When we first envisioned Stache, we wanted it to be for the youth by the youth. To be more specific, it was really meant for the youth bloggers by the youth bloggers. We want people to discover the amazing person and talent that you are, and hopefully with that recognition, you will have the drive and inspiration to do better and be better. So with this art issue composed of carefully-selected artists, we hope that your creative juices will get stimulated and transform into wonderful outputs. This month, we’re going all-out with the art (that sounds nice)! We have everything, from traditional art to typography to essays. There’s also a mini mixtape that comes with this issue for the music contributions. Don’t forget to check out the much coveted Street Lights cover by Andrew Florentino. Miss Kitkat Pecson of Hypervodka is gracing our April issue as well so don’t forget to look out for her one-of-a-kind illustrations. There is also a photography x short story format in this issue which Banawe Corvera made and it will definitely warm your hearts. Those are only three of twenty five contributors in this issue and we’re sure that every one of them will blow you away. We’re so happy with how people responded with our invitation to contribute to our magazine. Even though your works are not included in this issue, we will be opening up another all-art issue in about half a month, so don’t feel bad cause your art will soon show in our pages. Special thanks to Afianne Cope for making our all-out art issue poster!
Editor-in-Chief: Maine Manalansan Art Editor: Elisa Aquino Fashion Editor: Ecks Abitona Lifestyle Editor: Mare Collantes Music Editor: Maan Bermudez Web Master: Mary Silvestre Senior Photographer: Pat Nabong
TRADITIONAL ART Belle Cano Drei Santizo Eliza Jean Francisco
Jackie Francisco Moira Pauline Parton Patricia Salonga
Patricia Ann Santos Cloud Quinot Kitkat Pecson
Coco Navarro Dylan Dylanco Jodit Santander Mai Evangelista
PHOTOGRAPHY Banawe Corvera Danica Condez Mao Alducente
Karla Bernardo Kathryn Hilario
WRITTEN Lesly Bries Vincent Galang
TYPOGRAPHY MUSIC Jen Masilungan
Andrew Florentino Avery Wong What is Andromeda
by Belle Cano
by Drei Santizo
by Eliza Jean Francisco
by Jackie Francisco
by Moira Parton
by Patricia Salonga
by Patricia Ann Santos
by Cloud Quinot
by Coco Navarro
by Kitkat Pecson
by Dylan Dylanco
by Jodit Santander
by Mai Evangelista
This is a story about a boy, and another.
Who live in the slums, where the sun still shines
And houses are too close for comfort.
Where the murky waters are threatening,
with every piece of garbage afloat.
Where people go about their daily lives barefoot,
sack in hand, a piece of trash to save their day
This is a story about a boy
Who do they have? Each other.
Photographed by Danica Condez Styled by Vince Crisostomo Make up by Bea Dalumpines Modelling by Lois Pagalilauan
by Mao Alducente
In Her White Dress by Karla Bernardo
The tolling of the bells filled the air with unease and anxiety. She stood by the door in her immaculate white dress adorned with lace and ribbons with a bouquet of white flowers in hand. The wind was blowing her wavy black hair as it cascaded down her face, her shoulders. Her mother told her the previous night that she should pull her hair up in a bun; she always looked more radiant that way. But she knew James always wanted her hair down – he liked putting it behind her ear when it fell to her eyes and cheeks. It was one of his many little gestures that she secretly adored. They met in college, as most of their couple-friends did. She was this bubbly, friendly psychology major, meanwhile he’s the introverted comic book nerd from engineering. To say that they were an unlikely match would be an understatement: she couldn’t get through a horror movie, he loved suspense. She was part of the campus radio station, meanwhile he’d rather stay in his room with his books. She had a penchant for collecting antiques and vintage items, he can’t live without his computer and PSP. She was loud, he was silent. They weren’t even compatible according to the juvenile grade school game of F.L.A.M.E.S. (which one of her closest friends did at the back of her notebook, much to her chagrin) because apparently they could only be “Friends.” And yet for everything that could drive them away from each other was this strong, unexplainable attraction sparked they shared and has kept them together. She could feel the apprehension shivering down her spine. For all her poise, Sara was also a very insecure person. She really couldn’t handle being put on the spotlight all the time (which explains why she enjoys being on the radio). There is an apparent buzz coming from inside the church. She knows they are all waiting for her, and it makes her feel uneasy. It’s a big day for her, and everyone wants to see how she is, how she looks. But a part of her does not want to get in. She taps her beige platform heels nervously as she waits. “I don’t understand why you’re always so fidgety,” James once asked her. “For someone so sure of herself, you are such a worry-wart.”
“I just don’t like things not going my way,” she responded.
