Snippet of a Conversation with My Mama

>> Wednesday, May 26, 2010

*2AM, Manila time*

Mama: Why did you call nga?
Me
: I told you, I can't sleep.
Mama
: There’s something you need to tell me, no?
Me
: (la di da for two hours)…
Me: Kasi Mama, there’s this guy, okay?
Mama
: Hmm, told you.
Me
: I really like him. But I don’t know if he likes me.
Mama
: Why's that?
Me
: He told me he really likes me. And I was shocked beyond belief and told him I thought it was nothing.
Mama
: Did you actually think there'd be fireworks?
Me
: Nope, I really, honestly thought it wasn't anything more than I don't know? Friendship?
Mama
: You didn’t expect him to stay around asking you on dates for two years now just for nothing, did you?
Me
: Isn't there supposed to be something else? Like a candle-lit dinner with an orchestra, theatrics of some sort? Crying? Getting down on one knee? Flowers?
Mama: Anak, hindi ka na high school.

My Mama.
FTW.

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How to Apply for a Mexican Visa

>> Tuesday, May 25, 2010

When I posted my schedule for June in GT, I got a few queries on how to apply for a Mexican Visa. After all, not many people really go there, at least in this side of the world. We are, after all, a tropical country with the most beautiful beaches compared worldwide, there is not much reason to go to Mexico for they have about the same.

As for me, and as I have said over and over, Mexico has been in my parents' to-go-to list for 2010 (together with Aruba) and for Mexico, they wanted me to join. Oh and of course, it's because they miss me! :) Add to that lemming to see the Chichen Itza, Frida Kahlo's museum and beautiful Latinos and Latinas!


So here are the steps I followed in obtaining my Mexican Visa:

1. Identify where you want to pass through going to Mexico. It used to be that flights can only be through US. Today, you can now pass through Japan but make sure your layover is less than 24 hours so you do not need a transit visa.


2. Check the Embajada de Mexico's Visa Page for Philippine citizen requirements. Make sure you have everything before proceeding in the embassy:


LIST OF REQUIREMENTS FOR FILIPINO CITIZENS TO APPLY FOR A TOURIST VISA TO ENTER MEXICO
  • Duly filled up Application Form. (Available from the Embassy or downloadable from the website: visa forms). For minors, both parents must sign the application form.
  • Passport (with validity of at least six months). Photocopies of the passport.
GREEN PASSPORT: One photocopy of the page of the passport with picture of passport holder, and of the last page where the signature of the Officer of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Embassy or Consulate of the Republic of the Philippines appears.
MAROON PASSPORT: One photocopy of the page of the passport with picture of passport holder and last page where the signature of the passport holder appears (if any).
  • 2 pictures (1.5” x 1.5” (inch in size). WHITE BACKGROUND
  • A photocopy of the U.S, Canadian, U.K., Japan, or Shengen Visa (if any) is required depending on the route of the trip.
  • One Valid Identification card original and photocopy (photocopy the front and back side of the card) Please present any of the following:
    • Driver’s License
    • SSS / GSIS ID card
    • Company ID
    • Valid Student ID
  • Financial solvency. Provide All of the following (original and photocopy):
    • Valid International Credit Card (photocopy the backside of the card where signature can be found)
    • Paid Credit Card Statements/Billing statements of credit card (for the last 3 months)
    • Updated bank Statements / Certifications
    • Updated Passbooks/ Bank Books (front page & page with last updated amount
    • Income Tax Return Paper (if employed); Business ownership certifications, duly registered by the Securites and Exchange Commission (SEC). (if self-employed)
    • Business Ownership Certifications, duly registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) (if self-employed).
      • For Married Couples applying for the visa, separate set of documentation is required. Please provide the Marriage Contract upon application.
      • For Parents and Children applying together for the visa, please present the Birth Certificate/s of the children. Both parents must sign the application form of the child.
  • Certification of Employment (original).
  • Personal Appearance
3. When you do have these on hand, head over to the embassy's office in 150 Legaspi St. GC Corporate Plaza, Makati. Make sure you come in early as they only entertain 20 applicants a day and it's surprising how many people are there and applying.

