On passion and chasing changing dreams.

30 September 2012

"As in anything in life, you can't expect yourself to enjoy what you're doing if you're not passionate about it." - Sarah Santiago, MEGA Magazine Features Editor

Yesterday I went to a free Public Relations and Fashion Writing workshop organized by Schu held at the Schu Factory Outlet in Ortigas, having won a slot from Ana's flash giveaway. It was a small and intimate event attended by SoFA students, bloggers, and their giveaway winners. We missed the talk of ONE Mega Group Inc PR & Events Manager Tedrick Yau about Public Relations because of the horrible traffic in Cubao, but thankfully we arrived just in time for Sarah Santiago's topic.

Sarah gave a brief background about her job as Features Editor for MEGA Magazine and discussed how it calls for passion, hard work, and dedication. She also gave us some pointers on how we can pursue a career on the field, and reminded us that if we want to make it big, we have to start from the bottom rung of the ladder. For someone like me who dreamed of working for a magazine, hearing from someone who works in the industry was simply fascinating.

Yes, I am aware that I used the past tense for dream in that last sentence. No, that is not a fluke.

In this week's episode of Glee (which I loved!), Sarah Jessica Parker as Vogue.com's Isabelle Wright told Kurt that "sometimes dreams can change." Now that I am 26 years old and working for the social media arm of a PR firm, I feel that the same thing happened to me. So maybe I am not cut out for a job in the magazine publishing industry, something that I dreamed about every day ever since I held my first issue of Candy magazine when I was 14. Does that mean I am a failure? Does that mean all those days I spent writing on my journals were for nothing? Does that mean I have given up? I don't think so. I don't think we have to be bound to our preconceived notions of ourselves, because doing so would mean closing ourselves to other wonderful things we can become. I have a friend whose childhood dream was to be a priest. While on break from the seminary, he met a beautiful girl. Long story short, they are now very happily marriedOne more thing, when I was still in my teens, social media wasn't as rampant as it is now, so there were no Social Media Marketer jobs to aspire for. Isn't technology a wonderful thing? :) Will I stay in PR forever or will I branch out to other fields? Maybe I really want to become a doctor, what do you think? Or maybe I am really destined to become a top chef, even though my kitchen skills are currently limited to the many different ways of cooking an egg (and mashed potato)? Or maybe when the time is right, I will find out that I am really destined to work for a magazine, after all? I honestly don't know. All I know is that I am very passionate, and as what a former officemate told me, I have such a zest for life, and I pray that this enthusiasm, this energy, never leaves. One of the greatest things about life is the limitless possibilities it offers. I am open for all these possibilities, and I am excited for the many different things and surprises the Universe still has in store for me so for the meantime, I will just stop questioning and start enjoying the ride.

Special thanks to Schu and Ana for letting me go to the workshop, Rovie who was so cute when she showed us possible pegs for her wedding gown, and Arnie and Carizza who endured horrible EDSA traffic with me on the way home. I also saw Tina there, who I met at BU3 (hope to see you again at the BU4!) I wish I can attend more workshops like this in the future because I am such a big nerd who loves learning new things.

And oh, regarding the gorgeous black suede heels in the photo above? I actually won a MYTH gift card worth P1,000 after I answered a question correctly on a mini game after the talk. I was hankering for a pair of shoes instead, and Carizza was kind enough to exchange the Schu gift card she won with mine. So, yay for free shoes!

How are you? I hope September has been good to you ♥

Stocking stuffers from The Body Shop's Pre-Holiday Sale

29 September 2012

Days always seem to fly once the -ber months hit, huh? I had to double-check the calendar to confirm there are only two days left before we bid September goodbye!

It will be Christmas before long, so it's great to know that The Body Shop has opened its pre-holiday sale waaay early so we can save ourselves from the holiday rush (or as I like to call it, the holidaze) and get gifts for our sisters, mothers, teachers, officemates, and girl friends! The sale started yesterday and will run until October 25 in all branches nationwide.

The natural and ethical beauty brand is offering a buffet of various popular products like fragrances, body butters, shower gels and hair care, among others. Enjoy a buffet of sale items at Buy 1 at 20% off, Buy 2 at 30% off, Buy 3 at 40% off and Buy 4 at 50% off. The buffet table features different bestsellers each week, kicking off with All-in-One face base and concealer and the Vitamin C Energising Face Mist. A lot of ladies will also be pleased to know that the most loved Lip & Cheek Stain and the popular Shimmer Waves are at 40% off.

