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AV E L I S E
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Bea J. Ledesma EDITOR IN CHIEF
Cai V. Subijano CREATIVE DIRECTOR
Mara Santillan Miano ART DIRECTOR
Martin Diegor EDITORIAL ASSISTANT
Romeo Moran INTERN
JV Gonzales CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS
Geric Cruz, Patrick Diokno, Shaira Luna, Pauline Mata, Patrick Segovia
20 COVER STORY
Mark Lawrence Andres, Thea Bathan, Alberto Cinco Jr., Mariel Empit, Ches Gatpayat
She’s not another Erykah Badu (it’s just the turban). She’s also not some Low Leaf-wannabe (please). Heck, she’d rather not be known as “June Marieezy” anymore (but why?)
Amanda Lago, Tara Lim, Mikhail Quijano, Coco Quizon, Vinny Tagle STYLIST
Jed Gregorio STYLING ASSISTANT
Ning Nuñez COPY EDITOR
September Grace Mahino PROOFREADER
Photographer Hannah Reyes on the thrills of being a Nat Geo Young Explorer
07 AWKWARD QUESTION
How not to be unfriended? Find out if you’re annoying to travel with
Designer Johann Manas proves that jumping from one career to another, then to another, isn’t so bad at all
14 THINKING CAP 1
Getting tripped on in South America on a drunken dare, and why it was worth it
30 FASHION EDITORIAL
Are you surreal?! Staying grounded is overrated in this fashion editorial
38 SQUEAKY CLEAN
How not to smell like a backpacker—no offense
Coco Quizon goes on a crazy Asian food trip around Manila (which her stomach thankfully survives)
16 THINKING CAP 2
Altered states of consciousness, no psychedelics required. Journeying to a place using only your mind is possible
FINANCE ADVISOR AND TREASURER
J. Ferdinand De Luzuriaga LEGAL ADVISOR
Atty. Rudyard Arbolado HR STRATEGY HEAD
Raymund Soberano VP AND CHIEF STRATEGY OFFICER
SVP AND GROUP SALES HEAD, INQUIRER GROUP OF COMPANIES
Felipe R. Olarte SALES DIRECTOR
Ma. Katrina Mae Garcia-Dalusong EXTERNAL RELATIONS OFFICER
Stranded and penniless, and other consequences of prioritizing your passport over your passbook
47 CUT AND PASTE
Thanks, scouts! Here is a compilation of your best travel photos
KEY ACCOUNTS SPECIALIST
SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES
Ram Daniel Tan Nanette Bonifacio
Abby Ginaga Andie Zuñiga Sarah Cabalatungan SALES SUPPORT ASSISTANTS
Rechelle Endozo Mara Karen Aliasas
FINAL ART SUPERVISOR
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9/22/2014 11:55:24 AM
Needing to take time off to find yourself is a common trope that’s been thrown around increasingly these days, especially among young people, and it’s one I didn’t necessarily agree with. I believe that who you are is the summation of the choices you make, each one slowly chipping away the parts of yourself you’ve grown out of, revealing something new and less brittle underneath. But after putting together this issue, I’ve come to realize that getting away from everything you’ve ever known, dealing with this primal fear of unfamiliarity, and truly spending some time alone or with complete strangers can expedite this process. Admittedly, it’s not an experience I can personally vouch for myself—every vacation I’ve gone on has either been with family or with a carefully planned itinerary (with pocket money!) on a press junket. While I’m always incredibly grateful for any opportunity to travel, I’ve never thrown myself headlong into anything remotely adventurous, unlike the writers for this month’s Travel issue. From Vinny Tagle’s spontaneous backpacking experience around South America to Amanda Lago’s many close calls, being stranded and penniless in a foreign country, the stories they’ve brought back from their travels are exhilarating, at times frustrating, and sort of make me feel that I haven’t lived yet. This feeling was reinforced during my interviews with designer Johann Manas and our cover girl, the beguiling June Marieezy. Though completely different individuals with totally different stories, both share a common experience of deciding to leave home in order to take root in places where they discovered they could be themselves. Before making the move to Tokyo, Johann was the owner of a food cart business in Manila, and when June left Dallas, Texas for the Philippines at 15, she was a regular Asian-American teenager in high school. If they hadn’t left home, would Johann have discovered that he could be a designer with his own label? Would June eventually find herself onstage at the 2012 South by Southwest Music Festival? So if you’re starting to feel that you’re stuck in a place between going after what you want and doing what other people think you should, or if you’re starting to feel you’re in a state of creative stagnation, book a plane ticket and get lost. As the voices in this issue will tell you, it’s not as scary (or expensive!) as it sounds, and more often than not, you’ll come back with answers to questions you didn’t even know you had.
and the Scout team
We’re always looking for interns and new contributors for the magazine! If you want to be part #TeamScout, shoot me an email at email@example.com.
We love reading your emails, and do our best to reply to each one. This month’s editor’s note features travel photos sent in by Lito Espina (rizalenio.tumblr.com), Kisty Mea (@kistymea), and Kimee Lao (@kimlao09). Keep those letters coming!
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GETTING THE FOLK OUT THERE Post-millennial band The Ransom Collective ditch the beat machines and synthesizers in favor of real instruments and full band vocals INTERVIEW BY TARA LIM PHOTOS BY ARTU NEPOMUCENO
erhaps being young and new translates to almost always being underestimated, but local folk band, The Ransom Collective, almost always wows the crowd when they’re onstage. In fact, the six-piece (count ‘em: Kian Ransom, Redd Claudio, Jerms Choa Peck, Leah Halili, Lily Gonzales, and Muriel Gonzales) charmed the pants and plaid off the crowd during the ’90s-themed Scout launch a few months ago. After winning first place at this year’s Wanderband competition, and opening for the likes of The Drums and Architechture in Helsinki at the Wanderland Music and Arts Festival last April, the band has been doing the rounds and doing it well: playing gigs in bars all over the metro, racking up buzz by performing at events, being charming on social media, all the while capturing the ears and hearts of the young and old. Scout somehow managed to catch the band on their downtime and they talked to us about their upcoming EP (exciting!) and what they really, really want. Scout: You’ve had to undergo a line-up change early this year. How’s that affecting the band? What kind of dynamic are you going for?
The Ransom Collective: The change was hard for us. We had really grown and bonded as a group, and we all remember that “talk,” when Hunny Lee (the band’s original drummer—ed.) gave the announcement that in three weeks, he would be leaving. Hunny brought a lot more than just a pair of drumsticks to the band. If anything, we were just sad to lose a friend. The music itself was not affected too much, as we were still very young as a band when he left. When we first practiced with Redd, we had a pretty good feeling about him. He seemed like both a cool guy and a solid drummer. It didn’t take him long to prove it either, and it’s been so much fun developing our sound and bonding as a new band. Scout: You have an EP coming out this month. Can you tell us more about that? Is it going to be a digital or physical release? The Ransom Collective: The EP will be released both digitally and physically. The physical CDs will be available at the launch party on Sept. 20 at 12 Monkeys Music Hall & Pub. The CDs have not been printed yet, but we cannot wait to finally hold it in
our hands. We are in the post-production process right now, and it is nothing short of stressful or challenging. We are looking forward to see what our hard work has accomplished. Scout: Do you believe that CDs are dying? The Ransom Collective: CDs are kind of unnecessary, but we find that many people still want them. It’s nice to have a physical copy of the albums from your favorite artists. Even when it’s available online, there is something more personal in owning the actual album, with the art and CD together. Scout: Where did you record your EP? Most of the songs on your SoundCloud are selfproduced. Are you sticking with that formula? Can you tell us more about the process of writing this EP? The Ransom Collective: The EP is entirely selfproduced. This is by far the most demanding thing we have ever done as a band. First, the songs were written, practiced, and perfected. Once we were
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T R AV E L I S S U E
STOP THE PRESSES
Girls for Ransom: bassist Leah Halil, percussionist Jermaine Choa Peck, and violinist Mu Gonzales
ready to begin recording, we set up a mini-music studio with the budget gear we individually own. We recorded everything in the attic of one of our houses. The acoustics there were ideal for recording. After recording it, Kian did the postproduction, which includes editing, mixing, and mastering the tracks. Doing things independently has been a challenge, but we love the freedom and control it gives us. We aren’t forced to comply with professional studio time restraints or expenses. We have the freedom to do things at our own pace, and we get more control over our sound. In the end, it might be more work, but overall, it’s a much more enjoyable and rewarding experience for us to do things independently. SC: What is the short-term plan for The Ransom Collective? Where do you want to play next? Who do you want to open for? The Ransom Collective: We wanted to open for The Lumineers when we heard they were coming! They canceled their show here, though. It would be great to open for The Local Natives, Up Dharma Down, Of Monsters and Men, The Morning Benders! Scout: The local scene is thriving and there’s a gig almost every night. Any local bands we should check out? The Ransom Collective: Yes! Bullet Dumas, Fairwell Fairweather, Tandems 91, Jensen and the Flips. Scout: What is the end goal? Why are you guys here? The Ransom Collective: This started because we love music. The end goal is for us to love music and be happy. We did not start this band with any goal or hopes of being huge, so we don’t feel any pressure or need to conquer the world. We have been overwhelmed and encouraged by the feedback, responses, and appreciation of our music, and we hope to continue to be able to bring it to ears all over the world, should we ever get the chance. To hear more music by The Ransom Collective, head to soundcloud.com/theransomcollective. For more information, like them on facebook. com/theransomcollective, and follow @theransomcollective on Twitter and Instagram.
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THE DRUMS DROP “ENCYCLOPEDIA” After gleefully inciting a mosh pit of bodies and feelings at Wanderland earlier this year, The Drums are back with a new album of blistering, emotional indie pop. “Encyclopedia” is “full of magic and surprise while maintaining a serious, more weighty tone throughout,” according to charismatic frontman Jonny Pierce. With songs titled There is Nothing Left and Break My Heart, it seems like the band is sticking to their winning formula of walloping your heart while making you dance. “Encyclopedia” is out on Sept. 23.
LULLABIES BY LANG LEAV Lang Leav will continue to share her explorations of love and loss with the release of her new collection entitled Lullabies. The sequel to the extremely popular Love & Misadventure, Lullabies is a showcase of Leav’s ability to peer into the hearts, souls, and minds of millions and translate the untranslatable into simple, bite-sized nuggets of elegant poetry. Lang Leav’s Lullabies will be available in all National Bookstore branches on Sept. 10. Catch Lang Leav at her book signing events on Dec. 5 at The Gallery, Ayala Center, Cebu; Dec. 6 at the East Atrium of Shangri-La Plaza; and Dec. 7 at Powerbooks, Greenbelt 4. Limited slots available. For more information on registration, visit nationalbookstore.com.ph and follow @nbsalert on Twitter and Instagram and tag #LangLeavinPH.
RUROUNI KENSHIN: THE LEGEND ENDS The Rurouni Kenshin fever hasn’t let up and won’t let up. Just a month after the Manila premiere of Kyoto Inferno (we heard the cast went clubbing), and we’re already getting the third Kenshin live-action movie. Talk about a satisfying one-two punch. Satoh Takeru, Takei Emi, and Eguchi Yosuke are all back for Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends, a two-hour non-stop avalanche of action to cap off the series. The film opens Sept. 24. Log on to smcinemas.com for tickets and reservations.
