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Lifestyle Blog from the Philippines

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

The Civil Wedding Ceremony

My youngest sister recently got married via a civil wedding ceremony. She’s getting married in a church ceremony in December, but she was advised that it would be good for her to get the legal ceremony out of the way before the church ceremony so she and her now-husband went in front of a judge here in our municipality and said their I Dos.

civil wedding

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Monday, October 14, 2019

The Accidental Icon Update

As I have mentioned in an earlier post, I am a fan of the blogger Lyn Slater, aka Accidental Icon. I shared my post on Facebook when it came out and tagged her. To my surprise, she posted a comment to reply! I can't believe I never shared this!

Accidental Icon


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Friday, October 11, 2019

Keto-Friendly Baked Fish Recipe

My sister is currently getting ready for her December wedding by going on a Keto Diet. She’s been very strict with following this diet and has lost a lot of weight since she started. Since she only eats keto-friendly food, I decided to try preparing a dish that the family can all eat together even if she is on her diet. One recipe that I found via the Yummly app was Baked Fish with Mushrooms by CDKitchen.

As with any recipe that I try, I tend to tweak them a little to fit into what ingredients are readily available. Since I was making it keto-friendly, I checked in with my sister and showed her the ingredients to make sure it was something that she could have. Ingredients and instructions are credited to CDKitchen, with italicized notes being my tweaks on the recipe.
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Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Appreciation Post: Fresh Produce

When I first moved to the province from the city, I felt that my stay would be temporary. Now that I am two decades into it, I feel that there’s no place I’d rather be. Aside from enjoying the fresh air and not living in an overcrowded area, one of my favorite parts about it is getting fresh produce like fruits and vegetables easily – sometimes even at no cost!

My sister and her husband are good with planting/gardening. We’ve been able to harvest the following organic fruits and vegetables from their hard work: Chinese Cabbage (Pechay), Papaya, Malunggay, Calamansi, Lemongrass, Chilis, and Dragonfruit. No fertilizers and no pesticides are used. Our garden may not produce a lot, but it’s a start. Fresh fruits and veggies straight from the garden. Who doesn’t want that?

dragonfruit

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Monday, October 7, 2019

Embracing the Gray

One thing that reminds me that I am aging is my white hair. I’d say gray but when I stare at them, they aren’t really gray, they’re white. I have been coloring my hair every three to six months or so to cover them up and it takes a lot of work. I don’t know if I was the patience for this gray hair cover-up process anymore since I end up with this look at the top of my head just a few months after coloring:

embracing the gray


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Friday, October 4, 2019

Managing Screen Time for Kids

Kids these days have grown up very differently compared to the way I grew up in my day. We didn’t have the internet. We didn’t have gadgets like smartphones back then. Who knew that one of the big problems for parents today would be controlling screen time for children? I don’t think I ever imagined this technologically advanced world we live in now!

I think a meme I saw on Facebook showed it well: back then, parents had to scold their kids for staying out too long playing with other kids but now parents force their kids to go out and play with others. Technology has played such a big role in this because while I grew up playing video games on my TV or on green-screened portable players, kids can now use their mobile phones and tablets to do this. And if you let them, they can do this ALL DAY.

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Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Thoughts on Reusable Grocery Shopping Bags

I’ve been an advocate of the habit of carrying reusable bags for shopping for a while now. I am very happy that many people are now practicing the same habit so that shoppers can avoid the use of plastic bags. But I still have my reservations when it comes to reusable grocery tote bags...my biggest issue with it being how “reusable” they are.

I still stand by my earlier post and prefer reusable canvas/tote bags, particularly for groceries. The ones that are usually sold at grocery stores are made of the type of cloth material that tears easily if the contents are too heavy. This will eventually end up in the trash. Are they even compostable? 

The bigger ones, while reusable, are usually made of plastic which, in the long run, will be another thing to add to the growing number of solid waste in the world. Just thinking about it gives me so much anxiety. 

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Sunday, September 15, 2019

My Year So Far

As Joey Tribiani used to say, “How you doin?” I know I haven’t blogged much recently because, well, life happens. To make up for that, allow me to make this post a bit of a diary of my activities so far for this year: 


January 



It was a busy month, I guess you can say that work-wise we hit the ground running at the start of the year. We managed to accomplish some important things for the office that we really needed. It felt good to have the year start on a good note. 
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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Netflix Pinoy Movie Review: Everything About Her

A successful woman on the top of her game is diagnosed with cancer. Life expectancy is low. What do you do when you know you are going to die? For Vivian (Vilma Santos), the lead in the Filipino movie Everything About Her that is streaming on Netflix, it meant facing her disease head-on while continuing to kill it (pun intended) in the real estate industry. She hires a nurse named Jaica (Angel Locsin), who not only helps her with her illness but also teaches her a thing or two about living a better, more fulfilled life. 




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Saturday, September 7, 2019

My Most Common Balikbayan Box Gifts

As a Filipino, I believe it is next to impossible not to have a relative or a close family friend who lives or works in another country. As is normal with Filipino culture, the balikbayan box is an item almost all of us have had at one point in our lives (at the very least). Lately, I realized that the most common items I’ve received as gifts via the balikbayan box are bath products, colognes, and lotions. I think at this point I have enough to last me a VERY long time!



