Things I Love Sundays: Thanksgiving Ed.

>> Sunday, November 27, 2011

Oh hi, blog, I have missed you so!

Apart from the usual batshit crazy busyness most people I know have been undergoing these past few weeks, I'd been extra lucky to have been celebrating a number of milestones in my life: I just turned 26, I was once again present at the Ad Congress and I transferred buildings! This girl has so much to thank for!

At the first night of #AdCon22, at the Smart-Governor's Night slash Party.
Thanks for the photo, Toshi!

Where I won a Smart Netphone via Twitter :D

... and it was a little foreboding because my iPhone became wonky just the day after, which drove me nuts until it got fixed when I got back to Manila.

Watch the amazing AdCon22 opening in the video below:

A truly funny and engaging speech and Q & A via GMA 7's Atty. Gozon and ABS-CBN's Korina Sanchez:

However, EL3's {Eugenio "Gabby" Lopez III} was the speech I liked the best:

Of course, DOT Secretary Mon Jimenez is a close second:

When I returned to Manila, it was time for me to turn 26 --- which I celebrated by going to the church, having my quiet time where my wonky iPhone helped by not working and not delivering my messages :{ Oh and I also gifted myself a new toy!

I am not sure what took me so long to get an iPad 2!

... which of course I encased in an animal print case from Aldo.

This is how I see Facebook ---- like a magazine. Via Flipboard.

And on the first day of the week, these were the things that welcomed me:

Birthday blooms!

 A brighter and better workspace.

 A new address.

{Another} Birthday cake. Thanks, Carlos and Denise!

It's funny how people know me well -- well enough to give me gifts I truly like! Thanks, TJ and Shawie!

This is going to come in handy :D Thank you!

The only photo from birthday lunch at Chelsea.

And goofing at a night of celebrating my first week of being 26 {and my nth birthday celebration}:

With Manhole Anonymous Members.
Love you, girls!

More than the seemingly superficial things, I am thankful for the chance to learn, the opportunity to build friendships, the times I am called to pray, for the laughter, the madness, the resources, the traveling, the wisdom that comes with age.

I am a girl with a million things to be grateful for. Thank You. <3

What are you thankful for?


Where the Flowers Are

>> Thursday, November 24, 2011

Do you like receiving flowers? I most definitely do.

It may be because I am not on the same plane that I do not understand women who say they don't like it when a man gives them flowers. To me, it is the superlative of saying, "You are beautiful," without saying the exact same words. To me, it is the ultimate way to make a girl, a woman, a lady, feel better. It's a celebration of womanhood, of femininity, as opposed to days I feel like a guy for not having a heart. I always wish I'd receive flowers on my birthdays {which I did, BTW!} and on Valentine's Day, no matter how cheesy. I received flowers when I was in the hospital and I felt loads better since that! Flowers on random days are lots of fun, too! My favorites have always been pink stargazers, balanced by white lilies. Tulips in the color of blush, are a close second.

Birthday Flowers <3

How can you not love these blooms? Source

Just the faintest of pink is enough to make me happy :D

But any type of flower, and whether it arrives on a vase, arranged in a bouquet or tied with a lovely ribbon is ultimately welcome in my home. Especially, if the flowers come with a bottle of perfume that smells like a lighthearted summer afternoon --- those afternoons that are perfect for running around the neighborhood, playing with the kids. 

Acqua Colonia in Royal Riesling

I honestly have never heard of this perfume, until it arrived at my home from a dinner with Sophie ---- happy from our talks but very awkward-feeling because of my peeling. When I saw the basket of flowers waiting on my desk, my mood felt a hundred times better.

Royal Riesling, a term that is not too familiar, apparently is a type of white grape that is native to Germany, from where this perfume originates from. Amazingly, the bottle reminds me of old, vintage-ish bottles from the Victorian era:

When I learned of what Riesling meant, I am only thankful no one sent me a box of grapes.

What I'm thankful for was that Acqua Colonia in Royal Riesling did so much more than come in a pretty package:

What I love about it:

  • The bottle! I'm a sucker for vintage-y bottles and this one wins my heart. I feel a little like Marie Antoinette every time I spray this and for that, I shall attempt to act more reserved in the next few days. Let's see.
  • Smells like teen spirit. Actually, the smell is more reminiscent of Nenuco, a popular baby cologne back in the 90s. Whenever I spritz it on, I feel like I can go out and play with my neighbors after siesta.
  • Economically-priced at Php 2,500.Although mine is a gift :)
  • Locally-available! Acqua Colonia in Royal Riesling can be found nationwide through SM, Landmark and Robinson's Malls!
  • Fresh enough for daily use. I find this not too heavy for the heat in the daytime while having a nice staying power that lasts through the night without being overbearing.

