my own sea of fears and troubles and I try to come out of it alive. I do not emerge from the waves, I crawl gasping for life.

That is probably not something you want to hear from someone who look up to or someone or from someone you adore but in the least, I try to look good. Working term: try.

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It’s true, I have my troubles and I swim with them, against them and when I face them- I try my best not to let them consume me and shallow me whole. And I think that’s the OK part about it all, that I acknowledge them. Acknowledge that they might never go away, but at least I know they exist and I am working on my strokes.

I’m a guppy, swimming with the big fish but I’ve got a hear of a Great White and maybe one day, I will be one. But until then, I am going to enjoy the current whether I choose to swim with it or against it. Of course, I will attempt to swim against it, that’s what I do- I test my limits.

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There is a great big ocean in front of me and I am certainly not going to spend my time floating around in the same place, doing the same things in shallow waters. That’s not where the most mysterious, adventurous, majestic and beautiful creatures thrive.

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Photography by: Christian Chan| Underwater photography by: Bo Mancao| Location: Mandarin Hotel

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Keep swimming,

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Projections with Roger Cas

DSC_9706 They say that if you want something in life, you must project it out to the world in order for you to get one step closer to it. It could be in the form of a dog eared note in your favorite journal, a blog entry, a photo, a prayer or any means of acknowledgement.

I have always loved the water, (warm water in the shower, specifically) having been a competitive swimmer and mermaid in my past life. Also, I have always wished to take my diving adventures more seriously and to one day try out surfing. But due to time and financial restraints, I haven’t had much time to do both. But like I said, when you project the things you want into the world, it often tends to listen, maybe not in the exact way you would have wanted but in surprising and even better ways, nonetheless.

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I was lucky to have been invited to shoot again with Roger Cas and Christian Tan (whose work I will be featuring in another post) earlier this year, where we were able to work around with a few things that were meaningful to us: art, photography and the ocean.
 
DID YOU KNOW that the pattern of white spots are unique for every whale shark or that the hairy frog fish is called as such because it walks like a frog on surfaces?
DID YOU KNOW  that populations of many species are decreasing at an unsustainable rate, and the number of species listed as endangered from marine life families such as whales, dolphins, manatees and dugongs, salmon, seabirds, sea turtles,and sharks to name a few, are on the rise. Marine creatures are equally, if not more, vulnerable to problems such as habitat destruction and over exploitation. Shallow water animals that breathe air, like turtles, manatees, dugongs, and whales are often hit by boats and caught in fishing gear. Species such as turtles that lay their eggs on land often lose their nurseries due to coastal development. Animals that have taken millions of years to evolve, that are invaluable to all ecosystems, have and continue to vanish from places where they once flourished.
(http://marinebio.org/oceans/threatened-endangered-species/)
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DSC_9624  As pretty as these pictures are, it is also a reminder to everyone to take care of the ocean and the life that lives in it. I’ve only seen a few of these majestic creatures in person and I would hate to one day have the to face the harsh reality that I may never be able to because of our careless and irresponsible actions. It’s one thing to love the ocean and want to explore it but it’s a completely different thing to actually do something about it. Don’t litter, make sustainable seafood choices, avoid purchasing items that exploit the marine life and above everything else- educate yourself about the ocean and what you can do to help protect it.

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If you want to find out more about the great open seas or find out how you can be involved, check out Divelink CebuNot only are they a dive shop, but they are also involved in research and conservation of our marine life and have even established sanctuaries around Malapascua.

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 Photography by: Roger Cas

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Fish are friends. Not foe,

 

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Sunday’s Best

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Sundays are known as the ultimate rest day when nobody feels like dressing up or… getting out of bed in general. So this Sunday look that I put together is something that is easy to put on, move around in and get everything done for the week up ahead.  Plus, it’s a good cover up if you’re nursing a hang over from the weekend but don’t want the world to know your sins. LOL.

Every lady needs a good girl look. For me, this is it.