WELCOME TO SWEDEN If you miss Parks and Recreation, check out Welcome to Sweden. Armed with the Amy Poehler Seal of Approval (she’s credited as producer, as she was on Broad City), the show is about an accountant from New York who moves to Sweden to live with his girlfriend. Crazy shenanigans ensue as he deals with the girlfriend’s weird-ass family. As an extra treat for Pawnee fans out there, Aubrey Plaza and Amy Poehler appear from time to time, playing themselves. EUROPA TRIP The European Union is bringing Cine Europa 17 to our shores once again. Twenty-three movies from 18 European countries will be screened from Sept. 12 to 21 in Cinema 2, East Atrium, Shangri-La Plaza in Mandaluyong City. Cine Europa will then move to eight other cities: Baguio City from Sept. 23 to 28 in Cinematheque, in Iloilo City from Sept. 30 to Oct. 5, and Cebu City from Oct. 10 to 12. The Visayas leg has been expanded this year for the first time, and there are plans to hold special screenings for families affected by Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) from Oct. 21 to 26. In Mindanao, Cinematheque Davao City will host Cine Europa from Oct. 28 to Nov. 2. It will move on to Zamboanga City from Nov. 4 to 9 before concluding in Cagayan de Oro City from Nov.13 to 16. For more information, visit eeas.europa.eu/delegations/philippines. EUROPEAN UNION
11-21 SEPTEMBER 2014
Shang Cineplex, Cinema 2, Shangri-La Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City in partnership with in partnership with
EURO PE PE t) FILMS FROM (Two-Sea EUROter-Rocke FROM kete t) y Famous) FILMS Zweisitzra ter-Rocke ! (Everybod AUSTRIA (Two-Sea
SPAIN El lince perdido (The Missing Lynx) SPAINUna Pistola El lince en cada perdido (Themano (AUna GunPistola in Each Hand) Missing Lynx) en cada mano SWEDEN(A IsDraken Gun in Each (The Ice Dragon) Tüskevár (Thorn Castle) Hand) SWITZERLAND SWEDEN IsDraken Planet(The Ocean ITALY Una sconfinata Ice Dragon) HUNGARY giovinezza Tüskevár (Thorn SWITZERLANDL’enfant Second Childhood) Castle) d’en haut (Sister) Planet Ocean ITALY(AUna sconfinata giovinezza UNITED KINGDOM Scialla Metro Manila (Easy!) L’enfant (A Second by Sean d’en haut Childhood) Ellis (Sister) UNITED KINGDOM THE NETHERLANDS Bon Voyage Scialla (Easy!) Metro Manila by Sean Ellis Mees Kees (Mister Twister - Class of THE NETHERLANDS Bon Voyage Fun) NORWAY Vegas Mees Kees (Mister Twister - Class of Fun) ROMANIA NORWAY Pozitia Vegas Copilului (Child’s pose) SLOVAKIA ROMANIALóve Pozitia Copilului (Child’s pose) SLOVAKIA Lóve
) Beroemd to Jerusalem y Famous) ledereen kete (Journey Zweisitzra ) BELGIUM ! (Everybod AUSTRIA kam Yerusalim Card) to JerusalemHUNGARY PatuvaneBeroemd (Identity ledereen (Journey průkaz BULGARIA BELGIUM kam Yerusalim Občanský Patuvane (Identity Card) REPUBLIC CZECH BULGARIA Hunt) průkaz Občanský Puzzle) Jagten (The (Chinese DENMARK CZECH REPUBLIC te Chinoise Hunt) Puzzle) Glass Park) Casse-Te Jagten (The (Broken (Chinese FRANCE DENMARK park Home) from Park) Scherbente Chinoise (Home GERMANY Heimat (Broken Glass Home) FRANCE Casse-Te anderepark Die from Scherben GERMANY Heimat (Home Die andere
12 September / Friday
10 am – Forum on Film Appreciation // 2 pm – Magnifico (A story on the Filipino Family) 4 pm – Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros
20 September / Saturday
10 am – Forum for Filipino Filmmakers // 2 pm – Lav Diaz: Norte: Sa Kasaysayan ng Panahon Venue: Premiere Theatre, CinePlex, Shangri-La Plaza, Mandaluyong
Seats are on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets are released 30 minutes before the screening First-come, first-served basis. Free admission. Tickets are released 30 minutes before the screening
Film ratings may be confirmed at the ticket office
Film ratings may be confirmed at the ticket office
Schedules are subject to change without prior notice
Schedules are subject to change without prior notice
BAGUIO ILOILO CEBU LEYTE TACLOBAN DAVAO ZAMBOANGA CAGAYAN DE ORO SEP 23-28
For more details visit http://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/philippines/ or https://www.facebook.com/EUDelegationToThePhilippines
SEP 30-OCT 5 OCT 10-12
OCT 28-NOV 2
THE 35TH MANILA INTERNATIONAL BOOK FAIR Bookworms rejoice! The Manila International Book Fair is upon us again! Happening from Sept. 17 to 21, this book fair (the biggest in the country!) is set to make your hearts beat faster with a huge selection of books ranging from fiction bestsellers to graphic novels to textbooks. The event will also feature several highly anticipated book launches and book signings, with contests to boot. Head on over to the Mall of Asia Complex to experience the madness and joy of the Manila International Book Fair later this month.
WHAT’S APP: HOPSTOP, AND YOU DON’T STOP Commuting in another country is usually an absolute joy compared to doing it here in the Philippines (the MRT at rush hour is a death trap, sometimes literally). But when the jumble of multi-colored lines just gets too confusing to process, download Hopstop, an app that crowd-sources mass transit routes in different countries. Like Waze, it also gives you real-time traffic situations. Available in iOs for free Scout Magazine | scoutmag.ph | 5
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Street artists dressed as a clown and Charlie Chaplin, photographed in Calcutta, India.
PUTTING PERSPECTIVE The art of photographing the beautiful, the crude, and the strange BY MARA MIANO
Hannah Reyes, 24, Travel photographer
In her series The Steppe, Hannah captures intimate photos of inhabitants of the grasslands, including one of a man keeping warm under blankets, and a child snuggling between Mongolian rugs.
Grew up in: Manila, Philippines. Currently: A National Geographic Young Explorer. Age: 24. On applying for Nat Geo: “It was a lot of hard work that took time: I researched, wrote, brainstormed, and edited, then edited some more. I asked people I trusted to look at my application and abstract, and took constructive criticism. It took months to finish. I made sure that I chose a subject I really cared about so that should I not get the grant, I’d still have information for a project that I really wanted to pursue.” On moving to Phnom Penh: “I used to be fixated with the idea that I could grow where I’m planted, but today, I take more pride in telling everyone that my roots are in our islands. (Despite) all the challenges, I’m glad I moved—there’s so much I’m learning here, and it’s been a great ride.” Interesting people she’s met: “The legendary tattoo artist Fang Od, a transgendered Aeta named Alvina (formerly Alvin) who is one of the first Aetas to come out, some corrupt tribal leaders, and a child who swore that she saw a young girl enter my body and then leave.” On documentary: “I’ve seen some things, and this makes me realize how little I know and how much more I want to explore. On some days, it’s exhausting; on some days, work is thrilling; on some days, it’s frustrating. And every day, I feel like I’m just beginning, that there’s so much I still want to learn. I cannot explain how moving it is to have work that takes me outside of myself and to things much bigger than what I know, and lets me ask questions I otherwise would not even think of asking.” Advice for aspiring travel photographers: “Keep asking questions. Be gentle.”
Hannah has been published in Lonely Planet, The New York Times, Time, National Geographic, The Wall Street Journal, and The Guardian, and has been exhibited in Manila, Aalborg, and Copenhagen.
While working on her project Indigenous Transitions, Hannah formed a great bond with Bianca Natola, who handled the video assets for the expedition. “I loved every minute with her, and I’m proud of myself for recognizing that she would be a great partner for s r ec
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SHOULD I GO ON A TRIP WITH MY FRIENDS?
Because buddies that travel together usually end up hating each other BY TARA LIM AND VINNY TAGLE ILLUSTRATION BY MARK LAWRENCE ANDRES
n season six of Friends, Joey and Phoebe went on a road trip that didn’t go as well as planned. Two notable things happened: they picked up a drifter (NOT ADVISABLE, IN NEON ALL CAPS) and Joey sang Space Oddity as an apology to Phoebe after they fought. Fighting with friends while traveling is not confined to sitcom-land, though. Real life bust-ups are sometimes even wackier, scarier, and, when things get really out of hand, irreparable.
If you’re at the point in your friendship where you’re planning trips together, you probably know each other pretty well. Remind yourself of what pisses your friends off and try not to push those buttons (maybe that death stare is a clue). Hopefully, they will do the same for you.
The Golden Rule when traveling with friends is to be considerate. (That should actually be The Golden Rule of life, but that discussion is for another time.) Being considerate comes naturally to those who can grasp the concept of basic human decency and those who genuinely like their friends. But a few reminders won’t hurt, so here are a few tips on how to pass the ultimate test of friendship.
If you’re a morning person, then good for you because truly, you are better than most of us. But may we request a little leeway to be grumpy before noon? It’s nothing against you, it’s just something against the sun.
There’s a very good chance that at some point in your travels, you will get lost—do not panic. Or maybe panic a little, but do not yell at each other. No one likes getting yelled at.
Sometimes no matter how hard you try, things will go wrong. Traveling does bring out the best and worst in us. Moods might clash without prompting, and luck might not be on your side from time to time. Just always remember that things could be much worse (see: Hostel, 2005, Eli Roth), and if all else fails, do a Joey and try singing David Bowie.
Bathroom etiquette. Seriously. This is important stuff. Don’t hog all the towels. Always flush. If you’re a guy, please aim. If you’re a girl, please dispose of your napkins and tampons properly. No one wants to see that sh*t.
Alone time or quiet time is important to some people, so try not to be in their faces all the time. If you’re going on a long trip, it’s actually better if you set aside a day for yourself or at least time off from each other. You don’t want to get sick of each other too soon.
At the end of the day, the beauty of having friends is that you can always look back and laugh together. And if you finish the trip without committing murder, then congratulations, you just passed an important rite of passage of any barkada!
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THE MERITS OF HEADING NOWHERE FAST
Fashion designer Johann Manas shows that being lost isn’t such a bad thing BY CAI SUBIJANO PHOTOS BY PATRICK DIOKNO
he past two times that I’ve spoken with Tokyo-based fashion designer Johann Manas, he’s always about to leave Manila. For the past six months, he’s had both feet in both cities, working on his own designer label Jman, along with a soon-to-be-released collaboration with retail brand Human. The first time we met in early June, everything was still hush-hush, but two months later, he allowed himself to be a little more forthcoming. “It’s a capsule collection, more or less 12 pieces. With the help of my graphic artist here in Tokyo, I produced a unique and original graphic print for this collection. I would say it is uniquely Jman. The simple silhouettes are very Jman.”
“In terms of career and being myself, I’m still in the stage of learning. I have a long way to go, so don’t be afraid to learn. Keep learning and if you have access to education abroad, go ahead.”
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T R AV E L I S S U E
ADDITIONAL PHOTOS BY JORGEN AXELVALL
Traditional Filipino jusi piña was incorporated into Jman’s spring/summer 2014 collection, inspired by cycling jerseys.
