Christmas starts as early as September in the Philippines. As a happy, ecstatic, and extravagant bunch — we Filipinos don’t only see Christmas as the eve of the 25th, but as the whole four months of September to December, a.k.a the “Ber” months. Usually, we welcome this season by partaking in annual traditions and festivities. Each family here has a tradition or festivity of their own — making parols, putting up holiday-themed decor, having reunions, spending nights of prayer in church, and enjoying warm wraps of bibingka or puto bumbong among many others.
Our family has a couple of special traditions as well, some of which are quite unique compared to our Filipino neighbors.
We spend most of our holidays at the chilly highlands of Baguio City. During then, we prefer to keep everything simple, cozy, and minimal. A well-adorned tree with presents underneath, sparkling blue and yellow lights, fuzzy red socks, poinsettia-printed curtains and pillowcases, and a few shiny mistletoes here and there were enough for us to feel the essence and warmth of the season. We also scatter wooden bowls of potpourri, scented candles, and fragrance oils all around — making the refreshing scents of coffee, cinnamon, chocolate, and peppermint envelop our humble home’s air, scents that take me back to the pure and joyful Christmases of my childhood.
Amongst all these, perhaps our most memorable tradition — one that truly makes me feel the spirit of the holidays — is our little Yuletide playlist.
My mom and dad have always been fond of 50’s-60’s blues and jazz. They would always brighten up simple days by playing their beloved tunes on the radio, and they would devoutly play a short list of their favorite old classics from the first evening of December to the midnight of the 25th — songs that now serve as an endearing reminder of our happiest Christmases as a family. To this day, me and my siblings still think of the names Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, and Ella Fitzgerald as synonymous to the sweet, mellow, and wistful spirit of the holidays.
Those days have passed, and the times are changing. A year ago, we merrily spent our holidays without a thought of what the coming year would bring, with no way of knowing that things would happen as they are happening today — but here we are. For a while now, we’ve been living life with a constant reminder of its futility and impermanence. It is as if we’re stuck in a dark tunnel without a twinkle of light in its end, and it is during times like these when we are in dire need of a certain gift — one given to everyone, both to the suffering and the prosperous, in the wake of Christ’s birth — hope.
Although our holidays this year will lack the merriment of family gatherings and festive celebrations, may we still continue to bask in its joy, essence, and spirit through the little things — the songs and carols, the dancing lights, the homemade delicacies, the cold evening air, and the hymns of praise.
If there’s anything we’ve learned during our agonizing months in enhanced quarantine, it is that life is short and time is precious — and you should probably get that dream hair color before it’s too late.
As risky as it sounds, following that gut feeling can actually do you wonders. Experimenting with your looks can help you find your voice, see which style suits you best, and express your individuality in the most unique ways possible. If done right, the end result is huge boost in confidence, and the start of many fights against the urge to do it again.
So, whether you’re heartbroken, having an identity crisis, or simply feeling a bit creative — here are three reasons why dyeing your hair should be in your GCQ bucket list.
Stand out from the crowd
Growing up with pop culture — designer clothes, onstage flair and all — we’ve all had our fair share of wild hair goals from our idols. From Taylor Swift’s classy blond curls to Hayley Williams’ fierce red shaggy, to signature cuts and colors fabulized by K-Pop stars, such bold looks became what established these celebrities as some of the style icons of today.
We’re not saying that you could get famous by styling as they did, but you could get head turns for sure. If you’re not into too much attention, just a few understated splashes of nude colors here and there could definitely enhance the beautiful features you already have, for a fresh natural look that’s easy on the eyes. Point is, don’t be afraid of getting stares for doing something new and out-of-the-box. If it’s the change you want and deserve, step out there and rock it!
Have fun in the process
As exciting as it may seem, the coloring process is rigorous and can be quite intimidating, especially for first timers. Just the thought of dousing perfectly fine virgin hair in bleach can be terrifying for some of us. There will always be that lingering fear of ending up with a chemically-fried frizzy mess, or dealing massive damage without ever achieving desired results. Luckily, the online community is always up and ready to help. Do your research and do it well, follow the correct procedures down to the smallest details, and be as PATIENT as humanly possible. This way, you can enjoy your journey towards your wildest hair goals while having more fun than hassle!
