Ay nako! It has been almost 2 years since my last post!
Yesterday, I attended an amazing launch event for Artisan Made Philippines. Overnight my cup runneth over with the sense of Pinay Pride. And just in time!
One of the biggest things that has been weighing down on my mind, heart and soul has been my struggle to teach my kids Tagalog and cultivate their Filipino identity. Yes, I speak to them exclusively in Tagalog, but I know my version of Tagalog is not enough. I myself need some immersion crash course in order to discuss more complex thoughts and feelings with them.
Thanks to Artisan Made, I came away from last week feeling connected to a vibrant Filipino-American community. I’m feeling happier. It’s the kind of feeling you might experience when you spend a whole day with cool cousins. Mind you, I only knew Kristine Surla, the founder of Artisan Made when I walked in the door, but everyone felt familiar as they shared their stories of being Filipino or Filipino-American. It didn’t matter that we were from all different parts of the Philippines or different parts of the US.
It’s a huge understatement to say that I was thrilled and inspired. The day wasn’t about fleeting fashion trends. It was about Filipinos and Filipinas making a difference in other people’s lives.
Moved by the work that the non-profit, Gawad Kalinga, is doing to end poverty and hunger in the Philippines.
Lost my mind shopping for beautiful pieces by Anthill – a social and cultural enterprise in the Philippines working to preserve local weaves through contemporary design to sustain livelihood and tradition. Each piece had a story about the specific weaves and the weaver or craftsperson who created it.
Witnessed the inventive and improvisational culinary skills of The New York Times-featured Filipina chef, Yana Gilbuena. I inhaled the 5-course kamayan meal after admiring her artful presentation. I also learned that you can peel ginger with a regular spoon! It’s work, but it means that you don’t waste any of the ginger! Genius.
Discovered that “heirloom Philippine rice” exists! Last night’s menu included black rice by Social Products — an organization that sources organic food products from Philippine coop smallholder farmer partners that empower rural farmers, women, and indigenous peoples with a more sustainable way to eradicate poverty.
Excited to taste and learn about Kalsada Coffee from the Philippines and roasted in Seattle.
And wow! Theo & Philo artisanal chocolates. Yum! They’re the Philippines’ first bean-to-bar artisan chocolates. You have to try them!
And calamansi liqueur? Yes, please! I am now on the hunt for Manille Liqueur de Calamansi. According to Forbes, it was “conceived as a Filipino take on the Italian limoncello by president and CEO Olivia Limpe-Aw, in collaboration with restaurateur-turned-writer-and-television-host Stephanie Zubiri-Crespi, Manille Liqueur de Calamansi, launched in January 2014, is a vodka-based drink that uses the essence of the zesty calamansi rind sourced from Mangyan farmers in Mindoro, a province located off the coast of Luzon, and northeast of Palawan.”
And most importantly, I have secured some SoCal Tagalog play dates in my family’s future! In fact, because of the press coverage leading up to the event, I now know that there’s a show, Kababayan Today. And because of that show, I now know that there’s a summer school program by the Filipino Cultural School here in LA! It’s far but it will be worth it to enroll Cedro next summer.
Still Christmas shopping? Look no further! We’ve redesigned our Pacquiao shirts to comply with the Zazzle content guidelines. (We think.) Hopefully, the new shirts will be up there for more than 24 hours! For those of you who tried to purchase shirts for the Pacquiao vs. Margarito fight, we apologize for the inconvenience.
Just when i thought our little models couldn’t get any cuter, i got these pics from BARKADA(KO) customer Grace Linker! Adorable sure does run in the family. Bobby was our first blog and facebook model and now his older sister, Ava has joined in on the fun! Alright everyone, let’s do a collective “awwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!”
Tonight, on my way home from work, passing through Port Authority to transfer from the bus to the subway, a sample sale caught my eye… It turned out to be a special event going on: Save Fashion!!! Well, I couldn’t resist since I had been hunting for some summer shoes… I found 3 things I wish I could’ve bought. The first thing was this beautiful pair of shoes, the Ultra Wedge Flocked by Melissa Campana. They only had size 8 and 10. BOOHOO!… The second piece was a black wool zip jacket by Philippa K. It had a very mod 1960’s look, subtle bubble shape with slightly ruffled collar, a la Audrey Hepburn. The funny thing was that I noticed it ONCE before. It was this past winter, a woman near me on the subway was wearing it and I was thinking how cute it looked with jeans… The last piece that I wish I could’ve grabbed was a space-age Lyn Devon Motorblanket Jacket. Hip length quilted ivory-colored virgin wool and angora with wide rounded lapels and a short diagonal zipper down the front, not to mention some golden zippers around the elbow joints. I know it sounds crazy, but my written description doesn’t do it justice. It was so beautiful and SO SOFT! But it was wayyyy too big. It would’ve been a great dressy winter coat as an alternative to my dumpy knee-length down jackets…
I wish I could say it was strictly a “sport shopping” experience, you know, “catch and release.” But I DID break down and get a pair of deep purple Melissa flats. Only $40! Comfy, durable, stylish, and WATERPROOF!
We want to give props to our first online customer Bobby Linker! (well actually, i’m pretty sure it was his mommy, Grace Linker, who did the ordering!) It gave us a huge boost of confidence, when only a short time of being live, we got an order from the Linkers!
In this photo shoot, Bobby is modeling the baby “Nanay Knows Best” t-shirt; and though barkada(ko) can’t take credit for it, he’s also sporting the CUTEST pageboy cap EVER! Grace, can i borrow it!?
Thank you again to all of our customers and future customers (wink, wink)! You are an important part of the BARKADA(KO) family!
This is my first attempt @ posting a blog from my phone! Stayed up late last night testing the new store with Ging (pronounced “Jing”, aka my sister, Arlene) so we haven’t had a chance to blog… Now here I am on the bus back into the city after working all day on MallyBeauty.com…
HAPPY TO ANNOUNCE THE GRAND OPENING OF OUR FIRST ONLINE STORE!
It has been 5 years since we started Barkada(ko) & 4 since our last appearance selling our shirts at Filipino festivals across the country. We took a little break and now we’re back! Our goal is to liquidate our inventory of first edition shirts so we can pave the way for the next projects. We’re really excited about using bigcartel.com as our web store thanks to a blog post we stumbled upon in MyModernMet.com! Since we’re a very small sis-n-sis operation, this will help out tremendously in fulfilling orders & managing our inventory! YAY!
Thanks again to family, friends, & newfound fans for your love and support over the years!!! We couldn’t have done this without you! But thanks most of all to my lil sis! She painstakingly counted, recounted, triplechecked & polybagged each remaining shirt — getting everything ready for the launch!!! All in all, she spearheaded this whole effort. She’s my inspiration! Can’t wait to live in the same city! It’s been almost 20 years!!!