It was one of those rainy afternoons as they were stuck in traffic along the congested roads of Edsa. Little black shadows of droplets covered her legs. She hugged herself a little and felt the warmth of his jacket. She steals a glance at him with his eyes firmly planted on the road.
“You know, babe, one of these days you’re going to have to learn,” he finally says, breaking the silence. “Because you know, I’m the boss.”
“Ha! You wish!” she laughs.
I could get used to this, she thought.
With James always came this feeling of certainty. Their affair was never this grand, head-over-heels kind of thing. They weren’t really each other’s types, but they did complement each other in an unexpected, remarkable way. They became partners for a philosophy class they shared in the second semester of their first year in college. They worked on a paper about Kantian and utilitarian ethics. It started with long discussions on Yahoo! Messenger about the pros and cons of both ideas, that eventually turned into ponderings on life, and in their lives particularly. Inevitably, an attraction was sparked. But more than that, there was an underlying friendship, a growing familiarity, from which their relationship was built. It was more like an effortless transition, a feeling growing on them slowly and surely. James didn’t make her feel like the most beautiful person in the world – he made her one. He was always just there, holding her hand, or standing by the sidelines, just being there for her. She was sure that theirs was a love that would last. Possibly for decades, hopefully forever. From where she was standing, she could see her mom and James’ mom, Tita Agnes, were hugging. At the beginning of their relationship, there was hesitation from her family because she was the youngest and only daughter and her parents were very protective of her. It didn’t help that James was also very shy and would hardly strike up a conversation with her parents when he came over, and that her brothers didn’t like his apparent withdrawn personality. But over time, his sincerity for their daughter allowed them to accept him as part of the family and make him open up to them as well. Sara was also lovingly welcomed in her family as she fit his mother’s perfect idea of the beauty-and-brains daughter-in-law. She always felt at home with their family, having met them through the numerous birthday parties and reunions his family invited her to. She couldn’t wait for the day to be officially part of his family. But she already was, really. When James was diagnosed four months ago at the hospital for days, she stayed there for him together with his mom. They would talk about James’ silly antics as a kid and how among all his children, James was the sweetest. Tita Agnes would bring their photo albums and show Sara his baby pictures as he slept, and they would share a little laugh together. At night, Sara would hold his hand whenever the nurse came in to get blood samples (which happened at regular intervals), and she would sleep beside him just to make him feel better, even if it meant having half her butt uncomfortably squished in the cold, constricted hospital bed. It was during those days, and all the following hospital visits after, that she felt Tita Agnes welcome her as her own kind.
“When I get married, I’m going to make sure we have ice cream on our fridge 24/7,” she says, with her spoon raised in conviction.
“Be my wife then! Fill my fridge with Double Dutch!” he jokes.
She looks at him with a smile. “Sure.”
“Yes! O, it’s a deal ha, Mrs. Gatchalian?”
“Fiancée pa muna. Call me your fiancée first!” she chuckles.
Fiancée. The word always sends her goose bumps, but at the same time makes her heart skip a beat. It’s a scary thing of course, choosing to spend your life with someone, in sickness or in health. But she was ready for it. James was her best friend, her soul mate. She hated how silly and cliché that sounded but it was true. For every difference that could drive them apart, she knew that there was no one else that would understand her the way he did. Their love was like a simple, little secret; like tumbling into bed after a long day. Having the pillow between your arms, the blankets wrapped around your legs, with your old shirt and comfy shorts -- it’s not the most striking part of the day, but it’s the most comfortable, the most needed. It’s not when you’re most beautiful, but it’s when you feel most like yourself. It’s warm, it’s cozy. James was her security blanket, her safety. “Sara,” a voice suddenly calls out to her. It’s Jasmine, James’ older sister. “This is our Tito Greg. He just came back from the States. Tito, this is Sara, James’...” she trails off.
“It’s nice meeting you, hija,” he says.
Sara manages a quick smile as Jasmine squeezes her hand before finally leading their uncle towards the front of the church. The bells’ ringing has grown louder. She looked up at them, noticing their swaying, constant movement. It was a deep, solid sound that came from the back and forth swinging; a beautiful, assured rhythm as they moved from side to side – continuous, unyielding, constant. Fiancée. She was his, and he was hers. He was right there by the altar, waiting for her. But she couldn’t believe that this day would come so soon. The moment has finally come. She made the first step towards the red carpet that stretched in front of her. This was for James. Fighting back the tears with all her might, she walked down the aisle, as everyone looked on, towards her fiancé lying peacefully for all to see. In her immaculate white dress adorned with lace and ribbons she placed the bouquet of white flowers by him, as her beautiful hair cascaded down her shoulders just the way he liked it.
