Graduation 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.
Paskuhan Tree 2013.
Color Theory Workspace. My desk.
1 ID – 4. My blockmates.My friend, Martha.On the way to star gaze at Antipolo. This was my first time riding the LRT train.
Ann and I at Quiapo. We walked all the way from UST to Quiapo Church.
(I was a catholic then)We went to hidalgo to buy more film for my vintage rangefinder camera from my Lolo.Quiapo church.Side street.Mic Comia and Jam’s Elbow. This was before Mic formed Where’s Ramona and became it’s vocalist. (Check out their band).
A truck we found in Antipolo. We weren’t sure if someone died in it.Reason and Dale.View 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. This was my corkboard in my dorm room.Basilio, the bunny. I don’t know whose bunny. I already forgot.This was our first day as a couple. Taken outside Antipolo church. (same as the photo below)Another view from our ‘secret’ balcony (same as the photo below).My 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.)
I didn’t intend on making museum hopping a series on my blog but I could not stop doing this. I’ve been back and forth LA and Manila for a few years but I’ve never visited the Getty until this year. I find that most people I know who have lived here their whole lives haven’t been to the Getty.
The photos I’ve shown from top to bottom:
1. A photo of me at the beautiful Getty gardens.
2. A photo of a tap card and mine and Gian’s feet.
3. The Getty Museum’s stunning architecture.
4. 405 Freeway, Los Angeles, CA.
5. Venus by Joseph Nollekens. Marble. 1773.
6. Photo taken by my friend Gian Barbarona.
7. Shadow of the Statue of Mercury by Johann Gregor
van der Schardt. Bronze. about 1570-1580.
8. Vase by Jean-Désiré Ringel d’Illzach. Bronze
and Copper. 1889.
9. Museum lighting design // Natural light.
10. One of the most famous Paul Cezanne paintings,
Still Life with Apples. Oil on canvas. 1893-1894.
11. A close up of Still Life with Apples.
12. Portrait of Madame Brunet by Edòuard Manet.
Oil on canvas. about 1861-1863.
13. My second favorite Pierre-Auguste Renoit painting,
La Promenade. Oil on canvas, 1870.
(My favorite Renoir is in Washington, DC and
it is called “Luncheon of the Boating Party”)
14. Close up of Renoir’s signature.
15. Photo of me with Portrait of Jeane Kéfer by
Fernand Khnopff. Oil on canvas. 1885.
(Photo taken by Gian Barbarona)
16. Photo of Gian in the gardens taken by me.
18. Woven in Gold: Tapestries of Louis XIV tarpaulin.
19. Something I drew at the museum store.
I went to the Getty with a childhood friend, Gian. There isn’t much that I can say except that a trip to the museum is always a good idea. Your soul will be fed with so much love and inspiration. Seeing a Van Gogh painting in person is too overwhelming, I have to talk about it in a separate post.
[warning: it gets deep towards the end of the post]
I just got really tired of paying people to ruin my hair. I think I picked up this habit from my best friend, Ann. She’s been cutting her hair ever since I met her and it just never occurred to me to actually give into my impulsive tendencies and cut my hair when I want to. The thing is, I don’t think I’ve gotten a single decent haircut since 2013. It’s just never exactly the way I want it to be. Well, they weren’t THAT bad, I think. My past haircuts were livable but I’ve never had that feeling you’re supposed to get after you get a good haircut. You know… that rush of going out of a salon feeling super pretty and strong like you could conquer the world and launch a thousand ships. None of that, at least since I started college. I don’t think it has anything to do with college, to be honest. It was a series of bad haircuts and bad decisions on my part.
This is my second time cutting my own hair. The first one, I posted on instagram (1,2,3) in the form of a three-part video. Saying that I’ve always wanted to cut my hair this short would be an understatement but I never got the courage to do so because whenever I researched online or asked my friends and family if I should, I’d always hear the same thing. “Aria, you have a round face, your face is going to look even bigger if you cut your hair that short.” And, I’ve always believed that.
I’m not sure what was so different this time or why I decided to cut my hair anyway despite everyone discouraging me to do so. Maybe, it’s just my tendency to do exactly the opposite of what people tell me to do. Maybe, I was trying to prove a point. Maybe, it was scrolling through the Mathilda Leon tag on tumblr that made me do it but I’m now too busy loving how this haircut looks on me to even think about why I did it.
Point is, it’s important to listen to the people around you especially when you’re young but ultimately, when you’re a grown man/woman, you will know what is best for you. You and no one else. Nobody knows you better than you know yourself. Do what you want as long as it doesn’t jeopardize the goals you have set for yourself in the future. It’s just hair. It will grow back.
Schools in the Philippines often have very restrictive haircut and hair color policies. I personally get what they are trying to do or prove but I don’t agree with it. What is up with older people shaming teenagers with colored hair, tattoos and piercings? Why keep a student from getting the education they paid for just because of their hair color choices or the way they dress? I kid you not, I’ve heard cases in which some people get suspended for three weeks for having blue hair or boys getting suspended for having a haircut that’s a bit longer than usual and people being kept from their classes (or marked absent) for wearing black jeans instead of black pants or black sneakers instead of formal leather shoes and it was an ART COLLEGE. Shaming is such a big part of the filipino culture whether we admit it or not. I cannot wait for our generation to be in charge. I have great hope for us. I hope we get to be the generation that will surpass the gender, religion and race barriers. Our baby boomer parents may not understand us and how we see the world, no matter how much they love us, but we must not lose hope for we are going to be in charge one day and we will be full of love and understanding. They can make fun of us for our microagressions (which, i agree, could be bad), social activism, third wave feminism, non-homophobic and non-transphobic ways but they cannot take our future away from us. A (hopefully) cruelty free future where people know the right pronouns.
