Had I dared to bare?
I first heard of a boudoir session when I read Ms. Benz' post at W @W that his brother-in-law is offering a free boudoir session for soon-to-be brides. I checked out the Fol Rana's site of course, sino ba naman ang ayaw ng libre?  And what I saw were women posed and dressed ala-men's magazine but the shots were so artistic and beautiful that you can't help admire the photographer.  It captured the women's sensuality without making it look pornographic. I even showed the link to Myke and jokingly asked if he'd let me do it.  He was ok with it.

Well, I didn't join the first boudoir marathon.  I waited out what the other W @Wies who joined have to say.  So when the results of the 1st MBS came out, I was really amazed. Some of the participants are my W @Wie friends and there they were - ordinary women who look extraordinarily beautiful. Lalo akong bumilib sa talent ni Fol and I admired the participants who volunteered to be models for their courage and allowing us to see how beautiful women really are regardless of sizes and shapes.

Since the first run was a success, I hoped that there will be a second run. The 1st MBS gave me the boost that maybe I should give it a try. What I didn't expect that it was THAT soon.

I had major catching up to do with my W @W digest.  Since the start of 2010, I was really busy with work and didn't get a chance to read my mail except on my lunch break.  So, when I chanced upon the post on the 2nd Marathon Boudoir Shoot, I checked the date of the post and saw that it was posted almost a week ago.  I was almost sure that all slots will be full already based on the responses from the 1st MBS.  My mind kept telling me that it wouldn't hurt to ask if there are still available slots but  I kept putting it off.  I even checked W @W posts to see kung meron bang sumali but all I've read about was di sila pinayagan ng mga fiance nila, another posted that she cancelled her slot because she thought that it will just be an issue between her and her fiance so she might as well let it go.  I was really sad because I was hoping that some W @Wie might join para naman may kasama ako (kung sakali).  But I haven't heard or read of someone who joined. I shared the link my an office colleague and told her that I wanted to join.  She (Ms Carol) was really supportive and encouraged me to try it out, telling me that since I'm getting married, it's the best time to do it.

The weekend was looming then and I decided that I'd wait until the following week to see if Fol can still accommodate me. I told myself that I'd take it as a sign kung meron pang slot na dapat gawin ko siya.

Good thing that my best friend Tina had voluenteered to come with me on the shoot, it gave me an added boost and comfort that someone will be there with me.

Jan 25 - I texted Fol to inquire if there are available slots for the Saturday Boudoir Session.  He replied that he'll check the schedule and let me know.  I was a meeting when I received Fol'd text that he still has the 8-9am and 1-2pm slot available.  I immediately replied that I'll take the 1-2 slot. When I got the confirmation that the 1-2 slot will be reserved for me, my hands went icy cold, literally.  I still can't believe that I am doing it. It wasn't until Ms Carol asked me if Myke is ok that the whole world will see my pictures if it's posted on Fol's site that it sank in that anyone can see it. Sh*t. 

So I texted Myke that there will be a 2nd run of the marathon boudoir and asked him again if he's ok with it.  He said ok.  I even asked him if it's ok that anyone can see the pictures that will be posted on the site. Ok lang daw.  When we got the chance to talk on the phone, I asked him again kung ok lang sa kanya.  He said ok lang, though I could sense in his voice that he was kinda unsure.  I told him that he sounded hesitant.  He simply said that it was what I wanted to do so he can't stop me from doing it.  I still haven't told him that I had already confirmed for the shoot, I wanted to surprise him and in case that I'd chicken out, he wouldn't know.  He he.

All week long, I was torn between going through with it or scrapping the whole idea.  Yung sinasabi nila na parang may demonyo at anghel sa likod mo at bumubulong, it kinda felt like that.  Yun nga lang ang nag-aaway is the sensible (cowardly) Grace and the feminist ("Oh, the hell with it.") Grace.

While looking at the mirror:
Sensible:  Di ka nahihiya na makita nila yan?  (My eyes darting and zooming in (100x magnification) on my less flattering parts).
Feminist:  Indi dapat kahiya yan dahil that's what real women look like.  That's what reality is.
Sensible (ini-spotlight pa ang mga nakikita ng mata) :  Eww talaga. Di naman kaya maging liability ka pa instead na makatulong kay Fol. Ipa-cancel mo na..
Feminist:  No!  You can do it!  You're not giving credit to Fol if you think na wala kang kwentang subject.
Sensible:  Maghahanap ka pa ng mag-aayos sayo. May matinong outfit ka ba?
Feminist:  Magagawan yan ng paraan, may oras pa. Kung di mo naman maasikaso e di magpa-makeup ka kay Tina.
Sensible:  Hay.. Ikaw rin. Baka pagsisihan mo yan.
Feminist:  Pagsisihan mo na pinaglagpas mo yung pagkakataon and one day iisipin mo na sana e sinubukan mo at nalaman kung hanggang san ang kaya mo.  Give yourself a chance to let go of your insecurities.
Sensible:  Bahala ka nga sa buhay mo.
Feminist:  Shut the f*ck up.

