little boy, you’re in the girls department


I sported a pixie cut for the most part of grade school not because it looked cute but because I was a very hyper child. I was always running around, naturally I was always sweaty and I would yank the hair clips off my hair because they made my head feel hot. My mom finally got annoyed and worried I would yank all of my hair off before I even turn 10 so she decided to just cut my hair like a boys since I acted like one anyway.


In a time when super straight silky hair was considered the only “cool” and appropriate option for girls, I was always being made fun of for looking like a boy, it didn’t really help that I have a boys name either. My mom would compromise by letting me wear dainty dangling earrings, dresses and floral prints.

My sister who is 7 years older than I am was already a teenager by the time I started school, she was in the rebellious angst-y teenager phase whose wardrobe only consisted of baggy shirts and baggy jeans (TLC-era hello?!). I didn’t care about what I was wearing as long as it made me feel pretty and I can run around with it. I became my mom’s little doll.

I remember she would make me step on a piece of paper while she traced my foot with a pen. She would then cut the outlines and go shoe shopping with my little paper foot and come home with the latest baby Doc Martens, Jelly Sandals and Birkenstock’s. She loved dressing me up because I never complained, and even as a kid I always loved standing out, “new looks” excite me. She would reference the movies that she watched and the 90’s icons that she loved with every item of clothing. I had more clothes than I did toys, all of my toys were hand-me-downs from my sister. I felt like dressing up was more fun because I can put on a more realistic character as opposed to doing voices with Barbie.

Most moms wouldn’t let their 6 year old daughter step in their closets, but my mom shared whatever she could with me: her little butterfly hair clips, her Hard Candy nail polish and even her small jewelry. This was how we bonded. I don’t remember a significant day when I was finally able to choose my own clothes and I don’t have to wear whatever my mother bought me anymore ,because we always liked the same things. She always had a great sense of style, and all of her purchases have always been very timeless. When I could finally afford clothes with my own money, I would end up buying the same thing as she did, there were even plenty of times when we stepped out of the house kind of in the same outfit only styled differently.

For the longest time, when other people thought my choice of clothing was inappropriate or odd she always reminded me that as long as it makes me feel good, then it’s all that matters. She didn’t just mold my sense of style, but she also taught me that you should never compromise who you are and what makes you happy for others’ approval, in fashion and in life.

To this day, I still send her pictures of purses and shoes I’m planning to buy and she would tell me why it is or why it’s not a smart purchase (I’m stubborn so most of the time I buy it anyway). I still borrow her purses and now she can finally borrow mine, I ransack her closet for vintage finds whenever I go back home and force my size 6 feet into her size 7 Balenciaga heels.


I’m pretty sure she can say the same thing about her mom, my very fashionable Lola who was always ahead of her time.


keep on keeping on

I don’t do Year in Review’s. I don’t think my life is interesting enough for me to bore you with every little detail that has ever happened to me in one post. I like to think my opinions, random rants and rambles are more entertaining. Though I can be vain enough to share thousands of pictures with netizens, I dont like talking too much about myself.


But if anything, I think for me, 2013 has been the most significant year and that it’s really one worth sharing with you, my readers who still surprisingly (you know, surprisinglyyyy) read my blog even with my lack of updates.






I spent most of my teenage life in the province of Ilocos Norte, where the most exciting thing that happens is the annual Holy Weekend – where everyone gathers on the white shores of Pagudpud, and where nightlife basically means drinking San Mig Light and Red Horse on some street corner. There’s only 1 real mall in the province, 1 legit coffee shop and maybe just about 5 restaurants that have been operating more than 5 years in my little city. The province is so small everyone knows everyone, and gossip spreads like wildfire in less than 10 minutes from when the rumor started. I didn’t go to a fancy university in the metro because I liked living near the beach, never having to worry about getting my car stolen if I don’t lock it and I relished being 5 minutes away from everything.


This time last year, I was unsure of what I wanted to do and what kind of adult I wanted to become. I’ve been so used to just going along for the ride that I have forgotten how to take control of my own life. Like an ideal Asian daughter, I had a bachelors degree in Nursing from a small school in Ilocos. Without a license to practice, I took the new California Board of Nursing rules as a sign, that maybe that career path really is not for me, at least not at this time.


2013 was a whole lot of new beginnings (no not in the cliche “new year, new beginnings” kind of way). I resigned from my first real job that has taught me so much about marketing and advertising. Also, early in the year I ended my 4 year relationship. Eventually you realize what you really want, what you really deserve and you get to the point where you finally start thinking with your head and not with your heart. I wouldn’t go as far as “I had an epiphany”, but I grew up, and I wanted bigger and better things for myself.


Early February I moved away from my home to move back to Los Angeles, without any idea what my next step should be. Just 2 weeks after, I got interviewed for an entry level job at a badass LA-based marketing company (no really, badass is part of our slogan) and immediately, by March I started working as a Marketing Associate. As soon as I started earning more and more, I’ve spoiled my family silly – and no new designer purse or new top of the line gadget can ever feel as gratifying as finally being able to help your family.





Distance took my family, my close friends, and later on even the love of my life far from me. But in a way, I’ve never felt closer to them. Through my independence, I’ve come to know all the people that matter to me and made me put more effort into keeping those relationships.

bffs friends LA famimage1


The whole summer of 2013 was spent with new people, making new friendships and experiencing new things. I felt like I wanted to experience everything I could, and bask on my new found freedom.




