What the black-haired stork brought in today

Serving Android17 realness

Serving Android No. 17 realness

My friend Ikle is back in the Philippines for a very short stay to get some things done (well, quite literally). He has to go back to China this Saturday, but he had to drop by our apartment in Makati to have lunch with me as we won’t be seeing each other until Christmas. The other day, he told me that he was in a salon to finally get his hair back to its original color. I can’t remember when was the last time his hair was black, but when I graduated in 2007, his hair had always been non-black It was a very nice transformation as the hair looked healthier than before. However, we must immediately recognize that the color and style was a dead ringer of a 90s Japanese anime villain. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, Android No. 17:

I initially thought of Rihanna’s hairstyle circa 2007 (i.e. Umbrella era), but we nevertheless had a good laugh over the creamy garlic pasta with chicken that I prepared (Mon was out when Ikle arrived). Our chat got cut short, though, because he had a 1:00 PM doctor’s appointment somewhere in Makati. We then took a photo using his phone, as a souvenir until we see each other again about a month from now. However, I laughed so hard being unable to recognize myself with the filter he had used. A lot of Chinese people were apparently a bit heavy-handed with these apps that made them, well, look like a walking Photoshop’s Blur function. Observe the difference:

Before - Ikle and I. (We already have our miniature Christmas tree behind)

Before.  I think this one has a light filter to begin with. My skin does not look remotely pore-free like that. (On a different note, notice that we already have our miniature Christmas tree behind? ^_^)

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The search for leather cleaning products

The last time I was faced with the task of reviewing for an exam, I had shaved my head off and sported a buzz cut. Well, I would have done the same thing but I wanted to have workable hair come April for my graduation and starting from a buzz cut just won’t cut it. On the other hand, I’ve been struggling recently with my hair and the moment I started feeling a bit uncomfortable with it, it only means one thing: a haircut!

About to get a haircut

For the past three months, I had been getting my haircut from Fix in Sta. Lucia Mall because I had them done on a weekend. On my way to work today, however, I almost did not go to Ménage Salon in Gateway but Mon persuaded me not to postpone my haircut again. I arrived in the salon and good thing that the person from whom I always get my haircut was present. He remarked that I haven’t got my hair cut from him for quite some time. LOL I normally ask him to shave the side and do little with the hair on top because I grow it out. But this time, I asked him to cut them way shorter because I unconsciously pull my hair a lot whenever I review.

Shorter hair again

After getting a haircut, I rushed to Handyman in Farmers Plaza to buy a leather cleaner and conditioner for my bags and shoes. The last container I had was already used up a month ago and I have been cleaning my things with only a soft rag. My Red Wing boots suffered the most because they looked extremely scuffed and I can no longer put off buying another container of leather-care product. I already tried Turtle’s Leather Cleaner and Conditioner and I was already at the point of buying one, but I took my time to look at other products on the shelf.

I already picked up the bottle of Turtle, but decided on another product instead

A bunch of leather cleaning products from Handyman

And then, my experimental self saw a pair of leather cleaner and conditioner, sold on separate bottles, and hoped that they will work better than the previous one I’ve used. Tanner’s Preserve Leather Condtioning Cream and Leather Cleaner cost almost twice as the other one (Php 399.75 each *gulp*, whilst the the other was Php 499.75), and I’m very eager to try them out. I’ve also read reviews online and saw that they are generally well-received. The catch: they are used more on car seats and there’s a chance that they may not react well with my items. My reasoning was that “leather is leather” but I know that this logic is highly-flawed, given that not all leathers are created equal.

Tanner's Preserve Leather Cleaner and Conditioning Cream

I know that utmost care must be exercised when dealing with “open” leathers, such as suede or bucksin and I won’t be too crazy to ruin them. Nevertheless, I’m hoping this initiative to treat my bags and shoes will not backfire! Let’s see later on how things will turn out as a ruined item is definitely worth posting about. Just kidding.

Tailor-made: the chop

The last haircut in the salon I had was before the year changed to 2013. From that time until last week, I just go to the barbershop to have the sides shaved again. Of course, the top part will eventually grow out extremely long that my hair just begins to have a life of its own. I had no plans of having it cut today, but as I started feeling uncomfortable, I had to do something.

Getting this mop-of-a-hair chopped

My hair looked like a field of grass blown by the wind

I think that I’m also beginning to take a leaf from my mother’s book. When she goes out, she makes sure that she’ll do A LOT of tasks in a single day to make getting out more fruitful. That was also what I did today. After getting a haircut, I went to the Marikina City Public Market to buy some fabric. I’ve been wanting to have two more pants made from the same tailor who did the two black pants I use for work. I wanted a pair of darker khaki pants (from the one I already have) and another pair or navy blue ones. I think I can use my other pair of shoes, other than the black 8-hole Doc Martens and Red Wing boots if I have these two pair of pants with me. I have no idea of particular fabric names, so I just wore a pair of khaki shorts made from the fabric I hoped to find.

