The first kawaii convention in the Philippines just ended, and I’m so hungover that I’m already blogging about it! I can’t remember having this much fun at any other convention I’ve been to. I need this to happen annually!
You could really tell that everyone in the convention truly lived the kawaii lifestyle, and were overjoyed that this movement is really starting to flourish in Manila. There may have been differences in which subculture they were most inclined to (i.e. gyaru, different kinds of lolita, mori kei, fairy kei, visual kei, decora, etc.) but everyone shared the same love for Japanese fashion and culture. I couldn’t help but be amazed at the fact that I can actually be part of this happy, kawaii community! Just positive vibes everywhere!
(Very slumberdoll circa 2009-2011. I also didn’t plan on having my photos taken so pardon the lazy and unkempt ponytail - oops!)
Had some business to attend to in the morning and early afternoon, so I arrived at Whitespace around 4:15-ish already. I missed the first fashion show. Boo!
First things first (I’m the realest! - couldn’t help it)
I checked out the Kawaii Art Exhibit! The theme was “My interpretation of kawaii, and how it influenced my art.”
By Anne Pinero and Nina Nguyen.
By Mariness Rivera and Erica Rielle Gapas.
By Franchesca Mae Acpal and Alexis Matic.
By Tish Valenzuela and Ran Soneja.
There were more featured artists whose work I wanted to take photos of, but due to time constraints, I couldn’t, huhu. MISSION FAILED!
I’m so glad I finally met Reese! I really feel strongly about her personal style (and she’s got a wonderful singing voice too)! We actually graduated from the same course in Ateneo (Information Design) but I’m a year or two older, I think!
Speaking of Information Design, I was batchmates with Miguel/Merky (or in this photo, Miguelita?), and even had a few classes together! And I knew Jin from way, way back my cosplay (photography) and deviantART days. Definitely two of the most talented (and most humble) cosplayers of our generation! Always so nice to bump into them! I always get so nostalgic.
Around this time, I started taking more people photos! I swear I need to take notes from these lovely people when it comes to doing kawaii poses! I used to do them a lot, but I somehow unlearned it? Teach me thy ways. D:
Everyone can definitely fit right in Harajuku! Japanese fashion brands (at least the ones that are not fast fashion) may not be easily accessible in the Philippines YET, but this event has just proven that it all boils down to intense passion.
If you like something strong enough, you can find ways to do it, even with limited resources! Thankfully, some of these kawaii girls had booths during the event, sharing the kawaii love with their handmade accessories, DIY products, original design dresses, re-worked vintage pieces, etc. Nothing is impossible!
One of my ultimate dreams is for Japanese clothing brands to open stores in Manila, and I’d like to think that we’ll get there someday. Hopefully, in this lifetime! For now, thanks to the organizers, there’s Lucy Pop! They had a pop-up store in Rockwell a few months ago.
Lucy Pop is a Japanese brand that is all about the kawaii schoolgirl look! They had a booth where you could freely try on some of the uniforms.
Loved the Lucy Pop fashion show! I used to be such a huge fan of the Japanese school girl look that I’d improvise by using existing items in my closet.
LucyPop now makes it so much easier though. The uniforms can be bought as a set, or you can just get one or two individual items to complete an existing outfit. P.S. They have the best neckties!
Thank you Lucy Pop!
The Harajuku fashion show followed a few minutes after. This was what I anticipated most.
I’m so proud of Ashley for styling this segment! I knew she worked super hard to get these items from different stores in Harajuku. She even flew in from Japan just to attend this event! Talk about dedication and hard work.
Some of the participating brands were Josiah Chua, Lactose Intoler-Art by Brandon Rierson, Funktique Tokyo, PIN NAP Harajuku and Punk Cake Harajuku.
Kawaii lifestyle isn’t just for girls. It’s for everyone!
These guys rocked their outfits like professionals! I’m pretty sure they also have a unique sense of style to be able to pull these kinds of outfits off!
How to properly do neon and print-on-print. This is so tasteful! I love you, Ashley.
Real life doll!
Last but not the least - KawaiiPH founders Kaila and Anne talked about the history of Kawaii in Manila. They were on the verge of tears as they mentioned how this event only started as a dream. I was so ready to cry with them, huhu. I’d like to think that I can speak on everyone’s behalf when I say that we all shared the same dream. Thank you Kaila and Anne for making this collective dream a reality! It could not have manifested without the KawaiiPH team!
Kaila, the lady of the moment, and her brother who is one of the organizers. We also have to thank him for supporting Kaila’s dream! I got to talk to him after the closing speech, and their story is so unbelievably inspiring.
As long as you believe that something can happen, it will happen. Things may seem like a long shot, but you will never know until you try your hardest to make them work.
With Kaye, Reese, Kaila, ChiChi and Ashley. From this picture, you can conclude that legwear and socks are essential to the Japanese kawaii look, lol.
I’m so in love with this photo because it shows various interpretations of Japan’s long list of fashion subcultures!
Matched with Anne too! And together, we formed the Gingham Girls.
