High Contrast: One Hour with Raleene Cabrera

I'm sitting inside T.G.I. Friday's, getting full off a salad and mozzarella sticks and tipsy from my beer. Even indoors, it's a scorching Saturday afternoon; the usual strange weather we've been experiencing as of late. Vern and I are waiting on Raleene. We've never met her before, but based on her blog, she's got the presence that demands a double take.

"Hey, it's Rihanna," my mom says. Actually, it's Raleene.

"I want to stress that my blog is not mainly about fashion. I consider myself a lifestyle blogger."

Scrolling through her blog, Raleene.com, you'll find that 95% of her posts are about food, events, daily life, work, architecture and design... Not her outfits. "That's why I have Chictopia and LookBook... My blog is my diary. I blog for myself. I love looking back at old entries and sometimes I literally laugh out loud. I try not to blog anything negative."

"I never smile in pictures." What a shame, I think. Her face lights up when she laughs, breaking the dark aura of her natural features that are all lines, corners and shadows.  This girl is all high contrast. Case in point, she tells us of a time when she had "hair that was down to [her] knees." Her friends all told her that cutting her hair would be a waste of all the time she's spent growing the flowing locks. "..But once I lost weight, I cut it."

As my vision slowly steadies, we wrap up the conversation and head outside to shoot. True to character, even a smirk won't escape her lips as we shoot around High Street. What could have been an hour of, 'try this pose' and 'work with that light' was five minutes or less of non-stop camera snaps.

Black t-shirt to match the hair that matches the attitude. Edgy, dark, unpredictable. I can't put my finger on who this girl is and who she's trying to be.. Is that the point?

Raleene, who is half of the up-and-coming band, The Walkie Talkies, is also a photographer, model, ambassador for Powersnet ("a social networking style site"), is active in her church, Church Simplified, and runs a successful lifestyle blog, Raleene.com. She can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, Lookbook, Chictopia, Dailybooth, Flickr, Multiply and DeviantArt.

Words and photos by Boo Umaly, who is still sipping on a beer.


TND @ The Grove Super Sale

Dropped by The Grove today to hang out with our friends at The Second Shop. Met a lot of great people and made new friends with other local shops, Annie Ong of Cosmopolitan, Jeri of Peanut Butter And Jeri, Acha and Carmel of Pirouette, Nadine Po of Loop. The sale will run until Sunday and I personally guarantee that you cannot walk away from this bazaar without buying, or at the very least, reserving something.
Cara Santos (gray top, ukay; drop crotch pants, H&M; oxfords, Ichigo; accessories, H&M, Greenhills; bag, Dooney & Bourke)
 Jessica Cuyegkeng (dark blue jersey top, Pink Manila; bag, Chanel; black flats, Shoe Gallery)
Tisha Aganon (floral top, black denim shorts, The Second Shop; black canvas shoes, Rockwell bazaar, beaded necklace with silver cross pendant, Forever 21)
Coreen Copuyoc (gray top, Forever 21; navy shorts and brown belt, Topshop; bag, Louis Vuitton speedy 25)
Enzo Ladrido (flannel l/s top, gray jeans, Topman;  shades, Anthology)
Marianna Vargas (shoes, Elizabeth James; bag, Zara)
Lexi Gancayco (top, Cotton On; necklace, Forever 21; high waisted shorts, The Second Shop; vintage belt)
Gabi Borgaily (white top, blue skirt, Forever 21) Camille Cumagun (floral dress, Forever21)
Nadia Po (dress, Loop; heels, Zara; bag, Gucci)
Annie Ong of Cosmopolitan (pants, vest, accessories, Cosmopolitan)
Acha (lace shorts, polka dot top, Pirouette; accessories, Betsey Johnson, Rubi; heels, Nu Look; bag,  Gucci)
Carmel (floral jumpsuit, bag,  Mapleberry)

Lorraine Cuyegkeng (dress, H&M; heels, Renegade Folk)


Behind The Scenes: TND x 11th of October x The Second Shop x Freestyle Necklaces x Patty Mendoza

This weekend, we had a whirlwind shoot with the online stores 11th of October, Freestyle Necklaces and The Second Shop, all photographed by the talented Patty Mendoza.

We couldn't contain our excitement.. So we want you to suffer with us as we wait to give you the final product. Here's a teaser video of how it went, and you can find the photos on our Facebook page.