Back from the Boonies

>> Friday, February 25, 2011

It feels so good to be useful again. :D

For five days, or what seemed to be like an eternity, I had been confined at the hospital nearest to my home. I haven't been strapped into a metal bed for the longest time {the last being a 4 hour stint at Asian Hospital's ER for gastroenteritis} some four years ago. I wailed like a banshee because I had no one with me and my companion did not know what to do.

Oh well.

I had some minor infections, which were rather not so minor, given the fact I had to stay at the hospital for five days. My aunt knocked at my door and gasped when she saw my swollen right cheek and ordered me to immediately come with her to the hospital.

To cut a rather long story short, I had been on IV for four days and this time, the antibiotics jammed through my veins every 8 hours were the reasons for my tears. Add to that were the &8#()$*! painful skin tests which nurses un-mercifully jabbed through the skin below my elbow, I was praying that my life ended right there and then.



Drama queen hits aside, I was probably the happiest patient in the entire wing {or hospital for that matter, according to my nurses}. Despite complaining of boredom {I simply had no energy to read the books I asked Manang to bring and instead found myself perusing pages and pages of Sweet Valley High, which were like fluff on a lazy afternoon}, I was happy to have finally used the excuse to rest. There simply hasn't been enough weekends for me to recuperate from all the things I have been working on, plus all my extra curriculars and all the things that's going in on my head. It was a much needed break --- albeit an expensive one.

Which brings me to my next point: insurance. I've never had to use any form of insurance until this and if that was the peace of mind that you get from things you insure like health, car, house, business, errr, body parts, then I would gladly insure whatever I can.

True, I am in the insurance industry {albeit none of this kind} and true, I am employed by a company that provides ample healthcare benefits but for this particular incident, I whipped out my personal HMO card {a plan my mother got for us before she left for the US} for some reason. I did help with some of the payments and have taken care of the paperwork on my own. It felt good to see where your payments have been going to all these years and to somewhat use them. And it felt good not to hear an invisible cash register every time check out time passes and you're still in your hospital bed and being injected with a ton of sticky antibiotics.

On another note, I feel loved! Granted, I was on my full on drama queen mode {ask my mother} during the first days at the hospital, having no immediate family with me and feeling ugly but the feeling was easily dispelled as well wishers, desserts, friends, flowers, desserts, books, magazines, desserts came trickling in. I wouldn't want to be confined anytime soon but it sure was a nice exercise to make yourself feel loved {just sayin!}

 Thanks, T!

All in all, it was a necessary exercise, methinks. I have been ignoring all my body's signs that I needed to rest and so it just had to grab me by the shoulders and plonk me down a metal bed. And it was nice being able to catch up on all those TV shows, too!


Wow, I am not making sense. Sensible posts coming up this week, I promise!


Have you been listening to what your body has been telling you?

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I Finally Did It!

>> Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Have my eyebrows colored, that is.

My friend T has been telling me to have my eyebrows colored/bleached for the longeeeeesssst time. And when I say long, that would be roughly two years now.

I don't understand why I've put it off for so long, too. I mean, it made perfect sense: I constantly had light brown hair that I refuse to dye back to black. And brown eyebrows were the perfect match to light brown hair.

I had my hair retouched this week. After all, I'm sporting almost half a head of black hair and looking at myself made me cringe already.

Then my hairstylist asked me, "Ma'am do you want me to bleach your eyebrows? Hindi ko ma-take eh." I laughed for a good minute and agreed.

The process was pretty much the same as how it is with your normal hair, even the same length of time, however with a different washing procedure {of course, my brows weren't shampooed}.

I came home and did not bother looking at it until the next day that I begun to truly appreciate my newly tinted eyebrows:

Complimented it with brows shadows, too.

EOTD:
Lid wash: Maybelline Gold Nuggets Palette
Crease: L'oreal Hip Duo in Sassy {Brown}
Outer V: The Body Shop Eyeshadow in Chocolate
Revlon Liquid Liner
Maybelline Cat Eye Mascara

Revlon Brow Fantasy in Brunette {just a smidge though because I didn't need much!}

I'm ombre no more!
Been using this face powder from HHN's Love Minerals
and it's only been two days but I gotta say WOW.

I should make a review on that one soon.



How about you? Thoughts on eyebrow bleaching?

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The Sun Life Financial Advisor

>> Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Working for this company's Marketing Team allows me to interact with many noble beings we call financial advisors. When I first entered the financial services industry, I had no idea on how to maximize my money, earn passively and enrich my present by preparing for the future.

