Monday, March 31, 2014

Eight Reasons Why Thailand Is Indeed Amazing

Thailand has been dubbed as the Land of Smiles and its catchy tag line is "Amazing Thailand".  I have gone to Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, three times and my latest trip last January of this year was unbelievably filled with all the fun, adventure and terrific blissful moments that are worth for keeps in my yottabye memory.

Without hesitation and with confidence, I certainly agree that Thailand is indeed an amazing place to spend time for vacation and even a pleasant place to settle down.  Though I've only been in Bangkok (and in Nonthaburi), but Bangkok offers all the reasons why I should keep visiting to their capital and to their country as well.

With my phenomenal experiences, I am revealing my top 8 reasons why Thailand is Indeed Amazing.


The land area of Bangkok is really vast, and the place that I would love to go back again and again is the area of SIAM.  I find it as the heart of Bangkok.  This is where shopping malls are like a hair-strand away from each other.  Day and night, shopping activities never sleep in this area.

Thailand offers diversity and ancient traditions as shown in Thai temples, royal places and art.  As tourists to their country, it is a must to visit the many temples (Wat) that shape the culture and faith of Thailand.

Temple of the Reclining Buddha

Inside Wat Pho compound

Admission fee is at 100 Baht with free bottled water.

Next stop: WAT ARUN 
The Temple of the Dawn
Admission is at 50 Baht per person

Thailand has a rich history and equally rich art, craft and cultural heritage.
Close on Monday, open from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Tuesday - Sunday

I have always been inclined to the arts and during travels, I would be the happiest if my thirst for it is quenched.  Visiting to art museums is the clear-cut extinguisher to the flaming crave.
The structure is filled with all forms and sorts of art.

The lovers of art would surely be fascinated with every creations of distinctive artists every month at BACC.


Bangkok has been known as one of the shopping meccas of the world.  As I have said, shopping in Bangkok is from dusk to dawn and for the fashion-savvy, Bangkok will never fail you.
Chatuchak Weekend Market is open on Saturdays and Sundays only.  Though some portions of the market are open on weekdays, but only on weekends where all the shops are opened.  You can find mostly everything that you need from clothes, to bags, to souvenirs, to housewares, to presents from travel ("pasalubong"), to pets and of course, to good food. 

There were a number of pet shops in Chatuchak Weekend Market but only this shop allowed the customers and passers-by to take pictures of the pets that are for sale.  To capture good takes of these cuties, one has to pay 10 Baht, and so I did.

This is MBK, one of the largest shopping malls in Siam, Bangkok.  I shopped there for clothes, bags and authentic Thai foods for pasalubong. It is just a few-minute walk from Wendy Guest House.


Mister Donuts is not unknown to me since this is also available here in the Philippines.  However, on my first trip to Bangkok on 2011, that was the first time that I had the best chance to taste their rendition of the donuts.  And, the first bite felt like heaven.  From then on, I promised not to miss these yummiest donuts ever whenever I will have the chance to visit Bangkok.

We arrived Bangkok past 8:00 clock in the evening and in going to Siam, we opted to take the train.  After checking-in at Wendy Guest House, we searched the area to have our dinner.  Wendy Guest House was located in an area where the hotels and guest houses were adjacent and across to each other.  The only hotel with a restaurant that was opened until 11:00 p.m. was Reno Hotel.

Our first dinner was at Reno Cafe at Reno Hotel. Reno Cafe caters to both Thai and International dishes.  Since we were in Thailand, we chose Thai cuisine.
Rice is always a staple food in every Filipino meal.  So whenever I travel abroad, I always order for rice.  Thai eateries do offer plain rice from their menu but mostly they offer fried rice dishes that comes with a viand and side dishes.  Poor me, I was not able to remember the name of this dish.  It is a fried rice but presented as an omelette.  What is so delectable with this dish is that all the flavors are perfectly blended and it is ultimately spicy! 

