Thursday, August 29

Everyday Sunday: A Gigi Cupcake and some Slappy Cakes

One random Sunday, I decided to swing by Eastwood for a much-needed me-time. It was raining lightly so I decided to walk from Felina Corporate Plaza and grab a Gigi's cookie butter cupcake while I find my way to the "new" mall. Ooops, I didn't have a chance to take a photo of my delicate dessert as it is rather pleasantly satisfying to eat than just to look at. Oh, it was so good! I really liked the cake more than frosting because it is not too sweet for my taste plus it tastes like a cheesecake. What a treat! <3 Start pa lang ng muni-muni ko, sulit na!

As much I love being with family and friends, I enjoy "quiet" times alone - it could be reading a book, having tea, watching a movie, visiting a museum/park/library, going to churches, traveling etc. And that day was such a blissful moment of being aware/sensitive about the world other than mine. I was able to soaked in with the different homemade/organic products sold at the indoor Sunday market, watched the puppies wiggling their tails happily, admired the beautiful architecture of the business district and so on. It felt good! And I wanted more, so I headed to I Do Nails Salon for a foot spa. Although I liked the interiors and the staff were accommodating, the massage & exfoliating service is just an okay. I went back after 2 weeks with friends for eyebrow & upper lip threading, they did not disappoint. Very affordable service and super clean! Sulit ang bayad ko =)

My ultimate favorite among all other fruit teas.A-Gantea's Hawaiian Fruit Tea in 50% sugar to quench my thirst. 
After all my splurging, I met with my boyfriend who works at one of the BPO companies nearby on a Sunday. Eeep! As our usual foodie chitchat goes - Me: Gutom ka ba? Him: Uhmmm... medyo. San mo gusto? Me: (looking around for a cutesy cafe) kahet saan, alam mo naman ang mga gusto ko. TADAAAAAAH!!! My tricky answer does its magic. He asked me to accompany him at Jollibee first to get his stomach half-full and not spend much on ordering my kind of food (usually cupcakes, French macarons, organic/fresh juice). I delightfully obliged.

Upon the suggestion of our friends that he SHOULD take me to Slappy Cakes for some fun pancake-making experience, he let me peeked by the window. He teased me that it's not value for money since I can make a better pancake at home.  Naks, instant fan! He tries everything to talk me out of this but I was determined. Eventually, he gave in to my kakulitan
. I say, it is a labor of love, mi amore! HAHA! 

Looking at the menu, the price is quite expensive. The buttermilk batter is at PHP 225, approximately 6-7 pieces of medium-sized pancakes. We didn't have a particular liking at that moment so we got the classic bacon and maple syrup. Our order came with free simple syrup and mango syrup - which didn't suit our taste buds. The staff willingly made one perfect pancake for us. We were giddy kids listening carefully to each instructions and asked how to lower the temperature of the built-in stove.

First, I made an i-love-you pancake because I was trying to impress or convince my man that this is worth a try. It took him a few seconds to master holding his utensil and voila, he makes pancakes like there's no tomorrow. 

perfect one
another time of his life photo
we can be creative, y'know =)

At the end of our afternoon, we went home with a smile on our faces. It brings a lot of memories dining there like the old rainy days at home when mom whips a hot pancake for us. 

Happy pancake day,


Thursday, August 22

Good news!

The past four days Metro Manila and other provinces were hit by a typhoon. While this is another challenging time for the Philippines, I can't be more proud of how we handle such catastrophic event with great humor and resilience. Mabuhay ang mga Pinoy!

In another news, my cousin-in-law sent me a photo yesterday of my first and second Amazon purchases delivered to his home address in Utah and to be hand-carried  in December to reach my excited arms. Hoooray!!!

I've been pretty much interested in photography since I owned a Canon film camera way back in highschool. Basically, I just want to document as much "happenings" in my world. My Momsie and I filed a LOT of photos growing up, we’d love to continue it as a life-long project. That's why when I got a job right after college, I saved for an Olympus Tough camera (I used to do skin-diving so this unit is fitting).  Unfortunately, I shy away from printing the photos because saving them in my hard drive is less costly. Then I remembered my life-long project with mom! AHA-moment! I decided to re-start my blog and print photos and think of more ways to improve them. 

