Ciao Milan: Q & A – Part 2

I don’t have to put a warning here anymore. Rest assured this is longer than Part 1
So sit back, relax and imagine yourselves in the places i will state here.
P.S. Don’t forget your calculator. 😀
From the first blog i made, my friend RipeMango got some questions, so i want to put it up here, for more details.
Best Buys for Shopping:
Via Montenapoleone/Via Sant’Andrea/Via Manzoni/Via della Spiga:
As i have stated before, these streets were the most chic (and expensive) place to shop. Even if the price tags are larger from your budget, you can spend many a happy hour admiring the window displays.
Corso Buenos Aires:
It’s the longest/busiest street for shopping spree. Some branded ones can be found too (which you wont see at Via Montenapoleone). At least a lot were affordable here.
Malls:
There are lots of malls in Milan, but not like the huge SMs, Glorietta or Greenbelt.
Rinascente: this is an expensive mall, located adjacent to the Duomo of Milano. You can see all the expensive brands here, from bags to clothes, to perfumes, etc. I only dared once in buying a D&G sunglasses on sale here. More than that i’m contented to just touch Furla and Balenciaga bags. Looking and touching are free anyway. 🙂
IPER: there are lots of Iper (Coop) around the city (Iper Fiordaliso, Iper Grande, Iper Metropoli, Iper Torre). It’s like a tiny version of SM, with reasonable pricy stores.
Metropoli is just near our house, i just walk or take 3 bus stops from where we live.
Brands: (For affordable prices)
Clothing: Milan got OVS, Terranova, Pimkie, Jennyfer, Bershka, Tezenis, etc. I supposed H&M and Zara are affordable too, unlike Banana Republic, Gap or Mango.
Shoes: I can’t seem to advise a good affordable stores. =( Footlocker isn’t quite cheap, as well as Geox, Camper, etc.
Bags/Accesories: My favorite is Carpisa. Then there’s the Segue, OVS too. Accessorize is too much! =)
Restaurants:
I already mentioned the Ciao Ristorante on part 1, it’s like a buffet. you just have to get whatever you want, serve yourself and pay at the cashier.
There are some i forgot to mention with affordable prices: (will take again the 55Phpesos for 1 euro conversion)
*Burger King (like Mcdonalds’)
*Chicken and Chicken: like the famous KFC.
1 menu for single costs 5.80euro = 319Php : includes 3 leg fried chickens, 1 bread, 1 softdrink & 1 coleslaw

1 maxi menu costs 20euro = 1100Php: includes 1 bucket of fried chicken, 4 coleslaw, 1.5 liter of softdrink & 4 breads
*Doner Kebabs (if you feel for it), from normal bread 3.50eu = 192.50Php to menus 5.50eu = 302.50Php ..and above.
You can always find affordable bars and small restaurants around. Lots of them are scattered in Milan. Italians love to eat outside.
Some best places to eat:

