MANILA, Philippines - A girl’s heart yearns for many things. For Ingrid Chua-Go, the blogger behind the baghagdiaries.com and owner of Accessories Lab, her collection of trinkets, jewels, bags and eccentricities is anything but frivolous; it shows her deep and passionate appreciation for beautiful things and it gives her a lifetime of fond memories.
Ingrid’s formidable presence in the blogosphere started with the question: “Should I buy a Louis Vuitton bag or a couch?” Ingrid, who innocently posted this question on her blog had — without even knowing it — called out all the bagaholics from their closets who understood only too well her predicament. “Who’s going to use the couch? We don’t even invite friends over!” Ingrid exclaims.
And seven years since posting that innocent question (and yes, she did buy the bag), Ingrid has now become one of the strongest and loudest voices in the fashion blogosphere, travelling the world over, sitting in the front rows of New York, London, Paris and Milan Fashion Weeks, in search of the next luxury purchase.
“My first love was actually shoes, not bags!” reveals the Journalism graduate from Saint Mary’s College of California. “Unfortunately, my feet grew when I got pregnant (with my second child) and my feet never went back to their old size!” she laughs, revealing her infectious self-deprecating humor that those close to her have come to love.
Fashion has been her great escape, she shares, but though not initially. “I never thought I was into fashion until I realized that many of my fondest memories were tied to my favorite (wardrobe pieces).” Like the first Chanel bag she bought for herself, which she painstakingly saved up for almost four months; the Esprit jean jacket and mini skirt her father gave her when she was in Grade 5; and the white Prada bag, another gift her father gave her after a trip to Italy. “It has been 10 years since my father died, and these are basically the material things that I hang on to, to remind me of him,” she remembers affectionately.
Like those purchases that hold dear memories, Ingrid has many stories, from the poignant to the happy — all of which she documents in her blog. To keep up with her growing interests, her blog has since expanded to include other girlish guilty pleasures such as shoes, fashion, jewelry and travel; and has also spawned a new Manila-centric fashion blog called www.manilasocialdiary.com.
“I figured Manila Social Diary is my way of paying homage to my ‘roots’ in the Philippines,” she explains. “I am hardly ever in town and have hardly any idea on what’s happening in Manila. And so I realized one day that I should put up a blog that’s Manila-centric. Because after all, I’m a Filipino and a proud one at that.”
Photography by RITA MARIE ABIOG • Creative direction
by LUIS ESPIRITU, JR. • Styling by RUDOLPH LEONOR • Makeup by PIA REYES • Hairstyling by ALEE BENSON • Dresses by JUN ESCARIO • Jewelry by MILADAY JEWELS • Shot on location at the DIAMOND HOTEL PHILIPPINES • Special thanks to the management and staff of Diamond Hotel Philippines