Sunday, November 27, 2011

HEY, the BEST BAZAAR has began!

St. James The Great Christmas Bazaar is the best bazaar, and I'm saying this free of my "south girl" biase. Imagine more than 500 concessionaires housed in the Cuenca covered court extended all the way to the St. James The Great Parish parking lot for five crazy shopping days! It's like candyland for the shopaholics who want to score not exactly the most affordable finds but truly interesting and varicose veins worthy pieces. From garments, housewares, unique gift ideas, jewelries, skin care products, home-made pastries and jams to what nots. But most exciting are the cosmetics and other beauty finds for makeup addicts out there!

The Beauty & Minerals stall is one that you shouldn't miss. They recently unveiled the Charm Essentials Vegan Makeup Brush Line/Set that will appeal not only for girls who are particular with the quality of their makeup tools but also for the animal rights advocates out there (like me!). The Charm Essentials Vegan Makeup Brush Line is cruelty free while maintaining the quality and value for money trademark of the Charm brand. I can't wait to get my hands on them!

Beauty & Minerals is located at the Parking Lot, Row 6 near the center ( and Emergency Exit )

Another thing you should look for is the newly launched Beauty PRO cosmetics which will be available at Digital Traincase's booth (where you can also find good deals on NYX, OPI & China Glaze!)

Beauty PRO cosmetics have the Sweet and Smokey and the Crazy Colour palettes that caters cosmopolitan and fashion forward girls alike.

Digital Traincase is located at Row 7, near the entrance.

My EQ is being tested big time as I type this post because, surprise, I just landed in Dumaguete for fieldwork and will not be home until Wednesday. I'm holding on the thought that I'll still have enough shopping juice to brave this giant bazaar as soon as I landed in Manila.

If not, then go ahead and shop your heart out for me! :)

From the Nooks of Dumaguete City,

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My Ventosa Cupping Therapy Experience

Massage is one of my guilty pleasures. I get my fix at least once a week, and I get cranky if I don't. It's part of my weekly expenses but it didn't take long to realize that my massage addiction can really mean serious cost. If I get a massage for PhP 500 (USD12 USD), that means I have to alot PhP 2,000 a month, and that excludes my gas going to the spa. Then came the smaller chains that offer massage for as low as PhP 350, which is not bad at all. Just my luck, they also started offering home services at Php 250 which is really a steal! So for some months now, home service has been my staple. 

But last Sunday, I suddenly missed the actual feeling of going to the spa and not worry about my dog attacking the therapist on her way out. LOL. There are also a handful of new establishments that opened around our village and so I trooped to Chetawan Thai Massage. As I was parking, I noticed a lit signage from across that is Banahaw Heals Spa. I've seen several branches of this but never tried it because one, I simply dislike the name, and second, the locations of other branches are dubious. (i.e. I saw one near a girly bar!)

But since this branch is newly opened and is in a decent area,  I decided to fight back my homing pigeon attitude and gave it a shot.

Low rates of Php 100 and Php 150 are only for members. Membership costs Php 500.

Reception area where you can also buy massage oils and scents

They have an opening discount and I'm having serious pain on my back so I decided to get the Back Ache package which includes 1 hour and 15 minutes of full body combination massage and Ventosa Cupping Therapy.

"Ventosa Massage Cupping Therapy is performed by placing glass on specific accupoints on your back. A technique is used to create a vacuum inside the glass placed on your back which lifts the skin.

The skin inside the cup reddens due to the strong cupping which indicates that circulation has been brought to the surface. There is a deep warmth and tingling sensation after the treatment. Ventosa Cupping is generally a painless procedure"

Article Source:

Interesting enough is the other function of Ventosa Cupping Therapy in Chinese Traditional Medicine. I've tried acupuncture before and I felt heat (energy) coming in and out of my ear, and so I'm curious to know how Ventosa works in comparison.

"This technique is known to open the "Meridians" of the body. According to traditional Chinese medicine, the flow of "qi" travels throughout the body in channels called Meridians. These are the conduits through which energy flows to every part of the body. Illness results when the qi is blocked at certain points or is not flowing properly throughout the body."