What's your take on flowers and baby cologne-smelling scents?


    The Proust Questionnaire, November 2011

    >> Monday, November 14, 2011

    It's only six days four hours till I turn 26 which means I only have six days to fulfill some things I still haven't done {very few now, actually} from these lists.

    But I guess, and ultimately, what I believe now, is that growing older means foregoing stuff, learning to let go, and a hard acceptance that some things --- some things are for us, and some things are left to be chased. I still have not decided whether I'll eventually morph the list into a full 30-on-30 list. Truthfully, I liked the idea of having to fight and achieve something. We'll see.

    So as I count the days till I officially enter my late twenties, allow me to share my answers to Vanity Fair's The Proust Questionnaire, which I am inspired from a post of my dear friend, Frances' blog. Like her, I want to keep answering these questions on my birthday to see if I do change.

    What is your idea of perfect happiness?

    Having a reason to come home.

    What is your greatest fear?

    What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

    What is the trait you most deplore in others?

    Which living person do you most admire?
    Here they are!

    What is your greatest extravagance?
    Same as Frances', it's generosity.

    What is your current state of mind?

    What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
    Virginity. --- I don't know if there's a set of virtues but yeah, I'd guess virginity would be an overrated virtue for me, too.

    On what occasion do you lie?
    When the truth hurts both for me and for the other party.

    What is the quality you most like in a man?
    Being man enough and self respect.

    What is the quality you most like in a woman?
    The ability to care for people in that only a woman can.

    Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
    Oh my God, Really and in the grand scheme of things.

    What or who is the greatest love of your life?
    My family.

    When and where were you happiest?
    It's everyday but specifically it's when I get to spend time with my mom and when I'm traveling.

    Which talent would you most like to have?
    To play the drums really, really well!

    What is your favorite occupation?
    The one I have right now.

    What is your most marked characteristic?
    Passion. {Scorpio's trait, actually}

    What do you most value in your friends?
    Their decision to stay with me through thick and thin.

    Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
    Sarah Jessica Parker. Revolutionized the way females think.

    Who are your heroes in real life?
    The kind people I meet everyday, the friends whom I have, who've stood by me, my mother, my dad.

    What is that you most dislike?
    Lack of passion.

    What is your most treasured possession?
    Pictures of me and my family.

    What do you regard as the lowest depths of misery?

    What is your greatest regret?
    To have given so much love and time to people who did not give a damn.

    How would you like to die?
    Quietly, when I have fulfilled God's mission for me.

    What is your motto?
    If you must do something, do it with passion.

    Have you answered The Proust Questionnaire?


    Day 7 Onwards: I am Back and Better

    >> Saturday, November 12, 2011

    On the seventh day of my chemical peel romance, I woke up, stood up, glided past the mirror and did a second look: the dark burnt skin have fallen away! I can now recognize myself! Hooray!

    The truth is, I was getting used to looking like I had a third degree burn. I was used to seeing pity in the eyes of strangers. On another {happier} hand, I had gotten used to applying makeup only on the non-skin parts of my face, such as the eyebrows and the lips. I was used to a shorter time in applying makeup, since I only applied a light layer of Maybelline's Pure Minerals Foundation, which is really next to nothing, because it's meant to take off the shine, that's all.

    I may be feeling like my normal self, and with renewed confidence but boy, did this chemical peeling did teach me a LOT of lessons. I remember confessing them all to Dr. Lacson when I came back to the House of Obagi, two weeks after for my post-treatment consultation.

    In the photo below, I am en route to the office, slapped on Obagi Sunblock, a little Maybelline Angelfit concealer on the eyebags, a quick swipe of Maybelline Pure Minerals Foundation, MAC Girl Boy, MAC Pink Nouveau and sans the glasses.

    LOL. I do look different in different clothes and with my hair styled well, don't you think?

