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PhilSTAR L!fe Recommends: Summer essentials we cannot live without

By PhilSTAR L!fe Published May 01, 2021 4:46 pm

Summer may be different for us again this year. But whether you're staying at home or taking a road trip somewhere else, you would want to make sure you’re well prepared for the season.

For this week's PhilSTAR L!fe Recommends, we've rounded up our favorite summer essentials. From beauty must-haves to favorite reads, these are a few of our favorite items that keep summer fun (and functional).

Cute sleeveless top

Sleeveless tops are a long-standing summer staple. And with a weather like ours, it's best to stock up on several pieces in different styles. I like this Love, Bonito drawsting top which I recently got. It has become a closet staple that can be worn with pretty much everything and anything, denim shorts for lazy summer days or wide leg trousers for when I feel like dressing up.

— Camille Santiago, associate editor

Tote bag

Totes are a heaven-sent when moving around—they are handy, you keep them close to you, and there’s room for more than just your passport and purse but compact enough to fit on your lap. For some, totes could be a spare bag to house your pasalubong haul but totes are also a nice main bag, especially when they have character like the Garapata totes of artist Dex Fernandez, which practically become a conversation starter wherever I travel.

— Pinky Icamen, content producer

Insulated tumbler

We know that it tends to be so hot when summer starts. And I firmly believe that being drinking water religiously whenever it's hot outside will not only make you hydrated but steers you away from being irritable. Water, as it seems to me, is the best drink you can ever have. Yeah, you can have your milktea, shake and frappe every now and then, but water is and must always be a constant. Nothing is more rewarding after having to experience the extreme heat then rewarding youself a sip of ice-cold water after. I value my Hydroflask insulated water jug so much because it keeps my water cold even after putting ice on it 24 hours earlier. This also helps me to keep track how much water intake I've had, strictly maintaining the suggested number of glasses every day.

— Danica Lagman, social media producer

Book and booze

A good book and some good booze is enough to get me by, be it summer season or any season actually. But whenever we travel as a family, at least during those halcyon pre-pandemic days, I usually pack a book or two for those waiting times while in transit, or at the end of the day when kids are all asleep. Today, I’m trying to finish a book by the Filipino historian Danilo Madrid Gerona about Ferdinand Magellan, a definitive account which draws from a variety of primary sources. On its face the book may sound stuffy and not very summerr-y, but it’s quite an interesting story of the ultimate road trip, sorry scratch that, sea voyage ever undertaken that disabuses many popular notions about Magellan and even Lapu-Lapu. I usually read at night before going to bed with whatever bottle of alcohol I can get my hands on in the house, which for the past few days were some bottles of good red wine that helps ease me toward getting some much-needed Zzzzs.

— Bim Santos, news head


While we're all practicing social distancing, it's still important to protect ourselves from harmful UV rays, especially this summer. Yes, that means wearing sunscreen when you leave the house for essential errands and using SPF while indoors because standard glass still leaves you exposed to some of the sun's harmful rays. One of my faves is Anessa’s UV Skincare Milk! I love that it’s non-sticky, lightweight, gentle on skin, and has a matte, powder finish—definitely perfect for daily use.

— Red Dimaandal, social media manager