Through the years, I have seen {and have become thoroughly bewildered} on how such a noble profession was rewarding, both figuratively and literally. I had thought then, why did people think being a financial advisor {or formerly known as life insurance agent} was a word many Filipinos shy away from, or get scared of, albeit knee jerk-ingly.

To me, and from many instances I have held impromptu financial planning sessions during lunch dates, dinner meet ups and even over beer {I gotta be honest on where it happens, yeah?}, and with my limited knowledge on the industry, I felt so fulfilled to have helped friends get their finances straighter and helped them to gain returns on their investments. Can you imagine how much nicer and much more rewarding it would be if I {or you?} did this for a living?

Sun Life advisors Anton Dayrit and Vanessa Lugue-Castro
{Anton pursues theater on the side and Vanessa is a full time mom and she's so pretty, I just have to say!}

I won't deny it, I have been tempted to switch to becoming one many times. After all, the career allows one to pursue his/her passions in life such as engaging in businesses, the arts and other hobbies while still being able to coach Filipinos into handling and managing money. Best of all, I have read many an article on where the best financial advisors from our company have gone around the world by being the best in the company, and in the industry even. And if you ask me, I'd travel for anything. Anything.

But as for me, my love for this job is still prevailing, so my plans of becoming a financial advisor is still in the back burner. If I ever fall out of love with it though, you'd know what I'd consider. {There's this joke we have at work because I already have my award-receiving speech but it's too deprecating to share here.}

For the mean time, I'm glad to one of the people who are behind the scenes of the communication to trumpet the message of how it is to be a financial advisor, and how it is to shine under the Sun.

Yes, that post on 'following people around' is because of these TVCs:

Angie Mercado, Account Executive and Sun Life advisor

Joyce Cruz, Full time mom and Full time Sun Life advisor



Happy Tuesday!
All images and videos in this post are owned by Sun Life Financial Philippines.

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In All Her Youthful Glory

>> Monday, February 14, 2011

I can very well remember a long discussion, between the guest bloggers {aka, I, Shen, Jheng, Sophie and Nikki}and the Pond's Brand Team, on the topic of who the newest ambassador for their Gold Radiance line. The guesses were pretty hilarious and I still manage to erupt into loud guffaws every time I remember that night at M Cafe.



I first learned that Tweetie de Leon - Gonzales was Pond's Gold Radiance ambassador during the Philippine Fashion Week Opening at SMX. Even then, I could remember thinking that there wasn't anyone more fitting than Tweetie to become the ambassador. Gold Radiance is one of Pond's anti-aging lines and Tweetie is the epitome of aging {or not aging at all} gracefully.



Truly, women, and I am one of them, crave and work hard to keep our youthful radiance all throughout. In our twenties, we might not be bothered by signs of aging such as dullness, wrinkles, dry skin and lackluster. However, though we might not see them right now, these things will come haunting us in our older years IF, that's a big IF, we don't take care of our skin right now.

The intimate dinner hosted by Pond's for beauty bloggers a few weeks back at Makati Shangri La's Shang Palace proved to be more helpful in more ways than one in helping us know what we can do to preserve this youthful glow we so love and crave for.

 Prawns, Fung Tong Style | Death by Gluttony for me.

 Between Bites' Jane Chua was celebrating her birthday that night, too!
And she's looking really good.

Note to Self: Buy the Cleansing Mousse, stat!


Like Tweetie, my favorite product from this line is the Pond's Youthful Glow Serum. Ever since I have started using it, I noticed that my skin has been glowing. And though I still get my occasional breakouts and blemishes, the skin is truly supple {no, no one is paying me to say that, thankyouverymuch.}A funny thing that I learned from the dinner is that the serum, because of its potency, should come before the moisturizer, regardless of day or night use. I do apply it between my moisturizer and my blemish cream. Oops.

Tweetie de Leon on Pond's Precious Youth Serum

L-R: Jacqe Yuengtian, Pond's Senior Brand Manager, Rissa Mananquil, Pond's Ambassador
and Tweetie de Leon - Gonzales, Pond's Gold Radiance Ambassador
{Can you see how glowing Tweetie is? And she's in her 40s!}

It truly was a casual night. And the conversations revolved around gym and sports,
no-diet diets, drinking 2 liters of water by noon and love, of course.



