As Usual, A Year-Ender (2016)

31.12.16


In 2016, my dominating word was BRAVE. I don't know how this surfaced, but it aptly summarized my year. It was also the word I held on to during anxiety-driven circumstances. My favorite phrases? "Kaya ko to!", "Aja!", at dahil kinain nako ng k-drama, "Fighting!". 😂 Pretty soon I was, not necessarily winning, but winging every challenge along the way.

My Korea Travel Expenses

28.12.16


Sharing my expenses from my Seoul-Jeju trip last Autumn. In a way, this will also be my personal record that I can conveniently look back on that day that I decide to go back to Korea. I actually checked my Korea Spring Budget before this second trip so I can gauge how much money I needed to bring!

Photos from Incheon Airport while waiting for my flight back to MNL.

Passion and Precision Cooking with Rinnai, No. 1 Appliance Brand in Japan

26.12.16


To me, the holiday season is the best time to showcase your home-cooked meal expertise. Filipinos spend time preparing their Noche Buena and Media Noche to show their loved ones only the best that they deserve. 

Oh, Hongdae!

24.12.16


When the plane landed at the Incheon International Airport, I heard gasps from a few people around me. I looked out from the window next to me and saw it ... The first snow of the year in Korea.


Christmas Parties + My New Commuting Lifesaver (aka P2P Bus)

23.12.16


Counting the days till Christmas day! Along with the holiday rush comes parties with family and friends, and of course, the unavoidable heavy traffic! Few weeks ago, I had to walk from Magallanes flyover to the MRT just to reach my event in Megamall before the show ends! Buti nalang may Beep Card nako. 😅

Anyway, the things we do for the things (and people!) that we love!

Commuting to Makati via P2P! No traffic, huhu what a relief! More about this experience later.

MBC World: A K-Drama Tour in Seoul

22.12.16


My flight back to Seoul was rather uneventful compared to my flight to Jeju. It also felt fast, but time in Korea (or when traveling in general) is also running, I arrived in my Hongdae box room and it was past lunch already! After leaving my luggage, I ran outside to (once again!) maximize the rest of the day.

The game plan? To visit South Korea's broadcasting capital: Digital Media City.

Autumn sighting during my walk to MBC--one of Korea's largest TV network!

Driving Around Jeju

21.12.16


After Yeomiji Botanical Garden and checking out the popular museums in Jeju Island, I still had a few hours of sun before calling it a day. Sunsets were noticeably early in the island when I was there, and most of the establishments with entrance fees were already closed by 5pm. 

Going to Hello Kitty Island, I decided to hail a cab. Kuya Driver, albeit our language barrier, suggested on more things that we can go to before I head back to my dormitory. He laughed when I relayed that I don't have any plans anymore. The only reason why I hailed a cab was because I don't know where the bus stop was anymore, and Hello Kitty Island is not walking distance from Jungnum Resort. I was lucky, he became my instant tour guide AND photographer for the rest of the afternoon! 

Taken by kuya cab driver, photog skills level 100! ;p

AirAsia Bloggers Contest: Win 2 International Round Trip Tickets + Php 20,000!

20.12.16


May 2017 be a big travel year for everyone! Join AirAsia's #ThankYou blog writing contest where you get a chance to win TWO International Round Trip Tickets + Php 20,000! 

Full mechanics below.


Holiday Looks with Unarosa

18.12.16


Just want to share, all three of us were wearing pieces from Unarosa last BU12! A few days before the event, I was able to drop by their updated store in Megamall to check out Unarosa's newest collection. I like that they have pieces that you can easily style for the season because they are basics but updated! Requested for photos because I don't have my camera during that store visit. 

Posted Unarosa's inspiring and well-styled lookbook below!

Museums in Jeju Island, Korea

17.12.16


Here's what I realized about Jeju Island: It takes an hour or so to get to places. You have to plot your schedule well, or make your visit longer (3-5 days). Since I am still learning from experience, I had to maximize just one full day in Jeju. The night before that one full day, I researched and created a game plan. It's hard to go to all these top TridAdvisor places, so I just went to the ones that were highly recommended and near each other. Most of them are museums.


Van Gogh Inside Exhibit, Jeju Island

16.12.16


It was my first night in a ladies dormitory in Jeju Korea. Lights were already off except for a few bedside orange lamps, as I was scheming my next day's game plan, researching on things to do to maximize my one and only full day in the island. That was when I chanced upon the Van Gogh exhibit.