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Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Concerts I'd Love to See

In a recent post, I talked about my experience watching the Manila leg of the Boyzone Thank You and Goodnight farewell show. Their last two Manila shows were probably the first concerts from foreign musicians that I’ve seen in a long time, with the most recent before that being a toss-up between Alicia Keys and the Davids (David Cook and David Archuleta, fresh from American Idol). I can’t really remember which one was the more recent of the two.  

So many foreign artists have come and go and while I do love a lot of them, prices for these shows are often so expensive that I need to pick and choose which shows I really want to go to. I’ve gotten my quota of shows for the year with the Boyzone show but if any of these artists were ever to come in for a show or two, I would be happy to make the exception because of how much I love them: 


Janet Jackson 

I know that Ms. Janet is doing shows in Vegas now, but I would be over the moon happy if she ever came over to perform here in the country. Her music was a part of my younger years and her dancing was a big influence on my own love for dance during my teenage years. I can still remember the days when I would dance along to her songs like Rhythm Nation and If and how much I loved singing along to her music (there are way too many to mention because she just has an extensively good discography).  
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Friday, August 30, 2019

Cutting Back on Streaming

I call myself a pop culture junkie because I’m into a lot of pop culture things, especially in the entertainment industry. An example is how I love watching movies and TV shows via streaming sites. At one point I think I was watching so many shows and movies that I was losing sleep from being a couch potato. There were just too many things on my “To Watch” list and there wasn’t enough time. It didn’t help that I was watching too many shows that had too much action/violence and depressing topics. It was taking a toll on me and I just could not take it anymore. I needed to cut back and have more positive thoughts in my mind.  

Image by DanFa from Pixabay

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Monday, August 26, 2019

Netflix Rom Com Review: Isn't It Romantic?

I’ve always loved watching movies, but lately, I watch them from streaming services like Netflix more than I do in the cinema. Most of the time my movie reviews would be from films I’ve caught via streaming, like this romantic comedy called Isn’t It Romantic, starring Rebel Wilson, Liam Hemsworth, Priyanka Chopra, and Adam Devine.




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Thursday, August 22, 2019

My Online Dating Experience

As a single person, I’ve often received comments about when I will ever get married. Either that or people would want to set me up with someone (something that I don’t really like). Living in the province where I am stuck in my home-work-home existence, dating just isn’t possible unless I were willing to succumb to the inevitable: joining online dating sites. I've mentioned this in a previous post, but this time I want to share some of my recent experiences with online dating apps. 

There are a couple of people who I know personally who have tried and successfully found someone via online dating apps and I am very happy for them. As someone who abhors the idea of being set up or going on a blind date, this is a bit scary for me. I have tried this in the past, to the point where I was chatting with this English/Turkish guy who is in town for modeling gigs (and looked a bit like Adam Levine, I kid you not) but as soon as the topic got into actually meeting up, I realized that I couldn’t so that didn’t end well. The only other time that I was in an online dating app was when I found out that Michael Vartan was on Tinder. Again, another fail on my part since I didn’t find him (even if I subscribed so that I could view people who were in the LA area where he’s based).  
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Wednesday, July 24, 2019

My Musical Obession: Hadestown

I love my share of musicals. I grew up watching Annie on video, along with other classics such as The Sound of Music and Jesus Christ Superstar. During my high school years, I was a fan of Les Miserables and Miss Saigon and more recently I was (and still am) obsessed with Hamilton

A few months ago, I discovered another show that I started to obsess over in the way that I have with Hamilton. It’s the (fairly) new musical called Hadestown. I found out about it when I got a suggested video on YouTube that featured the two leads of the show performing the song All I’ve Ever Known. From there I watched the other videos and started following the Hadestown OBCR playlist to listen to the songs from the musical. 


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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Review: Roswell New Mexico

One of the TV shows that I was watching a few months back was Roswell New Mexico. Based on the book series called Roswell High, this is the second incarnation of the books to TV.  

I was familiar with the older show but I never followed it. I decided to give this new version a shot this time around because it was from the same creator who came up with The Vampire Diaries and The Originals, which were shows that I loved. 

Basically, the show is about a group of aliens who were part of the crash in Roswell, New Mexico in the late 1940s and how they are blending in with the people in the town they now live in. One of the aliens is in love with the daughter of an undocumented immigrant, who comes back to town after being away for a long time. This starts a series of events that threaten to reveal their secret and forces them to come to terms with who they are and where they came from.  
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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

My Fave RomCom: Never Been Kissed

I am a sucker for romantic comedies. I will always love them, no matter how cheesy they get sometimes. A few months ago I was reminded that one of my favorite rom-coms of all time had just celebrated its anniversary: Never Been Kissed (coincidentally the name of my very first blog from way back) is now 20!


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Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Thank You Boyzone and Good Night!

It finally happened! As I mentioned in a previous blog entry, I managed to get 3rd row VIP seats to Boyzone’s Thank You and Good Night Manila concert AND the opportunity for a Meet and Greet with the band. This was a better opportunity for me compared to last year’s 10th-row seat without the chance to meet everyone.


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Monday, June 10, 2019

The Twin Lakes Hotel Experience

Last year my family and I had such a good experience “staycationing” (if there is such a word) that we decided to do it again this year. For my birthday I decided to take the family out to stay overnight at a hotel again. I had originally wanted to do it at Taal Vista Hotel, which was where we stayed last year to celebrate my niece’s birthday, but the suite we used wasn’t available. I looked for other hotels in the area and ended up booking the suite at Twin Lakes Hotel along Tagaytay-Nasugbu Highway in Batangas (although most people tend to think that this is in Tagaytay, I know I did).