    Here are some of my takeaways from the entire House of Obagi Blue Peel Experience:

    1. Prevention is key.  Eliminating scars is worse and harder to do than doing so with pimples. I now understand why dermatologists prick our pimples during our visits.
    2. Patience.  I was warned of the down time but I cannot stress this enough: it really felt bad to be looking like I had a skin disease. I felt that people were really scared of or feeling pity for me. I choose neither. 
    3. Nothing is unimprovable. I used to believe that while my skin was livable, no amount of salicylic acid, topical cream or achievable procedure save for plastic surgery could make it better. HOO's Blue Peel changed that myth. Since the peel, I have hardly applied my usual {see: kinda heavy makeup} and I can live through the day without retouching. Never thought it was possible.
    4. Inside beauty matters.While the reason why I was 'ugly' was obviously a step towards beauty, I figured that I had to muster every ounce of kindness, charm and wit to makeup for the scary sight that I was. If I chose to be mean while I was scarred and burnt, I would've been burned at the stake right there and then.
    5. Simple is fun! I had to add an exclamation point to that. Ever since I had the peel, I have transitioned to a simpler regimen {although I do apply Erythromycin in the morning and Tretinoin in the evening}. I now use just one moisturizer, I've shelved my serums for the moment and sunblock in the morning. Ain't that fun?
    6. There's a reason why the price is such. The technology of slowly burning the skin to have it peeled off not in an instant but gradually, is amazing to me. While I think I never would have tried this treatment from the expense of my pocket prior to the experience, I realized I have started saving up for another one. Maybe in two months.
    7. Skin changes. As we grow older, our skin's needs changes, sometimes, they need simpler things, sometimes complex ones {such as this}. It's only now that I've accepted that I'm no longer the fresh-faced teenager I once was.

    Would I recommend the House of Obagi Blue Peel?

    Yes. But only with the following conditions:

    1. Guts. You have to have guts because for seven days you cannot hide under the mask of makeup. Your skin will really get red and wrinkly and you'll start questioning if you did the right thing. I sure did. 
    2. Time. Aside from the obvious need of resources, one must have the time as well. The down time required that I stayed indoors because peeled skin cannot be exposed to the sun in this stage. We have all seen peeling horror stories. Let's not be a part of those.
    3. Emotionally-ready. A girl's looks, no matter how secure and strong she is, will affect her emotions if changed drastically. I honestly thought I could handle it and it was a struggle to keep my sanity in check every time I saw myself in the mirror.
    Dr. Lacson said it would take two more weeks before the 'glow' of the treatment shows through. If that's the case, I can't wait!

    Would you try the Blue Peel treatment? For reference, here are my posts on Days 1-3, Day 4 and Day 5.


    Curly Haired Haircare

    >> Wednesday, November 9, 2011

    Who knew there was a plethora of things to remember and products to use for taking care of curly {natural or induced aka permed} hair?

    You see, I was never truly one to splurge so much, even more, care about my hair. I mean, it's just hair. Here's a snippet of one of the earlier posts I have written in this blog, when I had my hair colored with L'oreal's INOA.

    I have a confession to make: I'm a cheapskate when it comes to coloring my hair. I am not kidding. For me, hair grows so fast, I get a trim every now and then so if I ruin my hair {which I always do, by the way}, it's just going to grow back and I will have my virgin jet-black hair which I loathe and love to throw into fits of treatments.

    Don't get me wrong. When I said 'cheapskate,' I didn't mean coloring my hair out of a can or a box that can be bought off your nearest drugstore. I don't believe in shampoo-in color, too. I just never buy the whole splurge on your hair thing. It's just not me. After all, I did say there were too many factors to hate about hair coloring, so if the more expensive service doesn't really give more bang for the buck, then I am swinging the other way.

    In all honesty, the biggest reason why I had my hair permed since 2006 {yes, it's been so long!} and repeatedly did so until now, is because I thought permed hair provided me a wash and wear convenience. Imagine not having to brush your hair all day. It was so fun just grabbing a hair scrunchie and tying your hair into a messy bun and still look put together. I was willing to go through the trouble of having my hair permed with L'oreal perming products {never really found out what chemicals but what the hey} and chose it over digital perm because I'm kuripot and I wanted longer lasting, kinky curls. Besides, I had thick strands, too. Digital perm wouldn't work too well on me.

    Times Change, Too

    Whereas I have kept the moisture-locking capabilities of my hair in 2006, the statement is not applicable to my 'crowning glory' anymore today. What used to be 'wash and wear' is now Hagrid's hair warfare, if not taken cared of. With all the chemicals from perming, and from hair coloring, might I add, my hair's quality has become so low it needs all the special care it can get. Here are some photos during the time of my first wave of perming, aka circa 2006, excuse the poor quality of the photos and the cheesy smiles. :D

    As soon as I got out of the salon, I obviously took a photo. And look at my eyebrows. Ick.

