Wednesday, 26 July 2017


She has been thinking as to what will be her next and hopefully, the last pretty penny bag to acquire. She knew there were a few distinctive fashion brand names clouded in her senses but she was realistic enough to know how exorbitant they would be. The highly excessive list prices were indeed outside her authority and could lead her to an overdraft.

Her quixotic wish list deterred and the murkiness in her mind became sensibly clear. Whitherly, it prospected to two middle-of-the-road and prudent choices...

The first preference of hers was, the Yves Saint Laurent's Classic Large College Bag in Dark Red Matellasse Leather. A classic monogram bag which has an interlocking YSL signature buckle closure; top handle metal chain and a leather removable shoulder strap. In truth, she watched a few free videos of this bag on the web in which it was even compared to a very known luxury timeless jumbo handbag. Her attention was transfixed and more so, when the suggested retail price for YSL Bag was less than half of the jumbo handbag price. Plainly, it wasn't the price that made it attractive for her as the commodious space was mostly the substantial wow element.

The second next in order was one of the three (now five) structured sizes iconic luggage tote by the industry heavyweight, Phoebe Philo, when he revitalised Céline in 2010. A company for fashion luxury goods that was acquired for 2.6 billion by a French multinational luxury European company, better know as LVMH (LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE), back in 1996. So much about the volte-face quick facts and more so about her second cup of tea. It's the smallest amongst sizes with an incredibly soft goat leather material named Céline Nano Luggage Tote in Vermilion.

The Céline Nano became her hand-picked choice despite the fact that YSL Classic Large College Bag was in the same price range, too. While she was passionately thinking, the image of her very own Mulberry Medium Lily Scarlet came to mind from time to time. Its because, in her opinion, the dimensions and most of the essential features of Mulberry and YSL weren't end of rainbow different.

She chose the smallest Céline Luggage Tote which has a very rare bicolour combinations...

The leather dual-rolled carry handles are incrust in a chocolate brown shade and the colour continues as embellishment for the bag's entire calfskin trimming. This practical- sized bag has been designed with the perpetual exterior front zipped pocket and a useful leather sunglasses tab at the back. Sadly, the outer front zipped pocket can only accommodate calling cards for clandestine admirers because of its peewee dimensions. What a saucy ink-and-paper “acquaintance card” doodad!

What she appreciates more about Céline Nano is the optional removable vermilion shoulder strap with gold metal trigger swivel hooks. The free will of wearing it as cross body by attaching the gold metal hooks onto the fastened gold D ring connection buckles (both winged sides of the bag) is undeniably framed it to be more than just a hand carry bag! 

Unlike her Céline Mini Luggage Tote, Nano has no four protective studs at the bottom; no leather tab and no press button on the left winged side of the bag for the top tape zipper extension. The top zipper closure secures all her essentials when away on a lovely day or a night out affair. Moreover, it opens to an ample interior of chocolate brown lambskin lining with durable panel leather bottom which holds the shape of the bag and a suited flat pocket perfect either for credit/debit cards, cellphone or oyster card.

After purchasing Céline's smallest iconic luggage tote, she thought it would dissatisfy her. Nonetheless, it was just her qualm which was obliterated when she paired it to her Céline Multicolour Luggage Calfskin Leather Tote Mini. It was exactly the miniature version with a sigh in her mind, “Wish it has incrust with the same sensational colour combinations!”.

The Celine's Nano Luggage Tote in Vermilion and Chocolate Brown Dual-Rolled Carry Handles with Gold Heat Stamped Logo was Miss Victoria David's realistic 33rd post-birthday present for herself!

Friday, 21 July 2017


Sweet coated and mass produced products prevail everywhere. You can find them by searching on the web at your fingertips or by smelling upfront in most retail stores. Am I extensively correct? 