For now, I'll continue snapping away with my iTouch and Canon point&shoot camera. Happy Thursday!

Giddy as a kid,


Friday, August 16


Hey beautiful friends! My week went by like a breeze. After a day of cooking up proposals for my clients, I'm grateful to have squeezed in time for God, family, friends and the boyfriend. Now, I'm so ready to soak in for a restful Saturday. A lot has been going on lately both good and challenging but I'm always reminded with the Bible verse below. Happy weekend y'all!


Thursday, August 15

Travel Thursday: Amazing Race 2013 (Bu-Ca-Ca Edition)

SEAT SALE. Two words that made us say YES for booking a second trip for 2013. WE ARE EXCITED (as in really excited)! For me, it will be a dream come true to visit Camiguin since I saw the movie of Gelli de Belen and Ariel Rivera in Katibawasan Falls (circa 1997). My memory serves me well.

The original cast: Phil, Con, Miguel, Leo, Zehl and Vita. As it gets nearer to our date of flight out, Phil backed out and offered his ticket for free. Gelo gladly stepped in with his wife Owie and friend Titto. We are a big group of 8. Hooray!!! The more, the merrier… and cheaper!

Early on, I read almost all the blogs I saw about the trip. It seems impossible to cover all 3 provinces in only 3 days with different flight schedules so I tried to get the best tips online. I also pestered friends who went for the same adventure! PS: Thanks Mimi and Cha for answering all my questions and for assuring me that everything will go according to plan… as long as it doesn’t rain and our rides are prompt. Finally, a detailed budget and ITI were born. HA! The Queen of OC, I know. I made necessary reservations for accommodation, transport and activities. All went well in a day of calling! WOWZAAAAAH! You are welcome.


Day 1. Car pool to NAIA 3! Thank you to the Esposos for hitching us. We met with Con and had breakfast at DnD. The ladies used the waiting time for chikahan while the boys went on a snoozing fest. Thank goodness, the weather is fine (this is early AM in Manila) and CebPac is being kind for not being delayed. Clap clap! And despite some turbulence that woke Gelo up while crossing Visayas, it was a smooth flight.

We landed safely in Laguindingan airport and kuya Tata, our cheerful chauffer is early. What a good way to welcome us in Mindanao (the farthest I’ve been from home yet)! My heart is overjoyed. We rented a van from airport to bring us to our hotel. It is a loooong drive – the kind wherein you can’t count the number of “Are we there yet” using your fingers and toes. Good vibes pa rin, at least we can rest before the real adventure begins.

We checked in to the only available room at that time (because we were early) then we’re ready to explore the city. I’m amazed at quirky cafes we passed by. Finally, we had lunch at the BEST BBQ IN TOWN. Butcher’s BBQ did not fail us – so delicious that we want to hoard them and is budget-friendly too. Their Angus beef BBQ is at 80php for sharing. Hallelujah! Because we were so full, we went to Brew Berry for hot tea and for the yummiest blueberry cheesecake!

Fast forward, we found ourselves signing waivers for Advance White Water Rafting through Bugsay team. It was a tiring but super fun day. Congratulations to us for surviving the 21 rapids! Before going back to our hotel, we checked out the Night Market at Divisoria. It was a weekend market of BBQ and ukay-ukay. We got the sweetest pineapples as we made our way to Inilog Grill. Our guide Amo from Bugsay suggested this place. We gladly obeyed and we went home with a happy big belly. Their ostrich dish tastes as good as adobo but we truly loved their chopsuey and sub-zero beers. Lakas ding maka-throwback ng mga songs from the 80’s! <3

