Make Your Own Havaianas 2012 CDO

August 4, 2012 by  
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The most awaited event for fashion-savvy flip-flop fans is here again! Make Your Own Havaianas 2012 is coming to Cagayan de Oro on August 17-19,2012 at the Rotunda, Limketkai Mall.

Last year, I was privileged to be invited by  Spruce, the local distributor of Havaianas in CDO. They have been making the event possible for several years now. This year, I will be joining the  fabulous affair once again courtesy of Spruce. My last year’s chosen design has been my constant companion in and out of the house, even when I travel to Manila. By now, one would expect it to be worn out and faded but I guess that’s the charm of Havaianas- they stay durable and comfortable over time. My Havaianas still look good as new, its color bright as ever,  even its pins are still intact.

MYOH (Make Your Own Havaianas) is your chance to create your own design of flip-flops, choosing from a variety of combinations. This yearly event has not only been a showcase of the best slippers you can ever have, but is also a celebration of  your uniqueness, enhancing creativity and personalized style. To give you more idea of what happens in an MYOH event, please visit See you at the MYOH Cagayan de Oro leg!


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XOXO Wedding Photography Workshop by Nelwin Uy

June 13, 2012 by  
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The minute my friend Dylan of Vatel Manila posted about Nelwin Uy’s first wedding photography workshop, I panicked. I browsed through the course outline and decided it was the workshop I’ve been waiting for, which included the entrepreneurship of  photography- wedding photography to be exact. I signed up quickly before slots ran out.

Then it hit me, why would a photography noob like me want to learn about making money from an enterprise where my skills are still mediocre?

The thought that it was no less than Nelwin Uy giving the workshop, I jumped at the opportunity, not thinking about the current level of my skills, because it was simply a rare learning experience.I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to be a wedding photographer but if I’m going to indulge myself in photography, I might as well learn how to earn from it.

Meeting the Guru

For someone highly esteemed in the wedding industry, one would probably expect a man with a bloated ego. However, Nelwin Uy proves that humility and success are not mutually exclusive. From the replies to email, to meeting us at the venue, he was very warm and courteous. He made sure that every attendee was personally welcomed. He extended his hands and introduced himself as though we didn’t know who he was.

Wealth of Inspiration

I’ve attended a few photography workshops before but XOXO was something else. The volume of information provided honest, practical, straightforward, yet inspiring knowledge. Coming from a guy who walks the talk, you just know you made the right investment.

The realization that he was speaking in front of a crowd for the first time overwhelmed Sir Nelwin. He was so apologetic about it, claiming he wasn’t born a public speaker. To us, it was perfectly understandable. The room roared in applause, assuring that everything was fine. Witnessing his flaws dispels the rumors that he is an alien who shoots crazy beautiful out -of this -world images.

Nelwin Uy is amazingly secure in his status that he didn’t mind spilling the beans about the ins and outs of the business to people who could rise to be his competitors. He was telling his stories with no trace of arrogance, even advising on disciplining oneself regarding finances and how not to give in to whatever new gear is in the market unless absolutely necessary.

Guest speakers were invited to talk about the methods that could help boost a wedding supplier’s business. Jana Simpao of Bride and Breakfast introduced her site and gave tips on blog-worthy photos. Dan Matutina, a graphic designer, emphasized the value of design and branding. Marbee Go, the editor-in-chief of Wedding Essentials Magazine, encouraged the submission of photos to their publication.

Walking With The Giants

My classmates in the workshop were mostly established photographers from different parts of the country. I was a midget walking with the giants. But talking to them was a learning experience in itself. Seeing the beautiful shots posted in their respective websites made me want earth to swallow me whole out of embarrassment, but as Sir Nelwin mentioned in the workshop, photography is creative a skill that can be learned without being a child prodigy. True enough, creativity and good taste are innate but skills have to be acquired through experience. Mental note to self: practice, practice, practice! I cannot let my precious XOXO knowledge go to waste.

I’ve been debating with myself whether or not I should post my own outputs. Admittedly, my abilities are not yet ripe for the picking but I got to start somewhere.

Whether you’re a professional,a hobbyist like me, or simply a Nelwin Uy fan, be sure to sign up if ever he offers another workshop in the future, and make it quick as slots tend to fill up in the blink of an eye. I assure you , the investment will be well worth it.

Gowns by Veluz and Veejay Floresca
Flowers by Vatel Manila and Teddy Manuel
Make up by The Make Up Studio Team
XOXO Handwritten Logo by Fozzy Castro-Dayrit

Models: Tricia & Drew

Special Thanks to Ms Tey and little Gabe
Aperture trading for the freebies



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Canon Photomarathon 2011 Winners Mindanao Leg

September 1, 2011 by  
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As promised on my previous post on the Canon Marathon 2011 Mindanao Leg, here are the photo entries of  finalists for both the point and shoot and DSLR categories. Pardon me for the poor quality of pictures which I only took while they were projected on screen.

