Travel, Work and Play with Targus Seoul 2017 Collection

Travel, Work and Play with Targus®
New backpack sizes in refreshing colours with the latest Seoul 2017 Collection 

PHILIPPINES, APRIL 2017 -- A leading brand in laptop cases and accessories, Targus® Inc. unveiled their Seoul 2017 Collection, the all-rounded solution to travel, work and play.

Embedded with new and advanced features, the Seoul 2017 Collection is multi-functional, making it suitable for all sorts of activities for both men and women. Reliable and highly compact, the Seoul 2017 Collection features two sizes: 15.6” and 14”. The newly launched Seoul 2017 Collection comes in four different colours that exude warmth and vibrancy.

The Seoul 2017 Collection 

Warm and Refreshing Colours 
To showcase that unique personality

With an array of colours lined up in the Seoul 2017 Collection, both men and women can expect to find one that showcases their unique personality. Inspired by urban lights, the backpacks come in two varying tones – one reminiscent of the night, giving off a trusty and matured vibe while the other a reminder of warm city lights. The 15.6" Seoul Backpack comes in three different colours – black, turquoise and rust. On the other hand, 14” Seoul Backpack comes in two varying colours – black and plum. For a modern and low-key look, opt for the backpack in black and rust. Those seeking a refreshing and delightful burst of colours will fall in love with the turquoise and plum backpacks. Furthermore, the backpacks come in printed inner lining.

Spacious Compartments 
For maximum usage

The Seoul 2017 Collection has a capacity of up to 25 litres and weighs in at 0.63kg. This series incorporates slimmer laptop and tablet pockets engineered by Targus®. A dedicated compartment is designed to fit either a laptop up to 15.6” or a 15” MacBook®. The 12.9” iPad Pro™ or other tablets can fit into the tablet pocket snuggly.

The backpack also features a spacious main storage and user-friendly workstation for gadgets such as camera, charger and other accessories. There is even a mobile charging compartment for that quick access when charging mobile gadgets on-the-go.  Side zippered pockets with gusset allow fast and convenient reach for personal items while a security hood fastens the backpack to prevent items from shifting, keeping them in place.

Relief for a Comfortable Travelling Experience 
Distribute weight evenly

Designed for all activities in mind, the Seoul 2017 Collection pays attention to details for users to work, play and travel with a peace of mind. Travelling and commuting can be tiring; and the contoured padded mesh back panel provides support for the back. Adjustable and retractable shoulder straps are fitted to allow adjustment according to one’s preference.

For travellers, there is an integrated trolley system to slot the backpack onto the luggage for convenient travel. Additionally, a hidden cushioned handle offers a dual handle design for an alternative carrying solution to make every journey more enjoyable.

Quality Materials and Finishing 
For protection of valuable items

The Seoul 2017 Collection features a 200D nylon dobby to finish off with a modern and stylish outlook. Exclusively on the 15.6” Seoul Backpack, a high quality D-ring and extra bottom padding is used to provide extra protection. Water-resistant on the shell fabric and bottom base, commute worry-free with a durable body material.  

Price and Availability

The Seoul 2017 Collection is available at ₱3,999.00 in the following stores:

SM Department Store Makati
SM Department Store Mall of Asia
SM Department Store North EDSA
SM Department Store Megamall
SM Department Store Aura
SM Department Store Cubao
Rustans Gateway
Rustans Makati
Rustans Shangri-la
Rustans Alabang Town Center
Landmark Trinoma
Cash & Carry Department Store
Plug+ Play Terminal 3


About Targus® 

Targus® created the mobile accessory category with its invention of the laptop case over 30 years ago. The company continues to advance the mobile accessories category with innovative and relevant solutions for today's lifestyle. Targus products enhance productivity, connectivity, and security, liberating consumers to use their mobile devices in any and all environments with the utmost convenience and comfort. Founded in 1983, Targus’ headquarters are located in Anaheim, Calif., with offices worldwide and distribution agreements in more than 100 countries. For more information on Targus visit

Advancing Health with Life Science

Right Nutrition for a healthy, fuller life

More than ever, the concept of health, fitness, and good nutrition has become increasingly in the consciousness of people today. Social media is teeming with health experts, and fitness gurus with their videos of exercises you can do anywhere, blogs and articles on healthy lifestyle and reports on the latest diets that could help you shed those extra pounds and stay healthy. But even then, most of us are still walking and living with unexplained symptoms such as rashes, migraines, body and stomach aches, and the overall vague feeling that all is not well in our bodies. And all these despite practicing “healthy living” of good diet and regular exercise. If this story sounds very close to what you are living with now, you are not alone.

Meet Mari Jasmine — a model, TV host, and magazine writer. She is a girl who loves to live life to its fullest, but she also knows exactly what it feels like to live with chronic health conditions despite being fit and active with healthy habits. She has gone from one medical expert to another to find the cause of her bloating and bowel problems, skin problems that don’t go away, and regular migraines. However, all that she has to show for her trips to the doctors are bandaid solutions, medications to treat the symptoms, but not the cure for the cause of her health problems.