For curiosity sake, you can always have the real feel of Milan by going or tasting what have been called their bests. They’re not cheap obviously.
Princi – panifici e pasticceria (bakery & pastries). you will find 1 Princi near the Duomo, and some scattered around the city. I’ve eaten pizza and some pastries there. The prices are worth it.
Pizzeria Spontini – said to have the best pizza in Milan. I haven’t eaten there yet, honestly for the distance reason. it’s not located near the center of Milan. 1 slice of normal pizza costs 5euro = 275Php. (a normal pizza restaurant’s price for 1 whole pizza, minimum is 4.50euro = 247.50Php, so you’ll know the difference)
Panzerotti Luini – Panzerotti consists of a pocket of dough filled with varying amounts of melted mozarella cheese, tomato sauce and some fillings, which is then wrapped, salted and deep fried. Luini is the best place to go, near Duomo. You’re lucky to not find a kilometer line there everyday. minimum price range from 6euro = 330Php, and above.
Flea Market
If you really want economical prices for everything: from food, shoes, clothing, home stuffs, etc. flea market isn’t bad at all. it’s like the Divisoria scenery. But of course, with your 100euro, you can buy a lot! Some branded stuffs are there, from the factory itself. they were sold for some damages or wrong sizes. If you’re good in “maghukay-hukay”, chances are you’ll find what you want.
The longest flea market held during Saturdays is at Naviglio Grande, all the way to Via Sant’Agostino, from 8am to 6pm.
So, you ready now for the side trips?
If you will stay in Milan for about 1 week, you can have a 1 day side trip each day to other parts of Lombardy and other region. I will suggest some places to go.
1. Como
By train from Milan, it only takes less than an hour to go here. The ticket costs 9euro (back and forth) = 495Php. The train stops literally in front of the lovely lake Como. You won’t be lost.
Lake Como is over 400meters deep and said to be one of the deepest lakes in Europe. Ferry services are available to travel from other small towns and villages. The lake is also well known for the villas which have been built from the Roman times, and of course, for the awesome villas of the rich and famous: designers, celebrities, football players, etc. Hence, Villa Fontanelle formerly owned by Versace, Villa Oleandra, by George Clooney, Villa La Casinella, owned by Virgin Airlines owner, to name a few.
Funiculare- The Funicolare, a cable tram that slides up against the hills of Lago di Como up to the higher neighborhoods of Como, called Brunate, with an elevation of 715meters high. Funicular station is near the Lake Como, and costs 5euro = 275Php, back and forth. Every 15 minutes, the funicular is available. It only takes 7 minutes to go up. Whew! I’m afraid of the heights, and i might say, i “braved” the cable tram. When i saw it as “not a hanging cable car”, i took the ride. I just turned a bit deaf, maybe from the elevation effect. The view from the top is priceless. You don’t want to miss it.
Duomo di Como – The first thing you will see turning left from the train station is the Armani Store, then walking ahead is McDonald’s, then Duomo di Como. Other stores and bars surrounds the Duomo, as well as the souvenir shops.
2. Mendrisio, Switzerland
If you happen to go and stroll around Como in half day (that is arriving around 9am and finishing around 12noon, then you can have a short side trip to Mendrisio, Switzerland, for shopping purposes. It’s only 20 minutes from Como. There’s only one thing in mind when Mendrisio is being mentioned: FoxTown! It is a factory outlet very popular in Switzerland. You can buy with 40% to 70% discounts. From Milan to Mendrisio, 1 hour by bus, it costs 10euro back and forth (550Php). It is open everyday including Sunday, from 11am to 7pm.
So, if you’re already in Como, you can just get a bus near the border (Chiasso), and the immigration will just check your Schengen Visa, and ask where will you go. Foxtown is the easiest (no questions asked) word. pardon me for i don’t know how much the bus fare costs, since they still use Francs as currency in Switzerland. Maybe less than 10euro. You can pay in euro, but they give francs as a change. Don’t worry, people can speak english a bit there. Most of them speaks italian and german.
3. Capriate, Bergamo
