Ms. Shopaholic

Shopping Maven At Your Service

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Death by Ukay-ukay

About two weeks ago, my mom texted me a warning about stopping my patronage of ukay-ukays (the Philippines' version of a thrift store/vintage shop, whatever you want to call it). She told me she was able to catch an episode of CSI: New York wherein brides drop dead on the floor on the day of their respective nuptials due to their wedding gowns. A local mortician makes money out of selling to thrift stores the clothes worn by corpses that arrive in his/her facility (I haven't seen this episode yet so I'm not sure about the sex of the mortician). This is after he's just finished embalming the bodies in formalene and all the other chemicals they use.

It was kind of creepy because I was scheduled to meet up with the girls at our fave ukay-ukay by Friday (my mom texted me Monday afternoon). Was that mother's intuition or what? Anyhoo, I had a quick retort to my mom. Discovery Channel's featured the same story in their wonderfully entertaining series on urban legends entitled 'Fact or Fiction.' They interviewed a pathologist to confirm or debunk the veracity of that particular myth.

My mom told me that in CSI: New York's storyline, the wedding gowns' lining got completely soaked in the embalming liquids and that as a result, some of them got trapped in the clothing article until they got absorbed by the victims through the pores on the skin. Completely untrue, said the pathologist. Case closed.

If you're like me who shops at ukay-ukay's, the number one rule should be that you'd have to wash first the items you've purchased before using it - for sanitary reasons. Although the clothes may look great, you can never tell what condition the original owner of that clothing article has.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


I felt very restless all of a sudden. The thought of my impending credit card bill popping up in my mailbox (or my parents' mailbox, to be exact) doesn't make me feel the least bit happy at all. I love shopping, I love the rush it gives me - it's better than the effect of alcohol, nicotine, pot or Valium on me. I know how shallow and materialistic I sound right now but there's this unexplainable feeling that I get after a new acquisition for my wardrobe -- especially if it was such a good bargain. I just seem to have the knack for finding the best bargains especially when it comes to my wardrobe. The thought of the credit card billing statement in my doorstep just forcibly brought me back to reality.

These past few weeks, I've kind of buried myself with work because I'm nearing the end of my probee (probationary) status in the new company I've been working for. Shopping has become my outlet, apart from my night outs with the girls but that's a different thing altogether since it's usually devoted to a totally different topic.

I’ve heard of A.A. but is there such a thing as Shopaholic Anonymous? I’ve tried self-control (I’m usually good at this but not with regards to shopping) by rationalizing that I have way too much stuff already but it didn’t work. I’ve put into my head the theory of material obsolescence by Naomi Klein but it doesn’t seem to work anymore as it did before back in my college days. I picture in my head the millions of people in the whole, wide world that live on less than a dollar a day but that don’t seem to hold on for long once I see something that I instantly fancy with the words “SALE” and “30% - 70% discount” attached to it.

I’ve avoided stepping into the malls but its allure is so tempting, I just can’t resist especially if I find out that there’s going to be a sale period. Add to the mix Mastercard’s current promo wherein the grand prize is a shopping trip to Paris for 3 days and 2 nights with all expenses paid. The monthly prizes are as equally enticing – shopping trips to the other Asian shopping capitals such as Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok, places that I’ve never been to but would love to go to one of these days. I’ve asked my friend Cathy, whom I’ve been with these last few weekends, to be my purchase patrol but it only worked once.

Cathy lost her wallet last Saturday night and immediately after the discovery of the loss, she had this strong resolve to hit the mall the next day to check if she’d be able to recover it. I volunteered to go with her since I was going out of the house anyway to pay my credit card bill. We agreed to meet up in Glorietta but didn’t specify any time. I went about my business paying my bills and when Cathy still hasn’t arrived, I went to Mango and picked up a beautiful small scarf for only Php 249. I also went into Fino Leatherware to buy this mustard colored leather notebook holder for Php 1,600+ (I got a 45% discount from the original price of Php 2000+, I would've gotten a 50% discount if I paid it in cash) – I’m going on a business trip by next month to South Korea so I have to look really presentable to my client I argued.

