An Art Deco Hotel in Ermita for Vintage Hipsters

I actually had nothing planned for the day but thanks to an emergency invite from a blogger friend, I was able to experience another offbeat corner of old Manila. 

For a pre-holiday treat of the local government of Ermita Malate, bloggers were invited to witness a night of Christmas caroling and gift giving for the marginalized families of the community. Mayor Ejercito Estrada opened the ceremonies and students from Philippine Women's University and Universidad de Manila spread the holiday spirit and delighted spectators around Remedios Circle.

Aside from the festivities, we were also invited to visit hotels around Ermita Malate. This treat is in the efforts of the local government to promote the district of Malate as a another cultural heritage hotspot in Manila. Lucky me, I got myself into another free historical tour.


Nestled at the corner of United Nation Avenue and Roxas Boulevard is a vintage treasure I'm sure hipster travelers would want to visit. Miramar Hotel is an art deco structure built in the 1930s and refurbished as a 3-star heritage hotel in 2009 by the President of EMBOA (Ermita Malate Business Owners Association), Ms. Michelle Pe.

The facade of the building screams antiquated elegance. Aside from the yellow and red palette, it's also brimming with pineapple finials that collectively make the building a one of a kind must-see spot in Malate. Not much of the building's history is revealed anywhere though, which is frustrating, but rest assured this building is a legit survivor of WWII and the Battle of Manila.

Walking inside the building brings an instant feel of nostalgia and a weird feeling of being sucked inside the set of Chateau Marmont (AHS Season 5 reference, sorry), where you simply had to be on your toes all the time, just in case you bump into a pair of horny poltergeists. It's also coincidental that we get to gallivant around five floors at around 7pm. It's dark, we didn't see any tourist walking around, a total paranormal experience.

Miramar Hotel has a total of 40 rooms, each complete with air conditioning, cable TV, DVD player, refrigerator, electric kettle and hair dryer. The rooms are divided into Presidential suites, Junior suites, Superior twin, Superior double, Deluxe double and Deluxe twin.

Other Room Features :
Complimentary Breakfast
Wireless Broadband Internet
NDD & IDD telephone
Private Bathroom
Smoke detector and Water Sprinkler
Piped-in music

And FYI, the management doesn't have a "forbidden room" unlike the other haunted hotels in pop media. I haven't read any ghostly encounters in the online reviews so far, but one of the bloggers we had during the tour felt presence everywhere. Boo yeah.

Ms. Michelle Pe certainly has an elegant taste for art and fashion. Every corner of the hotel interior is stylishly decorated with these commissioned art deco paintings that sort of resemble those of the first editions of Vogue. We're back in the 1930s, baby.

Just like the facade, the interior is also filled with hidden pineapple finials and hard geometric patterns.
These dusty chandeliers just bring the authenticity in an old-fashioned, but still chic art deco hotel.
1034-36 Roxas Blvd corner UN Avenue, Ermita, Manila. Philippines 1000
Tel. No. (632) 523 4484 to 86 | Fax (632) 526 18 66 | (+63)915-4462115

Sea Nymph

Sitting in front of my laptop one cold rainy day made me realize, I haven't been drawing in such a long time! After I detached myself a bit from freelancing and accepting commissioned artworks, I started to miss hurting my right hand on some detailed ink work. I'm really in love with black and white anything, as well as pin-up(ish) anime.

This time I'm not sure but I wanted to draw a girl with a bubbly booty and fabulous hair. I'm a little obsessed with drawing detailed hair and since I have no patience to try and draw a life-like hair, I preferred to do something like this. It's a rare occasion that I finish an illustration in one sitting, because I'm an easily distracted person but I definitely did it, got what I imagined and I'm happy about it. Let me guys know what you think.

Serenity-themed Prom Dresses by PromTimes

Last night I had a weird dream about a 30-something woman who wore a fancy flapper attire. She held my hand and told me bluntly, "You're never getting married." A lot of things happened in my dream but this one really disturbed me days after.