How he went from being plain old Johann Manas to finding and founding the identity of Jman is a sort of fairytale for the millennial generation. During what feels like a lifetime ago, Johann was a pre-med student in Manila with a quarter-life crisis. Becoming a doctor was everything he had dreamt of as a child, but an internship at a hospital showed him a reality that was difficult to swallow: coming in at 5 a.m. to a building with no windows, and being greeted by the dark of the night at the end of his shift. Though he already knew that he didn’t want to enter med school anymore, making that decision wasn’t so clear-cut. In a last-ditch effort perhaps to change his own mind, he took a breather to study photography at the School of Visual Arts in New York—a deviant, sort of last hurrah before donning the white coat. When he returned, however, he was still at a loss for what to do. “My 20s were tough because I had issues, like, ‘okay, fine I’m not a doctor. Now how do I let go of this dream?’” And so he bounced around and tried on other coats that didn’t quite fit. He went corporate for SM, joined the family business, even opened a food cart venture. During that time, he didn’t want for anything—he had a car, an active social
The shoe collection makes use of a wicker/basketprint canvas and is lined with calf leather. All Jman shoes are handmade in the Philippines.
Some pieces from Jman’s spring/ summer 2013 collection featuring Philippine handembroidered aizome (traditional Japanese indigo dyeing technique) prints combined with indigo denim from Japan’s famous “Denim Town,” Okayama Prefecture.
English teaching gig. When he failed at that, he tried something new: he went for something he actually wanted. “Before Japan, I was doing these graphic tees and shoes, and then it was a perfect merge: Tokyo is such a creative place and I thought, maybe this is my chance to study fashion or design.” In 2011, he applied for the Vantan Design Institute’s International X-SEED program, a one-year masters program for outstanding fashion students around the world, and the most advanced course for fashion design students. He was one of eight students—and the first Filipino—to be accepted. With that, he sold his car to pay for his tuition fee, and left Manila. Since graduating, he’s launched his label at Mercedes-Benz Tokyo Fashion Week, worked on four men’s collections (his autumn/winter 2014 collection can be viewed on his official website, jman.ph), and has stockists in Tokyo. With everything that’s going right for him, the years he spent lost in his 20s don’t appear to be such a waste as they led him on this path, but the anxiety and the restlessness of that period aren’t experiences he’d be eager to repeat. “This quick 180-degree change, I cannot imagine doing again. It was 10 years of bouncing around, and not everyone can afford that, whether in terms of time or resources. Everything I went through made me appreciate what I have now. When you’re young, you feel like you can do anything, but I started this late and I’m still getting this opportunity, even though there are so many designers now who are way younger than I am. It’s different now; it’s easier for kids to be themselves. I think they’re lucky because the world and society are more accepting of creative people. Before leaving for Japan, I was really uncomfortable calling myself a ‘fashion designer.’” With his capsule collection for Human set to be released in time for the holidays, though, every Filipino with access to a mall will be familiar with his work as a fashion designer. “I have a fascination with toy soldiers and repeating patterns, it’s always a source of inspiration for me,” he says of the collaboration. “So I thought of the Paratroopers: ‘Out of nowhere, I’m being dropped off in Manila!’”
“Tokyo offered me a clean slate, a fresh start to be myself and do whatever I want to do."
life, a comfortable income that allowed him to travel frequently. “I’d always be out of Manila. I was a weekend warrior. Every weekend, I’d be out to do sports. Any beach or trip abroad. After World Youth Day in Germany, I had a chance to go backpacking around Europe for a month. It really allowed me to see what else is out there.” Then he hit Japan. “I did the Tokyo Marathon in 2009 or 2010. All of a sudden, that was the time when I felt, I want to live here. The other cities, it was transient, it never crossed my mind that I wanted to end up or live there. Tokyo was, like, ‘Oh my God. This is something. Is there a chance for me to live here?’” The Johann who always wanted to leave, always wanted to get away, now wanted to stay rooted to one place. “Coming from a big family, I was always in the shadow of my siblings and all of them are successful, so it was always difficult. I have a very supportive, loving family, but there was self-imposed pressure on my end like, What do I do? What am I supposed to do? Tokyo offered me a clean slate, a fresh start to be myself and do whatever I want to do.” What he was going to do there, though, didn’t exactly make itself clear at first. To get a visa, he tried applying for The JET Programme, a Japanese
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Some sketches from Carmen’s travel diary.
PHOTOS BY CARMEN DEL PRADO, TONY EXALL, ISABEL CANG, AND NIXEE GARCIA
“I would love to travel to Macchu Picchu, Istanbul, India, Siargao, and Batanes.” “The experiences you go through while traveling, good or bad, will make you a better person. They help you become strong enough to go through all these obstacles in life.”
THE LIFE AQUATIC WITH CARMEN DEL PRADO Why you should date a girl who travels
“I try to travel three to four times a year or as much as I can, but mostly around the Philippines. There are just so many places to see and things to do, near or far.”
wenty-five-year-old freelance filmmaker Carmen del Prado is a travel nut, and she often tries to combine the two roles whenever she can, especially with her group, the Philippine Voyagers. “My friends Nixee and Aaron, my brother Ramon, and I are in the creative industry and are passionate about adventure and visual storytelling. We want to promote diving, traveling, marine life conservation, and stories from all around the Philippines through documentaries, photography, and art,” she says. There is a telescopic photo of the ocean on her Instagram account that is captioned with a quote from Out of Africa novelist Isak Dinesen: “The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea.” And that appears to be true: the more Carmen crosses the seas, the closer she is to realizing the person she wants to be. “Traveling opens your mind. You become street smart, you get to meet people from all around and learn from them, and mostly you learn a lot about yourself. Traveling teaches you to be patient, spontaneous, and outgoing, and you learn to appreciate the little things in life. I get a lot of inspiration from my travels. That’s why I love it so much.” One of the first projects of the Philippine Voyagers involved living for five days out on the Sulu Sea on a liveaboard (a dive research boat) to work on a project for UNESCO. “We were shooting a documentary on the Tubbataha Reefs National Park. It was challenging living on the boat, as we had to keep our equipment dry and safe as well as trying not to get sea sick, but it was all part of the experience. We’d wake up, do our work, go diving, eat, watch the sunset, sleep, and do it all over again (the next day). I think my favorite part, aside from diving the different sites and working with the crew, was seeing all the stars at night. I’ve never seen so many in my life; it was beautiful.” —CVS
“I had the opportunity to go to Spain, the UK, Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, the US, and around the Philippines. My favorites would have to be Spain and the Philippines.”
Some of the projects that the Philippine Voyagers have worked on include Swim for Others, a swim-for-acause documentary that follows eight swimmers from Cebu to Negros. You can view their other work on www.vimeo.com/philippinevoyagers.
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Starcom MediaVest Group dominates ETC’s Agency Runway, the first ever on-ground design competition among media agencies to hype up Project Runway Philippines, Season 4. BY MARA MIANO PHOTOS BY PATRICK SEGOVIA
ou know the drill: The most dedicated forces always win the war. It took a little bit of bleach and a lot of hunger to win for Earl Angeles, Jaja Funtanilla, Patty de Chavez, Ysh Igdanes, and Ysa Mercader to bag the first prize of this year’s Agency Runway. Pitted against equally competitive young guns from the country’s top media agencies, the group was tasked to work around a set of provided materials, a tight timeframe and the straddle between balancing this contest with their hectic day jobs (they work in Media Planning and Buying for Starcom Mediavest Group Phils, Inc.), to come up with a final product they can present to Agency Runway’s premier set of fashion critics that included supermodel Tweetie de Leon, fashion mogul Rajo Laurel, top model and PR star Apples Aberin, and design luminary Jojie Lloren. “Our approach to this was to play it smart,” says de Chavez. “It’s a design competition, but the more important aspect of it was that it was a competition.” Weeks before the deadline, the team did their research: who the judges were gonna be, how their aesthetics differ, and what designs they were looking for. They also watched various episodes of Project Runway Philippines. “We learned from doing research that the judges liked avantgarde as long as they were wearable, so that was the direction we went for,” adds Angeles. But the challenge with avant-garde concepts is, as easy it is to let the ideas flow when conceptualizing, it is more often than not grueling to execute. The team had to keep in mind their lack of technical skill in garment-making. “We had to draw the line between creativity and practicality. No matter how grand our visions were, the concept had to be doable. We knew we had to come up with a gimmick,” Igdanes says. Funtanilla, whose comic role in the model gender-switch was to play the male, explains that at the beginning, the only fabrics provided for the team were military green, bright pink, and bright yellow,” she shares. “We knew it was difficult to put these colors together, so we decided to get creative and use bleach.” Together, the team applied bleach on the green fabric with a paintbrush, in different concentrations. Then, they deconstructed the denim pants provided by the sponsors to add texture. To maximize the vertical space of the runway, they decided to design the ensembles with long, flowy trains. Finally, the team asserted that the presentation of their designs should be as striking as the execution. All members claim they owe much to Angeles, who mustered the courage to walk down the runway cross-dressed on national TV. Igdanes shares, “They kept telling us he was everyone’s favorite model of the night. He got called in after the show wrapped up, and was called out to do walk-off with [Apples Aberin.] It engaged the audience, and I think it contributed a lot to our victory.”
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PATTY DE CHAVEZ, 24 Tactic of choice: Be knowledgeable.
YSH IGDANES, 24 Tactic of choice: Use your resources wisely.
“In every competition, even in design, you have to play it smart. The team did their research. We asked who the judges were going to be, what they were looking for, and what aesthetic they inclined toward. We also watched previous episodes of Project Runway Philippines. Throughout the show, we edited and re-edited based on our research.”
“We had to maximize the materials to produce something different from the opponent teams’ designs. We bleached the fabric, we cut out two pairs of pants and made it into a jacket, and we opted not to use some of the garments. Almost all of the opponent teams used the materials as is. That’s what gave us our edge.”
YSA MERCADER, 21 Tactic of choice: Teamwork “Everyone contributed to the making of the dress. From the deconstruction of the potholders to the bleaching of the dress, all the members were there to help. It was a collaborative effort and everyone had a say.”
