Tuesday, October 23, 2012

FEATURED: Jessica Huang ♡

Jess is a fourteen year old butt-kicking artist from South Africa. Most of her sketches are of LookBook members, and they all give off a very realistic cartoon vibe (if there's even such a thing). I discovered her a few months back through Zoe Suen and I've been stalking her blog for art inspo ever since.

Her blog is fairly new though, so there aren't a lot of posts yet, but I can promise you one thing - it's definitely quality over quantity. We were lucky enough to have been able to interview her! Jess' answers are as quirky as her illustrations. See for yourself!

1. Tell us about yourself and what it is that you do.
I am a freelance illustrator, still a high school student, I'm 14 years old, 15 in less than a month! I live in South Africa, I have monkey servants that bring me fresh tea and I ride a lion to school.

2. Who/what is/are your inspiration/s?
I find inspiration all around, especially in music, lookbook.nu, tumblr, friends, my brother and the list goes on! But right now, my muse would be Frida Kahlo!

3. What would you like to be when you're slightly older? Does it have something to do with art?
At the moment I would like to be a designer of some sort (preferably fashion or architecture) a musician, a journalist or even a photographer or filmographer, anything art/cultural really!

4. When did you realize you had passion for art and wanted to pursue it?
I started drawing when I was very young and I had the feeling, this is what I will never get bored of doing and I noticed that drawing is my "happy place" I feel so calm and like the world is a better place whenever I put my earphones in and take my sketchbook out (sounds cheesy, I know, but there's no other way to describe it)

5. Do you prefer digital or traditional art?
Now this, is a tough question! I enjoy drawing with pen and pencil because I like how authentic and "controllable" it is but I LOVE drawing digitally, I think it's more convenient and there are some things that can only be achieved digitally...and you don't waste resources! Eco friendly yo!

6. What are your other hobbies aside from art?
I'm glad you asked this! I LOVE playing the piano I love it just as much as illustrating (sometimes more!) I do photography and I obviously love fashion and dressing up.

7. Which of your many brilliant artworks is your favorite?
The first ever fashion illustration I ever did (the one of Zoe Suen) will forever be my favorite illustration but my current favorite would probably be my most recent one of Kani Cao.

8. Any tips/advice for young artists like you? 
The more bad drawings you do the better you get! Always keep that in mind! Always draw while listening to music and draw whatever you want! :)
If you liked Jessica, please support her by following her blog, fanning her on lookbook, following her tumblr, and following her on twitter! She accepts commissions for about $20 per drawing. :)

Monday, October 22, 2012

BUENAVIDA (ICA Fair 2012) Best Dressed

Laura Lee

Selena Jao
Louisa Ong

Nikki Cham
Last October 20 2012, Julia invited Angel and I to her school fair. We ended up going around, photographing random people à la street style/The Sartorialist. There was a dress code, so we applaud these girls for making the most out of it. I do apologize for the lousily taken photos as the lighting was pretty dim that night. :)

Take a tip or two from their outfits above. It's perfect for casual fridays at school or events with a dress code. Their outfits are simple and enable them to do a lot of activities without being uncomfortable, but still stylish. Isn't that the kind of outfit we all dream of?

Friday, October 19, 2012


Just a quick post on what to wear this season! Although our country only experiences two seasons, I think there's nothing wrong with incorporating western style into our daily fashion choices! It's also adequate since most of the foreign shops in our country bring in their clothes per season, and I'm sure that fall - excuse my mediocre pun - falls during the month of October.

These outfit posts are simple, and I let go of the accessories. It's purely up to you to figure out to accessorize, since the clothes are classic and plain, yet practical and stylish all the same.

One of the staples for fall is the ever trusted cardigan. A printed one can draw attention to your plain outfit, and detailed flats add spunk as well. The ever trusted white t-shirt and black skinny jeans combo works well too, since if it gets too hot, you can just take off the cardigan and look effortlessly classic.
Inspired by my recent Baguio trip, I took notice of the cold weather and considered it when making this set. The printed pants provide excitement to an what might've been a boring outfit. The color palette is my favorite, with maroons, tans, and browns to make it up. You could do without the scarf if you want, but it acts as an extra accessory as well.