Not that I'm considering marriage anytime soon, but I don't think that dream is a premonition or anything. I got to thinking that it's almost a few weeks left before my best friend's wedding and I'm still batshit undecided as to what I'm going to wear. Unlike the bride, who simply wants to get things over with, I want my first walk down the aisle as perfect and magical as possible. And I'm still stuck overthinking about my attire, with nothing decided at the end of the day. Maybe the dream was a stern warning about finding my perfect maid of honor dress before the wedding or else, who knows.

#YouBlogYou Vol. 1

I'll never get enough of answering personal questions. It's just fun writing about your personal opinion about anything. This time it's a #YouBlogYou series created by Louisechelle. It's a link up party that's sort of like the Liebster, just without the unnecessary "award" word and you know, looking for blogs with a small following (because that's a real hassle). YouBlogYou is a series for bloggers to answer 11 questions, which would be posted every Tuesday by Louisechelle. A Complete HR Department at the Touch of your Fingertips

One of the great things about being an employee or a budding entrepreneur is being able to secure government assisted benefits for retirement, or for unforeseen necessities. After graduation and securing a first job, it's really wise that you secure a Pag-Ibig, SSS and PhilHealth account right away so you can stress less about hospital bills and start furnishing home loans as early as possible. 

It's great when you have the HR to take care of your monthly contributions when you're an employee but the moment you decide you want to be your own boss, be it a freelancer or an owner of an SME, paying your monthly contributions on top of your bills, could be a real hassle. Just imagine the lines here in Manila, and going through the traffic before and after. It can take the whole day for ONE successful transaction. Seriously, it's no wonder I'm a part of the statistic of people who failed to update their contributions for more than a year.

Good news for everyone born to this new age of innovation, paying your monthly contributions as well as getting a full load of services that simulate a 21st century version of an HR Department (no shoddy paperwork, no snobby personnel), is now possible with

WhateverBabeShop Holiday SALE 2015!

I can't believe it's almost been a year since I started peddling my products in hospitals and schools here in Metro Manila. It just overwhelms me that a lot of people still appreciate the products that are mass produced by a single person. Yes, from conceptualization to labor to marketing, I've only relied on myself. I've found that it has been a very potent tool for me to go out my comfort zone and try on the shoes of a raketera. Because of this desperate need to make money outside my day job, I was able to prove to myself that I'm not an unlucky person when it comes to careers. I was just too lazy to go chase after what I really want. And baby, being an entreprenurse aside from being a fulltime blogger feels bloody awesome.

As a gesture of gratitude to everyone: every student, nurse, teacher, review trainers and fellow entreprenurses who made my small business Pocket Nursing Guides a success within a year, here's a holiday treat from WhateverBabeShop!

Four of the most requested colors (and unbelievably the ones almost always out of stock) Black, Pink, Violet and Red are now ON SALE! 

From December 7 to January 10, every nurse and future nurses, even those in need of a business sideline, now have the chance to order these top selling items at discounted prices.

Buy 1pc for only P320
Buy 5pcs for only P1500 (P300/pc)
Buy 10pcs for only P2900 (P290/pc)
Buy 20pcs for only P4900 (P245/pc)

Amazing isn't it? This is now your chance to talk with your nursing buddies and order a larger quantity to enjoy the amazing 30% holiday discount. Free shipping for orders of 10 pcs and more. Send me a message via SMS/Viber for your order now! Hurry while stocks last. :)

Photo by Jeini
Pocket Nursing Guides are the perfect gifts for those in the nursing profession this Christmas. Whether you be a student, a nurse on duty, a clinical instructor or a hopeful NLE reviewee, Pocket Nursing Guides will help you memorize the most basic of concepts that will help you in the most unexpected of times. 
Forgot the computation for Potassium deficit? Can't recall which drug to give during an arrhythmic attack? Need a quick cheat before placing the chest and limb leads for an ECG procedure? Just reach into your pocket and read up. It's there.
It's very lightweight, very handy and more importantly, it's chock full of organized basic nursing information you won't find collated anywhere else. Plus, you won't worry about it fitting in with your classy handbag. It looks nothing like a regular boring little book. You can even use it to store some hush hush info before a quiz (and nobody will find you out). Whatever color you fancy, Pocket Nursing Guides will always be there for you. 