Where you lead, I will follow~ (If you don’t get this, it only means that I’m old)
SO CUTE! You just want to put her in your pocket. Such a doll!
Bonus: Photobomber Reese!
What’s more genius than incorporating Filipiniana touches to Japanese fashion? Kaila wore butterfly sleeves too!
Before I left, I took some photos of the booths. Didn’t get to buy anything because I had to leave asap for another appointment, so I have no choice but to look at these photos and hope that I can get full with purely eye candy.
Laforet Harajuku feels!
I hate how my iPhone doesn’t have a space to insert these kinds of phone charms…
Can’t get any more kawaii than false lashes and ribbons.
Pimp your phone!
Rilakkuma is not a bear, but a personification of a bear.
SUGAR RUSH! This stuff is made of happiness. No wonder kawaii girls are also the happiest girls!
Can I bring the whole Dolly Wink booth home? I still think that Dolly Wink produces the best false eyelashes in the world. If you’ve already given up on cheap, low-quality false eyelashes, let Dolly Wink enlighten you once more.
What a way to end a stressful week! Congrats to the KawaiiPH team! Kawaii in Manila was successful in addressing and representing different aspects of Japanese kawaii culture - art, music, fashion, beauty, and a welcoming community that is open to all kinds of styles!
Sad I couldn’t stay longer and chat with everyone! Wishing and praying for Kawaii in Manila 3 to come sooner!
I’ve just proven that hats, red hair and boots go well together! Makes for an edgy, somewhat “rocker” look. I totally abused this combination last year, and I will shamefully recycle it again. I decided to revive this bowler hat after almost a year, and it just so happened that the last time I used it was when I still had red hair.
While my navy obsession is still going strong, I find myself slowly making room for maroon, oxblood and wine as well. And anything that has both colors together is pretty much the icing on the cake. Case in point: this gorgeous rose gold watch with a navy and maroon strap!
Want your own Daniel Wellington watch? You can use the discount code TriciaDW to get a 15% discount until September 28th! Enjoy shopping!
Before anything else, let me congratulate myself for resisting the urge to dye my hair these last 3 months! I fell in love with dark hair again, and wouldn’t mind keeping it for the rest of the year if I didn’t have a salon sponsor. Thanks to Status Salon, I can experiment whenever I want!
Last week, I was stressing out so much that I wanted to do something different. Of course, my hair was my first target. I think I let my hair get enough rest!
And besides, my hair was starting to fade from black-brown to simply dark brown.
It took me about 15 minutes to decide what I wanted to do with my hair. Before going into the salon, I already set my mind to the same bright red that I did last year. However, Status Hair Premier Salon (formerly Louis Philip Kee) C5/Acropolis had a new hair color chart, and the red-violet tones were glorious!
So I went with the darkest red-violet that they had. Because we were dyeing it over dark hair, the result would be super subtle and not at all loud. YASSS. JUST WHAT I WANTED! I’m still not over dark hair, so this was perfect.
If you put this color over bleached hair or light brown hair, the results would definitely be more striking, though I’m not sure if it’ll fade back to brown in a few days/weeks. Red dye washes out so easily!
Baby dye dye dye! I was so excited because it’s been a while since I last changed my hair color.
They let the dye rest on my hair for about 30 minutes.
Roots took about 15 minutes.
Dun dun dun. Before the reveal.
At this point, I couldn’t wait for my hair to dry already! (Hair looks darker when it’s wet.)
With Roseann, one of the owners of Status Salon! Love her ash brown pixie cut!
Finally! Hair that’s dark when it needs to be dark, but red-violet under certain lighting. Since the salon had yellow lighting, I couldn’t really see much difference.
I only got to properly see the result when I took photos the next day. This was what the color looked like under natural lighting. I dub thee my best hair color of the year. It’s perfect! Subtle edginess! It’s still dark so it won’t look gross even if my roots grow out.
If it’s not directly hit by sun/light, it looks black. If I take photos under the sun or if there’s a huge light source in front of me/behind me, it’s red-violet.
Want the same hair color? Just look for Jon of Status Hair Premier Salon C5/Acropolis! As of this writing, he’s working on my hair extensions so I can still enjoy my long hair look whenever I want. I asked him to add a few bright purple streaks since it’s not my own hair that’s going to be bleached anyway. Can’t wait!
If anyone’s wondering, Louis Phillip Kee C5/Acropolis is now called Status Hair Premier Salon. But it’s still owned by the same owners and the branch still has the same hairstylists. The rates are a little more affordable now though! Yay! :)
I can’t believe I’m down to my last San Francisco post! I was there for such a short time that my only sure way to go to all the touristy places was to go on a bus tour. Not complaining though, because the view was spectacular. Most of these earlier shots in this post were taken from a double decker bus with an open deck a.k.a. every travel blogger’s best friend.
The initial reasons why my family and I decided to visit San Francisco were for us to be able to rest after a long flight from Manila, as well as for us to meet up with my youngest brother Calel (who’s been working in the US this past year). Wish we could’ve stayed longer because I’ve always been in love with this place! It’s been 10+ years since my first visit to the Bay Area (I have some relatives in Vallejo!), and my feelings haven’t changed since then.
