University Diaries: Casual Sophistication

27 Nov

(TOP: lace croptop/ SHORTS: high rise from Tomato; P250/ SHOES: peeptoe flats from 168; P200/ PURSE: from Pauline and Ann Marie; TJ Maxx/ EARRINGS: from Roxi; Anne Klein/ NECKLACE: from Mommy Babe)

The “Crop Top/ High waist Shorts Mania” is still continuously making waves in UP-Diliman. This 80’s trend that started out with  iconic Madonna has made a big come back about a year or so ago. I was never big on showing my tummy (or my bellybutton for that matter) to the public but as soon as I came back to the Philippines, I found myself stocking my closet with a bunch of these supposedly for jogging/ workout use. These crop tops eventually made its way to my “school clothes stash” and I started wearing them to class, rehearsals or even while running errands in UP. Most of the kids in the university typically go for that 90’s graphic crop top/ high waisted washed out denim look but I wanted a girly, more sophisticated take on this tandem that would somehow reflect my age so I picked a lace crop top (LACE! a forever favorite of mine) and high waist textured polyester shorts.

This outfit’s color palette: White, Orange, Gold and Mustard

Side silhouette featuring my sisters’ gift, a Mustard/ Burnt Sienna chain bag, from a few Christmases ago

Statement necklaces are apt to fill that bare space when you’re wearing low cut tops such as this one.

Cute locally made Mustard Peeptoes, a very comfy statement piece. They were supposedly produced in Marikina—- the shoe capital of the Philippines.



23 Nov

Backstage at today’s 10am show with the girls and our beloved director Tony Mabesa. #Sundayfunday

It’s been 7 years since the time I was supposed to graduate from the University of the Philippines-Diliman (not too long considering the fact that UP theater students are notorious for that), and it’s safe to say that it also has been 7 years since the last time I’ve set foot on the Wilfredo Ma. Guerrero Theater stage. Two words—-nostalgic and nerve-racking.

After I got married last June to my boyfriend of 9 years and fiancé of 2 years, Marco and I decided that it would be best for us to stay awhile and finally work on my thesis instead of flying back to Houston. I was hesitant partly because I wanted to start working on a routine for us as a newly married couple in Houston, my current comfort zone (get jobs, pay bills, save up for a house and maybe start our own family) and partly because I was anxious and scared as hell to be on stage again. So when the call for auditions came out, I was fretting like crazy but I went through it anyway. I decided to go on the first day of auditions to get it over with and it was strange seeing familiar faces, more or less the same people I’d bump into when I used to audition for plays a few years back. It was nice to see some good ‘ol friends also going through the audition process with me, we were handed a section of the script and we were asked to read some lines. I did my best to act like I wasn’t nervous… I might have failed miserably but I gave it my best shot. If I remember correctly, the number of auditionees reached 40 that day, but they might have cut down that number since Sir Tony had to leave early.

Auditions-Country Wife

Dulaang UP’s Audition Poster for The Country Wife

A week after auditions the results came out…I GOT IN!!!! Thank God!

Performance thesis, here I come.


Dulaang UP’s Audition results for The Country Wife

You can only imagine how anxious I felt when I was handed a 162-page script for both the English and Filipino version. Sir Tony announced that he wanted us to learn both languages so we would be equipped to do both…now, that’s twice the challenge but when you’re in a Dulaang UP play under Sir Tony Mabesa, you never say never. The first day I walked in Teatro Hermogenes Ylagan (THY) for rehearsals, the first thing he asked me was…

“Sino Ka?” (Who are you?)

“Rhea, sir. I’m playing Lucy, sir.” I replied.

“O, hahawakan ka sa boobs ha…ok lang?” (Your boobs are going to get groped , is that okay?)

Yep, with Sir Tony you never say never. Thank God he changed his mind!

