Ukay-Ukay Top Tips – Things you should remember when Thrift shopping

” I’m gonna pop some tags, only got twenty dollars in my pocket.” 

I know it’s not a popular opinion but I totally adore going to ukay-ukays (Thrift Shops) and rummaging for clothes that are not only fashionable but are also very cheap and affordable. I’ve heard so many negative things about this hobby of mine from other people but I never seem to quit it. Even though they’re pre-loved, I still find it so fun to do and I think at least once a month, I find myself going to my favorite branch. 


Some of you would eek with shock or disgust with the thought of thrifting, I mean come on, you’re buying a piece already owned and used by someone else. That must be dirty, you might think but hey, Fashion doesn’t need to be brand new. Fashion knows no brand.

For you fashion savvy, thrift loving people, I made these Top Things you should remember when you go to an Ukay-Ukay store. (Especially in the Philippines)

If you’re reading this, whether or not you’re a fan of ukay-ukay, I hope you  appreciate these tips. 

Before Going


– You got to make sure that the thrift store you’re going to is safe and located at a place really familiar to you. There are hundreds of Ukay-Ukays in Metro Manila. There must be more than twenty (20) Thrift stores fully operating in Cubao, Quezon City only. We should be careful of our belongings and money. You don’t know what might be lurking around those areas. Try reading about the ukay-ukay branch first and bringing a friend or two would be really helpful.

– Dress appropriately and accordingly! Its crazy hot in most stores. There is Air Conditioning in a few stores, but these don’t really work that well. If possible, look as basic and avoid wearing anything that might indicate wealth. Store clerks are vultures. They have the ability to change prices according to how much they think you can pay for it. Watch out! I used to visit ukay-ukays wearing boots and a coat and got charged really high (like 150) for clothes that were hanging at 50php and below. Total shocker!

– Make a budget. Allocate money thats meant for clothes and hide the rest. Most people get too overwhelmed by the price of the clothes they could buy that they spend more than what they planned. Dont be an over spender, (me) dont buy too much.


When you’re there

– Get ready for battle. If the branch isn’t packed with people, it’s fine to take your time in choosing and “rummaging” clothes. Explore the place and decide whether you wanna check out the bags section or look more at the coats and jacket areas. If the place is crowded, make sure you hold on to your finds so that they won’t get nabbed by other Thrift shoppers.

– Make sure you’re always checking your belongings. Keep your phone, wallet and other important items safe and tucked in your bag and if possible, avoid taking them out as not to attract any attention.

– Never leave your things at the baggage counter if it’s not being manned by a guard. 

– Prioritize the items on sale. Look for tags ranging from 20php – 60php first. Look for anything thats would suit your style or would look great on you. If there are none, move on to the next areas. 

– Dont worry about the smell. You’re sanitizing and washing that later on.

– Check every part of the clothing. Make sure that there aren’t any damage on the piece. Even the smallest hole or stain should be noticed. You’re buying pre-loved clothes not clothes that are supposed to be thrown away.

– Search every nook and cranny. You’ll find the most amazing pieces buried deep within the pile. For most thrift shops, clothes are hanged. You should check every piece if you wanna really feel the ukay-ukay vibe.

– Be sure to check the sizes of your chosen pieces. It may look really good but it would be a waste if it doesn’t fit you. 

– Lastly, Never try them on. These clothing have never been washed. They’ve been touched by other people and has reached who knows how dirty, places. Wear them only after sanitizing and washing the clothes.


When paying

– Haggle! Haggle! Haggle! If your total bill is 235php, ask if it could be 200. If the clerk doesn’t agree, ask if it could be priced for 210php. Meet halfway with the clerk. Haggling is a really great skill. It may not be as effective when you start doing it but after a few practice, you’ll surely get the hang of it.

– Smile and be courteous. Remember that they have the authority to lower and increase prices. 

– Make friends with the branch crew. If you’re going to be a frequent customer of that branch, it’s gonna be advantageous if you make friends with the crew. You can ask them to keep pieces for you that you still wont buy. You can ask them to look out for clothing that you might be interested in buying. And ultimately may be able to give you special discounts or bundle promos. Be friendly!

– Ask for an environmental friendly yet easy to use container to put your bought clothes at. Make sure you get them all home with you.


After Thrifting


Time to sanitize

– Remember : Do not mix your newly bought ukay-ukay finds with your dirty laundry.

– What I do is that I make sure to soak my finds with boiling/heated water. 

