Aloha Zori!

I love everything Japanese. The architecture, the culture, the discipline, the cuisine, the designers, the clothes.

I love the beach. The sun, the sand, the sky, the crystal clear sea water, the wind, the wide open space, the island vibe.

I love flip-flops. The free and easy feel, the comfort, the casual look. I’ve been wearing the y-strap sandals long before the tsunami of deigns flooded the market and became fashionable with men. I wore them everyday and my friends hated me for it. They called me the male Lolit Solis.

Apparently, there is a connection between all these things I love. The realization dawned on me on the 50th birthday of this popular footwear- Havaianas.

In Marga’s tribute to the brand’s roots, she said. “Havaianas was born in 1962 from the breezy culture of Hawaii and the serene design of Japan. With the same clean lines as the Japanese Zori, but with a secret 100% rubber formula, Havaianas is the original child of eastern Zen and western joy.

Today, you can see the marks of its parentage easily. The Zori, which has a sole of rice straw, can be seen in the iconic rice pattern found on the sole of every pair of Havaianas.

Likewise, the word “Havaianas” is actually Portuguese for "Hawaiians," whose exuberant colors and culture influence each style.”

Then I understood myself a little more…. (play mood music:....tall and tan and young and lovely....)

Summarizing my affinity to Japan, the beach and the flip-flop in a single sentence: The traditional woven soled Japanese zori had been used as beach wear in the South Pacific since the 1920s. Keywords: Japanese, Zori and beach in the South Pacific. Amazing, isn’t it? We do learn something everyday.

I’m glad I nodded to attending Martish’s invite to lunch. How could I not go knowing that it would be at Tricie Arcenas’ joint, the Cellar de Oboza. I wished hard and crossed my fingers that her Strawberry Shortcake will be the dessert.

Surprise! Tricie & showing her Strawberry Shortcake.

Wish granted (thank you Universe!). Hostess Marga Nograles, Creative Director of Martish Marketing Company, exclusive sub-distributors of Havaianas in Southern & Eastern Mindanao, confirmed it when she welcomed me.

with Marga N.

For Obrigado, Havaianas’ annual thanksgiving gathering, Martish went green. From the Hawaian plant variety as an invitation, to the venue get-up, to the cuisine, it was all about “everything organic.”

Then Marga announced the good news for 2012. “This year, the world’s best rubber flip-flops brand once again ushers in new colors, styles and designs with the all-new Havaianas 2012 Collection!”

The press + the bloggers

“This year’s collection boasts of new and innovative styles for the cool and fashionable Havaianaticos- the Havaianas Statement expresses the Havaianas brand essence in words, the Havaianas Eco highlights the brand’s social responsibility towards helping to preserve our environment by recycling rubber left over from your favorite Havaianas flip-flops during regular production, and the Havaianas Aero, taking on from the Greek word “air,” aptly named because it features a new strap style that allows air to freely flow through the points of contact between the skin and the strap,” Marga added.

For 2012, Havaianas brings us the Eco, Aero & Statement collections.

So, to rejoice over “finding myself” and celebrate the Hawaian island vibe and the Japanese Zori on this flip-flop’s brand golden year, I will go get myself an anniversary pair of Havaianas. I will wear it to Boracay at the end of the month. Aloha!

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Published in Sun.Star newspaper on February 05, 2012.