Journey to Renewal

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Lots of people compliment me about my skin. Totoo naman, I am blessed to have inherited the good one from my mother’s side. Hanggang ngayon, hindi pa nagkaka-pimple ang nanay ko, and iilan pa rin lang ang kanyang underarm hair! Ang daya, di ba?

From time to time, I would have pimples, too, and because I am not used to managing breakouts, I must admit that I get stressed when they become really obvious. And the other thing is that although I am successfully able to cover it up with makeup most of the time, I usually end up scraping it down to an ugly scar sa sobrang kong inis. (All dermas will tell you never to do this but I do, I do! Sorry Doc!!!)

One such time was when I went to Europe – my first time pa naman din, and there was this really stubborn pimple on my face, right in the middle of my left cheek. I recently scanned photos from that trip so I could post them on and I realized that I don’t have much solo shots I can use simply because nakikisali talaga ang pimple sa bawat picture. :(

So really, I understand Belle’s concerns about her big day. Belle is also a soon-to-be Mrs. like Marian Rivera and is quite worried about how her skin will be in this once in a lifetime event! I can’t blame her since her story reveals that she’s been plagued with pimples in almost every important event of her life, and so coped by simply chickening out. On her birthday, she didn’t go to school and she almost ditched meeting the parents of her fiancé because of so much shame and regret.

Lagi ko pa naman ding sinasabi sa mga kaibigan kong ikakasal- “Rest well and remember, you are the most woman girl on your wedding day.” I guess mahirap talagang isipin ito when pimples are covering your whole face. Don’t get me wrong because I think Belle has such a sweet spirit and I know that even if she has pimples, hindi naman yun ang mapapansin ng mga tao. But then I also know that it is important for a bride to do everything that she can to look good not only for her husband and guests, but more importantly for herself. It begins from the heart and so it is crucial for her to know that both spirit and flesh are beautifully working as one!


And how sweet naman of Marian, a rather glowing soon-to-be Mrs.Dingdong Dantes, to actually make time for Belle and talk to her about her feelings before the wedding. In the interview, Belle also admitted that she sometimes fails to finish the process required for renewed skin but then she realized that she can’t really do that now if she really wants to be the best looking bride she can ever be.

Buti na nga lang that with a few steps, simple and easy, Maxi-Peel is able to give new hope to Belle with their new campaign, “Bagong Ganda, Bagong Pag-asa.” Together with the brand and its ambassadress, Belle wants to surprise everyone with radiant and glowing skin like Marian’s on her wedding day.

Kaya naman talagang I will surely be praying for Belle’s desires! My hope is talagang ma-surprise tayo with a kind of skin that reflects her inner spirit and personality. She seems to be a very joyful person and I believe that diligently following the steps provided by Maxi-Peel can help her express more of that!

Suitable Helpmate

Thursday, November 20, 2014

I recently received an email from a young lady who is tasked to speak to a crowd of unmarried women. She is asking for anything I might want to share with those who are preparing themselves for marriage. I appreciate this lady’s diligence in covering a topic that is clearly not her season just about yet, for researching from those who have first hand experience. I also realized this is part of what I’ve been wanting to share with the single women out there who might wanna prepare for marriage.

First things first, no matter how much you prepare for it, nothing quite does it perfectly and one can never be fully prepared for such things. It’s like birth- you can learn techniques and follow guidelines but all else are theories until you actually go through the process. More often that not, both marriage and birth will make you go through moments that can’t be found in the books. So I am one with Tim Keller when he said that if one wants to marry, rudimentary skills of forgiveness, repentance and change are crucial, as they do quite well with the unexpected.

Nevertheless for a woman I have more to say. I think that “to be submissive” is an overstated requirement from a woman in marriage. I myself have had to go through this many times over, and it surely isn’t the easiest thing in the world. Even the most submissive woman on earth will, perhaps, have a problem or two about submitting at some point in their marriage (even if it’s just about the rice you’d like to make in your house- brown, red or white, you have to do it in agreement and for women, in submission!) and this is because I think that no two individuals can be one and the same about everything all the time. (And I realized that this is the hardest part about being married- to be one and the same in everything!)

Perhaps single women think it’s either easy to submit and worse, that’s all is required. A tip: try reading Proverbs 31 so you understand that submission is not all there is about being a wife. That’s just one thing and so we must not forget about the original design for world’s very first wife as meaning to be a tremendous blessing to her husband…


When God decided man was not good to be alone, He thought to make a wife that was going to be of suitable (another word for FIT) help to him.

If it is not clear enough, the very first wife was made to be of help to the very first husband and so that means she must be strong and able to do so! May I also add that when God made Eve, Adam was in deep sleep (so deep he didn’t even wake up though the surgical nature of God pulling a piece from his rib cage) and thus did not need help from the husband in creating the kind of woman and wife Eve was going to be. In short, Eve as a woman and as a wife was purely a divine idea and independent of man’s depiction, direction, imagined design of her (Genesis 2:21-22).

