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Miguez Tabora’s Art: A Ticket to Happiness Part II

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Miguez’s designs are not only artsy; they are also elegant, colourful and innovative while also being fully functional. About how her products have evolved, she says, “I love seeing and realizing how my products have evolved over seven years; and they are still evolving from small wallets to pouches and handbags. I also keep adding pretty jewelry and accessories that are all handmade. The progress has been tremendous but is all happening slowly and nicely.”

To what does she turn to for her design inspirations? “Mostly people-watching,” Miguez says in all candour. “I love to watch people everywhere – from shopping malls, grocery stores, outdoor flea markets, weekend farmers’ markets, the beach, even restaurants and fastfood places. I’d say just about everywhere I go. People are great inspirations. I watch trends on blogs and Pinterest – which is my current favourite visual inspiration.”

Of her online shop, Miguez says, “I’ve always imagined myself owning a pretty boutique. So, I incorporate this idea into my online shop and the events that I go to. I want my customers to feel like they’re entering my own little shop. And I must have gotten the original shop idea from my parents when they used to own a little gift shop named after me, “Mary Grace Gift Shop” along P. Torres Street in Lipa City.”

Miguez has lived in California for more than eleven years now; and has fairly settled into the American lifestyle. That was not the case at all when she migrated to the United States in 2001.

“It wasn’t much of ‘I miss the Philippines’ but more of ‘What do I do now?’ ” she now laughs. “It was a totally different culture coming from the Philippines; but I learned to adapt real fast with the help of my friends and family who welcomed me to the city and made me feel at home.”

It was fortunate that she had friends from Batangas who were willing and able to help her settle in. “My very first LA apartment was shared with my Batangueño and Lasallian friends: Tins Silva-Mcleod, Harvey Marasigan and Jaline Marasigan-Liszewski. After a few years, each of us moved on and had different directions in our lives; but we still try to keep in touch if we can.”

Miguez has not been back in the Philippines since she left; and needless to say she misses home. It has helped that most of her family are on that side of the Pacific, anyway. It has also been comforting to have her best friend also on the West Coast.

“My best friend here who helped me a lot throughout my journey is Tins Silva-McLeod,” Miguez says. “Even now that she lives in Palm Springs – about a hundred miles away from where I live – we try to see each other when we can, if not in person, then online.”

Miguez is the youngest child of Rolando Tabora and the former Yolanda Mea, originally from Lipa City but who now live in Las Vegas, Nevada. The couple has three other children: Glenn, Gladys and Gerard.

Miguez says that she is often mistaken to be a bit of a snob; but she insists that she is just basically shy. It is her dream to travel around the world without having to worry about time and money. Meanwhile, she works hard so that the dream may one day come true.

“I look forward to weekends so I can either work on my crafts and online orders,” Miguez describes how much effort she puts into her sideline. “I work hard everyday and every night, doing what I love. Some may say that I am a perfectionist – this may be the reason why I do not stop striving and learning.”

She knows when to ease off on the gas pedal, however. “To relieve some stress, I try to squeeze in some weekend trip to visit my family in Las Vegas,” Miguez says. “Sometimes, I change the placement of things around the house to redecorate or give some areas a new look. Other times, I get inspired by blog DIY’s (do-it-yourself) and try to make something as a weekend project. Or if I just need a refresher, I just do nothing and catch some sleep.”

Although the world tour is – perhaps – still years away, Miguez has done some travelling already.

“I love to travel, so I can learn new things and try new foods,” she says happily. “It may be just a short weekend trip to Las Vegas to visit my parents and family or a long flight to Hawaii – which I’d love to do again!”

She continues, “I’ve visited a few cities like New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, DC, Seattle, Miami and a couple of islands in Hawaii. I’ve also been going back and forth to Las Vegas and other cities within California. My favourite is Kauai in Hawaii – very relaxing, slow-paced and it has a lot of secret, private beaches.”

Photography is another passion as well as expression of art. Miguez takes the most exquisite pictures, mostly of travel and lifestyle. These she makes available for others to enjoy in an exquisite and tasteful personal photo-blog on Tumblr.

Happiness, Miguez says, is her ultimate goal in life. It may not be even too far-fetched to say that she has already achieved this; although, of course, life is and will always be a rollercoaster ride. “With what I have now, I'm very grateful,” Miguez says philosophically. “It may not be everything that I want and need now; but I have everything now that makes me happy and keeps me living.”

She continues, “In twenty years, I see myself living in a comfortable and happy home – wherever it may be; and still making pretty little things for others. And hopefully have my own brick and mortar shop.”

What an outstanding outlook for somebody who is still relatively young! Perhaps it is, because of her art, she sees the world in more vivid colour than the rest of us do!

While others build empires, Miguez builds happiness not only for others by way of her innovative and colourful designs but ultimately for herself because her designs express the inner glow of peace within her.

“Do what you love and love what you do,” is Miguez’s formula for happiness. “It’s a good thought that I live by everyday.”

Miguez’s Photo-Blog: Do What You Love
ShopMiguez on Etsy.com

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