Blog Archive

[Food Phase Fridays] Nitro 7's Nitro Mocha

Their kiosk at Greenbelt 3

It's been an awfully long while since my last Food Phase Fridays post so here I am with a new entry. To refresh you on what this tag is all about, Food Phase Fridays is a blog series where I share my current food obsessions on a Friday. Not every Friday, just on a Friday just so we could have more words to put on the tag lol like The Sunday Currently, Throwback Thursdays, and Friday's 10 Happy Things... yaknow? It helps with post scheduling and makes me look like an organized blogger.


Large Nitro Mocha (₱135)

Today's obsession is Nitro 7's Nitro Mocha. Basically iced cafe mocha using nitrogen infused coffee. This type of infusion makes your regular cold brew richer and creamier. And no doubt it does! I've never tasted coffee this good. Seriously. It's way better than Starbucks' iced cafe mocha. Their chocolate syrup isn't gritty and the coffee is really smoother. Super duper worth it. I learned about Nitro 7 when they opened a kiosk at Crave Park Marikina two years ago, and when I learned they've branched out to a couple of places, I was so delighted! I used to always get their Nitro Breve, which is a latte, whenever we're at Robinsons Magnolia. I was never addicted to it, but Nitro 7 because my first choice for coffee whenever it's around. But when I tried Nitro Mocha for the first time last week, I mentally cried in despair at why it's too far from the office.


I had this drink for 5 days straight and all I can say is that it's worth the 20 minute walk to and from the nearest kiosk. The lengths I'd go to for quality coffee!


Try it guuuys they have branches at the following places:
  • SM Megamall B
  • SM North EDSA Annex
  • SM Dasmarinas
  • Robinsons Magnolia
  • Ayala the 30th
  • Greenbelt 3
  • LA Village
  • Eastwood Citiwalk 1
Also, follow Nitro 7 Coffee and Tea Bar on Facebook and Instagram!

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Food Phase Fridays is a blog series featuring my current food obsession. Learn more about them here or join in the fun by making your own Food Phase series!
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[Review] V&M Naturals ExfoBomb and CPC+G Oil for Underarm Whitening


The underarm whitening journey never ends! After having undergone 2 sessions of underarm diode laser hair removal, I now have better hopes of whitening my underarms. So to resume the journey, I took advice from a friend to try to V&M Naturals ExfoBomb, an all-organic exfoliating and skin-lightening salve. According to BeautyMNL reviews, it's effective in lightening the skin as long as you use it religiously. I bought one from their Glorietta branch, and also got sales-talked into getting the CPC+G Oil too. They're a good combo according to the sales lady. And me being in my overly-open-to-suggestions state spent a hefty ₱745 for 50g of a whitening salve, and 30ml of a miracle oil. Definitely not affordable for topical whitening agents, but is it worth it?

Hell, yeah.

Not gonna recommend them fully yet, but I can say that it's truly effective. Consistency is key in maximizing the effects of these products. I've only used it for 21 days straight (started on July 20) and I can already see results. Not drastic, mind you, but there's peace in knowing that slowly but surely it does the job.

I apply the products before going to bed, exfobomb first then 5 drops of CPC+G oil next. I make sure to clean my underarms before application, and also make it a point to wear sleeveless or sando shirts to avoid getting oily residue on my shirt sleeves.

ExfoBomb -  (₱395, 50g)

It's waxy, seemingly oily, but not the annoying type of oily. The main exfoliant is dead sea salt, which is great because it gets dissolved eventually as you massage it on your skin, hence you don't need to rinse it. Also, it smells nice!


It's day 21 and I'm almost through my first tub so I already bought myself a spare. I'm thinking a tub would last 1 month of regular use if applied on both underarms.

CPC+G Oil (₱350, 30ml)


Recommended use is 5-6 drops per underarm. I do 5, and so far I've only consumed 1/4 of the bottle for the last 21 days. The oil feels warm for some reason, but it doesn't burn okay. It comes in a dropper bottle for easier application and I put it after the exfobomb. I'm not sure if it's the right order but the sales lady said you can layer the products, so I didn't care so much for the order. BUT, tonight I'm gonna try putting the oil first then the exfobomb 'cos I feel like my skin should get the oil first hahaha.

After application of these products, your UAs will feel oily but it's not disgusting. The feeling is tolerable. Or maybe I tolerate it because my whitening needs is more pressing than my underarms' comfort haha. Anyway, just do it before going to bed to avoid the potentially icky feeling.


I didn't see any harmful reactions on my skin. It didn't itch or burn, and I didn't notice any peeling. I believe it's all happening slowly in a micro level because for sure it does work, just not that fast. My underarms did look a bit lighter, and I know I still have a long way to go before achieving the shade I want haha. I have progress photos too but I'm too hesitant to show them because, uhm, TMI and I'm shy hehe.

So yeah, will continue using the products because the effects are rather promising! I've had it with instant whitening products whose effects also instantly fade off so maybe an all-natural and organic product is what I've been waiting for. :)

You can order online from their official website or at BeautyMNL.
You can also visit their stores listed here.
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9 Camping Activities You Should Try on Your Next Trip

Photo from Pixabay

About 82.3 percent of Australians with ages over 15 years participated at least once in exercise, recreation, or sport in 2010, according to a survey by the Australian Sports Commission and State and Territory Departments of Sports and Recreation.

Another study shows that walking for exercise is more popular than going to the gym in Australia. Results of these surveys represent Australians' love for outdoor physical activities and adventure. If you are among those who yearn for more physical activities to counter the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle, try these nine camping activities on your next trip. Make sure you bring complete camping gear to protect yourself from the elements.

Camping activity #1: Hike around Ayers Rock or Uluru
Ayers Rock lies deep within the North Territory and southwest of Alice Springs, which is the nearest town at 463 kilometres. Ayers is a part of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

The sandstone formation features an elevation of 863 meters, a width of 1.9 km, a length of 3.6 km, and a base circumference of 8.4 km. You can walk around the formation in 3.5 hours. For activities, you can take camel tours with a trained cameleer, have a bird's eye view of Uluru via a scenic flight, learn about aboriginal culture and history, and watch the magnificent sunset. You can also meet an aboriginal artist and partake in a workshop by visiting a cultural centre. If you choose to camp outdoors, make sure that you bring complete gear such as a tent, sleeping pad, portable stove, GPS, air pumps, Swiss knife, a portable drinking and dining set, foldable chair, and portable solar panels for phone, light, and laptop charging. 

Camping activity #2: Go hiking around Booderee National Park
This coastal park is located north of Jervis Bay Airport, west of Bay Village, south of Sydney, and east of Canberra. If you go hiking, make sure that you bring water, a GPS or smartphone, and solar panels. Avoid wandering too far and always bring a colleague with you. While camping, you can engage in plenty of outdoor activities such as birdwatching, boating, fishing, walking on the beach, watching whales, joining cruises and tours, diving, and snorkelling. You can book via a government-owned park site at Booderee Camping.

