MARSHMALLOW + RACING RED​

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I’ve been getting a lot of questions about these shoes ever since they made an appearance on my Instagram feed. I customized a pair of Vans Old Skools a couple of months ago. The design was heavily inspired by the Vans Style 36 sneakers GDragon wore during his 2016 SBS GAYODAEJUN performance with CL. Actually, they’re almost exactly the same, except for a few minor details. The exact style he wore was sold out everywhere and even if they weren’t, limited edition drops usually start at a men’s size 8… and I fit a women’s size 5.

My shoes cost about $90 before tax and shipping is free. It takes about 2-3 weeks for them to make your shoes and ship them to you. I honestly think the price is worth it, considering you’ll have custom-made shoes. You can customize your own Vans here.

IMG_5727PS: I made a lookbook.

HAMARTIA

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striped shirt from urban outfitters

I often forget that blogging means documenting and sharing what your life looks like at the moment. I fall victim to my own crippling perfectionism time and time again. It goes like this: I take photos and videos for the purpose of doing a blog post, list down so many content ideas but I never end up executing them or posting them. I sometimes mistake it as laziness, and maybe it is… but the fact is, I’m afraid of creating something I would hate. I’m afraid that my ideas would look mediocre once executed, either because of my lack of skill or because it wasn’t that great of an idea, to begin with. I delay and delay and delay until it’s too late to post. I had so many things on queue: my New York trip, my skincare journey, weight gain and weight loss, countless hauls and favorites, playlists I wanted to share, my journey to self-love and recovery, etc. I can’t count how many times I’ve started over with my blog and my youtube channel. I have four different versions of this comeback blog post that I’ve attempted to write in a span of 2 years. It seems as if I’ve been writing this forever.

That being said, I’ve been trying to put a little more structure to my workflow as of late. Purely winging it just isn’t working out for me anymore. I’m trying to find a balance between being a control freak and posting whatever I feel whenever I feel like it. One solution I came up with to combat this problem is to make smaller blog posts. Little tiny bite-sized posts every week. I don’t know when I started to police myself with the types of posts I could make. I often look to my old blog for inspiration not because my old content was great, (most of the time, I cringe and hold back the urge to delete that blog permanently…) but the consistency of posting and the way that I always found something to post about no matter how random it is, never fail to impress me. I didn’t care if the photos were pixelated, most of my photos had ugly filters on them but nothing ever stopped me from posting. I was often jealous of my past self because everything seemed to be so easy for her but when I actually look back… she was just less cautious than I am right now. I didn’t lose my talent for writing (news flash: my old writing was shit), I just have more inhibitions now. Simple things like not being able to think up a good blog title or Instagram caption would set me off and exhaust me mentally and then I’ll end up giving up on a post just like that.

I’m constantly in awe because no matter how seldom I post now, I still have loyal readers and followers on social media. I feel truly humbled whenever I receive warm messages from followers who have stayed with me through the years. I really feel as though we’ve all grown up together. Who knew that little old me would be able to inspire other people to be more confident in their bodies? Who knew that little old me would inspire people to start vlogging? Who knew that little old me would inspire people to start playing the ukulele? I am forever grateful for all the support I have received and I will never stop trying to do better. Thank you for letting me be myself, for not pressuring me to be a role model, and for sticking with me through the countless of phases I went through. Here’s to going through more phases together!

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PS: I’m working on launching a monthly newsletter!

MUSEUM HOPPING: THE GETTY VILLA

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A few photos from my trip to the Getty Villa. Who knew you could have a Roman Holiday right in the heart of Malibu? It reminded me a lot of my trip to the Met Cloisters in New York last year. This trip will be included in my VLOG 003! Summer’s almost over and I’m excited to start taking a few art history classes this fall semester. I hope you’re having a great summer or if summer is over for you, i hope you had a great one!

LOVE,
♡ A R I A ♡

PS: I took the last photo during our Daiso detour that evening.

THE LOST DAYS

IMG_7112Graduation Goggles – (n.) the relief and nostalgic feeling one has about a time in their life when it is about to end, even if the time was completely miserable.

