2016 Round-up

THIS year has been full of surprises - both positive and negative. It has been a mixture of joy and sorrow. And most of all, it has been a year for growth and healing.

My 2016 started out like it was going to be a normal year for me and just when I thought of that, the year kicked me in the shin and said: “Just wait and see.”

To start, let me first talk about the top months of my year:

2017 Planning Tips

WE are now down to the last few days of 2016. Where did this year go?! I can’t believe that it’s almost 2017 already!

I am always ecstatic with the coming of the New Year and it gets me into the mood for planning and setting goals for my year. This 2017 is my second year of using a planner (religiously) because I often get lazy during the middle of the year and just leave it unfilled but I have improved now. And because I am currently starting to fill up my new planner for next year, I thought why not share some easy planning ideas with you.

Food Notes: Gypsy Café

WE were on a hunt for a place to eat, chill and do some work one weekend and so we headed up north of Davao City to try out this unique travel-themed café.

Jeep ride took for a couple of minutes (ugh traffic is real people!), it was already past lunch time and we have finally arrived in Cabantian where the café was located.

Holiday Rush: Last minute Christmas shopping plan

FOUR days ‘til Christmas! Are your Christmas presents ready?

Congratulations to those who are now on a chill mode wrapping presents and to you, my friends, who are currently on a panicky mode between completing school/office work and Christmas shopping, fret not because I got you covered with some tips and last minute gift ideas to help you survive the remaining days.

Affordable ‘kawaii’ gift ideas

HELLO DECEMBER! After the food gift ideas, I’m now going to share about kawaii (cute) and affordable gift ideas which are not only wallet friendly but a perfect Christmas present to your manito or manita.

I am a certified hoarder of cute stuff especially stationery/office supply ones. So if you are into that here are some kawaii gifts I found so far (squee!).

Day-off Diaries: Roseville Christmas Mansion

BACK in college, visiting a Christmas House during on November/December has been a part of our ritual but after graduation and moving here in Davao City I really haven’t heard of any Christmas Houses nearby so it’s something that I miss. So when I heard and saw pictures of the recently opened Christmas Mansion in the city I was stoked and asked my friends if we can go check it out.

We went to the Roseville Christmas Mansion on a Saturday evening since the mansion is open to the public from 5pm-10pm. My friend and I were glad that we went there at around six since the place gets packed and the road gets pretty congested.

Christmas gift ideas: Marks & Spencer food hampers

IT’S that time of the year again where we prepare our list of who’s naughty or nice and shop, shop, shop for gifts.

Choosing what to give can really be challenging especially when you’re sending gifts in bulk.  So if you’re currently still out of ideas on what to give why not opt for food hampers instead? You can never go wrong with going for the noms. (*winks)

This holiday season Marks & Spencer offers a selection of Christmas hampers which include picnic indulgences, chocolates, wines and other goodies that your colleagues, friends and family will surely love.

Food Notes: Ice Cream and Cookie Cafe

INJECTIONS freak me out but there’ s a different hype about it in social media lately wherein it is used not to inject medicine but yummy syrups to ice cream and I’m all about it.

Bonding with my Sun.Star fambam on Thursday evening wouldn’t be complete without dessert which led us to go and try Ice Cream and Cookie Café’s injected ice cream.

Food Notes: The Griddle (Burgers + Sandwiches)

FOOD is and will always be a huge part of our bonding moments with my SunStar FamBam and so we decided to meet on a Thursday evening.

“Where to eat?” – After a short 'deliberation' we decided to eat at The Griddle so here’s how it went.

Wonders of Micellar Water

THERE is this special kind of beauty water that a lot of beauty gurus have been raving about: micellar water. 

I’ve been seeing this all over Youtube and just recently one of UK’s top skincare brands known for their micellar water products has recently been launched here in the country: Simple Skincare which prompted me to do a little research on what this beauty water can do.

Food Notes: Kaizu Japanese Restaurant

MOM and I were feeling adventurous one weekend and decided to try out this new Japanese restaurant at Veranza Mall.

It was already past lunch time on a Saturday when we went to Kaizu for lunch. Note that we were already on an almost “hangry” state during that time.

Halloween look ideas

IT’S almost the long weekend and since it’s the spooky season aka Halloween here are some looks from my some of my favorite Youtubers that you might wanna try.

Review Pad: L'Paige Lipstick

AS much as I can, I want to use all natural beauty products but they are pretty hard to find especially for make-up and it can be pricey as well.

For this review, I’m going to share my thoughts on this aloe-based lipstick that I have been using for quite a while now.

Plan Your Life 2017

AS EARLY as now various brands are already selling their 2017 planners and it’s never too early to buy a planner.

I am anticipating to have a busier year for 2017 (fingers crossed) so I started my search for my “the one” planner last week online and here’s what I’ve stumbled upon so far.