    And about six months after, my hair has managed to get itself into beautiful waves that did not need special care at all. 

    Fast forward to today, I'm lucky to even appear human in my bruha hair in the morning. Sometimes, when I'm sluggish and walk very slow after getting up, I catch my reflection in the full-length mirror and I scare myself. #Truestory.

    What's a girl to do?

    With the help of kind friends and thoughtful readers {hello Mama!} who suggested a couple of hairstyling products over margaritas and an amazing hairstylist {hello, Aimee of Piandre Leviste!} who gave me samples to try, which led me to find these gems, I am now a girl with serious hair, as Mireille Guiliano, would call it.

     Taken at around 5 PM on a normal work day, my hair is frizz-free and les fabuleux! In this photo with the awesome Miss Lee Shen Gee.

    To keep an amazing head of mane, these are my little helpers, not necessarily used altogether:

    Pantene Curly Hair Series Shampoo and Conditioner

    Back in September, I blogged about my travel kit, containing the best shampoo for curlies like me, which I had in travel size. I actually did not need the conditioner, because I honestly thought the shampoo was moisturizing enough, plus the scent is so yummy! I searched for it in Manila and couldn't find it. In October, my sweet mother sent me full-sized bottles of these curly series Pantenes and I'm such a happy, happy girl!

    Kerastase Oleo Curl Mist

    My hairstylist Aimee made the wonderful move of introducing this to me after she did my hair color some months ago. Up until the first wash after, my hair smelled extra yummy because of this. I went to sleep dreaming about rainbows and unicorns because of this so I resolved to spend an arm and a leg for this little miracle serum. But of course, no thanks to my memory gap, I forgot my Societe de Kerastase card, which should've helped lessening on what I had to pay. My friend Sasha can also attest how soft this can make our chemically-treated hair. And she with the Beauty Bricked hair, and I, with the perennially L'oreal permed hair, we know kawawa hair too much.

    The yellow bottle is FX Curls Up, a product I cannot remember now from which company, I just remember picking it up from Beauty by SM randomly. It's surprisingly good and keeps the frizz away. 

    As for VO5 Whipped Mousse, oh my gosh, that is all. This is my most-used product because my hair stays the way it is at 10 AM until I come home and shampoo it off.

     Pureology Essential Repair System

    And of course, because I also have perennially colored hair, Pureology, a discovery I got from Aimee as well, which has 'anti-fade' technology, a helpful technique in making sure colors don't tarnish in our hair. Faded hair color makes our hair look duller, drier and completely unhealthy. I don't use this everyday though, I find it heavier than Pantene, just once a week.

    Are you curly, too? What's in your arsenal?


    #NoRantDay Tuesday

    >> Tuesday, November 8, 2011

    Borne out of being fed up of reading rants on social media {of others and ourselves, LOL}, the #NoRantDay Tuesday was created:

    Admittedly, I turn to my Twitter for my rants, my drama woes and my cryptic posts. We might think, it's always to the risk of the reader but sometimes, social media, instead of playing a crucial, positive-vibe-inducing vehicle, becomes the source of stress and distress to us, and our followers.

    I used to be really emo and sad on my Twitter account. This was the reason why even if it was public, I did not link it up on this blog and I did not post so much useful information. I literally just logged on it to talk to my friends {hello, Team E!} and to rant. I rant about my day, people I get stressed out with, strangers I encounter in the elevators, slow cars, slow banks, restaurants that has bad service, my internet provider, and the list goes on. And for what? It didn't make me happy! Soon enough, people who followed me probably got tired of sending me virtual hugs and virtual comfort that it was no fun to follow me anymore. Ranting on Twitter is the electronic version of gathering your friends and dishing out relevant-only-to-you details and wishing everyone would sympathize with you. I used to think, "Hey, it's my Twitter and I can say what I want to say" but I had friends who read my tweets and did I want to burden them everyday with my sad tweets? Didn't think so. More importantly, what we broadcast and what we say on these sites have become our responsibility, regardless of how many followers / readers we have.

    And so I thought, that unless a rant is constructively put, there's no use putting it on Twitter, or any SNS for that matter. So I changed my tweeting style.

    Typing all of these reminds me of a comment I posted on birthday girl Frances' post on the Oprah of Blogging:

    Like you, I tend not to write about nega stuff on my blog. For me, what's the point? I mean, if it pisses me off, why would I want to share it to people? I don't want to seek the sympathy of people, strangers even, even if people give it wholeheartedly. Like you, I don't want to give bad vibes through my blog, regardless of how many or how few people read it.

