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Need ideas on how to wear your hair during your engagement shoot? Take a look at the following considerations to help you narrow down your choices.
Your theme
One of our prenup shots by Dave Sarabia
Engagement shoots can go from relaxed casual to full-on dramatic, depending on the couple's taste. If your shoot will be more on the casual side, then you can try light and flowy curls like these. It gives you a refreshing look without looking unnatural. Because you'll be putting on makeup that will highlight your features, it's important to use hairstyles that helps reveal your face.

Your venue
16 Inch 7 pcs Clip In Body Wave Brazilian Human Hair Extensions (#2 Dark Brown)
If you're working on an outdoor venue, pick a hairstyle that's easy to manage and retouch. Go easy on the mousse and let your hair get into a natural mess every once in a while. It helps paint a nice picture and makes your shoot look very natural and relaxed. For indoor shoots, work closely with your theme to ensure your outfits and hair match. Styling a picture perfect engagement is a combination of proper clothes, great hair and makeup, and of course a good photographer!

You natural features


18 Inch Micro Loop Body Wave Human Hair Extensions (#60 Ash Blonde) 50g
Always consider your face when choosing a hairstyle. As mentioned, choose a hairstyle that will open up your features and complement your face. Knowing the shape of your face helps. Long curls work well with round faces. Medium length hair with soft waves are great for heart shaped faces. Long hair with fringes is a good match for girls with long faces. Search for inspiration and get crazy with your options! :)
Our wedding rings <3
Caught up in your wedding planning? Don't forget about your rings! You may get overwhelmed by all the major things that's gonna eat up your budget for your big day, but don't neglect your wedding rings. It may be literally the smallest part of your wedding, but it signifies something much bigger than your big day. It's a symbol of your love for each other, a reminder that you guys are starting a new life together. It's one of the few things that's gonna be left with you after your wedding, after the guests have left and the decors have been taken off.

Not sure where to start? Check out the following tips on choosing your weddings rings

Shop early
Wedding rings are usually expensive. On the average you can get a pair of pretty gold bands for around $500 to $1000. Take note that gold's market value fluctuates depending on the season, and so does other metals and gemstones. So if you must shop for it, do it now. Set up a budget and stick to it.
Buy as a couple
Wedding rings come in different shapes and sizes, and the price will depend on a lot of things -- the materials used, the metal, gemstones, cut, shape, etc. Your wedding rings should be something both of you agree on. It's unlike other parts of your wedding where it's enough to have one of you decide. You will wear your rings everyday, so it's important that you love how it looks and you mutually agreed on the design. It's not required to have matching rings, but most couples prefer to have partner bands as it symbolizes their unity. If you guys have really different tastes, there's always a max to mix and match. You like gold but he likes platinum? Why not a braided style intertwining the two metals? Research on different styles and learn that even the most opposite of personalities can agree on a design.

Consider your lifestyle
2pcs 7mm Round Peridot Wedding Ring Set 14K Yellow Gold Milgrain Diamond Matching Band Full Eternity Ring
It pays to get rings that won't get in the way of your daily activities. Who needs a big chunk of sparkling diamond when it's gonna end up ripping off your surgical gloves when you're working in the operating room? Your rings are going to be part of your daily life so consider something that would complement your lifestyle. Choose comfortable rings if you have an active lifestyle because you're gonna have to get used to wearing it everyday.

Happy shopping!
Work's pretty lax right now mostly because I'm still on the onboarding stage. You know, familiarizing myself with the tools, the people, the building aaaargh. It's a freaking maze here. The tools... they're so friggin many. Like they have three external tools integrated to MS Outlook (more, if I ask) and they've got loads of 3rd party applications in use. Hopefully will get used to it in the following months!
My other work, on the other hand IS DRIVING ME NUTS. I promised to deliver 3 articles this weekend but aaaargh I was only able to get 2 done. I was supposed to finish that set then request for a leave (naks may leave ako HAHA) for around a month until we relocate to our new house which is nearer the office. But I don't know! They just dumped 4 more topics to me HUHU HOW DO I LIVE.

My other other work, IS ALSO GETTING CRAZY. I have 2 sets of invites to deliver this month. Oh well. Will stop accepting design gigs in the meantime 'cos this girl is frkn busy. Grr.

OKAY UWIAN NA BYE.
I have so many stories to tell, and there were a lot of times I wanted to write about something immediately but can't because I'm too busy. Now things have piled up and I don't know where to start haha. Okay, so let's do it chronologically!

New job!


I started with my new job last week (August 22). The first four days is dedicated to onboarding us. We learned a lot about White & Case, its founders, the history, vision and mission, the executive committee members, blah, blah, blah. To be honest I've never attended an onboarding this in-depth. Everyday we do a recap of all the concepts. We do quizzes, we recite, etc. Very classroom like. Can't say I hated it.

As part of our initiation (as I'd like to call it) to the company, they made us complete this signature sheet and human bingo card where we had to hunt for people and get their signatures. It wasn't supposed to be competitive but there's a consequence for losing so might as well put some energy into it. Argh.

True to their values, the entire week was indeed very engaging. I met a lot of people and gained new friends. My introverted self was challenged to the core and eventually has gotten used to the cringing sensation of shaking hands and introducing myself. What have you, even public speaking didn't taunt me that much. Noice.

Longer commutes
I remember being scared of leaving Pointwest because for three years I'm only 30 minutes away from work, and I don't think I'm ready to journey back to Ayala every freaking day. But thank God my schedule is midshift so I wasn't too worried about getting caught in traffic. The only problem is going home! Even though the ride home is a breeze (Ayala to Fairview in 45 minutes can you believe it), it's already too late and too dark and I have to cross the super well lit overpass at FCM (note sarcasm) pa to reach home. So I tried bringing the car to work, not really to Ayala but I found a flat-rate parking area at Centris Quezon Avenue so the plan is to leave the car there and commute to work, then go back for it after my shift. I was happy at the thought of not crossing the overpass anymore.

But well, two days into it an I got into a road accident!

This time with a PUJ
My poor Vios getting used to my incompetent driving.
Can't dive into the details but in summary: I hit (was hit by) a jeepney while turning to Quezon Avenue. Thank God I was not alone. I was with three of my officemates and they're all such great moral support. As in, just the fact that someone's there with you makes a lot of difference. One of them called the MMDA to check so in a few minutes we got authorities at the incident.

We went to the police station and filed a police report, and because me and the jeepney driver is accusing each other and there's no concrete evidence, we have to elevate things to the court. OMG. Thank God I have insurance so I can leave the dirty work to them.

A bunch of learnings:
- In case of a traffic accident. DO NOT MOVE YOUR CAR until you've taken pictures and videos of the situation. Get out and record the scene, you need to get an angle of the road, where you are, where the other car is, your surroundings, the damage, and even the signages around. Who knows if the jeepney was entering private lane? Or you are crossing theirs?
- If you can help it... JUST LEAVE YOUR VEHICLE AS IS until the first responders arrive. Don't let anyone move their car without agreeing to certain terms. If they move, they're guilty. Char. If the scene remains untouched, the MMDA can sketch the incident and decide who's at fault. If you're causing traffic, make sure you've taken enough pictures before moving your car out of the way.
- SAVE MMDA HOTLINE - 136. Have extra load with you because it's not free to call. GRR.
- If you must really take matters to the precinct, ask the MMDA officer which Police Station covers the place of accident. In our case, Centris is covered by some police station at Project 8. We were escorted to the place and filed an incident report there.