So to my single women friends out there, here is a thought if you really want to prepare yourselves for marriage. Men need helpers and rather suitable or fit ones for their wives. Surely they don’t need puppets to follow them around and just be unthinkingly submissive to them. Each husband only needs one wife but that one wife must be able to bless them with strength and dependability. They need women who can manage a household and raise their children well, which cannot be expected from women who look and act and think like drones. And men don’t need their wives to be just beautiful, they need them to be glorious.

So how do you prepare for this, right? Well, top of my head: be dependable instead of being annoyingly overly dependent on men for everything STARTING RIGHT NOW. Those who think life is not complete until they marry are dangerously treading on the puppet or pet scale, moving only upon the command of a master. And men who marry such women usually find they have wives who cannot quite pull their weight in marriage because they had no real individual identities to begin with. Like what Nick Vujicic once said, “If you’re not happy single, you can’t be happy married.” So let me say this, “If you are not whole and complete while you’re still single, you won’t be whole and complete when you’re married.” You cannot be a blessing and worse, you will be a drag because of your insecurities and inability to bless your husband as his wife. Remember that neither marriage nor man is the answer to your insecurities. But Jesus is.

marriagetriangleillustration1In Jesus I find wholeness and love and forgiveness and power to change. In Him I find peace and love and joy and more than enough that even if I die single I can say there was not a single lack in my life. (Here is what I really think: those who can see themselves dying single and unmarried and still so joyful and fulfilled in God and God alone are really the ones fit for marriage.) You need something as powerful and as true as this, Woman, if you wanna be ready for marriage. Because only Jesus can make you suitable and strong and dependable and confident enough to be a blessing in marriage.

And lastly, God knows I am not enough to be all that I need to be as Joseph’s wife, and yet I live in so much peace that God faithfully gives me the strength to be more than what I think I could be for my husband. And that because I married someone who is also completed by God instead of me, I live knowing that he doesn’t look to me to provide all that he needs. So it really does make sense, that triangle. That the more we individually love and depend on God, all the more we are able to draw closer to one other.


Azalea in the City of Pines

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Last week I posted a couple of photos from our trip to Baguio, where I shared about the places we went to for coffee and meals. Then someone asked me to share where I usually stay when in Baguio and I really wanted to do that for this week anyway so here it is. :)

Well, my husband and I together with Philip usually stay at The Manor. It is also because we get good rates from the hotel, being our partner for big events and seminars that we’d hold over there. The other option, cheaper, but almost exactly the same as The Manor would be Forest Lodge. Except for the garden and buffet breakfast, rooms at the lodge are just as charming and comfortable as those in Manor.


The last time we went up though, we’ve decided to try Azalea Residences. We ended up there as I was really looking for a family friendly hotel more than anything else. When you have a baby, that becomes a priority. When it used to be boutique hotels (which means cute and inexpensive for me), now it must be big bed, spacious for a crawling boy, big on cleanliness, and overall baby friendly. Actually, this was when I really started to use Agoda as an amazing searching mechanism for family friendly properties. (Click this to see how I included this as a concrete advice when planning for family trips.)


Like what I once said before, Agoda is helpful because of its provided information on the lefthand side. Aside from that, ratings and reviews help greatly. When I tried it in Korea, the reviews were pretty much accurate. It did not leave any room for surprise or disappointment for me. Travelers report quite well and so I highly suggest you read through those if you don’t want any shocking encounters, haha! (Agoda has more than 1 million worth of family reviews so take advantage of that!)


About Azalaea, I was actually very satisfied. I imagine even more when I have kids older than Philip’s age. The family rooms are built with a small living room, kitchen, and lounge for two, inside. We made full use of the space, as the kitchen counter was for Philip’s food ready for mashing and the sink for washing his utensils. Underneath was an amazing place for soiled diapers! Though it is built to keep the smell of rotting food away, I was able to use it for Philip’s stinky diapers as well, haha! Bathrooms are not elaborate but clean, considering that they are made out of white tiles. No leaks, no problem with the heater, so it was all good.



The bed was also great, although because we are co-sleepers, I wished they could have a king-sized one for us next time. (Hashtag: #cosleepersproblem!) Nevertheless they had play yards on standby, as well as a sofa bed that unfolds to a double bed if you wish.


Buffet breakfast is good, and we once had dinner in their cozy restaurant where they had a pizza and pasta buffet.


Staff were friendly and courteous, as it is always mentioned in their reviews. Pretty much it was a pleasant stay at the Azalea which, before I forget to mention, is also very prettily lit at night!




Should you like to book, Agoda has the best rates for them and you may check them out with projected travel dates over here: Agoda for Azalea!

There are over 40,000 family friendly properties listed under Agoda and so I also suggest to keep refining your search until you get to find one that meets your standards. (Like do you want fast wifi? Big bed? Big bathroom?) Whatever you are looking for, I highly suggest to maximize the searching capacity of Agoda! :)



Munsayac Inn is just down the road of Azalea, and so you might wanna drop by for a kamagong spoon or two! 

