Silverbox Treasures


Looking for a perfect gift for a dear friend, girlfriend, sister, Mom…or for yourself? Well, today just might be your lucky day! If you’re sitting in front of your laptop, I suggest you quit cyber-stalking your Ex and check out this online site called Silverbox Treasures. It’s a trove of fashion accessories made of semi-precious stones, handcrafted with such elegant creativity and love, that you would feel and look instantly beautiful – no matter how plain your shirt or dress may be! A fashion pick-me-up, is how I would sum it up in a phrase!

These beauties are Ms. Suzette Montalban’s handiwork. Ms. Montalban is my dear friend Mark’s Mom who says she does this only as a hobby and I’m like now-this-is-extremely-embarrassing-for-me-because-the-only-creative-thing-I-can-pull-off-as-a-hobby-is-fold-my-tongue-in-the-middle-like-a-quesadilla. A non-skill, pretty much, as I’m sure half the people in town can do the same – if not better. Who knows what freakier things people out there can do with their tongues! Eeeeek.

The other night, my good friend and up-and-coming photographer to the stars, Noel (Have you seen his work? Well, tickle me good Elmo but you just gotta!) , took photos of me wearing the accessories we had selected from the heap the Mark brought last Saturday after we watched Zaturnnah (Hi Rocky, You’re so hot! *giggles*) A few weeks before that, Mark asked me to model the accessories and for Noel to take photos. The photoshoot happened in my apartment Monday night and because he didn’t need to do major editing on my face and skin (Oh dear Vicky, you are really getting quite adept at carrying your own couch now, are ‘ya?), he finished all sets in a day! I’m telling you, this single, accomplished, well-groomed, good-looking and very disease-free friend of mine is just brimming with talent I just might quit work one day and be his assistant! Did I mention he’s single and looking for love?

So where were we? Ahhh, yes, Silverbox Treasures. I ran my mouth quite a bit long back there and so I assume you have had a chance to take a peek at the site. Well, have you? If you can’t make up your mind on which accessory to get and believe you me, I totally understand the dilemma because I wanted all of them for myself as well, perhaps these photos below will help.

The Intrepid Ambassador of Sorts.


It’s only the first quarter of 2011 and already, I am overwhelmed by a LOT of great things. So great, in fact, that I feel somewhat guilty for wanting a little bit more. Like perhaps having an erstwhile friend back in the friend zone. But then again, I have always fancied a little bit of drama in my life and so I am quite okay occasionally sleeping with the enemy. So to speak. Oh never mind, I don’t think I am able to communicate my thoughts properly anyway. I’ve been absolutely mad-busy at work and extra curricular activities lately that the only time I ever get to sit still and be quiet is when I have to go and pee. Isn’t that crazy?!? But it is true. At this point, I think, Supergirl has nothing on me and the crazy schedule I keep. Not that there’s any reason to complain because there really isn’t. I am blessed in so many ways. Let’s count, shall we?

One of the exciting things that happened to me this month, for which I have Kassy Pajarillo and Blas Ople Tiangco to thank for, is being selected as one of Reebok’s brand ambassadors for running. As I have furtively intimated in my previous post, we had our Team photo shoot over the weekend wearing some of Reebok’s new line of running apparel and boy did we rock it out that day! I have been using  ZigNano/Zig Glam for a few days now – both for running and my Insanity workout – and so far, I have no complaints. I am now having a very passionate love affair with my black Zig Glams, and not to sound biased or anything, but I’m liking it even more than I did my other pairs. Bruno, as I fondly call it, is proving to be a lot more fierce a vertical exercise partner than some of my former partners. He takes care of my feet as though they’re his own! And I’m sorry I’m gushing but yes, I’m unfaithful like that.  I will do a proper review in the next few days, possibly, after the first race I’m joining wearing it – so watch out for that.  Earlier today, Blas sent us some low-res file copies of the photos taken by Jar Concengo and these are some of the ones I heart.

 

Zig while everyone zags

Bend it like Vicky

Meet Bruno (photo taken using my beat-up Sony digicam)

Glammin' it up with my new Zig Glam!