After a lot of research, she eventually encountered Functional Medicine, where she was able to identify and address the underlying causes of her symptoms, rather than just treating the symptoms. When Mari met with one of the doctors at LifeScience Center for Health and Wellness, they sat down and discussed her entire medical history. They took a closer look at the symptoms she was experiencing, in the context of her medical history — such as a knee surgery she had in high school. Thus Mari’s journey on the path of complete health and wellness begins.

LifeScience Center for Health and Wellness is a facility located in Bonifacio Global City that is focused on helping individuals optimize their health, through science-based approach founded in the practice of Functional Medicine. Because there is no one-size- fits-all wellness program, LifeScience designs program tailor made for the individual’s health goals. The program design takes cue from what the patient’s body is telling the Physicians, after the consultation and recommended tests results have come out.

L-R: Dr. Oyie Balburias, Mari Jasmine, and Mitch Genato
According to Dr. Rolando Balburias, LifeScience is the place for people who don’t want to get sick, and for patients with multiple health issues who have tried conventional medicine but have yet to feel whole and better, much like Mari Jasmine.

The patient’s personalized program is anchored in the Center’s four (4) Core Programs, which include the Personalized Nutrition program. The program helps the patient get into the nutrition that best works for his or her lifestyle. It determines the effect of certain food on the body, which could be causing some of the common symptoms like migraine, insomnia, chronic fatigue and declining of the immune system. “Mari Jasmine’s nutrition program helped her address some of her health issues. More importantly, she came to understand how food, though healthy, is affecting her well- being. As unique individuals, what is good for one, is not necessarily good for another,” adds Dr. Balburias.

One of the tests the center uses is the food intolerance test (FIT), which identifies the food items that you should be avoiding, those that you should take with caution, and those that are good for you. The FIT guides the patient in making smart choices on food so your body can maximize its nutritional benefits.

“Good health starts with what we eat, in our gut. If you are constantly experiencing symptoms like bloating, leaky gut, migraines, fatigue, high-blood pressure, skin issues and others, checking your diet is a good starting point to address them,” stressed Dr. Balburias. “Food is medicine. Eating right, choosing nutritious food helps the body heal itself, and perform at its optimum.”

The other core programs are reverse chronic disease program, weight and metabolic management and inherited disease screening and intervention.

Presently, LifeScience is encouraging individuals to get on the road to living healthy by offering the Food Intolerance Test at P9,900.00 and P12,400.00 package rates, for a limited time.

The P9,900.00 FIT package includes results evaluation with a Nutritionist Dietitian, while the P12,400.00 FIT package includes a primary consultation with a Physician, a Body Composition Analysis (BCA), doctor’s evaluation of the FIT and BCA results, consult with a Nutritionist Dietitian, and consult with a fitness coach.

More information about LifeScience Center for Health and Wellness is available at

 # # #

About LifeScience

The LifeScience Center for Health and Wellness is an integrative facility that is committed to advancing and optimizing your health. We are a program-based center that practices a science-based approach called Functional Medicine. By creating programs based on your specific health goals, we are able to directly address your concerns with the exact type of nutrition, movement, and medically advanced treatments and testing suited to the needs of your body.

LifeScience is located 8F Accra Law Tower, 2 nd Avenue corner 30 th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, and maybe contacted through (+632) 828-LIFE (5433).


I just hit a different kind of low at work today. According to my notebook I have six active applications to work on which are due tomorrow til next week and I have totally no drive to work on them. The only motivation I have is this weird sense of wanting to tick them off my to-do list just because I wrote them down (now isn't that helpful), but nothing grand like me wanting to do well on all of them. Which is perfectly normal I thiiiink. I just want to get them over with and fast forward to the weekend, which sadly isn't all that promising given this calendar event I got just now that spells weekend work.

So, lots of things to do + a frkn weekend work = 2 counts of low.

And there's more.

People are resigning. I mentioned our company is in quite a bad shape. Client acquisition is terrible, and people are not meeting their deliverables. The stink of all that has trickled down to our salaries, our bonuses, our incentives, our livesss charot. I can feel the morale of the people in this building dropping as days go by without news of when they're crediting the mythical performance bonus. Only God knows how long we can hold up. LOL did I just say we? That's the most loyal I can be.

3 down.

I'm broke. That's 4.

I'm a jobless freelancer right now.


So I'm keeping myself busy updating my portfolio with my recently concluded projects. Check it out! It's so fun doing mockups! But it sucks when you can't even download the PSDs because #blocked.


Okay, let's stop with the negativity.

Back to "work".

[Review] Laneige Essential Care Trial Set - Moisture

My usual skin care routine can be summed up in 0 steps. My face is lucky if it even gets a splash of water before going to bed. So yep, I don't do skin care. At least not before I got paranoid that I won't look my best on my wedding day. So last month I decided to change. I googled for skin care tips and specific products a total noob like me would need. And that's when I found out about Laneige.

To be fair, I'm not completely ignorant about skin care products. I know what a facial wash is, what a toner does, and what a moisturizer is supposed to do (you know, moisturize). Heck I sold Avon and Mary Kay for some time so I can answer the basics. My problem with routines is the word itself, ROUTINES. I'm averse to it, specifically those that would do me good (ie. working out, eating healthy, sleeping early), because don't we all subconsciously wanna die early? Kidding.

