Antipolo as a larger-than-life diorama

Sunday, September 27, 2020


Antipolo, cradle of artists, born out of the mountain ranges, rich in historical details, relatable in its dexterity, is celebrating the spellbound that is Christmas in the fullest way it can. From the iridescent parols of the Lantern Festival to the merriment in the streets, bedecked not by the boughs of holly but of the gentlest people that forever define and live hope in days of hopelessness, love in the state of brokenness when all of it seems gone and irrelevant. This is the real Christmas high, in full Antipolo splendor. We can't help it. We are that unforgettable. 

( This particular essay was written to accompany the diorama-making contest hosted by SM Masinag last 2014. Yes, it's an old piece but Antipolo feels is the same)

Everything is smaller in dioramas. Unlike in snow globes where there is a focal point and swirling whites and in flaky transformations, the world is lost in its voiceless movements, it's a completely 360 degree turn in case of dioramas. There, the structures are diminutive, the people lilliputian, the mountains and the rivers that run through it like Google Maps in iPad Minis, discoverable within a finger's reach. 

But the story behind every small diorama is larger than life. The size no longer matters. The structures and the people and the mountains and the rivers that run through it are tales waiting to break free. There, a tradition is formed within the length and breadth. The culture no longer needs to span centuries, only moments of clarity to be understood. The sights and sounds are lost in the kaleidoscope of fiber glass, sand, rubber felt and adhesives. 

This diorama is a city. In this city, everything starts with a journey. The only way to discover it's majestic gems, whether you go by car, or by foot, is through travelling with nothing on your bag except beautiful expectations. Sometimes, you will pause now and then to admire a breathtaking sight here, a magnificent masterwork there. But most of the time, especially during clear and unclouded nights, the microcosms that are the stars seem to form bedazzled paths that lead into the truth of the matter: Antipolo is the city of multitudes, the city in the sky, the Pilgrimage Capital, and the city that celebrates Christmas in the mountains. 

As the city that prides itself by its elevated heights and its mountainous reach, Christmas is surprisingly this festive. But it is an honesty, not some misplaced travesty. For starters, there goes the Lantern Festival that showcases not only the creativity but also the resilience of its people. Wander on the streets, look around and the lanterns will smile at you with all the wattages of the twinkling bulbs put into the labyrinth. Smile back: imagine the faces that made it. The tintinnabulations are profoundly heard everywhere. The place is awakening to a whole new world. Christmas in this side of the earth doesn't feel like it is only in December. There is warmth. There is hospitality. There is enchantment all year long. 

When APO composed Himig Pasko with lines that go like this: Malamig ang simoy ng hangin, the group must have Antipolo in mind. 

Rewind to the mid-summer before the most wonderful time of the year, the city is a hustle and bustle of fascinating mores. Every May, Ang Tipulo kicks off the many months of merrymaking. The Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage is seen from a distance, ever miraculous, providing comfort and relief to the weary pilgrims, tired soles and souls who have passed through the grimes and grits, yet refuse to stay bounded. The city fiesta is where sparks fly and an ignition of talents and skills come in droves and the next thing you'll know, you are in cloud nine or that state of bliss that is titanic in proportion. Good thing Cloud Nine, a local hotel and resort, has amenities that make you touch the sky. You are that near to the firmament that from afar, the famed Manila skyline, is a reflection of Swarovski crystals hanging in midair. 

There is always a stopover in the renowned, photographable Hinulugang Taktak which has the stamp of approval from the folks who visit it, the ecclesiastically wonderful White Cross witness to the multifarious intentions of the faithful towers high above too-verdant greens that mix in with the periwinkle skies. The place is a sure magnet to the tourists who would rather run away from the smog of the metro and escape into the pristine, clean air that is less than an hour away on traffic-less days. Of course, while you are at it, bite into the flesh of the city's delectable mangoes sold almost in all corners. There is also the suman that is affordable as it is filling, the cashew nuts is that good that whenever one speakers of Antipolo in microblogging lingo, this has the most retweets. 