This is my favorite out of the three, since you can wear it anytime! The dress has both formal and casual functions. In the case of being casual, adding a knitted sweater makes you look cozy yet natural. It's warm, fresh, and girly too.

With all the warm hues, these cozy and comfy outfits pave the way for the winter season. It makes me want to drink hot chocolate all of a sudden!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


PLEASE EXCUSE MY LACK OF PROFESSIONALISM IN THIS POST BUT I SERIOUSLY CANNOT CONTAIN MY EXCITEMENT! Woodlock was the first band I saw busking in Pitt St. and they're also my favorite. Their sound is a mix between Jack Johnson, Bon Iver, Native Roses (Synergy's band of the month for July), and Ed Sheeran - aka four of my favorite musicians. Put them together and you get Woodlock. I'm pretty convinced these boys were sent from Heaven; their harps replaced by guitars and whatnot. I'm also sure they can play anything. I mean, they're the only band I know that uses an ocarina.

Zech Walters
I remember the fight or flight feeling I got as I approached Eze to ask if we could feature them here. I was beyond nervous when I asked for their contact number (purely professional, mind you), but I'm thankful my awkwardness did not get in the way of things.

Like Everything After and JackManFriday, I had purchased Woodlock's EP and had them sign it. I was itching to listen to their songs as soon as they handed it to me. I can tell you one thing - they did not disappoint. Every single song was fantastic. My personal favorites are Heartbreak Kid, Lemons, and Stow Away (although it's not in their EP, I heard them play it live). You can listen to them below.

I also did a bit of snooping around YouTube and found more of their original songs and covers. You have to listen to them. I know it's a lot, but it's worth it! You can read their answers while listening. :)

1. Tell us about your band.
We are just a group of friends who enjoy playing music, We wanted to travel and see whats out there and this is how we support ourselves. 

2. How did you start?
We started busking to raise for an orphanage that our church funds. We then went to Africa and played together there as part of a missions trip. About half a year after that we were all talking about a roadtrip, wondering how we were going to make our money we thought "Busk!" and thats how we started.

3. How did you come up with the name?
We were called "Woodlock Winds" after a song we wrote long before we were a band, but we couldn't help but relate the name to "flatulence in a forest" so we just shortened it to Woodlock.

4. How would you describe your sound?
Somewhere between indie, pop and acoustic alternative.

5. Who is/are your musical inspiration/s?

We all bring in our own inspirations, but major ones are Coldplay, Georgia Fair, John Mayer, The Beatles & The Paper Kites, just to name a few.

6. Why did you choose to go into the music industry?
We didn't really choose, we started off doing this just to support us having fun, and we enjoy it so much its hard not to give it a go, I guess you could say its our dream job.

7. What makes you different from all the other musicians?
Zech and Eze Are brothers they've been singing together their Whole lives and it shows when they sing together, I don't think its different but it does create something special.

8. Tips for aspiring musicians?
Give it everything.

9. Name at least one musician you'd like to work with in the future. 
Chris Martin, Bon Iver or Kanye West.

And that's it! :) If you liked Woodlock, please support them by liking their page, subscribing to them on YouTube, following them on Twitter, and sharing them to your friends. Thanks!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

FEATURED: JackManFriday ♡

Another one of the musicians I had a pleasure of meeting at Pitt Street is JackManFriday - a solo act. I remember thinking he looked like the Harries twins from afar (but it could also be because of my awful eyesight), and that up close, he was reminiscent of John O'Callaghan. Like I said in the post about Everything After, I was slightly nervous to approach Jack and ask if I could feature him on here, but all my fears washed away when he smiled and agreed.

with my sister
If you're into acoustics, then JackManFriday is the one for you. I've never heard anything quite like his music; it's unique and I mean it in the best way possible. It's, for a lack of a better word, funky. Some of his songs don't have vocals, such as Senses, but it's honestly so wonderful. Lyrics aren't needed to express the emotions he was willing to convey through his music. Isn't that exactly what a good musician is?

I also had him sign the CD I had purchased from him, because I'm cool like that. There is a short clip of him at the end of this post saying something, but I don't intend to spoil it so check it out once you're done reading his answers!

Check out his awesome cover of Little Lion Man! I love his side comments. The drummer (I'm afraid I don't know his name) is equally as talented too. I love how amazing their version sounds despite using unconventional (if you could call it that) instruments. They have music in their veins, man...