Article Source:

No discomfort whatsoever. :)

The Ventosa Cupping Therapy works best if followed by a deep tissue massage. I felt a hot, stingy sensation on my back after the therapy which probably means more blood circulation near the skin's surface. It was a nice sensation. :) 

The only problem is that the Banahaw 5-in-1 massage is but a fail. The therapists' pressure was inconsistent, and she only used one type of long stroke in everything. She also massaged my back half the time and therefore left my tired legs and feet unhappy. 

If there's a consolation, that is I liked their oil very much which is a combination of mint and chocolate that smelled so yummy! Otherwise, I'm off the door to try other spas around Las PiƱas.
Back Ache Package (PhP 500)
Foot Wash 
Ventosa Cupping Therapy 
5-in-1 Banahaw Massage
Banahaw Tea

The worst thing is, the red marks stayed for 4 days! So I had to cover up during the Top Gear 7th Anniv Party last Thursday at Amber, The Fort.

Covered and Corporate

Lesson learned, no Ventosa before events, occasions and parties and anytime you feel like stepping out of the house in halter or tube blouse. If you can't wait to get a Ventosa Therapy, then show some skin by wearing shorts or skirts instead. :) 

From the Nook, 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

What I Think About Makeup and My Thursday FOTD

Makeup is not JUST makeup. It's more than pigments and textures and wearability. It's an art. I'm amazed on how makeup makes women look and feel more beautiful, and I've seen how it has evolved so much in the past years that I have learned to respect its power and balance its use in my life. It's a tool in my everyday arsenal that helps me hide battle scars and up my confidence just before a heart pounding event.

I'm right brained who thinks with words, pictures, sounds and colors and hates to use lined notebooks because I feel jaded and limited. I express myself in the way I speak (if you're my friend, you know how vivid I tell my stories - hello Team E!), the way I dress up, how I keep my hair long for the longest time, and yes - how I wear makeup. 

I'm in an industry where looking good is a must. My former boss in Public Affairs and PR told me that when you're in PA and dealing with different stakeholders (from grassroots to the most powerful people/government in the country), you can never be just smart or just beautiful. You have to be both - substantial and presentable. I keep that thought in my pocket every single day.

Being presentable is not measured with the amount of makeup you put on, but with how one carries herself, and expresses her thoughts in all ways possible. In my case, I use makeup to paint my moods and project my energy. If I need to be powerful and sexy, there's my red lipstick. If I need to deal with children of art, there's my golden yellow and blue eye shadows. If I'll be on my feet the whole day, I'm friends with neutrals and earth tones. There are days when I don't have the juice to put anything on, and I feel perfectly fine with it. 

Today, I want to be perky but serious. So I go for rimmed eyes and magnetic coral lips.


Products used:
Maybelline mineral makeup foundation 
Ever Bilena Eyebrow pencil in brown 
Avon True Color ES Quad 
Maybelline Eye Studio Gel liner
Maybelline Hypercurl Mascara in brown 
MAC Well-dressed blush 
Nivea Guava lipcare
L'Oreal Paris Magnetic Coral Lipstick

Wearing makeup need not be a daunting task that takes so much of your time and leave you feeling lacking without it, it's actually good when you see it as an enjoyable expression of yourself.

Honestly, I can't think of any other way of doing it. :)

From the Nook,

Monday, November 7, 2011

Dang is Manila Bound!

You can never fully appreciate a huge painting, if you're just inches away from it. You need to take a few steps back and marvel at the whole picture. Or something poetic like that. This is exactly how I view Manila. Having lived in the Metro my whole life, and finished college in the walled city of Intramuros, visiting Manila for pleasure is far down my list, if it's actually there at all.

But a failed trip to the beach during the long weekend - thanks to the rain - left me with no choice but just drive around to keep me sane and keep the thoughts of surfing lessons or kayaking from haunting me. To my surprise, I found myself seeing Manila in a whole new light, and decided to take on a challenge. Together with my trusty driver and travel buddy (hello, S!), I decided to survive Manila and enjoy it with only Php 1,000 (about 22 USD) in my pocket.

Since this is an impromptu trip, I failed to bring a decent camera so please bear with the photos, some of which I had to borrow.

See where a thousand bucks took me!

