When I initially created this blog, I just wanted to test the waters if this is something that will really spark my interest. It did for a little bit, but a lot has happened. I wasn’t able to really sort out my focus and motivation. I had too much fun going with the flow. I also allowed different factors (or forces) to sway me…so here we are.
I would really want to stick to the things that interests me the most. But being a water sign, I really can’t stick to just a few. So, I will not declare anything for now. I’ll just focus on things that sparks joy (as they say).
Summing up my 2019 is not easy so I’ll try to highlight events that really matter to me.
I didn’t really know that at this day and age, I would still encounter people who would pretend and use my emotions to spark a connection. But this is the reality of life, you can never be too safe or too careless…things really just happen to teach us and to remind us of previous learnings. I may have lost a “friend”, but my bond with my genuine friends has become stronger than ever.
I don’t know if I should skip this part but after chatting with a friend about how her 2019 went, I realized that this is something that I actually put a lot of “effort” and focus on. I tried…I searched, but still failed. I’m not really sure if the readings are actually super applicable to me, but whoever that person is…have a pair and just re-connect with me! I’m not a psychic you know! I can feel the energy that you’re sending me but it doesn’t spell out your name so….
I declared at the start of this year that I’d be more open and adventurous (I don’t know if I can still be MORE OPEN…), and I was (more so than my usual self). I added new destinations and was able to revisit the same places, and still had new unique experiences. My favorite this year would be Bangkok, Thailand. May be because I met randos that made more impact than I thought. Again, note to self, always ask for the basics (like their name!). I had a bad (a bit scary to be honest) experience from that trip but I just focused on the good and positive ones.
Here are some of the photos that were taken during my different trips this year.
Check out my instagram (@jpatalca) for more photos of my travels. Thank you!
NOTE TO SELF
Thank you for not letting yourself down. I know that you can be a little careless and too emotional, but you still guarded your heart. You may not have experienced a new romcom-kind-of-love but you’re still able to satisfy your cravings (major *WINK). Another year is coming, be ready! This might be another bumpy ride, just enjoy it and never regret anything.
FAVE WORD IN THIS ENTRY: “spark”
Special mention to my gwapa (pretty) friend (I will not mention your name but I’ll drop your blog https://cherryblossomchronicles.wordpress.com/ *wink) for inspiring me to write this entry. I will always keep in mind to update my blog….once a month is doable I think.
I just recently checked out one of my favorite Parisian clothing brand, Pigalle via FuckingYoung’s PFW SS 2017 cover…and without a doubt, it gave me more reason for me to love this brand. Not only that I admire Stéphane Ashpool for being gutsy in putting up a brand that doesn’t really focus on the trend, but more of what he truly likes. Also the fact that Pigalle is very exclusive but it won’t actually hurt your wallet because of its reasonable pricing. Focusing on its Spring/Summer 2017 collection—the pastel color palette with a splash of metallic was so refreshing. Also, being a kid of the 90’s, I liked the fact that I saw the resurrected old Carnivore-inspired Air Unlimited in very clean “Triple White” look, as the collection’s main footwear (this was a collaboration of Pigalle and NikeLab).
View Pigalle SS17 collection below (Photos form FuckingYoung.se)
Seeing this collection of Pigalle really inspired me to stick to what I know is best for my future brand and focus on how I’ll be able to make my audience understand my collection. I also hope that I’ll be able to show you my designs soon. 😉 xoxo
Prior to being a sneakerhead, I obsessed over bags first. Well, up to this point I can’t really go out without carrying a clutch or a canvas tote bag even if I’m just going out for coffee or simply out to buy a pack of cigs. When I go to a mall, my eyes are immediately glued to bags (then to shoes). I’ve managed to control my impulse to purchase a bag that I think I should have by thinking if I’ll be able to really use it. Well not daily but if I’ll be able to utilize it. So I was browsing through stuff in Pinterest and I saw the bags that I’m recently obsessing over and I’m truly having a painful time controlling the urge of purchasing the bag online. To help me overcome that awful feeling, I created a list of essential bags that I think a guy should own at least. I know that most guys would try to deny it but we are actually getting the same shopping habit as females. I suggest that you check out the list at least to see if you have the essential bags that’ll be useful all year round.
A backpack in ancient times was used to carry a hunter’s larger game and other types of prey. It’s mostly made out of animal hide and skin sewn together. This carry-all type of bag is mainly used by students and hikers. But when I used to work in an urban jungle like Makati, a backpack has been very useful since I can put everything in it. From my packed lunch to my huge (and believe me when I say huge) pencil case where I also have 24 colored pencils for emergency coloring activities. I choose the material depending on the season. I avoid leather during summer because it tends to absorb the heat and it gets uncomfortable when you carry it. But the most common backpack is made out of nylon.