Day 2. We checked out at 4am. Kuya Tata drove us safely (but really fast) to Balingoan Port to get the first ferry trip to Benoni Port. Thank God, the coast guard gave us a clearance to sail. WEEEEE!!! Here we go! We hired a multicab to tour us around the island of Camiguin. Next thing… we were soaking in the cold water of Katibawasan Falls. It was magical! Thank you to friends who made the experience more memorable. Then we went to the Walkway to Old Volcano, Sunken Cemetery, Sto. Nino Cold Spring, White Beach and Ardent Hot Springs. I couldn’t believe it – everything went according to plan. A girl can dream, right? ;) After a long day, in and out of the water we relaxed and shared stories over beer and nuts. CRAZY PEANUTS! Another hallelujah moment when Titto found his lost iPhone! ;)

Day 3. I played the annoying mommah waking up her kids VERY early in the morning (at 2.30 am) to catch the earliest ferry ride back to Balingoan. We missed the first but we were lucky to get in to the 2nd trip. Snoozefest!
We had our favorite adobong pusit for breakfast and hopped in our van for a long drive to Bukidnon. SNOREFEST!!! HAHA we are definitely tired from the activities but we want more before we head back to Manila. At Dahilayan Adventure Park, we turned into vegetarians munching on strawberries and sweet corns. Each one took their own battles. Zehl, Leo and Titto were the bravest for trying out the Asia’s longest zipline and the the Dropzone (from 125ft crane). While Con and Gelo, took the Ropes Course. Owie bailed out at the 840-meter zipline so I took her place. I AM SUPERWOMAN or BATWOMAN. Whatever!

We rushed to the airport with the thought, Titto and Owie missed their flight. This is the day we are grateful for delayed flights. HAHA! Thank you, ZestAir for sparing them a thousand bucks of rebooking fee.

Overall, it was a successful BU-CA-CA trip. We were legit tourists there! We are already planning when to get back for Iligan to see the majestic Maria Cristina Falls.

*** This is a long (overused word) post because I want to remember every detail of this trip and hopefully, it can encourage you too to visit all the other provinces of the Philippines. 

Cheers! It’s more fun in the Philippines!  


breakfast at NAIA 3 (DnD)
MNL to Laguindingan airport
van rental to Casa Isabella (1.5kvan/6pax)
triple deluxe room (950room/3pax)
lunch at Butcher's BBQ
white water rafting advance
for the souvenir CD - photos (500CD/6pax)
dinner at Inilog
hotel to Balingoan port (2.7van/8pax)
ferry boat fare + terminal fee from Balingoan Port to Benoni Port
breakfast at Port
island tour c/o multicab driver (1700 fee)/7pax
Katibawasan Falls
Sto Nino Cold Spring
Walkway to Old Volcano
Sunken Cemetery
Ardent Hot Springs
White Beach entrance
boat ride rental to White Island (400 boat/6pax)
family loft at Paras Beach Resort (4000 family loft/8pax)
ferry boat fare from Benoni Port to Balingoan Port
van rental c/o  Cagatranspo from Balingoan to Bukidnon to airport (6000/8pax)
terminal fee at Laguindingan airport
MNL to Laguindingan airport

Cagatransco c/o Kuya Tata 0916-5509688
White Water Rafting
Paras Beach Resort in Camiguin

Happy being young & free,


Wednesday, August 14

I Kiss Hair Dyeing Goodbye

The first time I colored my hair was during my freshman year summer vacation. My persistent aunt want to "improve" my boring black hair. I think it went well even  the Principal invited me to her office as soon I came back to school. Yeah, my high school is conservative like that. Eeek!

From then on, I constantly searched and tested different brands of hair coloring. I dyed my locks most of the time due to lack of disposable funds for recently acquired need of dyeing. That resulted to a lot of horrifying & funny experiences. There are times I looked like a cartoon character. I just charge it to experience and dye my hair black again then repeat (face palm). Chemicals over chemicals. Soooo bad! 

Some worked in my favor right (haha depends on the lighting)? But the chemicals ruled over my then-shiny hair. It became brittle, frizzy, dry... name it! I thought I was being cool while sporting such an unhealthy hair because I can achieve the laid-back, quirky kind of hairstyle without too much care. 