See what I mean? Buti na lang at di ako naloka sa kakaisip.

Jan 30 - I wasn't able to sleep well. Late na rin kasi akong nakatulog the previous night since Tina and I met up para ma-meet niya coordinator ko.  I wasn't feeling hungry either so I just grabbed a pandesal and corned beef. Effective ata na pampapayat ang boudoir kasi mawawalan ka ng gana sa pagkain sa kanerbiyosan.  My right eye also hurt due to some infection so
my swollen eyelid didn't help ease my doubts. 

Tina and I agreed to meet at our office at Ayala para sabay na kami pumunta since Fol reminded us not to be late.  Since may tinapos pa siya sa office, I went to the salon para magpaayos. I told the stylist na make sure lang na di mahahalata yung maga ng mata ko.  My makeup is ok but I had trouble with my hair.  The salon attendant styled it na naka-flyaway siya.  I wasn't used to having such a hairstyle but I told myslef to work it na lang in front of the camera lalo na at mag-aalas dose na ng tanghali nun.
When Tina and I were at the hotel, walang tao sa lobby. I'd thought that some girls will be there but it was deserted.  I texted Fol and learned that they're running an hour late. So we hang around the lobby muna, all the while thinking and very nervous. I've had urges to grab Tina and get the hell out of there but curiosity won me over. so I stayed.

When Fol texted me to come up na, I've imagined that when I get into the room, I'd crumple into a heap and begin bawling like a child.  Sheesh.

I was still nervous when I finally got to meet Fol (I've been calling him Sir Fol until he told me to drop the 'Sir') and when the shoot began, I really felt awkward and really shy because it such an intimate situation. You don't go around in your skivvies in front of people you've only just met.  But as the shoot went on, I began to relax a little because Fol and his team are really encouraging. I really don't know how to pose or control my facial features to I'd project the sexiness of the outfit but they were patient with me. So, we kept shooting pictures  and it wasn't until Tina and I were at Bubba Gump having our very late lunch that it finally hit me that I really went ahead and did it!  *Whew*

At home, when I finally got to see the raw pictures, napa-"wow!" ako. You could really see the photographer's talent when you look at his works despite amateur subjects(/models). Tina had been whining to me why I didn't tell her about the free boudoir session (actually, I did. She just wasn't able to check out Fol's site that I gave her that she had no idea what a boudoir session is.  She thought it was a sexy photoshoot to which she had some doubts) and now regretting that she wasn't able to participate. 

Doing the Marathon Boudoir Session was both an exciting and liberating experience for me.  I got the chance to be a model (for an hour at least) and discovered na mahirap pala maging model!  Pero effective ata ng pampapayat ang tension (imagine my having survived 8+ hours with only a teeny pandesal!). Pwede kayang isama sa diet regimen ang boudoir? Ha ha!

So why did I do it?  It was therapeutic for me. I used to be chubby but my figure never bothered me.  I was actually happy that I could eat whatever I want without being guilty about it later. And Myke is in love with me so nothing else matters. But my like of watching Hollywood gossip had somehow triggered something in me: pity for myself or perhaps shame. My idea of beautiful was definitely not the one I see in the mirror.  I was depressed and my self-esteem was on an all-time low. It was when I joined the gym and shed those extra pounds that my self-confidence is slowly recovering. I thought that joining the boudoir session could somehow boost my confidence and it did.  Ngayon habang naglalakad, I feel more confident with how I carry myself and sometimes feel kinda smug, he he.

Did I regret it? No. I wanted to shed my insecurities and to do that, I have to step out (albeit gingerly) of the box, out of my comfort zone. I know that joining a boudoir session may be more of a "in your face" approach but that was my personal decision.

Would you recommend it?  Well, it depends on you. Dapat e medyo open-minded ka at willing to take risks.I don't think people here in our country are that much aware of boudoir photography.  It's great that Fol and the others who are into boudoir photography are slowly introducing it into our society. Despite being in the time that we've seen and heard quite a lot of unconventional things na, medyo hesitant pa rin tayo to fully embrace the concept of boudoir.  Kaya ang pictures ko e di pwede ipakita kay Nanay at Tatay :P

Would I do it again?  Maybe but perhaps not now, not immediately after I'd gone thru the MBS. Baka awayin ako ni Myke :P

Check out Fol Rana's Second Marathon Boudoir Shoot here.

Oh by the way, my friend was so impressed by Fol's work that she wants to have a boudoir session with him :)


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