4. You will be talking to the consul so don't panic. Be charming and don't show your annoyance in being asked to apply for a visa for being in a third-world country (oops, I think the politically-correct term is "developing country"). Truth be told, it can really be frustrating but that's another story. Anyway, during the course of your conversation, don't even attempt to lie because consuls know a lot, they even know which countries you've already applied for visas, what your real civil status is, if you've got family somewhere else in the world and info like that. Plus, they have spent an incredible number of years in each of the countries they become consuls in so they almost know us Filipinos. As for me, I ended up talking a lot with the consul. He was easy to talk to and we chatted about which places to visit, which restaurants to eat at and how to convince my brother to come to Mexico. Hehe.

5. Have everything you need on hand. In my case, I had my bank statements, credit card bills, pretty much the evidence I had reasons to come back and proof I could fund my own trip. I also brought along my parents' (who are the sponsors of my trip) ITRs, bank accounts etc. for good measure.

6. Pay, only if your visa gets approved. And the cost is just Php 1,700.++. Not bad, yeah?
You would know if you were approved or not straight after the interview. I was a special case, it took me about two weeks as I was the only one coming from Manila (my brother was supposed to come from the US then) so it was a weird set up. It was supposed to be given to me a week after but the time I was supposed to go back, I was stuck in a lot of domestic trips, the process became two weeks. Pick up time for the visas is about 3-4 business days after your interview, 3:00 - 4:00 PM only.

So those are pretty much the steps on how to get a visa. As always, getting approved for one is always subject to the consul's decision, if you've presented your proof well enough so don't forget what they posted on the website and of course, as always, to put on a smile when going to your interview. Good luck!


Bear hugs and bunny kisses,
Teeyah

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Some Really Cool Things to Do in Bacolod

>> Monday, May 24, 2010

I couldn't write so much on my recent travels. After all, for every five days I spend in each of these provinces, I only get about five hours maximum to do touristy things. I am still extremely grateful though --- just being able to have my feet touch the ground of Philippines beautiful places is a blessing not everyone has.

So let me tell you about some places I've been to last time I was displaced out of Manila, when I spent five days in the land of sugarcane and chicken inasal ---- Bacolod.

1. Have the bestest desserts at Calea. I am a dessert person, after being a breakfast person so it was no surprise that the first thing I asked when we arrived (and had a lunch of chicken inasal drizzled with chicken oil) is where to have dessert. Calea boasts of rich cakes, the yummiest tiramisu, creampuffs with the right sweetness and sans rival minus the toothache and lovely capuccinos in little fragile cups.

Just because it deserves to be reposted.

Food porn. And so bad for my diet but who cares?

2. Drop by the Ledesma Ruins. It's quite amazing, the number of old houses and museums they have in Bacolod. My friend R has been able to go through most of them (did you know they have a Happy Meal Museum?) but this is one of the two I was able to see due to time constraints. It's super lovely though, most especially the story behind it. According to the caretaker, the mansion was owned by the azucarera Ledesma clan back in the late 1800s. As it was kinda crazy at that time, someone was forced to just set it on fire to prevent the Japanese from occupying it. Why it remained like how it is now? The cement used to built it was laced with egg whites (surprisingly) and it's still standing now. Filipinos are such bright creatures, yeah?




3. Ogle the Bacolod Silay Airport. I've been to a lot of airports in the Philippines (NAIA 1,2, and 3), Caticlan, Kalibo, Mactan, Naga, Tagbilaran, CDO, General Santos, Davao and Clark but nothing compares to the new Bacolod Silay Airport. Okay, maybe it's still not comparable to NAIA Terminal 3 but I really liked how everything inside was orderly, they had digital destination boards, for goodness' sakes! And they had pretty, clean escalators. I was in awe and felt like I was in some other Asian country. Oh and it helps that when landing in Bacolod, all you see are lots of greeneries as opposed to bare and barren land at some.


