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! 

Habi Batangan: Woven Dignity

Rocking my own Habi Batangan shawl!

Rocking my own Habi Batangan shawl!

Social Entrepreneurship has become a hot topic of late due to the proliferation of shops that choose to include helping others in their business plan. One of my favorite examples is Habi Batangan, a Batangas-based online shop selling wraps, shawls and infinity scarves. Their beautiful pieces are all hand-loomed by mothers. I could attest to the quality and inherent loveliness of their goods as I have become a frequent customer. I am the type of girl who is always cold, whether it's the air condition at the mall or the office. Their long shawls have saved me from suffering and they made me look chic at the same time. They are also more affordable than other hand-loomed scarves in the market, without sacrificing quality and of course the social aspect of their business. I have experienced fantastic customer service as well, which is getting rarer and rarer these days.

Photo from Habi Batangan's  Facebook page

Photo from Habi Batangan's Facebook page

Photo from Habi Batangan's  Facebook page

Photo from Habi Batangan's Facebook page

I encourage you to check-out their Facebook page. For orders, you may message them and expect a response within the day. They are perfect presents to the ladies in your life, or even for yourself!

The best thing about social enterprises is that shopping is guilt-free. Please consider buying a scarf or two from Habi Batangan, and wear a woven piece made with love and dignity by a mother in need.

 

Testify Talk: #WriteMoreLetters with Camille Pilar

In this fast-paced world, it can be challenging to slow things down. There is always the quest to digitize everything when really, we just need to change our pace. Analog living is becoming a movement because it introduces an observance of older traditions such as buying and making handmade items and letter writing. Sure, emails can be convenient especially in the business setting, but there is nothing more romantic than receiving a letter via snail mail. I used to have pen pals back in the 90's and I enjoyed exchanging handwritten letters because there was the anticipation, the enjoyment of writing down the highlights of my life, and the hope that I could also receive a response soon. So imagine my joy when I found out that 1/2 of the dynamic duo behind #15DaysOfWritingTrue, Camille Pilar, was holding a talk on letter writing at Testify Coffee and Rare Finds. I attended this talk because even if it tackled a hobby close to my heart, it was still out of my comfort zone:

  1. I don't usually venture out into places beyond my area in Quezon City. Testify is away from my frequent hangouts so yay me! (I was actually holding onto the steering wheel tightly because my map app was leading me towards unfamiliar streets. But that's the whole point.)
  2. I wanna meet Camille because she's my teacher and it was weirdly magical to do so.  
  3. My boyfriend wasn't feeling well and I didn't feel like having dinner on a Sunday alone (because Sundays are ours ). 
With Camille Pilar (who rode a bus from La Union just to talk about snail mail!)✨

With Camille Pilar (who rode a bus from La Union just to talk about snail mail!)✨

I sat by the bar and was chatting with Wenj, the charming barista and one of the owners of Testify. She told me that sitting by the bar is bold and I was pleasantly surprised to be told so. I really feel more italic (because it connotes being off-tangent) today because I went out of my comfort zone but if bold is what I am, then bold is what I will be. 

So after finishing my delicious tinapa pasta, Camille's talk finally commenced. She promotes letter-writing so we could become gentler, kinder and more intuitive. She shared how growing up writing letters has made her appreciate the process of putting her thoughts on paper and sending it out into the wild. As she grew older and eventually taught writing, she continued writing letters, even to herself. She shared how it has enabled her to learn more about others and become more aligned with what matters most. She then concluded her talk with a letter to Manila, a city which she has stayed away from and yet continues to call her every now and then, such as for this letter-writing talk. 

Writing a letter is a small act of rebellion  - Camille Pilar   

Writing a letter is a small act of rebellion -Camille Pilar  

Wenj and her brother and co-owner Ralph has then introduced a snail mail system in their cafe wherein they will provide paper for customers and they will send your letters to the post office, for a minimum fee of course. They continued the theme of the evening and encouraged everyone present to keep on reaching within yourself and to just write . After all, time is a finite resource which we cannot take back, so we might as well spend it with valuable moments and traditions such as letter writing. 

Visit  Testify  and peruse their letter writing box. They provide paper, envelopes and send your snail mail for you 💌 #writemoreletters

Visit Testify and peruse their letter writing box. They provide paper, envelopes and send your snail mail for you 💌 #writemoreletters

So guys I encourage you to write a letter today. Until it becomes another, and another, and another. Then send them. You'll be surprised with the response or two that you could get. And before you know it, you have already started a tradition in this fast-paced world where everyone is in a hurry.