Author Archives: The Mad Hatter

Forever alone

Valentine’s Day for the singletons

Friday, 13 February 2015 | Written by
Forever alone
Forever alone

Make the day about you, you, you!

Question: What do Valentine’s Day and a sneeze have in common?

Answer: You know it’s coming and you can’t do anything about it. Ouch.

In a day, the world’s most insensitive romantic occasion is coming up to remind you that you are single, unmarried, and will probably be forever alone. And for all the loveless out there, including me—don’t fret. And don’t let Valentine’s ruin your day or your weekend, for that matter. After all, whoever said it’s just for couples?

Let me tell you that there are many of us—single, unmarried, sexy women– who will spend V-Day out in the cold. So it is up to us to keep ourselves warm.

I think what can set you off on V-Day is not the heart decorations, nor the sentimental songs on FM radio, but people asking about your V-Day plans. It’s like an old auntie asking about your love life every Christmas reunion! Just think that you don’t have to answer this question, and quite frankly you don’t owe anyone an explanation.

The good thing is that V-Day this year falls on a Saturday, so that saves you from your officemates asking about what you’re going to do–which is always annoying.

However, since it is on a weekend, you might think about going to the mall. After all, what better way to love yourself than a little retail therapy, right? Wrong.

Not only is sadness a bad reason to shop, but you will only see A LOT of couples at the mall. You will most definitely find yourself being the only one in the crowd who’s not holding hands with anybody.

Thinking about heading to the park for a read? While weekend markets (like the one in Greenfield behind Edsa Central Mall) are always a nice weekend destination, you might find it quite disconcerting on V-Day. Ditto with cinemas. If there’s a movie you were planning to watch this weekend, be warned–couples will be all over the place. Save yourself this awful sight and stay away from known love nests.

Don’t watch sappy movies or movies that make you feel bad about being alone. And whatever happens, don’t ever, EVER watch The Notebook. This movie will only make you feel bad about the one that got away. Should you find yourself watching this, stay away from alcohol if you don’t want to end up calling someone from your past. If you must watch romantic flicks, choose those which will leave you feeling hopeful about love; like Letters to Juliet, or Bridget Jones, or 500 Days of Summer.

Lonely heart

Moving on is a process, and if you take a step back, you will only regret it later on.

DO NOT go out with your ex. On a personal note, V-Day this year is going to be tough for me. Being fresh out of an 8-year relationship, I am in my thirties with no prospects. (I feel a song coming.) But even if I know that it only takes a phone call to set a date with my ex, deep down I know it’s a bad idea. Moving on is a process, and if you take a step back, you will only regret it later on.

And lastly, don’t sign up for Tinder. I read a post on Pinterest that said instead of couples’ therapy, married people should just go to Tinder so they can see what single people has to deal with. Not only is Tinder the wrongest place to look for love, but it will also make you feel like there are slim pickings out there which might, in turn, make you feel like you oughtta lower your standards. Don’t settle. You know your worth and there is a guy out there for you—just not on Tinder.

So I think the one good thing to do on Valentine’s day is to make it your salon day–get your hair done, get a Ventosa massage, have a foot spa, get your whole body scrubbed, get your bikini wax. Make the day about you, you, you! Because the truth is that you don’t really need someone to complete you.

Besides, Valentine’s Day too shall pass.

CalendarTake a cue from this calendar which totally ignored Valentine’s Day. (image from Facebook)

*”Forever alone” by Jessica Paoli, “lonely heart” by frankieleon. Photos from Flickr. 

Emma-Stone-Reacted-All-Sass-World

Golden moments at the Globes

Tuesday, 20 January 2015 | Written by
Emma-Stone-Reacted-All-Sass-World

This year’s Golden Globe Awards is not like the others–some new players, timely gags, Bill Cosby jokes, and more Benedict Cumberbatch. It was also the last time that the show will be hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. We’re all sad to see them go, but Kristin Wiig and Bill Hader showed true potential as replacements.

So let’s review some of the night’s highlights, shall we?