Get Yourself a Long Hair To Go with OMGNB

via zerochan

I have a confession to make.
I'm planning to have a pixie cut by the end of the year. I'm going to dye it purple and I'm still contemplating whether I could pull it off or not. Here's my favorite inspiration photo .

I believe a shorter hair makes a woman edgier in today's generation. Judging from a couple of America's Next Top Model makeover episodes, a shorter hair is a sign of a woman's boldness. Whiny girls cry when their hair is cut short while badass women wear the androgynous do like a boss. A girl's biggest dilemma in cutting her hair short is always about missing her long hair and the plethora of hairstyles she can do with it. Aside from that, we women wallow in the fact that not everyone can pull it off so a lot of us are scared to try.

My Christmas 2015 Wishlist

One crazy Friday night I sent my besties messages over FB. Instead of my traditional Christmas gift to them (and they're tired of receiving matching everything every year like panties, earrings, etc..), I'm willing to finally give them what they want for Christmas. Budget: Max P500. It definitely surprised them because this is the first time I cared about what they wanted for Christmas. But there was a catch of course. A gift I give, a gift I will receive.

Okay, so this scheme of giving out gifts wasn't purely altruistic. I realized I'm no longer a kid who gets presents every Christmas, simply because it's mandatory and it's easy to give gifts to kids (toys, books,etc...). It gets hard to get what you really want when you're older. People liked giving away shirts, mugs and picture frames mostly because they don't know what you really want (and they don't care enough to ask because they fear it's going to be too expensive) but they still like the feeling of giving you something, and you just have to be grateful they remembered.

Reflections by Tom Hussey

I never knew how painful it was to watch someone pass until I became a nurse.
Those priceless few moments you get to spend with a stranger, listen to their stories over and over again and hold their hand when they get depressed over their health status. They say time is the one thing you can never take back, and when a stranger passes before your eyes, you realize how easily life can be taken away. You didn't have to be a warlock to prevent death. You just had to be there to witness life.

I remember this one old lady I took care of once. She was a funny one. She was always thankful each time a nurse entered and gave her her medication. Even though the nurse came to change her IV, which was quite painful, she was thankful still. She'd tell me stories each time I enter her room to take her vitals. Her daughter would roll her eyes because maybe she's heard those stories for the millionth time. She'd stay ecstatic talking about it anyway. She would signal her daughter to give the nurses extra fruits she receives from her children everyday. It was very thoughtful.

Time came when her doctor came with her lab results. It wasn't pretty. In fact, for the first time, I saw her usual smiling face turn into a melancholic smile, a smile that tried so hard to keep her sadness to herself. Of course, as a nurse I had to try my best to comfort her even though I really have no idea how to ease a person's suffering, let alone someone near their time. It's the end of my duty anyway so I sat there and listened to her.

WhateverBabe Goes to Blogapalooza 2015

Blogapalooza is the country's premiere event for bloggers. It's an annual convention of bloggers and businesses aimed to establish a sort of blogger to business relationship, a win-win environment for both parties. It also seeks to celebrate the rise of blogging and to promote responsible media.

"Blogapalooza started in 2011 with an annual Blogapalooza event that run for a day. It was an invite only event that only Bloggers and Businesses can attend. The rule was simple, Businesses present their products / services and build relationships with the Bloggers, while Bloggers get to see what’s new and network with Businesses to make deals happen."

I've always wanted to attend this event for years now but have been too scared to go there alone.  I've been an online poltergeist for such a long time, you know. Selling myself never came across my mind until I got curious about how it really feels to be physically available to sponsors. I have also made new blogger friends and I figured I could make more in this event. 

I'll never really get used to introducing myself as a blogger to people, the way a business person does. Accompanied by a box of personally designed business cards printed by AlphaDigitalPrinting, I finally got the confidence I needed to attend this "Business to Blogger" event. 

Few things I needed to prepare before I send myself to battle: a handy smart phone with an unlimited one day wifi, an extra bag ready for freebies and strong arms to get me through the day. There's going to be a lot of gimmicks where in order to win something, you have to post something on social media or hurt your arms trying to fan off leaves (Thanks SnipePH). So gotta be ready for that as well.

