Lifestyle Blog from the Philippines

Monday, August 31, 2020

My Fave K Dramas

In the early 2000s, I was introduced to Korean Dramas. Back then, K-Dramas were called Koreanovelas and were Korean series dubbed to Tagalog for local viewers.  It was around this time that I also discovered that you could watch subtitled, original language versions of these shows online (if you knew where to look). Listening to the actors speak in their own language and hearing the inflections, the pitch for me gave the scenes more depth and emotion than the dubbed version. While Filipino dubbers are good at what they do, nothing beats hearing the actors themselves speak to get the full impact of a scene.

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Sunday, August 30, 2020

Netflix Picks: Love the Way U Lie

With COVID 19 still making it hard for people to go out, many film producers have opted for other ways to show their films. Many of them have decided to release them digitally to be sold/rented or streamed via streaming services such as Netflix. Viva Films’ Love the Way U Lie is one of those movies.



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Saturday, August 29, 2020

Folklore

Taylor Swift surprised everyone with a new album during the pandemic. According to news articles on this, she did not plan to release one, but she had created so much during the pandemic that she had to release it. Good thing that she did, since this is something that fans (and non-fans) like me can enjoy from start to finish!


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Friday, August 28, 2020

Pandemic Diaries: Still Loving Mia Maison

One of my most popular posts on this blog has been my entry about loving the home scents that I get from Mia Maison. I have tried several other scents since then, but I have always gone back to Mia Maison. Now that I can buy them online via Lazada, making my purchases from this store has become even easier.

It used to be an issue for me to buy from the store since they are not available in our area and I had to go to a mall that is probably an hour (or more) away just to buy their products. When I discovered that they started selling online, I made sure to buy from them there and I have been getting my supply from Lazada since then.

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Thursday, August 27, 2020

Thank You Syala!

As a plus-size person, it has been difficult for me to find clothes when I go to the mall. Usually, the clothes that I like never have anything in my size. Either that or the limited clothes available are not flattering or are not my type. There are a lot of online stores that sell clothes for people my size, but I am hesitant about buying from them since I am not sure if I can trust them. I have bought some clothes from Zalora, but plus-size clothes tend to be a little pricey than what I would normally like. One store that I did try and eventually liked is Syala Collections.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2020

My Go-To Cafe: Brainstorms and Brews

One thing that I miss about the pre-pandemic life is visiting coffee shops and just enjoying the coffee and ambiance with my family and friends. As much as I love coffee, it is not just about the coffee, but about the social experience too. 

There is a local cafĂ© that my family and I often went to pre-pandemic that recently made an adjustment to the pandemic life, and for that, I am incredibly grateful. They have created a website where you can order coffee and non-coffee drinks as well as other food that we used to enjoy when we used to visit their physical store. I love that you can order and pay online, which means that when the items are delivered there is no exchange of cash. I have heard that cash is one of those things that can spread the COVID 19 virus so not needing to pay via cash is a good thing for me. 

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Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Finally Got to See Hamilton!

I have been a fan of Hamilton the musical since I first listened to it on Spotify. As much as I would have wanted to see the show myself, it’s not something that I have not been able to do so I have been trying to be content with whatever Hamilton footage I could find online. Mostly it is footage from their performances of the songs from other places, such as The White House or during the Tony Awards or other award shows. It is not comparable to the real thing, but it was the best that I could find at the time.

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Monday, August 24, 2020

Pandemic Diaries: Lasco UV Light

As I have mentioned in a previous post, the pandemic has resulted in me purchasing a portable UV light sterilizer. I was happy with my purchase and had intended to buy a larger sterilizer for our home but the one from the brand I previously purchased from sold ones that were beyond my budget so I decided to look elsewhere.

I have been interested in a bigger UV light sterilizer for some time now and there were too many brands and types of sterilizers that I was overwhelmed with the selection and ended up not choosing anything at all. It was only when a friend of mine posted her purchase of the Lasco UV light that I decided that I was finally going to make my purchase.

