One word: RED

Except for one, all my bags are on the neutral side. I also have a lot of messengers but I’m beginning to warm up to backpacks and slowly getting over my trauma of carrying one. So when we went to Seoul last month, Mon and I agreed to buy canvas backpacks, simialr to the styles we kept on seeing on guys in the streets and the subway. So on our third night, we tried finding the stall with the most justified price of bags and came across one, right across Lotte Young Plaza.

A bunch of canvas backpacks hanging from a shop in Myeongdong, Seoul, South Korea

Red backpack bought from Myeongdong in Seoul

We actually bought four bags: two of two different styles for both Mon and I. I don’t get to use the purple one often but I love using the red one more:

Old-school camera print shirt from Graniph, black skinny pants, black 8-hole Doc Martens and red canvas backpack

Looking back, I think I should have not bought the purple one. My mentality that time was to buy two colored-bags other than neutral so I immediately jumped on the red and purple. Granted that the bags are not exactly expensive (a great deal a KRW 10,000 each, more expensive than the last minute moisturizer I hesitantly bought due to stupidity), I wish I could have bought another black one. =D

Time warp: Happy Halloween!

I had little recollection of anything fashion-related in the 90s, except for distinct shoulderpads and distinct baroque prints done by Gianni Versace when he was still alive (R.I.P.). But apparently, while I was busy oggling over my Disney and Japanese-imported (and Tagalized) cartoons, there was a huge craze over the the little black backpacks done by Prada. I had no memory of such but  whenever I Google “Prada nylon backpacks”, there was always a 90s reference to it. Just before the turn of the decade (and the millenium) in 1999, the movie ‘10 Things I Hate About You‘ had an oft-quoted Prada backpack reference on it:

Bianca (Larisa Oleynik) as Bianca with her epiphany over a Prada backpack in 10 Things I Hate About You - with Gabrielle Union and Joseph Gordon Levitt

When I first watched the movie (I was already in high school), I had no idea what the analogy was about, but I definitely knew what Skechers was. I literally begged for a suede pair as a Christmas gift from my mother and that was the most expensive thing I’ve owned at that time.

Years later when I began being interested with bags, I never considered owning a nylon Prada backpack because: 1) the size of the bags I always see is tiny and some even have this leather-and-chain straps on them, 2) they seemed very dated to me as something that should be left in the 90s, and 3) a backpack was no longer an option, given my unfortunate experience of having my cellphone stolen when I had last owned one. But as they always say, “Never say never”. Yesterday, something arrived for me and I finally have my own big Prada backpack. The 90s is now officially alive in my books. =)

Big Prada Nylon and Saffiano Leather Backpack - Manila, Philippine

Bench polo shirt, my 'favorite' black H&M sweatshirt and black Prada nylon and saffiano leather backpack - Manila, Philippines men's fashion

I wish I could find a nice Prada Trick Robot to attach on that D-ring (Photo from Polyvore)

Wearing all-black today does not only signify the Halloween-ness of the atmosphere as it is October 31; but also exactly a year ago (and approximately within the hour), my grandmother peacefully passed away. I can’t believe that it has been already a year when I was surprised by a phone call from my brother telling me that Nanay has already died. It was one big blur and I remember immediately rushing home from work (because it was a holiday), while we waited in our house for the coffin to arrive.

Our tree was already out of the box - Manila, PhilippinesKnowing the results of my examinations yesterday made me extra emotional because I remember that when I graduated from grade school in the 90s and high school in early 2000, my grandmother was the one always present in every ceremony. And when I finished college in 2007, and she was already very sick that time, she even managed to congratulate me from her wheelchair. Come 2013 when I attend the rites for finishing graduate school, my grandmother won’t be there. But I know she’s in a much better place now, and my parents will finally be personally attending mine. =)

Well on a different note, I noticed that our Christmas tree has been already taken out of the storage room and just waiting for ornaments to be put on it. ^_^ I expect that the Holiday season will go on full throttle once the All Saints Day and All Souls Day are finally over. I’m actually looking forward to decorating the tree this weekend.