Currently I’m obsessing over Balenciaga Traveler backpack in black. Also in my list are the following, Givenchy Black Neoprene & Leather Star backpack, Coach Men Brown Leather backpack, Y-3 backpack and 31 Hour backpack by 3.1 Phillip Lim (picture order from left to right).
2. Tote Bag
Well originally, tote bags were used to carry any stuff in replacement of a luggage. People would prefer to use a tote bag because they require minimal care and it’s easier to put stuff in it. Primarily this type of bag is often used by women and not only until the 1960’s where they’ve incorporated this bag to their own personal style. It was Kate Spade who transformed how American culture embraced tote bags when she began carrying them as fashion bags in the 90’s. Personally, I began using a tote bag in 2004. I had a brandless canvas bag made out of cheese cloth which I often use to carry my wallet, cellphone, a notebook, my small pencil case and my pack of cigs . This bag is also ideal for urban guys who often carries their ultrabook with them. A tote bag is very easy to organize since there’s only one opening. You can carry it on one shoulder or just carry it by the handle. This tote bag in the picture is from Forestbound which is made of a WII era canvas and is currently out of stock (kill me now).
I’m also obsessing over these tote bags, Goyard Men’s tote bag, Burberry Sailing Canvas tote bag and Prada Men’s Printed Nylon tote bag.
Goyard Men’s Tote
Burberry Sailing Tote
Prada Nylon Canvas Tote
3. Duffel/Duffle/Gym/Sports Bag
A duffle bag is an all-around-carry-all type of bag. The term duffel comes from Duffel, Belguim where the cloth the bag is made of originated. Before, a duffle bag is used to carry mostly sports equipment or a carry luggage. It was also used by military personnel to carry their stuff when they travel from one location to another. Well, I just call this bag an overnighter since I mostly use this when I travel. However, I also rely on it when I have to carry a lot of stuff and the space in my backpack is not sufficient.
This duffle bag in the blown-up picture is a Coach Baseball duffle bag which is just pure love. I’m also obsessing over these duffle bags, Thom Browne Black Leather duffle bag, de Bruir Leather duffle bag and Filson Waterproof duffle bag.
Thom Browne Black Leather Duffle
de Bruir Leather Duffle
Filson Waterproof Duffle
4. Clutch Bag
If there’s one bag that I’d say every guy should have handy, it’s the clutch bag. Most men would probably find no use for this type of bag but for this day and age, a social active guy can’t go out without their cellphone (which is mostly bigger than 5in nowadays and can barely fit a pocket), mints, car keys, money clip or wallet, vape or cigs, hand sanitizer, lip balm and condoms (you’ll never know what kind of night you’ll be having). I bet not all of these stuff will fit your pockets. I got my first clutch bag in 2000 when I entered college and it’s been very useful. Especially during those days when I don’t feel like bringing a lot of stuff, just the essentials.
Just a little bit of history, men’s handbags or purses were revived in the 70’s by designers in Europe. It was in the 90’s where the term man-purse have been used. The design of a man-purse ranges from backpacks to a messenger bag. Thanks to top designer brands like Bottega Veneta, Prada, Coach and Louis Vitton for producing more men’s bags from backpacks to clutch bags.
I just love Jil Sander’s clutch bag. Also in my list of clutch bags are Fendi Men’s clutch bag, Goyard clutch bag and Senger Envelope clutch bag.
Fendi Men’s Clutch
Goyard Men’s Clutch
Senger Leather Clutch
5. Sling Bag/Messenger Bag/Satchel/
Apart from a backpack, a messenger bag is one of those bags that men are not afraid to carry. The term messenger came about because the bag was designed for transporting mail and goods by different types of messengers. It’s mainly carried by the shoulder with a sling attached to it. Nowadays, men are more comfortable in using a sling bag to carry all their valuables over a backpack. A sling bag is smaller in size and they won’t need both shoulders to carry the weight of the bag. I also got into that point where in I got tired of using backpacks and preferred a messenger bag as my school bag. Also, because my Trapper Keeper fits well in a messenger bag. However, I still prefer to use a backpack or a tote bag over a sling bag when I go out shopping.
Currently I’m obsessing over these sling/satchel/messenger bags, Bottega Veneta sling messenger bag, Burberry Degrade sling bag and River Island shoulder satchel.
