Friday, November 25, 2011

My Hermes Bags

Today I will post about the most popular Hermes category of goods: bags.

First up, I will talk about my Paris-Bombay, the bag in the front. It's PM size and made of black vache liegee leather. I saw it in the Hermes ad in several fashion magazines, in white, and fell in love with it. However, I'm always afraid of how easily white bags get dirty. So I thought, I'd love to get that bag in black. A few weeks later, I spotted the subject of my thoughts in the display case at the boutique. My sales associate (SA) told me that they had gotten so many requests for that particular bag, but as it was the hot new bag at the time, there were no waiting lists. It was either podium/special order or try your luck at the boutique. That edged me toward getting it, and it was a great buy because I have used it as an evening bag at quite a few functions.

Onto the Birkins...the one on the left is a 35 cm, and it's made of rouge garrance clemence leather and palladium (silver) hardware. It was an impulse buy. I was again back at the boutique with my friend M. It had literally arrived just a few minutes before we got there, and our SA told us that it was for sale. I'd been thinking I wanted a red Birkin, and there was my chance. I snatched it up right then and there. I'm so glad I got it because rouge garrance is now discontinued. It's the perfect shade of "lipstick red".

The one on the right is a 30 cm, and it's made of blue jean togo and gold hardware. I told myself, years prior to getting it, that if I ever got a Birkin, it would be blue jean. I've been told by many SAs that, for years, blue jean has been the most popular color for Birkins, right beneath black. As a blue jean Birkin is extremely hard to find on the shelf, I knew my only shot would be to order one. I also knew that even if I did find one, they're usually made with palladium hardware. Did a blue jean Birkin with gold hardware exist? I learned the answer when I saw a picture online of Victoria Beckham with one. It's a pretty famous pic, she's walking on a street in Spain, wearing a matching blue sweater that just barely skims the tops of her thighs, and nothing else. As soon as the next podium came around, I knew what I wanted.

I love that I have at least one bag made just for me, to my specifications, and others that were bought just because. Will I ever buy another Birkin? Maybe. They're so special, so to own even one is a blessing. I don't know if I could pass up a black one, and since it's extremely hard to find, I know if I ever do see one, I'll have to grab the opportunity. Maybe an exotic, but that'll have to wait until some other stuff gets taken care a possible 40th birthday present? We'll have to wait and see.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

My Hermes "Big Silks"

I hope everyone is having a great Thanksgiving Day! As I understand Thanksgiving Day is an American holiday, I would like to say "have a great day" to my readers outside the US, whether you're celebrating something or not.

Next category of Hermes goods to be introduced are my "big silks". These are my scarves, in gavroche size. I have just 2 of these right now. I make it a point to buy these only if I like the style enough to frame it. I am likely going to do that someday with these scarves. The style on the left is called "Chasse en Indie". I absolutely love the colorway of this. I've worn it tied around my waist with a solid black dress. The one on the right was the special scarf created in 2007 for the opening of the Wall Street boutique in New York City. I bought it during my trip to NYC that year, at the Wall Street boutique. It had been open for less than 2 weeks when I visited it. The writing around the edges of this scarf names the various neighborhoods of NYC.

The trip to New York City that year was a memorable one. It was the first vacation I ever went on that I paid for myself by myself, 3 years after getting my Master's degree and working hard at jobs that required long hours. I was 28 years old traveling in the big city all alone. I felt like there was so much to see and that I wasn't even close to fulfilling my dreams, but I knew I'd get there one day. Today, at having just turned 33 years old, I feel like I'm just a little closer. It's exciting, knowing the best is yet to come.

Tomorrow's category...drumroll, please...bags!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Hermes Leather Goods...with a Reveal

When my lunch break started, I eagerly ran outside (I get no cell phone reception inside the hospital where I work) and immediately saw that I received a voicemail message this morning at 10:04 am. I knew who it was without even checking the missed call log...and I was right. My lovely sales associate called to tell me that my item was ready to be picked up, as scheduled. So you're wondering what the heck I picked up at Hermes. Wonder no more! Here it is: a Kelly dog bracelet in blue electrique swift leather! I expected it would arrive today, so for the occasion, I repainted my nails in Chanel Blue Rebel (from the very limited-edition, for Fashion's Night Out 2011 only, Les Jeans de Chanel collection). I got a lot of compliments on this nail color, many of them about how the color was so unique. I didn't think it'd match so well with the Kelly dog, but I think it does. Bonus! I love this bracelet so much I think I'll get another one...but it has to wait until after Christmas...and I'll need a whole lot of luck to hunt it down! I also bought agenda refills with the 2012 calendar. I know it's a little early, but those sell out so quickly! And I know most people store all their info in cell phones now, but I'm an old-fashioned gal in a lot of ways, and the idea of scribbling notes and writing appointments in my calendar still appeals to me. Interesting little tidbit: if you buy the calendar refills for a Hermes agenda, you don't get just the calendar. It comes with an address book, too!

So...onto my next category of Hermes goods: leather items. The bracelet has been introduced, so next will be the item in the middle in the pic. It's an agenda made from barenia leather. This leather is extremely rare and, as far as I know, is discontinued, and may be available by special order only. Notice all the scratches? Those aren't anything to fret over (they were all made by me, of course; the leather was unscratched when I bought it). The patina they make over time is part of the beauty of this leather. The item on the right is a compact Bearn wallet made of box leather. I remember the occasion on which I bought the item clearly. I went with my friend M. to Hermes to buy an item to commemorate me leaving a stressful job to go to a new one. I had just gotten a Birkin right before that, so I couldn't get another bag, but a wallet was just perfect. I literally had my sales associate bring out every compact Bearn wallet in the store (plus a few other styles), and we went through them all. I didn't want a black one (I already had a black Chanel wallet), so I would look at this one, then put it back and look for another one. I kept going back to the black box wallet, so I finally decided on buying it. Now I'm so glad I did. Box leather, like barenia, develops a patina further enhanced by the scratches made by the owner. It just gets better with time...just like all other Hermes goods.

Tomorrow's category: "big" silks.