My first backpack in years

If you take a look at the things I own, you can immediately identify the absence of a backpack. But why on earth I didn’t have one? It was a very interesting story because I used to be backpack-only type of guy — well that was when I was in grade school until college.

The last backpack I owned was this red Nike backpack (which I dug out of the bowels of my closet for picture’s sake. It literally has cobwebs on the bottom):

My old Nike backpack from college

It was what I used to carry because I also had everyday training and it was very easy on the shoulders for the weight was pretty much distributed evenly. Unfortunately, when I was on my way back to UP for training with the squad and as I passed by Philcoa, a little, dirty girl stood in front of me and grab my legs. I was of course taken aback and was trying to get out of her embrace. A few seconds after when I was about to pay the jeepney back to Aldaba Hall, I’ve noticed that the front pocket was open. It felt like being doused with cold water because upon first sight, I knew right away that my cellphone (a Nokia 3230) was stolen. That was my bat signal to curse the backpack for eternity and I have gotten a big, slouchy messenger bag from American Boulevard in SM North a day after.

Tracy's leather satchel backpack from Hairspray movie

(Screencap from the movie ‘Hairspray’)

Years went by and I still wasn’t convinced that I needed a backpack. I forever associated it to being prone to stealing because a person is definitely blind when you have the bag at your back. However, when I first saw Tracy (Nikki Blonsky) carrying the leather satchel backpack in the opening sequence of Hairspray, I realized that it might have been time to reconsider having one. I think the one in the movie is similar to the type of bags that Cambridge Satchel does, and I highly doubt if they did not issue a backpack-type. But as I was already disenchanted by the price of a Cambridge Satchel, I was just confronted with the idea of having even just one backpack.

Louis Vuitton Monogram Montsouris GM backpack - Manila, PhilippinesAs the old adage goes: NEVER SAY NEVER. First of all, I’ve said before that I’m already growing out of my monogram phase. But can you resist something that suddenly comes up without a warning (i.e. a good deal) for an insanely significant fraction of the retail price? When the Louis Vuitton Montsouris GM backpack was initially released, it was sold at US$ 1,300. I see that a lot of online sellers selling it at an average of US$ 500 (and Luxury Exchange even sold one for US$ 910!) Can you fault me for getting it in a snap because the seller offered it to me for an extremely reasonable price? 😉 I bet you would even beat me to it if you can!

Kanye West with his Louis Vuitton Monogram Montsouris GM backpack

(Photo from Fashionphile)

My knowledge of Louis Vuitton, albeit limited, is sufficient, especially when it comes to monogram canvas and epi leather. However, I will not assume that I know a lot so even when I was inspecting the bag, I was secretly Google-ing “Montsouris GM” because I was not really sure if the style in that size was made. The initial search results was of Kanye West carrying the same bag from Fashionphile. Okay so the style do exist, but I needed to inspect every hardware, date code and heatstamp to make sure that everything was okay.

Louis Vuitton Monogram Montsouris GM backpack - leather straps and vachetta bottom - Manila, Philippines

I still cannot believe that I got a good deal for this bag! Of course, it was not perfect, with minor issues such as that ‘stain’ near the heatstamp by the back, and I had to clean some parts of the canvas with a damp cloth, but nevertheless it was in excellent condition. What bothers me the most, however, was the amount of vachetta the bag has, especially at the bottom. I never owned anything that has this much vachetta, and I’m afraid that it might get ruined under my clumsy hands.

ITALIA Jacket, brick skinny pants, Louis Vuitton Monogram Montsouris GM backpack - Manila, Philippines

I’m only 5’6″ and the bag doesn’t look small, so that’s a good thing. But Mon and I agree that he’s going to use it for our trip back to Seoul. (Yes, I can’t stop talking about our Seoul trip because I’m extremely excited!) As much as I want to use it there, I’d just stick with a messenger because I’ll be most comfortable with it than this bag that I’m still not used to. =)