#BelieveInMagique and Strike a Pose

31 January 2015

A couple of weeks ago I shared my review of the new Mat Magique by L'Oreal, a powder compact that promises 12-hour matte and shine-free face, flawless and full coverage, and superior UV protection at only P499 a pop.


I also shared a peek at a fun shoot we had care of the L'Oreal team where we were prettified and shot by none other than BJ Pascual. Here are more photos from the event and information on how you can have your new profile photo shot by BJ as well!

My favorite part of any photo shoot is sitting down at the makeup artist's chair and emerging with a new look after
*heart eyes emoji at all these L'Oreal products*
My shade is Golden Ivory
Hair by Dennis Tuazon and makeup by Anjie Gogna ♡ 
The L'Oreal SAs were very helpful and accommodating in letting us choose the L'Oreal products we want for our goodie bag
In front of the lens
I've done this several times already but I still get nervous
With BJ Pascual himself
Kira and I arrived at the Sara Black Photography Studio a little after 4 o'clock because I needed to finish work first, so we weren't able to participate in the mini game the media people had earlier in the day. We didn't mind, though. Prepping up and the actual shoot itself took less than an hour and we're so glad we weren't caught by rush hour traffic going back to Makati.

I am very happy with how the photos turned out. I wish I can have this hair, makeup, and lighting every day! Now it's your turn to #BelieveInMagique and get the chance to have your profile photo taken by BJ Pascual! Just drop by the SM Mall of Asia Atrium today and tomorrow and purchase a Mat Magique. Voila!




Huge thanks to L'Oreal and Ogilvy for this opportunity!

Ladies, this chance doesn't come often so I really urge you to go! Tomorrow's the last day so make sure you visit their booth. (๑・ω-)~♥” 

Currently pretending I'm back at the beach.

29 January 2015

I AM ALIVE!

I was privileged to spend the last three day and two nights in Balesin Island, one of the most beautiful places I will probably get to visit in this lifetime, because of my job. Basically, they paid me to be there. Please remind me of this post every time I feel like complaining about the littlest work-related things I am stressed about.

My kind of blues. Breathtaking.
I survived running on three to four hours of sleep, caffeine, and adrenaline; put my fear of flying on small airplanes at the deep recesses of my mind and actually flew, and; got over my terrible shyness and came closer to a lot of people! 

Life's better with sandy toes
I haven't completely decided on it yet, but if I were asked to name the most amazing things I experienced with ARC PR, this trip would most probably top my list.


I have so many stories to share but exhaustion has crept up on me and my bed is calling. In the meantime, please check out the #NiveaComeCloser hashtag on Instagram to see posts from everyone who was able to go to the Nivea Come Closer three-day event!

Thank you so much, Nivea! And thank you Universe for bringing me here!

Currently Vol. 4

26 January 2015

I AM GOING CRAZY.

I need to be at the Alphaland Hangar before 5:30 AM tomorrow for my three-day work trip to Balesin but I haven't packed yet. Good luck to me, as Monday rush hour guarantees I won't reach home earlier than 8 PM tonight. Plus, I still need to coordinate with a few dozen people regarding their flight schedules. On top of that, I still have to write an ending for my YA story because the deadline is also tomorrow. PANIC.

In other news, I have new swimsuits!

High-waist bikini bottoms because I love rice too much, heh.
I've already tried them on in the safety of my room and I think I look okay in them. I guess I shouldn't stress out about it too much since everyone else will also be in swimsuits, right? Okay. *inhales* *exhales*

CURRENTLY Vol. 4

READING
The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, the second book in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams. I needed something fictional, fun, and not centered on romance, so this is my safest bet.

WRITING
My YA story for Mina Esguerra's Buqo-sponsored online class. I was randomly assigned to write a story under the trope Friends Turned to More Than Friends. I already have a name for my main character (MC) but none yet for my MC's love interest (LI). I also have a framework for my ending already but I still need to write it down and see to it that it doesn't feel too cheesy nor corny. I will do that after I finish the bajillion other tasks I still need to do.