Sobrang hassle but thank God because:
- We're all safe
- I have friends with me. What do I do without you guysss. Thank you Bear, Tats, and Mhy for staying with me! Shempre na-abala ko sila so I felt bad for wasting their time but I'm super thankful at how supportive they were <3
- My load didn't expire until I got home, whew. I was able to call my dad for help but since he's with my mom at the hospital, he called my uncle to back me up.
- My uncle followed me to the precinct. So overall I wasn't too fazed by the situation hahaha.
- My dad is very very calm. Every time I get into accidents like this, he always makes sure I learn something from it first before telling me what my faults are.

Hay! It's less than a month before my wedding and I damaged my bridal car hahaha. Sana mapaayos agad haha
I can't believe it's already Wednesday! I was imagining my one week vacation to be peaceful and sweet but here I am running errands everywhere. In chronological order starting last Friday...

Friday - last working day at Pointwest
To be honest I wasn't too emotional about leaving Pointwest. Not until my onsite teammates started sending me well wishes that I realized, man I love my team! I wanted to send a goodbye email but I didn't know how to start. In my awkwardness I even had to Google "How to send goodbye email at work" HAHA and mind you, they were really helpful. I'll probably get to it this week, before they kill off my access.
Photo by Keats!
We had a subteam lunch (which is midnight) at Shakeys Katipunan and a team breakfast at Ral's Technohub so you could imagine how terribly full I was the entire day.

Saturday - went by so fast
You know how toxic Saturdays are for night owls like me. It means forcing my body to be awake for 12 hours more because I have things to do. Actually we only had one thing set that day, which was the last leg of our pre-marriage counseling with Paris (our officiating pastor). After our session we ate lunch at RUB Ribs & BBQ at Sct. Rallos where I excitedly ordered a burrito bowl which disappointed me because it has no trace of Mexican in it. Anyway, I guess our last session dissuaded us from having kids early in our married life HAHAHA. Rightly so 'cos we don't really have plans of having a baby yet. Blog, don't jinx this.

Got home soooo tired. Slept 14 hours total. Sarap.

Sunday - haizt
And I thought I was gonna feel rejuvenated after a long long sleep but no. My parents used the car so I had to commute to church. Then I got my period. My mood swung and I can't pick a dress to wear. And then, I can't book an Uber 'cos my phone is acting up. I was literally crying at my first world problems. But everything eventually leveled down. We ate lunch at Shang Plaza where we finally saw their new tiles HAHA. It's been a while since we last went there and every time we do, there would always be men working on the floor, breaking the tiles. God knows how long it took them to replace everything. Anyway, congrats lol.


Also, I bought a bunch of cold-pressed juices from Pure Nectar by Fruit Magic to see if I could do juicing again. I don't like the taste to be honest. I don't think I liked any of the juices that much. They were bordering on spoiling already, so much for the expiry date that's a week from now. Urgh. But what have you, I ordered again for day 2, and 3. Hm. Ang yaman ko.

Monday - the haggardest of them all
Jeckie took a leave from work cos we had to apply for marriage license. Sobrang haggard ng araw na to jusko. I thought I'd have time to go to my RDO branch to have my 1905 stamped but noooo. First thing we did was get our cedula at UP Village. No lines and super cool aircon, love it. Then we went to the city hall to apply for marriage license at the Civil Registry. Then back to Jeckie's to rest and wait for 1pm for the Family Planning seminar. Then it rained so hard while we're about to go to the Health Department huhu so much hassle getting a taxi! Arggghhh.

Anyway. I learned a lot that day. I learned that pills, injectables, and implants are all hormones that make you have regla so you can't bear a child. Other family planning methods discussed were ligation - which I don't care about... and IUD -- which was interesting! Not because I'm considering it but because it's very enlightening to learn about how it works based on the female anatomy of the ovaries.

It's like, okay, the goal is to not get pregnant. What can we do?
The egg cell should not reach the uterus: Okay let's cut the tubes (ligation), or block the passageway (IUD). But that's too invasive! Fine, let's give you hormones so your egg cell falls off and dies when you're ovulating. So cool that there are so many ways to work on a problem and all solutions are valid haha.

Okay after that enlightening yet tiresome seminar, we went home to change and rest a while before we head to our final agenda.

The lobby that smells like pancakes. Or biscuits. Whatever.
We're moving to Flair Towers after the wedding. By God, with our current status I think we may be stretching our living standards a bit but myyyy the place is beautiful. I haven't checked the other condos around but I want to vouch it's the prettiest among its neighboring condos haha. We paid the reservation fee, signed the contract, and heaved a great sigh as we realized that this is it... we're living together soon in this nice building that's next to Rebisco so you could imagine the smell everyday. ARGH IT SMELLS LIKE PANCAKES IN THE LOBBY, WHY.

Tuesday - not better
I am so freaking tired. Monday was all about accomplishing our marriage license requirements. Tuesday was about securing my pre-employment requirements naman. I already have my NBI clearance, so my agenda for the day was really just to go to BIR then submit the papers to White and Case. All the while worrying about my pending articles from freelance work, and the 2 invites I have to finish this week. LORD HAVE MERCY. I wanted to have enough time to spend at home so I could focus on my other jobs but oh Lord. daskjfhdskhfvbsg fhgafsafh

I left Makati around 6pm and rode the P2P bus because I was so tired and I wanted to sleep. But what have you: rush hour, payday, and the horrific accident at Mindanao Ave involving a cement mixer and a car - made our travel from Glorietta to Trinoma a ridiculous 2 and a half hours. I've completed an entire sleep cycle and we haven't even passed Boni. I can't. I was mentally crying at all this.

Side note, back at White and Case I learned that there was only one slot for the position I applied for and HUHU I can't believe I got it. Pressure. That is what you are.

Wednesday - today
I promised to finish the articles due yesterday and I did, yehey, but not after going to Trinoma to meet with our OTD haha. Now that I'm done with my writing, it's time to indulge in Game of Thrones! Also, Bride of the Water God hihi ❤

Hope you had a restful day!

Wait, I have to sleep pala loool.

Our invites are ready for distribution! Actually they've been ready for a couple of weeks now haha. Big labor of love for the design and DIY kraft envelopes. Please remind me to blog about all my wedding DIYs. So far we've made envelopes, boutonnieres, and flower balls for our flower girls. SO MUCH WORK. 


Today was cool. Met up with a couple of my college friends to hand out their invites. Ate a lot of pizza too. My weight loss journey is totally failing. I'm back to 150lbs after being 147lbs consistently for a couple of weeks. I blame Potato Corner.

Now I'm thinking of doing a juice cleanse a week before our prenup, which is next week. HAHA Wish me luck. I'm eyeing Pure Nectar by Fruit Magic because it's nearest hehe.