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Sunday, June 9, 2019

The Adventures of My Nephew's Toys

My nephew is the love of my life. He is my person. He says goodbye to me when I go off to work and is often the first to welcome me home after a long day at the office. He kisses me goodnight practically every evening and hangs out with me a lot when I’m home. We watch TV, play Jenga and other games and draw together. So, when this little one asks me a favor, you can bet that I will say yes as long as it is possible. 

A few months ago, he gave me one of his toys, a turtle. He asked me to bring it with me to work and to let it join me all day. I decided to take photos of that little turtle as I went about my day: I took a photo on the way to work, while at was at the office, while I was at a meeting and when I went on the road for some work errands. The little one had such a good time watching what his turtle was up to during the day. I loved that it made him happy to see that I made an effort to give his turtle a good time. It also gave him an idea of what I did when I was not at home too.
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Saturday, June 8, 2019

Kolours Signature Series Review

My hair has been a big issue for me these past few years because of the gray hair that keeps popping up. I wouldn’t mind it much if I didn’t look so stressed all the time and having that hair color seems to make it worse. I’ve taken to experimenting with box hair colors and after several rounds of using L’Oreal, I decided to give Kolours Signature Series a try.



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Friday, June 7, 2019

Netflix Show Review: Tidelands

If mermaids existed in the real world and if they live among us, what would life be like? The Netflix show called Tidelands seemed to answer that question for me.  

The TV show is an Australian 8-part series that tackles the world involving the Tidelanders, who are the offspring of sirens and humans. In the show, ex-convict Cal McTeer is released from prison and goes home to a town called Orphelin Bay, where she finds out about the real reason why the town is still being kept alive despite the poor economy. Clue: it has something to do with the Tidelanders. 




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Thursday, June 6, 2019

Favorite Film Alert: Centerstage

I’ve always loved dance. I love to dance and I have such an appreciation for it. When the movie Centerstage came out in 2000, I knew I had to go and see it. I can still remember dragging a co-worker to watch the movie at the nearest cinema near the office. It was the rattiest movie house I have ever been in but I did not care. I was watching a movie about dance and was loving every minute of it! To this day this is one of those films that I can watch over and over again!

The movie did not have any big movie stars, but it was still a good movie for me. Zoe Saldana, who played rebel dancer Eva later on became a big movie star, with her recent work being Gamora from the Avengers movies. Amanda Schull, who played the lead character, Jody, starred in the TV version of 12 Monkeys and is currently part of the TV show Suits. Eion Bailey, who played Maureen’s boyfriend, later on starred in the TV series Once Upon a Time as Pinocchio. I also can’t forget to mention that professional ballet dancers Ethan Stiefel, Julie Kent, and Sascha Radetsky were also a part of this movie, with Sascha co-starring with Mandy Moore in the music video used to promote the movie.

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Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Book Review: Moonshot by Alessandra Torre

If I could turn a book into a movie (even just a made for TV movie will do), I’d love to make this one. Moonshot, written by Alessandra Torre, has the right mix of romance, drama, sports, murder-mystery, and suspense that would make for a good movie. Plus, I fell in love with the characters and the story so there’s that too.

Cover credit: EverAfter Romance

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Tuesday, June 4, 2019

TV Show Review: New Amsterdam

One of the shows that I have been watching on the Fox TV app is the medical drama New Amsterdam, starring former 90210 and Blacklist actor Ryan Eggold. It is based on a book called Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital. It is about a young medical director named Max who is trying to make changes in one of the oldest public hospitals in the US, aiming to give the best care to his patients. His methods are out of the box and it sometimes rubs people the wrong way, but he has been able to make things work. 

What I found interesting about the show is the lead character. Max is trying to change the status quo to find better ways to serve their patients, even if it means ruffling a few feathers in the process. I also love that instead of pointing out what’s wrong, he is often found saying his favorite line: “How can I help?” I’d love to work for someone like that. 

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Monday, June 3, 2019

Mood of the Moment: Dracarys

I recently learned that some people have betrayed my trust. People are actively stabbing me in the back for their own personal gain. People who I have never wronged in any way except for the fact that apparently, I am in their way.  

My first reaction was shock, followed by disappointment and anger. I have been nothing but supportive of these people. I have gone above and beyond for them. It made me wonder what kind of relationship to have with the people concerned knowing what I do now. At this point though I don’t know what I should do moving forward. 

So far, I have not done anything with what I’ve learned, but I have been very conflicted about how I feel about it. Part of me wants to confront the people concerned but what is the point in that? They would most likely deny it anyway. It would only make me feel more disappointed, even angry. I don’t want to approach the situation in anger because nothing good ever comes of that (uh, Daenerys Targaryen anyone?). 
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Sunday, June 2, 2019

Cool Citrus Basil Memories

Life has been very stressful for me lately. The weather has been unbearable. I have work responsibilities and problems to take care of. I have family responsibilities that need to be addressed. I have personal goals that I would like to accomplish. I have people in my life who have greatly disappointed me. I have health issues that are making all of the above difficult to concentrate on. Remember Jennifer Love Hewitt in I Still Know What You Did Last Summer where she’s screaming and asking what more the killer wants from her? That is my level of stress right now. I’m in desperate need of a good break. 