From Milan to Capriate, it only takes half an hour by bus. Around 9euro back and forth) = 495Php. You won’t want to miss the MiniTalia Leolandia Park. Here you will see the miniature of all the Italy’s best attractions. Cool! Fun Rides, Aquarium, Farm includes the whole park. It opens from 9:30am to 6pm. Entrance now is 24euro (1320Php). Kids less than 100cm is free.If you will try some rides, i guess you will spend a whole day here.
For more details and curiosity, visit my blogs:
4. Venice
Who didn’t hear about the most romantic city in Italy? The city above the sea? From Milan to Venice, you can take the train at Stazione Centrale. It only takes 2.5 hours. Ticket costs 45euro (2475Php) back and forth. From the Sta. Lucia (Venice) station, you will need a water bus or taxi to take you to Saint Mark’s Square. I’m not so familiar with the price now. It takes some 20 minutes or so to arrive there at St. Mark’s Square. From the square, you can just walk and enjoy the gondolas, lagoon and endless souvenir shops.
Tips:
If you kick for Murano glasses, it’s your chance to buy here cheaply.
Feeding birds at St. Mark’s Square is prohibited now. Unless someone is watching you, feed quickly and click your camera as quick as you can. =) When entering the church, sleeveless and shorts are not allowed. I have been to Venice twice, i couldn’t wait to go back.
5. Florence
Florence is the capital of the Tuscany region. The city is world famous for its gothic and renaissance buildings, art galleries and parks.
For the bullet train it only takes 1 hr & 45minutes from Milan, with the ticket costing to 71euro (3905Php), and by a intercity train, around 3 hrs and a half from Milan, with the ticket costing 41 euro (2255Php) From the train station, all you can do is walk (as what my friends told me) because almost the tourists spots aren’t so far. I havent been to Florence, so it’s also for me to find out how awesome the city is.
6. Rome and Vatican City
If you will tour in Italy and you’ll land in Milan, Rome is not so near. From Milan, it takes 6 hours and a half with the Intercity Train which costs 66.50euro (3657.50Php). If you’ll take the bullet train, it takes 3 hours and a half which costs 116euro (6380Php).
In my experience, taking the economical train isn’t bad at all. You can leave Milan for instance, friday evening, around 11pm, and then arriving Rome on saturday morning, by 6am or so. From the Rome station, you can just take directly the subway that will lead you to every spots in Rome. Being early is cool, because taking pictures is more fun, no one’s around. Then you need to line up early too for the St. Peter’s Basilica (Vatican City) to avoid long wait. It opens 9am, so being on the line by 8am means having more time to stroll. Sleeveless and shorts are obviously not allowed inside the church. 2 day-tour is never enough while in Rome. But, i think spending a day in Rome is good enough to avoid spending too much for hotel. Hotels aren’t so cheap in Rome. You can go to Vatican City, Fontana di Trevis, Colosseum, Roman Forum (Ruins), Pantheon & Piazza della Spagna and Navona in a day, as long as you don’t stay much in one spot.
For some info’s about Rome’s Spots’ tickets/entrance fees/hours:
Vatican City: For Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel entrance costs 14euro (770Php). The entrance to the Pope’s and priests’ tombs underground is free.
Colosseo (Colosseum) : opens at 8:30-5:00pm (last entrance at 4pm) the hours of closing will differ especially during summer which extends to 6pm. Entrance costs 9euro (495Php).
The Pantheon: opens from 8:30am – 7:30pm everyday. Sunday at 9am-1pm. Admission is free!
Roman Forum (Ruins): opens 8:30am-1 hr before sunset. Entrance fee is 9euro (495Php)
Hotels:
1 star ranges from 28euro – 50 euro (1540Php – 2750Php) per night
2 star ranges from 33euro – 60 euro (1815Php – 3300Php)
3 star ranges from 60euro – 200+eu (3300Php – 11000+Php)
Take note that the farther the hotels from the city, the cheaper the prices.
Even France is near Milan, but, i hate to put it as a side trip because, touring France is another story. We wouldn’t want to tour like road runner running and hurrying to savor the places, don’t we?
If you are really ready for the budget in touring Italy, i would advise you take a 4 or 5 day (maximum 1 week) trip here. It’s not really enough, but at least, you can go around to places you want to. Exhausting but fun. Once in a while we need to uncheck our bucket list, right?
If you happen to be my friend, just tell me 1 month ahead if you got plans, so i can ready myself (and my house as well to accomodate you), and be your interpreter and tour guide. No fees charged. Just offer me a good plate of carbonara! =)
So, there…
ARRIVIDERCI!
See you soon!