4. Best. Chicken. Inasal. Ever. I was never a fan of chicken inasal simply because when the craze about it started here in Manila, I found that it was just well, plain, salty chicken with nothing spectacular in it. We arrived in Bacolod around 10 AM and while I was still very full from my breakfast from Delifrance in NAIA 2, we chose to have chicken inasal from Chicken House and boy, was it the best lunch I had in weeks. What amazes me actually is how there were no theatrics in the presentation --- only honest-to-goodness chicken, marinated in God knows what, doses of awesome, probably. I could sing songs about it right now but then again, that won't be necessary.

5. Trek the Mambukal Resort. I can't believe I'm actually including this in the list as I originally, just like how I felt for the CDO Rapids, discouraged the trip going to it. If you've been reading my wanderlust blog posts, I never plan a trip or join one because of "nature" purposes. I like lounging around, walking around cities and getting baked in the beach. Going up the mountains was never my cup of tea. My colleagues were smart enough to predict I was going to enjoy it at the very end. And enjoy, I did.

During the 1 hour ride to Mambucal from L'Fisher Hotel

The tour guide told us "Patag po ma'am." There we are, climbing up
in flip flops and totally unprepared.

Trying to look decent while sweating. Me at the 1 of 7 Waterfalls.

My "Uy, ayaw pa daw kunwari" photo at the Hanging Bridge.

Making the Gleek sign at the highest point of Mambukal. I made it!

There you go. Those things are my recommendations if you ever find yourself in the lovely and sweet city of Bacolod. 

How is your Monday so far? Mine is surprisingly happy after bouts of boredom and restlessness. But anyway, those may just be my hormones or IDK, Quarter Life Crisis LOL.


Bear hugs and bunny kisses,
Teeyah

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Are You a Zoo York Fan?

>> Sunday, May 23, 2010

If you're a fan of clothing line Zoo York, now is your chance to own a Zoo York Skateboard Key Ring, for every footwear and apparel purchase!

It seems like skateboarding is becoming more and more prominent in the country, but do you know where we can find the truest sense of skate in the metro? Only in Zoo York! FACT: Started in the 70’s in NYC, Zoo York began as a collective of artists, skaters and visionaries dedicated to the underground life in New York. It is a true skate shoe brand with great crossover appeal to the music and NYC scene. Evolving from NYC's "Soul Artists of Zoo York," Zoo York is TRUE skate footwear - UNBREAKABLE in all contexts.

In line with this, Zoo York has a great offering to the public. Get a free skateboard keyring for every regular purchase of footwear and apparel from May 21-June 30, 2010.


Bear hugs and bunny kisses,
Teeyah

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Review: Human Heart Nature Moisturizing Shampoo

Ah, hair.

If you know me in person, you would know I'm hardly a hair-girl. The very reason why I've stuck with my permed hair is because I am not required to comb through it all day (as opposed to having to when I had stick-straight hair). All I ever have to do is wash it, condition it and fluff the top bit so it doesn't look like a bird's nest. All through out the day, I can survive with it on its own, in a pony tail, and sometimes, a small hair clip pinned at the bottom of a bun I've gathered together. I never had to deal with flyaways anymore. Heaven!

But getting regular perms (and color jobs, too) can be quite damaging to the hair. Back in the days when I had my luscious black straight hair, I didn't have any problems with hair fall. My hair was thick and healthy and I never had split ends. Up to this day, I never get split ends but my hair fall skyrocketed! Every morning, I see light brown hair in the drain of my shower, and some on my bedspread and some on my study table. It can get frustrating picking them up with scotch tape (a method I learned from my friend M) but still, I don't want to be picking up hair till before I'm dead!

I've tried a number of shampoos, from baby shampoo to Ivory (which they phased out here in Manila, too bad) and none of them really solved the problem of hair fall.

Until I tried Human Nature Heart's Moisturizing Shampoo in Aloe Vera, Egg White and Guava. I wasn't interested to use the shampoo to lessen hair fall, actually. I was browsing through The Island Berry, looking for the HHN Toner when I saw it and since I thought that L'oreal Elseve Shampoo (the one I'd been using that time was too strong), I thought I'd maybe give it a try. And I'm glad I did!

