The Reluctant Stylista

You’d think that one of the perks of being a fashion stylist is that you get to travel, all-expenses paid, for work.  But to be honest, all the times that I had to fly for work, it was really just that–work.  I hardly had any time to enjoy being in a new island or city.  Sometimes, there’d be a celebration for a job well done, and that’s on the last night and then we’d all have to sleep in early because the next day would be our morning flight to Manila.

Being in Puerto Galera for the Malasimbo Arts and Music festival felt somewhat like vacation, though.  I’m definitely an island girl, and maybe it’s the beach that gets me excited and pumped up for anything like crazy, including work.  Add the arts and music to that mix, two things I also love dearly and well, you have a very happy Alex!  It was such a beautiful, creative environment that’s really awe-inspiring.  I had a wonderful time lying on the grass, gazing at the stars and listening to great music after we were all done with the shoot.  I didn’t realize how exhausted I was until we were back in Manila and I had a 12-hour “nap”.

Unfortunately, I can’t post photos of our shoot just yet.  So for now, you’ll have to do with a quick OOTD and some Instagram shots of Malasimbo.

Malasimbo Fever 2013

Floral top: The Appraisery / Bikini top: Soak Swimwear
Necklace: Love Diva / Ring: H&M
Shorts: Kyra Nichole NY
OOTD photos by Nio Manzano


I love the floral shirt I got from The Appraisery–my new favorite hangout.  It combines almost all of my favorite hobbies–games and geekery, fashion and food!  Will be talking more about The App in upcoming posts.  I was browsing the men’s section when this groovy shirt caught my eye right away and I just had to get it.  Victor, who manages The App, told me that it was a real 70s shirt–some hippie-nomad from Cali traded or had it appraised at the store and that’s how it ended up in their shelves.  I always fold up the sleeves because they’re too long for me.  The rest of it is just right though–I remember in the 70s, guys had really fitted clothes.  I’m a petite girl, yet it’s just right for me!

Malasimbo Fever 2013

Some print on print love!

Malasimbo Fever 2013

While everyone was busy looking for cellphone signals, Ilich (hair and make-up artist) and I strike a pose. Haha! Don’t you just love that green fringe top?  I saw it from my mom’s closet and grabbed it.  I decided it was perfect for Malasimbo, even if at first glance I didn’t even understand how it was supposed to be worn.  I’m still not actually sure, but this style which Nio suggested (above) worked for me.

The cutie in the background is Adryan Hanson.  He was one of our models.  I just know someone will ask. :P

Kyra Nichole NY tribal shorts

Shorts from Kyra Nichole NY!  These are awesome.  They look even better in person.  Kyra Nichole has a lot of summer prints, and it was hard for me to choose just one.  But this looked a little tribal, and you know how I love that.  The fabric is smooth, like satin, but my favorite part is the closure–notice how seamless it looks!  It was made with an invisble zipper, so it doesn’t just bunch up at the crotch (heh) like normal shorts do sometimes.  Look how flat it looks on that previous photo.

And then, some Malasimbo love:

Malasimbo Fever 2013

Malasimbo Fever 2013

Jimmy Cliff band playing

We were only there til Saturday night so I didn’t get to hear Joss Stone. But Sat night was awesome! Jimmy Cliff played and made everyone stand up and dance.  I spent most of the nights I was there lying on my back on the grass, though.  I even snoozed for a bit while Grace Nono played during the first night and not because her music sucked.  The cool mountain breeze just felt so good and her voice was so relaxing!  I also met up with Lauren and Marco on Saturday night.  Maybe not surprising, but I did bump into a lot of people I know during the festival.  Even after that, I realized I had a lot more friends who were also in Malasimbo, but we only found out via Instagram photos after the festival.


Malasimbo Fever 2013. Lantern by Pascal Petitjean.

Ilich, me, Nio and Philippe.  Lantern by Pascal Petitjean.

Malasimbo Fever 2013

The mountain was filled with these enormous awesome lanterns like this one. (Also by Pascal Petitjean)

Malasimbo Fever 2013

This was part of an installation, but I’m not sure which one.  I think it might have been Pieces by Angel and Doring Lalongisip?  (Please correct me if I’m wrong)

Haliya Mantra by Agnes Arellano

Haliya Mantra by Agnes Arellano

The Dreamer by Niccolo Jose

The Dreamer by Niccolo Jose. Live art!

Lauren Dado and Alex Lapa at Galera - Malasimbo 2013

Just a coincidence: met up with Lauren at White Beach!


I’ll be back for Malasimbo next year, definitely!  Thank God for work that allowed me to discover this awesome festival.  Best working vacation ever!  Hopefully, I’ll be able to post the final photos of our shoot next week.  It should be in Inquirer this Sunday. :D  Thanks to my awesome mentor Noel Manapat and Director Ariel Lozada for allowing us free reign on this shoot and time to enjoy the island!

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