Category Archives: loves

New thigh tattoo

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So I lied when I said I was done with tattooing. Haha! I wasn’t exactly planning on getting another one, it kind of just happened. Blame it on boredom. But, I am very happy how it turned out. When the thought of getting another tattoo latched to my brain, I knew that I would add it to my first thigh tattoo (because I found it too small and frankly, I’m running out of canvass). But how? As I was scanning the net, I came across designs on octopuses and their tentacles fascinated me. So I decided to get something similar.

I again contacted Frances since she was the one who did my thigh tattoo and I wanted the tat to be consistent – something that would look part of the mandala, a design that is organic to the first tat and kinda “grew out” of it. It took about a week for everything to be scheduled – from me explaining to Frances the design I wanted, to her drafting the designs and to us scheduling the session. She actually prepared two designs – one with tentacles and another with her own design. I ended up choosing the one she personally suggested. It was so pretty!

 

I showed up at her shop in Robinson’s Galleria and the standard procedure commenced – I signed a waiver form, she showed me the new and unopened needle, then we discussed the placement of the tat. I explained that I wanted more of the design to be on the right side of the mandala for more visibility and less on my inner thigh (because I know that would hurt as hell). I also had to think of what color I wanted it to be in. Initially, I wanted it to be black, same color as the mandala. But Frances explained it might look too messy. She was visualizing it to be in dark red as it would look very feminine on me. She also suggested that if I really wanted it to be in black, that she would accent the tips of the design with red. Since she still had to draw the design on my thigh, I had a few minutes to contemplate. She used a special red pen to draw the design – the design needed to be drawn “free handedly” – and as she did, I realized how pretty the red looked on my thigh (just like my foot tat). So I told her I wanted it to be in dark red. When she started inking with the dark red, I found it too dark so she combined a little red in it and that was the color we used.

 

Of course, the inking still hurt, especially on the design near my inner thigh since the skin there is thinner. I had a book and Netflix to keep my mind off the procedure. She mentioned that doing solid lines will always hurt more compared to just filling in with colors. Finally, after 1.5 hours, she was done! I love it! The more I look at it, the more I like it.

 

For some reason, it seemed this tat healed faster than my other ones. Perhaps my body is getting used to being inked? After care was the usual cleaning with baby soap and slathering anti-bacterial ointment combo (I used my leftover ones from last March). I think I won’t be getting another tattoo anytime soon. At least, for this year.

What’s so great about being 30-something anyway?

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I saw this college student. There was nothing special about her. Just your regular kolehiyala. But for some reason, I suddenly told myself: Thank God I’ve graduated from that phase in my life. It was such an unexpected thought that I realized that I am much happier with where I am now, and that includes my age.
 

So it got me thinking: what’s so great about being 30-something anyway? I’ll tell you. A lot! These are just my personal experiences and thoughts. Of course, every 30-something adult has their own lives to live and circumstances to face and so the following points will not be applicable to everyone. And also, let’s face it, adulting can sometimes be hard and totally not fun. Even so, being 30-something for me is a great time to be alive because:

1. I am now earning my own money. And not just any money, but more-than-enough-money-that-I-can-be-a-blessing-to-others kind of money. Money that can buy not only what I need but also what I want. Having an ATM that doesn’t reach 0 pesos is awesome and a blessing (which should not be taken for granted).

2. I know myself better. I now know what I want in terms of the kind of job I like, the relationships I intend to keep, how I enjoy myself, activities that I really want to be a part of my life, where I want to spend my time, how I dress and all these things. I guess when I was younger I didn’t exactly know which direction I wanted to go or what I really wanted to do. I don’t know everything, I don’t have answers to every question, but I know myself enough to get me through the day.

3. I have chosen my closest friends wisely. When I was in college, I tried to fit in this group of friends simply because they were my batchmates. They were awesome, don’t get me wrong, but I just felt I didn’t fit in. I tried to keep them even after I graduated college. Once, on a road trip, they started doing marijuana. Nothing against (medical) marijuana but during that time, I was really uncomfortable with the idea and so then and there, I decided to cut them out of my life. I haven’t seen them since (though we still keep in touch somehow because hey, they are really nice naman). I guess as you grow old, you tend to keep those friends who are precious to you and have known for such a long time plus those others whom you just click with. The rest, I cut out from my life completely.