These products which have been launched into the consumer's market were efficiently mixed and moulded by machines using the accuracy of computers. Besides, it is (still) of course supervised by adroit manpower for a period of time until the machines can guarantee to generate and function solely. What a crackerjack symbiosis for corporate heads which will result in more money to be saved and a large sum of profit to be pocketed. Don't be surprised when, in the near future, some of your friends are on their company's redundancy payee list. 

Technically speaking, the state of the art computer era will generate fast-paced productions and when this happens, it will gradually replace manual labour. This is the distressing truth, while the corporates in their ivory tower will not even give a single damn about you. Why would they when all they see are rising numbers and the bull market figure? This worrying situation has been happening already as customers are fleeced by the substandard quality of some of the products. If you ordered and received an item which is half of the quality you are expecting, you should return it right away and demand a free return label. It is your right after all and don't be intimidated by the minute terms & conditions. 

So much of that ineffable satisfaction as it's making me frown more (LOL!)... 

I have been receiving sample products from different retailing companies. For what purpose? I have to try each one of them and after that, I will compose and send to the respective people a written discourse. A constructive statement in which negative and positive criticisms are elaborately explained. If you would like me to try your product(s) in exchange for a blow-by-blow written assessment which is not less than 300 words, just send me a message! 

A year ago, a friend of ours told us about his new passion during his leisure time which has now becomes his love affair for handcrafted items. I can still vividly remember how delighted and mesmerised I was every time I received home-made occasion cards from him. Its because the cards were delicately designed and exquisitely decorated with cut-out images from recycled cards. According to our friend, the duration making of each card depends on what type of occasion but it usually takes a few days before it will be perfectly finish with an envelope. 

Three months back, our dearest and generous friend launched exclusively in front of us his luxuriously handmade products. Such as the soaps which were neatly wrapped in greaseproof wax papers and then, placed in cardboard boxes and some, in mini tin storage boxes. More than that, we were also presented with shower gels in congealed and diluted solutions in the shades of canary and transparent yellow. Both contents were in leak proof square plastic bottles with gold disc pump tops and detachable locks. Our friend wasn't just launching whim products as he even thought of our Motherly Nature, too. His modest concept of the soap boxes and shower gel containers are both recyclable and reusable!

On a split-second, I thought they were all from a skin care product store because of the classically sleek image presented to us. On the contrary, he made them from his humble abode by combining the desired ingredients, adding the pleasant fragrance oil, gently stirring and then conceptualising the finished goods using the boxes and plastic bottle containers. That was the dead ringer appearance of his handcrafted bathing products. But what about the essential quality? 

We were politely asked to closed our eyes and then, had a smell of different bar of soaps. The subtle scent of lavender oil and tea tree oil in his home-made soaps exuded right after opening each effortlessly. My palms were imbued with soothing aroma upon touching only the well-wrapped wax paper. My sense for redolence was much aroused when the soaps were uncovered and laid on my hands. I couldn't get out of my nostrils the calming lavender and the relieving tea tree fragrances. If they were edible, they would have landed in my mouth after my nose!

Enough of the pocket-sized soaps as there were shower gels, too... 

I twisted the pump top to open and the lemony scent reached directly into my nose. It was like smelling the newly cooked lemon drops or freshly squeezed lemon juice. My mouth was watering as the distinctive sour citric acid dominated; I nearly salivated... hahahaha! The viscid consistency meant I had to shake it very well before use. Also, the rich organic elements made it only ideal as a face & body wash. That's because, when I tried using it as a shampoo my hair strands formed into small, tight curls. What a frizzy and grrrr experimental moment for my silky straight locks! 

Contrastingly, the thinned version of a combined lemon oil and geranium oil had a surprising sweet orangy flavour. It was already tea time when the olfactory nerve presentation was soon to finish. That is why, my thoughts of a super moist and fluffy cake with orange glaze forked over. Apart from craving, I was also gasping for a cup of tea.

On a more serious note, the diluted version was the right and perfect alternative shampoo for my sensitive hair. Actually, I provisionally first used it when we were in Corfu, Greece and it left my hair silky soft with a fructose scent. Personally speaking, the shampoo experiment proved that it was not just for my delicate chocolate brown skin!

