Thursday, April 16

By Danah and Stacy   Posted at  2:58 PM   tpptalks No comments

We were invited by Plan International for their Girl Declaration Project launch a few weeks ago, and having heard about them for the first time, I started asking my other girlfriends about the organization. I was left dumbfounded when my friends told me that Plan International is one of the world's biggest NGOs (founded in 1937), that aims to promote and protect the rights of children.

I immediately invited one of my dear friends, Isa Garcia of The Better Story Project, to fill in for Stacy, since my sister was in Boracay then. I know that this interests her, and it will open our eyes to so many issues we're unaware of that are of great importance and urgency.


The program was opened by Badeen Verora, the Country Program Advisor for Gender. The real issues were revealed when Paulene Santos, the Campaigns Coordinator, gave an in-depth, gut-wrenching, and heart-breaking presentation of facts on how girls and women are poorly treated in far-flung communities all across the globe.

Here are some facts and real-life statements from girls that show gender inequality is a real world-wide problem to deal with:

  • In 2007, the first 'Because I'm A Girl' report noted that: "'Inequality between boys and girls remains deep-rooted and starts early." Research into adolescent girls and gender justice carried out by the UK's Overseas Development Institute in Uganda noted: "Within the first seven years of life, girls are already indoctrinated into the idea of being subject to men. This starts in the household and is reinforced in the community."

  • The 2013 World Health Organization report found that 29% of adolescent girls and young women aged 15 to 19 who have ever been in a relationship have experienced violence at the hands of a partner—that's over a quarter of girls and women under the age of 20.

  • 14 million girls under the age of 18, the official age at which a child become an adult under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, are married each year. Child marriage, often to an older man, not only deprives a girl of her childhood, and often of her education, but is the source of countless rights violations for girls, particularly during adolescence. Becoming pregnant and giving birth before her body is fully mature is a leading cause of death for girls aged 15 to 19. In addition, studies have found that because of the power imbalance, such marriages can lead to high levels of domestic violence.

  • During an interview with a young Filipino girl named Jacel, she states that the boys don't let her play football with them because only boys are allowed to play the game since "we [girls] are weak".

  • Another young girl named Rosybel, from Dominican Republic shares, "My younger brothers cannot do chores at home, only we girls. If my little brother dirties his clothes, I wash them."

Also, these slides really struck me so bad.






---

Despite these alarming facts and statements, I'm so happy to know that Plan International has been reaching out to these girls, empowering them to think, decide and change the status quo. 
  • Lorena from Brazil states, "I think men and woman can do the same activities in the same way. My dad doesn't help my mother. I think my father could help my mother [with household chores]." 

  • An adolescent girl from Rwanda shares, "We need leaders who really understand our needs and who understand gender equality. Women leaders in high positions of leadership inspire us. Me personally, when I see them, I know that I can be able to take a decision."

  • A UNESCO representative who visited a school in a remote village in Liberia observed a girl running around and playing with the boys in the school yard. The male Principal was appalled and reprimanded her for being rowdy by saying, "you are a little girl; you should be quiet and not running around making so much noise. The little girl pondered for a few seconds and said quietly: "Teacher, be careful how you talk to me. Don't forget our President is a woman."
  • A mother from rural Ethiopia articulates very clearly, "My wish for my daughter is that she should marry after she has become self reliant; I wish her to complete her education, then to have her own work and then to marry a person whom she loves and with whom she wants to live."

  • "In the future, I want to be a very successful auto mechanic. I think I am a good role model. Sometimes people in high positions encourage and advise me to tell me I'm a good example. I make them happy as they just cannot believe that a lady can do such things!", stated by 18-year old Gloria Joyce who is a trainee car mechanic at Plan International's Juba Technical High School in South Sudan.

---

Below is The Girl Declaration, written and created by the young girls under Plan International's program.



The goals of this campaign is calling for:
  • girl's education to be prioritized by world leaders
  • girls' completion of quality secondary education to be a major focus of international action
  • funding for girls' education to be increased
  • an end to child marriage
  • and end to gender-based violance in and around schools
  • girls and boys to participate in decision making and inspire those with power to take action


chatting with RikiFlo of Magic 89.9 and Paulene of Plan International

This event really pushed me to think of ways how I can challenge the girls within my sphere to tap into the best woman they can be. It's so unfortunate that young girls have to go through these social pressures and harsh realities that we privileged women tend to take for granted. I also realized the importance of mentorship and making girls realize that there is so much more to them than how this world perceives their womanhood and gender.

