A Goth in Hot Weather: Philippines! West LA Boutique outfit, Wong Kar Wai neon lights.

ksubi sunglasses, multicolored hair

Goth Tropicana, here we go! I had a wonderful time in the Philippines. Fell in love with the people, beaches, food, and spectacular Pacific Cebu Resort.

What was I doing here? And how do Goths dress in hot weather? Read on for an electric outfit post featuring West LA Boutique. 

wong kar wai photoshoot

Perhaps you note a change in the image quality. I now have a Sony Alpha 7 (A7), a mirrorless DSLR camera. The full-frame sensor rocks, yet the body is half the size of a normal DSLR. Perfect for bringing on my travels.

For Love & Lemons Corset Mini Dress

sáv Hospitality brought my 2 filmmakers and me to the Philippines, to experience and showcase their newly-renovated Pacific Cebu Resort. I was also a judge in the Miss Scuba Philippines beauty pageant, which raises awareness about marine conservation.

steelground shoes, goth platforms

On Day 1, I danced around the pool in my fabulous Gothic lace-up heels, from Steelground Shoes. They’re a Portuguese alternative footwear brand, and I’m super impressed by the quality of their materials. You can check out their range of men’s and women’s shoes — creepers, furry pink boots and more — on Steelground’s site and Facebook.

tropical goth, philippines style

How can one pull off a darker look, in hot and humid weather? West L.A. Boutique came to the rescue, with round Ksubi sunglasses and a For Love or Lemons mini dress.

west la boutique fashion blogger

The dress has a corset-like boned top, but the lace material is light and airy, making it perfect for a South East Asian climate. The sunglasses have a retro-Goth feel. I completed the look with cross-top tights and the platform buckle heels.

Can’t wait to show you more of my outfits from West LA Boutique. They have a store in Dubai, and you can easily place orders internationally, from their site (brands include Boy London, Unif, Lazy Oaf.)

cebu city cars, traffic

On our first day in Mactan, we had to run to a store for an errand. Pacific Cebu Resort got us a driver, and he took us through the chaotic streets of Mandaue (one of the urban centers). So much to see, outside my window! Driving in the Philippines is an “anything goes” adventure, filled with the honks of horns.

philippines streets, jeepneys

Sidecars, jeepneys and motorcycles criss-crossed our path. Families of six piled into the back of a truck. Schoolgirls in long uniforms walked by, wearing pink backpacks. The words “authentic randomness” came to mind when we saw people barbecuing by the side of the road, and playing basketball with a hoop made from a tree.

cool round black sunglasses

Inspired by Cebu’s energy and color, we wanted to take images with a Wong Kar Wai night-time feel. 

ksubi bellatrix circular frame sunglasses

A lighting store created an interesting mood.

modern gothic clothing, model

(Photography by Melissa Rundle and Eric Bergemann.)

philippines sidecar, Auto rickshaws

As the sun set, we drove to the Mandaue city center. I wonder what type of street food they are selling here.

filipino cars, motorized tricycle

In the Philippines, traffic can get congested, so people travel on two or three-wheelers. These “motorized tricycles” or auto rickshaws are everywhere.

jeepney public transportation

Locals ride “jeepneys” as public transportation. These were originally converted from American military jeeps after the end of World War II. Today, these tricked-out, kitschy rides are a symbol of the Philippines. We saw a pink one with a demented Hello Kitty on the side. If a jeepney is filled to capacity, riders will stand on the back platform and hang on for dear life.

philippines driving motorcycles

Despite the “free for all” streets, we felt safe driving through Cebu. There’s a laid-back attitude here. No road rage.

colorful lights modeling

We passed by a “Ferrari” building, lit up with these neon lights. We couldn’t resist stopping here for an impromptu photoshoot.

wong kar wai lighting, composition

A perfect match for our Wong Kar Wai mood. Ever-changing neon lights, in saturated colors.

crazy lights architecture cebu

This is one of the best aspects of travel: even if you do research up to your nose, you’ll never really get a sense of a place until you’re actually there. As you explore, you’ll be hit by unexpected scenes and inspirations. Before coming to Cebu, I never thought we’d come across a sight like this.

bright nightclub wall

If you’re liking this outfit, you can check out more inspiration on West LA Boutique’s website (they’re constantly listing the latest arrivals — I’m eyeing their leather mini skirt).

ksubi bellatrix sunglasses

Florescent lights, Asia comes alive at night.

ferrari club, Philippines

The name and logo say “Ferrari”… but is this actually a luxury car dealership?

