Monday, August 22, 2011

Lust of the Moment: Wherefore Art Thou, Celine?

I told myself "No." I resisted. I debated. I hesitated. I declined. And I told myself repeatedly "No!" It's fitting to say that I'm head over heels for the Celine cabas. Of course, Phoebe Philo is an accomplice to this affair, this liaison. It's dangerous but it's short of an addiction. Celine, why must you be one intellectual femme fatale? You know how much that stimulates my senses. Darn. You knew my weakness and used it against me. Clever.

I resisted. I debated. I hesitated. I declined.

If you haven't found the reason why I'm gaga over this glorified shopping bag, let me tell you, it's all about the construction. Its structure calls to mind a paper bag clad in lambskin (or python, linen, even rubber). Its supple texture and strict ornamentation invites you to its austerity, modesty, simplicity. And despite being bereft of stitching, the Celine cabas can carry 5 kg (roughly 11 pounds) worth of goodies. Gotta tell you, this bag got some heft!

Oh, Celine cabas, to have you in army green and black is priceless. This must be love.

Bi-color cabas, $1289 at

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Feature of the Moment: Netbook Review!

Ha! You'd think I'm only interested in reviewing the runways huh? Well, I have a thing for criticizing electronics too. Well, criticizing is too harsh a word, I'm more on evaluating its purpose and function. I couple of months ago, my dad bought me a netbook as a spring break gift. He really shocked me with the present because, first, I didn't take him seriously when he said he'd buy me a laptop and, second, I was dubious he'd buy me a netbook after he protested that the screen's "too small." Oh, Papa, bigger isn't always better.

And so he did purchase an ASUS Eee 1001PXD in blue. Measuring at a very compact 10.3 inches wide, 7 inches depth and 1 inch at the thinnest point, the netbook comes with a 10.1 inch screen, a neat but teeny touchpad, and a full keyboard. The touchpad and keyboard takes some time getting used to but with my pretty long digits, I found the keyboard tolerable although they are a bit too close to each other. Another note, ASUS markets the keyboard as "chiclet-style" but they really aren't modeled à la Macbook. ASUS has newer models that have true chiclet-style keyboards but I found them too small--it's like texting on a phone.

Bigger isn't always better.

The touchpad has some special features to it; others may recognize some of the commands because Apple products also feature these: two-finger scrolling, multi-touch zooming and three-finger page flipping. For reading periodicals online, I found the scrolling feature very, very convenient. Still, it's useful to purchase an auxiliary mouse in case you feel carpal tunnel is coming in too soon.

The 1001PXD comes with Windows 7 Starter edition and Microsoft Word and Excel Starter. The operating system is not too bad but I'd suggest you buy the complete Office 2010 suite. With an Intel Atom N455 processor (it's not dual core) the netbook swiftly handles office documents, music playback and internet surfing. Mind you, the netbook ships with bloatware or software that has no real use to it but ASUS decided to install them to keep the netbook's price down (as my tech wizard friend parlayed). They are easy to uninstall, and in case you're wondering what to replace the standard anti-virus software, let me tell you, Microsoft offers a lightweight, robust software called Microsoft Security Essentials. The price: $0 and available at Microsoft's website.

Regarding the screen, it's obvious it's not the biggest even in the netbook category, but it's definitely useful when dealing with office work and light multimedia use. It's not an HD screen so picking on celebs' imperfection or playing graphics-heavy video games must be deferred. Still, I enjoyed watching Youtube videos and live streams of runway shows.

Worried about memory? No problem! The 1001PXD comes with a 255 GB hard drive and 1 GB RAM. The hard drive is actually divided in two, one with 99.99 GB and the other with 117 GB. The RAM can handle regular computing tasks described above and possibly more but I'm too delicate with my precious. Nevertheless, computing with the 1001PXD is one of the most hassle-free I've ever experienced. Other features are 2 USB ports, a VGA port, a headphone jack, an SD card reader, an ethernet connector, and a slot for Lojack.

For networking, the netbook is armed with 802.11 b/g/n. Sadly, mine isn't equipped with bluetooth but I don't mind. It also has a VGA camera that is pretty decent, a speaker that leans on the low side (it won't overpower other sources of noise so external speakers are necessary for audiophiles), and a battery that just won't quit. Surely, battery power depends on what you do with the computer but expect 4-5 hours in a single charge. It's below the advertised 8 hours but, heck, 5 hours is still a lot!

Can't beat its miniature size... it's perfect for the traveling student like me.