Apologizing for the grainy photo but I have to post this since I was wowed with every bite I had with these shrimps. Unexpectedly sumptuous!  Worth for its price.

We had our first lunch in Bangkok at Coconut Palm Restaurant.  It is located right across Wat Pho. Definitely they served authentic Thai food.
Tom Yum Soup: I always note this in my to-do list every time I travel to Thailand.  Honestly not as appetizing, sumptuous as that from my favorite  restaurant in Bung Kum, Bangkok.
Thai dishes are known to be spicy and literally hot on the mouth!  To cool down the "hot" feeling, we consumed at least 2 kinds of drinks during this meal. (Same thing happened on our other meals.) I am sure these were tea drinks but I forgot the names of each.  The brown one is quite unpleasant to the taste, maybe because I was not accustomed to such melange of new flavors. Each drink costs 25 Baht.

This was my choice of main course.  The platter was already complete with rice (Thai mostly offer fried rice), viand, veggie, and an appetizer.  Failed to take note again the name of this dish.  I am definitely not a good food blogger.

Street foods in Bangkok.

The next photos are the good eats at Chatuchak Wekeend Market. Very affordable and you will certainly crave for them.

A must-try at the weekend market: ROASTED PORK!
Tasted like our "liempo", but their special sauce is authentic Thai, meaning "chili-fied" as in rich in fresh sliced peppers.

I normally don't eat anything with coconut, especially this Coconut Ice Cream, but I felt the itch of tasting it since there is no coconut ice cream here in Cebu.  And I did make the right decision of tasting it.  The texture is a-ok and the taste is unparalleled and they even have an array of toppings to choose from.  I think one order costs about 30-40 Baht.

I forgot how the Thais called this snack food.  But it resembled our "puto pinalutaw" with a twist though since they have a filling inside.  Each pack of 5 sells 20 Baht and comes in different surprise fillings.  I am giving it 10 stars for a splendid taste.

These resembled our iced-drop but amazingly innovative and looks  elementary to prepare.  Different drinks were being frozen in stick.  I bought the iced Sprite since it was the "safest" drink that I am most familiar with. Each iced-drop costs 5 Baht only.  I've bought several iced-drops (always Sprite) during our entire 6-hour stroll-and-shop in the market.

Strawberry Yogurt! Oh so yummy! at 20 Baht

POMEGRANATES!! 3 for 100 Baht! Can be eaten raw or made into cold juice.

Before flying back to Cebu, we decided to have our lunch at a non-Thai restaurant.  (From my last business trip on October 2013, my officemate and I have strolled at Siam Center and there we saw lots of international restaurants.) So we headed to the 4th floor of Siam Center.  
There we spotted SHABU SHI by Oishi.
- Shabu-Shabu and Sushi Buffet in Kaiten Style -
One buffet meal (unlimited food, house drinks, ice cream, fruits) costs 375 Baht.  Everything tasted unexpectedly first-rate.  The ebi tempura was the best ebi I have ever tasted. 


Riding on the trains was not actually a part of my plan during our recent trip to Bangkok.  But when we were there, I realized that the train is the most accessible, convenient and undoubtedly, affordable means of transportation to the places that I listed in our itinerary.  And I happened to enjoy, had fun with every ride we had with the train via Bangkok Transit System or BTS. (Do check out the movie Bangkok Traffic Love Story starring one of the likeable Thai actors Ken Theeradej Wongpuapan as the BTS is highlighted in the movie).

Attended Thailand's National Children's Day celebration at WAT PHRAEK in Nonthaburi

Relaxing and enjoying the scenery at Chatuchak Park


Our first day was to visit temples / tourist attractions in Bangkok. But how did we get there?  There are a lot of public transportation options to choose from.  But after several discussions (which I still wished we should have not opted for it) we decided to take the BTS train then via boat at the Chao Phraya river.
Cruising along the Chao Phraya River on our way to the temples.

