Game Day: The PH Azkals vs. Kuwait's Al Azraq

>> Sunday, July 31, 2011

I admit that I am a fan of the Philippine Azkals Football Team {started early this year} but I have never gone to a game, or made an effort to because I am deathly afraid of crowds and I always fear for my life when seated on bleachers because I can be such a klutz.

That changed last Thursday, as I was struck with luck as I found myself with a ticket to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier game between the Philippines and Kuwait and in the VIP section, too {a blessing, really, because it was raining but very humid}!

I was not aware of how different the energy could be between watching at home on a TV {therefore seeing zoomed-in footage of the game} versus watching live, which means no zoomed in action clips. And so I never tried it before this game day and boy was I in for a surprise.

Game Face On. I'm wearing my staples {MAC Foundation and concealer et. al}
but I have gone to test my Tara Cabullo palette from shu uemura.
Also, I'm wearing white because the Azkals Fans Club said so. :D 

Cheeks: shu uemura Glow On Medium Pink 375
{I might have found another love in this because this blush doesn't make need a retouch. It stays put all day!}

Eyes: IR White and G Gold
Still was not in the mood for the works kind of eye makeup so I just dusted these two shades on my lids and I look more glittery than usual. <3

The game was at 7 PM at the Rizal Memorial Stadium {kill me but I've never stepped foot in this stadium ever} so we needed two hours to make sure we get to the venue on time. C {who's responsible for my ticket, together with R, thank you!} and I left the office at 5:15 and navigated our way to Manila. With Google Maps on phones and armed with waterproof jackets, we were able to get to the stadium at 6 PM. Surely, getting inside was another matter as throes of long-time football and Azkals fan lined up wearing white, blue and some even carrying Philippine flags. I was psyched to watch the game. I remember seeing fellow Filipinos in full rain-gear {raincoats, because umbrellas are not allowed}, in rain boots, Melissas, Plueys and waterproofed bags so they can watch in despite the rain. This was nationalism, I thought.

We got into our seat as the Kuwait players were being called and as soon as the Philippine
was called, I already cheered like crazy {yes, crazy fan girl here}.

Just before the game started, my seat mate arrived with his son, brought to you by Sun Life Financial Philippines

And on the other side, we {C and I} had Bam Aquino and Elmo Magalona {son of SLFP's endorser Pia Magalona}for seatmates. Yes, Team Sun Life all the way!
{also, I'm Best in Oiliness in this photo}

Kick off! Philippine players are in white and Kuwaiti players are in blue.

Of course, as soon as the game started, this Kuwaiti fan started chanting on a megaphone {not sure if it was a cheer, I could not understand it} for their team. Many of us were annoyed because we could not concentrate on the game but he eventually stopped which was a good thing. Later that night, he told Bam and his friend, who were sitting behind him, that he's a true blue Al Azraq fan and he follows all their games anywhere in the world!

And the crowd goes wild! Philippines {Stephan Schrock did!}scores the first goal of the game minutes before the first half ended. I swear that that moment alone was worth the heavy traffic, the not-so-us dinner, the humidity and the discomfort of being seated at the RSM bleachers. It was a moment where we were all cheering for the same team, regardless if they were pro-RH bill, anti, regardless of who they voted for last elections, from where walk of life, we came, if we were artists or corporate slaves {LOL}. It was a unifying moment, especially for a country that is rarely united on things. And I was just darn lucky to have been there.

 Schrocki is a powerhouse in the field, even in his 5'7" frame!

Philippine Azkals' Goalkeeper Neil Etheridge {in yellow] garnered a lot of cheers {me included} for a lot of incredible saves that night. My hoarse voice can also be attributed to Chieffy Caligdong, who is incredible in catching the ball and with countless goal attempts, as well as brothers Phil and James Younghusband.

 The dejection could be felt from where I was when the clock ticked off its last minute.

 And even if the Philippines lost to a worthy opponent that night, it surely felt like this:

The World Cup 2014 dream may be over since Kuwait walked away with the win but there will be another one after that {in Russia!} so until then, the Philippines will just cheer for the Philippine Azkals in Asian and regional games. After all, with all the efforts, practice and training that they are putting into it, there's no doubt our country will be in the World Cup, give or take a few years.

As for me, I am just glad to have been there to witness a part of a dream, to lend my voice to the thousands who cheered {though, really, I cheer just as loud when I am at home}, and to have been part of the country as one. It's such an experience to be there and I'd no doubt be doing it again in the future.

