Sunday, December 30, 2012

Hairstyling Aids for Pretty Styles From Pinkbox

With all the Christmas and New Year's parties (I'm pretty soon that even after January 1, there would be a lot more parties), aside from eating all that yummy food, it's also time to dress up and be pretty. In going DIY, the makeup department can be easily taken care of with makeup tutorials. As for the hair, it can be quite an effort to do. With pretty hair, the look just caps into place. However, even professionally, hair can be a challenge to do and quite time-consuming, especially in achieving the volume department.

Thankfully, Pinkbox, a brand usually focussing on tweens accessories and hair accessories has a few hairstyling aids which can be used easily and jazzed up even if you have no hair upstyle degree.

Fine hair can easily fake volume with these velcro hair puffs. They look like shoulder pads except that instead of the smooth surface, they have a velcro surface, which helps adhere to hair. they can feign a pouf or volume and they're quite easy to use.

I used this on a client shoot for her prenup. Her hair happened to be very thin and fine and the pouf creates a bit of fullness and height. Teasing the hair can help a bit, but sometimes we need quick reinforcement and less teasing, since teasing damages the hair. After curling the hair, I sectioned off the top part as shown

And then placed the hair bump near the crown, where I want some volume and teased the bottom part of the  top section for more lift.

Then, I smoothed out the top over the hair bump and pinned the hair.

And instant volume!

The good part about this is that the hair bump feels really light on the head. My client didn't even know that I placed it there. It also stayed put (in fact, it's quite hard to remove. You need a gentle pull). She even bought one to be used for her wedding. "It minuses the time for teasing too!" She said. The cost of a pack of two of the hair puffs is Php 189.75 and it comes in two sizes depending on your hair length, thickness, and personal preference.

Messy and poufy buns are quite in also in the red carpet. girls with waist thick hair can easily achieve the bun as big as a giant siopao. It can also be faked with a lot of effort by teasing and setting the hair. For something fast, easy, and achievable, the hair donut is an easy way to recreate poufy buns on top of the head, at the middle, or side.

I saw also in a hair tutorial that a baby sock is sometimes used to create the volume. The black donut is an easier and lighter weight to do things. All you have to do is to thread the ponytail into the hole and cover up the bun with hair and secure with bobby pins. you may decorate the hair with flowers, feathers, and other accessories if you wish.

My own version of the poufy bun using the hair donut. I have a wholelotta hair and this donut actually enhanced it. I think this is the large size. There are three sizes of the hair donut - small Php119.75, medium Php 129.75, and large Php149.75.

 These hair accessories work well with hair and are quite comfortable, making us not suffer comfort for style. It considerably cuts down hairstyling time so there's more time to be spent chilling out. So for that party and you need gorgeous hair, it won't be much of a problem now.

Pinkbox may be found at the following branches: Greenbelt 5, EDSA Shangri-La, SM Mall of Asia, SM Trinoma, SM North EDSA, Alimall, Sta Lucia East Grand Mall, Harbor Point, Alabang Town Center, Starmall Bulacan, SM Pampanga, SM Clark, SM Baliwag, SM Valenzuela, SM San Lazaro, SM Bicutan, SM Molino, SM Dasmarinas, SM Las Pinas Center, SM Sucat, SM Southmall, SM Santa Rosa, and SM Lipa Batangas. Visit a store to get these easy and pretty accessories and follow Pinkbox on Facebook.

Finally Got Inked!

I've been contemplating about getting a tattoo for the longest time. My lifestyle having parts of my body coming into contact with metal and skin friction got me postponing. Plus, also there's my pain anxiety too. Society also has this discrimination with people getting inked. Thankfully, with shows like Miami Ink, it has been portrayed as a visual art as well, being accepted slowly as an art form. Actually, if you really look at our history, people have been getting tattoos in tribes usually as a rite of passage, or depending on their ranks as a warrior.

As for me, I'm one of those who view tattoo art as a representation of yourself or an idea or something dear to you. Angelina Jolie has had a prayer tattooed on her as protection for her family. People also have images or representations of a loved one tattooed on them. Personally, I keep this idea also to myself. Just like makeup and visual art, it's a form of self-expression. So, the design has to be something original.

