How are you starting your 2017? I’m sure that everyone is hopeful again for another great year. Whatever it is that you want to achieve this year, go for it and never ever doubt yourself. You still have a whole year to accomplish it. But before I totally move forward, let me share to you my 2016 and learn why I called it the Bittersweet 2016.It started with the trip to Vietnam where I missed my flight going back to the Philippines, stayed in the airport for the whole day and did everything to get back to the Manila by getting a ticket that had a layover in Singapore. The very first minute of 2016 I was in Singapore, watching the fireworks in Orchard with people that I only met there. It was a bittersweet experience, was not able to make it to Manila but atleast I got a side trip to another country on my way back and witnessed a great play of fireworks…. then I almost missed my flight again hahaha….
Another highlight of the year was when I went to New York to attend the New York Men’s Fashion Week. It’s a big event to all the people who’s into fashion, including us bloggers. It was the Fall/Winter collection. I was there by myself and I was having the time of my life. I met and saw people from the fashion industry, bloggers that I follow abroad, celebrities and designers.
I will never forget this look, this was the outfit that I was wearing when I got featured in the New York Times! taken by the legendary Bill Cunningham. RIP. It was just amazing!
Suit by Joey Espiritu
A sweet 2nd visit to the city as I was able to explore a lot of places commuting and getting lost.
I was also able to visit the Headquarters of the famous menswear brand Perry Ellis and was lucky enough to get a chance to chat and have a photo with the creative director Michael Maccari.
And of course, who would not be thrilled to get a chance to talk about fashion with the brain behind Tommy Hilfiger, none other than Tommy Hilfiger himself.
Okay so this was the time that I realised hmmmm… I think I will be able to design a suit collection. An idea that I thought about because of my love for menswear, particularly suits. So I talked to a good friend of mine, Pau who was also the owner of Felipe & Sons and presented this concept. He loved the concept and the next thing we were doing, we were already picking out fabrics and patterns… A summer collection that I called The Primero Collection. It was such a memorable experience, it is proof in life that whatever you wanna do, you can do it as long as you give your 100 percent to it. Save your passion or dreams and make it a reality.
Did a shoot for the Primero Collection with the good friend and supermodel Brent Javier.
And this was the concept I thought of that became a reality. Every year I find a way on how to give back to the world with all the blessings that I received and because I was very much into the fashion blogging that year, I tried to make the most out of it by creating a venue in where we could pay it forward, hence the Fashion with Compassion. Definitely the best thing that I did in 2016. A bazaar event where my celebrity and blogger friends united to sell their pre-loved stuff to raise a fund and help kids who are battling cancer.
After the successful event I paid visit to the kids and gave them snacks. It just made me cry, seeing their faces with smile and hope in their eyes. It was the best feeling in the world. These kids are very brave, some of them are months old and some of them are a little older all hoping for the same thing, a chance to live a longer life. It was indeed worth it…
As we were able to raise P150,000 all for these kids with the supervision of National Childrens Hospital. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to continue this and help these beautiful kids to battle this unwanted disease.
A surprising news that we received when SM Salvatore Mann decided to get the MNL Gents as their endorsers. A sweet experience for the group as we just thought of doing a shoot in a suit while cruising in a skateboard. We loved and enjoyed what we did and we were able to resonate it.
A shot taken at the Oslo Fashion Week that was featured in GQ UK. Its always nice when you get featured in foreign magazines or newspaper. Something that you can be proud of.
The 2nd largest city in Sweden, Gothenberg. The first trip with the family since I moved to Norway.
For months now I’ve been doing some work with the brand Lexington Company. A Swedish luxury brands that has a great taste in offering a distinct New England style. It brought me great joy when I found out that they’re getting me as their male ambassador. It honestly made me proud for so many reasons.
The last trip I did for the year. Barcelona trip with the wifey. This city was no lesser than amazing. it’s so rich in culture, tradition, talent, art and oh Antonio Gaudi was just simply extraordinary. From the famous La Sagrada Familia to his residence in Park Güell, it will absolutely leave you in awe. But the Gothic Quarters were the number one spot for me. It just gave me the feeling of being alive in the old times walking along those narrow streets with windows facing closely to the building infant of it. It was just gorgeous. Definitely a must city to visit in Europe.
And last but definitely not the least being reunited with my family especially this last Christmas. Okay bittersweet 2016, why? Because this was the year where I got denied twice with my residence visit and tourist visa. Having no idea when you will be able to see and be with your family. It was the worst feeling not having the chance to be united with your family, it was heartbreaking. But it was also the sweetest when I got my visa in the middle of the year. I immediately bought my ticket and said goodbye to all my family and friends in the Philippines. A numerous send away parties happened and I just can’t wait to fly and move to Norway but it didn’t take me long to feel the sadness. All my life I was living in the Philippines together with my family, without any clue that I’ll be living abroad, having one of the best job in the world (acting), having a privilege of getting help all the time (yaya) but this was the time that I was hoping for to come and I think to myself, smiled and said let’s go and let’s start a new chapter in your life.
I am now the happiest man and father as I get to see, hold, play, talk and kiss them as much as I want. and that’s why it was a bittersweet 2016 for me.
Anyway gotta go now, I hope you enjoyed the bittersweet journey of my 2016. And let’s make this 2017 worth remembering. Stay hungry and never ever quit on your dreams. Make your 2017 the stylish year ever.