WVN: Weaving a New Perspective

Early morning shoot in my cube

Early morning shoot in my cube

I first learned about WVN earlier this year, when I chanced upon their dreamy Instagram page. I have been a fan of local textiles thanks to my exposure to Philippine handicrafts through my mentor, Mitzie Icasiano of Manlilikha. I have supported Rags2Riches and Habi Batangan, which are both social enterprises that incorporate indigenous weaves into their fashionable products. Naturally, I will gravitate towards items which reflect my design sensibilities, functional requirements, and social enterprise advocacy. I am also a believer that buying local is the way to go.

I was only waiting for WVN to produce shawls or scarves because their hallmark product is their beach towel, which features an indigenous weave on one side, and a towel on another (I am not a beach girl so I am always looking for a city alternative!). I think their towel is genius, because it is a fresh way of using indigenous weaves and a cool one at that. I then followed their tasteful posts until I saw that they were crowdfunding with Spark Project. One of their rewards was a pair of chic sarongs which could be used as shawls. I did not hesitate and pledged my support for the set. 

My Spark Project crowdfunded sarongs are here! 

My Spark Project crowdfunded sarongs are here! 

I was expecting them to be thin sarongs but I was wrong! They are thick and the weaves are intricately done. I am using the green one here in our chilly office and it is comforting. It gives off just the right warmth and yet it is still thin enough to wear as a wrap during hot summer days.  

Beautiful, intricate weave

Beautiful, intricate weave

My shawl blanket is perfect for work and play! 

My shawl blanket is perfect for work and play! 

I am happy to have discovered another social enterprise, and it is also noteworthy that a couple of 27-year old women are running this biz. Now is really the best time to buy local and be stylish! 

Book Museum: A Geeky Sundate

My boyfriend Allan and I hang out every Sunday. We enjoy eating out (most of my food blog entries are from places we frequent) and visiting places of interests. Since we are 30-something geeks, museums and bookstores are included in the mix. Today, we visited the Book Museum at Marikina to surround ourselves with publications from around the world. 

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We were not disappointed! While most visitors were underwhelmed, we were satisfied with our short tour there. You may browse their collection, except for the glass-encased ones which are precious artifacts from another era. I especially liked their tiny books and Rizal collection.  

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They had this foot statue to symbolize mobility of information and civilization. It is also noteworthy that Marikina is known as the shoe capital of Metro Manila since this is the main industry in the city. 

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If you are into osmosis trips like me, this is a fun place to take your special someone or even your kids. Printed books will never replace ebooks. It is also a reminder that books can inspire you to dream, travel, and aspire for the betterment of society.  

Check out these old postcards on Rizal

Check out these old postcards on Rizal

Rizal fangirl here 🙋🏻 

Rizal fangirl here 🙋🏻 

Philately will always have a special place in my heart.  

Philately will always have a special place in my heart.  

My planner-girl heart skipped a beat with this

My planner-girl heart skipped a beat with this

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This was a memorable trip for us as we both like being surrounded by books and odd objects. We also enjoyed the ethnology center in the compound. There were native artifacts from different tribes in the country. It was a colorful display of the rich culture of our different regions. 

The museum can be easily searched through navigation apps. Their museum curator is knowledgeable and for P100 per person, you will be surrounded by books and culture.  

We highly recommend this museum for your next Sundate! 

Rich Earth Jewelry: Investment Bling with a Heart

Every girl needs a little sparkle in her life. However, traditional jewelry can be made of materials which are not sustainable and ethically-sourced. As a result, millennials like me have become selective of our personal adornments. This is why I was delighted to find local brand Rich Earth Jewelry. Their pieces are ethereal and made of sustainable materials which enhance the quality and craftsmanship of their work.  

Rich Earth Jewelry Signature Artwear™ Pieces are handcrafted with hammered, 24k gold plated aluminum metal, intricately linked for that truly one of a kind design. The hammered links have an elegant finish that will complement and grace one's ensemble.

Aluminum is Rich Earth Jewelry's metal of choice for its dedication in promoting a conscious effort on protecting the environment and passion for social responsibility. This type of metal is highly sustainable for it is 100 percent-recyclable, without compromising quality. It is currently the third most recycled material in the world. Aside from its lightweight feature, Aluminum is a non-toxic metal. It is lead and nickel free, so it won't tarnish nor cause skin discoloration. 

-from the Rich Earth Jewelry website

I personally like the fact that part of the proceeds of their sales go to worthy causes such as Save Philippine Seas and the Mano Amiga Academy. In addition to that, their pieces are lightweight and guaranteed to keep their beautiful appearance for years to come (with proper care of course).

Photo from Rich Earth Jewelry's  website   

Photo from Rich Earth Jewelry's website  

Photo from Rich Earth Jewelry's  website  

Photo from Rich Earth Jewelry's website 

Their lovely jewelry are fairly priced too so you can buy yourself an investment piece which will not break the bank.  

