Friday, April 29, 2011

Who wants to be a Milliner? ❥

With today's ongoing Royal Wedding, it seems timely that I re-read a Julia Quinn's novel last night, An Offer from a Gentleman. I always ❤ a Cinderella Story with a living happily ever after ending! Oh Fairy Tale! :-D Certainly, this is a happy ending to the Milliners of the world, who are providing us the classiest hat's entertainment of all time! 

I'm showing off this photo taken during our 2008 company costume Christmas Party! :-D 
If I can't be a milliner, much more a princess (sigh), I might as well dress up for the occasion, with a good looking fellow as my escort! haha! ;-P Cheers! :-D

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Win Free Travels ✈, an EDSA Billboard Greeting, and more ♨! ❤

Here are some nice things I found online...these could be yours for the taking! :-D

Air Asia's Win a Trip to New Zealand. Please click here for details.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

❤ Mom's Day Wish List ❤

Here are few nice things that I have to snag, come hell or high water! ✌ I ❤ Bath & Body Works! It's amazing how I love to hoard lotions, conditioners, body sprays, of course shoes (FitFlop) & purse (Coach)! It's definitely a girl thing, isn't it? :-D

Mother's Day Bath & Body Works Anti-Bac Hand Gels. Super Nice! :-D...Here's wishing that I can go to the USA just for these alone! How trivial! :-D

Gotta ❤ Oreo Green Tea!

Oreo Green Tea from Shanghai
Green Tea is definitely it! :-D Drinks, food, skin care products, beauty care lines, and a lot more, features green tea as a come on ingredient, and the list is getting longer every day. Oreo Green Tea Ice Cream Cookie is a great addition to my Green Tea finds. It's a travel keepsake from Shanghai, China. 

Worldless Wednesday: Complimentary Emirates Toiletry Kit for Business Class ☺

My uncle who visited us from Germany gave my hubby this functional toiletry kit as part of the amenities of flying Emirates' Business Class. Nice! :-D Before my hubby uses it for his coming out of the country travel (and I'm not coming! ☹), I took photos of it to my ❤'s delight. Well, this comes with the price of paying almost 2x the airfare rate! Hmm, but wouldn't it be just nice!? :-D

Emirates Business Class Toiletry Kit for Men

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I so want to GIVEAWAY a Bath & Body Works Loot Bag! ❤

Hmmm...wouldn't it be nice if my 1st Blogversary Giveaway should be something like this, plus a lot more!? :-)

$100 worth of Bath & Body Works Products! Yay! I ❤!

❤ 300 GFC Followers Giveaway ❤ (Closed)

Almost 300 Google Friends in less than a year...Yay! :-D The numbers on GFC could be trivial to some, but not to me, since most of you I followed right back. It means I'm getting updated with your everyday post, and I know where to find you again. This allows me to see the world in a whole new & exciting way, and motivates me to keep writing mostly things that I love and care about. As my way of saying "maraming salamat!" Thank You Very Much, I'm sharing some of my Avon loots. ✌

Be among the first to try out the New Anew 360 White Ultra UV Shield SPF 50/PA+++ with Double Shield Protection! 

AVON Beauty Finds for Giveaway 
  • New Anew 360 White Ultra UV Shield for beautifully bright and fair skin 30g Intro Price at Php 699
  • Anew White 360 Clarifying Cleanser 
  • Far Away Purse Concentre
  • Ultra Moisture Rich Lipstick Pretty 2g
  • Glimmerstick Diamonds Eyeliner Emerald Glow
  • Anew Rejuvenate 24hr Eye Cream Day Cream (SPF 25) and Night Cream 10g x 2
  • Expandable Bag
I just haven't had the chance to talk about my ❤ for everything Avon. Because there's so much to rave about, I don't even know where to begin. But I hoard Avon Products! ✌

I'm in ❤ much with Avon! :-D

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Shopping Finds...FitFlop, Ipod and More! ✌

It looks like someone has been good lately...ahem! Me!!! Yay! :-D The Easter Bunny blessed me with so many great finds over the holidays.