Without further ado, here's a Blogapalooza experience straight from a newbie's point of view.

My Life Lately Vol.1: On Blogging, Career Change and the Uneventful LDR

via leschosettes

I figured I should write an update on myself like I used to when I started blogging. I missed having to treat this space as an online diary--a space to let out all my carefully articulated emotions, and ultimately cry on the process if not finish a whole tray of Doritos just to soothe my nerves. 

October, out of all the months this year, has overwhelmed me the most. I never had such a surge of energy in my life and I almost feel like crawling back in my shell, scared of all the great things that suddenly came popping one after the other. It's stupid and crazy I know. I should be grateful for every opportunity that came barging through my front door. But I couldn't help but have these two voices in my head: One with the dragon fighting spirit that's ecstatic and wants to take responsibility of everything, and another that wants absolutely nothing to do with anything. Is this just part of being a Gemini, or being a fickle woman who over-analyzes everything and concludes nothing in the end?

I needed to take a short hiatus to think things through and get in touch with what I really want versus the random things I push myself to do just cause. I think ten days of Dixie Chicks, Youtube Yoga and a little traipsing somewhere unfamiliar is enough to recover from the high spirits of October.

This is me naked, raw and unashamed. I hope I don't infect anyone with how over-analytical I can get.

WhateverBabe Files: Halloween 2015

Interview Magazine 2011 shoot by Mert-Marcus

Halloween is my second favorite event of the year next to Christmas because I get to unleash my creative side and freak people out with stories of the supernatural. Tales of haunted houses, spooky apparitions and cultural creatures get my blood rushing I don't know why. I've always been intrigued by the paranormal even if it's not in the spirit of Halloween. Although I have yet to get myself in an actual Halloween party, I figured I could have a link party in my blog instead. A WhateverBabe Files dedicated to the haunted celebration of Dia delos Muertos.

If you're reading this, please try and not disturb that odd kid without his eyeballs trying to read beside you.

Feng Shui 101: Earth Element

If there's one feng shui element that keeps all the other elements grounded and maintains a sense of stability in the home, it's got to be the Earth Element. Ground-ed. Get it?

 Ever wonder why Mother Earth is a mother and not a father? It's because the earth element appeals to the strong, nurturing female energy and like a mother, it also serves as the heart of the home, that warm and cozy vibe that makes a home feel homey. It's also one of the most predominant elements found on a man-cave type of room design.

Tips for Single Women Circa 1938

Okay ladies, save your eye rolling for later. These guidelines were obviously written by a man if not an old spinster living in such a joyless marriage.

The 1930s was a time where modesty and proper etiquette was a sort of a life and death thing for women. Ladies were expected to strive for perfection while keeping their lesser gender status. They were trained to wear make up, dress properly and act like a duchess not for themselves but for men. Not surprisingly, in this set of dating guidelines circa 1938, single women are taught how to please a man by being an enhanced version of themselves instead of finding love or someone who accepts them for who they are in the dating scene.

Men don’t like girls who borrow their handkerchief and smudge them with lipstick.

Makeup in privacy, not where he sees you.

If you need a brassiere, wear one.

Don’t tug at your girdle and be careful your stockings are not wrinkled.

Don’t sit in awkward positions, and never looked bored even if you are.

Be alert, and if you must chew gum (not advised) do it silently, mouth closed.

Don’t use the car mirror to fix your makeup.

Man needs it in driving, and it annoys him very much to have to turn around to see what’s behind him.

Careless women never appeal to gentlemen.

Don’t talk while dancing, for when a man dances he wants to dance.

Don’t drink too much, as a man expects you to keep your dignity all evening.

Drinking may make some girls seem clever, but most get silly.

Don’t be sentimental or try to get him to say something he doesn’t want to by working on his emotions. Men don’t like tears, especially in public places.

Don’t be familiar with your escort by caressing him in public.

Any open show of affection is in bad taste, usually embarrasses or humiliates him.