With all the magnificence and phosphorescence, Antipolo is that engaging melange of the the old- the rich heritage, the beautiful faith-, the new- sprawling enterprises, busy thoroughfares, delicious restos and watering holes-, and the extraordinary- the tangible warmth  , the laidback charm, the rustic vibe. 

Everything is smaller in dioramas. But in Antipolo, every little thing is always a big experience. 

Special thanks to Mr. Rhandee Garlitos for editing the piece. 


( images: Pinto Art Gallery, Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage, Manila Skyline, and Hinulugang Taktak


Binge-y Jumpin

Monday, September 21, 2020


Before starting this website, people suggested that I should try doing Youtube. I know, they have the best intention and I appreciate them for it. With the help of my sister Sofia, we tried recording my first vlog using my age-old iPhone 6. We decided to do room tour even if my room is just one bed, two humongous bookshelves, and a table sticking into each other. You can navigate my room in seconds. My few clothes are slumped sadly in a three-tier sorta dish rack. You get the picture. Really, do I need a channel for you to visualize the shoe box that is my room when my words can? But I tried anyway. And so I yakked into the camera and the moment I started describing each part, I knew right there and then that Youtubing is not for me. I sounded insignificant and who would subscribe to me? I quit the attempt and asked my sister to erase the footage down. The world is bonkers enough for anyone to see the senselessness. 

So, I leave Youtube to those who can churn great contents at a drop of a hat and let me tell you, it is not an easy thing. Creating contents that will rack views is not for the fainthearted. Especially now that the competition is stiff. But if there's one word that will help you monetize the channel, it has to be AUTHENTICITY. You can be a prodigy in editing or you speak flawless English but if you are not authentic in the way you handle your efforts, then it is going to be slowburn for you. So before you strive for that coveted gold button (equivalent to 1 Million unique subscribers), it is waaaay better to work on your genuineness first because that's an instant way to get a cult following. 

I chose carefully who I sub to. With Youtube's sometimes weird algorithm, the suggested videos could be hit and miss. For example, recently I have been watching an ASMR restoration of luxury shoes and bags and there is no way that I searched for it. That's a hit because I never thought that I'll be enjoying it. And  then there will be videos of iffy challenges done by some local vloggers and I was like, woah, this has a million views? 

That's authenticity working its magic. 

The roundup below of my favorite channels and channels to watch out for is as eclectic and disparate as I want it to be. They make me worth the screen time. Take a swig of the drink nearest to you for all that we have in common. 

Or if you haven't checked them yet, I mean what are you waiting for? Lol. 

1. Watch Mojo

Listicles excite me and this channel is a paean to lists. Every time there is a fresh entry of certain interest, I always make sure to guess what tops their version and would pat myself at the back for knowing and understanding their wavelength. It is joyful to know that you both have the same preferences on things. Watch Mojo has currently 22.9 M subs and between you and me, that's helluva lot. So popular is this channel that it also has numerous permutations like Ms. Mojo ( which I also sub for all things ultra feminine: Top 10 Sex and the City Outfits anyone?).

The channel's most popular video, with 93 M views, is the Top 10 Bruce Lee Moments. As a gay person, this has so arched my brows so I tempered this masculinity with anything from Ms Mojo just because. 


I only know of this channel's digital presence early this year when I was sucked into the vortex of 2gether The Series (AKA, the show that changes me). It's in predominant Thai ( but you can use Youtube's efficient subtitle mechanisms if you don't want to be in another episode of They Laugh, We Laugh)  and that is one tough cookie to crack but somehow the need to unsub is not happening in foreseeable future. I won't expect you to dive into this if you are not interested in Thai shows but as a fan of BrightWin, I suggest you should and rewatch the reruns of 2gether/Still2gether 'til your eyes water because high viewership and engagements mean more work for our best bois. 

