Saturday, February 27, 2010

Papet ASEAN 2010 in pictures

The festival is over! It was an eye-opening experience, not only because I met people from different ASEAN countries (and got to see awesome shows!), but also because somehow, there are times when you feel like a foreigner in your own country. Take, for instance, coping with little changes in the plans! One has to learn to be flexible when the instructions given and the demands of the moment disagree. One has to be ready to do things, and not just wait for them to be done. And one has to learn to be calm in case the printer does not cooperate. hehe!

Can't write much now because I only have two weeks for all my Baby Mag assignments! So here are a few pictures I took with my low-batt camera. Enjoy!

At the festival opening; waiting for the show to start!

ItalicVishnu shadow puppet for Teatrong Mulat's Sita and Rama.

Checking the OHP's distance for Ravana's song.

The delegates have their meeting at the Claro M. Recto Hall in Faculty Center.

Wayang sandosa from Indonesia!

Eating out with some delegates at Max's Restaurant after a long day!

The delegates take a tour of Amelia Lapena Bonifacio Teatro Papet Museo.

Jamming--the ASEAN way!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Dressing for a date?

When you watch commercials selling luxury residences, you see women dressed in gowns and men in black ties. And it's pretty normal to see that--on the screen. But come out and walk the streets, and you'll notice that couples dress differently in real life. For one, it's kinda funny to see people in formal attire on a sunny weekend. But this post is not about formal and casual wear for men and women.

Walking in the mall on my way home, I can't help noticing couples and how they dress. As far as I know, when a girl dresses up to meet her boyfriend, she really puts some thought into what she wears. That said, why is it that when I see young women going out with young men, it seems that the preferred attire is something short, or something low, or something back-bearing... it makes me wonder, doesn't a young woman want her boyfriend to look at her face?

Dressing up for a date is something worth putting much thought to because dressing is a form of communication. When it comes to a date, it communicates 1) how a lady sees herself and 2) how much she respects her young man. The first is obvious: clothing reflects the wearer, and shows how seriously she wants to be taken (ever wonder why people put much thought when they get ready for a job interview?). How a woman mixes and matches and layers and accessorizes is self-expression!

The second is not so obvious, but think of it this way: when you know you're meeting someone you think highly of, you don't dress in a sando and a pair of Islander sandals. You wear something good, something that suits you and makes you look like someone worth listening to. The same principle applies when a lady goes out with her boyfriend. She doesn't have to dress to the nines, but she has to look fresh and comfortable, with not a thread out of place--she needs to look like someone whose stories, insights, ideas and opinions are worth hearing... after all, good conversation is primarily what a date is about!

Now, if that's still hard to understand, maybe I should pick something closer to home: When a young woman dresses up for a date, she must keep her Dad in mind. What will Dad say? It's amusing how a father could be a fashion consultant, but in my experience, it works. My dad has often commented on my choice of clothes--and when he says a shirt is too tight, then it must be! (Lately, he just kids me for not wearing red on Valentine's or for being "color blind.")

Why does Dad's opinion matter, you ask? Because he's someone who loves you without being smitten with you (that's for Mom, of course), and because, somehow, he knows what your young man will think when he sees you in whatever you're wearing.

Naturally, he'll only approve something that will make you shine.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Street fashion

Images from The Sartorialist

Getting dressed for work is pretty tricky--especially if you have a dress code at the office and you regularly take the jeep/bus/MRT/FX. Though my job doesn't require me to wear stockings and heels, I consider it a duty to look like I'm raring to get to work--and not like I can't wait to catch some zzz's.

This conviction is the result of that horrible experience of coming to work in rubber slippers (because they're comfy for commuting), and then finding out later that day that I was to attend a press event (cocktails) in Asian Hospital, and hopefully catch an interview with Lea Salonga (which didn't push through...thankfully). Since then, I've thought more about street fashion, which in this case can also be called: Clothes to Wear When Traveling from One End of the City to the Other without Looking Like a Tornado Victim or a Teleported Island Hopper at Any Point in Time.

Here are some points to remember when dressing for commuting and going to work:
  1. No slippers. It took me a potential interview with an international star to realize how inappropriate slippers are when worn for work. I think it's the "expensive rubber slipper trend" that initially made slippers "acceptable" in places other than the house and the beach. It got so common that one hotel put up a sign that said "No slippers allowed inside." No matter how expensive those things are they're still RUBBER CUTOUTS made for walking in sand.
  2. A good pair of closed walking shoes is a nice investment. I've noticed some women commuters wearing office uniforms (the pencil skirt kind) with stockings and slippers. While I understand how much discomfort commuting in one's office heels could be, I don't think donning the slippers is a better idea--after all, you're still in your uniform! There are nice comfy walking shoes that can complement that office uniform out of office hours. Go shopping!
  3. Mini-anythings are giant boo-boos! While fashion experts may hail short shorts, mini-skirts, spaghetti-halter tops and tiny tees as the "in" thing, the commuter is wise never to listen to such ridiculous people. Try climbing in a jeepney or hopping off a bus (or even stepping into a taxi) in one of those microscopic numbers and tell me if you didn't feel a trifle uncomfortable. Sure, it's hot out there, but you gotta remember that in a public vehicle you've got enough things to worry about (the fare, your bag, your phone, your limbs, your breathing space) that any piece of clothing that make you have to double-, triple-, quadruple-check yourself every time you change position makes you prime target for becoming a victim of snatching (not to mention the obvious). Besides, what would your boss say if you step in the office in that?
  4. Be a "coherent" dresser! It all comes to this, then. Deciding what to wear for the commute and for work is a matter of choosing pieces that are decent for the office and at the same time comfortable for the road (bringing extra items--like comfy shoes and an extra shirt--to satisfy the difference is simply a matter of foresight). Though different places require different "appropriate attire," it's still the wearer who decides what to don every day and in effect defines who she is. For example, if you're a neat person, that means you are neat wherever you go--at home, in the office, in the thick of the city. If you're one character in one place and a totally different one in the next... well, that's quite a tangle you've got yourself into! This is how coherence--or unity in lifestyle--is important: in all the fashion decisions you'll have to make daily, you are the constant; your personal modest and considerate choices are the pattern, the groundwork of the rules you follow on appropriate dressing. And the more you see how the way you dress affects the people around you, the smarter your choices will be--on the street or out of it.