I finally decided to get my ink this Christmas season as a treat to myself. With that, I decided to do my homework, meaning research. A tattoo was going to be with me forever. It has to represent me and of course, be something original. I don't want to be walking around the face of the earth for the rest of my life with someone in another part of the universe having the exact same tat as I have.  I researched also for tattoo artists. I googled a few and asked recommendations from some of my friends who got inked. I was really thankful that I did this step because with my excitement, I would have just picked a random tattoo shop in the malls with hiked up prices. I should also be concerned first with safety and quality, for very obvious reasons, like using brand new (and sterilized) needles, and high-quality ink. Two friends recommended an artist meeting the same qualifications I was looking for. However, he was fully booked. Looks like  lot of people had the same idea to gift themselves.

Just last night, I was chatting with my blogger friend and yogini, Ria. I remember she had this very beautiful tattoo of stars on her back and I asked her who her artist was as I plan to get inked. She referred me to Joe Saliendra of Epic Tattoo  and showed me a Facebook page containing his works. "He came as a recommendation and I personally liked his style". She told me. I saw that his works had very fine details and fine lines, and were somewhat more feminine. He also doesn't copy a design. This is great, since that would mean the design inked on you would be made for you and unique. With encouragement and that in mind (plus the fact that I would be in the area that day), I decided to just go for it. If I'm meant to have a tattoo that day, I figured everything would just fall into place.

After our conversation, I googled more of Joe's artworks and some of the reviews. He's very popular among people in the South area.  Most of the reviews I read were really good, and he ranked one of the top in this article about tattoo artists, with a lot of awards and credentials to boot. Also, I saw in a website photos of his tattoo shop and guess what? There was a pole. I was like, wow! Fate must be directing me to this place.

Epic Tattoo is located at President's Avenue in BF Paranaque. It's right in front of  Zeus Spa. If you're coming from Aguirre, you turn left and it would be on the right side. You have to really pay attention to the signs because there's also a car shop in the compound with a bar in front selling food and drinks. 

Epic Tattoo is a really, really nice and cozy place. The people are very friendly. They do not intimidate anyone, even if it's your first time. Joe and the rest of the people were really friendly and I was glad that they made me feel right at home.  I met Joe, who I spoke earlier to on the phone when I asked about the location. He's a really cool guy who answered all my queries. I didn't expect to get inked though but I wanted first to check out the place and do a consultation (it's very very important too). I didn't have an exact idea though. I just gave the elements I wanted: a Gemini sign with four stars. I also wanted the ink to be reddish-brown, like a warm henna brown instead of black. I also wanted it to be on my right forearm for the reason that I wanted it to be seen. Thankfully, my day job as a makeup artist does not have much restrictions with dress code and personal style - body art and all. 

Oh, and did I tell you? I wasn't kidding there really was a pole right smack in the center of the studio. I wanted to go mount and play with it right away.

that's Joe on the left as I did a flag

And so I did. I'm glad they were really game too! I think that pole in the center broke the ice. Oh, and I really was fated to get inked because I was told I was okay to get inked that very day.

Since I didn't have a very exact design right then and  there I told Joe, "Basically, these are the elements I want. I leave it up to your artistry to compose." I'm more of the symbolic girl than designs that are just cute and pretty. I want my tattoo to tell stories and reflect my personality. 

The elements have a lot of meaning. I wanted a Gemini sign for a lot of reasons. For one thing, it's my zodiac sign, and I'm proud of it and love being one. Aside from that, it's my favorite pole move. I look pretty in my gemini and they're stable on both sides. The four stars symbolized the four levels of pole to attain - Beginners 1, Beginners 2, Intermediate 1, and Intermediate 2. The tattoo would symbolize my love for pole (I was advised by others to never get a tattoo that symbolizes another person, except if it's your parents or children), as it changed my life entirely, turning me from a sickly weakling to someone who's strong, confident, and healthy. As you all know, it is during pole where I can totally be myself and I'm around people who do not judge and in fact, encourage you to be your best. 

Epic Tattoo uses a brand called After Ink. It's a highly recommended ink by many tattoo artists that is of high quality. And the best part too, is that it's vegan and cruelty-free. Yay! No animals have been harmed!

Just like in makeup, my skin was prepped well and then the stencil was transferred on to my skin. Joe asked me too also if the positioning was right. It was adjusted a bit and then it was good to go. I like too that in every procedure, safety was the #1 concern - clean needles, surface, etc. Name it. A fresh, new needle was used on me and everything sterilized. An OC girl's dream.

