Discovery at the Herald Square
7pm at Greeley Square, Broadway, New York City -- I was escorting my grandmother to the nearest Pandora boutique situated at the bright lights of New York. It was almost closing time yet we couldn't find the branch that was supposedly poised at Times Square. Defeated, we proceeded to the subway to 34th Herald Square for the other boutique that we've visited last time. Beside the jewelry store is Gamestop and I was supposed to browse some console titles. Alas, it was already closed and so I went with my grandma at the store next door instead.
I was standing beside her at the queue and started gnarling at the absurd amount of gold, stones and sterling silver. Not to mention the price for each small "charms." I couldn't quite grasp the sense of it -- especially why my family adores it. My grandma explained that each charm symbolized a significant point in one's life. Immortalizing brief paramount occasions and be utlimately worn to infinitely remind us of the good parts in life. In the family, 'passing down' a piece of jewelry to a kin, sibling, or a grandchild bears a lot of value given that it's jewelry (obviously) and it's something that you can wear and be reminded of the person who gave it to you or perhaps an occasion you both shared. It's funny how Pandora has a category for every occasion in your life such as your birthday, wedding, travels, family, friends, passions -- literally a charm for everything! You'll combine those charms to create a unique piece of jewelry that is truly yours. Now I don't want to sound too much of a bedazzled but I find the concept quite "charming" (pun intended)
A start of a story
I browsed the store catalogue and observed the sales specialists, uniformed in black and wearing two-toned (gold and silver) bracelets. While there are certainly women, there was an equal amount of men too. Both as sales specialists and managers at the boutiques. It really didn't register to me that Pandora could work for men too at that point until I saw the dark leather bracelets. Nothing too fancy and flashy. It's a silver-grey braided leather that could fit well on with any kind of clothing.
Undecided, I gave myself more time to think about it. "Do I need it? I could buy 2 Nintendo cartridges with this!" When my Oya (grandma) was next in line, we were met by a wonderful lady specialist and began arranging the suited charms for her "everyday bracelet". She had a heart sterling silver bangle with 16 unique charms, containing stories and representations from the people she loves.
For our final days in New York, she wanted something to materialize our grandmother-grandson trip at the Big Apple. Fortunately, Pandora has a travel category ranging from airplanes to landmark-specific charms. She chose the Eternity Clip with Ruby ($40) and the New York City dangle charm ($60). Curious as I am, I bashfully asked if I could see how the braided leather bracelet looks like. Oya agreed and asked for me to check it if I liked it. After a few minutes, the specialist told me that there was no stock for the silver-grey color and it was immediately a no for me as it was the only color I was eyeing for.
Looking at the manager's bracelet, I noticed it was terribly sleek and combined beautifully. Not to mention 'manly' for a jewelry brand such as Pandora. I didn't know that something like that could be achieved and so I got back to her and asked again. "How about the classic oxidized-silver bracelet ($60)?" She replied that she had all sizes. When I saw the beautiful gun-metal color of the bracelet I finally realized that it could be 'done'. For the right reasons, my grandmother gave it to me as a gift, my first jewelry from her in that regard, to officially start my story -- my Pandora story.
Classic Oxidized Sterling Silver Bracelet - Pandora Herald Square, New York, USA 6/25/2016
Ms. Emilie Ballares
Ms. Jamilla Concepcion
LAX, California - I told Jamilla, my childhood friend for almost 8 years, that I couldn't stop thinking about the thing called "Mandora" or Man's Pandora. They had either the dark colored braided leather bracelet or the oxidized silver bracelet tied with two-three silver charms. I thought that I'll stick to the plain ol' bracelet but then I realized, it could work with a single charm. But then I said hell no! It must have two more clips to secure it! (you can see how Pandora is eating my soul at this point)
Since Jam and I had the same wavelength of absurdity and craziness, we found the nearest boutique (it's far, actually) at Los Cerritos and drove to it! We decided that I'll give a charm to her and she'll also give me a charm that sums up our 8-year friendship.
I got her a Pandora Rose Gold Royal Crown Charm which signifies her "queenly demeanor" and never-ending loyalty to her childhood friends. She chose the King of the Jungle Charm to signify power and authority. The alpha of the pack of wolves.
Fleur-De-Lis - Pandora Brea, California, USA 6/29/206
Not contented with what we have (lol) we drove for thirty minutes to Brea Mall at Anaheim, California for our Pandora hopping. Jam and I got to the point that we will just glare at the charms for hours and obsess for days (or weeks) This is yet another addition to our royal theme.