It's literally a beauty buffet!
Watch out for the weekly weekday specials. From Monday to Wednesday, Buy 1 and Get the next item at 70% off on these items:
Week 1 (October 1-3)- Gifts and Home Fragrance
Week 2 (October 8-10)- Makeup and Skincare
Week 3 (October 15-17)- Fragrance and Men's Items
Week 4 (October 22-24)- Bath and Body Accessories

You save a lot by purchasing these gift sets, and now you can save a lot more because they're being sold at 30% off!
The Japanese Cherry Blossoms and Moroccan Rose lines also went through a makeover.
Here are their new looks!
 The Body Shop also introduced a new line about a week ago, the Vineyard Peach.

This line really smells like peaches! Really sweet without being sickeningly sweet. I love it. You know how much I love fruity scents, right? I think I have a new favorite aside from Lemon and Strawberry :)
Happy The Body Shoppers :)
With Joyce of Full Circle Communications. She's also my Seventeen Sigaw sister! :)
Would you like to know what my The Body Shop brown bag contains? I got these:

TBS Eye Definer in White, Delipscious Tinted Lip Balm and Delipscious Sheer Lipstick. If bought in the original prices, these three will cost around P2,000 but because of the sale, I got them for a little more than P900 only! Wow!

I also got a Vineyard Peach Body Butter (I love The Body Shop Body Butters, so yay!) and the All-in-One BB Cream, which I am really excited about :)
I will be going to an writing workshop this afternoon and I'm planning to use these products. Thank you The Body Shop! That being said, I really have to prepare now heehee. See you when I see you!

Tweet Treats from Avon

If you aren’t already, make sure you’re connected to Avon Philippines and Avon’s Beauty Ambassadors because in celebration of its growing online community, Avon Philippines is giving away exciting beauty gifts to its Twitter followers!

Grab the treat by watching out for the official tweets from @AvonPH and Beauty Ambassadors Anne Curtis, Jasmine Curtis, Angel Locsin, Shamcey Supsup, and Sarah Lahbati. Simply present a printout screen-cap, or use your mobile phone to show the tweet to staff at any Avon Branch near you. This instantly entitles you to claim a special beauty freebie worth P199 with every purchase of Avon’s new Ultra Color Rich Brillance Lipstick that provides dazzling, scintillating shine and exquisite lip color in shades that will perfectly match your mestiza or morena complexion: Crimson Twilight, Berry Glitz, Pink Paparazzi, Rouge Luxury, Brilliant Ruby, Sumptuous Cerise, Sienna Sparkle, and Vermillion. In addition, for every Ultra Color Rich Brilliance lipstick you buy, P5 is donated directly to the Philippine General Hospital Breast Cancer Center and selected provincial hospitals as part of Avon’s Kiss Goodbye to Breast Cancer Campaign.

Get the Avon Philippines' Brilliant Tweet Treat in 3 Easy Steps:
1. Follow Avon Philippines' official Twitter account (@AvonPH) and Avon’s Beauty Ambassadors' – Anne Curtis (@annecurtissmith), Shamcey Supsup (@supsup_shamcey) , Jasmine Curtis (@jascurtissmith), Angel Locsin (@143redangel), and Sarah Lahbati (@ SarahLahbati).
2: Watch out for the official “Tweet Treat” tweets from Avon and its endorsers.
3. Print out a screen-cap of the tweet you’ve spotted (one will do!) or use your mobile phone to take a screen-cap and show the tweet to staff at any of the Avon Branches nationwide, OR you may ask your Avon Lady to present it for you.
4. Get a free beauty product (fragrance or makeup worth P199) when you purchase a tube of Avon Ultra Color Rich Brilliance Lipstick for only P199.

Hurry because this promo ends today! Make sure you follow @AvonPH on Twitter to instantly get the latest updates on Avon products, causes, events, and endorsers. You may also Like their Facebook page and check out their Youtube channel 

Stripped: Brazilian virgin no more!

27 September 2012

I do realize that my blog has become a no holds barred territory where I have over-shared some things I might regret talking about later on. I have told you about my personal triumphs, heartbreaks, random musings, and a whole lot of other things you don't really need to know (I mean, do you need to know that I love buying myself lingerie?) --- all to satisfy my need to express myself and my wanting to hone my writing skills. 