Pond's Sr. Brand Manager Jacqe Yuengtian is every inch a Pond's girl.
Look at THAT skin!

Partners in blazers. Shen and I came in completely similar outfits!
Heehee! {Thanks for the photo, Achi!}


Some things I learned from that night:
  •  It doesn't matter how much makeup you apply on your face during the day, as long as you remove it all at night. When they said that sleeping with makeup on is one of the worst crimes we can commit, it's true. I noticed that when I fail to remove everything off of my face, I get really bad breakouts. And if you're a model like Tweetie and Rissa, who of course, have a lot of products on their faces during shoots and fashion shows, you'll be doomed if you don't remove them all. Tweetie swears by the Gold Radiance cleansing mousse. I personally use Pond's Cold Cream, which works fine but is too tedious to use, as after removing makeup with it, I still have to wash it. Must try that mousse thing soon.
  • Treat the 'life' in work-life balance the same way you do as work: like an important meeting. I have to admit that work always get the best of me and I try very hard to give way and allot time to my social life most days, even on weekdays. True, I do get to do most things I feel like doing, such as watching concerts, seeing musicals, chilling like a villain and eating good food and having my drink fix. But I have a nasty habit of still thinking about the things I have to do and all those errands I have to do and sometimes I end up being halfhearted in the 'life' department. Tweetie said that for her, going to the gym and engaging in sports, such as squash are integral parts of her day and she treats them like a meeting --- no disturbances during
  • In the same light, treat weekends like a weekend should be. Take time off and do not think about work. I find that this works in rejuvenating me throughout the week when I completely immerse myself with weekend-ish stuff like getting cramped in a corner with a good book {currently reading Alain de Botton's On Love, sniff} and Kahlua cake, or when I prop myself in a comfy chair and watch How I Met Your Mother {the last episode got me crying, dammit!} and One Tree Hill
  • Water and 2 liters before noon. Just like Alice in Alice in Wonderland, who thinks of six impossible things during breakfast, Tweetie makes it a point to have took in 2 liters of water. I took one look at her skin, her beauty and her sunny disposition and convinced myself to do this moving forward {and I have!}. "It curbs hunger pangs, too," she added.
  • Aging will come at some point and it's best we prepare. This is kind of, really, my personal advocacy. I know I may be more concerned over it than some, because I blather nonstop about moisturizing and taking extra steps wherever I am {at work, at the spa, at home and I even think of it when I'm alone.}Together with other healthy lifestyle activities, infusing an anti-aging product on your daily regimen will not show you immense results now BUT they will when you're playing with your grand kids {my version would probably be doing shots with them} in the future. To borrow a work advocacy's tag line, It's Time!
  • The face is not the only indicator of age. The hands and feet are, too. And ever since that, I have started religiously applying facial moisturizers {yes, as in pang face!}to my hands and feet. If my vanity quotient picks up, serums will go unto my hands and feet, too.
  • Love, love and love. Some years and four kids later, Tweetie gushes about her family and husband like a teenager in love. I couldn't help but admire their story, still being in love everyday, even coming to work together, every day. We all do not need much convincing that love will make us younger, and even if we do not have special someones {I don't, but that's no excuse to be grumpy}, we can love the people around us, our friends, our family, our pets, Him, and best of all, LIFE.

 What about you? What's your anti-aging defense?
 Oh and Happy Hearts' Day!


Thank you, Pond's and Nuffnang for inviting me at such an informative and girly girl dinner!

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Forget Regrets, or Life is Yours to Miss

>> Sunday, February 13, 2011

There is this habit, more of a perennial question, really, that I ask most men I date: What's your favorite musical? 

And to think, I am not even musicals' biggest fan, nor am I good at analyzing musicals.

I don't know what pushes me to ask this to guys. I guess in a way, I'm trying to gauge if they are man enough to appreciate musicality, theatricality and flair for bigger than life drama, without being scared of being called queer. If there was anything I took notice amongst the male species I have encountered, the ones who grew up in this country seemed to have less to zero appreciation for musicals. It was a 1 out of XX statistic for Philippines, versus 4 out of 4 for International. I was astounded that it did not seem to be a common concept here. As one of the 4/4 guys asked me when I stated my observation: How could you not like musicals? It's a total performance: singing, dancing, acting.

Then again, what do I or they know, right?

Out of them five guys who have actually seen musicals, two answered Rent to be their favorite musical. Two obviously measures their life through seasons of love, methinks. Not a bad reason to catch Rent over and over again.