Lastly, and I must mention this, the case of the netbook is so seamless (ASUS says it's inspired by seashells and I can see it), it makes the netbook, usually the midget ugly sister of laptops, a stunner. The lid and the wrist rest is patterned with concentric squares so it adds to the visual appeal and also evades finger marks. Genius! Trust me, an all-matte case is something that should come standard if you're finicky about smudges and the 1001PXD doesn't disappoint.

If you're interested in the ASUS Eee 1001PXD, why not hit up your local electronics dealer? Unlike other laptops or netbooks, this one won't charge an arm and a leg. This is one of the cheaper but oh so valuable netbooks you can find in the market. And you can't beat its miniature size! Perfect for the traveling student like me. I'm sure a lot of these are available online too for even less! Happy hunting, everyone.

Image from

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Introspection of the Moment: Homecoming

Thank you, Abby, for sharing this video. And kudos to Colin Rich for enduring the onerous task of time lapse photography despite the disapproval of L.A. police (you should read his little narrative to gain further appreciation of his work). Well, folks, this is the city I live in now. It's definitely not like New York City with the astounding skyscrapers and 24/7 lifestyle--New York, after all, is a city that never sleeps; on the other hand, L.A. is a city that prizes its eight to ten hours of beauty zzz's (hello, beauty doesn't come cheap in this city).

Anyway, it shocked me that even though I call L.A. home, I still find myself chanting "I want to go home." I told my youth pastor about this and he said that if I moved back to the Philippines, I'd feel out of place because the culture, albeit a familiar one, will be different for me. And if I go back to the States, it's still not going to fee like home. So what is home? If I'm never going to feel at home anywhere in the world, then where is home?

If I'm never going to feel at home anywhere in the world, then where is home?

My pastor, in his wise tone, retorted "Home is heaven." Of course.

But before I go to my ethereal abode, I must be able to fulfill my earthly purpose whether it's in L.A., New York, Manila, Paris, Milan, Tokyo, Abidjan, Kathmandu, Bucharest, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Sydney, anywhere. And once I come home, I want my Father to welcome me with "Well done, good and faithful son."

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Monday, August 1, 2011

Quick Vid of the Moment: Whiteness Falls

Eerie music aside, the models are super pale. Does it highlight the colors of the collection? Is it a trademark of Prada? (Prada, after all, is known for hiring models that are naturally pale, for retouching their models to even paler proportions, and for subconsciously priming other designers to to hire more pale models.) Will it make a difference if there was a colored model in the mix? Oh Miuccia Prada, why all these questions surface everytime I view your campaigns, I have no idea. Anyway, this video made me realize how sensual putting on socks can look.

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Quick Vid of the Moment: Hot Cat Lady

Ever seen a cat lady? She's that type of lady that's a little cooky. Oh who am I kidding, she's cooky and she's one ball of crazy. Therefore, she entertains herself with cats because no one else wants to be in her circle of non-feline friends. You'd think crazy ole cat lady would be the most hideous thing, right?

You'd think crazy cat lady would be hideous?

Well, Preview magazine presents their version of cat lady and she is one hot, luxurious, catwalking mama! Watch her saunter and recline in some of the most cat-tastic fashion from Fall 2010 (hello, Louis Vuitton-inspired demure dresses!). Watch her here!

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Doc of the Moment: Driving in Manila

I lived in Manila for 12 years and I can definitely say that everything in the video is true. The traffic is horrendous and the pollution is so unbearable that schools teach students to always bring a handkerchief with them when traveling (to cover their noses). To compound the environmental travesty is the fact that the city's population density continues to skyrocket. Over the years, this has been attributed to the migration of provincial folks to the city, but more recently it's apparent that the Catholic church's campaign against family planning--which is what the city desperately requires to mitigate population explosions--continues to undermine the government's efforts to curb the population. Hence, the image of Manila as a city that seems to be in a slow decay environmentally, economically and socially. Still, it must be argued that the city manages to emanate a pulse that is undeniably city-like; it is Manila's own cry of defiance against decline.

Witness the deep contrasts that shade this city.

Watch the documentary to witness the deep contrasts that shade this city I once called home. Indeed, it is dynamic but its progress is paced unevenly: it's as if one foot is going backward while the other is moving forward. This observation won't take long to take notice as you look on the streets. Calesas or horse-driven carriages run along modern automobiles. Mega malls that tempt you to splurge dot the city whilst the majority of residents lives in destitution. Pious Catholics visit their shrines of worship and later swear their heads off at the slightest offense. These are just tidbits of the greater intricacies the sprawling city has to offer. To really delve into the whole Manila experience, it's recommended to visit and make your own judgment. Though, it is common knowledge that a lot of foreigners scoff at Manila for the very same reasons that I listed. For them, it's a mere pit stop to their true destination, the provinces.

Video from