Monday, November 21, 2011

My Hermes Shoes

At this point, I have only 2 pairs of Hermes shoes. I have a pair of striped Hermes espadrilles that I bought during my early days of Hermes-collecting. The first time I wore them was to a meeting that I had to attend during my first job after getting my professional license. I expected this meeting to be a battle, and it was. It was also longer than I expected, and I remember throwing little glances at my shoes to make it more pleasant. As soon as I left the meeting, I headed to a fast-food restaurant to grab a quick lunch and thanked my sales associate. She seemed genuinely happy I was happy and subtly suggested the matching hat. What? Matching hat? There was a matching hat? I liked the idea immediately and promised to check out the emailed photo she would send me and "measure my head", laughing with her as I said it. I really did measure my head, as soon as I got home, to make sure I got the right size. I also ran the decision by my Hermes-hookup buddy. She said she had seen the hat at the boutique and that she thought it was very cute. I was sold. The hat came a few days later, and now I've got the matching set.

I saw the nude patent sandals in the runway photos from the Spring 2006 show. I get a lot of mileage from these shoes. I've worn them soo many times, including to the Jason Derulo concert that I went to with my friends for my birthday last year. One of my friends, who wears only flat shoes, asked me where I got them because she said she'd be willing to wear heels if she could get a pair like these. They truly are comfortable, which is probably why I've worn them so many times and will continue to wear them for many years to come. Not to mention, they're cute! Don't you just love the perforated "H" on the big strap?!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Orange Sunshine

There's something happening in LA today that happens only a few times a year: rain. I don't feel like going out and getting all wet. I'm also feeling a little under the weather right now (pun intended!), and I HAVE to go to work tomorrow. So I'm staying home today-all day.

Being that I'm back in a Hermes state of mind (after a LONG absence), and that it's raining today, I decided to make my own sunshine-with orange boxes. It's fitting
also because I'm trying to scale back on luxury purchases, and one of the best ways to do that is to take inventory of what I already have. It's like shopping in my closet! I went through my closets and drawers and gathered all the orange boxes I could find I realized that I'm sitting on an (orange) gold mine! I'd forgotten about all the goodies I had and it was so thrilling to rediscover them.

I know that you, my readers, wants to see what's in those boxes. Well, I love reveals and I love teases. I also love stories, and each of these items has a little story. So instead of having extremely long entries, I'm breaking the items into categories, one revealed each day this week.

We begin with clothing. Here I have a brown cotton V-neck shell, a chunky charcoal alpaca wool turtleneck sweater, and a purple-gray sleeveless cashmere turtleneck sweater. I spotted the shell during a sale. I was ready to leave, after being disappointed with not finding anything. Then I tried it on, and I thought it would be a nice addition to my wardrobe, so I bought it. The other 2 were purchased at full-price. I just saw them, and I decided I wanted them. The gray sweater is sooo cozy. It's too bad that LA weather rarely gets cold enough to wear it, but maybe when I'm in a cooler-weather climate in the winter, I can sport it then ;)

People will splurge on Hermes bags and accessories, but I don't hear much buzz about the clothing. I guess because, for clothing, there are infinite options. You can get clothing of good quality that's also inexpensive. However, if you decide to splurge on Hermes clothing, know that you're getting the best of the best. I came upon this info after asking my sales associate why my sleeveless sweater had a "Made in Scotland" label: Hermes is a French company (obviously), but the best cashmere comes from Scotland, so from Scotland is where Hermes gets their cashmere. Quality at its best indeed.

Tomorrow's category: shoes.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Bitching About Being Single

Friday night, and here I am at home. I actually don't mind. I prefer it. There are just too many people out on Friday nights, and I deal with enough traffic jams throughout the week. So what's on TV at 8 pm on Fridays? Sex and the City! I haven't watched an episode in a while, so I tuned in. The episode that was on was titled "Easy Come, Easy Go". In this episode, Miranda and Steve are broken up. However, Steve is still living in Miranda's apartment, even though they are sleeping separately. Another woman leaves a message on Miranda's answering machine, asking Steve out on a date. Miranda bitches to Carrie the next day, saying (I think I got this verbatim, but I'm not sure), "Here's a 34-year-old guy with no money and no place to live, but because he's single, he's a catch". It made me laugh. As much as Miranda and other (real) women I've heard bitch about how hard it is to find a guy in New York, I and other LA women bitch about how hard it is to find guys in our city.

Oh, well. We can't have everything we want all the time. I don't want to end this entry with negativity, so I'm steering it toward some sense of positivity. I don't have the man of my dreams right now. That's all right. I have a great-paying job that affords me the luxury of helping people and treating myself. So how did I treat myself today? Pretty darn good. I did what I wanted to do, and I did it on my own time. I tried on some dresses at the newly-opened Rebecca Taylor shop on Robertson Blvd. Oh, they were so pretty! If I must say so myself, I looked fantastic! The sales associates insisted I model them on the floor, and I noticed a bunch of people on the sidewalk in front of the entrance watching me model them. How I'd love to break out the dress for a special date with that special someone! It'll happen someday. I just need to be patient. I didn't think to take pics of me wearing the dresses, but here are a couple of stock pics I got from At full price, I can't have both, so which one do you think I should get? Maybe if I wait until after Thanksgiving, I can luck out and get both on sale...

I made another stop today, too. I pre-paid for an item that'll be ready for me to pick up next Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving. Want a hint? Look at the labels for this entry ;)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Birkin as a School Bag

Ever since I heard about "Ringer", I'd been looking forward to it and haven't missed an episode since it debuted in September. It's one of my favorite shows now, for various reasons: 1) the suspense, 2) the New York scenery, and of course, 3) the fashion. More than anything, I look forward to seeing what bag Sarah Michelle Gellar carries in each episode.

I don't get to watch the shows on their air dates, but I usually catch up on my DVR a few days afterward. In the most recent episode, it was the bag that the stepdaughter of Sarah Michelle Gellar's character that caught my eye. She carried a Birkin, which she used as a school bag! I don't know the color, but it's a cute orange-red one. Imagine being a high school kid and having one of these to stuff your notebooks and pens in! I don't know if I would've done it, even if I did have one back then.

This reminds me: I need to carry my Birkins more often. I haven't bought one since 2008. I actually don't intend to buy another one for several years. To me, Birkins are special bags, and since they last forever, to have just one is all you'll ever need. More modeling pics with Birkins to come in the future ;)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Everything's Better with Music

Work has been stressful for quite some time now. It's not getting any better. In this economy, though, I'd be a fool to quit. If I want to reach my goals, I have to stick it out, at least for a little while longer.