I think I first caught glimpses the movie version back when it was shown in the latter 2000s. Last year, I became a proud owner of a DVD copy and have been singing to it over and over, ever since, well, whenever I have time.

I Should Tell You | Mimi and Roger

 This is my favorite Rent song, next to the quintessential Seasons of Love.

{A Part of} Another Day, Life Support | Shawn Earl and Paul Wilson
{from where I borrowed this post's title; This was really memorable as Mimi's
part but this rendition was what shot through my heart through and through}


Will I? | Steve, Angel, Mark and Collins and the rest of the life support group
{This song gives me the goosebumps, throwing me into a fit of sadness as I think how
it must feel like for HIV/AIDS infected people.}

I had a serious case of regret when I missed the 2010 run and wished super hard that the local company staging it would give it a go once again. I did not want to wait until my NYC trip to watch it. Thankfully, 9 Works Theatrical DID.


I was more than elated {*waves* hello, Jean, thank you!} as I walked up to Carlos Romulo Auditorium at RCBC Plaza last Friday night. I have dreamed of having places like this that catered to small groups and showcase Broadway hits such as Rent. And it was so close from where I work, too! 

Coming into the theater, I had no idea who was going to be who. I came with an empty list for expectations, except a memory of the song lyrics. As I write this, my heart is still flailing from the rollercoaster of emotions I have gone through watching it.

I know that the plot of Rent has been told and retold many times in circles, conversations and social gatherings, but I have always loved how this musical could always mirror real life {as compared to some musicals I love like err, Lion King and The Phantom of the Opera}and how every word, every song, every act is bursting with wisdom and that No Day Like Today vibe.

In so many ways, watching Rent shakes me to the core. I admit to having thoughts on the issues tackled: HIV, drugs, the bohemian lifestyle {which is not entirely a society problem but if that makes you not have any money pay for rent, uh, hmm?}, sex and prostitution. I was thinking: Why was a part of this musical de-antagonizing things we should stay away from? Then I realized: Wow. I am the biggest bigot I know.

People make mistakes. We all do. And sometimes,  when we take risks, we fail. And yet, regardless of that, unless we are lying six feet under the ground, there is always another day {that's today} to make up for what we deem as lost and failed decisions. It could be in the form of optimizing life too much that one ends up in the mercy of HIV, or it could be that little needle from heroin, or a snort of cocaine, or sticking up for your art no matter what, that changes your life. But as the character Angel has proven, it doesn't matter whether you have three or thirty three years to live --- One could live a lifetime in a day {or in a second, according to Col. Slade}. It all boils down to doing the most important things in a day, seizing the moment, while you're alive. Too, measuring life by seasons of love is not a bad metric. I am glad to be in the same page with them, or with Jonathan Larson {creator of Rent}.

Some notes on the Manila run {however, I am no expert, just personal opinion}:
  • I am amazed by Mian Dimacali, who played Maureen Johnson. Prior to seeing last Friday's show, I was fearful that any actress would be so bad compared to Idina Menzel who IS Maureen. But I was wrong. Mian's performance of Over the Moon sent me literally open mouthed as her character just jumped out to life, with all the grit. It was exceptionally commendable, too, how she could transition from Over the Moon to the Maureen who was silently weeping during Angel's demise.
Over the Moon | Idina Menzel

  • Job Bautista as Angel Dummott Schunard was amazing in terms of acting, though he seemed to falter at some points in terms of singing. Nevertheless, he made me believe he had HIV during the entire musical. He attributes this to the time that he spent with real HIV victims at PGH. I loved his dance skills, too!
  • Sheree Bautista as Mimi Marquez was okay, I was pleasantly surprised she had a good singing voice, however, some of her lines fall flat sometimes. IMO, she could improve more acting-wise as she sometimes tend to concentrate on getting the notes right that her face doesn't register emotion anymore. She is playing an S and M dancer afflicted with AIDS after all. I am curious how Ciara Sotto takes on this role, though {some runs have her as Mimi}. Some who have seen her perform said she is 'a surprisingly good dancer.'
  • Gian Magdangal {Sheree's real life husband} as Roger Davis embodied the gruff, scruffy physique of the character. I just don't understand why he was wearing eyeliner all through out. Kudos to his onstage chemistry with Sheree, though.
  • Jenny Villegas as Maureen's lover, Joanne seemed like a musical pro. She was consistent with her notes and her acting. 
  • The band did an awesome job of lending the musical with their musical prowess and artist-y feel.
  • Robbie Guevara is amazing as the show's director. During the press con, which was the only time I saw him, of course, he broke down the details he injected through out the musical such as Angel going up a long flight of stairs in white. It was a treat to peek into an artistic director's frame of mind.
  • Ladies and gentlemen, THIS is how you do a musical. Long runs, intimate venues and with intervals. Not concert types, okidoks? {Harhar, bitchy much?}