4. I don’t feel guilty anymore – doing things that I love, ignoring toxic people, spending my money the way I want, living my life the way I want to live it, staying at home and doing nothing, saying no to people. When I was younger, I’d always feel guilty if I didn’t fit in this mold that society or the media or my family or my well-meaning friends had for me. I missed one church service? No worries, it happens. No family yet? I don’t care and so should you. I don’t drive my own car? I hate driving. I just bought another bag? Hey, it’s my money. All these cookie cutter expectations don’t bother me anymore.

5. I have learned to ignore. 2010 for me was a year of learning and one of my favorite truths then which I have taken to heart until today is this: no matter what you do, someone will always have something negative to say about you. Heck, even Mother Theresa has bashers. So why would I expect not to have any? Thus, I have always reminded myself of this basic life truth and ignored those kinds of people or negative comments that come my way. I don’t like back stabbing or bad mouthing other people. But it happens to me. Since I cannot control what other people say about me – whether based on truths, half-truths or just plain gossip – what I can control is how I react. As long as I know that I didn’t do anything ‘bad’ on purpose, I choose to react by ignoring them and by just being me.

6. I have more exposure. Because I’ve been in the workforce longer and because I am able to travel both for work and pleasure, my eyes have now been opened to more experiences and problems of the world and seen more places and known more people from different backgrounds and cultures. It really does change you because you know that there’s more to this world than just the Philippines and the Filipinos. Full disclosure: because I’ve ‘dated’ a number of foreign men, Pinoys now suddenly bore me. Haha!

7. I understand that the world doesn’t revolve around me. In connection to the above, gone are my emo days when I would drown in self-pity because of this and that. This life that we have is much bigger than you and I and I have learned to embrace this truth.

8. I acknowledge the fact that I will die. Maybe in 30 years or in 5 years but also possibly next year or tomorrow. No one knows. As a youth, you think you’re invincible and don’t usually think about death. But now, this is something I constantly remind myself so that I don’t take things for granted. Or so that I’ll stop being sad or upset or depressed or angry because those emotions, though valid for a limited period only, are just wasting my time.

9. I now have a routine. Which I like because I’m a routine kind of gal. At the same time, this is also the perfect age to change that routine and completely do something else. Especially for singles, being in the ‘middle spectrum’ of life, it’s totally possible to do a 360 degree turn and pursue something else that you want.

10. I do what I want. Under the premise that I am not doing anything illegal or hurtful to other people and the like. I know that I am still bounded by the rights and wrongs of society but still, I realized that I only have one life to live (which might be cut short, see item #8) so why not live in a way that I want to live? It’s not always easy, it can get frustrating but really, I’ll eat that donut if I want to even if it has 500 calories. I’ll hold his hand because it feels good. I’ll go to that country because I want to see a part of the world that’s totally different than mine. I’ll ignore that annoying text even if the other person is waiting on me. Let me be.

Given the above, I am not saying that I have everything figured out. I’m just trying to live my life to the fullest – in a way that I think is best for me – and not waste what was given to me. I’m still included in that group of people who are still grappling the meaning of their life. But now with more class and poise.

Halo-halong Discoveries Part IV

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Pretty gift bag. Bought this super pretty floral gift bag (P35) at National Bookstore even without knowing when to use it. Good thing I did because I used it to give something to my landlady on Mother’s Day (ganun kami ka-close. Hehe).
 


Sliced orange extension cord with USB ports. During my work trip in Pakistan, one of our usual problems was the shortage of sockets for our laptop and phone chargers. So when I saw this, I knew it would be super useful for our whole team, so that we can all just charge our gadgets at the same time. I wouldn’t leave it unattended though since I think it’s a bit shoddy. Haha! Super cute, lightweight, handy and affordable at P200 at shoppee.ph.

 

Drip Coffee. For the life of me I cannot remember where I bought this. Was hoping it would taste like my usual brewed coffee, however, it tastes different. A bit watered down with a nutty taste. Looks cute though. I saw some other local brands having something similar to this too.

 

Iron on Patches on Herbag. I finally did it. I finally customized by brown Herbag with fun quirky iron on patches for times when I wanna be silly and tote a not-so-formal-adult-bag. Haha!


Henna Tattoo. Played with some left over henna from India and the stencil I bought from Indonesia, right before my Malapascua trip. Smelled like petroleum. 



