Incredible is the word to describe on how this blog came into being two years ago. Everything at that time was not in its proper place (e.g. confused environment, dwindling resources) but all these didn't bar her from moving on. The blogging world, My Useful Tips, the “sweet laughter" of the readers and visitors enabled her to withstand rising temperatures encountered in a vacuum, so to speak. Cool!
Spirituality, Community Development, Featured Articles, and Politics and Opinions took a big slice of the blog's pie and no doubt likewise elicited comments from both sincere friends and mischievous kibitzers. It is always great to see you all coming back and being a part of this blog. Thank you!
Singing occupies her spare time, though how hard it is for her. The first time she learned to play the acoustic guitar on her own was on this particular song, “Killing Me Softly", her first full blown guitar lessons. As such, for this year's blog anniversary of My Useful Tips, she would like to share with you her raw version of the song. She hopes you will try to listen, sit back, relax and let her know your thoughts. Have a great day!
This is another bold move and crucial milestone of My Useful Tips! A happy and meaningful 2nd year Anniversary to you all!!!
Who would imagine that a stiff hard fiber sourced from an “abaca” plant and/or banana plant could be used as an alternative to conventional raw materials for avant-garde clothing and other fashion accessories? This is actually true and possible! In fact the said raw materials have been in existence and useful in some areas of the globe and in various ways even before the outbreak of World War 1!
Originating from a tropical country, I have known “Abaca” plant and its utilization but regrettably I haven't seen the tree itself with my naked eye as of yet. I understand the abaca tree can be likened to a non- fruit bearing “banana plant” and that is the reason why the said plant is considered to be part of the “banana family”. Among the significant distinguishing marks between the two are on their leaves and fruits. Abaca leaves are generally dark green, narrow and pointed as opposed to the banana plant whose leaves have light green color and wider in shape. Abaca's fruits are smaller and not as tasteful as that of the real banana tree. Believe it or not, the family roots of the abaca plant can be traced back all the way to the Philippines. This type of hard variety of abaca is different from the “Manila Hemp” (English translation) which can be found in other tropical countries. Hence, this is one of the indigenous plants and raw materials being regulated by the Philippine Government.
As a backgrounder, there are artists and fashion gurus advocating e-fashion over the years who have been able to thrive in a changing technology in fashion business. Fashion icons and budding fashion entrepreneurs continue to support and use indigenous materials (abaca fiber is just one of them) for a cause for some of their clothing lines despite the e-fashion industry's weaknesses, e.g. mass production, pricing and marketability, among others. We cannot discount the fact that e-fashion products are quite pricey vis-a-vis the regular garments being traded in the retail market. These eco-friendly clothing lines are categorized in the business as “haute couture” where accurate attention handcrafted details are pretty astounding. Because of its high quality, e-fashion products are most of the times being marketed in expensive boutiques and designer labels, thus not everyone can afford to wear one. If you may recall, a blog article was posted in this website a year ago relative to “Buying and Using Eco-Friendly Products”, wherein it was mentioned that a certain non-profit organization manufacturing and selling high end sustainable fashion products for a cause had a tag price for one of its products, a bermuda shorts at $275.00!( Note that a regular dollar earner can find a bermuda short at Old Navy for only 10 bucks or even less.)
With the foregoing being said, there is no argument that a fashion designer advocating e-friendly garments, particularly enhancing one's cultural heritage locally and abroad is truly laudable. There are actually fashion organizations which have continued and have been supportive of this cause. The National Association of Sustainable Fashion Designers is one of the bigger organizations which promotes so called sustainable fashion. In the same manner, there are fashion designers on their own initiative who have advocated the use and production of fashion wears and accessories out of indigenous materials.
A Filipino fashion designer who has been successful in her craft and an active supporter of a clean environment is Dita Sandico-Ong. Dita Ong took the opportunity of utilizing the fibers sourced from banana and/or abaca plant/pina in the Philippines, combining her artistic prowess in clothing designs and other variants of fashion lines. She has been promoting the said product not only in her home country but also in other fashion capital of the world such as Milan, Rome, and New York, one of the many ways of contributing to her country's economic growth.