    Thank you for this post! I'm pretty sure bloggers who read this will be enlightened and be more inspired to spread positivity.

    So this #NoRantDay Tuesday is dedicated to you, F, the Oprah of Blogging! And to millions of people who may or may not be aware of this #NoRantDay, but is striving to spread positivity in social media, this is for you.

    Shoutout to folks who've shown support {and kembot, LOL} to #NoRantDay Tuesday as early as Monday LOL:

    Phoebe Ann

    Life can be sad and annoying and full of shit. We can make social media a better place. Let's all make Twitter a happy place!

    Happy {pun intended} Tweeting!


    Flats are Fab, too!

    >> Monday, November 7, 2011

    The threat of varicose veins and/or falling and facing the floor too close have never been things I consider every time I step out of the house in at least four inch heels. I have major issues with my self - esteem, as you may have noticed, whether it's about my skin or my height. I like walking tall, especially when I'm doing my tasks at work.

    A Day in the Life of Tara Cabullo -- going around for Trick or Treat! In this photo with my two colleagues, photo taken by Manny Reyes.

    Silk top - SM Department Store
    Blazer - Colour Eighteen
    Skirt - City of Vintage
    Heels - Pill Footwear

    That day was pretty fun, I remember having to crouch down to so many little princesses, monsters, monster brides and butterflies. I also remember having to stand so much in these heels, which no matter how comfy seem to tire me out. As it was a payday Friday, and I had an appointment at House of Obagi, I needed to haul myself to Greenbelt 5 by means of walking because the streets of Makati were at a crazy standstill. Thankfully, I had the Brianne flats I got as a gift from Faith de Leon and Arn Piedra {my tita/cousin!} in the car and I hurriedly changed into it and headed to GB5.

    Now, I have been out in the public wearing flats --- and my favorite pair has been this red pair from CMG, which has stood the test of how mean I am with shoes. It has lived through crazy walking in Toronto and Montreal and the streets of Makati, too. However, it's not wallet-friendly because it's at Php3,500! If flats are always of that price range, I will have to stick to heels instead, where somehow, I feel like I'd get more back from the buck.

    With the girls at the Pond's Launch at Society Lounge last week, I had my trusty red flats to save me from my nude pumps which I've been wearing all day.

    Now,  thanks to Ate Arn and Faith, I have new favorite flats!

    The Brianne Flats from FAME {Fabulosity Made Easy} is only Php 690.

    Aside from its economical price, I like how it's very comfy and that I've garnered so many inquiries about this pair while I was wearing it. As soon as I took it off that night I got home, my feet didn't have garter marks and I felt more relaxed than usual, better than when coming home in heels. If you like this particular pair as well, please check out FAME's Facebook page which houses all their other collections. Some of the pairs I'm interested in are:

    FAME Flats are available via Facebook or their official website.

    What's your take on flats?


    Day 5 of Peeling: Peeling Unpretty

    >> Saturday, November 5, 2011

    What happened to your face?!
    Kelan ka pa nagkaron ng balat?
    So, dahil pangit ka, hindi ka manlalait?
    Awww, ang tapang mo magpost ng picture mo sa blog mo. Yaan mo, gaganda ka din.
    Pa isa naman, ang sarap tanggalin eh.

    The first day back to work after what was the longest weekend since I-forget-now was the fifth day of peeling. By this time, not only did I have dark skin that were begging to be taken off. My friends, on a standing bet, were even trying to have my skin as the wager. Seriously.

    To be honest, the physical challenges of the Blue Peel were not the most daunting as I wasn't feeling anything like dryness, itchiness or discomfort. It truly was the effect it had on people.

    While standing at the elevator well of the building where I go to work to, a man with a balat looked at me with a look that says, "Hello there, someone with the same balat as me!" Thank goodness that an elevator went ding! and I was getting off at the first stop. In the elevator, held the door for me but upon seeing me {and my skin}, the smile morphed into a pitiful look that says, "Kawawa ka naman."

    *cue TLC's Unpretty*

    My outsides look cool
    My insides are blue
    Everytime I think I'm through
    It's because of you
    I've tried different ways
    But it's all the same
    At the end of the day
    I have myself to blame
    I'm just trippin'

    The difference skin makes

    I kind of always thought that a sunny disposition was all I needed to keep curious onlookers at bay. I never thought that a humongous change in my skin would affect my self-esteem so much. If anything else, I realized as well who cared a lot for me even if their version of caring was asking me my skin underwent some second-degree burning. But I'm not one to give in to dampened spirits.

