Cleopatra’s Blood Siren washed up on the shore.
Full FB album [here]

model: Alex Lorenzana
makeup & hair: Noe Mae Villa-Gee / COLORisMyWeapon
locale: Hidden Beach c/o Mia Huang from Cebuano Tours
photography: Anne Lorraine Uy (me)

Hidden paradise.

I can’t believe how delayed my first photostory of 2011 came. Ideally, this was to come in the summer (hence summer-y feel; tan and bronzed skin, asymmetrical monokini, warm toned make-up) But anyway, I was greatly busy with mostly a lot of family matters (reunions, weddings and all other major and minor human events), plus some photography work here and there squeezed in.

Entrance to another world.

Like all other photostories, this is a product of months of musing, inspiration, thoughtful deliberation and careful yet open-minded consideration. I dreamed of a beautiful girl having the incarnate soul of Cleopatra, born to love the sea and thrive on its beaches. She is a bronze mermaid who loves collecting all sorts of shells, and one who stays close to the warmth of the sun.

I’m super thankful that I was able to form a collaboration with Cebuano Tours, a local tourism business run by senior college students from the University of San Carlos.

Say “Hi” to our uber friendly tour guide, Mia! She is the most outgoing person I know in my whole life. She’s also my cousin from my dad’s side.

The small girl-run crew forming the signature “C” for none other than, Cebuano Tours. Major love and support to them!

In the middle is the ever so talented Noe. I am proud to say I recognize true talent when I see it, and I love referring talents to clients as well as working with them myself. Check out the awesome make-up and hair styling. Noe also answers questions about make-up on her fanpage so if you need some expert advice, post away on her wall [here]. One thing I can rave about her skill is the way she does eyebrows. In my personal opinion, anyone can get away with having nothing but rightly shaped and groomed eyebrows. I’m good with bare face and good eyebrows, or maybe that’s just me being the simple-minded Anney that I am. Haha

She did those gorgeous crimped curls with a small straightening iron.

Second look by Noe. I cut those triangles out from the makeshift reflector I made long ago which was a complete bust. Used it as a handy surface to put our things on instead… lol.

We traveled a long way to the Hidden Beach (yup, it’s really called so), but it was a fun ride. Mia was both tour guide and driver. She was really accommodating and it made me miss her even more. She’s also probably one of the funniest tour guides ever, constantly laughing and exuding those good happy vibes fit for the much needed vacation mode. My friends and I are planning on a get-away ourselves over the weekend. Excited!

From the shell collection I bought for 80 pesos. Naughty siren, you. Not.

Alex is one of the best models I’ve ever worked with. She’s a natural beauty to shoot, down-to-earth, quietly confident and not once did I hear her complain about anything I’ve asked her to do. I’ve noticed that I often direct my models to do things that aren’t the usual, but I try my best not to subject them to intense discomfort if I can help it. Again, if I can help it… Haha

Fun fact: Alex is also a graphic designer, and she was the one who designed the Cebuano Tours logo.

This is a reminder of how I was so dumbfounded by this “common knowledge” that I never knew existed.

IMHO, common sense is entirely subjective no matter how people make it to be objective. So you can imagine my surprise when Mia asked me incredulously if the saleslady was really fine that we bring the softdrink bottles home. I was like, “Why not? I paid for them right.”

But all of them were explaining to me the system of buying a whole case of drinks and then returning the bottles back to the seller. Obviously to be recycled and such. I noticed that in parties, but I didn’t know such a rule was applied even in retail. Anyway, while all of this was going on we were already well away from the little store at a constant pace of speed. Hmmm… This is probably why a lot of sari-sari stores give you these drinks in a plastic with a straw, than the whole bottle itself. But why did the tindera give me bottles?? Do all customers leisurely finish their drinks outside her store and thus be able to give it back to her? …. Nonetheless, lesson learned for me. This is how fun it is not to be stuck with an office job.

Disclaimer: BTS photos taken by Mia Huang and Noe Villagonzalo. Some stolen from her blog. Heehee.