And now, I have another confession that-probably-will-not-help-your-life-in-any-way-but-I-just-wanted-to-share-because-I-feel-it-is-a-personal-milestone-for-me to make: I have never had my hair down there waxed before. Ever. Until today, that is. Oh yes baby, today I spent my morning getting stripped, and I want to tell you all about it ;)

WHERE: Strip in Serendra
WHAT: Brazilian session
WHY: To test Strip's new wax flavor, the New York Vanilla Cupcake wax!
Doesn't that sound absolutely delectable?
Solid block of the New York Vanilla Cupcake wax
This is what they melt and use as hot wax.
Before our individual sessions, Monique of Strip told us (bloggers and press people) about their services. Strip actually originated in Singapore and now has a lot of branches in different countries, including the UK! Did you know that they have pruned more than 2,000,000 'bushes' since then? Uh huh.
Chips and dip | Grapes and different kinds of cheese | Pitchers of orange and cranberry juice
Sweet Patticakes even made special New York Vanilla cupcakes just for the occasion!
Vanilla vodka, anyone?
That's Monique acting as bartender heehee.
Strip prides itself on three things: Hygiene, Speed, and Quality.

Hygiene
Stripellas don't double-dip the spatulas used to apply the wax on you.
They also use latex gloves to ensure that our hoo-hoos are
(literally) handled carefully and in the cleanest way possible.
Speed
Each Brazilian wax is expected to take 15 minutes only,
except if the customer has a low pain tolerance.
Quality
Every Stripella undergoes meticulous and in-depth training
(in Singapore, sometimes) before working with wax.
They also regularly go through additional training
to make sure their knowledge and skills are up to par with
other Stripellas worldwide.

It was funny how I got singled out because it was my first time. I was a bit nervous, yes, but not to the point of wanting to back out since I also really wanted to try it out and see whether I'd like it. Monique also gave me a quick one-on-one on what to expect, and quelled my fears of the pain by saying that if I feel I couldn't take it, I can ask for a special bach essence applied at the back of the tongue to calm my nerves. I have a rather high pain tolerance but I still got anxious a bit, but it was my turn before I knew it.

I noticed how clean and sterile the room looked the moment I stepped in.
Each customer is given his or her own Strip kit that contains wet wipes, tissue paper, and spatulas.

Aside from the New York Cupcake wax, they also have Strawberry and Chocolate flavors.
They vary the wax used according to what body part you want the hair removed.
So this is probably the most unflattering photo of myself that you'll see haha.
Can I just say how relieved I am that my Stripella did not ask me to spread my legs wide open?
Of course I won't post 'before' and 'after' photos here. I am open, but not that open! All I can tell you is that I felt really uncomfortable at first about lying there with my jelly exposed like that, but She made me feel at ease by telling different stories and entertaining my questions. I also reasoned with myself that she has probably seen hundreds of other hoo-hoos before so I shouldn't be bothered. In just a few moments, I already felt comfortable chatting with her that it's like she wasn't applying hot wax on my private body parts at the same time. As for the pain, I can probably rate it 7/10, with 10 being the most painful. Besides, the most painful was having the thickest part removed, while waxing off the other hair on the lips and the crack even felt almost ticklish. When having the 'bush' removed, it is advisable to breathe in and wait until after the wax was pulled off before you exhale.

And did I tell you about the scent? Oh my. You know I love vanilla scented candles, so the Vanilla wax just smelled heavenly. Heavenly, I tell ya.

Meet She!
Ask for her if you go there. She was very gentle, soothing and professional :)
We were also given a peace+ ampule that helps slow down hair growth.
She applied it on me after I was already hair-free.
So what do I feel now? I am not kidding when I say I feel lighter and sexier, and definitely more free! It's amazing how much can change in 15 minutes! Also, I suddenly have this urge to put a bikini on and go to the beach... Hmm. Although it is not advisable to go to the beach (or even the pool!) less than three days after your wax, of course.

I was given this Keep Calm and Strip On post treatment care booklet, that I swear I'm going to follow to the letter.
For one, it advises I should exfoliate the area after three days to prevent ingrown hair that can be itchy.
Noted!
For those looking to try Strip's services, look, they also offer different packages that can even help you save money.
So now that I've experienced having a Brazilian for the first time, will I go back? Heck yes! Thank you, Strip Manila, Monique, and Tab! I will definitely go back ♥

The many features and praises Strip has received are not lying!
Strip has branches in Greenbelt and Serendra. Visit their official website, Like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter.

Watermelon kisses

25 September 2012

I still haven't completely escaped the somber state I found myself in since last week, but thankfully things are looking a little brighter these days thanks to friends and work. I didn't really notice days passing by until I realized today is already the 25th and this is only my 11th(!!!) post whereas looking at my blog archives I used to average at least 20 posts a month. SeptemBLUR, indeed! Still, my daily page views remain consistent no matter how infrequently I update these days, so thank you for visiting regularly :)

Tonight I will go to a special advanced screening of The Perks of Being a Wallflower movie --- I chose this over a big bash to celebrate the launch of a new shoe collection by a renowned local fashion designer even though I know I can catch the movie any other day. I'm not really fond of night-outs you see, and I'm just not in the mood to dress up and socialize. I say, give me a book or a movie any day and I'll be happy.