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se of tradin g
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a plane ticket (or three) r o f t n u o c c in a savings a
BY AMANDA LAGO ILLUSTRATION BY MARIEL EMPIT
e were on a boat in between Camiguin and Cagayan de Oro, the sun slowly setting on the third of four days we had set aside for the trip. The plan was to cover the two places we’d already seen, but we saw a brochure for Iligan at the airport when we arrived and, tempted by the hour-long bus ride from CDO, we were toying with the idea of squeezing in a day trip to the city before we charged back to Manila and reality. At that point, I only had a few hundred pesos left and still quite a long way to go. This had always been the case every time I went somewhere. Being away from home with an empty wallet was a phenomenon I was wellacquainted with. I just laughed it off. It usually worked out for me anyway, mostly through luck, the kindness of strangers, and worried parents. On the way to Liverpool from London, my funds were running dangerously low after I foolishly spent part of them helping a lost stranger get back to his home on the other side of the city. After I bought the poor man a Tube ticket, I had just enough left for a night at a hostel and one decent meal—definitely not enough for the Beatles museum, which was the reason I was heading to Liverpool in the first place. I contemplated the cruel irony of my situation at the bus station, waiting for my ride to Liverpool. As I waited, mentally torturing myself, a woman struck up a conversation with me after realizing I was Filipina, just like her. She was from Cebu but had been living in England for the past two decades with her British husband. She took to me instantly, and I suspect it was because she thought I was the perfect girl for her son, whom she so desperately wanted to marry off to a kababayan. Before we parted ways, she gave me a big bag of food. So I wouldn’t go hungry, she said. Interestingly enough, she had no idea that I was running low on funds, and she probably didn’t realize that her simple gift pretty much saved me from starvation. By some miraculous twist of fate, I even managed to see the Beatles museum, and on a VIP pass no less, all because the owner of the hostel I was staying in sent me to get a new book of discount vouchers from the museum. The staff must have thought I worked for the hostel because they gave me the VIP pass for free. In Siem Reap, I miscalculated and spent most
of my $100 budget by the end of Day 1. With two more days to go and a hostel to pay off, I had just enough for one-dollar meals and a motor ride back to the airport. My concerned parents tried to send me money, but I resigned myself to my new supertight budget because my ATM wasn’t activated for international use. Again, by some miracle, my father called me the next day to tell me that he had talked to the bank and asked them to activate my card, and that he sent me some cash so that I could enjoy my trip again. That afternoon we were headed for CDO, though, I simply couldn’t see how things would work out in the budget department. The gold of the sun disappeared further into the dark blue waters as the boat drifted lazily towards our destination. With my back turned to the sunset, I counted out the few soggy bills I had left and felt sorry for myself. How unfair that I had saved diligently for months in advance, eschewing the comfort of cabs and lunches out whenever I could, and, in the bigger scheme of things, a savings account and so much more, precisely so I didn’t have to worry about running low on cash—and still I came up short. For the first time in a while, I wanted to go home, and stay there. Traveling exhausted me, and not in the physical, satisfying kind of way that it’s supposed to and usually does. I had it coming. Being young and hungry to see the world can be incredibly difficult, especially if, like most young professionals, your salary is on the meager side of modest. More often than not, this means you’ve got a lot of world to see and very little to see it with. I suppose the struggle finally took its toll on me as I counted my bills on that boat. Unfortunately, my friend Krista got caught in the line of fire. Sidling up to me in her usual perky way with no idea of the thoughts running through my head at that moment, she laid out her proposal for our Iligan trip, clearly expecting enthusiasm—and why shouldn’t she? Up until a few hours before, I was still game to go.
But the loose flaps of my wallet doused my spirits. I snapped at her, told her I couldn’t afford it, and proceeded to sulk my way through the rest of the ride. They asked me what was wrong. With knit eyebrows, I told them I was tired of being broke. With high spirits, they told me they were, too. Their laughter rubbed salt on my wounded pride. I continued to sulk all the way to CDO. I have been working hard for the past three years and traveling frequently for the past two. I still do not have a proper savings account. I still have to use my parents’ bank certificates every time I apply for a visa. I still have to count my coins sometimes in the hopes that they will be enough for a good meal. I can still barely afford my daily life, let alone the life insurance that my mother is trying to get me to pay for in the hopes that a regular bill will keep my feet on the ground and push me into doing the “adult thing,” whatever that means. I have to count my leaves too, and when I’m away I have to constantly ignore the siren call of email notifications while simultaneously dealing with the fear of no longer having a job when I get back. I even once quit a job to travel. When my United Kingdom visa got approved for six months, I expected to rebook my return flight to max the visa out, or at least get really close to doing so. I wrote my resignation letter with a flourish, explaining my reasons with full honesty. There were no violent reactions. As it happened, the resignation didn’t work out all too well for me. The UK is damn
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expensive, and I realized that I couldn’t afford to stay there for six months. I came home after a month as originally scheduled, and found myself draining what was supposed to be my “untouchable” savings as I wallowed in my posttrip depression and grappled with plans for the future. Somehow, even in my unemployment, I was able to sneak in a trip to Boracay, but that only led to me being so deeply indebted to my parents that when I finally found a new job, my first few paychecks all went into paying off debts. As we arrived in CDO, I thought about all the trouble I go through just to travel and wondered why I even bothered to go anywhere at all. Some people stay in their own cities all the time, perfectly settled. So what if I feel rather like a wilted flower if I go for some time without having gone anywhere? I could have sucked it up and lived with it. I sulked even more. Meanwhile, another friend, Hussain, was still trying to talk me out of my mood. “You should be grateful, you’ve been to so many places,” he said. “I’m just grateful for what I have.” I tried to defend myself, but I knew he was right. I was being ungrateful even if I had so much to be grateful for. I had an Instagram filled with photos. More importantly, I had the stories behind those photos. I had friends all over the world, and we had the best non-romantic Meet Cutes. (I had a couple of romantic ones as well). I had memories of sunsets and brackish water, and rainbows appearing at just the right moments. Most importantly, I had a few hundred pesos left, and still a long way to go.
The memories, the stories, the interesting company—these are the reasons that Thought Catalog articles, BuzzFeed lists, and Tumblr instaquotes give when they encourage young people to travel. “Be selfish,” they encourage. “Never touch the ground.” Careers, master’s degrees, and savings accounts can wait. There is no better time to travel than when you’re young and
Being young and hungry to see the world can be incredibly difficult, especially if,your salary is on the meager side of modest. it’s still appropriate to be wild and free. One simply needs to be on the reckless side of responsible and accept that while traveling often has no assurance of a secure financial future or a stable career, more often than not, a trip will be worth whatever it is you gave up or gambled for it. Bank accounts, insurance, a car, a retirement fund, all the trappings of a responsible adult life—while these are certainly important, I don’t
think anyone’s youth should revolve around them. You will never be more able than you are now to climb mountains and walk distances, befriend strangers, and laugh at inconveniences. More importantly, it may also be that you will never want to see the world more than you want to now. That was something I came to terms with when, after my little outburst and subsequent chastisement, we finally decided to go to Iligan. When we left, I spent the last of my cash buying a bus ticket. Krista spotted for me for the rest of the trip, as if it were tradition that whenever I ran out of money on the road, someone, whether friend, family, or stranger, would always help me out one way or another. At the Maria Cristina Falls in Iligan, the pink sunset cast the trees in silhouette, and I faced it full-on. When the sun finally set and the stars started coming out, we walked to the highway and waited on the side of the road, waving our arms at each passing vehicle like proper hobos. At that point, we were on the brink of being completely broke and our bodies ached after a full day of swimming in lagoons and climbing up and down the side of a mountain to see waterfalls. We walked on anyway, and I knew whatever happened to us then—whatever happened to us ever—we had nothing to worry about. We had our feet and our wide open eyes, and more ways to go, and more things to see. In my experience, those have always been enough to go by.
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THE OUT-OF-BODY SPECIAL Traveling for lazy bodies with active imaginations (and depressingly limited funds) BY MIKHAIL QUIJANO COLLAGE BY ALBERTO CINCO JR.
could’ve sworn it was Professor X who walked into the room that first day of class. The entire lot of us were still and quiet as he walked up to the teacher’s podium. I’m guessing we were all trying to control our thoughts, thinking that he could tap into our consciousness at will. His name is Fr. Jaime Bulatao—Fr. Bu, for short—a Jesuit priest, a renowned psychologist, and our professor for the most interesting class I would ever have in college: Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy. NOT YOUR USUAL MIND TRICKS I’ve always been drawn to mystical and supernatural subjects ever since I was a kid, raiding those big black Encyclopediae of the Unusual and Unexplained in the library and immersing myself in accounts of spontaneous combustion and other seemingly superhuman psychic abilities. Seeing that course title on the list of available electives sent shivers down my spine. I had to get into that class. It was more than I had expected. Hypnosis and hypnotherapy, as we learned, were rooted in what Fr. Bu introduced to us as transpersonal psychology—a branch of the science that investigated the spiritual and transcendent aspects of the human experience. Not to be confused with parapsychology, though, transpersonal psychology is more concerned with the well-being of persons, fusing “timeless wisdom” such as meditation with scientific methodology. The class really opened my eyes to a different field of psychology, learning about altered states of consciousness and the like. We had a ton of fun with lessons and sessions, from watching Fr. Bu hypnotize one of our (more skeptical) classmates into a partial paralysis, to going into a trance to uncover past lives, to even receiving assignments he’d send psychically (we had to go into a trance at a certain time of the day to receive them.) But my favorite, by far, was an exercise called Remote Viewing. PROJECTION, YOUR HONOR Remote viewing is an exercise that allows a person to project their consciousness into another physical place. According to Gilda Dans-Lopez, PhD, who was Fr. Bu’s assistant for our class, remote
viewing is similar to dreams—the royal road to the unconscious, as Sigmund Freud would say. “Dreaming, as with idealism, is also the gift of youth. To dream and make your dreams come true is a beautiful thing. That was what Fr. Bu was tapping on,” says Dr. Dans-Lopez. At the risk of dumbing it down, remote viewing is pretty much very similar to astral projection—that oft-talked about spiritual occurrence when your soul leaves your body to wander around. The thought of traveling and seeing other places has always intrigued me so much. Being able to do it with the mind was just beyond riveting that when Fr. Bu asked for volunteers for the demonstration, I raised my hand like the eager beaver I was. He had the class sit in a circle, with me seated in a chair in the middle. He placed an empty glass bottle in front of me. “This will serve as your launchpad,” I remember him saying. It was supposed to be a tool to help me focus, so that when he said, “Go,” I could envision myself projecting my mind onto the launchpad, and then leaping off of it to go wherever he asks me to. Here’s how it works: in an altered state of consciousness, you’re able to tap into the collective unconscious of the people in the place you decide to visit, and sort of see what they have seen. For the demonstration, we agreed that I would be visiting the lobby of the building where we held our class. On his signal, I was to project my consciousness to that place, look around, and then describe the people I saw in the lobby. A classmate of ours would then go out to verify if what I saw was really there, kind of like a little psychic game. GAME FACE ON. We started with a relaxation exercise first, to help slip me into a trance. Fr. Bu guided me through it, instructing me to focus my Scout Magazine | scoutmag.ph | 16
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energy and attention throughout my body, feeling the warmth crawl up slowly from my toes to the crown of my head. I had to empty my mind, which was a tough thing to do because I was freaking excited, but I managed to do it before he gave the signal. GOING OUT OF MY MIND “Go,” he said, and I did. I envisioned myself lifting off from my seat and into the air. I saw my classmates seated around me, with other wispy, shadowy figures kind of passing by, through, and around us. I shared this with Fr. Bu after the class, and he said it could’ve been just residual memories of people who’ve had classes there in the past—or disembodied spirits. Creepy. I made my way out into the lobby of the building and took note of what I was seeing. I said it out loud to the class. “There’s a guy in red. He’s kinda heavy-set.” “There’s a girl in black seated on the steps, reading a thick textbook.” “Now there are lots of people walking around.” I snapped out of the trance, legs wobbly, and felt kind of light-headed. Fr. Bu asked one of my classmates to run quickly to the lobby to confirm if what I had seen was really there. I waited with bated breath for my classmate to come back. What if I was wrong? What if it was all just my imagination? He came back into the room and shook his head. “Nope, I didn’t see any of the people you described. The lobby was kind of empty actually.” I felt like I had failed Fr. Bu and the class. “It happens, don’t worry about it,” he said. We soon wrapped up the class with an exercise in pairs that
required us to peek into our partner’s room or house. A few minutes later, the bell rang, and it was time for us to go. BACK TO THE FUTURE When we stepped out into the lobby, one of my friends tugged at my sleeve and pointed at the crowd. There they were: A chubby guy wearing a red shirt. A girl in black seated on the steps, reading her thick textbook. Lots of people were walking around because it was lunchtime. Yup, that was definitely what I saw. My goosebumps had goosebumps. A couple of my friends and I quickly went back to the classroom to talk to Fr. Bu about what we had just seen. Could I have remotely viewed a scene in the future? Apparently it was possible. It could’ve been a case of tapping into what people were planning to do: guy in red, girl in black, and everyone else knew they were going to be in that lobby at a certain time, and (perhaps because I lacked focus, but I’d like to think of them as superpowers) that’s what I managed to see. We all giggled and laughed in amazement. The rest of the semester was filled with moments like these. Exercise after exercise, we’d travel deep into our selves, guided by Fr. Bu. We’d learn that through these concepts and exercises in transpersonal psychology, newer methods in therapy and counseling, dealing with personal issues, and unlocking one’s potential are now
available. There’s an entirely new world to explore, with the more spiritual aspects of the mind finally being studied, and it was a privilege to learn about it from the country’s pioneer in the field. But more than that, the class and Fr. Bu’s exercises brought to us a certain connectedness that no other lesson ever gave me. “As Filipinos, we are very intuitive and sensitive to others. It is part of our upbringing, our culture; to be empathic, makiramdam, to care about others, not just ourselves. We are also very much in touch with our spirituality,” says Dr. Dans-Lopez. “These qualities of Filipinos make it easy for us to engage in this new thinking about transpersonal psychology. But today, in this age of computers and new communication technology, maybe (the) youth are beginning to lose this natural sense of connectedness with others and the spiritual parts of us. (They) are more connected to their cellphones, internet games, and so on, rather than with being present with real people and face-to-face personal connections. Transpersonal psychology can help (the) youth connect again, in a nontechnological way.” Years after graduation, I find myself needing quick getaways from all the stress of deadlines, work, and life in general. At times, I find myself jarred and disconnected—ironic in such a hyperconnected culture that we have made for ourselves. And when booking a flight isn’t all that possible, I just switch off the lights, place an empty glass bottle on the floor, and lay still in bed, remembering the steps that Fr. Bu guided me through in that class years ago. In a split second, I can feel the cold breeze of the beach on my face, the sand between my toes, and the sun shining down, bright and golden.