After the program, Paulene went to our table thanked us for coming. We of course talked about feminism, women's issues and how we can help. Plan International has been in the country for over 50 years and I asked why their presence isn't felt much. She told me that their programs are mainly focused on far-flung areas of the country, hence the lack of "branding" in the metro. I instantly told her that our blog can be a platform to springboard any time of promotions, and that I wanted to help in their digital promotions. I'm so glad she's open to the idea! I'm so psyched for this.



with Lindsay Mercado (in black), Girl Declaration Project Advocate


The entire event made me realize this—that instead of using our womanhood as an excuse, we should make it a means. A means to live an empowered, fruitful and beautiful life,  a life of purpose and passion. 

Personally, I am driven to create a community of strong, brave and confident women, because I'm a girl.


What are you empowered to do because you're a girl? Lemme know on the comment section below.

Also, feel free to contact Paulene Santos if you have ideas on how to help.
paulene.santos@plan-international.org
(02)810-0033

(photos by Eloisa Lopez)


Plump love,
D

Wednesday, April 8

By Danah and Stacy   Posted at  6:57 PM   tppdanah 2 comments


In an attempt to fully assure people that there's nothing wrong with the word fat, I looked it up on thesaurus. Much to my dismay, the 3-letter, one-syllable adjective is equated with: obese, gross, porky and dumpy, just to name a few. Looking at all these horrible words (that I honestly feel aren't at par with just "fat"), I started remembering a time when being called such hurt me to the core, as if there's no other word more horrific to describe a human being with; a time when I blamed everything wrong in my life simply because I was fat.

My memory took me to a time when I was single, extremely lonely, and insecure, back when I made partying my release. I was 22, and I was out almost every weekend, partying and drinking till the night turned into a faded mess. I hung out at clubs, hoping for sparks to fly around me when a man would offer me a drink, or that zing to electrocute my body when a man would pull me in close for a dance. Of course none of these things happened, and it only fed the recurring lie in my head: I am single because I am fat.

To be honest, this blog is already up and running during this pathetic season of my life, and I already was claiming to be a body-image advocate then.

I always assumed that no one dared to pursue me because I was rotund; because my body didn't fit the mold of the slender silhouette a woman should have, as society dictates. Everywhere I looked, the fat woman is to shamefully hide her body, while the slim woman got wooed by all the gorgeous, overly-interested men. Besides, it's everyone else's judgment too. When I would answer no to my relatives who asked me if I was seeing anyone, their quick retort would be, "magpapayat ka kasi (you have to lose weight)." So I believed it with all of me—that that was it; that the very reason I haven't attracted anyone to date me in 6 years is because of my big body.

Looking in hindsight, this mentality was a disservice to me—my character, my strengths and my soul—and it also was a disservice to all the level-headed, mature and tasteful men (not to mention all the awesome chubby-chasers) out there. *wink

Why?

Because it made my body the end-all-be-all of me and it definitely made me reduce men to purely visual and sexual animals, with no care for deep human connection, whatsoever (although sad to say, some are just that). It made me worship image over character, and it made forget all the other wonderful aspects of me. It made me dangerously assume that my figure will solve all my internal struggles, and that my appearance will determine my relationship status, pronto. I guess it also was the easy answer and easy way out—to blame my shell so I don't get to do an introspective check if there's something wrong with my inner pearl.

I can't help but feel so pathetic when I look back at this version of me, but then again, we have to go through these to learn more about ourselves and value things we didn't consider important before.

Another big realization is this—having this mindset said a lot about my view on relationships too. It is a direct reflection of what I valued, and it revealed the intensity of the significance I placed on other people's appearance. If I was afraid that no one could love me because I was fat, it also showed that the love I was ready to give to someone was only skin deep.

Thank God for maturity and growth. Putting these things out there now is making me cringe. I don't want to be that type of person ever again!

At the end of it, with conviction and honesty, I do not want the foundation of my future relationship to be just attraction. Don't get me wrong, it does have an important play in any romantic relationship, but I don't want it to be the very reason why I enter one. I want a man who will connect with me deeper than the physical—someone who will value my thoughts, principles and character, someone who will choose to love me despite my ever-changing jean size and messy, curly hair.

As for those synonyms of fat, I scoff at them. I refuse to be any of those words just because I'm fat. I choose to be confident, secure and productive in my singlehood, as I continue to redefine the word and let it be what it it really is: a 3-letter, one-syllable adjective.


my Instagram post a few days ago (@thedanahsoars)


Plump love,
D
By Danah and Stacy   Posted at  1:09 PM   women's gym No comments

There are 3 things you won't find inside all the Curves franchise—made up faces, mirrors, and men.

And if you've got lady parts, I'm sure you'd agree with me when I say that this concept is genius.