GMMTV has 9.51 M subs currently. The channel's most popular video, with 27 M views, is the English-subbed Episode 1 of Perfect Match which I know nothing about. It is essential to note however that the entire 2gether The Series episodes formed the channel's Top 50 shows. Powerful, right? WATCH IT NOW! 

3. Abbey Sy

Abbey Sy is the kind of artist that I aspire to be. She's a letterer, an author and a creative entrepreneur with an online shop that sold out items fast like pancakes. She has an enviable collection of ephemera and papers and stickers and washi tapes, which if you have read my blog entry, Paper Trails, are the things that set my heart astir. She's a constant inspiration to all my journal spreads and flatlays where she balances powerfully the best of both worlds: digital and analogue. I am not big into conceptual art and those art that makes you think and rethink your existence but hers was somehow the art that is reachable because she is generous with it. I followed her on IG, subscribed to her newsletters, bought her books and listened to her advice to always be creating. 

Abbey has 24.4k subs and her most popular video, with 162k views, is Using a Disposable Film Camera. If you are a drab in following instruction manuals like I do, then better let someone like Abbey teach you how to operate things, aesthetically pleasing video-color edits included.

4. Rainbowholic TV

Before I get entangled in my dreams of discovering Bangkok, what topped my list of country to visit when all this craziness is over is Japan for all the reasons that can be summed up with this word: Kawaii. Kaila Ocampo, the stationery savvy behind Rainbowholic, is a Filipina who realizes her Japanice dreams and chronicles them in this highly addictive Youtube Channel. Her daily adventures of adorable kitsch like trying new Japanese products or going to the stores that I salivate over and over again, you know Tokyu Hands, are the stuff of all my paper reawakening. Her journals are a mishmash of what makes Japan such a utopia for papyrophiliacs. I could go on and on! 

She recently received her YT Silver Button because she has surpassed 100k subs. She deserves it hands down because her videos are like hours of therapy sessions. Her most popular video with 929K views is 12 Unique & Cute Japanese Stationery Items (with demos). Who knew that shopping for unique stationery items could be this noteworthy! 

5. Ajayll

When Youtube reaches peak popularity, reactors of all mix and stripes followed suit. In fact, there are reactors in almost all consumable art. It could be a fresh episode from a favorite show, or a song performance that defies the law of gravity. But in all the rich apothecary of reactors that have mushroomed all the corners of Youtube, who stands out for me is Ajayll who reacts to singers' body of work contained in their LPs. She can be ruthless at times where she questions whether that single is sonically fit to the whole damn album but she also has moments where she was flicking her tears after wiping them off from her eyes if a song touches her core. My most favorite reaction of all was when she was flabbergasted, as opposed to her being so lethal with her opinions, when Rainbow ( a song by Kacey Musgraves from her album Golden Hour) ended and her mascara ran. Iconic. Ajayll knows her sh*t and even if I don't approve when she revisits an album because some fans do not understand the concept that Art is Subjective, she is my go-to person when, say, Taylor Swift surprise-dropped folklore. We often don't meet halfways with her choices but it does not stop me from replaying her videos. 

Her channel has 651k subs and her most popular video, with 1.4 M views, is her reaction to Ariana Grande's 7 Rings album. 

Also recommended: Mimiyuuh, G3 San Diego, Laureen Uy, Paano Ba' To by Bianca Gonzales, Love Marie Ongpauco and yes, Ivana Alawi

I also want to give a shoutout to the Youtubers that I know personally or corresponded with because we are all in this together. They also bring authenticity to the table and I have nothing but big dreams for their channel to grow exponentially more than they could ever imagine! It would make me so happy if after reading this entry, you'll go to their channels, subscribe, and hit the notification bell! 

1. Alexis Vee

She's a fellow BrightWins and a true blue Win Metawhipped. She is my favorite 2gether The Series/Still 2gether reactor because she understands why this particular BL series does not resort to the usual tropes redolent of the genre. A dentist by profession and a responsible fangirl who suffuses her videos with organic and effervescent mores that are effortlessly fascinating! 