"Look, ma, no hands!"

1. Tell us about yourself/your band/group.
It's basically a solo act, plus other musicians on occasion. A very talented drummer is joining me in March to create something really special.

2. How did you start?
I started playing around the age of 12 and when I left school busking seemed a natural progression. Now I'm trying to branch into being an artist who busks rather than a busker who tries to be an artist.

3. How did you come up with the name?
The name is a bit of a boring story, but in a nutshell, Dad used to call me Jack Man, and in Robinson Crusoe, the character "Man Friday" a native/slave (bad vibes) is sort of a butler. Since I play a lot of John Butler's music, that stuck.

4. How would you describe your sound?
The sound I'm aiming to polish off is a bit like if you mixed John Butler, Dub FX, Jarle Bernhoft and some trippy guitar a la Australian Indie.

5. Who is/are your musical inspiration/s?
Musical? Butler, Muse, those artists I listed above, bit of english rock/alternative like say the Kooks, all the obligatory Pixies, ramones, Stones, the Who, etc. A lot of that music that sort of started underground/indie, and moved to mainstream, like Newton Faulkner, that kind of stuff. Him and Muse have kind of gone a bit off course if you ask me, but anyway! Massive tangent there.

6. What makes you different from all the other musicians?
Nothing really differentiates me other than that I don't think I'm going to stick to one genre, I like too many to do that. I'll probably blend some together but I think I'll end up putting my foot in quite a few over the years.

7. Tips for aspiring musicians?
Aspiring musicians.. Do something you enjoy, don't do something because other people will like it, and especially don't stop because people don't like the genre, you'll have people on both sides of the fence, but if you bend to everyone else, you won't enjoy it, your audience will see through you and they won't enjoy it. Respect your audience by respecting yourself.

8. Name at least one musician you'd like to work with in the future.
I'd love to work with Dub FX to be honest, he's a recent obsession and I had the priviledge of sharing a stage (made of crates, but anyway) with him. I think it'd be cool to play guitar on something of his or have him rhyme/loop into something I'm doing. I have a lot of ideas for that but it might be just a bit further down the track!

Check out that crowd! There were so much more people when I met him. It was absolutely brilliant! I loved how so many people in Australia were supporting local artists. It's something I think we Filipinos should learn.

My favorite song of his has got to be Senses. I've already explained why earlier on this post, but just in case you missed it - the reason I love the song so much is because it did not need lyrics to convey emotions. The melody was enough to make you feel the emotion and raw talent that JackManFriday has.

If you liked Jack, please do support him by buying his EP ($5 AUD which is approx. 200php), liking his Facebook page, and subscribing to him on YouTube. Cheers!

Spoken Word Poetry ☮

I'll keep this post short and simple, so that the real focus would be on the videos. A batchmate of mine featured these two people on her blog, and I just had to share it with you.

Meet Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye. They have much more things in common, other than their last names sounding the same. Watch their story in the Origin video, and see how their paths intersected. What a coincidence, having a similar last name, siblings with the same name as the other, having gone to the same university, and the same cultural background that you would think NO ONE would have?


Although these two aren't dating (even if I think they should because they're practically soulmates), you could see the emotion through their words. Their delivery and passion makes poetry even more heartfelt, and these talented people can make you feel things even songs can't give you.

One of my favorites of them is When Love Arrives. It's a poem that has struck a chord in my heart every time I watch it. It's moving, it's relevant, and it's sincerely true. The way they make analogies, the way they tell their stories, it shows that love is universal. Love may come in different forms, but the essence of love is still the same. It's just a matter of welcoming it into our lives.


Beautiful, passionate, and tear-inducing, this duo is a match-made in heaven! You can also check out a few of Sarah Kay's works, and here are a few of my favorites:


This is no ordinary love letter, for it is between a tooth brush and a bicycle tire. Listen to her as she makes so many jokes and references of a bicycle tire and STILL manages to keep it romantic. 


Although the quality isn't that great, you can still hear the emotions she wanted to convey with her poetry. Listen carefully and watch your heart sigh at the end of the video.

Watch Sarah and Phil's videos on YouTube, and who knows? You just might take an interest in spoken word poetry as well.