Before the year ended, I was promoted to Director of Marketing. I am so blessed to be able to work at a place where I get to exchange thoughts and train with amazing and creative people, in such a positive environment. No I don’t have a related degree, nor did I go to a big school and my family has no connections here whatsoever. The only foundation I have, is charm and the gift of gab….oh and yeah, hard work, a strong sense of self and my eagerness to keep learning helped me a lot too.


I really hope you guys had a great year like I did, and wish you an even better 2014 🙂 I shall try blogging more now, I promise :p

Thanks for reading my blog, and an even bigger thank you to those who have stuck with Surprisingly Kitsch since its birth in 2009 🙂


“…ramble on, keep on keeping on, but most of all, rock on.” – That 70’s Show

tomorrow comes today


[military coat: u.s. army, sequin top: forever 21, belt: designerati, shorts: folded and hung, sling bag: topshop, slouchy boots]

First outfit post from LA!! I can’t believe I’m back here, it feels so surreal.

One thing I love about living in California is the weather, it’s never TOO cold. You can still get away with a coat and the tiniest shorts without looking silly. I’ve been looking for an oversized military jacket and I found this at a thriftstore in Ilocos, authentic from the US Army, pretty cool huh?


P1090065 P1090068 P1090071

You can also hype this look on by clicking this link ♥

On instagram: Follow @ericketan


My cousins took me to Chocolatier in Jupiter St before heading to the airport, their Ferrero concoctions are sinfully to die for!!598935_4824502083817_1598816812_n

LA bound.

birthday beer pong

I wasn’t supposed to celebrate my birthday this year. My original plan was to have a quiet dinner with my family. My friend Alex and I were able to pull off a last minute beer pong party at my dad’s old car wash.

My boyfriend surprised me with a cake too 🙂

Look at that happy face! It’s not always cute to have your birthday on the day of fools. “Happy birthday you april fool”, “Happy birthday ya big joke” aren’t the most fun greetings in the english language but I like my birthday. April 1 has a lot of character :p

Got our balls wet!! :p

Party ended like at 5 in the morning and my head still hurts 2 days after but it was well worth it 🙂 Thanks to everyone who came!!
Ivon, you were there in spirit :p (photo actually taken in B-side)

more than meets the blog

Hello! 🙂 Before you read the rest of my blog, let me tell you a little bit about me. My name’s Ericke [Erick]. I’m no one special, just an average girl. I am the second of five kids. I live in Ilocos and am very passionate with my home town.

What you heard about me may or may not be true. I’m usually annoyingly shy around strangers. I have once-strangers-to-me, now-one-of-my-good-friends who can attest to that. It’s just that I haven’t mastered talking to people I don’t know yet. It takes awhile for me to be comfortable with others. Also when I think highly of you, I get very awkward. I’m very outspoken and I say it like it is, most people don’t like that. But because I don’t like to sugar coat things, I have learned when the right time is to give my opinions. I may be frank but I’m not crass. I don’t hold grudges but I do have serious trust issues. I’m impulsive and stubborn. I’m impatient and I’m also very emotional. I must warn you, I have a twisted sense of humor, but when I make fun of you it’s usually a good thing. Like every Filipina, I also have guilty pleasures such as celebrity gossip and what not. 😀 I’m demanding and I know what I want, which is why I’m very hard working because everything isn’t handed down to me in a silver platter. I promise you, when you do get to know me, I’m really nice. I’m very caring and I’m always down to help. I’m adventurous and I love spontaneity. I’m bubbly and cheerful. I go beyond to show the people who matter to me how much they mean to me. I’m inspired with and also value the connection and communication I develop with the people of the same interests as I do through this blog. It’s quite amazing to get the opportunity to talk to people you have things in common with, in all walks of life, no matter where in the world they may be. That’s the reason why I still do what I do, that and to help promote the place I live in.

There is more to me than what you see here. Now if you still want to follow me and exchange your thoughts with me after reading this then I give you my sincerest thanks! 🙂



90’s Nickelodeon was THE best.  I remember staying up late at night with my little brother to catch up on the shows we missed while we were at school, and even if we ended up watching reruns we would still tune in. They don’t make shows like these anymore… Nickelodeon shows made it cool to be outcasts.

the tassle’s worth the hassle!

elementary graduation '03 MMSU

I used to be so creative when I was little. My doodles were very cute & acceptable, I was a copy reader as well as a writer for my school newspaper and I would deconstruct & reconstruct everything I had my hands on… I don’t know what happened to me. It’s like all my creative juices just started to drain as soon as I was about to end High school.

highschool graduation '07 BCLHS

Its been about a week since I graduated and I’ve been 21 years old for 48 hours already. I feel much wiser, but for some reason I don’t feel any smarter. I don’t blame the quality of education I’ve been given because I graduated in the top Nursing school in our city. I’ve learned the different parts of a heart, I can tell you now the pathophysiology of cervical cancer and I now know the difference between a schizomaniac and a bipolar person. Yet I feel like I still don’t know shit about the things that really count. I’m on my first steps as a full pledged adult yet I am still so terrified to be in the real world. Questions like how does one actually pay for income taxes? What’s it like living alone? and how and where do I file for things? are things I have been asking since I was near graduation. They should teach these things in school…

college graduation '11 DWCL photo by: ivon domingo

Every decision one makes after graduation counts now, because this is the time when no one is really, genuinely responsible for anything that you do anymore, BUT you. The last thing I want to be in the world is a bum and a moocher. I want to make my family’s life better, I want to do things I really love and I want to be, in general, just useful. I need to start making good decisions from now on…