Loving Marilyn Monroe: Visit at Westwood Memorial Park


I can say  that I have finally gone to visit Marilyn. I’ve been a huge fan of her’s since I was probably about 7. Living in Los Angeles for 16 years I have neglected ever visitng her resting place, and now that I came back for a visit I finally took the opportunity to see her.


Westwood Memorial is a small place surrounded by coorperate buildings. A small place where you can see the past meets the future. We even got a little lost trying to find Westwood Memorial, but when we did it was the most peaceful, serene area of LA I have been to. Marilyn is surrounded by many of Hollywood’s greatest such as her friends Dean Martin, writer Billy Wyilder (The 7 Year Itch and Some Like It Hot), her co-star Jack Lemmon (Some Like It Hot), Peggy Lee and Natalie Wood amongst others.


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Her headstone is simple, baring just her name and the short 36 years of her life. The stones have changed color from the millions of visitors from the past years of leaving a trademark kiss.


I got to even meet Rachel Bailit, an actress who was filming for her channel “Diary of an Actress”. An amazing place to meet new people!


It was surreal to be there and I am so happy I took the chance to visit.






Watch This: Gilda (1946) Starring Rita Hayworth


I have been obsessing over this movie for a month now. It’s on constant replay. Rita Hayworth is amazing and so stunning in this film. She is the definition of femme fatale, or a scheming bitch in today’s terms. “Gilda” is all about, well Gilda.


She brings life, chaos, seduction, and the needed drama to the plot. Her love/hate relationship with her ex-lover Johnny will give you those feelings of passion and intrigue. But, she has a new husband who is much older….and very rich (yes Gilda is a gold digger) who happens to be Johnny’s boss who owns an illegal cassino. Need anymore drama?


Well while all this is going on, Gilda seeks revenge and does everything possible that any broken hearted crazy ex-girlfriend would do.

Gilda knows she’s beautiful, charming, and manipulative and she definietly takes advantage. You will love this movie if you love characters who despise one another, yet somehow find the path that leads to their love.


Now, let’s talk about Rita’s wardrobe. Each scene, each piece, each ensemble was GLAMOROUS. Since Gilda is presented as a seductress her outfits consists of fabrics like silk and fur. The structure is tight fitting showing her curves.

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Materials such as silk bring the old Hollywood glamour.
Materials such as silk bring the old Hollywood glamour.
From the famous scene of her cabret number, this gown is the trademark of Gilda.
From the famous scene of her cabret number, this gown is the trademark of Gilda.

Rita Hayworth was best known for her hair. The fluffy, flirtatious ‘S’ wave that she flaunts. Rita Hayworth’s hair was actually one of the old Hollywood actresses that would model for the iconic Jessica Rabbit. It is very 1940s and genuinely captivating.


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Watch the trailer below and an added scene from her bona fide enterance.

Vintage Makeup Advertisments vs. Today’s 

I worked in advertising for a few months, fresh out of college. Inexperienced, but eager to learn. And oh did I learn…

It’s no longer a glamorous sector of the business world. It’s hard driven with competition, profit,  fast paced deadlines and demands. Yes, these were still the factors of the time during the golden age of advertising (calling Don Drapper and all PamAm flight attendants). Yet, there seems to lack a sense of innovation.

Now with  social media, digital outputs and clever promotional tie-ups , modern day advertising has taken it to the next level. Demand for the creative juices are now forcibly squeezed out of the agencies.

But, what am I to say for I’ve only worked in the field for less than one year.  I’m here to talk about cosmetics and their advertisments.

When you think vintage advertising you visualize illustrated home mommies, smiling milk men, lots of cluttered text and big bright fonts of “buy now” or “it’s the best”. That until which in 1959 the agency DDB released the incredible “Think Small” campaign for Volkswagon. Altering advertising to what it is today.

Make up is not hard to sell   It’s the brand. With so many identical products brands fight to get the consumer to gleam over the packaging, the contrasted hues, and to awe  over the ideal woman with the use of their brand.  In both yesterday’s and today’s makeup advertisments it is till the same motive. However, the approach is very different.

The early vintage ads (1940s) were keen on setting an example on how the product can be applied to their lifestyle. Shaping the idea that makeup is part of a woman’s life.  (Feminist ideals in play right about now). Ads for brands such as Max Factor and Revlon would present how lipstick can keep you glamorous for the man of your dreams, or while packing his lunch. Again, let’s be thankful we live in a progressive society. The ads would also provide visuallization of what shade would suit you, the ways you can use the product and of course the sell point of the product. It also gave a gleam of happiness for the women. Living through the war, having a bit of glamour helped keep a light of happiness during such a dark time.


Today’s ads are highly minimal. It literally is product centric. Look at Clinic amd Georgio Armani’s campaigns compared to those vintage ones.

