19 November 2015

Inside the Pocket of Your Ripped Jeans

If it's any consolation, I'm truly becoming very busy. I'm really growing up (figuratively), woohooo!

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Top: Zara | Pants and necklace: River Island | Cap and shoes: Adidas | Umbrella: from Hong Kong Disneyland | Watch: Marc by Marc Jacobs

I am among the immediate beneficiaries of the APEC 2015 traffic scheme. I left our office which is located along Ayala Ave, Makati at exactly 4 in the afternoon, got into a car 2 minutes later, then arrived at a village along EDSA 13 minutes after. Under normal circumstances, that's about as possible as me waking up earlier than 10am on weekends (which is almost never save for the instances where I have no choice but be awake earlier). And then from EDSA, my friend and I drove to Antipolo. We reached our destination in only 19 minutes! Again, that's another impossible feat given that we traveled during the supposed rush hour window. We had another easy breezy time going back from Antipolo. To make things even better, I've been waking up at 6:30am to be at work by 8:30 for the past APEC-affected days. I didn't have to be in the Embassy early since we only had a handful of applicants thus making my life as well as those of my colleagues' so much easier than usual. So you see, APEC has been wonderful to me!

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When it comes to dressing up, I'm unfortunately among the majority whose options are quite limited owing to different factors. There's this thing about my height, also my build, and then there are my prejudices. Much as I'd like to be among those supermodels who can pass off as beautiful even in sacks, I'm afraid there are certain styles that I won't be able to pull off no matter how hard I try. I'm not the casual Dr Martens-hipster glasses-effortless girl (although I've a pair of Docs as well as an arsenal of fake hipster glasses. I can never consider my style effortless because despite the lazy outfit I don at times, believe me, there's been even just pinch of thought process that went into it. My vision just didn't quite translate well hahahaha) But seriously, I'm sadly not the girl who can look nice in the simplest of clothes. I'm more conscious of how I look when I'm dressed down than when I'm overdressed. Anyway the concept of being overdressed is just that; a mere concept. As what the illustrious Wilde said in one of his works, no one can ever be overdressed or over-educated.

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Christmas is arriving and it's making me so excited that my computer at work is playing Christmas songs on loop, in a scandalizing volume that perhaps everyone in the office now knows that there's a Christmas elf amongst their midst. What can I do, my Christmas spirit is stirring! Soon, I'll focus on blogging about Christmas, Christmas, and Christmas!

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Photos were taken in Aquaria KLCC
Title's from Ed Sheeran's 'Photograph' (which I've been singing nonstop as well!)

06 November 2015

It's Our Time

Not publishing any entries, be it about the recent book I’ve just read or the place I’ve been to or the dates with my friends or the devastating departure of my great grandmom after her month-long battle in the hospital, drains out more ideas from me than say, when I publish in quick succession. I’d have these ideas that at one point mattered (often, they are bordering shallow and pretentious, to be honest) and let them slip away because instead of pouring my brains out about them here, I’d choose to wallow in my misery (i.e. because of my beloved laptop’s untimely death) and refuse to use available substitutes where I can continue with my normal online updates. Now at 10:17AM, I find myself too lazy to function so instead of doing the work that I’m getting paid for, I’ll  spout out incoherent thoughts here.

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Dress; Charlotte Ruse (which my grandmom got for me) | Sandals: Topshop | Necklace: Promod | Bag: Juicy Couture

Several weeks ago, I read an article in Levo that concisely describes our generation. To put simply, millennials are best described as selfish, impatient, lazy, and entitled. (Well, at least for me they’re all true.) Perhaps it’s because our generation is raised in a fast-paced environment, where almost every answer is just at the tips of our fingers that it’s frustrating when things don’t go like the way we’ve intended them to be. I think we are the generation that demands too much from others and takes a lot of things for granted. (Like I said, at least these speak of truth about me). On the other end of the spectrum, the article rounds up its points by stating that although these may be true of the Millennials, it’s not to say that we are the good-for-nothing generation. If anything, we are the go-getters. We want things so badly, perhaps fueled by our innate ambitiousness or our tendency to compare ourselves with our neighbors or just because, that we search for short cuts to arrive at our destination earlier than expected. In a few years, I’ll be a quarter of a century old. By then, I’m supposed to be nearer to whoever I wish to be.

