Thursday, 10 April 2014

Livin' the Beach with Praiaz

This amazing mural was painted by Robby Singh on-the-spot!

Just wanna say that I had a blast covering the launching event of Praiaz shoes in the Philippines for Candy. 

I've been stuck at home writing (even while on my summer break, and, no, it's not for my internship, because I'm still OJT-less) over the past few days, so it was a great escape from my boring summer life.

The event was held last Tuesday (8 April) at the Alphaland City Club, which was just the perfect venue, because it felt like the beach was brought to us!

We were treated with our very own pair of Praiaz shoes, which I really love, because even though they're tagged as beach shoes, they're also ideal to wear for just about any activity! They're lightweight, comfortable, fashionable, and the best part: they smell like vanilla and coconuts, transporting you to somewhere tropical and exotic from wherever you are!

Praiaz (a term derived from the Portuguese word "praias", meaning "beaches") marries the the elements of Rio de Janeiro's laid-back and chill living with Paris' superiority in style.

Follow Praiaz on Facebook for more info: PRAIAZ

Models sporting their Praiaz shoes :)
(Yep, that's Katarina Rodriguez of Asia's Next Top Model
at the far right.)

We got to pick our very own free pair!

The bracelet-making booth that I really enjoyed :D


The pool looked so inviting, I wanted to
take a quick dip!

Ian and I chillin' with our Praiaz shoes

Got to meet my schoolmate Alex at the event

Ian and I teamed up for another event after
going nuts over doughnuts last November
 (geddit? :D)


Look, my nails match! :D


Andz

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Summer Spins


I may not be enjoying this season’s heat (I almost never do), but it sure is a good excuse to listen to some good tunes that remind me of the bright summer sunshine, blue skies, happy mornings, playful afternoons, starry nights, smiles, a glass of Kool-Aid, blowing bubbles, savouring a colourful fruity ice popsicle, flip-flops, and jamming sessions.

"Charmed Life" by Leigh Nash

"Any Given Day" by Tim Reid


"The Sunshine Song" by Jason Mraz


"Find My Way Back Home" by Priscila Ahn


"Everybody" by Ingrid Michaelson


"Brighter Than The Sun" by Colbie Caillat




Andz

Monday, 7 April 2014

A Letter to Juliet

A statue of Juliet in Casa di Giulietta in Verona, Italy


Juliet Capulet. The character breathed into life by William Shakespeare in the classic tragedy Romeo and Juliet; the epitome of every brokenhearted and hopelessly in love young woman in the world.

I've always regarded the story of Romeo and Juliet as some stupid love story, but then again, who's not stupid for love? (Damn! #HUGOT

So, I did it. I wrote a letter to Juliet.

A few months ago, I thought it was time to finally look for a way to move on from a troubled heart I've been nursing for quite a while. I found myself scribbling and scribbling, with the goal of writing the perfect letter to Juliet, and one Friday sometime in November, I was finally able to send it to her.

You may think I've gone mad for addressing a letter to a fictional character, but, really, what I did is far from crazy talk. A Juliet will receive it, and will reply to me - or at least, that's how it should go...

***

Amanda Seyfried, Christopher Egan, and Vanessa Redgrave in a scene
from Letters to Juliet

The 2010 film Letters To Juliet probably helped rocket The Juliet Club into popularity, and I wouldn't lie - that movie is actually the reason why I'm aware of such organisation. However, back when I first saw it, I thought The Juliet Club was just a society made for the film - a simple ingredient - to brew the perfect romantic blockbuster.


It had the perfect concept. You write to Juliet or tack a note on the wall of the house where Juliet Capulet is believed to have lived, and then you get a piece of advice written especially for you.


I had always been curious, though, whether the Secretaries of Juliet actually existed or not, because I would really love to send them a letter, if I ever get my heart broken in the future (and, it has finally come - a lot of times, actually).

With a little googling here and there, I found out that the Secretaries of Juliet are, indeed, real, and just like in the movie, they do their best to help mend broken and confused hearts.

***

The iconic balcony in Casa di Giulietta

Club Di Giulietta or The Juliet Club is a cultural organisation based in Verona, Italy.

The Juliet Club is comprised of 15 experienced volunteer secretaries, who go by the name "Juliet", when responding to the letters they receive. And although they all write under the same female alias, it doesn't necessarily mean that all the secretaries are women. The society is open to both male and female volunteers over the age of 18.

Love notes from hapless hearts tacked on a wall in Casa di Giulietta

Writing to Juliet doesn't require you to be female either. Everyone who needs advice on love and life are free to send a letter to Juliet. 

In fact, the secretaries of Juliet have dealt with the most common woes of heartbreak down to more serious issues like teenage pregnancy, cultural conflicts, homosexual relationships, and suicide.