FEATURED: Everything After ♡

While I was in Sydney, I happened to pass by a couple of musicians busking in Pitt Street (if I'm not mistaken). One of them being Everything After, an Indie/Folk/Pop duo comprised of Jordan and James, two 18 year old boys from the Central Coast of New South Wales. 

with my (obviously excited) sister
The first thing I thought of when I saw them was to ask if I could feature them on here, despite my fear of them laughing in my face and walking away. Jordan and James turned out to be really lovely (thank God!) and I was able to film a short video of them for Synergy. The interview, however, was conducted through Facebook as I had to leave shortly after.

Everything After with JackMan Friday

Their music reminds me a lot of Mumford & Sons'; it's the kind you'd expect to hear in music festivals such as Coachella. Their songs are fun (All The Dreaming is the best) and perfect for those summer montage videos I personally love making. They're worth a listen, so I highly suggest you give them a chance.  I'm very picky when it comes to the music I listen to, so trust me when I say Everything After is amazing. They're a breath of fresh air from all the mainstream pop music. 

They're actually too cute for my life...

Before I show you guys their answers, check out their cover of Mr. Brightside by the Killers. :)

1. Tell us about yourself/your band/group.
We're a band called Everything After and we've been together for about a year. We play Indie/Folk/Pop music and do a lot of busking in Sydney's Pitt St Mall. We're 18 years old.

2. How did you start?
We started playing guitar together at school and then 5 years later started being a band:)

3. How did you come up with the name?
Stole it from a Counting Crows album:)

4. How would you describe your sound?

5. Who is/are your musical inspiration/s?We haven been heavily influenced by bands like Mumford and Sons and Boy and Bear as well as others like Ben Howard, Counting Crows and many many more that I can't think of.

6. Why did you choose to go into the music industry?We both love playing music and we kind of just found ourselves there because of that

7. What makes you different from all the other musicians?I don't think we are that different from other musicians, we have our own unique sound and we will do absolutely anything to be the best we can be but I think all musicians do the same.

performing with Woodlock
8. Tips for aspiring musicians?
If you love making and playing music then there should be nothing to stop you from doing it the way you want to:)

9. Name at least one musician you'd like to work with in the future. 
Mumford & Sons

10. Anything else?
Thanks for having us:)

Aren't they just the cutest? I also had them sign their EP which I had bought from them because I'm sorta kinda a fangirl like that... If you would like to hear more of Everything After, I highly suggest you like their Facebook page and subscribe to their Youtube channel. They also have twitter! Please do support them. They deserve all the attention they get and more. :) And to Jordan and James, if you're reading this - keep making brilliant music and we'll always be here supporting you. :) 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

PLAYLISTS: Australia ♡

Last September 24, my family and I (excluding my brother, who was prohibited from travelling by his doctor) went on a trip to Australia for 2 weeks. We spent about four days in each state (is that what they call it there?) we visited; namely Gold Coast, Sydney, and Melbourne (which I loved the most). My iPhone was rendered useless since I couldn't call or text anyone, so I used it as an iPod for the whole trip. The songs included in this playlist (although I did not include some of them in the zip file so that you guys will have to buy the songs yourselves to support the artist. I did, however, include a link to where you can listen to the songs online) were the songs I listened to on repeat during the entire trip.

While we were in Sydney, I came across three bands performing in the streets and I just about fell in love with their music. I bought their EPs and had it signed by them, and later asked if I could feature them on here (I have legitimately asked one of the band members for their number so I could contact them using my mom's phone later that day... Guts). I'm currently working on it so sit tight! :) Anyway, without further ado, here are the songs!