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Sunday, August 23, 2020

Soap Obsession: Safeguard Charcoal

The thing about being a germophobe is that you become obsessed with items that label themselves as something that can kill or protect you from germs. I remember being a child and wanting to have soaps that make that promise but my mother always preferred other brands. When I was an adult and was buying my own toiletries, I made the choice to use Safeguard soap, and it has been the one that I have been using since then.

I have tried different brands over the years, but at the end of the day, I still go back to Safeguard. Maybe it is a psychological thing, but I have always believed their marketing that the soap eliminates germs and protects you from germs when you use it. If I am not using Safeguard (or any other “anti-bacterial” soap) it feels like I am not completely clean. I am more than likely to use another brand of soap but then use Safeguard after just to be sure. Weird, I know but that is how my mind works.

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Saturday, August 22, 2020

Book Review: Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune

Sometimes you buy a book because you are interested in a story, sometimes you buy it because of the cover. In this case, I bought it because of the latter, and I have no regrets about doing so. I read Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune by Roselle Lim and I loved it!

Credit: Penguin Randomhouse

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Friday, August 21, 2020

Book Review: House of Salt and Sorrows

A book I recently read was House of Salt and Sorrows, a Young Adult book that had elements of the supernatural, mystery, and horror added to it. It is a story about twelve sisters and the mystery of why the young girls were dying one after another. I only got the book because of the cover, but I enjoyed reading it from start to finish.




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Thursday, August 20, 2020

Pandemic Diaries: We are in Different Boats

It has been almost six months since the government declared a State of National Emergency because of the COVID 19 pandemic. How has life been treating everyone? 

As for me, I have been working from home. I report to the office once a week, then spend the rest of the week at home. The only time that I have been out of the house since this all started has been to go to the office and I do not even know what everything else looks like right now. Here at home, we have been getting things delivered as much as we can to avoid going out. Anything we can do from home we try to do from home. 

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Wednesday, August 19, 2020

My Acupressure Mat Experience

I turned 43 early this year. The things that I thought older people were exaggerating about are things that I am now starting to feel. My eyesight, particularly when it comes to reading, has gone bad. I cannot read anything well without my reading glasses. Most other times that I am reading something without them I am just trying to guess what the words are. My body has been having all sorts of aches and pains that I have never had before. It has been so bad that I decided to try something different: an acupressure mat.

Image by WhisperingJane_ASMR from Pixabay

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Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Book Review: Royally Series by Emma Chase

One of my guilty pleasures when it comes to books is reading love stories that involve royalty. Not necessarily a love story between an ordinary person and royalty. It could be any love story if is it royalty adjacent. I think it comes from my fascination with British royalty and the fact that we do not have any here in the Philippines. I enjoy reading stories involving royals, even if most of the ones I have read involve royals from fictional kingdoms in Europe.

It is because of this interest in royalty related love stories that I have come across the Royally Series from Emma Chase.  There are four main books, but there are also short versions that were added on to stories of the characters in the series.


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Monday, August 17, 2020

Netflix Picks: Cursed

Netflix has recently come out with a series that re-imagines the story that revolves around Excalibur and the legend of King Arthur. Titled Cursed, it revolves around the character Nimue, who, as the series insinuates, will eventually become the Lady of the Lake in the stories of King Arthur and Camelot. 


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Sunday, August 16, 2020

Pandemic Diaries: Photography

Taking pictures is something that interested me since I was a child. My father used to have cameras that fascinated me when he brought them out to take pictures of the family and anything that he found interesting. I still remember the equipment that he had: the camera, the lenses (he even had a huge telephoto one), and a tripod. I never got to use them, but it did start an interest that led me to a Communication Arts Degree when I was in college. While that plan did not exactly pan out, I did decide to take up the hobby on my own when I was finally earning my own money and could buy my own camera. I would like to think that I have a knack for it since I have won a photography contest at one point many years ago when I attempted it.