Remote viewing is pretty much very similar to astral projection_that oft-talked about spiritual occurrence when your soul leaves your body to wander around.
The Fr. Jaime Bulatao, S.J. Center for Psychology Services is a service arm of the Department of Psychology of the Ateneo de Manila University that also offers workshops and seminars in various fields of psychology, including hypnosis and hypnotherapy. For more information, log on to admu.edu.ph/ ls/soss/psychology/bulatao-center, or add them on Facebook at facebook.com/BulataoCenter.
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CHRONICLES OF A NERDY BACKPACKER Where will drunk-booking a one-way ticket to Brazil take you? BY VINNY TAGLE COLLAGE BY CHES GATPAYAT
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL
n October 2013, I decided to take a two-month solo backpacking trip to South America. I just finished my master’s degree in London and decided to take a breather before heading back to the proverbial “real world.” It was a chance for me to live out that coming-of-age movie I’d fantasized in my head, to rediscover myself before I continued on most probably as a pencil pusher or a number cruncher with way too many bobblehead figures lined up along my cubicle’s desk. The truth, really, is much more pedestrian than that. I was drinking at home with my Colombian housemate and, over shots of aguardiente, a Colombian spirit, he dared me to book a one-way ticket to Rio de Janeiro, which I did shortly before passing out. The next day, seeing the e-ticket in my inbox, I took another shot and decided to push through with the trip anyway. Three weeks after that fateful night, I booked a hostel via TripAdvisor (a service I soon came to realize was a godsend to backpackers), and I got on a plane to Rio with nothing but a couple of shirts, some trekking gear, and a copy of Lonely Planet’s guide to South America. I thought so highly of myself, doing something that stayed permanently on most people’s bucket lists. There I was, about to go on an adventure of a lifetime. It was a 30-hour flight from London to Ethiopia, and then to Togo, and then finally, to Brazil. Hey, it was the cheapest ticket available at that time, so I took it despite the very bizarre route. When I finally landed, I saw a man with my name written on a piece of flimsy cardboard. I had arranged for an airport pickup, and as promised, here was the guy they sent to bring me to the first pitstop of my journey. My eyes lit up. The trip was getting off to a good start. I went up to him and tried to initiate some friendly banter. “Hi there, how’s it going? Have you been waiting long?” The middle-aged guy, stocky with a thick moustache and a slightly intimidating air around him, shook his head and put his open palm a bit too close to my face. It was his way of saying that he didn’t know how to speak English.
I entered his gray, run-down Toyota Vios and spent the next 40 minutes stuck in the bustling Rio traffic in the front seat beside this driver—who didn’t speak a single word all throughout—praying that he wouldn’t take me to a random favela. After what was probably the tensest car ride I’ve ever been on, he dropped me off at my hostel, which was a stone’s throw away from the famed beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema. I tipped the driver 15 reals (around five USD), took my backpack from his trunk, and got down. He said something in Portuguese (which, to my ears, sounded like someone speaking Spanish with a mouthful of mashed potatoes) while pointing to the oversized knapsack hoisted on my back, wearing a puzzled look on his face. I translated it as: “What, that’s it?” “Yeah, I guess,” nodding and grinning back at him. He laughed and got back in the car. He drove off, and I could imagine him at home with his big family. Over some glasses of cheap caipirinhas, he was going to tell them about that strange Asian guy that he had just dropped off who looks as though he bit off more than he could chew.
It was raining in Cordoba that morning. I had just checked in the hostel in the middle of the city the night before. Cordoba had a vibrant atmosphere, and it was filled with students and other transient backpackers. It was similar to the other South American cities I’ve been to but there was a rougher, artsier edge to it. While checking in, I asked the receptionist, a chatty university student in her mid-20s, some recommendations for things to do around town. She gave me a brochure of some mountains that I could go climb just outside the city. This surprised me. If someone who looked like me approached me asking for a suggestion for what he can do on an afternoon off, I would imagine saying something like, why don’t you go on a walking tour of the city’s historic churches? Why don’t you go watch the hit Spanish version of the Addams Family musical, Los Locos Addams? Why don’t you do something that doesn’t require heavy lifting or any kind of strenuous physical activity? Admittedly, I was flattered and felt proud of myself. The past three weeks traveling must have changed how I appeared. I must have seemed more rugged, vigorous, world-weary. “Why, yes, I would like to climb a mountain and look for condors. Book me that guide and I’ll be up and ready first thing in the morning.” But the next day, it was raining and the guide cancelled the trip. I was stuck with nothing to do and an inflated ego, looking for a way to justify itself. I said, screw this. I won’t let a spot of rain get to me. I’m going to that mountain and I’m going to look for those condors, because dammit I look like someone who can! So I did. I rode a bus and got dropped off at the base of the mountain in the national park,
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Quebrada del Condorito. The bus dropped me off at the side of the highway where the park’s entrance was. The trail at first seemed easy enough, there were guideposts along the way, and the hike was of a medium difficulty. The landscapes were gorgeous and surreal, and I was full of myself—look at me climbing all alone, without a guide! Being there was such a satisfying ego boost. But then in the middle of the trek, the heavy rains came down and a thick fog set in. The visibility became so poor that I couldn’t see three feet in front of me. I lost the trail and was going in circles, which I found out I was doing after seeing the same vaguely phallic stone structure three times in the span of an hour. I started to panic, but I backtracked and managed to get back down to the base. The sun was already starting to set, and I found out that the last bus going back to the city left 15 minutes before. To put it crudely, I was f*cking screwed. I was standing by the bus stop at the side of the road, soaking wet, freezing, and stranded, when suddenly, a white car drove by and stopped a few meters away from the bus stop. I stared at it, and then it started honking its horn, a sign that the driver was beckoning me to come. I carefully approached it. The driver rolled down his window, and asked me in Spanish where I was headed. Because I picked up a bit of the language during my travels, I understood him and replied, “A Cordoba.” He said he was headed there as well and offered me a ride back. Not having any other conceivable options for going back to town, I got into the car. The man driving it must have been in his early 30s. He was bald and wore thin-rimmed glasses. When I got in, he offered me mate, a traditional Argentinian tea that locals drank from gourds that they carried with them everywhere. I hated the bitter taste of mate, but I drank it, mainly for the heat. Luckily, he wasn’t a serial killer. He told me that he was a father of two and that he also came from a hike. He works for a bank and he loves trekking and mountain climbing during weekends. He had a pet guinea pig. He loved Venezuelan soap operas and soccer. He hated Brazilians. In the two-hour drive it took to get back to the city, I got to know the world that this man occupied. Our conversation was limited by my poor grasp of
My two-month journey across this fabled continent was supposed to be a goodbye_—a goodbye to my life as a student, a goodbye to London, a goodbye to the close friends I've made there. Spanish, but it was a strangely profound moment, a random act of kindness that turned into an honest dialogue between two travelers who couldn’t be more different from each other, language barrier be damned. After dropping me off in the hostel, the receptionist had one look at me and said, “Are you okay?” “Estoy muy cansado. (I am very tired).” I went back up to the room that I was sharing with a Dutch girl and a German guy, who luckily weren’t there at that time to see me in that sorry state, and I passed out on my bed. Vinny the Adventurer was dead. Vinny the Couch Potato took over once more.
CUZCO, PERU My best friend during my time in London joined me for the last few weeks of my trip. After traveling with a bunch of strangers who weaved in and out of my trip depending on the synchronicity of our itineraries, it was refreshing to travel with someone I knew and enjoyed the company of. It was early December, and after countless hours of overnight bus rides, a stolen iPad, and tons of consumed llama meat, the one thing I’d been looking forward to the entire trip had finally arrived: we were going to do the four-day hike up the Inca Trail to see Machu Picchu. We booked a travel agency and by law, we needed to hire a licensed guide and porters if we wanted to do the Inca Trail. They picked us up at 4 a.m. the following day.
The van ride to the beginning of the trail was full of anticipation, even though we were still bleary-eyed and sleepy. The guide introduced himself as Valentin, and he insisted on calling the two of us “pumas.” He promised to help us in our pilgrimage to get to one of the most stunning views on earth. He was friendly and a good conversationalist. During our trek, he skillfully transitioned between jokes, Peruvian politics, and personal anecdotes. Together with us in the van were eight porters who were required to carry our gear and camping equipment and assist us throughout the trek. They were speaking in Quechua, the indigenous language of Peru, and didn’t pay that much attention to us. I bet they’ve seen all kinds of travelers before, and seeing that my friend and I weren’t geriatric or morbidly obese, they most probably weren’t going to need to perform any emergency CPR or give either of us a piggyback ride to the 4,000-meter high summit. They had their work cut out for them. The ride there was an enjoyable road trip through the Peruvian countryside, but it was tinged with a hint of sadness and longing. My two-month journey across this fabled continent was supposed to be a goodbye—a goodbye to my life as a student, a goodbye to London, a goodbye to the close friends I’ve made there. And now that it was coming to a close, I had to say goodbye to it as well. The finality of everything weighed down upon me. I was already anticipating the yearning that I would feel when the trip was over, when my friend and I would have banked the experience to our memories and we would both go home. But the sun was rising and the day was just about to start. I suppressed the premature onset of depression. Repression is an art I have perfected. I took a step back and laughed at how absurd the past two months have been, now culminating with me in a van with my best friend and nine Peruvian men, about to embark on what was going to be the highlight of our trip. But at that point in time, I couldn’t brush off one question, seeing the open road spread out before me. What the hell am I doing here? Almost a year after I took the trip, the answer couldn’t be any clearer. I was exactly where I needed to be.