 Photo from TIB

What Human Heart Nature says:

Breathe new life back into your parched, sun-damaged or chemically-treated hair with our enriching and deeply moisturizing hair elixir! Choose from tropical GUAVA scent for normal finish or citrus MANDARIN scent and EXTRA VIRGIN COCONUT OIL for silky, smooth hair.
Like the HHN toner, I first tried this elixir in a bottle when I was in Bacolod. I was pleasantly surprised that, unlike other shampoos (as the BFF said), this bubbled up easily.  Shampooing my hair with this was as pleasant as it have been with my former bath buddies (my favorite shampoo of all time is Clairol's lavender shampoo, albeit does nothing to hair fall woes.)

What I Loved About it:
  • Moisturizing. When it said that it was a moisturizing, it completely lived off its promise! On days I forget to condition, I usually get stuck with dry hair. When it happened with HHN's shampoo, my hair stayed in its normally soft state. Unbelievable!
  • Goodbye, hairfall! This post would not exist if my hair fall problems were not answered albeit surprisingly. I never really bother reviewing shampoos (and other hair products) as much as I usually choose shampoos on the basis of moisture and SCENT (hence, the topmost being Clairol). But just like how I raved in the above-paragraphs, my hair fall significantly decreased. If say, I have 20 hairs falling a day before, it's now one to two strands. Even more unbelievable, I know.
  • All Natural. Aloe Vera. Egg White (IKR??) and Guava. Need I say more?
  • Reasonably-priced. Much like everything else in the HHN boudoir, this product is super affordable at Php 109.75/200 mL. It used to be that all-natural shampoos cost so much (which doesn't make sense at all as there are no processes!) but I'm glad HHN's shampoo is super inexpensive and it actually works.
  • Locally available. I buy my HHN stuff from blogger friend Phoebe but Human Heart Nature has stores nation-wide, too. And of course, you can buy online!
 What I Don't Like About It:
  • The packaging. It's not enticing to look at, at all. If one was to base shampoo preferences on appearances alone, this would be at the bottom rung but hey, no one really does that, right? So I will hope that HHN eventually redesign their stickers. Maybe.
  • The scent. Unlike the HHN Toner, the scent wasn't yucky at all. However, unlike most shampoos, the scent doesn't linger, not even for 5 minutes. It's great though that my conditioner (St. Ives' Raspberry) makes my hair smell yummy!
Would I buy this again? Hell yeah! Just a quick tidbit: The first day I noticed I had lesser hairfall was my fourth day in Bacolod. I was raving about it when my two male colleagues walked in and they heard about it. The first day we were back in Manila, they made me order HHN products for them and now they're all enjoying lesser hairfall, too!

What about you? What do you do about hair fall problems?
Tell me about it!

On another note, it's Sunday once again and soon it'll be Monday again! Ah, resting up and lounging around the house is so therapeutic. Manila is still in such gross weather, I'd be staying in till it eases up. I hope you girls are having fun times!

Bear hugs and bunny kisses,
Teeyah

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Mindy TV's Cougar Town DVD Giveaway

>> Saturday, May 22, 2010

Have I told you how much I love Cougar Town? I don't think so.

I love TV. More importantly, US TV. When I sort of dated this guy a few months back, I realized that one of the dealbreakers for me when it comes to dating is not knowing and not liking US TV shows. He reasoned out that US shows are all fluff and no substance. I reasoned out that there's nothing more entertaining and inspiration than a wide range of shows, including Lost, NCIS, CSI, House, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother and Chuck, and intriguing and interesting than my roster of high-entertainment value shows like Glee and Gossip Girl. He said he'd rather watch not watch anything. What a waste of European looks.