12 Buns of Swift Might Meaty. I normally like trying out new things as it comes my way – that fried isaw in Taft before it became famous, a DIY no churn ice cream, a new toiletry product, microwavable cake in a mug and even an unknown Indonesian restaurant. As I was walking around Robinson’s Galleria, killing time, I chanced upon this stall of Swift Hotdog.

 

I try not to eat too much processed food nowadays (Tita vibes) but what caught my eye was the 12 different ways to eat the hotdog bun. They had 12 different combinations of hotdog toppings which include the classic cheese sauce, salsa, coleslaw and con carne to the more unique ones like pork floss and egg salad.

 

I was up for the challenge. Then and there, I decided to try all 12 combinations and immortalize my experience here. Haha! For only P32 per bun, I knew this was going to be fun without hurting my wallet (but hurting my diet). Unfortunately, or fortunately, I only got to 5 buns (eaten at different times, mind you). Haha!

 

For a quick and filling pantawid-gutom snack, this is a great choice. You may also choose to have the brown/chicken hotdog for a small additional fee. Perfect pair with their mango juice. In fairness to them, they do not scrimp on the toppings so you really get your money’s worth. The hotdog and bun are both big and very filling. As long as you are not choosy with the hotdog, go ahead and try all 12 flavors, and then some.

Paragliding in Carmona, Laguna

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When my sister-in-law found out that there was a paragliding facility literally behind their backyard in their Carmona home, she knew she had to go. And she dragged our whole family. Haha! When I say the whole family, that includes my 3 year old nephew who flew with his mom! What a trooper! We prepared ourselves – P3000 fee for the weekend (I think only P2000 for weekday for 2pax and more), additional P500 for go pro rental, rubber shoes (no slippers), leggings, hat, sunglasses (a must!) and a comfy top.


 

On Mother’s Day morning, we made our way to the meeting place before 8am since we wanted to be first in line. We had Jollibee breakfast take-out and ate at the bahay kubo at the top of the hill.

 

Getting there early proved to be worthwhile since we were given priority (and we had time to enjoy the view). After a while, about 20 more people came so good thing the instructors told us our group would go first. Plus, they said that our fly was the last for the season, since winds were starting to be strong.

 

Once the pilots came, they started assembling the gear. 


I was half-expecting there would be a short orientation on how-tos and what-not-to-dos but nope, you just have to go there, get strapped in and hold on to dear life. Haha! The pilots were German, Polish and Filipino decent. That’s my brother getting geared up. As you can see, it’s just like sitting in a baby car chair.

 


Kidding aside, their only instruction is that while waiting for the wind to pick up the sail, just stand still. Once you are up in the air, that’s when you sit down.

 

Good thing the wind was good on our day since we didn’t need to run off the hill. We just waited for the perfect wind and the rest was done by the pilot.

 

Once up there, you just sit back and relax. Primo, my pilot, handed me the gopro and I started filming.

 

It died after a few minutes so I had the perfect excuse to just enjoy the view, bask in the sunshine and feel the wind on my face.

 

After about 10 minutes, we were done. The landing was smooth, you just wait for the ground on your feet. Haha! 10 minutes might not seem enough but trust me, it is. I think anything more than that lessens the fun. For me, I think even after 5 minutes I was already satisfied. This is something I probably won’t do again – it’s like a one-time-is-enough activity – but it sure was fun to do with the whole family. 

For more information, please visit their website.

Bliss at Cinema ’76 Film Society and street food at Juanito’s

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Ever since my colleague told me about this small, mostly-indie-film-showing cinema late last year, I have always wanted to visit the place. It reminded me of my college days when me and my friends would watch indie films at UP Diliman’s Film Center (hello? I watched Boatman (1985) there and couldn’t even finish the film). Since it’s a bit out of the way, it took me awhile to actually drag some friends along, intentionally inviting my friend who had a car (haha!). When I learned that Iza Calzado’s Bliss was going to be shown starting May 10, I knew that had to be the first film I would see there.
 


Without even watching the trailer nor reading the synopsis, I really wanted to watch Bliss because of an interview I read about Iza. When they found out the MTRCB gave the film an X rating, Iza’s reaction was, “Porn star ba ako?” I loved her reaction and it was effective in spiking my curiosity so on the first day of screening at Cinema ’76, me and two of my friends headed to the tiny movie house.