Those who've read the book know that Charlie is fond of mixtapes, so in honor of Charlie and Sam and Patrick, I made a mixtape for you :)


I can never live in a world without music. These are some songs that make me smile and I hope they will have the same effect on you. Shake It Out and It's Time sound like perfect anthems, like songs that can rouse and encourage you, and even help you wake up on the right side of the bed. I'm not a The Wanted fan but The Warblers' rendition of Glad You Came in Glee gave me goosebumps! Boyce Avenue's What Makes You Beautiful, on the other hand, melted my heart hee. Also, this is weird but whenever I'm sad I listen to Won't Go Home Without You because it never fails to cheer me up. I love Stacie Orrico and I miss her so I have to include one of her songs, while With a Smile makes me nostalgic and brings me back to happy days when I was younger and everything was simpler. Hope these made you smile, too.

Oh yeah, I named it watermelon kisses because I've always loved the word watermelon and how it easily rolls off your tongue. Say it: Watermelon. Watermelon. I love it. Also kisses, because aside from hugs, what in the world could be better than kisses?

"Maybe it's good to put things in perspective, but sometimes,
I think that the only perspective is to really be there.
Because it's okay to feel things. I was really there.
And that was enough to make me feel infinite.
I feel infinite."
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Longing to be infinite

22 September 2012

I am sad.

I've been feeling sad the whole week and try as I might, I cannot quite shake off the somber state I suddenly found myself in. What's worse is that I can't even bring myself to cry. I find shedding tears therapeutic, you see, and I always find things to be a little bit brighter (and my chest, lighter) after a few sobs. I need a cleanse - in the form of reading my fool-proof tear-inducing remedies The Notebook or The Fault in Our Stars - but they were borrowed by my friends so I guess I'd just have to sit this out and play Chefville until this horrible feeling goes away.


The Perks of Being a Wallflower movie will be shown here in the Philippines this week, and I was fortunate enough to have been invited to the premiere. I'm still not quite convinced with Emma Watson's acting ability but I'm excited to see the movie because I found myself identifying with the main character Charlie from the first time I read the book. Not because I suffered any form of abuse, but because like him I am also very introspective. I was very outspoken and outgoing when I was younger but it changed drastically when I got to my 20s: I became shy, reserved, awkward, and found myself retreating to my own shell. I felt like I lost balance and started struggling to find my serenity within this chaos.

Maybe a contributing factor to this are broken friendships and relationships. I find that losing friends because of rifts and misunderstandings feels like total blindsides, and heartbreaks do damaging things to one's self-esteem. You feel rejected. You feel insecure. You feel like you were not enough. I know I shouldn't dwell on it too much because after all, "Things change. And friends leave. Life doesn't stop for anybody." but I really have problems letting go easily. And if I feel like I am not enough, how would I be able to step out of this mess of self-deprecation and go after what I want? Isn't it that "we accept the love we think we deserve"?

"I think that if I ever have kids, and they are upset, I won't tell them that people are starving in China or anything like that because it wouldn't change the fact that they were upset. And even if somebody else has it much worse, that doesn't really change the fact that you have what you have." And that is for the Team What-Are-You-Sad-About-Other-People-Have-It-Much-Worse.

"So this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I'm still trying to figure out how that could be." I think this is what having a quarter-life crisis feels like, and I should just suck it in and wait for the sad feelings to go away... It's just that I'm scared I might be used to their looming presence and let them take over my life.

I know this is too heavy a topic for this lazy Saturday noon but I can't help myself --- I need to shout out to the universe that I am sad, that she may help bring a smile to my heart again. Because "there's nothing like deep breaths after laughing hard. Nothing in the world like a sore stomach for the right reasons."

Why I love going to concerts

19 September 2012

Aside from books and movies, one thing I don't mind spending for are concerts. It doesn't matter if it's a local or foreign act - whenever one of my favorites stage a concert here I make sure I catch them, and if only I have unlimited funds I would even be willing to go abroad just to see my favorite artists perform live. It can be an expensive hobby, I know, but really, wouldn't you feel the same for something you might be able to experience only once in your lifetime? I mean, I can't pinpoint why exactly, but for me it's a journey that begins once the concert is announced, that continues upon getting my tickets, that extends with the excited anticipation for the day of the concert itself, that reaches great heights when I hear the opening strains of the first song, that climaxes when they play my favorite song of theirs, and that still continues days or even weeks after, depending on how wowed I was by their performance. Oh yes, I embrace every single part of the experience.