Tomorrow is my last working day at Pointwest. I'm torn between writing an email of gratitude to my teammates, here and abroad... or not bothering with it at all HAHA. I'm leaning more on writing something personal though because as much as I'm excited to move on to my next job, a part of me wanted to tell them how grateful I am of everything they've taught me. For one, I've finally found a place in the IT industry after being so frustrated about programming. And here I am, moving on to a new job with a same description, fortifying my expertise in the domain. <3

Anyway, will wrap this up because finally I have scripting work to do (read: exciting). I've been slacking up for the past couple of weeks and I've been itching to do some scripting. :)
Photo by Bethany Legg on Unsplash
We Filipinos are known to be very hard-working and family-oriented. Providing for our loved ones and making them happy is our number one priority. Every day we go out to work no matter what, not minding the weather and bearing everything possible just to put food on our tables day after day, without fail. But what if all our efforts take a toll on our health?

What if you suddenly feel weak, depressed and tired all the time? You may not know it if but you may be suffering from Vitamin D deficiency.

What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a key chemical our body needs to be able to perform every day tasks without feeling burned out. A lot of our organs are regulated by Vitamin D, including our heart, lungs, brain, and bones. Low levels of it are linked to chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, and heart diseases. Our bodies are naturally capable of producing it from sunlight, but in this day an age where we avoid the sun like the plague, how do we cope?

Proper Supplementation
Forti-D is a supplement that grants us our daily dose of Vitamin D which is 800 IU. It comes in a gel capsule form that's guaranteed easy to swallow and is very affordable at only ₱6.50 per capsule. If you care for your family, you should also care for yourself. Start serious protection today with Forti-D.

Signs and symptoms
Here are common symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency that often gets overlooked. According to a study conducted by Hi-Precision Diagnostics, 7 out of 10 Filipinos are Vitamin D deficient. If you're suffering from any of these, take a step back and evaluate your Vitamin D intake.

1. Feeling tired all the time
Getting plenty of sleep but still waking up feeling exhausted? This may be caused by low levels of Vitamin D.

2. Unexplained depression
Vitamin D receptors are present in many areas of the brain, including those linked with depression.

3. Poor athletic performance
Overall physical performance is affected by Vitamin D deficiency. It's linked to increased inflammation, making you feel overly exhausted even with just a light amount of workout.

4. Not enough sleep
There's a measurable improvement in sleep quality with regular Vitamin D supplementation. Having trouble getting sleep at night may be caused by low levels of Vitamin D.

5. Poor immune system
With a poor immune system, you'll easily catch whatever is prevalent at the moment. Colds, viruses, flu - if you seem to be getting frequent bouts of these common illnesses, it's time to fortify your body with Vitamin D. Not because it's widespread means it's normal to catch it too.

Seryosong Proteksyon, Simulan Ngayon!
Protect you and your family from Vitamin D deficiency. Poor health is a magnet to dreadful diseases and your family needs serious protection from these harmful elements. Because of indoor lifestyle, ageing, and our constant hiding from the sun (sunscreen, umbrellas, etc.), it's hard to get enough Vitamin D from sunlight these days. If you equate the required daily dose of Vitamin D to food, you'd need to eat 40 eggs / 8 glasses of milk / 800g of Salmon / 2 cans of tuna flakes EVERY DAY. Proper supplementation is your best bet. A capsule of Forti-D is all you need to get equipped with the recommended amount of Vitamin D in your body, keeping your vital organs functioning healthily. Forti-D (Colecalciferol 800IU Vitamin D3) is a product of Unilab and is available in all leading drugstores nationwide at only ₱6.50 per capsule.

For more information, visit www.forti-d.com or www.facebook.com/FortiDPH
I've wanted to update my layout for sooooo long but I just don't have the time recently (excuses). It's impossible for me to get a new theme because this one I have right now has been customized too much, way too much it's hard to bring all those changes to a new template. Argh.

Here's a random photo from Unsplash:


So there, after the font change (from Montserrat x Crimson Text to Playfair Display x Lora), I finally found a way to rearrange my posts. At the surface, it's really just the layout that's changed. Featured image on the left, post summary on the right. THAT'S IT. But do you know how much effort that took me and my puny brain?

First, I have to float certain elements to the left or to the right, add some margins, adjust some paddings, blah. Easy peasy, they're all just CSS.

Next, I have to set a default photo for posts that have no pictures in them (aka. my daily dramas). Otherwise the left part of the post excerpt is going to be empty. I thought I could just expand the snippet to 100% if there's no image but it looks unbalanced and ugly. And since that solution also entails some code-digging, I'd rather work on something that's tedious but pretty. That is, looking for a way to set a default thumbnail for pure text posts.

And I did. I found a solution over heeere. I had to study where to insert the code correctly, but when it worked, all that's left is polishing.

Not really.

When the code finally worked -- ok let's not insult developers. When the markup finally worked. I had to test for responsiveness. So that's another level of adjustments, mostly paddings, margins, media size behaviors. Urgh. And we're done.

And I'm happy!

There's a part in me that wants to do some refactoring but I'm afraid I'll mess something up. There's literal gibberish in my template. I have 1000+ lines of CSS, and a bunch of encrypted javascript functions I may or may not be using. I have sliders and carousels I want to remove because even though they're hidden via CSS, they're still eating up loading time. Argh. I'm a total webdesign wreck. Just kidding.

But yeah, let's leave it for later.

Happy Friday, friends!

EDIT: My archives are a mess please don't go there for now. :)
Yeah and that merits a post lol. Funny how a small change can make a big difference! I was getting bored with my previous layout, thinking my fonts look too sharp they're breaking. Then I chanced upon a nice looking blogger theme and got my font from there. In fairness, I love it! Playfair Display is a free font from Google and it looks soooooo nice. Specially the ampersand! So yeah, I replaced all header fonts with Playfair Display and went back to Lora for the body font. <3

Anyway.

It's 4:30am and I'm slacking off again!

I tried the pomodoro technique earlier, you know, 25mins pure work then 5min break and HOLEY MOLEY HOW IS IT SO EFFECTIVE?! I've listed 5 tasks for the day and when the timer ended I'm done with 3.

Now I'm back to procrastinating.

Honestly, I'm becoming more and more interested in make-up lately. My stack is still pretty basic though, but for someone who's not a beauty enthusiast I'm surprised quite a lot of trends caught me this year!

Here's 5 of the top beauty trends owning the internet this 2017:

Photo from Unsplash
1. "No-makeup" makeup
Nude's still in. Girls want to look as bare as possible by putting as much as possible on their faces. Guilty as charged here! Neutral palettes and flesh-toned lipsticks are still so popular today, and for good reason. Nude makeup gives you a fresh and glowing finish that looks natural. Like you didn't even try (even if you sat two hours at the vanity). Don't we all want to look effortlessly beautiful?  No wonder Urban Decay's NAKED palette is such a huge success.

2. Bright and daring makeup
As much as nude makeup is in, this year is also the year where wild and extreme colors rose to popularity. Glittery lip gloss and neon eyeshadows, despite what people think, is more of a statement than a preference. Take California based Lime Crime Cosmetics, a line of vegan and cruelty-free makeup. Its creator, Doe Deere, takes pride in producing high quality and highly pigmented makeup fit for everyone who takes self-expression unapologetically.