    The Bright Side

    Dr. Lacson advised me to wear very, very light makeup on top of the most basic moisturizer I own and some heavy duty sunblock. This meant basically no liquid foundation, no heavy powders and absolutely no blush because it's kind of pointless as both my cheeks were the last ones to show signs of peeling. My friends can attest to this: Makeup is my security blanket. I can only come out of my house without makeup when I am to do errands like carwash, going to the grocery etc. I cannot for the life of me, imagine my day without my makeup. Not when about a fourth of my face looked like I was scarred by a telenovela villain, with really amazing skin coming out from underneath. And yet, here I am:

    With my other BFF, Y.
    I had just a little patch on each cheek and yet I managed to show myself in public.

    The brightest spot from all of this rollercoaster-esque experience is that I discovered how fun it is to have a simple regimen. As it was imperative, I had no choice but to whittle down my multi-pronged makeup/skincare process each day and each night. After rigorous rummaging, I managed to find my most basic moisturizer: The Body Shop's Vitamin E moisturizer! 

    The photo above shows pretty much everything I use in the day and at night and what a huge time-saver it is to have such a simple regimen. Now, I completely envy women who don't put anything at all in their faces and yet look so immaculately perfect!

    L-R: Obagi-C Sunguard, SPF 30, best facial sunblock ever, but pricey at Php 3,700 a pop. Obagi Condition and Enhance Gentle Cleanser, Clean and Clear Pink Oil Control Film, MAC Brow Set in Girl Boy {which I'm panicky about because I still haven't bought a reserve!}, MAC Pink Nouveau lipstick, Obagi Acne Clearing Solution, Charm Kabuki Brush, The Body Shop Vitamin E moisturizer {in my opinion, the most basic moisturizer I own, which does the job effectively!} and the only 'makeup' I've applied in the last few days: Maybelline Mineral Foundation.

    And so, maybe, just maybe, I will continue this streak of wearing minimal makeup. As I realized, the skin that's peeking out of the dark patches have smaller to no pores at all. There was sunshine after the facial storm after all.


    All this and Heaven, too

    >> Friday, November 4, 2011

    Today I discovered a wonderful song that says everything in my mind and my heart. Down to the last word. How perfect, Florence and the Machine!

    Give it a listen, it's too beautiful.

    And the heart is hard to translate,
    It has a language of it's own,
    It talks and tongues and quiet sighs and prayers and proclamations,
    In the grand days of great men and the smallest of gestures,
    In short shallow gasps.

    But with all my education,
    I can't seem to commend it,
    And the words are all escaping me,
    And coming back all damaged,
    And I would put them back in poetry,
    If I only knew how,
    I can't seem to understand it,

    And I would give all this and heaven too,
    I would give it all if only for a moment,
    That I could just understand the meaning of the word you see,
    'Cause I've been scrawling it forever,
    But it never makes sense to me at all.

    And it talks to me in tiptoes,
    And sings to me inside,
    It cries out in the darkest night,
    And breaks in morning light.

    But with all my education,
    I can't seem to commend it,
    And the words are all escaping,
    And coming back all damaged,
    And I would put them back in poetry,
    If I only knew how,
    I can't seem to understand it,

    And I would give all this and heaven too,
    I would give it all if only for a moment,
    That I could just understand the meaning of the word you see,
    'Cause I've been scrawling it forever,
    But it never makes sense to me at all.

    And I would give all this and heaven too,
    I would give it all if only for a moment,
    That I could just understand the meaning of the word you see,
    'Cause I've been scrawling it forever,
    But it never makes sense to me at all.

    No, words are a language,
    It doesn't deserve such treatment,
    And all my stumbling phrases,
    Never amounted to anything worth this feeling,
    All this heaven,
    Never could describe such a feeling as I'm having,
    Words were never so useful,
    So I was screaming out a language that I never knew existed before.


    Day 4 of MCPR: Valentina Diaries

    >> Wednesday, November 2, 2011

    If there's anything else I did not expect from this whole chemical peel exercise is that one day, I would feel like Valentina. As in the fictional snake goddess villain of Filipino comics, Darna.

    Obviously, this is not my photo, via GMA TV.

    My days of being "I'm so ugly" saga continues yet today, a bright Tuesday morning. My cousins, relatives and family are all frolicking under the sun in various cemeteries as the Filipino nation commemorates our dearly departed souls. And yet, here I am, hiding away from the gorgeous rays of the sun as some bits of my new skin have surfaced amidst the crazy peeling.