Curves started way back when we were one-year-old twin babies—the year 1992—as a weight-loss facility specially exclusive for women. Its success comes from their practical approach to fitness—all they encourage women to do is have the right diet for their body and workout for 30 minutes per session, to be done at least 3x a week! 

Today, Curves is the biggest fitness franchise with branches in over 90 countries all over the globe. This means even when traveling, you have no excuses not to workout! You can still hit the gym to get your dose of happy hormones in any city with a Curves branch! No extra pay needed, all you have to do is show them your Curves card that you must avail before leaving the country. ;)

Curves is famous for their circuit training. Every machine is specifically designed for a woman's body and is hydraulic resistant. This means that the faster you do reps, the more effort you need to finish it. There are 0 weights in this gym, but don't let that fool you into thinking this workout is chicken lang!

As you can see, boards and machines alternate. A (recorded) voice-over prompts us to move to the next station once the time is up. After we finish our workout on the machine, a Curves coach instructs the class to do exercises on the board, mostly cardio.

Loud, pumping music is played to keep us awake, in the mood to sweat, burn calories, and release endorphins!

As we go around the machines and boards, the voice-over (you will fully understand this once you workout in Curves) will ask us to get our own heart rate by placing two fingers on our pulse.  This is just to make sure our body not overdoing it and can proceed to the next machine. If our heart rate is too fast, the coaches tell us to pause for 5-seconds before proceeding to our next station. 

 Finishing 1 round of circuit training including the board exercises is equivalent to 15 minutes or less, so we need to finish 2 rounds (plus stretching) to complete the session!

I enjoy my workouts in Curves. The all-women environment really helps in being not self-conscious at all for you girls who are quite shy in showing up in the gym. This place is a safe space for women who are struggling with body image issues but are willing to get rid of them. :) All the coaches are very energetic and are great motivators. They also make sure your form is correct when you're on the machine or board. I have wanted to stop midway so many times but they keep pushing me to continue, but if you tell them you really can't anymore, then they'll let you rest. :)

Curves have their very own cute merchandise, from shirts to sleepwear to phone cases and more!

The stretching area/machine

Working out

Pa-cute-ing out

Motivational posters that encourage me every time I'm in Curves!

WE LOVE CURVES! :) 

A nice and inviting area where the girls can freshen up after their workout! Curves has 2 toilets and 1 spacious shower room! 

Locker room

Last mirror selfie before I take a shower! ;)

Danah and I go to Curves Eastwood to strengthen our body and shape our curves! They are located at the 4th floor (same floor as the cinemas) of Eastwood City Mall. I must tell you now that they are right across Magoo's. I also thought it was a joke, but I realized, hey, Magoo's isn't so bad as long as I don't indulge in it and fool myself that it's a reward for finishing my workout at Curves! LOL

Feel free to contact Curves Eastwood via moble at +63923 424 4494 for inquiries.

Hope we bump into one of you in the gym soon! ;) Don't be shy to say hi! :)



—S


Monday, April 6

By Danah and Stacy   Posted at  10:30 AM   tppeats No comments
Believe it or not, I haven't been to Cable Car ever before. I know it's popular amongst the college kids who enjoy beer pong, but I never knew their food are delicious too! ;)

Inside Cable Car (The Fort Strip)

It's got a very chill, pub vibe to it.

the bar with a myriad of liquors and wines to choose from

There are different sized couches—perfect for big or small groups!

Our food tasting was scheduled after I did a shoot for Natasha. I just met Jigs Mayuga that day and invited him for dinner! Glad he said yes and brought his boyfie along. :)

Now I present to you Cable Car's new LUNCH menu

Sizzling seafood aligue (P249)
MUST-TRY. The aligue wasn't too overpowering to the point that it's nakakaumay, and it wasn't scrimped on seafood! You'll find fish, shrimp, and squid chunks in there mixed with green and red bell peppers. We all loved this dish! 

Truffled TapSiLog
The tapa's really good, but I couldn't taste any hint of truffle in it. Other than that, it's perfectly seasoned and very tender. The yoke was undercooked and runny, just the way I like it!

Buffalo chicken rice melt (P199)
The chicken tenders in buffalo sauce are rich and flavorful with the melted cheese. This instantly became one of my favorites from Cable Car. I'll definitely back for more of this!

Pulled pork adobo rice (P149)
The adobo sauce was perfect and thick, and the meat of the pork is cooked to well-done perfection!

Fire Shrimp Pasta (P199)
HOT! Made my mouth feel like it was on fuuuh-yuuuuuhh!!! I was surprised with how spicy this dish is, because usually "spicy" here is just mild to me. It's delicious but a little bit on the sweet side to appeal to the "Filipino taste". I prefer my pasta to be more sour than sweet, but I must say I still enjoyed this dish and would order it again.