♥ Ipod Nano double as makeshift Watch ♥ Avon Charm Bracelet ♥ Avon Earrings ♥ SM Dep Store Bracelet ♥

My Ipod Nano is a gift from my hubby. Since I ❤ everything Mac, it's a great addition. I got a strap (Brand Hex for Php 1200) at the Apple Store in Greenhills so I can use it as a makeshift watch at the same time. I'm into Pedometers (flashy reminders that I'm short of steps and need to speed it up asap!!!), so I find the functionality that the Nano offers. I even got a fingerprint proof skin protector for it for only Php 150. So far, so good...hope my Nano and I builds a stronger partnership towards a healthier me! Bring it on! :-D

Easter Egg Hop Inn Fun at Holiday Inn Clark ✌

Happy Easter! Let today, more than ever, be a start of a new beginning! :-D

Easter Bunnies, much like Santa Claus during Christmas, bring gifts (eggs, candies, toys) to children the eve before the Easter! :-D
Chase and CJ playing along with the Easter Bunnies. Stuff and Live Animals to create a more natural and festive feel of the outdoor adventure! :-D

For this year Easter Sunday, we went Egg Hunting at Holiday Inn Clark. It was celebrated with much fanfare. My son was so excited. More so, that he gets to do it with his best friend, CJ. The entrance fee to the Egg Hunting area is Php 200, which includes a Loot Bag and a 50% discount coupon at the Candy Station. Totally worth it! Yay! ;-P

Lent 2011: ♰ Magdarame, a Lenten Tradition in Pampanga ♰

Holy Week in my hometown, Angeles City (Pampanga), will never be complete without witnessing the "magdarame" or flagellants/penitents in imitation of Christ's passion, suffering and sorrows on His way to the Cross. They actually come in several forms, most common is a man doing the scourging (mamalaspas) with bloody back, man carrying the cross (mamusan krus), man crawling and falling on the ground (magsalibatbat), and some few who actually allowed themselves to be crucified on Good Friday.  Their face would all be covered with a hood, and they would all be wearing a crown made of twisted branches and leaves of plants. Few of the flagellants would be seen as early as Holy Monday, and they would peak come Holy Thursday and Good Friday.

The ways of the “magdarame” have always inspired awe and curiosity amongst the faithful during the days of Lent. Bloodied, scourged and caked with dust, magdarames live and act out the passion of the Lord—and the term “dame”, to sympathize and share one’s grief-- captures this spirit of Oneness, in pain and sorrow.
The practice of “darame” in Pampanga was popularized by casamacs or peasants, who regard sacrifices such as fasting, prayer or abstinence as too mild. Among these materially deprived workers, only the extreme imitation of the Passion under the searing heat of the sun can cleanse them of their evil. It was further institutionalized during the American era prompted by our colonizer’s curiosity for exotic folk practices. The practice of actual crucifixion was introduced in San Fernando only in the 1950s. - Source: Views from the Pampang by Alex R. Castro
Flagellants/Penitents (Magdarame) scourging themselves in bloody spectacle and man carrying the cross (Mamusan Krus), visits "Puni" a chapel or community altar that do "Pabasa" (reading of Christ's Passion on his way to the Cross), and Churches. They kneel or lie on the floor of the foot of the Chapels or Churches to pray and to do their acts of penance.
I had three of my uncles do it when I was a child, but it did not stop me from being scared at them. I've actually had my share of nightmares of them. It's only now, that I actually had the chance and the courage to be within a striking distance from them. More than anything else, I have to put on a brave act to my son, Chase. 

"Magdarame" or Flagellant Lent 2011
I bravely went along to see them on Holy Thursday because we had to show them to my sister's sister in law, who's visiting from Cagayan de Oro. And we already saw like 50 of them for a mere hour of going out in the main streets of the city. They usually come in groups, and they have a crowd following them.  What seemed like a cultural and spiritual lenten tradition eventually also becomes a tourist and a cultural experience to those who travel from Manila, and from all over to Pampanga. 

Prepping the "Magdarame" or Flagellants/Penitents. To prepare themselves, they have to whip their back with the  bamboo scourge for it to swell, and eventually to numb the back surface. Then someone (said to be an expert) will make the wounds/incision via razor (approximately around 5 cuts from what I've seen) then they have to use the bamboo whip    (continuously much like a ritual) and this causes the bloody spectacle.
Surprisingly, I didn't even have to go far to see for the very first time how it all come about. 5 guys from my village are gearing up to hit the streets and the Churches on Holy Thursday. I had seen enough to keep me at awe for years, so we didn't volunteer to bring our guest to see a more bloodier spectacle at Pampang come Good Friday. Thankfully, there was the Last Supper Mass, and the Visita Iglesia (visiting 7 Churches) to keep me from thinking about them. I'm actually trying to look at all of these from an artist's perspective. As an aspiring photographer, and writer, they are my unique subjects, so to speak. Have a Blessed Lenten Season!