    Why snake-y, you ask?

    When I woke up this morning, I saw chunks of my skin {excuse the yucky graphic detail} spread out near my pillow. "Ah, the peeling commenced," I thought. They reminded me of wax paper -- thick and not entirely smooth. I was a combination of mortified and relieved as I saw shapeless patches of new skin peeking through seemingly-burnt skin. At the same time, I wondered how much longer I have to stay like this as it is already taking toll on my self-esteem. I can't even show you my face! :(

    Fedora {peeling} Jason, Mountaineering Jason and Hippie Jason
    Photo taken by: Jomstop

    I can't wait to be {and in my friend Matoots' words} a mariposa, after this uod/snake stage. After all, *insert cliche pep talk here*

    Stay tuned? :)


    Day 30: When were the happiest days of your life?

    >> Tuesday, November 1, 2011

    You know what, since you asked, I'd tell you when:

    I'd been the happiest {in the longest time} these past few weeks. If it hasn't been obvious, I've been out of my I'm-too-busy-I-deserve-a-break funk for many weeks now. I used to go home driving and singing Nirvana's Lithium in full blast. I am no longer aimless at night when all a day's work is done and I don't know what to with myself. 

    There wasn't anything big or seemingly big that's happened {like a certain colleague's theory that I've taken a boyfriend, not true}. I guess in the life of an adult, we can't help but fall into pitfalls of being caught up with daily responsibilities that we forgot how to live in the moment and just be happy.

    I am so glad to be out of that now.

    Jollibee said it best: Bee Happy!
    Photo via Delivering Happiness

    If there is an important lesson that keeps popping in of my everyday life is this: Be Happy. Just be. I am not too sure if I've just been reading too much feel-good blogs but then maybe those are actually working because I am no longer a default bitch-face --- I am now caught smiling on candid camera!

    I had no idea this photo was being taken and so is the photo's owner, no idea I'm using this photo on this blog, teehee.

    Being happy for no apparent {or milestone-esque} reason was pretty much a feat. For many months, although I don't write about it here, I'd been fighting and struggling to swim upwards the river of happiness. It felt like everyday, I was grasping for straws and scratching for a surface --- to find something to be happy about and nothing came. I saw the negative side of things and dwelt on them. 

    And then it happened, as quietly as it could, happiness. Just like the best things in life, it came in an underwhelming manner that it was a few days after that I realized that I was no longer sad. And then it was up to me to maintain it, in which I share with you some of the things that keeps me smiling <3

    1. Saying thank you upon waking up. I've always believed in the power of gratitude but somehow, taking it to the next level, which is saying thanks the moment I wake up, saying it again everytime someone would do me a nice gesture and randomly, saying thanks for just breathing, have had a tremendous effect on me. A colleague based in India who helped me with a technical issue while fixing this website, once thanked me for saying 'thank you' a lot. "You've thanked me so much, I've lost track." It made me happy that he seems to appreciate it --- plus thanking people who do things for you affirms our humanity. We are not robots after all.

    2. Happy {Joy Joy} Songs, or Music Marketing, as I'd like to call it. I have a 'happy playlist in my iPod and true enough, they never fail. Most often than not, I use the playlist for archiving playlist because I like it when I put the iPod on shuffle and the random song plays and I burst into a dance number --- yes, I do. 

    Some of my happy songs:

    U2 | Beautiful Day
    Everytime I hear this, it's like a door is opening in front of me and sunshine is pouring over me. Never fails.

    Pumped Up Kicks | Foster the People

    Never mind the real meaning of the song and blame it on the hot vocalist and how this song was used in Gossip Girl. This song makes me giggle everytime I hear it -- which is frequent, these days.

    There She Goes Again | The Getaway People

    I think of all the days I've swayed to this song with a beer {responsible drinking, y'all!} in hand and good times, man. Good times.

    Rubber Lover | Marmaduke Duke

    Never mind the meaning, I love this song and it never fails to make giggly.
    Also, European accents are just *insert googly eyes here*

    And speaking of Marmaduke Duke, this version of The Cure's Friday I'm in Love is awesomesauce <3

    Everybody | Ingrid Michaelson

    Love, love and love <3

    Don't Worry Baby | The Beach Boys

    Makes me think of lazy days in bed and Sunday roadtrips in a car with open windows with my hair flying wildly.