Anyway. My googling led me to Korean skin care and how obsessed they are with it. I told myself I just needed a basic 3-step routine that's proven effective, but what have you, they have up to 10 15. I prepared myself for it, after all, I only have a few months to work on my skin. If I had to do 20 steps - bring it on. LOL JK.

Back to the products...

The Laneige Essential Care Trial Set (Moisture) comes with a pouch containing 6 products. In order of usage:
  1. Multi Cleanser_EX (facial wash)
  2. Essential Power - Skin Refiner (~toner)
  3. Essential Balancing - Emulsion (facial lotion)
  4. Water Bank  - Essence_EX (serum)
  5. Water Bank - Moisture Cream (moisturizer)
  6. Water Sleeping Mask (mask)
The Moisture variant is for dry to normal skin. They also have a Light variant which is for combination to oily skin. I'm supposed to get the Light one but they only have it in full sized so nope, trial muna para sure!

How to use:

Suggested use is twice daily, morning and night, but I only do it once a day - in the morning before going to sleep because I work the night shift. With my usage, this pack could last a month. I'm not sure how long exactly but my set is about to get empty na and it's been a month pa lang hehe.

1 month of trial is already enough to make me a believer in this set. It really works especially with moisturizing the skin!

1. Multi Cleanser_EX

First, wash your face using the Multi Cleanser_EX, then pat dry with a towel. I love it because it really cleans my face, seryoso! I also feel whiter after washing haha. Squeaky clean finish but not dry hehe. This reminds of me of one of Pond's facial washes.

2. Essential Power - Skin Refiner

Next, the toner! Well, the Skin Refiner isn't exactly a toner but it acts and smells like one. It's very watery in consistency so sorry for the preview, that's the best shot I got haha. But actually compared to other toners I've tried (Eskinol and Olay), this one's thicker and lathers smoothly on the face. I looooove it. This isn't alcohol-free but it's not too strong so that's good!

Normally you'd douse a cotton ball (or cotton pad na ba uso ngayon? haha) with the product and wipe your face clean, but I feel like I'm wasting too much product with that so I put it on my face first and spread it evenly before wiping it clean with a cotton ball.

You'd be surprised at how it's able to pick up some more dirt from your face even after washing!

3. Essential Balancing - Emulsion

I don't know what to call this at first but it definitely looks like a lotion of sorts. So yeah, let's call it that. After wiping your face clean with the skin refiner, get a pea sized of this and spread it evenly on your face, massaging it while you do, until it settles in and is almost dry.

The reason I do this routine before going to sleep is that the products tend to pile too much on my face that it looks too dewy and sticky. It could be that I'm using too much products, or that it's actually okay on dry skin (which I don't have), I don't know haha.

The Emulsion is probably something I'd take out of the routine once the pack is empty since I'm not really suffering from super dry skin. But if you are, by all means don't skip this step!

4. Water Bank - Essence_EX

After the Emulsion sets on your skin, it's time to move to the serum! The Water Bank - Essence_EX is like a moisturizer that is lighter, more watery, and more concentrated too. It comes in a cute glass pump bottle that I like but it's hard to know how much is left unless you twist it open. I get 4-6 pumps of this and just like the Emulsion, I spread it evenly across my face, including my neck and back of it too, massaging it 'till it sinks in and almost dries. It dries faster because it's lighter hehe and I can feel it getting absorbed quickly into my skin too.

In real life I'm loo lazy to wait for them to dry so I end up piling them on top of each other lol. Oh, that explains the wet look I'm complaining about on the previous step HAHA.

This is a key product. Do not skip this. The serum is the miracle worker in any Korean skincare, so you should invest in it once you've found the one that works best on your skin. 

5. Water Bank - Moisture Cream

After the Essence, it's time to lock all the products in with the Water Bank - Moisture Cream. It's one heavy moisturizer. It's white and thick and just like the previous two, you get a pea sized amount of it and spread it evenly 'til it dries.

And that's it! On regular days, I do only 1-5. The last product is reserved only once a week, and replaces steps 4 and 5.

6. Water Sleeping Mask

Every Sunday I use the Water Sleeping Mask because it's the only day I'm sure to get a lot of sleep, hence more time for the products to work wonders on my skin. According to the literature, the Sleeping Mask is used after the Emulsion, so if you're using this, skip the Serum and the Moisturizer.

This water mask is also thick, but like a gel haha. It's cool on the skin and smells nice too! I would use it in lieu of the Moisture Cream but this one's too expensive to use daily hahahuhu.

Price and Availability

The Laneige Essential Care Trial Set costs ₱1,995 at local Laneige stores (bought mine at Trinoma). Other branches: Robinsons Galleria, Robinsons Magnolia, Robinsons Ermita, SM Aura Premier, SM Megamall, SM Mall of Asia.

I can say it's effective because in just a month my skin feels and looks more hydrated. Jeckie has been complimenting me a lot lately too and I can only attribute it to these products. Plus, I'm also drinking a lot of water na rin, as in 2 liters a day. Really helps!