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Setting aside my pretentious existential crisis for a while, allow me to bombard this blog with photos taken at varying points. I’m going to use whatever photos are left in my arsenal, including the not so recent ones. (I swear it made me so sad to bid adieu to my 2 year old laptop, what with my thousands of selfies stored in it plus my overconfident narratives. Who wouldn’t be disappointed in losing another know-it-all, right?) Anyway. These photos were taken last May in Green Canyon Resort in Subic. It’s only been up and running for a year so although it’s already satisfactory as it is, there are still lots of possibilities. Still, it’s worth a visit.

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27 August 2015

Cheers to Nights Like This

I wasn't able to babble for weeks here so allow me to be loquacious. August has been an exceptionally busy month. There were weeks where I had to be in the office as early as 6 in the morning just to clear files of the previous days else they will add up to the current day's files which in turn would end up bulldozing me. I don't even remember if I was able to squeeze in an afternoon or evening hang-out with any of my friends since I had to leave the office in the evening as well. And then for the past 3 weeks, my family has always been on alert. My great grandmother, or Inana as how we call her, has been transferred to the ICU for 2 weeks now after being confined in a regular room for a week. Her health has been oscillating from better to worst that we no longer know which is which. My parents and brother are in Quezon province as I type, after having had to rush in the middle of the week due to Inana's recent cardiac arrest while receiving her treatment. My beloved laptop also proved that the built-in battery of a Macbook Pro, no matter how latest the model is, will explode if left charging overnight (no thanks to my brother Gio for proving this theory). There's also the matter with my phone. It has given up on me two weeks ago. I could've easily ran to the nearest phone shop but my schedule doesn't permit me to do so. This weekend, I'm going to Quezon to join my family and relatives in watching over Inana. So friends, I'm terribly sorry if I'm unable to reply to your text messages. I'm still phone-less! But naturally, there were plenty of good events that transpired in August too. I'm growing closer to my colleagues despite my only almost 3 month stay since I got hired. We've gone out a couple of times just to relieve ourselves of stress only people who work in an Embassy know of (I swear it's difficult for someone who's always relied on others to get things done for her, suddenly rise up to the demands of an Embassy). And then, in the middle of the month, I escaped with my Lala and relaxed in a beautiful foreign land. 

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Dress, earrings, bag: River Island | Charm bracelet: from Jerusalem, Israel | Ring: Aldo | Shoes: Zara

Due to my jampacked schedule (I know, trust me, it still baffles me how I'm handling the major changes in my supposed grown-up life), I'm slowly transitioning into a shopper who's on the look-out for clothes that are appropriate for my activities from day to night. Something appropriate when I suddenly get called by the Ambassador or the Consul in their offices to explain a few things or when receiving applicants at the counter, or when I still have energy in the evening to go out with friends. But for this particular evening, the highlight of Lala and I's trip (it has to be, since I didn't research for touristic places to go to but I made sure that we've a reservation in the best restaurant in the country), I chose a dress that I would wear if, say, I were to spend an entire day in Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. No kidding, I was thinking of Mirage's attractions such as the volcano or the Secret Garden as the perfect backdrop of my dress. Or or or I could be in another Vegas hotel! Hahaha! But oh well, I'm not complaining even though I was miles away from Las Vegas since after all, I'm in another grandiose place, Marini's on 57 which is located in Petronas Tower 3. I know, I know. There are supposedly only two towers but who am I to argue if the receptionist told me that we're going to Tower 3?

