I first met Cecile Zamora van Straten at an event several years ago. It was pretty fast and we didn’t get the chance to get to know each other. I just remember our common friend telling her that I have a daughter named Sadako and she, as expected/just like a lot of people, asked for the reason behind.

The second time was when we got to be seatmates watching a Bench fashion show when the brand flew in Lucy Hale of the show Pretty Little Liars. Cecile and I commented on the models that walked, especially the cute guys. After that she told me I was fun to be with pala. I got kilig.

The next time I saw her was just recently, when I brought Alden Richards to her house so they could have breakfast. This was after I found out that she’s a big fan of AlDub.

I saw her a couple of more times after that; she invited me to the opening of a Pepper Lunch Express branch, and then there was this one time we had dinner.

All these are a big deal to me because I’m a big fan.

Just like a lot of bloggers, I look up to her because she’s proven how successful you can be as a blogger especially when you do you.

I admire Cecile because she has great taste, can spot trends (earlier than most), and can influence her audience.

But most importantly I like how she is a creative. I remember going crazy over her designs back in the days and being inspired to design and create clothes and accessories myself. I remember always dropping by her Grocery store in Glorietta, never seeing her, and saving money so I could buy some of the stuff there. I remember reading all these features on her (and her old Star pieces) and me thinking, Wow, she’s such a cool human being.

So it’s really cool how I now know her. I’ve been to her house. I’ve been to her office. I’ve met some members of her family. And she follows me on Twitter! Layo na ng narating ko, odiba!

And just last week I got to attend her event, the Chuvaness x National Book Store collection launch.

Cecile has a line of beautifully designed, travel-inspired items for everyone.

I love tote bags so I just had to buy this spacious carryall, which I love so much I used it the day after buying it.

I also bought this baby bag version, which I wanted to use as a pouch for my gadgets, but Sadako got it the moment she saw it.

There are many other cute items for organizing your stuff.

There are notebooks, and notepads, stickers, and to-do lists.

But my favourites would have to be the shoe bags and the giftwrapping paper.

I enjoyed the launch so much, even if I didn’t get to eat any of the great food and drink all the available alcohol.

I love how there were all these cute foreigners dressed as “shopping companions.”

I love how everyone was there. It was like a reunion, actually, with friends and colleagues from the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Hinge Inquirer, the Philippine Star, and different PR companies. It was great seeing Patty Betita and Fay Lao, as well, who are AlDub fans I met when I brought Alden over at Cecile’s house.

Paw and Jujiin were there.

Carla Abellana was surprisingly there, too.

I met some really cool people, too, such as JP Singson and his cool mom, Tita Tessie.

Sayang I didn’t get to meet Mitch Dulce, though. Coz I love Bitch Dulce!

The Chuvaness x National Book Store collection is available in selected branches for a limited time only so if I were you better head to one or shop online soon!

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