Camping activity #3: Explore Kakadu National Park
Situated 171 km southeast of Darwin in the Northern Territory, Kakadu National Park is in the Alligator Rivers Region. It features wildlife diversity, landforms, and rivers. A camping or pass fee that ranges from $20 to $100 applies, and you can book at Kakadu Pass. Because of the national park's high level of biodiversity, you can do more than just camp here. You can partake in ranger-guided tours, boating and fishing, spotting crocodiles, and visiting rock arts. You can swim in Jabiru public pools, Jimjim Falls, Bark Marlam, Twin Falls, Maguk, Gunlom, Boulder Creek, and Motor Car Falls.

Camping activity #4: Play scavenger hunt in North Stradbroke Island
A 38-km long island that lies 30 km southeast of Brisbane, North Stradbroke Island is the second largest sand island in the world at 275.2 square km. It contains lakes, springs, swamps, and wetlands. Scavenger hunt with your kids while enjoying the view of the island's biodiverse flora and fauna. While camping, you can enjoy nature by partaking in beach yoga, bush-walking, bird watching, cycling, dolphin watching, fishing, and visiting a dune. For the official site, visit Stradbrokeisland.com.

Camping activity #5: Wander in El Questro Wilderness Park
The El Questro Wilderness Park lies 100 km west of Kununurra. It offers you cascading waterfalls, thermal springs, rainforests, breathtaking mountain views, and salt-flats. You can camp while sipping a cup of tea, preparing BBQ, cooking, and fishing in the riverside. Other attractions near the park include Lake Argyle and Emma Gorge.

Camping activity #6: Stay in Croajingolong National Park
Another unspoiled paradise, Croajingolong National Park is located in Gale Hill Track, Wingan River, Victoria. It is located 516 km east of Melbourne and 339 km south of Canberra. Here, you can visit the Pebbly Beach with its jagged brown rocks and golden sand; and the Top Lake with its large campground, hotels, and shops. Watch hopping kangaroos, climbing koalas, and flying birds in Gipsy Point Lakeside and Double Creek Nature Walk.
Camping activity #7: Camp around Lake Burbury

Located east of Tasmania, the Lake Burbury Camping Ground is located in Queenstown, 250 km southwest of Launceston and east of Strahan. The place offers caravans, camper vans, motorhomes, BBQs, kayaks, and canoes. Here, you can engage in boating, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, boating, birdwatching, camping, and fishing activities.

Camping activity #8: Build campfires in Adelaide parks
In the outskirts of Adelaide City, you can visit and build campfires except in the Chalks Campground at Mt. Crawford, which is covered by a campfire ban from November 1 to April 30. You can instead explore and build campfires in the Newland Head Conservation Park, which is 91 km from Adelaide; Morgan Conservation Park, which is 150 km away; and Deep Creek Conversation Park and Saunders Gorge, which are one hour from Adelaide. For more information, visit environment.sa.gov.au.

Camping activity #9: Set camp in D’Aguilar National Park
This park, about 31 km northwest of Brisbane, features subtropical rainforests and diverse plant species. Enjoy the wildlife view while spending time with friends, making BBQ, cycling, and bushwalking.

Have a fun and safe camping trip by ensuring that you have all the camping essentials you need. Visit Outbaxcamping today!
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A week in July that's been sitting in my drafts for too long

July 12 - Thursday

❉ I brought the car to work for the second time. I was lucky enough (or not) that our building parking isn't full yet. But now that I think of it, it's actually too bad because the parking fee in this building is exorbitantly high. I'm nearing 9 hours already and that's freaking running me 200++ now. Fck this city. Makes me want to really work hard and get promoted, so I can earn the privilege of free reserved parking. Or even gas reimbursement. Or not. How about I just stop bringing the car to work?

The first time I brought the car was on Tuesday two days ago and I almost didn't survive because all the parking buildings nearby were full. Street parking was my only chance, but it required parallel parking skills... which I don't have much of. But with the help of the guards there I was able to squeeze myself between a Hillux and a Fortuner. Whew. I'm just really fascinated by all these driving and parking shenanigans. It took me only 13 mins to go home the other day. And 15 mins to drive to the office (excluding the time I wasted looking for a parking spot). That's freaking amazing. But still, parking remains a bigass problem for me. If only I were some big shot in this building with free parking things haha.

By the way... we actually got a parking spot in the condo already. If you remember we were just contemplating about it on my last post, but actually that same day I sealed the deal with a lessor lol.

❉ I ordered a Fitbit Alta HR on Shopee and I'm excited to get it. Here's to hoping it's not defective.

❉ I also opened a checking account, my first, because our parking owner required PDCs as payment. I was supposed to get the checkbook today, but I arrived late. So, let's hope for tomorrow. Oh, adult points. A checkbook! Oh God.

❉ My parents are celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary on Monday and I wanted to treat them to something special. I was planning on booking a room at Novotel Cubao or Seda Vertis North for them but when I heard their jampacked Sunday plans, we resorted to just having dinner together. Which, hopefully, will push through. You know my parents. Nothing is ever sure.

While on the phone with my mom, she opened something up about the car lol. Turns out they need the car back because they have too many errands and they needed 2 cars at bay haha. That's actually too sad for me because I was just starting to enjoy having a car again. But since Jeckie and I are actually planning on getting another car, like a family car lol, my mom offered to just buy the car from us. Err. I don't know, we can't afford a new car right now that's for sure haha.

July 13 - Friday

❉ I brought the car to work... again. Every time I contemplate on bringing the car to the office, I always end up doing it anyway, then regretting it later. If yesterday's stress came from the parking rates, now I had to deal with the heavy downpour that had me late to our meeting. The rain was so bad. But thankfully, parking isn't full yet. After a series of meetings at work I drove the car out of the parking building (₱60) and back again to get a flat rate until midnight (another ₱60). My God. I had to go around the entire block just to enter the building again -- right in the middle of rush hour and a heavy rain. Such a hassle. Then again, parking fees are a bitch. Before midnight I need to get the car out again and park on the streets (where it's free) so I won't incur overnight charges (additional ₱60). But that really depends on the weather... and the availability of parking slots outside. CAN YOU IMAGINE MY PROBLEM?! LOL I'm so stressed HAHAHAHA. But every time I'm faced with the choice or driving or not, I always choose to drive. What's wrong with me.

On a different note, I was able to parallel park unattended, for the first time! Yehey!

Anyway, enough about my driving hulabaloo hehe.

July 14 - Saturday
Spent most of the day with my in-laws at SM Megamall. Watched Ant Man, ate dinner at Chili's (forever favoriteee), played Lazer Tag for the first time (high score, yeah!) and walked all the way to Emerald Ave. where dad parked the van. Can you imagine how bad the parking situation is at SM Megamall that we had to park three blocks away from the mall? My goodness.

July 15 - Sunday
I treated my parents to dinner at Yang Chow. I'm kindof sad we didn't prepare anything more special for their 30th anniversary. I'm so bad at planning, and their schedules are the worst. It's always been hard to squeeze some family time during the weekends. I think this was the reason I consider riding in the car with them as "family time" because it's the only chance we get to be in a small confined space together where we can talk hahahaha. Kanya kanyang buhay kami sa bahay I don't know whyyy.
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4 Impressive Locations to Watch out for When Taking a Helicopter Tour in Miami

Photo from Pixabay

Miami is probably one of the most picturesque American cities with its golden sun-kissed beaches and art deco architecture. It’s a city that never rests with an endless selection of posh clubs and 24-hour restaurants. Right from its stunning skyline to its amazingly diverse population, Miami represents the best of the American way of life.

