Monday, October 20, 2014

TRANSITION WEATHER: SUMMER TO FALL







Wearing: Princess Polly romper, Zara heels

There are moments that define our lives, whether we like it or not. And mine is the moment when I don't even bother to label my style into one category. It went from corporate chic (if you didn't know, my blog started when I got bored from our on-the-job training) to cute (just because I couldn't let my inner child go) to dreamy (I'm just forever fascinated by ethereal looking photos and I want to match my outfit). And now, I think it's a mix of everything else and I'm really happy when my good critic slash friend Kiko told me, I could wear anything and look good in it! Such a rare compliment from him, if you know what I mean! Hahaha! He doesn't read this blog so you can pass it on to him when you have a chance!

It's getting colder now in Japan (I can feel the FALL weather again finally) although it still feels like summer during noon. For transition weather like this, I usually wear something as breezy as this romper and just put a jacket on when I need it. Japanese trains have crazy heater system sometimes, it suffocates me. Being born with weak lungs, I always need to be proper ventilated. I can't stand huge crowds, I just can't breathe. Open spaces makes me feel most free. Does anyone of you gave this kind of condition? What do you usually do about it?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

HOKKAIDO FAIR 2014 AT YOYOGI PARK


Starting this post with a photo of me and my bitter chocolate mixed with pumpkin ice cream that is kind of exclusive at Hokkaido Fair at Yoyogi Park a few weekends ago! Halloween season once again thus I'm experimenting with pumpkin flavoured food. Recently, I've been seeing lots of pumpkin pies at cafés such as Starbucks and Doutor. There's also a McFlurry pumpkin oreo! Yey or Nay?


Hokkaido Syokudo/ Fair is all about celebrating Hokkaido's most delicious, famous, anticipated foods! The most recent one that I've attended happened last October 3rd to 5th at Yoyogi Park (which is pretty close to Harajuku station)! We've tried sausage roll and lamb steak! The lamb steak was unreal, too good to be true, it still haunts me in my dreams sometimes. Hahaha!

Shrimp, potato fries, tempura articicial kani (crab)


Say hello to our seatmates! The fair adopted a communal seating which is perfect for huge groups and making new friends!


The blogger pose!


Am I getting better at taking other people's backs?


Grilled corn on cob anyone? We didn't get any because it's kind of expensive than usual. 


Apples from the colder areas of Japan are really, really known to be good! I know that Aomori apples are famous for it but I'm sure Hokkaido's are delicious too!


Just look at that color! *drools*


What a long line for ikura (salmon roe, often known as "red caviar") stuff everything! Unfortunately, my taste buds are too basic for this!


For meat lovers like me! 


This is my outfit! No special explanation behind it just because it's comfortable!


The Road of Hokkai-Foods (Hehehe)


I regret not being able to try this for two consecutive years already!


Ika (squid) legs? Douzo.


We saw this ad about a blue beer for only ¥500.. of course we were curious!


But then.. blue beer is not blue at all! We've been fooled!


Melons, melons, one of my favourite fruits!


It was scorching hot that day, what a bad timing to eat ramen. Even if I wanted to try, I chose what's convenient for me. 


Asian pose level kawaii!


 GYAAA I die, Japanese babies are too adorable for my life!


We've also entered HATO bus! It has Hello Kitty everywhere! 


LOVE these seats


Hello Kitty welcomes you!


And "old" Hello Kitty driver! Super good metaphor! 


Ending this post with a photo of myself just because! I enjoy this kind of fairs because I'm a foodie at heart and for real. Even if I'm conscious about my body, I won't resist a delicious meal for it. The week after this, they had Kyushu fair at Yoyogi too but I wasn't able to go because I was anticipating the big typhoon as mentioned on a lot of posts via social media. It wasn't destructive as it was published or said on international news though! Too bad I've missed the fair but I'm sure I'll be on many, many more fairs in the future! Stay tuned! I really hope you like the photos I took 'cause I am working hard to improve especially for our new project! Kaila and I are working hard to bring you "Our Kawaii Tokyo" (An ongoing self-produced book project by Tokyo-based kawaii bloggers, Ashley and Kaila). If you have suggestions, don't hesitate to tell me. Lots of love from Tokyo.


