Saturday, January 16, 2016

Un-Wedding Dress

I remember trying this dress on when I was younger, mesmerized by its beauty and details. This was not my mom's wedding dress. She didn't have the wedding of her dreams by a long shot; she hardly had a wedding dress at all. But this one, she has always treasured. I completely forgot about it until last night, & part of me wishes I'd thought about it sooner. While this will not be the dress I walk down the aisle in, it represents so many things: culture, tradition, family & my parents' American Dream. I'm certain I'll find a special place for it. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Lucky Number Thirteen

Love the Facebook memories feature thing. A lot of significant things seemed to happen on or around this day over the years.

Seven years ago, I was cheering on the Gators to victory at the BCS National Championship.

Six years ago, I started Parsons in New York.

Three years ago, I moved back up north and into my apartment in Jersey City.

Two years ago, JP and I were on our first big trip together to Southern California, Las Vegas, and Honolulu.

Today, well, this particular day isn't very exciting, but this past year has been. 

I traveled to India (solo!) and saw the Taj Mahal, Akshardam Temple, and the Pink City. I celebrated Holi with a former Miss India and Baliwood stars. I sailed in the Arabian Sea, and rode along the Queen's Necklace, and visited factories, beaders, and markets (the not so glamorous parts of the fashion industry).

From there I flew to the Philippines to continue my non-profit work, and to explore other opportunities there. I never thought I'd get JP to make a trip over there, but he did, and I was able to share with him everything about that country that I love so much.

As if that wasn't enough, at the end of JP's apartment hunting trip to Seattle on a chilly August morning, at the top of the Space Needle overlooking his new job, his new place and his new city, he asked me to begin a new chapter with him. JP asked me to marry him.

So it's okay that on this specific day in 2016, nothing spectacular happened. Because this time next year is going to be the most special day of all.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Sleepless in Seattle

This might be the rain talking, but this is what I have to say about Seattle so far:
  • Seattle homeless are definitely scarier than New York homeless. This is because around here, everyone kind of dresses like their homeless, so you don't realize that they're really homeless until they are one foot away from you speaking tongues and/or screaming obscenities.
  • Driving isn't terrible in the city; public transportation isn't terrible in in the city. Neither are great. 
  • If you're in Seattle proper, it is walkable in theory. Then your socks get wet.
  • Seattle restaurant industry has got nothin' on New York's. You can't get away with bad service there. You never know who you're serving or who they know. You just wouldn't last.
  • Umbrellas and rain boots are dead give away that you're not from here. If I ever start to dress like I'm from here, take my homeless looking clothes away from me and burn them.
  • Construction is rampant. Cranes are so much a part of the landscape and decorated with holiday lights.
  • They say the PNW has the best summers. I'll re-evaluate my opinion then.

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Dress

TLC seems to have Say Yes to the Dress marathons daily. I have recently started my own wedding marathon, and I've started with my favorite thing: dress shopping, of course! This is how my experience compares, along with other thoughts I have when I watch this deception of a show:

Selection: The bridal stylists on Say Yes always freak out when the bride doesn't say yes after the fourth or so dress. So dramatic. "I don't know that we have what she's looking for." Um... four dresses? I think I've tried on at least 30, and the selection at Kleinfeld is probably more than all three boutiques I've been to combined.

Colored Wedding Dresses: I get that there's a trend to get married in a dress that is anything but white. What I don't get is why you would go to a bridal store if you want to get married in a colored wedding dress--- Colored as in not white, ivory or even blush--- And then whine that your dress may not be there... in a store that specializes in carrying wedding dresses... which are typically white or in that family. If you want to be an atypical bride, try not a bridal boutique. If you're already in New York for Kleinfeld, um, go to Bergdorfs.

Saying "Yes": I loved more than one dress that I tried on. I got emotional for a couple of dresses. I never burst into tears. You get a feeling in your gut, though it may not be overwhelming as it seems on the show. From talking to other friends who have gotten married or are engaged and have found their dress, the chances are high that you'll doubt your choice at some point. Their advice is to remember all of the reasons that made you love it in the first place. And once you say yes, to STOP looking at dresses. That's you, Amanda!

I will also be accepting any other wedding planning advice anyone would like to give.

Monday, September 28, 2015

No One Cares

A little over a month ago I was at a Vegas pool party for a bachelorette with a group of 5 former cheerleaders, all a little self conscious because that's what cheerleading does; it creates a warped self body image. We strolled in, found a a vacant spot, and I looked around and a judgmental thought passed, "Did these girls not think it was a good idea to work out before Vegas in the summer?" Then I thought again. While I was standing there, wishing my butt was 2" higher and that my arms looked sculpted at rest, these girls didn't give a ****. How liberating it must be to not give a damn, to love yourself and be comfortable in your own skin. Because do you know who else doesn't care if you have a little muffin top hanging over your bathing suit bottoms? Everyone else around you.

The moral of the story is: don't be so hard on yourself. Be healthy. Eat better. Exercise. But do it because you love your body, not because you hate it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Hey, Bombay!

As I go through my day, I think about what I want to share on this thing, then I get to wherever I'm staying and I am just so tired.

Tonight is no exception, so for now, I'll just leave you with a drive by photo from today, my last full day in India.

Scooting around the streets of Mumbai

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Gypsy Collisions

I was at Mehtab Bagh, on the opposite side of the Yamuna River across from the Taj Mahal. That's where they bring tourists to watch the sunset, and as I walked through the gardens towards that incredible marble building, it took my breath away. Even from a distance, it was breathtakingly beautiful. I think I literally held my breath in awe of its beauty and in disbelief that I was actually there.

I walked to the end of the gardens, as close to the edge as possible. There, I asked some (other) Asian tourists if they could take my photo. The selfie stick just wasn't cutting it.

On a side note, Indians get really confused when I tell them I'm American. They say, "Oh, you look Japanese or Chinese." I try to tell them that I'm Filipino American; that my family is Filipino but I was born in America, but initially the concept seems to baffle them. I had to explain to my driver that many cultures exist in America. Okay, getting off topic, so back to the story...

I walked to the right side of the gardens (facing the Taj) because that's where the sun sets; the light is better on that side. As meandered in that direction, I struck a conversation with a young guy from England. His name is Josh. He's doing a full on Southeast Asia tour, which, when he's all done, will have been 2 years long. After that, he'll be going to Australia on a work visa as a civil engineer.

We talked about how traveling alone sometimes makes us each nervous: me, because I'm a girl and extremely little; him, because he's blonde and well, white.

I told him how I schedule my returns from my trips according to my friends' weddings, and he told me how all of his are having babies. And we kind of laughed because here we were, gypsying around and watching the sunset in Agra.

I faced the river, watching the sun go down over the Yamuna River and that glittering building, and when I turned around he was gone.

One of my favorite things about traveling is the people I get to meet from everywhere. You run into these wandering souls and share a moment in each other's journey. For a just a few minutes, your worlds collide, then you continue on your separate paths. Sometimes I think about these people and wonder where they are now and what ever happened to them. But then I just smile a little, because it always takes me back to the trip that I met them...

Like that one time I watched the sunset over the Taj Mahal.

Josh, the English Gypsy