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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!



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.

TravelBook.ph was awarded Digital Marketer of the Year by Cebu Pacific’s Lifestyle Rewards Program GetGo during their second anniversary celebration last March 31, 2017 at the Blue Leaf Events Pavilion in Taguig. TravelBook.ph bested three other competent nominees including other travel service providers and banks.

The Digital Marketer of the Year Award was judged based on the partner’s active participation in promoting the partnership’s proposition by creating effective contents using different relevant digital channels, not limited to SNS. As the future of travel gets more exciting with the continuous thrive of technology, these efforts to actively inject useful information and connect with members online definitely helps the journey of every traveller.

Travelbook.ph has been a GetGo lifestyle partner since 2015 in accord with their objective to provide quality leisure services through traveling. In its campaigns, Travelbook.ph has created weekly features for GetGo that was featured in their website, newsletters, and official SNS.

The joy of successful partnership
L-R: GetGo GM Nik Laming; TravelBook.ph team: Karen Luminario, Cyra Penol, General Manager Takumi Nakazawa, Business Development Manager Pinky Librada, Steffi Manikan, and Aldo Reyes; and Cebu Pacific Chief Executive Adviser Michael Szucs.
The Digital Marketer of the Year award was received by Ms. Pinky Librada, Business Development Manager of Travelbook.ph. It was awarded by Mr. Michael Szucs, Chief Executive Adviser of Cebu Pacific, and Mr. Nik Laming, General Manager of GetGo’s Loyalty Division.

Other GetGo lifestyle partners that were awarded were Robinsons Land Corporation (Outstanding Promoter), Petron (Customer Whisperer), Citibank (#TheSocialTrendsetter), and BPI (Promo of the Year)

### 

For more details, please contact: 

Mary Angeli Pasquin
Business Planning Officer
MaryAngeli.Pasquin@travelbook.ph
+63 (998) 840-4855
+63 (2) 662-1113

Sharah Pinky Librada
Business Development Manager
SharahPinky.Librada@travelbook.ph
+63 (917) 530-7464
+63 (2) 662-1113

### 

About TravelBook.ph 

TravelBook.ph is the leading online travel e-commerce company (online travel agent or OTA) in the Philippines dedicated to offering great value hotel bookings and with a varied selection of Philippine hotels and resorts in Baguio, Batangas, Bohol, Boracay, Cebu, Davao, Laguna, Metro Manila, Palawan, Pampanga, Tagaytay, Zambales, and more. A total of 3,200 affordable hotels are currently listed in Travelbook.ph.

TravelBook.ph also offers the best/lowest prices with attractive discounts for hotels and resorts and innovative payment options without credit card - “Pay at Hotel, No credit card needed.” Travelbook.ph also offers exclusive reward points: Customers also automatically earn back 5% of the total amount they spend as reward points, which they can use to get discounts on their future bookings (1 point is equivalent to PHP 1.00).

Customers can also use TravelBook.ph’s convenient mobile app to book accommodations on the go. It is available on the App Store and Google Play.

Lastly, TravelBook.ph is a proud Philippine-based company with 24/7 support. It has a Filipino call center ready to assist customers anytime. They can be reached through these numbers:

Landline: +63 2 662 1111
Globe: +63 917 850 9029
Sun: +63 925 887 2835
Smart: +63 998 961 3012

To know more about convenient and affordable hotel bookings all over the Philippines, visit www.travelbook.ph.

Follow TravelBook.ph on social media:
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
Divi Day


I told myself I'm not going to buy anything, but ended up getting a bridal bouquet and two floral crowns. The agenda is to look for gowns and check out artificial flower shops, that's all. While I'm already sold on the idea of getting fake flowers for my whole entourage, including myself, my mom always gives me a disapproving look whenever I mention it. I already told her that it's tons cheaper, looks better, and counts as another gift to my ento, a pretty home decor that won't rot! But she doesn't understand because fresh is fresh daw. I have a feeling she just wants to impress the guests because she has an image to uphold, but well, we have a budget to stick to. It's frustrating. :(

All of my gown hunts have proven to be disappointing. I have to be at least 130lbs to get a chance at scoring decent RTW gowns. Otherwise I'm running short of time to get a custom-made one. Also, we really don't have the budget for it.

Queensland vs Hizon's

I'm well aware they're not on the same level, Hizon's being a hundred steps over Queensland in terms of everything (except styling), but Queensland's rates remain to be "competitive" as far as budget is concerned. However, their customer relations is damn disappointing, so it's hard to let Hizon's go entirely even though that spells a 30k difference.

Malas lang ata ako sa agent.

Related:
Hizon's Catering Food Tasting Experience
Queensland Catering Food Tasting Experience

Writing Scam

I signed up for a writing opportunity over at a Facebook group, and eventually agreed to write for $8 per 500-word article given it's a long-running engagement. Where is my self-worth? I submitted a test article about antiviruses and is awaiting feedback (and payment), but it's been 5 days and I haven't heard anything from the damned guy. The doc I submitted has been checked and edited already (says the history panel), so I don't know what's the fuss about not even acknowledging receipt. Did I just get scammed? I know I'm not one to bother 'cos I could simply publish my own article in my own site and to heck with the customer he sold my article to. I don't care about getting duplicate warnings either, I can very well prove I own the writing. But does it really matter? How will it affect my site? Grr

Bad mood

My mood has not bettered ever since my last call with Queensland. I'm sensitive like that and will always be bothered with unresolved things. Which is why I don't wanna deal with them anymore and even possibly get a refund since they didn't stick to the price we discussed during our food tasting. I feel like I've lost all faith with them just because of how inconsistent and unaccommodating their agents are. I didn't want to entrust anything to them at all. I'm afraid with all the bad impressions I have about them, which I have publicly expressed to my blog, they would get back at me by sabotaging my wedding. The horror. They're a major supplier too so I can't let them stress me out. And they are, so I'm hating on them a lot. I don't think I could ever talk nicely to anyone from there, honestly.

The Girl with all the Gifts

Still struggling to finish it but I must say I've come to the interesting part of the book, which is their escape to Beacon - a safe place away from all the zombies (or hungries, as they call it).

Althea Korea

Someone stop me for ordering again! They have BUY3FREE1 promo that's ending in a day and I really really want to order some more products to complete my skincare regimen! Mind you, this BUY3FREE1 promo is not what you think it is. I thought it meant if I buy 2 of the same product, I'll get another one for free, but nooo. It means if I order any 4 products, I'll get the cheapest one from my cart FOR FREE.

You have to try it!