Day off diaries: Exploring the National Museum

I HAVE a few list of museums that I wanted to visit in Manila but considering time and traffic (and budget haha), my dear friend: Vjoy and I decided to start with our very own National Museum for our day’s itinerary.

Shops for the artsy-fartsy lovers in Manila

DURING my times off on my two week training, I decided to check out some shops here in the metro that sells cute/kawaii stuff (squee!).

My close friends know that I can spend the whole day just going over office supplies, cute decors and kitchen stuff. So here are three shops perfect for my fellow cute things lovers.

Sweet Escape: exploring Baganga, Davao Oriental

TO cap off the month of August (a month filled with long weekends! Yay!), my friend and I decided to go on a quick weekend getaway from the city.

Mindful of our budget and with the help of internet research, we decided to spend our weekend adventure on the eastern side of Davao Region.

Baganga is a first class municipality of Davao Oriental Province which is the easternmost province in the country and is surrounded by the Philippine Sea, part of the Pacific Ocean and the Davao Gulf.

DIY Pamper Weekend

ANOTHER long weekend is coming up and what better way of spending it by pampering yourself after all the Kadayawan Festival activities?

If you do not have any scheduled travel plans yet and if you’re in a “tipid mode” to go out for a spa session, here are some DIY masks and scrub ideas you may try that won’t cost you a lot for a pamper sesh this weekend.

Kadayawan Festival Essentials

IT’S the Kadayawan Season once again here in Davao City! One of the biggest and the most awaited celebration not only of Dabawenyos but also tourists from around the globe.

And of course, with the official opening of Kadayawan Festival on Tuesday and with the long holiday ahead (yay!) there are lots and lots of festival related events that most of us would go to.

So here are some festival essentials that you might just need while watching Indak-Indak sa Kadalanan or while partying all night with your friends this weekend.

Morning rituals for a better you

ARE you feeling lazy in the morning? I know that most of us stay up late at night and hate getting up early in the morning but we have no choice though because of work and school.
I really love mornings and I love to begin everyday with rituals that will not only help me jump start my day but also make me feel “healthier” inside out.

Food Notes: Frost Bites Ice Cream Sandwich

ANOTHER notable food find during my recent travel in Cebu was this ice cream sandwich by Frost Bites.

In my previous Food Notes, I have mentioned that it was frequently raining during my travel which is equal to sweater weather but of course, when it comes to ice cream nothing can stop me!

We stumbled upon Frost Bites kiosk while strolling around SM Seaside City Cebu and the rest was history.

Fashion staples for the ‘bipolar’ weather

DO YOU often find yourself in a situation wherein you wear warm [sic SUPER HOT] weather appropriate clothing but then later on the day, when you’re out and about the weather changes and poof! – It rains.

I believe this happens to most of us lately and this is definitely a bummer so I would like to share some of my fashion staples for this inconsistent weather situation.

Indoor Fun Ideas

Happy Wednesday! It’s the middle of the work week for all of us and just a little push it will be the weekend.

Nowadays, especially during the weekends the weather situation outside is either super sunny hot or super pouring rain (lol) which makes us just wanna stay in for the day instead of going outside.

So being a certified homebody, other than surfing the internet for hour, movie marathon and long naps - here are some ideas on what you can do at home for a little change in your stay-in routine.

Food Notes: NYPD Pizza and Pasta Buffet

I RECENTLY had a short vacation and of course catching up with friends is best done over food (no diets lol).

During my first stop in Cebu my welcoming committee, Susie a.k.a piglet a.k.a college batchmate, knew how much I love pizza so she took me to this new pizza and pasta place in the area. I did not question her decision because pizza is life and it’s a pizza buffet! Heaven!
NYPD is located at APM Centrale, A. Soriano Ave. Mabolo just across SM City Cebu.

Rainy Season: The Basics

TYPHOONS are coming, how ready are you?

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA), in a report, announced that the rainy season has officially begun last May 24.

The weather bureau also reported on Sunday that they are expecting a tropical cyclone to enter the country.

Though it does not rain every day, here are some basic tips that you might need to keep you dry on pouring days.

College 101: Relationships

UNLIKE elementary or high school where we get to spend the whole day with the same people in class, college is very different as we get to meet a lot of strangers on a daily basis.
We will have a lot of relationships throughout our college journey and by relationships I mean not only the boyfriend/girlfriend ones but also friends, classmates, dorm mates, board mates etc.

So to cap off this series, I will be sharing some of the things I learned about relationships in my college journey.

College 101: Study tips

DEVELOPING your preferred study habit in college is really hard due to a bunch of distractions in campus.

As what I have said in the first article for this column series, developing a study habit during your freshman year is really a must because sooner or later things will get really rough and having your own study strategy would really be a great help.