The Juliet Club receives thousands and thousands of letters every year,
which they respond to - handwritten!

Writing in your native language shouldn't be a problem, too, if you're worried that they only reply to people who write in English and Italian. The Juliet Club is an international team, and your letter will be perfectly translated and replied to, should you feel the need to express yourself in the language you're most comfortable with.

***


I wrote to Juliet, without expecting a reply. I'm very much aware that Club Di Giulietta receives tons and tons of letters every month, and with the crazy Philippine Postal Service, I wasn't even sure if my letter will make it to Verona, Italy. But it did, because I received a reply from Juliet today. 

Whatever I said to her and whatever she said to me will remain between the two of us. My only point here is: IT IS REAL!!! JULIET DOES REPLY!!! The letter is handwritten, as well, adding a personal touch to the message.

However, I'm not in need of love advice anymore. I have finally moved on, and honestly, I find my previous fantasies pretty embarrassing and stupid now. 

The letter would be a mere souvenir of na├»ve love found and lost.




***

If you're reading this right now, you're probably going like "Andy?! Troubled heart?! What?! Is she in love?! Wait, she fell in love?! Is that even possible?!" (Especially if you're a friend of mine, or worse, family.)

Well, folks, you've probably forgotten, but I'd like to remind you that I'm human, too.

Growing up in the company of, boys (er, most of them) may have toughened me up, but that doesn't make me less of a girl who's capable of falling in love and getting hurt.

I've had a shitload of crushes - from fictional heroes in the books I read and nerdy and geeky guys I see on TV to university athletes and musicians who play the perfect tunes for my ears. 

But those are all far from reality, and honestly, there are very few real (real, as in non-fictional and non-celebrity, exists in the world I live in) guys who I really liked. 

They're four awesome guys, or so I thought. 

The first one's a guy who loved to play basketball, and he was my lab partner in biology class. We dissected frogs together and had an imaginary wedding and imaginary babies for genetics - a girl and a boy with names you'll never get to pronounce (Gnaci Htumn and Kai D'Ahmoua). Even back then, I knew he's never going to like me with all those pretty girls in competition, and a stunningly beautiful girl he was trying to get his hands on (OK, that's a weird way to say it). Anyway, he's a ladies' man, and I knew that I didn't stand a chance of making it to his list, so I just resorted to writing some kind of a tragic love story based on his characteristics. I started it when I was 14, but never got to finish it, and I don't think I ever will.

The second one is quite a confident bloke with the sweetest words to say and I'm taller than him (you can just imagine how small he is), but I liked him all right anyway. He was my date at junior prom (just so you know, I was his plan B, since his first choice turned him down.), and things were going OK, until all the mess in some military training I went through happened. He became a douche, and I just hated him. I still hate him so much that it's quite unfortunate we're studying in the same university and go to the same building every single day, and whenever I see him, I'm reminded of what an asshole he is.

Guy number three is a hopeless case. I knew we'd never happen, but I took the pleasure of hearing about him from a mutual friend. I first saw him in a picture in my Facebook feed, and instantly fell for him cos he reminded me of Harry Potter. I then found out that he plays the guitar and loves rock music (oh, damn, that's like a super plus, plus, plus for me!) We were introduced to each other, but I doubt that he remembers me. That doesn't matter now, though, cos when I recently checked his Facebook profile, I saw things that suggest that he probably is gay. I still hope his not, because I still find him rather attractive. Haha!

The fourth and the latest one is a standout. A knockout. The kind of guy who screamed fucking perfect in my head, because, damn, he just is! But just like how it always goes for me and for most people out there, just when you're starting to fall in love with someone you think will be yours, he doesn't have the same feelings for you. And if ever he does (or did), things get too complicated and you just drift apart.

I've never really been in a relationship, not even that cute elementary school boyfriend-girlfriend kind of thing, and with all my stress in school and work, I'm not asking it for now. Maybe, I'm just too scared. I see my friends finding "the guy", then they break up, and end up feeling like pure shit. 

I don't want that to happen to me. 

Having crushes on guys who don't like me back are enough to crush my heart, what more real breakups? 

My mum often tells me that the perfect guy for me will come in time and prayer. Cheesy, I know, and frankly speaking, given that I pray and wait, how in the world will I know if he's already right in front of me? For all I know, he's already passed me by.

Oh well, so much drama in this post.

***

WRITE TO JULIET

CLUB DI GIULIETTA
Via Galilei
337100 Verona
ITALY


***Note: I do not own the first seven photos in this post.


Andy

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Sunday Snaps

Summer

Sometimes, I just go for a walk on a nice weekend morning and take random pictures...

A run at a news stand

My shadow rocks!

Modelling 101 from gramps

Melon mochi <3

My favourite shirt, my favourite bad, my favourite shorts :)

Books at 50% off!