    3. Random acts of kindness. I used to think this tip was kind of BS, but when I am happy, I noticed that I did indeed, very random acts of kindness that left me even happier. Whether it's bringing a carton of fries for a friend or giving someone a new book, the happiness that stems from it is crazy high.

    4. Sports and Spirituality. Engaging in sports and getting in touch with your religion, whatever it may be, works infinite wonders. 

    Wasn't doing sports nor anything spiritual but I think I look very happy here <3

    5. The little things. Nix the "I will be happy when ..." thought. I used to think that I am only happy when I'm traveling or when so and so happens. Like love, happiness appears to be unconditional, an inimitable human right we cannot deny ourselves. I started to assert my happiness and I was happy even when I was staring into space. I took the little things that were happening in my life, such as breathing, being in the company of great friends, talking about creative pursuits in the middle of the night, surprise little gifts, sipping Hoegaarden, random hugs from great friends, news about better and brighter days --- I took them all to heart and my heart had been bursting with happiness ever since.

    After a day of feeling my ugliest, I came home from a lovely dinner with Sophie and to this. Flowers and scents never fail to cheer a girl with low spirits. This does deserve a separate post, though.

    So yeah, if like me about a month ago, you had to think long to answer the question "When was the last time you were happy?" then it's time to let go, surrender and do yourself a favor of being happy right now. I just did myself that. And in the spirit of this challenge, to vow that everyday should be my happiest day.

    I hope the same goes for you.

    More tips on happiness here.Also, this ends my 30 Day Blog Challenge! Woot! That was hard!


    Be still, my heart!

    Oh, the things that make my little heart, you just never cease, do you? <3 Not that I'm complaining.

    When my friend Kat of Kat Dy Finds and I met up for a little catch-up session last month, she regaled me with her stories from her stay in the fabulous New York City. This time though, she is now back in Manila for good and is back with a bang. She mentioned about her new baby, which back then, I still had no clue what name or any other detail aside from the fact that it had something to do with accessories.

    A Little Something About Kat

    In a heartbeat, Kat is someone I'd describe as a true-blue free-spirit, joyful, girl-with-no-baggage woman. I first met her in an impromptu Palawan trip but I've always read about her work in Cosmopolitan, her being its former Fashion Editor.

     Photo from Kat's blog. She wore this ensemble when we had dinner at Mary Grace. I felt so boring in my black and white corporate-ish dress :D

    As far as impromptu friendships go, Kat and I hit it off immediately. From Day 1, we spent talking about matters of the heart, big decisions and chasing life. Kat inspired me as well and was with me during that time I was ticking off an item from my list {scuba diving, in which she'll be getting her certification in the next few days!}.

    Kat has a knack {and humongous talent!} for putting things together, whether they came from high end stores in New York {where she took up Fashion Merchandising at Fashion Institute of Technology} or just the side streets. I know this because in the four days that we were in Palawan, she managed to bring me to an ukay shop I never would have noticed and yet, she was able to point out really good finds!

    Kat wearing her sidewalk steals.

    It's just a given that this girl be sharing her accessorizing and fashion talents with the rest of us with her new venture, Martina-Martina!

    I've expected that the creations would be astounding but here I am now, my heart is palpitating because I want to order everything but that would make me greedy and not to mention bankrupt. It is to be noted though that Martina-Martina accessories are friendly-priced and did I mention shipping is FREE?

    Here are the items that are in my cart at the moment {not yet checking out, ack!}

    The most amazing leather bands on top of each other that says "I'm with the band.". I want this for my birthday. Php 350/each

    Be an eco-goddess with this bamboo neckpiece. Php

    This Turquoise Trio necklace features three hand-sewn turquoise chips suspended from a grosgrain and gold chain link necklace. The muted colors are a great accent to a soft blush maxi dress—a truly stunning outfit worthy of a wedding reception, or a formal event.

    I have been looking for an elegant turquoise necklace and wow, this fits the bill! Priced at Php 1,100

    How audacious and Filipino is this gripo necklace? Php 350

    The Perfect Little Dress. On your neck. Php 360

    Say Anything. This radio necklace reminds me of that immortal John Cusack scene. Forever and ever. Php 360

     With this Patternfall Torque Neckpiece, no one will accuse you of being a shy wallflower!
    Priced at Php 500

    And lastly, my favorite but unfortunately sold out :{

    Aren't these the most exquisite blings? And they're just Php 200!

    Those are just some of the wonderful accessories available at Martina-Martina. Click on the link for more! :)




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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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