The Organic Geek as a Headless Chicken

This is the familiar story of bloggers getting busy with other things in their offline life. They get busy, so they blog less. And that’s what happened to me, more or less.

The first semester of my second-to-the-last year in grad school is proving to be my most challenging yet. Not even the weekly papers I am required to churn out in my Environment, Culture and Society class a few semester ago can compare.

International Relations (IR), an elective I’m taking this semester, is much harder. Since my IR background is nil, I have to work double time to catch up with my classmates. There are around 100 pages worth of required readings each week. Additional readings on current events has to be done, too, to be able to participate in class discussions. And then there are the papers I have to research for and write.

My International Reporting class is about to start on Monday. Aside from required readings, additional reading on current events has to be done, too, to substantiate class discussions. There are also weekly writing activities and mini researches.

Ah, and then there’s my full-time work as well as my upcoming volunteer work, so good luck to me and my sanity!

But I shouldn’t complain, really. After all, learning these things is a dream I’m making a reality. I can’t really save the world from impending climate change, but I can at least help explore solutions through my own expertise, right?

Anyway, these should have been my blog entries the past weeks:

1. Tried and Tested: Human Nature Natural Deodorant – I love how it allows me to sweat naturally without the icky body odor. The rosemary scent gives a girly vibe, too.

2. About to Try: Planters Organic Laundry Detergent – I bought this at Sesou in Trinoma yesterday and I’m excited to try it. The box says I can even use it to clean the bathroom! Let’s see how multi-tasking this product really is.

3. Tried and Tested: Human Nature Strengthening Shampoo with Rosemary Scent – Rosemary scent rocks! It makes my nightly showers extra-soothing and refreshing.

4. Tried and Tested: Human Nature Choco-Vanilla Lip Balm – Ah, this one disappointed me a little. Whenever I glide the tube to my lips, it feels like I am swiping candle on my lips–totally not cool. It seems to be short on oil and moisturizers, unlike the Human Nature Mandarin Lip Balm which I love!

5. Rags2Riches Tree Bag – RIIR’s new tree bag is light enough to carry and roomy enough to put my things in. I would love to buy this—as soon as I get extra money!

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Rags2Riches Bag

I’m not very much into buying designer bags unless they’re sold dirt cheap at ukay-ukay (second hand shop) or an outlet store. I find buying something ridiculously expensive at the mall a bit pointless, especially if you can buy a more reasonably-priced version of it elsewhere.

My Rags2Riches bags are an exception, though. Mine are the ones designed by Rajo Laurel back when Rags2Riches first came out.

My Rags2Riches Bag. Photo by Me.

I like them because they’re pretty and look one-of-a-kind. It’s made of rags and scrap cloth, yes, but the rich forest green shade of it makes it look elegant and classic and not rag-like at all. I can use it for years to come.

Another reason why I like it is because each bag is lovingly made by a “nanay” (mother) at Payatas in Quezon City. This means that each bag takes days to make as each is handmade. And in the age of automation and instant noodles, each handmade Rags2Riches bag is extra-special.

Rags2Riches envelope bag. Photo by Me.

Making each bag also gives each “nanay” a decent income–enough to live a simple and happy life with one’s family. Every purchase thus makes everyone happy: you with your beautiful bag and the “nanay” with her well-earned income.

Nowadays, it’s bag designer Amina Aranaz who designs Rags2Riches bags. I haven’t bought anything from her collection yet, but I would love to. The bags are prettier, especially the ones with rosettes and mother of pearl. It’s very Filipino, too!  Totally worth every penny. Hoping, hoping, hoping to buy another one soon!

ESH Manila

Just some shameless plugging of my friend Rachel’s social enterprise. Please visit ESH Manila for cool products made the eco-ethical way! A percentage of your purchases will help fund an advocacy program.

ESH stands for Environment, Social, Hope.

ESH also happens to be her nickname.

Let’s support social entrepreneurs!