My latest discovery (and addiction!) is Cougar Town, starring Courteney Cox (the original cougar, IMO), Christa Miller, and Busy Philipps. It chronicles the life of Jules Cobb, real estate agent, mother and divorcee extraordinaire. It shows her misadventures as she reenters the dating scene, albeit weirdly, in the presence of her not-so-estranged ex-husband. Busy Philipps play her notoriously flirty subordinate and together with Ellie (Miller), they traverse the path of cougardom with Jules. Oh and her neighbor, divorcee Grayson is super hot, too!

Have I told you I love the word "cougar?" In my opinion, it's the one word in the modern English dictionary that is actually better than its male counterpart, the DOM. Older women preying on younger men are called cougars. Older men preying on younger women are simply Dirty Old Men. I love it!

If you're like me who loves this series, hop on over to Mindy's blog and join the giveaway! Don't forget to subscribe, too. She's one hell of a great writer, I've been reading her blog even before I started mine.

Goodluck!

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Be an Advocate and Share to your Friends and Win a Trip for 2 to Boracay

The most recent three months of my life has been a whirlwind --- flying to and fro Philippine provinces, hoisting up booths, talking to financial advisors, hosting press conferences and a myriad of other jobs. Lately, I haven't had the time to think how much impact our financial advocacy has been making -- until recently, when we were bombarded by positivity from people who are grateful in finding out what kinds of things they can do to make their hard-earned money work for them. Just recently, in one of our talks with an Iloilo media person, we learned that when we gave out a Personal Accident insurance card last year, one of their colleagues, unfortunately died. His family however, benefited from the coverage of the card and the money was able to send his kid to school. It's a morbid example, I know, and the thought still makes me shiver and sad. But knowing that our company had been able to save a family from being in debt after the loss of a loved one made it feel like, we are after all in a noble job.

As the digital marketing girl for the company I work for, I felt the need to reward people, the advocates for all their support, the support and endorsement we've been getting. One of the things I've been working on since April was this contest, It's Time! to Tell a Friend and Win a Trip for 2 to Boracay.


The mechanics are fairly easy: Register yourself as an advocate, share to friends and voila! You get a chance to win a 3D2N stay at Boracay Regency Lagoon, airplane fare including transfers and taxes.

For the complete terms and conditions, click here.

I'm really hoping you would join. After all, my dear readers have been extremely supportive in my previous It's Time! posts. I'm crossing my fingers one of you would win! Goodluck!

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Review: Human Heart Nature Toner

>> Thursday, May 20, 2010

Photo from The Island Berry


I first heard of Human Heart Nature's Tomato and Lemongrass Toner over margaritas at Agave. My friend's friend, A, was being asked why he was glowing. Of course, the expected answer was probably a) a new love b) a boy toy c) a promotion but none of those things was what he answered. He got his black Prada bag and pulled out a bottle of HHN's Tomato and Lemongrass Toner. It totally was like a shampoo commercial (reminiscent of Rejoice's rebond ad), except that it was about the toner.

L-R: HHN Tomato and Lemongrass Facial Wash, HHN Aloe Vera, Egg White and
Guava Shampoo and HHN T and L Toner

The next encounter was when I read how fellow beauty blogger, Caby, raved about this wonder in a bottle. When she said she was already in her second bottle, I knew it wasn't something that was so-so, so I of course opted to buy one as I had ran out of my L'oreal toner.

Incidentally, another beauty blogger, Phoebe, turned her love for organics into a business, and thus was selling HHN products over at The Island Berry. Since I was heading to Bacolod the next day, I opted to ask my reliable artist/web designer/programmer R to get the products for me from Phoebe as they are neighbors! Small world, no?

It's funny but I did bring all my HHN arsenal to Bacolod (without backup, I must say). If it bombed and failed to work, I would've had to buy L'oreal stuff at the nearest Watson's store. However, since I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, looks like there's no need for me to do just that.

What Human Heart Nature says:

"When alcohol-based toners sting your face, they are actually drying out your skin which leads to premature aging! Now you can remove stubborn grime without the aging side effect. Gentle, nourishing and re-mineralizing, tomatoes are packed with vitamin C that penetrates skin to remove dead skin cells and unclog blocked pores, meanwhile Lemongrass is anti-bacterial and helps soak up oil. The mandarin scent will revitalize your nostrils too!"


