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Monday, October 17, 2016

Thailand Diaries 2 (August 9-12, 2016)

Welcome back to another Thailand diary vlog. Soo to recap, I was in Thailand last August for the Karmart Asian Beauty Blogger Contest. I was representing the Philippines to the said competition. And to those who are curious, Karmart is the maker of Cathy Doll.

August 9, 2016
Moving on after the lunch, they had Mayy R come over and do a talk about how she became a blogger. She is very popular in Thailand because she shares a resemblance with SNSD's Yoona. She is an interesting personality because she was so timid here, but on YouTube she has the same energy levels as I do. Even more amusing is I met other Thai bloggers and they're also puzzled about why she's so timid during events despite having such a loud YouTube persona. 

Afterwards, they showed a lot of the commercials Cathy Doll has produced over the recent years. I asked Thai locals, and their notion of Cathy Doll is that it wasn't really such a popular brand until the more recent years when they devoted more budget to hiring big time celebrities to endorse their products as well as making more advertising efforts. There were Cathy Doll billboards wherever I went to in Bangkok-- they were really that serious about advertising. I wasn't able to have the time to watch Thai TV while I was there so I don't know about how frequent their TV ads come up.

And finally, our videos are presented to the guests. This is Ruby's video. Ruby and I tried to be as faithful as possible to the set items provided by Karmart as it was intimated to us that we had to be faithful to the products. In my case, too, even if I wanted to buy other products, there was nowhere to buy from as many products still hadn't come while I was making my videos.

The rules and regulations were quite chaotic to be honest, and when we all got to talk, we realized that many rules were not uniformly communicated. In the first place, there was no written mechanics form made at all. Ruby and I, for instance, thought that we had to be as faithful as possible. We were given crazy eyeshadow colors to work with, so Ruby did a disco look to be faithful, while I piled lipstick over my eyeshadow so that it'd be copper. Others were not given such a rule and bought all the other products they needed, so their looks ended up being more wearable. There was also no specification on number of videos to be made, which made it confusing as well. Some countries' representatives got to have help from professional filming and editing crew, while some countries were able to devote a budget to scouting for a good location to do the tutorial in. Not all countries got to have these perks as it was not properly made uniform. No rule for or against such implements were made.

I was not told of any time limit, and Ruby was told it was 10 minutes. The others didn't know that it was just supposed to be 5 minutes either. To make matters worse, what ensued was a bloody splicing of our videos down to 3 minutes, perhaps in a bid to make it less boring for the press. I honestly cringed when they showed my video because they spliced out so many clips off of it without my permission, and I honestly felt that it was poorly spliced. They took out all the eye makeup details but kept the whole footage of me applying snail cream. It was just the intro, face makeup, then farewell already. It was spliced so poorly. Ruby suffered the worst because her video was at 10 minutes. Angeline from Malaysia suffered a lot, too, as her video was at 7 minutes. This was one of the parts that made me sad because our videos were supposedly the key highlights of the whole contest. These were what were judged, so I felt that due time was supposed to be given to showing them. They could have actually not done the talks or makeup demos as they were just supposed to be supplementary to the showing of our work.

But well, life goes on as Cris Horwang comes to light up the stage. She is one of Thailand's most popular actresses, and when she entered gasps were heard from the Thai visitors. She spoke about the Cathy Doll products that she really likes and how she has always been advocating for the said products regardless of whether it's required in her contract or not.

She really does have pretty skin, and she doesn't seem to wear a lot of makeup. I thought she was a sexy actress given her outfit till people explained to me that deep V-necklines were just the prevailing trends in Thailand at the time.

And finally, it was the live challenge round. We were each made to do drawlots of numbers and of the products we were supposed to do a live review over. Johnstan got number 1 and so he had to bravely be the first to do it. And well, this was much more intense in real life because we only had 5 minutes to do reviews for 3 products. And the 5 minute rule was very very strict there was really a countdown on the projector and on the monitor in front of the stage. Remembering all the products' benefits and being able to demonstrate and talk about them coherently in front of Thai media and press under time pressure really wasn't easy.

Ruby, Jane and Angeline got to be in the first half so they're not nervous here anymore.

This was the moment when the judges were deliberating on who'd win. SuJin is excitedly waiting for the results. She wasn't part of the panel of judges so she had the luxury of not having to make the difficult choice of selecting winners.

And the next thing we know, everybody is onstage with Cris Horwang and Ploy Chermarn. They are very big celebrities of Thailand so the media was in a frenzy during this moment.