The price is pretty hefty for me but it's a great way to sample their products without risking any regrets buying the full sized ones 'cos that's more than ₱1k per bottle rin no! This also gave me an idea what to purchase next. Oh yeah, you don't have to get entire set the next time, just pick the ones that work for you. Remember that the basic routine is to cleanse, tone, and moisturize - and the rest are all nice to have na lang! But I would say get a serum parin! Honestly I kinda want to have to whole set, plus an eye cream, but later na when I have more budget! HAHA

Oh wait, I skip the routine when I'm down with colds because my nose becomes super sensitive. Actually, it still is and I find these products too scent-y for my taste, pero I'm enduring it haha kasi... hala bakit nga ba?

Pero yung totoo as much as I want to repurchase, I'm still in this experimental stage where I want to try out a lot of products to know what works best for my skin. I love this line though, but I want a set with a milder scent, or none at all haha.

Okay, ipon ipon muna.

Shop your favorite Korean beauty products!
If you're looking for full sized bottles of these, get them online instead because they're much cheaper. I'm about to restock from Althea because it offers the best deals. BeautyMNL also carries Laneige but it's more expensive and always out of stock. Also, Althea ships their products straight from Korea and offers free shipping for orders worth ₱2000 and up! :)

Sign up using my referral link and let's enjoy the discounts together!

Any skin care products you can recommend? :)

Finding the Best Wedding Gown Silhouette for your Body Shape

When I started wedding gown hunting, I pinned a lot of styles and inspirations from Pinterest, Google, and even online shops like Chic Mall. The result is a board overflowing with all my dream dresses. It was randomly arranged, no specific cut, theme, or fabric in mind. I just pinned those I thought would look good on me, or so I thought.

When the real hunt began, I became more and more disappointed with my choices. Everything I thought was pretty looked hideous with my body. 

This would be easier if I had booked a designer for my gown, but since I'm a budgetarian bride and is keen on saving money by renting or buying RTW instead, I had to do my own research.
So here are the most common body types and the corresponding styles that would flatter such figures. Let's start with mine!

1. Hourglass
LELZ. I'd like to think I'm the fat version of the hour-glass, 'cos according to my BCA (Body Composition Analysis), all my fats are distributed equally to all my limbs. This body type has a balanced top and bottom half, and a defined waist. A-Line gowns would work well on this body shape, it's narrow at the top and extends out to an A shape, hence the name.

It's flattering on almost any shape type making it the popular silhouette of choice.

2. Pear
Like the fruit itself, the bottom half is bigger than the top half. And because your hips are wider than your shoulders, ball gown skirts work best with this body type as it hides your hips and focuses on your top.

3. Apple
Full breasts, rounder hips and butt, and a bit of a tummy - if this is you then you've got an apple shaped body.

hochzeitsfeier schulterfreien weißen chic & moderne reißverschluss fallen bis sommer, bodenlangen kleid
hochzeitsfeier schulterfreien weißen chic & moderne reißverschluss fallen bis sommer, bodenlangen kleid
This body type works best with empire cuts as it emphasizes your bust and cuts your waist. A-Lines would work well on you too!

4. Inverted Triangle
The ideal shape for me only because I think they look sporty and fit! If your bottom half is smaller than your top, have little definition on the waist and hips, and have a straight and squared shoulder line - this could be you! My tip? Get a mermaid dress!

Mermaid gowns fit snugly to your body, highlighting your curves perfectly. It's fit on the waist and flares below the hips or down the knee, giving it a fish tail effect.

5. Rectangle
If you think that you don't have a lot of curves, have no defined waist, with your hips and shoulders approximately of the same width, then you most likely fall in this category. 

For rectangle shaped bodies, it's advisable to wear sheath type dresses. They're designed to fit close to the shape of your body. It's simple, comfortable to wear, and very easy to move around in, unlike other gowns with tons of layers!


If you're still unsure, don't be afraid to go out and try a lot of dress types and see what flatters you most. The most important thing is that you're happy with gown and comfortable too! Happy preps!


This week was sooooo full of negative vibes. Let's start last week

While we were out to fetch my mom at the airport, our helper (almost!) fell victim to dugo dugo gang. Someone called home claiming my dad got into a car accident and was hiding, while my mom was in the hospital severely injured. Our helper broke down completely and thus fell into the caller's trap and did the following:
  • destroyed my mom's drawer containing all her jewelry and an envelope full of cash (na tigbe-bente lang at least)
  • unplugged all phone lines at home and also turned off her cellphone when she went out
  • agreed to not tell anyone especially my titos and titas because they might get worried
  • wrapped the packaged three times! 2 times over a plastic bag, then further sealed with tons of masking tape
  • met up with the caller at Ever Gotesco Commonwealth footbridge to hand over the package.
THANKFULLY, the meeting didn't happen as our helper felt restless while waiting at the bridge and the heat of the sun got her so itchy daw so she went home na lang. Yehey! When she got back she was beyond surprised to find we're already there and when she saw my mom her jaw dropped and told her how she's about to give all of her jewelry to a stranger! 