3. Microbladed brows
Or at least, full looking and defined brows. Gone were the days when thin arched brows were lit. Right now, people are investing in all sorts of products to achieve more natural-looking brows. Even brow products are evolving. There are feather brow pens, 3-in-1 sculpting pencils, and even brow fibers now, can you believe it?

Microbladed brows, however, offer a more permanent and natural-looking solution so those who want to stick to this trend - which I presume will stay for another three years or so. It's a type of cosmetic tatooing involving an ultra thin and wispy blade that certified specialists use to manually draw hair on your skin. You know what, I'm actually saving up for this. 

4. Unique makeup brushes
Because regular makeup brushes are so effective, somebody decided it's time to reinvent them for more profit.  Beauty blenders, silicon sponges, paddle brushes are all the hype this year. I'm 110% skeptic at first, but in fairness, they're all the rave online. So I had to try them right? I personally have a beauty blender and I don't use it anymore haha. I have a couple of paddle brushes too and can I just say that they're cute and fluffy and feels super good on the skin. Other than that I'm good with my regular brush set! Haha

5. Excessive contouring
Not the most well-received trend, but still a very popular one at that. It's a complicated trick that's originally made for red carpet celebrities because it was meant for HD cameras and harsh lighting. How it suddenly gained mainstream popularity, I have no idea. Now, a highlighter, a contour powder, and tons of concealer are part of every girl's make-up kit, and Instagram has become their version of a red carpet.

Out of the 5 I didn't get particularly obsessed with bright makeup and contouring -- mostly because 1) contouring is hard and 2) I'm not too confident about sparkly things on my face! But for the rest, I was so in. I told you, I have paddle brushes and a beauty blender. I'm getting my brows microbladed one day. And the no-makeup makeup look is my daily game.

What beauty trends are you following this year?

// I've been feeling sick for weeks. Reason why I'm not in the mood to do anything lately. I was supposed to go to the city hall for my NBI clearance but had to delay 'cos my bed kinda hostaged me today. That and I was wheezing like crazy too.

// My sister and I finished doing my DIY kraft envelopes this weekend. IT WAS SO FUN. You know, smelling paper, cutting, folding, piling, AAAAARGH. I'm not really that crafty but I'm having fun doing simple tasks like this kahit paulit ulit. It's satisfying, the feeling of mastery. Our backs hurt a lot after that 'cos we were hunched on the floor the entire time but okay lang ang saya parin. Also doubles as bonding time with my sister too. I try not to think about it but I feel sad every time I think that in two months, we'll be seeing less of each other na. Aargh. Even my parents. My mom gets emotional whenever I talk about how Jeckie and I are looking for a place to live in after the wedding. It gets me too huhu. :(

// I thought transitioning out of my current job is gonna be easy peasy. HINDI PALA. Jusko all the documentation I have to turn over. 

// Despite feeling a bit sick, I feel like things are turning out good. Jeckie just started in his new job today! I'm not getting a lot of writing assignments lately but alam mo yung bigla na lang may darating na pera? I had to borrow the money I set aside for the car's amortization to pay for my credit card, so sabi ko Loooord help, I'm broke! In the next days I got a message from one of my recent clients, saying -- she would like to buy one of the first revisions I did for her logo 'cos she felt it embodies her company more. Ako naman, suuuuuure. But deep inside I was racking my mind if I already deleted that file 'cos that was like an ancient revision. I made seven variations for her and it's funny we're going back to the very first logo din pala. HAHA. Anyway, the point is ANSWERED PRAYER WOOOH THANK YOU LOOOORD!

// Wedding wise. Uhm. We changed photographers HAHAHA. And hired a prenup stylist too. Yey. Looking forward to it. :) Yun muna!
Gist: I got a new job!

Putting this in draft for now because I don't want to jinx it!

Source: theenterprisecenter.com.ph
It's June 7 as of writing, and I can't, ano ba, hindi ako mapakali hahaha. I've been actively searching for a new job, one that pays double at least, and is in line with my current experience. I had a couple of prospects from Jobstreet, but some of them had major drawbacks - night shift, located in the south, OT/overtime hazards... so nope.

But there was one, one very intriguing post that I know is out of my league, but is probably the most rewarding of all. The offer, according to Jobstreet, is aboooove my expected salary (frkn 6 digits man). It's located along Ayala Ave., which is far haha, but it's fine 'cos we're moving in the area sometime in the future. The catch? The post is for a senior position with 8+ years of experience. HAHA. Looking at my resume, the only fighting chance I have is my 2 years experience in one of their non-negotiable requirements. My back-ups: my software development background, leadership and training experience, and my onsite exposure. Also my college latin honors but I'm not sure if they still count as I'm getting older in the industry haha. Total years of experience: 5. Long shot, but I still applied.

But what have you, they called a few days after I submitted my application online! So here's quite a timeline:

May 26 - applied online through their Jobstreet/LinkedIn posting

May 30 - phone interview with the HR. It was supposed to be around 7pm but got moved to 9pm. I agreed, even though it means I could be answering the call at the office (which I'm avoiding), but thank God 'cos just as I was about to finish parking, the call came. So yeah, perfect location. I enjoyed this call. I kept hearing the word "interesting" from the HR as I was explaining my duties and obligations, and discussing the points in my resume. I was hoping it's a good thing. I was told that even though I didn't have the required 3-5 years experience in Performance Testing, my development background kinda makes up for it. Plus points that I was client-facing and was sent to the US for a while. The HR discussed a couple of their company benefits as well. HMO (extended to 2 dependents. YAS), de minimis, 13th month pay, performance bonus, annual increase, 15 VLs and 15 SLs (are you kidding me huhu), etc. I wanted to cry LOL. Then I disclosed my current rate, which turned out to be laughable considering the work I do. So yeah, I laughed too. We wrapped up and she told me she'll forward my application to the hiring manager, then I was invited for a technical interview the following day. I heard her say "I'm so happy I found you". Damn, I'm happy too!

May 31 - Technical interview with their QA manager. I answered an HR assessment exam first, an animated simulation exam about customer service and multitasking. It was fun and engaging haha. Then I went on to the actual technical interview. I thought I was gonna have to do some scripting, thank God wala naman. We talked mostly about the processes we do, my experience in certain protocols, the level of feedback and analysis I provide to each project. I was able to answer everything. But I know I don't have much experience in analysis, I do mostly the dirty work (scripting and support). Shortly after the interview, the HR fetched me again and congratulated me for passing the technical interview. I was so relieved. She mentioned that I was one of their strongest candidates. I went home really excited.

June 5 - The next week I was finally scheduled for the last leg of interviews. One with their IT head in Manila, and another with their stakeholder in New York via web conference. In reality, I had 3 interviews that day. First with their QA team (with future teammates, if ever), next with their GTS head (basically head of IT in Manila), and finally with the director of business applications and shared services in New York. After all those interviews I realized how badly I want to land the job. The company seems great. The leaders are admirable. The scope of work is exciting. I'm gonna learn a lot and still be able to practice my expertise. Everyone seems professional and fun at the same time. And they give their employees iPhones hahaha. The HR went back to me after all the interviews are over and told me she'll get back with me with the results in about a week. She told me I deserve it. I hope she's right.