Amal Alamuddin

George Clooney’s new wife is beautiful, glamorous, and drop-dead gorgeous. A hotshot lawyer whose resume includes representing Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and former Ukraine prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, Amal is a breath of fresh air in Hollywood, providing a stark contrast to everything that’s silly about Hollywood–especially if one looks at the antics of Ryan Seacrest or Giuliana Rancic.

Taking a leave from saving the world, the accomplished barrister joined her husband to support him as he received his Cecil B. DeMille Award which is an honorary Golden Globe Award bestowed on account of “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment.”

Clooney definitely has a lucky streak going on.

A North Korean army officer who was not impressed

Globe6

Perhaps the funniest gag of the night was when a North Korean rep suddenly showed in one of the tables. Played by comedienne Margaret Cho, the gag showed Cho personifying a North Korean who had a lot to say about how the awards could have been improved. She was, however, somewhat happy to get a photo op with Meryll Streep. And true to form, Benedict Cumberbatch photobombed.

Memorable memes

*Disclaimer: All GIFs are from Pop Sugar.

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Emma Stone was teased as a live display for ‘Big Eyes’

Benedict Cumberbatch “cumberbombing” as usual

Benedict Cumberbatch “cumberbombing” as usual

Christy Teigen’s “cry face”

Christy Teigen’s “cry face”

Kristin Wiig and Bill Hader learning about the importance of a ‘screenplay’

Kristin Wiig and Bill Hader learning about the importance of a ‘screenplay’

George Clooney got teased about getting his lifetime achievement award for marrying Amal

George Clooney got teased about getting his lifetime achievement award for marrying Amal

Here is the list of the big winners:

  • Cecil B. DeMille Award: George Clooney
  • Best Actress in a TV Series, Drama: Ruth Wilson for The Affair
  • Best TV Series, Musical or Comedy: Transparent
  • Best Original Song, Motion Picture: “Glory” by John Legend and Common for Selma
  • Best Original Score, Motion Picture: Johann Johannsson for The Theory of Everything
  • Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Mini-Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television: Joanne Froggat for Downton Abbey
  • Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television: Fargo 
  • Best Actress in a TV Series, Comedy or Musical: Gina Rodriguez for Jane the Virgin
  • Best Screenplay, Motion Picture: Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo for Birdman
  • Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Mini-Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television: Matt Bomer for The Normal Heart
  • Best Actor, TV Series Comedy or Musical: Jeffrey Tambor forTransparent
  • Best Foreign Language Film: Leviathan (Russia)
  • Best Animated Feature Film: How to Train Your Dragon 2
  • Best Actor in a TV Series, Drama: Kevin Spacey for House of Cards
  • Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy: Michael Keaton for Birdman
  • Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture: J.K. Simmons for Whiplash
  • Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama: Julianne Moore for Still Alice
  • Best Actor in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television: Billy Bob Thornton for Fargo
  • Best TV Series, Drama: The Affair
  • Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture: Patricia Arquette for Boyhood
  • Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy: Amy Adams for Big Eyes
  • Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy: The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Best Actress in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television: Maggie Gyllenhaal for The Honorable Woman
  • Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama: Eddie Redmayne for Theory of Everything
  • Best Director, Motion Picture: Richard Linklater forBoyhood
  • Best Motion Picture, Drama: Boyhood

To see the full list of nominations, click here. 

What do you think was the night’s best moment?

90s love teams

Throwback: 90s love teams we miss

Tuesday, 13 January 2015 | Written by
90s love teams
90s love teams

90s love teams we miss: Bobby Andrews & Angelu De Leon, Rico Yan (+) & Claudine Baretto, Robin Padilla & Vina Morales

Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera are married. It’s done. All hopes that Iñaki and Bianca getting back together are now all in the gutter. Call it juvenile, but I have always thought that Dingdong Dantes and Antoinette Taus would eventually find their way back together. What can I say? TGIS was a driving force during my teenage years.