My Contadina Vegetarian Pasta Recipe + Holiday Giveaway

15.12.16


CONGRATS TO THE GIVEAWAY WINNER: Lhourdes Mercadero!!! Will DM you on Facebook as to how you can claim your prize! 

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Since I am a vegetarian and I work at home almost everyday, as much as possible I try to prepare my own lunch. My mom is very supportive of this lifestyle choice, but she also cooks different dishes for me and my family. To make life easier for her, I prefer to do things on my own from time to time.

When I am pressed with time, like this busy season, my go-to meal is fried egg and rice (haha). But if wanted to go a bit fancy, I cook no-fail pasta:



Shop for Christmas at Our Home

14.12.16


Although travel still tops my wish list for 2017, I also want my own pad or office. It's a far-fetched, goal, but as they say, you have to believe it to achieve it!

Yesterday, I was in Mall of Asia and saw the Our Home store inviting me to look around. What I like about this experience is that I felt no pressures in purchasing something while inside the store. I can go around freely (even took photos!) just to canvass for my "feed goals" pad.

Feel the Spirit of Gratitude with AirAsia!

13.12.16


Christmas is definitely my favorite season, I think even more so than my birthday! It brings about so much positive feelings from people, personally, it fills my heart with gratitude for the year that was. If anything, I'd like to spend these next days leading to Christmas only with my dearest loved ones.

True to the holiday vibe, AirAsia, the world's best low-cost airline, just released their Christmas video featuring people expressing their genuine care and appreciation.



Feel Christmas with Favori

12.12.16


The past days had been very busy and difficult for me, I can't help but catch myself tensed. One thing that I do to relax is lighting up scented candles, incense, or my Favori diffuser. 

Scent can a be very powerful emotional trigger. To me, just add a peppermint scent and all will be well again!


#IAmUrbanBrave

11.12.16


If anything, I am grateful that my parents built me in becoming street smart

I was confined for years in an all-girls school, taking the school bus before and after my classes. "Commute" to me that time means taking the cab. When I stepped into college, my mom and dad allowed me to really commute. I can still remember the first days where my mom will join me as I ride the tricycle, jeepney, bus, and then another jeep for 2 hours just to reach university.  A few days later, she will just let me go on my own.

The rush excites me, the feeling of not knowing what will happen next made me nervous. But all the wins and boo-boos that came from all those commutes prepared me for what lies ahead.

From being a long-haul commuter, I am now an Urban Jetsetter!

Yeomiji Botanical Garden, Jeju Island

5.12.16


Since my main agenda for this trip was to catch any signs of what's left from Autumn, I decided to go to a garden first thing in the morning during my first (and only) full day in Jeju Island. 


Fun Gift Ideas For Football Fans

4.12.16

We all know that one person who is almost too obsessed with football to function. When it comes to people like this, you can never go wrong with a football-themed gift. Whether it's their birthday or the holidays, they'll always smile when they unwrap a gift that has something to do with their favorite sport. To help you shop for that football fanatic in your life, here are some fun gift ideas for football fans.

I Left My Heart In JejuAir

3.12.16


Post-traveling leaves too much stories in my heart. 

And although life lately consists of events and Bloggers United duties (sadly, setting aside my @simpleMNL business for the meantime, huhuhu), it's so hard to just let go of these stories. Time is crucial.

Anyway, during my day 2 in Korea, I felt that I wasted - well - a lot of time. I feel that I made poor decisions, booking a flight to Jeju Island in the afternoon, leaving me again with a day spent more inside a transportation or the airport, and less time to go about "exploring". Again, time is crucial.

FLYTPACK: Affordable and Reliable Travel Pocket Internet

2.12.16


During my solo travel, I realized one thing: You have to be fully equipped because generally you can only rely on yourself. Before leaving Manila, I already have coats, thick socks, gloves, and even masks and ear muffs ready in case the temperature in Korea is too cold to bear.

Aside from these, I have my passport, and all my tickets and itinerary printed and stashed in a water resistant envelope (with 2 pens, to be sure!). I have set my budget, exchanged my Peso into Won 2 days before departure.

And of course, I decided to rent out a pocket internet that I can use for this travel. I've seen this in almost all my traveling blog friends, and now after experiencing it first hand, I must say, THANK GOD FOR FLYTPACK!