2. Danton Remoto

A formidable voice in the Philippine literati set, Sir Danton is one of my favorite Filipino authors of all time and it's a complete delight that he decides to dabble into this new platform where he can deliver his no-nonsense commentary on pop culture, literature and creative writing, all in his signature wit and panache. 

3. Dong Lakwatsero

Dong or Arjay as we call him is headstrong as he is engaging. If he wants something, whether it be interviewing Yayo Aguila for his live shows, or trying it up for DepEd TV Broadcasting team, he wants it done no matter what it takes. His channel where he #loveslocal by showcasing sartorial choices and food places and homebound events in Antipolo City where he lives is something admirable. 

4. JC Pineda

JC and I haven't met but I feel that we are friends from some indeterminate past because we genuinely like each other. His channel is a motley of tasteful song covers, skin care to end all skin cares and some sensational news that will keep you glued to the screens for hours on end. 

5. Lorraine Concepcion

She was really shy back in the days when I handled her in English 9 and this unfurling of new Lorraine is exciting to behold. And boy, she's a natural here. I mean it cannot be denied that she was in the top of her class. She can be humorous at times and could turn sultry in an instant! Her channel is new but when you observe her videos, it's as if she has been doing this for a long time. 

Gerome Nicolas Dela Pena ( GM TV) 

Chances are, you probably have read one of his exquisite poems written in the most melodious Filipino, or his stimulating essays and don't know that Gerome has a Youtube channel. Yep, you heard that right. Your friendly professor is showing that he's not only adept with coming up with thought pieces, but he can also make your sub's worth because his channel is something that will help you rethink of your literature's own. 

So, do you have a favorite YT channel to binge? I am pretty sure you do. 


*All images are screenshot from their respective channels

(cover image from Pinterest)

The BrightWin Effect

Saturday, September 12, 2020


Still2gether, the five special episodes of the phenomenal BL series 2gether, ended last night ( September 11) with a finish so strong and satisfying it was like a Smirnoff crashing with Godiva chocolates (or insert your choices here since I am neither into drinks and chocolates).

It was that decadent.

No spoilers but if you stick around since it premiered, you will know what I am referring about here. Let's just say that the fans who have been clamouring for things to happen are vindicated and are now happily lazing around in the afterglow. Seriously, how can you move on from this? Asking for a friend, lol. 

This is not a review of Still2gether because my 2gether review over at AnnyeongOppa, which I linked below, still holds true for what I believe in when I started this journey to modern-day univ-utopia Thailand with two of the most insanely gorgeous boys that ever walked this side of the earth, Bright Vachirawit and Win Metawin.

This cast and this pure happiness

This is a roundup of the pop culture impact that this little show has blessed upon its fans all from one Google search. It's a testament to the incantation that the show brandishes, the ones that linger even after it ended which we all wish it didn't. 

But all good things do. 

But at least we have these articles to read for perpetuity, to remind us why we fell so hard for 2gether, Still2gether, Sarawatine and BrightWin. Dig in!

* Kenn Anthony Mendoza for : How Thai LGBT show, 2gether: The Series, became an instant hit

The show paints a portrait of how young queer love would look, and how it would exist in an alternate universe – free from prejudice and discrimination. It adds a bit of nostalgia given that it takes place at a university. Viewers are whisked back to their teenage years, reliving what it means to fall in love for the first time through Sarawat and Tine.

* Bethany Wade for A beginners guide to the Thai boy love show '2gether: The Series

If you haven’t fallen down the deep dark hole that is 2gether: The Series, let us get you acquainted. This Thai boy love drama, also known as 2GWin Metawinether, tells the same old school boy love story you may have heard before, with some twists to take it to new heights. We know once you learn more, you’ll quickly be on board. 