1. Cartimar - Leveriza, Pasay City

Cartimar is truly a pet lover's haven. You can find rows upon rows of pet shops selling all kinds of animals, from birds, snakes, rodents, cats, sea creatures and of course, dogs! I visit Cartimar once in a while to buy cheaper pet supplies for my furry friends. I was able to score dog food, vitamins, grooming tools and toys for about 10-20% less than mall prices. I don't like going to the zoo for personal reasons, and walking the aisles of Cartimar with adorable pets waiting for their destined handlers feels so much better. Since it can get hot inside the alleys, I got myself a big cup of Nescafe Ice from the numerous food carts inside.

Total cost: PhP 35.00 (shopping excluded)
FREE entrance
PhP 35.00 - Nescafe Ice

Via All Things Manila

2. National Museum and Museong Pambata 

I only have faint memories of these museums from my elementary field trips, and a documentary show featuring the scarce resources of the supposedly premier museum in the country stirred my interest to visit National Museum again. For one, I wanted to support the establishment that struggles to keep Filipino art and culture in tact, and second, it will be nice to see different collection of paintings, artifacts, fossils and pieces of history with my adult state of mind.  Picture taking is allowed but strictly no touching and no flash photography. The National Museum is so huge with several collections namely Fine Art, Archaeology, Ethnography, National History and more. Divisions include Anthropology, Zoology, Botany, Geology, Archeology, Arts etc. We arrived a little late and was only able to check the Fine Art collection and some Zoology collection. The building is old and obviously needs refurbishments, several rooms are also closed for renovation, but we had a good time seeing the works of heroes and National Artists, where we were awed once again by the sheer vastness of Spoliarium by Juan Luna. We are scheduling another visit to complete the tour, and I suggest you do the same and help our National Museum build funds for upgrading and maintenance. FYI, some rooms are not air conditioned (which is very bad for the artifacts/art pieces) due to lack of funds to pay electricity bills.

National Museum - P. Burgos Drive, Rizal Park Manila
Tuesday to Sundays 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Free admission on Sundays
Total cost: Php 100/adult



Museong Pambata - Roxas Boulevard, South Drive 
Open Tuesdays to Sundays 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Total cost: Php 140.00
Php 100/entry 
Php 40 parking fee

The Museong Pambata is a hands-on discovery place for children, hoping to answer questions of young minds and stimulate them to be more inquisitive. The museum is well-maintained and each room/section is air conditioned. My favorite section is the writers/illustrator's room, where walls are painted with stories and vivid characters illustrated by successful Filipino writers and cartoonists. The only disappointment is that my then favorite section (I had my picture taken here when I was in Grade 4), the Environment, is closed for renovation. :(

Dang the Giant
See the similarities?

3. Walled City of Intramuros and Manila Cathedral

It's great to be back in Intramuros, its walls bring back a lot of happy memories back in college when my life was as simple as walking along the walls with my friends while waiting for our boring desktop publishing class which starts at 7:00 PM! I didn't have the chance to sit on the walls and wait for sunset this time since we have to catch a show, but driving around the walled city brings this nostalgic, calming effect of Old Manila on me. :)

Total Cost: FREE 

Manila Cathedral


4. Ballet Manila Show "Maynila ni Juan" at Star Theater

Who says you can't watch a ballet show without breaking the bank? Aside from my nieces' ballet recitals in CCP, I'm always on the lookout for the complementary ballet shows of Star City featuring no less than the Ballet Manila. Ballet Manila was founded 16 years ago by the country's Prima Ballerina, Ms. Lisa Macuja-Elizalde. They perform in Star Theater every Saturday and Sunday, 7:30 PM. The shows will run for a couple of weeks and its themes are seasonal. It's my third time to catch them, and they have a new offering "Maynilad ni Juan", a comic ballet/musical show featuring life in Manila. It's light, fun and offers a breath of fresh air from the Hollywood movies and mainstream shows that bombard us everyday.No picture taking allowed, but I snapped one from my phone, no flash I promise! 

Star City also has shops selling toys, clothes, knick knacks and souvenirs. I was very tired and hungry and so we munched on some jumbo TJ hotdog sandwich, fruit shakes and ice cream and call it a night.