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THE ART OF
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F THE FLOW Smokin’ singer June Marieezy’s long journey out of the weeds and into clear waters BY CAI SUBIJANO PHOTOS BY GERIC CRUZ HAIR AND MAKUEP BY DON DE JESUS FOR MAC COSMETICS
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June Marieezy is having a difficult time making up her mind. For a girl who made a big decision at 15 to leave home—Dallas, Texas—and discover her roots in the Philippines, she sure has trouble working her way around a beverage menu. “It was more of, like, following my gut and not really knowing why, and then getting to this point of understanding why following your gut is important,” she says of the big move. As I decide on freshly squeezed orange juice, her gut tells her to get “hot water with ginger and syrup.” Salabat is a good bet, I think, considering that we got rained on earlier while running nearly the entire stretch of Pundaquit, Zambales to make it back to our resort. As a massive pizza arrives at our table, though, a waiter sets a bottle of beer beside her plate. I wonder what happened to the salabat, but figure that after everything we put her through that day, the girl deserves a beer. Throughout braving the rain, climbing giant rock formations and trees, changing in and out of outfits while I held a scarf up for privacy, and taking layout after layout without even a break for lunch, the girl was a trooper who never once complained, even displaying reserves of energy all the way until the car ride home at nearly midnight. Try doing that with your regular artista. June arrived ahead of us in Zambales, having left Manila the night before. When we meet her for the first time at the resort, her face is bright and open, her skin is luminous, freckles lightly dotting her cheekbones, strong yet thin eyebrows framing delicate eyes. Her waist-length hair is a beautiful tangle of waves that become even wavier after washing and air-drying. She is wearing nothing but a scarf tied around her torso and a black maxi skirt that she has knotted, revealing sand-covered feet, and carrying black combat boots, her only pair of footwear. She makes it through the entire shoot completely barefoot over sand, rocks, twigs, and stones. We didn’t have the best conditions for a beach location shoot. The rain had been pouring since the night before, and as we gather for breakfast, June asks for a short prayer before
meals. She respectfully invokes a “higher power,” gives thanks for the food, and prays for the rain “to have mercy on us.” “Knowing more about my spirituality, that’s what helped me out, and I guess that’s just my balance. It very much exists and I wanna tap into it more, in the things around me, not just myself, like plants or rocks,” she says. Ironically, it was getting lost in the city that helped her arrive at this spiritual awakening. “When I first came to the Philippines, I felt so lost because my whole world in America, it was not anything like it. It just kind of forced me, in a way, to want to find myself. I would just get on a bus and leave for somewhere just by myself, not tell anyone, or just ride my bicycle around the city in, like, the sketchiest areas, but I would experiment with just feeling good vibes, and what I now know is a higher frequency.” Eventually, she found her tribe of likeminded individuals in Deeper Manila Records, where she met people like Jorge Wieneke a.k.a. Similar Objects. “They’re very spiritual, actually. We influenced each other in different ways, I guess.” She stumbled on the works of authors like
Eckhart Tolle and Osho who “actually just told me things that I experienced in word form, and so I understand it more now.” Though she appears to be more enlightened today, she is still reluctant to describe her beliefs. “I can’t. You know, it’s like taking something out of context and… it’s not the full thing.” She makes an attempt. “This circle, that’s it,” she explains, creating the figure of a disc with her hands. “This thing that kind of expands and then blows up and then retracts again sometimes.” Whatever it is, it appears to have worked on the rain, albeit momentarily. The rain stops for three hours, long enough for us to take three layouts near a waterfall before finally coming down again in full force. I wonder if we might’ve had more sunlight if we had participated more intently in her prayer. She opens her bag to show us the clothing she has brought. The contents are comprised of at least 20 large scarves, two maxi skirts, a pair of tie-dye Bangkok pants, and her first and only bikini, which she purchased recently. This bohemian-meets-tribal look is one she wears very well, very enthusiastically, as if she just tried
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“‘June Marieezy’ was a screen name I had, but it has like, this ‘I’m 14 forever’ kind of feeling, so I don’t want that name anymore.”
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â€œI was sitting in my room. I was like, if I'm going to make a difference in the world, I won't need all this stuff. I realized that after seeing people live simply, some problems aren't really problems." Scout Magazine | scoutmag.ph | 25
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it on recently and was ecstatic to discover that it fit. Back in 2008, when she was just 17, she was the vocalist of a college band called Good Morning High Fives. Though her vocal style was still R&B back then, the band was alt-rock, and she dressed in tight jeans, a faux leather black jacket, and heeled booties, while sporting a boy cut. Nary a scarf seemed to have made its way into her wardrobe. She stayed with the band until 2011, and when she decided to join Deeper Manila Records as a solo artist, she started growing her hair out. In 2012, she started wearing feather earrings, her taste in clothing started to lean towards the bohemian, and her sound started to take shape. When people try to describe June’s music, Erykah Badu frequently comes up, and visually, it makes sense: the scarves worn as headwraps, the long, wavy hair, the ethereal vibe. Interestingly, Badu, also known as the First Lady of Neo-Soul, which is the genre frequently used to describe June’s sound, is also from Dallas. “It gets redundant when you hear it so often, but I just can’t focus on that really, ‘cause it’s just gonna confuse me,” June says. “I just feel
like this is whoever I am at the moment and it’s always gonna change as well, so maybe they’ll stop comparing me to her. But at the same time, it’s okay because it’s understandable how people just try to grasp the closest thing that they can to it.” Another artist with whom she also draws frequent comparisons to is Low Leaf, and this is where it gets fuzzy, since both are Filipinas in their 20s, born and raised in the US (Low Leaf is from LA), with similar looks, sounds, and approaches to spirituality. But as artists, they also couldn’t be more different. While June’s songs mostly consist of her singing over “ambient-soul” beats drafted by Deeper Manila CEO and frequent collaborator Justin De Guzman, Low Leaf is an experimental blend of folk, jazz, and electronic music. Watching live footage of their performances on YouTube, June is a calming presence whose songs are like the gentle ebb and flow of the ocean. In fact, during our shoot, she carries a microphone around so she can sample the sound of the ocean at Pundaquit. Low Leaf, on the other hand, displays the frantic energy of a jazz musician possessed by the moment, simultaneously working the harp, synths, and a beat maker while doing vocals.
“When I came here, I realized that some of the things that they teach you in school are kind of nonsense, just facts. I just wanna live life, really. And that is school also. More of a school, in my opinion."
Imogen Heap, surprisingly, is the artist June credits for having a significant influence on her. “She controls the sound, just like what inspired me to do in a live experience—just bringing something to people and then taking them with you, that kind of thing,” she explains. She’s also careful to note she isn’t patterning her music after just one artist. “There is no certain genre. It’s just a lot of random things that, if I go somewhere and someone’s playing this, I listen to it. And then that’s how it worked out. But then what comes out of me, sometimes I just don’t think came specifically from… I feel like it comes from me. Lately, I haven’t been listening to a lot of music because I’m having fun exploring what I can make.” Just a couple of weeks before the trip, she performed at the Tareptepan Arts and Music Festival in Baler, Aurora, an experience that still has her gushing. “What’s trippy is how things kind of connect together, because I took a plane to Balesin and I saw this really beautiful place down below, and I was like, ‘Where is that?’ And they were like, ‘Quezon!’ And I was like, ‘Wow, I wanna go there.’ When I came back from Balesin, I had to go to a festival the next day, and it was in Baler! And then it just unfolded. Like, the potential of staying there and inspiring people is beautiful. Surfing, as well. I fell in love with many things, including, like, a person,” June laughs. While she was getting her makeup done a couple of hours earlier, I overheard June telling our art director Martin Diegor about a surfer she met. She said that whenever he had difficulty catching a wave, she would close her eyes and imagine the waves crashing in, or if
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“It’s kind of, like, take and return: showing people there (in the US) that life can be simple, and showing people here that ya’ll live in majesty already.”
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k c se a c es rs itâ€™s hard to balance out real world things with the creation of things.â€?
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she was performing a set, she’d dedicate a song to him, and sometimes, the waves actually would come. I recount this to her, and she blushes. “I guess that also drives me. (laughs) Crazy, but um, he taught me how to surf, and I also made a song about him recently on his ukelele, so I performed it live. It’s like, I don’t know, just going with the flow, and meeting people and then you grow with them, as well. “I found myself in Baler painting on surfboards, creating more music, and it’s just healthy because you can wake up, (head to the) beach or a mountain if you want, and eat fresh food that they just caught, like, fish. And I want that lifestyle. It makes me think about how people do the whole, like, try to get more money, more money, more money, so they can get more things, more things, more things! But then they find, like, (they don’t) really actually truly know themselves and, like, (are) just not fulfilled. And I feel like I know how that feels. So I actually like how everything is so random and magical in nature and how that is invigorating than stuff, I guess.” She isn’t actively trying to knock on consumerism or capitalism; it’s just that coming from America, the land of bulk-buying and upsizing, the simplicity of people here in the province was what struck her most. “I used to go shopping a lot in Dallas. And I just realized—I think it was also being broke here in the Philippines—it kind of made me just not care about a lot of things, and care about things that I feel like do matter, like people here and how you just need food and shelter.” I understand more where June is coming from when she introduces us to her friend Wilson, a selfdescribed “boatman, surfer, whatever,” who lives in Pundaquit with his buddies in a tiny farm marked by nothing more than a small hut for cooking, another hut for the bathroom, and, in the center and uncovered save for a large tree, wooden benches crawling with big, red ants, a large table, and a hammock. When the rain started to pour in the middle of our shoot, Wilson offers us the larger hut while he and his crew giddily huddle under a table and pass a joint. Later, as he reclines on his hammock, he jokes about how hard life is without a real job, waking up everyday to go surfing, and just hanging out with his friends. Because we are too far from our resort and the rain won’t let up, we skip lunch. We’ve been stuck in Wilson’s farm until past 3 p.m. when one of his friends approaches us with a pot filled with boiled kamoteng kahoy that they grew themselves on the farm. Not knowing that we had skipped a meal, Wilson’s crew couldn’t have known how grateful we were for the gesture. It reminds me of when our parents say something along the lines of, “Look at the province! The people there have nothing, while you have so much,” whenever we whine about something trivial. And yet they don’t really mean to just look, because when we find ourselves in vacation spots like Tagaytay, Batangas, or Bicol, we pass by these people and all we do is look. And because we don’t do more than look, we don’t realize what they have to offer us. Later, Wilson shows us the beachfront property where he is a caretaker. There is a tree house there that he’s been trying to build with the neighborhood kids,
but because of a shortage of funds and time, it’s still unfinished. Down below is a small hut with a long table where we gather, and as Wilson starts folding up a hammock and handing it to June, I realize that this is the place she has spent the previous night. Not in some gated resort, but in a real home occupied by real people—her people. I ask her if Baler is the place that she wants to settle into, since she mentioned an artist residency there that she was interested in applying for, but she says that she hasn’t figured it out. “Another project that I want is to have a bahay kubo, and then have self-sustaining energy, so I can make music and then drop it online and then just eat from the fruits and then live that way really simply. But if someone wants to fly me out and have me for a festival, I’m honestly gonna be like, ‘You gotta pay me a lot to make me leave this paradise!’” she says. Then she rethinks her plan out loud, probably disoriented from the smoke Wilson and co. blew her way. “But I want it to be portable too, because I can’t stay still, so I’d probably have it on a cart and I’ll just drive it around like an RV. I also want an artist village with me and my friends. That is the goal, if I don’t end up touring around. “If I do tour…It’s a good experience, but I already feel like I know what I want, which is to stay here and make that happen. But at the same time, it’s an opportunity. I don’t know if these are just people in my head or if it really is an opportunity, just going off the trodden path and staying and making music in an artist village. It’s not the norm because what’s perceived as ‘successful’ is like, going out, I guess. But I really just want the bahay kubo. (laughs) But how am I gonna get that? I guess I should just go on tour and save up for it, in that case.” If her dilemma on whether to tour or not gives you any inkling about the status of her next album, then yes, that also seems to be up in the air. “I am preparing for just creating and not caring about what’s going to happen to it, because I feel like it’s more pure that way. You just compile it later because they’re just two different states of mind, like creating and analyzing. With upcoming projects, I have a lot, that’s all I can say. I have a lot for the next two or three years, and I can’t really say what’s coming up for real for real because it’s not set in stone as well, and I don’t want to be like, ‘I’m doing this’ and I don’t do it. “My sanity comes from just going with the flow and being okay with the uncertainty of everything, so that’s what’s keeping me intact among all these choices,” she concludes. Later on at dinner, as the pizza dwindles at our table and I decide to order additional plates of pasta, June’s beer remains untouched. She’s still staring at the menu, which is printed on our placemats, and she wonders aloud what an Orange Mocha Freeze tastes like. As I’m asking for the check, the caffeinated ice-blended drink plops down beside her beer, which she then offers to our photographer Geric Cruz. She’s going to be drinking for her birthday anyway, she says, which is just a couple of hours away. Finally, she takes a sip.