– Boil/heat a large enough amount of water and soak your finds.

– Then proceed with the proper way of washing your clothes.

– You can opt to boil/heat them two times to really clean them

– Dry and Iron


Now you’re ready to wear them.

Wasn’t that easy? Now Ukay-ukay doesn’t look that foreign and hard for you. After reading these tips I hope your love for ukay ukay would rekindle. 

Always remember – Style does not and will never depend on the price, branded or how brand new your clothes are. It’s all about identity and diversity. 

Now looking your best is as easy as a-b-c.

What did you think about these tips? Do you like Ukay-ukay? Did you think this post was helpful? Share it with me! Comments/rants/questions are welcomed below at the comments section. 
Let’s talk? Much love! – Chardy


How-to : Have Better Conversations

Looking for inspiration and enlightenment, I turned to the internet for help. I was feeling lost about the coming exam week and I wasn’t sure I was ready to start studying for it. I came upon this Video by TED talks and I was surprised by how much it affected me. My life, (In my opinion) has never been the same. It’s by Celeste Headlee. I don’t really know who she is and what she’s done but gee, she has really turned my “social life upside down and that was only  12 mins of watching her talk.

Her topic was all about communication and interacting with people. You may think that this topic has already been worn-out and had been talked about for a million times already — and to be honest, it has been. Almost all the advice that people can think of about conversations had already been given, recycled and repackaged. So what’s so special about this one? What did she say to have so much effect?

I have read articles about “Making people love you” “Trust you more” and “Have better interactions” and they always usually start with cliche sentences like — “Be interested in what he/she is interested in”, “Give effort to study about what the person likes and like it as well”. At first it really did work out. People are more interested in conversing and hanging out with me and the usual awkward exchange of hi’s and hello’s would transform to 4 hours of phone calls and comments on photos. It works, it really does. 

But what if it doesn’t? And what if the person you’re interested in, have interests that can not or will not give you the spark and the energy to talk about with him/her? What if you you dont have the luxury to involve yourself with their interest? Doesn’t it feel insincere whenever you pretend to like something because you like person you’re talking to? The speaker’s answer? 

DON’T. Don’t converse.

Caffe bene Light bulbs. Photo by me.

Here’s 6 of the tips I liked about Celeste’s talk and my very own take on them.

1. Stop the BS. If you don’t want to talk, dont. Never Multi-task.

This, for me, was a gold mine. It’s so simple yet it made so much sense. How do you make better conversations? If you don’t want to talk, you’re not interested about the topic or just don’t like the person, Don’t. People, your friends or family deserves your whole attention. Deserves someone who’s interested in talking and to respond, if you’re not that person, then don’t talk. It’s either you wont really understand what you’re talking about, you won’t pay attention or it wouldn’t really matter. I agree with this so much. No one deserves half-hearted conversations. Why should anyone pretend they’re interested. Right?

Caffe bene @ Eastwood Libis. Photo by me

2. It’s two-way. Participate.

Congratulations if you had decided to converse then here are two things you have to remember — Respond and Be honest/Frank.

It’s actually really easy. It’s called “talking” because you guys are exchanging ideas, feelings and comments. The conversation will be so much better if both of you are honest with each other and if you guys are really participating in it. Ask questions. Say how you really truly feel. Be part of it. If you can’t then stop. 

3.  Listen

This is actually requirement if you want to converse. Listen because you won’t understand if you don’t. Listen because you will learn. Listen because there are so many people who makes mistakes when they don’t. Listen because you are interested. It all revolves around this.

4.  Do not pretend like you know.

There are two things in this item that I wanna share.
A. When talking about feelings/confessions/memories
Don’t ever pretend like you know how it feels when you don’t. A lot of advice for topics like these would say — “Agree” make the person feel like you know what it feels, you understand what it felt like.” Most of the time, doing this would make you look insincere. If you don’t know how it feels, don’t act like you do. Yes, you’re looking for common ground and similarities but remember — we’re talking about honesty and sincerity here. Feelings are different for everyone. Explore those differences. That would make a good conversation topic. 
B. When talking about facts/events/information.
It’s going to look really funny when someone says things that are inaccurate or false just to prove his/her wits or “excellence”. If you don’t know what happened at the end of the Harry Potter series, don’t proclaim that you do. If you haven’t read the case analysis of a certain incident, don’t pretend that you do. How humiliating it must be to be proven wrong when you confidently state something false and get found out. I know how this feels and I have been through this a lot of times. How I wish I could have just said “I didn’t know.” than debate and be proven wrong. Making mistakes is a learning process but admitting you didn’t know when you don’t is also something we should practice.