Was okay. We went to Chungdam Bridal Boutique to try out gowns. I liked a couple of dresses I wore but it's still beyond our budget so we'll see haha. Sunday
Was so-so. We finally reserved with Queensland, and even though I have a lot of reservations with them, go parin kasi Hizon's is so out of budget na for us and we couldn't find a better deal. Later that day we recomputed our wedding budget and while it looked okay, nakatipid nga kami, I was a bit disappointed that we still had to find a lot of other suppliers to cover for Queensland lack of options and insane delivery charges. Actually I'm trying to outsource as much as possible just to avoid dealing with them argh. 

The company held a town hall meeting revealing how bad we performed as a whole last year, and validated our hunches that we're not getting much in terms of bonus and incentives this year. F Duterte and Trump for scaring away our clients. So as you can see, that and the fact that our infra changed networks resulting to all of my favorite sites getting blocked, the working environment for me is getting a bit super sour. I have lost all motivation to work and is seriously considering leaving already. I've got my resume updated and has browsed a couple of openings at Jobstreet but most of the companies who got in touch with me are all from either Makati of McKinley, and I ain't got any more life left in me to journey there.

Tuesday and Wednesday
I still have no motivation to work whatsoever. The only seemingly productive things I did this week was help my younger team mates debug their scripts. Other than that I feel totally useless and not in the mood to do anything.

I got up early in hopes of playing badminton but none of the courts are open, so I just hung around at Jeckie's 'til dinner. Then I decided to come to the office early so I could finally work on the scripts that are bound to kick my ass next week.... and yeah, that's what I'm struggling to do until now. T___T

Queensland Catering Food Tasting Experience

Queensland Catering is a popular choice among budgetarian couples who want to save a lot of money on food. While most caterers would charge ₱800 to ₱1000 per head, Queensland's wedding packages start at ₱390/head, with their most expensive package at ₱800/head. This is as of April 2017.

They hold regular food tasting events at their venue, Ysabel's Garden located at BF Resort Village, Las Piñas. It's every Sunday at 4pm. Registration starts at 3:30pm but when we came there at 3 they were listing down attendees already. It's on a first come first served basis and is free for 2 people only. If you brought extra companions they'll be accommodated after the food tasting pa daw which is weird 'cos you won't be able to eat with them? Ewan, didn't clarify this. If you're from the south, you may have heard of Queensland. We're northerners and we only heard about them at W@W and GirlTalk so even though it was such a chore to travel all the way down, we didn't mind in the name of cost cutting.

The reason we wanted to get Queensland is really the price point. In this post I'm going to share how our food tasting went, and by the end of this give my final impression if it's all worth the effort getting a caterer of their level for your wedding.

On Styling and Ysabel's Garden
When we got there, they were setting up for a wedding event that afternoon and since it's still early, I was allowed to go in the indoor garden to take pictures. I actually thought this is where they're going to hold the FT. Sosyal! But no, it's at the second floor function room pala.

In terms of styling, this particular setup looks very nice to me! I took a lot of pictures for reference because I'm seriously considering getting the same setup, except with flowers of different colors to match our theme.

Ysabel's Garden can fit 200 people, according to our AE. There's a gazebo at the front which I found oddly placed. It has an extended stage area on the right side but I just find it weird that it's not at the center haha.

I asked the AE assigned to us if the setup at the garden is a basic one and she said yes. I want it to be true though but I'm not sure because she doesn't seem to know a lot about what's going on. She seems new, and I don't want to be handled by new AEs. 

I don't believe this is good for 200 lang. I bet 250 kasya 'cos it seems bigger than our venue, Don Jose Heights Clubhouse, and there's even space for a ceremony setup.

The Food
Around 4pm we were called pair by pair to proceed to the their 2nd floor function room for the food tasting. We were assigned to tables, who are assigned to specific AEs. A table can sit 4 couples. So can you imagine, 1 AE is to 4 couples. Although we didn't really wait that long to be entertained by our AE, L (not her real name hehe), I can't help compare it to our Hizon's FT experience which is 1 to 1, with someone who knows what she's talking about. L seems lost and unsure of a lot of things.

The system went like this. First they gave us 5 minutes to check the food setup so we can take pictures and see how it looks like pre devouring. Then they called us in batches to get our food. The tables are setup in a U shape and we start at the center, with one getting food from the left side, and the other on the right side. Then you come back to your table with 3 plates filled with small servings of everything.

I think it's a neat way to get everyone sample their dishes. But it's not too generous as you're sharing tiny servings with your partner. The place looks really tight as well, it's hard to move around. Don't expect too much.

Here's what they have that day:

Mixed Asian Salad - it's nice but I don't like the sauce that much. It's too thick and tasted like oyster sauce.
Buko Pandan - it was creamy and good! But it's too sweet for me

Cream of Pumpkin Soup - it tastes good but it's not too creamy. I prefer it this way though because some soups are just too heavy, busog ka na agad. The consistency of this one is just right.

Pork Belly - OMG THIS IS SUCH A WINNER FOR ME! I super love this one and I wanted to confirm if this was part of the choices for pork but, sadly I learned it was the Balamban style Lechon which costs an additional ₱35/head.

Fish fillet in tartar sauce - okay rin to, very basic as far as fish fillets go.

Baked Norweigian Pink Salmon - the cream sauce on this is underwhelming and meets expectations lang. It's good but not great.
Grilled Tanigue in Mango Salsa Sauce - I liked the flavors in this one much better. We picked this for our fish dish!