LISTENING TO
My Balesin playlist which mostly contains alternative songs from the '90s, songs by Fun., Owl City, pre-meltdown Britney Spears, pre-Marc Anthony J.Lo, and Taylor Swift. In short, my playlist for any other day of the week.

SMELLING
My stash of Jollibee Peach Mango Pies beside me. Yum.

WEARING
A corporate-y looking dress as I attended a client meeting with one of my bosses earlier.

THINKING
Of the bajillion other things I still need to do.

FEELING
Panicked because of the bajillion other things I still need to do.

LOVING
That I thrive on stress, but I know this is not good for me, in general.

WANTING
To finish the bajillion other things I still need to do.

NEEDING
To finish the bajillion other things I still need to do.

WISHING
To finish the bajillion other things I still need to do.

I'm procrastinating with this post, see? Now I really have to finish my checklist of things I need to bring to my trip, wait for final confirmation of flight schedules, text people, pack, and write my YA ending. Please cross your fingers for me! And please pray that we may have a safe flight! I am terrified of small planes.

Let there be light.

25 January 2015

I have a Catholic upbringing. I was born to a Catholic family and attended a Catholic school from elementary to high school. I was an active member of the Lector-Commentator Society and Legion of Mary and regularly led the Morning Prayer and daily Rosary during the flag ceremony. We recited prayers at the beginning and end of every class and had a 15-minute reflection in the classroom every day. I knew majority of the patron saints and feast days and won a lot of Marian Quiz and Bible Quiz Bees. 

However, when I got older, I became more discerning when it comes to my faith. Not that I ever doubted there is a God - I believe with all my heart that there is a God - but I have some reservations about the institution. I realized that I can be spiritual even though I am not that religious. I pray the Holy Rosary every day and regularly ask for the intercession of my favorite patron saints. I have a personal relationship with God and this will not be tainted.

As cliché as it sounds, I believe that there are no such things as coincidences. Last week, I was invited by my friends Ralph and Mike to go with them to a recollection with Verbum Dei. Since I was already feeling sick yesterday when we were in Binondo (for food trip and feng shui) and I have a long and busy work-week ahead, I thought I should just skip and take the day off to rest and paint. However, I woke up very early this morning feeling pumped up and excited to go!


It was easy to find the Verbum Dei chapter in Quezon City. Upon our arrival, we were given a warm welcome by friendly and smiling faces. We were recognized as newbies so we were given a quick introduction by Miss Ludy, Ralph and Mike's financial adviser who invited us to the retreat.

With Mike and Ralph
A couple of missionaries gave us Bible verses to ponder on and key topics to reflect on, but much of the morning was dedicated to prayer, self-reflection, and quiet retreat. It proved to be a challenge for Ralph because he said he prefers sharing within a group, but I personally didn't mind it that much - except for the time when my mind got too noisy with too many thoughts (yep, over-thinking is my second nature) that I had to write it out. We were given "freedom" to speak in the afternoon, when we were divided into small groups to share what we found the highlight of the day was with each other.

With my groupmates Sarah and Percy
Lunch was fun because aside from the good food, we also met a lot of new people who were all willing to tell us their stories.

I also saw a familiar face!

Reg is a professor in my alma mater Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila. I thought she looked familiar, and then I found out she's a colleague and friend of my favorite professor in college!
My favorite part was when J-Ann, a missionary from Cebu, spoke about light. She said, "When we shine, we also give permission for others to shine." This is somewhat connected to what I learned from The Art of Asking, Amanda Palmer's book that resonated with me, and what feng shui master Johnson Chua advised me the other day. When turning the light on, there is always a switch. Switch = will. If we have the will, the light will shine, and when it shines, it speaks.