You know how hearing some songs trigger certain memories? Hearing the song live brings me the same feeling, magnified hundred times over. Even when I download songs, I always prefer the live versions because they feel more raw, more real. Maybe that's also why except for Britney Spears, I don't like 'manufactured' pop stars that much because most of them *cough*Katy Perry*cough*Rihanna*cough* sound terrible live?

Of all the concerts I've been to, my favorite would probably have to be The Script's on April 2011. There was just so much passion and energy that time and I savored every second. Although, the one that really made me emotional is Jason Mraz's on October 2011. You can check Youtube for his live performances, the guy's a musical genius! I am almost always moved to tears whenever I hear my favorites sung live, but I think nothing will compare to the night I heard A Beautiful Mess. Sigh. What a beautiful, beautiful song. Close runners-up are The Cranberries' (although they didn't play Promises. Yes, I still can't get over it haha) on April 2012 and Hanson's on March 2012. Meanwhile, the most memorable is definitely the Eraserheads: The Final Set on March 2009. Eraserheads is one of the best OPM bands, and it was an honor to be one of thousands of people who saw their final performance as a foursome. Electrifying. Overwhelming. Orgasmic. Words are not enough to describe it.

Can you see me? LOL
I was in the Silver section with Ana and my brother.
I have had this photo saved in my computer for so long that I cannot trace the original owner anymore.
If you know, please do tell me so I can credit properly.
Of course, what makes the experience so much better is the people I'm with when I watched these. My concert buddy Ana and I have been to several shows already, and I say shared experiences are always the best!

I said before that my dream concerts to go to are Britney Spears', Keane's, Natasha Bedingfield's (Unwritten means so much to me personally), The Format's, and Pink's (have you seen the video of her performing Glitter in the Air at the 2010 Grammy Awards? Breathtaking!), and when I heard that Keane will perform at the SM MOA Arena (on October 2!) my heart just stopped. I can't wait to hear my ultimate favorite love song Somewhere Only We Know live! I mean, I love the song so much I have five versions of it saved in my phone: the studio, live, and live acoustic versions, and covers done by Boyce Avenue and the Glee cast haha.

Oh man, until now I still regret not watching Hoobastank when they went here on 2004. It's a good thing they recently released a new album, I'm crossing my fingers they go on tour and visit Manila again. Also, Incubus. Sigh. They've been here a couple of times already but I still haven't been to any of their gigs! Aaand let's offer a moment of silence to the big disappointment that was last night, when we failed to go inside Araneta for Maroon 5. Sigh.

Do you love going to concerts, too? What's the best concert you've gone to?

Safe and sound

16 September 2012


Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there, I did not die.
- Mary Elizabeth Frye

We miss you, Polybeb. I should be happy that you don't feel pain anymore, that you are somewhere far better than traffic-jammed and smog-filled Earth, and that you must be playing with my baby sister Kim right now. But all I can feel is a bitter pang, filling my heart with resounding reminders that I will never be able to hug you again.

During your wake, Mich asked me what my song for you is, and I answered it's a toss-up between Taylor Swift's Safe and Sound and Mariah Carey's Bye Bye. The former carries more meaning though, as I watched the Hunger Games movie for the third time just so I can accompany you. When your niece played a video montage of your photos and used it as the first song, I just lost it. I miss you so much, and I am deeply saddened about the fact you won't be around when the movie versions of Catching Fire and Mockingjay come out.


A lot of your friends, relatives, former classmates and officemates went to your wake to pay their final respects and say their last goodbyes, and it's amazing to see how many people are grieving for you. You touched so many lives with your effervescent spirit, and maybe the thing I am most sad about is that if I will be blessed with future kids, they won't have a Tita Poly to play with anymore.

Ian and Chris | Mich and Chao | me and Asther
We aim to continue celebrating your life. You have added so much to the sum of delight in our worlds, and we are very grateful. You will never be truly gone, as I know you are now among the stars, lending your sparkle and continuing to give light. We love you Poly, and we will miss you and your smiles forever. "Just close your eyes, the sun is going down. You'll be alright, no one can hurt you now..."

Girly Satur-date?

13 September 2012

Hello, everyone! First of all I would like to thank you for sending your condolences and prayers for my friend Poly. It is a total struggle dealing with the pain, but I know the grief and loss I feel won't ever compare to what her husband and family feel.

It's a testament to how special she really was whenever I read or hear messages from people who've met her only once or twice, like some of my friends from the blogging community. Even my friend Ed who saw her only once sang two songs for her the other night. What a sweet gesture, thanks guys. I know she is in heaven now, smiling down on all of us. We will go to her wake tomorrow as her body will be cremated on Saturday.

