Wednesday, March 30, 2011

14th Day: Pond's Flawless White Update

The sad sad thing is, my BFF and I decided to pull out from the Pond's Flawless White challenge for technical reasons. But that doesn't mean we won't be pursuing this journey, because it meant a lot more than a competition for us from the start. I said the other time that our quest for flawless skin has begun right? I'm no chicken to stop the discovery at this stage, especially that I'm seeing positive effects on my usually stubborn skin! It's been two weeks, and though I have to put up with being a little more oily (as long as it's just oil and not pimples), the fading of acne marks eventually becomes evident. And it's not just I who notice it, which is the greater sign of improvement.

This week has got to be one of the most exciting moments of my life, and I've never felt energized and enthusiastic like this in a long while (I'll tell you why soon!), so excuse me for lack of words. I'll rather indulge you in another self appreciative photo of the day which I hope you're interested with since hey, you visited my page. =D

It screams one thing: GLOWING.

It's been ages since I strutted a high bun, but a happy situation called for it and it didn't turn out too bad, eh?

How's your 2011 so far? Mine is getting a lot clearer, just like my skin. Hurray for that!

From the Nook,

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Quest for Flawless White Skin Has Begun

...and we are joining!

The best thing about having a BFF? When your BFF is as arte as you. Yes, Tara?
We may look fair, but we ain't flawless. So when we're given the opportunity to try the whole line of Pond's Flawless White products, and document our quest for the perfect glowing skin, we accepted without a blink. After all, we conquered so may things together for years, from heartbreaks, cheerdancing competitions, producing a documentary that almost got us jailed, and yes, even the dreaded PR thesis.

Now at 25, we are comfortable to say we both know what matters most in our lives. We appreciate the good things and learn from the bad ones. But we also know that everything is in life is a lot easier and more fun, if you have real friends, and are most comfortable in your own skin. Literally. Our body is a temple, and our skin is a living testament of how we treat this earthly body. So, there's nothing wrong to try to achieve flawless skin, yes? And it's good to know that hopefully, we can get a little lot of help from these babies.

I'm a bit anxious to embark on this journey. Who wouldn't? I have a trusted beauty regimen which I traded to try the whole line and see its full effects, and my skin is not the friendliest of all. But my curiosity and excitement is overflowing, and I've been known to take risks (both in life or trivial things), so why stop now? I'm teaming up with a trusted woman, whom I have high regards when it comes to self care and beauty. That alone is something to watch out for.

So join me & Tara in our Quest for Flawless White Skin. The Pond's dedicated microsite will be up and running in a few to document it. Be with us for the brighter things to come! 

From the Nook,

Giveaway Alert: Happy 3 Years of Love & Beauty, Shen!

The very sexy beauty addict's blog is turning 3! As always, our dear Shen will be sharing her blessings to her readers via a grand giveaway contest. And if you know Shen, you'd agree with me that what she has in store for you is no less than STELLAR! So go on and click HERE to join now.

Best of luck everyone! Stay positive and beautiful!
From the Nook,

Monday, March 14, 2011

Today, I'm Thankful For...

The last time I posted things I'm grateful for was eons ago. Though I definitely recognize the random things and little surprises I should be glad about, it means so much more when I put it in writing. In this age, documenting everything is pretty much a self obligation, not much should be explained witnessing the proliferation of social networking sites, blogs and online journals. Scarpbooks and photo albums (which I still think are cute BTW), are now in digital forms and just one click away.

So to share the positive vibes I've been feeling this morning, here are just some of the things I'm crazy and happy about the past weeks. 

A Tagaytay weekend getaway with my closest girlfriends. We've been friends for more than a decade, but we have NEVER been to an all girls OOT trip before. Most of our getaways were either school related or with boyfies. So for the first time, we figured we will be taking baby steps and start somewhere near.

My lovely girls. Cath, Me, Tethas, Yhel, Tara, Keanne at ViewPark Hotel, Tagaytay

The best diet disaster plan. I love it that my girlfriends are not diet freaks and they really know how to enjoy food. Because honestly, it's one of the greatest pleasures in life, and I'm not shying away from it. In a span of 36 hours, we dined at some of Tagaytay's finest: Bag of Beans, Buon Giorno and Hawaiian Barbeque. To quote my BFF, "parang bawal na kumain ng di masarap after this!"

Bag of Beans Tagaytay
3650 Aguinaldo Highway, Mendez Crossing West

Tagaytay City, Cavite
(046) 413-2724
Breakfast Sampler. The BEST longganisa ever.

Cheese Omelette. Simple dish that is surprisingly yummy!

The BIDA of the day. Blueberry Cheesecake.
It made all others I've tasted plain and blah.

Buon Giorno
4 Cliff House
Tagaytay City
(046) 483-2102

Grape Shake.
Good enough, though IMO, Cibo's is still better. But the muscle mug is so cute, no?
Gusto ko iuwi. Haha.
New York Pizza is surprisingly filling despite its thin crust!