  1. Wild Ones - Flo Rida ft. Sia
  2. Stuck On You - Meiko
  3. Anything Could Happen - Ellie Goulding
  4. You're Mine - Maybe Next Summer
  5. Forever & Always - Parachute
  6. Stow Away - Woodlock
  7. Smile Like I Used To - Everything After
  8. Lemons - Woodlock
  9. Heartbreak Kid - Woodlock (download it here!)
  10. U.R.A. Fever - The Kills
  11. Hell Is Round The Corner - Tricky
  12. Never Gonna Give You Up - The Black Keys
  13. E-Pro - Beck
  14. Strange Times - The Black Keys
  15. Cheap and Cheerful - The Kills

Also, please like the pages of the bands I've met and support them! :)

Friday, October 5, 2012


This month's playlist is a special one, and they're songs I believe most of us, if not all, grew up with. Our theme is classic Disney songs! They're songs from our favorite Disney movies, and I'm sure you're all familiar with it. It brings back a wave of nostalgia, and it's nice to feel like a kid again. I had a little help from my best friend, Paola, who has all the Disney songs in the world! Even though I'm turning seventeen and she's turning eighteen, we still know every word to every song in the playlist. True kids at heart! We hope this playlist reminds you to live while you're young, and to always treasure today. Carpe Diem!

Download here
Album Cover Art by Alex Arcenas

Album tracklist:
  • Learn Me Right - Brave
  • At The Beginning - Anastasia
  • I See The Light - Tangled
  • Go The Distance - Hercules
  • I Won't Say (I'm In Love) - Hercules
  • Kiss The Girl - The Little Mermaid
  • Part Of Your World - The Little Mermaid
  • Two Worlds - Tarzan
  • Strangers Like Me - Tarzan
  • You'll Be In My Heart - Tarzan
  • If I Never Knew You - Pocahontas 
  • I'll Make A Man Out Of You - Mulan
  • Something There - Beauty And The Beast
  • Beauty And The Beast - Beauty And The Beast
  • A Whole New World - Aladdin

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Novel VS Film) ☮

The Perks of Being a Wallflower has been my one of my favorite books ever since I read it back in freshman year. It's funny, it's different, it's heart-wrenching, and it's real. The characters are so true to real-life beings, that I can almost feel their emotions in every situation in the book. Perks was created into a film, and it was released on September 26, 2012 here in the Philippines. I had the opportunity to watch the movie today, and I thought that it would be great to talk about the similarities and differences it has with the novel, as well as the positive and negative remarks I had about the adaptation! If you haven't watched the movie yet, I suggest you don't read the latter part of the post, unless you are willing to be spoiled!

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Novel)


The Perks of Being a Wallflower was written by Stephen Chbosky, and it was published in 1999. It revolves around "Charlie" (this may or may not be his real name), who starts off the novel by writing a letter to an anonymous person. The novel goes on as Charlie writes to this person, telling him/her about his life as a freshman high school student.

Charlie, a socially awkward introvert, starts his freshman year, and he feels like no one notices him. He's recovering from the tragic accident that just happened, wherein his only good friend Michael committed suicide. His family doesn't seem to understand him the way his Aunt Helen does, and she too has passed away. Feeling alone and misunderstood, he starts to blend into the crowd and doesn't want to be seen. That is, until Sam and Patrick came along.

Sam and Patrick are step-siblings, and as seniors, they introduced Charlie into the real life of high school. He's put out of his shell, and throughout the novel, he strays away from being a wallflower and tries to live life the way he should be. As he's introduced to parties, drugs, and the common high school scene, he starts to fall in love with Sam. He meets new friends, experiences new things, and he finds himself in the process.

In my opinion, this book is a teen classic. Even if it's written in 1999, it applies to today as well. Charlie develops throughout the book, and you can see how true he is to himself. He sees things his way, and the way he perceives things is just so natural. Everything is seen in a different perspective because of his innocence, and the characters in the novel don't impose their personalities on Charlie, they're molded because of him. It's like they carry out his youthfulness. 

The Sam-Charlie-Patrick friendship made this book a great one. Charlie, a loner, was welcomed into the circle of friends, who are all loners themselves. In a way, their experiences are intersecting with one another, and they get what it's like to feel that way. I love how Charlie is so easily accepted, and how through all the heartbreaks, triumphs, tragedies, and enlightened moments, they're there for each other every step of the way.

Favorite Quotes
"It was the kind of kiss I could never tell my friends about out loud. It was the kind of kiss that made me know I was never so happy in my whole life." — Charlie
"But even if we don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there." — Charlie
"And I think everyone is special in their own way. I really do." — Charlie
 "Things change and friends leave. And life doesn’t stop for anybody" — Charlie
“We accept the love we think we deserve.”