One day, a few months ago, I did something small: I turned on the radio. It's a very old one, and there's only one good FM station that we can get without all the static. But it's something, and it's good enough. I've believed in the power of music for a long time now. I played the piano as a child, and I've been thinking of relearning. I'm taking up dance classes lately, and it helps with the stress a little. At least I can concentrate on learning new moves after work, instead of how much pressure I experienced earlier in the day.

To my pleasant surprise, I received a package from my tpf secret buddy today. I put the Kings of Leon CD, Only by the Night, on my wishlist. Of all the things on it, I was hoping that this would be the thing I'd get. I got what I was inside the package! Here's a pic of all the gifts I got from rock_girl (see pic on left). In addition to the CD, I got the Madeleine Wickham book, 40 Love; a pair of Havaianas (perfect for us LA girls, who can wear them all year-round); gummy candies; a sweet-smelling candle; note cards from my favorite card store, Papyrus; a gift card and compact mirror from Sephora; and a red glitter heel ornament (see pic on right). Don't you love the card?! It's also from Papyrus, and the shoe on it looks just like my Christian Louboutin studded Very Prive.

I got a chance to listen to just the first few beats of most of the songs on Only by the Night, and boy, they were all good. I didn't have time to listen to more than one whole song, and for that, I picked "Sex on Fire". For 3 and 1/2 minutes, I decided to forget about work and just lose myself in the song. Whoa...this is a truly sensual song. I can't wait to listen to it again, and I can't wait to listen to all the other songs, too. I think I'll actually look forward to the long commute to work. As far as what will happen after I arrive...we'll see...but maybe I can sneak Kings of Leon into my desk to make the day go by more smoothly.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Side-By-Side Comparison

In my last post, I reflected on the changes that have happened to me. One of them was me being in better shape. I thought of this as I got dressed this morning. I had the day off today, so instead of wearing scrubs, I got to wear "normal" clothes. It was supposed to be a cold-ish day, so I decided on a sweater and jeans. The sweater I chose was purchased in August 2009 from the original H&M store in Stockholm, Sweden. I wore it a couple of months later when I traveled to Washington, DC and attended a meet-and-greet with Christian Louboutin. The lovely MichelleD from tpf took my picture while I sat across the table from the dream shoe designer, gushing to him. When I first saw the picture, I couldn't believe how I looked. I looked heavier than I thought I did. I've long since deleted the image from my digital camera, so I had to take a picture of the picture (near right).

Well, fast-forward 2 years, and here I am wearing the sweater again, but today, the sweater fits more loosely than it did in 2009. I took a picture of me from the back so I could see the difference (far right):

Here's another pic, of the complete outfit (left). I rarely post outfit pics, simply because I'm usually busy just trying to run out the door. I actually had the time today, so here it is. With the sweater, I'm wearing my Paper Denim & Cloth Ripper jeans and framboise patent Christian Louboutin Super Dombasle wedge sandals. Even though my 2 pairs of PDC jeans are the same color and style, they look very different because each pair is unique. They're my favorite jeans. I'm glad I got 2 pairs because they've been discontinued for years now. When I was heavier, I was devastated that I couldn't wear them. So when I started losing weight, the first thing I put on was them.

And the bag needs no introduction, right? ;)

I'm going to end this post with a message of thanks to our nation's veterans. These brave men and women deserve to be recognized for their bravery and service. I live in a free country because of what you've done or are doing right now. Freedom isn't free, people, so don't take it for granted. Thank you x10000000!!!!

Monday, October 31, 2011

My 33rd Birthday

Yes, I'm admitting it. I knew it was coming, but I full-on admitted it to myself this morning. But you know what? I don't care. Age really is a number. 33 is still young, and like I told my 27-year-old coworker last week, I feel as if I'm hotter now than I was in my 20s! I feel sorry for any 20-something dreading the big 3-0. Life is soooooooo good right now!

I think now's a good time to reflect on this past year, and I realize I haven't done any lists on my blog yet. So what I'll do next is combine these 2 by making a list that incorporates changes in me and in my life from this past year. In honor of the big 3-3, I'm doing 3 lists, with 11 items each. These are in no particular order. It's just really hard to pick faves.

11 of the Most Special Memories From When I Was 32:
-East Coast Adventure
-my sister's wedding
-Christmas with my family
-Vegas getaway
-stepping on the scale and seeing the needle drop at various times throughout the year
-my parents' anniversary celebration, watching them dance in front of our family and friends
-meeting Brad Goreski with my pals G and J
-hanging with my pals at Happy Hour at various times throughout the year
-putting on clothes that haven't fit in years

11 Lessons I've Learned Along the Way (Most of These Inspired By People I Love):
-Life is time. Waste as little of it as you can.
-If you concentrate on the good stuff, the bad stuff goes away.
-Worrying about something doesn't change it.
-Despite knowing #3, I will worry anyway.
-Miserable people want nothing more than converts to their ways. Don't become one.
-Maturity doesn't always come with age.
-It's OK to like being alone.
-You'll never be able to figure out why anyone else does what they do. Don't bother trying.
-Where you went to school, the subject of your degree, and how much experience you have count for very little. If you can play the politics game well, you'll get far.
-It's OK to be "superficial" and care about the unimportant things, like what shade of lipstick you wear, occasionally.
-Being in shape is a great thing! The sooner, the better.

11 Things I Look Forward to as a 33-Year-Old:
-getting into better shape, now knowing what activities excite me and realizing the importance of being in shape
-paying down more of my student loan debt
-silently telling myself I'm hot more often
-finding Mr. Right, if it's the time and being OK if it isn't
-more precious time with my family and friends
-being less self-conscious
-making new friends
-fun trips
-getting closer to fulfilling my dreams
-wearing my sexy dresses and shoes more often
-cooking more often

Of course, I'm not going to leave you readers hanging. Here are my 3 birthday presents, revealed! These gifts are definitely a scaleback from past years. I really could use a new wallet and a small bag to take to dinner or a party. And the book...well, I just wanted it. They are, from left to right:
Christian Louboutin Suola wallet, small Gucci canvas pochette, Christian Louboutin 20th anniversary retrospective book.

Hello to my newest follower, judyspink!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

What a Great Pre-Birthday Week!

I don't dread birthdays. In fact, I love them. I don't get why people dread them. I mean, they come whether you want them to or not, so why not make the best of it?

On Wednesday night, I got together with some friends for a co-celebration of my birthday and the birthday of another friend. It was about 15 people who spent Happy Hour at Smith House, a bar in Century City. Free valet parking, tasty buffalo wings, discounted drinks, and a churro-type dessert for birthdays...what better place?! More than the great place, I was just thrilled that someone actually remembered and planned something for me.