**Special thanks to Armand and Anton del Rosario and of course to my employer Sun Life Financial Philippines {especially RGM} for having me watch the game. And to C, because it was such a fun, phenomenal experience, up to the 'commiseratory' drinks we had after!


Things I Love Sundays: Staying In

>> Sunday, July 24, 2011

Weekends, most especially Saturdays, are my stay-in days. Most of the time, I wake up around 10 AM, lounge in bed for a good thirty minutes, scramble to the kitchen for breakfast, take a shower and start cleaning. I am OC with cleaning and dust and getting things back to their places so I do all these on Saturdays, when I am not running around the house in the mornings as I do on weekdays. As much as possible, I try to avoid the mad rush of weekend mallgoers and I camp in front of the TV, watch my favorite movies and unknowingly fall asleep on the couch.

This is my version of heaven. I beat myself up sometimes for not conforming to most people's idea of being out there during weekends but I've tried it and it doesn't work for me all the time. Oh and here are other things that kept me company while I forgot about the rest of the world.

Sunlight and swirly curtains.

Happy Lemon's Milk Tea with Pudding. It was worth the line!
I was momentarily whisked to Greenhills for a couple of hours to pick up some stuff and since I almost never come to Greenhills, I came to see what the fuss was all about.

Waking up from hazy memories of the last night and half-cringing, half-laughing on the memory
of myself belting out Madonna's Like a Virgin
{Photo by Joub M.}

New Old Books: The Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank and Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Why I Can Afford to Be Lazy. Because I killed myself boxing my heart out in the middle of the week, I felt I deserved to lie in bed all day -- which I didn't do but still.

The Vow | Starring Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams. I cry just watching the preview :s

Of course, staying in means being glued to the bed and tinkering with my Tumblr account, which layout has been annoying me already for the last few months. Finally, I was able to change it to a cleaner and simpler theme <3

Laura Veirs - July Flame
As I was typing this, this song came on playing in my iPod and I figured that as July ends, this song is the perfect soundtrack to my July. Sweet summer peach, just out of my reach. 

 Fan girls on Twitter.
 To my, Jill's and Shen's followers, we apologize for being such fan girls.
This is our kind of patriotism. Sad the Philippine Azkals didn't win but we still have the 28th!

It's almost Monday once again and I won't have a meaningful relationship with my bed until the next weekend.
Till then! 

What was your weekend like? I hope you had a good one!


Certified: Calm

>> Friday, July 22, 2011

One of the seemingly best things I have gotten myself into this year has to definitely be yoga. Just before I started practicing in June, I came across a yoga-centric store at the third level of Shangri-la Mall, tucked in a corner you wouldn't miss if you are going through the escalators: Certified Calm, well, as I was in search of a yoga mat.

The green accents and wooden panels on the interiors were calming me vicariously as I entered the store.

There was ample space to move around, things being sold were very interesting that one wonders "Do we really needed all these things if we're going to practice yoga?" Of course the answer was yes.

From the outside, it was impossible not to be called in.

Certified Calm offers the widest range of yoga mats in the country.

And the towels are too nice to ignore, too!

I eventually found a mat from a sporting store in Ortigas but I did get a Manduka towel from Certified Calm. As I learned and experienced, someone who practices yoga could sweat so much. I for one never imagined how crazy I'll be sweating doing those poses which from an outsider's point of view could look so easy. 

Looking back at it now, I can't believe how much one can learn and get from yoga: the focus, the balance, commitment, dedication and yes, a flatter tummy, too.

As a fledgling yogini {Yoga Girl, as my colleague would call me}, I decided to show my commitment to the practice by buying ten classes for the next two months and of course, what else, shopping

Last Sunday, en route to the last show of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2, I found myself once again in the comforting green, white and wooden arms of what is my fast becoming favorite store. Luckily for me, too, I found that some items were on BOGO terms so I just paid half of what I was supposed to. I came out a happy, beaming girl who looked like she just hit nirvana. 

Zobha Classic Racerback Tank {Php 2,750} and LeSpiro Pocket shorts {Php 2,850}

I am normally a size 2 but I loved the color so much I settled for a size 4.

And because I could get two more, I got these two tops in happy colors nonetheless!

Are you a budding yogini, too? Where do you shop for your stuff?

Certified Calm can be found in the 3rd Level of Shangri La Mall along EDSA.
You can visit their Facebook page here, where I got the photos of their store as used above.