I was really nervous before the procedure started. And when the machine was turned on, I got really nervous. Joe proceeded to do the outline first before the shading. Did it hurt? Of course it did, but it wasn't the pain that made me collapse or comparable to near death. It was quite tolerable. To those curious, it's like getting papercuts. It kinda helped that I was watching as it was being done. Thankfully for free wifi, I was able to relax and look at my arm from time to time. 

The procedure was quite quick, since it was a small tattoo with very clean lines. I was cleaned up after and then petroleum jelly was applied on my tattoo before wrapping it with cling wrap to protect it. I was advised to keep it on first for an hour and to apply petroleum jelly on the tattoo before and after taking a shower for a week. Cardinal rule too, was not to pick or scratch and just let it be.

My tattoo before it being wrapped in cling wrap.  Yep, it's kinda red at first but I promised, it subsided.

I don't know actually if Joe read my mind and knew my personal style from our conversation. I'm not a fan of frills and ruffles, spirals and curlicues. I like simple, clean lines in my wardrobe. This tattoo was simple and straightforward. However, the simplicity holds more stories than one. It kind of grew on me as the four stars may symbolize guidance in how I go about my life, since the Gemini sign represents who I am. Notice also the symmetry of the design. As a pole dancer, it reminded me of learning to perfect both sides all the time. In life, there should always be a balance.

After my tat session, I of course wanted a photo with the artist. Normally, we would just pose and smile. Joe, however suggested something more awesome:

On the pole of course, this time, he would be the one there. I showed him the flag and he nailed it really well. In fact, it was way straighter than mine! Looks like someone sure has pole potential!

In getting a tattoo, here's what I would suggest:

  • Think about it one million times. It's going to be with you forever. 
  • Ask for recommendations, do your research and look for an artist whose style you like. An artist will put a bit of themselves in their work. Each person and each style is different.
  • Safety first! Look for a shop that's clean and uses only clean and brand-new needles and high-quality ink. 
  • Don't be afraid to do a consultation. Just like a wedding or big event that only happens once, your ink, especially your first should be carefully planned, something you won't regret one million years from now.
  • Have fun and relax! 

I'm very happy with my first ink. Will this be the first and last ink? I was told it won't be. :) It's an awesome design and a great experience and even the universe agreed. Like I said, fate even brought me here, and to think I just winged this day.

One item in bucketlist: Get a Tattoo. CHECK! 

Joe Saliendra is located at Epic Tattoo Studio in 81-82 Kanoma Park, President's Avenue, BF Homes Sucat, Paranaque. You may call 0916-578-6493 for consultations and appointments or check out Epic Tattoo's Facebook page here

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Makeup Must-Haves For Less than Php1000

It's the season for gift-giving once more. For those who are kikay  and would love to go makeup-shopping for their fellow kikay friends but are under a budget, I dug my makeup kits, searched for my awesome within-budget products and listed them down to you. So here they are so far...

And what did you know, they are indeed a lot. None of them went past Php1000. Actually, allow me to correct myself. None of these products on photo are above 500.

Best eyelash glue: DUO (Php 450, Make Up Pro Store)

I've tried so many lash glues and so far this one is the best. It dries fast, doesn't sting the eyes, helps lashes stay put and prolongs the life of your lashes making it easy to reuse lashes once more. It's available both in clear and black. My personal preference is the clear one.

Best Eyelash curler: Fanny Serrano Eyelash Curler (Php 175, Department Stores)

This one curls lashes easily without the pinch, and it fits most Asian eye shapes. What I love about it is that you can also buy the rubber pads for Php 45 for 3 pieces as well! This eye;ash curler has been with me for more than 6 years, before I even started doing makeup professionally.

Amazing And Easy-To-Use Eyebrow Pencil: Nature Republic Eyebrow Pencil #4 (Php 175, Nature Republic SM Fairview, SM North, and SM Megamall)

I love how easy it is to use this and delivers the best finish without making eyebrows look too drawn in. It's comparable to most expensive brands too, in terms of quality. And, no hideous red brows too!

Affordable and pretty matte lipsticks: Ever Bilena Matte Lipstick (Php 145, drugstores)

Ever Bilena has been in our shores for as long as I could remember, I think back to the time when I was still an 80's Santacruzan sagala or flower girl. They've revamped to be at par with higher-end brands. Their lipstick I always take with me for travel because they're cheap and pigmented. Love That Red is a great dupe for most expensive red lipsticks while Off Beat Pink is a very fresh, youthful pink almost comparable with MAC Pink Nouveau.