Tuesday, 11 July 2017


by: MisS VictoriA DaviD
(Miss Iwa Moto, Miss Amazing Midlands 2017)
Four months of deliberate preparations for the Dayanara Marques de Araneta Production with the systematic coordination of BFBCV (Birmingham Filipino- British Community Volunteers) exclusively to achieve a 2-day spectacular event held in Birmingham and Beyond. It is the biggest gathering and has just achieved its non-stop 10th year of public existence and named this year as Birmingham- Sandwell West Midlands Fiesta Celebration.
(Birmingham Filipino- British Community Volunteers)
Detailed information of the event has been disseminated, either in person or through social media, in order to acquire attention from the British-Filipino communities and supporters in the U.K. Effectively, most of social media users showed their approval and enthusiasm by sharing on their walls the important particulars of this year's biggest celebration in West Midlands. The solidarity of a number of Filipinos who travelled far to attend the celebration was acclaimed by the hospitable organisers and the jovial locals. I have to say that the unconscious hearty camaraderie and cheerful personalities of my fellow Filipinos made me realised how lovely for us all it was to have this event on a sunny day. In my humble opinion, it was an excursion worth travelling to and more importantly, a BIG THANK YOU to the amiable Miss Dayanara Mesmeize for my complimentary taxi from the station to the venue and vice versa!


The sun was glorious as I arrived in Bearwood's Lightwoods Park and I was welcomed with warm greetings from the watchmen in green vests. I was walking on an elongated pavement and from there I saw a stationary Sheriff's car; myriad presence of jovial visitors on the grassland and many merchandisers' stalls with protective tent-like awnings. As I walked through the grassland, I appreciated the unvarying bells and whistles of the raised stage which prominently featured the flag of Republic of the Philippines and the Union Jack of the United Kingdom. There was also a conspicuously erected Filipino version of simple hut (nipa hut) made from natural materials. 

“I couldn't find her and Where is Miss Dayanara?”, I whispered in my mind. All of sudden, she appeared in front of me and handed over my entry badge for the restricted area. A guarded place with encompassing basic chain link fence which effectively secured the safety and properties of the candidates for Miss Amazing Midlands 2017.

The Unshakably Radiant 7 candidates
(From Left to Right: Daniela, Agatha, Leila, Iwa, Sophia, Mikayla and Cassandra)

(With Miss Amazing Midlands 2016 Queen, Miss Venus Petra Moutney)

There were 14 original applicants but only 5 of them pursued and showed up for the competition. However, 2 additional candidates also arrived. The final unshakably radiant 7 candidates ostentatiously showed-off on stage in order to contend for the exalting title of Miss Amazing Midlands 2017...

(The Members of the Jury)
(The Tabulators)
The high spirited audience had a glimpse of the colourful candidates on the side of the stage while the positive hosts, Alexandra Marie Diaz and Julious Labao, introduced one-by-one the calmed members of the jury; the well set-up tabulators and a list of this year's sponsors. Thereupon, all candidates were called one at a time to make a spectacle of themselves with their considerably full FANTASY COSTUMES. All of them were very flamboyant with their well-fastened headdresses and cunningly crafted wings. When the rainbow like appearances of them was completed, the jury handed over the score sheets which were tabulated and the Best in Fantasy Costume was awarded to the Sparkling Lustre Lady in Red, Miss Sophia Frewin.
 (Candidate #1, Miss Sophia and Candidate #2, Miss Cassandra)
 (Candidate #3, Miss Leila and Candidate #4, Miss Mikayla)
(Candidate #5, Miss Agatha and Candidate #6, Miss Daniela)
 (Candidate #7, Miss Iwa)

(Miss Sophia Frewin, Best in Fantasy Costume)

They carefully headed back into their tents, changing room, for the next round of the competition. Subsequently, a local quality Filipino Artist named 'AlPaBeT' rocked us all with his quick & sharp rap performance.