Total cost:Php 205.00
Php 60/entry to Star City (show is complementary)
Php 45 TJ hotdog sandwich 
Php 75 fruit shake 
Php 25 ice cream

To sum up, we were able to enjoy Manila without spending too much. Here is the breakdown:

Php 35.00 -Cartimar 
Php 100.00 - National Museum 
Php 140.00 - Museong Pambata 
Php 205.00 - Star Theater (Ballet Manila)
Php 300.00 - Gas from Las Pinas-Manila-Las Pinas
Php 48.00 - Toll Fees

TOTAL : Php 828.00

Not bad, right? If you have more moolah to spend, I highly suggest you take the Walk This Way Tour by Carlos Celdran. I joined the Intramuros and Imelda walks on a different occasion which cost me Php 800 per tour back then. You have to join and see for yourself why it's really worth it! If you do, make sure to wear comfy clothes and shoes and apply sun protection.
That was a long post, thanks for keeping up with me! How about you, how did you enjoy the long weekend? And are you ready to be Manila bound one of these days? :)

From the Nook, 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Gratitude List: October Edition

Lost in Space. That's the perfect line to describe the last three weeks that transpired. You can find me in the office until 10pm; 8pm when I'm really lucky. The last three Saturdays were spent preparing for the following week's events. I lost track of TV shows, had to turn down several dinner dates with the Sweetie and my friends, flaked out on my Friday Night Club, all while borrowing strength from my cube mate Chris, who always tells me that weekends are only for the weak!

My plate was extraordinarily full, and with series of major events and simultaneous activities, things were bound to go wrong - and some eventually did. For the first time ever since I switched back to my old career, I felt really disappointed and low. I have this nasty habit of blaming myself even for things that are literally beyond my control, and I take this seriously. 

But the Big Man never ever fails. After a series of sleepless nights, physical and mental fatigue and disappointments one after the other, I was more than ready to break down and do a Mariah Carey (in short, cry). But it's really in hardships that one's character is built, and it didn't hurt to have some kickass bosses to guide pull you up.

At the end of the day, and after some shit that was necessary for balance, what's left are scars from a battle I'd like to think I've won. 

Therefore, it's a tradition to post a Gratitude List.

For being part of something SO BIG and SO BEAUTIFUL

Re-opened LV store in Greenbelt4

LV Manila Event 2011

LV Event is the perfect excuse to shop for that little black dress!


    L'Oreal Paris VIP Lounge Opening and Media Launch at Philippine Fashion Week 2012 with Runway Productions Director Joey Espino

L'Oreal Paris Ambassadress and hottest OTHER WOMAN, Anne Curtis
WOW. No other words to describe the award winning designer Michael Cinco's show that ended with showering hunks and nymph! That's really HOT!

For the chance to see Black Eyed Peas perform live 

Before everyone went crazy over Black Eyed Peas!
My concert buddies Rio, Janette & Labski
Photo VIA

For a VIP treatment at House of Obagi, which started the long freakin' weekend!

I got the new Hydra Facial which intends to hydrate facial cells to reduce lines and make skin plump and glowing! I loved it so much and so it deserves a solo post. :)

For having a beautiful addition in the family

Kael is my newest niece from cousins Aljon Jimenez and Manilyn Reynes. Guapo!

For a day of peace and quiet in the province

Driving in NLEX with a view of green fields and blue skies. It's nice to be away from the city!

For meeting people I admire, respect and adore. They make me proud to be in the Communications & PR industry!

K, J and I

I'm not easily impressed nor intimidated, but meeting J is another case on its own. She is aggressive, assertive and brilliant, and I learn something new from her everyday. She's a gold mine. I've always considered myself assertive, but I'm like an awkward cub compared to this lioness! People like her drive me insanely focused on my goals. It's in God's perfect plan for me to meet her, and every conversation is a lecture I'll never get in school. 

(After a major glitch during an event)

Me: *super depressed*

J: I'm surprised how this has happened, I've known you to be super OC, Dang. I'm quite disappointed.

Me: Sorry, it won't happen again.

J: I'm sure it won't, I'm actually glad you made a mistake and you made it this early. There's no way to really learn but through the actual experience and committing mistakes. Mas masakit, mas hindi mo malilimutan. (the more painful it is, the more you won't forget) That will make you better. 

But, I'm excited for your new role, this is where the real battle begins.

Damn, you tricked me, boss! :) But thank you, heavens for the great news! :)

Anything you're grateful for today? I hope you can also share and spread the positivity around! 

From the Nook,