P.S.
Questions are good. I can’t detail everything here. Thanks!

Ciao Milan: Q & A – Part 1

Warning:
Grab your popcorn, chips or nuts and drinks, this is gonna be long. Bear in mind that i’ll be talking of Milan, the 2nd most expensive city in Italy now (next to Bolzano). You might end up grabbing for a calculator!!! =)
I have been living here since 1994. Nearing two decades. I just feel the trees here are as old as my stay here. Kidding! People, especially in the Philippines usually ask me, “You’re in Milan? Is that near Rome?” I would just reply, “Nope, Rome is very far from Milan.”
I’m not a travel blog expert, so what you read in here is just what i think of, while writing. if i miss something, let me know.
Q: Where is Milan?
A: Milan (Milano) is the 2nd largest city in Italy and the capital of the Lombardy region. It’s located at the northern part of the country. See Wikipedia for other details.
Q: How to go to Milan?
A: If you’re from other parts of the world, you need a Schengen Visa. Travelling on a Schengen visa means that the visa holder can travel to any (or all) member countries using one single visa, thus avoiding the hassle and expense of obtaining individual visas for each country. You can go to the 25 countries such as: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Go to the respective embassies near you.
Q: How much is the plane ticket to Milan?
A: We’ll take the Philippines as the point of departure/arrival, ok. Airplane fares differ from airlines and the date of departures. If you will travel between July-August, or December- January, they’re peak season, so expect the expensive airfare. It can costs you between 700euro to 1,200euro, depending on the airline.
Let’s take the 55Php per 1 Euro conversion:
Average Ticket Fare (Back & Forth) : 600euro = Php 33,000 per person.
If you travel with a child above 2 y/o, only 100euro or so, is subtracted.
Note: Early Booking is cheaper, so if you really plan to travel, reserve tickets 2 or 3 months before.
I have tried Lufthansa, Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines. They’re a bit expensive, but the service is awesome. Cheaper airlines are: Etijad, Qatar, Saudia, and other arab airlines. But, i’m a bit awkward taking those planes, for the too long wait at stop overs and the wee hours of departure/arrival. It’s your choice of course. Ask your travel agent.
Q. Where do i land in Milan?
A: There are 3 main airports in Milan.
(1) Malpensa Airport (MXP)
(2) Linate Airport (LIN)
(3) Orio al Serio (BGY-Bergamo)
Tip: If i am your contact, i will suggest the Linate Airport which is based literally in Milan. I can fetch and take you there in an hour or so
by Taxi, if you have a lot/heavy buggages (around 40-50 euro = 2200-2750Php)
by Bus if you only have 1 or 2 manageable luggages (1.50euro = 82.50php), eto mas tipid (tiis-bitbit nang konti)
Q: Where to Tour?
A: This is the best part. Milan has too many tourist spots.
I won’t post fotos anymore, better to see it for yourself. Check: Around Milan
The list doesn’t mean you need to travel first or last ok. This is, if I will be your tour guide.
First things first:
* The Ticket (for commuters). Milan is accessible by bus, train, tram and subways. The ticket costs 1.50euro = 82.50Php, for 90 minutes of travel. So, if you will be travelling around the city, i suggest you get the One-day ticket which costs 4.50euro = 247.50Php, so you would not have the hassles of validating too much tickets or spending more.
* The Language – You’re in Milan. Expect the people to speak in Italian. Most of the people don’t speak english, so make sure if you’re travelling alone, have a map/travel guide in english language. You would end up using sign language to the passers-by when you ask for directions or anything. Sure thing, when you see a Pinoy/Pinay, you’re saved.
The drinks and the foods will be discussed later. =)
* Weather – If you really want to visit Milan, the best months to go is during spring season (between April-June), not so cold, not so hot. The coolest months are from December to February, while the hottest months are from July-September.
READY?
Pretend i am just beside you travelling.
1) Castello Sforzesco (Sforzesco Castle).
This used to be the seat and residence of the Milan Monarchy, from the 14th century. From our house, the bus stops literally in front of this magnificent castle. So expect me to bring you first here. Different museums are now inside the castle. Most of them are relics of the buildings, fotos and history of the castle itself. I have been there once (because one pinoy worker let us in, for free)
Museum Ticket prices:
3euro = 165 Php
Free Access: boys and girls under 18 years of age.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday -4:30-5:30
Friday 2:00-5:30
2) Acquario Civico di Milano (Milan Aquarium)
This is just near the (1) Castle. No worries, entrance is free!
Opens from Tuesdays to Sundays: 9:00-1:00, and 2:00-5:30pm
During summer (July-September) there is a little bar (tambayan) nearby the aquarium which serves Halu-Halo. The italian owner’s wife is a filipina, that’s why.
Halu-Halo – 2.50 euro (with leche flan) = 137.50 Php
3) Piccolo Teatro di Europa (European Little Theater) – Just nearby the aquarium, for foto purposes. Of course, you might not be interested to watch for a stage show in italian, right?
4) Duomo di Milan (Milan’s Duomo Cathedral)