Team REEBOK

Another exciting thing is modeling some of the fashion accessories handcrafted by Mark’s mom  (all GORGEOUS, by the way!). I live for fashion accessories, as some of you would know, so I literally went nuts when Mark brought the samples last Saturday and asked me to choose the ones I’d like to be photographed in. Noel, Cris and Eric helped me choose from the lot and they all looked great on me. In fact, I have already chosen the ones I want to keep. Noel insists I get the ones made of rose quartz for love. I happen to have a great love but where’s the harm in topping it up a little with some stones for a good measure of luck, right? Cris suggested torquoise because it stands out against my naturally bronze skin. And I also happen to like the red one (my birth stone is Ruby, so anything red would be nice) but I’ll have to ask Mark first. I don’t want my dear friend to feel robbed! hahaha. So anyway, last night, Noel (my good friend for nearly six years now and one of my favorite people in the world) and I did the photoshoot for two things actually: (1)  the accessories, and (2) the breast cancer awareness photo exhibit he’s planning to launch soon to raise money for our friend who was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer late last year and is now undergoing (a series of) chemotherapy treatment. This is also something I am passionate about because my adoptive Mom died of breast cancer in 2003 and I have witnessed first-hand the pain she suffered… before finally succumbing to it.

So Noel took about 200 photos and they all came out beautifully. Some MORE beautiful than others and we already have some ideas on how I can mount them in my tiny (and very temporary) home. To show you that I am not simply talking falafel here, let me show you two of the photos he took last night. Oh, one more thing, I am proud to say that I did my own make-up and hair. Well, my hair is dry and ugly most of the time anyway, so there’s only very little that I can do about it!

 

Desire.

 

Rainbow.

 

I know, I know. I am breathtaking. I get that a lot and too often. I try not to get used to it though. *ROTFL* Totally kidding, you guys! Sense of humor much! Like I said, this is just one of the many photos Noel took last night. I will be posting more in the next few days. These photos will also appear on Silverbox’s online store where you can have a look-see and order whatever catches your fancy.

Oh, oh, oh…this I can’t possibly keep mum about! What was I thinking?!? So, you know I kind of starred in a music video that is currently being played on Pinoy MYX. The song is called Paglaya (’emancipation’ in English) and it was written by another dear friend, the brilliant Eric Cabahug. The song is actually an entry (and semifinalist) to the KBP Song of the Year competition. If you guys are on Facebook and you’re not on my blocked users list, you can view it here. But more than just viewing the video and lusting after my attributes, you can vote for the video by simply sending MYX VOTE PAGLAYA to 2366. Vote now and make us famous, why don’t you?

That’s all I have for you guys this week. I’ll be back in the next few days, most likely sporting a deep tan and looking more and more lovedrunk.

 

The Hour I First Believed.


So this week had been (nothing short of) a confounding mix of highs and lows. And at this point, really, I would like to thank a few people for being God’s gift that they are. I hit rock-bottom early this week and though it had been awful, I am most grateful for the fact that when evil reared its ugly head once more, as it had over and over and over again in the past months especially, my eyes were pealed wide open and I no longer became a slave to a masterful deception.  But more than that, as Ro has helped me realize this afternoon just before the Sunday service, this episode is superficial and, at best, even negligible. It’s just a speck compared to the bigger hurt I had been lugging around for 30 odd years which, in turn, has caused me to be hard on myself. Too hard, she said. I am looking at a very long process of healing, which I suppose ought to start at the root cause of my issues: I have to finally forgive my mother and the very first bitter pill of abandonment she had me swallow, at an age when I should have been fed and nursed with love.

The chains are gone.

I’ve been set free.

The hour I first believed.

***

Now we move on to the highs. And I mean HIGHS. How about we go through them one by one, eh?

  • Friday night, I met up with Eric and the fun cast of his soon-to-be-released youtube channel comedy show for the taping (hahaha, allow me this one time to use showbiz words as I really don’t know how else to call it!) of the first two episodes. I was psyched to see Buddy, our veteran PETA actor friend and fellow Bicolana, who didn’t give me an easy time for not making it to any of his play’s, Care Divas, widely-acclaimed staging beginning February until early March. There’s talk of a re-run and when it happens, I will watch it twice so he won’t feel bad anymore. Sorry Amiga! Now about the comedy show ‘taped’ at Jayem and Bani’s studio in QC, all I can say is that it’s funny and has great potential (especially my abs which made several appearances in the two episodes, hahaha!) and I hope you guys become part of our target 50,000-strong audience when we do the ‘Underworld’ premiere. Last time, when we created the Paglaya video, we had a galactic premiere. And now that we have sort of conquered outer space, we’re trying our luck in the underworld. Here are two photos taken by Jayem Abania during the MTV shoot.