The light doesn't have to end in us. We should look for people to pass it on. "Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the single candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared." 

We bade our new friends goodbye after the celebration of the Holy Mass and went straight to Maginhawa Street for early dinner.

Crazy Katsu | Bookay-ukay which I was so tempted to check out, but I remembered my pile of books at home still waiting to be sorted and shelved | My favorite Moonleaf Tea Shop
J-Ann reiterated what I felt this morning when she said to us first-timers, "You being here is not a coincidence." I am thankful that I am blessed with friends who serve as instruments for me to have a deeper relationship with God. I've been looking for a recollection/ retreat house since I was used to doing it regularly when I was still studying but hadn't been successful to find any, until today.


Thank you for being my light, Ralph and Mike! You are stars.


Sunday well-spent.

Tedding-out

24 January 2015


Lily: Don't Ted-out about it.
Ted: Did you just use my name as a verb?
Barney: Oh, yeah, we do that when you're not around. "Ted-out": to over think. See also "Ted-up". "Ted-up": to over think with disastrous consequences. For example, "Billy Tedded-up when he-"
Ted: All right, I get it.

From How I Met Your Mother S01E07: Matchmaker

Currently Vol. 3

19 January 2015

I also had my room redone when we had some house repairs done last week, and most of my long holiday break was spent sorting through my mountain of stuff, trying to decide which ones to keep and which ones to toss or give away. Aside from unearthing things I thought I'd lost (yearbook receipt, SSS pink form, letters) and finding things I'd forgotten I have (*cough* Britney Spears paper dolls *cough*), I also realized I have way too much stuff. I never knew a small room like mine can hold this much. If you ever need motivation to not shop, just organize your room and you'll hold off from spending stat. I'm not even done with my closets yet but I already want to give up.

Won't you take a look at some of the stuff I found:

On a scale of 1 to Outrageous, how much of a Britney Spears fan was I?
Book, paper dolls(!!!), Greatest Hits CD, and stickers
Manuals from the two most important youth camps I attended when I was in college: Sunburst Youth Camp in Singapore and Ninoy & Cory Aquino Center for Leadership in Ateneo de Manila
I occasionally ask my friends to write notes on my journals. This one is from Ed on that Valentine's Day we watched Boyce Avenue's mall tour in SM North EDSA.
Yep, I'm guilty of taking too long when I sort my stuff because I always get lost in nostalgia.

Today I mostly worked on my bookshelves. I have a Kindle but it didn't stop me from buying tangible books. From now on though, I am imposing a rule: eBooks over physical books, unless they come autographed or come in special edition/ full color like those books about movies that I love.

Anyway, I just wanted to share some photos of my favorite bookshelf. My other books have been kept in other hidden shelves or boxes. The ones I have here are the ones I would like to welcome me when I enter my room.


I've been glancing at this shelf all day and I couldn't help but smile.


There's no specific order to this arrangement. I just pooled the books I like the most and put them here together with my favorite journals, a handful of DVDs and autographed CDs, and my Magnetic Poetry box. You can see there my Harry Potter Film Wizardry, Harry Potter Page to Screen, Quidditch Through the Ages, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and a Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire paperback. There's also my Sweeney Todd Special Edition DVD, OST, and book. Yes, I was obsessed. My favorite Neil Gaimans are there except for Stardust, which I traded away before for a copy of Train Man. I have there xkcdFlipped, The Little PrinceChoose Your Own Autobiography, Hyperbole and a Half, Books of Adam, The Tao of Pooh, Tuck Everlasting, Mythology, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, One Day, and the screenplays of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Before Sunrise/ Before Sunset. I have yet to read J.J. Abrams's S. which was my Christmas present for myself but it's there. All my autographed copies of Manix Abrera's books are also there (together with another copy of Kikomachine Komix #5 which was a gift that I thought I'd lost). Of course. It lacks my copy of The Princess Bride because I lent it to a friend and she hasn't returned it yet, but other than that I think I'm good.