Chronicles of the Three Year Old Tara

>> Monday, July 18, 2011

My mother begins her day by reading this blog. Most days she sends me quick emails of how crazy my posts have been, or where I've gone wrong in the Grammar Department, or if the photos I posted are way ugly to be shared to the public. Of course there are long emails saying how she loves my posts and that she will always be my number one critic but most of all number one fan.

Today, it was different. She emailed me a vivid memory, triggered by a post detailing how I will always remember what I wore.

Yes you do remember what you wear or wore.

I remember one time I got home and in the news was an airplane which skidded off the runway.  If my memory serves me right, it was the second time in less than two years.  So as I stepped inside the house, I saw the news and said “oh my”.  And you said “yes, mama, again.”

“Again?,” I asked.

“Yes, again,”  you replied.  “Remember, there was one that bigger plane which landed on the highway (SLEX), and no cars or buses could pass by because it landed across the highway occupying all the lanes?  It was also in the news, remember?  I was wearing my sleeveless white shirt with a green print of GIRL when I saw it in the news, remember, mama?"

You haven’t started going to school that time.  You must have been 3 years old then.  Imagine that?

You are really bound to remember what you wore.

At three years, I was capable of detailing my clothes. Imagine that.


The Unbearable Lightness of Pink Things

>> Sunday, July 17, 2011

I abhor being called a girly girl when in fact I am unabashedly one. This blog has pink accents to it. My gadgets are all pink. My running shoes are pink, for crying out loud. And yet, I am a hypocrite for having an automatic bias for things I see on shelves just because they are pink.

And then I end up going gaga over them. I confuse myself, really.

I had a tough week, as if I can't stress that enough. And while I did take it upon myself to cheer myself up with new, surprise, shampoo, my friend from Women's Central and Unilab sent the most wonderful, yummiest smelling body scrub and lotion to go with it.

I smelled it and I had to resist putting it into my mouth. It smelled so YUMMY!
I used it the next day after doing my laundry and cleaning nooks and crannies of the house and I think I got out of the shower spanking clean and wafting with strawberry scent.

I was out of shampoo and conditioner, a phenomenon I haven't experienced in years and since they were on sale, I picked up a bottle each of this L'oreal Nutri-Gloss Light line and my hair felt revived and I thought it had more body, too.

I came across hauls I got from a store in Brampton in Mississauga last May and saw this eye mask. Can't be any more apt than to be used now. For that message alone and the color I guess, I am a happier girl.

Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard. Despite not being pink, this book has been keeping me up and giddy than I have been in months. The book has things I want: a French man, French recipes, cobblestones and a life of art. C'est parfait!

From Adelaide, with love. I finally spent some time with my friend Sasha, who is home from a three-month long vacation in Adelaide, Australia {and some} and got me the stuff above. I swooned over the chunky black drop earrings but as expected, every time I look at the cocktail ring {left} with the pink rosette, I smile.

Thank you, S!

And thank you universe for cheering me up <3


Love, Loss and What I Wore

>> Saturday, July 16, 2011

It's a fairly universal concept that in every part of the world, the women speak the same language: love, loss and clothes. Or shoes. Or bags.

On a Friday night, and with no tickets on hand, my friend and I trooped {in blue suede heels, nonetheless} over to RCBC's Carlos Romulo theater, with hope that a) there were still tickets and that b) that this play was not to be a disappointment. After all, I haven't had a decent Friday night in a long time and what better way to reclaim it than a warm one and a half hour about the men in our lives, how black will always be the new black, what our mother say about the things we wear and what we actually wore.

Here's the thing: I never forget what I wear. Especially on days when milestones happen, on days I meet the most interesting people, on days I fall in love, on days I get heartbroken. Some years ago, I have said goodbye to a man I loved in a blue summer dress that plunged in the neckline, a borrowed pair of caramel heels, a whiff of a new bottle of Marc Jacobs' Daisy and newly manicured fingers. I forget if it was in Sex and the City that I heard it, but apparently I am not the only one. Most women have this syndrome, too. Not only that, I realize that just like you and me, women all over the world has a story to tell for every handbag she's bought {on sale, or not}, for every little {yet another black} dress she's gotten from the rack, for every pair of heels she's tried on and rang at the till. That, and that I can never ever feel good if I am not wearing something I like. I lose all sense of balance and calmness with a wrong choice of what to wear on a normal day. Unfortunately, this is true.

The Row - Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen
On a normal day, this is a longer version of how I choose what to wear.
That's right. It's a very long process.

