I was still with Inside Showbiz magazine when I was invited to cover the launch of SWAP watch last year. It was the first time I heard of the brand and I was instantly impressed. It is all about DIY, after all; SWAP is a watch line where you can choose the design of the watchface and partner it with a silicone strap available in a spectrum of colors and even prints.

So where do you go from there?

The brilliant guys from SWAP gave me the answer when they mounted an event at the Tomato store in Glorietta 2 last Thursday. They introduced the SWAP DIY (design it yourself), which lets you personalize your watchface by using any photo you want. For just P1000, you can have any photo – of your face, of your crush, of your pet – on your watchface, and any color for the strap.

They have also jumped on the bandwagon and joined the loomband craze. For P350, you can create your own loom strap using any pattern: flipside, crisscross, pentalock, whatever.

At the event last Thursday, I brought some of the artists from GMA Artist Center: Mike Tan of Kambal Sirena, Thea Tolentino of The Half-Sisters, and singer James Wright, whose debut album is out now. We all had fun shopping for stuff from Tomato, Tomato Time, and SWAP; and personalizing our SWAP watches, of course.

I went for a pretty safe one – black straps with a rainbow watchface. James went for a black-and-white face with a maroon strap. Thea, on the other hand, wanted a really personalized watch so she sent them a photo of her and a special someone and they used that as the watchface design. It really turned out great, so great I was jealous. I didn’t have time to have another personalized but I swear I’ll be back for that.

It was also great seeing old friends like Kate, Barry, and Elaine from Chalk, and Luis Alandy, who is also from GMA Artist Center, and the now-preggy Melissa Ricks. Last time I saw her was maybe seven years ago, wow.

Highlight of my night was meeting Tom Taus – yes, Prince Cedie – but too bad I didn’t get to have a photo with him coz I was rushing out for another event.

And can I just say that the store really looked amazing that day? I loved the colourful and dainty decors, plus the bicycle in the photowall was unexpected but really photogenic. I also enjoyed the food: pretzels from Auntie Anne, cupcakes from Twelve Cupcakes, and all these candy. I especially liked these gummy blue things – they look like hammerhead sharks/blue (circumcised) penises.

Now you have to excuse me; I have to look for a photo to put on my watchface.