5. Be open to learn



Have you heard of the saying — “Everyone is fighting a battle, be kind always.”?

When conversing, be open to learn. Be open to ideas and emotions of other people. You may agree or disagree, you may not like what he/she is saying but isn’t that one of the things that make conversations better? Diversity is what develops our critical thinking. When you’re open to learn, new perspectives may arise for you. You get to see things better (or worst), you can see things and understand things from the view point of someone else. It’s like being there yourself. When you’re open to learn, you grow. And honestly, someone who’s open to know more about what you’ve been to is so much easier to talk with. 

6. Get ready to share who you are.

At the same time, being open to someone else’s ideas and feelings means that you must also be open to share who you are to that person. Remember that a conversation is an exchange. It’s an avenue for you and the person you’re talking to, to get to know more about each other and learn things. Be a person who not only listens but also shares and participate. Be someone who people talk to because you’re someone they learn from, you’re a person they get advice from. When you do this, you have already achieved a “better conversation”.

Caffe Bene @ Eastwood, Libis. Photo by me
 
You can watch more TED talks videos by visiting their website at Ted Website

And you can also follow their facebook at www.facebook.com/TED and twitter @ www.twitter.com/tednews


Are you having problems with your self-esteem? Need a little boost? Here’s a post I made just for us who know how ot feels to doubt ourselves. Read it with me here – Dealing with Self-Doubt ❤️

Watch the video above and also share with me what you think. How did you like this post? Did you learn anything? Is there something you also want to share? Hit me up at the comments section below. ⬇️

5 Things I Learned from my Strong Mother

To all the mother’s boys, mommy’s princesses and everyone who has a love/hate relationship with your mommas, this post is for you. No, it’s not yet Mother’s day but hey, do you have to wait for that once in a year event to show how much you love your mom?
Right. Read on. ❤️

Whenever I find myself at the center of attention, may it be because of an award or an acknowledgement for something good I did, I often think about attributing the recognition to my mother. You know how, like whenever I get awarded medals, I would in an imaginary way think of the situation as me awarding the medal to my mother. (Is it just me or is that really a thing?) Most of you may agree with me when I say that, “wherever I am, whatever my title is or whatever recognition I get awarded with, it will always still lead back to my mother and what she had taught me. No matter how talented, how powerful and how famous you are, the one person to thank, for being able to get there is your mother. None other than her. (You can replace mother with father, grandfather, grand mother, uncle or aunt if this doesn’t suit your experience.)
I know there are times (I’m sorry but this is real mom) when they’re annoying, sometimes controlling and most of the time judgmental of your choices, your friends and that Friday night out outfit you’re so eager to wear and look miserable in, but aren’t they just looking out for us? Trying to prevent us from making the same mistakes they did or have heard from other amigas? There may be times when they really wouldn’t make any sense but trust me when I tell you that, sooner or later you’re going to realize how correct your mother is and how stupid it is that you even got angry at her for giving you advice.
If you’re like me, who’s blessed to have such an amazing mother, here are the top 5 things I learned from a strong and independent mother.
1. “Nothing is wrong with over preparing. A bigger bag full of things you can use is better than a stylish one that doesn’t have any use.”
I would always find myself arguing with my mom about bringing an extra shirt, any kind of extra clothing, or umbrellas whenever I think I don’t need it and end up being regretful that I didn’t heed my mother’s advice. Call it a lucky guess or psychic powers but when I didn’t bring an umbrella to school just like what my mother advised, I ended up walking a thousand miles, soaking wet, going home. After that, even the extra underwear, I’m definitely sure would not be needed, has a space in any bag I bring.

2. Gratitude and appreciation goes a long way. Longer than the time it takes to pass through EDSA on a rush hour. Cultivate gratitude.

Mother always take the time to show appreciation to all the people who had helped us in anyway. May it be hired service or just genuine kindness, my mother had taught us to repay or appreciate those people in any way possible. This exchange in support and kindness creates a cycle of love that extends throughout time. Whenever in trouble, we could always find a friend or a past client to provide assistance to us. No hassle.

3. You may have all the friends and fans there is in the world but no one can be as honest and blunt to you than your mother can.