After that I decided to ask him if I could officially make this my performance thesis for my bachelors degree and he agreed with no hesitation. Before migrating to the US in 2007, I was set to do my performance thesis on a Shakespeare play also directed by Sir Tony but wasn’t able to push through with it because I had to leave right away. I left with a heavy heart thinking that I missed my chance to be mentored by the one and only Tony Mabesa, it’s funny how 7 years after I am back where I left off and I am extremely grateful for that. From what I hear this might be the first and last Restoration Comedy Sir Tony is doing, come to think of it, I made it just in time.

 We rehearsed consistently on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays and when one of us would miss rehearsals he/she would bring the cast and the staff something to eat. Boy, did we have a feast all the time. Haha. But rehearsals were not just about pigging out and making new friends, every single one of the cast and the staff gave this production their all. We all worked hard adjusting to the language (or languages for that matter), adjusting our schedules, adjusting to each other, adjusting to changes, adjusting to new lines, new blocking, new set, new rehearsal venue—It’s really amazing how the theater is capable of bringing wonderfully talented people with totally different backgrounds, different eccentricities and different quirks but one passion and that is what we have brought to the stage of the Guerrero Theater.

Here are the sensational actors and actresses that I get to work with in no particular order (unlike the promotional posters and the playbills, haha), the cast of Dulaang UP’s The Country Wife/ Ang Misis Kong Promdi, Directed by the one and only Tony Mabesa and Translation by the multi-awarded playwright Nicholas Pichay.


Sir Tony Mabesa


 Sue Prado, Sari Estrada and Martha Comia as Margery Pinchwife


George de Jesus and Tarek El Tayech as Mr. Pinchwife


Neil Ryan Sese and Jay Gonzaga as Mr. Horner


RS Francisco, Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino and Arvin Trinidad as Sparkish


 Issa Litton and Karen Gaerlan as Alithea


Ian Ignacio and Carlo Tarobal as Harcourt


Jacques Borlaza and Leo Rialp as Sir Jasper Fidget


Adriana Agcaoili and Dolly de Leon as Lady Fidget


Rizzy Alejandro and Bea Paloma as Dainty Fidget


Chona Fernando, Ron Biñas and Joanna Lerio as Mrs. Squeamish


Francis Mata and Ces Aldaba as Doctor Quack


Brian Arda and Sigmund Pecho as Dorilant


Ms. Aurora Yumul as Old Lady Squeamish


Giancarlo Patelo and Joseph Nabong as the Servant


..and last but not the least Regina Ramas – Mendezona (me!) and Yvonne Ricaro as Lucy.

Dulaang UP’s The Country Wife Rehearsal Clip

—-And now for my shameless plug!!!

Don’t forget to catch me as “Lucy” on these remaining dates:

The Country Wife:
November 22 SAT, 3 pm
November 27 THU, 7 pm
November 29 SAT, 10 am
December 6 SAT, 3 pm

Ang Misis Kong Promdi:

November 20 THU, 7 pm
November 23 SUN, 10 am
November 28 FRI, 7 pm GALA
November 30 SUN, 10 am 
December 4 THU, 7 pm
December 6 SAT, 7 pm
December 7 SUN, 10 am

P.S. You might have heard reviews about our play to be a bit raunchy, vulgar or sexually explicit but as Sir Tony Mabesa would say … “The theater should disturb and excite” and that is precisely what we’re doing.

Now, pick a date, buy your tickets and catch us on stage! See you there!


University Diaries: Casual Cool

5 Nov

(SWEATSHIRT: F21; FOR SALE / SHORTS: highwaist, thrifted/ SHOES: Sneaker Wedges, Image/ PURSE: Hobo Bag, Kenneth Cole Reaction/ SUNGLASSES: 168/ TURBAN: F21/ NECKLACE: Wet Seal/ CUFF: Cebu/ EARRINGS: F21)

Graphic tees, printed tees—any shirt (or in this case, sweater) that gives a statement are still big on campus. I guess it kinda says a lot about yourself— what your interests are, what orgs you’re involved in, what you think about the world, what your outlook in life is, if you’re a geek or someone who has a sense of humor, if you’re snooty and stuck up…ANYTHING!