By the time I met up with Cathy, she had this exasperated expression on her face upon seeing the paperbags. We had lunch in Glorietta and then snooped around U (Rustan’s is on their Annual Mid-Year Sale period) where I found a cute pair of orange leather and canvass pumps designed by Hindy Weber-Tantoco. I asked for the 7 ½ pair to be put on hold until I come to a decision about them. We then proceeded to Starbucks Robinsons Galleria and thank goodness for the honest staff of that establishment for safekeeping it until Cathy was able to claim it! She immediately thought of buying a smaller wallet, preferably the ones with a chain attached to it, so she’d never have to worry about misplacing her wallet ever again. We scoured the entire mall but found their selection to be too limited and headed over to Megamall.

When we got there, we dropped by many stores – Sari-sari, Tutto Moda, Manel’s, Tribal, Linea Italia, United Colors of Benetton, Chocolate and Company, Human and a couple more others. Once we got inside Human, the dress that I’ve been eyeing on caught my attention. I showed it to Cathy and even tried it on. I have been thinking of buying it the last couple of months but decided to wait for it to go on sale. I asked the saleslady if they still have a lot of stock for that particular item but she told me that the ones on display are the last ones. It comes as to no surprise as I have not been able to see them over at their other branches such as the one in Glorietta or Robinsons Place MetroEast. Upon hearing the saleslady’s words, Cathy encouraged me to purchase it seeing how good it looked on me. After the transaction was completed, she berated herself for failing to live up to what I asked her to do.

She did succeed though as my No-Purchase-Using-Your-Credit-Card Nazi because just a couple of hours earlier, she forbid me from buying this cute but very sheer top from UCB (down to Php 800+ from an original price of Php2,000+). Right at this moment, a couple of things are swirling in my head – the orange leather and canvass pumps from U (Php 695 from Php 995), the white eyelet A-line skirt from Urban and Co. (about Php 2,000+) {I love the way if flows – they used a very light fabric and I love the cut of the skirt}, the peach sheer top and the pink ‘40’s style patent leather stilettos from Benetton and the white empire cut top with embroidered blue and green swirls from Mango (Php 650+ from an original Php 2000+). The little devil in me is telling me that since my Standard Chartered bill is already paid up, I’d be able to pay for them by next month. But then again, I would also have my insurance bill to think off. Decisions, decisions!

There was a time when I lost my appetite for shopping. I don’t know what exactly caused it but I just had this feeling that every ware that the shops at the malls has to offer is just the same which prevented me from purchasing anything for months. I don’t know as well what triggered my bad shopping habit back but I’d really like to curb it though it’d be very difficult.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The Great Mango Sale

I first became a fan of Mango (it's an awesome clothing line from Spain - you could check them out at several years ago when they were the only ones to carry a square shaped ring. I was already kinda weary from checking out almost all the clothing and accessories shop in Glorietta when I curiously came inside their store. I instantly loved what I saw - a small section with racks of tops - some of them cute, some of them very edgy. They have 2 areas for their numerous accessories - shoes (my favorite!), bags, wallets, cellphone cases, belts, scarves, jewelry and sunglasses. Everything was very organized so it's easy to look at what you're looking for whether it be jeans, trousers, skirts, blouses, blazers, dresses or suits.

If I'd be in Novalee Nation's (Natalie Portman's character in Where The Heart Is) situation - the Mango store would be my first pick although is very small in comparison to Wal-Mart. I am in cloud nine - both literally and figuratively - everytime I step inside their store, anticipating great finds I would discover. Currently, they're on sale and they've reduced the prices to as much as 70% off. I've already spent close to Php 8,000 bucks for a ton of stuff that'd normally balloon to about Php 20,000 if it weren't on sale.

Edsa Shangri-La Plaza - Exhibit D
Gateway - Exhibit F
Glorietta - Exhibit G (I have yet to post the piccie of this one)
Robinson's Place Ermita - Exhibit A, B
Rockwell - Exhibit C, E

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Exhibit C

Exhibit D
Exhibit E
Exhibit F