Today, I picked up birthday present #3! Honestly, I intended to buy just 1, but the other 2 just kinda happened. Despite the fact that there's 3 of them, this really is a scale-down from years past. Don't worry, readers, it's only 2 days until the reveal!

I had a great dinner. It began with a glass of champagne with a few friends, then I headed to The Bazaar by Jose Andres in Beverly Hills to meet up with my sisters and their men for another birthday celebration. This restaurant has been named the best in LA, and if you're lucky enough to go, you'll see why. It's frequented by celebrities, such as the Kardashians. The decor is interesting, and the food is yummy! The dishes are the creations of Jose Andres, world-famous chef known for avant-garde dishes that are the product of molecular gastronomy. It's on the pricey side, though, so unless you're a Kardashian yourself, it's likely a place to dine on special occasions only. It's a Spanish-style restaurant, so the plates are tiny, but the prices are the same as full entrees in other restaurants. All of my food pics came out blurry, but when my sister sends me hers, I'll be sure to add them. However, I did get a somewhat clear pic of one of the display cases, sponsored by Kiki de Montparnasse, the risque lingerie line (when I reach my goal and have more money, I'm buying all my lingerie there!).

I have 5 new followers! Hello, Sunshine, zippity, Katherine, Petra, and Yami!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Vegas, Baby!

One of the many great things about living in LA is the close proximity to Las Vegas. I know you've all heard this before, but I have to say that Vegas is the ultimate adult playground. Sometimes I take it for granted because it's so close, but let's just say that I make sure to pump some dollars into their local economy every time I'm there =)

Angelenos can get to Las Vegas via a 5-6 hour drive or a 1-hour flight. I choose to fly because the idea of sitting in a car for 5-6 hours and using up all that gas sounds like a bad idea to me, plus Southwest frequently sells LAX to LAS flights for $29, so I took advantage of this special. WTH not? I usually make it a point to visit Vegas at least once a year, in the summer. Summer passed, and I hadn't visited. It was time, plus it's not a bad way to spend my birthday =)

I spent just a couple of days there, enough to have a little fun and recharge my batteries. Like I do during every visit, I ate at the buffet at Bellagio Hotel. I've eaten at all the major restaurants there, and this one is still my fave. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), I didn't take full advantage of it this time. I've shed about 20 pounds this last year, and I'm trying really hard to keep it off, so I had to resist.

I saw Jersey Boys, a musical/dance show that tells the backstory of famed oldies group Frankie Valli & the 4 Seasons. They had many hits, including "Big Girls Don't Cry". I highly recommend it, unless you don't like music, since this show is full of it. Most of the people in the audience were middle-aged or older, so they rocked out to the songs, many of them remarking how much the show brought them back to their childhood and teen years.

I guess I don't feel comfortable with the idea of throwing hard-earned money away (I'd rather spend it on something I need or want-like shoes!), so I didn't do much gambling. I did, however, briefly hit the slot machines...and won a whopping $3!

This being me, you're probably wondering if I did some shopping. Why yes, I did. I stopped by both Christian Louboutin boutiques, including the new one at Caesar's Palace Hotel. I was hoping to see some python, and they did not disappoint. They had the black crystal python Madame Butterfly pumps and the purple python lucido Hyper Prive pumps, and they had my size in both! I gasped when I tried them on, but I had to resist and pass. Both pairs cost over $1K, and I just can't spend that much on a pair of shoes right now. Due to my desire to meet a major goal that I hope to accomplish within the next 3 years, I have to sacrifice a unfortunately, it could be a while before I buy a really fab pair of Christian Louboutin shoes.

So did I walk away with nothing? No, of course not. I got a 2nd birthday present! It's scaled down, compared to previous years, but it's something I'm excited about nonetheless. Since my birthday's not until the 31st (yes, Halloween!), I have to keep it under wraps until then. Here's a sneak peek, though...Yeah, I know it's wrapped in Christmas paper (lol)!

I just noticed that I have a new follower: Hi, carlinha!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Sneak Peak at My Birthday Present

Last weekend, I made a purchase: my next birthday present. I asked them to wrap it up because I don't plan to open it until my actual birthday. I promise to not delay, like what I did on my 30th =) Here's a sneak peek:

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Not About Me

Today, I was going to write about my own beauty issues and ramble on about them. Then, I got an email from my sister today, which included this link:

This is a big world. We are each just 1 in 6 billion people. I've visited many countries and live in Los Angeles, the true melting pot of the world. Many times, I compare the differences of these cultures from my own. As easy as it is to see how different these folks are, it's easy to get along with them. If you want to get along, just smile. No words needed. To get it rolling, why not make a balloon animal? I loved having those as a kid. Boy, I wish I had the talent to make them myself. My nephews would love me!

Even if you didn't love balloon animals, isn't it nice to know, in this shattered economy, there are people traveling the world to spread happiness to the most desolate places? Speaking of living in LA, it's so easy to get caught up in the hype. There are people here who have everything...but they spend their days wishing to be someone else. Then there are people in this same world who have not a penny to their names, but they're so happy.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Latest Purchases

I'm asked all the time about my latest purchases. Lately, there hasn't been much to discuss. I'm trying to save for a fabulous birthday present to myself, coming up next month, and also for, well, let's just say goals.

On Saturday, I went for my hair appointment, which I felt like canceling, due to a cold I caught the day before. However, my hairdresser doesn't actually mind having sick clients, and I'd already canceled 2 times before this appointment. And I needed to have my roots retouched-bad! I love being a redhead, albeit an unnatural one. I'm a proud Filipina-American, so I'm not cursing my naturally black hair, but my fiery dramatic personality fits that of a redhead stereotype so well! Here are the results of my fresh red color:

I can't believe I've been putting off buying the Maroon 5 CD, It Won't Be Soon Before Long. For a long time, I kept thinking, I'll buy it later. During my long commute to work and back home and the long workday, I found myself turning up the radio whenever a song from this CD came on. Well, it's about time I got it then. So now that I decide I want it, it's hard to find. ran out, and the multiple Target, Best Buy, and Wal-Mart stores I've visited didn't have it. I finally searched on Fry's Electronics website, and I found that a store about 13 miles away had one left. Yesterday, despite my cold and feeling s*itty, I headed there. I mean, what else to do on a Sunday afternoon? Right away, I ripped open the plastic and played it in the car: "6 foot tall, came without a warning, so I had to shoot him dead, he won't come around here anymore, come around here, I don't feel so bad"...OK, enough. I love Adam Levine!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Fashion's Night Out LA-9/8/11

Going into the East Coast trip, I knew that I had to make a choice: 1) Spend minimally, then spend as I normally would upon returning home (moderately, with the occasional splurge) or 2) Splurge, then spend minimally for the next couple of months after returning home. I chose #2. And being that I was in New York for a few days longer than planned, all the more I need to really stick it out. So far, I've been good. Other than the once-daily lunchtime meal (yes, I can cook, but I really need my time away from the office) that's always under $10, all I'd spent was $18.99, on a car wash.