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Button up polo: Uniqlo| Sweater: H&M| Denim jeans: Guess| Bag: Zalora (HDY)| Sneakers: Adidas Superstars

Enjoy your week,

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VLOG: Cut & Style This Sinulog with Island Souvenirs!

Pit Senyor, mga Higala!

Get your festival fever on by dropping by the closest Island Souvenirs outlet near you and enjoy all their Sinulog merchandise like T- shirts, hair chalk, head dresses, colored powder and other awesome merchandise!

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Also, catch us at the annual Sinulog Cut & Style Fashion show this January 15 (Friday) at 5:00 pm onwards at the SM Northwing!

 To find out more about the event and their products, make sure to follow them on Facebook and to check out their videos, too!
See you there!
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Dark, Like My Soul

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With all the festivities that went on during the Christmas break, I decided to opt for an all black ensemble during one of our Christmas parties. Why? Because black slims you out.

Not going to deny the fact that I’ve been putting on some weight over the past few months but luckily an all black chic look like this covers up any unwanted weight in a jiffy. I think I will be sporting this look for often as I ease myself into loosing 10 lbs in the next 2 months. (It’s a little friendly competition I’m having between a few friends)

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Top: Forever 21

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Shades: Forever 21| Jogger Pants: Crissa| Bowler bag: HDY from Zalora| Heels: Parisian

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Happy New Year,

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ISSA’S 10 YEAR NEW YEAR TRADITION & 11 YEAR BLOGGING BIRTHDAY!

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I always get so sentimental around this time of the year because it is around this time of the year that I like to sit in front of a computer, or in this case a laptop screen, in the middle of the night and review/ reflect on the year that has passed. This hardly ever happens anymore as I have come to realize that my demons come out during this time and nothing is scarier than a woman in her mi 20’s left alone with her thoughts in the middle of the night.

But for the past 11 years, I have chosen to spend these festive times in front of a screen,doing what I have come to realize is what I seem to do best: write my heart and soul out. I started doing it when I was in the 6th grade (forgive me if my math is off) and I’ll be doing it until I am old and wrinkly.

I know that life should not be measured in years and that each day is another opportunity to start fresh and anew but it has become apparent to me that some habits die hard and this is mine. And honestly, I am proud to show the world that this is who I have become over the years, especially this year which is why I am sharing this with you.

So if you are curious to find out what Issa of 2004 [technically 2005] was like, click here. Back then I liked to use words such as “bounce” and my life’s goal was to create the longest blog entry in the world. Truthfully, I have not read this entry in a long time but feel free to do so yourself. Let me know what it’s about but if it’s too embarrassing, please refrain from talking to me. EVER.

In 2006-7 I became obsessed with the term “word vomit” also, I believe my multiply username was Issaplease which is when my online alter ago was born even if I did not realize it yet. I stopped talking like a ghetto chica (THANKFULLY!!) and I was obsessed with dating. I could tell you where this dying need to love and be loved in return came from but that is for another day. The main point is, I started talking like a normal person which all I could really care about Issa of 2006 anyways…

2007-8 was the year I realized how important blogging was to me whether or not my voice was heard or my blog was read. A practice has turned into a habit and in the years to follow, it has become a life style or an extension of who I was. I got my first boyfriend this year and although I hate talking about him, monkey face and all, I have to admit that I would not be the person I was today if it were not for him. We did not break up until some time in 2009 so 2008 should be interesting.

I think I was mad the day I made my blog for 2008-9 because I said that I could actually imagine myself becoming a nurse. I knew I had bumped my head somewhere… or someone bumped it for me. Oh, I went there. Honestly, I can’t even bring myself to read this blog entry. A lot of things on it sound stupid and that’s just not me anymore. In a nutshell, I had the wrong perception of love and I know I say that I would never change anything in my life but if I could, I would get on that time machine and slap myself instead of someone else doing it to me. Those were dark times which is why I have left them there.

