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waketime stories

Happy Birthday!
May you continue to prosper and grow as a man.
You are rich, not because of money, but because your mind travels to endless places, your body continues to operate as a top-notch productive machine, and your heart is pure gold.
Things will only get better, as they always have.  #143

Happy Birthday!

May you continue to prosper and grow as a man.

You are rich, not because of money, but because your mind travels to endless places, your body continues to operate as a top-notch productive machine, and your heart is pure gold.

Things will only get better, as they always have.  #143

Too good not to share.

Check out these bits of actually cool vandalism.

Thanks to a magazine that used this location for a fashion editorial, I realized that the graffiti lining this wall (which is a minute away from my house) has expanded to some really interesting things.

For the longest time, the entire wall used to have one of AG Sano’s bigger whale murals. But that’s their life as street artists – they say you just have to accept that the piece you’ve worked so hard on will be painted over eventually.

And so here’s my attempt at posterity.

How important is “real beauty?”

I’ve never been a “makeup person.” But at the same time, I can’t live without it. I’m sure most girls my age feel this way (at least girls in my circles in media).

Although Carmex and an SPF-loaded moisturizer are all I’d put on most days, I have standby artillery to mask, contour, shape, and color my face if needed – say it’s a job interview, an event, or if I just knew I was gonna be with someone I needed to impress / look presentable for.

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In full makeup during one forum. And I couldn’t even do it this good myself - Ma’am Cecille, our office manager, worker her magic on me

I’ve never really stopped to ask why this is so. I’ve always just accepted the standard that we have to look a certain way for certain occasions, and that makeup is an essential step to looking more put-together, older, and confident.

But can I really call myself confident if I always felt that I needed to “transform” when facing the public?

Last week, on the job, I joined the first ever Dove Summit – a 2-day journey of bliss and self-discovery at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza in Pasay City. Media girls, bloggers, and Unilever’s beauty ambassadors spent an afternoon contemplating the truth behind “real beauty” – and then learning how to take superior care of it the next day.

On the first day, we were invited to come in for the plenary session “unmasked” – without any trace of makeup whatsoever. The experiment was supposed to expose the anxiety we’d feel about showing our bare faces to the other guests, and trying to figure out where that tension came from.

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The view from our room

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Unmasked, i.e. what I really look like most days

As expected, for most of the women, it was a struggle to truly take off all their makeup in one clean wipe. Everyone felt anxious, a little shy. But what was heartwarming to see was that everyone actually looked good – even better – without makeup. Most looked fresher, younger.

Personally though all I could still think of was that I just looked like a zombie compared to these beauty editors and bloggers who have been taking good care of their skins. So it turns out that for all my delusions that I’m low maintenance and that I don’t feel the need to wear makeup all the time, I’m still self-conscious about how I really look. Maybe everyone else deep down felt the same way?

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Apples and Lexi telling all the guests why it’s important to embrace our real beauty

The plenary proceeded with some calls to action and statistics – including the survey which says that only 7% of Filipinas think they’re truly beautiful. I could see where this comes from. Selfie-obsessed our society may be, we are culturally predisposed to avoid complimenting ourselves – even to the point of self-deprecation. Even though we hear messages that tell us to rock what we’ve got, and that all the billboards and magazines are just photoshop and plastic surgery, we still can’t reach the point of genuinely accepting and enjoying our God-given beauty – warts, discolorations, and all.

So what right? There are so many things to focus on. We can focus on loving our brains. Our music. Our creativity. Other ways that we express and show off ourselves to the world. Beauty is just all about visual pleasure anyway, and mostly for the opposite sex’s benefit.

But then again (and here’s where I’m trying to decipher the message Dove is putting out), how can a woman feel totally good about herself if she feels that her looks could use some improvement (as 91% of survey respondents said)? Can a woman be truly confident or self-accepting if, despite being proud of her talents and achievements, she sees her physical flaws and still finds them unpretty?

So that’s what they’re trying to tell us. It’s important to feel good about how you look, because it’s a necessary extension of confidence and success. But don’t achieve that by resorting to masking flaws or altering your physique. Look at what you have and accept it. Love it. Take care of it.

Just to make sure that we’re all convinced, later on, 4 foremost photographers took our no filter, no makeup portraits. Everyone was indeed stunning. By the end of the night, nobody was surprised or hesitant to admit that anymore. :)

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Here’s my “I’m a Dove girl” photo taken by Sarah Black <3 Ugh eyebaaaaggs - oh wait, that’s right. They’re OK. I’ll embrace them. Sort of. Eep!

Right now, I think I’m still a loooong way from truly embracing what I was born with. But I kind of get the whole “feeling beautiful is the start” argument. I’ve long professed the power of lipstick et al in increasing one’s self-confidence – can’t it come from one’s natural glow instead? So I’m making a mental note to work on it. And yes, I’ll do my best to love my skin better so I don’t have to worry too much about altering or concealing it anymore I guess! :)

rappler.com
PUT YOUR WALLET ON A DIET!
The 30-day financial fitness plan!

(via Your 30-day financial fitness plan)

PUT YOUR WALLET ON A DIET!
The 30-day financial fitness plan!

(via Your 30-day financial fitness plan)

Conversation: Embracing your #RealBeauty

Join us this afternoon for a Twitter convo on real beauty

Are working women really empowered?

MANILA, Philippines – Has being a woman ever cost you a dream job or a promotion? You’re not alone.

Despite existing laws penalizing discrimination and violence against women, many still face hurdles in finding or keeping work.

Recent statistics from employment portal Jobstreet.com revealed that gender stereotypes persist when it comes to where women – and men – end up being hired.

Do we blame employers? Individuals who only apply for certain jobs? Or is this a symptom of the larger issue of how society perceives women in general? (READ: Looking for ‘young, female, pleasing’ applicants? Not right)

To answer these questions, Rappler and Pantene hosted “Work It: A forum on Gender and Job (In)security” last Saturday, March 29. Members of the government, leaders of non-governmental groups, and representatives from several industries came together to discuss the trends and issues that shape the Filipino woman’s workplace.

Read the full article on Rappler

Photo by LeAnne Jazul

*Sent*

3 months of thinking / incubation

A collective couple of hours’ of ideas and bullets

One hour for a draft.

I hope this works.

*crosses fingers*

Your travel bucket list: the flip side

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MANILA, Philippines – We travel to learn, to explore, and to dream.

It’s fulfilling to create a list of destinations and to mark each city as you reach them. Booking flights, researching itineraries, and finding accommodations are now more convenient than ever, so less time is needed to prepare for these adventures.

But before packing those bags, double-check your bucket list. You might be forgetting about the other side of traveling: contingencies. If you’re not prepared for accidents or medical emergencies (and they happen all the time), your dream trip might turn into a nightmare.

Here are a few examples.

Read the full article on Rappler

Photo of man taking photo of Seine River and Eiffel Tower from Shutterstock

The Brighter Life Manifesto

Text by Krista Garcia
Graphics by Raffy De Guzman

The Brighter Life Manifesto

Text by Krista Garcia

Graphics by Raffy De Guzman

I am not even a cat person

I am not even a cat person