I nearly stayed home during FNO, but the invitation sent to me by Christian Louboutin was too convincing. So on Thursday night, I stepped out in my brand-new batik python No Prives and headed to West Hollywood. I arrived a little early, so on my way, I stopped into Maxfield. Maxfield is a very Gothic-looking boutique. With as many mentions as they get in the major fashion rags, you'd think they'd be much bigger than they are, but the boutique is actually quite small. No matter, though. They carry the most cutting-edge labels, like Givenchy and Stella McCartney. Their clientele is major. The sales associate with whom I spoke told me many of the store's clients were in New York for the "real" FNO. We had a chuckle about that, agreeing that there are just some things that NY has on LA, and fashion is one of them. Let's not start another argument here. I still think LA is a great city and is better than NY in some ways. For example, the weather and entertainment is unbeatable in LA. Anyway, temptation struck, in the form of a dress by Dries van Noten (image is from I've seen his dresses before, in Barneys, but I never tried them, thinking they were too funky for my taste. I almost wish I didn't put this one on...because now I want it! There are so many occasions for which this dress could be worn, and it fit me perfectly! I had to pass...just had to. Luckily, by the time I took the dress off, it was time to head to CL, which was a 5-minute walk away (but on this night, it took me 10 minutes, with the shoes LOL).

The party at CL was awesome! They served Grey Goose cocktails and delicious snacks, including grilled cheese! They do love their customers, and we all got cool gifts from Frederic Fekkai and Make Up For Ever. After spending some time in CL, I headed to Chanel on Robertson, where they served champagne. I made a beeline straight for the nail polish counter, where I picked up the 3 colors of the Les Jeans collection. While I was examining the colors, I look to my left to see their nail polish model: a tall dark-haired young lady, who was none other than Kendall Jenner! After I got my polish, packed up in my first-ever Chanel shopping bag with white camellia ornament, I wandered around the store. It's a beautiful boutique, with an outdoor sitting area, so very LA.

OK, so I splurged just a little. At least I contributed to the cause of FNO, which was to revitalize the economy by having fun with fashion ;)

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Drama Queen Travels to the East Coast-an Adventure (Part 2)

As promised, I will finish writing about my East Coast adventure.

Thursday, 8/25: I left Washington, DC for New York City via Amtrak train. I highly recommend. I got a 10% discount on train fare for being a AAA member (I highly recommend that, too, for discounts on train fare and hotel stays, which I got to use quite a few times during this East Coast adventure). Even though I bought coach fare, the seating was sooooo comfortable and the ride was smooth. I looked out the window and watched as the train rolled through Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and finally, Penn Station. It was raining lightly as I finally breathed in the air of New York City. It had been 4 years, but I returned, just as I promised. I took a cab to midtown East, to meet up with my cousins for dinner. The view was breathtaking.

Friday, 8/26: The weather was sunny and warm, perfect for walking around the city. I started my day on the Upper East Side and stopped for lunch at Serafina Fabulous Grill. The service was slightly less than sufficient. They ignored me most of the time, and I had to be aggressive the two times I needed attention (to ask for bread and the check). However, I've had worse restaurant service, and the most important thing to consider when reviewing a restaurant experience is the food, and it was pretty good. I ordered the rigatoni alla bolognese.

After lunch, I walked eastward, determined to check out the Christian Louboutin Madison boutique. I was so excited, and then I was disappointed. There were 2 sales associates working, and they ignored everyone except the 2 customers they were with. There was a cashier, who "helped" me. I use the term loosely because she acted as if me being there was ruining her day. I tried to make friendly conversation, and she would interrupt me. She didn't smile even once and got into an argument with the manager in front of me. Not only was the service awful, but the selection was scant. The only shoe there that even caught my eye (and in which my size was available) was the indigo watersnake Bambou (a thick-heeled peep-toe platform). I was disappointed, but determined to walk away with a pair of CLs.

J and I checked into our hotel in Chelsea and hotfooted it to the Meatpacking District. She was eager to buy her first pair of CLs, and I was excited for her. Also, I brought along my Bambous, hoping to exchange them for something at the Horatio boutique that would make my heart sing. The experience at Horatio was so different from the Madison one. J and I were warmly greeted by the manager, who recognized me from events at the Robertson boutique, where I am a frequent visitor. He was so attentive and when I told him I was looking for python (which isn't sold in California), he showed me several pairs. If that wasn't enough, he produced from the back a dream pair for both me and J: for her, the No Prive in bronze python. For me, the No Prive in batik python! I thought I missed out on this shoe forever, especially when it went on sale and a bunch of girls on the Purse Forum snatched them. And there they were, in my size! We took a photo in front of the store, with our bags.

Our dinner wasn't to start for another couple hours, and we were starving. We saw a classic-looking British delivery cab sitting in front of Tea & Sympathy. As I'd heard of this place before, I was curious to see the inside, and we were hungry, anyway. It's a cramped little place, but with excellent service from women with adorable British accents. I ordered the Welsh rarebit, and J ordered a mushroom sandwich meal:

After Tea & Sympathy, we headed back to our hotel room to deal with the issues brought upon by Hurricane Irence: rescheduling canceled flights, calling our work supervisor, calling family, and figuring out where we would stay for the next few days (we were originally scheduled to fly out the next day). After dealing with most of it, we decided to take a deep breath and get ready for a dinner out at a hip NYC restaurant. After some confusion with our cab driver, who drove us in the completely opposite direction of where we needed to go, we made it to Buddakan. The food wasn't any better than Asian cuisine I've eaten in LA, but the "crying chocolate" dessert (white chocolate ganache with jasmine tea ice cream) was picture-worthy, so of course, we took a picture of it. Does this restaurant look familiar? If you've seen the Sex and the City movie, it should. It's where Carrie and Big had their rehearsal dinner.