Out of 200 plus participants,  nine finalists  from each category emerged as the best from  the three themes given:

Theme 1:
“The people of this golden friendship city, inherent and traditional traits.Camaraderie and hospitality. The beauty of this golden glimpse.”

Theme 2:
” The golden blessings that glow and behold to this city of the river of gold. Like the confessions of His love and passion. You will deeply cross this rare Kagay-anon.”

Theme 3:
” A city considered as a melting pot in Mindanao, where modern lifestyle and booming economy arise. With the goal of nature preservation for future generation. They put eco-tourism as the core of it’s tourism attraction.”

Finalists, Point and Shoot Category:

Winners, Point and Shoot Category:

Grand Prize Winner:
Yonelyn Robles
prizes include Red Canon EOS 1100D, Benro Tripod, SD Cards, Bag, etc

1st Runner Up:
Charles Cepeda
prizes include Canon Ixus ___, Tripod, etc

2nd Runner Up:
Christopher Ronald B. Bandoy (my husband)
prize: Benro Tripod only (uh.. in fairness the tripod was nice!)

Finalists, DSLR Category:

Grand Prize Winner:

Euben Hallazgo
prizes include Canon EOS 600D, Tripod, Loot Bag with SD cards, Bag, etc

1st Runner Up:
Sally Mileva Dime
prizes include Canon EOS 500D, Tripod, Loot Bag with SD cards, Bag, etc

2nd Runner Up:

Erwin Romel Roa
I don’t remember the prizes but I’m guessing it’s also a tripod

Congratulations to all the winners! Remember, if you’re joining the Canon Photomarathon in the upcoming legs in the Visayas and Luzon regions, have fun, do your best but don’t expect too much. Anybody can win in this event, pro or not. If you don’t get lucky, don’t let the loss put you down. Consider it a rare learning experience.

Thanks to Canon for putting up a fun event like this and for choosing CDO as its Mindanao destination! Thanks for the food and other freebies! Hope this will not be the last time to gather “Canonites” from Cagayan de Oro.

Schedule for other regions:

Tagbilaran City Bohol (Visayas)- September 3
Vigan City, Ilocos Sur (North Luzon)- September 10
Legazpi City, Bicol (South Luzon)- September 24
Metro Manila- To be announced

You may register at the

color ink cartridges

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Canon Photomarathon 2011 Mindanao Leg

August 28, 2011 by  
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When I heard of the Canon Photomarathon 2011 Mindanao leg being held in Cagayan de Oro, I instantly got excited about it even if I didn’t know what it was about. I just shifted to a Canon DSLR this year so I haven’t been in the know of the past Canon activities. Part of me was scared that it had to take some athletic skills, as the term marathon suggested some degree  of physical fitness. I quickly googled it and learned that it was a fun annual event attended by photographers from Luzon, Vizayas, and Mindanao that involves shooting for the whole day. In Asia (apart from the Philippines), there are even bigger Canon Photomarathon events where the prizes include a trip to Australia to attend a photo clinic.

Last year’s Canon Photomarathon Mindanao leg was held in Davao. Now that they picked Cagayan de Oro as its destination for the Mindanao leg, I made sure to sign up for it as it changes cities for its destinations every year. The only place constant is Manila where thousands of participants flock to the event.

Even if I knew that it would be attended by rabid photographers who live and breathe photography, I still wanted to join. Professional photographers, serious hobbyists, and amateurs alike are expected to bring out their intimidating canon gears. I knew that winning in it was like hitting the lotto jackpot with my newbie skills and inexpensive lens, but the fun and experience of it was hard to miss. Plus, the free lunch, snacks and dinner would save me from cooking for this day.

The Canon Photomarathon 2011 in CDO was successfully held yesterday, August 27, 2011 at the Limketkai Center Atrium.Some people traveled from Davao, Iligan, Pagadian, etc to join the Mindanao leg. We were provided with shirts and caps to use during the event for identification. We were free to shoot anywhere, as long as we return to the Atrium within the time limit to upload our best shots for the designated theme. There were three themes that we had to interpret throughout the day, with 2 and a half hours budget for each. Post-processing was not allowed except for built-in editing tools within the camera. It was called a photomarathon because it tested our endurance for a day of shooting under the scorching heat of the sun or while getting soaked in the rain.

The first theme was:
” The people of this golden friendship city, inherent and traditional traits. Camaraderie and hospitality. The Beauty of this golden glimpse.”

Second theme:
” The golden blessings that glow and behold to this city of the river of gold. Like the confessions of His love and passion. You will deeply cross this rare Kagay-anon.”

Third theme:
” A city considered as a melting pot in Mindanao, where modern lifestyle and booming economy arise. With the goal of nature preservation for future generation. They put eco-tourism as the core of it’s tourism attraction.”