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We entered Suria KLCC, the mall under Petronas Towers, to begin our way to our destination. In order to go up to the 57th floor, we had to transfer to 3 different elevators, which was perfectly fine with me! I enjoy the journey that preludes an elegant place. Our server was really nice and guided Lala and I through the menu. We ordered the following: (Note that we weren't able to take photos of the last 2 courses because our phones have already died then. Shame.)

For appetiers:
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Ancona fried olives
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Apulia burrata, Japanese Momotaro tomatoes & fresh basil

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Roasted guinea fowl, fennel, onions, apple & sago tarragon 
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Dry-aged Wagyu beef tenderloin with beetroot, cauliflower, polenta & dried mushrooms

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Custard Bread
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Cotton Candy
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Summer chocolate pralines, mixed fruits & gelato served picnic style

I wasn't kidding when I said this in a previous postHere's to another term infused with mediocre outputs and half-baked enthusiasm, all pieced together with ho-hum objectives. I've always lacked the necessary consistency to carry me through the task. I figured, there is always an easier way out so why go through all the labyrinthine process? But guess what August made me realize? Vacations are even sweeter when an equally tiring and draining work had been accomplished. Guess what the other thing August made me realize? When you give your best, it's easier to dream big. Because at least you know that you're slowly going where you want to be. Take this dinner for example. It's Asia today, who knows where we'll dine tomorrow? :)

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Goodbye for now again!

05 July 2015

The Last Day of Summer

A few posts ago, I was just talking about how excited I was to see the grown up episode of Phineas and Ferb. Then days ago, what I saw poked my eyes to the point that I couldn't stop "sweating through my eyes". My best friend and I haven't even worn our Phineas and Ferb costumes! (I know what we're going to wear this Halloween, S!)

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Dress: Mango | Belt: H&M | Sandals: Zara | Bag: Kipling | Watch: Guess | Perry the Platypus Hat: from Disneyland

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I brought my cousin to the mall weekends ago to put a cap on her first week in the big school.

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My best friend and I love Phineas and Ferb so much so that we have considered naming our to-be-launched shop "Baljeetles". If we won't be able to come up with a more decent, catchy name, then I'm calling dibs on "Baljeet" as early as now.

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21 June 2015

Dinner's Best

I woke up to a friend's text message saying she misses me and so she went through my blog (Hi Dacs!! You must know I'm very flattered). Then days after, I received another text from a dear friend saying the same things (Judging you with my judging eyes, Barbs hehe) Well well, what do you know. The blog is serving another purpose! Hahaha

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Cover-up used as dress, inner tube and cycling shorts: from SM Department Store | Sandals: Old Navy | Yellow, white, purple bangles: Mango

I have this rule to never eat dinner outside the house looking unkempt. I'm a superficial person, I've always admitted it. I've always believed in the power of outward appearances. Definitely looks is not the be-all and and-all. It can only hold captive someone else for so long. But there's no harm in projecting how we perceive ourselves in the way we dress. Besides, of all the meals in the day, my favorite has to be dinner because that's when everyone is supposedly (although rarely) at home so the dishes served are mostly good. For this particular dinner in Palette restaurant in Green Canyon Resort (which I'll later on write about and sort under the REVIEW tag), I wore the same cover-up that I normally use when I go swimming. What? A girl with limited choices has to make do with what she has, right?

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I've worked for my Dad for some months before I got the job that I have now and there's something I've noticed about certain people. I think that we all play a part in where our lives go. We can't continue blaming others for our demise. Perhaps the first time something bad happened to us, we can blame it on the lack of response from the government. In the second time, we can still blame it on the shortcomings of the company where we're working. But in the third time and so forth, the blame is fully ours. We can't continue passing the blame to someone else when it involves our lives. It frustrates me when I think about how easy it is for others to be absent for days without so much as a valid explanation. How is earning a few thousand this week enough to compensate for the succeeding week's absence? Especially when the boss arrives at work earlier than the guard does and leaves later in the afternoon the latest. Or when the boss himself volunteers to do field work to show his subordinates how it's done. Sometimes we are all to blame for what's happening in our lives. When the rich gets even richer, it can be because the rich knows how to protect his money by working so hard. Of course I'm not generalizing, and I'm not even in the position to do so since I haven't experienced the difficulty majority does. But with the few times I've witnessed firsthand the difference between the work attitude of those who have and those who do not have, I can't do anything but shake my head in frustration.