Saturday, 8/27: Instead of flying home, J and I wandered around midtown Manhattan. We couldn't believe how empty the streets looked. The rain fell pretty hard, but we didn't let that stop us.

We continued on, checking out the tourist areas: Rockefeller Center, Times Square, etc. Who did we see in Times Square, besides all the tourists, determined to not allow the rain stop their vacations? The Naked Cowboy! He's one brave fella!

Sunday, 8/28: Not much happened this day. I woke up late and had a nice quiet day in Connecticut with my cousin. There were a lot of fallen trees and messy debris in the neighborhood, and lots of people were without power. However, at least where we were, there wasn't a lot to complain about.

Monday, 8/29: My last full day on the trip. In the evening, we drove into the city, and I had one last dinner in Manhattan with J. We ate at Osteria Serafina, which had good service and food. On our way to Serendipity 3 for dessert, we spot a little boutique called Dejavu. They have unusual hours, from 1 to 11 pm, versus the standard Manhattan boutique hours of 10 am to 6 pm. This worked out well for us, as we didn't end up finishing dinner until 9:30 pm. The friendly Dejavu sales associate told us that the hours were set up so that people like me and J would be accommodated. I really did need new dresses, since I'd lost so much weight this last year, and after I tried this one on, I knew it had to be mine. Here I am wearing it with my nude CL Very Prives. Excuse the bruises on my knee. That's what happens when you have to move yourself and your luggage from plane to train to taxi to 4 hotels within one week.

Tuesday, 8/30: I flew home today, a little sadly. I really do love New York. I hope it won't be another 4 years before I return.

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Drama Queen Travels to the East Coast-an Adventure (Part 1)

"Adventure" is a complete understatement! I planned to attend a seminar in Washington, DC for a few quiet days, then head off to New York for a day of shopping and a meal with my cousins. I got more than I bargained for!

Tuesday, 8/23: I arrived at my hotel in the Washington, DC suburbs at 1 am. A mere 6 hours later, I woke up to attend the seminar. I couldn't wait until the lunch break, at 12:30 pm, to crawl back into bed. I did just that, along with my friend, G, one of the girls with whom I shared a hotel room. At 1:45 pm, I woke and informed G of the time. G decided to stay in bed a few more minutes, so I headed downstairs alone. I had just a moment to grab lunch, so I stopped by the concierge desk to ask if there was a convenience store inside the hotel. A girl behind the desk turned her attention to me. Just as I was about to ask my question, the shaking started, then she yelped, "Oh, shit!". Being the California girl I am (and having been through many earthquake drills), I scanned the lobby for a doorway or table to duck under, but I couldn't find one! Then the girl ran from behind the desk and through the lobby, yelling for everyone to follow her out the door. People did just as she ordered, panic in the air, and me following them (hey, I'm cooperative), shaking my head in disbelief. It was just like a movie, and I pictured a giant tidal wave in the background, a la The Perfect Storm. So my co-workers/friends and I stood outside with thousands of other seminar attendees for about 2 hours, waiting for further orders. The seminar was canceled, so we decided to head out on the town. The gorgeous view of the harbor on which our hotel was located is pictured on the right. For dinner, I met up with a lovely fellow tpfer. We ate at a restaurant on the pier with her hilarious mom and sweet best friend.

Wednesday, 8/24: My coworkers/friends and I decided to head out into the city to lunch at Ben's Chili Bowl. This place is famous for being visited by Barack Obama after being elected President of the US. We were shown a short film on the history of the restaurant. The host was super-nice and was pleasantly surprised when we told him we visited from LA. The chili was good, but it was more than filling for me, so I was unable to finish my meal. We walked and walked and walked to the White House, then we took a cab back to our hotel. In the evening, we went on a nighttime city tour. We visited the Capitol Building; White House; Korean and Vietnam War and World War II Memorials; and the Washington, Lincoln, and Jefferson Presidential Memorials.

OK, I'm sooooo tired right now. I have too much to write about this trip, so I'm going to break up this story into 2 parts. We have just concluded part 1. Part 2 will follow shortly.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sharing the Love

Even after the big showdown on tpf that I had the misfortune of being a part of, I continued to get love from other tpfers. I nearly cried reading the private messages. They ranged from "Sorry for what she said to you" to "Losing you would be a big loss". I got so many virtual hugs. This may sound a little crazy, but it was almost like being hugged for real.

You take a chance when you post something online. Obviously, the risk is bigger when it's say, a risque photo of you with a stripper vs. a Bible quote. However, online is online, open to the public. You never know who'll read your post, and you never know if their buttons are pushed by what you post, even if you have the best of intentions and feel it's as innocent as can be. I know from personal experience. All I wanted to do was inform. I've only been about helping, and with a topic as serious as money, I felt that going bold was the only way to go.

Lucky for me, most people saw it my way. Just goes to show that good intentions and heart do not go unnoticed. I'd like to think we have more lovers than haters, even on tpf, so the lovers know the score. I love the lovers!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

We Don't Need No Haters...Just Try to Love One Another

I'm singing the tile of this entry as I type. It's a line from that danceable Mary J. Blige song, "Family Affair".

Why am I singing this? Well, where to start. We all know this economy is in deep $hit, right? We all know someone who's lost their job in the last year, right? We all know that even those of us who do have jobs know that we better be smarter about our money 'cuz we don't know what the future holds, right? So...what's wrong with saying so?

Suze Orman got it right: live below your means, which she talks about in her newest book, The Money Class. This book came into my lap (OK, after I checked it out from the library) at the right time. With my 33rd birthday coming up this fall and all these little aches and pains in my body not going away as quickly as they used to, I knew that I had to face reality: I'm not a spring chicken. I'm not old, but I need to grow up. I have money, but not a bottomless pool of it. Especially with the physical nature of my job, I will have to retire someday. And when I do, I want to go on cruises all around the world and pay for them in cash, just like my parents did. So I got to thinking that I need to put away more for my retirement.