In collaboration with the Philippine Consulate General in New York, Dita Ong set the stage by hitting the catwalk showcasing her spring and summer unique and contemporary creations ("Czarist Charms: Filipiniana Flirting with the Unorthodox") not only to the true blue New York fashionistas but also to high ranking officials and art connoisseurs who were invited to grace the said event. Her attention to detail and exquisite hand crafted fabrics made her collections more relevant to sustainable fashion.
The fashion models wore the colorful and beautiful clothing lines to a "T". It consists of mostly multi-purpose wraps and can be used either as skirts, blouses, coats, headdresses or capes and depending on the occasion and the wearer's styles and preferences. See some of the photos below taken during the fashion show for your scrutiny. (Note: photos are property of and exclusively for www.myusefultips.com's use. Not for reproduction, please).
Those in attendance were the Philippine Ambassador to the United Nations, Libran Cabactulan and his wife, Fe Cabactulan, Consul General/Ambassador Mario de Leon, Jr. and his wife, Eleanor de Leon and Deputy Consul General Tess de Vega (in their beautiful abaca/pina dresses) with other foreign dignitaries and spouses.
It was a site to behold with the exotic indigenous abaca/pina fibers taking the center stage in New York City! Clap! clap! clap!
Many of us rarely get to spend quality time with our loved ones and friends due to fact that we are so preoccupied with either the more important or non-essential things in life. This is also true in certain organizations where members come from different places, seldom see each other, and with respective professions to attend to. However, there are various ways on how to get people out of their shells, apart from the regular monthly or quarterly meetings, simply to unwind, make them happy and enjoy life. For some groups, one way of getting together is to organize an event and it could either be a celebration of an officer or a colleague's birthday or any important occasion.
One recent event which was organized by the Himig At Alay, in collaboration with its supporters and friends, was to honor and congratulate the newly installed Diocesan Coordinator of the Filipino Apostolate, Rev. Fr. Patrick Longalong who is concurrently serving as a parochial vicar at Our Lady of the Snow parish church in Floral Park, New York. Fr. Patrick is relatively young in his profession, he was ordained as priest in 2008 after obtaining his high school and college degree in New York. (Note: photos shown below are not for reproduction, hence not for public consumption. Exclusively for use of myusefultips.com).
For those who are not familiar of Diocesan Apostolates, these are sub-groups under the Migration Office of the Diocese of Brookyln (which includes the Queens borough) whose duty among others, is to serve and/or assist immigrants of all faiths in various issues such as education, housing, unemployment, immigration, including pastoral services, taking into account their respective cultures and traditions (please read previous blog article, entitled "40 Years of Welcoming the Stranger" under Spirituality category for more info). As such for each member country, there is a coordinator assigned to initially oversee the operations and that a priest originating from a particular country is normally designated to undertake the said task.
The said event turned out to be successful even if it was a simple one. Decorations were basic yet unique, program was uncomplicated yet entertaining and even the speeches were brief yet informative. It was a potluck informal dinner where the organizers and friends were generous enough to bring food and beverages. Guests were a mix of old and new officers of the Filipino Diocesan Apostolate (FDA), friends of the celebrant and it was great to see them hand in hand.
While the guest of honor might have been aware that a party was in relation to his additional responsibility as FDA coordinator, he had no inkling that the organizers were combing two events into one party. Incidentally, it was also the guest of honor's birthday on that day. As a matter of fact, majority of the guests didn't have any idea about it. So, it was a surprise party not only to him but also to everyone around!
Certainly, parties and gatherings could form part of our favorite things and it is a fun way to snap lots of photos, relax, and share tidbits with friends and new acquaintances. In my case, it was also an opportunity to meet new acquaintances as I've chanced upon a new friend in the said gathering, she's a virtuoso in music especially in exquisite musical instrument such as piano, harp, and violin.
For the organizers, particularly the head of Himig at Alay, it was another opportunity for them to make the day a milestone and share the joy with the guests.
But for Fr. Patrick, that day was truly a moment for him…… probably a moment to thank God for all the blessings!