Mine says, “<Wink>, I’m a 28 y.o trying hard to fit in—show me some love” hahahaha. :D I’m kidding, this sweater belonged to a good friend of mine and since we didn’t finish our garage sale in Houston, I’m selling some of these pre-loved items here in Manila.

Hobo bags are just wonderful, you can practically put your entire dresser inside and no one would notice. It’s really spacious inside and easy to carry although I would suggest for you girls to invest on bag organizers just so it’s not a jungle inside.

Sneaker Wedges— flat from above, elevated from below. I’m always in need of those extra inches.

I’m telling you…high waist shorts, oversized graphic tee or sweater, sneakers, hobo bag and messy bun is the simplest uniform for school (maybe for U.P anyway), I’m pretty sure you can find all of these in your closet with no trouble. Its just a matter of accessorizing and picking the right color combination other than that it should be a no-brainer.

I’m starting to keep a “school outfit journal” to show my sisters when I get back to Houston.  Pauline (19), Ann Marie (17), Angelie (14) and Nicole (12) are going to have a good laugh when I tell them that I was dressing their age and not mine. If you girls were here, I would’ve probably borrowed from your closet.

I’m missing you heaps, Ate will see you in 2 months! <crossing fingers>. I love you losers!


Villain For the Night

31 Oct

After the usual October 31 family shenanigans I had to help this little one with her makeup, I asked her what she wanted and she told me “anything scary, mita” so I googled ‘pegs’ and just improvised due to the time constraint, my niece had to go trick or treating in less than an hour. At this point, I’ve barely finished spray painting my head dress and haven’t started with my cloak for tonight’s dinner.

One bloody, happy customer… I’m glad it turned out okay bri! I would’ve worked more on the details but this little girl was so ticklish it was quite impossible to do that, we just kept laughing the entire time I was putting make up on her.

Now that’s done, here are some photos of the last minute #DIY head dress for the night. Occasionally, I go into the nitty gritty of the details but I didn’t have the luxury of time to take photos during every step of the process so I’m going to briefly describe  how I ended up with my handmade Maleficent head dress.

Here are the following materials I used:


Old Newspapers (tons of them)

Tape (masking tape or packing tape will do)

Black Electric Tape

Glue (plaster glue preferable)

2 medium sized deflated balloons, P20

Black Acrylic Spray Paint, P109

Faux Leather Cloth (half a yard worked for me), P70

Thanks to Sai Panasaya for being my main inspiration and providing me the first few steps of making my head dress. I’ve pretty much followed everything except the last few steps she did. As I mentioned earlier, I didn’t have time to work on the details of my head dress so I skipped drawing design details and attaching the faux leather cloth with a glue gun. I also decided to wrap my horns with electric tape to give it texture and to save me some time spray painting it with black.

Here’s my head dress prior to spray panting it. Sai, in the video, would have incorporated details at this point but I skipped that since I didn’t have glue gun at hand. Notice how the horns are already wrapped with black electric tape.

Unlike Sai, I accidentally used the generic white glue that you can purchase in any bookstore and mixed it with water for the papier- mâché instead of the plaster glue that she preferred in the video. It came out softer than the one she had (almost close to flimsy, in terms of my standards) but it was strong enough to hold the horns when I attached them using the masking tape. Make sure to cautiously secure the horns in all angles.

There is no specific brand for the black paint, all I know is I made sure to pick the cheapest Acrylic spray paint I could find. This particular brand, Lotus, was the cheapest brand in Handy Man and it cost me P109 (that’s roughly $2.60)  I was scared that using too much of the spray paint would soften the ‘cap’ part of my head dress so I was very careful to spray the paint evenly.

Here is how it looked like after leaving it for a good 30 minutes to dry.

Now for the last few steps of the head dress, I simply followed Sarah Sofi’s application of the faux leather cloth. I wrapped the cloth around my head the way she instructed and fastened it using at least 4 pieces of hairpins.