Shrimp Ravioli
 Hawaiian BBQ
45 Aguinaldo Hi-way
Silang Crossing East
Tagaytay City
Baby Back Ribs is tenderly sinful.

Admittedly, this is the BIDA this time. Baked Potatoes with Creamy Cheese Sauce.
Because I can't live on red meat alone. Fisherman's Catch with butter, sweet sauce and mayo wasabi.
Coconut, Bananas, Mallows, Ice Cream and Sprinkles.

The birth of bulk buying sites. To be honest, I'm a little late when it comes to this one. Not that I'm caving somewhere google virgin, but because I know myself too well. I'm not very good at holding off on great deals;  and it so happened that I'm also aware that no matter how good the deals are, you still stash cash at the end of the day. After a few months of being thrifty (of which I'm proud of), I lifted the ban and started enjoying the deals like most internet crazy people I know. To date, I bought food coupons, yoga classes, cinema tickets and spa treatments. It's  amorning habit to check them! Whoever invented this mode of marketing/saving scheme, is plain genius. And I really want to hug them right now.

Old School still rocks
  Watch out for great deals on Deal Grocer, CashCashPinoy, Buyanihan, Ensogo & MetroDeal. It's good to subscribe to their mailing list, too. There are also various payment options that really make it hassle free. Yay for that! =)

Because it's just too fun to be a girl and dress up. Since my friends and relatives decided to make 2011 their "this is it" year to get married, I also decided that it's time to emancipate myself from wearing my signature black dress because it's really not the appropriate color for such happy celebration of love. I'm starting to experiment with other bold colors now, and I'm starting to substitute black with purple. And here's how a girl gets giddily confused.

Should I go dainty for a change?

Or hug my curves without a care?

Should I skip desserts to fit in this?

Or play a dangerous vixen?

ME: Look oh, this dress is sooo nice! Sayang no more Large size
BF: Kamusta naman ang balakang mo? *grins* (how's that for hips!)
ME: Uhm, okay naman sya.

 Most importantly, while my heart breaks for Japan and my prayers goes to them, I'm equally thankful that my land is spared from the tsunami. Let's hope and pray that no more tragedies like this happen to anywhere else. And for anything's worth, it's a wakeup call to be always prepared, insured - and yes, I'm talking about life insurance, and most of all, appreciative of all the people we love. Tell your family and friends that you love them! Keep in touch with your loved ones, be generous with your help and smile, and never miss an important date in their lives. Life nowadays is so unpredictable, that we should be living our days as if it's our last.

Stay happy and may today be a start of an awesome week! =)

From the Nook,

Friday, March 11, 2011

I Thought We Wanted Quality Films?

So tell my why I watched Senior Year in an almost empty cinema?

Despite the hellish traffic in Las PiƱas, I was able to reach the cinema counters by 6:30 to catch the 7PM screening of Jerrold Tarog's newest independent digital film offering: Senior Year. II was using an Ensogo voucher, which amusingly, the ticketbooth lady seemed clueless about. I'm not one to blame her, since I think she wasn't oriented enough about the promotion but it's a glitch I'd rather not talk about. I was after all, in a good mood to see a good movie.

Senior Year is a film about the last few months before High School graduation,which will inevitably remind you of your very own, like it or not. The setting is realistic enough, the script was well written and lines were delivered in a no non-sense acting by amateur actors, most of which I learned are real students with no acting experience nor training. The fresh raw talent proved to be one of the film's greatest strengths. It is not pretentious and is made as close to reality as possible. Can you deny losing voice during intramurals? Or crying like your dog died when Juniors beat you in cheer dancing competition? Ah, it's truly a medium of opening some memory pockets in your brain that you haven't visited in a long while. And the fact that it's truthful and is able to reach you, and move you, then the film already succeeded in its purpose.  

A handful of theatre actors played the grown up version of the charaters, which gave viewers a window of what actually can happen after High School life ends. I was just left hungry to see more of the present but that too, added to the film's asset.

On the visual quality, it's actually not bad for a digital film, with an obviously limited budget. It actually has better audio quality (of which I'm very particular about), than some indie films I've seen. Given more budget and support, even just half of what mainstream gets, we could just imagine the lengths it can go.

Then again, when I see rows and rows of empty seats around me, I can't help but feel sorry that those seats could have been people. But vicious sharks and perfect, kissing couples are just too big of a competition.  

Have you seen this film? Is the cinema even 1/4 full? What do you think?

Senior Year is still showing in selected SM Cinemas until next week.

From the Nook,

Friday, March 4, 2011

"Ako si Ada, at isa akong Bakla" : A Zsazsa Zaturnnah Review

Nothing excites me more than entering a theatre. I'm in love with anything entertainment, but nothing beats a live act. I just long for the feeling of being the guest, with the performers aiming to move, if not impress me in any way they can. And mind you, I'm a picky master.

