[rambles] Tenderness

I don’t know. I am getting used to saying that: I don’t know. I do not have all the answers, most especially for what I feel. So when I wake up in a room that isn’t mine, to the smell of hot chocolate and the hazy outline of a forehead and hair and the slope of a nose…at first, that feeling of an expanding warmth scares me.

I don’t know what it is. But I know what I don’t want it to be.

I don’t want it to be love. I’m an old hand at falling in love and know that most times–since it’s always the wrong time–the fall means crashing into something that inevitably breaks or breaks down. And anyway, falling would ruin the easy-as-breathing of what we merry six have: a rambunctious puppy-brood energy spelled out in raucous shouting and low laughter. We were constructed never to feel those sorts of things for each other, and small wonder–romance is complicated, and the way we all fit together is supposed to be simple, elemental. It’s why we’re a modern orchestra, all mathematics and physics wrapped up in emotion. We move as a unit. We are a unit. We are family and that’s why the things that would be weird elsewhere are fine between us–hugs, swapping shirts, sharing this bed because I’ll be damned if I have to share with my ex-MU on the floor, even if the cot is wider and promises less likelihood for contact.

I forget my gender. They all forget my gender.

The warmth expands. My breath catches. For a second I’m afraid but then I realize by degrees that the feeling reminds me instead of sharing a bed with your cousin and best friend when you’re young and sleeping over. Before puberty makes things verboten. I make a noise loud enough to wake the dead then push the earphones I shared out of the way, get up, greet the day.

Breakfast is a loud affair, even though we are all half-awake. We scramble for rice, pork, eggs, hot chocolate. The guy I used to like–an interloper, a friend–is on my right, but it doesn’t feel awkward. This scene feels infused with rosy, ambient light, radiating outward. It’s blurry and perfect, and that’s when I put my finger on it. The feeling is tenderness, a sensation that these are memories I will look back on and smile at. Slotted into my place in the configuration of that blue bedroom, I wasn’t falling at all. Instead, my seat at the breakfast table, my pillow in the twin bed, my arm grazing our drummer’s head and my heels kicking our bassist’s leg–these are as surely mine as the space in front of the mic stand, at the edge of the stage. This is falling into place, the feeling of belonging, like a seat in the van that’s always yours because you’re the long-awaited girl in a brood of brothers.

Running with them isn’t always ideal. They forget themselves and me and familiarity always breeds a healthy degree of contempt. But over time it’s clear that we’re bonded: a pack, in a strange sense. And that sensation of long-term belonging explains the warmth I feel. Tenderness. Gratitude. For a few minutes longer our artificial family exists. The bubble does not burst. We laugh through breakfast. I am childishly proud of my friendships.

There are things from last night I’ll remember without having to write them down: driving at illegal speeds down Katipunan in an ancient car. Our rhythm guitarist yelling names of over the counter medication out the window. Leaning into our bassist’s bony shoulder. The drummer having to jump the fence to get in the house. Our lead guitarist’s grumpy expression that comes in lieu of a blush whenever his crush is named. These tiny moments are big adventures to me, as I build, slowly, the family I never expected and always wanted.

Tenderness. It sounds about right.


[beauty blog] Lazy Girl Fave: LUSH Lip Tint

Largely due to Instagram, I’ve managed to master the 2K16 standard made-up face: brows on fleek, contour to slay, matte lip, rose-gold blush, and highlight that might not kill a unicorn but may or may not blind it. Thanks to the power of a truck ton of powder, I too can look like the vaguely blurry image of a Kardashian, complete with selfies. And, honestly, the journey to getting there can be a lot of fun…


Honestly, despite my full-to-bursting makeup trunk, most days I can’t even muster the energy to even lift a Beauty Blender, which is why I’m constantly on the lookout for products that’ll give me a little extra oomph for when I feel like sticking with my #IWokeUpLikeThis face. While I haven’t yet found a true miracle-in-a-bottle just yet, I think I’ve come pretty close with this Lush Lip Tint.

On the surface, it looks like one of those standard organic makeup deals, but do not let appearances deceive! This 4g tube packs a full face, sans brows (because, let’s face it, there are days you can’t be bothered with those either).

The product smells like, well, a Lush store, all candy-like and sugary instead of the usual chemical-vanilla that most matte lipsticks use. Darn tube smells edible, but thankfully doesn’t have a flavor otherwise I might have eaten it by now.

I bought the shade “It Started With a Kiss,” which is this peachy-coral shade with a touch of pink. There are two others: a shimmery nude, and a true bubblegum pink. The shimmery nude looked like it would work great as a highlighter, but maybe not on my lips. The bubblegum pink was, well, too pink. I sprang for what looked like the safest choice, though to be honest I was a bit hesitant at first.

Thank goodness I decided to buy it, because boy would I have missed out! The product is quite solid, and non-greasy, unlike the usual organic balms. It feels a little like rubbing a crayon over your lips, but in a good way–the tint does not feel like it will budge! And, while the color looked rather orange on my arm, on my lips it applied pleasantly natural-looking, sort of like a Korean lip look.

What made this product super worth it though was the fact that it works as a stick blush. While this isn’t a use advertised on the package, the Lush ladies were quick to inform me of this dual-purpose. This peachy-orange-pink looks a whole lot more healthy and radiant than my usual dark-pink liquid lip and cheek, and applies much smoother, glossing over the pores instead of sinking into them.

Maybe it’s the shade, but somehow this stick makes my skin overall look softer and glossier. I feel a bit like a K-Drama actress, and despite being Chinese, that’s a look I’m pretty game to run with.

Basically, this tiny tube did my whole face in about three minutes flat. It smells amazing, applies pretty well, and looks awesome, if I do say so myself. 10/10 would recommend to a fellow lazy girl!


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[outfit post] Fall in the Labyrinth

We don’t get fall in the Philippines. As a tropical country, our seasons have two major settings: hot, and hotter. Even Baguio isn’t that cold anymore, or so I hear tell. (Thanks, Global Warming.)

Still, even in this country, the arrival of the -ber months means…something. Maybe it’s just our collective imaginations willing autumn and, later, winter into existence, but with the Christmas carols (yes, Christmas has officially begun here) comes a slight chill in the air, which is all the excuse we need to bust out the coats, caps, scarves, and shrugs we frankly don’t need but, well, how can you resist those colors?

I’ve been rereading a lot of Labyrinth fanfic, lately. Maybe it’s because I miss the Goblin King–it’s so strange to think that Bowie’s gone–but escaping to The Underground has never felt more tempting. While stuck in -ber month traffic, feeling near-constant whiplash from braking, it’s hard to not say your right words: “I wish the King of the Goblins…”

But alas, unlike EDSA, the Goblin Kingdom, sadly, doesn’t exist. Which leaves me with the next best thing: Jareth-esque open-neck shirts and shrugs that remind me of a owl’s swooping wings. My TARDIS necklace almost makes a good enough analog for His Majesty’s pendant. Almost. If they sell Goblin King necklace replicas at Toycon I might snap one up.

For now, though, I’ll wear my shrug and pretend it’s made of feathers, just like I’ll pretend the weather’s cold enough to oblige me. Who knows? Perhaps with all this pretending, I may wish myself certain powers.

Shrug: Uniqlo
Shirt: Bargain find from Platinum Mall, Bangkok.
Jeans: Zara (ripped myself, thanks to tripping on a sidewalk in Maringa, Brazil)
Boots: Bargain find from Platinum Mall, Bangkok.
Belt: Mum’s.