Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Ilocos December 2016: Vigan Part Two (Calle Crisologo)

We've finally reached my last post for my Ilocos series! This is another one of my favourites as I got to practice a bit of night photography, something I don't normally do but I genuinely enjoy anyway. It was a great challenge to photograph a place I have never been to at night (which is quite difficult with all the adjustments I have to do, mind you), but the results have been pretty fulfilling.

Like I said in my previous posts, these pictures weren't all taken in order as our schedule was quite hectic, and I felt like presenting them chronologically would be too confusing. 

Also if you wanted to see my previous posts, I've listed them down for you here:

This was taken on the way to Vigan. As it was just after Christmas, there were still so many lights which made everything look brighter and more festive.

This was the fountain and light show at Plaza Salcedo! This happens every 7:30 I believe, and we arrived in Vigan just in time to see it. The fountain itself is quite old but was renovated and equipped with lights. Reaching this point from our hotel which was near the entrance of Vigan only took a brisk 5 minute walk. So accessible!

With my small stature it was difficult to see everything up close. ;__; Plus I didn't really enjoy getting splashed on by the fountain (and you will get splashed on) so I opted to stay back, or to just look through someone else's phone haha!

Local church. So prettily decorated! There are a lot of churches in this style in Ilocos.

Of course, there has to be a cat somewhere. 

Finally, we reach the beginning of the famous Calle Crisologo! What makes this street so famous is that it is set with cobblestones instead of concrete, and a lot of the houses are the same (though restored) ones that have been around since the Spanish colonization. That's more than a hundred years ago!

Apparently, the wealthy lived along this street. No wonder a lot of the houses here were large and quite grand. I actually prefer this street (calle = street) at night not only because its cooler and a lot less crowded (though not completely deserted), but because the lamps and kalesas really take you back to what the 18th century would have been like. 

Old meets new! The parols (star lanterns) and the strings of Christmas lights still blend really well with the old houses and lamps. It's quite a short street, only 3 or so blocks. I wish the entire Vigan could be in cobblestone. Wouldn't that be great?

Some details. They sell a lot of souvenirs along the street as well, so feel free to browse as you take a stroll!

And so it ends! Until next time, Vigan! 

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Ilocos December 2016: Vigan Part One (Hidden Garden, Looms, Naguilian)

Finally we're at the main destination of my Ilocos trip - Vigan! This UNESCO World Heritage Site has been a favourite destination for both locals and foreigners for years, and with good reason! 

Honestly, a lot of time that I spent in Vigan was at night since we were busy exploring Ilocos Norte during the day. I managed to get a few interesting shots of a few iconic spots we visited during the day however, and surely you'll see just how Vigan really pulls you back in time while still being modern. 

Small details like these are always a plus! You could actually bike around the city but we didn't get a chance to. :( Hopefully next time!

We stayed at Hotel Felicidad which was beautiful! They really went all out with the Spanish-style houses that used to be popular during the colonization. Everything was so clean and well-maintained. 100% would recommend this!

A carriage or locally known as karwahe. Not sure if this is actually in use or if its just for display. Either way, it was very pretty! There were lots of carriages around the city as well, drawn by horses!

Again, little details! I wish Manila had street signs this pretty as well! 

Next stop - a small weaving shop! They still used looms here which I found quite fascinating! I was always horrible at any form of sewing or knitting in elementary and high school, so seeing how much work and intricacy is required to operate these looms blew my mind. 

We got a lot of things from this shop, ranging from blankets, to placemats, and even a backpack! It's nice to be able to support these small businesses as the proceeds go directly to them instead of say, a huge corporation. 

Next we had our lunch at Hidden Garden, which is famous for a huge collection of a wide variety of plants, as well as...

...my favourite empanada! I kid you not when I say I would make the trip up north for these alone. Unlike the Paoay variety, this one is lighter in colour and is eaten with just the local vinegar. I must say I prefer these, but I'd be happy to eat either! I think I ate 2 and a half of these? Not enough! I need more!

I'm not sure if I mentioned, but after Ilocos we made our way up to Baguio via Naguilian Road. It has  much more spectacular views than the usual Kennon and Marcos (which I think I've memorized after passing so many times) but alas, fog! 

The eerie vibe is still quite cool, isn't it? Looks like something out of a horror movie. If I searched for some ghost stories, I'm sure I'd find many. 

One more post to go! Next week features the main destination of Vigan - Calle Crisologo!

Friday, February 03, 2017

FOTD: Everyday Post-Holiday Season Makeup

It's rare that I get to post FOTDs here considering how much set-up it requires for me to be able to get a few good shots! Regardless, I thought I'd share with you this (relatively) easy look that I've been going for these days.

Base and Blush

My base has been pretty much the same for the past four months or so. I find that this gives me the most flawless, smooth base that doesn't fade awkwardly or patchily. I use the Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer for my t-zone and the areas beside my nose to achieve a poreless look, and use Max Factor's Facefinity All Day Primer for the rest of my face. It seems a bit tedious to use two primers, but that's just me being fussy. 

The Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation has been my go to for so long because it builds to a pretty solid medium coverage and lasts well throughout the day. I use the L'oreal Lumi Magique Concealer for my under eyes, dark areas, and just below where I would put my contour for subtle definition and illumination. 

I'm pretty much obsessed with my new Colourpop Blush in Aphrodisiac as it gives the perfect hint of colour on the cheeks while being slightly cool in tone to contour. I tried using brushes but found that patting it on with my fingers and blending with my foundation brush is the best method for me. I set everything with the Bourjois Healthy Mix Powder and Skindinavia Oil Control Setting Spray (if I'm going to be somewhere without air-conditioning) and I'm good to go!


After doing very elaborate and defined eye looks for the holidays, I've embraced my usual blend-and-go product, the Maybelline Color Tattoo Leather in Creamy Beige. It does well in adding something to the eyes without too much work. A quick curl and coat with the Fairydrops Platinum Waterproof Mascara is more than enough for me. Finally, I add a bit of the NYX Brow Mascara in Espresso to the inner and outer portions of my brow, to make my brows appear neater and more pronounced without adding too much. 

Highlight and Lips

I normally don't do highlight, but the Colourpop Highlighter in Butterfly Beach is too beautiful to resist. It's slightly pink in tone so it really livens up the face, and the lack of any visible shimmer or glitter really allows it to blend into the skin well. 

I've been going for two lip options, though I've been really into browny nudes in the form of the Etude House Dear My Blooming Lips Talk Chiffon in BE109. If I want something more sophisticated and comfortable to the lips however, then I go for the Chanel Rouge Coco in Mademoiselle.

The end result is something pretty simple, but still incorporates the essential make-up I love the most which is a perfected base. What do you think?

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Ilocos December 2016: Burgos Wind Farm, Kapurpurawan Rock Formation, and Pagudpud

Here we have my favourite photoset of them all! After Paoay (and a stopover at Laoag for a drive thru lunch, something rare for me as I don't eat fast food often), we had a long trip ahead to get to Burgos.

I quite like road trips, and I had the chance to be in the front seat because I was the navigator. Staying awake the entire trip is a small price to pay to be able to get good views for pictures!

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse! It's the lighthouse that signifies you're near the northmost tip of the main Luzon island. This is the only picture I got as it was raining and crazy traffic to get up there. Still pretty from afar, though!

Coastal roads are so pretty! I honestly wish a lot more highways had views like this. It reminded me a lot of Ireland as we drove by. Even the weather was on point!

Next stop - Burgos Wind Farm! We were supposed to go to the Bangui Windmills but settled for the ones near Kapurpurawan instead to save time. We missed the opportunity to see the Pililia Wind Farms in September, so to finally see these was a relief!

I graduated an Environmental Science major, so seeing these alternative energy farms made me kind of giddy. There was also a solar farm near this. It's a dream of mine to see most of the Philippines powered my renewable energy. Hopefully in my lifetime!

This seems to be everyone's favourite picture, haha! This was opposite the Kapurpurawan (what a mouthful) Rock Formation, and does it not remind you of the Cliffs of Moher? It even has the fog that I remember surrounded the Cliffs on our way to Inis Oirr. Looks like you don't have to go all the way to Europe to get a view like that!

It's quite cool how there was this large wetland before it reached the sea. The place is quite cinematic if I'm honest. I hope they film somewhere here, I'm sure it would look beautiful on the big screen!

I couldn't find any plaque that describes what this is, so I'm guessing it's a deity that is famous in the Ilocos region? I'm actually a huge fan of Philippine Mythology (and mythology in general) so I'd love to see more of these sculptures in other locations!

The Kapurpurawan Rock itself! Amazing piece of sedimentary rock. Mini science lesson: sedimentary rock is a type that forms by the pressure exerted by water. It usually takes thousands of years to form. How incredible is it that this rock formed into a shape like this? 

Aha, a sudden face! Forgive my expression. This was taken amidst very cold ocean winds and soft but persistent rain. Will there ever be a picture of me traveling that doesn't involve wind swept hair?Stay tuned!

The sun came out for a bit, long enough for me to snap this. Everything looks so much livelier with a little sunlight, don't you agree?

I love this picture in particular as it appears very cinematic. Maybe there's potential for me to be in cinema? Ha, I wish!

It was a long drive, but we finally made it to Pagudpud! This town is at the tip of the main Luzon island, and the furthest point north other than Batanes and the Cabuyao Islands. I was pretty psyched to have reached this far. Next time, maybe the southernmost tip of Luzon?

We came all the way just to see this, the Patapat Viaduct. It was very stormy and windy so a lot of my shots came out quite dark, but I think it makes for a very interesting shot nonetheless. There are many of these already taken with sunlight online, anyway!

This is my personal favourite picture. I was leaning off the bridge perilously just to get this shot, but it was more than worth it. Quite an amazing site this viaduct is, don't you think? I wish we had more coastal roads like these!

And so ends the Ilocos Norte portion of this series. Next up will be the highly anticipated historic city of Vigan!