*swoon*
I wish I can add more books but I don't think the shelf can carry more weight. Tsk. Anyway, here is my third Currently!

CURRENTLY Vol. 3

READING
Nothing. I finally finished The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer and it made me feel so much that it's making me take my sweet time picking which book to read next. I have a lot of quotes I liked from the book but this is one of my favorites:
"To erase the possibility of empathy is to erase the possibility of understanding. To erase the possibility of empathy is also to erase the possibility of art. Theater, fiction, horror stories, love stories. This is what art does. Good or bad, it imagines the insides, the heart of the other, whether that heart is full of light or trapped in darkness."
- Amanda Palmer, The Art of Asking
Any recommendations on what I should read next?

WRITING
A feasible YA plot for Mina Esguerra's Buqo-sponsored YA class. I did it, I bit the bullet. Let's see what happens.

LISTENING TO
Sara Bareilles. Her voice is so soothing.

SMELLING
Human Nature Balm for All Seasons. I asked my mom to spread some on my back because I was feeling a little sore.

WEARING
Comfy pajamas. I am so ready to fall asleep the moment I hit Publish on this one.

THINKING
Of all the work waiting for me in the office.

FEELING
Okay, I guess. So-so.

LOVING
The long holiday break.

WANTING
More holiday break, but that just sounds selfish, LOL.

NEEDING
To sort my shoes and clothes next so I can finally move back to my room again.

WISHING
I have magic so organizing will be easy-peasy and I won't have to rely on my Muggle-level organizational skills (or lack thereof).

Anyhoo, gonna leave you with a little magnetic poetry.


Have an amazing work-week ahead, you! ♥ 

Review: L'Oreal Mat Magique

18 January 2015

At the beginning of the year, I wished for magical and incredible things to happen. The new Mat Magique All-in-One Matte Transforming Powder by L'Oreal Paris is proof that my wish may have been granted.

Am I exaggerating? Maybe. But seriously, if you've grown tired of dewy looks and/ or you want to try a more modern and matte look, then this product is heaven-sent.


I have been using my Mat Magique for almost three weeks now, and I love it because it offers:

12-hour matte and shine-free face. My officemates make fun of me because I'm that kind of girl who has to retouch her powder and lipstick before she leaves her office cubicle to grab lunch or snacks. What can I say? You never know when you'll meet your destiny or an old enemy, and it's always best to be prepared. Mat Magique lessens my touch-up time because it keeps my face shine-free from the time I apply it until I get home from work! It's worth noting though that I don't have extra-oily skin. If I do see some shine, all I have to do is blot and go. How does it do this? 30% of the Mat Magique formula is made of volcanic perlite, a natural, non-irritating sebum absorber that controls oil all day. According to L'Oreal Paris, this is the highest concentration of this shine-busting ingredient in a makeup product to date. This is perfect for busy yuppies who don't have time to worry if they still look presentable because they're busy shuttling to and from meetings.

Flawless and full coverage. I don't have problem skin and I only get a zit when Aunt Flo's about to visit, but some of my pores near my nose could use some help. Aside from keeping the oil at bay, I love that Mat Magique minimizes the appearance of these imperfections. It feels light on the skin, too!

Superior UV protection. SPF 34/ PA+++. Enough said.

For those who are not familiar with PA+++ (no judging here; I just found out what it means while researching for this post, LOL), here you go:
The PA rating system is used to indicate the UVA protection. The PA rating system ranges from +(least) to +++(most). There is no UVA protection rating system currently recognized by the FDA in the States. The PA system is mostly found in Asian products. (source)
All these, and it's only P499! Refills are sold for P399 each, which I'm sure you won't mind getting instead after you hit the pan because the Mat Magique compact doesn't feel flimsy at all.

Mat Magique is available in five shades: R1 (Rose Ivory), N1 (Nude Ivory), N2 (Nude Vanilla), G1 (Vanilla Ivory), and G2 (Golden Ivory).

