Monday, January 24, 2005

Confessions of a Shoe Whore

Remember my friend Jenina? The one who calls me a Shoe Whore? Well, this is a piece I wrote for her when she was still on the staff for Preview. (Cat -- gwaps... I found the piece!)


Some women look for true love. I go shopping for true shoes.

See, finding the perfect shoe is like trying to find the right guy. You have to go through a few heels before you find the right fit. I figure a shoe should be like a good date – comfortable, relatively inexpensive and makes me looks good. So I buy shoes whenever I see a pair that catches my eye. Unfortunately, that’s fairly often. It’s a disease. That is the only explanation I have for it. To date, I have loved and sometimes regretted loving, about 60 different pairs. I am the Shoe Whore.

I envy the woman who can live with one pair of black boots. How does she do that, make that kind of commitment? There are so many choices to make. Do I want one with a chunky wedge heel or a Cuban one? Should it zip up the side or strap across the front with velcro? Snub toe or tapered? Leather or pleather? The solution of course, is to play the field. Get one of each in every permutation known to shoe design. The best thing about shoes is that they never ask you to make a commitment. And they never get jealous of time spent with other pairs.

Much like your past relationships, the pair you choose to wear says something about who you are. Square-toed Mary Janes equals casual. Flat leather thongs takes the mood up a notch. And the 3-inch embroidered silk heels with an open toe totally implies your date is hot enough for you to endure the back pain of an entire evening spent cantilevered. Of course, if you can’t be bothered, there’s always those sensible white canvas sneakers you’ve owned since Tretorn first hit the market.

Maybe one day I’ll be walking inside the mall and see a pair and just know that that is the shoe for me. Maybe I will try them on and realize that I don’t need to look any more. ‘Til death do we part. What retail shopping put together let no Mr Quickie make asunder. Heart, body and sole.

Until then, the search for true (shoe) love continues.

I recently saw this pair online at Chineselaundry... and my heart went pitter-pat. Me wants these sandals.
PS: This is no longer part of the article I wrote but it kind of ties in. It's a blog I wrote on my Crew's private site.
The Shoe Whore Strikes Again
December 2003:
The Shoe Whore is walking around a mall, window shopping. At Kenneth Cole she notices a pair of rust-red 3-inch heels flirting with her. She glances out of the corner of her eye. Yep, those heels are definitely trying to make eye contact. Caught up in the moment, she responds, even if she know how dangerous it is to throw this kind of buyer caution to the wind. The risk pays off: she and those heels are a perfect fit.
It was as if the universe wanted them to meet.
How else do you explain why she walked into Kenneth Cole, a store she does not frequent? Ah, but as with all great love stories, tragedy must strike. Fear and doubt rear their ugly heads. The Shoe Whore becomes wary about committing that much money on the heels. The heels beg and cajole to no avail. She leaves Kenneth Cole ... knowing that it would only be cruel to cast a last glance over her shoulder.
And while she congratulates herself on her resolve (it wasnt the right time after all... what with half of her Christmas presents unbought), she cant get those heels out of her mind. When she closes her eyes she remembers... how the leather felt under her fingers as she clasped those straps around her ankles. She remembers how the gently arching slopes of those soles cradled her arched feet. And the longing is almost unbearable.
Cut to:
February 3, 2004: She is walking in another mall. Her friend decides to duck into a Kenneth Cole outlet to check out the sale. She follows... and yes... there they are... on the first display shelf... the heels that she walked away from. In her size. In that same rust-red color. The last pair in the store, she is told.
Knowing full well she has been given a second chance, she tries them on. It feels better than the first time. A credit card is whipped out... and the rest... the rest is just a detail...
So gentle and constant lurker -- tell me about the shoes you are having an affair with...

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Bangkok 2004

December 28 to 31, 2004.
My mom, grandmother and I headed off to Bangkok for a little vacation post-Christmas, pre-New Year. Many people have asked me what it was like to be there right after the tsunami and the best way I can explain it is this: It's much like when something happens in Basilan over here. Manila is hardly ever affected. Bangkok is so far from Phuket that if you lived under a rock with no media contact you'd likely not even know that Phuket had been hit by the tsunami.
It was business as usual in the big city of Bangkok. Pat Pong bars writhed with the crush of hedonistic tourists. Vendors at Lumpini Park exchanged bargained goods for baht. And every morning the monks of Wat Po crossed the street from the temple to begin a new day of meditation.
Vendors at Pratunam.
The ruins of Wat Mahathat.
There were signs of the disaster though. Collection/donation boxes were inside every hotel and mall. The newspaper headlines each morning spoke of the mounting death toll. The usual excitement of a coming new year was muted - in deference not only to the countless lives lost but also at the request of Thailand's King... whose grandson was among the victims of Phuket.
And while we donated every time we saw a collection box... all of it seemed so far removed from us. From me.
Until we got to the airport to leave and saw three of survivors being wheeled through the departure terminal.
It was no longer about death tolls and statistics. These were real people. With real bruises and scars. I remember tears welling in my eyes and a sadness form a ball in my chest. To literally see... made it that much more tangible. Visceral. Real.
So again, I would like to ask people to help in any way they can. Whether you choose to do it on a global scale or if you prefer to turn your aid towards the Filipinos hit by the December typhoons -- help if you are able.

Monday, January 10, 2005


As you walk through the coming months, may there always be sun to warm your face. And love to warm your heart. May there be breezes to cool your brow. And friends to calm your fears. May the road be clear and your footing be strong. And may the adventures be both exciting and enlightening.

Travel well in 2005.

I got this as a text during New Year's Eve... and it sounds very apt for what has been going down in my life lately. And just as a general thing to think about as the year unfolds for us all.

Now let us believe in this year given to us.

New. Untouched.

Full of things that have never been.

- Rainier Maria Rilke

Saturday, January 01, 2005


We are a global village. We do not live in a vacuum. As the world continues to modernize, we are seeing the truth in those statements more often.
What this is leading to is a plea -- that if you can help those who have been dealt horrible blows by the natural disasters of the past month, please do.
There were the typhoons in the Philippines. Several organizations are continuing the relief effort among them GMA Foundation and the ABS-CBN Foundation.
Just after Christmas, a Tsunami swept an entire region. (In case you didn't know - the tsunami affected countrie as far apart as Sumatra and Somalia... the last time a tsunami of any magnitude was even spotted in the Indian Ocean was back in 1883 when Krakatau exploded.)
So here's what I think people should do if they are able:
Go to google... do a search on how to get aid of any form to the victims... or for ways to support the relief workers. The websites of CNN and the BBC have great links for specific organizations and foundations.
Thanks... be well and travel safely through 2005.