Obviously it’s the trademark of Milan, from post cards to travel fotos, all you can see is the Duomo di Milano. This structure took more than 500 years to build, the fourth largest in Europe and the 2nd largest cathedral in the world. If you want to go up on the roof by stairs, it will cost you 5euro = 275Php, or by elevator, 8euro = 440Php.
5) Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele II
Adjacent to the Duomo is the big and elegant gallery where big branded stores, restaurants are inside. The architecture is remarkable. There you will find the “wishing spot. it is consider a good luck to stand or twirl around on the testicles of the bull of Turin. I don’t really knew the why-abouts, but it became a tradition. I tried it so many times, and some wishes came true. No harm trying.
6) Teatro Alla Scala
This is located at the end of the (5) Galleria, so you should not miss this. This is the famous theater where Pavarotti, Maria Callas, etc. used to sing their great operas and stage plays. Every December, the theater opens, so famous people/celebrities and politicians flock the building. In front of the theater is the Palazzo Marino, the seat of Italian Municipal Government, where the Mayor works. Expect some rallies/barricades from time to time there.
Walking along the theater street is the Via Manzoni and Via Montenapoleone, the most chic shopping area in Milan. I bumped into some italian/world celebrities from time to time. I was amazed by the late Lady Diana when i saw her walking in her simple but elegant pants and blazer. My camera is not quicker than her bodyguards. (natakpan ng kamay, sigh). I also giggled once when i saw Ricky Martin in front of the Versace store. Cute, but he’s gay (sayang)
But this is another story. I need another blog for this. =)
7) Sant’Ambrogio Basilica (St. Ambrose Basilica)
St. Ambrose is the patron saint of Milan. It is always celebrated on December 7, so expect the red date on italian calendar. Here you can find the remains of the two guards who watch Jesus’ tomb. The bones are still intact. Access to the church is free of course. for the candles, like every church, you just need to donate. There’s a small machine for translation for the tourist. But i guess it needs coins too. 1.00euro = 55Php something (not sure)
8) Cadorna Stazione Ferrovie (Cadorna Train Station)
This is where you take the train if you’re going to the other provinces of the Lombardy region. Nice for foto souvenirs. You can see the giant needle and thread designed from the fountain at the center, ending up infront of the train station.
9) Triennale Design Museum of Milan
Just near the Cadorna Train Station. If you’re a museum wanderer, you can have a side trip there.
10) Chiesa Sta. Maria delle Grazie (Church)
Inside the church museum, you will find the original Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci. If you want to see this, you have to at least reserve ticket online or book by phone. It’s always sold out. So i suggest if you will go to Milan, 1 or 2 months before, you need to reserved/buy a ticket for the Last Supper online. Walk-in tourists are not accepted. Be there 20 minutes before your schedule and bring some id’s. Chances are if you’re sure you will come here, tell me ahead. i can call from here directly for the reservation.
entrance fee: 6.50euro = 357.50Php – for last Supper only, 15 minutes
reservation: 1.50 = 82.50
guided tour: 17.00 = 935.00 – Last supper & Church tour, 1.5 hour
So there’s the 10 spots for sure i can take you in 1 or 2 days, including the picture taking, shopping and eating.
Q: Where to Stay?
A: There are many “economical” hotels in Milan
1 star – from 14euro to 35euro (770Php – 1925Php) per night
2 stars – from 45euro to 50euro (2475Php – 2750php)
3 stars – from 50euro to 70euro (2750Php – 3850Php)
Depending on the location, the prices vary.
See some info’s Hotels in Milan
Note: If you are a friend of mine, or you will be travelling in 2, my house is wide open for accomodation. Tiis-siksik lang ha. Our crib is only a 79sq.m. flat condo type. What matter is you can save your hotel budget for a shopping spree.
Q: Where to Eat?
A: Lots of good bars/restaurants around.
I will suggest the economical ones that i frequently go.
McDonald’s : Happy Meal – 4euro (220Php)
Medium Size – 6.90 (379.50Php)
Maxi Size Meal – 7.90euro (434.50Php)
Spizzico (Pizza Restaurant)
1 slice of pizza – minimum 4.50euro = 247.50Php
1 glass of coke – small size 2.20euro = 121.00Php
of course it always depends on the pizza flavor or drinks size.
Ciao Ristorante: Buffet Style, italian foods
plates ranges from 4euro (220Php) for pasta
to 6euro (330Php) for 2nd plates
Yuan Mongolian Restaurant: Chinese/Asian Food.
eat all you can: 7.90euro (434.50Php)
with grills : 12.90euro (709.50Php)
Ice Creams: Cones, from 2euro (110Php) to 2.50euro (137.50Php)
Glass, from 2euro (110Php) to 3.50euro (192.50Php)
Coffee: 0.80 cents (normally) 44Php
Cappuccino: 1.00 euro = 55Php
Mineral water, half liter: 1.00 = 55Php
Note: it always depends on the bar you were in. Prices can go higher.
Souvenirs: Postcards: 0.50 cents 27.50Php
Keychains: 3-5euro (165-275Php)
Tshirt: I love MI, Milano, etc. – 15-25euro (750-1375Php)
Cup/Mugs: 10-15euro (550-750Php)
Ok, so there you are. This is only the first part of our trip.
Side trips, next!
Ci vediamo a Milano!
See YOU in Milan!