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The real world is scary yet exciting. Just the thought that my future is now in my hands, with help from my parents (massive help, to be precise), terrifies and motivates me at the same time. I've always dreamed of holding a significant position in a big company but to realize that dream, I've to go through all the baby steps. I guess it's a sign of maturity when someone starts accepting that she's not the most special person out there. That although she exerts the utmost of her efforts, she still can't get what she wants. It's sad just thinking that all the cheers people bestowed upon us while growing up, including the occasional you're-the-best-among-them commentaries from people who matter, are now just mere cushions for the impending failure we all must deal with. Failure is a necessary block in every journey, I guess. What childhood, High School, and college lives prepared us for beyond the Maths and the Sciences is that, in times where we face a major hindrance, we have good memories to turn to. Or that at one point, we successfully made it. So who's to say that we can't find another way out of our predicament?

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07 June 2015

Pink Ears Rider

It's funny how I only see some of my closest HS friends when someone is either having her baby christened or throwing a birthday party for her child. We're really growing old!

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Top: H&M | Skirt: Topshop | Shoes: BCGB | Bag: Michael Kors

Last 8th May, I attended my 4th goddaughter Cheska's baptism. No kidding, 4 people have already asked me to "bless their daughter's life with my presence". It's flattering, beyond flattering even, but it's an undertaking I'm unfortunately unable of seeing through consistently. It saddens me, truly and really, that although I would've wanted to devote my time to becoming a regular fixture in my beloved goddaughters' lives, I do not have the luxury of time. I'm on the cusp of making sacrifices to be the person I've always felt I have to become that somehow, all I know these days is to hustle. I arrive at work at 7 in the morning and leaves 11 hours later in the evening every weekdays then attend my French classes every Saturdays. I've to hustle to catch up with all of my shortcomings in college, remember? See how many issues I have? Kidding aside, I just happen to like what I do that I no longer dread the early morning start I avoided as best as I could before.

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2 of my favorites from HS, Cha Valeriano and Jeanne dela Rosa who's carrying the cutiepie Cheska.

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Since I did not have the time to look for a worthy gift to my cutie inaanak, I volunteered to be responsible for the cake.

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with our Filipino teacher who happened to be our 3rd year HS adviser

Maybe I can only count off on my fingers friends whose principles in life still mirror mine one way or another. My sentiments are redundant but what can I do, I'm still trying hard to find the point where I can meet in the middle with people whom I wish I can still associate with. It's difficult to let go of certain relationships inwhich thousands of shared memories are invested especially when there hasn't been any strong reason for a fall out. Then again I guess it's part of growing up. As we grow older, we change. And as we change, we become different persons who expect different things and can no longer find the point of compromise.

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Because I don't have my own car yet, I've no choice but to take the cab every single day. Thank God for the existence of companies like GrabTaxi and Uber whose services lessen my fear of commuting. When this pink car arrived in front of our door, I was so shocked and excited that I called for someone to take a photo of me with it. It's too cute, right?

23 May 2015

Paradoxical Paradise

We celebrated my brother's birthday last 9 May to 10 May in what I'd probably describe as among the best resorts we've ever stayed in and the worst food we've ever tasted. Our over night trip was eventful that it probably will always be included in our Top Ten list of both the best and the worst. I've noticed that I rarely talk about the places we go to enough that I'll be helpful to others who'd want to try them as well. So I'll attempt to write reviews about the resorts and hotels we visit as a family starting now. You'll see them all under the tag REVIEW. For my brother's birthday celebration, Mommy booked us in Cintai Corito's Garden

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Top: Bershka | Shorts: Topshop | Shoes: Old Navy | Bag: Kipling | Sunglasses: Oakley | Turban: Flatterbuy

Bear in mind that although I'm usually a scatterbrain, I tend to have a one-track mind sometimes. Resorts, hotels, and restaurants are either a hit or miss for me depending on the reason we've chosen the particular place. Cintai Corito's is perfect for those who want to have a relaxing weekend. The kind where there is a spa, a comfortable TV room, and lots of pools to swim in which are all complemented by the abundance of picture-perfect corners. There are plenty of roaming animals as well including peacocks (or were they peahens?) and donkeys.