So that’s my list of bag types that I guy should own. There are a lot of choices nowadays since designers felt that men are now more conscious about the design and type of bag that will go well with their outfit. Don’t be afraid to shop more than one bag of the same type. It is better to have options that being forced to carry your essentials. 😉
Oh, one bag that I seriously need is Loewe’s Puzzle bag (Large). It’s a multi-functional bag that can used in 3 different ways, as a clutch bag, body bag and a carry-on purse (man-purse that is). So if you’re an all-in-one type of guy then this bag is also for you.
A couple of days ago a friend tagged me to a Buzzfeed checklist that verifies your (inner) Tita-ness. I was sceptic (or should I say defensive). I hate to admit it but I’m almost at the phase of my life where I’m already considering sudden hiccups as a (middle life) crisis. So I accomplished the checklist and low and behold….I’m not even a tita yet. I had 12 checked items out of 62. The results said, “You’re NOT A TITA AT ALL! You just enjoy ‘some’ of the things they do. Don’t worry ‘the, your youth is still intact. Valk later?” So to celebrate my inner youthfulness I decided to go out with friends yesterday. It was Easter Sunday and we we’re thinking something low key. A close friend suggested Z Hostel Roof deck in Makati. I’ve heard a lot of positive things about the venue (well a very strong force telling me that I might bumped into my chef crush), so I’m totally sold with the idea.
The facade of the building is somewhat typical. The street, to be honest, is quite but kind of freaky because of the deemed light posts and some construction sites in the area. When we approached the guard post, we were asked to log in. The interior of the reception has a backpacker vibe with a mix of wood and cement with varnish, which is very manly and a cozy feel. After logging in with the guard we were asked to approach the front desk to check in our RFID. Since it was my first time, I wasn’t aware that transactions at the roof deck is absolutely cashless. You’ll be given a band with a RFID chip. The minimum amount to load it up is 300 per person. If you still don’t have your RFID band, that’s just an additional 50PHP. This band will also be your access to the roof deck. Only guests with RFID bands are allowed to go to the roof deck. So knowing that it’s a hostel, I was thinking that there will only be stairs to access the upper levels but they have a cozy (should I say cute) lift to take you to the 6th floor and a stairway that will lead you to the roof deck.
We reached the 6th floor and I can already hear the acoustic band playing. Since its Sunday, the night is low-key. They call it “Sunday Slowdown,” which is very nostalgic because we used to call our Sunday night outs the same back in college. The crowd is a mix of hipsters, backpackers, 20-something folks (kids) and underground artists. It also gave a house party vibe and you can almost feel that you’ll get to meet everyone before you end the night. The bar list carries all the popular local beers and all are priced at 85PHP, which is already ok for a Makati venue. They also have local rum that you can get by the bottle and you can like gather your friends in one corner and start a drinking sesh. There are two sides in the roof deck, one is totally open where you can see the night sky and the other side of the Makati city line, while the other side has a booth for the DJ and a humble stage for an acoustic band. The side where the band is is pretty crowded so we stayed first at the other side where we can see the night sky. There are some deemed lights and stringed pin lights that goes around the two corners of the balcony side. Since it already has a house party vibe, I decided to stick to with a bottled alco, also to keep everything low key (wink).I approached the small window where the side bar is and got a bottle of Smirnoff Vodka (which is only 95PHP a bottle). The bartender has a tablet on the side post of the window where he tapped the order. He asked me to tap my RFID band to finalize the transaction. It was my first time in a venue where you just used RFID to purchase. The feeling was so cool and kind of 2nd world for me. I asked for a glass with ice and a slice of lime. For some clubs they’ll even charge you for the lime, but the bar tender was pretty generous with it and gave me 4 slices. At first we were just standing in the middle of the crowd trying to find our place in the area. When a side table opened, we finally got 2 stool chairs and a built-in side table so my girlfriends can place their bags and bottles. One thing that surprised me, for an open venue, there’s a minimal number of cigarette butts on the floor. I was still checking the entire area and found a sign asking guests to ditch their cig butts in an ashtray. I was also pleased that all guests are following this request.
After two bottles we decided to check out the crowd on the other side. The vibe is also different. Everyone seems to be loving the band and most of them are singing along with them. We were part of that crowd since the band played Justin B’s “Sorry”. The band’s choices of songs for each set are really nice. From Justin B, to Adel and even some EDM hits. We’re obviously enjoying the night. We found an opening for a side table near the band and decided to stay there. It was also a perfect table since we can easily request a song and we can comfortably sing with the band. It was past 3AM when we decided to call it a night. To cap everything, we had a perfect Sunday Fun day! Also, I’ve proven to myself that I’m really not a tita AT ALL. I still enjoy drinking and partying with friends just the same as I enjoy grocery shopping. I enjoyed my first Z Hostel roof deck experience and I will definitely come back.