L'Oreal Mat Magique in Rose Ivory
Now pardon the succeeding extreme closeups of my face; I needed to show you photos of the powder at work. (⌒_⌒;)

These photos were taken on January 1. My family went to Malinta to celebrate the new year with my aunts, maternal grandparents, and cousins.


Artificial lighting on the third photo because it was already night-time. I wanted to stay up and test it for as long as 12 hours but I was the only one remaining awake in the household and it was already way past my bedtime, heh.

These photos were taken on January 2. My aunt, two young cousins, and I went shopping.


My skin was being extra kind (thanks, skincare regimen!) and it wasn't that time of the month yet so no zits, but you may notice my pores.


Look Ma, no pores!


A few hours of shopping, chasing after one naughty toddler, and travelling to and from SM North EDSA later, my hair got noticeably more frizzy but aside from that, no shiny face as well! No retouching done!

Meanwhile, this photo was taken when I got back to the office after the Mat Magique media preview where our photos were taken by none other than BJ Pascual.

OH MY GOD, LOOK AT THAT FACE
Why can't I look like that every day??
Thanks to Anjie Gogna for my makeup! She used Golden Ivory on me and I find this shade suits me better. She also advised me to just use Mat Magique on my T-zone (forehead and nose) since I have combination skin.

Watch this space, because more photos from the media preview and a giveaway are coming soon! In the meantime, you may check the #BelieveinMagique hashtag in Instagram to take a peek at this amazing product and the fun event we had!


Have you tried Mat Magique? How did you find it? Mat Magique is now available in L'Oreal Paris counters nationwide so swatch to find your shade if you haven't yet!

Disclosure: The product was sent to me by L'Oreal's PR team but I was not required nor compensated to write this review. All opinions are my own. Please see my blog's complete Disclosure Policy here.

Welcome to the carnival!

16 January 2015

We are currently enjoying special non-working holidays in honor of the Papal visit to the Philippines and while I didn't personally join the throngs of people who went to get even just a glimpse of him, our TV has been glued to the live coverage since he arrived yesterday. May he have a peaceful and fruitful stay here.

In a short while I'll start getting ready for a slumber party with my friends, but right now I wanted to do a quick post here about the week that was. I went to work for only two days because I was scheduled to be on leave on Wednesday for my passport renewal, so I had to squeeze in a lot of to-dos in preparation for two major events we'll have later this month. Crossing my fingers both of them will be successful!

On Tuesday I took part in a shoot for Mat Magique, L'Oreal's newest oil control foundation that promises 12-hour matte perfection! It was such an honor to belong in a league of other beautiful women made up and shot by no less than BJ Pascual! I will share more photos from the shoot soon, but here's a peek:


I battled traffic and went out with my friends for late dinner and dessert that night, and although I had to remove my makeup before sleeping at around 11PM, I can attest to how Mat Magique held up even after six hours! I also have a review and a giveaway coming up so watch out for that. ;)


The next day, I made sure I wouldn't look dead in my passport photo so I took these essentials with me: Mat Magique in Golden Ivory, Colour Riche Lipcolor in Fairy Touch, Le Blush in Rosewood, and Super Liner Gelmatic Pen in Blue Force. Everything is by L'Oreal. I recently had my bangs botched by a fail fringe-trim job and it's taking its sweet time growing back so I also had my brows groomed by Browhaus. They're the best!

I didn't know why I was so worried, it took me less than 30 minutes to have my passport renewed in DFA - SM Manila! I hope more government functions get automated. Getting stuff done online = less time falling in line = more time for other important things.

Like window shopping.


After accomplishing what I originally went there to do, I walked around SM Manila. It was our go-to mall in college since it's just walking distance from my university. I loved this dress worn by the mannequin and wanted to buy it so badly because its watercolor print appealed to me, but I had to pass as I need to prioritize other things. My EQ is getting stronger, yay.