What I Love about it:

  • My breakouts have significantly gone lesser. With all the traveling I've been doing, my skin has been reacting quite insanely (must be not too keen with the fresh air, haha). I've been having irregular sleeping patterns, too, with all the work I've been putting the last quarter so that's a factor as well. And well, stress, leading to more smoking, one too many drinks and junk-food-bingeing have all contributed to the chaos that is my face. It was about three days when I noticed that my zits have gone away!
  • Significantly smaller pores. The most important thing a toner should do is make pores smaller when facial washes get them opened when scrubbed. HHN's toner does that for me, although to my ex-toner's defense, it did that, too! :)
  • No sting at all. This is the first organic toner I've tried and it's refreshing how you can just feel there's no alcohol in it.
  • Organic. Need I say more?
  • The tomatoes. I don't eat tomatoes and I don't plan to anytime so my toner having tomatoes (or rather extracts of it) in it is my way of making sure my skin gets natural supplements.
  • Proudly Filipino. HHN is owned by the Meloto sisters. Go, Pinay!
  • Reasonably-priced. 100 mL of this toner is only Php 99.75. That's bang for the buck for you!
What I Don't Like About it:

  • The Scent. Although I'm pretty much used to it now, I had to hold back breathing while I used this product for about five days into usage. I really couldn't take it. It kinda grew on me afterwards and I don't mind it anymore.
  • Nothing!

I'm sticking to this toner (the third I ever tried in my entire life, the first one being Neutrogena and the second one L'oreal) and hope that they never phase this out. After all, I really am a happy customer with all the improvements in my skin. I really could feel how the tomatoes are doing wonders for me.

Human Heart Nature's Tomato and Lemongrass Toner is available through:

http://humanheartnature.com/

and

http://theislandberry.multiply.com/


What about you, tried any good toners lately?

Bear hugs and bunny kisses,
Teeyah

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Things I Love Sundays

>> Sunday, May 16, 2010


It feels like good karma. To expatriate, or not?
Gold Schlager. Waking up at noon.
Comebacks. Cuddles. The perfect cologne.

Calea Creampuffs. The best creampuffs in the side of Visayas.
Ruins and feeling like an old world citizen.

The Ledesma Mansion Ruins, Bacolod


This Swedish proverb.

The Flys' Got You Where I Want You
Sexiest song ever made.

But Sister Hazel's All For You spells what I am going through right now.


<3

And my new Moleskine Watercolour, a prize I won from Anna of Daily Optimystique:

I cannot wait to immortalize these thoughts that are running through my head.

What's keeping you happy in this gross weather?
Tell me all about it.



Bear hugs and bunny kisses,
Teeyah

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I Think, Therefore I am For Gibo.

>> Monday, May 10, 2010

I admit it --- I used to be for Manny Villar. Yes, the same Manny Villar who floods the airwaves with catchy campaign jingles and creative ads. The same Manny who's been the congressman of my hometown Las Pinas, where I grew up.

I still believe Manny Villar is a good candidate, despite the billions he's spent on TV ads and media buying. I think he has done an incredible job in Las Pinas, and as a senator, prior to running. But I've seen, too, how it went against him, thus turning off the whole of the country. In my book, I want someone who may not reek off with too many positive things, but I want my president to NOT reek of negative things. I want my president to not thrive in negativity and destruct the other camp. I want my president to have balls --- to decide for 90M Filipino people. I want my president someone who can unite this country.

It took me a long while to decide who to root for. After all, this has been the most exciting elections yet --- with a lot (or not?) of choices. But then it dawned on me. This is the man who has shown positivity and goodwill and kindness throughout his campaign. He may have a thing going against him --- he was from the GMA Administration ---- most unpopular administration ever --- but I think that is something that's far minor than any of the other candidates' competencies.

All throughout the period of election campaigns, I did not regret not being able to register again (my status says it's deactivated, damn it) until now. Until I've figured who Mr. Right (for President) is and how much I am supporting him.