While the streets of Miami have plenty to offer, the skies present a unique point of view of this amazingly well-designed city. Tourists and locals often take helicopter tours to take to the Miami skies to witness the popular landmarks from a refreshing perspective.

Booking Miami helicopter rides can be done online or by visiting a reservation center for the touring company. Unlike the popular belief, these tours are not exorbitantly priced. Yes, helicopter rides in Miami are not cheap, but for the price, they do offer an experience that remains embedded in your memory for a lifetime. That’s a pretty sweet deal. Depending on the type of tour you select, cost per person can be as low as $95 to as high as $200. Tours in the city usually start from the Opa Locka airport. The chopper navigates above the beautiful cityscape and heads towards the sea. The pilot then navigates above the beach and heads south to give you the best views of the islands. Following are 4 amazing locations you get to see when you take a helicopter tour in Miami.

Sunny Isles Beach
Sunny Isle beach is best described as a location where stunning skyscraper properties hug the golden sandy beaches. The aerial view of the tall towers coupled with the pristine beach and the clear blue water is a sight to be seen. The series of towering buildings kind of complement each other as there is a great degree of uniformity in how they are arranged. These sky-hugging structures almost form a straight line standing as close to the sandy shore as possible.

Bal Harbor
Bal harbor is another popular beachfront destination that’s lined with impressive beachfront properties. While the buildings on Bal Harbor beach are not as tall as the ones in Sunny Isle, they do offer an impressive view.

Miami Beach
After flying over North Beach, you head over to one of the most famous beach destinations in America, Miami beach. The beach is riddled with some of the most iconic buildings in Florida. The tallest buildings in the state, the Blue and Green Diamond twin towers is amongst the many properties that embellish Miami beach. Other buildings to lookout for are the beautiful Portofino Tower and the iconic Fontainebleau hotel. You also get to see the one of the most expensive residential complexes in the state as you hover past Millionaire’s Row.

Fisher Island
After going past South Beach you reach one of the most expensive residential zones in America. Fisher Island is a tiny man-made island that’s peppered with luxury condos and hotels. The island only has a resident population of 467 and is a region that has America’s highest per capita income.

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Wedding photographer review: Dave Sarabia Photography

Another super late review, but better late than later right?

I don't remember how I found Dave, but I think it was during the time I was pooling content for this post: 10 Wedding photographers for that bright and natural look.

We booked Dave two months before the wedding. Odiba, hindi kami nagmamadali haha. Swerte namin because both our prenup and wedding date are still free on his calendar. We really didn't think we could get a photographer of his level to cover for us in such a short notice, so thank you Lord! Our prenup fell on a Monday, and on a Holiday pa so I wasn't expecting his availability. But thank God he's vacant! Yehey! Dave and his team were perfect. They were right when they said you have to really invest on your photo and video team. He's the reason our wedding looked more expensive. Like 50% more expensive wahahaha. Seriously.


I have no complaints about Dave. I would recommend him to anyone looking for a very skilled and professional wedding photographer. Unlike other couples who like to meet beforehand and get to know their suppliers first before signing the deal, we skipped that formality and just made sure to get a credible one who wouldn't bail on us hahaha.

Related: Wedding Blahs - Preps, reviews, musings, and more

Our prenup location was supposed to be at Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center, but Dave (or Darlene, I don't know who's answering their facebook eh hahaha) suggested against it and offered to give alternative locations within Manila that we may want to consider. Gasgas ka kasi masyado si Wildlife, uninspiring na daw, and they want to give us fresh photos. Naks.That kind of input talaga I really appreciate. That's professional advice goys! So in the end, hindi kami natuloy sa Wildlife. Nag FEU Diliman kami, kasi libre hahaha.

Anyway. The first time we met him was during our prenup na. He came with this wife, Darlene, who's also a photographer, and we did the shoot at our college campus. In fair, they were the first ones to arrive on the location, and partida bumabagyo pa non guys.


It was so nice working with them. Hindi awkward, and they would direct us with the poses which I appreciate very much because we suck as models and we're professional tuods. It's worth noting too that Dave was always smiling and super nice and friendly with us. He didn't mind the heat, pawis, putik, and lagkit all around. We were so tired after the shoot but it was worth it because I knew he really worked hard to look for the best spots for us. Kahit umuulan pa.

With that I believe we were able to get the most out of our prenup and wedding locations. No important detail was missed and it's always a delight looking at his edited photos. They're all very warm, natural, and elegant. :)

The package we got was You Complete Me, it was ₱47k that time. It includes:
  • Prenup session + Wedding coverage
  • Prenup AVP
  • Onsite Photo AVP
  • SDE film by God's Grace Productions
  • Raw and edited photos and videos (we provided the hard disk)
  • Custom USB (which I never followed up, nakalimutan ko na haha)
Well, they completed our wedding talaga. We were able to get all our raw and edited photos and videos after around 4 weeks. We sent him a hard disk (via GrabExpress) and he sent it back within a few days. No hassle whatsoever, just make sure to have more than 100GB of free space on your hard disk.

I full on recommend them for your wedding.

Contact

Dave Sarabia Photography
davesarabia@hotmail.com
0917-903-6185
fb.com/davesarabiaphotography
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My updated ₱10M wishlist


I was wandering around my blog and came across this post I made 2 years ago, where I listed down what I would do with ₱10M (without saving it for later). Thinking about it right now, as a married woman, my priorities have definitely changed. That fictional ₱10M would not be mine alone but me and my husband's. So here's a 2018 version of the ₱10M wishlist (assuming my husband agrees bwahaha): 1M still goes to my parents so they can buy a new car. With the excise tax and all obviously this wouldn't be enough to get an Isuzu MUX, but they can manage for sure hehe.

1M goes to my in-laws so they could also get a new car van.

1M goes to my parents for the expansion of our apartment building in Novaliches. I consider this an investment.

I previously mentioned I'd allot 5M to buy the vacant lot beside our family home but unfortunately it's already been sold. HUHU

Now my husband and I has 7M to spend! Now assuming we have to spend it all immediately, then here goes:

600K goes to paying off our remaining amortization with the car

and

6M goes to buying a 2BR unit at the building we currently live in

and finally,

400k goes to furnishing our new home!

Haaay, isn't it nice to dream! What's your 10M wishlist? :D
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The Art of Passion: An Inside Look into Shaira Luna’s Dream-Driven Career


MANILA, Philippines – There is no denying the talents of Shaira Luna. From an early age, she graced our TV screens as a “gifted child”. Her passion for learning set her apart and would eventually lead her to forge her own career as one of the most prominent photographers in the country. This July, the thirty-one year old takes her place as Melissa’s Style Maven. #MeInMelissa is the latest campaign in the Philippines from the Brazilian footwear icon, Melissa Shoes. This fresh and empowering digital campaign will showcase pieces from the brand’s 2018 collection, Open Vibes. Luna shares her talent as the campaign’s official photographer.


“I really love that Melissa shoes are comfortable and squishy”, shares Shaira Luna, chuckling. “Sometimes I take for granted how important footwear is, especially for someone like me who’s on my feet for most of the day. Eventually, I found my way to shoes that fit the bill of being both stylish and comfortable.”