One Night in Seoul

1.12.16


I'd say, this Korean Autumn Trip will remain very memorable to me for a long, long time. I got my plane tickets from winning as the blogger partner during the AirAsia Travel Photographer contest. I'd like to think that I used my prize wisely.

Last year in October, I was dreaming and hoping to experience autumn in Korea. I even created a Pinterest album with photos of Korea during fall just to "attract" this. Long story short, I was back in the land of kimchi and K-Dramas to experience Korea during the season I've been dreaming of for over a year.

A K-Drama Tour + VIU K-Drama App Now in the PH!

30.11.16


I recently caught the K-Drama craze, and I can't seem to stop watching different series ever since! I'm on my fifth series now (Descendants of the Sun), and it has only been a month! :D 

No wonder when I went to Korea a few days ago, it became a K-Drama ish tour. I can't help but associate a place or person that I see to scenes and characters in my K-Dramas. And although I've been to Korea last Spring, it was extra nakakakilig to be there now that I have a whole new level of appreciation for their pop culture, showbiz, and even history.

At the Incheon Airport, you can try Korean costumes for FREE. I asked if I can wear this headgear ala Ra-On of Moonlight Drawn By Clouds, haha!

Bloggers United 12 on December 10!

29.11.16


It is almost the end of 2016 AND the 6th year of Bloggers United, and we are celebrating it through another exciting gathering of your favourite style bloggers, online influencers & vloggers!  This yearly holiday tradition involves a fun bazaar with bloggers & influencers as sellers where you can buy items for as low as P50, and an intimate meet-and-greet with their beloved readers.   #BU12xWorldBazaarFestival will be held at the World Trade Center-Tent on December 10, from 10am onwards. Expect loads of activities and exciting contests from our sponsors!

70% Discount at All Mossimo Branches Nationwide

19.11.16


Sale Alert: Enjoy up to 70% Discount at All Mossimo Branches Nationwide!


Stay Healthy This Holiday Season with TrueTea and Green Stevia!

18.11.16


I am currently watching my weight, which is so-so much harder now that I am 30. 

I realized that although I am very much into body love now more than when I was a teenager, I can't just YOLO on my weight because of health reasons. I realized this just a week ago when my mom gave me the talk. I am not a kid anymore, so this is serious!

Anyway, just this week I decided to cut down the snacks aka chips and sweets (huhu). One night I was craving for something to satisfy the sweet tooth, I decided to drink a glass of TrueTea. Aside from getting the sweetness I wanted, it's also guilt-free!

More on this product and the brand's recent event in Tagaytay:

Get that Korean Skin with Beauty Lab Whitening by Suaviss + Promo Code

17.11.16


After two La Union trips last month, I decided to try the new Beauty Lab Whitening by Suaviss, located at the Bonifacio Stopover, Taguig. My goal is simple: to get back to my original skin tone post beach trips. What caught my attention is that BeautyLab Whitening's treatment facility is perfected in Seoul South Korea, and we all know how Koreans have the most perfect skin - as if they have no pores!

Anyway, I went there on a weekday with no expectations, and here's how the experience went:

Purchase Online, Pay Bills with Your Smart x PayMaya MasterCard

16.11.16


With the holiday rush, I'd prefer to accomplish half of my tasks from home and not risk getting stuck in traffic.

For someone who is not used to credit cards, I am glad that we now have #SmartPayMaya. You can now spend your existing money on online purchases that only accepts MasterCard mode of payment!



Join Pioneer #MoveOnLang Songwriting Competition and Win Php 100,000!

14.11.16


 Pioneer, one of the top life and non-life insurance companies in the country, is inviting aspiring songwriters and musicians to join the #MoveOnLang Songwriting Competition.

Participants can submit their entries at www.moveonlang.ph until November 15, 2016 for a chance to win a cash prize of up to PHP 100,000 plus PHP 100,000 worth of insurance coverage from Pioneer, as well as the opportunity to have their songs recorded and performed by musicians of their choice.

Get the iPhone 7 at the Midnight Launch by Beyond the Box TONIGHT!

10.11.16



Apple Premium Reseller Beyond The Box is making it easier for you to get your hands on Apple’s latest devices. 


 

Japanese Eyewear Brand OWNDAYS Now In Manila!

9.11.16


Largest optical chain from Japan Own Days launched another store at the Estancia Mall earlier. I've seen some of their branches around the Metro (Glorietta, Landmark, and Festival Mall), and finally got to know more about the brand during the event.

