I absolutely adore events that allow you to get crafty and design pieces yourself for two reasons: One, so many people have made speeches, lectures and videos on highlighting individuality and design-your-own events cater well to the notion of celebrating the individual. Two, any opportunity to get competitive sends adrenaline through me akin to that of sky-diving. (See, I don’t really do that so I wouldn’t know but fine that was a bit of a stretch.This time, my competitive streak was brought out by one of my favorite local brands: Rags 2 Riches. R2R is a social enterprise that not only sells beautiful bags made from rags, it’s an enterprise that makes sure the lives of the communities that work with them are helped beyond just ensuring they have livelihood – looking into aspects like teaching them about savings and much more.

Last week, in partnership with Privato, Capitol Commons’ brand-spankin’ new hotel, Rags 2 Riches launched their summer collection High Seas – a collection reminiscent of summer and freedom. (Remember when I was one of the muses for the R2R by Aranaz collection?) I’m turning into such a bag-person and would like to thank the Universe for having Rags 2 Riches run out of the style I liked to keep me from spending because I know sheer will wouldn’t cut it. Or it may also be a blatant intervention from the big U about what may be a budding retail problem. (But I don’t think so.)

What I do know is that I’m not safe from bag temptation just yet because aside from High Seas, Rags 2 Riches also launched a collaboration with Pormada’s very own Kelly Misa. The bags are exclusive to the site but are everywhere in the office constantly trying to lure me into making a purchase. But I really do love the styles – especially in pink – so we’ll see how I fare. When pitted against items I can touch and try on I almost always give in. (Maybe it is a budding problem after all.)

Anyway, my personally designed wallet was my saving grace – keeping me distracted and in awe of the braiding skills of the Rags 2 Riches experts and Ates. It didn’t help that I was beside my good friend Danika Navarro who happens to be a little too adept at the use of sharpies. I almost got her to enter a bet with me with her design at stake. She apparently also has the gift of resistance. I had neither resistance nor drawing skills with me ending up practicing starfish and seashells from the guide more than half an hour before finally doing it on the actual canvas. Still, I’m happy. I’ll take any reminder of sun, sea and sand, even if it is from me.

I can’t wait to attend more events that bring out the creative in you (and by you I also mean me). With shopping having to be kept in check I probably need to stay away from Rags2Riches a bit – the bags are a little too tempting. You don’t though so you are encouraged to drop by their pop-up store in Glorietta 3 or visit Pormada.com for exclusives. Shop away! Just let me live vicariously through you.


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Kelly Misa and her designs. See more at Pormada.com



Romper and headband, FOREVER 21 | Kimono, H&M | Bag, ALEXANDER WANG

Outfit photos by Danika Navarro