Looked up some DIY Maleficent looks but ended up doing my own thing, I used a bunch of purple hues for my makeup. I think the main thing to remember is to apply the dark grayish streak under her cheekbones to give maleficent that ‘sunken’ look.


2 yards of black fabric, P36/yard

1/2 yard of purple felt fabric, P120/yard

Purple Ribbon

Maleficent’s cloak, I’d have to say was not sturdy at all but at this point I was just going for the look. I pretty much took the ends of the black cloth, put them over my back and instead of wrapping it around my neck to make like ‘superman’, I wrapped the tips around my arms to make them look like sleeves (as you would a shawl), I then did a temporary stitch to fasten them there (one stitch just under the armpits and one closer to the wrists on both sides). On the purple  felt fabric, I drew the shape of Maleficent’s flap, cut it out and attached it to the neck area with simple  backstitches. After which, I made 4 holes around the neck area for the purple ribbon to pass through thus making a draw string to make the cloak easy to adjust.

Look who joined me to dress up for Halloween…another black-purple beauty, Jeminah a.k.a Ursula.

Dinner at where else, the Encanto’s residence. Thanks for feeding us hungry villains…Pesto Pasta, Palabok, King Sisig (4 kinds of sisig) which by the way was superbly delicious, Fried Lumpia, Mocha Cake, Cupcakes and Wine.

Pervs Halloween 2014

Here’s our Disney Counterparts…


Marco as Mr. Smee


Rhea as Maleficent


Gela as Cruella


Jeminah as Ursula


Next stop…The Bowery in the Fort.

Yes, we’re all Villains.

Jau as the Pacman Ghost and Gela as Cruella

Look who we bumped into…Migi Zuluaga. It’s been awhile. :)

Mai as Preggy Cherie Gil

Yep…you guessed it, someone came out as Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo from ‘She’s Dating the Gangster’

T’was a fun night out, considering the fact that nowadays I easily get tired clubbing, not hiding my age…I am old. Hahaha. Thanks so much Jau and Gela for the ride.

Happy Halloween!!!!

Hope everyone had a fun and creepy celebration and before I end here’s one last photo of my costume. Finally decided to join Lookbook’s Halloween Contest just for fun. Don’t forget to HYPE my look. haha. <shameless plug>


The South Reclamation Project Engagement Shoot

21 Sep

Here are 15 shots from the second part of our Engagement Shoot.  I decided not to slack off and post them a few days before going back to Manila. Currently in CDO right now for one of my best friend’s wedding—I’ll be raving about her wedding soon on this blog.


Location: SRP

Photographer: Mark Cantalejo

Hair and Makeup: Ramil Solis
















I could have easily put “SRP Engagement Shoot” as a title for this post but for some reason when I kept repeating it to myself, it sounded so tacky. “South Reclamation Project” sounded more legit…more regal. When Mark Cantalejo suggested this place as our venue for the second shoot I was down for it, I was down for anything and I trusted him completely but I found myself thinking,”Wait, where’s this again?”. You see, this road is like our go-to highway…To me and my family, SRP is really just the quickest way to get to Cebu City proper if you’re someone like us, from Talisay (South of Cebu). Mark described the place where he wanted to shoot and I easily knew which structure he was talking about. I’ve passed by it so many times and never knew what it was until he brought it up, apparently this area was government property and on it was a government building where by the way, we asked for our permit to shoot. The process was simple and hassle-free, a few days before the shoot I simply went into the building, told them what I wanted to do and they just had me fill up 2 slips, they signed it and handed one back to me. Easy.

Once again, we were not ready for this shoot, if you’ve noticed we only changed our outfits once and mind you, one of those two outfits was what I was wearing as I was running errands for that day. It wasn’t so hot as we expected it would be but Marco was sweating anyway. I really was impressed with how the photos turned out, it didn’t show the sweatiness and ickiness and the bug bites and the itchiness of it all. We could have fooled ourselves looking so relaxed, so calm and serene in those photos. And Mark, you really are the real thing! You just made a slob of a place look like paradise, you truly see the beauty beyond what is there. I’m telling you, if y’all visited the place, you’d be like ” Woah, they had the shoot here?” Shout out to Mami Ramil and company for making me beautiful that day and for the sweat proof makeup. Haha. Kudos to you and Mark Cantalejo!