For post Valentine celebration, my man bought front row tickets to the opening night of Carlo Vergara's Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah. We endured 2 hours of traffic to witness this original musical comedy that features a powerhouse cast led by Eula Valdes, Pinky Amador (can they get hotter than they already are???), Gabe Mercado, Rocky Salumbides and the CCP actors. I'm not a pro in reviewing musical plays, but here are some notes:

    • - I didn't know Eula (Zsazsa) can sing, and I mean really well! Considering that most of the solos were done by her, and the play lasted for more than 2 hours, that's some strong lungs and vocals right there! =) And that body at 43? I felt like paying Mr. Fitness First a visit.
    • - Pinky Amador did an okay job as the villainess Queen Femina Suarestalla Baroux. She sometimes focus more on her lines than her acting, but if you have highfalutin 8 lines with English accent in one breath, then I guess we can be a bit forgiving.
    • - Gabe Mercado, playing the gay bestfriend Didi, is staggering! He gave me the best laugh, with his perfect timing and million dollar punchlines. Okay kaba tiyan?
    • - I have to mention that among Queen Femina's minions, "Sharon C." portrayed  megastar the best. I've seen several impersonators of her but she's a natural, she even sang in the most pa-cute, high picthed Sharon Cuneta way.I can't help but come after her in the lobby just to say "Grabe, pinasaya mo ang araw ko!"  (You made my day!)
    • - Rocky Salumbides, or Dodong, sorry to say, needs to spend more time with his vocal coach. I get it that Dodong's character follows that he's an awkward, smiling 24/7 hunk, but his singing is the worst among the group. He's a newbie, let's give him time. For the sake of his your-bf-gets-jealous abs.

On a more serious note, after the comic relief, Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah, at least how I see it, aims to unstreotype the gay stereotype in the Philippines. Media and society often portray gays as weak, vulnerable and lowly beings. They are always the subject of ridicule and often lamented in mass media. Now, Carlo Vergara offered us a different approach on how we look at gays, that they indeed, can be strong and be superheroes. That they can find content with their true selves, and that not all gays need to be a real woman to be just that; happy, loving human beings. Ada/Zsazsa during the opening scene, makes a synonymy between the absurdities of life in comparison to him being gay, noting that sometimes, things happen for no actual reason (citing things like why it rains while the sun is up, why dogs and cats fight), and the reason is not as important as the fact that we have a choice to accept it. 

To conclude, watching Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah is far more than a comic experience, of which I expected it to be, lest I'll be watching Hollywood comedies instead. It's a reflection of human life, the realities we have to deal with, the ghosts of the past, threats of the present and uncertainties of the future. Things that concern men, women, gays or not.

And since no picture taking is allowed inside the theatre, I did it OUTSIDE. No excuses for me.

Boiling hot.

With Tessa Prieto-Valdez. Ang oily ko lang!

Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah Ze Muzikal is running every Fridays to Sundays until March 13.Tickets available at all TicketWorld outlets and CCP. I'm in no way associated with the production, nor paid to do a review, I'm simply a happy customer. =)

From the Nook,

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Multi-flavored Positivity

Since I did something really big in my life last week, of which totally deserves a separate post, my friend L dragged to the nearest European pub to loosen up and talk about NSFW things. This is after we locked ourselves in a fireproof vault for a good 30 minutes, where I told her about my big girl decision, and almost cried.

It's scaring me a bit, that I, at this age, always go against the tide and all the stereotypes of being a daughter and a girl. First, I refused to take up Nursing, that I intentionally didn't attend my first day and dropped my subjects, which forced my aunt (who is in the registrar's office) to pull some strings and place me back to the class where I want to be: Communications. Second, when things were getting nasty with my mom and dad, I, at age 17, asked demanded my dad to leave the house. We didn't talk for years, but met on the 3rd Christmas eve, and we are the closest up to this day. Now, another huge decision I made, career wise, which deserves some help from Jack Daniels and Cerveza to at least settle in.

But let me keep it to myself for now, and just focus on the feel better dinner I had afterwards.

Jack Daniels + Cheeses + Supportive Friends = Multi-flavored Positivity! =)

English Pub at its finest.

A Cheese Sucker's Discovey: Ploughman's Cheese Plate (Php 375)
Bread, Crackers, Pickled Onion, Ham, Tomato, Apple, Blue & Cheddar Cheese

Cult's Favorite: European Fish & Chips (Php 225)
Tender Fish in Beer Batter, Hand cut Fries, Mashed Peas.

JD's substitute.

If all my decisions are to be followed by a night of no nonsense talk and good food with wise, highly sensitive friends, then maybe, adult things wouldn't be that hard!

Have you done some BIG decisions lately?

From the Nook,