Musings by Kathryn Anne Hilario
Week 8: Nautical Dreams As a ship finds home in the harbor, I find refuge in the sea. The cerulean waters, forever harmonious with the sun breaking across the horizon, is the most perfect masterpiece any god could have created. The raging waves crashing, returning to tears as they reach the stony shore fills me with an unexplainable solace. A solace filled with sadness, yes, but peace nonetheless. The north wind softly caresses my body and cleanses my soul as it takes me on that distant dream of myself and my father exploring the seven seas - a silent, distant memory I remember with piercing clarity. The seagulls squawking, trifling with the ships save me before a broken promise engulfs me completely; the out-of-tuned band reminding me of my existence... and my father’s inexistence.
It’s been two years since the sea took the S. Christina, and my father.
You may be wondering why, despite the crime it has committed, I have in me such ardent admiration for the sea. Too tell you the truth, I’m not sure myself. Perhaps it’s because I love my father too much. How could I hate the one thing my father loved? Jealous, I may be, but furious I am most definitely not. I still come here often, bringing my father’s - no, our model ship. I sit here by the shore, staring past the horizon, smelling the salty sea water. The north wind blows and I welcome it wholeheartedly, knowing that somehow, it’s my father wiping away the tears that escape my eyes.
Week 15: The Runaways
She ran away at 17.
Getting her saved stash on an old gray sock and her mom’s worn-out photo under her pillow, she was convinced it was time she left her father and his new family. She sneaked out of her bedroom and tiptoed her way out of their house. “Good riddance,” she whispered, gently twisting the doorknob open. Without any plans of shedding even a single tear, she ventured the silent streets of their city - the lamp posts the only witnesses of her escape. Everyone was asleep, but her heart was an owl wide-awake at two o’clock in the morning. “Hey Mom, we’ll go to Vancouver. You like that place, right?” she said, looking at her mom’s photo. “Maybe we’ll get some real family time there.” She pulled her sweater closer as a cold drift blew. She bought herself a train ticket and helped herself with a sandwich and a can of soda at Platform 12. At around half past two, she rode the train and stumbled her way across a guy reading a book on architecture, she thought, basing on the buildings on the cover. The guy peeked out of his book, smiled at her, and went back reading. “Nice guy,” she thought as she dug to her bag for her earphones. Staring outside the window, she drowned herself to the drums of Muse and wondered of what she’d do upon reaching Vancouver.
In the end, she thought it didn’t matter. She was free.
Cyrus He was 18 then and like most guys of his age his being sought for adventure. That night of October 17 he decided he’d explore the world without telling anyone. He packed his things and grabbed his architecture book, then silently entered his sister’s bedroom and left a letter on her bedside table. Everyone was asleep, or so he thought. Downstairs, he found Sid blocking his way out. Seeing him, Sid stood and walked between his legs, shedding cat fur on his pants. “I’ll miss you too, buddy. Look after Mom while I’m away?” he said, patting the cat on the head. “And don’t touch Mary’s aquarium.” The cat purred and went back to licking itself. It was a bit cold when he went outside. Drizzling, actually. He didn’t pull out an umbrella though. Instead he faced the sky and let the rain bruise his face and calm washed all over him.
He arrived at the train station around 2:15, bought himself a ticket and rode the train that will take him to Vancouver. While waiting for the train to leave, he pulled out his book and started scanning the tallest and grandest buildings to rise on this planet. A girl went and sat across him. Peeking from his book, he saw a greeneyed girl with a disheveled - but not messy, he thought - brown locks and heavy luggage.
“Looks like I’m not the only one to sneak out tonight,” he thought.
The girl looked to his direction. Meeting her eyes, he smiled. The girl smiled back and started digging inside her bag. He went back reading and wondered on what sorts of adventure he’d find in the city of Vancouver. It didn’t matter, he thought in the end. He was already on one.
Week 37: Dichotomy They. They were like a pair of socks that mirrored their half. They were a perfect dichotomy, yes, where the existence of one depended on the other. He and She. But they were also he and she. He was night and she was day. He was persistent like reality. She, on the other hand, was fleeting like fiction. He was a red light and she was green. Time had long ago wilted for him while now is her season to bloom.
It's a shame that in the end only the fool was in the danger of falling in love.
the twenty something disobedient by Lesly Bries
The tolling of the bells filled the air with unease and anxiety. She stoodThis desire to please you has existed ever since I had the tongue to express it. When I was 12, I wanted to brave and brilliant. I wanted to make you proud and gain acceptance into the most well-known, most prestigious high school for the sciences. I wanted to be a doctor who cured cancers once thought terminal. I wanted to find the cure for AIDS. I wanted you to love me and think that I was strong and wise, and worthy of having your last name, just before I marry someone you respect and approve of, someone you will invite to family dinners and offer a glass of Riesling. At 15, I was spiralling out of control. I was in the second-best school. Not the safety net, but not the echelon of scholars you wanted so badly. I couldn’t find out what it was I wanted anymore. Suddenly I had thrown myself at the gateway of possibility, hoping for mercy. I learned how to play the bass and guitar, joined poetry and essay contests, became an alto in the school choir. Writing stood out sharp and seductive, the edge of a blade I wanted to tentatively press into my hand. I still wanted to be a doctor, but I wanted to continue this. This writing, the pleasure of thoughts swirling in the air of my mind like gray clouds of smoke, with my hands darting out, capturing them and setting them to paper like photographs in frames. You didn’t want that.