Overall, I am {and to borrow the term} over the moon for having had seen this musical. Some musicals are enough for me to watch once. As for Rent, just thinking about it makes me want to watch it all over again.


If you haven't seen it live, I have only one thing to say, to quote the musical: There's only us, There's only this, Forget regret, Or life is your to miss, No other road, No other way, No day but today. Watch it. Feel it, hang on to every word of it, every note, every act. Truly, take it from me: It will change you.  

And if anything else, the quintessential Seasons of Love is always a treat to listen to LIVE. Goosebumps much!

Seasons of Love | Rent



Rent: The Musical is showing from February 12 to March 6, 2011.
Contact Jean for tickets {March 4 showing} at 09175393536 or you may email her at jeanklu_99@yahoo.com

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Beautiful. Pretty. Gorgeous. Or However You'd Like to Look at It

>> Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Somebody or the other asked me over a couple of beers and (then, like two years ago then) yosi, "Is beauty a curse?"

 Photo taken by: Sasha Manuel


I was dumbfounded. Being the queen of gab, at least to my set of friends, being dumbfounded is as rare as lunar eclipses.

She, asking me this particular question posed another question: Did I feel beautiful enough to answer that?

I have to admit it's not like that I have felt this comfortable in my own skin since time immemorial. I remember having awkward stages in my life, especially when I was younger that I would mock anyone who called me pretty or cute or anything at all. I remember wearing long shorts and an orange shirt when I was asked to be the muse of a basketball team in high school, resembling a distraught tomboyish girl. I in all of my plainness, simply did not fit my then own definition of what beautiful was.

Growing up and soon surrounded by smart people, I still have not learned what exactly constituted a beautiful person. Was it simply what was inside? After all that was what they said, right. Being mabait and all that. But I had doubts. Was it the proper proportions and clear skin? Nah, that's too superficial. I started finding out who I was and knowing my capabilities that I started to feel comfortable in my own skin. It was only until then that I had learned that I found people who were most comfortable with their own skin the most beautiful. I found that people who inspired kindness and goodwill to me were the most beautiful than any other clear-skinned mestiza that I know. It was them who would not put you down, it was them who would raise you higher, those without insecurities, that I found extremely beautiful. And I had willed upon myself to strive to become just that.

Now that I am 25, I can't say I have fully fulfilled my self mandates of just being myself and being comfortable in my own skin. Sure, a number of people have regarded me as a beautiful person {I am not that self-deprecating to not acknowledge that} and I'm truly grateful. One of my favorite authors {Ms. Guiliano} said that you can only measure yourself against the metrics or goals that you've set for yourself and for once, just for freaking once, I like what I am, I like who I've become and I am excited for who I will be.

In that sense, I am free to say I'm beautiful. Or pretty. Or however you'd like to look at it.

And if you ever are wondering what brought this on, it's all Sasha's fault, for making me realize we are all beautiful in our own right. Thank you, S! There's so much in you that I or any other person give you credit for. You seriously are one of the most beautiful people I have met and become friends with.

Beautiful Girl | INXS
This is my ultimate I-want-to-feel-pretty-song.


Inspired Pretty, Passionate Powerful. I'm not posting this because I'm in this video {Okay, maybe I am, harhar} but truly, when I watched it, I got to know two other women who embody my definition of beautiful. Two content, happy women who knows what they want, and went for it. When I'm in my 30s and 60s, they are going to be my life pegs. Beauty, therefore is inspiring. Sometimes it inspires kindness. Sometimes, goodwill. Sometimes power.

Video taken and edited by Sasha Manuel
Oo na, I'm so maarte. And I'm so crushing on that Pretty Powerful palette from Bobbi Brown.
But if I had a peg of who's beautiful physically, that would be, the one and only, Anne Hathaway:
And to answer the original question: Being beautiful is not a curse. It's a blessing. Stay beautiful, my loves.