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Novel)


The Perks of Being a Wallflower (film) was directed by the novel's author, Stephen Chbosky. The film stars Logan Lerman as Charlie, Emma Watson as Sam, and Ezra Miller as Patrick, the three main characters of the book.

The film stays very true to the book, and all the scenes you expect to see are there. It's wonderful to see this, since not much movie adaptations of famous novels stay true to the book, most probably because they want to up the entertainment appeal. Sometimes, it's unfortunate that the scenes fans are most excited to see on the big screen are the ones cut out from the film. Not this one, for it follows the book scene per scene. It's portrayed really well, it's complete, and the essence and impact the novel had was not lacking in the film.

Logan Lerman was an amazing actor. He portrayed the awkwardness of Charlie really well, and the emotion seen during his breakdown moments was flawless. He captured Charlie to a tee, and it fit him really well. We all know that he is a good looking man, and this movie transforms him into this awkward yet adorable teenager; he will be a hit with the ladies for sure. The chemistry between him and Emma Watson was undeniably there, and to see the two main characters gel together so well is a great key factor to any movie. Not to mention that they're the two hottest stars in film today, what more can you ask for?

My favorite character in the movie is Patrick. Ezra Miller is just so funny, so characteristic, and so uplifting. He made me smile throughout the movie with his antics, and the way he just portrays Patrick is just perfect.

To me, the movie did the book justice. It was exceptional, and it truly showed the reality of adolescence, love within a group of friends, injustice and tragedies, and being accepted. It's funny, it's witty, it's real life. The actors add more depth to the characters, and whilst many movies attempt to give off the vibe that Perks does, nothing can compare to the quality this movie brings.

One of my favorite scenes in the book is the tunnel scene, where Sam stands on top of her moving pick-up truck, listening to the "tunnel song", with her arms wide open. This is where Charlie concludes one of the most famous lines of the novel, "And in that moment, I swear we were infinite." The movie exceeded my expectations, and I got goosebumps watching it.

I do encourage you all to read the book first before watching it, because then you can really compare and see for yourself if it was up to par or not. I believe that the movie is definitely worth watching as well, and with Logan Lerman as the lead, how can you not?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Don't You Worry Child ☮

A sort of spontaneous post, but this song has been stuck in my head for days. Additional to that, Swedish House Mafia is announcing the tour dates to their One Last Tour today, so watch out for that! Fingers crossed that our country will be on the list! I quote,
"Today we want to share with you, that the tour we are about to go on will be our last. We want to thank every single one of you that came with us on this journey. We came, we raved, we loved." 
For those of you who do not know, Swedish House Mafia is a trio of disc jockeys who produce quality house music. They are known all over the world for their upbeat tracks, infectious tunes, and hypnotic beats. Sadly, the group decided to disband after their last tour.

Don't You Worry Child is the sixth and final single to be released by the group, and it's also known to be their farewell single. 


This music video speaks volumes, and the lyrics are specially apt to the situation. Definite ear candy, and I have a feeling this song will be on repeat not only in my iPod, but in yours as well.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Invitation House: New Arrivals ☮

I blogged about Invitation House  when Synergy first started last July (you can look at it again here), and I'm here again to feature the new items that just arrived! Invitation House produces high quality invitations, notebooks, notepads, stationary, and everything paper. Recently, more things were added, including home decors, accessories, bags, and many more quirky things that you would love to have! Here are the new arrivals that are being sold in Greenbelt 5 and Alabang Town Center:

These suitcases are classy, and conventional. They come in three size - small, medium, large - and can be used to stash anything inside. Perfect for people want to travel in style!

These leather accessories are the up-and-coming trend this season! Made from real, genuine leather, they can spice up an outfit and make you look classy, stylish, and put-together. With different bracelets to choose from, you'll never want to buy just one! Each design is available in nine different colors: lime green, hot pink, orange, yellow, gold, silver, tan, brown, and black.

Designed by the artists behind Invitation House, the notecards come in a pack of 12, complete with matching envelopes decorated with lining, and a clean-cut box. It's practical, beautiful, and can be used for special occasions.  

If you're interested in buying any of these products, you can visit Invitation House at Greenbelt 5 and Alabang Town Center. You can also email me at bgmarqz@yahoo.com for the prices per product, and for delivery details :)
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