I think I really started wearing accessories when I was living in Melbourne, and there were all these weekend night markets that my friends and I would go to and pick things up from.
Personally, I prefer jewelry that has a story behind it or that reminds me of something. For example, I have this Indian ring that my ex-girlfriend gave to me when I was really, really young. I thought I’d lost it, but around the time I started wearing accessories again, I found it in this old box of toys. I have this woven bracelet from a Buddhist temple in Taipei, and another one from Uluru, which is the religious center of the Aboriginal people. Another bracelet I got around the time I started my first real office job in Melbourne, and another from when I graduated from taking my master’s degree. When we wrapped Baka Bukas, I also bought myself a watch from Mondaine.
One of my staple bracelets has my favorite Kanye quote inscribed onto it. I got it from The Bead Shop in Rockwell. It says ‘Never Lose Your Dinosaur,’ which is a quote from a GQ interview he did. He was talking about how, when you’re a kid, you believe in all these things, like spaceships and dinosaurs, and so for him, Kim is his dinosaur. When I asked them to put that quote on the bracelet, the saleslady kind of looked at me and said, “Sure ka ba, ma’am?” I think she was only used to having quotes like ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ and ‘Best Friends’ done.
I started getting into ear piercings in my first year of college, too. That was also a very Melbourne thing to do. I’d read on GOOP that the rook is the least painful one to get, so I had that one done—but it’s been over a year and it still hurts! Because I have so many piercings, when I wear earrings, they’re always mismatched. It might also be because I lose them all the time.
I’m travelling to San Francisco for the Frameline International LGBTQ Film Festival this week, where Baka Bukas will be playing, and so I remembered that Kris Aquino packing video where she said that you shouldn’t wear your jewelry on the plane because it’s such a hassle to take it all off for security. I never realized that! For this trip I’ll probably bring my staple pieces, which are three bracelets and three knuckle rings. I’ll probably also bring a Filipino friendship bracelet along.
When I travel, I like to find jewelry in vintage markets because they’re more aged and worn. I’m lucky that even though this Nami signet ring is new, it’s aged really well. It even has the same sort of shimmer as my older jewelry. For me, jewelry isn’t like clothes, in that you change them often and wear something new every day. The pieces that I wear I tend to wear all the time because of the memories attached to them. There’s such a difference between wearing something that’s significant to you versus this random thing that you just bought at a store.