June 25, 2010

Wedding gown and Drew Barrymore

I had Veejay Floresca in mind as my gown designer as soon as I saw some of his work in the local magazines. I checked out his blog and liked what I saw as well as what I read. He seemed passionate about his work and had connected on a personal level with each and every bride. I remembered his name from Project Runway Philippines. And while I hadn't watched the show, I am an avid fan of the US version. Veejay sounded like someone I had to meet and see for myself. So I emailed him, set a meeting and went to his atelier a few days later.

Veejay is bubbly and sweet. A little shy at first - people say I'm intimidating - I hope he warmed up to me. He liked the style of gown I was going for and agreed that it fit me bodytype-wise as well as personality-wise. I like things to be clean, simple, minimalistic. I want to accentuate my hourglass shape and would love a little architectural design in my gown. This is the sketch that Veejay came up with. We talked about the importance of fabric choice as the gown itself didn't have any embellishments or beadings, hence the fabric had to be of quality.

We chatted a little while longer while I was waiting for D. to pick me up and out of the blue Veejay interrupts me and tells me I look like Drew Barrymore. I don't know if you've all seen the latest Covergirl ads, but Drew is hoooot. At that moment, I wasn't sure if Veejay was serious or if this was simply a sneeky way of hypnotizing me into signing a contract with him. No matter, it actually worked. I was pretty much set on getting him after seeing his work and his attitude.

I met with a few more designers, but none were as excited and genuinely friendly as Veejay. I signed the contract and made the downpayment. Now he might have simply be the smartest of them all by wooing me and complimenting me, but beyond his negotiation skills, I know he's talented and truly believe he'll make my wedding gown just the way I envision it.

June 16, 2010

Easter/Western stereotypes

D. had to take this personality test for his admission in the EMBA-Global Asia program. Turns out, he is very quick to say yes and very low in emotionality. Big surprise! Not! I blame the latter on him being a archetypical guy who runs away as soon as he smells conflict and has no clue on how to express empathy. But high level of agreeableness and gregariousness, I believe are very cultural. In general, I always felt that Filipinos were extremely friendly people – reason why they excel in service-oriented industries.Of course, those are stereotypes and I don’t want to generalize an entire nation into a tiny little drawer, but it was quite interesting. The word “no” is very rarely used in the Philippines. I would hear “maybe”, “sure, I’ll try” and “of course” rather than a person admitting he/she can’t do it or can’t make it to a certain event. This is just my theory, but saying “yes” to all is probably a result to wanting to please people all the time (going back to being service-oriented, no?) and avoid disappointing; although by over-promising and under-delivering you are meant to disappoint at one point.

Another possible explanation, and here comes the big Western/Eastern clash, the respect (or sometimes fear) for authority. You don’t deny an authority figure, may it be elders, parents, bosses anything and in no way are you to disagree with whatever they have to say.
Again, I’m grossly exaggerating and stereotyping. But then again, where there is smoke, there’s probably a fire. Stereotypes have to be based on some sort of empirical data and even if not 100% accurate, there is truth behind them, so think about it… I see those stereotypes in my fiancĂ© – he is the most confrontation-avoiding human being I have ever met. And I see them at work.

Harsh criticism is taken in as a personal attack, people are “scared” to voice opinion or even worse: disagree with superiors. Being driven and trying to get ahead is frowned upon, everyone always worried about stepping on someone else’s toes. Stereotypes exist for a reason, they are meant to be broken. Now while they definitely hold a lot of truth (and also have a positive spin to it, which I didn’t discuss here), I truly hope that my hypothetical kids will get a good mix of both my Western and D’s Easter stereotypes and turn out to be respectful, peace-seeking, yet strong-minded, ambitious. Best of both worlds.


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