The least I can do is pray --- for the thinking class of the Philippines to prevail and for this elections to be safe.

God bless the Philippines.

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Lessons I've Learned from my Mother

>> Sunday, May 9, 2010

I used to dream of moving out of my home, to be more apt, I thought of this the most during the earlier years of my university days. I usually had a lot of fights with my mother because I always got home super late and I was dating a guy whom she did not approve of.

A few years later, having remarried again, my mother asked if we wanted to migrate in the US. Having been a rebel in my teenage years, I chose to stay behind in the Philippines and let my mother enjoy a life of companionship with my stepfather. After all, it meant a lot of "gimmick nights" (I don't know if teenagers still use this term though, it might be something new already), out of town escapades with my then-boyfriend and independent days without any restriction on what I can and cannot do. There were no more chores to do and no more checkin on what time I came home.

 The last trip I've taken with my mama and stepfather was in Donsol.
L-R: My brother, Mama, me and Kazee (almost my sister!)

Looking back at those nearly ten years that I've been living away from my mother, I realized there were a lot of changes that surfaced. For one, I did not waste any more time in trying to form alibis of where I've been the past night of who I was with. In a way, I have gained her trust, too. Often, she would tell me, "Malaki ka na, anak." (You're a grown-up already.)

Most times, I revel in the freedom, of learning things I had to because quite frankly, no one else could do it for me. When my friends complain of having strict parents (moms to be exact), I felt like my times with such experiences were a distant dream. I always tell anyone that it will be entirely different not having your mom around, even if she was just 18 hours away. When everyone else had their mothers beside them during trips to the emergency room for gastritis (or whatever illness), I had my then-boyfriend who was even more panicked than I was --- and that made me cry wail like a banshee. When everyone else had their mothers to come with them to shopping trips or sessions at the spa, I only had girlfriends (who are saviors, btw) but to my point, it really is different having your mom at an arm's distance.

Truthfully, in so many ways, my and my mother's relationship have flourished over the years. Whereas before, I only told her highlights of my day up to a certain level (never the super secret ones!), now, I tell her every single thing, well 90% of the details of my life, albeit through Skype or YM. Sometimes, when I cannot help it and in nowhere near a laptop, I call her on my mobile and the moment she answers with a sleepy "Hello, do you know what time it is here?," I realize we are on opposite timezones. It's true how they say you will only realize how valuable a relationship is when you're far away from it.

So thank you, Mama, for despite the distance, you've never failed to remind me to stay humble and grounded. To always pray and thank the Lord for all the good things that have come to my life. To never burn bridges (does it apply to dating? I hope not.) and treat everyone with utmost kindness. For sending me all the coolest links ever because I always remind you of so many things. For still shopping for things you know I will love (books, makeup, clothes, luggage and cute knick knacks). For teaching me how to cook over Skype. For telling me that bad boys will always be bad boys. For letting me go out on my own and trusting me fully. For being the sounding board of my mundane worries like "Should I go to this date or this other date?" "What outfit should I wear for this occasion?" For giving sound advice to my friends when they are confronted with breakup issues and how to win the trust of their parents. For giving me liberty with your credit card and trusting that I will never go overboard with it. For making my friends laugh and wish you were their mom. For always making me talk positive and praying for the things I really, really want. For being the coolest mother ever for giving me dating tips [i.e. "Anak, sometimes, you're just playing too hard to get. Ease up a little."] For helping me find a job when I hated the one I had years ago. For marrying a man who became a great father to me and my brother. For being the person I am most eternally grateful for.

I think I already have my lesson and sooner or later the gap will be fixed. But for now, my mother and I are having a temporary solution and that is me flying out to the South America to meet her and spend more than a week with her. Damn, I'm excited!

Happy Mothers' Day, Mama.
Can't wait to see you.

Tara

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The Promod Styling Challenge: We Won!

