What’s in my bag

Late 2013, a friend of mine introduced me to the publisher of World Urbanista, a US-based lifestyle e-zine for Filipinas around the world, and since then, I’ve been contributing a short article on fashion (yes, fashun!) every month. Allow me to usher in some fabulous spirits into this blog this new year, starting with: What’s In My Bag – the Aileen Macalintal edition.

I change bags constantly. The first time I had my own bag, other than the torture school bag, I must’ve been five or six: a tiny shoulder bag containing a coin purse and perhaps a strawberry lollipop. As decades drew more lines on my face, my bags have grown bigger and heavier. Sometimes I carry a backpack, sometimes hand/shoulder bag, but whatever it is, it has to be spacious to contain extra clothes. 

Like other bags, my bag has a wallet, phone, pen, a notebook of problems and solutions, and trash including bus tickets, toll gate receipts, coffee shop cards, and flyers of condominiums, house and lots, credit cards and more condominiums. I was once a flyer girl for a fun run we organized and I know the feeling when no one’s taking your flyers, so I take them all when I have the chance, despite the fact that it might hurt our forests.

My bag has a ginormous comb because I used to have a ginormous hair; a camera; identity cards; and other things that I don’t really need to survive. It has at least three pouches to keep things organized: one for make-up; another for wires and chargers; another for vitamins and inhaler; another for toiletries when I’m out of town; another for undies when I go overnight somewhere. It’s neat, I love it, but I envy men, sometimes, for all they need to bring is cash and keys, and they’re good.


I also have a book in my bag most of the time to keep me company while waiting for documents, food, or boyfriend. Right now, I’m reading Drown, some book I got on sale from Bibliarch while waiting for Mike one evening I didn’t have anything to read. My favorite part is the prologue quote:

The fact that I

am writing to you 

in English already falsifies what I

wanted to tell you.

My subject:

how to explain to you that I

don’t belong to English

though I belong nowhere else

(GP Firmat)

photo credit: Jay Gavarra (at Las Casas Filipinas, Dec 2013)

On a closing note, it’s a pleasure to write about women and fashion, a totally new subject for me, and I’m glad to deposit these in my bag of portfolio, which already contains trade and economy, science, education and health policy, among others. Thank you, Jing Mendoza, for trusting me to write about style, shoes, beauty queens, and other women empowerment stories. What a lovely, fabulous bag I’m carrying this 2014 — let’s fill it with love.

Happy new year! (with my nephew in SG)
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10 years ago

she got me to write a women’s advice column. How’s that?

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