San Francisco was, and still is one of my favorite places to visit in the US. More than LA, for sure, lol. Though I think I’m good anywhere as long it’s chilly? 15C - 25C weather is perfect!
Street art can be found all over San Francisco. Definitely adds to the place’s hipster charm.
This one was by Australian artist REKA.
By twins How and Nosm.
Currently, the Tenderloin District is somehow infamous for its homeless population and crime rate, but it used to be home to theaters, hotels and restaurants during the 19th century, and famous jazz clubs during the ’50s and ’60s. Lots of unfortunate events happened along the way, and it eventually got a bad reputation for gambling and gangs, among other things.
Why “tenderloin”? A long time ago, a police captain was overheard saying that ever since he moved to this neighborhood, he was able to earn so much that he could finally afford tenderloin. This, versus the cheap chuck steak he was limited to in his previous neighborhood. Little did people know that it was all because of the bribes he did on the side! Yikes!
Clear skies. For once, I must’ve done something good for the weather gods not to curse me with impossible rain.
How pretty is San Francisco City Hall? JoeDiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe were married here!
This may look familiar if you were able to watch Milk, The Wedding Planner, Bedazzled, and Bicentennial Man (RIP Robin Williams).
Named after one of the city’s former mayors, but I’m pretty sure Vanness Wu’s face popped into your head just now.
Haight and Masonic. Didn’t have time to check out the Haight Ashbury District, but it seemed like a groovy place!
This district was the center of the summer of love! It was *the* place where all the hippies hung out during the ’60s.
Pacman! The one with the glasses is so cute!
Jimi Hendrix tribute on 1524 Haight Street, his home when he lived in San Francisco.
What do you hear?
The de Young fine arts museum.
Obligatory Golden Gate Bridge photo. I was so lucky the sky was so clear that day because San Francisco is usually foggy!
The most celebrated and photographed bridge in the world.
It’s always featured in pop culture, but the gate’s cameo (if you can call it that) in Rise of the Planet of the Apes is still super fresh in my mind.
Crossed the bridge twice to get back to the city.
Suddenly, Victorian-style buildings! I wasn’t able to take a proper photo of the “Painted Ladies” or the famous row of Victorian houses facing the park on Steiner St., huhu. Next time!
Downtown San Francisco / The Financial District.
"Hey, it’s Macklemore!" - my brother, lol
Telegraph Hill, with Coit Tower on top. They say that the tower was made to resemble a fire hose nozzle, because Lillie Hitchcock Coit, the wealthy socialite the tower was named after, loved to chase fires.
Besides the Golden Gate Bridge, this is probably the next most touristy area/place to go to in San Francisco.
Bread animals D:
Real animals :D
Balclutha, built in 1886.
Comfy wear! Top from Moussy, Jeans from Topshop, slip-ons from EMODA, jacket from MURUA.
Behind me is the Ghirardelli Square! Domingo Ghirardelli bought the entire area to make it into his chocolate company’s HQ. I used to think Ghirardelli chocolates came from Europe! It’s actually a proudly San Francisco brand.
Alcatraz Island from afar. Alcatraz prison used to be known as one of the most inescapable prisons in the world. It’s now a tourist destination!
Apparently, someone tried to escape by pouring grease over himself, slipping through the bars, and swimming to the shore, but the whole ordeal was so tedious that he fell asleep and eventually got caught.
Crazy for crabs.
Time for a magic show!
"Hey, it’s Colonel Sanders!" - my brother, huhu
Great food at Fisherman’s Wharf. Not much to do except take pictures and eat like there’s no tomorrow.
If I enter the house on the right, will I end up in Narnia?
Can’t get over San Francisco street art! I wish we had similar ones in Manila. I’m happy that there are some really tasteful ones at The Fort / Bonifacio High Street!
On our last day, and on the day we were leaving for Florida, my family and I decided to visit Sausalito as a last farewell.
Good thing we did, because I got a good photo of myself with the Golden Gate Bridge!
Sausalito is worth visiting for the quaint hillside and seashore view. Because of this, Sausalito real estate ranks among the most expensive in the US!
You can also find some really awesome burgers in Sausalito. Food is always relevant.
Nifty toys at a toy store beside the Starbucks there.
Probably the shadiest thing in Sausalito.
Speaking of butts, you need to watch this video. Laughed my ass off!
Hope you enjoyed my San Francisco travel diaries! The fun has only begun. I’m going to bombard everyone with Mickey Mouse and Harry Potter in the next few weeks.
I’ve actually drafted most of the entries already, and I took so many Wizarding World of Harry Potter photos that it merits its own post. It’s been 2 years since I shared my experiences during the Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studio Tour in London (read here) so I’m really excited!
Better late than never in following the food jumper bandwagon. I never found one that suited my taste (pun intended) until now. This is made of pure happiness!
Speaking of marshmallows, I don’t know why I’ve been feeling so restless and impatient nowadays. I would definitely fail the marshmallow test (of children’s impulse control) if I were to be subjected to it right now. I know it’s only the second day of the month, but I need September to be done and over with as soon as possible!