>> Thursday, May 6, 2010

I've had one of, if not the most exhilarating moments of my life as a fashion enthusiast --- winning the Promod Styling Challenge last April 29th. Of course, I do not take credit for all of it. Entries were judged according to the physical entry (mannequins dressed up head-to-toe in Promod garb) and the blogger/entrant's blog post about the entries (basically the rationale of why it was styled as such). I owe the shopping spree I had to my partner Shen Gee, who put words into the whims of our styling choices, rationalized that innate tugging at our my heart to include the sequined messenger bag with "Carrie," pore over which celebrities we thought of the afternoon night we tirelessly ran all over the Megamall branch of Promod searching for items we were including in our ensembles and took photos of the ensembles from all angles.


 I love the bicycle detail. Good job, Char and Pam!

Shen's and my winning ensemble

The winning write up about this ensemble by Shen Gee:
Who can't wait for the next installment of Sex and The City Movie and who didn't love her at the last season where she spent it in Paris? Promod had a lot of ready-to-wear that says Carrie Brandshaw. This is but one item we thought that is so, well, Carrie!

Gone are the days that women needed chaperon where ever they go. Now, all women aspire to go where ever they please, travel the globe with friends to see the sights that awaits them. Tara, having traveled to many places while I dream of doing so, created an outfit that will suit the travel-savvy in all of us.

The jumpsuit made soft denim fabric is lightweight that allows for a comfortable journey. White tank top to give that sense of calm for a weary voyage ahead. Multi-colored gladiator sandals to keep up from all the walking one does when seeing another place. We thought Carrie wouldn't be caught dead in flats but we Pinay still yearns for comfort when traveling.

With scarf for a belt that could be converted into a shawl for cold summer nights. Who would forget the oversize glasses to protect our eyes from the harsh rays of the sun. Nobody wants a squinter in the photos, do we? The necklaces completes this emsembles, both seemingly inspired by my African precious stones and Indian feathers. A great accent when traveling.

Oh! Let us not forget the gray oversize body bag for all the things one wishes to collect when travelling. We not only reduce the need for plastic bag but it can accomodate all the travel essential one needs.

We were hoping the mannequins have heads for the outfit would surely go the next level when a soft white and gold scarf we saw at Promod would look so good as a head-wrap, Carrie Bradshaw style.

 Bianca Consunji's winning entry beside ours

More than winning, I, without bullshit, admit that the joy I got was mostly from the day we had styling the mannequins (we were at the store at 2 PM and ended up at 8 PM). We were that fickle. Plus, we hung out at the store so long that we were still there when the other stylist/bloggers arrived and started mixing and matching their ensembles. It definitely was the highlight of the event.

Bloggers, unite!
Photo Credit: Azrael Coladilla
 [damn it, I wasn't able to change so I look like a corporate person out of place in this photo. Ack!]
 My partner in style and myself

And because we won 12,000 GCs from Promod, we immediately went to the store
for what else? SHOPPING! Here's what I bought:

Blue gray pumps in Size 37 [Php 2,695]

The Stepford Wife Dress [I just like calling it that]
Php 2,695

Love and Kisses from Morocco Top [Yes, I just coined that name, too]
Php 1,295

Candy Raindrops Necklace Php 695


Really though, despite all these items we've shopped, the best things for me was having lots of laughs and girl talk with the bloggers of the Philippine Blogosphere: Shen (my partner and Little Miss Sunshine as ever), Nikki, Shanna, Lace, Joe, Tessa, Bambi, Lauren, Alex, Earth (who displayed such uncanny support!) and Az, too! 



Video by Caroline and Nicolai

Special thanks to Char Vilchez of Stratworks, Pam Sison and Janelle of Promod. Oh and I almost forgot Kuya Mark who helped us tirelessly load the clothes into the heavy mannequins!

To you my dear readers who wished us luck, thank you from the bottom of my heart!

I'm sorry I haven't been updating as much. Work has gone crazier (good kind of crazy) and right now, I'm in the City of Smiles and Sugarcane, Bacolod for our financial literacy advocacy. I hope you girls are having a great time as I am!

Bear hugs and bunny kisses,
Teeyah


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