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

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Saturday, August 15, 2020

Pandemic Diaries: Too Many Deaths

This pandemic has been heartbreaking. So many people have been infected by the virus. So many people are still suffering from it and so many people have died from it. Some have died from non-COVID related causes, but because our hospitals are overwhelmed as it is, they have also been affected by this pandemic.

I have an aunt who was suffering from cancer who had been fighting the good fight but died during this pandemic. I have had friends who have lost their parents, uncles, cousins, husbands…people who were close to them. People that they loved. People that they never imagined they would lose this year and that they would lose them so fast and in the way that they did. 

Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay

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Friday, August 14, 2020

Netflix Picks: Bad Boys for Life

During one sleepless pandemic night, I decided to watch one of the newest movies on Netflix, the third in the series of Bad Boys movies from Will Smith and Martin Lawrence titled Bad Boys for Life. 



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Thursday, August 13, 2020

KDrama Review: Dinner Mate

A recent app discovery for me is iQYI, which is a streaming service that features Asian dramas and movies. It is free to use, but it has ads in between while you watch videos (think TV commercials when watching free TV). When I first discovered the app, I also discovered a Korean series that I got hooked on: Dinner Mate starring Song Seung Heon (Autumn in My Heart) and Seo Ji Hye (Crash Landing on You).


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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Pandemic Diaries: Growing Pains

Interesting times. 2020 is certainly a year that the entire world will not forget. So much has happened this year and just when we think we have seen the worst, something comes up that makes us wonder what else could be lurking around the corner. 

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

My Favorite Lip Sync Battle Performances

Lip Sync Battle is one of those shows that has become a guilty pleasure for me. It has been amusing to watch celebrities lip-sync to famous songs and try to make it their own. As the show has gone on, it seems that celebrities are always trying to one-up one another, making each performance an even bigger production than the first. So, from the small segment that it was on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, it has grown into a big competition from celebrities in the US to those in different countries all over the world.

I have enjoyed so many performances throughout the years that I thought I had to share some of my favorites here. Hope you enjoy watching them as much as I do!


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Monday, August 10, 2020

Series Review: Most Dangerous Game

One of the TV shows that I enjoyed watching on the app Quibi was Most Dangerous Game starring Liam Hemsworth as Dodge, a young man who had a failed business venture and was dying from cancer looking for a way to make ends meet. He gets an offer to be part of a secret game where he becomes hunted for 24 hours. For every hour that he stays alive, he gets a certain amount of money. If he stays alive until the end, he wins even more. Feeling like he had no other choice, he decides to accept the offer and play the game.



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Sunday, August 9, 2020

Netflix Picks: The Old Guard

By now, anyone who has a Netflix account (or borrowed one, as a lot of people do) has probably seen the Charlize Theron movie The Old Guard. It was such a hit that they are considering making a sequel to this one. As someone who saw it on the first week it came out, I can vouch for the fact that people enjoyed it so much that there was so much word of mouth going on that everyone else decided to go and see it, making it one of the most successful original films from Netflix. 



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Saturday, August 8, 2020

Pandemic Diaries: Pasaway

Sometimes social media can be incredibly stressful. I keep reading about how people are up in arms against the government because of how they are handling the pandemic. People are saying that Filipinos are all doing their part to reduce the spread of the coronavirus and that the government should stop blaming the people and just take the right action to flatten the curve. While I am not completely satisfied with the actions of the government during this pandemic, I do have an unpopular opinion: not all Filipinos are doing their part. As we say in Tagalog, there are still many of us who are “pasaway:” people who blatantly ignore and do not follow what should be done.

Yes, I am aware that there is a survey that supposedly says that a large percentage of Filipinos do wear masks and follow the basic health protocols. I’m either living in an area that wasn’t surveyed or the people who answered the survey were not an accurate representation of the majority of the country because there are still so many people who do not wear masks or follow basic health protocols in our area.

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Friday, August 7, 2020

Buy a Coffee, Get a Bag!