“Hey, sexy ladies... Where are your itsy bitsy teenie weenie bikini?”. Can you guess what was the next round? Undoubtedly, this was the sensuously delightful SWIMWEAR display. They each trusted on stage with vanity and impressed not just the jury but also, the madding crowd. All of them were indulgently flirtatious in their fleshy, one-piece and two-piece, bathing suits. They were all called back on stage for the traditional 360 degree turn around and in particular, to be examined as to who amongst them had the hourglass figure and buffy booty. The woman who unanimously made the jury gulp and drank more wine was Miss Iwa Moto for Best in Swimwear.

(Miss Iwa Moto, Best in Swimwear)

After the thought-provoking 360 degree turn around by the voluptuous candidates, another local quality Filipino artist in the name of Maria Otadoy stirred and fascinated us with her singing voice.
(Maria Otadoy)

Our energy levels remained high and accelerated more when the candidates were back on stage for their PRODUCTION NUMBER. One-by-one they appeared in their above the knee bodycon dress. They didn't just walk in like a prancing model as they also moved their bodies and feet to music on stage. It was like a dance party and the one who stood out on the disco floor (stage) was Miss Leila Duterte. She unanimously brought home the Best in Catwalk which was assessed during their production number.


(Miss Leila Duterte, Best in Catwalk)

We were allured by the candidates wiggly bodies and darling hand moves. Actually, some of us shook our booties as well. However, when the quality siblings called 'Wiggins Sisters' appeared on stage we were enchantedly blown away by their soulful acapella voices. How I wish I could sing like them as the idea of being with your biological sisters of equal musical fortes is very winsome.
(Wiggins Sisters)

The Wiggins Sisters mollified most of us who were under the dehydrating heat of the sun. The ameliorated feeling continued when the candidates performed individually their learnt by heart TALENT. Most of their amusingly dazzling dance performances tickled us but there was only one who scored high in the hearts of the jury. Once again its contestant number 7, Miss Iwa Moto, who was unanimously decided as the Best in Talent.

After the nailed down talents of the sanguine candidates, another local quality Filipino artist was presented and took over the stage. T.MaX intensified the crowd with his hip hop music rhythmical beat with the percussion break of funk or soul recording. It was an upbeat feat music of his which was a contrast to the performance of the BFBCV (Birmingham Filipino- British Community Volunteers) Dancers. They appeared as group of women wearing pleated skirts embellished with shiny sequins; covered their fingers in gold plated filigree bead cones and accessories their head with the traditional jewelled headwear. Over and above that, they enacted a popular traditional fingernail dance to the tune of slow rhythmic movements of their legs, arms and fingers.

The performances of the earlier artists were expunged when the cleaning Lady from the Philippines, Lady Imelda, emerged in the crowd with her buffooneries and more importantly, her confidently dominion bright vocals. Then I quipped to myself, “She is indeed the cleaning lady who will sharply restore your sense of hearing and you will envy her vocal cords”.
(The Cleaning Lady from the Philippines, Lady Imelda)
Lady Imelda enjoyed the guffaws of her audience which is why, she started and finished her depiction only on the grassland. She's the Lady Imelda after all who made most of us laugh aloud and astounded with her powerful vocals. Standing ovation!

Here comes the candidates who were warmly admired because of their long chromatic finely detailed sewn gowns. One at a time, they appeared on stage elegantly and took their time in flaunting their body hugging off-shoulder long gowns. Ensuingly, each of them were serenaded by a healthy young boy who handed over red roses with a Hillgrove gentleman's bow. The exquisiteness of their selves in gowns were appreciated by the audience and more so, when they were called back for the jittery QUESTION and ANSWER portion. Each red rose had a covert number which revealed to a corresponding question. Honestly speaking, they all answered clearly, smartly and substantially (core points!).