PINK RIBBON CAMPAIGN: BCBGMAXAZRIA X ESSIE

この度、エッシーでは10月20日(月)〜31日(金)の間、BCBGMAXAZRIAとパートナーシップを組み、
全国のBCBGMAXAZARIAブティックにて開催する乳がんの啓発運動[ピンクリボンキャンペーン]開催中、
30,000円(税抜)以上お買い上げのお客さまにエッシーのピンクのネイルを1本差し上げます。

From October 20th (Monday) to 31st Friday, BCBGMAXAZRIA in collaboration with Essie for the breast cancer movement campaign is giving you a bottle of essie every ¥30,000 (excluding tax) you spend. You can pick among "not just a pretty face", "pink diamond" and "guilty pleasures" as your freebie!   

Follow essie on facebook, twitter and instagram for more information. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

DAIKANYAMA T-SITE AND URTH CAFÉ
















Even though it's not my first time in Daikanyama, this is my official Daikanyama post in the blog since I wasn't able to take good photos the real first time around. This place is one for the books, it reminds me of SOHO. Maybe the real Soho, I'm not sure I've never been there. I've only been to Hong Kong's "Soho" and it was delightfully packed with unique stores.

So why are we in Daikanyama? I've been wanting to eat at this all-natural café called "Urth" and they have branches in Omotesando and Daikanyama (just the two I know of). Since my friend Emika has already been in Daikanyama for this purpose, we decided to go again. And one more thing, we were looking for Daikanyama T-Site, which was an amazing bookstore. The best I've ever been to in Japan probably. You must go! All my favourite magazines from Australia and all over the world are there! I couldn't believe it! Urth was also good even though eating there gave me a bad stomach ache after? I'm still not sure why maybe the caffeine from their Thai boba tea was too much for me. Their lasagna was a-okay! I'm recommending it even though the price was a little bit too steep!

To reach Daikan-yama station, we've used Toyoko line but you can actually walk from Shibuya if you're already around. I'm usually strolling around Ebisu to Shibuya and Daikan-yama is actually closer than my usual route. I haven't really explored the whole of Daikanyama yet, I've only been to Urth Café to Daikanyama T-Site but walking from point A to B I've seen so much quirky boutiques and I would love to see so much more next time I visit. Hope I could take you all there by taking decent photos! It seems like a high end neighborhood that made me wish to shoot lots of photos there. Next time I'll bring more friends and check out Junie Moon (a store that sells Blythe dolls). Ahh, I've been dying to go! Hopefully with Kaila when she's back! For the meantime you can ogle at Junie Moon thru Kaila's experience here.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

THE UN-KAWAII WORLD OF RACISM

How do I start? It's so hard to explain things you don't even want to experience. Let's just start as how I envy my boyfriend for taking pride in being a Filipino citizen. Read his blog promoting Filipino language here.  I'm also sometimes jealous that my aunts are already Australian citizens after few years of staying there. While I'm just floating.. 

As my best friend described me, "She carries a Chinese surname, who looks Korean, living in Japan.." And to be exact, a Permanent Resident in Japan yet a Filipino passport holder and now English teacher.  I don't really consider my self as a definite citizen of any culture although I love being Filipino (because I grew up in Manila, I love the people, food, sea, nature, among many other things), I also have loved being part of Japan and I hate that I can't say that I am a Japanese citizen because I might never be. I might hate to admit that I have Chinese blood lines because it's too faraway that people think it's sketchy, my great grandfather is 100% Chinese. Also, it's hard to say that while living in Japan. You just don't know who's hating on the Chinese people / government. While I was in a sewing class, I was forced to listen to a 1 hour Chinese bashing time in a lunch break. I hate it, I hate that memory so much I wanted to erase it. It started with that popular news how polluted Shanghai is that they can't even watch the sunrise and they have to film it in order for people to see. Well you see, I don't even consider myself Chinese at all. As a matter of fact, when nosy people ask me where am I from, I'll just say I'm Filipino. It came to a point that I'm so tired explaining where I come from, what my roots are and shit. I am who I am, not what you think I am. You might say that it's just a simple question of "where are you from?" but there's a whole lot of meaning in such "innocent" phrase to us. For people like me. For people who are always in the middle. For people who don't belong to any race.

Kiko says in his bio "Filipino-Japanese but not half... Again... Not half!!!!" For me, this is a statement saying, I'm so tired of explaining myself to you all. Why don't you just mind your own race! 

Gervin said "There are times that I wish I look more East Asian -Chinese, Japanese or Korean - because that's what I thought was beautiful in my eyes especially when I was younger. Sometimes it still happens because I wanna blend in in the place where I currently live. But as the years go by, I developed this sense of acceptance with who I am. Whenever someone appreciates me for being me, I go back to my senses and just be thankful that I was born this way."

