Category Archives: review

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.

Review: NAIA Terminal 4 and Mactan Cebu International Airport

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It has been more than 5 years since I had a flight go through NAIA 4 so I was pleasantly surprised when they had improved so much! My flight to Cebu via Air Asia was in Terminal 4. Going through security was fast and easy, perhaps because I had an early flight and also because I had checked-in online via the Air Asia app. But once inside the waiting area, it looked so much better than I remember. Aircon was good and cool, lots of seats for passengers, TVs here and there, a charging station, bright, clear lights, clean restrooms and best of all, lots of food stalls lined up.

 

Aside from the food stall that sells pinoy food and snacks – where I bought my P48 Nescafe Macchiato – there was also Cinnabon, Goldilocks, Café France, Papa Johns and Seattle’s Best. There were a lot of standing tables too for eating. Little improvements but improvements nonetheless! 

Another surprise for me was the Mactan Cebu International Airport. I think the last time I was there was 5 years ago when we went to Singapore. It has improved so much! Did it become bigger?! I don’t know but there are now tons of shops and food stalls inside and outside the waiting area. So convenient that they had a scanner for boarding passes (mine was just on my phone!) unlike in Manila where everything is manual. They also have a water fountain inside! That is so important to me because why require your passengers to buy bottled water when drinking fountains should be the standard? Their trashcan is aesthetically pleasing too!

 

Once inside the waiting area, ample seats are there. They have an old and newly renovated toilet and tons of shops along the area – including Zubochon, Dunkin Donuts, a pizza bistro, Tsim Sha Tsui, a chocolate shop, Potato Corner and Jollibee, which had the longest line. And they had lots of standing tables (I love standing tables because after a whole day of sitting, all I want is to give my aching butt a rest). They even had a Bench and Victoria’s Secret/ Body Works/ perfume store. Awesome! Oh, and wifi is fast too. 


So good! Kudos to these two airports!

The best P20 Froyo

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Hands down, Fancie’s Frozen Yoghurt located at SM Megamall’s Grocery Store at Mega B is the best and most affordable froyo I’ve tasted. Perfect when you just want a small serving of froyo for dessert or snack. Move over over-priced Blk 513 charcoal froyo. Their menu goes as low as P20 for a cup or cone of regular froyo – which is very generous in serving – to P89 for their smoothies and P65 for their bigger froyo cup with toppings. Toppings are P10 each. 


Tip: bring your own toppings. On my first time, I had the oreo toppings for P10 and it was like just 1/4th of the cookie. Not worth it so just stick to the froyo itself and bring your own favorite toppngs. I brought a cup of cheerios with me! 🙂 

Review: ELF Lip Exfoliator

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I am a fan of exfoliation because I think it really helps in keeping your skin fresh-looking and healthy. I’ve shared before my chosen face exfoliation techniques – both with the peeling gel type and with the face brush – as well as my weekly DIY body scrub made up of coffee grounds. But what about the lips?

I am one of those women who have constantly chapped lips even with religious application of lip balms. Though I’m not proud of it, one of my bad habits is actually peeling the dry skin, leaving my lips with splotches and yes, blood (eww I know). So regular exfoliation is required. As much as the good ol’ toothbrush works well enough, I happened to chance upon the great discounted ($3.5 from $5) set of ELF during my trip to the US, which included a maroon lippie and their lip exfoliator, which I have been trying to get a hold of for years.

The one I got was the Cherry Tart flavor. Had to stop myself from constantly licking my lips because it smelled (and tasted) good. I probably won’t die from tasting it but better not to do that since it’s still made up of chemicals. I love how the exfoliator is in a tube for very much easy application, unlike other scrubs which are in pots, making it messy and unhygienic to apply.

 

It doesn’t automatically slough off your dry lips nor does it immediately make them soft. But what I do is after showering, I swipe it on my lips and leave it on for a few minutes, something similar when you use petroleum jelly. Afterwards, I wipe it off and my lips’ dryness somehow lessens. I think for the price and convenience of this exfoliator, it’s a great buy. I probably won’t buy one again unless discounted (plus it’s not available in the Philippines yet) but it’s a fun product to add to your beauty regime.

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?

Review: Apricot OTG

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For a non-techy person like me, I am all praise for my newest tiny discovery: The Apricot OTG. I realized I desperately needed extra storage when one night in Bangkok, I wanted to take a photo of the scrumptious barbeque that I tried in the streets. I even bought two so I would have some time to snap the photo. But then, my dreaded 16GB iphone suddenly alerted me: No More Space Available. 

