[outfit post] Escaping the City – Hacienda Isabella in Tagaytay

IMG_5278Me, super-collapsed over my thesis.

First off, I promise I will get to the once-again huge backlog of Virus-related blogs I am supposed to do for my internship.  Honestly, though, since a lot has been happening lately–not the least of which would be my rapidly approaching thesis defense–my braincells are hard-pressed to churn out anything coherent by way of internship updates, mostly because they are all just so exhausted.

I’ve actually been working on my thesis/BAP (that’s Dragon U speak for internship) project for the past few weeks, which has necessitated collecting and crunching consumer data, tooling and re-tooling the flow of my research questions, exchanging long rambling emails with our thesis subject supervisor, frantically consulting my thesis mentor via Facebook, and otherwise trying to make my paper sound like I know what I am doing, when I honestly don’t.

Thankfully, I’ve finally made a significant dent in my second draft, meaning my thesis is about 80-85% done.  To celebrate, and prevent me from psychological collapse, Mum and I went to Hacienda Isabella in Tagaytay for a special, out-of-town version of our usual Saturday Bible study.

The retreat was part of a ministry by Pastor Benny Lagos, in cooperation with the owner of Hacienda Isabella, famous singer Kuh Ledesma.  A lot of different groups, not just my mum’s “Fabulous Five” sisterhood (which is actually more than five people, just saying) were invited, but since we arrived the earliest–having foolishly desired to forgo lunch–we had the run of the place for a few hours, leading to, you guessed it, a lot of photos.


First order of business: mirror selfie in the foyer!

Hacienda Isabella is a gorgeous, shabby-chic manor of a resort–something you’d imagine Austen’s heroes would live in, if they lived in the Philippines during the Spanish colonial period.  Unlike the traditional Colonial architecture of Manila, however, Hacienda Isabella is light, bright, and airy, with a mix of eclectic antiques and vintage touches giving the space more personality.  Apparently a lot of teleseryes have been shot on the grounds, which made it prime impromptu photoshoot space.  (I knew I had a reason for dressing up today!)


Pack your bags, we’re going on a roadtrip! 


A roaming Tsinay, ready to roam!   (Check out these adorable vintage trunks!  I WANT!)

Aside from the quirky antiques, there were a lot of Renaissance-esque touches in the space, such as the use of brocade, Da Vinci reproductions, and ornate woodwork–things that wouldn’t be amiss in an Italian monastery of the period, or one you would have read about in something like Ann Radcliffe’s Udolpho.  I’ll admit that running around the space, I felt a little bit like Austen’s Catherine Moreland, exploring Northanger Abbey and reveling in the little touches of Gothic (the fiction, not the architectural style or the subculture) beauty.


The ballad–or rather, ballet–of Mona Lisa: These huge artistic reproductions were all over Hacienda Isabella‘s grounds


Check out that Lannister-esque brocade!  I could maybe pass for Sansa among the lions…if I wasn’t smiling. :))


Denim top: Seven For All Mankind
Skirt: Vintage Alex Bitong from Mum’s closet
Ballet Flats: Solemate, from SM Megamall
Wayfarer-style sunglasses: Burberry, from Sunglass Hut 

Outside was just as pretty as the inside, with well-manicured grounds and plenty of picture-perfect pieces of garden.  This huge flowering tree just outside the main house seemed to beg to be posed under.  Naturally, I obliged.


Whoops!  Fashion photo tip: when posing with your arms above your head, make sure your shirt passes the “Hallelujah” test!

IMG_5190 IMG_5183

Absolutely enjoying the Tagaytay sun.  And posing under this tree.

While taking photos was a whole lot of fun, the best part of the whole experience was being able to spend some quality time with Mum relaxing and just not being busy.  Too often we equate being busy to being “productive,” when that’s hardly the case.  Mostly it just results in us feeling worn out, snappy, and miserable.  Taking this retreat to talk about God and also bond with family, both actual and spiritual, was definitely the best remedy for my “busy” streak of the past two weeks.


Assaulting my long-suffering photographer, my mum.

Evernote Camera Roll 20140315 180731

Mother-daughter groupie!

So that’s it for my weekend!  How did you all spend yours?



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