Don’t talk about clothes or try to describe your new gown to a man.

Please and flatter your date by talking about the things he wants to talk about.

Don’t be familiar with the headwaiter talking about the fun you had with someone else another time.

Men deserve, desire your attention.

Don’t be conspicuous talking to other men.

The last straw is to pass out from too much liquor.

Chances are your date will never call you again!

It's really nice to see these evidences of gender inequality from the old times. Makes me appreciate how amazing it is to be born in the 21st century. Anyway, these aren't all that ridiculous and I'm sure you won't be rolling your eyes for too long. Some are actually funny.

Unfortunately in the 21st century, some men like to get you drunk and hammered. And yes, you won’t see them again.

Urbanista: A Tribute to Urban Lifestyle

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.”

Urbanista came out of a vision to glorify the urban lifestyle and create products that make life better for modern people in urban developments. We design for life in motion.  Every product in the Urbanista portfolio is developed to serve a need for the target group - the Urbanistas. Within the tight portfolio, the offering is wide. The retail environment shall clearly show the most relevant product for each consumer. The Urbanista products are meant to be life companions. Therefore they are developed with design and colors in focus. The products should not only enhance the life of the Urbanistas with the functions, but also the looks.

Urbanista is launching in the Philippines, really soon! Familiarize yourself with the different Urbanista earphones.

Tagged for Another Liebster 2015

This is actually my second time to be nominated for a Liebster. It was last year when Ajein of Ajeinomoto tagged me a bunch of personal questions and I guess I just love Q&As that this year a blogger friend, Bhebs of RicomeetsBhebs invited me for another set of personal questions. And I can't help but feel important for once. I'm lovin' this. 

Unbeknownst to some, the Liebster Award is a simple blogger tag used by bloggers who are in to socializing within the blogosphere. If a blog interests you and you want to get to know the blogger behind it, and possibly expand your social network, then the Liebster Award is one of the tools to try. There's actually a badge for this that you put up your sidebar to let the world know you've been tagged but it's not mandatory.

Let's get started.

Geeking Tom Presents: The Shirt Wars

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, there was this girl who always wanted to watch Star Wars but never got around to it because she secretly thought it would provoke an obsession within her. Years later, that girl became a blogger and nerded off with Game of Thrones.

Now that I've somehow gotten in touch with my geeky side, let me introduce you all to an awesome Filipino-owned and managed shirt company that caters to your inner geek. 

Set Yourself Free this October

October is not always about the beer. Sometimes, it also signals a time for self-evaluation before the year ends once again and a new year full of hopes and dreams comes. I'm so lucky I have these moments where I am reminded of how things used to be, or rather how I used to be. In these short blissful moments, I realize that how I used to think and feel about the world has come such a long way.

From a totally depressed and angry teenager, somehow I grew up to learn that the world is not something to hate or be resentful about. It's true there are a lot of imperfections we will always encounter but life itself does not suck.

And I've struggled to live through those trying times but learned to see the light in every situation. I'm loving myself more and the more I appreciate myself with all my imperfections, the world slowly becomes a little more colorful and high definition. It's addictive how radical self love has taught me to embrace myself and the world for what it is. And today I would like to share with you a few gems of wisdom I truly keep dear to my heart.

And just so you know, I wrote this down sober.

The Forgotten Fashion Terms

Young Woman on a Boat, James Tissot 1870
As they say in the fashion world, one day you're in and the next you're out. While everybody's on the hype about what's in and what's new, here I am trying to dig up the items that made a mark in the history of fashion. Sometimes the fashion of today gets so overrated and I get bored seeing the same outfits so-called "fashion bloggers" post every single day that I decided to scour the net for a few forgotten fashion terms. It's one thing to appreciate a Victorian painting and another to identify the items they are wearing. It took our ancestral creatives two thousand and thirteen years of never-ending, out-of-the-box trends that are sure to satisfy your curiosity on how the latest It items came to be. If you dream of becoming a fashion nazi someday, you better brush up on your fashion history.

The Cat's Pajamas

CAT - a slang word for flapper in the early 1920s, meaning "a cool person" or "a trendy person".
PAJAMA - from the Hindi term pajama, means loose trousers tied at the waist.