Gel eyeliner that doesn't dry up so fast and glides like melted gold: Maybelline gel eyeliner (Php 325 at department stores)

And the best thing about it? It comes with a brush! It's also waterproof! It glides perfectly without crumbling even after a long time. Of course, take good care of your gel liner always by covering it after use.

A teensy tiny retouch powder in a yellow undertone: Maybelline Clear Smooth Powder foundation refills (Php 199, drugstores)

This little powder foundation can fit in the tiniest of all purses, bridal bags, retouch kits, and even your jeans pocket. It's yellow-toned too, and fits most complexions without looking too ashy.

A red lipstick that lasts long without drying your lips: Covergirl lipperfection in Hot (Php 395, department stores)

The only problem I had with this lipstick was this: When it was out in the market, it was out of stock for the longest time and it's hard to remove. Hard as in, there will be some left on your lips the next day. But it feels absolutely lush on the lips, it's hard to believe it's a long-lasting formula that doesn't dry out.

Waterproof eyeliner that can be used even by the self-confessed crybaby bride: Covergirl Liquiline Blast (Php 450, department stores)

I fell in love with this eyeliner ever since I saw it. Most of my very detailed raves and reviews could be found here. I've converted four friends already to use this and ditched my very expensive eyeliner for this. It works just the same. I'm already in my second pen! Black and Brown are the usual staples but there are also fun colors like blue, lime, purple, and silver.

A concealer that hides and heals at the same time: The Body Shop Tea Tree Concealer (Php 450)

The scent of tea tree can get addicting for some. Did you know that they also have anti-inflamamtory and healing properties? This stick (also yellow-toned, may I add) zaps zits and conceals them while they heal so that sore spot on your chin, cheek, or nose is gone for the meantime and you have peace of mind that its also  in the healing process. Oh, and remember never to pop that zit.

Affordable Two-Way Foundation that fits most Asian Skin Tones: Fanny Serrano Two Way Cake Foundation (Php 399)

My review here shows how comparable it is with other luxury brands but what I also love about it is that it fits most Asian skin tones, it's also got darker shades, and it lasted me from show up to curtain call. Definitely a must-have in my performance bag.

Affordable Curler for Stickstraight Lashes, Heated Lash Curler, Suesh (Php 250)

For lashes that do not curl, this tiny little thing is a best companion. It works after putting on mascara (the mascara acts like setting lotion) in curling lashes. Works with one AAA battery and fits the tiniest purses or touch-up kits.


For a bit more pricey but not so much, there are some worth-investing products that can be given to someone extra special or as a special treat to self.

Universal Brow Tint: MAC Brow Set in Girl/Boy (PHP 900, MAC Stores)

Most of us who dye our hair forget to dye our eyebrows. Make the brows match the hair with this tinted gel which tints the brows to a warm hue. It also softens the overall look of the face giving it a fresher, youthful glow. Perfect for brides or moms.

Best matte eyeshadows: MAC Eyeshadows( Php 900)

MAC has a wide range of neutral matte eyeshadows for classic looks. Espresso and Charcoal Brown not only work as contour color or for setting pencil eyeliner, they are also great eyebrow powders. Shroom and Ricepaper can be all-over lid colors or brow highlights. Carbon is a classic matte black eyeshadow for smoky eyes. For starters, shroom and charcoal brown or espresso are best buys.

A Fresh Pink Lipstick MAC Pink Nouveau (Php 1000)

Pink Nouveau can appear as a fresh, youthful pink or a bright Barbie pink to some. I personally use this on some brides and events. Mixed with a little nude, it can create a rosy, pretty classic my-lips-but-better shade for beauty editorials.

For those who don't want to spend makeup to the point of slicing off a kidney and a liver, there are some affordable makeup that you can get a friend or yourself, if makeup must be the request. These photos shown, are actually stuff I use, and they are in my pro makeup stash and stuff I swear by. Sometimes, good makeup can be friendly to the wallet too. Enjoy the holidays!

Strip Launches Gingerbread Cookie Wax for the Holidays

Thankfully now, getting defuzzed down there is no longer taboo and has become almost like a monthly ritual like haircuts or eyebrow threading. process. On a personal note, being a pole dancer, this is a required monthly process for me for obvious reasons, like unsightly accidents peeking out during that jade or reverse ayesha. Well, my activities have made it a must, I guess, but I think it's true what they say, once you go bald, you'll never go back.