So here are a few basic tips that will guide in achieving your own effective learning.

College 101: Saving Tips

BUDGETING in college is not easy because you need to spend some cash in every move you’re going to make.

Mastering the art of budgeting is a good skill that one needs to master which will be very helpful in the “real world.” So other than always begging your parents for your allowance, why not consider these tips that may help you save some moola during your college journey.

Fashion Gift Ideas for Dad

ITS Father’s Day this weekend! Have you bought your dad his present yet?

The gift choices are endless but if there’s one safe present that most our dads would surely love then it would be clothes.

You will never go wrong with choosing clothes as Father’s Day present (as long as you know his size and color pics). Since most of our dads aren’t much of a shopper they tend to stick to classic pieces that would last in their wardrobe for a long time. They are into clothes that show “value for money.”

If you haven’t bought your presents already, here are some last minute gift ideas perfect for your old man.

College 101: Living Away From Home Essentials

FOR those moving out for college, packing up your things is the most exciting and stressful part. You are in a dilemma of what to bring with you and what to leave behind. 

I honestly am an over packer so here is a list of some essentials I have come up with to guide you in packing and in avoiding that excess baggage probs at the airport. 

Food Notes: Confex & Co Bakehouse

ANOTHER trend on Facebook, their milkshakes topped with cakes dubbed as “Freak Shakes” has been appearing in my news feed for a couple of weeks now that caught my attention. 
So together with a friend, we came, we waited and we tried.

College 101: Things I wish I knew before college

Throwback to one of the happiest days of our lives! (photo from Facebook)

Hello, June! 

Here in the Philippines, this month is also known to as the back to school season. Though most schools and universities have already moved their classes to August there are still some who will be starting this month. 

So in line with the back to school feels this month, we are gonna back track a little bit  as I reminisce my college life and share some things that I learned as I was starting out. 

To commence this month which will be filled with throwbacks and college tips here are some things I wish I knew before entering the world of college.

Job Seeking 101: Interview

NOW unto the last and final part of the job seeking process: interview.

If you have passed the application process through the hiring manager and the examination (if there’s any) then you are now moving to the “main event” of your job application.

Your interview may be done either one-on-one or panel and as per experience, the latter is the scariest (obviously).

So to cap-off this job-seeking series, here are five handy tips you might consider for your next job interview. 

Food Notes: Classio Mobile Wood-Fired Oven Pizza

I have been scrolling their Facebook Page drooling over their photos for the longest time but it was only recently, when I reunited with my fellow pizza lover Ate Ferina that I got to really go there and try.

Job seeking 101: common application mistakes

DURING job application, most job seekers focus on the interview as the primary way of stepping ahead in getting the job. Some forget to see that application is the primary tool wherein we can showcase ourselves and make a good impression prior to meeting them face to face. It is during these times that we want to put our best foot forward.
Especially for fresh graduates and first time job-seekers here are some common job application mistakes which “turns-off” your potential employer. 

Five moments your mom was like Jessica Huang

If you are not familiar with the Huangs yet, they are the Chinese family main characters of the comedy series: Fresh Off the Boat. It is a story of an extended typical Chinese Asian family who moved from Washington D.C. to Orlando, Florida for a greener pasture for their family. The show was set in 1995 which brings back so much memories from the 90’s (90’s kid represent!).

The Huangs are mainly composed of the Dad: Louis, Mom: Jessica and their sons: Eddie, Emery, Evan but since they are and extended family which most of us Asians are their grandma is also living with them. 

Since it is still the month of May and with me loving the series (obviously), as a tribute to our beloved supermoms here are five moments in the series where Eddie, Emery and Evan’s mom: Jessica Huang played by Constance Wu was just like your own beloved mom.

Sweet as Sugar!


3 ways to exfoliate with brown sugar

THERE a lot of benefits in exfoliating our skin such as removing dead skin cells, unclogging pores, and reviving dull skin.

Brown sugar or sugar on its own is a natural exfoliant that we can use that is suitable for all skin types including the sensitive ones (me included). Sugar is also said to be a natural source of glycolic acid which is helpful in maintaining a healthy and moisturized skin.

Other than being natural, brown sugar together with other products/ingredients that I will be featuring here are readily available in your kitchen and bathroom which means zero spending!
Just mix brown sugar with these ingredients/products for your own ready to use DIY exfoliating scrubs. 

Six things I learned from living in the “real world”

PARAMORE’s song “Ain’t it Fun” used to be my jam when I started living in this so-called “real world” as it blasts a weirdly comforting line in the chorus:  “Ain’t it fun living in the real world.”

I realized a lot of things after I graduated college-> started applying for a job -> getting the job -> moving out for the job -> and working, working, working and getting in different doors of opportunity in between.