Honestly, this ride via the LONG TAIL BOAT, which costs 100 Baht per person, is not fun at all, but I considered this though an adventure which possibly will not be repeated in the near future.  I am honestly scared the whole time, though I managed to take some photos, but I screamed everytime the driver of the boat speeded-up and splash of river water hit my face.  I was soaked when we arrived the terminal with trembling knees.

The Temple of the Dawn
I have finally acknowledged my fear of heights during this trip.  Climbing the first few steps to the temple seemed easy at first, then looking down, the fear was still manageable.  But we went up further, though I was hesitant to take the challenge, but I ended up succumbing to the dare.  

This is the farthest that we have climbed. I even was about to talk to the Thai police who was roaming around this area since my fear heightened to the highest level.  My breathing started to normalized few minutes after taking deep breaths and freeing my thoughts with the overwhelming fear and substituting it with wonderful ones.  I admit, heights are indeed one of my greatest fears.  Conquering the Wat Arun (though didn't make it to the highest peak) was one great adventure and one enormous achievement.

-the person-

I have been hooked to Thai TV series (Lakorns) since early months of 2013 ( thanks to Lee Ann).  I was then introduced to the actors and actresses from channel 3 and channel 7 of Bangkok.  

During our recent trip to Bangkok, I included in our travel itinerary:
Apologizing for the grainy and blurry photo as I was only using my right hand to click the camera,  so, where's my left hand ? It's on Weir's arm since I grabbed him so that can have a very up-close shot of his face.  Too bad I failed, hence the blurry photo.  But can you imagine how close I was to Weir? :)
He's a 6-footer and I'm only almost 5 feet.  He's as comely as I thought.

I joined his fan club so that I can get to his schedules.  I was more than lucky that he had a public event on January 10, 2014 for the National Children's Day celebration in Nonthaburi.  
The event was held in Wat (Temple) Phraek in Nonthaburi.  Nonthaburi is almost 44 kilometers outside Siam, Bangkok.  It's a 2-hour drive (including traffic-jam) from Bangkok. The event started 9:00 p.m.  It was a stressful night since we had a series of unfortunate events (transportation and communication issues) heading to Wat Phraek.  When we arrived there, I thought Weir had left, but again, I was more than blessed since Weir's performances were just about to start.

Generally, the PEOPLE of Thailand, the Thais, are warm people and not to mention, fashionable individuals.

I am ecstatic to visit Bangkok and the other parts of Thailand in the coming months. It is one place in this world that I will never get tired of visiting again and again.  I might give it a try to temporarily reside in their city.  See you soon Bangkok!

Friday, March 21, 2014

SighStyles for Sunstar Concept: Graduation Dresses and Graduation Look

Here's another feature in Sunstar newspaper on March 14, 2014.

I was contributing again for the local newspaper and this time, since it is March, I was tasked to prepare a photo shoot for GRADUATION DAY.  What would be the most appropriate dresses and make-up to wear on this momentous day of the graduates' life (not to mention the proud parents and loved ones)?

I am always excited to work on anything about fashion styling.  My brain tends to exhaust what is left after a day's hard work from my day job for the sake of the art and maybe, science, of styling.  So it is during my free time where I have the time to insert my fashion styling imaginations.  

The following four photos made it on print.

When I was told to prepare "appropriate" dresses for graduation day, the first thing I thought of is the LBD - little black dress.  I know black is mostly worn for night parties, but since it's for graduation ceremonies that you will be attending, black is one of the safest color to wear.  Of course other neutrals will do, such as white, beige, gray.  A little black dress can do wonders especially if worn with the right accessories.  To add elegance to the dim outfit, faux diamond rings or earrings or necklaces, or in this outfit: faux silver diamond bracelet and a belt embellished with faux diamonds as well.  Do you see faux diamonds on the black suede pumps? The shoe always completes the look, so always remember to strut on the best pair of heels!