In 2009- 10 I was a bit smarter. I was being honest with myself because I no longer had the fear of disappointing someone because of my honesty. This was the year that I learned to be honest with myself and with others even if it cost me a friend. Truthfully, it is still costing me friends but I.don’t.care. I also know that this year was the year I had “lost” myself or I was trying to find a new me. I kissed, danced, got drunk, kissed boys and I learned. The most important thing is I learned.

 2010- 11  I met another boy and I still think that up until this day, the people we meet tend to leave a mark on our lives forever. This is also the year that my lolo got into a stroke, the year I started fashion blogging and the year that I was able to watch Paramore. It’s still funny to read all the things I had wished for a boy I no longer talk to nor think about today or the wishes I still wish for until now but I guess life is like that. It’s funny and sad at the same time, I often can’t tell which is which. Also, I said I was engaged in this post. KALUOD LANG!

2011- 12 This is the year I lost love and found it somewhere else. HONESTLY, I know I sound like such a whore right now but fuck you. Girls like me don’t stay out in the market for too long :’)) joking aside, I am #blessed. Samut. On a serious note, I fondly remember making this blog entry this year because I felt a sense of accomplishment and for the first time in a very long time, I felt at rest. Maybe because I was about to graduate or maybe because I was beginning to be a little bit more contented with what I had… You’ll have to read the blog entry to find out!

Seriously, you’d think by this year I would have learned to back up my photos… apparently NOT. In all honesty, 2012- 13 was an awesome year because it was when I was transitioning from being the person everyone wanted me to be into being the person I wanted to be for myself. I am still struggling with this for the most part but I’ve been getting by with a little help. If you’re reading this entry without reading the previous or you do not know me to begin with, I dated 2 men named Paolo consecutively. So don’t be confused. I have a type! 😉

Last year, 2013- 14 , was equally awesome for the most part. I’m pretty sure there were crappy moments in there too but it’s great that I only seem to have remembered the good parts. It honestly feels like I just started blogging a couple years ago only to realize that I am no longer in high school anymore… NOR COLLEGE and who knows where I could be in the next year years. But in the mean time, I am currently in the middle of a dark room (how I like it), with the distant sounds of snoring in the background as I sum up the year that was.

Edit: my years are all wrong. Will fix this later!!

So as I have done for the last 10 years, here’s my round about of the year 2015! 🙂 *insert theatrics!*

2016

1. Will you be looking for a new job?

If there’s anything I’ve learned about myself, it is that I cannot keep a day job to save my life and that I like to manage my own time. So for as long as what I do allows me to do so while paying for the bills, then count me in!

2. Will you be looking for a new relationship?

4 years and I am still in love with the same man. I like where I am.

3. New house?

Truthfully thinking about it. Very, very much.

4. What will you do different in 16?

More: work, travel, laughs, exploring more options and practicing my creativity, exercise

Less: unwise spending, eating, alcoholing and smoking

5. New Years’ resolutions?

Bitaw guys, true na gyud ni. To work out and lose 10 pounds. :’))

6. What will you not be doing in 2014?

  1. Getting myself into trouble or rubbing shoulders with the wrong type of people.

2. Forgetting where I came from.

7. Any trips planned?

Manila, Malapascua, the States (hopefully!), Palawan and hopefully somewhere nice with Paolo. (We deserve it!)

8. Wedding plans?

Not mine.

9. Major thing on your calendar?

As of the moment: Being an Island Souvenirs’ Sinulog ambassador, applying for my Visa and travelling. But 2016 Issa will have to write about this instead…

10. What can’t you wait for?

Finding out if I can see my papa again, more blogging opportunities and being able to work with bigger brands, a more fruitful year for Paolo and I

11. What would you like to see happen differently?

A stronger, more resilient and confident version of myself. Not someone who’s a push over or is afraid of conflict though I don’t necessarily see that as a bad thing. Oh, I don’t know, really. Maybe I would just like to see a few people go home to where they’re from. lol.