More than a decade ago, I took a vacation in Cebu (with a few nights in Makati on the side, if I’m not mistaken). It was probably the last time I took a real vacation — one where the trip was not work-related with some personal travel on the side, not a trip where I had to take charge of the itinerary or a trip where the office called or emailed me every day to do something even when I was on leave. This was a REAL vacation that I took with my cousin and a few of her friends. I loved every minute of it.  

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Saturday, June 1, 2019

Boyzone's Coming Back!

They are coming back! They said they would and now it’s confirmed that they will! 

If any of you have read my post on the Boyzone concert that I attended in August last year, you’d remember that I was hoping that the boys would come back for one last show. For a moment there my hopes were dashed when they announced a series of shows that did not include Manila. It was such a pleasant surprise that after that round of concerts they teased that there would be a few more shows back in Asia before they finally, truly, disband. 


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Friday, May 31, 2019

Mental Health Awareness

The month of May is Mental Health Awareness month. It is the time where people raise awareness about mental health and mental health issues. It’s the time where several groups try to help erase the stigma of having mental health problems so that help can be given to the people who need it the most.  

I’m glad that there is such a month for raising awareness for mental health because there are so many people who can benefit from the knowledge that could help others and, more often than not, themselves. 

While there are already several existing groups who advocate for this issue, I think that worldwide there is still a long way to go when it comes to how we view mental health problems. The stereotype that people who suffer from mental illness are of the straight jacket-wearing, institutionalized, and to-be-sedated variety because they are “crazy” is still alive and well. The amount of those aware is still widely outnumbered by the ones who are uneducated about this. 

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Thursday, May 30, 2019

Keeping Cool in This Heat

It has been raining a lot lately. According to the weather reports, the rainy season will follow soon after. That is such a relief! I have been having a difficult time dealing with the warm weather and it will be a huge blessing to have cooler days ahead! 

Blogging has not been as regular as I would like for it to be these days because of the heat. I have nothing going on because I’d rather hide from the sun when I’m not at work. The heat has also made me feel weak lately so sleep has been my default mode when I’m home. Hopefully, my blogging life will resume on a more consistent basis once the weather improves. 

I know that I’ve blogged about this before but I can’t help but do it again because the warm weather has been even more unbearable since my last entry on it. I was telling my sister that if the weather keeps getting hot as the years go then life in the Philippines in the decades to come would be next to impossible during the summer. The government and the private sector need to work together to ensure that measures are taken from both sides to combat Climate Change and to come up with methods to help cool down this side of the planet. 
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Friday, April 26, 2019

Getting the Election Fever

With the elections coming up in less than a month, the campaign period has been in full swing. Every single day I hear a campaign jingle for the candidates and whenever I go out, I cannot avoid the onslaught of campaign posters on vehicles, homes, or any blank wall along the road. The news is never without anything on the people campaigning for national-level positions. The same goes for social media. 

I don’t know what to feel about how politics is here in the country. So much of what is going on leaves me conflicted about who to vote for.

Image by Andreas Breitling from Pixabay

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Thursday, April 25, 2019

Have You Tried Confetti?

Does anyone remember my old post about the trivia app called HQ? It’s an online trivia game where the contestants have to answer 10 straight questions right to win the pot money for the day. It is US-based, so I haven’t been able to win because of all the very American trivia questions that are in the set of questions. I’ve always wondered when they can have a local version and now there is one: Confetti Philippines.  

Photo Credit: Confetti Philippines

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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Summer is Burning Up

First things first, I need to be upfront about this: I hate summer. I’ve never liked the heat, I’m not a big fan of the sun. I prefer my weather to be cold and gloomy. I prefer the rain. I know that sounds depressing to some, but for me, summer makes me grumpy and the dark, gloomy, rainy weather makes me feel the opposite. That’s just the way I am. 

I know there are so many more fun activities that can be done during the summer, but you can do the same thing during the gloomy weather, right? There doesn’t have to be rain, I’m flexible about that. I just don’t like things too bright, sunny, and – most importantly – hot. I mean, does anyone actually LOVE the heat that we’re getting these days? Seriously? We’re all burning up like crazy!

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Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Book Review: 29 Dates

I’ve always been a fan of Melissa de la Cruz, which started when I first read her Blue Bloods series (which I still wish could be turned into a movie or TV series in the future). Since then I’ve made it a point to check out her other books whenever they came out. When I read on Twitter that she had a new book called 29 Dates, I decided to give it a try.

Cover credit: Harper Collins

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Monday, April 22, 2019

TV Show Review: Bloom

What would you do if you were given a second chance? If you could be young again? Would you take it? What would you do with it? This is the premise of the Australian TV series Bloom, which I discovered online and finished watching in one week.

Starring The Vampire Diaries/The Originals Star Phoebe Tonkin, Bloom is about a town where five people had died in a big flood. For some reason, in every location where a person had died a new plant bloomed, with fruit that can miraculously turn the person who has it younger. There are only six episodes in the series and it’s a quick watch if you’re interested in finishing the story right away. It can be a bit heavy with its theme but it does make you question the things about yourself, it makes you wonder what kind of person you might be if you were placed in a similar situation. 