Joining Our Kid’s Journey: Fashion World

Being a mom is an endless job, but fulfilling. And joining our kid’s journey is one of the responsibilities of being a mother.
As a stranger in a foreign land (here in Italy), oftentimes my friends or acquaintances asked me about how my little one got into the fashion world. I always say, it’s just “LUCK”. Not everyday people stop and say “My compliments, your daughter is so beautiful”. Whenever i hear those words from strangers whom i just bumped on streets or bus, tram or subways, i can’t help but be so proud. “Thanks so much”, i always reply. Remarks as, “She looks like a model”, or “She should be in the magazine”..etc. I just smile. I didn’t wish for it, honestly. Never even think she would be in this fashion world. Then again, i agree with the “LUCK” thing.
“I think i saw her somewhere…” phrases like this now are not new to me. With a smile, i reply, “Yes, she did appear in some magazines…”. All these things makes me a proud mom, though it’s not a walk in the park.
Think again. Modelling sounds fun, but never easy.
Here are some you need to know if you pursue your kid into the fashion world.
(Note that i am talking from the european point of view)


1. TIME COMMITMENT
Pursuing a modelling career for your kid will take a lot of your time and energy as well. You have to get your child to casting calls. Sometimes 2 or 3 day notice, or sometimes last minute call. Then you have to travel, have your child absent from school and have yourself be absent from work, too. If you are ready for these things, then go for it. I am luckier, i only have a part-time job now, so i have much time for my child. During her big job for a catalogue we have to be outside the city for 2 days, so being in a hotel and travelling far took me a lot of energy. Be prepared.

2. RIGHT ATTITUDE & DISCIPLINE
There can be a lot of waiting around during castings. As a parent, you have to be extra patient. You have to be as much as possible punctual to the castings/auditions or appointments. Plan ahead. Think of the traffic and make sure you know exactly how to get to the place fastly. I for instance, checked the place right away thru google map and if i have enough time, i go to the location first, one day before the casting so i won’t be lost.
Be patient too about your kid. My daughter’s only 1 year old and 10 months when she met the fashion world. She doesn’t have any idea at all (nor am i) of the how-to’s, so expect the child to cry, starve and show impatience. They’re kids! Find a way to make them feel it’s like a fun game. Be ready to diverse the child. I always bring some coloring books or toys for my daughter, at least she won’t be annoyed for the long wait.

