Birthday Wishlist – Turning 24

Is it a sign of “growing up” that you begin to feel dread about an impending birthday, instead of excitement? That’s where I am right now. Twenty-three felt optimistic, but twenty-four feels like a rubicon that I have no choice but to cross.

The only “good” thing about aging up a year, perhaps, is that I want fewer tangible things. I used to do birthday wishlists every year–long and comprehensive lists of “demands”–but now that I’m able to buy my own stuff…I find myself wanting to want less stuff (please, save me from consumerism and online makeup shopping). Of course, this doesn’t mean I want less–I think wanting is part of human nature–just that the things I do want aren’t necessarily things you can get in a store.

It’s midnight, though, and I’m too sleepy to continue waxing poetic. The following list is a mix of those tangible and intangible wants for my twenty-fourth year. Some can be bought. Some, I suppose, I’ll have to work for.

In no particular order, my birthday wishlist:

  1. To get over my fear of driving. (I’m going to inquire about enrolling at Honda Driving School on March 11th. You all hold me to that.)
  2. To learn to stick to a budget. (No, I don’t actually need that new lipstick/dress/book.)
  3. Anti-Marcos Social Club/Never Again Shirt (Don’t know where you can get the former, but the latter is available from
  4. “Chubs” green crop box tee. (Can’t remember what online store had this, but it’s an online store. Also, yes, this is Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo fan merch.)
  5. To sit in on a roundtable discussion/mentoring session with a veteran producer and veteran songwriter. (To see what I mean, please see this Buzzfeed video.)
  6. An out-of-town gig. (One for Ellie and The Elephant would be cool, but one for The Elinor Project (w/ Marvs Fabular and Dean Carayag) would be awesome also. Or one for Stories Told, of course.)
  7. To go up to Baguio with Dani, especially when it would be cold.
  8. Pop piano lessons. (As far as I know, The Music School of Ryan Cayabyab offers this. I just need to make time.)
  9. Coco Cabana swimsuit. (Most likely a high-waisted, bra-type bikini set, or else a one-piece. Ideally in black or navy blue.)
  10. Formal guitar lessons.
  11. A Zoom portable recorder (I can’t kidnap AJ’s stuff forever.).
  12. An editorial-style photoshoot. (This one’s frankly self-indulgent, but it was the only thing I wanted for my debut, and I never got a debut…so yeah. Shameless vanity. As if I don’t hold unofficial versions of this every time I figure out a new K-Beauty/J-Beauty trick.)
  13. A Samson condenser mic (or whatever brand Jian/Marvs/Dean would recommend that’s within my budget; the Apogee is okay but it’s not as crisp as I’d like it to be).
  14. To figure out how to use a loop pedal. Or loops in general.
  15. Not to be so scared of growing up.



[Consumer Guide] Indie Fashion at ZALORA Marketplace

First off, I promise I will clock in the five (yes, I owe five) reports on my Virus, Inc. life as soon as possible.  Things have been plenty busy here at HQ for the past couple of weeks, and I’ve also started on my thesis data-gathering, in collaboration with the sassy DJ Amistocino, a.k.a. Nike Amistoso.  (Shameless plug: Look her up on Mixcloud and Soundcloud!)  There’s also a social media storytelling experiment that I’ve been trying to manage–Locker 225, but more on that another time–and to top it all off…did I mention I’m now in a band?

I’m now in a band.  We’re called Stories Told, and while we haven’t officially debuted yet, we’ve been in think-tank mode all month churning out material.

But, again more on all that later.  For now, I shall temporarily relaunch my career as a “professional blogger”–a.k.a. a blogger that blogs about professional, relevant-to-you-guys, nothing-about-my-life–and talk to you about something I now do because I have an independent paycheck: shop online.

Being vaguely agoraphobic, I must confess going to the mall has always been a love-hate experience for me.  On the one hand, I like window shopping and discovering new stores and great finds.  On the other hand…peopleEverywhere.

This trauma came to a head one Christmas when my mother asked me to take on my share of shopping alone.  After four hours in a gigantic mall (which shall remain nameless), I found myself sobbing in a corner next to a large potted plant.

While I’d been dubious about online shopping before, after “the incident” I became more open to the idea.  My friends were eager to recommend their favorite Facebook e-tailers and online shopping sites, and time and time again ZALORA would pop up as one of the top choices.

Combining the selection of a super-sized mall with the ease of online, ZALORA has become huge as Asia’s leading fashion hub, featuring a range of local and international brands. Offering a thirty-day free returns policy, speedy deliveries within 2-3 working days, free delivery (given a certain spend), and multiple payment methods including cash-on-delivery, ZALORA is definitely a comfortable source of serious retail therapy.

“That’s nice,” you might say, “But I’m more into indie brands.”  Well, fear not, fellow hipsters, for so am I, and ZALORA has recently announced their solution.  Presenting: ZALORA Marketplace.


This new addition to the ZALORA network of online services will allow independent fashion designers and vendors from all over Southeast Asia and Hong Kong to create their own branded storefront within the ZALORA site, which will be run and maintained by the seller with the help of a dedicated ZALORA account manager.

Linking with ZALORA also means that they will benefit from the site’s huge online marketing reach which includes online banner ads, Facebook exposure, and of course rave reviews from shopaholics (like yours truly).  Also, with over fifteen million visits to the site per month, an e-tailer stands to gain a huge audience.

And, as for us buyers, we get a total fashion explosion of new indie brands to try out!  Definitely a win!

A dedicated and localized ZALORA Fashion Scout force is currently searching for and recruiting potential brands and designers to come on board for launch, but if you’re interested in being one of the new wave of international online fashion stars, ZALORA Marketplace is currently open to applications from potential sellers and details can be found here.

So what do you think?  Are you as excited as I am for this new indie shopping experience?  I’m definitely getting my wallet ready. 😉



Shoe Fetish Saturday: My Shoe Haul from Bloggers United 2

Today was my second workshop day for A Very ViARE Musical (working title).  It was amazingly fun, but very much exhausting, which was why instead of heading to the Bloggers United bazaar at four PM, I ended up falling asleep and heading to Treston College ridiculously near closing time, at eight.
I was worried that I’d miss out on fulfilling my 3K mission, to take home a haul of cool shoes, but thankfully though I had missed on on the biggest deals and steals of the day (Je regrette!), I did still manage to bring home a haul (literally) of shirts, skirts, and best of all shoes.  Here are my three insanely cheap steals for the night:
Formerly from the closet of A Shoe Tale‘s Vern Enciso, these black gladiator-esque heels are a bit beaten up, but no less chic.  A steal at Php. 350.00!
Not too sure who pre-owned these babies, but these soft brown peeptoe booties are a definite catch at Php. 500.00.
My most glamorous find: these black studded boot-esque heels from Renegade Folk cost a pittance at Php. 500.00.
I would have gotten more–believe me, lots of dresses caught my eye–but I didn’t want to go over budget and frankly I was out for cheap find instead of super cut-price branded shoes.  While I didn’t fulfill my mission of buying Blair Waldorf-ish shoes for my planned birthday shoot, these babies certainly do justice to the shoe fetish of the book Blair, even if they don’t fit the aesthetic of the television version.

All in all, despite my late arrival, the Bloggers United bazaar proved to be a pretty rewarding night.  The only problem though about taking a haul home is that you start longing for more.  I have become a certified bazaar-a-holic!  I’d better start saving up my Christmas cache–definitely hitting more tiangges and flea markets in the near future!

~ NC

The best part about being a Makati Girl versus a UES kid: Makati Girls aren’t afraid to bargain hunt.