I won't be able to join any of the two events I will be sharing with you now, but I am extending the invitation to everyone who can come. I feel sad because I know Poly would've loved to join any of these two... I just miss her so much. For those who want to go, I recommend taking your girl friends with you. It'll be fun! Both of these will be happening this Saturday.

SM Accessories and Goody
WHAT: Styling, Modeling, and Blogging Workshop + Fashion Show Audition
WHERE: SM Mall of Asia Atrium


Maven Beyond the Blush: A Beauty Blowout
WHAT: Day of pampering, pro advice, and beauty freebies + workshops for make-up, hair, beauty, career, and personality development
WHERE: Ground Floor, Glorietta 3 (near Rustan's)


Tell me if any of you guys are going and link me to your blog entries if you'll post about it. I would love to know what will happen. Thanks and enjoy!

My darling, sweet, dear friend Poly.

11 September 2012

I almost never check my Globe phone these days because I will have the line disconnected soon and just use my Smart number instead, so this afternoon I was quite surprised when I saw three missed calls from my friend Marsha. I thought something was amiss. When I finally got to talk to her, she asked where I was, and when I said I was still at work, she said she will call back. I was adamant though and wanted to find the reason for her call since it sounded quite urgent.

"Kristel..."

"Bakit?"

Silence.

"Bakit? ...Bakit? WHAT HAPPENED?!"

It was the longest two seconds of my life, but even then I felt I already knew what she was about to say.

"Wala na si Poly."

And it felt like the floor gave way underneath my feet.

My darling, sweet, dear friend Poly who lovingly calls me Krissybeb passed away this morning, and I just... I still can't believe how a cruel sickness can take such a beautiful, kind, gentle person this way.

Our friend Mich and I have been meaning to visit her in their house in Laguna for weeks now but we didn't get to because it was either she had to undergo treatment, or she felt too sick to have guests over. Now we will never get the chance to see her smile again, or hear her voice, or laugh with her, and you can just imagine how much it breaks my heart.

I am so sad and heartbroken and sad and sad and sad.

That's the thing about pain... it demands to be felt.*

My darling, sweet, dear friend Poly, I will never forget all the life lessons you shared with me, the bonding moments we had over food and shoes, the super cheap clothes we got from our "magical place", the cheesy rom-coms and pretty nail polish bottles, and the many number of random days we spent just hanging out together with Mich. When I get tired, I will remember your zest for life and how you continuously and bravely fought, and how you never questioned the unfairness of it all. When I feel ungrateful, I will remember how thankful you were of every little blessing given you. When I get impatient about my search for The One, I will remember the day you got married and how I thought it was the best wedding I've ever witnessed, and how I wished to find the same kind of love someday. When I feel resentful and whiny, I will remember you. I will never forget you.

My darling, sweet, dear friend Poly, I will probably never understand why you were taken from us so early, when I still want to spend more bonding moments with you. I feel like there are still a LOT of things we can do together, you know? It's just that I can't help feeling... cheated. But I know you are in a better place right now, spared from all the physical pain. You are one of the most beautiful people I have ever met, and I am thankful to have been given the chance to know you and be your friend. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I'm grateful.*

We have lots of photos together, but I wish we took more. 

From the day we first ate out together with Mich
We went to Banapple in Katipunan, then to Tiendesitas.
It was the first of many, many fun roadtrips and the start of our beautiful friendship.
A day in November 2011 at Cafe Breton in Technohub.
You and Mich shared a chicken sandwich, I had crepes with Nutella, chopped almonds and chocolate syrup.
You borrowed my cherry-print scarf and wore it like I wore mine.
April 22, 2012 in Room 514 of Makati Med
We've had tears running out our eyes before because of laughing too much, but never have I seen you so radiant and happy as the day you married the love of your life.
I love you, Polybeb. I will never forget you.

Special thanks to Ana, Aisa and Sarah for giving me the perfect emotional support earlier.

*quoted from John Green's The Fault in Our Stars, just because I can go on and on with this post, but I can never put into words how I really feel.

Hello, how are you? How do you do?

10 September 2012

It's the second week of - as my boss calls it - SeptemBLUR and I can definitely feel a little more magic in the air. The days are shorter, the nights are a little bit colder --- I guess it's true then: Christmas is almost here!