“That's why I wanna come out here to nature, away from the city. I need to come out here and clear out my head because there's too much noise and too many things to do that (we think_) are important, but really aren't."
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N EDIT O
Space Cowboys Use Jedi mind tricks to drift away into this Dali-inspired landscape PHOTOS BY SHAIRA LUNA STYLING BY JED GREGORIO ASSISTED BY NING NUÃ‘EZ COLLAGE BY MARTIN DIEGOR HAIR AND MAKUEP BY PEEJAY IAPAN MODELED BY JEREMY BLAKE AND LINN OEYMO
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Linn wears a top (P549.75) from Bench, shorts (P2,800) from Salad Day (saladday. tumblr.com), and boots (P3,455) from Call It Spring. Jeremy wears a top (P2,700), sweater (P2,500), and pants (P3,500) from Salad Day, and boots (P5,490) from Feiyue.
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Linn wears a top (P499) from Jellybean, a skirt (P2,000) from Salad Day, pants (P699) from Penshoppe, and sandals (P599) from Cotton On. Jeremy wears a top (P699) from Penshoppe, pants (P1,800) from Salad Day, and shoes from Nike.
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Linn wears a headband (P199) and a necklace (P499) from Bench, and a top (P499) from Jellybean. Jeremy wears a cap (P299) from Oxygen, a jacket (P1,299) from Folded and Hung, pants (P2,750) from Salad Day, and shoes from Nike.
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Linn wears a shirt (P715) from Forever 21, a sweater (P1,099) from Jellybean, a dress (P1,199) from Cotton On, and a hoodie (P699.75), bag (P199.75), and sneakers (P699.75) from Bench. Jeremy wears a cap (P299), necklace (P249), and shorts (P899) from Penshoppe, a shirt (P1,399) from Oxygen, leggings (P1,800) from Salad Day, and boots (P5,490) from Feiyue.
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THE BACKPACKER’S GUIDE TO SANITATION
How to smell clean even when you aren’t BY CAI SUBIJANO ILLUSTRATION BY THEA BATHAN
f you’re planning on going backpacking after college, please don’t take “pack light” that seriously and leave with just your toothbrush. You don’t want to discover mid-transit that you’re starting to look scruffy and that your nails are long enough that you can open up a soda can with your pinky. Since you don’t want to bring the contents of your entire bathroom either, I’ll suggest a few double- or triple-duty items that aren’t heavy on the luggage. And if you end up not having access to running water on your travels, they can serve as quick fixes (though do still try and take a shower!).
DRY SHAMPOO Greasy, stringy roots are a gross problem if you can’t take a shower all the time, especially if your hair isn’t long enough to tie up. Dry shampoo is an excellent temporary solution, since it soaks up all the oils. Lush No Drought Dry Shampoo (P575/115g.) is a powder that doesn’t leave any dusty residue. Talcum powder is another solution. Try sprinkling Bench Daily Scent Refreshing Oil Control Powder (P15.50) on your scalp, then brush out. (It can also be used to absorb facial oil and even prevent athlete’s foot, when sprinkled on your feet.) To protect your hair from pollution and UV rays, try Dove Daily Hair Vitamin (P75/six capsules; Watsons), which comes in a travelfriendly blister pack that’ll barely take up any space in your backpack.
LIP BALM If you’ve ridden a plane, you’ll be familiar with the feeling of your lips being dehydrated by dry cabin air. It’s not a good feeling. Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25 (P525/0.25 oz.; Fresh) contains shea butter and avocado oil that protects lips from the sun and wind, while Parsol 1789, a sunscreen active ingredient, provides broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection. Protect the rest of your face and body with Beach Hut Lotion Sunblock SPF 36 (P299; Watsons), which is waterproof and sweatproof.
TOILET SEAT COVER If you’re backpacking, there will come a point where you will need to go number two in a less-than-ideal lavatory. Especially if you’re in South America. Holy Seat Toilet Seat Sanitizer (P39; Mercury Drug) kills 99.99 percent of disease-causing germs like Staphylococcus Aureus, Pseudomonas Aeruginosa and E-coli. Afterwards, cover that seat up with Holy Seat Disposable Toilet Seat Covers (P35).
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T R AV E L I S S U E
CASTILE SOAP The great thing about castile soap is you only need a little bit of the stuff to work up a good lather. Dr. Wood’s Pure Peppermint Castile Soap (P239/ bar, P295/8oz. liquid; Healthy Options) contains saponified coconut, hemp, olive oils, organic shea butter, sea salt, rosemary extract, and peppermint oil, so it works well as a body wash, shampoo, facial wash, shaving cream (10 drops for your face if you’re a dude; a teaspoon for your legs if you’re a girl), and even as laundry detergent if you need to wash your clothes on the road.
HAND WIPES I’m the type of person who carries facial wipes, hand wipes, and erm, wipes for my lady bits on a trip. Don’t judge. If you prefer one wipe to rule them all, though try to stick to biodegradable wipes, like Body Shop Tea Tree Cleansing Wipes (P495/25 pulls) because we all know that stuff is not the best thing for the environment. If you’re on a budget, try Bench Organics Purifying Green Tea Facial Cleanser wipes (P30/10 pulls).
MOUTHWASH Anyone who’s ever been on a long-haul flight knows that your breath can get pretty gross after a few hours. Most airplanes provide mouthwash, but just in case, swish something gentle, like Systema Tooth & Gum Care Alcohol-Free Green Fresh mouth wash (P57.10/80ml; Watsons). If you don’t want to get up, a pretty potent quick fix is Fisherman’s Friend Sugar Free mints (P46.50/12 pieces; Watsons).
HAND SANITIZER One of the best impulse purchases I’ve ever made was Echo Store Body Basics Antibac Hand Sanitizer Spray (P99; www.echostore.ph). Not only was it super convenient in Shanghai, where not all bathrooms carried hand soap, but it also doubled as a surface cleaner and air freshener.
LIQUID COURAGE Mortally afraid that the airline will lose your one and only backpack? (That would be a nightmare.) Unsure of how to pack all the grooming products I suggested with getting the TSA’s panties in a twist? Invest in a carry-on approved bottle and jar set. Just transfer the essentials, like castile soap, SPF, or lip balm, seal the bottles in the clear bag, then stuff it in your backpack. If you run out, you can always replenish at your destination. Smell you later! Flight 001 To Go Bottle Set (P990) available at The TravelClub.
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TALKING SNACK AROUND THE WORLD
Foodie adventures in the land of imported treats or the foreign food aisle of your local supermarket BY COCO QUIZON PHOTOS BY PAULINE MATA
nack-wise, being born Filipino isn’t necessarily drawing the short stick. We’ve all been blessed with a bounty of salty and sugary foodstuff that requires a conscious effort to not subsist on. Where would we be without the deliciousness of the Flat Top and its less rebonded counterpart Curly? Or the back-of-the-tongue salty goodness of Crackling? And the greatness of the mini-laundry bar-shaped Reese’s Peanut Butter cup of Pinas, Chocnut? The list goes on, yet as it does, it gets a little more played out. No disrespect to the Manila snack game, but sometimes the pool becomes so small and so decidedly western that a question must be asked: is this all there is? Or, even better and with more self-accountability, why am I settling for all these imitation white people snacks when there is a world of delicious opportunities? The trip to the supermarket is an enlarged version of our small trips to the pantry-slash-fridge. We open the door, see all the old things, close the door, then with a feeling of slight defeat, we reopen the fridge door and get “whatever.” Is just getting “whatever” good enough for our wanderlust-y millennial minds? Probably, but then life’s too short not to snack your way through it, so I, along with the support of Scout, decided to do just that.
1. Orion Tonk Choco Pop Cereal Stick (P49/box) 2. Kka Ba Kka Ba Banana Ice Cream (P25) 3. Orion Fresh Berry cake (P129/box) 4. Orion Choco Boy Mushroom biscuit (P42) 5. Haitai Chocolate Bar (P99/3 Bars) 6. Sausage snack (P12) 7. Lotte Milkis Carbonated Milk Drink (P25) 8. Nongshim Spicy Chicken Snack (P49/box) 9. Paldo Birae Soojeonggwa Cinnamon Drink (P26) 10. Nongshim Jo Chung Yoo Gwa Rice Crackers (P45)
TASTING THE CULTURAL RAINBOW We caught all of Coco’s reactions (some good, some tragic) to these snacks on video. To watch it, head to scoutmag.ph!
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T R AV E L I S S U E INCREDIBLE INDIA Unit 8, Block 4, Paseo de Magallanes Street, Magallanes Village, Makati City. (02) 853-1713 A trip down Skyway and 20 minutes later, I found myself at Incredible India at Paseo de Magallanes. It looked less like a standard supermarket and more like a corner store and smelled like glorious, savoury potpourri. Indian cuisine offered a bunch of strange snacks. What was interesting about these snacks is that they all seemed very fond of “raw materials” in a sense that Indian food offered me the opportunity to eat Ambikas Palmyra Sugar Candy (P30), which were basically crystallized rocks of sugar, and Jenky’s Glucose Biscuits (P10), fundamentally carbs and more sugar. I then found this amazing new snack called Parle Kreams Gold Orange Flavor Sandwich Biscuits (P45). It was basically a white cookie Oreo with orange-flavored filling and tasted like, I don’t know—a dream? Yes, let’s call it that. It tasted like a delicious orange dream that was sadly cut short when I decided to try Haldiram’s Badam Halwa Indian Sweets (P80/200g). Halwa are fragrant almond-topped sweets that kind of look like your Aunt’s decorative soap collection and taste like you were biting into a bar of Albatross bathroom fresheners. I 100 percent wouldn’t buy it again, but maybe I was just eating it wrong? I finished off my Indian snack stop with some Pani Puri with Tamarind sauce (P90/20 pieces—yes, you might end up eating all of them) and dropped an extra P20 on an Aaloo Curry Samosa. Both were ridiculously cheap, crunchy, and delicious, and had this really good, tangy, Indian Mang Tomasstyle sauce, which lifted my spirits entirely about Indian snacking.