As if God decided I needed more inspiration, He sent me a new patient on my caseload: a woman a few years older than me who relies on her parents for her basic needs and can't support her own child. The culprit: a shopping addiction. She buys multiple copies of the same piece of clothing and just ALWAYS has the need to buy, buy, buy. There have been others, but she's a perfect example for what I have to say next. She's not alone...if you're on tpf, you KNOW who I'm talking about. And there are thousands of them. They worship Kim Kardashian and her sisters. They want what the Kardashians have and surround themselves with others who do, too. So they buy to keep up, then somehow owning multiple pairs of Christian Louboutins and Chanel bags becomes the norm. Get out from behind your computer screen and immerse yourself in the real world (not LA!). It is NOT the norm. And even if you think you can afford your shoes and bags, really re-think that. Would you have to take the bus for a month or beg your boyfriend or sister for rides if your transmission broke down? Are you relegated to opening the windows and lounging around your apartment naked or hanging out at the mall (bad idea for those tpfers!) in the dead of summer because you're trying to avoid an AC bill? Think about it.

I posted this thought on tpf. And boy, did I get a backlash from 3 tpfers! One said I was being too preachy, another said I should butt out of people's business (the 3rd just agreed with them). Okaaaay...I was just telling it like it is, and if you default on your credit card payments or stop paying them altogther, the rest of us responsible folks have to pick up the slack. Are you listening, Theresa Giudice?! I was so upset, thinking, What did I do wrong? Then, the barrage of PMs poured in. Women I met only once or who have never met me at all offered me their virtual shoulders to cry on. They basically said I was right on and they knew I was only trying to help. That's what I'm all about---heck, that's how I got into the career I have now. All I've ever wanted to do was was never about the money. I always did well in school and had a good work ethic, so people told me I was crazy to not go into a "big money" field, but I didn't care. And guess what?! Now I'm making more than 3 times as much the average 32-year-old American with a college degree. And I've no one to support except myself. Every day (well, except Sundays, when they don't deliver mail in the US), my mailbox is full of offers from companies begging me to work for them. They're so desperate to hire me, they'll take even 5 hours of my time a month! I've been offered upwards of $20K as sign-on bonus. Yes, even in this $hitty economy! But why? Because there's demand for my services all over the world, and there aren't enough people with the training and skills to perform them. And I'm good at it, too ;)

So for you who tried to throw the fact that I own a Birkin bag (2, actually) in my face, stop hating. It's you who brought up the fact in the first place, but if you must know, read the above paragraph. I bought the Birkins back in my carefree 20-something years. I was able to afford them then (saving from money gifts and my generous salary) and can afford my D&G dress and CL shoes now, but I believe there's always room for improvement. Why settle for a decent retirement when you can have a FANTASTIC one?

For the lovers, I love you right back. Please continue to share your love with everyone around you. This world needs you more than ever. Take care and may many blessings be showered on you, in whatever form you want them to take!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Who Doesn't Love a Pretty Floral Dress for the Summer?

A couple of months ago, I wandered into the D&G boutique on Robertson Blvd. in West Hollywood. A really nice female SA greeted me and showed me some dresses. I had dropped 3 dress sizes and literally had no dresses in my closet that fit me. I saw this gorgeous white long dress that had a blue-purple floral print with black lace trimming. I wanted it...but it cost $995. It would've cost nearly $1100, including sales tax. I can't justify spending that on a dress, so I walked away, disappointed that I couldn't give the nice SA her well-deserved commission.

I'd literally dreamed about that dress, imagining sitting in a hip LA restaurant wearing it. I imagined what shoes I'd wear and the face of the man who'd sit across from me, admiring me in it. Yeah, I'm a romantic.

I wandered into D&G again yesterday. Knowing that the designer boutiques are currently ridding their Spring/Summer '11 merchandise by marking them at various discounts, I knew there was a chance I'd find that dress. I knew it'd be on sale. The question was, Would it still be my size? I was greeted this time by a male SA (who turned out to be the assistant manager). I saw my dress on the rack and told him I wanted to try it on. I glanced at the tag. Size 40. Score! He informed me it was 50% off. Score again! I marched into the dressing room and tried it. It fit. But...even at 50% off, could I really afford this dress? The short answer is yes. However, I needed to consider that I'm going on 2 big trips next year and still haven't purchased my first home, and I really want all that to happen. I needed to stick to a strict budget, and could I do that after the purchase of this dress? I wasn't sure. I needed to take a breather, get out of there. The SA immediately came up to me as soon as I pulled the curtain. I said that I'd hoped it would cost $500 total, so I had to think about it. He was very pushy and rude. He said, "Seriously, you're not saving that much". He even brought a calculator to me, punched in a few numbers, then facetiously said, "If you like the dress, what's another $38?". I said, "I know. It's the principle, though". Why say that to me? I was carrying a Chanel bag and drove up in a luxury car! I really would've gotten the dress, even if it cost $38 more than what I wanted, but I don't believe in supporting bad customer service, so I walked away.

I went home, did the calculations and found that if I purchased the dress, I'd still be good. I'd still have a lot of money to do the trips and save for a home. I wanted it, but I wasn't going back to Robertson. I called the Costa Mesa boutique, and they told me that they had one of that dress left, and only in a 44. Too big. I then called the Beverly Center boutique, and the guy who answered was so nice. He said he had one of the dress left, in a size 40! He offered to hold if for me until closing. I made it there a half hour before closing, and the guy brought me the dress. It was in better shape than the one at the Robertson boutique. It looked like no one ever tried it on. Of course I snatched it up and took it home!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Never Say Never

I gave up on this pair. I wanted them at full retail price, but I just didn't feel it was right for me to pay that price for them. So I figured I'd have to do without. Then I got a tip that they were going on sale. I decided to chance it by calling up a SA at an out-of-state store who helped me before...3 years ago. A lovely woman answered the phone, and when I asked for the SA who helped me way back when, she told me that she was long gone. Then I asked if she could help me, and she said yes. I asked if she was able to find me this shoe in a 37.5. She said she'd look for it and call me back. I was at work when she left a message, but when I got the chance to listen to it, I yelped for joy! She found them...and 11 (long!) days later, they arrived! Here they are: the Christian Louboutin suede framboise Madame Butterfly bootie!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

On the Prowl for More Christian Louboutin

What's with the corny title? "On the prowl"? What animal would you think of? How about a leopard? I was on the prowl for a while, but gave up. I was lurking on tpf one day, then I happened to come across some info: the leopard Madame Butterfly pump was being reissued! I jumped on it immediately, even prepaying for them, which I never do...but this is an exception. The reissued version is darker than the original, as you may be able to see from the photo on the right, which is of actress Jamie Chung sporting them (photo came from

Also, notice anything else from my modeling pics? OK, I'll tell you. My legs and feet are slightly darker than before (check out the side-by-side comparison with the photo of me in my Chloe sandals, which I bought back in Feb.). That's courtesy of Jergens Natural Glow. I'd seen the ads for them and decided to finally pick it up after seeing tubes of them on a display shelf at Wal-Mart last night. I'm gearing up for summer--I'm determined to wear skirts and dresses this year!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Happy Retirement, Shaq!