3. FINDING AN AGENCY
This is the hardest part. There are hundreds of modelling agencies around. Be informed well. Ask someone trusted, like fotographers, make up artists, moms with child models, etc. Some good and big agencies will ask for the required registration fees, it’s just policy. And some won’t ask, better! But if an agency ask a payment of 300-500euro, TURN and RUN! It’s not worth it. The normal rate for commission is 20%. The child is paid (usually in 3 months from the date of the job) minus the commission.
It may take a few attempts to find an agency that thinks your child has what it takes.
If an agency is interested in representing your child, read any contract carefully and be sure you understand the terms. Also make sure the agency is licensed and bonded.
Lucky enough i found the right one!


4. PHOTOS
Agencies sometimes provide a fotoshoot to provide photos for the child’s portfolio. Some may refer professional photographers or studios for a nice foto. Obviously the agency will use the foto to represent your child. Think again of the expenses. You can’t just have a foto by paying cents. It will cost a lot, as part of the commitment to this endeavor.
Don’t ask me how much a professional fotoshoot costs =). Kidding!
Here are two of the photographers that i love.


5. CLOTHES, SHOES & ACCESSORIES
Much as you would invest on fotos, you would of course invest more on clothes, shoes and accessories. Fotoshoots doesn’t mean just posing. To look good, it means wearing fashionable wardrobes, so be ready to have your budget.
From this reason that i have been sweeping unique shops and branded stores for kids. I become a window-shoppa-holic! =) being informed with the dates of sale helps.



6. CASTING CALLS
Hopefully, your phone will ring and the agent will tell you, “there’s a casting” for your child. There are different types of casting.
Request casting, means the client knows the specific look they want — a 5-year-old girl, with blonde hair, for example — and invites only kids who meet that criteria. These calls are usually well-organized with minimal waiting.
Open castings are a different story. They can be very crowded, since many different agencies send all of their clients who fit the call. There have been times when my daughter and i checked in and were the 500th or so. Think about that wait. I always let my daughter play with some kids her age. Since we’ve started castings, she became more sociable.
Some tips during castings: don’t bring stroller as much as you could. if the room is crowded, it would take up a lot of space. Chances are, kids will bump into it, and some moms will have their “faces” at you. Second, don’t bring the whole family. Your child is the only important person to be there. She might get conscious too when everybody’s around. Plus, the castings always request for 1 person per child, as much as possible to avoid overcrowding. And lastly, don’t hover your child as the photographer is working with him/her. The photographer wants to see that your child can be separated from you and pose independently.

7. DIRECT BOOKING
 
The best thing is when your child has been booked for a job directly from the photo presented by the agency, avoiding the casting call. fortunately, the very first job by my daughter for the magazine cover was a direct booking. The store owner contacted directly and i was so excited! Fotoshoot was scheduled right away when i said yes! I can’t described how proud i am of my daughter. She has just turned 2 years old then.


8. HANDLING REJECTION
If your child doesn’t get the project, do not get discouraged! Keep in mind the casting director may have wanted a certain look or that your child was the wrong size for the job. Being “optional” is an irky thing because it’s like 50-50 chance your child will get the job or not. Oftentimes, it ended up to “no-job”. My daughter had so many options before. So, from then on, if they called my daughter as “optional”, i didn’t hope anymore. But of course, LUCK is always a big factor.
It is imperative that older children understand that if they are not chosen, it does not mean they are not good enough or pretty enough. It simply means that the casting director wanted a girl with blonde hair or a boy with freckles. Make sure your child is emotionally able to handle rejection because that is part of the job.
So that’s it. Some points to ponder when you get into the fashion scene. Our kids might have their own roads to conquer. One could have been a swimmer, singer, dancer, actor/actress, model, or any other side jobs, but the most important thing is, we, as parents, as mothers (who take more of this mom-duty) are always there to support them morally, spiritually, mentally, psychologically and of course, financially. As long as they enjoy what they are doing, let’s join them!
Goodluck to us!
 
 

Zara-ist!

I have to admit, i have been here three times this week!
That means, Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday (you read it right)
Each day seems to be a new day because they started hiding the nice ones for the winter SALE that will start tomorrow.
For sure i’ll be back this weekend. =)