At the age of thirteen, Luna found herself at De La Salle University, undergoing a Bachelor of Science degree in human biology. After switching courses for some time, Luna purchased her first professional camera, a Canon EOS 350D. The camera enabled her to flex her creative muscles and would eventually inspire her to pursue a professional career in photography.

In the decade since, Shaira Luna gradually developed herself to become one of the most prolific young photographers in the country. Luna regularly works with high-profile brands and influential names from the world of art and entertainment.


“Behind the camera, especially when shooting for someone else, I make sure I understand their vision and I understand the output that they need from me”, Luna begins. “I just try to make it work for everyone and keep communication open.”

This level of professionalism extends itself to moments that require Luna to stand in front of the camera.

“When I’m in front of the camera, I try to take the place of the photographer,” Luna adds. “I try to imagine what they need from the shoot and I try to move as quickly as possible. I find it is over much faster if I get what they need, so I tend to move a lot in front of the camera even if it’s awkward for me.”

As a fashion photographer, Luna is well-regarded for her personal sense of style. Self-described as an “ever-evolving” aesthetic, she draws her inspiration from rock ’n roll icons of yesterday and today.

“I love Florence Welch (of Florence and the Machine) so much! I really love her style and her music,” Luna shares. “I also like Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones. I’m very much inspired by icons of the ‘70’s. I’m not sure why. Maybe someday I’ll find out.”

Even then, Luna is quick to admit that a lot of her style inspiration comes from the research she does prior to a shoot.


“In general, I’m very much into the history of fashion and that translates into my style and the people I admire as well,” Luna adds. “I think the reason I got into studying eras of fashion was because of my shoots. So, whenever I have a shoot that’s inspired by a particular period, I find myself going even deeper into what happened during that time, especially the things they wore and why they wore the things they did.”

If there is anything Shaira Luna can share, it’s her love for rediscovering the past through pieces of clothing. “If you just use your imagination, you can try to rework the stuff you already have. Perhaps you can use stuff from your parents and grandparents. You end up with something more unique, something not cookie-cutter. Just something more fun that will put a smile on your face.”

Shaira Luna is an old soul who has built her name by turning her dreams into a successful career. This is reflected in both her personal style and her approach to her work. This bubbly, determined, and highly focused individual has all the qualities that make her the perfect fit as Melissa’s first Style Maven.

About Melissa

Melissa is an iconic global footwear brand from Brazil. Established in 1979, Melissa is highly regarded for its long-lasting and avant-garde designs, and collaborations with a number of high-profile names from the world of art and fashion.

From sexy stilettos to fabulous flats, Melissa shoes have brought fashion and comfort to new heights. Melissa brings the future of fashion to the world.

Instagram: @melissaphilippines
Facebook: MelissaPhilippines
Website: www.melissaphilippines.com
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Wedding Preps at Seda Hotel Vertis North (Deluxe Room)

I know this is a bit late (too late, in fact), but better late than never, right?

We booked Seda Vertis North back when it was only 2 months old. They were new and didn't have any star rating yet, but we greatly considered them because they seemed to have a 4-5 star potential, and it's the closest we could get from our wedding venue at Fairview haha (Microtel excluded lol). But what have you, just this May, they were awarded a 5 star rating by The Department of Tourism, making them the first 5 star hotel in Quezon City. Good job! For our wedding preps, we booked 2 Deluxe rooms with them (smallest). One for the bride, one for the groom. We didn't opt for the bigger suites because only our immediate family members will be preparing. Plus, it'll be out of budget for us haha.

We got the rooms for around ₱6,000 net each, with breakfast buffet for 2 included. That time, they weren't super strict with suppliers yet. They allowed our photographers to come up, as well as our coordinators and other family members. We didn't have problems bringing crew meals to the room as well. Also, they waived our photoshoot fee since we booked 2 rooms with them. So we were able to use their public areas (lobby, pool, hallways) to shoot with our family and entourage. Again, that was before. I think they've updated their photoshoot guidelines.

The Lobby

The lobby looks elegant and minimalist, not much going on. Pretty sleek. There's a computer station on one end where you can surf the internet for free; a high table lined with iMacs and Macbooks for everyone's use. Reception is very welcoming as expected. Interiors are modern-Filipino inspired, with pieces made by renowned designers like Kenneth Cobonpue and Vito Selma. Due to the minimalism it kinda strikes me as Japanese inspired too hehe.

Photoshoot
We were lucky they waived our photoshoot fee. I think it's partly because they're still new, not so strict, and some of the facilities are still under construction. The poolside was pretty bare, and there's not much exterior landscaping. The lobby, the staircase, and the mezzanine though offered awesome backdrops for our photographer, Dave Sarabia. Here are some of his shots:


My goodness, Seda's walls are so good. The stonewalls are amazing. The Sculptures and fixtures are beautiful. The place is adorned in neutral colors, lots of grays and browns, but the accents and texture make it so clean and elegant.


I told you there's not much by the pool. 


Groom squad by the pool area with QC skyline.

The Room (Deluxe)

The room we had was big and spacious, super clean and polished. The bathroom was roomy and complete with the usual: shampoo, conditioner, soap, body wash, pair of toothbrush, toothpase, emergency sewing kit, shower cap, and qtips. They also have a hair blower.


On the pantry corner there's complimentary bottled water, coffee and tea. And then there's the mini fridge with snacks (that are not free), and electric kettle.

Closet is big, there are towels, bath robes, disposable slippers, iron, ironing board, and a safety vault.


TV is big and with cable, internet is okay. Window is floor to ceiling, and the drapes are clean and uhm, nice haha. The interior is pretty neutral, looks neat and feels relaxing!

In fairness, they didn't miss anything a 5 star hotel would offer. Great!

The Pool and Spa
Pool looks nice, pretty bare and dull that time. I think it needs more plants and a better landscape plan. Sorry I don't have a decent picture of it!


The Spa and lounge area is also super clean haha. I can't say it's grand, for me it still looks a bit bare. So much empty space around.



They have a steam room and a sauna room, and also a massage room.


The vanity areas are very polished looking too. I really don't know haha, all I can say is it's clean an nice but that's because it's unused. The vibe is different. You can't say it's well-maintained because it seems no one has ever used it haha. When we got there, this facility was tooootally empty. Considering it's a Saturday, Seda hotel was super empty. I guess it's because they're just starting out. They opened around April or May 2017? And we got them 4 months later. It's freaking brand new so will let the emptiness pass this time hehe.

Breakfast at Misto
The room we booked comes with free breakfast for two. It was awesome. There's the usual Filipino favorites, rice, tocino, tapa tuyo, etc. An array of bread, cereals, yoghurt, waffles, fruit juices, fresh fruits, coffee, tea, and so on. It's your typical posh breakfast buffet. The ambiance of Misto is undeniably classy.







Aaaand that's it!
Seda Vertis North is definitely a great addition to QC. They're pretty affordable too compared to other 5 star hotels. There's really not much to do around aside from shopping because it's inside a mall complex, but well, that's Quezon City for you lol.

Location and Contact

Seda Hotel Vertis North
Astra Corner Lux Drives, Vertis North, Diliman, Quezon City, 1101 Metro Manila
(02) 739 8888

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[Review] SkinStation Underarm Diode Laser Hair Removal


I availed of SkinStation's 8+1 promo for ₱5,000 two months ago which entitles me to 9 sessions of UA diode laser hair removal. Each session should be taken with 6-8 weeks gap in between to allow you to observe its effect.