I was actually surprised by how big the whole production company (TBA) and their office was. We watched the 8pm showing so no photos of their office and the cinema house but it’s fairly easy to find via waze. There are limited parking slots but it’s not located at the highway so it was ok. We got there on the dot and the place was already packed. The cinema can accommodate about 50 people. We ended up sitting at the back, with high chairs, which proved to be a great spot because (i) we could see well above the heads of those in front and (ii) that was the only place food and drinks were allowed. If you do decide to sit in front, comfy seats and fluffy pillows await you.

 

Bliss, for a Filipino film, was pretty good. Not for the impatient, not for the weak, not for the malicious. No slapstick jokes, no overly-gory scenes, no over dramatized lines. In other words, not for people used to ‘mainstream’ films. You don’t have to be the artsy-fartsy, hipster type of viewer to enjoy it but just someone who appreciates art (whether or not you get the art). My favorite elements of the film were (i) Iza’s impeccable acting (she is so underrated); (ii) the whole cast and their respective characters who all had well-written backgrounds; (iii) I loved how the nurse looked with her freckles and how unique her character was; and (iv) the build-up and how the director tied all loose ends of the film.

After more than an hour of the film, what better way to end the night but with street food, drinks and laughter at Juanito’s. We had kwek-kwek (P120), sisig pork isaw (P150 I think), chicken isaw on stick (P120), dynamite sticks (P175) and of course, beer (P50) to wash it all down.

 

Make sure to follow Cinema ’76 website. Let’s do our part in “keeping indie films and small cinemas” alive.

Family time is always the best

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I always say that my family will always be my top priority. I believe in the saying that work (or even friends) won’t love you the way your family loves you. This is why I try to spend as much time as possible with my mom and siblings. 

This weekend, spent my lazy Saturday with my furry babies, also part of my family: 


Then Sunday was in Solaire, where my aunt was staying for a conference. Just look at the view from our room:


Then again at sunset:


Gorgeous! Both my brothers, my sis in law and my nephew visited us and it was a super fun chaos in our hotel room! My nephew is so fun to be around with as he is so smart and very sweet. Dinner was at Dampa, where we bought fresh seafood and had them cooked by the restaurant. 


Then back to the hotel for some more family time! So fun! So blessed! Thank You Lord for my family! I miss them already #Sepanx

Review: Blue Avocado (Re)Zip Baggies

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My friends know that as much as possible, I try to be environment friendly by bringing my own reusable bags, tumblers and even coffee mug sleeves; by not using Styrofoam products or plastic ware and by not throwing my trash – however small – in the streets (common sense lang di ba mga Pinoy). When doing grocery shopping, I put my items in my handbag, if I forget to bring my reusable bag. I try to reuse, reduce, recycle and upcycle old stuff. I walk and take public transportation as a way to reduce my carbon footprint. I have stopped using plastic straws and am even trying to go all natural with my beauty products. And now, my newest addition to help save our environment is by using Blue Avocado’s (Re)Zip Baggies.
 


I admit, I’ve used a lot of ziplocks in the past (who hasn’t?) and the thought of all of that plastic just going to landfills – taking years to decompose- broke my heart so I started searching for a reusable baggie. Saw this in amazon but with my low EQ, I wanted it immediately instead of waiting for it to be delivered. Luck would have it that National Bookstore actually carries these, for a bit more in terms of price but still not bad for what you’re getting – the bags are re-sealable, reusable, BPA, PVC and lead free, leak-proof, and dishwasher and freezer-safe. The first bags I bought were the sandwich-sized ones (Php529 for two) which I left when I went to the US. Haha. Perfect for chips (though it’ll leave scratch marks on your bag) and yes, sandwiches.

 

Since I left those in the US, I decided to buy again but this time, opted for the 1 cup baggie (Php345 for two). This one I absolutely loved and used it every weeknight since I started to eat overnight oats (more on those later). I place my oats with milk in the bag and because it’s leak-free, I don’t have to worry that it’ll make a mess in my handbag. I also tested it out in our freezer when I placed berries in it and so far, still good. It can also stand by itself, making it the perfect on-the-go container, even for food with liquids in it. Perfect for travelling! It’s easy to clean too with our regular dish soap and sponge.

 

I highly recommend that everyone buy this product. It’ll save the environment and your pocket from constantly buying ziplocks. Now all I need is to convince all my friends and family (and you) to use this. Imagine how many tons of plastics we’d stop using?