Chalk art


Andz

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

A Wonderful Afternoon with the Wonderful Becca Fitzpatrick


New York Times best-selling author Becca Fitzpatrick (Hush, Hush Saga) recently stopped over the country for her Philippine book tour, and I am more than thrilled to say that I was able to spend some time with her at The Writers Bar for an interview (thanks again to Candy Mag for this opportunity!) last March 27 to chat about the success of her book series, upcoming projects, and her excitement to finally meet her Filipino fans.

It would always be a pleasure of mine to meet amazing writers, because they don't just inspire me to do better with my craft, but they also make me realise that they're just like everybody else, beyond the fame and recognition they're getting from all over the world.

In fact, Becca had the perfect greeting for me, when we met. She kinda apologised for how bushy her hair had become, because of the heat and humidity in Manila. Haha! Our conversation just flowed after that.

Of course, we talked about the Hush, Hush Saga, Patch (c'mon, I can't miss this chance!), her current playlist (we sang a bit of Frozen's "Let It Go" at some point), and the different Pinoy specialties her aunt, who's Filipina (Becca even showed me her picture in her iPhone), recommended her to try while she's on the trip.

She wanted to try halo-halo so bad (perfect for the summer!) that I just had to tell her about Razon's. I really do wish she tried it, cos it's got one of - if not - the best halo-halo in the country. And, since her aunt told her to try mangosteens, she was served a platter of 'em towards the end of our interview.

I was pretty worried that she wouldn't like the taste of mangosteens (not a lot of Filipinos even like it!), but she did, and kept eating the fruit, saying that it tastes like nothing she's ever had before.

Just before I left, I gave her tiny presents - a notepad and a box of facts about the Philippines, which she said her little boys will love looking at, when she comes home. And, she signed a handful of books I took with me.

It was quite an afternoon.


Oh, gosh, she's a lovely woman...



That's my cousin, Zeus, and my friend, Kai, who's a big fan of the
Hush, Hush Saga


When I checked Twitter on my way home, I was so thrilled
to see that Becca actually mentioned me!


Andz

Monday, 31 March 2014

Three Cheers for 3 Years!


Innocent Wild turns 3 today, and I almost forgot! That's the thing with summer breaks... I lose my sense of time. Anyhow, I'm glad I was running through old posts, and I stumbled over last year's 2nd anniversary post, because if I didn't, I probably would've just let this day pass.

Maintaining a blog is difficult enough - never mind three years of it! There's the dread of harsh comments, the embarrassment after publishing posts with typos or grammatical errors (sometimes, I just want to die because of this), and the craving of more experiences to share with your readers. But for the most part, you just want to be read.

Over my time as a blogger, I've watched my stats rise and fall, had the shock of my life whenever I find out that people from some country I don't know view my posts, felt pissed that a post I've worked so hard on only earned three views (and I'm not even sure if all three of them read it), tried different things and went to different places just so I could post something people might find interesting, and of course, I've also felt discouraged to carry on whenever I over-think about the fact that, maybe, nobody wants to read about the life, musings, and ideas of some middle class Filipino teenager like me after all.

But I'm happy I never stopped, and I don't think I will be stopping soon.

So yeah, three cheers for three years of fun, heartbreak, music, fangirling, crafting, travelling, cooking, and whatnot! 

And here's a BIG THANK YOU to all the readers - new and old - who keep checking back in for more!


Andz

Saturday, 29 March 2014

What You Missed: Candy Craft Party


An avid crafter myself, I was probably one of the most excited Candy Girls, when I found out that Candy will be releasing a DIY book.

Sure, the magazine features crafts every now and then, but I just couldn’t get enough of them! So, I thought the DIY book might satisfy the crafty side of me…or at least, a bit (since I’m always restless when it comes to making something new with my shaky already-arthritic hands).

I decided to grab my copy of the Candy DIY Book (get yours for only 175php at a bookstore near you!) during its book launching event last 20 March at Fully Booked The Fort (The Bridgeway), which doubled as a craft party.

Guests, young and old, took the liberty of making their own craft projects. From pom-poms to postcards to rings, it was simply a lovely afternoon to let one’s creative juices flow, while having fun at the same time.

Authors, Macy Alcaraz, Mikko Sumulong, Alessandra Lanot, and Mansy Abesamis, whose projects graced the book, were also at the event to meet fellow crafters and sign their copies of the DIY Book. 



Unlimited access to washi tapes, ribbons, buttons and
whatnot!
I enjoyed the stamping station the most ♥


Check out these post cards I made :D

An artist's (crafter's) hands are almost never clean.
#ShowEmOff #ProudCrafter

Some rings I made... (the one in the middle was made for me by my fellow
Council of Cool member, Mika)

With Candy's Web Managing Editor and Candy DIY Book
Editor-In-Chief Ms. Macy and Mika


Andz

Thursday, 27 March 2014

The Disney Channel I Know


I pity kids today for a lot of reasons. This makes me sound old, but it's true. I really do pity kids today for a lot of reasons, but let me start with the fact that they were all too little – probably, still non-existent – when Disney Channel was still Disney Channel.