Was it effective? Oh yes! After just my first session, my underarm hair growth has lessened significantly. Growing hairs are thin and can be plucked with my fingers. It's super amazing. The primary reason I availed of this service is really to treat my super dark underarms. Nakakahiya so you don't need to see them, just know that they're very dark lol. Laser hair removal doesn't have direct whitening effect but less hair growth is said to help lighten the underarms by limiting the growing follicles that causes itchiness and chicken skin. So it's kindof a 2-step thing for me. Laser hair removal is step one, then underarm whitening is next. Clear and hairless underarms are said to react better to whitening agents... so we'll see lol.

The process for both underarms only takes 15 minutes. Super fast. They cover my eyes with protective shades and start cleaning my underarms with a cleanser. I felt they slightly shaved my UA too. Then they apply a cooling gel then begin massaging the area with the Diode laser device. It's said to be painless but I still felt some stinging sensation. Nothing too painful though. It was tolerable.


The process was fast and the results are quite impressive. My underarms seemed lighter because of less hair, but it's not really lightened per se haha.


I like the vibe of SkinStation branches. The place looks serious, very clean, super bright, and the personnel are very professional. They don't hard sell. They'd recommend their other products and procedures but never make kulit about it. Another thing I liked about the clinic is their system. Everything is digital. You can book online and they'd notify you through text and email. You can call to set an appointment and they can identify you through your number. This isn't breaking new technology but I appreciate their use of it.

Oh and one more thing, SkinStation has A LOT OF BRANCHES so it's very accessible for me.

Session 1 (June 2, 2018) - Fairview Terraces branch
Session 2 (July 17, 2018) - Shangri-la Plaza branch

Soooo, in terms of hair removal - check na check tayo dito. I've seen results from my first session agad so I'm hopeful for the coming sessions.

In terms of whitening - nope this is not a whitening treatment so I didn't get my hopes up. It's a good prep for whitening treatments though. :)

Oh and if you could recommend effective and affordable underarm whitening treatments, thank you in advance!
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Life Lately

Wow we're halfway through the year wth.


Thinking about our parking situation
I've been contemplating a lot*** about renting a parking space at our condo so that my husband and I can enjoy having a car during the weekends. And also so we could invite our parents over when the slot is free. But the cost man. Here's a breakdown:
  • Parking fee is 5k to 6k a month. I'm lucky if I can haggle it down to 4k.
  • Fuel is currently at 55/liter on this side of the metro. Back when I used to drive daily to work, I spend 500/week on gas for a 24km ride per day. If I were to drive to work today I'd only have to ride 12km a day lol. Let's keep the higher estimate.
  • If I bring it to the office, that's gonna run me additional 50 to 200/day depends on where I park.
  • Add those to our monthly amortization and we get a monthly additional expense of...
12k if I drive to work daily (6k condo parking, 4k office parking, 2k gas)
7k if I use it only on weekends (6k condo parking, 1k gas) Is it worth it? I really wanna know but I don't want to risk it. Minimum parking lease is at least 6 months. I just want to try it for a month haha.

Argh. We'll see.

*** - by that I mean I've been literally dreaming about it. Ugh.

Lord of Merch, please approve!
I uploaded a couple of designs today and is still waiting for approval. I haven't been able to sell a single shirt since I uploaded my work lol. Didn't think it would be this hard! Sales today is really more on the marketing and less about the product , I notice. But anyway, still leaving these cuties here para may photo insert naman tong blog post na to haha. Bottom row is World Cup related if you notice. I'm enjoying the theme, it's like one template can make multiple entries. I just hope it's not too late yet. But first, they all need to get approved argh.

An ipis situation
Two nights ago I had one of the biggest scares of my life (charot). There was a cockroach lurking in the bedroom when I got home, and when I was about to spray it dead with Baygon, it fckn flew towards me! I instinctively shut the door to protect myself, then spent the next 4 hours miserably  waiting in the living room for my husband to come home so we could fight the damned thing together. So scary.

To add to my worries, my dad, who was supposed to land at LA that night hasn't communicated me with me yet. I specifically told him to let me know as soon as he's out of TSA and immigration check. It was 8 hours past his ETA and I was getting worried for him. My head is reeling in suspense, at a possible immigration issue, or an impending deportation, or a random check gone wrong... and this fkn cockroach who held me hostage in my own house is just making me feel worse.

Anyway. The break of dawn brought in good news. One is that my dad finally contacted me. He arrived safe! Second, my husband got home and we battled the cockroach together. It was hiding behind the curtains. We were so careful not to provoke it to fly. He lured it by tapping the floor with a stick, saying cockroaches navigate by vibration. True enough, the bastarded thing followed the sound! And once it's out of the room we sprayed it to death, flushed it in the toilet, and heaved a sigh of relief.

For better or for worse. A cockroach won't do us part.

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Die bitch.

So unproductive at work
I don't even know what to say about it. Uuuuurrgghh. What do I say to my boss when he's back?! T__T
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What's up

Allow me to rejoice internally as I successfully accomplish all of my pending work today. Work being not my regular job, but my uhm, extra job. I need to decide what to call it, it's getting ridiculous having to explain every time.

I crammed writing 4 articles this weekend because they were so overdue. Then I had to deal with this project that's taking forever to finish because my client keeps asking to add more elements to it. More illustrations, more photos, more words! And because I only got paid to do a specific layout, naturally I had to charge some more for additional elements. Urgh. But you know what, it's starting to look really good. Once I get all the branding elements done, it's just a matter of laying them out to whatever paraphernalia they need. Right? Riiiiight.

Now for my third client. This one's new and exciting. It's for a new logo and I just submitted the proposals today. Hoping for the best.

That's for today. How were the other days for me? Friday last week Jeckie and I went to QC to play badminton and visit the parentals. We weren't able to invite other people because it was kinda biglaan and QC pa so malayo from the people we would've invited. We reserved a court at Kalayaan Badminton Court, and man I cried in nostalgia. Also because I missed playing there, and I missed QC rates! Imagine, for 1 hour of playtime we only paid 365, that's already including 2 bottles of gatorade. Now, it it were in Makati, we would've paid 75 each for entrance fee and 375 per hour or court use. We're too poor to get gatorade then.

After badminton I went to Fairview to visit my parents, and Jeckie stayed at his parents' in QC to sleep hehe. My sister and I drove to S&R, I drive to, she drives back and parked the car as well. I'M SO PROUD OF MY ATE! First time she drove for me! Looking forward to our roadtrips!

Saturday morning I went back to QC to visit a friend's wake. One of my college friends died this month due to a complication of diseases which started from ascites disease and then progressed to a possible cancer. I don't know the exact details. She was too young. She had a baby. She's the first of my friends (my age) to die. I didn't know what to feel. :(

After visiting the wake I came by my parent's place again. This time to celebrate father's day. We bonded and ate at a restaurant, then they drove me back to Mandaluyong. But not before dropping by at Shangri-la to shop. I was meaning to go home early because, like I said, my articles are overdue lol, but I couldn't resist it!

Oh, Jeckie wasn't with us because he had a wedding to attend to.