At the ripe-old age of 39, Shaquille O'Neal retired from professional basketball. Just as I peppered my mind with fond memories of the 3peat Lakers champsionship era from 2000-02 in order to take my mind off this last disastrous season, I hear about this. He was the beloved Lakers center (or, at least, he was beloved at the time) who made millions of people smile by saying, "Can you dig it?!". At my college graduation in 2001, there were a lot of students who had Go, Lakers written on their caps. I remember thinking that I wish I'd done the same. I won't remember Shaq for all the drama he caused. Instead, I will remember Shaq like he was in this picture, his enthusiasm all over his face after an awesome dunk off a lob from Kobe Bryant in Game 7 of the 2000 NBA finals Western Conference finals (photo from, taken from Paul Morse of The Los Angeles Times):

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

LA Sports Drama

I knew from the beginning of the 2010-11 season that this would not be a successful one for the LA Lakers. It was hard for me to come to that conclusion, having been a Lakers fan for almost all my life. The season came and went, and I thought, Maybe I was wrong. They came out with one of the best records in the NBA. They barely finished off New Orleans and lost to Dallas in a clean sweep. Out...there will be no 3peat. What a way for Phil Jackson to end his coaching career. I watched parts of the game on Sunday, and what I saw was ugly. I missed the antics of Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom, but from what I saw of the clips on the news and Kobe's post-game comments, I'm glad I did. I heard about even more drama from a co-worker, who stated that Pau Gasol's girlfriend and Kobe Bryant's wife got into drama worthy of "Basketball Wives", which affected the team dynamics. Seriously?! I know they might be rumors, but that makes a lot of sense. This team unraveled before the world, making for ugly plays and ultimately, losses.

What I felt went wrong with the Lakers this past season was that they stopped thinking of the fans. If Gasol and Bryant let their own dramas get in the way, that only supports the rumors. Each team member appeared to be interested in furthering their own careers and agendas. Their focuses turned to reality shows, endorsements, awards, and other nonsense. They forgot about the "little" people who got them there.

They need to take a page from Manny Pacquiao's book. No matter what, he thinks of the fans. During Saturday's match, he was locked to win by unanimous decision halfway through, but even during round 12, he was going for a knockout because he knew the fans wanted it, indicated by their chants of Knock him out! He sacrificed his body and face in order to please them. He's a proud Filipino, and he has donated many of his earnings to charities in his home country. He could've retired on top years ago, but he insisted on this Mosley fight in order to raise money to open up a hospital. If that's not classy, what is?!

I don't want to take myself out of the running for being a lifelong Lakers fan, but if there aren't any changes in the team, I will. They truly didn't deserve to win this year.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Celebrate the Red, Yellow, and Blue!

I started out my day in the West Hollywood Christian Louboutin boutique, yet again. I hung with my fave sales associate and a fellow shoe-loving pal. The new leopard ponyskin and Chantilly lace Biancas arrived and are pretty fan-f**king-tastic! I soooo wish I could've walked out with the leopard ones, but I'm currently awaiting the arrival of another leopard ponyskin pair, and of course, sale season is around the corner. I have to be more financially responsible this year, so I had to prioritize and ended up walking away empty-handed from Christian Louboutin today. Sigh...While there, a customer mentioned she would be watching the Pacquiao vs. Mosley fight. When asked by a male sales associate who she was rooting for, she was a little iffy, but eventually said she liked Pacquiao. I later left the boutique to head to Saks in Beverly Hills to check out the book signing featuring Amanda Goldberg and Ruthanna Khalighi Hopper. This is their second book together. It's called Beneath a Starlet Sky, and it focuses on the glamour of the Cannes Film Festival. There's a cool article on this book in the current issue of California. These authors are 2 very sweet and charming women. They posed for a picture with me (in my new white Juicy dress!), and Ruthanna autographed my copy. I look forward to reading their new book, but I think I will check out their first book, Celebutantes, first.

After chatting with the authors, I quickly grabbed a bite in the Saks cafe, then headed to Niketown, just down the street. There was a section dedicated just to Pacquiao gear. I found a replica of the shirt worn by Pacquiao and his team on TV. I decided on the blue one (pictured on the left). The inscription around the boxing gloves reads Don't tell your God you have a problem tell your problem you have a great God. This is a statement very reflective of Pacquiao's attitude toward boxing, and it's also reflective of how my mother, a devout Catholic from the Philippines, lives. Now I'm not exactly a fan of Nike (I might get into that, but if I do, it'll be some other time), but I really wanted a shirt to wear while watching the big fight, and supposedly, Nike has a monopoly on these shirts. At least I got a free Pacquiao poster with purchase. As I walked back to my car, one of the parking attendants screamed out, "Pacquiao's gonna win!". I couldn't help but to shout back, "Yes, he will!".

And win he did. There's so few things I like more than to sit around the TV with my family on a Saturday night, watching an exciting event. A Pacquiao fight is the ultimate sporting event. He's entertaining and talented, that's for sure. However, what's more remarkable, in my opinion, is what his talent and entertainment has done for us Filipinos. I've heard what other people have said when they think of Filipinos and the Philippines. A girl of Chinese descent once told me that among the ethnicities listed under the Asian/Pacific Islander category, Filipinos "ranked" near the bottom. Why?, I asked her. I was 19 years old at the time and had never heard of this hierarchy. Because the Philippines is dirty and poor, and there are a lot of hookers there. Sad to say that she's not the only one who's made such a statement, and I'm thinking only of the people I've heard. When Pacquiao started gaining recognition, people around the world were suddenly interested in this man who began life as a boy who rose from the depths of poverty in a nation known for dirt and hookers. Tonight, people in 120 countries heard our beautiful national anthem and saw our beautiful flag. I know I'm biased, but I think the Philippines has the most beautiful flag in the world. It's certainly unique, and with many thanks to Pacquiao, people recognize it. The color yellow, the color of Pacquio's boxing gloves tonight and appropriately used for the sun on our flag, is a symbol of hope to us. If today sucks, there's tomorrow, which will begin as soon as the sun rises again, which it does every day. Filipinos, hold your head high!