I’m going to go into my apartment details because I made an Apartment Tour video (seen at the bottom of this post) and I didn’t really want to make my video too long so here I go…
UPON ENTERING(these are stills from the video i taped so the quality isn’t the best)
This shoe rack is one of the first things I bought for my apartment. I got it at SM department store for more or less 300php. On the top shelf, you will find my beanies and hats. Inside the converse box are sunglasses i rarely use (that’s why they’re boxed). Underneath the top shelf are my shoes (not all of my shoes but most of them).
BOOKSHELFI bought the bookshelf at ACE Hardware for 1,800php, if I’m not mistaken. It’s pretty heavy duty, though. I put so much stuff on it and I really thought it would give up on me but it didn’t so I’m impressed. (Fun fact: I assembled this with my boyfriend. yie kilig!)
The books are from either National Bookstore, Fullybooked, Ardent Book Geek (thrifted books. i’m friends with the owner, sam, she’s super nice.) or Morayta x Recto! The glowing globe nightlight (ala Love, Rosie) is from SM Department Store. Got it for around 800php – 1000php.
I have random boxes just to keep things organized (and aesthetically pleasing).
This is my cassette tape player / radio from my dad and lolo. I started collecting tapes and old things since I started living along. I guess it’s just the natural thing to do for me cause I’m very nostalgic about my childhood. I just feel like I grew up too fast and when these things were still in trend, I was too young to appreciate. My room is like a museum, kinda.
These are all my tapes. My most valuable one is the one that my dad gave me. Their band’s album-ish. It was a compilation so other bands were there but, you get the point. It isn’t shown here cause it’s inside one of the random boxes behind it where I keep my most valuable possessions. I got the other tapes from Cartimar, Recto. As you could probably tell, I have an eclectic taste in music. I can’t explain it.
35mm films from my first year in college. I got super into film photography before but I lost funds for it because it turned into such an expensive hobby. When I started doing it, I’d score expired film for like 30php per roll and non expired film for about 120php. Now, it just got too expensive (with printing and developing as well).
DESK AREA & BED
This is my desk area. This is where I work. I bought the chair for around 2,800php at Landmark, Trinoma and the table for 2,100php at SM Supermarket. It doubles up as a drafting table for me because we work on A3 size paper or 15″ x 20″ sized paper. I used to own a separate drafting table because during my lower years in college, we worked on bigger paper.
A more in-depth tour would be seen in the video. The books on my desk are the ones I’m reading right now (i don’t know why but i can’t seem to concentrate on only one):
- The Psychology Book (Big Ideas Simply Explained – Nigel Benson, Johannah Ginsburg and Voiula Grand. (Halfway done!)
- The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath (Finished it!)
- Journals of Sylvia Plath – Sylvia Plath
- Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
- Poetics of Space – Gaston Bachelard
- Emily the Strange: The Lost Days – Jessica Gruner
- The Origin of Species – Charles Darwin
I own a MacBookPro 15″ because I just wanted a laptop with a bigger screen. I would still have an iPhone 5c if it didn’t get stolen, but it did so I had an unexpected upgrade to an iPhone 6. My desk is right beside my bed and it’s a double-edged sword. Being near my bed always tempts me to just rest and sleep all day and having the desk near my bed causes me to work a lot, sleep at 5am and use the laptop from my bed.
My bedframe’s from my ninang’s shop (click here). I got it customized. Just a black frame, no headboard. It isn’t shown in the photo though, haha. My white sheets are always from SM Department Store. It costs around 250php on sale, but when it isn’t, it’s around 400php – 500php. My white comforter is from SM as well and i bought it for 999php.
CLOSET / VANITY SPACEI had a small space and it was really more sensible if I just got a nice drawer instead of a clothes rack, but I’m stubborn like that. I really wanted to make my place look a certain way. The rack was around 700php, the hangers were from home, the mirror was 1500php and the plastic drawer was on sale for around 300php.
B E F O R E
My room used to be yellow and I painted it white. It was super difficult because I moved in at December 2014 and i started painting during summer of 2015. I had to move everything around and it was chaotic. I had to sleep at my best friend’s place (her room is like two floors away though, hihi we live in the same building) because my room was so messy. And, oh, I had silver hair then.
♡ ARIA ♡
PS: I’m not sure what to post on YouTube next! Please comment below what you want to see for my next video.
This happened last august! It was Princess Venzon’s debutante ball. She’s my friend-slash-old-roommate and I was one of her 18 candles. The theme was “Royal Ball” but i ended up looking like a villain, anyway.
CAPE: designed by me
TOP: victoria’s secret
SKIRT: designed by me
HAIR & MAKEUP: by me
LIPSTICK: Lime Crime Salem
♡ A R I A ♡
PS: The first photo was taken by my friend, Eli Sepe.
Summer’s almost over for me. Classes start on August 10 at my university! I, together with two of my closest friends, went to the national library to research but alas, it was under renovation. They gave us an endorsement letter for the CCP library instead. I never knew it existed, to be honest. When we arrived ate CCP (which by the way stands for “Cultural Center of the Philippines), there was a Ben Cabrera aka “BenCab” exhibit beside the library. It was free, so what the hell, right? The first three photos of this post were taken from that exhibit. After research, we ate late lunch and went on a spontaneous trip to the Metropolitan Museum of the Arts at Roxas! Fun fact: we walked from the national library to CCP and it really hot but it was legendary. These are the kind of days I live for. Here’s to more adventures (even when school starts, hopefully)!! I’d take museums over bars and parties anytime. How are you spending your last few days of summer freedom?
♡ A R I A ♡