I hope I'm not expecting too much. I really want to get an offer. I'm ready to resign. But of course I just had to dwell in paranoia for a while. What I'm afraid of:
- That the position was taken by someone who can start earlier (happened to me 3 years ago). They did tell me it was an urgent position. I told the HR we actually have to give 2 months notice before leaving (sucks, right), but 30 days notice can also be pulled off.
- That it was taken by one of my current teammates HAHA. It's no secret we're all looking out. I'm generally open about the opportunities I see online, even sharing those I think are worth the shot. It would be devastating to learn we're vying for the same spot. And that I lost.
- Someone better came along. *cries*

Right now I'm trying to condition myself with the worst that could happen. I'm really just afraid my my teammates would leave and turnover all their work to me! AAARGH. That's gonna be crazy. I don't want to inherit any of their work HAHA. It's too much. I'm already dealing with so much on my own. Argh.

If only there are other opportunities out there for my line of work.

Jeckie said God will give it to me if He knows I'll be happy even if I don't get it. It's all about accepting God's plan and not sulking about things when they don't go my way. Pretty saddening, and enlightening too. It's true that there's not much to lose on my part, I still have a job no matter what. But the buildup of the possible offer is making me really expectant, and it would terribly hurt to lose this opportunity. I want to believe that it's okay to lose this, but I don't know. I want it. Jeckie and I needs it. It's a great leap from where I am today.

June 8 - right now I'm thinking if they're stalling my job offer because a competition came along. I checked their Jobstreet listing to see the profiles of those who applied as well. There are 20 of us. 10 from the same industry, 9 with the same function, 5 with more experience. I'm in deep competition, and that's not to add the other applicants from other avenues like Monster, their Taleo site, or even their own referrals. I don't know if I'll get it. I really hope I do. If I don't...

I DON'T KNOW HAHAHA. I just feel like everything went well for me during the interview process so I'm not sure how to react if I don't get it. Is it my lack of experience? May attitude ba ko? Did I offend anyone? Aaargh. I'm already excited for that new life. New people, bigger salary, more savings, more... food options lol.

Can I just stop worrying about it? As I said, even if I don't get it I'll still have a job. I should be happy about that. Right?

Right.

Hay Lord.

June 9 - I'm still waiting for news. But for some reason, I'm not too hung up on it like yesterday. Yeah, I'm still thinking about it, but now it doesn't feel like a big deal anymore. In fact I was even excited to finish all my work today. Weird.

June 12 - It's a holiday so I wasn't expecting any news. The longer I don't hear about it, I feel like the slimmer my chance becomes. If they wanted to hire me couldn't they decide right away cos they know they had to wait a month for me to get started? LOL IDK. It's not like offers are given in a jiffy. It's sad but I'm trying not to be so sad about it. But I really am. Their Jobstreet posting is already gone too. Which means two things, they already hired someone or the ad has expired. We'll see tomorrow haha.

June 13 - I was supposed to follow up today but didn't have to 'cos the HR messaged me first. Yay. No word yet about the decision of the stakeholder but they'll keep me posted. Whew. I'm getting anxious about it but it's a good sign they reached out first right? Hay Looooord.

June 14 - HR called me to get additional references for background check. No offer yet. They asked for 1 colleague, 1 superior, and 1 HR from all my past employers. It's weird 'cos you don't usually ask for references from past companies but whatever, I want to get back with the info immediately haha. Hopefully it'll turn out well!

June 19 - Some of my references were called today. One of them told me I'm up for a job offer. I can't believe it.

June 20 - HR called me to deliver news! I'm moving on to the last steps of the recruitment process: medical and background check. I asked if there's already an offer, and she said yes. I can't wait to get over it and finally discuss the job offer, which according to them would definitely play around double of my current salary, but less than my asking rate. I'm already okay with double, honestly. I only racked up my asking rate because I saw they're offering 6 digits for the post haha.

Also today, I just tendered my resignation to my current manager. Which now troubles me because technically, I haven't signed an offer from White & Case and I wouldn't know if my getting hired is contingent on the pre-employment checks. Anyway, I asked if it's okay for me to resign already and she said to go ahead because 60 days notice is quite long.

June 21 - I accomplished the medical exam this morning, and got the company name wrong for the drug test forms. For some reason, the guy at the drug test area told me to write Union Bank under company name. I was like, okay maybe the fee is going to be shouldered by the bank, IDK I didn't ask. So I called the HR and confirmed that it's indeed wrong, and weird. So I called the hospital to correct it. Whatever. I hope my results get routed properly.

June 26 - I'm feeling apprehensive but I can't really do anything but wait haha.

July 4 - All my paranoia was for naught. I just signed their offer today, after negotiating for a higher base pay. I didn't get the 6-digits just so you know. Also, I know I'm not worth that (yet). I'm starting on August 21, two days away from my last day here at Pointwest. I already discussed with my current manager and we're good, except that I really had to fulfill the 60-day notice. Good thing White & Case was very considerate of it. My manager also didn't really have anything to counter my resignation, I'm lined up for promotion this month but that's still subject to deliberation, and I'm 4 months short of the average time it takes for someone to get promoted at my level. And I know I'm not that good to break the record of shortest promotion gap ever haha. And the whole long-term/short-term US stint is really just an empty promise. We got a hundred percent denial from the US Embassy this year. I consider myself lucky that I was able to fly once at least.

It's funny 'cos reading back at this whole White & Case recruitment diary, I realized how sobrang praning ko lang I almost didn't want to publish this HAHAHA.

But here you go. Just so I'd have something to laugh about in the future.
This day sucks.
  • I woke up early 'cos I have a meeting at 9pm, turns out it was cancelled.
  • I gained weight
  • I was waiting for a call from a prospective employer, but it didn't come. Now I'm not sure if I'm getting a job. And I already resigned you know.
  • Then I hit a car parked outside our house 'cos it was sticking too close to our driveway.
  • I missed getting my coffee fix at McDonald's 'cos I was in a rush to get to the office, good thing the drive thru was closed. One of the good things, yeah, but still. NO COFFEE.
Argh. Then there's work.

Today sucked, clearly. But what sucks more is how I reacted to all these negative things. I was such in a bad mood from hitting a car I was in a rage while driving to the office. I cursed at the slow cars along the way, the freakin jeepneys without headlights, the cars parked at frkn street corners, the tricycles, the people not walking on the sidewalk, crossing along Commonwealth. I could've killed a family and not feel a drop of guilt. I know, I'm awful.

But I still thank God.
  • That my parents weren't mad at me for hitting their client's car. Have I mentioned they're a guest at our house? T___T
  • That I arrived at the office safely
  • That I still have instant coffee with me, not iced but it's fine
  • That my dad is very understanding of my driving flaws and never scolded me for my lapses
  • That I'm alive
Hope you're doing good. :)

Also today at Magic 89.9, Boys Night Out - they were talking about instances where you unfollowed, blocked, unfriended someone over social media, and why.

A caller mentioned unfollowing these social media darlings after they became born-again Christians 'cos they suddenly became judgmental and seemingly self-righteous.