The thing with love teams is that some of them actually win your heart. It’s not that we are clueless about how the show business manipulates us into buying every love team they build up. The network handpicks two rising stars from their long list of talents, rolls out an aggressive marketing campaign to make sure that they are always seen in public, and creates intrigue to get people asking whether or not they are a couple when the cameras are off.

We know that it’s all business. But sometimes, the chemistry is just too good to be fake. Sometimes, the networks get it right.

Angelu de Leon and Bobby Andrews

Take for instance, Angelu de Leon and Bobby Andrews. Angelu started out in ABS-CBN’s Ang TV while Bobby was a commercial model. However, no one really noticed them until GMA finally put these two together on TGIS and on Growing Up. Since then, Angelu and Bobby were everyone’s favorite on-screen couple. They became the biggest stars of their generation. Their sitcoms became highly successful and their love team had a huge following. Their movies–Takot Ka Ba Sa Dilim, TGIS The Movie, Laging Naroon Ka, Wala Na Bang Pag-ibig and Ikaw Na Sana–were all a hit.

What happened: Angelu got pregnant with actor Joko Diaz’s child. Afterwards, it just wasn’t the same anymore.

Claudine Barretto and Rico Yan

Another successful love team was Claudine Barretto and Rico Yan. Claudine and Rico’s chemistry was just so good and undeniably real–so real that the two became partners off-screen as well. They were already making waves separately—Claudine was on Oki Doki Dok and Home Along da Riles amongst other projects and Rico became known as the “Crush ng Bayan” thanks to an Eskinol TV commercial. But when these two stars were paired up in the movie Radio Romance, they became every Pinoy’s favorite sweethearts and went on to star in movies that became blockbusters such as Dahil Mahal na Mahal Kita and Got 2 Believe. Add Diether Ocampo to the mix and this love triangle became a goldmine. They also led one of ABS-CBN’s most successful soap operas– Mula sa Puso.

What happened: The two had a very public break-up followed by the tragic death of Rico Yan in 2002.

Robin Padilla and Vina Morales

But here’s my personal favorite throwback kilig that we can all relive–Robin Padilla and Vina Morales. Now this pair is really one for the headlines (at least for the tabloids). Robin and Vina pair up for the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) entry “Bonifacio.” Still showing in theatres, Bonifacio depicts the life of one of our nation’s biggest heroes. In the movie, Robin plays the Supremo and Vina his wife, Gregoria de Jesus. Is there anyone who can deny these two’s chemistry? They go way back— to Ang Utol Kong Hoodlum, Eto Na Naman Ako, ‘Di Puwedeng Hindi Puwede!. Robin and Vina were already giving kilig to Pinoy moviegoers at a time when today’s love teams were still in diapers.

What happened: Everyone knows what happened in the Robin-Vina love story. ‘Nuff said.

Alone for Christmas

Spending Christmas alone CAN be awesome

Tuesday, 23 December 2014 | Written by
Alone for Christmas

Alone for ChristmasIf you’re like me—who grew up in the province but works in the city, and if you have not filed your vacation leaves, or worse—you have not booked your plane tickets yet— then chances are that you will spend your Christmas (God forbid!) alone.

While you don’t like talking about it—mostly because people feel sorry for you—you really should not mind at all. Spending Christmas alone is not such a bad thing — if you really think about it. It can actually be a blessing in so many ways. Here are five of them:

You get to save your bonuses. We can all agree that spending Christmas with family is super fun, but we also cannot deny that it usually costs a lot, if not all your savings. Everyone expects a gift, and some are even so self-entitled to your hard-earned money that you find yourself pressured to shell out.

Christmas as we know it has become an occasion marked by the materialistic tradition of gift giving. And most of the time, we spend more than we can afford—all in the “spirit of Christmas”. Not to be a scrooge or anything but in my opinion, these days when times are so hard, there really is no reason to splurge. Not even Christmas.

While your friends spend all their December money on gifts for everyone (from their cousins to their inaanaks), you, on the other hand, will spend on just a meal for one. You can even indulge on a bottle of good wine and still it won’t hurt your savings. So if you start feeling bad about you being alone, just think that you’ll be the only one who won’t be broke come January.