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Sunday, April 21, 2019

World of Dance US Season 3

World of Dance Philippines has wrapped up and FCPC Baliktanaw won and is going to audition for the next season of World of Dance US, which is now on Season 3. Here’s what I think about the US version of the show so far:

Image by ArtTower from Pixabay


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Saturday, April 20, 2019

My Big Bad Wolf Experience

Last February, a couple of friends of mine from work and I decided to go to the Big Bad Wolf Sale at the World Trade Center in Pasay City. We had heard of this sale before but have never gone to it. Since the sale also coincided with a long weekend, we decided that we could go and give it a try.  



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Friday, April 19, 2019

My Unplugged Policy

Back in my early days of working, I remember getting stressed out a lot because of calls from work during days off or after work hours. I used to take pride in the fact that I worked harder than most but after a while, I realized that things just got a little too far. People began to take for granted that they can call me anytime they need anything, even if I am sick. It was only after a friend advised me to stop taking calls outside of work hours that I started to value my time away from work and gave myself a little peace of mind. 

I was supposed to have a separate phone for work until I realized that all I had to do was put my phone on airplane mode. I’ve been doing that daily. Right after I get off work, I turn on airplane mode and I turn it off in the morning. I also put my phone on airplane mode on weekends and keep myself offline (or at the very least, invisible) from online-based messaging apps during my free time. Having this quiet time has been good for me, especially since I get stressed easily.  Since I am often just at home during my free time, this has not been a problem. I only turn off airplane mode during my free time when it is absolutely necessary, which hasn't happened that much.
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Thursday, April 18, 2019

My Epsom Salt Experiments

If there is one thing that I have been (slightly) obsessed with these days, it’s trying to detox. I know that most people say that our bodies can naturally detoxify themselves but I feel that it doesn’t hurt if I can help move things along, right? I’ve been reading a lot on this on Pinterest and one thing that got my attention was the use of Epsom salt. 



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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Matters of the Heart

Once when I was in grade school, my mother told me that I had fainted and that it gave my teacher and my family a big scare when it happened. I don’t remember this, but I do remember having to go to one hospital and doctor after another taking all sorts of tests to find out what was wrong with me. It was at that young age that I found out that I had heart disease. 

My parents were very protective of me when they got the diagnosis. As much as I enjoyed running as a child, they never allowed me to do sports again. Any dreams I had of dancing, taking classes, and such were not encouraged because of how often I got sick. I rebelled against that for a while, taking gymnastics classes without my parents knowing about it, joining the dance troupe and cheering squad in high school and college, and going to the gym on school lunch breaks to work out with my best friend. I didn’t want my disease to define me, I did not want it to limit me. But eventually, it did.

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Monday, April 15, 2019

Holy Week Stories

Yesterday marked the official start of the Holy Week for all Christians. I may not be a practicing Catholic (I’d like to think that I’m more spiritual than religious) but I do have a great amount of respect for this season and what it means. 

Image by cgrape from Pixabay

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Sunday, April 14, 2019

Catching Up With the Game of Thrones Train

Tomorrow is the start of the last season of Game of Thrones. There are only six episodes in this final season and a lot of people, me included, are looking forward to finding out how everything will play out. I know that there are a lot of theories out there, but I prefer to just wait and see how it will all play out. I have my own theories but considering how I have not completely caught up on the show yet, I’m not sure if I have anything right.

Is it nuts that I want to see Jon and Daenerys jointly sitting on the Iron Throne and ruling together? I’m rooting for either one of them to eventually be the rightful heir to the throne but if they can rule together, that would be even better. I am also partial to the theory that the Night King is also related to them too and is also a Targaryen. I’d like to think that there is more to his story and that is how Jon and Dany would end up on the Iron Throne. It might be too much to ask, but it’s just my theory. Like Jon Snow, I know nothing. 

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Friday, April 12, 2019

When the Water Supply System Fails

“Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.” 

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner


Climate Change is real...I think many of us here in the Philippines experiencing this weather right now know and feel just how real this all is. The heat is excruciatingly unbearable. The humidity only makes it worse. The fact that we are having problems with water is exacerbating the issue too.

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

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Thursday, April 11, 2019

Book Review: The Accidental Beauty Queen

I’ve always been a sucker for rom-com chick lit books. I’m also a sucker for a good cover. When I spotted The Accidental Beauty Queen by Teri Wilson, I knew that I had to read it. And after I read it, I knew I had to do a book review and share what I thought of it!

I remember reading this and picturing this as one of those romantic Hallmark Movies (of which I am a big fan). It wasn’t that much of a surprise later on when I found out that Teri Wilson actually wrote some of those movies that I have enjoyed watching.

Image by skeeze from Pixabay

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Wednesday, April 10, 2019

The Crown Princess on GMA

Who else is watching The Crown Princess on GMA? To regular readers of my blog, it won’t be a surprise that I am watching this Thai drama now that it is being shown on Philippine TV. I became a big Nadech and Yaya fan since watching the show and I loved it so much that I am more than happy to watch it again, this time dubbed in Tagalog. 