1. Haldiram’s Gulab Jamun (P240) 2. Ambikas Palmyra Sugar Candy (P30) 3. Haldiram’s Badam Halwa Indian Sweets (P80/200g) 4. Pani Puri with Tamarind sauce (P90/20 pieces) 5. Haldiram’s Bhujia Sev Indian Snacks (P70) 6. Kohinoor Khatta Meetha Authentic India Namkeens (P90) 7. Parle Kreams Gold Orange Flavor Sandwich Biscuits (P45) 8. Jenky’s Glucose Biscuits (P10)
KOREAN HYPERMARKET #37 Presidents Avenue, BF Homes, Parañaque. (02) 809-3831 2
I started my snack journey at the Korean Hypermarket in BF Homes. It was a celebration of fluorescent lighting, linoleum flooring, and snacks. I walked up to the very first aisle past the discount section and already there was an overwhelming spread at the ready. After a few boxes of good yet ultimately boring snack fare, I chanced upon some winners. A big winner was the delightful marriage of milk, Sprite, and cough syrup called Lotte Milkis (P25). It’s so good that it can erase any bad taste that was there before. More specifically, it erased the taste of the pure Paldo Ginseng Extract Energy Drink (P92) I decided to try. Taking a couple gulps was a test of my abilities in cultural sensitivity and my gag reflex. I wasn’t trying to be intolerant, but sometimes things just don’t go as well as they should. After my taste buds recovered, I dug into a box of chicken-shaped snacks called Nongshim Spicy Chicken Snack (P49) that tasted like hollow Korean fried chicken. It was really good, and I wished the snacked was filled with something other than air, but that would be asking too much since it cost less than P50. Finishing off this Korean snack experience was this ice cream stick that was shaped like a banana complete with edible banana peel called Kka Ba Kka Ba Banana Ice Cream Stick (P25). It tasted as good as it was fun to eat and well worth its sale price.
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THE MUNCHIES 1. Tohato Nameko Chocolate Mushroom Snack (P80) 2. Natori Just Pack Grilled Squid Leg (P80) 3. Glico Giant Caplico Panda Cone (P80) 4. Tohato Green Tea Caramel Corn (P80) 5. Morinaga Pudding with bittersweet caramel sauce (P80) 6. Gari-Gari Kun Cola Ice Candy (P80) 7. Tohato Tyrant Habanero (P80)
SEIKYO. LITTLE TOKYO 2277 Chino Roces Avenue, San Lorenzo Village, Makati City. Beside Kikufuji. (02) 759-5560 My journey into culturally-diversified snacking ended at the Mecca of snack foods and the Holy Grail of all things delicious: the Japanese grocery store called Seikyo at Little Tokyo. This place wins for its standard P80-pricing across all items in the store. A stand-out favorite from this leg of my food tour was Tohato Nameko Chocolate Mushroom Snack whose mascot is this cute little chocolate mushroom with a T-shirt tan and its multiple and equally cute iterations. It tasted basically like any chocolate corn-based cereal, but larger and ultimately more fun. I followed it up with Natori Just Pack Grilled Squid Leg, a cured squid snack that has that really good Asian fishy taste, but the texture is probably similar to chewing on your phone charger. Again, maybe I just didn’t know how to eat it, but it was very hard to swallow. In fact, I couldn’t do it. I spat it out and started over with the Morinaga Pudding with Bittersweet Caramel Sauce, a pre-packaged leche flan-style dessert that tasted quite like its local counterpart, but with very expensive ingredients. It tasted like I would pay P200 for it at my local artisanal indie eatery and, if promised with no weight gain or diabetes, I’d gladly live off it.
THE WEIRDEST FOOD AROUND ASIA BY ROMEO MORAN
JAPAN Weird Japanese food differs from weird Korean food in that they use your usual animals and vegetables, but the most random parts. They’ve got harumon (various leftover insides not unlike isaw), nankotsu (fried chicken cartilage), natto (smelly fermented soybeans), and basashi (raw horse meat—a meal fit for a Dothraki).
The day ended with a slight sugar headache and a need for an antacid, but also a newfound appreciation for snacking. I’ve come to realize that for something we do so often, we’re not as gung ho about finding the next best new snack or the coolest indie snack available as we often do so for bands or new music. Could it be because snacking is so bad for our health that when we risk ourselves, we do it for something tried, tested and with little margin for disappointment? Maybe it’s something less convoluted, but the next time you go grocery shopping, head to the non-American aisles of your supermarket and pick up something new. Who knows, you might be on the forefront of the next big snack craze— say, the Speculoos of Korea? Asa, but it wouldn’t hurt to try.
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KOREA Exotic Korean delicacy consists of animals you’re not gonna run into your local supermarket, like beongdegi (steamed silkworm larvae!), dalkbal (chicken feet, like the local adidas), sannakji (raw, live octopus), and hongeo (fermented stingray). You brave enough to try?
INDIA Uh… we can’t even begin to explain. Indian delicacies on the weird end include phan pyut (rotten potato), chaprah (chutney made out of red ants and their eggs), eri polu (silkworm cocoon), sorpotel (pig offal), and literal frog legs. India is definitely the highest on the weird scale among the three.
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THE PORTABLE PASSPORT HOLDER
OTHER WAYS YOU CAN KEEP YOUR TRAVEL STUFF SAFE No matter how much diligence you exercise in keeping your documents safe and sound, sometimes Murphy’s Law strikes and the dreaded happens. Have a backup plan in case you lose important paperwork while you’re out there with these tips:
Keep that little book safe wherever you go
Take a photo of all your travel documents and e-mail it to yourself. That way, you still have proof (however meager) that you’re legitimate just in case you have no other hard copies of your paperwork on yourself.
BY ROMEO MORAN PHOTOS BY PATRICK SEGOVIA
ne of the dangers of traveling is the risk of getting your stuff stolen by unscrupulous natives who prey on tourists. While losing some cash will put you in a bit of a bind, there’s nothing worse and more crippling than losing your passport. Now, there’s no need to worry—this easy-to-make passport holder by 24-year-old host and eco-fashion designer Chuck Espina will keep your most important travel document safe. To see her craft it in video, head to scoutmag.ph!
Make photocopies of your documents and keep the copies in a safe. Self-explanatory; you’ll have well-protected backup copies you’re pretty much guaranteed to never lose. Know all important phone numbers: emergency services, your country’s local embassy, etc. These are ideally the people who could best help you out in a bind. Make sure you don’t go around without a list. Scout Magazine | scoutmag.ph | 44
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T R AV E L I S S U E
STEP 1. Measure the length, width, and height of your passport.
STEP 2. Sketch a design so that you get a visual guide of how your passport holder will look like that you can refer to as you go along. Draw a pattern based on the doubled length, width, and thickness of the passport, so you can fold it in half to make the front and back side of the holder. Make sure to leave a half-inch allowance on all sides.
STEP 3. Draw a separate pattern for the flap/cover.
rc s er the passport to double the measurements for your pattern.
The holder pattern
STEP 4. Trace the pattern on the cloth with a pencil, and cut. e a
STEP 5. Fold the cloth inside-out and sew around the edges. Once youâ€™re finished, turn it inside out and sew the flap on the front-end side. You can also sew a button on the frontend side and cut a buttonhole on the flap for added security. The portable sewing machine works like a stapler!
STEP 6. Cut small pieces of cloth and sew them on both sides of the top end of the passport holder for the strap. You can get a strap from an old bag, or buy a new strap in a store.
WHAT YOU NEED: An old piece of cloth A pair of scissors ing Some paper for sketch A pencil and eraser Measuring tape ne Portable sewing machi ead and/or needle and thr Bag strap Button
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When trinkets are worth the luggage real estate
E CRA F
MEMOIRS OF A GLOBETROTTER
Beer can (Katrina’s ﬁrst beer ever)
BY MARA MIANO PHOTOS BY PATRICK SEGOVIA
n Japan, they use a word called tokimeki, with no close translation to English, that means “the bubbly feeling of the moment of falling in love.” I mention this word because travelers are much like lovers: they digress from what is familiar to explore the unknown, with the hopes of finding something bigger than themselves, and uncannily, discovering themselves in the process. Take a moment to notice that most people who often travel are hopelessly romantic. Both love and travel are great means of self-exploration, and only some lucky few get to simultaneously experience both. Young wayfarer Katrina Pertierra’s tokimeki occurred during a cross-country Euro trip shortly after her college graduation, when she flew to Spain, then to Switzerland, then took a long, scenic drive to the border of Germany—where she had her first taste of fish and chips at a log cabin restaurant, surrounded by loitering deer. “The food was delicious, though the inside of the restaurant was eerily decorated with rag dolls,” she recalls. “It was strange and beautiful.” But her first real love, the one place that made her “feel alive,” is Italy. “It’s my favorite place in the whole world,” she gushes. “You know what people say about New York, where you just walk around and you think anything’s possible? That’s how I feel when I’m in Italy.” She muses about its blend of history, culture, and modernity. “Even the stone lids covering the manholes to the sewers were engraved with the founding dates of the buildings. I wish it was like that here in Manila.” Katrina is bright-eyed and animated when she speaks about her travels, and one can tell that it is true what they say that wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow. She has been all over Europe, the United States, and Asia, bringing trinkets from every place she visits. Sentimental and nostalgic, Katrina shares that her biggest travel heartbreak was when she went around Europe looking forward to seeing her stamped passport at the end of the trip—she was to get one stamp for each country she visited. But immigration doesn’t stamp EU passport holders, and she proceeds, full of fervor still, with telling us her stories through this beautiful collection of souvenirs.
Sea shells from Kultura and Philippine beaches
Coin pouch and lighter from Madrid
Pastiglie Leone (delicious mixed digestive candies) from Rome
Laduree box from Paris
Chinese Fortune Sticks From Hong Kong “It is so highly inaccurate! (laughs) Every time I pick a fortune stick, it never seems to come true. One time, it told me that my wish would be granted, and it wasn’t. Go ahead, try it. I hope you’re luckier than me!”
Journal From Italy “It’s really old, with illustrations and notes from when I was younger. Umm… we don’t have to take a picture of the s e a es
Nikon 50mm and Nikonos-V underwater camera
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D P A TE
ARE WE THERE YET? COLLAGE BY MARTIN DIEGOR PHOTOS FROM IONA MAPA, CATH HUANG, AND KASSY PAJARILLO
Let’s stop asking that question. Here’s to all the scouts who wander to get lost—all for the plain fun of it. Whether you like your trips planned or spontaneous, may this stir up your already unbearable urge to get away. You’re welcome.
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