I think I know who they're talking about. Being judgmental and self-righteous is a different story but I just want to react to the sudden change. Becoming a Christian is a complete transformation and it's not at all gradual. It's a 180 degree turn from your old self. It's going cold turkey to sinfulness so yes, it's abrupt, shocking, surprising, totally uncharacteristic to the point of seeming like a hypocrite.

And that's the burden we all share.

I can't believe I haven't posted about Chili's! I was meaning to put it under Food Phase Fridays 'cos there was a time I got sooo addicted to it. I would crave for their classic nachos and Chili's rice, and Jeckie and I would eat at Fairview Terraces every two weeks. The manager there even gave us free buffalo wings 'cos sobrang familiar na ata kami hahaha. Well, that was before when we could still afford it haha.

Just recently though, we were given passes to Chili's soft opening at Robinson's Galleria so we were really stoked about it. So even though it was scheduled on a weekday lunch and that I'm most probably still asleep, Chili's is Chili's so I gotta make time right?

Right!


It's been a long long time since we last ate at Chili's so that day was such a huge throwback. We were given play money to spend and a survey form to fill out before we leave. Cool!


Then we ordered the usual. Classic Nachos for appetizer, Beef Salpicao for me and Monterey Chicken for Jeckie.

Classic Nachos

They have the most delicious and unique nachos!

Beef Salpicao

I super love Chili's Rice. My love affair with Chili's actually started with their rice. I keep coming back for it.

Monterey Chicken

Another one of my favorites, but I'd choose anything with Chili's rice talaga haha


Also, new found favorite: Dalandan Mist! 

If you ever find yourself in Galleria, don't forget to drop by Chilli's for a hearty meal! :)

Chili's is located at Level 2, Robinsons Galleria, Ortigas, Quezon City
Imagine working in a world where time seems to just pass by and almost everything changes instantly. Think of having to keep up with an environment where it costs a lot to stop or even slow down for a while. Sound taxing, right? What more of prioritizing the welfare of everybody in the household.


But every head of the family doesn’t mind about it. Fathers are said to be the pillars of our homes. They toil sun up to sun down to give our needs and desires.

Some of them go abroad with tears in their eyes because they will be physically separated from their families. However, there is a certain joy in their hearts knowing that they will be able to provide for their loved ones back home.

To honor these gallant paternal men and let them feel how extraordinary they are and important their sacrifices are for their families, Father’s Day has been a yearly universal event. As we mark again this special occasion on Sunday, June 18, 2017, our applause and recognition will never be enough to show them how grateful we are to have them in our lives.

Our dads, together with our moms, take good care of us the moment we’re born. They are the ones who provide everything we need for our everyday lives. From infancy up to adulthood, they feed and clothe us.

As we take our initial baby steps, our patriarchs guide and lead us in the right direction. When we stumble and fall, they assist us to rise and move on. In times of danger or any threat, they shield us from any harm.

All of these, they do out of unconditional love. Their selflessness, though, has its own toll. Working tirelessly could lead to high levels of stress constantly and problems not only mentally, but physically, too. So better watch out for the signs.

Has tatay been constantly complaining about losing strands and strands of his hair every day? Or maybe has he been searching for a way on how to get them to grow back?

According to the hair loss statistics conducted by Statistic Brain in the year 2016, 40 percent of men experience noticeable mane vanishing as early as age 35. And as per the American Hair Loss Association, there are a couple of different factors that cause excessive hair fall, one being extreme degree of stress.

Nutramedica Inc. introduced a revolutionary product that aims to address this problem: NOVUHAIR, nature’s answer to hair loss. Being the only topical scalp lotion in the country that is made from 19 natural herbs, essential oils and co-factor nutrients all working synergistically, it’s perfect for all the heads of the family out there, be they biological or not.

NOVUHAIR is proven effective and safe to help prevent and stop the progression of hair loss and, at the same time, help promote locks’ growth. Simply spray a liberal amount of NOVUHAIR topical scalp lotion onto the scalp and massage for 5-10 minutes. Voila, it penetrates deeply into the roots, which helps rejuvenate, nourish and maintain the natural moisture of the hair.

Still have no idea on what to give him on his big day? Well, NOVUHAIR might not be the most expensive gift to impress him, but the most valuable present he could ever have. This nature’s answer to hair loss provides him the chance to be ahead already in preventing his “crowning glory” from receding in the near future.

So, head on to all leading stores nationwide and get a dose of this breakthrough product. NOVUHAIR is also available in shampoo and conditioner formats to further complement the benefits of NOVUHAIR topical scalp lotion. NOVUHAIR is available at Mercury Drug and other leading drugstores nationwide. You may also order NOVUHAIR online at www.lazada.com.ph. For inquiries, you may call 413-6570 or 0922-8830575, and visit www.novuhair.com.
To be honest I'm feeling kindof down lately. But it will pass. I'll stop sharing about our wedding planning for now 'cos I feel like it's being jinxed the more I talk about it. Something unexpected came and now Jeckie and I are scrambling to get new jobs. Can you believe it, right in the middle of saving for our big day. So yeah, will bottle it in 'til it's over then dump all the reviews when I'm officially a Mrs. I'm just thinking sayang cos I just learned that wedding related keywords are frkn evergreen. Hahaha On the plus side, I've earned around $200 doing freelance work last month. It's tiring, writing about pool accessories, home repair, and frigging drones, but I'm learning yeah. It's just that sometimes I wish I had more passive income, so I don't have to toil every time I needed extra money. It's like yeah I may be skilled in a couple of things, but it won't translate into money if I don't work extra, which sucks.

Anyway. I'm just so tired. For an unseasoned (just haha ok) writer like me an article a day is quite a stretch. I can't believe I pulled it off though. I'm still so exhausted from all the thinking and researching, but here I am wondering if I could get some more assignments 'cos I need more paypal funds to pay for my bridesmaids dresses hahaha.

Hay Lord. I just need some good news.
I loooove online shopping, so it's kind of a shame I'm only exploring ShopBack now. If you're someone who loves lurking and swiping at Lazada, Althea, Zalora, or even Booking.com - you definitely have to learn about this!


Philippines' cashback website, ShopBack, is an online cashback website that lets you get deals and discounts on over 300 stores. It's pretty simple. It's all about giving you back a portion of your spending whenever you checkout at ShopBack. Easy right?

Watch this video to learn more about how it works:


See? All you need to do is sign up, browse on your favorite online shop via the ShopBack portal, checkout and get your cashback! You'll be able to redeem via payout to your bank account and even on Paypal. Convenient right?


I'm pretty impressed with the variety of e-commerce sites they've worked with. All of my favorite shopping portals are there, and I'm sure yours is too. You can get cashback on your eBay deals purchases, and get exclusive discounts on Lazada and even AliExpress!

It's the perfect online shopping and cashback platform for shopaholics like me!

But what got me really excited about ShopBack is the list of beauty shops they've worked with! They've got everything! Members get exclusive dibs on Sephora sales for saving on cosmetics, and they've also tied up with Zalora, Althea (waaah!!) and even Forever21. If that doesn't get you excited, I don't know what will! Maybe travel deals? For those who love traveling, you know how costly it could get. Using ShopBack, all your trips are going to be totally worth it. They've worked with Booking.com, Expedia, and Hotels.com to give you the best cashback offers you could get. Check here to see more of their travel deals.