Lent 2011: Visita Iglesia around Angeles City

Part of the Maundy Thursday observance is the Visita Iglesia. It is visiting Churches. As practiced, we visit 7 Churches or Parishes, which have altars made especially, and designed elaborately for the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.  It follows the Holy Thursday Last Supper Rites Commemoration. Usually, the churches will be dark, and covers the image of the Risen Christ, and the Crucifix. Only the Blessed Sacrament Alter will be illuminated with candles. The Visita Iglesia is rooted in solemn prayer, devotion, and penance.  The flock of families doing the Visita Iglesia shows that the tradition is still very much alive. 
"Pisamban Maragul" Grand Church of Holy Rosary Parish Angeles City
Our Lord's Transfiguration Parish of  L&S Subdivision, Angeles City

Monday, April 18, 2011

FB Launch Skin Food Giveaway Winners☺

Congratulations Graphics

I'm happy to announce the winner of my Skin Food Giveaway...

Entry/Comment No. 83

She's none other than Mommy Emiliana of Lucky Finds...hmm, she sure is one lucky mom! :-D 

Thank You for the support and ❤! Please join me again on my next giveaways! Cheers! :-D

Sunday, April 17, 2011

♻ Alter Space for a Greener Earth ❀

"It is good to realize that if love and peace can prevail on earth, and if we can teach our children to honor nature's gifts, the joys and beauties of the outdoors will be here forever."-- Jimmy Carter

Chase, my 5 year old son, thrilled to be a part of a fish pond harvest! :-D
The Scenic walk to the Pond! :-D

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Kinect Time...Bring it on!✌

My hubby got his 2nd Xbox it means we have an Xbox and Kinect all to ourselves. Yay! :-D Sadly, I put on some weight from our recent vacay, it seems that I have to sweat it out, and yes it's that time to reach out for my reusable water bottles. Last night, I started my fun Xbox Kinect work out routine...endure and persist!✌
  • Dance Central - I'm still on the easy's like my warm-up exercise routine. This is the 30ish me, trying to test and to improve my vision and motor coordination. I love to dance, oh how I wish it loves me too! haha! :-D My son enjoys playing Dance Central as well. 
  • Sports - I do the Boxing! It's really tiring! My upper body is sore every time I play it! :-D Only Manny Pacquiao, with a heart of a true athlete can bring it, and endure it! Pacquiao Fighting! ✌
And then I tried the demo of the Biggest Loser...

The Biggest Loser Ultimate Workout

Thursday, April 14, 2011

✈ Leaving on an AirphilExpress Jet Plane via Iloilo's New International Airport

Iloilo Cabatuan-Sta. Barbara International Airport
Our Iloilo's vacay was over a few days ago. It means air travel again with my son. As expected, I was actually quite expert on traveling alone with my son, we did it on several trips, even on our last year's MNL to SFO trip. Basically, it means that I have to make sure that I can carry all our allowable baggages, especially for our hand carried items. Thank goodness for my abled flabby arms (haha!;-P), no worries, I can carry 2 heavy backpacks with my Mac on one of them, and my purse. We made a good use of the 15kg per passenger free baggage allowance of AirphilExpress...flying in to Iloilo, we're at 17 kg. total, flying out at 26 kg. Those additional goodies are well-loved Iloilo's goodies (Angelina Buttered Toast, Rgies Butterscotch, and more).

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hmmm...Fender Bender at EDSA Guadalupe Bridge ☹

Hmmm, sadly we had a fender bender mishaps last night just when we're about to head home to Pampanga from Manila. Tsk, tsk...rush hour traffic along EDSA + 3 car fender bender = Major HASSLE !!!

3 Car Fender Bender along EDSA :-(
Not a great ending to our almost perfect vacay! We arrived Tuesday night from Iloilo, wherein we had another great flight time with Airphilexpress (You're spoiling us yet again! ❤) Then had a sleep over at St. Giles, which my son lovingly referred to this experience as fancy living! :-D ...and sadly this!!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I ❤ Skin Food Red Bean BB Cream and Sweet Potato Hydra Cushion Pact!