I've heard of Strip: Ministry of Waxing from friends who swear by it as it being less painful than other waxing parlors. I'm a recent convert after a session last summer since my usual waxing salon was fully booked. Anyway, just a backstory. I'm no waxing virgin and I've tried it all - hot, cold, and warm. Although I've never had waxing accidents, I've heard some accidents from my friends who tried hot wax and the wax hardened too much on the skin, so I sort of had a hot wax phobia for the longest time. My first session at Strip was, well awesome beyond comparison because there was relatively less pain, the results were cleaner, and the procedure was much, much faster. One thing too that I found quite cute with Strip is that their waxes had different "flavors". I don't know what the "flavor" signifies, but it sort of made waxing fun. A personal favorite of mine is the strawberry flavor, and it's my usual "classic" order whenever I'm there.

Strip: Ministry of Waxing comes up with different "flavors" depending on the season. And just in time for the Holidays, I was invited to try the Gingerbread Cookie Wax, a white-colored wax that resembles cookie or cake batter when melted with the comforting mellow and sweet smell of gingerbread.

I find the smell of gingerbread quite comforting and pleasant. I burn some ginger essential oil whenever I do yoga for a burst of energy during the morning. With its energizing scent, it also eases the senses like dizziness and nausea, especially for a girl like me who's super prone to motion sickness. Gingerbread cookies also remind me of happy Christmas desserts and gingerbread cottages from fairy tales. Now all I need is a cup of tea and an English accent.

I set my appointment at the Strip branch at Serendra, which is like 5 minutes away from my house. The staff was very accomodating too. They needed to reheat a new batch of wax since they were quite full that day but it was okay because I got to see the wax during its melting process, like this.

I told you it does look like melted ice cream or cake batter. Had I not known it's hair removal wax, it would have been something to dig on to eat with a wooden spoon. But yes, my dears, it is hair removal wax.

I really like Strip's facilities as their treatment rooms are very clean. For first timers, I have to tell you this: They use fresh spatulas each application and you are ensured that there's definitely no double dipping. All therapists use latex gloves during treatment as well. Prior to the treatment, I was also handed wipes to wipe my nether regions to make sure I was 100% clean as well.

The thing with heated wax is that it opens and relaxes the pores so hair is easily removed from the follicle. It's also less painful, delivering faster results than breaking the hair each time the wax is being pulled. It's a plus for those who want to get things done right away, since the procedure is much faster and also, for those who are intolerant to pain, hot wax might be your best bet. I have very high tolerance to pain, so the experience was almost like zero pain to me.

For those who have low pain threshold, you can squeeze this stress relieving monkey or bite a candy cane pillow or throw darts on the wall.

Just like my past experiences at Strip, I was very much satisfied with this treatment. For a first-time waxing treatment, i.e. a waxing virgin, this is a place I would recommend and although the treatment can get pricey (Php 1,200 for an all-off treatment), it's worth it since they get it done fast, clean, and with less pain (you may avail of their waxing packages or try getting this during special occasions like birthday, Christmas, pole competition season, etc). For those girls who have undergone waxing treatments for years, this would be a real treat, especially if you don't want pain.

At the counter, they had cute gingerbread cookies (kinda reminds me of the candies I used to get after a visit to the doctor).

These cookies are for all Strip clients and are provided by Party Perfect (contact them at or call 0917-5361221 or 09178376364). Party Perfect and Strip currently have a tie-up where for a minimum Party Perfect purchase of Php 900, they get 30% off their gingerbread brazilian all off at Strip. For those who are still looking for Christmas or wedding/party giveaways, you may contact them and get a special treat from Strip.

For those interested to try this treatment, you may book an appointment with Strip: Ministry Of Waxing at the following branches:

Strip Serendra
2nd Floor Serendra Bonifacio High St.
Bonifacio Global City Taguig 1634
T  632 901 0892

Strip Greenbelt 5
4th Floor Greenbelt 5 Ayala Center
Makati City 1200
T  632 501 3997

Monday, December 17, 2012

That Vie and Vault Experience

My knees and shins are bruised and my arms and back feel sore. But I still am on cloud nine as for the first time in my life, I performed a solo dance number in front of a lot of people. The Big Shift Vie and Vault Amateur Pole Dance Competition was truly an experience I will never forget.