* Jhoemz Vercide for : Thai BL Series on Top: Here's why '2gether: The Series' won the hearts of Filipino fans

The series somehow gave us something to ponder on, a sudden realization and maybe a hope for the LGBTQIA+ community to stop vying for the long battle of acceptance. We all dreamt of equality and acceptance, we are wishing that one day all societal norms, gender, and choices will disappear and would not matter at all.  


* Gerard C. Gotladera for This Lighthearted Thai BL Series Has Somehow Made Life Bearable, Even For The Non-Believer

The smiles exchanged, little naughty tricks played here and there, the getting-to-know-you phase these two lead characters are still sailing in, really do get us kilig. It reminds us of how crushes are, how life would somehow change when your crush likes your post, calls you by your nickname or glances your way. It’s young love that burns brightest in this show—unbridled, not entirely innocent, but youthful in its nature that we may have forgotten about, because life on the daily is, and recently has been too serious. 

* Anjana Pawa for The Internet has fallen for the Thai LGBTQ+ Show Still 2gether

One explanation for Still 2gether’s popularity is a mundane one: Nothing bigger than life itself happens to Sarawat and Tine. This is a slice-of-life show that captures the adventures of these two young men in love, their ups and downs and everyday experiences. That very ordinariness is special enough, in creating a space where stories like theirs’ can be told. 

* Chuck Smith for Why Philippine TV doesn't have 'Boys' Love' shows like '2gether: The Series 

When you’re a young gay man still trying to understand your sexuality, having feelings for another man can sometimes feels wrong. Societal norms — and, sometimes, familial expectations — say your feelings are not normal, that you shouldn’t have those romantic feelings for the same sex. Sometimes, when you’re a young gay man figuring out yourself, you need to live in your own world, even for just a duration of a song, to feel happy and accepted. You need to be Tine and Sarawat in order to be happy, literally singing to a song only they can hear. 


* Miguel Poblador for Why the Thai BL show 2gether: The Series works

This show’s success and how passionately celebrated it is in the media is a testament to how far we’ve come in terms of acceptance. It makes my heart sing knowing we can have these stories in the mainstream. The cheesy ones that are senselessly happy and perfect, the ones that don’t end in heartbreak or death as they too often do. It reminded me that we are allowed to have nice things, too, despite what we were told growing up. We’re allowed to have simple joys and cheap thrills, just like everyone else.

* Chad de Guzman for Boys' Love: The Gay Romance TV Genre Taking Over Southeast Asia

2Gether’s success earlier this year pushed the genre’s popularity over the edge. The show premiered in February and was a cult hit by March, as more people stayed home due to the pandemic. In Thailand, GMMTV reported that the show already had over 100 million views on the local streaming platform LINE TV by April 19. That’s apart from audiences who tuned in on TV and YouTube.
* Danton Remoto for On Thailand's Boys' Love series

The series showed that homosexuality is as normal as breathing; that families can be accepting and loving; and that life is worth living even if you dare to be different. And that a gay character does not need to die in a TV series, or suffer from tragedy.

* and of course mine, Ryan Leyco Faura for 2gether 4ever: A love letter to the BL series that changes me

What is most admirable about #2gether is does not romanticize the usual tropes that LBGT-themed series employ to its advantage: intimate scenes, as implied in its most tender moments, do not drive the show to move a frenetic pace.  


What do you think of the finale? Do you still want a Season 2? When are we going to stop clowning?


( Images: GMMTV Twitter

The Summer of Forgotten Lore

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Those days, the ones I called the summer of reckoning, seeing things have become something of a chore. It was not a top priority, and there was not much to look at, to be honest. It’s not like our town is a hotbed of scantily-clad women by the poolside. We have beaches, alright, but you’ll be hardpressed to find them with women in various stages of undress. Nobody dared to skinny-dip even if the water was warm and inviting. Heck, nobody even dared to dress differently. We are a town of certain traditions and mores and whoever disobeyed will either be picketed by boisterous kids, or parroted by mothers who had an inkling for homebound gossips.