The next day, I woke up feeling super sick. Missed church but made habol to merienda with Jeckie's family at, guess where, Shang ulit lol.

Then we went home, tried to finish 2 articles, failed, watched Breaking Bad with Jeckie, slept.
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Watched: A Korean Odyssey

Watched this over Netflix and had a hard time finishing the series because it became dragging for me (sorry!). It's really from TVN but it says it's a Netflix original? I don't know the difference hehe. If you're not familiar with it, go ahead and watch it! Otherwise, you may want to skip this one.

Photo from kdramastowatch.com

TVN makes really golden fantasy series, the effects and CG aren't perfect but it's better than most networks' attempts at adding special effects to their segments haha. It does feel a bit like Goblin, which came from the same network, so my expectations were high. They have so many similar themes:

There's a chosen child who grows up to be the love interest of a supernatural being
A supernatural being who's trapped, cursed, or waiting for something
This chosen being has a monumental task she needs to carry out before she dies
Which would mean the death of his lover
So there goes their dilemma
And of course the chosen one has to die, as a sacrifice or something
Oh and there's this rich butler too who has served this powerful supernatural being for ages

It was pretty. The story was catchy. There are so many lovable characters. My favorite is Richie and Lucifer King Woo Hee! The love story though? I don't knooooow. There wasn't any chemistry between Jin Seon-mi and Son O-gong at the start.


I was too distracted with Son O-gong's hair too that I couldn't see him as super pogi or something. Hindi naman talaga sya pogi, he has charisma but his hair kinda killed half of it. I was hoping they'd leave his original unkempt hair back when he was locked at the Marble Mountains, but no. Whatever fashion statement they're trying to introduce with his hair, GOOD LUCK.

Anyway. I liked the development of the story, from the revelation of Jin Seon-mi being Samjang up to the point when she learned what she has to sacrifice in order to save the world. However, her death was so blah. She got stabbed, that's it. And she bled to death just in time for Son O-gong to banish the evil dragon to end it all. Which I also have a problem with. All throughout the series it was kindof established how the deities up there have been playing with their lives and manipulating them to further their cause. Two of the most powerful monsters, Lucifer King Woo Hee and Son O-gong himself were played all along by these scheming white-clad bitches. They needed someone powerful to banish this evil dragon that's set to be unleashed by a misunderstood Priestess. So they manipulated the most powerful ones they know, who also happen to be the most notorious, into doing their bidding. Both of them knew that they're being toyed. They wouldn't have cared if the world perished. They're frkn immortal. But these higher beings? I thought they needed to get punished too. I would've wanted Son O-gong to do his mission completely and still be able torment the higher ups. Actually I was expecting him not to kill the dragon completely but to subdue it enough to become its master, then seal it on the rocky cliffs of Pocheon Art Valley. That would've been awesome. After all,  it's the dieties' fault Jin Seon-mi was destined to die. That's a total revenge for these prying gods. They'd be scared of Son O-gong even more. And Lucifer King would be delighted to know they somehow got back to their awful overlords.

But then. Oh well.


Photo from Soompi

Aaaah Jung Se Ra and Ah San yeo! This zombie is too adorable! Even as an evil priestess I can't bring myself to hate her totally. I knowww, because she's not the real villain right? It was supposed to be Kang Dae Song, the greedy professor turned politician. But his participation in the entire series isn't really engaging. You know who the real villains are? The deities.
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Throwback: Happy 6 years in the workforce!

I caaaaan't believe it! I'm getting old. :O

This deserves a throwback so bear with me as I try to recount my entire work history, its ups and downs, and how I got where I am today... which is the present, not like I'm at a certain peak yknow hehe. If there's a peak I've reached today that's certainly my weight.

Story time (also, long post ahead):

Photo from Pixabay

6 years ago I worked as a Software Development Analyst at one of the biggest telcos in the country. It was crazy. The work was mostly stressful, but the compensation is good. As a fresh grad I knew I was earning more than what most entry-level IT practitioners are getting, and thanks to their HR's high flyer incentive, my basic pay was even upped by 2k/mo because I graduated with honors. I was so proud of myself. Just carrying their ID feels ecstatic. Everybody knows this company, and I was there working as a programmer. I felt badass. The benefits are amazing too. Every Christmas they would give a Megabox full of groceries (one that required me to be fetched by car because I can't possibly commute with it), that's on top of 2 fiesta hams, and a 10k incentive. Each. And then there's the guaranteed 15th month pay. And the not-guaranteed performance bonuses that reached 18 months, at least during my stay. Too bad I wasn't there yet when they gave out 22 months worth of bonuses. Needless to say, we were showered with incentives. There's always something going on in the company. Parties, freebies, promos, celebrities, blah.

But the work? Oh damn. I would've stayed longer if I lived nearer, for real. But the stress levels of the work and the super long commute took a toll on my health. Physically and mentally. I felt so incompetent, working there. My kryptonite was Java, something we barely touched in college. Most of our applications are Java-based and it's frustrating how I can't learn it on the fly, no matter how hard I try. Everyday I would feel depressed that I couldn't freaking get this framework to work, that I don't get how beans, objects, and OOP work. The only thing I'm confident in doing is clearing our linux servers of temp files. 

I once spent my birthday in the office overnight because we had to rush an update for a fraud management tool. We would spend weekends developing a revenue system because our timeline was so bad. I always had to answer a call in the wee hours of the night because our systems are always flooding with alerts. Looking back I could've blamed the leadership for not properly estimating our timelines. Because it happened all the time. But back then I had no one to blame but me and my incompetent self. I was so sure I was the cause of delay. So I resigned. I wasn't getting the right motivation I needed to continue further. I concluded that I wasn't ready for the real world, and that I needed relevant training before doing anything.

And so I applied as a trainee at an IT consulting firm. The benefits are the exact opposite from my previous company. I wasn't proud carrying its name because it doesn't ring a bell in anyone's ear aside from having a "hard" qualifying exam. They call it The Hardvard Exam. I think it's just a really long IQ test. I remember applying to this same company when I was a fresh grad. I got in and they gave me an offer, but I had to decline because I got a better one. Who would've thought I'd be taking the same damned exam again. It was scary, taking the exam for the 2nd time. I was afraid I'd fail, that my mental state has deteriorated so bad because of stress haha. But thank God I got in. The first time I took it, I was the only one who passed in a batch of ~30 applicants. The second time I took it, 2 of us passed. The offer is so much smaller than what I used to earn in my previous company, and the benefits are basic and drab. But factoring in the shorter commute and the 3 months training pre-requisite, I figured it's about okay. 

Training was awesome. I almost failed on the first part because I suck at Mainframe/COBOL, but our Java Web Apps module was a frkn big help. I learned a lot. After our training I was deployed to a Java development team, servicing one of US' biggest airlines. It was crazy. It was at this point that I realized I'm not developer material. I don't like this track, it's eating me alive. Thankfully there was an internal opening with our QA team. I never considered software testing but at that time I was willing to try anything not programming. I requested to get transferred. My manager helped me out and signed me up in one of their trainings. This training was supposed to help the client pick 2 people to let in his team. I was one them. 