The woman wearing the fishtail lace purple off-shoulder neckline body hugging gown, Miss Iwa Moto, was awarded and agreed by all as Best in Long Gown. On the other hand, the woman wearing the see-through trumpet tail flowy pink sweetheart neckline body hugging gown, Miss Sophia Frewin, was unifiedly awarded the Miss Intellectual title.
(Miss Iwa Moto, Best in Long Gown and Miss Sophia Frewin, Miss Intellectual)

They all headed back to their tent-like dressing room and thereafter, the stage was occupied by Alexander Martinez. A Filipino artist who appeared in Poland's Got Talent and wooed us that day with his chosen songs.
(Julious Labao, Alexander Martinez and Alexandra Marie Diaz)

It was roughly 30 minutes past the hour of 17:00, when the FILIPINIANA attire or the “modernised Maria Clara gown” procession of the candidates commenced. They all wore elegant formal outfits which symbolised the virtues, nobility and the world class capacity of a Filipino woman. I admired their compassionate depictions in bearing their own design of modernised Maria Clara gown with the distinct butterfly sleeves. Historically speaking, the modern terno became well-known because of the former first lady of the Philippines, Imelda Marcos, tastes in fashion. The prime candidate who portrayed well the Filipiniana formal attire and stunned the eyes of the audience was, Miss Iwa Moto. More importantly, her statuesque embroidered white “modernised Maria Clara gown” and accessories gained unanimously from the jury the Best in Filipiniana.

(Miss Iwa Moto, Best in Filipiniana)

The stately stance and erect postures of the candidates justified the most iconic Filipino attire. Am I right? Each had their boasting moments on stage and after the last candidate, we were surprised by Ate Gay's brief appearance. A Filipino actor, comedian, impersonator and singer who was flown over from the Philippines only to entertain the unceasing crowd on the concluding day of the barrio fiesta. Moreover, our weary bodies were woken up by the belting singing voice of Arianna Morgan. She solely delivered all of the songs in the finest and excellent styles with no weakness of intensity and excessive breathlessness. Her incredible breath support vocal range was sterling!
(Miss Ate Gay)
(Arianna Morgan)

All of the candidates had their gasconading and swaggering appearances on stage. Which is why, the presence of last year's first runner-up, Nicole Williams, and last year's Queen, Venus Petra Moutney, were called upon for their farewell walk and speech (for the Queen only). Their radiant beauties were seen again by their admirers and their provocative composures in wearing their gowns were once appreciated by their undying supporters.

(Miss Amazing Midlands 2016 1st runner-up, Miss Nicole Williams)
Miss Nicole Williams was uniquely dramatic in wearing her custom-made strapless bronze gown which showed-off her beautiful tattoo. On the other hand, Miss Venus Petra Moutney was raging and confident in her simple tiffany teal satin gown. However, her plunging neckline showed off her perfect bronze and her thigh-high grazing slit exposed her perfectly toned legs.
(Miss Amazing Midlands 2016 Queen , Miss Venus Petra Moutney)

After the farewell walk and speech of the last year's Queen, the admirable and stunning candidates were all called back on stage. They were joined by the members of the jury and the team of tabulators. The host was handling an envelop containing the names for the special awards and the unanimously decided runners-up as well as the title holder of Miss Amazing Midlands 2017. However, the announcement of winners was interrupted when the host misapprehended the tally result for the runners-up and the title holder. The clarity of tabulation was revealed and found no mistake at all. Thenceforward, the runners-up and the Queen of Miss Amazing Midlands 2017 were revealed and declared.
2nd Runner-up, Miss Sophian Frewin
1st Runner-up, Miss Leila Duterte
Miss Amazing Midlands 2017 Queen, Miss Iwa Moto

We all have different perceptions about a certain person which is why, we encircle ourselves in a group of similar inclinations. It is also true that some people like to be admired by the group and this can lead to vanity and arrogance. On a more noteworthy sense, a simple “Hi or Hello” will never hurt nor harm you whether you are on a pompous pedestal or on the ground like most of us. The world is round and multicultural but should not be a control place for authority!