Yay! At last, I finally got my first BB Cream (BlackBerry? ;-P)! ✌ Blemish Balm Cream craze is of course courtesy of none other our Koreans unni's (sisters)! Nice eh! :-D BB Cream works both as a make up (used as a foundation, concealer), and as a skin care product (clears blemishes and helps improve overall skin appearance). So it's truly like the must have beauty says to work like magic, just look at those porcelain-like skins of the Hallyu stars! Voila! Being the Hallyu fanatic that I am, BB cream is it! ✌

I ❤ Skin Food Red Bean BB Cream with SPF 20 45ml at Php 1450! ;-D
I've been reading several reviews of BB creams from Etude House, but wasn't able to find any significant review for the Red Bean BB cream except for one. So I'm kinda saying a silent prayer that I made a good buy! I frequent The Face Shop (TFS) because I'm in ❤ with their cleansing facial wipes, so I'm kinda familiar with the price range. But Skin Food's products are way more pricey than TFS'. Skin Food claims to have better offerings and luxuries than the popular mineral-based make up, even among the other Korean brands, because it's actually made of food ingredients that nourishes the skin. 

Skin Food SM City Iloilo Branch

Moving in to Custom Domain Update

Time flies, it's almost half a month since I moved from to far, so good! Yay! Since I still got my hosting from Blogger, it was actually a hassle free transition. Everything worked as promised in 3 days. I just did updating on some of the applications and programs that my site is enrolled to, at least to those that allowed URL changes. As for my previous forum postings, everything actually redirects to the new site address. The initial concern on my GFC friends (Google Friend Connect) that they did not follow on my new site, well, they all did eventually! :-D The GFC widget, and the others, are all happy campers to my dot com site. I truly can't get enough of the happiness of having my own dot com. haha! ✌

So far, what seems like a major move to me, should actually be a basic step, since I wanted to professionalize my site and to make a career out of freelance writing. Being relatively new to the field, I took advantage of what's within my means, or my comfort zone, that is Blogger. But there are several alternatives available to meet different needs, skill level, and demands. So far, I'm a happy camper, but we'll never now, when I'll be up for the next challenge! I can always dream big for my site! Cheers! ❤❤❤

Friday, April 8, 2011

PayPal Withdrawal to Local Bank

Yay! PayPal rocks, and BPI not!? Although, I haven't really monetized this site yet, I was happy to get a payout from recent guest posting articles. I spent $3 for Entrecard advertising credits, paid vial PayPal. And then I eagerly waited to reach the threshold of Php7000 to get a free withdrawal... But I can't wait anymore, with the rate it's going. ;-D So last April 6, I withdraw the remaining balance to be credited to my BPI (Bank of the Philippine Islands) Savings Account, with a Php 50 charge to be deducted after the converted dollar to peso amounts. I just checked a while back (April 9), and the amount is already on my local bank account. It took 3 working days for the transaction to be completed. Not bad! Until I learned that I got more transaction charges from my local bank (BPI).... :-(

Update April 10: Based on comments on post that BPI would then add on additional charge, I checked my bank account transaction details, true enough, the amount remitted to my BPI savings account was Php 150 less. It seemed that when you withdraw from PayPal, if it's less than Php7000, you get a fixed charge of Php50, and my local bank (BPI in my case) would then take away/charge additional Php 150. How sad! That's like $4 total of deduction, to think how hard it is to monetize my blog, and then just like that... :-(

Here is the link for the PayPal Bank Codes.

P.S. I have a Skin Food ongoing giveaway. Please check it out, if you haven't yet! :-D

I ❤ American Idol Season 10!

I just have to talk about it. I can't get over why Pia Toscano was voted off last night. I ❤ her more with her class act of gracefully accepting the results. Nonetheless, it will not stop me from eagerly waiting for upcoming American Idol Season 10 episodes. JLO's just like the prettiest, and Steven Tyler, the coolest! haha! :-D Last I've been hooked to AI was Season 4 with Carrie, Bo, and Constantine. So far, AI Season 10 is like a drama that I just can't get enough of. As always, I get teary eyed on both happy and sad things. I have emotional investments in all of them. :-D The journey, struggles and eventually conquests of each one of them to make it to the show elevate life as we know it...that dreams do come true all in God's time! :-D Keep the faith! Fighting! ✌