So yeah this is me with my 2nd runner up award in front of Ploy Chermarn much wow. I wanted Boy Pakorn to come as well given that the other Cathy Doll endorsers were already there, but he must have not been available. I am actually very amused with the celeb system in Thailand because this barely ever happens in the Philippines. Appearances are normally used as bargaining chips by managers and fees can go up to 1,000,000 pesos just for a celeb to appear at an event. But from what I understand, these celebs came out of their goodwill to support the brand and just went after their other engagements were over.

After the photo op, the media is now in a frenzy to get interviews with the celebs. Nope, these people aren't there for us, they're there for the celebs. Everyone wants to get a good scoop on what's the latest, especially when it comes to the love interests of the celebs.

After our interviews, we were immediately whisked to a banquet hall for our party. The party was started and ended early because everyone's flights was going to be in the afternoon the next day that this night was the only night for most to be able to do some shopping and food tripping.

And we got out of our party clothes and got into shopping mode quickly as the stores were about to close soon.

I forgot the name of this mall, but this store's shoes are so pretty. If I only had the money I would have gotten one of each design from this store.

We also went to the food markets nearby, although I was already so full at this point that I didn't think of buying anything anymore.

We then went to 7/11 to stock up on essentials. I am soooo amused with their whole beauty section. The beauty section has a life of its own and there is virtually a travel sized version of every single cult beauty favorite. Like not just sachets, they really have travel sized versions of powders, mascara, and even BB cushion.

August 10, 2016

This is the photoshoot day! Most of the behind the scenes footage went to my vlogs and this is one of my behind the scenes photos for the advertorial they were making. This contest is in conjunction with Lemonade magazine but I ended up seeing ourselves in Praew and Sudsapda, so I am now understanding that this seems to be an advertorial photoshoot staged by Karmart itself. 

The photoshoot was soooo early. We had to be in the photoshoot prep area by 6:00AM (5AM Manila time) with full makeup and we had our individual shots first before we were able to go for breakfast. I had to change back into my own clothes because the clothes they made us wear were expensive designer garb.

And once the photoshoot was done, I finally got to go to Caturday Cat Café. 

The cats are the cuuuuutest and I took so much footage that it deserves its own blog post.

Since the queen's birthday was nearing, there were beautiful set ups of the queen's portrait everywhere. This is her 84th year, and in the zodiac she has technically finished 7 cycles of 12, which is why this birthday is a little more special than the others.

August 11, 2016
I went to the Grand Palace but not for the grand palace itself but for another reason. 
The real reason is because I wanted to go to the Queen Sirikit museum of textiles. Her Majesty has an ongoing exhibit of her clothes that were designed by Balmain for her during Their Majesties 1960 tour to Europe. Queen Sirikit knew that Thai clothes wouldn't really do it, but she wanted to use the tour to be able to highlight Thai elements and fabrics, so she sought the help of Balmain (and House of Lesage for the beading) to conceptualize clothes that come with a Western style but with a visibly Thai touch.

Photos of the actual exhibit are not allowed, but instead they have books for sale over the exhibit.

The Queen Sirikit museum also has a store, and this is where her books are sold. One of the queen's advocacies from before till now is to uphold Thai traditional arts and crafts, especially the weaving of special Thai fabrics, hence a museum of textiles dedicated to Her Majesty. Her Majesty also advocated for the use of many Thai fabrics otherwise only used by marginalized Thais, all in order to make the fabrics fashionable so that rich investors would have a demand for clothes using these fabrics. The Queen has done a lot to promote fabrics that originally had a stigma for being worn by lowly villagers and has put many of these supposedly forlorn Thai fabrics centerstage in many of her engagements. This has helped to maintain, if not revive, many of the traditional fabric industries in the rural areas of the country.

And just to amuse you, here is Batman in the middle of Bangkok, in front of the grand palace.

Lunch was at Jim Thompson restaurant. He is known as the American who helped cultivate the fine Thai silk industry, but his brand has kind of evolved into an empire. This is perhaps the best Tom Kha Gai I have ever had I am still yearning to go back to Thailand just for this.

I also did some shopping at Platinum shopping mall, although I didn't buy clothes as a lot of them were too small. I instead got myself some nail glitters and some accessories.

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  1. Wow congrats Po Miss Marilene.. Wagi nanaman ��

  2. Wow! Ang galing mo Miss Mari! Hehe. 😊

  3. Nice naman girl.. Congratulations! ❤❤❤