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Weekends are Best Spent Like This

>> Monday, February 7, 2011

The city life often corrodes my drive and will to live in this ... city. I used to be really gung ho on spending weekends outside my home, walking to and fro places and getting lost even in old and familiar streets. I had one motto: I will sleep when I'm dead.

The smog, the traffic jam and lack of parking space, however, have changed all of that. And then I grew up and I found sleep to have been my regular, most extravagant luxury of all.

 This is what I mean. Traffic jams on Sunday mornings.


When Sasha invited me to a day of retreat {by retreat I mean brunch and spa =P}, I happily obliged. I have never been to the Manila Marriott Hotel, much more to its new spa, the Quan Spa. If I have any considerations when trying out new places, it would be the company {I don't want to be stuck with someone I can't tell when I don't feel like so and so} and someone who are into the same things as I am, at least even off the bat {books, chick lit, movies, Coronas and you get the drift.}Sasha proves to be the perfect spa buddy. We both like Ms. Guiliano, we like 80s and 90s movies, alternative/rock music and talking to her does not feel like perusing a Stairmaster, among many other things.So off we went.

I've long been a fan of brunches. They are such food for the tummies and the soul. When I used to live with my flat mate L, we would get up on Sunday mornings even if we partied hard on Saturday night and walk to Greenbelt and elect a restaurant to eat at before going to church. On some Sundays, it would be with my favorite Sunday brunch place {Apartment 1B} with my favorite brunch buddy, eating three cheese omelets until 3 PM.

So much has changed since then, for I hardly find myself eating brunch now. I seem to have found a new love for waking up after lunch and my first meal on Sundays are usually at 2 PM, when I have finally mustered the energy to get up from the bed. My usual brunch mates have a) moved back to a faraway place and b) moved to an even farther place where siestas are infinitely common.

It felt good to be doing old habits with new buddies.
Sunday Brunch at the Cafe Marriott is at Php 1,610.


First up: Caesar's Salad | Cafe Marriott

Sasha: Salad person ka pala?
Me: Oo, di lang halata :P

And then I turned Japanese.


And then I emerged to be my real self, that is someone
who can't NOT eat desserts.

Me: {as I skipped over to the dessert table and ignored the fruits} A fruit is not a dessert.
Sasha: Eh ano yang hawak mo, hindi ba fruit yung nasa ibabaw?
Me: Oo nga no.

After even more long talks on books, on blogging and real life perceptions, I realized we were situated in a courtyard-ish deck at the back part of the hotel. It was amazing to have found a place that did not feel like Metro Manila. There were trees, big-ass insects, mosquitoes I think {signs of a healthy greenery} and there were no traces of honking nor careening jeepneys. There were no screaming babies/toddlers, too, which have become apparent on every single coffee shop and mall in this city. Nothing against babies, really. I just find it annoying when there's not much places left anymore in this city that seems to be reserved for adults who wish to remain in solitude or quietness {and no, don't tell me to go to a casino.}

Fortunately for us, there are places not plagued by noisy kids and/or adults:


 Photo by: Sasha Manuel
OOTD

Black silk top: Mango
Shorts: Cotton On
Flats: Mimosa
Belt: Rubi
Bag: CMG

Loved the fact that they're using the Filipino product line Amu'in.

Literally warm towels are <3

The showers are spacious, more spacious than any other spa shower I've seen.

Guide on getting a spa buddy: Thou should be comfortable getting half naked with them.
Photo credit: Sasha Manuel


{Their welcome drink, a fusion of lemongrass and other things was absolutely divine.}

And where one gets the treatment:


I found that this little pot of petals under your nose is the nicest touch.

 And post treatment {we had the aromatherapy massage | Php 2,010}, we spent half an hour here.


Foot-massaged patrons get to stay in these couches.

Some notes on the spa:
  • I loved that there seemed to be not too many rooms, ergo, no lines at the showers and no army of naked women at the locker rooms.
  • I believe, as it is in most spa establishments, that one should call prior to treatment and same goes for Quan Spa.
  • Quan Spa's shower rooms are directly accessible from the swimming pool so at some point, there were some pesky teenagers ruining the mood. :{
  • The staff are courteous, extremely presentable and amiable. Lots of points for that.
  • I kind of wish we stayed longer at the steam room, though.
  • Props for the individual iPods on the treatment rooms. I failed to ask if I could have Janet Jackson playing while I get kneaded and massaged to oblivion but then again I would have revoked the entire purpose.
Overall, the spa experience was your normal massage/steam room experience but I have kept on raving about this day to friends because what made it extraordinary was the fact that I was scuttled away into the not so hidden Marriott Hotel, with a good friend, lots of great conversations and good food. That to me, is always what's more important.