12. What about you will you be changing?

I am currently in the process of trying to be more motivated to work and thrive in a very competitive environment. This is not a new year’s resolution, I repeat. This is NOT a new year’s resolution. It is in fact, something that I have been trying to cope with for a while.

I used to deal with being too competitive with other people without them knowing it and since I have overcome that, I feel like the opposite of that has turned out to be passiveness. I would like to find the right mix between determination without being too resentful of the things I do not have.. whatever that mix is.

13. What happened in 2015 that you didn’t think would ever happen?

Being friends, if not, closer to my biological father

Being given all the opportunities  I have been given this year (contracts, ambassadorships, sponsors, features, etc.)

14. Will you be nice to the people you care about?

Even to the ones I don’t. (Same as last year). “Kill them with kindness.” or just bug the fuck out of them! 😉

15. Will you dress differently this year than you did in 2014?

I cannot say.

16. Will you start or quit smoking?

Continue to quit! YEY!!! ^_^

17. Will you better your relationship with your family?

Yes, always

18. Will you do charity work?

If given the opportunity, yes.

19. Will you go to bars?

Only when necessary.

20. Will you be nice to people you don’t know?

Yes, but I shall practice the RBF more frequently.

21. Do you expect 2015 to be a good year for you?

I am always hoping for the best.

22. How much did you change from this time ‘til now?

When I look back at my previous answers that have led up to this day, I come to realize that there are many things that have changed and have remained the same. In a way, I have changed for the good and the bad and I can’t deny, there are some aspects of old Issa that I wish I still was up to today. I guess ignorance is bliss and I have aged well.

1 example of a weird change is that I can no longer stay up until 3 in the morning. I usually pass out by 1 or 2. Also, this is the first time I am finishing parts of this blog entry in the morning with a cup of coffee. OLD.

23. Do you plan have on having a child?

Maybe not this year.

24. Will you still be friends with the same people you are friends with?

I’ve pretty much weeded out 2015’s friends list and I think I am going into 2016 with a great roster of friends so, yes.

25. Major lifestyle changes?

I honestly hope so.

26. Will you be moving?

Thinking about it… can’t decide where to though.

27. What will you make sure doesn’t happen in 2015?

Unplanned pregnancies, bankruptcy, robbery, separation and obesity or famine (same as last year)

28. What are your New Year’s Eve plans?

Since Catherine is in the States, we’re all going to Tita Tina’s house to greet the new year. I plan to be this years’ source of entertainment.

29. Will you have someone to kiss at midnight?

Paolo 🙂

30. One wish for 2015?

For life to happen as beautifully as it was intended to

Here are my 2015 highlights:

10931239_768197896608260_6648471262762627729_nBeing an in house stylist for Island Sounvenirs’ Cut and Style booth for Sinulog

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Shooting with Jing and Jade, my favorites foreves <3

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Working with Coca Cola and getting a cool tumbler

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Selling the most items at the Threadcycle event

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Switching to Vape and gaining 10 lbs 😐

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That shopping spree I got from Planet Exchange

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Shooting with Stephen Suico

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Shopping with Iya Villania for Watsons

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Being featured by Zee Lifestyle for She Says

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Travelling to Hong Kong with Mama Bear

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Making the cover of Sun Star Weekend

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Becoming one of the ambassadors for Beauty and Beyond

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Shooting with Burtz Roiland of Blinkbox photos for GiordanoxMovepick

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Being on the Da Vinci’s Pizza commercial

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TURNING 25! And my surprise birthday party <3

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Shooting with Benj Montgomery for SammyDress.com

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Dressing up as Ellie from the Last of Us with Paolo for Halloween and getting my make up done with Liana Uy

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Hosting Cebu’s first Toy and Figures Convention

“Re-launching” my Youtube channel and being signed under ABS CBN’s Chicken, Pork, Adobo network

THANK YOU SO MUCH to the people, the friends and the brands that I was able to work with this year! There are so many people that made this 2015 colorful, fun and exciting and I cannot wait to work with all of you again in 2016.

