Christmas marks a time when many OFWs and balikbayans come home to be with family. And more often than not, they choose to fly with Philippine Airlines. I do, especially when I travel to and from Canada. Nothing beats Filipino hospitality on long haul flights, especially if you have small kids.
Before I go on, let me say that this is not a paid ad at all. I am not paid nor have I ever gotten a free flight from PAL except for the mileage I’ve earned through my credit cards. I am however, a legit PAL baby. Or I should say, a child of aviation — complete with stories of playing in the tarmac. Those of you who have already read my book CHIC: Tips on Life, Style, and Work will know that my mom was a flight attendant for PAL in the mid 60’s. My dad was a military pilot. I grew up in an air base.
This month, the iconic Mabuhay, PAL’s inflight magazine has featured me in a two-page spread. I love, love, love the way they do this section. Instead of a PR photo or glam shot, a hand-painted watercolour illustration fills up an entire page. I like the painting so much, I’ve put it on my Christmas wish list. If my husband pays attention, he would have gotten the original for me. I have yet to find out on Christmas morning.
The painting is based on this photograph, taken by Dix Perez back in late 2012. That’s my front door. Xeng Zulueta did my makeup. Felicity Son did my hair. I wore my own beaded dress and necklace I made for myself in 2006. This image made it to the Vogue Italia feature.
Certainly one of my “blogging career” highlights. Vogue Italia featured my jewellery, furniture, and other products. So much has happened since then. And the Mabuhay article, as well as my own book and writing process, has given me a chance to look back, appreciate, and be grateful.
I no longer sell these chairs. We had a problem with copycats (ugh). My only authorized dealer was Dimensione. Last month, I took orders from my Instagram and FB followers, and was so surprised to still see so much interest in these chairs. Hmmm, ideas …
I continue to make my own fine jewellery for myself. Sometimes I can take in orders and commissions. I am aware that a few sellers have copied my concept. I don’t know how to feel about them. And I am sure I am not the only one who has to deal with this.
Then I took the work seriously and invested in my brand identity. Each of the pieces comes with handwritten notes and certificates. And just as my chairs have them, the jewellery also have engraved brass plates. Anyone interested in my jewellery can email me directly at email@example.com
Back to the Mabuhay article. Thank you, Carlomar Daoana for your insights. It’s always hard to talk about oneself, and even harder to read what’s written about oneself. A big thank you also goes out to Mabuhay’s new EIC, James Ong, for taking interest in featuring my book and my work.
There is just one little thing that I have to clarify. I did spend my childhood in Metro Manila. It is true that my dad was the helicopter pilot of President Marcos – a fact about my dad’s work and character that I am very proud of. However my family and I did not abruptly emigrate to Canada in 1986. There was no such “escape” after the EDSA Revolution. My family moved to Canada in 1983, not to be immigrants but to join my father who had been on an official assignment attached to the Philippine Consulate since 1982. In fact, during the actual EDSA Revolution, I was on a trip to Spain and Morocco organized by my high school. I celebrated my 16th birthday in southern Spain.
There was a bit of drama… ok, a lot. But definitely no abrupt leaving and no actual emigration. As for the real details, you’d have to read about it in my book.