I know I’m a few weeks late to post this but I definitely can’t miss blogging about it. Last October 4, the amazing “kawaii sushi” Reese Lansangan opened her first solo exhibit The Gathering Seasonat Heima Brixton.
The collages she made each reflected a person’s collection which varied from fruit stickers to miniature things.
I personally loved how some collections were so unique and how even the smallest and the simplest of things can become so precious to someone. As a very sentimental person, I’d always keep whatever I can just to be able to preserve a certain memory.
And I, myself am actually a collector too. Around a month before the actual exhibit, I got an opportunity to take part by sharing my collection:
Capsule toy watches! I’ve been collecting them since Elementary school which started from a Toy Story 3 capsule toy machine at Toys ‘R Us. Ever since then, I kept buying tokens and turning those gachapon knobs in the hopes of getting a really cute design.
People would sometimes ask me why I collect such childish things and I think of it as buying something functional that I can wear on a daily basis. I mean, they’re watches. I can’t even go out of the house without one and if I do, I’d feel naked. Really.
CTC-UNI18 - Celina Therese Cruz - Unicorn 18 y/o
The collage on the left is the capsule toy-inspired work, Time in Capsule. I immediately fell in love with it — Japanese and rainbows? Yes.
Her other collages were as amazing and intricately made and it still leaves me in awe how creative Ate Reese can become.
'A few of my other capsule toy watches + other toy watches (Happy Meals I got from Manila, Japan, and the US) that Ate Reese borrowed for the exhibit.
It was also my first time to visit Heima Brixton and it definitely felt like heaven. I wanted to bring home everything (especially the Cath Kidston book) (and the Instax cameras) (and the vinyl records).
Thank you so much to Ate Reese for giving me the opportunity to somehow participate in her amazing exhibit! I really loved the collage she made inspired by my collection. ♡ I’ll definitely continue to cheer her on!! Reeseypeasy fangirl forever hihi ♡
Last September 21, I attended the 35th Manila International Book Fair at SMX along with my friend, Cheska.
I was able to snag two books — "After Dark" by Haruki Murakami and "Please Look After Mom" by Kyungsook Shin. A few days before the event, I actually finished reading “Norwegian Wood” which kind of explains why I purchased another one of his books — Post-Haruki Murakami vibes~ As for the latter book, it was an impulse purchase and a quick judgment on its title, plot, and book cover. It was pretty coincidental to have both books form one face.
We spent around half an hour walking around the area trying to look for a nice spot to shoot at — from the busy crowds of the SMX convention center, to the by the bay area, we ended up at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Spot the subtle streaks of Pink and Purple! I tried using hair chalk for the first time and was disappointed to have the hair chalk fade away when we arrived to the event. </3 I’m still aiming for Irene Kim's hair color, okay. Soon.
Colored hair, a beret, and going to a book fair — how stereotypical of an Art student can I get?
Lots of love to my malnourished panda for the great MIBF date and the amazing outfit shots (even though we struggled looking for a nice location). ♡ Also loved our heart-to-heart conversation during our Pepper Lunch date. Love you, beh!!
Black collared top from Terranova | Tribal print skirt from The Sweet Cloth | Black Boots from SHOE CULT by NASTY GAL | Mint Green backpack from ROMWE | Baby crystal point necklace from Forever 21 | White watch from Ice Watch
Photos by Cheska Cruz
Last Saturday, I attended the first Kawaii convention in the Philippines and to make-up for my short blog post feature about it, this blog post will contain more things about what really happened during the event!
Kawaii has always been a term I’d always mutter and a word that can pretty much say a lot of things about myself. Kawaii is a lifestyle that I’ve grown with from all the anime I used to watch as soon as I get home from school; from the Japanese dramas I’ve watched; and from the things I’d only see on my computer screen. Kawaii wasn’t only a word for me, not just a lifestyle, but something that pushed me to enthuse about and to influence others to not just perceive it as a word as well.