Later that night, my friends and I got together for Dianne's daughter Kaylee's birthday party. Kiddie parties with [young] adults are the best. They're the same friends I'm seeing tonight!

And since our non-working holidays started yesterday, I had time to make art. These are for my friends:

For Niel, because she loves The Little Mermaid
For Dianne, because she loves Cinderella
... and this is for myself:


Welcome to the carnival! Everyone is welcome! ♥  

Currently Vol. 2

12 January 2015

I woke up yesterday determined to shake myself away from lethargy. Organizing my room never fails to clear my head and thus give way to new ideas, but it had to be postponed as our house started undergoing through repairs.

On the bright side, I created art!


I tried to distract myself from the constant noise of hammers and construction by imagining I was floating away... preferably in a hot air balloon made out of fragrant flowers. Anyway, here is this Monday's Currently!

CURRENTLY Vol. 2

READING
Amanda Palmer's The Art of Asking, Amy Poehler's Yes Please, and Jenny Han's To All the Boys I've Loved Before. I have been trying to finish the first two for about a month now but I can't seem to do it fast enough. Not because I didn't like them - I don't know, I have found that I don't go through non-fiction as quickly as I do fiction. The third one is a recommended reading for Buqo YA class I have decided to take part in. I found the first couple of chapters okay but I'm finding myself getting irritated by the main character Lara Jean, who tells the story in first person point of view. Maybe I'm okay with some YA (I LOVE Rainbow Rowell and David Levithan), and others, eh, not so much.

WRITING
An introduction for myself to send to my classmates for the Buqo YA class but as you know, I am terrible at describing myself. Do I even use a pseudonym (I haven't even decided what I will use, if any) or do I just stick with my real name?

LISTENING TO
Pre-American Idol Jennifer Lopez. I was on my way home last Thursday when Hold You Down played on the radio, and I remembered how much I liked most of her songs from way back.

SMELLING
The Kiele Anti-Mosquito Green Tea Room Spray. It just smells so good!

WEARING
Less jeans, more skirts and dresses.



THINKING
Of the billion things I need to do before our trip to Balesin. I am going there for work at the end of the month and I am so excited! I need new swimsuits, hopefully a new pair of contact lens, and a bikini wax!

FEELING
Thrilled that my dear friend Dianne is back in Manila for a short vacation! Niel and I will meet her later and I can't wait!

I'm also excited for the coming extra-long weekend! January 15, 16,  and 19 were declared Special Non-working Holidays in observance of the Papal visit!

LOVING
My new blog banner and color scheme! Do you?


WANTING
To get the answer I am referring to here:


NEEDING
To get sorted out so I can finally put my biggest goal for this year in motion. This is a huge deal so please cross your fingers for me!

WISHING
That the process for my passport renewal this Wednesday will be quick and hassle-free. Crossing my fingers that it will be as easy as other people have told me it'll be!

Have a great week ahead, you! ♥ 

Unsettling solitude

10 January 2015

It's the first weekend since the work-year commenced, and I spent it doing nothing. I made progress with my 2015 reading challenge, took a nap, changed my blog's color scheme (did you like it?), watched a few episodes of Modern Family, and did nothing. I wanted to paint but my right hand has been aching since last week; I hope it's not the early stages of carpal tunnel syndrome. I shouldn't feel like this because (at the risk of sounding a pompous self-entitled beesh) I deserved rest, but I couldn't help but think I wasted a day being idle.

In the meantime, here is a watercolor painting I made a couple of months ago that seems to encapsulate my current state.


They say creativity is a well that never runs out. I believe that. I also believe that you get more creative as long as you practice more. But right now, I am completely devoid of inspiration.

I hope it's just PMS talking and I'll be perfectly okay again tomorrow. It's a Sunday but I need to be more productive, so maybe I'll organize my closet and do a bit of spring cleaning? Out with the old and in with the new, I guess.