Photographed by: Jayem Abania

 

Photographed by: Jayem Abania

  • Last Saturday, I and five runner friends hied-off to the University of the Philippines for a photoshoot with the amazing Jar Concengco. Jar is an international photographer who has done various cover shots for both international and local fashion magazines and had likewise shot some of Hollywood’s finest. The photoshoot, by the way, was for a sports brand which the 6 of us will be promoting as brand ambassadors for running in the next six months. It was so much fun goofing around, doing profile and action poses for Jar who used up all the media cards he brought for the shoot. Blame Blas for hogging the camera with his solo photos! But more than the breathtaking photos Jar took, what made Saturday especially fun was the easy camaraderie the 6 of us obviously have  and the joy of meeting three new people – Jar, Fay and Tita, our amiable make-up artists who agreed to do it for us pro bono!

 

Thank you Fay for making me look 'naturally' pretty last Saturday!

  • After the shoot, I headed home bone tired! I forgot to mention that I was up as early as 5am even though call time for the photoshoot was at 8am. I couldn’t go back to sleep anymore, so i decided to do Insanity workout instead. It was Day 14 and time for the second fit test which, while still pretty much of a killer, I’m proud to say that I racked up incredible statistics vis-a-vis the first fit test I took before I started with Shaun T’s 60-day workout plan. Anyway, I only had ample time after the photoshoot to go to the salon for my weekly footspa/mani-pedi and hair treatment session before I would meet up with my friends to watch ZsaZsa Zaturnnah Ze Musical at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Have you guys seen it? No? Too bad. You would’ve loved it! I first saw it with Anton and Noel 3 years ago, I think, at the RCBC in Makati. At that time, it was Kaye Brosas who played Zaturnnah and she played the role so well and so convincingly. Of course, she has a powerful voice so the singing part came easy for her. Last night, it was Eula Valdez and she was incredible on so many levels! She was amazing as Zaturnnah and looking at her knockout body, you wouldn’t think she just gave birth! Of course, the undeniably gorgeous Rocky Salumbides played Dodong, Ada/Zaturnnah’s love interest, and I must tell you how this hunk-o-love turned the temperature in the auditorium so far high up the air-conditioning didn’t do much to cool it down. Even I found myself gripping the arm rest several times during the show! (Note to boyfriend: Don’t worry Love, you have my heart and soul, no matter what!)

 

Vicky and ze friends

Rocky S. aka Dodong poses with his fans namely Cris and Noel. Okay, fine, me na rin.:)

Noel and Vicky pose-off with Ada and Zaturnnah

 

Zaturnnah wannabe

and finally…

 

 

Vicky and her celebrity crush ‘Dodong’

 

  • After the fun and frivolity, friends and I went to Icebergs at  Harbor View to gush some more about the play and Mark showed us the accessories made of semi-precious stones his Mom made and which he wants me to model. Noel is, of course, the photographer. Word’s not yet out but this guy is fast-becoming a photographer to celebrities. And I mean real celebrities and not just feeling celebs like me. ROTFL. The accessories are gorgeous and I can’t wait for you guys to see it on me. In some cases, just them accessories – on my bare golden skin. Ako na, ako na nga ang all-around X-deal endorser!

***

A few more exciting things coming my way in the next few days/weeks/months:

  • Another trip to Malaysia in time for the F1 Malaysia GP
  • Trip to Shanghai with Friends Eric, Cris, and Aldrin

But before that, it’s time to celebrate two wonderful years with the man I have occasionally taken for granted because of my selfish ways and for that I am truly and regretfully sorry.

Je t’aime enormement, mon Amour. Tu me manques tellement. Happy second anniversary.