Our grand finals was definitely an experience that I'd be glad to live over and over again. It's the first ever in the Philippines and I was happy to take part of it. This is from a girl who spent most of her formative years hunched up in schoolbooks rather than dancing, in the gymnastics mat, or school gym practicing sports after school. I never started out as that girl who's been dancing since she was little (baby ballet and dance PE doesn't count with even half of how these awesome professional dancers were training when they were much younger) but I love performing and being onstage. This night was just like that. It was absolute enjoyment with the lights and everything, while trying to give a jaw-dropping performance, of course. Big Shift Creativ Centrale was packed that night, and I couldn't be happier.

photo by Bert Aricheta

I danced to Garbage's #1 Crush, which was from the Romeo + Juliet soundtrack. It was clearly a dark and quite sexy number so the moves had to be different and exude this haunting creepy stalker spurned lover vibe. Dark makeup (like a snake-y reptilian black swan) and slithery costume inspired by reptile skin. Even if I started with no dance background, I can't make that as an excuse not to give an awesome performance. As my teacher CD would say, "Do it!!!!"

I did my own hair and makeup, which I designed on the spot. No face charts or sketches. It's funny how on others I'm very OC taking notes and face charts when given a peg but for me I just wing the HMU department.

photo by Bert Aricheta

For my costume, I knew exactly who to ask to do my costume, Dennis Celestial, who produces amazing things that wow and shock. He made the most perfect costume for me, by just listening to the song I sent him, showed him the specs of usual pole dance outfits, rules and regulations of the competition, and of course, my own body measurements. I fell in love with the costume the minute I saw it. I looked like I was dressed in liquid diamonds and leather. I loved it!

I was glad too meeting a lot of new other people from other pole dance schools here in the Philippines, who are really talented and passionate about their newfound skill. The competition also brought me and my classmates closer as we helped each other during rehearsals. We were seeing each other almost everyday so we're practically together all the time and bonding through lunch, dinner, Facebook chats, and all.

The Polecats were there from the beginning to end, helping us at rehearsals, checking our costumes (no wardrobe malfunctions), reminding us to lock our knees and point our toes, and despite their packed schedule, were there that night supporting and cheering for all of us. I couldn't pick a better audience than all of them. They were the reason why we joined in the first place.

We hope we made you proud that night! Polecats Family <3 nbsp="nbsp" p="p">

photo by Bert Aricheta

Aside from the grand finalists, the organizers of the competition (and also teachers at Big Shift) Lance Santiago and Jamaica Jornacion performed a very beautiful contemporary number. Thank you Lance and Jamaica for giving all of us this opportunity.

The grand finalists lining up.

photo by Bert Aricheta
I'm very proud of  Miguel and Kyla, two of my classmates who bagged first and second runner up respectively. Kristel from Dance Station was the champion. She truly is an amazing dancer. Can't believe she started pole just four months ago.

Kim is a bellydance teacher and now pole dancer who performed at an intermission number. She's a good friend that I met in a photoshoot and we've both shared our love for dance.

My pole batchmates Hannah and RJ. Hannah bagged the people's choice award! RJ is just the sweetest supporting us and driving all the way to Makati to watch.

I was happy doing something I love, which I worked hard for. I couldn't be happier spending it too with people who understand and share the same passion as I do. During my introduction, it was mentioned that I wanted to give the message that it's never too late to start dancing. And I can say I have proven that. I started out as very shy on the pole and couldn't spin and couldn't climb and took almost forever for my first invert. Now here I am, a grand finalist in a pole competition. This whole experience actually inspired me to keep on dancing, seeing that those who supported me were there and watched me perform the number which I worked hard for.

I hope I made you all proud. Here's to twelve million years of dancing and pole love. For those who want to see my competition piece, you may watch here:

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Candy and I Pose for PAWS

Animal welfare is a cause I truly believe in. It's what inspired me to go vegetarian in the first place. I've also been more aware of it after rescuing Candy, my fat tabby cat and meeting all the wonderful people of CARA who helped us in their rescue. Each time I look at how Candy was then, and how he turned out now, it still makes me cry, that amidst the cruelty the world has, there is still hope and love, even for innocent animals.

So imagine my joy when Candy was selected as one of the winners in the recently concluded Bow & Wow Next Pet Model contest. I didn't actually expect him to win, but I was so happy that the cat that almost got broken in half ends up modelling with 11 other beautiful pets in a calendar shot by a very talented photographer. I was also excited that he would be posing for February, which coincidentally is his birthday month, since that was the month of his rescue. As a generous donation for a cause dear to my heart, I volunteered my services to be the makeup artist of the pet parents who would be posing alongside their furbabies. (I love how they coined the term furbabies to the pets, it's like they're part of the family). The photographer of this shoot happened to be Daemon Becker, who I worked with previously at two photoshoots with the Polecats. His wife, Tanya, helped us so much with Candy too, during his rescue.