You get to enjoy the peace and quiet. While partying with family can be fun during Christmas, they can also be noisy. Too noisy, in fact. And it’s even worse when there are kids around. For some reason, the holidays cause kids to be incredibly hyper so they are always running around and shouting and if you’re really lucky, there will also be lots of crying. On the other hand, being by yourself means you get to spend a quiet Christmas, and really take the time to reflect on the true meaning of the holiday — something which some people cannot afford to have.

Stars

You get to rest and recharge before you resume work. One of the things I don’t like about going back home on Christmas is that I end up giving more quality time to others than I am willing to spend. Families are always trying to do things together while friends drop by the house and talk nonstop. And while it’s fun and all, it can also be very exhausting. However, if you spend your Christmas alone, you can sleep as long as you want, so that you will be all rested and recharged when work resumes in January.

You get to avoid family politics. Not looking forward to seeing your aunt who keeps asking you why you got fat? Are you tired of being asked why you are still single? Sometimes family members can be so insensitive that they ask the most humiliating questions just when everyone is within earshot. Well this year, they can all suck it in because they cannot torture you with their unsolicited comments. Who needs their company when all you get are insults?

You get to spend Christmas however you want. Christmas has become formulaic for all of us. Attend the mass. Dinner at midnight. Feast until the wee hours of the morning — it’s so mundane, not to mention traditional and boring. Why not spend Christmas re-reading your favorite book with a glass of wine? Or watching your favorite movie with cookies and hot choco? Why not eat your Christmas dinner early and go to bed before 10pm? There are other ways to spend Christmas than the one which you were accustomed to. So why not start your own tradition and celebrate Christmas in your own way?

So don’t feel sorry for yourself. This Christmas is actually going to be awesome if you just focus your energy on spending quality time with yourself. You might be surprised to find that you might have more fun than you expected.

*‘Lost & Found’ by Teensy-Weensy Pouchou, ‘Alone’ by Kat N.L.M courtesy of Flickr. Some rights reserved. 

From L-R: The Wedding Singer, 50 First Dates, Little Nicky

Relax and watch (an Adam Sandler) movie

Monday, 1 December 2014 | Written by
From L-R: The Wedding Singer, 50 First Dates, Little Nicky
From L-R: The Wedding Singer, 50 First Dates, Happy Gilmore, Little Nicky

From L-R: The Wedding Singer, 50 First Dates, Happy Gilmore, Little Nicky

As I write this, I am rewatching The Wedding Singer for the hundredth time (or more specifically–fifth). It’s one of the titles that are in my ‘recycle’ movie box, which is basically a box where I put movies that I rewatch from time to time. As I go over my titles, I see lots of Adam Sandler movies which I find weird. But then again, maybe it’s not so weird—because there’s nothing like an Adam Sandler movie on a bad day.

Maybe it’s the plot. Maybe it’s the cheesy lines. Or maybe it’s just Adam Sandler—and his boyish and violent outburst and slapstick humor.

While not exactly one of Hollywood’s most gorgeous leading men, Adam Sandler is a household name when it comes to feel-good movies. The guy is simply likeable.

Granted that his movies are nowhere near the Academy Awards’ list, but on a bad day—when nothing is going right, all you really need is a light movie and that’s when Adam Sandler movies have the most value.

Here’s a review of what I consider are the best Sandler movies and under what circumstances are they best to watch–in my particular order.

The Wedding Singer. I think it would be safe to assume that this is on top of most everyone’s list. What 90s kid didn’t use the midi file of ‘Grow Old With You’ on their Nokia phone? What girl didn’t go “awww…” when Robbie Hart broke into a serenade for Julia in the middle of a flight? Who doesn’t remember ‘Julia Gulia’?! And what can top Steve Buscemi singing “True”? This movie is a slamdunk as far as romcom goes, and definitely one of the very best.

Watch it if you feel like you are engaged to the wrong guy. Or if you are starting to forget that feeling of being in love. You know what—just watch it. It will improve your life.