Huge difference?  Because makeup has become a woman’s “essential” advertisers assume that there no longer needs to be a guide for the product. Simple text of the highlight  of the product, and the strong brand name together SELLS.

Don’t think that vintage ads never had celebrity endorsers. Hollywood took big advantage of that. When Hollywood starlets such a Rita Hayworth and Marilyn Monroe were promoting for their newest picture they would be featured in a brands ad. Selling the everyday woman the same lipstick Marilyn wore in the movies or from her own personal “line”.


No difference today. We still see celebrity endorsed products. From Emma Stone for Revlon, Lorde for MAC and Rihanna’s Viv La Glam campaign for MAC. Yet, of course visually it’s minimal, clean, and more focused on the celebrity.


Both eras of advertising though have a similar angle. Towards the end of the 1950s brands such as Revlon began going on a high fashion stance. Post-war America was now gripping the glory and through the fashion it definitely showed. When they began to produce these ads makeup began to seem like an investment. The ads perceived a fantasy of glamour, richness, beauty and elegance. The life women of the post-war yearn for.


Today, the high fashion angle is played through creativity. MAC’s advertisements always used the products to show the capabilities. Mixing  of the colors applied in artsy ways. Glittered eye shadow on the cheeks with a pink falsies and heavy blue cat eyes. Looks that the normal girl would probably never try, but the fact that they show the possibilities of their products is what makes them sell.



Overall, I love to see the progress of advertising. And this is one way of observing how far we’ve come in marketing and creativity. I personally prefer the vintage ads because they give emotion. Which is hard to execute in today’s ads, especially for cosmetics. Even though filled with content, it gave us a moment to look into the ad. Actually read it and understand. But, because we now have no time for anything, advertisements have been minimal and somewhat watered down. Which ads to you prefer?







Watch This: Nowhere Boy (2009)


Nowhere Boy is a biopic of John Lennon (Aaron Johnson). Now it’s not The Beatles centric, it’s more of his early years and influences. His beginnings with music and his personal life involving his estranged mother, and his aunt who brought him up. This movie is great not only because of the story of one of music’s greatest icons, but the highlight of rock and roll.

Watch this film for a grasp of rockabilly and pinup influence. John Lennon started the group The Quarrymen, soon later meeting Paul McCartney. Their ultimate influence was Elvis Presley. They actually had a greaser look prior to their known 60’s bowl haircuts and suits, so you can see a lot of the style. The film features a great deal of music. Jerry Lee Lewis, Eddie Cochran, Buddy Holly, Wanda Jackson, and a whole lot more.


The fashion is pretty spot on. I love his mother Julia’s (Anne-Marie Duff) wardrobe. She is personafied as very liberal and creative. She wears many halter-top dresses and full circle skirts, accessorized with fitted trench coats and boxed hand bags. Her make up and hair is the ultimate pinup look, with pincurls and a red lip.





I love watching this movie, not just beause of the great storyline, but the detail to the period and culture. It’s a great movie to look for inspiration.

Check out the trailer below and tell me what you think!

Isn’t Aaron Johnson a dream?

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Exclusive: Preview of Ballet Manila’s 20th Anniversary Part 2; a one-on-one with Ms. Lisa Macuja-Elizalde

Ms. Lisa Macuja with the dancers of Ballet Manila

Ms. Lisa Macuja has had an amazing on-going career living out her passion as a dynamic ballerina. She has become the Philippine’s first prima ballerina and the first foreign soloist to join Kirov Ballet (the Imperial Russian Ballet). It is easy to say that  she is an icon to Philippine culture and the arts.

My one-on-one with Ms. Lisa was a dream. I have always been a fan of the ballet. Being a ballerina myself, way back when, it was such an honor in having the opportunity to talk about her hopes for the future of ballet in the Philippines. Listening to her about not just celebrating the twenty years of devotion , but her ambitions to pass on the interest to future generations was truly inspiring.



She has traveled all across the world, performing and meeting many influential people. But, when I asked her what she is most proud of, her answer was simple. Ballet Manila.

Along with ballet master Osias Barroso, the concept of Ms. Lisa for Ballet Manila began in 1995 with just twelve dancers. Focusing on the rigid Russian method of classical ballet. Today, the company has expanded to now 50 professional dancers, performing in international tours more than 140 times, and recently becoming international; bringing in guest coreographers from around the world. I can see why Ms. Lisa would be so proud of her creation.

As for the future, Ms. Lisa states that she hopes to keep expanding Ballet Manila by looking for dancers not just around the metro but from all across the country. She intends to open more branches of the Lisa Macuja ballet school, and to continue advocating the art towards the next generation. Keeping the passion high and alive. Ms. Lisa agrees with me that with social media younger generations can discover the excellence of ballet, but there is nothing better then discovering through a live performance. That is why Ballet Manila has partnered with Star City, upong purchasing an admission ticket, giving a free pass to Aliw Theatre for children to see live performances. With partnerships like this and much more opportunities to tackle Ballet Manila has many more years of accommplishments.