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Paskuhan Tree 2013.IMG_7085
Color Theory Workspace. My desk.IMG_7093
1 ID – 4. My blockmates.IMG_7096My friend, Martha.IMG_7106On the way to star gaze at Antipolo. This was my first time riding the LRT train.
IMG_7104Ann and I at Quiapo. We walked all the way from UST to Quiapo Church.
(I was a catholic then)IMG_7100We went to hidalgo to buy more film for my vintage rangefinder camera from my Lolo.IMG_7097Quiapo church.IMG_7103Side street.IMG_7098Mic Comia and Jam’s Elbow. This was before Mic formed Where’s Ramona and became it’s vocalist. (Check out their band).
IMG_7078A truck we found in Antipolo. We weren’t sure if someone died in it.IMG_7102Reason and Dale.IMG_7092View from “our balcony” as we call it. By our, I mean me and my boyfriend, Jam. This is one of our secret spots in the Beato bldg. I find secret spots for when I wanted to be alone or when anxiety gets too bad and I don’t want to face anyone but I can’t leave school. Took a while before I shared these secret spots (even to Jam). Which is also why it took me so long to decide if I wanted to share these photos to the world since it’s very personal to me. IMG_7108This was my corkboard in my dorm room.IMG_7091Basilio, the bunny. I don’t know whose bunny. I already forgot.IMG_7110This was our first day as a couple. Taken outside Antipolo church. (same as the photo below)IMG_7109IMG_7086Another view from our ‘secret’ balcony (same as the photo below).IMG_7087IMG_7111My love.

What happened to me when I disappeared?

The best and worst days of my life. They say it takes getting everything you ever wanted and then losing it to know what real freedom is. Disappearing was well worth it because I found something so much better than fame and fortune… myself. Although, I’m still on that journey of finding my happiness and knowing what I really want in life, being away from the scene that ruined my head helped me heal and appreciate the better things in life. Being away from the people that hurt me has allowed me to be myself, whoever that is. I’ve learned so much from my time in college. There were good times and bad.

My college experience started out really well. I felt accepted for a while. By the time I was on my third year, I felt so utterly isolated from everyone. I kept asking myself what was wrong with me and why I was always alone and how I both loved and hated it at the same time. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that no one really knows what’s best for you except for yourself (this applies to people who are 18 and above, please don’t disobey your parents. well, unless they’re abusive and all). I’m not telling anyone to drop out of college, move to a big city and just wing it. School is definitely good for something. I could confidently say that I wouldn’t be who I am today without everything I learned in school (the most important life lessons, I didn’t learn from books or adults or teachers but from my friends and from own experiences). It’s okay to feel alone and isolated. It’s not always your fault and it’s not always a bad thing. I certainly didn’t expect to be a college drop out and I never expected to end up where I am today but it’s important to know when to stop. I certainly wish I had finished my course and earned a diploma and I probably still will, just not at a place I don’t believe in and not around people I don’t relate to anymore.

To my love, Jam. You have given me so much and you made me a believer again. I could not thank you enough for being my rock. You never failed to be there through my ups and downs and my highs and lows. Thank you for showing me kindness, something no one has ever shown me before. Thank you for setting a standard in my life on how people should treat me and that has taught me to identify those who abuse and use me. Thank you for giving me courage to take big leaps in my life, including this one, even if it meant we had to be away from each other for a few years until you graduate. Thank you for loving me no matter how much I tried to push you away at first. Thank you for constantly telling me that I am a whole being even before I met you. I know I wrote a post on my old blog on how I wished that we were in another universe. A universe where I was not so damaged by my past that I could let you take care of me and maybe even love me. You have made this universe a universe worth living in by existing. I can’t wait to see you again.

I was experiencing graduation goggles (a term I learned from watching How I Met Your Mother) for a few months after I dopped out, while I was waiting for my papers to get fixed so I can move far away. Truthfully, no matter how miserable I was in my last few months in UST, I still miss it. I miss Moira Lynn and Kantunan and the people that work there. I miss Joyce’s, Joli’s and Jomar’s. I miss Cow Wow. I miss Dormus. I miss Galleria Suites. I miss my overpriced little apartment. I miss my ex roommates even if we’re not all in great terms when we separated ways. I miss Beato and my secret spots. I miss the janitors that open and close the elevators, they have become my friends during the times I felt isolated from my peers. My dear, Ate Susan calls me anak everytime we see each other. I miss my dear professors (except a certain bully professor whose name I will not drop but i will say that s/he was a big part on why i wanted to leave the school). I even sort of miss those rude ass street kids running around Espanya and P. Noval to steal food, skateboards and terrorize students (just kidding, I really don’t miss that).

I almost didn’t want to leave because my graduation goggles were so deceiving but I’m glad I did. No matter how hard it is to start fresh in a new country. It is what I needed.

To my readers: you are important, you are valid, you are stronger than you think.

(All photos were taken with my rangefinder camera, Nikon L35AF, 35mm film. Badly scanned. Most photos are from 2013.)