Mickey's Fun Wheel (Exclusive charm ) - Pandora Disneyland California, Anaheim, USA 6/28/2016
Oh yes, one cannot truly visit California without visiting Anaheim's most famous themed parks. To my surprise, there's a Pandora boutique fashioned in the dreamy aesthetic of Disney. We rushed through the alleys of New Orleans Square and got to La Mascarade D'Orleans a.k.a Pandora which housed the three famous limited-edition Disney-themed charms. Did I mention that it can only be bought inside Disneyland California? I couldn't get my eyes off the Mickey's Fun Wheel Charm. It was the mini version of Disney California Adventure Ferris wheel. But of course I didn't get it since it was $75 dollars! In the end I went with the Feathered Clip $35 and went away. (unhappy)
After a few hours at the queue, I found myself inaudible. I couldn't stop thinking about it! Jam talked to me if I really wanted it. I could see mini angels and devils but to cut the long story short, we dashed to the store and exchanged it for the ferris wheel charm just before closing time. (oh god please help this poor soul)
9pm --As we saw the fireworks danced with the music, I gently opened the box with my eyes filled with sparkle and joy. I then fixed it ever so slowly to the bracelet. At the very moment, it was truly the happiest place on earth. (lol)
Romantic Union (with .01 carat Diamond & 14 Karat Gold) and Infinite Shine (Eternity Charm) - Pandora Westfield, San Francisco, USA 7/5/2016
Mr. Froilan Abesamis
₱6,430 + 1,920
It was the 4th of July and the Concepcion family decided to have a road trip to San Francisco! It was so kind of them to think of an itinerary that would delight a first timer! (and that deserves a separate post) We headed to Westfield San Francisco at 6pm and met with my friend's uncle at Pandora. I was planning to buy a simple angel charm for myself but then the manager said that it was already sold. He told me that this was the main store at San Francisco and people are buying more charms lately.
I was stunned! it was the only thing I've seen deem fit for my money! But fret not, with the catalog in my left hand, I was well prepared since I've reviewed all the charms hundreds of times! *insert evil grin* I chose two to three more charms but would you believe that those are also sold! Now I don't know if I will still get anything! After a good 15 minutes of browsing through the catalog, I saw the Romantic Union Charm at the display. It was a beautiful two-tone charm with a real diamond at the ring. It was also expensive, almost forcing me to live on the streets if I even dare to get it.
Dikong Froi looked at it and asked the price then immediately told the manager to get it. I refused! I couldn't possibly accept such a gift! To make things even surprising, he told me to get the Infinite Shine Charm as well! I was stunned!
It was a symbolic charm that meant really something for me. I crossed paths with a person for the second time around and I believed that it was meant to fix my broken self and to finally give answers to my questions. In the end, I figured that it was indeed a destiny to cross paths -- so that we may never see each other again.
Dreamer Clips - Pandora Los Cerritos, California, USA 7/7/2016
I decided to get something that would hit two birds at once -- and it definitely was a safety clip! It can act as 2x charm and a safety measure. I bookmarked the designs that can work with my current bracelet and chose the best one yet.
Last night, I talked to one of my best friends and her sister. It was a hearty talk. I realized how important it was for her sister to take care of her in the absence of their parents and thus losing all her time for herself and her youth. This charm represented everything between commitment and responsibility. No matter how apart you may be, siblings will always be connected with each other one way or another.
Graduate Owl (with swiss-blue crystal) - Pandora Brea, California, USA 7/8/2016
Ms. Emilie Ballares
Here's one for the Class of 2016! A mark for all the hardships and sacrifice to become an "educated person" in this society. From all the pain and mishaps throughout my college adventure, my family has always been there to support me throughout my journey! Thanks to my Oya for giving me this! Cheers to the next path ahead!
Midnight Effervescence (two pieces) - Pandora Brea, California, USA 7/9/2016
Mr. Jared Concepcion & Ms. Carla Concepcion
₱2,570 + ₱2,570
Time was running out fast and I was about to go back to my love, the Philippines. Kuya Jared and Ate Karla taught me a few things in life over the course of our bonding in a limited time. The sacrifice of both parents to their children and the unconditional love one can bestow easily when the situation is hard. Both of these charms represent the unfailing love of a mother and father. Balanced by each other's presence, they give life and color to the silver charms between them -- sort of like a parent's role for their children. They gave these charms as their despidida gift and I couldn't thank them for all their kindness! Thank you po!
Pandora Club Charm 2016 (with .01 carat Diamond) - Pandora Craig Shelly, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, USA 7/12/2016
It's LA day! After an hour at the train, we've arrived at LA! We met with "madame" in our college, Ate Clarissa! She's currently residing now in California and we planned to see each other again at the heart of Los Angeles! Expect a separate post for this but we managed to get into the o'l famous Beverly Hills. We met this wonderful lady at Craig Shelly and gladly assisted us with the process. I got the Club Charm with diamonds and it was a reminder for me that life is an uneven road. You'll never expect where you will be next and what will you attain next. It's about respecting the balance of life and it's toss and turns. Or maybe...I just want more diamonds *evil laugh*
Airplane - Pandora Los Cerritos, California, USA 7/15/2016
Ms. Emilie Ballares
It's our last day after a month in Cali and as something to remind me of my 20th boarding pass, Oya gave me another charm which is an absolute favorite! It's a charm that almost anyone can relate to. But other than the love for travel, it is about the love for the flight itself. Airports can be a devil (almost every single time) But nevertheless, I enjoyed every bit of my flights. Most of the time, I was only with myself and so I found every journey sedating almost as if it was a tranquilizing drug. Indeed, I'm still very happy with my fat airplane charm thanks to my #1 Oya!
Feathered Clip (two pieces) - Pandora Los Cerritos, USA 7/15/2016
₱1,920 + ₱1,920
After I got my airplane charm, I decided to get the last two clips to complete my bracelet. I would like to thank all the staff from Pandora Los Cerritos! From helping me contemplate the perfect piece to receipt problems, they were the best and effortlessly made my Pandora story a truly magical moment. Special thanks to Pandora Brea and to Pandora Westfield for being an awesome bunch! To all the people who gave this bracelet a life especially to Oya, Ma, Dikong Froi, Jam and the Concepcion family, I can never thank you enough! God has always been blessing us with everything we've hoped for. Here's to a life full of remembering, sharing and loving.