Chicken Teriyaki - masarap to! I mean it's what you'd expect from teriyaki. I think we got this for our chicken dish
Pork BQQ haha - I also looooved this one!

Lasagna - I actually liked this one, but Jeckie pointed out that it's too sweet so mejo nag-waver ako! In the end, we chose spaghetti in two sauces (carbonara and bolognese) for our pasta dish
Paella - this was part of the pasta choices for some reason haha I liked this one, but we didn't get it cos it doesn't sit well with our current menu.

Chicken Flambe - this tasted okay too but I'm generally not a fan of cream-based ulam so we didn't get this.
Sotanghon - I liked this one because it's very simple yet flavorful. Yun nga lang, we're not getting Pinoy foods so we opted out of this

There you go, Jeckie and I shared all of this food and decided which ones we'll get. I think we both did well on account of judging their food because we ate lunch beforehand so busog kami before coming to Queensland.

Ang funny lang their menu because sobrang daming typo! Parmesa cheese, Mandarian orange, Pork BQQ... argh.

Generally, their food is good but it's nothing great. Meets expectations lang sila for me. Which is understandable for their level, and is probably what makes them so popular. Everything they served tasted good, walang hindi masarap. Pero walang sobrang sarap, EXCEPT FOR THE BALAMBAN LECHON GUYS! It's really good!

So is it really cheap?
Their base price per head may look cheap, but you'll be surprised at how much you have to add on to your bill just to get them to your event. They have so many additional charges, our final proposal kindof ballooned. It's still not that big but you'll wonder why they didn't just make it easier for you and package everything completely.

I'm not gonna share our entire bill but if you're planning on getting Queensland, compute within yourselves first everything you want added in your package. Here's what to consider:

  • Travel/Delivery fee - ours costed ₱2,000 because our venue is at Fairview. The farthest within Metro Manila I saw in their list is Navotas and Caloocan area, ₱2,500 yung ganon kalayo. If within South lang, ₱500
  • Hauling fee - we thought we could get away with this because our venue is just ground floor level and has a big driveway they can park and unload which is not 20 steps to the kitchen. But apparently when they called Don Jose, they were told they don't allow trucks at the driveway, and all suppliers must settle at the back. Ayon we have to pay ₱150/waiter for the hauling. Eh they're assigning 18 to our event, so that's ₱2,700 already. So para safe, include the hauling fee in your computation.
  • Stage upgrade - I'm still considering if we're getting this because it costs ₱9,000. When I get in touch with my new AE I'll ask for a copy of their basic and upgraded styling and decide from there.
  • Chairs upgrade - unless you're getting the Diamond package, you have to pay additional if you want to get rid of the monobloc chairs. Picnic chairs cost ₱50/head, Acrylic at ₱80/head, and Tiffany at ₱100/head. I'm considering getting the Tiffany chairs from a different supplier na lang cos masyadong mahal yung kanila plus delivery pa.
  • Chairs delivery - if you decide to upgrade your chairs, then you'll have to pay for an additional truck as well because these fancy chairs don't stack too well unlike monobloc. So yeah, in our case plus ₱2,000 pa for this.
  • Supplier meal - if you decide to get your crew meals with them, that's ₱190/head.

If you sum those out it may still come out affordable. Of course because it still doesn't include other wedding essentials pa like cake, emcee, and lights and sounds. 

If you're not from the south, I suggest not getting their optional services because you always have to add delivery and it sucks. If you're only up for the food and styling, go get them, but then you'll have to source a lot of other suppliers outside pa. Ugh, hassle.

Finally (pero ang haba haha)
Honestly, I requested for a new AE after our experience with L. Alam kong mas-stress ako sa kanya so I want to let her go as soon as possible. She isn't that bad but it was getting frustrating how we couldn't get straight answers right away. If she's new it's still inexcusable for me, because everything I asked is basic. She isn't even sure about the foods served, and after we paid reservation, she called the next day that there's additional hauling fee and delivery fee pa pala. Nabwisit ako seryoso. Of course if you paid reservation you're under the impression that the proposal you agreed to is the final price. Tapos biglang may dagdag?

Our fault din that we reserved agad. We should've talked about it first, and nakalimutan ko na we're not actually supposed to reserve on the spot! We were supposed to get them during their next bridal fair! AAARRGH. Guess we're in that stage where we kinda have to hustle with the preps already because we only have less than 5 months to go. Nagsisi tuloy ako ng slight, baka we'd have a better chance at talking to someone more informed about the matter. Sayang.

Anyway, at least I know what to lay down to my new AE. Wag sana syang mainis sakin lol.