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Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Thoughts on the Holiday: Bataan Death March

Today is a holiday – Araw ng Kagitingan here in the Philippines, otherwise known as Day of Valor in the US, which commemorates the Bataan Death March from 1942. The death march was the transfer of thousands of American and Filipino prisoners of war by the Japanese during World War II. They traveled more than 100 kilometers from Bataan to Tarlac where many were physically abused and killed during the journey. 

bataan death march
Photo from Pixabay

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Thursday, February 28, 2019

Book Review: Flipping The Script

Synopsis: 


Miri dela Merced’s film director grandfather and Pabs Paglinauan’s studio head grandmother had a huge falling out that ended Lolo Ikong’s career. At seventeen, Miri finds herself in the same summer film internship program as the down-to-earth film studio heir Pabs, whom she’s decided to automatically write off, just because of his lineage. As Miri gets a crash course in her expectations vs the reality of what it's like to work on a real movie, her true feelings for Pabs become harder and harder to ignore. In between attending outdoor screenings of classic Pinoy movies and battling monster production assistants together, can flipping the script on a decades-old grudge be only a few sequences away? 

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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Another #MeToo Story

So many things have been running through my head.

Something happened a while back that had me thinking – wondering really – if I know people as well as I think I do. If I know myself well enough to trust my judgment about things that happened.

Someone I know, someone I trust surprised me by acting in a way that felt a little too touchy-feely for me. Something that I felt uncomfortable with because it felt inappropriate the instant that it happened. I froze immediately, that’s how uncomfortable it was for me. 

Photo by Antonio DiCaterina on Unsplash

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Thursday, February 14, 2019

My Delicate New Year's Day

I’m in the middle of writing a love story and the songs that play in my head whenever I think of the main characters in my “novel” (or novella, depending on how long it actually ends up) are the songs Delicate and New Year’s Day by Taylor Swift. For now, my working title is My Delicate New Year's Day, just because those songs are playing in my head. In the beginning, I used to listen to Kelly Clarkson's Catch My Breath while writing this one, but the first two songs are the ones that give more feeling to what I'm writing at this point.

Some people have asked me why I’m writing a love story. Maybe it’s because I’ve had my share of love and heartbreak. Maybe it’s because if I can’t have a love life, I can make a fictional one that people will enjoy reading about. Maybe I just love to write...I don’t know. I just enjoy the idea of it I guess. 

Photo Credit: Pexels on Pixabay

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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Zero Waste Idea: Drink Dispensers

These days there has been a lot of talk about solid waste management and how the world is drowning in trash, with governments all over the world thinking of ways to manage the trash that keeps growing and growing because these things, particularly those made of plastic, are not biodegradable. They will be around long after any of us living today have passed on.  

Photo Credit: PDPics on Pixabay

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Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Percy Laureti Bag Review

When Meghan Markle aka the Duchess of Sussex was still dating Prince Harry of England, I was obsessed with the way she dressed. I loved how her looks were both very casual and laid back but still fashionable at the same time. One particular look that I loved was during their first public outing at the Invictus Games in Toronto, Canada. She was wearing a white button-down shirt, distressed jeans, flats and was carrying this brown leather tote, which was identified as the Day Market Tote in Cognac by Everlane (priced at around $175).  

I was obsessed with that bag! For one, I’ve always been more a fan of totes than small dainty bags. I feel like I always need to bring along too much stuff so small bags are out. Whenever I do bring one of those small bags out of necessity, you can bet that those bags are crazy stuffed and busting at the seams because I can’t minimize the things I bring along whenever I’m out.  

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Monday, February 11, 2019

Jurassic World Alive: The App Review

My nephew is currently in his dinosaur phase. There was a time when he was obsessed with cars. Then he progressed to construction vehicles (oh how he loved his excavator). He then moved on to trains (specifically Thomas and Friends) and now it’s dinosaurs. This has been the longest obsession so far; he’s been at it for more than a year or so. Because of that, everyone in the family has been giving him gifts that are in line with that dinosaur theme.  

Our little one is only 5 but he has seen all the Jurassic World movies (thanks to a cable marathon during the holidays) and he loves them so much he can name much more of them than I can. It has become a bonding activity for us to have him school me on the names of the dinosaurs he has in his toy collection. Sometimes he even draws them for me. He’s that hooked to this! 



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Sunday, February 10, 2019

My Plus Size Shopping Experience

I am a plus-sized woman. There’s nothing I can do to deny it. I have not fit into regular-sized clothing in years, specifically since I had my surgery that removed my thyroid. My attempts at weight loss are a continuous struggle (that I will discuss in a future post). The biggest (pun intended) problem that I have with the weight, however, is the fact that it is so hard to find something good to wear. 

Photo Credit: gonghuimin468 on Pixabay

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Saturday, February 9, 2019

My Attempt at Eco-Bricks

These days, it is very important to keep our trash as little as possible. In these times where countries are shipping trash to other countries, (because they have nowhere else to put it) it’s become very important to be able to go as zero waste as possible. If we can’t, we should at least have some sort of waste management plan. These things can (literally) last forever, so we should know what to do with it.  

One example of doing this is the making and use of ecobricks.  As defined in the Ecobricks website: “An Ecobrick is a reusable building block created by packing clean and dry used plastic into a plastic bottle to a set density.   Ecobricks enable us to take personal responsibility for our plastic.” The bottles are used to build various things that range from furniture, to designing gardens, parks, and other structures.  



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Friday, February 8, 2019

Tips for OFW Families

My mother was an OFW for around ten years before she went home to stay with the family. My brother-in-law, on the other hand, is currently a seafarer who is gone for months at a time for work. I guess you can say that in that sense we are an OFW family. It's not easy. I don't think it ever is. It has its ups and its downs. Based on our experiences I think that there are lessons that can be learned and should be shared with other OFW families like ours.