Urban Ready with Urbanize

4.11.16


For a commuter, everyday is an adventure. It's one thing that I commute during my travels, but count in my daily bus-jeep-tric-train-grab hopping and call me the epitome of an Urbanite.

Now here's a brand that I recently just learned about that speaks right through me. URBANIZE gears us up to be #UrbanReady and #UrbanBrave by equipping us with products with FASHION AND FUNCTION.


Instax and Crafts: Journaling

3.11.16


Although my third time to hold a workshop for Fujifilm Instax Philippines, I was still as ecstatic about it as if it's my first time. Every time I get an email invite to teach for an Instax & Crafts event, I try my very best to free up that date so I can make it!

Just to share, pre-event process involves LOTS of back-and-forth emails. Team Instax will ask me for at least 2 project proposals, and I try to pitch in art projects that I myself would love to work on, things that excite me as of the moment. During the last workshop before this, I taught Instax Travel Board. For this year, I was surprised that although the theme was Christmas, Team Instax approved my current passion when it comes to art: JOURNALING!


My Belmont Hotel Manila Experience

2.11.16


Some call it "staycation", while others "workation". I'd like to maximize a hotel stay by being able to do both of these: To accomplish so many work-related things, and at the same time, still have the time to relax and enjoy the comforts of a hotel.

I think that's what I was able to experience at the Belmont Hotel Manila during my overnight stay last October 22-23. The 4-star hotel located conveniently near Resorts World Manila and the NAIA Terminal 3 was the perfect host as I prepared for my next-day art workshop gig.

Daniel Wellington Classic Black Collection

1.11.16


If you like Daniel Wellington's classic, flat, white-faced watches, then you will LOVE their new pieces from the Classic Black Collection:

Speak the Language of Love with San Remo

31.10.16


San Remo Philippines encourage everyone, young and old, to "Speak the Language of Love" by sharing your favorite pasta to people who have shaped you in one way or another.

To kick-off the campaign, they held a one-day event at the Landmark Trinoma last October 25, 2016. For a weekday morning, it's amusing to see the place packed with shoppers who flocked their installation to try out the different FREE pasta dishes San Remo Philippines prepared for everyone.

UK Face Care Brand SIMPLE Now in Manila

30.10.16


I was easily drawn by the brand name when I first got the event invite to SIMPLE's Philippine launch. Aside from having the same name with my new clothing line, it is direct to the point to its purpose: A gentle, skin-loving, but highly effective products that champions not only how the skin looks from the outside, but how it feels. 



Thoughts from the Former "Fashionista Commuter"

29.10.16


My former blog name was Fashionista Commuter. I used to commute a lot and I mean, walks, buses and trains level instead of taxi. Grab and Uber were then non-existent, so I was afraid of cabs because of one-too-many jumping meter experiences. Changing from one transportation to another was tiring, but in a way, it developed skills and personality. I became more street smart and I say this because I used to be in an all-girls school with sundo-hatid school bus.



Japan: Winter Light Festival Tobu Railway Co. Ltd

26.10.16


Illuminate Your Holidays at Japan This Winter!

#TeenWeekPH2016

25.10.16


On its 4th year, #TeenWeekPH2016 aims to reach 1 million teens around GMA/NCR, Central Luzon and Calabarzon.

H&M Evia Lifestyle Center (Daang Hari)

21.10.16


Just came home from the opening of another south H&M branch, this time at the Evia Lifestyle Center! Love my photos from this "field trip", so sharing to them to you guys right away! :)


Perak in a Nutshell + Traveling with Strangers

20.10.16


A view of Ipoh from a Vista Point stop-over in the highway:

Mossimo X

19.10.16


Opening for the recently concluded Zalora Fashion Night Out 2016, Mossimo casualwear brand took the gathering of fashion industry’s glitterati to showcase a new capsule collection that totally changes people’s perception of the brand—Mossimo X. More photos below!

Watsons Hair Treats Trio Model Search

18.10.16


Watsons Hair Treats is looking for three fresh faces to win a one year modelling contract!

Adventures in Perak!

16.10.16


I remembered Jaypee breaking the ice for everyone when he asked what kind of traveler we think we are while we were in line, waiting for our turn at the Philippine AirAsia check-in counter in NAIA Terminal 3. I was hearing my new travel buddies mentioning nature and mountains, and then...

