rags-2-riches-viaje-lookbook-look1-9rags-2-riches-viaje-lookbook-look1-4rags-2-riches-viaje-lookbook-look1-11rags-2-riches-viaje-lookbook-look1-5 rags-2-riches-viaje-lookbook-look1-6rags-2-riches-viaje-lookbook-look1-8 rags-2-riches-viaje-lookbook-look1-3 rags-2-riches-viaje-lookbook-look1-2 rags-2-riches-viaje-lookbook-look1-1I have a confession to make: in my downtime I absolutely love speaking Español. Not that I’m good at it -far from it. What started out as an annoying obsession has lasted months and to no avail.

I took a year of Spanish in high school and again for a semester in college although I don’t necessarily remember much and can’t carry a conversation past the “how are you?” and “I’m fine, thank you”s. Pathetic, really, considering my late grandmother tried so desperately to teach me the language growing up as she grew up speaking it in her own household. But when you’re already trying to figure out another language – mine, Filipino – to avoid being bullied in school,  you learn to prioritize and dismiss the rest as useless and unimportant. Grade schoolers can be especially tough and my petite frame counterintuitively didn’t hide me from my childhood bullies.

While I’ve never been to Spain, I just feel a close affinity to it. The Philippines has a very rich Spanish influence – the country’s heritage and culture are unmistakably of Spanish-descent. Its people too. Well, mostly either Spanish or Chinese.

I recently was given the privilege to model for social enterprise Rags 2 Riches’ latest collection with my good friend Danika Navarro, aptly called Viaje. Now, whether I love the shoot because I love the brand, my partner-in-crime or the Español, I can’t really tell. Kidding. Obviously, it’s the Spanish. (Kidding, Dan, Reese and Arriane.) 

All I know is that the concept of travel – with all its wonder and in all its glory – sits well with me. With a good friend in amazing clothes sporting a brand close to my heart, even more so. The translation is but a bonus – one that adds to the excitement and novelty while also feeling oddly familiar.

The concept of Viaje then, though I may not be able to articulate in actual Spanish conversation, will always feel understood.

What I can articulate clearly and often, are my favorite words “por qué,” “para mi,” and “mi amor” – an endearment I’ve named my puppy after much to his probable confusion. Just those. Oh, and the Philippine National Anthem in Spanish. Now, I personally think that’s impressive.

Check out Rags 2 Riches’ newest collection, Viaje and have fun shopping. Each bag is made my 3 different indigenous communities so you’d helping while acquiring. Win-win. 

Photography by Shutter Panda | Styling by Bea Constantino | Make Up by Lea Ancheta

This is the 1st post in the Rags 2 Riches Viaje Series