So I got on-boarded on my new team and got to the learn about my new function. From Software Engineer to Software Test Engineer. Eventually we got invited to visit onsite to meet and greet our other team members in the US, and to get better exposed to the airline applications we're testing. It was amazing. A month into my new team and I was working on my US Visa, getting excited at the prospect of staying 3 months in a foreign country. What a dream.

My 3 months stay in Minnesota was extended to 5 and that was, so far, the happiest point of my career. I was earning in dollars and I felt rich haha. Even though I was just on a per diem allowance,  the fact that my transportation and lodging is free, plus my peso account is still earning... I've no words to say. I even got promoted while I was there, so there goes more peso savings.

The 5 months came by so fast and I wish I could've stayed longer but oh well, not this time. I returned to the Philippines, 12lbs heavier, and came back to the grave (yard) reality that our country is in a seriously wretched state. There's something about going back from abroad that makes you despise your own country even more. I have zero nationalism in me.

Then things started to get awry for our company. One of our major healthcare clients terminated their contract with us, so that left us with waves of redundancies. Being in a different market circle, we weren't affected... yet. But the thought is slowly creeping in. I waited for my 3 year bond to end before actively pursuing other opportunities. There weren't a lot, but they were all so promising.

Then I got engaged. I forgot about job hunting and focused on saving for our wedding. But bad news came in, my fiance got redundiated from his company. And with our wedding all set and half our suppliers paid, his losing his job came totally unexpected. So I started job hunting again, hopeful that I'll get something that pays more so we could get on track with our wedding savings again. I trusted that my fiance would be able to get a new job quick, but I thought this was also a good opportunity for me to look out. I also wasn't feeling so secure about my current job anymore. So you know, jump ship before you sink with it. Thankfully, my fiance got a new job almost immediately after his last day on his previous and we were so grateful about it.

Also around that time, I found out about this company that has an open position that fits my skill set almost perfectly. I was a couple of years under-experienced but there were just so many checks on the position brief that I had to try my luck. I wrote about it here. It's super long and boring just like this one hahaha. So yon. That's pretty much how I ended up here. I'm sorry about this super long post. Hindi na uso yung ganito e no? Haha. I have a problem shortening my stories lol.

Funny that on this exact day last year, I was worrying about the results of my job interview with my current company. And now I'm a regular employee of theirs! Yehey!
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Unpopular Opinion: Graphic design pricing edition

Oh my gosh I'm so fed up with all these artists saying you should price your shit higher because

don't you have bills to pay?
have some self worth naman
you don't deserve that
you're dragging the industry down
they'll think all Pinoy artists are cheap
blah blah blah

... especially to young people who are obviously just starting out. I personally have nothing against those who charge less than 1k for their design services, if they're okay with it. It's not like they were forced right. I made 4 people their computer projects for 700 + snacks and I was happy that time. I was a student, their project was easy, so I made easy money, and snacks... and bonus points from my crush. But seriously, let's stop dictating other people's prices. That's not our business, literally. Cos honestly? There's a negligible chance of them stealing your market, unless you personally referred them. So why are you so damn affected by these bargain prices?

If you're really gonna insist these bills you so proudly factor in, you better make sure they're paying for them. Entirely. Not living under their parents' roof. Paying for their own internet. Computer. Legit software. Ha. I bet most of these really talented and "underpaid" artists are basking in the privilege of their parents' fortress. So what's left to factor in? Labor. Which is all up to the artist. So keep your noses out unless they specifically asked for pricing advice.

I'm not gonna say to anyone that heyyy your work is so good, that can't be just 500. Maybe if you made it, it's not gonna be worth 500 only, but that's you, so don't force your pricing matrix onto other people. If they're happy with it, the hell you care? Time will come they'll increase their prices on their own. So let them be mfs. If Paul Rand and I made the same exact logo, with the same rationale and process, you think the world would allow me to charge a million dollars for my work? Hell no.

This industry can't be standardized, at least from the pricing perspective.

My very first art commission was priced at 30 frkn pesos. That was 2006. I was a freshman. I made laminated playing card sized doodles. Metallic pen on black paper. How much does lamination cost then? 11 frkn pesos. Paper? Pen? I don't know, they're stock. Never mind that I never really profited from those. The fact that they appreciated my work made me so damn happy.

Fast forward to 8 years later, I illustrated a children's book. Pro bono. That's 30+ pages of digital illustration I spent sleepless nights to finish. Was it worth it? Definitely. Because it launched me. It was after the book launch that I gained confidence to set up shop.

And now I run a graphic design business on the sides, no pressure. I made sure to charge what my time and effort is worth. My baseline being my daily rate at my regular job lol.

I think what I really want to say is that it's okay to start small. Whatever that means to you.
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The Right way to play with Converge!

Metro Manila, May 22, 2018 – Mark your calendars as Pinoy Gamers converge for the most glorious gaming event of the summer through the Righteous Glory Summer Spirit Bomb!


This 72-hour Streaming Marathon for Charity will be powered by the Pure Fiber Internet of CONVERGE - in cooperation with Rumble Royale Events Production, together with AORUS, GIGABYTE, Corsair, Dreamlords Digital, and the Streamers Philippines community. Filipino live streaming fans will be treated to three days of non-stop video game fun for the benefit of the partner charity, Save the Children Philippines. Join the likes of Suzzysaur, Eri Neeman, Riku, GLOCO, and Sh1n Boo, together with other important Filipino streamers as they unite to embark on various video game adventures. All for the awesome cause of a better life for children.

While the Righteous Glory Summer Spirit Bomb promotes #PositivityThroughGaming, it also guarantees 3 days of frantic fun and exhilarating excitement for the attendees and viewers. Everyone will be given chances to win exclusive freebies and prizes! Want more reason to get more pumped up for this event? Jiggernut’s paper craft models (inspired by popular characters from League of Legends, Halo) and an Infinity Gauntlet-style statue crafted by the one-and-only Carlo “Dragonkid” De Laza are all up for grabs!

Can it get any better? It can as Converge is having its own raffle for the event and these prizes await the lucky winners!


Grand Prize: One winner of 100Mbps – six (6) months’ worth Php27, 000.00
First Prize: One winner of 50Mbps – six (6) months’ worth Php20, 000.00
Consolation Prizes: Three exclusive Converge Watches
Loot Bags: 50 sets of giveaways

See you on May 25, 26, and 27 at Game Over PH, located at Xavierville Avenue, Quezon City for the 72-hour Streaming Marathon. And, yes, this event is FREE for anyone who wishes to be part of the action in the venue while others can experience the excitement wherever they are by watching the live broadcast online at twitch.tv.rumbleroyale.

Experience better. Play harder.
This is how you play, the Converge way.

#ThePowerofFiber
#RIGHTEOUSGLORYSummerSpiritBomb
#ConvergeFiberInternet
#StreamersPH
#SupportPinoyStreams
#SupportFilipinoStreaming
#SaveTheChildren

###

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Friday's 10 Happy Things // 4

In an effort to post more, and also because I miss posting more personal content, here's Friday's 10 Happy Things making a comeback!

So here are 10 things that made me smile this week. Mind you, this list was hard to collate. I guess I'm predisposed into thinking that human life in general is cursed and that the universe is always out to get me. Whatever happened to my faith lol. I'm a pessimist by nature so I'm pretty proud I came up with this list. Here you go:


1. I'm about to start my first DIY home improvement project! 
Blog, don't jinx. I got sandpapers, paint, rollers, and brushes ready. It's a small project, but I'm so exciteeeeed! I'm turning that brown TV stand into white hahaha. You'll hear about it if it's a success nyahaha.