It was a record-breaking summer that I can recall with certainty. Heat indexes spiked up so high that you wish you were born a cactus, so you can’t be bothered by water. Because I was always dead-tired by the usual endless periwinkle blue, I covered my eyes with darkly-tinted glasses and salvaged my weather-beaten Discman and listened to all my CDs: Mazzy Star, Wilson Philips, Tori Amos, Shawn Colvin. My musical taste is as eclectic as I wanted it to be. I listened to them as if I’m seeing them, and everything depended on it. How I’ve gone about my day, how I tried to soothe implacable wounds, and how I rearranged my mental furniture so it can sit a feeling.
We were approaching midsummer when I saw her for the very first time. It was the first time that I ever cared about taking away my headphones to focus visually on someone. We wondered aloud every time we passed by her house, how dilapidated it looked from the outside, and the gardens about to turn into itself, degenerating, rotten, sick.
I mean dude, those rickety stairs have the word ancient written all over them, my friend observed. 

I bet you that house is haunted. I just had the creeps looking at it, I surmised. I have known full well that the house was not haunted because I saw someone drew the curtains from inside, probably to ward off nosy neighbors. 

Oh, did you see that? 100% sure those were ghosts! 

I tried telling them that no spectral things were happening, but my friends would not want any of it. I stayed a little longer, hidden between trees as she descended from their stairs. It squawked and moaned and maybe even tried to give up, but it held on. Her weight must have been so familiar that it can only sigh in resignation. I had to bite my tongue to silent a hilarious scream. If the house, in all its ramshackle glory, could pass for Atlas Obscura, she, in hindsight, could sweep a pin-up girls popularity contest. Today, despite the heat that settled on air like heat bombs, she decided to do full-on 60’s: big, OA bows on her head, polka-dotted skirt -like New Year came late or early depends on how obsessed you are at resolutions-, and the dirtiest looking shoes with socks- white, dirty white- an exact reflection of her skin. And to complete the ensemble, she was holding a gondola basket and started picking the pathetic flowers that outlined their garden. She walked towards the woods, whistling Julie Andrews. The hills seemed alive and starving as it swallowed her whole. I could not believe what I just saw. She was unconventional and in this town where everyone should stick to the routines no matter how aboriginal they could be, everything about her screamed different and diffident. And as someone who saw her first, she should be under my initiation.

I decided to go home and came up with a plan.

I basked in the sun one morning in my usual spot near their turf when she, laughable, ludicrous her, appeared muttering to herself. Was she on crack? It was so hot. My brain was melting, and I was sweating like some pig about to be skewered, but I needed to proceed with the plan. Still hidden from view, I sat cross-legged on the grass, fanning vigorously, spilled Coke soaked my Philip Morris stash which I hid from the deepest recess of my Jansport and waited for her next move. She was a creature of habit. She looked around, probably afraid that her little ritual will be disrupted. When she made sure that nobody could be observing her, she repeated what she did the other day. But this time, she did it methodically: cutting the stems, arranging them neatly, placing the brightest blooms on top, deep in the basket. Her gondola boasted jasmines, gumamela, some Vietnam roses, and some varieties that I could not identify. If she would be planting flowers, why can she start in her front yard?

There was something about her that teased, ‘ Come, pick me. Make fun of me. You are doing me a ginormous favor’.
So I did, of course. I mean, she left me with no options, right?
I was still in the carelessness of youth. I was half bad. Not that evil as some of my friends could be. But a little on the blindside. After all, I was doing her a huge favor.