If you’re feeling adventurous enough to take the DIY route, go check out Rainbow Head. Have fun browsing through their extensive collection of vegan and cruelty-free imported hair dyes, from Arctic Fox, Manic Panic, Lunar Tides, and more. Make sure to grab your first bleaching kit, purple shampoo, and treatment conditioner on your way out!
If you feel your current style doesn’t express you well enough, why settle for it? Hair isn’t meant to be kept in a mould set by society’s standards. It is meant to flow freely — just as you are. You can use your own hair as a canvas, a statement, a way to show your individuality to the rest of the world.
If you don’t trust your own hands enough yet, leave it to the crazier and more experienced members of the club. Be it ash gray or pastel pink, be as weird and extravagant as you want, and have it done by the quirky ones at I Wanna Dye. They will definitely understand.
Starting off as a “meme-savoring salon page”, a group of art and pop culture enthusiasts founded I Wanna Dye — not just as any typical business that uses viral marketing, but as a creative pursuit advocating diversity, inclusivity, and mental health awareness. Their witty and eccentric approach on delivering such topics made them appeal to a wide Millennial and Gen Z audience, while also garnering a fan following due to their one-of-a-kind salon service. Along with chill vibes and an at-home ambiance, they’ll make sure you’re as comfortable as possible — with snacks and Netflix on the side – as they expertly work their magic on your hair, letting you walk out satisfied with an experience worth every penny!
When it comes to dyeing your hair, don’t think of what will go wrong. Think of all the things you’ll learn, all the memories you’ll make, and the priceless freedom and satisfaction you’ll get by figuring out which style suits you best. Don’t worry about what other people might think or say. If it ends up making you happy, liberated, and more confident than you’ve ever been, just do it!
It’s been one hell of a year, and though we’re deeply disheartened, we’re definitely not surprised.
Route 196 — a beloved home for homegrown bands and music lovers for almost 15 years — officially closed their doors to the public back in August 23, 2020, for reasons likely due to the economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, this iconic pub greatly influenced and shaped the OPM scene as we know it, and it refuses to die off in silence.
Earlier today, the pub’s management announced through their Facebook page that they will be holding one last gig on a Saturday, 12th of September, 2020. And in true “new normal” fashion, their last hurrah will be held online, with the once wild and booze-fueled gig goers simply left to enjoy the live performances through their screens. Other details, such as the time and the line-up, are yet to be revealed.
We miss the sentimental feels and exhilarating mosh pits at our local hangouts, and we simply can’t wait for them to reopen — but for now, the best we can do is make sure that the spirit of Route 196 lives on, and hope that all will be better soon.
Bustling cities, scenic beaches, old houses, and hidden talents — Cavite has it all.
From the vast cityscape of Metro Manila, Cavite is one of the closest getaways where you can still enjoy the sight of Capiz windows, baby buses, and carabao-pulled karitelas. It is a place where both local culture and urban flair combine – one that managed to steadily embrace progress without losing touch with its historical roots. In the same way, Cavitenos are a people of candour, perseverance, and humble resilience. They take pride in their ability to gain success while staying true to their origins — a reputation that rings true to the character of their emerging art scene.
Often raw, eccentric, and gritty — Cavite art appears to dwell more on expression than refinement. It is versatile and eclectic in nature, with artists taking inspiration from a plethora of emotions, influences, and life experiences in conceiving their pieces with unhinged creativity. The local scene thrives through the effort of underground communities, where wanderers, enthusiasts, and many underrated talents convene through artist villages and home-grown events.
Candour, perseverance, and resilience are traits that resonate well within the Caviteño way of life. And it is through the same traits that, in a culture that glorifies the mainstream, these acclaimed tattoo artists are thriving in obscurity.
Paying homage to the Cavite underground, tattoo masters Chitz Bernardino, Junel Bautista, Freden Potestas, and Serafin So share their best works and greatest influences, as well as their insights on art, life, and the primal world of tattoo culture.
A former skateborder, photographer, and musician — Chitz developed his artistry from what started as a hobby making henna tattoos. His love for the craft led him to officially pursue tattoo artistry as a career in 2016. His art style is heavily influenced by realists Jose Perez Jr., Steve Butcher, and Bob Tyrell. He also took inspiration from local co-artists Ronald Yet Yasis and Jason Jovellana.