The Cat's Pajamas is a term that should be given more credit over its slang definition and the bedtime comfort it gives. It is an outfit that celebrated women's independence from conformity and gender stereotype. Before the 20th Century, women were obliged to put on impossibly long and heavily layered clothing, not to mention suffocating on corsets and occasionally tripping on their garments. Thanks to the 1920 Women's Suffrage Movement, which allowed women to vote, women started having this radical view about femininity that in turn created a ripple in women's fashion. It soon became all about comfort, style and representation. The Cat's Pajamas was coined in the late 1920's when women started wearing pajamas in various styles outside the bedroom and into parties and social events. This outfit defined the 20th century's androgynous style because it made the women feel more masculine in relevance with the gender equality they crave for. And guess who created this revolution? Who else but Coco Chanel.

Louise Brooks and Carole Lombard wearing the Cat's Pajamas

Jabot - from the French term jabĂ´t which means a bird's crop, it means a softer more feminine approach to the male cravat.

This trend was popularized by Sir Darth Jabot after the French revolution circa 1800. The Jabot is all about lacey frills along the sternum resembling that of a bird's crop. It seeks to be the attention grabber in an outfit but practically it was designed to hide the opening button or shirt fastener of a dress. It may be closely related with the cravat, the ones we see worn by old century judges. However, while cravats soon evolved as neckties since the men started becoming less flamboyant with their outfit, the jabot has managed to be incorporated in the modern designs we see today. Why I included this term as one of the forgotten? I haven't heard anybody talk about it. All people say are ruffles so basically only a few people know that the ruffles people wear as neck accessories is actually called a jabot.

Valentino and Jill Braun incorporating the jabot on their iconic pieces.
Reticule Purse

Reticule Purse - small hand held bag made of silk and satin

Another post French revolution trend, the Reticule purse is something every woman had. It contained a few female essentials like a comb, a handkerchief, a perfume bottle, a coin purse and a photo of someone special. Granted that women of that era are wearing a lot of stuff, a small purse is really important in order to not add to their already heavy outfit while at the same time serving the purpose of encasing their personal things. Seriously, I couldn't imagine them wearing all of THAT with a huge bag that women of the 21st century love wearing. The reticule purse was adorned with a lot of appliques including eye-popping bead work and embroidery, lace, ribbons, pompoms, and basically whatever material anybody would like to put on the exterior of the bag. It's made in various shapes like round, square, pentagon and in different colors, which makes it one of the most customizable accessories of the 18th century.


Zibellino - Italian term for martens, a specie related to ferrets; a fashion accessory used to trap fleas

Animal rights activists probably know a lot about this as this is included in the long history of animals being worn as accessories by humans. The Zibellino, also called Flea fur or Fur tippet, is basically draped on the neck, hand held or dangling at the waist. It was created by Sir Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy by the year 1467 for the purpose of trapping fleas that may infest the rest of the worn garment. Aside from trapping annoying fleas, it also symbolizes a high social status among the women who wear them. Women started adorning these creatures with gold and jewelry to further emphasize their class in society that at one point, the government of Italy issued a decree banning the use of zibellini. So much about worshiping fur beyond its intended purposes, it's safe to say that fur has and never will be out of style.

Modern zibellino created by Starlight Masquerade


Muff - Medieval Latin word meaning sheepskin worn during winter; cylindrical accessory made of fur used to warm hands

Known as the hand warmer, Muff is an ancestor to our modern gloves, created to warm the hands of freezing women during the 16th century. This use of fur, unlike the zibellino, really served its purpose and was viewed as fashionable no matter the social class of whoever is wearing them. The only difference is, the fur is no longer limited to the martens species. Muffs were made from the furs of different animals and were probably sold by its thickness or how hard it was to catch the animal it was made of. The muff was a practical winter accessory although it may limit the arm movement of whoever is wearing them. How do you scratch your back and still keep your hands warm, right? I guess this is what people realized before they invented gloves.

Chanel Hand Muffs
Watch out for the next wave of forgotten fashion terms.