The shoot took two days and imagine my joy meeting the other pet parents, their furbabies, and the rescue doggies and kitties  of PAWS and talking with their volunteers. Candy did well too in his first-ever photoshoot and being the stage mom that I am, I couldn't be prouder.

I got giddy when I got our calendar a while ago at Bow & Wow Greenbelt.

Look who's in February!

I just love the slogan that said "Love knows no breed". It really touches the heart. Candy, as we all know is a mixed breed cat. Pusakal, puspin, street cat, jologs cat, name it.. But it just gives everyone that spark to not give up in adopting and rescuing a stray. Even a stray deserves a happy and loving home, not just those bought from breeders.

September gives a strong message to say no to animal abuse. I am totally against animal abuse and I can't fathom people who throw cats in the garbage, torture animals, sell dogs for dog meat, or just randomly torture animals.  I'd be meowing with these dogs too against animal abuse.

The calendar is available at all Bow & Wow stores. The stocks arrived at the store today so they will be available already by tomorrow. It retails for only Php150 and it's the perfect giveaway to friends and family for Christmas. Also, it's for a good cause since 100% of the net proceeds from the purchase of each calendar will be donated to The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS). This will help keep animals off the streets and make the world a better place for animals.

Yes, that's him alright, telling everyone to purchase a calendar.

Candy and I would be raffling off one calendar to a very lucky reader. all you have to do is to comment below to answer this question:

How can you make the world in your own little way a better place for animals?

It may not be big. It can be using cruelty- free products or volunteering for an animal welfare group. Whether it be slowing down your car whenever there's an animal crossing the street or having one meatless meal a week, it's up to you. The best answer will win a Bow & Wow Calendar. Good luck!

Monday, December 3, 2012

I Joined a Pole Dance Competition

As of this moment, I've been doing pole for almost 2 years. The journey from the once shy girl who couldn't bodywave in t-shirt and boyleg shorts to the girl in the sports bra and knicker shorts doing those tricks up in the air has been fun. Each day I pole and each time my splits get lower, I get to love each day more and more.

A few weeks ago, an announcement was placed in a pole dance community's Facebook groups announcing auditions for an amateur pole dance competition. That got me thinking if  I should join or not. CD told me to just go ahead and do it. I thought, hey! This is definitely an experience I should look back. With barely a week to prepare my audition video and through the guidance of my teachers, I sent a video and waited for the results.

The weekend was a mixture of anxiety and excitement. Thankfully, there was work and yoga class to keep me sane and focused. But really, I was in a verge of tears checking my phone and the Internet for results. Until, I got an email which got me squealing and crying... I got in for the grand finals!

So my dears, this is why I've been busy the past few weeks. I spend most of my time rehearsing in the studio, listening to music, scouting malls in  order to find ways of going DIY with costumes and all. It's been both tiring, physically painful, and sometimes frustrating in those bad pole days when my knees won't lock, my arms just give out, and my back-of-knee just gets sore as my back. But it's all fulfilling. My teachers and classmates have been really encouraging and pushing us to do our best. I could not be more thankful. I always remember that pole champions train around 5 hours a day. And pretty soon, this will pay off. If not in our competition, in our journey as a pole dancer. It also brought us closer together during rehearsals and meeting new people from other pole dance schools.

Of course my performance piece will be a surprise, and something I've been working hard on. I just rehearsed today at home, also giving my body the break it needs. If I get paranoid, I just play the music and rehearse on my head and do a "face" run.

So here we are, my classmates and I at least last night at our photoshoot. This was a Sunday night and from my makeup gig, I went home, did my hair and makeup (more on my look later)  and dashed here. It was a night full of energy from talented pole dancers and friends. I wasn't able to take much behind the scenes photos though.

While at it, I would like to promote our competition on Sunday (eeek!)

If you love us and have nothing to do on a Sunday night, head over to Big Shift Events Hall and watch us perform! Please also like the Big Shift Vie and Vault Amateur Pole Dance Championship Facebook page (click here) for more updates too!

Here's to a lifetime of pole, dancing, and happiness.