2. We finally bought a TV!
Following the installation of fiber internet in our unit, not doubt we needed to get a smart TV next. So last weekend we bought a 32inch Sony Bravia Internet TV. It's the biggest our small living room can accommodate haha. It's also our first time to encounter such technology so we were gushing about it in awe. One push Netflix, one push Youtube?! HUHUHU

3. Netflix is eating me
Nakaka-adik pala sya. I thought Netflix was just limited to Netflix original series but looking at their catalogue now, they have TONS AND TONS of amazing titles na pala. I'm watching A Korean Odyssey now. And guess what, they have Brooklyn Nine-Nine (which is getting discontinued HUHU), Rick and Morty, and a couple of Marvel Movies too. So fuuuunnn. 4. We invested in agribusiness
It's still too early to say whether it's legit or not, but so far, it's proving to be legit naman so we're not too scared we put a lot of money in it. Actually, we're not too scared because we put in money we can afford to lose... which is the profit we got from selling our condo. So worse comes to worst, we just lost what we earned in 3 years. Still not gonna affect our current lifestyle :)

5. We invested in a money changer business
Still from the money got from selling our condo, we had enough left to place in one of our family friend's business. The passive income we're getting from this will cover my car's monthly amortization. Yehey!

6. Come June, we'll be able to save a lot naaa
It's the first time in my entire life I'm experiencing an excess in my salary. For the longest time my salary was just sapat sapat na. Alam nyo yun? Hahaha. Everything was just enough to pay my bills, food, allowance, etc etc. When we got married, things got harder financially. We have to pay for rent, condo, and car -- our biggest liabilities. It was so stressful having to balance things out, but thankfully, blessing talaga yung pagka-benta ng condo namin eh, we were able to slash off 2 of our biggest liabilities. With our condo payments over and done with, and the car being paid through passive income, Jeckie and I will be able to enjoy our salaries better. Also, I thank TRAIN law for this. My tax was halved when it was implemented. Malaking bagay sya para samin. I just don't know how the majority feels about it, kasi right now I believe it only serves the middle class.

7. I can now lay low on getting sidelines
In fact, I want to stop taking new orders na. Back when I was still struggling to save money to pay our bills, I would take every opportunity to earn. I took delight in the fact that I'm able to earn more aside from my regular income. I felt like wonder woman. Ang dami ko palang kayang gawin at pagkakitaan. But this body needs rest, and not having to worry about anything financially is liberating. So I guess I'm cutting down on new orders for now. I'll probably just keep my writing job because it sustains my Paypal account (you know, for online shopping hihi). I have 4 active clients currently.. and 2 of them won't be officially closed until later this year (because haaay December weddings!). Good thing they're not big big projects hehe. I have 1 client though that has a loooot of requirements. I remember being excited about it before... but now, parang naooverwhelm nako sa dami ng gagawin pa pala. Hay lord. Help.

Still, it's good to know na hindi ko na kailangan kumayod ng husto. Hay.

8. Good news regarding my HR issue: I'm paying less than expected!
I stiiiiill haven't spilled the beans entirely on this issue that got me a show clause memo at work. But God is so good. Simply put, I was supposed to pay 50k for "penalty", which I already saved up for, but now it's down to ~14k. Yeheyy! Still waiting for the official billback though. But yeah nakakaiyak sya huhuhu. A happy thing yeah but still not an official cause for celebration, will do that when I'm finally done with it. Hay Lord.

9.  More content up on Surf and Perf
Early this year I set up a technical blog, originally it was supposed to be dedicated to Performance Testing, hence the title Surf and Perf hahaha. But lately, it's turned into a software testing and web development blog. Just a collection of how to's I've learned along the way. It's boring shempre specially if you're not inclined to it, but I'm sharing it anyway! Show my new blog some loooove!

www.surfandperf.com

10. My daddy's SGPT lowered down
Which is a super duper good news for us. It's still not within normal range, the upper limit being 40 units/L of serum, but we're getting there. My dad scored around 90 on his most recent checkup. Which is a big improvement from what used to be 400+ odiba?!

That's it! Happy long weekend aka time to catch up on house chores!
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Life lately

Random: our packed lunch yesterday

We finally sold our condo!
THANK YOU LOOOOORD! After 3 months in the market (OLX, Lamudi, FB Marketplace), we finally sealed the deal with a buyer who found the ad from OLX. This is crazy. I didn't think real estate was a promising investment. When my husband bought the unit 3 years ago, we thought this is where we're gonna live in the future. It was exciting, in a way. We're getting a property! The adult in us cries in validation. But eventually, the idea became quite unattractive because I realized I didn't want to live in a cramped studio with barely any ventilation and a stoic view of the city. We both changed our minds and thought, ehh we can just rent it out instead. But then we learned that's it's not so wise to do that when you only have one property to rent. At best we're just going to break even with the monthly repayment of our housing loan. Which would take maybe 20 years to pay. Not very profitable. And so we decided to sell it instead. Best decision ever. January this year we put the property up for sale. Our target is to sell it before August because by then we would have to apply for a housing loan and be in debt for 20++ years. Thank God it didn't take so long. In two months we got a sure buyer already and we're so happy to have finally removed a liability from our lives lol. Happy 200+ articles to me!
I believe I haven't celebrated here yet hahaha. Come June and I'll be celebrating my first year anniversary with my writing sideline. Lol until now I still don't know how to call it. Client? So far I've written 206 articles of varying topics. I can't believe was able to do that, honestly. Like what the heck do I know about repairing a damaged lawn, or taking care of your fish tank? But Google truly proved to be a good good friend. It has all the information I need to deliver my job. So yeah, that's over 103,000 words written in the past 11 months! :O I'm not claiming to be a good writer but I believe I'm capable enough to take writing jobs (except academic) bwahaha. My personal record in writing a 500-word article is 1 hour. And that's if the topic can be filled with pambobola lol and is under lifestyle and fashion like, '5 tips to wear a little black dress', or '5 fashion trends you wouldn't want to miss this 2018'. That happens rarely though. I've done it only around 5 times out of the 206 articles I have so far. My average is maybe 2.5hours per article, depends on how pressured (aka I'm late for the deadline) and how focused I am. This job still takes a majority of my sidelines and I'm glad it does because it's not so uhm magastos sa utak unlike designing which really saps my brain and keeps my neurons firing even when I sleep argh.

I finalehh found a milk frother!
5 months ago I was so eager to try bulletproof coffee every morning. So I knew I had to get myself a frother to be able to enjoy the drink better. FB people says there are cheap ones are Daiso and Japan Home but they're always out of stock. Last weekend I got lucky. I FOUND A FROTHER I almost cried, seriously! And my goodness when I tried it, it's maaaaagicc!!! The butter and coconut oil really creates a frothy and creamy substance on top of my drink. And it's really super creamy and milky. I super duper love it. Eh yun nga lang ubos na coconut oil ko huhuhu. Why isn't Laurin coco MCT oil in major supermarkets! It's the best VCO, it's doesn't make you gag.

Err that's it for now. I have so many pending articles to do. Argh.
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