50’s Cafe Engagement Shoot

17 Sep

Here are 15 shots from the first part of our Engagement Shoot. Enjoy! I’ll be finishing up on the next batch of photos next week.


Location: Fifties Cafe at Crown Regency Towers

Photographer: Mark Cantalejo

Hair and Makeup: Ramil Solis

















Not prepared—that was the last thing I wanted to be for the Engagement shoot but what do you know, we were NOT prepared at all. The first time we met with Marky at Starbucks Ayala Center-Cebu, Marco and I were unsure of what we wanted for the shoot. We were so preoccupied with other wedding preparations that we ended up putting this aside. We had some ideas but they were never final until we got to talk to our photographer. Marky helped us come up with pegs for the shoot and he also suggested a few locations that would be good for our “theme”. Another problem was the apparel and I think that was what frustrated me the most. I have my closet just sitting there in Houston while I didn’t know where to get clothes here in Cebu; Marco on the other hand just didn’t have anything at all that he could pass off as vintage or 50’s.  But with Mark’s expertise and Mami Ramil’s magic touch, we were able to pull off a good shoot considering that we were limited in our change of clothes. Thank God, it all worked out in the end.

Btw, here’s the Engagement Shoot AVP that Mark Cantalejo showed on our wedding day.


Miguel’s First World Cup

13 Sep

This would have to be one of the cutest themed parties I’ve ever been to and even with the rain it turned out to be a complete success. Kid’s 1st birthday parties are really big nowadays, almost like planning for a wedding and this one had it all.

Let’s start with the invitation made by one of Miguel’s aunts, Katrina Encanto.

That cute kid on that ticket is seriously Miguel! Haha. Talk about personalizing the theme and making it your own. Thanks Gels for inviting us.

And since we purchased our gift last minute, I had to make do with Mita Bo’s gift wrapping stash which is a whole lot btw. I couldn’t find a wrapper with soccer balls in it (because if I did then that would be pushing it) but this was the closest one I could find. I wanted to make sure the way I wrapped the gift complemented the theme and the occasion, of course.

Yep, we’re in the right place—the LaVista Clubhouse.

 And I knew this was going to be big because they had food stalls outside…tacos, hotdog, ice-cream, fish balls, tempura and cotton candy.

This one took the cake….they had a POTATO CORNER stall outside and Marco and I went crazy. How awesome is that!!!

This was the set-up inside when it wasn’t jam-packed yet. We were early birds, we even got their before Gela and Jau did. hahaha. Excited much.

The center pieces were to die for, they had assorted hand-picked football jerseys with Miguel’s photo sitting on top of faux green with stress-reliever soccer balls.

At the back of the jersey center piece, there was a bunch of these world cup inspired cookies ready for the taking.

Mr. and Mrs. Marco Mendezona raided Kuya JV’s closet. Thanks again kuya for letting us raid your jersey stash.

Gela, proud ninang of Miguel and Jau, the sound technician/ spotify enthusiast. Haha.

La Vista ladies—a bunch of football posers. Oh, wait Gela plays na pala. Hahaha.

Did I mention they also has face painting and special effects! Bri opted for a realistic “gash”. haha.

Look who made it to the party…Haven’t seen klarkey in the longest time! Meet her cute daughter, Midori.

Miguel’s football cake.


Here’s the birthday celebrant with his dad, Basco.

And here’s Miguel with his mom, Melissa.

Miguel’s own version of his trophy wall.

One word for the dessert table—WOW!

Miguel, the cutie patootie in the middle of the dessert table.

Last but not the least, their giveaways were football stools. We were able to get one for Diego and Mateo, yay!

Nothing’s changed, we still enjoy themed parties. Thanks so much to the Encantos for having us.

 Happy happy 1st birthday Miguel! #miguelturnsone #miguelisone



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