It was Monday, the heat in full swing, and the perfect time to carry out my plan. If this plan backfired, then I inexorably failed. But I left my friends out of this. So there was no way that they will know that I planned on doing this alone. I saw her again, as I intended to, this time jumper overalls that reeked of mothballs I could swear of sniffing the mile over, in pig-tailed hair, and looked seriously stupid. I was not hiding this time. She had a genuine shock when she saw me. She came into my direction where I intentionally stood up next to a garden where wildflowers sprouted blossoms, and tall grasses swayed with the zephyr. Today, honey, there will be no flowers for you. Before she could pick the bunch, I had uprooted all of those with a sweep, and all the petals- crushed, shredded petals- fell from my grip. The stalks were limply and unrecognized. I saw her knelt on the grass, inspecting the shrubbery. From all the strewn leaves and discarded blooms, she found a solitary flower in the plants left standing, a starkly sad display. She noticed me holding the best of the lots; I let it drop, all of the flowers that had suddenly lost their charm. She picked it with renewed enthusiasm as she tended the battered petals with caring hands. There is an underlying reason why ‘Don’t pick flowers’ sign existed. When you take away flowers from the place that nurtured them, they somehow lost their luster.

And this strange girl can pick them to satisfy her whims and caprices!
So I beat her out of it. In this town, these flowers belong to the rightful people. Those who don’t dress outlandishly. Those who abide by the rules. Those who do not forget the lore.
She strutted away.
She, on a mission to get away as soon as possible.
I followed her. I, on a mission to carry out my plans.

Along the route, together with the denied flowers, she would cut some grass and made a little, awful bouquet. Five minutes worth of walking, her journey ended. What looked about the place was an anthill of sorts- only low-lying and seeming a little out of place. There she laid the flowers gently. She stayed for at least fifty seconds. Then as fast as she came, she was gone. She took a different route this time.

In my hideout, I witnessed it all. All of her intricate ceremonies, all of her lonely, careless surrender. Curious, I edged closer stealthily to the focal point and saw to my surprise, and still with this feeling I cannot place, a hastily made out epitaph written in spidery whorls and whirls:
In here, in this bed of earth, lies the body of my mother.
What lore, I forgot about them.


( image source: Pinterest

Welcome to my Words

Sunday, September 6, 2020


As you now know, I am launching this website on my birthday which happens to be today. I call this the one stop shop of everything Ryan because I designed it in such a way that all my interests will be in one place. I know it could be self-indulgent but it has been a long standing dream of mine to have my own corner of the Internet because let's face it, it's a powerful vehicle to let your presence known. 

Why only now when blogging is a relic of the past? When everyone who dabbled blogging before made a switch to vlogging which clearly is a sure monetary bait? I don't know either and I don't care. I love writing and I don't look good on camera. I am super awkward when I tried videoing myself one day when vlogging became an option to experiment during the ECQ but I resented it as much. I am a talker of course but when being filmed, I sort of blurted gobbledygook and it dawned on me that it is not for me. 

So this entry will take you to all the parts of this website. I hope you will take your time discovering the nook and cranny of this creative output. Btw, the domain is hosted by Z.Com. The theme that I've used here is from Berenica Designs over at Etsy. Everything is less than 1 thousand bucks. So if you want to create a website of your own, I strongly recommend them. 

The Upper Pages: 

1. Home- Paying attention to the Internet parlance, a Home is the whole total look of the website. So everything can be navigated from there. 

2. About- This is the autobiographical corner. I included all the books that I appeared in ( Young Blood Six for my essay From Hair to Eternity and Novice magazine for my essay #Pride of Passage)  and my own book Pun Intended: Collected Works. I also linked all the articles from Philippine Daily Inquirer that mentioned me. 

3. Contact- This is where I listed my skills if you want me to create something for you. Launching this website means reopening all my talents in various disciplines. Yes, I am for hire. 

4. Blog- As the name suggests, this is the heart of my website. It has all the posts that I've done so far and will be doing in the future. You can also suggest what do you want to read. 

5. Portfolio- This houses my articles from different publications. If you click this page, it will lead you to my Journo Portfolio account. 

6. Pun Intended: Collected Works- If you buy the book, then you'll probably see the photos that you sent me. Thank you btw for purchasing my first ever book! 

7. Library- All the books that I ever owned can be found in this page. I used a separate portal for this and you can totally do it to your collection. 