I’ve had numerous sabaw conversations with Ate Kaila Ocampo — the co-founder of Kawaii Philippines, for years now and we’ve talked about her life in Japan, her blog, and sometimes (if a serious topic was brought up): her plans for the future. I’ve probably said this several times already but having Kawaii in Manila 2 happen right before my eyes felt so surreal. To have someone(very close to my hearts)’s dreams come to reality didn’t only give happiness to the person herself but to myself and to other people who shared the same dream as well.
Thank you so much to Hotel Celeste for accommodating the Kawaii Philippines team! Their location was so convenient (5-minute walk away from Greenbelt!) and their staff treated us very well. ♡
Being adopted by the Kawaii Philippines team, I was able to get a behind-the-scenes look of what was really going on with the preparations of this huge event. I honestly don’t know how much sleep I got the night before but all I remembered was the laughter and how sabaw we all got hours before the convention. I was initially assigned to take over the official Kawaii in Manila 2 Instagram account and to make it trending which gave me one big mission to accomplish: to take pictures of everything.
As you enter Whitespace, a beautiful Pink cherry blossom tree welcomes you to kawaii paradise. This was one of my favorite things from the event because what’s a kawaii convention without a sakura tree where you can possibly bring your senpai to and confess your feelings under it, right? Definitely gave me the shoujo manga vibes!
The program was opened by the amazing Reese Lansangan who serenaded everyone with her unique voice and her original songs (whose lyrics I memorize by heart which explains why I mouthed every single word while she was singing it /fangirl mode/).
Other than singing, Ate Reese actually had a booth called Soon the Moon which sold lots of kawaii accessories with Pop Art works and even famous icons from our childhood (spot Sailor Moon and Lisa Frank!). I honestly wanted to purchase everything. They were all too cute for my life.
Kawaii Philippines also sold their official shirts and kawaii bows made by Dolly Kaye. Can you spot the bows with cherry blossoms, Milky, and One Piece?
I couldn’t miss the chance to drop by the Hodge Podge booth, of course! I’ve been friends with the owner, Ate Gel, online and it was so nice to finally meet each other last Saturday! Oh, the opportunities I got from Kawaii in Manila 2. I purchased one of their super kawaii loom band keychains with Rainbow Dash!
Lucy Pop was one of the major things you couldn’t miss out on during the convention. Founder Kamiyama-san and Planner Yuki-san flew all the way from Japan just to bring their amazing products to the Philippines for all kawaii girls to gush over! I especially loved their bowties because if you’ve known me long enough, you’d know how much I love bows.
A few days before the event, during a casual chat with Ate Kaila over Facebook, she gave me one of the most random opportunities I’ve ever received in my entire life: to model for a Japanese school girl uniform brand — Lucy Pop. If I were to tell you guys the story of how I aspired to become a model when I was younger — joining Go-sees and all that, I’d be writing a novel already.
I brought my twinnie Guen along with me and we were both given a last-minute opportunity to don a kawaii school girl outfit that we’d only dream of wearing from watching anime and Japanese dramas.
I was given a purple school uniform which was initially with a cardigan but was removed by the designer and instead, he gave me a school bag — and to think that I’d only see these in Japanese dramas!
Modelling with a bag was both convenient and a hassle for me. Convenient because I didn’t have to awkwardly model without holding anything; and a hassle because “how do you model with a bag?” After practicing different poses before the show, I was actually able to do a good job modelling. *pats self on the back*
My twinnie was so kawaii as well!! I’m really proud of her hihi ♡
This was my first modelling gig and it still feels surreal that it happened. The feeling I got when I walked to the end of the runway with so many camera flashes around me felt so weird yet so exhilarating.
I spent most of my time with my forever kawaii twinnie Guen and I don’t think I would be able to survive the event without her! Gotta love her for bearing with a stressed unicorn (a.k.a. me)! We were so clingy throughout the event and I’m so glad that I was able to spend the convention with her.