COCOTINI Beachwear Summer 2011 Collection


 

Sicily

A few months ago, I got a call from a dear friend slash fitness goddess slash fashion maven Abby Jocson telling me that a friend of hers, who’s running a swim wear line, is looking for a morena to model some her latest designs. For someone who never passes up the chance to go on a beach holiday – not to swim, mind you, but to get baked – this could very well be the call that could align the planets in her own self-proclaimed Milky Way. A few hours after, I was already on sms with Mia, finalising the photoshoot schedule.

And that’s how I became one of Cocotini’s brand ambassador, at least for the Summer of 2011.

***

Bask in the sun in bright hues of blue, purple and pink. This year’s collection is all about optimism!

Get a preview of the latest Cocotini and Cocotini Luxe designs – with more designs coming soon!

And watch out for it’s newest line, Cocotini Active!

Models: Angelika Schmeing-Cruz and Vicky Ras
Photography by: Miguel Nacianceno
Make-up by: Chey Mayuga

Find COCOTINI on Facebook and place your orders here.

Fashion: Everyday Runway with Abby Jocson


Fashion speaks, I’m all ears.

Super typhoon Juan is all about raging stormy madness outside the office building (Yes, my dahlinks, I am in the running for the most hardworking corporate peon), but I have decided to do some fashion type of things before I log off and make my way back to my flat. Obviously, I am rather fond of dressing up and looking nice and pretty (never mind that i’m really not, hint hint) even when I’m really just going to the supermarket to pick up a box of Tampax. (TMI alert but you know what, I have officially switched to OB or similar miniature tampon things as Tampax is causing much, much damage to my girly bits!) Most girls are like that anyway, so it’s really no surprise. I just think that in today’s world where much premium is given on aesthetics and marketability, one simply cannot afford to look like yesterday’s bag of dirty laundry, if you know what I mean. Contrary to popular belief, looking good need not be very expensive. Unless of course we are talking about drastic surgical intervention here. In which case, uhrrmm, you better be waving around a fat checkbook. One only has to carry herself well, dress according to one’s size and personality (don’t force yourself into a size 1 when you’re lugging around 30lbs of excess fat), and never leave ze brain at home. Because no matter how drop-dead gorgeous you appear to be on the surface, if you can’t carry a good conversation and command people to listen to your ideas, then a trophy something (girlfriend, wife, mistress, etc.) is all that you can ever hope to be. Not that being a trophy is everything bad. I like trophy. It is still so much better than fugly.

Anyway, some time back, friend and fellow UltraRunner/fitness freak Abby Jocson tapped me to model some of the bags (now available online!) for the website and her FB page. And since fashion is pretty much right up my alley (I embrace it even though I can ill-afford it!), it never occurred to me to say no. I mean seriously. HAVE YOU SEEN HER BAGS? They are gorgeous! So gorgeous, in fact, that I probably would have signed off my whole life savings over to them if I still had some, that is. hahaha.

Thank God for Noel Abelardo who readily agreed to do the photoshoot for FREE! Now Noel is an amazing photographer. I say that not because he’s a dear friend and he often buys me lunches, coffees, dinners, toys (no, not the battery-operated ones!), books, clothes, bags, etc – but because he really has an eye for photography. A very keen one at that. Let’s stay with the freebies for a wee bit more here. When I really think about it, Noel is kinda like my boyfriend. Except that he is not, for the simple reason that we like the same dish. How fun is that?!? He can actually make me look human and, uhrrrm, somewhat attractive at that!

So anyway, if I failed to convince you of Abby’s gorgeous bags and Noel’s masterful photography- which i highly doubt but okay I will play along – perhaps these photos would do the trick…

Sooooo, what did I tell ya? Gorgeous beyond words right? Yes, I mean the bags and pseudo-model both. So how about you place your orders now and let the inner diva in you shine – in various prints, shades, and colours of Abby Jocson’s bags – without losing sight of functionality. Not even for a second.

The House of Vanita: On Appetite for Flawlessly Sexy Things Part I


Looks like I may very well be on my way to fulfilling my not-so-secret fantasies of world domination. As to which world, planet, or universe is entirely open for debate and all sorts of interpretation. Obviously, I couldn’t think of anything wittier than that lame blog opener so I beg of you my dear readers, be kind to me. But what I really wanted to share with you – or anyone who can be bothered to spare a few seconds of their precious salaried time to take a peek into my little blog domain – is this:

Last Saturday, I took off my clothes and got paid for it!