His signature works are of keenly detailed black-and-grays, as well as vivid colored pieces and photorealistic portraits. Despite having a distinct touch, he chooses not to let his works be defined by any particular style. As an artist, he says his job is to bring out the beauty and emotion of every piece, whether happy or sad or anything in between. He willingly bends to any of his client’s demands and adapts his style to whatever fits them best.
D&C Tattoo FB: facebook.com/DC-Tattoo-680422995732641/ Address: Blk 77 Lot 13-B San Esteban 4115 Dasmariñas, Cavite, Philippines Business Hours: 8:00am – 12:00am Contact Number: 09567788751
Junel is a connoisseur of geometric and bio-organic designs. Conquering the scene since 2005, his self-made success led him to establish Kampo Tattoo, a now iconic tattoo shop in Imus, Cavite.
An abstractist and surrealist in his own right, he takes heavy inspiration from the likes of Guy Aitchison, Paul Booth, Dominic Holmes, H.R. Geiger, and renowned father of surrealism Salvador Dali. His works also pay homage to his master, Onat Buenaventura, who honed the growth and direction of his craft.
When asked what his most challenging piece was, he mentioned how he still finds great difficulty in doing geometric designs, and how tough it is to fully master intricate line works even though lining the most basic part of tattoo artistry.
“Sa ngayon, pinaka-challenging talaga ang mga line works. Kailangan stable ang kamay — bawal lumalim bawal bumabaw, bawal bumagal bawal bumilis. Lines ang pinaka-basic part ng tattooing, pero siya ang pinakamahirap gawin.”
He also works with dark images and portraits, so if his style is what you have in mind, feel free to drop by Kampo for a session or two.
Kampo Tattoo Pilipinas FB: facebook.com/kampotattoo IG: @junelbautista Address: Brgy. Anabu I-A, Emilio Aguinaldo Highway, City of Imus, Cavite, Philippines (Infront of Shakeys and Sun City Plaza) Business Hours: Mon-Sat, 11:00am – 9:00pm Contact Number: 09151869399
A former Kampo Tattoo apprentice, Freden made the life-changing decision to leave his day job and become a tattoo artist in 2010. Six years later, he set out on his own creative journey and established Malagihay Tattoo where he now works in his own terms, with a career he believes he’s truly meant for.
Following the footsteps of his mentor, Junel Bautista — Freden’s early works consisted of bio-organic designs, which he explains are designs patterned from dead trees, sea corals and other unique textures on earth. Through the years, he has developed a fascination for mythical and occult imagery, which became a common theme in the “fun pieces” he made for tattoo competitions. Influenced by the likes of Paul Booth, Ty McEwen, and Jeff Gogue — Freden’s art style has grown to become a skillful amalgamation of bio-organic, oriental, and otherworldly elements, taking the form of a large, full-blown opus or a smaller, intricately-detailed art piece.
If you’re up for a sinister challenge and a good dose of pain, just look for Freden at Malagihay Tattoo. You can contact them via the details below.
Malagihay Tattoo Studio FB: https://www.facebook.com/malagihaytattoo Address: 10th St., Salinas 1, Bacoor, Cavite, Philippines Contact Number:09365719241 Business e-mail: email@example.com Business Hours: Tue-Sun, 1:00pm-9:00pm (Mondays are for appointments only)
Mr. Serafin is an uprising tattoo artist. Having gained exposure through local contests and exhibits, he has made a presence early on in the industry due to his versatility and broad range of art styles. At age 23, he proves that even with a lack of years — passion, dedication, hard work, and confidence in your craft can still put you on par with the greats.
While being a jack-of-all-trades who sharply executes any client’s request, So has a natural affinity for black and gray designs. Though he learned mostly on his own and by watching YouTube tutorials, he counts local artist Draz Palaming as his greatest influence. He says he owes it to tattooing for honing his skills and confidence, as well as for providing a main source of income for his family.
Serafin’s own shop will be opening soon, but in the meantime, you can contact him via Fin’s Tattoo & Piercing or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.