*Thank you, Sasha, for inviting me and for that 11 hours of fun.

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Son of a Gun: Janet Jackson Live in Manila

>> Sunday, February 6, 2011

This, my friends, is my favorite half of a Janet Jackson song:

Son of a Gun | Janet Jackson and Missy Elliott

And despite the sinking truth there was no way Miss Jackson was going to sing this last night at PICC, I went ahead and saw it. I only had three reasons why I was springing for a concert {cheapest tickets were at Php 3,100.08} that I did not feel strongly {at first} about:

  1. She's the closest thing to Michael Jackson that I will ever see
  2. My two friends {T and C} are die hard fans of Janet {pronounced as Jeh-net, not Jah-net, as the crowd last night chanted}and I would do the same for them since they saw Gin Blossoms for me on my birthday.
  3. I was crossing my fingers she'd sing Every time, which she didn't. Oh well.



 Concert started at roughly 9 PM. In this photo with J and wife R.

And yet, I managed to have been the one who lost her voice from screaming and even the one who fell on her butt after screaming and jumping up and down in four inch heels. And at a slow song at that.

This is Escapade, I think. The night is a total blur.

Let's Wait A While | Again | Come Back to Me

Miss You Much | Rhythm Nation | If 

Some thoughts from last night:

  1. It's okay to lip sync, especially if the moves you're about to perform are neck breaking like Ms. Janet's.
  2. Janet Jackson's moves are WOW even after all these years.
  3. I never thought Together Again can be that tear-inducing. Oo na, fan girl much na.
  4. After all that dancing, I didn't realize I'd think the concert was bitin. Nevertheless, I still think it was so fun.
  5. You rarely see artists coming from weird corners of a concert hall {especially not in Manila}. Janet did that. Bongga!
  6. Watching concerts at PICC is such a fun thing. The chairs are so comfy. And the floor, too.
  7. I love 80s/90s artists' concerts. No pesky and OA high schoolers watching on their parents' dime {most of them anyway}. 
  8. I have never loved peer pressure as much as I do now.
  9. Chocolate marshmallows are heaven.

To quote my friend C, Janet Jackson Fans Club VP, "I Love Youuuuuuu, Janet!"



*PS: I've gotten my order of songs wrong, thanks to Team JJ President. :P I forget though, the proper sequence.


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OOTD: Paparazzi

>> Thursday, February 3, 2011

When all you have to do for the day is follow people around, one is forced to be in flats.
And in pants. I swear, I am not comfortable in pants anymore.
Thank heavens for cute pairs, though.








Photos taken by TJ Reyes



White top with black lace: Bugis Street, SG
Khakis: Far East Plaza, SG
Polka-dotted flats with bows: Far East Plaza, SG


I hope you're having a better day than me. Kung Hei Fat Choi!

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Three Years.

>> Tuesday, February 1, 2011

 Today, I celebrate my third year with a special part of my life.

Three years ago, when I first joined the company I am working for now, I only did menial jobs {seriously though, this is an inside joke} and posed for the camera. Case in point:


Fast forward to three years after, I guess I have graduated from being a face in the materials. I have discovered what I love doing, identified what I don't, realized my personal strengths and acknowledged my weaknesses. Through the three years that whizzed by, I felt so taken cared of, found great, if not the best friends that I could ever find and matured in a curve that's too steep even in my own standards. I have found my place in the sun, and part of the job is being the person behind putting people's faces into the brand, too.


Handling this project was one of the highlights of my 2010. It was in that time that I have gotten to know a lot of people, making me realize that I wasn't the only one in love with my job and the company. There's a lot of us and it felt good to know.

Yes, we have a bunch of openings, too.


And here's a little video we did for the launch, too:


During the launch {yes, that's me in the beige coat}.

And here's my own testimonial from a year ago. I'm so arte forevah.


Nothing like knowing you're not only one
*All photos here are property of Sun Life Financial Philippines.

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All I Want to Do

1. Go to NYC. 2.Create and not touch an emergency fund. 3. Tell someone I love him. 4.Cook a five-course meal and serve it to someone I love. 5. Love my imperfections but improve them, too. Read the rest here.
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