Shopping has never been this rewarding, don't you think? So shop online and earn cashback now! :)

Sign up using my referral link!
Sign up here and let's help each other out! You get ₱100 upon signing up, then another ₱100 when you make your first purchase. And me? I'll get a hundred when you meet a minimum spend of ₱500 haha. Not to keen on it really but hey, you get better discounts so why not! :)
Everyone's thinking of resigning and I'm here contemplating whether I should attend interviews and try to get an offer at least. I updated my Jobstreet profile and browsed a couple of postings two nights ago, applying to this one company which I really like, sounds really good, and is basically just a couple of buildings away from where I work. So far I've had 4 calls, including the one I applied to (yey) and even an overseas opportunity (omg). So yeah. Time to think.

My preferred company (the one I applied to) doesn't really have any open position that's fit for my current experience. But the HR said I have enough experience for this and this post so they're inviting me for an exam. Which is the problem. Cos I already tried their exam 5 years ago and failed miserably. I don't think I have enough braincells for their test. And chances are they'll make me code the Fibonacci in C or Java, on paper. Just like 5 years ago. And I frkn can't. Never in my (short) programming experience did a business requirement needed a similar algorithm anyway. But I know, I know, it's really just to test me out. Waaaah Lord.

The other opportunity, the one that got me really excited, is an overseas one. This time the position is for something I have current experience in. Something I'm more confident in. During the call they told me about the country (it's in Malaysia), their client budget (which sounds like an offer already but wtv), the cost of living there, how long I'll be staying (1 year), and some other stuff. They told me to wait for an email but I haven't received one, so I'm tryna get my hopes down. In any case, HOW COOL IS THAT?! :D I told myself I had to wait until I get married before applying to other companies because I can't afford to have a downtime. But damn, times are hard. And being at the edge of the fence makes me want to leave for greener pastures.

Anyway. I have three things going on: 3 pending articles, 2 logo concepts, and my regular job (that I don't even wanna count anymore cos I'm just out of mojos for it). In fairness, God has been truly gracious. I never had an ongoing writing job since 2009 (oDesk) so I'm really thankful I landed one! Next, I've never worked on a design project via organic leads so again. Thank you Lord!

Lastly, someone finally bought the Delonghi Multicooker I won from a blogging contest, so yeah. It's been 3 months and I'm afraid the warranty will expire so yey for getting a buyer. It's my first time to ship via bus cargo too so I'm kinda scared, but buyer paid first so I just gotta try it out. I didn't even know it was possible to ship items via cargo. Well buyer has to pick it up at the terminal but that's already plenty of savings given that I'm sending something too big and heavy.

So there. Wish my luck in a lot of things!
Long time no life latelyyyy
So, what's up?

Waist training

You'd think it's some special program you enroll in to slim down your waist area but it's really just wearing these expensive binders that flatten your tummy. I'm wearing one right now. I bought it on Instagram and it's called 9-boned latex hook and eye. What can I say, it's pretty effective in tightening my core. But then all my fats spill over to my upper body, enlarging my boobs, and the sides. I look terrible. On the plus side, I can't slouch. This thing is too stiffly wrapped around my waist it's uncomfortable so slouch. Isn't that good? It really takes some getting used to, now I get why it's called 'training'. Hehe

Okay I just took it off. No way I'm enjoying my revel bar and blueberry tea with this on.

Writing

So. Remember I told you my last writing gig was a scam? Looks like it's legit after all. I got paid around a week after I kept emailing the guy. He apologized too, saying he hardly communicates with his writers via email, and finally invited me to be part of his team, and his slack group (which is pretty neat!). Damn. I feel so bad for hating him. I even went as far as contacting his "client" (the link I used in one of my articles) to say he's a scammer who doesn't pay his writers. ARGH. Stupid girl. I retracted the complaint immediately, but still.

I've written seven articles for him now, and I'm getting paid. Why, Lord. This is embarrassing.

Designing

There was a styling gig I agreed to a few weeks back but there aren't any projects yet so I'm pretty chill. Today, however, I was contacted to create a logo by a client from the states who paid agad agad the upfront down I asked for. It's the first time I got a client who is not a referral and who came from my site, so thank you Lord for organic leads! It's pretty flattering! Also, it's the first time I'm working on writing and designing at the same time, so, uhm. LET'S PANIC.

Wedding preps and keeping the expenses down

I realized that if I really wanted to have a budget wedding, I have to let go of all these nice-to-have things brides rave about at w@w (it's a facebook support group for soon to be married couples. it's pretty enlightening). And they are:
  • Bridal robe - so overrated, but I'm probably gonna get a pretty one too HAHA #PeerPressure
  • Gift to your partner - we have our entire lives for this
  • Thank you cards - don't the souvenirs count already?
  • Videographers - same day edits and aerials are the bomb right now, but I don't think we need it. I think I'll be fine with just pictures (NICE PICTURES), but yeah we already booked one. It kinda puts pressure on the couple too, cos they have to shoot too many places to get more (and beautiful) footage.
  • And a lot other favors you give the guests - like heyyy I just treated you buffet lunch what else do you want? Actually, nothing. Guests are pretty inexpectant when it comes to weddings. They won't even notice the table centerpieces you bitched about to the caterer, and the additional 100/head you paid just to put their asses on rustic champagne tiffany chairs with burlap ribbons.
You see, there's a price for aesthetics. Once you book an acclaimed supplier, the rest have to follow. Why is there this kind of pressure? But you see, I think a really good photographer can fix all my aesthetic needs HAHA.

For instance, I didn't think Microtel was pretty, but this photographer, with his bright and natural shooting skills made it look so poooosh! Now, I'm set to booking Microtel for our preps haha. How I wish I could afford photogs like that.

Okay, I'm blabbing. Back to writing about phone systems and how to choose one.

Have a happy weekend!
I've been tinkering with Adobe Lightroom for the past few months, thinking I could learn how to edit our wedding pictures if needed, because honestly I'm worried about the output of the editing hehe. Since we're on a budget and couldn't afford to hire photographers who are experts in my preferred style, I decided to learn.

And learn, I did!


I'm definitely not there yet but I'm so excited to learn.

Here are a couple of my edits. The original photos are all taken from Unsplash. I would've preferred getting unedited samples but I couldn't find a bunch of raw wedding photos! So yeah, these will do.

Here's the before and after of the photo above:


I brightened the photo, warmed it up, desaturated the greens, and made the trees pop out from the background a little more. This is definitely closer to the output I have in mind, and I didn't have to use a preset!

Thanks to the guys at Smart for providing the photos. If you would like to learn photography you should check out their online photography classes and courses. They even have a module on lightroom.



The original photos are already great on their own, they're clear and are frkn stock quality. I just wanted to get some good photos for practice hehe.

I think I have a problem with exposure though. I want to brighten the picture without losing the details of the subject. Tips are much appreciated!

The goal is to produce photos similar to what these photographers do. Long shot, but willing to learn! What do you think?
As usual, I didn't have a preferred style until I started looking into various portfolios. Then I began collecting ideas and building my preferences, after which I concluded that my dream output is one with bright and natural feels to it, who doesn't?!