Photo from Rich Earth Jewelry's  website   

Photo from Rich Earth Jewelry's website  

They look classy with either casual clothes or your fiercest ensembles. There is something for everyone, whether you prefer dainty pieces or statement necklaces.  

Photo from Rich Earth Jewelry's  website   

Photo from Rich Earth Jewelry's website  

This Filipino up and comer will definitely sail the seas of the fashion landscape while helping save our natural resources and educating our future movers.  

I hope to own a piece from Rich Earth Jewelry someday. Their dreamy Instagram account will definitely be one of your favorites in no time. Go check them out now! 

Human Nature

I have been a Human Nature fan since 2012 when I discovered that their sunflower oil works wonders in making my skin glow. As they have expanded their catalog, I got hooked on their other offerings, such as their kid's soaps, moisturizers, lotions and mineral makeup. I have sensitive skin, so I really have to be careful with what I use everyday. When Typhoon Haiyan hit the Visayas in 2013, I volunteered to pack relief goods in the Gawad Kalinga rescue operations HQ in Quezon City. It was during this time that I became a dealer and eventually, a core advocate with Human Nature. I saw first hand how the Human Nature family became active in relief efforts and I was inspired to apply for membership. Being a social enterprise allows Human Nature to channel the proceeds of their sales to help the poorest of the poor, to provide employment and to practice fair trade in sourcing their raw materials. I am inspired to see a Filipino company embrace the best of local produce to provide jobs to the most talented individuals from all walks of life. I truly love the brand and the people behind it propel me to support more social enterprises and to buy Filipino. 

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Every shopping trip at a Human Nature store is a coffee run because they serve freshly brewed local coffee in-store. It's absolutely free with every purchase. I enjoy immersing myself in the energy inside the flagship store where I am a frequent customer. It makes me proud to be Filipino and it renews my belief in our people and capability to maximize our resources in order to propel ourselves to greater heights. 

Yesterday's basket of my usual essentials  

Yesterday's basket of my usual essentials  

I am proud to be a part of Human Nature. While I do not work there, I am thankful to be one of their core advocates because the values they embrace such as being proud of our Filipino heritage and not releasing whitening products resonate with me. I hope more people will try their products and visit one of their stores. It's quite an experience!

DesignTrip: Our Tribe Outlet Maginhawa

I've been reading Daniel H. Pink's   A Whole New Mind these past few days and one of the assignments given in the book is to go on a walk to observe what I find is great design-wise. I chose to drop by Our Tribe Outlet Maginhawa (yes, the foodie street in Teacher's Village, Quezon City). Tucked along the hip restaurants and a convent (it's unassuming after all) is this fabulous shop selling bags and sandals made of genuine leather. It celebrates Filipino craftsmanship and really, they have superb quality goods. (Fact: Back in uni, I saved up for an Our Tribe handbag. It was a black hobo. Sadly, it was stolen inside our cafeteria. As in the whole bag with my cards, phone, valuables and books inside. Really traumatic. Key takeaway from that incident? Our Tribe bags look fancier than their price points!) 

 

A decades-old brand opens a shop along foodie haven Maginhawa  

A decades-old brand opens a shop along foodie haven Maginhawa  

Contrary to popular belief, their Maginhawa outlet is not a factory or discount store. It is simply their HQ and flagship store. You can expect their widest stocks and fresh-off-the-cutting-board bags and sandals. There are even some bags which cannot be found in their mall branches. I love looking around here because the staff are kind and accommodating even if I don't have money at the moment to afford anything. In fact, when I asked them if I could take pictures so I could feature them on my blog, they gladly obliged. They asked me if I could write that they offer repairs and zipper replacements. Of course, I said yes.  

There's something for every taste and budget here.  

There's something for every taste and budget here.  

They have small leather goods too like wallets, card holders, and cute animal keychains. They even have coin purses for those of us who take public transportation and want to separate those coins from our main wallets.  

Their sandals are comfy and sturdy. Mine lasted for years- even sturdier than Havaianas.  

Their sandals are comfy and sturdy. Mine lasted for years- even sturdier than Havaianas.  

I used to own another black satchel from them four years ago but I have since donated it to Human Nature's fundraising garage sale last year. I also owned a pair of pretty turquoise flip flops from them which have outlasted my Havaianas. I have worn them through rain and shine and they only left my feet when I gave them away to charity. 

They have since incorporated the latest trends in their designs to cater to a younger crowd

They have since incorporated the latest trends in their designs to cater to a younger crowd

Now that I'm 30, I find that my taste has evolved to quality, sturdy goods. I have a neutral palette preference now. I also find myself gravitating towards items which will last me through. I have stopped giving into fast fashion, so local brands like Our Tribe is on my radar. I will definitely buy a handbag or a pair of sandals from them again when I have the means to do so.  

If you want Filipino-made leather goods which are reasonably-priced, go for Our Tribe! Always keep an eye on your Our Tribe bag though because they do look posh so don't be like me!