50 First Dates. I don’t know why there isn’t a global Sandler-Barrymore fanbase but there should be! These two should have ended up together in real life. In my honest opinion, there is no love team who have better chemistry—not even Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks nor Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy.

50 First Dates is a must-see for all romantics, Sandler-Barrymore loveteam fans, and waffle-lovers.  And if you’re neither, watch it for Rob Schneider.

Watch it when you’re starting to feel cynical about love. This movie will help you find your way back into love, and give you those butterfly bull****.

Little Nicky. Probably the most hilarious Adam Sandler movie, Little Nicky is sick and heart-warming at the same time. Add Rhys Ifans and it becomes one hell of a laugh. This for me is the funniest Sandler movie. Little Nicky may not teach you a thing or two about being a family, but it will surely make you appreciate how lucky you are with your siblings.

Watch it when you’re having a really bad day. This and popcorn will save you.

Happy Gilmore. One of Adam Sandler’s earlier hand on comedy, Happy Gilmore is probably one of Sandler’s best. Happy Gilmore packs a lot of humor as it focuses on Sandler’s outbursts which is the Adam Sandler that we normally see in his later movies. Happy Gilmore shows how chasing a dream can drive one to its lowest and highest points.

Watch it when you are feeling down about your job or when you are in doubt of your calling. This movie will remind you that talent gets you to the door but it’s your attitude that allows you to stay.

So that’s my list. What’s on yours?

Steven Spielberg

History’s most iconic directors & their trademarks

Monday, 23 June 2014 | Written by
Steven Spielberg

Filmmaking has come a long way. From the silent films of Charlie Chaplin to the avant-garde style of Andy Warhol (yes, he also did films), to the spectacular worlds of Hayao Miyazaki—viewers have never been treated to the magic that is film than we are at this point in time.

For some people, the actors are the stars of a movie. But to me, it’s the person behind the camera, the one who sits on the director’s chair—who is the real star of the show.

But just who are the best filmmakers of all time? The answer to this question varies depending on who you ask. But a closer look at these lists will show that some names are in most (if not all) of the lists.

Let’s take a look at some filmmakers who have brought us the very best in cinema.

Number one on my list is Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock.

Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock

Hailed as the “Master of Suspense,” Hitchcock has a distinct style that has established him as a cultural icon. Hitchcock brought us Psycho, Vertigo, Strangers on a Train, and a long list of classics.

Hitchcock trademark #1. Negative depictions of police

Hitchcock is believed to have a fear of policemen which started at age five when his father sent him to prison with a note to police officers to lock him up for 10 minutes as a punishment for bad behavior.

Hitchcock trademark #2. Cameo appearance

To his audiences’ delight, Hitchcock liked doing cameos and appearing in his movies. It became something that his fans loved to do—finding him in his films whether as a bystander or in a picture. Sometime during his last films, however, he stopped doing cameos because he thought it was causing too much distraction in the audience’s enjoyment of his film.

Hitchcock trademark #3. Blonde victims

You need only watch a few Hitchcock movies to notice that he loves casting blondes. From Ingrid Bergman, Joan Fontaine, Grace Kelly, Kim Novak, to Tippi Hedren, blondes are a staple in this great director’s films. Hitchcock said that blondes make the best victims because they are “like virgin snow that shows up the bloody footprints.”

Steven Spielberg and his shooting stars

Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg

Who doesn’t know Steven Spielberg? Probably the most important filmmaker of his generation, Spielberg gave the world a new kind of spectacular with epic movies such as Jurassic Park, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, and Jaws.

So what is it about Spielberg and shooting stars? You might have missed this but if you watch Jaws again, you will see that there is a shooting star which the crew accidentally caught on film. Since then, it is said that Spielberg puts a shooting star in the background as a goodluck charm just before something dramatic happens.