Yup. I have experienced those times when I feel like the prettiest, sexiest, the most attractive person in the world. Sporting my ripped jeans, floral polos and extremely heavy boots, I would hear my friends tell me how fashionable and cool I look. You would think that your mother would definitely approve of this. But no, definitely No. Not my mother. You may hate her for not supporting “who you are” and what your style is, (I know because I had and sometimes even now, we still fight about it) but maybe, just maybe take a look in the mirror and gauge closely if this is how you want to be seen. 50% yes you look fierce but is the other 50% catering to appropriateness and decency? Also, are you going to the church??? Because your family and friends may approve of that sexy chic look but everyone else may not be as understanding.

Anyway, point is, your mother would know what’s best for you. Maybe you can understand a little more if she gets angry at that metallic bra you’re wearing because it makes you look 1964 try-hard scifi film. Hey, Not everyone can understand art, at least you can right? Kudos to mom for telling you an honest, not jealous comment. She’s looking out for you.

4. No, does not mean “I’m not letting you because I’m not fun/I’m boring/I have no friends or I want you to be miserable.” No, is not some power trip. It’s worry and care.

There will be times when we get invited by friends to travel to far away places, hang out at like 3 in the morning with the coolest kids in the block or party all night and “yolo” the semester away. If you’re like me, who still values permission and yes, still ask for weekly allowances then you surely have experienced a devastating “No, you’re not allowed”. I don’t have anyway to make this look good or cool to you because hey, I hate it when my parent’s don’t allow me to join in on the fun but there really is a reason why. If you find it in your heart to actually listen to your mom/parents then you’d know they’re just worried about what may happen and the scary recent events that had happened to the place you’re planning on going to OR the amigas of manila have chika’d to your mom about the bad insects living in that place. Summary is, she’s not letting you go and there’s a lot of reasons for that. Not because she’s cruel or doesn’t have any friends. Chill!

5. “Papunta ka palang, pabalik na ako ng sampung beses” – Where Ever you’re going, I’ve been there and back ten times more. 
I’m not sure if that’s the right translation but what I’m trying to say is that, our mother’s have definitely been through a lot. This may be because of her age or because of all the different work she had to do. She has experienced so much and trust me when I tell you that she’s credible when she’s giving you advice about all the different things in your life. You may heed or advice or not. I know, I’ve been through times when I don’t listen to her and I follow my own decisions. It’s wonderful, knowing you can do whatever you want and follow your own choices but there were times when I wished I followed her and what she had to say instead. Maybe things would have been better for me. Our mothers may not always be right, but they’re surely looking out for us, for you. If ever you find yourself wanting to disobey your mom or just ignore her warnings., think twice. Why would she even give effort to scold you? Is it for her or is it for you?
Who you are right now, what you’ve been doing or thinking, half of it or more may be because of who was there when you were growing up. Lucky for me, I have been with my mother for the 20 years that I’ve been alive. Call me a Mother’s boy and I would definitely wear the title with Honor. I’m thankful for my mom and everything I’ve learned, accomplished and experienced, I thank my mom for all of it. For who I am.

What about you? What are the things that you’re thankful to your mom for? How much has she influenced who you are? Share it to us down at the comments section. Share this with your Mom and friends!
Thanks for dropping by! ❤️

Dealing with Self Doubt

We all have that one person in our lives who just cant seem to stop having it all. He can be your brother, who bags all the academic medals and brings all the glory to the family, your college blocmate who perfects all the tests and is friends with almost everyone at school or your best friend who always seems to be in a relationship. This person, whoever he or she is can be someone you really love or adore but you just can’t seem to kick out the feeling of wanting to be where that person is. Call it jealousy, insecurity or whatever you want. All you really know is that whatever it is you feel towards that person, it is making you feel unsure about yourself— self doubt they call it.

Continue reading “Dealing with Self Doubt”

5 Ways: Turn Your Bad Morning Upside Down

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 It’s 5:30 in the morning and you find yourself at the wrong side of the bed. The buzzing sound of your alarm, the morning light shining at your face and the voice of your mom ringing through your ears as she tries to wake you up, everything seems so irritating to you this morning. You can still feel the tiredness of your eyes from all the stalking and instagramming that you did all night. You sigh heavily, regretting about your decision to sleep 4 hours after midnight and wishing you could turn back time. You wish you could shut everything out and go back to bed, but you can’t. Either you have school or you have something important to accomplish today, point is you can’t go back to sleep and this is already making you crazy. Today will officially suck, you tell yourself, not realizing that you could still turn this around.

Continue reading “5 Ways: Turn Your Bad Morning Upside Down”