Photo credit: skeeze on Pixabay

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Thursday, February 7, 2019

Nothing is Guaranteed

In a few days, I will turn another year older. 

The more I get older the more I feel like I’m living on borrowed time. The more I feel the need to reflect if I have been making the best of my life if I have been living up to my full potential and doing what truly makes me happy. The more the years go by the more I want to enjoy every moment of my life while I have it. 



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Wednesday, February 6, 2019

World of Dance Philippines -- The Story So Far

Has anyone been watching World of Dance Philippines? It’s the local version of the US World of Dance competition that is being judged by Jennifer Lopez, Ne-Yo, and Derek Hough. The local version follows the same format: dancers are categorized by divisions: Junior, Upper, and Team (for the US version though there is a Junior and Upper Team).

The people who pass the Qualifiers are weeded out by the Duels within the divisions. After that the divisions are thinned further with the Cut, to see who makes it to the Division Finals. Each Division Final winner will then go to the finals to be the World of Dance Winner. In the Philippines, that means taking home and the chance to be part of the Qualifiers for the US version of World of Dance.

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Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Why is There So Much Hate

Empire actor Jussie Smollet was in the news recently after he was attacked in Chicago in what was reportedly a racist and homophobic attack. I don't want to go into further detail about what happened as I don't know all the facts but it saddens me that our world is surrounded by so much hate to the point that people attack other people without any provocation.  

Photo from Wokandapix on Pixabay

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Monday, February 4, 2019

Who are Those Masked Singers?

Sometimes there just some TV shows that can get so crazy, it's so hard to look away. The Masked Singer on Fox is one of them. I can’t get enough of the whole guessing game about who the masked singers are!

mask
Image by Pexels from Pixabay

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Sunday, February 3, 2019

For Zero Waste Girls

To the guys who tend to read my blog, this may be the post that you’d like to skip. I don’t think you’ll get much from it. It’s about that time of the month and some zero-waste concerns about it.  

My sister and I were talking about how difficult it was to go zero-waste when we had the tendency to use too many sanitary pads when it was that time of the month. We have been so used to the use of pads during our periods for our entire lives so it seemed like there was no other alternative for us. 

I told my sister that I have been meaning to try cloth pads but I have been scared of doing so unless I only planned to stay inside the house. My periods tend to be normally heavy and I have had my fair share of stains from it when I use sanitary pads. It seemed more than likely that I would get worse stains if I used cloth pads. I can’t really know for sure until I try, but I am NOT going to try it if I’m going out that’s for sure.  

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Saturday, February 2, 2019

The Day After Tomorrow

I was flipping channels over the weekend when I chanced upon the movie The Day After Tomorrow. I’ve seen the movie before but I couldn’t help but watch it again because I wonder if the reality shown in the movie is closer than ever. 




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Friday, February 1, 2019

One Last Time -- The Hamildrop

Last month, Lin-Manuel Miranda released the last of the Hamildrops: a version of the song One Last Time (44 Remix) that features former US President Barack Obama reciting a passage from the farewell address of George Washington. 
 



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Monday, January 28, 2019

An Old K-Drama Fave: Lie to Me

There are a lot of good Korean dramas on Netflix. It’s a mix of the old and the new, with one of the older ones being a favorite of mine, which I had to re-watch as soon as I discovered that it was available: it’s the 2011 series called Lie to Me, starring Yoon Eun Hye and Kang Ji Hwan.

Lie to Me Korea


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Sunday, January 27, 2019

Pain Relief Rubs

Being in my 40s, I think that it is fair that people lump me onto the Tita (Aunty) category since these days I am older than many people that I encounter regularly. I know some women don’t like literally being called Tita unless that came from someone close to them but for me, I don’t mind. I think I’ve already pushed on to a higher category of Tita-ness because of my dependence on pain relief rubs.

Pain Relief Rubs


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Thursday, January 24, 2019

2018-2019 Fall TV Season Review

Television is a big thing for me. My parents were very strict about TV time when I was a child and we didn’t have cable TV growing up so now I am crazy about TV shows and make it a point to watch as much of it as I can whenever I have the time. There are so many good shows out there and sometimes I feel like I don’t have enough time to enjoy them all. What usually happens for me is that I watch a few episodes during the start of the season (both new and returning shows) and then I decide from there which ones to eventually weed out of my roster. That way when I binge-watch, I know I have enough time to watch shows that I know I will enjoy. This year’s 2018-2019 US Fall TV season, I did just that. I picked all the shows that I wanted to see then started weeding them out from there.

So much to watch, so little time... (photo credit: geralt on pixabay.com)


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Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Book Review: Gmorning, Gnight

If you haven’t heard of Lin Manuel Miranda, I think I need to ask you where you’ve been these past few years first before reading this post. I mean seriously, where have you been?

I’ve been a fan of Lin since I fell in love with the music from the musical Hamilton, something that I first listened to on Spotify. I’ve followed his career since then and have taken to following him on Twitter, where he shares snippets of his life as well as inspiring tweets for his fans.