 

 

Tim Burton

Tim Burton

Tim Burton

Tim Burton is a master of the macabre and dark, gothic fantasies. Burton is also known for stop motion animation the most famous of which is his The Nightmare Before Christmas. Some of Burton’s most obvious trademarks is Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham-Carter—his two favorite actors. Like Hitchcock, he also has a thing for blondes as showcased by the following characters in his biggest films:

Sandra Bloom – Big Fish
Katrina Van Tassel – Sleepy Hollow
Kim – Edward Scissorhands
Johanna – Sweeney Todd
Vicki Vale – Batman
Daena – Planet of the Apes
The White Queen – Alice In Wonderland

David Lynch and the red curtains

David Lynch

David Lynch

Lynch films seem to showcase red curtains a lot, with the very first appearance in Blue Velvet. It is said that Lynch has developed fondness for the concept as it reminds one of the red curtains in movie theatres which, when drawn, takes the viewers to another world. Makes perfect sense to me.


Hayao Miyazaki

rp_HayaoMiyazakiCCJuly09.jpgHayao Miyazaki and his team over at Studio Ghibli has given the world so much to enjoy by taking animation on a whole new level. Hayao’s films always touches on 3 themes: female empowerment, pacifism, and a cautionary environmental message. But one trademark fans might notice is the presence of flight and flying. Hayao’s father was once the director of Miyazaki Airplane which built parts for Zero fighter planes. This is believed to be where Hayao’s fascination with flying came from and you can see it in every flying scene in Hayao’s animations—iconic and magical.

 

 

*All photos courtesy of Facebook. 

make up

Is your make-up safe?

Sunday, 22 June 2014 | Written by
make up

make up

“On a bad day, there’s always lipstick.”

This saying has more than an ounce of truth in it. Cosmetics and women are a match made in heaven. Make-up can lighten up a bad day anytime and add color to an otherwise dull day. There’s just nothing like the bliss of choosing what eye shadow that will match the day’s outfit or what shade of lipstick will match the handbag.

However, nowadays, one can never be too careful about choosing cosmetics. I remember when I was in college. With my meagre allowance, I never hesitated about buying unknown brands in the tiangge—for me, the cheaper the better.  And if I bought a new lipstick for P50, I would consider it a great bargain and congratulate myself for it.

But now that I’m working and can afford to pay a little extra, I try to be more careful of what I put on my face.

So before you pick up that kabuki brush, ask yourself— Is your make-up safe?

A few months back—in February—news reports sprouted warning the public against buying cosmetics—more specifically lipstick–that contain arsenic, lead, and mercury.

Lipstick

Pollution and toxic waste watchdog EcoWaste Coalition screened 70 lipsticks that were sold in the streets of Divisoria and Quiapo and found an alarmingly high level of harmful chemicals in them. 27 of the 70 screened lipsticks were found to contain unsafe levels of heavy metals. The following brands identified were: Baolishi, Monaliza, Kiss Beauty, and Miss Beauty.

Whitening Creams

Creams are life savers — they cleanse, moisturize, fight aging, and even whiten. But did you know that some of the most “effective” whitening creams are the most dangerous, containing insane levels of mercury?

These whitening creams were banned by FDA since last year:

  1. Baiyansu Three-in-One Whitening Set;
  2. Beauty Girl Green Cucumber 6 Days Double Whitening Soft Essence Cream;
  3. Bihuayn Whitening Day Cream;
  4. Care Skin Strong Whitening and Spot Removing Package;
  5. Gakadi Freckle Removing Cream;
  6. Hengxueqian Whitening Set;
  7. Huayuenong 12 Days Whitening and Speckle Removing Wrecking Set;
  8. White Advance Hydroxytyrosol L-Glutathione Whitening and Anti-Aging Cream;
  9. Yudantang Ginseng and Green Cucumber 10 Days Whitening Speckles Removed Essence;
  10.  Yudantang Green Olive and Papaya Natural Essence 6 Days Specific Eliminating Freckle Whitening Sun Block Cream;
  11.  Yudantang Sea Pearl and Papaya 6 Days Specific Eliminating Freckle Whitening Cream;
  12.  Yudantang Sheep Essence and Green Cucumber and Ginseng 10 Days Specific Eliminating Freckle Spot and Double Whitening Sun Block Cream;
  13.  Yudantang 10 Days Whitening Speckles Removed Essence (with picture of cow and papaya);
  14.  Zyiang Day Cream;
  15. Whitening Cream, with the rest of the label in Chinese characters); and
  16. Label in Chinese characters, gold package with picture of red flower with three green leaves;
  17. Erna Whitening Cream