Jaypee: "E ikaw Ana?"

I think I was the last one to answer because I wasn't completely sure!

Me: "Kung city or nature-nature?"
Jaypee: Oo.

Me: "Siguro 50/50. Minsan after ng mall at shopping, nauumay nako at hinahanap-hanap ko din yung mountains or dagat. Same din after ng nature travels, biglang hinahanap ko na yung cafes and aircon. Gusto ko best of both worlds."

After I gave you the FOOD and ART tours, here are several nature activities that you can add if you want to balance your Perak itinerary.


The Art In Perak

14.10.16


Perak, Malaysia may be more known for their FOOD, but the town also has a hidden talent yet to be uncovered by you (the tourist) - it is also very ARTSY. A place-to-be for those who love to keep their Instagram feeds consistent, yet still brimming with stories and content. During our first day, the whole afternoon was spent just around the city, walking, taking in the feel and vibe of a place we're all visiting for the first time.

First impressions last, as they say. And since day one, Perak showed me that here's an underrated state, ready to welcome you.


TriNoma: PAWS Pet Cafe and Zombie Diner!


And here's a south girl saying....It's an exciting October in TriNoma! 
Let me count the ways...

Perak Food Trip!

12.10.16


Before writing this food post, I had to remember the symphony of flavors of a Malaysian Cuisine, specifically all the wonderful food we had in Perak. 

Now, the closest I have to remember everything is to prepare a hot bowl of Maggi Kari instant noodles that I bought in bulk during our last night in Malaysia. Like how they do it in Perak, I served my noodles in a bowl with a spoon and chopsticks. Hay, if only I have more colorful bowls and plates! As I slurp the rich taste of this soup, I think I teared up a little partly because I got sentimental -- but mostly because it's sooo spicyyy!!! 



SM Shopping Convo with Ava on Viber!

11.10.16


I am grateful to have fashion blogger friends who are generous with their shopping finds! We usually message each other for tips and consultations. Sometimes, I even send to them my OOTD just to check what they think of it!

Here's one of those aliw convos I had with one of my closest blog friends Ava. Saw her Instagram post of cute jumpsuit, and just had to ask her where she got it!


Heading to Malaysia via Philippine AirAsia

10.10.16


A little introduction is in order.

When I received the email invitation for AirAsia's Ten Places Campaign (Featuring Perak), I was still getting the hang of La Union, enjoying the beach bum life while resting in Kahuna's colorful bean bags after swimming the whole morning. I knew my mom will disapprove, or maybe I should take this as a sign that I needed to go home and not continue on with my original plan of staying for 7 days? But in the end, I was also quite sure I can do both travels without compromises.

And so I said yes, without thinking twice, hit the send button to confirm my attendance.


#MoveOnLang: FILSCAP x Pioneer's College Songwriting Talk and Competition

9.10.16


Last year, I went to several Pioneer (a top life and non-life insurance company in the country) theater events in Metro Manila schools. Along with that, they had a competition to encourage the youth in their script writing. 

This year is different, but also as exciting! Pioneer teams up with FILSCAP, the sole official music copyright society in the Philippines, for the FILSCAP Campus Caravan.

I went to the University of Makati last week to watch the talk with Eunice of Gracenote, and Roll and Champ of Hale:

Monaliza + REEF Beach Clean-Up (My LU Finale)

8.10.16


My 6th day agenda in La Union with surf and lifestyle brand REEF Philippines seems appropriate: A coastal clean-up. After enjoying LU's great food, cool people, and beautiful beach for the past five days, it's high time to show it the care that it deserves. The perfect finale? I think so too!

#AxeBlackDavid Merchandise Price List


I feel fortunate that once in my life I traveled with David Guison (naks!). 

In this photo, we were off to Boracay to cover the Superbods event as hosts of then-online show for Madhouse. Since then, I noticed how constant David travels here in the country and even abroad. New York this week, then Sweden or a local beach on the next. It's crazy! What surprises me is when I still see him in events, all dressed to the nines. If there's something that DG knows about, I must say it is keeping up with style and traveling.

This is what #AxeBlackDavid is all about, well, for me! We all know that the event and the concept store was a hit, with yesterday's blockbuster launch. Aside from being well-attended by fellow bloggers and his long-time fans, I just have to ask them for a price list of the well-curated travel-themed merchandise in the store. 

Sharing them to you guys!

Anagon