8. Miscellany- This is where I categorized all my posts. The categories are taken from spectrum of subjects that I am so passionate about: 
     BrightWin- this is an obvious topic of course. BrightWin is my one and only stan and I want them to gain permanence in my website. 
     Cheapthrills- this is where I place all my current favorites that are not money busters. 
     Books- I mean this should be obvs right? 
     ArtsyFartsy- anything related to my other interests: papers and crafting! 
     Musings- unpublished essays and short stories and all the random asides
     Oh The Places We'll Go- All the places I've gone to. Read: I have to really like the place. 

  The Socials:

1. Spotify- I am so proud of my public playlists! 

2. Tumblr- I dedicate this tumblr to my forever favorite Cecile Zamora. She has been gifting me stuff since 2015 and I decided to chronicle everything to show my gratitude. 

3. Facebook- What do you think of this new interface? I like it! 

4. Instagram- this is a constant, you should have one. Please follow me, lol. 

5. Twitter- this is my stan account. 

6. Pinterest- I made sure that I pinned all the stuff that interest me. 

The Side Dishes:

1. My alter ego telling you she likes you. 
2. You can directly message me in Stay in Touch.
3. In Never Miss A Post, you can sign up with your email address so you are always updated whenever I post new content. This is like the subscription button of your favorite Youtube channel. 
4. Read all my Popular posts in this portion.
5. Read Next is suggestive as it is promising.
6. All of my combined posts are in Archive.
7. Daily Inspo is where I always get inspiration from my favorite bloggers.
8. Pinterest Moodboard is a visual representation of my current pins.

The Bottom

My Instagram feed. Follow me please @theryanfaura 

I hope this is worth your while. I hope you can visit me again and again. 


Paper Trails

Thursday, September 3, 2020

I do not own many clothes or shoes, but I compensate it with papers. It's a conscious decision that might generate weird reactions from people who have more clothes to wear than necessary. In fact, if I visit the stationery heaven that is Japan, I will make sure that the balikbayan boxes that I'll bring home from the supposed trip would contain nothing but pretty papers from Tokyu Hands, LoFT, Daiso, Traveler's Factory, Don Quijote and the 100 Yen stores that my tita is telling me about. I might squeeze in some Uniqlo and GU only if there's money left. Yes, you will see me repeat clothes or shoes but you'd be hardpressed to see me repeating papers for my future journaling layouts just because! 

Papers excite me like books do. On a given day, I can get lost in their delightful flimsy even if the world around me is falling apart. And it's therapeutic too. Whenever I feel bad from something I can't control, I'll just bring out my stash and within minutes and not even exaggerating here, I will feel a lot better. If I am also feeling uninspired and it keeps on happening lately, I only think of the papers that I won't use and instantly, I am back from grinding again. 

Yes, you heard it right, the papers that I won't use lol. But don't worry because If I want to keep up with the Artsy Fartsy tag on this blog, then I will be forced to use them for all sorts of different projects WHICH I AM SO EXCITED TO DIG INTO TBH. 

This is where my loots lie: 

Boxes are from Papemelroti, Chuvaness' care packages; Cookies tin can from Agustin fam


from, Daiso Singapore ( courtesy of my friend Rizza Pereyra), Abbey Sy, Anne Solomon, and Chuvaness


from Kikki.K and National Bookstore


from Abbey Sy, Biblio, National Bookstore X Chuvaness, and Stranger Things


from Miniso, Papemelroti, Starbucks, Dylan's Candy Bar, National Bookstore X Chuvaness, Jessica Zafra, Kinokuniya, Amazon Singapore


Mangas from my aunt in Japan

Pantone postcards

from Pantone: 100 Postcards bought at National Bookstore Warehouse Sale

From Papemelroti, Galison Gift, American Greeting, Lizzie Lees, Traveler's Time and ABCT Store

I still have more coming and you my readers will be the first to see them when they arrive from Japan!

Let's just say, I CAN'T WAIT!