Cheap does not mean unsafe

While ‘cheap’ do not automatically translate to being toxic, it should make one wary. According to reports, lipsticks with toxic ingredients were being sold at P70 to P80. The creams were sold at P60 to P80. No wonder it’s been selling like hotcakes! But wiser consumers tend to have nagging doubts and suspicions about these too-good-to-be-true bargains.

The ‘legit’ brands being sold in the malls are definitely more than a hundred a pop. But if you can afford to pay a little extra, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Because in the end, the money you saved are not worth the risk.

Image from www.photo-dictionary.com. Some rights reserved.

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Things you (probably) didn’t know about Flores de Mayo

Sunday, 25 May 2014 | Written by
9023250992_3e015ba89a_m

9023250992_3e015ba89a_mby The Mad Hatter

Ok, so you think you know Flores de Mayo, do you?

Well maybe. But I bet you don’t know everything there is to know about it!

Yes, you probably know that Flores de Mayo is a Catholic tradition which is annually observed in the Philippines. And you probably also know that this festival lasts the entire month of May and culminates with the Santacruzan, a parade held on the last day of the festival.

And you probably know too that Santacruzan festivals now are more fun and interesting, with the participation of our gay friends who know exactly how to make things more fashionable.

But did you know that the phrase “Flores de Mayo” is Spanish and that it literally means “Flowers of May”?

The month of May is considered as the most beautiful month as it is the time of the year when flowers seem to bloom overnight. They say that in some areas you can practically smell the scent of flowers in the air.

In celebration of this, Catholic Filipinos honor the Blessed Virgin Mary by dressing up her altar as well as the churches with flowers, or by praying the rosary, and sometimes even sharing homemade sweets and snacks with neighbors.

The Flores de Mayo tradition can be traced as far back as the 1800s when the Vatican proclaimed doctrines on the Immaculate Conception. But the tradition itself was introduced by the Spaniards to the Filipinos—back when we were still under their rule for more than 300 years.

The Flores de Mayo festival is among the most important festivals in the country. As a matter of fact, it is regarded as the “Queen of Filipino Festivities.” Some even consider it the “most unique, best loved and most festive celebration in our Christian faith.”

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And if you were wondering where the first Santacruzan was ever held—some believe that the very first Santacruzan took place in the lovely town of Malolos, Bulacan.

But what is Santacruzan all about, really? Is it a beauty pageant where ladies compete who will be the Reyna Elena and who will be the ‘supporting queens’? Is it a tool to gain a rather high status symbol in a small community? Is being the “Reyna Elena” every small town girl’s dream? Because I tried to get my fat little hands on that crown but I was never offered it and before I know it, I was too old to want it. So there’s a gown in my closet that was never used for this “religious fashion show.”

In truth, the Santacruzan went a long way from how it was originally held, as it is actually a novena procession. Recently, some priests have expressed dismay at how the Santacruzan has become more of a cultural tradition that it has become more of a fashion show rather than one with religious significance.

Historically speaking, the Santacruzan depicts St. Helena’s  journey to Calvary to look for the cross in which Jesus was crucified in. St. Helena (a.k.a. “Reyna Elena”) is the most important queen in the Santacruzan as she is said to have successfully found the true cross of the Christ. That plus she is also the mother of Constantine the Great who is only the first Christian Emperor.

Now you know there’s a lot more to Flores de Mayo than meets the eye. And there’s more (or there should be) to Santacruzan than the gowns and tiaras.

 

Images:  Santacruzan by Chareze Stamatelaky and Flores de Mayo by Yani Angeles-Cruz

 

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