Everything changed when I decided to live my life simply. I lessened the use of unnecessary chemicals and shifted to using organic/home-made goods including my toiletries. Another big deal for me is chopping off my long dead hair to start anew. I felt lighter and healthier. It feels good to have my naturally black hair back. I have saved myself from potential skin allergy/irritation and baldness. And not to mention, a significant amount of money due to frequent trips to the salon. Now, I only maintain my hair by washing it everyday with Human Nature Lush Vanilla Natural Shampoo and apply a leave-on treatment Hair Heros Intense Argan Oil. If you are into organic stuff too, maybe we could try home-made dry shampoo out over the weekend. It's always exciting to learn something new!
my new hair 

Lovin' au naturale hair,


Thursday, August 8

Travel Thursday: Puerto Princesa

There are a lot of backlogs from the day I started this blog so I'm trying to catch-up. To stay committed in writing my entries, I decided to create "features" for each day. 

Instead of the usual throwback Thursday which is a hit for all of us, I made up a TRAVEL THURSDAY. Isn't that equally exciting? :)

Last February, I together with Con, Miguel and Phil went to Puerto Princesa. We got giddy because it is our first travel for 2013. Aside from that, it is my first time to pack light for a 3-day trip and to be early at the airport. Breakthroughs! Hehe! 

Oh, it is also my first time to join arranged tours. I think this is a very practical move for us because we are a small group and we'd like to squeeze in as much activities we can within a teeny tiny budget. Plus, we thought it would be fun to explore the city with new people! 

We flew via AirPhil Express. Much to our delight, they gave us free snacks. WEEEE! Most importantly, we arrived 30-minutes early at our destination. Their airport is clean and very organized. People are very helpful and accommodating. The aerial view of Palawan is just breath-taking! We instantly fell in love, the first time we set foot to this land.

After we checked in to our little inn, we decided to have a quick lunch at the nearby restaurant, Ugong Rock. We ordered for their tinolang manok. Yummy treat under 100 pesos. Double thumbs-up!

Then, we went ahead for the city tour. We met wonderful people from Cebu and Germany. They made the trip extra special with exchanges of jokes and stories. The group instantly clicked. Also, our tour guide is very cool in his hot pink pants. WHUUUUUUT!

We visited the Cathedral, Baywalk, Plaza Cuartel, the Ranch, Palawan Wild Life Rescue & Conservation Center, Baker's Hill and pasalubong centers. 

We are happy that we weren't bugged by overzealous vendors. Past 6:00 pm, we rushed our way to Kalui. The place has cozy interiors but as expected fully-packed on a Friday night. The food was okay and a bit overpriced but I'm really grateful for the fresh fruit salad.

The next day, we had the Underground River tour & side trips. This is my favorite part of the trip. The van ride from the city to Sabang took us about 2 hours but we didn't mind because of the side trips - view of Tres Marias, coconut & tamilok eating contest, mangrove paddle boat and other scenic spots. The cave is majestic and well-preserved. We also had a chance to try Sabang X zipline. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G view up there! 

Before we go back to Manila, we squeezed in an island tour. The underwater is a bit murky that time although I was able to spot beautiful sea creatures. We agreed in chorus that our moment at Cowrie Island is our favorite because of the photo tricks by our boatmen.

We booked our tour package (includes hotel, breakfast, buffet lunch, transport to and from airport, city tour, underground river and honda bay tours) with Island Paradise Tours & Convention. This is advisable for first time goers with limited time to explore the island. Permit to enter the underground river needs to be secured as they only limit 900 guests per day. 

Main Office: 355 Rizal Avenue, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan

Manila Office: Greenhills, San Juan

Telephone Nos: (+632) 697 4385

TelFax No: (+632) 727 0922
Cellphone Nos: (0917) 857 6248 / (0922) 821 1103 
Facebook: Palawan - Island Paradise Tours & Convention
Twitter: @iptourspalawan

Proud to be living in a tropical country,