Speaking of Sex and the City, my friend mused that the Friday night show of Love, Loss and What I Wore resembled an SATC premiere. As I surveyed the waiting area, I couldn't help but agree. Every two feet is a woman clad in a carefully chosen outfit, some you can tell are off to someplace else after. Some, you can tell have survived the Friday corporate grind, some had perfectly coiffed hair and matching orange Hermes and orange Melissas. Some had brought their {probably clueless} boyfriends, some had their girl entourage in tow.

Love, Loss and What I Wore is a motley of stories as told sometimes in unison by Jay Valencia Glorioso, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo {whom I remember from her amazing acting in Next to Normal and sort of kept distracting me with her toned arms and overall elegance}, Cathy Azanza-Dy {who also directed the play}, model Teresa Herrera and the amazing Bituin Escalante, who was able to pull off an Indian and Latina accent.

Originally a book by Ilene Beckerman, the play spotlighted stories that are all too familiar, all too relatable that you will find yourself laughing, teary eyed then laughing again. There was a story about one woman's fascination with boots, of being in love with a guy who wears boots all the time, one woman's tale was about staining a newly-upholstered chair, one of sharing a secret smile with her lover as she visits him at the jail in a trench coat, caramel thigh-high boots and nothing inside. I howled in laughter as the five women took turns in saying out loud musings on the topic of The Closet --- I have nothing to wear! Where is my black dress? I bought this?! Why did I ever buy this?! I can't find anything!? Or the subject of The Purse and how we can put our entire lives onto it and yet never find anything when we have to. Or the subject of Madonna. While I never really had to go through the stage of dressing up like the Queen of Reinvention, I was howling with laughter as they recalled how they dressed up as the Desperately Seeking Susan Madonna, or the one in Christian Lacroix cone-shaped bra. Plus they emerged in a Vogue dance number, too, which I and my friends usually do. 

Did it matter that it was an American play shown in an Asian city? It didn't. As I walked away from the auditorium, I couldn't help but smile and laugh occasionally as I think that we all speak the same language {us, girls, that is}. We will never not care about what we wear, we will always mourn for the loss {of a loved one, a memory, a chunk of our time, a part of ourselves} and that love, no matter how much we turn away from, will always, always find its way back to us. And that through these all, a girl will have a special dress to go with it, a pair of shoes {heels or otherwise}, a bag that may or may not need waterproofing, to celebrate, or commiserate for it. That a girl, a woman, a lady will never trade being the fairer sex if only for all these.

I recommend this to anyone who is in want of the feeling of a sleepover with the girls, while eating ice cream, talking about bras, Sex and the City or Devon Sawa.

This exceptional Asian premier of Love, Loss, and What I Wore is produced by CTE Productions. It has a one-weekend-run-only this July 14, 15, 16 and 17 at the RCBC Theater in Makati. Shows are at 8 p.m. with Saturday and Sunday matinees at 3:30 p.m.

Tickets are at Php1,500 for orchestra center, Php1,200 for orchestra side, Php1,000 for loge, and Php500 for balcony. Tickets are available at Ticketworld at (632) 891-9999 or You may also call (632) 215-0788 or (+63917) 537-8313 or email Look up CTE Productions on Facebook for more updates.


Express Hydration by Nivea

>> Friday, July 15, 2011

It's 5 PM on a Friday afternoon. I've never been so psyched to shout it's 5 PM.

Being cramped in this space, in an airconditioned office for what has been about 8 hours, I can't wait to step out and do Friday-night things {like watch Love, Loss and What I Wore!}. As I take note of things I need to retouch, I notice my arms and legs and see they're a bit on the dry side. I rummaged through my stash below my table and guess what I found:

 A bottle of Nivea's Express Hydration lotion is what I found and thankfully,
I don't have to go out of the office with icky, dry skin.

The one-of-a-kind formula with Hydra IQ makes body care a long-lasting intense experience. It
provides a non-stop supply of moisture to the skin – longer than ever before. This is based on
the worldwide exclusive Nobel Prize technology, which promotes optimum moisture supply and
distribution from within – for over 24 hours. NIVEA Express Hydration Body Lotion is not only
effective for an extra-long time, but is also absorbed by the skin extraordinarily quickly and thus
helps repair the eight signs of dry skin: dry, redness, rough, tight, flaky, dull, itchy and peeling.

As for me, since I am properly hydrated, I shall head out and have a proper Friday night.