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When staying in a resort, we assign high importance to the comfortability of the room. This includes beds that have thick mattresses, space that won't feel suffocating, bathroom that screams cleanliness, and most importantly airconditioning that works well. It's a big letdown when the place is beautiful but the room feels cramped with outdated amenities. Corito's has well-decorated villas that use real wood in all the furniture and tasteful showers and sinks. Each villa is spacious enough to accommodate the 12 of us but because no one feels comfortable in sleeping on extra beddings laid on the floor, we stayed in two adjacent villas where there are 3 king sized beds in each. Despite the summer heat, their airconditioning is in perfect condition. See, almost everything about the resort is perfect. Almost, but like everywhere else, not quite.

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Everything was going smoothly (save for the food but more on this later) throughout the night especially since 10 of us availed of the spa services then concluded with the usual alcoholic beverages. To those who'd want to bring in food and drinks, note that Corito's charges corkage fees. Around 1 in the morning, the resort suffered from power failure. The electricity went on and off for an hour that by then, majority of us were awaken. The aircon in our room completely failed that my brother Gian, Nanay, cousin Rayne, and I transferred to the other room. The front office wasn't answering any of our calls. We were already resigned to sleeping on the blankets laid out on the floor until even worse things happened. The aircon in the other villa was still working but it was barely blowing out cool breeze. In this entire ordeal, the front office can't be reached. The thing is, when someone is willing to pay as much, she deserves to receive full attention. We'd probably understand the situation had the power failure affected all villas but for reasons I can't understand, only our two villas were gravely troubled, or if it was not a resort boasting of its little touch of luxury.

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Now, on to the food. We're a family who's constantly trying new restaurants and new buffets in hotels and stand-alone alike that somehow, I'd like to believe that we can form sound opinions on food. Cintai Corito's buffet dinner and buffet breakfast are among the worst selection we've ever tried in terms of choices and tastes. I do not know how to cook. I can barely hold a ladle without creating a mess but I can at least identify a good tasting meal from a substandard option. The resort is filled with eye-catching wonders. It seems that the management exhausted all of its ideas on the facade and skipped on brainstorming about the food to be served. We've tried other resorts that have not so spectacular meals (Las Casas in Bataan, for example) but the latter at least serves meals that are pleasing to the eyes and are visually at par with the beauty of the place.

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To appease my Mom's anger, the owner himself approached her while we were having breakfast the following morning and explained what happened. He didn't charge us half of the dinner buffet fee (It's ludicrous to pay for P500 per person for a substandard meal. I suggest finding restaurants outside the resort. No kidding. I'm pretty much a spendthrift but I make sure I'm paying for something that's worth it.) and also didn't let us pay for half of the massage fee. We were given one villa to transfer to the night before (around 3AM) and a voucher which is good for an overnight trip for 4. Were they enough to compensate for a troublesome evening that left majority of us tired the following day? Maybe, maybe not. The bottom line is, we were willing to pay the rates they've demanded because it's the price of the comfort and exclusivity we wanted. I don't think they can ever give anything that can compensate for robbing us of what we ultimately paid for.

All these hassles aside, Cintai Corito's Garden is still among the list of relaxing resorts we've been to. All of its corners are worthy of taking pictures of. My Mom gave the voucher to my Tita and her family but who knows. Maybe in a few months I can convince her to go back. See, this is why we seldom accept invites from friends and relatives. We're very demanding. Then again, we are only demanding when we've paid the price to be demanding. Hahahaha :)
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