love or lemons corset dress

Not quite. This Wanted sign reveals what actually lies inside — a girlie nightclub. I wonder if I qualify as a “pleasing person?”

mandaue, jollibee

Onward to the city center, which has a church, park and a Jollibee — the fast food chain of the Philippines, with a big bee as the mascot.

tanduay white rum, calamansi

And finally, back to our home base, Pacific Cebu Resort. The staff went all out to welcome us, beginning with a green drink made from pandan leaves at check-in. Later, we had a tasty dinner that included adobo chicken and unlimited drinks. I’m a fan of trying local flavors, and adored the gin with calamansi (a local tart citrus), and fresh mango smoothie with Tanduay rum.

welcome dessert

For dessert, the waiter served this cute surprise! Pear, ice cream, caramelized cake —  it was delicious.

pacific cebu resort sav

Can’t wait to show you more from this Cebu paradise, including scuba, snorkeling and beach time.

purple green blue hairdye

Thanks to Stephanie Hoy at Vancouver’s Avantgarde Salon for this “oil slick” hair, a gradient of purples, greens and blues!

sav hospitality hotels cebu

For previews of my South East Asian travels and outfits, you can peek at my @lacarmina Instagram.

Have you ever been to the Philippines? How do you like my “Goths in Hot Weather” outfit of the day?



  1. Deandra
    Posted October 11, 2014 at 12:26 am | Permalink

    La Carmina you ‘re great thanks for inspire me :)

  2. Balir
    Posted October 11, 2014 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    XXx Thx

  3. Yoai
    Posted October 11, 2014 at 12:27 am | Permalink


  4. Doll
    Posted October 11, 2014 at 12:33 am | Permalink

    Vraiment sympa tes chaussures!

  5. Rach
    Posted October 11, 2014 at 12:34 am | Permalink


  6. Kuro
    Posted October 11, 2014 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    sugoi desu ne >_<

  7. Immortal Weddings
    Posted October 11, 2014 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    Looks like you had a blast!!! Great post! <3 http://www.

  8. Marks
    Posted October 11, 2014 at 1:12 am | Permalink

    Breathtaking scenery, wonderful pictures and as always you look stunning !!

  9. Raivyn dK
    Posted October 11, 2014 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Girl, you’re so pretty and always have interesting photos! I had to stop by to say hi and have a great weekend! ;) Keep blogging!

    • lacarmina
      Posted October 11, 2014 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

      Aww I appreciate this so much! Thank you – I definitely will be continuing to share stories from Shanghai, Korea, and beyond… Have a great weekend.

  10. Jackie Kelly Ayr
    Posted October 11, 2014 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    What a paradise! Your hair looks awesome! The Avantgarde guys did a great job!

    • lacarmina
      Posted October 11, 2014 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

      It’s a girl who did it ;) Stephanie at Avantgarde! I love her work!

  11. Mari
    Posted October 11, 2014 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    Its interesting to see the places you go to instead of the places other bloggers go like France and Milan. Thanks for the posts like this.

  12. West LA Boutique
    Posted October 11, 2014 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    love this close-up shot of you!! Looking flawless girl xoxo

  13. Jupiter
    Posted October 11, 2014 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    Your welcome la carmina

  14. Anna
    Posted October 11, 2014 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful & charming <3

  15. Reygin
    Posted October 12, 2014 at 1:35 am | Permalink

    Welcome to my country, happy you are here.

  16. Lynda
    Posted October 12, 2014 at 1:35 am | Permalink

    It was good to meet you at the pageant.

  17. Oia
    Posted October 13, 2014 at 3:03 am | Permalink


  18. Xandra
    Posted October 13, 2014 at 3:15 am | Permalink

    So pretty

  19. Bali Sy
    Posted October 13, 2014 at 3:15 am | Permalink


  20. Laop
    Posted October 13, 2014 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    stunning! so nice

  21. RODNEY
    Posted October 13, 2014 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    great one !R

  22. Guest
    Posted October 21, 2014 at 4:57 am | Permalink

    OMG! That cute studded teddy bear! (*O*)/

  23. Euri
    Posted October 21, 2014 at 5:01 am | Permalink

    I’m glad you had fun! :D

    I live in the Philippines but I’ve never been to Cebu. XD Also, I love your hair color! <3

    • lacarmina
      Posted October 21, 2014 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

      Cebu is amazing! I’ll show you more of the resort and explorations soon, I love the Philippines!

  24. Elsie
    Posted November 3, 2014 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    I just can’t get over your sunglasses, so adorable!

    • lacarmina
      Posted November 3, 2014 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, Elsie! <3 I love the anime-eyes look of these sunglasses!

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