This week will also mark my first month on my new job. Every day brings something new and I love it, although I'm still getting the hang of it so I hope my officemates can be a little more patient with me (--;). I think I got too spoiled by my previous workplace's "good job" culture (I coined the term. I'm not really sure, but contact center employees will probably recognize this, this culture of applauding every little achievement) that I have to remind myself every once in a while that I have to be more serious now. I'm trying my best though and I love that I am learning a lot about general trivia and social media. For example, did you know that tiramisu literally means "pick me up" or metaphorically speaking, "make me happy"? Cool, huh? I just finished researching about Italian desserts and will continue reading about Italian cuisine on the next couple of weeks, and you know how I feel about Italian food (read: enthusiastically in love with it).

I've also accepted the most difficult part of my Makati yuppie life which is commuting to and from work every day. I live in far, far away Navotas, and my greatest hurdles have always been horrendous traffic and hordes of commuters like me. I'm kinda used to the scenario already though, so I guess it's okay now, especially as I have tried at least four different routes already to see what works best for me.

Going to work takes me roughly two to two and a half hours. First I take a tricycle to the bus terminal (P30), then ride a bus to Quezon Avenue MRT station (P19), and ride the train from there to Ayala (P14, but I always make sure I have a stored value card with me). A little sidenote: by principle, I never jump lines. I believe in discipline, in fairness, and in waiting for my turn. So can I just say how I'd LOVE to give people who jump lines on the MRT a solid uppercut? Gahhh. Anyway. From Ayala, I walk for about 15 to 20 minutes to the office. (It used to be 20 to 30 minutes, but Kira taught me a faster way.) I cherish these walks the most because at 7:30AM the heat is not that unbearable yet. I find that walks like this give me time to clear my head and invite only positive thoughts. Besides, every day feels like a great day to have a great day when you walk to sights like these:

Earlier today, along Makati Avenue
Beautiful fountains of Manila Peninsula Hotel
Ayala Triangle Gardens
Wouldn't it be nice to walk here a la Jesse and Celine?
#BeforeSunriseandBeforeSunsetHangover
And that's me (^_^)
Going home is a different story. It takes me a little more than three hours to go home because instead of taking the train, I ride a bus (P50) and a jeepney (P8). It's always a looong bus ride home but I much prefer that than the train route because the latter involves walking to the MRT station, riding the train, taking a bus to the terminal, then taking a jeep home. It's so tiring. Good thing a warm homecooked dinner is always waiting for me! Anyway, I am actually liking my travel time now because I get to catch up on my reading. I was told there's a van that shuttles to and from Makati with Malabon and the Ayala Triangle Gardens as the drop-off points but I haven't had the chance to look for it yet.

So there. If I haven't been able to blog that much that is because I am already exhausted when I reach home that I'd just rather eat and sleep. But as they say, if you really love it then you'll make time for it. This is me making time for it.

Sooo how are YOU? Doing fabulously, I hope? ♥

PS: It's my friend Davie Denz's birthday today. I know she reads my blog so I just want to greet her here, too. Happy birthday, Bangs! I miss you and I can't wait to see you again! 。◕‿◕。

On sweet beginnings and second chances

09 September 2012

What if you had a second chance with the one that got away?

I was in a cab on my home yesterday, reading through my Twitter feeds, when I got wind of the wonderful, wonderful news that Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, and Richard Linklater have again come together to make another installment to Before Sunrise and Before Sunset. Apparently it will be called Before Midnight and will most likely be released on 2013. And whereas the two first movies were set in Vienna and France respectively, the third will be set in Greece. Beautiful, beautiful Greece. My heart literally skipped a beat and if it could only do a somersault, it definitely would have done so. 

via
I was still in fourth grade when the first movie came out so I wasn't aware of its existence then yet. When the sequel came nine years later, I was already in college and yes, a total movie junkie. I read about how excited people were for this sequel so naturally I just had to see what the fuss was all about. Compelling, intelligent, and undeniably romantic, from then on Before Sunrise and Before Sunset became two of my favorite movies of all time, second only to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"My heart aches just thinking of how beautiful this movie is." - says a direct quote from a review I wrote about Before Sunrise when I was 22. 