Channeling our inner school girls (where’s senpai?) under the beautiful cherry blossom tree. I think it’s time for us to have a twinnie name. Any suggestions?
With the person who took the two previous photos: Ate Chai Mungcal of Ohmylittegirl! We’ve been exchanging tweets for a while (either about something related to Japan or Korea) and it was so nice to finally meet her! She deemed Guen and I as “fresh” and I couldn’t really see the different between us because she (still) looks as youthful! I’ll forever admire her for her fashion style and make-up skills (please teach me, master) ♡
Class picture with the Lucy Pop family! We only rehearsed a day before the event but I’m so glad that the fashion show was a success! Kudos to Kaye (the kawaii pastel fairy princess) who headed all of the fashion shows. Love you, Mommy Kaye! ♡ You can spot the Lucy Pop founder Kamiyama-san and the planner Yuki-san in front as well! This wouldn’t be possible without them.
I had to leave early because of a K-pop concert I’ve been dying to go to for months already so I missed a few other stuff which includes the photo above! Three out of the six people in that photo are women I’ve been looking up to for quite some time now:
Kaila Ocampo, the Rainbowholic and co-founder of Kawaii Philippines, whose blog I’d always go to when I was still in Grade school whom I now treat as my "big sister from another mother" ♡
Reese Lansangan, my hairspiration (not a lot of people could pull off so many hair colors, okay) and an all-around talented woman whom I still fangirl; and
Tricia Gosingtian whose Lookbook I’d always stalk way before this blog existed and someone who played a huge part on why my blog exists now. She pretty much inspired me to blog and now I’m here. Yay.
It still kind of breaks my heart to have missed the chance to actually be able to take a photo with them and it would’ve felt so surreal to be able to do so but I believe that there’s always a next time (#KawaiiInManila3). Other people in the photo are also very precious to me and I’m so glad to have met them!! ❤ Kaye Romero ,the super kawaii pastel fairy princess; Chichi Romero, Little Miss Paintbrush herself who’s behind all the kawaii visuals of the event of and of Kawaii Philippines; and Ashely Dy, the fabulous Tokyo-based fashion blogger who made the Harajuku Fashion Show possible! Shout out to Anne Pinero, co-founder of Kawaii Philippines!! I don’t think I would be able to stay up groggy without her sabaw humor the night before the event! ❤
So this ends the first part of my Kawaii in Manila 2 blog post! I still cannot contain all the feelings I got from this event which is why I’ve decided to do a Part 2 post which I’ll be publishing real soon.
Justin De Jesus for the official runway photos from the Lucy Pop Fashion Show & the official Lucy Pop photos;
Jionor Verona for the other runway photo;
Chai Mungcal for the cherry blossoms photo (and to Eric Ocampo a.k.a. “kuya ng bayan” for the other cherry blossom photo; and
Tricia Gosingtian for the (incomplete) Kawaii Philippines group photo
If each word I blurt out was to be counted, I can definitely say that the adjective I used the most would be cute. And what do you get when you translate that word into Japanese?
You get kawaii.
I attended Kawaii Philippine’s first Kawaii workshop last year and I had a blast. This year, the super creative and fabulous Kawaii PH team planned something bigger — way bigger. Last year, I was in a small conference room, enjoying the day (amidst the rain) with less than 20 like-minded people. This Saturday, I’ll be enjoying another kawaii event once again with around 500 like-minded people.
Kawaii in Manila 2 will be filled with tons of exciting activities which includes workshops (that’s also featuring Abbey Sy & her amazing lettering skills), Live Music by one of my idols Reese Lansangan, and fashion shows with clothes made by fellow Filipinos + clothes all the way from Japan! Here’s a kawaii infographic of all the activities happening this Saturday:
And what’s a kawaii event without a kawaii map?
This event with definitely not disappoint with all the efforts and hardwork the team exerted to make a dream turn into reality. So, where will I be tomorrow? At this amazing event! Will I see you there? I hope so. ❤
All photos are from Kawaii Philippines