  • Food, styling, and price - check na check sila sakin.
  • Buffers - according to L, THEY HAVE NO BUFFER for tables and chairs, and their food is SAKTO LANG daw for the number of guests. This got me really worried. Ngayon lang ako nakarinig ng hindi nagba-buffer. This L girl sounds super unreliable kasi so I don't want to count on this information yet.
  • Customer service - I can't say yet, but so far not good. Shempre gusto mo smooth at maayos kausap diba. Unfortunately I have a feeling I'll be having a hard time communicating with their AEs and getting my preferred styling on point. In this regard it may be better to get a separate stylist, unless you're from the South and can afford to go back and forth to their office to handle things personally. I'm not, so I'm dead worried.
  • Package inclusions - If you're gunning for the basics, food and styling okay naman. But for a wedding which naturally includes a lot more kaartehan, they don't offer much so expect that you'd be getting a lot of other suppliers pa.
So ayon, make sure to be very hands on with this supplier if you want your event to go well. In the case of a wedding lang naman to ah, for smaller events like private parties and such, I think it's okay to leave everything to them unless sobrang OC mo.

Personally this experience is such a reality check for me. Sana sobrang yaman ko para hindi ako nahahassle ng ganito haha!

Case in point: you get what you paid for.

Will update this review when our big day is over! :)

Money Diaries: A Week in April

Inspired by Helga's post, I decided to create a diary of my own as well!

I'm living with my parents so there are a lot of things (ie. my entire life) I'm getting for free. I was even hesitant to try this 'cos I know I don't usually spend much on a regular day *ehem* so what's the point. But I wanted to know how much I'm actually spending, and I have a feeling I'll end up crying with all the blessings I have, and filled with gratitude for my parents who work so hard so they could provide me with a life of comfort.

Arg. I'm starting to tear up already.

Also I'm ready to get surprised if I actually come out with a spending problem. Hope not. By the way, my daily allowance is ₱200. That covers fare to and from the office, and food (even though I have packed lunch). I work the graveyard shift so I'm a bit confused how to divide the days for this post, so let's just say each day starts when I wake up and end when I go to bed (~8pm to 12pm next).

★ Monday (April 3)

Parking -  ₱50
Plain iced coffee from McDonald's - ₱47
Chicken and mushroom pot pie (₱45) and revel bar (₱35) from Family Mart -  ₱80

I love Family Mart's pot pies, they look pricey for such a small treat but they're really delicious! Iced Coffee actually costs  ₱47 but I always pay 50 and keep the change in the car so I don't really get to keep it hehe.

Total - ₱177

★ Tuesday (April 4)

Parking - ₱50
Plain iced coffee from McDonald's - ₱47
Chicken and mushroom pot pie and revel bar from Family Mart -  ₱80
Banana from Mini Stop - 17

Somehow, I'm already used to banana costing that much.

Total - ₱194

★ Wednesday (April 5)

Parking - ₱50
Plain iced coffee from McDonald's - ₱47

You see, I love McDonald's plain iced coffee I literally drink it everyday, at least whenever I'm taking the car to work cos I can drive-thru on the way. Hopefully I won't overspend on food today because apart from my baon (kamote and fried fish), my sister also bought me cheeseburger and fries so yey!

Total - ₱97

★ Thursday (April 6)

Was supposed to commute to work today but I woke up late so had to bring the car.

Parking - ₱50
Plain iced coffee from McDonald's - ₱47

I'm basically enjoying this routine. I've been sleeping very late these days but my daily iced coffee fix solves my sleepy problems at work quite effectively. My mom will be arriving from China this morning and I wanted to come fetch her at the airport but I have to stay 8 frigging hours so no chance I'm catching Dad's 5am ride.

Unless of course I time out early. Which is what I did haha.

Jollibee chickenjoy with rice -  ₱83 (NAIA 2 price. Hay)

Total - ₱180

★ Friday (April 7)

Quite an uneventful day.

Parking - ₱50
Plain iced coffee from McDonald's - ₱47

Total - ₱97

★ Saturday (April 8)

Wedding errands totally racking up my expenses arg. Today we headed to Makati to fit gowns/suits at Chungdam bridal. Jeckie and my sister came with me. Then we ate lunch at New Bombay (I LOVE IT), then looked around Glorietta/SM Makati for suits hehe.

Ah yes, we're not the superstitious kind, I don't mind having my fiance tag along during gown fittings haha.

Gas - ₱200
Beep card reload - ₱100
MRT to Buendia station - ₱0 (₱24 charged to Beep)
Taxi to Chungdam - ₱100
Taxi to Glorietta - ₱50 (split the bill)
Lunch at New Bombay - ₱470/head (split the bill)
Parking at Trinoma - ₱90

Total - ₱910 AAAARGH

★ Sunday (April 8)

Today we attended a food tasting event with Queensland Catering at Las Piñas. It was suuuuuch a hassle for us because we're from the far north and we didn't know how to get around so yeah. Grab here and there, plus a couple of stress factors with Queensland = hay ewan, will post about them separately!

Gas - ₱300
Plain iced coffee from McDo - ₱48 (LOL it's 1 peso more expensive at Don Antonio branch)
MRT to Ayala station - ₱0 (₱24 charged to Beep)
Lunch at Project Pie - ₱355 (OH HOW I MISS YOU)
GrabCar to Ysabel's Garden, BF Resort Village - ₱174 (promo!)
Skyway toll fee to Filinvest exit - ₱164
GrabCar to ATC - ₱54 (promo!)
Beep card reload - ₱50
P2P bus to Greenbelt - ₱0 (₱50 charged to Beep)
Plain iced coffee from McDo - ₱47 (my 2nd today)
Parking at Trinoma - ₱100
Midnight snack from McDo (regular cheeseburger meal, plain iced coffee, apple pie) - ₱138

Somebody stop me from drinking iced coffee.