Some people think East Asians are superior to SouthEast Asians and I blatantly disagree with this. No one is above anyone. 

Someone asked Izumi, if her real name is Izumi or just a screen name and if she loves animes too. Stop being innocent people! And never put people inside a the "race" box and imply, you should love anime because you're Japanese. Or you are Filipino who has a Japanese screen name! Stop assuming, stop asking and just accept! We are one but different. Unique from each other.

And here are my annoying experiences.. Being asked, "Gaikokou-jin desu ka?" "Are you a foreigner?" after talking in English to a staff.  I've been living in Japan for 5 years, I have acquired permanent resident visa and that's not enough to belong here. At immigration, I have to line up at a very special line labeled as "Re-Entry" (Japan immigrations have three types of lines, Japanese, Foreigners and this) in short for people who don't belong to any of the two types. 

At my skincare clinic, upon inquiring about laser treatment for my face, "You're kinda... black, I'm sorry you can't have laser treatment for now. Let's wait 'til you're whiter." Well, I forgive you for your lack of English vocabulary but that's not right! My skin is tan, it was fairer when I was a kid but the sun loves me.

Lastly, upon "winning" a certain contest online and submitting documents to them. They told me (indirectly, obviously) that I can't represent Japan because I'm carrying a Filipino passport (which is a complete bs of a reason) and according  to their rules, you must only represent the citizenship of your passport. And again, people like you have no chance of changing the world. Just to be clear, I can't join any contests in the Philippines if they state that "this contest is for Philippine-residents only." Now tell me, where do I belong? But to be honest if you're just going to put me in a place where close-minded people resides just let me be myself (who doesn't belong).

These experiences made me understand why it's hard for "gay" people to explain themselves. Why do they even have to? And why do we even label people as male, female, gay, lesbian, etc. Stop labeling people! We are not goods, we are human. These experiences made my heart grow bigger to symphatize with people who are like me, and to feel nothing but shame to racists! I shouldn't be afraid to let my anger and frustrations out because I know I'm right. 

Here's my favourite paragraph from an article entitled "IT TAKES A LOT TO LAUGH" from Rookie Book II:
This should go without saying, but I'll say it anyway: No one deserves to be hurt by racism. This seems like an easy statement to abide by, until you realize that racism is not always intentional, and it's not always obvious, and sometimes people don't agree on what constitutes racism or even acknowledge that it exists. And for those reasons, sometimes it sucks to talk about it, it sucks to think about it and it sucks to have to deal with it at all. But if you are a person of color, chances are at some point you are gonna have to deal with it, and for me, when I was first confronted with it, I went from feeling hurt to feeling active self-loathing to feeling full-on apeshit angry. All of it sucked. 

Let me just say that it's totally OK to be apeshit angry. Don't let anyone ever shame you for feeling bad about racism or put you down or make you feel like you are overreacting. THERE IS NO WAY TO OVERREACT TO RACISM, BECAUSE RACISM IS A SYSTEMATIC DEVALUATION AND DEHUMANIZATION OF ENTIRE GROUPS OF PEOPLE, AND NOT REACTING TO IT ONLY HELPS PERPETUATE IT." 

Although I feel like stopping this article from here, I would love to share this to you. How to deal with it? 

1. USE YOUR BLOG / SOCIAL MEDIA TO CALL PEOPLE OUT ON THEIR RACISM. I have a voice, I have a point. This is reality.

2. USE HUMOR. Or if you are well-verse in sarcasm, it's better. When people tell you that you are black even if you are not, reiterate it and say "YES, I'M SO BLACK." It will swing the pendulum from being the butt of the racist joke/innocence to making it feel like you are laughing at racism and racist humor.

3. PREEMPT RACIST COMMENTS. For example during introductions you could say "I'm Filipino, I like bananas." It could backfire but there are many other things you could do to turn the situation around. 

4. EXAGGERATE RACISM TO EXPOSE HOW RIDICULOUS AND ABSURD AND ABOMINABLE IT REALLY IS. (You have to read ROOKIE book II for the examples of number 3 and 4)

5. AND WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS, IT'S ALL RIGHT TO CRY. Even if I don't. I don't like these racists 
to make me feel inferior. Just remember, no one, nothing can make you feel inferior without your consent. No one can stop you from being your amazing self. Not even this big, un-kawaii world of racism. Accept that these things are happening but how would you deal with it? How will you change the world? 

It takes a lot of courage for me to write these experiences. I never wish them to happen to you or to anyone else. Let's stop hurting each other and build a world full of people helping each other.