The next suitable color for female graduates is from the tints and shades of pink.  Pink always brings out that fresh, vibrant, young and feminine spirit.  This is not the usual pink dress as it is accented with the color white on the shoulders and with faux rhinestones on the chest line.  The dress is in full pleats and a cute pretty belt simply cinched it to look more fitted to the slim figure.  Since part of my fashion advocacy is Color Coherence, I always find it to match one of the colors from the dress to the shoes or accessories to be worn.  Color coordination always connote to a well-done, well-thought-of outfit, in my opinion.

 Another dress that I featured, is the typical vintage dress that one can find from local thrift stores.  I find this dress suited for graduation rites as it is with sleeves and of course, the length is most important as well.  Bear in mind that this event is a formal gathering so appropriate dress code must be observed.  In 4 words, the event would cry out: LESS SKIN, IS MORE.  Meaning, showing too much skin during this event is unnecessary.  Dress lengths of about 2 inches above or below the knee or even up to calf-length are acceptable.  
This dress, despite being vintage, appeals retro chic and can still be suited for the graduating as the cut is tierred and makes the look fun to wear.
If the school would then permit wearing sleeveless, so one can still show a little skin, as during the ceremony, all the graduates would be wearing their "toga".  The shift dress is the go-to dress for the ceremony.  The cut is very comfortable.  Go for whimsy prints to add vibrancy to the outfit.

These are the rest of the photos of the photo shoot.
Aside from the dresses, the hair and make-up is equally important during graduation day.
The simplicity and sophistication of an LBD is perfected with a slight updo - a not-so-high ponytail.  This hairstyle brings out the natural beauty of the graduate's face so to reveal that achiever/successful aura. 
This is one suggestion, as a stylist, that one can wear for graduation day.  The event is not only about dresses, but one can also take out from their closets separate pieces of clothing to mix and match for the awaited occasion.  The outfit above is quite an audacious option, but the prints on both the top and the skirt roared for triumph.
 Open-toe sandals are also apt for graduation ceremonies.  What is most essential, when it comes to shoes, is the height of the heels.  The ceremonies would be filled with walking, standing, walking so the most expected sored part of the body are those pretty toes and soles.  Brace yourself for all the "leg" work and prepare the most comfortable pair of shoes or sandals for this significant occasion.
If going to the salon is not one of your itinerary for your graduation day, then comb your hair really well and put your hair down. This uncomplicated hairstyle is definitely not demanding.  Though you may think you would just be carrying that everyday look of yours, but think BIG for this day!  As I said, put your hair down but put that chin up! Bring out that confidence, it's your day anyway and you should be proud of your achievement.
Thrift stores offer treasures, do you agree? I mentioned earlier that this retro chic beige tierred dress was found at local thrift store.  To add zest to any outfit, donning on accessories is the key.  For occasions like this, you need not over-accessorize.  One to two is still acceptable.  In this outfit, a statement necklace is worn. And to complete that retro look you want to pull-off, soft, large waves (curls) locks the vintage display.

The make-up is quite a crucial part of the graduation look.  Consideration of the formality of the event is vital. A day make-up is the most befitting for this daylight activity (usually in the morning, some in the afternoon, but graduations never happen on the evening - or have you attended a graduation ceremony held at night?). A little of everything (foundation, eye shadow, lipstick, etc.) is the safest. Choose the pastel colors from your make-up palette.  Red lipstick can be worn though, but minimal application so not to look overly stained.

The photo shoot is a collaboration of first-time-to-unveil talents.

Meet SARAH MAE, my cousin's daughter and my model for this photo shoot.
  I knew from seeing her, that slim figure, those thin gams and arms and that face, she's picture-perfect.  It was easy directing her poses since she knows what she is going to do despite being a novice to the fashion modelling world.  She modeled like a pro.

I was still the lone fashion stylist, as usual, and at the same time gave myself another chance to be the hair stylist and make-up artist.

My sister, who always have that talent to capture good portrait angles, so I handed her my camera and she did that " 1-2-3- smile".  

The feature did come out superb as it was a group effort of the family. 

Dresses are all available at CHIC VINTAGE.

'Til my next fashion styling stint.  Have a happy weekend!