More food (from their regular menu)!

Nachos

Heart-breaker pizza (all meat)

The place got filled up fast on a Friday night!




We had a great dinner at Cable Car! We ended the night early because I got too tired from the shoot. I went Cinderella and left before the stroke of midnight. Danah stayed and played beer pong with our other friends who followed. :)

Can't wait to dine in Cable Car again! GOTTA HAVE SOME OF THAT BUFFALO CHICKEN RICE MELT!


—S

Tuesday, March 31

By Danah and Stacy   Posted at  8:00 PM   tppgoes No comments


We were invited to Pandora's spring collection launch weeks ago, and being a fan of their jewelries and charms (I remember "borrowing" my mom's Pandora bracelets from time to time, hehe), of course I RSVP'd right away! Too bad Stacy had a trip to Boracay and missed the launch. It was definitely one of the most well-planned and best-themed events I've ever been to! I can't help but notice how they tied it all up--from the idea to the concept to the execution--it was beautiful, consistent and well thought of. I guess it's the marketing person in me.

I love it when a brand goes the extra mile to make their guests feel special. I was told that they will be providing a transpo service for the event, so I told them my schedule and location for pick up. At exactly 2pm, a black Camry was waiting for me outside! A suited up chauffeur stepped out and opened the door for me. When I got in, there lay 2 containers of yummy French macarons. WOW! 
I was so impressed!

(nails by Azta Urban Salon)



We headed to The Henry Hotel where we were welcomed by Issa Liton, the host for the afternoon, and my friend Ferdie Salvador, who headed the events team in charge of this lavish gathering. We were served with champagne while waiting for the other guests to arrive. FANCY!

Issa Liton, posing for my camera
(This woman embodies glamour and beauty! My goodness! Whatta woman!)

Look at the glorious sky! :)


#self-we

I met new friends that day! :) Hanging out with Patty Laurel and Kelly Misa

We were told that there will be four relaxation pods for us to visit, and each area has a specific activity for us to try and enjoy.


Our first stop was the Magic Of Nature pod. We were to create our own terrariums and immerse ourselves in nature. HOW MAGICAL INDEED!!!


The collection was inspired by flowers and every piece was intricately designed to capture the essence and beauty of the blossoms.

DIY time!

having fun with Alyssa Lapid

What I wore:
Dorothy Perkins dress | House of Harlow sunnies | Givenchy bag | Lovisa gem earrings

listening to the terrarium guru






It was a very unique experience for me! It was a brilliant idea to immerse us in a nature-inspired activity so we can appreciate Pandora's collection more. We all had so much fun picking our plants and learning so much from the terrarium guru who taught us the basics of creating our own. The succulents were all so beautiful! I'm proud to show you mine. :)

TADAAAAH!!! I made it miself! Getting my hands dirty paid off! Hee!

We then headed to the Prim Rose pod where we met Olivia D'abouville, a world-class sculptor and artist.

Olivia posing next to her eco-friendly flower-inspired lamps (they're made from recycled water bottles! It's so cool!)

matchy-matchy in pastels with Patty (who is such a sweetheart! She said she chanced upon our swimwear line and loved our designs ♥)


THOSE CHARMS DOE! ♥


Another one of Olivia's creations: lily-inspired pieces made from needles! I love the play of daintiness and sharpness on this set!

delightful, handcrafted paper roses

with Patty, Olivia, Ferdi, Kelly and Alyssa

Before reaching the 3rd and 4th pods, we had some tea in this ethereally decorated tent with the view of The Henry's garden and pool. 



They spelled my name right! :)

refreshing mint cucumber drink from Apartment 1B

having a delightful, amiga time with Kelly


watching Pandora's video presentation 
(photo from Rick Barreto)

Pandora's brand manager, talking about how she got in the jewellery industry and why she loves it

with Patty, Kelly and Lissa

For our last two pods to visit, we were treated with a mani-pedi session since we got our hands dirty from the previous terrarium-making. We also had one-on-one sessions for our chakra realignment and reading (no photos there, I was busy meditating; feeling the earth below me).


I had an awesome time overall! The people from Pandora were so nice and sweet (they gave me a bracelet pa!), and I had a good time getting to know Kelly and Patty as we talked about their excitement for motherhood. They were even giving me trip tips for our Japan vacation this coming May. I loved the whole experience! I'm so grateful and blessed to have such an excellent and fun friend who invited us to this launch (thanks, Ferdi! Congrats on the success of this event!). :)

Check out all Pandora stores to see their latest spring collection and be smitten with their quaint pieces!

Almost all photos were taken by my lovely photographer Eloisa Lopez



Plump love,
Danah