Jesse: Alright, I have an admittedly insane idea, but if I don't ask you this it's just, uh, you know, it's gonna haunt me the rest of my life
Celine: What?
Jesse: Um... I want to keep talking to you, y'know. I have no idea what your situation is, but, uh, but I feel like we have some kind of, uh, connection. Right? Celine: Yeah, me too.
Jesse: Yeah, right, well, great. So listen, so here's the deal. This is what we should do. You should get off the train with me here in Vienna, and come check out the capital.
Celine: What?
Jesse: Come on. It'll be fun. Come on.
Celine: What would we do?
Jesse: Umm, I don't know. All I know is I have to catch an Austrian Airlines flight tomorrow morning at 9:30 and I don't really have enough money for a hotel, so I was just going to walk around, and it would be a lot more fun if you came with me. And if I turn out to be some kind of psycho, you know, you just get on the next train. Alright, alright. Think of it like this: jump ahead, ten, twenty years, okay, and you're married. Only your marriage doesn't have that same energy that it used to have, y'know. You start to blame your husband. You start to think about all those guys you've met in your life and what might have happened if you'd picked up with one of them, right? Well, I'm one of those guys. That's me y'know, so think of this as time travel, from then, to now, to find out what you're missing out on. See, what this really could be is a gigantic favor to both you and your future husband to find out that you're not missing out on anything. I'm just as big a loser as he is, totally unmotivated, totally boring, and, uh, you made the right choice, and you're really happy.
Celine: Let me get my bag. 
via
Jesse: In the months leading up to my wedding, I was thinking about you all the time. I mean, even on my way there; I'm in the car, a buddy of mine is driving me downtown and I'm staring out the window, and I think I see you, not far from the church, right? Folding up an umbrella and walking into a deli on the corner of 13th and Broadway. And I thought I was going crazy, but now I think it probably was you.
Celine: I lived on 11th and Broadway.
Jesse: You see? 
Watching Jesse and Celine meet by chance (on a train, no less) and meet again on another country nine years later after Jesse wrote a book (a book!) to try and find her again, seeing them talk about different things and witnessing how easy it is for them to communicate to each other made me think of destiny. Of chemistry. Of beautiful serendipity. I want that, you know?

"Isn't everything we do in life a way to be loved a little more?" I've been single for quite a while now so to tell the truth I'm scared that I might have forgotten already how it feels like to have a special person by my side. The search for that someone can be a little tiring, really. I know it is not something I should be stressed about as it will come when the time is right and all that jazz but it's just that... it gets lonely sometimes, you know? But who knows, maybe he'll come tomorrow. Or maybe I've already met him but we just don't know it yet. Or maybe I am just about to meet him. Or maybe, maybe we've already had a chance at love before and we blew it, and now he's (literally) miles and oceans away from me. Sigh.

Anyway. If you have seen these movies and think they're the bee's knees, high-five. If you tried to watch them but had to stop because you got bored - Why are they just talking? When will the real action start? Really?- then please watch any of Michael Bay's Transformers movies instead. But if you haven't seen any of these movies yet, then WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? I mean, watching them might need a little suspension of disbelief, but if movies are done as tastefully and beautifully as these, then I am willing to believe anything. Make sure to choose the best time to watch them because they're like beautiful books meant to be enjoyed and read over and over again. Timeless and precious, yes. So, so precious.

Ensembles X Chris Diaz

07 September 2012

Ensembles is an epitome of empowered women fashion – individualistic and sophisticated. The retail brand never fails to provide its customers a well-rounded collection as Ensembles continues to collaborate with today’s most celebrated fashion designers through its Young Designer Series. The collaboration aims to create something truly unique but will still be very much Ensembles – a perfect balance of wearability and artistry – versatile and timeless pieces that can be worn to work or on the weekend, just as easily.  Now on its 4th installment, Ensembles welcomes fashion designer Chris Diaz to take part in this year’s Holiday Collection of Ensembles’ Young Designers’ Series.  The past collections featured James Reyes, Debbie Co, Louis Claparols and Choc & Yvette Religioso.
Chris Diaz was first catapulted into the Manila fashion industry after becoming a finalist in the 2002 MEGA Young Designers Competition. He has been labeled as a “Romantic” Designer because of his trademark fascination with feminine frills, lace and floral.  With Chris Diaz on board, romanticism takes center stage in the form of lace, soft fabrics and color blocking.  “I’m very excited with this collaboration! There’s a lot for everyone – a balance of feminine silhouette and use of romantic element and a smart range of color blockings that will flatter everyone!”, Chris Diaz shared when asked to talk about the collaboration.

This 17 piece collection includes standout dresses and blazers, flattering tops in chiffon and poplin, dresses and skirts all grounded in different treatments such as lovely laces, colorblocking and soft fabrics – representing a woman that is romantic and effortlessly chic. Here are my favorites:

Lace Dress - P1,995
Lace Dress - P1,795
Lace Top, P1,495
Zipper Dress - P1,695
Zipper Top - P1,295
Vest - P1,495
Get ready to shop early for holiday fashion as this collection will hit Ensembles stores in September!

Visit Ensembles' official website and Facebook page to view the entire Ensembles by Chris Diaz Young Designers Series Holiday 2012 Collection. Follow them on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.