Thursday, June 7, 2012

Uniqlo in Japan

Uniqlo. It's become a phenomenon. And it's coming to the Philippines in less than a week.

Uniqlo has become a household name in Japan. Its basic tees, jeans and inner wear has defined comfort, affordability and wearability of clothes no matter what age group you belong. It's a company that appeals to the sensibilities and culture of a very traditional people. It's the company the call "The GAP of JAPAN".

(Pictures from the Uniqlo Website. No copyright infringement intended.)

One of the many attractive points of Uniqlo is its mens wear. It has a vast collection of mens wear available in its stores, a very hard to find quality when browsing through Japan's malls. Of course there are the usual stores like Gap, Lacoste, Comme Ca Ism, but they can't beat it's affordability and wearability. There are also Dry-fit, UV Cut sports clothes and roomwear for men.

Just like Levi's is known for their Perfect Jeans, one of Uniqlo's main selling products is its jeans. There is a variety of color and design for both genders. They also offer a tailoring service for all their pants varieties. When you try the jeans on, you can call on the attendants to pin down to the specific length you prefer and they'll re-do the hem for free.

In the summer  months, fireworks and festivals are a must-see and the staple attire is the yukata, or summer kimono. Uniqlo offers a variety of yukatas with matching obi. The use traditional patterns and colors, ranging from the plum flowers on cream to red cherry blossoms on black.  The obi designs also uses traditional lines, patterns or block colors. When summer nears its end in September, these go on sale.

In the winter months, heat induction inner wear, tees and pants are available. You can mix and match them with insulated jackets and leggings. You can see the quality of cloth by its thickness and texture. You can purchase all the basic clothes in summer colors too.

Lately, Uniqlo has also been creating UT shirts that fit every person's interest. Be it Marvel, Snoopy, Disney, Barbie, Metal Gear, Laura Ashley... name it and you can probably find it here. They're bringing statement shirts and printed cartoons back. It's may seem commercialized but it makes a huge statement in declaring itself as the best casual brand for just about anyone.

Whatever the season or hype, the bottom line of Uniqlo has always been Comfort and Affodability. You can eat in them, you can sleep in them, you can hike Mt Fuji in them and they will always, always feel comfortable. The price will speak for itself. I have pieces that's been with me for five years and I still wear them because they feel wonderful, no better investment in clothes than that.

The thing I love and will always remember about Uniqlo is its sales. It has sales almost every week in one of its branches, just be persevering enough and you'll find gems. In crowded areas like Shinjuku in Tokyo, Uniqlo stores are a few hundred kilometers away from each other but you can be sure to find sales items that would've been at full price or sold out in other stores. We must always practice vigilance when shopping!

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Someday When I'm In Love

I see your eyes, their on mine
And I see how you're eyes linger
Softly telling me I am everything, everything.

And in that moment, I knew that was love.
That was everything I'll ever want for someday,
when I'm in love.

It was at night, you were driving
and I was nervous beside you,
I could let my whole world drop.

Love struck like a School Girl

I will admit to being twenty-five at this point of my life.
And that I'm still very totally clueless about love.

Brown and Bare

What is it about the eyes that make a moment seem longer.

I was a fan of a voice. I heard him sing in Blue Repertory's Bare and I was hooked.
I didn't recognize him from the promotional materials so I set him aside in my mind.

As I watched, I saw that his performance was outstanding. The subtle things like a hand gesture and a step to his side made the acting a little more real. His voice was strong and it sang with clarity. But it was the look in his face that sold it. He could make you feel he was in love with a look. I've never seen anything like it on stage, even with the Philippine greats. It made a world of a difference from being a college production to a class act.

My friends and I lingered around after the show to talk about their insights, I was there hoping to get a picture with him. I fretted and finally I got the courage to walk up to him. And he had the most beautiful brown eyes I've ever seen. I'll never forget those eyes.

I've never been an 'eyes are the windows to the soul' type of person. And I hope everyone who has ever thought the same will get the chance to meet him one day.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Beauty of Music by Tina

Spending the night in the arms of wonderful music is a luxury for the soul. There are singers that really get in the back of our hearts and stir up a myriad of emotions. Who hasn't gone through emo "Me" and listened to the most heart clenching songs on his mp3 player? There's just something about music that really stirs the soul.

And I will admit to stalking someone, yes I did. One link led to another and I found a diamond.

Funny thing happened too.

A friend of mine mentioned that that our Doctor friend's sister is this amazing theatre singer. My friend was raving about how she sings like a black woman. And I forgot to mention it to our Doctor friend when I saw him.

Hours later during my stalking/searching, I accidentally found the theatre singer and I'm hooked.

I have renewed pride in our Filipino singers.

Introducing Ms. Tina Ramos.
(Featuring a song dedicated to my doctor friend, her brother)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Man is a creature of Envy

We all have it, that friend we love but kinda of hate at the same time.

Does he really like us? Is she really interested in me? As a person? As a friend? A real friend?
Yes, it has crossed your mind. Don't deny it.

It's a terrible feeling to doubt friendships. But it is equally painful to feel unneeded, uncared for, unimportant - enough to question the sincerity of that "of course, we should go out". It's not that we're not friends, not like our world's going to turn upside down if they're not there anymore. So are you friends anyway?

Society dictates what is perceived to be normal polite behavior, but deep inside, we don't feel anything special, that bond everyone's so keen about. There's that maybe moments when for a flicker of a nanosecond you truly madly deeply believe in your heart you're friends. Then, the following moment onward you return to regular programming. When left to rot in your own aloneness, you remember that minuscule fragment of time with a magnifying lens as big as the ones used in NASA - yes, it's pretty damned big, and get confused.

For some, it's that time factor, that we've been friends with this person for-e-vah that dictates to us we should stay friends. Others may see it as easy. He's there.. all, the, time. There's also the popular now you see him, now you don't.

It's frustrating. I know it, you know it.

We're not wrong to feel this way, it's a feeling. It passes, like gas. But it is uncomfortable. Try to remember:

One day, and again on another day, we'll look at ourselves in the mirror and say, you bitch.

Yes, you're someone's bitch friend too.

And so, have faith instead - in the good, in the awesome, in the natural selection process of your heart. If it's a source of mundane stress - usually self-inflicted and don't even deny it - then get a hobby, just stop sulking because there's nothing happening. Ask yourself, have you had coffee together just because?

It's not only "be the change you want to see in the world", but also, "be the change you want to see in your world."

Brave the cold road less traveled.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

My 2012 Word

In Japan, there is a widely popularized custom that chooses a Kanji, a Chinese character, to represent or sum up the year. And this year, I am choosing a word to help me focus on things I want to improve. And my 2012 word is: Active.

Here are my pledges for the new year:

Read 25 books in 2012
Exercise actively