An afternoon in Marikina City Public Market

Khaki and blue cotton twill at Php 190 a yard

In the section selling dry goods, I went to the second floor and approached right away the first stall selling fabric. I asked if they have a fabric in khaki, similar to the shorts I was wearing but they told me that they did not have oxford. So it was news to me that I was looking for an oxford fabric. They only have cotton twill so I left looking for this oxford fabric in another stall. I think most stalls were having their siesta because there was a long row of stalls with no people looking after their merchandise. Then at the far end, I approached another stall and asked for oxford fabric. The old lady responded they have none, so I asked if they have a fabric similar to the one I have, holding out the hem of my shorts. To my surprise, she loudly exclaimed “Eh cotton twill naman ‘to eh!” , so I mentioned that the other stall said otherwise. She then retorted “Ang boba nila kamo!”, which left be gobsmacked. O_O Anyway, I ended up buying a yard and quarter for both khaki and navy blue fabric and immediately left for the tailor.

Where the magic happens --- my favorite tailor in Marikina

The tailor, Mang Joel, getting the measurement of my other pair of black pants

Arriving at the tailor’s shop, he immediately recognized me and asked if I have my fabric with me. I got them out of the paper bag and I told him that he can pattern it after another pair of pants he made for me a year ago, which I also brought with me. I was told that I will be getting the two pairs next Sunday. I paid half of the total price and hoping that he’d nail the pants again. I only trust Mang Joel when it comes to my tailoring needs. I seldom buy from the mall, unless the fabric is exceptional, but for everyday needs, I just have them tailor-made. My legs are quite big and I’m not exactly tall so mall-distributed pants eventually end up being altered. The best thing about this, I spend less having them made than buying them in the mall. For example, the fabric I bought earlier costs Php 190/yard and I always need a yard and quarter for a pair of pants. So for Php 237.50 (fabric) and Php 400 fee for the tailor, I just shelled out Php 637.50. I highly doubt I can find the same price on the mall, which usually needs alteration of the length and that costs me around Php 100.

On another note, I just found out that Mon’s father has permitted Lot to pursue her studies in UPLB! I’m so delighted and I can only imagine how happy Mon and Lot were upon getting this confirmation. There’s no more need to fight our way through for reconsideration! Congratulations, Lot, for being a fellow Iskolar ng Bayan! Welcome to the University of the Philippines and I hope you’ll have a great time being an Iska!

And before I forget, tomorrow will be the first day of comprehensive examinations for the second semester takers! It seems only yesterday when I was also faced with same daunting task to finish graduate school. I’m sincerely hopeful that my classmates and friends taking the first part (of three) will have a calm mind and not panic with the time and pressure of answering correctly (not to mention, ballpens breaking down or hands shaking from hours of writing). I will be going to UP tomorrow to wait for them to finish and give some moral support, and hopefully those who listened to me and actually sought my advice will help others as well in the happy event that they pass. Pay it forward, guys. =) In bocca al lupo!

Same old, same old for the New Year

So yesterday, we finally got our glasses from Farmers Cubao and I never felt more happy about it. Technically, they were not new because I got the same style I loved so much, which got broken last July. Looking back at how I decided to replace them in September, I didn’t know what went through my mind as I chose another one.

My new eyeglasses fresh from its case

Trying my glasses on

Also yesterday, I’ve been complaining about how I wanted to have a haircut. The last time I had one was before our trip and I no longer feel comfortable because my scalp normally gets dry when the sides grow longer. I should have gotten one yesterday when I was already out of the house but I was too lazy, thinking that the number of people waiting to get their hair done might be a lot. I normally get my haircut on weekdays, after lunch when there are less people in the salon. But I was already scratching my head off so I went out to have a haircut. I arrived at around 2:00 PM in the salon but there were so many people already that I won’t be due until 3:30 PM. O_O

With my not-so-new haircut

After the waiting was done and I was at my seat, the picture of the haircut was all ready in my cellphone — the same haircut I show to the the person cutting my hair for more than a year. I more or less have the same haircut since 2006, with minor deviation, but I already got tired describing it last year so I just keep a picture with me . =D

So same old, same old for the New Year — same glasses and same hair. I just hope the year ahead will be much different from 2012 because I begin to hear the ‘doldrums’ being ‘played’ aloud a lot, if you catch my drift.