Wishing you're having a better weekend than I am.

Don't be a stranger.

09 January 2015

I don't have a best girl friend. There, I said it. I don't have that one specific person whose ears I can talk off just talking about the most mundane things in the world, nor hold regular sleepovers with, nor someone expected to automatically accompany me anywhere (like to go shopping, watch movies with, or have spa dates with, maybe). If someone asks me to get married today, I wouldn't know who to choose as my maid of honor. That said, I have the best sets of friends that I am forever grateful I have. They're from different parts of my life and it is so great talking to them about our various shared interests.

I met up with three sets of friends, and our catch-up dates are some of the most fun I've had since the new year started! I've always maintained that you can meet friends anywhere, and the peeps below are further proof.

The Saturday Club at Ric's house last Saturday
Third, Niel, Aiza, me, and Ric
The Saturday Club earned its moniker by the fact that our hang-out dates regularly fall on a Saturday, it being our common rest day from work. We've been friends since high school - some even earlier than that - and even though we don't see the others anymore, this core group has remained.

Lipstick game on point
Meanwhile, Niel is my oldest friend. We've known each other since we were four! We weren't classmates all the time but we attended the same school all our lives, and I know I can depend on her for whatever.

From Jenny Han's book To All the Boys I've Loved Before, lead character Lara Jean said, "It's funny how much of childhood is about proximity. Like who your best friend is is directly correlated to how close your houses are; who you sit next to in music is all about how close your names are in the alphabet. Such a game of chance." So far, I like the choices I've been given, and I'm sticking with them.

Dinner at Mad Mark's in Greenbelt with Anne, Alex, and Kira the other night
At the beginning of 2014, Anne, Alex, and I had a wager on who could watch the most number of movies. The loser pays for a steak dinner and movie. I lost track of my movie stats, but I'm sure it was nowhere near Anne's nor Alex's, who got to see more than 100 movies each! I have watching all seasons of FRIENDS and Modern Family, rewatching all seasons of How I Met Your Mother,  reading 27 books, and taking on lots of other hobbies to blame, but no, not really. I regret nothing.

Smiling despite my wallet's pain LOL
Except for the mashed potato that tasted like it was fresh from the ref (frozen mashed potato is not appetizing at all), I enjoyed the food at Mad Mark's. The service? Eh, not so much. I am 94 lbs of hair and fear of confrontation, but eating there proved to be a practice of assertiveness because they won't give you what you need unless you ask for it. Repeatedly. I was able to cajole my friends into asking the waiter to follow up, or to give us water, or to give us our correct orders, but after a while they stopped and made me ask for what I needed myself, so I did. -_-

Last night, I went for doughnuts with my friends Kym and Jessica.

The last time I saw them was during Kym's last visit to Manila almost four years ago!
They are just two of the best people I met through blogging, back when I was just starting out and my site is filled with personal anecdotes. It's amazing how quickly and how well we connected with one another, and even though most of the people in this little blogging group we created are no longer active, we still catch up through social media and manage to get together in the event one of us visits another's country/ "territory" - like when Kym went here, or when she met up with Nikolett, or when I went to Singapore and met up with Nashe.

Doughnuts are always a good idea
You wouldn't believe it was only the third time I was seeing them both in person at the rate we were gabbing last night. I guess there's really something to be said about connections and friendship's strong foundations. There was never an awkward silence! They're so awesome and I'd like to continue being friends with them until we're old and gray.

Time is always too short when I'm with these two!
Kym flies out with her family to Hong Kong today to stay there for a week before they go back to Canada. I know her time here was filled with lots of reunions and meeting up with relatives and friends, so I'm so glad she was able to squeeze us in!

So you see, even though I don't have someone I can technically call my best friend, I don't feel like I'm missing out. I have LOTS of friends, and they're the BEST. ♥