To be specific, and nit picky:
  • I want photos that are properly composed, especially if it has people in it.
  • Photos that are bright and happy, but not saturated. In fact I want bright, balanced photos, with slightly de-saturated backgrounds. No popping colors, just pure neutral and organic goodness.
  • I wouldn't check your camera settings (woah there) but I would want raw photos that are well lit. When I say raw, I mean unedited. Please don't piss me off with RAW files haha. I mean I'd ask for them immediately after our event so it helps if the photographer already has a bunch of no-filter good quality shots! Does it help that we're having a morning wedding? Haha Is it too much to ask? Do most photographers shoot RAW? Can't I get my JPEGs immediately? hehe
  • Styled - cos I'm a sucker for aesthetics but couldn't flat-lay properly. For what it's worth, I have fake grass, wooden clothespins, and jute strings for props, yeah?
  • Stock quality - yes I'm arte like that! I want stock quality photos. Char but not quite.
Finally, shempre di pa ko tapos, post-processing matters a lot to me because this is where the final output is getting brewed. I want photos that don't look filtered. There are photographers who churn out albums that look like they've been slapped with just a preset, and boom, done. No further effort made balancing each photo. Presets are great, they're the first things I learned when I started tinkering with Lightroom and I thought they're magic. But they're not everything. Vignettes, HDR, and dark and grainy cinematic effects are not my thing too. At least not for a wedding.

So with all these demands, I'm proud to present to you my 10 favorite local wedding photographers - based on their portfolios, as I haven't been blessed with the opportunity (and budget) to work with them. Also, they're responsible for turning me into this nit picky ass. But I swear if I get to work with any of them, they wouldn't hear a word from me, just tears of joy and snorts of laughter ('cos I hear they're a delight to work with as well).

In no particular order:
Disclaimer: All photos are from the photographers' respective online portfolios and rates are for 2017

1. Daniel Talavera Photography
Investment: ₱35,000 to ₱75,000
www.danieltalavera.com
photo@danieltalavera.com

2. Mara and Mike Photography

Investment: ₱25,000 to ₱70,000
www.mmphotoph.com
inquire@mmphotoph.com
facebook.com/M.MPhotoVideo

Aaaargh! I'm so tempted to get them!

3. Chestknots Studios
Investment: ₱78,800 to ₱136,800
www.chestknots.com
chestknots@gmail.com
instagram.com/chestknots
facebook.com/chestknots

4. The Perfect Grey Photography
Investment: ₱30,000 to ₱80,000
www.theperfectgreyphotography.com
theperfectgreyphoto@gmail.com

5. Foreveryday Photography
Investment: ₱75,000 to ₱120,000
www.foreverydayphoto.com

6. Law Tapalla Photography
Investment₱35,000 to ₱70,000
www.lawtapalla.com
www.facebook.com/LawTapallaPhotography

7. Team Benitez Photo
Investment: ₱70,000 to ₱110,000
www.teambenitezphoto.com
www.facebook.com/teambenitez
www.instagram.com/teambenitezphoto

8. CamZar Photography
Investment: ₱50,000 to ₱155,000 (with video tie-up)
www.camzarphoto.com

9. Dave Sarabia Photography

Investment: ₱22,000 to 57,000 (with video tie-up)
davesarabia@hotmail.com
facebook.com/davesarabiaphotography

10. Bob and Zab Photography
Investment: ₱40,000 to ₱80,000
www.bobandzab.com
www.facebook.com/bobandzabphotography

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That's it! I had fun curating this list, and layouting them as well. It was suuuuch a dreamy experience going through each of their portfolios. 

Did I miss anyone? I'm aware there are still tons of great photographers out there who's forte is this style so if you think there are more who deserve to be on the list, feel free to comment and let me know! Who knows a part 2 is coming? ;)

Source: Unsplash
Cliche as it may be, but there’s indeed a woman behind the person we are today. And that’s no less than her—our mother. We used to call her nanay, inay, ‘nay, mama, mommy or simply mom. Needless to say, she deserves more than that given the pivotal role she fulfills in rearing us from childhood to adulthood and possibly for the rest of our lives.

There may be opposing beliefs whether that greater maternal instinct is biologically predetermined or socially imposed, but everyone would agree that a mother is hardwired to love and care for the whole family, especially the children, all the time. For better or worse, it’s always the welfare of everyone at home that is on top of her priority. No wonder she’s an epitome of a doting human being that touches everybody’s life. So, it’s just right to honor and return all the favors she has done for us. And what's a better time to do this than this Mother’s Day. Still thinking of ways to surprise her?

Why not a pillow that she could hug as tight as she embraced you after giving birth, or maybe a brassiere for protection of the very bosom she fed you with during infancy? A bed will bring to her mind your tot years when you started to crawl and roll over it freely.

Shoes are a girl’s best friend, too, like your mom. Either sky-high heels or flattering flats, there’s a pair to match every bit of her fantasy. For as long as it brings comfort to her feet, it's more than enough to reciprocate the ease you had when you took your first walk with her guidance back then. If it isn’t her thing, though, a flip-flop will cause her to think that she also disciplined you through the proverbial “rule of slipper” hit on your buttocks while you were growing up.

Much to her delight, a bling ring will be worthy of your dear investment to show your deep appreciation of her just like when she never failed to recognize you with a pat on the back for simple good deeds or a job well done in your lifetime.

Still stuck? Here’s a simple but meaningful token of gratitude that for sure will make a big difference and, eventually, pull off a surprise for the celebrant herself: The NOVUHAIR 3-in-1 pack which includes the topical scalp lotion, herbal shampoo and conditioner. Yes, you read it right.


Still not convinced enough, why don’t you spray a liberal amount of NOVUHAIR topical scalp lotion onto your mom’s scalp and massage it for five to ten minutes. You may not even know that with such a plain gesture of yours, it can melt her heart as it reminds her of the past when she used to do the same thing while you were still young, either as a trick to put you easily on a slumber or merely a relief every time you got sick. Those caressing hands of yours, likewise, imbibe your act of giving back the “natural care from mothers” like her.

Whatever impression it may have on her, what’s tangible she could gain is that you’re giving her nature’s gift of health. NOVUHAIR Topical Scalp Lotion is so unique that it combines 19 natural herbs, essential oils and co-factor nutrients––all working in synergy to help address hair problems from growth to vanishing. This breakthrough product helps to rejuvenate, nourish and maintain the moist of her tress from root to tip, aids in stimulating the growth of her hair and helps prevent it from excessive falling, while improving the overall appearance.

More than anything else, NOVUHAIR 3-in-1 pack may be one of the most precious gifts that your mom could ever receive this season. Well, she’s the most important woman in your life after all. Hence, she deserves to be treated like a queen with that vibrant, bouncy and shiny “crowning glory.”

NOVUHAIR 3-in-1 pack is beyond compare. So, don’t think twice to wrap it as your present for her this Mother’s Day and, if ever, for life. Head on to any Mercury Drug and other leading drugstores to get a dose of nature’s answer to hair loss.


For inquiries, call 413-6570 or 0922-8830575, and visit www.novuhair.com for more details.
Follow us on Twitter @NovuhairNatural and Instagram @NovuhairOfficial for promo announcements and exciting updates.