Oh by the way, there will be a talk on "stylish dressing and hairstyling" next Saturday (Feb 27) to be given by Ms. Boots Estrada and Ms. Ester Ong! Here are the details:

From Head to Toe
Feb 27, 2010
Dining Hall 1 & 2, UA&P
2:00-2:15 Registration
2:15-3:30 Talk
Smart Casual
PhP 200
(For women ages 14-35)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Love love me do!

That little cutie on the cover is Ayesha Nunez, photographed by Krissy Rodriguez of Little People Lifestyle Photography. What do you think of our "lifestyle cover"? Tee-hee!

What I remember most about putting this issue together is spending an afternoon racking our brains (I mean me and EIC Diana) for suitable love songs that could make good titles for our articles. An article about Gestational Diabetes ended up being called "One sweet day" and one about teaching kids to master following rules became "Baby one more time." It was one of the lesser-stress days--that we still have them occasionally is something I am always thankful for. We were thinking maybe we could put in a contest asking readers to sing us a love song that we used as title and win some fun prizes. But maybe next time! ;)

The theme for this month is "Surround your family with love," and it takes more than listening to love songs all day to do that! From learning how to lessen petty fights (by keeping one's mouth shut when one has to!) to being there during the wife's pregnancy and long, long after, there are a lot of good reads for the mom or dad who just wants to know more things about pregnancy, child care and raising a family.

In this "modern" day and age, kids really need to grow up in a REAL LOVE-filled home--to be frank, what is being promoted as "natural" (i.e. by the highly sexualized media) can be very misleading! It's time to help people realize that Love is deeper than sex. And strong families are perhaps the best weapon against the things that degrade society little by little. If kids are raised knowing what Real Love is, pretty soon everyone will see how absurd we've let our media culture become. And maybe something can be done about those big ugly things in EDSA.

Baby magazine is published by Marathon Publishing Co. and is sold at all National Bookstores, SM baby department stores, Babyland (Robinsons Galleria, Shaw Blvd. near Cherry Foodarama), Baby & Co. (The Podium and Power Plant Mall), Bufini, Procreation Shangri-la mall, Big & Small Co. Shangri-la Mall.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

No small roles

We started the Papet Pasyon rehearsals again! Three new puppeteers are joining this year so I don't know if I'll still be bread or wine (or both). Anyhoo, here's a little something I thought about in last Sunday's rehearsals, and maybe it would be good to share.

It was my Theater 131 teacher Sir Behn (Behn Cervantes) who said those words in the title of this post. In fact, it's even longer than that. He said, "There are no small roles." I don't remember if he said it once or repeatedly throughout the semester, but it stuck with me. I remember it every time I do my work, or whenever I pick up a puppet, or even when I do some house chores, it reverberates in my head.

In my first Papet Pasyon, I remember having been assigned to do all those little stuff: the bread and wine, the bag of silver, the cross of Christ. And I remember looking at the other puppeteers with green eyes and thinking, "I wish I had an apostle or at least a puppet with rods on its hands." But as a newcomer, I only got to hold a dancer in the first number and all those little objects.

But as I've participated in more and more Pasyon shows and have handled more puppets, I've come to understand how difficult and important those little roles are. For one, you can hardly see in the dark and are more liable to be stepped on when you're crouching and praying for your dear life while everyone is standing around you carrying heavy wooden apostles. For another, just one little bad pass (like, say, in handling the bag of coins between Dathan and Judas) is a magnified mistake as opposed to a big blocking mishap among the larger puppets (with a person-puppet, you can always make it pretend it knows what it's doing; a bag of coins floating in the air, on the other hand, will be a magical phenomenon that fits nicely only in Professor Flitwick's first year class).

Finally, what's the Last Supper without the bread and wine?

It doesn't stop in Theater class or puppeteering. There are no small roles. In the work you do, have you ever considered any of your tasks a menial one? Imagine taking it out: does the office work still hold together? In Baby Mag, I've "arrrghed" over the task of compiling all the baby pictures in Baby Gallery and making sure the names are spelled right--but (surprise!) that's the first page mommies turn to when they buy the magazine! I know because there is always a letter saying thanks for publishing a baby photo. Small task, but important.

There is always that temptation to just do the little things haphazardly--after all, "no one might notice" or "it's just a little thing". But the truth is, in everything one does, one leaves a bit of himself...something like a stamp of ownership, or a proof of manufacture. Slipshod work, then, is just proof of a slipshod heart. (I say "heart" because that's where the "I" is--the real one, without the mask.)

In this way, it isn't only a matter of seeing the little things as important--anyone can do that. It's also a matter of wanting to treat the small things as big things, to put one's all in every task that lay ahead. I am shortchanging you by quoting Sir Behn incompletely. What he said in whole, which he directed as a challenge, especially to that lone shy and silly girl in his class was: "There are no small roles...just small actors."

So get to it!