It was a very tiring day for Jeckie and I. Had to adjust our budget, finalize guests, talk about suppliers and stuff. Ang daming kelangan gawin! We're 5 months away from the big day

Total - ₱1,383 HAIZT

GRAND TOTAL - ₱3,085 

That means I'm averaging ~₱440/day which is overspending in my terms. In fair, all my weekends are going to be busy because of the wedding planning so there's that. I gather it'll be like this for the next 5 months holey moley. Weekend expenses are erratic as hell.

Final thoughts. I enjoyed doing this post. I got to see how much I'm spending and I realized I had to adjust my expenses as well, as in increase my budget for EVERYTHING arg.

Hizon's Catering Grand Food Tasting event at Don Jose Heights Clubhouse

A Grand Food Tasting Event is basically a food tasting event setup by a caterer in accredited venues.

When I heard that Hizon's Catering was gonna hold a Grand Food Tasting event at our venue, I got really excited. So I called up Don Jose and reserved seats for four, My parents haven't seen the clubhouse yet upclose so I thought it's a good chance for them to see it especially when it's dolled up with tables and chairs and mock set-ups. AND FOOD.

Related: Venue hunt: Don Jose Heights Clubhouse

Actually during this time, we were already 90% sure we're cancelling our reservation with Hizon's, and I wanted to discuss it with my AE (Krizia) during the event so mejo good timing sya 'cos they're near our place! Reason we're cancelling is that we're planning on increasing guest size and we wanted to save money rin hehehe.

Here's an offer for you! If you're celebrating anything this year until November (or you know someone who will), and you're looking into getting Hizon's to cater your event (debut, weddings, private parties, etc), we're selling our reservation for only 5k. Reservation is actually 10k but we didn't want to waste it altogether so instead of not being able to reimburse it entirely, we thought we could offer it to others for a discount. That way you get to save 5k, and we get half of our money back. Then we'll personally endorse you to Hizon's and let you guys take it from there. :)

I hope this is fair enough and yeah, HEEEELP!

 Let me know in the comments/contact form/wherever!

Moving on...

Unfortunately, the FT is only free for the first time so if I wanted to eat with my parents, I have to pay 600/head. ANG MAHAL. Pero considering the buffet and the quality of food they serve, I was leaning more on just paying for all of us. PERO NOPE, DIDN'T HAPPEN. Pero seriously guys ang sarap ng food nila diba? Kebs yung 600, I bet it's gonna be sulit.

Nakaka-sad but my parents were okay with it 'cos they just really wanted to see the place.

The Food
They served the same food but this time I have better pictures so yey! Again, we didn't eat anything in this food tasting so I just took pictures. :)

Lighted roll top chafing dishes in accented buffet spreads. Notice the pleated skirting? That's how I want our buffet table. Plain, pleated and not satin. Satin kasi is gusutin and glaring sa camera diba. So nope.

Okay, food.

Steamed rice and Crispy Beef  - ang sarap nito!

Lumpiang hubad (I forgot the term!) and buttered vegetables.


They have a carving station guys!

Pasta bar

Fondue area and Quesadilla station :)

Not sure if the fondue was gonna stay like that cos wouldn't it be fancier to have actual chocolate fountains? :D

The Setup
Overall I was very happy to see the place fully set up cos it looked beautiful. It's bright, maaliwalas and super lamig sa loob! ❤

I was expecting they'd setup actual round tables but looks like this is the same as their regular food tasting setup at their office, with small rectangular tables for four. The only difference is that they used acrylic chairs here, added a couples area, and of course setup in a different venue. Hoping pa naman to see how tight (or not) the place will look like with round tables good for 180pax.

This is how the Level 1 styling looks like for the couple's area. Personally it looks pretty neat! And I thought 3 panels are kulang but from afar it looks okay naman cos it's still the focus of the venue since it's the most decorated area. I like the pillars! I see satin though so that's a red flag and I'm not a fan of fabric covers pooling on the floor haha. 

I wasn't able to get a front view photo of the backdrop because the VIP table was right in front of it haha. So yan, that's the Basic VIP table setup. Okay naman dibaaaa. Now I'm wondering kung san ba galing yung mga kaartehan ko sa styling. If this is their Level 1, I think I'll be okay with.

This is their actual guest table. It's a 8-seater round table okay, not 10. Not sure if this is their actual guest tables 'cos it's 8-seater only. I think 10-seater talaga actual tables nila hehe. I don't like super tall centerpieces for the round tables pero keri naman. Ayoko lang siguro tong flower na to. Mukang gulay. 

Since flowers are expensive maybe you can just get yourself some celery stalks and cabbages from the market if green din lang naman theme mo! Char.

Aaaand, that's it!

The good thing about Hizon's is that they regularly hold Grand Food Tasting events at accredited venues so you'll get a chance to look around different places and eat na rin (pay ka na lang if it's your nth time attending) HAHA.

And can I just say that I'm still in love with Don Jose ❤

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