Doctors can starve too. How many of these would-be doctors have given up painting, singing, sculpting, directing, in order to give the ones they loved the most a sense of pride and comfort? They are materially-fed with their substantial paychecks, clean and maintained offices, three square meals a day. Their spirits can starve though, just like ours. I would rather be deprived my breakfast than be deprived my emotional comfort. At 20, the twenty-now, I am doing what I want. Wearily, you gave in, convinced by my failures at chemistry, my inability to stomach physics. But you don’t know what I know. I write about the chemistry that takes place between people, how relationships build and grow and suddenly burst into the brightest novas invisible to the naked eye. I learn about the physics of the written word—how it slowly climbs, how force builds and reaches a peak, how situations unravel until they rest once more, everything downhill once again. I will struggle to find a job and stability. I will never find material satisfaction in what I do. That’s something you’ve made clear. But I will not struggle to be. Nobody can predict how I will turn out, but I know that in spite of these changes, this need to prove myself to you, I will remain intact, my sense of self as untouchable as the pureness of empty space.
Of Goodbyes and Hellos by Vincent Galang
We should always take note that in life, saying hello is like when a child rides a train for the first time. Getting on is always exciting. The long ride just as thrilling – there may be bumps every now and then but the view keeps everything enjoyable. But in the midst of all the happiness, the child forgets that he has a destination, and that soon they’ll reach the station and he’d have to get off. When we say hello, it is anticipated that at one point we’d have to say goodbye as well. People then suddenly feel alone after separation, and few actually see the positive in goodbyes. As one door closes, another doesn’t just open like everybody says it would. Sometimes, you have to find the door – it isn’t locked, but it isn’t wide open either. It’s just waiting to be discovered. What’s important in life is how we see things around us. We may be passing by opportunities everyday, and we don’t know it. Life is about perspective – we should for once try to see something as more than what we normally perceive it to be. We should open our minds to the real beauty of things that usually upset us. Farewells may be heartbreaking, but one must see that they’ll soon lead to something more, something new. Change may be frightening at times, but it is what’s going to help us move forward and progress. Exits may cause us to take one final look back, but it reminds us to look forward, and prepare for the world in front of us. Just like how every hello entails a goodbye, every goodbye entails a hello as well. Though we know of the inevitable conclusion, we choose to take the risk again. It’s an unending cycle of growth and experience that makes us more of a person every time. I’d like to take this opportunity to say goodbye to those who’ve been a part of my high school life. To my teachers, thank you for your strong dedication to your craft (I sometimes wonder how you haven’t gone insane yet) and preparing us for the life that awaits outside the walls of our school. To my friends, especially my dear IV–Wisdom, thank you for all the memories and the happiness, and for being a family I could always turn to. Lastly, to LSQC, for being my second home for four beautiful years during which I had the most wobbly but best journey of my life.
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WHERE TO FIND THE PEOPLE INSIDE Maine- darkpantomime.info Elisa- thundepopcola.tumblr.com Mare- aninstantoutoftime.tumblr.com
Maan- missmcsmitty.tumblr.com Mary- dearmary.info Ecks- ecksssy.tumblr.com Pat- dorkoinvasion.tumblr.com Cloud Quinot- firstname.lastname@example.org Dylan Dylanco- email@example.com Kitkat Pecson- firstname.lastname@example.org Moira Parton- sharkyaya2yahoo.co.uk Patricia Salonga- email@example.com Mai Evangelista- firstname.lastname@example.org Coco Navarro- email@example.com Jodit Santander- firstname.lastname@example.org Belle Cano- email@example.com Drei Santizo- firstname.lastname@example.org Eliza Francisco- email@example.com Patricia Santos- firstname.lastname@example.org Banawe Corvera- email@example.com Danica Condez- firstname.lastname@example.org Mao Alducente- email@example.com Karla Bernardo- firstname.lastname@example.org Kathryn Hilario- email@example.com Lesly Bries- firstname.lastname@example.org Vincent Galang- email@example.com Jen Masilungan- firstname.lastname@example.org Andrew Florentino- email@example.com Avery Wong- firstname.lastname@example.org What is Andromeda- email@example.com
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