My family is a coffee-drinking family. We do our tea thing from time to time, but coffee is our morning drink. I remember family friends being surprised when I had looked for coffee for breakfast one morning when we were all together on vacation (I was probably around 10 at the time). They could not believe someone so young would be drinking coffee — black, at that. 

I had started early because it was a family thing: my father’s mother was a serious coffee drinker until the day she died. She was such a coffee person that one of our helpers saw her ghost looking for her Barako coffee in the kitchen a few days after she was buried (no joke).

My doctor has advised me to limit my coffee to one a day. While I do follow his instructions in general (by using a mug or tumbler instead of a cup), I do stray away from that limit from time to time. I just love my coffee and I love it black: the stronger, the better.

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Thursday, August 6, 2020

Welcome (Me) to Mobile Legends

I said I would never do it. I said I do not understand the appeal. I said that it was a waste of time. And yet, I had signed up for it and am now playing Mobile Legends.


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Wednesday, August 5, 2020

My Weather Worries

Has anyone else noticed how bad the weather has been lately? It is already late into the year and we have not had that much rain. Most of the time it is just terrible heat that does not seem to go away. It feels like we are in a perpetual summer with the heater turned up. 

Image by Claudia Engel from Pixabay

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Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Pandemic Diaries: UV Care Pocket Sterilizer

One of the conversations I have had with my friends about the pandemic was this need to disinfect everything to make sure that we do not carry around the virus from the things we have touched. My friend joked that I have been ready for that forever since I am the most germophobic person she knows. While I agree that I do go overboard with the alcohol and disinfectants, I have decided to take it one step further by disinfecting things with UV light, this time with the UV Care Pocket Sterilizer.


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Monday, August 3, 2020

Game Review: Alto's Odyssey

This pandemic has been quite a challenge for everyone’s mental health. I think that the events of 2020 have brought on a surge of so many emotions — way too many emotions than what we normally must deal with — and we need to find a way to keep ourselves in check. We need things to help calm us and help us to relax despite the circumstances. Oddly enough, one of those things for me has been playing this mobile game called Alto’s Odyssey.


Alto’s Odyssey is a game where the player is a sand boarder who travels the desert and must accomplish several challenges to move on to each level. Along the way you earn coins that you can use to purchase several items that can help make the challenges easier.  As you go up the levels, you travel to different locations and get to play/use different characters. I have only just started playing this, so I still have a long way to go and a lot of other features to discover.
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Sunday, August 2, 2020

Movie Review: The Negotiation

My interest in watching TV programs or movies that featured Hyun Bin started when I finished his series Crash Landing on You (CLOY) on Netflix. After watching another series of his, Memories of the Alhambra, I decided to make the switch and watch one of his movies next. This time, I chose the hostage drama The Negotiation.


The film also stars his CLOY leading lady Son Ye Jin. If I am not mistaken this was their first project together and CLOY followed this. The movie features hostage negotiator Ha Chae Youn (Son Ye Jin), who at the start of the movie has a female hostage die in her arms and causing her to want to resign from the job.

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Saturday, August 1, 2020

Pandemic Diaries: Missing Makeup

I am a low maintenance gal. I like wearing the oldest, and (as my family often says) the rattiest clothes when I am at home. When I am out, I am not the type who would blow-dry my hair and wear anything fancy. I am more of a shirt and jeans kind of girl. I either wear sneakers, flats, or flip-flops (if possible). Even with makeup, I do not put on as much (if at all), mostly it is a no-makeup look (as pointless as that may sound to many). But with this pandemic, I must admit, I am missing the whole makeup thing, even if I never did much of it in the first place.

When I first went back to work, I realized that my makeup was not mask friendly. At the end of the day, a lot of it was on my mask and I began to think of how pointless it was to be putting it on when no one could see it anyway. After that first day with makeup under the mask, I decided not to put on makeup anymore. So, for the next two months that I had been back at the office, I was going makeup-free. And, as weird as it may sound coming from me, I miss it. I miss wearing makeup.

Image by Lubov Lisitsa from Pixabay

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