It is the inspiring tweets that he shares every morning and evening (US time) that make up the content of his new book, Gmorning, Gnight. Illustrated by Jomny Sun, the book shares some of the best good morning and good night tweets that Lin has shared with his Twitter followers these past few years. When he first started doing those tweets, I was already attempting to save some of my favorite ones (saving them for a rainy day, for days when I need them most). Turns out that I wasn’t the only one doing that, because the reason this book came out was that people wanted to have a saved copy of their favorite tweets too. 

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Sunday, January 20, 2019

In Hindsight...

What if you could go back in time and do things differently?

The question posed by the show Hindsight is similar to my previous blog entry where I answered a similar question from my friend. As I said in my previous entry, my answer to that question would be YES. Based on her actions in the show, the lead character of the show also has the same reply.

Hindsight is the story of Becca, a 40-something about to embark on her second marriage when she is taken back in time to the 90s. Not knowing how she got there or how she will get back to her own time, Becca decides that she can make her life better by changing the wrong decisions she made in the past (now her present), starting with not going through with her first marriage.




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Saturday, January 19, 2019

Promdi Life: My Love for Starry Nights

I have a love-hate relationship with my bedroom. It has large windows that pour all the light in during the daytime. It can get frustrating when the weather is extremely hot because no amount of curtains can hide me from the heat from the sun. BUT (and it is all caps because it is a big but) the room and those windows are a big plus for me at night. The windows that surround my room allow the evening breeze in almost every night, making my room the coolest (in terms of temperature) one in the house. There are nights when I do not even need to turn the fan on because it can get cold enough for me to curl up in a blanket even without it.

Photo Credit: Fleuber on Pixabay

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Friday, January 18, 2019

A Star Cinema Inspired Post

The Star Cinema movie Past Tense was about a woman who went back in time to try to get her past self to fall in love and give her best friend a chance at a relationship with her, which brings us to the question:


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Thursday, January 17, 2019

A Discovery of Witches on TV!

As I have mentioned in an earlier post, I am a fan of the All Souls Trilogy of books by Deborah Harkness. I found out about it when I discovered that Matthew Goode, one of my favorite actors, is going to play the lead in the TV adaptation of the books. As soon as I started reading, I could not put it down until I read and finished the last book. After that, I started watching A Discovery of Witches as soon as it was released on the Fox TV app.

Starring Teresa Palmer (Diana) and Matthew Goode (Matthew Clairmont), the first thing that I noticed with this series was the remarkable cinematography. Every scene was picture perfect, something that would make you want to travel and see the places shown in the series. It makes the show very memorable in my eyes.



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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Book Review: Walk of Shame

Lauren Layne is currently one of my favorite romance novelists. I don’t think I’ve read a book written by the woman that I did not like. It all started with me stumbling on one of her books and that was it, I was immediately a fan. What was that first book? It was Walk of Shame.

Cover credit: Hachette Australia

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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Oryang's Goodbye

I recently visited the Bonifacio Trial House in Maragondon, Cavite with some friends when I discovered this song by Aiza Seguerra titled Sa Huli ang Sikat.




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Monday, January 14, 2019

A Short Flirtation With Online Dating

As a single woman in my 40s, I constantly get questions regarding my intention (or lack thereof) to get married and having a family of my own. I remember a friend of mine in the same situation saying that if we were given money every time we were asked about it we would be rich by now.

To appease people who were “concerned” about my single status (as if it is a death sentence of some sort), I decided to try online dating. I have never been interested in the concept but I thought, “What do I have to lose?”

Photo Credit: Riala from Pixabay

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Friday, January 11, 2019

Shopping When Adulting

I’m not much of a shopper. I am the type who only shops out of need more than out of want, which would explain my lack of proper wardrobe for going out (because I hardly do). When I do shop, I make a list then I’m in and out of the store as soon as I have completed getting everything on it.

It’s interesting to notice that now that I’m older my list of priorities of things to buy has changed. When I was in my 20s it was all about clothes, bags, and shoes. In my 30s it was about makeup and gadgets (an odd combination, I know). Now that I’m in my 40s, it’s all about the home, which goes to show where my priorities lie these days.

grocery shopping


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Thursday, January 10, 2019

House of Flowers (A Review)

Binge-watching is kind of my thing. It’s easier to watch a series when you know all the episodes are already available, so you don’t have to wait another week for what happens next. I was looking for a new show to binge on when I discovered the Mexican comedy/drama called The House of Flowers (Las Casa de las Flores) on Netflix.

The story tackles the struggles of the De la Mora family that owns the flower shop, The House of Flowers. It all starts with the death of the mistress of the head of the family. She commits suicide in the flower shop and this triggers the series of events that forces each family member to face their own personal issues during the first season: Paulina, the eldest daughter, struggles with the need to be there for every member of the family to the point that her personal life is sacrificed. Elena, the second daughter, is torn between the life she has built for herself in the US and decided to stay home in Mexico for good. Juan is the only son who happens to be bisexual and has a secret relationship with the family financial manager, Diego. He finds it difficult to come out and when he does, for some reason he just can’t – for lack of a better term – keep it in his pants. Most important of all is the lead character Virginia, the matriarch of the family who is obsessed with the people’s perception of their family reputation.
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Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Book Review: All Souls Trilogy

I first found out about the All Souls Trilogy of books by Deborah Harkness when I read about the TV series that was going to be made starring Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer. Being a Matthew Goode fan since seeing him on Chasing Liberty with Mandy Moore, I immediately looked for the books so that I could read them all before the series began.

discovery of witches
Cover Credit: Penguin Random House

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