❤ American Idol Season 10 Top 11! :-D 
P.S. I have a Skin Food ongoing giveaway. Please check it out, if you haven't yet! :-D

Thursday, April 7, 2011

❤ Facebook Page Launch Giveaway...Skin Food Gift Items ❤ (Closed)

Hi! Thank goodness it's Friday! Yay! I'm making it extra sweeter by hosting my first giveaway. It's from the ❤, and it's a little hard for me to let go of those sassy finds, but I'm doing it anyway! :-D Up for grabs are Skin Food 3piece Cosmetic/Toiletry Purses and 1 pc. Skin Food Nail Vita in Blue. I ❤ blue! :-D

Skin Food 3 piece Cosmetic Purses
As you can tell, it's the gift I got from shopping at Skin Food for purchasing Php 3000 ++. I actually got my first BB Cream (heaven!✌), and a lot more, but I'm getting a feel of them yet before I make a review. Please watch out for it.

Skin Food Nail Vita in Glossy Blue :-D

I ❤ AVON...Multi-purpose Jewelry Organizer ;-D

Being in Iloilo with Nans (my mother in law), means unlimited access to Avon Products! Yay! Some for free, and some, for payment later! haha :-D In most Visayas outlets, their book/brochure is advance by a month. So they are actually on May 1- 15 book today. I can't help but to hoard more purses, pouches, and organizers! But I guess, this one sort of make sense! ✌

Avon Multi-purpose Jewelry Organizer Php 199 for every Php 299 purchase! :-D

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Wordless Wednesday ...In Blooms! ❀

"Earth laughs in flowers!"
I wanted to share this refreshing photo! Seeing these in the flower market reminds me of how colorful, sweet, and beautiful life is...Live. Laugh. Love! Carpe Diem! ...and in that note, Save the Earth! We wouldn't wanna miss those precious gifts! :-D

Monday, April 4, 2011

Dose of Iloilo's Healing Art of Hilot Massage

"Luya-Luya" ... a piece of ginger is used by the therapist/healer as part of the  ritual
I'm a massage junkie, and so is Chase, my 5 year old son! :-D You have to hear him to believe...he's so mad at me last night because I got to enjoy a longer massage time than he did! He's demanding of a 2 hour massage session! haha! ✌

My hubby's mom has a friend who's known to be a gifted Hilot. She's believed to be bestowed a special gift, an ancient craft of providing body & spiritual balance or more popularly known maintaining the harmony of Qi (Chi). She does it by doing acupressure & then performes a folkloric ritual with the use of a small piece of ginger root to shoo away negative energies that gets in the way of the overall well-being. Here, they call this ritual as  "Luya-Luya".  

Boracay Summer 2011 at Crystal Sand

Kicking off our summer vacation is a visit to our sunny & sandy Boracay. We never tires of this beautiful island. There's simply so much to do, much to see, and so much to eat! haha! ;-P

Colorful Boracay Souvenirs. Ref Magnets for 3/4/7 for Php100 depending on the kinds or designs. Love the Tribal/Polynesian Inspired handicrafts, beads, trinkets and more. :-)
This time around, I will share with you more of the sights, colors, and food that I didn't cover in our previous sunkissed fun adventure at Boracay.

View from the beach fronting Crystal Sand Boracay at Station 2.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Iloilo Summer 2011...Swim & Snack Time at Hotel Del Rio ❤

Happy April Fools' Day! I wish you all have a good laugh today! :-D ...we sure did! We're back from our Pond and Boracay adventure. Today is actually our first "regular" day of our 12 remaining days in Iloilo. We decided to enroll Chase in a 12-session swimming lessons in Hotel del Rio just to really have his hands full with fun and memorable things to do during his summer vacation.

At first, he had a hard time parting with his ever loyal and dependent Speedo swim vest, it took him a while to get to the hang of using a kickboard. And he's doing so well after two sessions...he loves it! Way to go Chase!

Chase got too excited, he bumped his precious nose, we had to ice it! And then...Official Swim Time begins! Yay!
While he's out there in the pool, having fun, burning calories, and all, well...we're indulging in another gastronomic treat. ♨ Here's snacks today...Yum!
French Deluxe a.k.a. Army Navy (Boracay Jonah's version) Php 150++. Triple Decker Sandwich in Cream Cheese Sauce. Yum! :-D
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