I know I may oftentimes be hard to work with or to even just be around but thank you for the support and patience anyways. I have gained and lost friends this year but I think that is all a part of growing up and becoming the person we are truly meant to be.

If you have been reading my blog for a very long time now, thank you for the undying support and if you are new to this site, then WELCOME and I hope I make your 2016 a little better!

This blog entry took me 3 days to write which is pretty amazing since it usually only takes me a few minutes- hours to write a full entry. It must have come from the bottom of my heart. lol.

See you all in 2016 and I love you all! <3

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In Full Bloom feat. Mega Pui

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Accessories are known to either make or break an outfit and although you will hardly ever see me wearing them, these floral accents are definitely something I am glad to keep in my small collection for days when I want to add an extra hint on femininity to my look. To be honest, I could never really get on board with the whole floral trend because it’s a bit overwhelming for my personality but these babies can finally ease me into it slowly but… surely! I especially love the material used in the products, they feel so real!

I was so lucky to be blessed with these Luculia Floral products all the way from Japan from Mega PuiThey are a website that caters to a bunch of your online needs, not only limited to fashion but also your electronic needs, as well. They even sell microscopes, guys! That is soo cool!!

Please do make sure to check out their site for endless hours of online shopping!

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Luculia Hair Barrette (can be used as a hair tie or bracelet)

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Luculia Rose Corsage (can be used as a hair clip or a pin)

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Luculia Hair Band

(is this not how you wear a headband? haha)

I will be posting a video review about this site soon!

Tootles,

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Small City Girl feat. Sammy Dress

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I come from a small city but my dreams are pretty big and I guess when you’ve got dreams of running the world in style, you’ve got to dress the part, too.

Sammy Dress does a great job of providing me with endless choices of apparel to choose from that come in affordable prices. I love how they have so many things to choose from like wigs, winter wear, bikinis and everyday items that I can keep in my closet for a very long time. Just like this suede fringe skirt that brought so much life into my look.

Make sure to check them out. New members get a 10% discount!

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Hat: Topshop| Polo: Ralph Lauren| Skirt: Sammy Dress| Heels: Parisian| Bag: Nine West

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Photography by: Benj Montgomery

Dream on, Dreamer,

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You Deserve Flowers

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Let’s Stylize always has my back especially when it comes to my more lady-like dressing. I can always depend on them when it comes to picking out pieces perfect for special occasions, business meetings and other more chic occasions in my life.

I wore this dainty number during a very special meeting over the weekend and it made me realize how much dressing the part can help with building up confidence. Try to keep this in mind the next time you’re dressing up for an interview, a date or even a night out!

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Double layer cami: Let’s Stylize| Shorts: Zara from Planet Exchange| Bag: Coach| Sandals: Carcar

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Enjoy your weekend,

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Tee Tuesday’s @ Elated Industries

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  I’m  a sucker when it comes to go a good white tee and an even bigger one when it involves playful graphics on them.

Growing up, all I ever wore were graphic and statement shirts so being able to incorporate them in my wardrobe now not only hits close to home, it gives me a much needed break from my currently filled with chiffon and spandex wardrobe.

I first heard Elated Industries earlier this year where I even blogged about them here. Back then, they did not offer apparel for  ladies but I am so happy that I finally get to enjoy their products through their Tee Tuesday’s offerings where they release a new graphic shirt every Tuesday. 

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Elated is really about creating a lifestyle and making your own stories. I love the amount of thought and work that they put into every single one of their products and how well they translate in their designs.

So if you’re looking for a local brand to fall in love with, I suggest you check out Elated’s products. There is always something for every one there.

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Sorry for the crappy editing job but I like it!

Check out Elated Industries official website

Get updates from the Facebook page

Follow them on Instagram: @ifeelelated

Stay high,

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