Life before wifi, Part 1
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I first heard about the information superhighway (or Internet to you) when I was studying at Parsons New York back in the ’90s. My dad told to me to check it out so we could communicate via email, but I didn’t get it then.
Back the ’90s, Internet was really new. My Mac looked like this

My old Mac SE/30

My favorite gadget was the Nintendo Super NES, where I played many games of Super Mario 3.
I remember calling my Dad long distance to ask if it was OK to spend $139 for it. 🙂


When I went back to Manila in 1995, Internet still wasn’t a big thing—pagers were!
I quickly subscribed to EasyCall 141. My pager looked exactly like this:

Easy Call Beeper

To send a message to someone’s pager, you had to call a 141 number and tell the operator your message.
How awkward it was to say “I love you” to an EasyCall operator. Can you imagine what those people went through, having to hear sappy messages all day long? They must’ve rolled their eyes a lot.
I also remember there were certain words you couldn’t use, like shit or crap. You were not allowed to curse on EasyCall.
My cellphone was a huge Nokia phone with antenna. It was as big as remote control.

Texting wasn’t happening yet, so pagers were still very popular.
I remember the first person I knew who was texting—Ariel Lozada, who directed my first fashion show in 1996.
I would watch in awe as he texted model Joyce Oreña, another early adopter.
When I finally got my phone to text I would text junk to Ariel—that would be the equivalent of people who still send useless email.
So that time, everyone still had the phone and pager combo or just pager and landline.
Take note: the word “landline” was new. Prior to cellphones, we just called it “telephone.” Walang landline.

Death of a pager

Then one day my assistant Melvin Mojica announced he was giving up his pager to buy a cellphone that could text instead. I was shocked because I couldn’t imagine giving up my pager.

We all had pagers: (from left) Rene Perrenoud, Ge Madriaga, Paolo Arévalo, myself, Paolo Raymundo and Melvin Mojica at my fashion show in Fashion Café, Glorietta, in 1999. (Photo: Eddie Boy Escudero)

It turns out Melvin was psychic.
And so it came to pass: more and more people dropped their pagers for a cellphone, and EasyCall, once an enviable company, died a natural death.

(To be continued)

Mich Dulce for less at Bench!
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Bench enchants with a special collaboration with designer/milliner Mich Dulce.
Mixing quirky and cute with playful influences from the 1950s, Mich introduces easy-to-wear headpieces as well as a nautical, sort of rockabilly, clothing line.

Mich Dulce for Bench

“A lot of my trademark bows are seen on headbands, fedoras, and caps in a red-white-navy color palette,” says Mich of her collection. “The girls’ line is very vintage and sweet while the men’s line is basic and simple, playing with stripes and anchor motifs.”

Mich Dulce for Bench

Her favorite pieces are the puff-sleeve tops with hand-drawn bow prints and the ribbon-buttoned cardigans.
Expect to see high-waist pencil skirts, cardi cover-ups, tops with retro bows and dots for girls, plus nautical stripes for the boys.

Mich Dulce for Bench

The Bench collaboration is a dream come true for Mich.
“I’ve always wanted to do more accessible headpieces as my personal price points are quite high,” says Mich, “so this is perfect.”

Mich Dulce for Bench

Mich Dulce is art and design rolled into one. Having trained at London College of Fashion, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in the UK, University of the Philippines, the Philippine International School of Fashion, and Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, Mich has leveled herself up in the industry.
Her designs have been worn by music icon Adam Ant and Vogue Nippon editor Anna Dello Russo as well as Leighton Meester in Gossip Girl and Freema Agyeman in The Carrie Diaries.

Mich Dulce for Bench

The ad campaign is just as artsy and whimsical with a larger-than-life paper boat shipwrecked in a lost wonderland.
“I wanted to veer away from the usual pin-up clichés associated with rockabilly and nautical. Hence, a play with a newspaper boat,” she explains.

Mich Dulce for Bench

Bench is a brand that is proudly Filipino and like the designer herself, currently works on a global scale.
“I like to think our brands are similar in that we are both Filipino labels gone global,” Mich says.
Wear your art on your sleeve and be sure to check out Mich Dulce’s quirky collection at a Bench store near you.
To know more, click HERE.

Paolo Roldan shows his Bench Body
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Fashion and menswear watchers all over the world may recognize Bench Body’s latest endorser, Filipino-Canadian model Paolo Roldan.

Paolo Roldan for Bench

In this new campaign styled by Noel Manapat and photographed by Brent Chua, Paolo wears Bench Body’s fashion forward underwear with colorful piping and contrasting colors—in silver and tangerine; classic red, white, and blue; aqua with a printed waistband; purple and paisley; green and white; or even pink and purple with racing stripes.

Paolo Roldan for Bench

Classic white and black briefs still abound, for that effortless, sporty and masculine aesthetic that does well with Bench casual apparel.
Known for his print and ramp work, Paolo Roldan has appeared in Vogue, GQ and Hercules magazines, and has modeled for Givenchy, Michael Bastian, Phillip Plein, Giorgio Armani and Diesel.
This time around, he brings his international appeal to Bench Body.

Paolo Roldan for Bench

Pope Francis: So much cuteness
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St. Francis of Assisi is often depicted with birds. Lots of them.

St. Francis of Assisi St. Francis of Assisi

No wonder a seagull came to visit the chimney of the Sistine Chapel, just when the new Pope was about to be elected.


Last Sunday, as Pope Francis greeted the faithful from the central lodge of the Basilica of St. John Lateran, a gust of wind blew onto his mantel resulting in these holier-than-thou images.

Pope Francis
Pope Francis with Italian cardinal Agostino Vallini
Pope Francis with Italian cardinal Agostino Vallini

Italian Cardinal Agostino Vallini helps with a smile

Pope Francis with Italian cardinal Agostino Vallini

How can you not love him??

Pope Francis with Italian cardinal Agostino Vallini

P.S. Isn’t this cutest?

St. Francis Pope Francis
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