Okay, I’ve had a couple of months to process this–still–unbelievable experience of being part of the new Real Beauty global campaign of Dove (read “#RealBeauty, Surreal Experience” here), and if anything, time to breathe and think has just made what happened seem even more incredible! At the time, everything fell into place so quickly that there was barely time to consider what was happening, and in the months that passed, not being able to talk about it just made me focus on work to keep my mind off the anticipation.

To backtrack a little, all this whiplash-inducing excitement happened in January, when I received the overseas call about the possibility of a photo shoot in London for a global campaign for Dove. I told them I was very surprised and excited, but at the same time I tried to temper my expectations about it realistically happening, given that at the time I received the call I had only a few days until the shoot.

Crazily enough, that turned out to be just enough time–roughly 2 days after receiving that call, Ito and I found ourselves panic-packing, and soon we were leisurely enjoying hors d’oeuvres and cocktails in our very roomy lie-flat seats before take-off. We arrived in London on a Saturday evening, extremely well-fed and well-rested, and a car was waiting to take us to our very hip hotel where a party and club scene were in full-swing in the lobby (and beyond), giving us a taste of the exhilarating things to come in the days ahead.

The next day, Sunday, left us free to relax and explore the many weekend markets in London. In the rush before leaving Manila we had not had time to buy pounds, and while we had our credit cards, we still needed cash for small purchases and market finds–as luck would have it, even that was easily resolved. Our very cool hotel concierge pointed us in the direction of a money changer nearby (that was the only establishment open on a Sunday) that accepted our Philippine pesos and changed it to pounds…for the same rate as our money changer in Manila!

With everything settled, we had a leisurely Sunday to adjust our internal clocks and spent the rest of the day at the flower market, enjoyed freshly-roasted Monmouth coffee, browsed the bookstores, admired the street art and various pop-ups around the neighborhood, and tasted the various dishes on offer in the restaurants and food markets surrounding Shoreditch. By day’s end, we were full, happy…and still totally unable to believe that we were back in London so soon 🙂 🙂 In the meantime, I tried my best to get my 8 hours ‘beauty sleep’ (which was more of a ‘fighting jet lag’ sleep!) in preparation for the following day’s exciting shoot…(more to come in the next blog post “Photo Shoot with Mario Testino (!!!)”)

*Photos by Ito Ocampo

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