That’s the exact moment I knew I needed some sort of device that would give me extra storage but would be convenient and handy to use and not to mention, affordable. Buying a new iphone with a bigger storage was not an option. So aside from doing this weird but effective tip to free up more storage, here enters the Apricot OTG, which has been circulating in social media. Bought mine from Kimstore at Php1299 for the 32GB. They also have the 16GB option for Php999 but since the price difference was minimal, decided to get the bigger storage, especially since I’ll be having a big trip on December. To compare, I went to CDR King and their version of the device, simply called iConnect, was twice the price at Php2300! While I saw the same Apricot OTG – same packaging and all – at theGlobe store for P1690! So definitely Apricot OTG was the clear choice for me. Besides, Kimstore is a respected techy dealer so I knew I’d get a great product.

 

The Apricot OTG comes in a box, which upon payment, Kimstore staff will demo on how to use it. If that’s not enough, there’s also a PDF manual saved in the USB. But it’s pretty easy to use, even for a non-techy like me. Kimstore also has 6 months warranty for the device. Tip: Save on shipping fee by choosing their meet-up option so you just pay the cost of the item. No other extra fees.

 

As long as your phone has a lightning port, you’re good to go. It also worked with my iOS 9, since I don’t really like upgrading my phone’s system. You might be thinking that it’s an unnecessary expense since we could easily just transfer the photos via cable to the laptop then delete the photos in the phone to free up some space. The great thing about this Apricot OTG is that it’s just plug-and-play. 


This means, after downloading the free iUSB app, you simply plug the device, access iUSB, copy your photos to the USB then immediately delete photos in your phone, instantly freeing up your phone’s space. Then later on, you could just transfer your photos from the USB to your laptop. No need to use your messy cables and bring your heavy laptop every single time. You can use it anywhere, anytime. So great, noh? Transferring photos from USB to phone is easy too, just copy-paste. Plus factors are that you can also save, listen and watch movies and music in it and create folders and even subfolders within the device for easy reference.

I love its sleek, tiny design. Such a small device which packs a lot of wow. Highly recommended for those who need extra storage for their phones, without wanting to upgrade to a new one or shell out too much.

Update: I finally saved some movies and it can read both .avi and .mp4

Update as of 26 Jan: After 4 months of usage, heavily during Dec and  movie watching almost every night this Jan, my Apricot OTG still works fine. If you have problems with yours, I suggest you please inquire from the shop you bought it from especially if still under warranty

Review: Olay Pro X Advanced Cleaning System

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As I mentioned before, I don’t have much of a problematic skin. I like taking care of my skin & have followed the basic 3 step face care since I was a kid – cleanse, tone & moisturize. Add to the fact that I drink tons of water, don’t smoke and make it a point to get at least 8 hours of sleep (not much of a gimikera here. Haha!). I’m not afraid to get old and show my wrinkles since all of us will get old and have wrinkles & I’m actually already showing wrinkles but honestly, my greatest “vanity” accessory is my clear skin. No need for me to hide behind make up or cover ups. I really think having clear skin makes you look like the best you! 

During our Tagaytay trip, I noticed how my cousin’s face was a bit more smooth than before. She’s been struggling with pimples so the change was really obvious. My aunt mentioned it was because she was using Clairsonic facial brush, which is basically this really expensive facial brush which promises to clear your face of blemishes. I’m not a fan of facials and have never done it nor do I plan to go through one in the near future so a facial brush was a good alternative for me to up my skin regime. 

I’ve heard and read about the wonders of brushing your face but never really planned on buying an expensive brush. Good thing when I went to Robinson’s supermarket, I saw this Olay Pro X Advanced Cleaning System (approx. P1500+), which is basically the more affordable version of Clairsonic. But since my sister was in the U.S. at the time, I decided to have her buy it for me there because it was cheaper (only about $20). I also had her buy me a box of spare head brushes too, so you can replace your brushes after a few months of usage.

  
It comes with batteries, the brush head, the brush itself and a 20ml cleanser. It’s easy to use as you only turn it on with one button while the other button controls the two speeds. I’ve only used the slower speed and it feels fine. I use it once a week – when I’m not using peeling gels – after cleansing and followed by my face masks. I must say and I’m saying this as honestly as I could: right after the first try, I instantly saw my face brighten. No kidding, no bull. I couldn’t stop looking at my face for the whole weekend! There really was a change. Couldn’t believe my skin could get any better (may ganon talaga?). The brush was the only new thing I introduced to my regime so I knew it was the culprit. It’s also relaxing to use since it feels like a mini face massage! 


I highly recommend this to anyone who wants to give their facial cleansing regime a face lift (get it?). Between this and peeling gels, I go with the brush because if its instant brightening effect! Best part is that it’s cheaper than facials and readily available here in the Philippines!