Happy weekend!


Things To Cheer Me Up

>> Thursday, July 14, 2011

I am fully aware that the title is a dead giveaway of how crappy I've been feeling these days.

I don't know if it's the weather {which is rather cooperative these days}, or the lack of sleep, or quiet time or too much estrogen or just exhaustion that's been driving me to this feeling I can only associate with Quarter Life Crisis. I do not want to expound on the negativity but I don't want to NOT disclose that, too.

I am having a not so nice day. For two three days now. Indulge me as I enumerate things that I attempt to cheer myself with.

 Tiny Tower. IMO, so much better than Smurfs!

Yoga | My current wallpaper
I've been to yoga four times now and now, I finally get it. As I finish off in a savasana {corpse} pose, I conclude with certainty that this is something I see myself doing for a long time. And a long time I will, as I just purchased 10 more classes for the next two months. It's crazy how I sweat with this exercise, how my intestines {whut?!} feel better, my mind relaxed, until of course just the next day, how I feel outstretched and inspired every after practice. I am not quite sure what took me so long to try it but I am glad I did.
New not-so-new books. As always.

Your Song | Ellie Goulding
I chanced upon this version of Your Song through Frances' post and I just fell in love with it.
It's inexplicably beautiful. Just beautiful.
My ultimate book nerd photo:

Photo taken by: Fatima Brown

And before I forget, we finally launched our new TVC!

I hope you're having a better day than I am,


The Tara Cabullo Palette

>> Monday, July 11, 2011

At 25 with no Nobel Peace Prize or any other noble achievements, I have yet to have something to be named after me.

So when shu uemura invited a couple of beauty bloggers for an afternoon of palette customization, I went straight to the Rockwell branch to see what the new shu uemura Color Atelier was all about, realized it was a customize-your-palette thing and what perfect way to do so than self declaring a palette with my name?

Signature shu uemura: Color all over the white interiors

Color blocks make us look like kindergartners playing <3 Super cute!

Goal for the Day: 1 Glow On and 2 Eyeshadows
But you also have a choice of two Glow Ons or four eyeshadows!

Naturally, I've been having a hard time narrowing down my choices
so I consulted fellow vain girl, Liz of Project Vanity <3
{Photo by Nina Solano of shu uemura}

Usisera Mode. I have this interesting look as Achie Nikki swatches
her e/s choices. LOL at my face.

Taken by Nikki, while I was choosing my Glow On.

The Girls take a break from color swatching <3
L-R: Phoebe, Rowena, Nikki and I

Look who's a very happy girl <3

And now, introducing the Tara Cabullo palette:

Color Atelier palettes {available in white and black} are available at Php 1095 {Quad Case}

Nina Solano, shu uemura Business Development Officer, updated us on the new prices of the cases and Glow Ons and e/s!

  • Glow On, 4g — Php 1095
  • Pressed Eye Shadow, 1.4g — Php 695
  • Mono Case (for 1 pressed eye shadow) — Php 450
  • Duo Case {for 2 pressed eye shadows or 1 glow on} — Php 500
  • Quad Case {for two glow ons or 4 pressed eye shadows}— Php 1095
  • Mono Case + 1 Pressed Eye Shadow (Php1,145.00)
  • Duo Case + 2 Pressed Eye Shadows (Php1,890.00)
  • Duo Case + 1 Glow On  (Php1,595.00)
  • Quad Case + 4 Pressed Eye Shadows (Php3,875.00)
  • Quad Case + 2 Glow On (Php3,285.00)
  • Quad Case + 1 Glow On + 2 Pressed Eye Shadows (Php3,580)

I finally chose M Medium Pink 375, thanks to Roy and Patrick of shu uemura's recommendation.

And presenting the Tara Cabullo palette {so called because who chooses
such flamboyant colors, right?}I love that there's no need for a magnet
or adhesives, too and that I can easily slide the palette so I can change it to
other shu uemura pressed shadows, too!

Glow On: M Medium Pink 375
Eyeshadows: IR White 911 and G Gold {as tribute to Kylie Minogue}
Can't wait to have somewhere to use my palette. Hmm, maybe tonight.

Check out the other girls' palettes!
{and in tradition of my palette, so goes theirs in their names!}

Oh and the Shen and Sophia Palette are yet to be revealed <3

What would you put on YOUR palette?
Take this test on the Color Atelier app and find out <3

Love, sparkly and customized things,



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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. Read the the 30th version here.
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