Sure, I may not have been around yet during the height of Sister, Sister and the Zenon movies, but believe me, I still made it to watch a lot of Disney Channel's feel-good shows and TV movies. I was also there when Disney Channel had its last hurrah. 

When was it, you ask? Well, if you want the answer to your question, you better ask your older sisters or brothers. I'm pretty certain that everyone from my generation will have their own say about that. 

The thing is, I hate to admit it, but the Disney Channel kids know today is not as good as the Disney Channel I once knew.

I do understand that time flies, and the demand of the audiences changes just as well, but it wouldn't hurt to air at least one old Disney Channel Original Movie (DCOM) per week, or have a re-run of Disney Channel's old TV shows.

Since people today are so fond of throwbacks, why not make good use of the idea by applying it to something that does not just involve old photographs?

***

Here are the 11 things that define Disney Channel for me (in no particular order at all, because I love them all so much!):


Lizzie and Miranda's fashion statements


Tie-dyed shirts, awfully-colourful printed pants, and crazy 'dos among others... These BFFs gave a whole new meaning to mixing 'n' matching in the early 2000s.

The feathers!

The rows and the fringes!


Ren and Louis


Oh, the true epitome of every love-and-hate relationship of brothers and sisters.


The old Disney Channel Stars' intros before the start of every show


Y'know, the part when they draw the sparkly Disney Channel logo with a wand? They just seemed to be doing it much better back then.

EXTRA: I could also remember those short videos (interstitials) they play before the start of each show, where kids imagine being mermaids (I loved the music that came with that one) or bike racers or dinosaur diggers.



The Disney Channel Games 2006


Ah, the first Disney Channel Games... I could still picture myself watching this eight years ago with some friends at a playmate's house. It was summer, and we were taking a break after playing a game of tag, dodge ball, and, I think, some pretend, too (lutu-lutuan or we were pretending to be spies again. I'm not so sure anymore). Oh, how I rooted for the Red Team! Shin Koyamada and Zac Efron in one team. 'Nuff said.

Fresh from HSM :))

Lucas is better off singing than competing against Shin :D


"A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes" Music Video


This music video of the Disney Channel Circle of stars will remain on top of my favourite music videos list. Everyone just looks like they're having so much fun, and they all look so young! This is the way I want to picture the stars in the video forever.



Kim and Ron's "It's Complicated" relationship status


Best friends since childhood + strong inexplicable feelings for each other... You get the picture, right? And, you've probably felt like that, too, before, right? Right. 


The songs from Hannah Montana 


I did not spend a single cent from my measly grade school allowance for a couple of weeks just to buy the Hannah Montana album, and belt out to "The Best of Both Worlds", "If We Were A Movie", and "Just Like You". Man, Hannah Montana was my idol!

EXTRA: Remember THIS Miley?

Yeah, I miss her, too...


Raven's visions


Now, who would forget Raven's visions? Nope, not me. Raven's psychic abilities and all the trouble that came with it made me realise that not knowing the future is better after all.


EXTRA: Aww, look at the adorable David Henrie as Cory Baxter's friend, Larry, waaaay before he was Justin Russo...



Zack and Cody's shenanigans ... at the Tipton Hotel 


Yup, they lived in a hotel before they lived on a cruise ship, and Mr. Moseby had more reasons to worry about the shenanigans (which were way crazier) the twins got themselves into. My favourite? When Cody joined a beauty pageant as "Tyreesha Jones" (notice that Cody's got a striking resemblance with Taylor Swift when he's dressed as a girl? Yeah, I did, too.).



Raviv "Ricky" Ullman. 


Sorry, Zac Efron, but Ricky Ullman is my first true and ultimate Disney Channel crush ever since. His geeky charm, his messy hair, the goofy faces he makes, his breath-taking smile! Gosh, I could go on forever about how much I love this guy. How I wish he still takes on-screen projects, so I can see more of him today. I love you, Ricky!

He says: "Aww, that's my girl! Love you too, Andy!" :")





The Disney Channel Original Movies (until 2006)


Because after 2006, no movie just came close as good as the old ones.

***

I'm honestly coming up with more stuff to put in here as I write, but I know that I should end this list one way or another. Writing this made me feel a bit better. Proud, even, because I got to say that I was able to experience all of these great stuff that Disney Channel used to offer their kid and teen audiences.

I'd really love to go back in time and re-watch everything on the list, knowing that I wouldn't be seeing them again soon (or ever) in the future. *SOB*

How about you? What defines Disney Channel for you?


Andz