BM 2.0 will showcase the vision of Ms. Lisa with performances such as “Paquita“, one of Ballet Manila’s staple in shows during the early years. “Ecole” a choreography of co-artistic director Osias Barroso, which has become a rite of passage for Ballet Manila dancers. Bloom” with special guest coreographer Annabelle Lopez ochoa, and “Tara Let’s” a clash of modern music with classical ballet. The concert will take you through the jorney of twenty years of hardwork, dedication and passion for the art of ballet. There is nothing better than celebrating one of the Philippine’s proudest achievements with one of Philippine’s icons.

So come out to the gala event! This Feburary 28 at 7.30pm to celebrate twenty proud years. (Matinee show on March 1, 3pm) Contact Ticket World at 891.9999 or visit ticketworld.com.ph for more information. 

Exclusive: Preview of Ballet Manila’s 20th Anniversary Concert Part 1

I was recently invited to a preview of Ballet Manila’s  20th anniversary concert. Alllowing me the opportunity to have a sneak peak on the upcoming event as well as talks with the dancers, coreographers and Philippine’s own prima ballerina Ms. Lisa Macuja-Elizalde.


Dedicated. Passionate. Disciplined. Creative.

These are the words that came to my mind after speaking with the dancers, choreographers,and Ms. Lisa Macuja-Elzialde. BM 2.0 will celebrate the 20th anniversary of prima ballerina Ms. Lisa Macuja-Elzialde’s pride and joy, Ballet Manila. The concert will showcase the 20 years of the burning passion of ballet dancers all across the Philippines.

Built from the ground up, the company started with just 12 dancers  back in 1995 and with limited resources of studio space. The company has greatly evolved to now 50 professional dancers, three rehersal studios along with a music library and Ballet Manila’s own facilities.

While speakig to the dancers, my first question: how do you stay so fit? The answer: 6 days a week of rigirous rehersals, 5 minute breaks and quick meals. Which eventually burn off again through rehersals. These dancers were the most dedicated people I have ever talked to. Many of them started as early as 4 years old and coming from families of dancers. These young dynamic performers take ballet as a lifestyle. Even after physical and mental exhaustion, their passion reaps through and fuels them to express their creativity through the form of dance.

Two of Ballet Manila’s dancers

Multi-awarded coreographer Annabelle Lope Ochoa, from Belgium, was a guest coreographer for the 20th anniversary. Her number, “Bloom”, was one of my favorite previews. It will make it’s premiere at the concert this Feburary 28.  She was such a lovely person to talk to. I got to know her story as a ballerina herself, to now a coreographer. Annabelle is one of many international coreographers Ballet Manila now invites for performances. Making Ballet Manila, international!

“Bloom” choreographed by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa
“Bloom” which makes its premier this Feburary 28 at Aliw Theatre



With Ms. Annabelle Lopez Ochoa

Here I am rambling on about the company, when most of you are a little indifferent to the idea of ballet. The new generation still has a lot to understand when it comes to one of the most traditional art forms of dance. Our generation is blinded by the latest trends, reality television, and celebrity gossip. The 20th anniversary marks the time to reach out to the new generations and get them to appreciate the dynamic form of classical ballet.  One of the number’s titled “Tara Let’s” actually combines the latest OPM music to classical coreography. It’s a great way for the next generation to understand and have an interest in ballet. A tie-up with Star City, those who purchase a ticket allows them to view performances free of charge. Children and parents can walk through to Aliw Theatre and experience the gliterring costumes, graceful movements, and fascinating dances. 

I invite you to see the spectacular yourself. Even if you have never seen a ballet, or even been a fan of. This concert will let you experience a feeling of passion, art and pride.

Date of Performances: 

Febuary 28 at 7.30pm (Gala night)

March 1 at 3pm 


Aliw Theatre, CCP Complex, Pasay City

For more details contact Ticket World at 891.9999 or visit their website at ticketworld.com.ph

Keep it posted for part 2 with my one-on-one with prima ballerina Ms. Lisa Macuja-Elizalde.


Inspirations: Alberto Vargas


Alberto Vargas is considered the best pinup painter. Peruvian born and son of a photographer, he studied art in Europe and soon after migrated to the U.S. in 1916.

He started work for movie studios, and after World War II he became known as the creator of the era of pin-ups. Much of his work was favored by magazines such as Playboy and Esquire.



Vargas’ illustrations and paintings are classically done. Soft brush strokes,beautiful women and the iconic tease poses. Vargas is a true inspiration. He set the foundation of the pin-up culture. Defining the movement for sexual expression during a progressive era.





I admire his passion and respect of the female as his consistent muse. Vargas will always be an inspiration to me because he gave us the image of the pinup girl.