I’d rather not bore you with my entries for each theme in the DSLR category coz I realized they suck. But I was thrilled that two of my husband’s entries to the point and shoot category made it to the top 9, and one of it placed 2nd runner up in the said category. I didn’t want to go to the event alone, I had to convince my husband to come along. My old compact Canon, the Ixus 55 has  long retired so I bought him an affordable Canon Powershot A2200 just so he could come with me. We never knew it would be his winning gear. He’s not really passionate about photography as much as I am, but I’m guessing the win will spark up interest in him.

Here are his entries which made it to the top:

For theme 1:

For theme 2, which won the 2nd runner up in the Point and Shoot Category:

It sure was an exhausting event but nonetheless fun, especially with the ongoing city fiesta parade. As for me and my husband, we only went away from Limketkai during the second theme, in which we headed to San Agustin Cathedral. Although we brought a car, we took a taxi, taking cue from ” The Amazing Race” to get there quicker and not to be bothered where to park when we come back because Limketkai Mall was more packed than usual.

In the first theme, the energy was up, we kept shooting to our hearts’ content. But towards the afternoon, especially on the 3rd theme, we got really tired and went back to the site much earlier and submitted whatever we had, whether or not it had potential for winning.

We had pictures printed at the Canon Pixma station where each participant is entitled to one print out.  While waiting for the results of the competition, the hosts gave away prizes for games.There were loads of prizes given out. I just wished that they also gave at least a pen to the top 9 finalists (aside from the recognition of being up on stage) for each category because it wasn’t an easy feat to be chosen in a sea of amazing photographers from Mindanao.

If you’re from Visayas, Luzon, and NCR, be sure to join the upcoming Canon Photomarathon events in your area. Have fun and don’t take the challenges too seriously.  Otherwise, the pressure might eat you up. It’s anybody’s game at the Canon Photomarathon. You can be a newbie like my husband and still win.  Bring  along your spouse or kids as it can be a great bonding time with them. With or without prizes, you’re sure to bring home new experiences, memories captured, and do i need to mention, freebies?

The youngest shooter with her dad, awarded with Canon Freebies

Check out these following dates:

Tagbilaran City Bohol (Visayas)- September 3
Vigan City, Ilocos Sur (North Luzon)- September 10
Legazpi City, Bicol (South Luzon)- September 24
Metro Manila- To be announced

You may register at the Hurry coz the slots tend to fill out quickly, but be patient with the registration if you don’t get in initially. My hubby had trouble registering so I had to come back often to finally sign him up. Stay tuned for my next post where I will be featuring the winners for each category.


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Make Your Own Havaianas 2011

August 12, 2011 by  
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Whenever I try buying a pair of Havaianas slippers, I get excited about how cute they look  and comfy it must feel to walk in them. For some reason, I never end up purchasing them. I set them aside for a new makeup palette or an exciting shade of lipstick. But then I guess I was fated to own one when Spruce sent me an invitation to the “Make Your Own Havaianas 2011” event at the Limketkai Mall in Cagayan de Oro.

A giant boarding pass  to the event was delivered at the clinic yesterday while I was  in the midst of a rather toxic but productive day of patient consultations.  I made a mental note to make time for this must-attend gathering of fashionable flip-flops lovers, which I seemed to miss year after year.

This year’s Make Your Own Havaianas sparks the wanderlust in us, with designs that feature the fashion capitals of the World. The current venue at the Limketkai Center transports us to our dream destinations, as they turned  it into some sort of  airport, with flight announcements through paging systems to boot.

I was assisted by Astrid, one of the young “stewardess” of the event to pick the designs that I liked. With the vast selection of colors, I was overwhelmed with the choices I could make. Customization of designs allow us to pick a pair of Havaianas that define our uniqueness. This could be the reason why customers look forward  to “Make your Own Havaianas” each year. I used to pass by this affair for the past couple of years and wonder why it’s always packed with people.

There was a gazillion of combinations to choose from but I finally picked my first Havaianas: turquoise soles  and straps which are a mix of turquoise and pink. It was accentuated with a yin yang  pin on the left and Eiffel tower on the right. These perky bubblegum colors remind me of  Barbie dolls when I was still a kid. Yin yang signifies my advocacy for acupuncture while the Eiffel tower is a reminder that I got to go to Europe someday when I get rich. Whew! Never thought a pair of slippers could tell a story.

If you haven’t got your latest pair, be sure to catch the event today (August 12) until Sunday, August 14, 2011 at the Limketkai Rotunda. Entrance is free so go ahead and browse around . There’s a pair waiting for your creative juices to come to life. Limited edition designs featuring the different fashion cities of the world are available, stocks of which can run out if you don’t hurry.

Thanks are in order to Spruce, especially to the owner Ms. Trisha Tamparong who I met while I was having my slippers done. She told me she insisted on having my invitation delivered just so I could come. Thanks a lot, Ms.Trisha!

For more info regarding  Make Your Own Havaianas (MYOH) in the Philippines, please visit this website:

Below are pics I took during my visit:


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