Aaaaaand NO, it’s nothing like solicitation. I might as well make that very clear now before you get your underthings all up in a bunch or a very painful wedgie. Ouch. Okay, enough horsing around. Here’s what really happened.

A few weeks ago, I got an email from Mitzi Dayrit inviting me to be part of a swimsuit slash lingerie fashion show featuring selected female bloggers in the country. The word used, I think, was ‘top’, in reference to the bloggers, but seeing as I’m hardly up there in the top ranks  –statistically, I mean but I do know that in your heart of hearts i’m number one, right? No? Yes? Maybe? What do I have to do to get some love in here?!? – let’s  just go for the word ‘selected’ for now. Who knows? Maybe after I post a few photos, my blog’s rating will go skyrocketing‘innit? *insert LOL smileys here*

The luxury lingerie and swimwear brand which I, along with six other lovely bloggers, was tapped to model for is called House of Vanita featuring exclusive designs by top Italian designer Fabiola Marin, who, in her last visit to the country when she officially launched the brand, had this to say about the Filipinas and what inspired her to design for them:

“Filipinas are very strong women, achievers at home, in school, in the arts, within the walls of corporations and even in public service. Knowing, let alone wearing, an intimo line specially designed for her blends perfectly well with her empowered image. I hope every Filipina will have at least one in her closet because really, Vanita is the only line that brings together Italian mastery, European systems and Japanese efficiency in a collaboration to flatter her,” — taken here.

The launch which featured a host of Brazilian models was a huge hit and Vanita had, right there and then, established itself as a formidable brand  in the luxury lingerie industry in the Philippines. The response was so overwhelming that the owners immediately followed it up with another show scheduled on the 2nd of October. Only this time, there won’t be real models involved. Instead, it will be the female bloggers who will serve as the brand ambassadors for that day. Or night, as the case truly was. Yay for us!

The bloggers selected for the show were AlexHenzel, Aby, Helga,Hannah, Shanna, and yours truly. I didn’t know any of them until the day we all sat down together for the briefing, as I have never really attended any blogging event since I started my own site in 2005. Well, except for last year’s Philippine Blog Awards where I was one of the nominees but as you all know, I went home empty-handed that night. Call me Thank You, Girl. Yes, I’m cute that way. Sorry I keep digressing!

The night before the fashion show, all seven of us were called to do the final dress rehearsal and it went well despite the fact that none of us has ever actually done any ramp modeling of sorts. At least I haven’t.

This is already pretty lengthy so I am going to take a break right here. I will post Part II tomorrow if:

(a.) I have time to do it
(b.) You’re good and sweet and actually beg me for the photos
(c.) You bribe me with a copy of Graham Greene’s The End of the Affair and 6 pieces of Lord Stowe’s yummy cream puff

Otherwise, I will still write the rest of the blog entry and post some of the photos because truth be told, I can be quite attention-starved that way.

Okay, fine, just one photo. The rest will come in a day or two…

The House of Vanita: On Appetite For Flawlessly Sexy Things Part II


Boy, I’ve had one hell of a crazy week! And quite too soon after my House of Vanita stint, of which I remember making a promise of posting some more photos. We’ll get to that later. Sometimes I like keeping things in suspense. Don’t you? It’s kind of like having that thing you want most in your life just within reach but you decide to delay gratification for a little bit and then, kabooom!

Two things officially crossed off my bucket list: Doing some fashion type of things and, tadaaaaah, running an completing my first Ultramarathon! Respect, earthlings, respect. This 30-something all-around fitness freak participated in the 1st PAU (Philippine Association of UltraRunners) 50k Mt. Pinatubo Trail Challenge and actually romped off with a first runner-up win! Now this deserves an entire blogpost of its own so we’ll keep it nice and tight first and make way for all things vain, sexy, sassy, and daring. Drumroll please…

All photos except for the first two were taken by Noel Abelardo.

****
And oh, congratulations to entrepreneur-slash-goddess-slash-Ultramarathoner Abby Jocson on the launch of her bag line and a swanky website to boot! I’m kind of somewhere in the website too. Check it out here. Photos were again taken by the multi-talented Noel Abelardo. Talk about girl power – yes, that includes Noel.*wink*