And for book lovers and fans of book sales, click this to know what Book Ends is all about!

So far, these are the only places we’ve been to in Baguio but then who knows if I’d be able to try more in the coming years! After all, this is my husband’s favorite vacation place in the Philippines and we might just find more and more of ourselves paying a regular visit in the City of Pines. :)

How about you? What’s your favorite travel destination and hotel in the Philippines and why? How did you chance upon it? Feel free to share your stories and information in the comments section below. Happy Wednesday! :)


Four Things and A Blog

Monday, November 17, 2014

#1 Old School or Remastered?

I remember visiting Patty’s site before to check for the latest in everything- fashion, young entreps, travel destinations and accessories, while thinking to myself, “Okay din ‘tong si Patty, sobrang successful lifestyle blogger pero wala manlang ka-design-design ang blog!” Hahaha! Peace, Patty. But seriously speaking, I really thought it funny that this classy lady, exuding with taste and grace as well as crazy online following, doesn’t even bother to fix her web design. And yet this is who Patty is!

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It was a fine morning at the Shine Bakery and Cafe in SM Aura when Patty invited us to celebrate her redesigned blog.

I think all her friends will agree that Patty comes across as someone light and breezy, so carefree, and seems to have a talent of effortlessly waking up looking so eye candy. So really, I was personally feeling ambivalent about her remastered blog site since I thought it to be kinda charming that while all else on the web designed their blogs to death, she remained simple, even old school, and happily unbothered about the fact that it is. Although in the end, of course, I decided that her distinct style and taste are a pity to waste. If you’ve already seen her newly designed blog, you’ll know what I mean. :)



Click the photo to go there!

#2 Tweetie Bird

When I first saw Patty on photo this was my thought: a petite version of Tweetie de Leon; very beautiful face and can look like a million bucks even when modeling mere garbage bags. Hahaha.


#3 Rich Girl

Patty’s an Ellen Degeneres. She just likes to shower everybody with pretty little things, help big brands, as well as young entreps and new businesses alike. And this is exactly what she did again at the launch of her newly designed blog.

patty shower

No wonder that she is just overflowing with endorsements, campaigns, as well as friends and supporters. Contrary to what other people may think, when we give away much, we also receive much in return. Generosity makes us richer at the end of the day and that is what makes Patty a very rich person!

#4 Excellent Worker

Patty works hard and with her whole heart. I see her do all the 10,000 things on her plate in a way that you won’t even feel a bit of tiredness from her end. I am guessing it is because she finds joy in what she does and also in pleasing her clients and employers. Name it- an endorsement, a blog spot, a photo shoot, a trip to Tacloban, or a regular teaching day in The Ateneo, Patty works with everything that she’s got. No wonder favor surrounds her!

shopping spree


Brought all of these home, together with my Happy Skin Lippie! Forgot to include it in this photo because upon receiving, I immediately put it away in my purse!


I can go on and on with my “Patty Facts” (buti hindi ko nabaliktad ang P at F diba?) just because she is such an interesting girl! But perhaps above all I’d say that I am grateful to have someone like Patty for a friend. Someone who is willing to lend a hand, is generous with her blessings, is always pleasant and well-meaning and careful not to offend anyone, and yet also so true and wise whenever the situation calls for it. She’s cute, she’s bubbly, but she’s also genuine, which makes Patty such a joy to watch.

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Seated in one table with Ninang Paula, Martine (my blog coach, too!), Stella Esquivias, and Tita Lea, Patty’s gorgeous momma!

So do drop by the new blog by the same girl,, for all these things and more. Promise, stalking Patty around can really be one of the best ways to waste your time. :)

Happy Monday!





Sharing the Sari-Saring Happiness

Friday, November 14, 2014

Sa aming magasawa ako talaga yung ma-softdrinks. Although I try to control it, I must give in to my cravings from time to time. Special occasions call for cola moments katulad nalang ng pasko at bagong taon! Sarap kaya ng Pinoy Noche Buena with super malamig na Coke- young punong-puno ng yelo. :)

It really is a tradition na for Pinoys to have their favorite meals on different occasions with “sopdrinks,” and it is equally traditional to hang your own parol on Christmas time. Kapag pinagsama ang dalawang tradisyon, we’ve got the make your own Coca Cola Parol! Panahon pa man din ng DIY so maybe it is worth looking at this video on how to do just that, your own Coca Cola Christmas Lantern.

Simple lang naman diba? At ang maganda nito is that our parols are meant to light up the whole country,

“November 8, 2014– Coca-Cola Philippines recently marked its most unique holiday campaign just yet. From the streets of Manila to downtown Bacolod, all the way to Tacloban, Pampanga, Batangas, and Davao, streets were lit up. People celebrated the coming of Christmas in Share Sari-Saring Happiness Day, with the participation of more than 400,000 stores owned by women entrepreneurs whose businesses have been touched by country’s leading beverage brand.”

With their Sarisaring Happiness campaign, Coke shares the love and lights everyone up with pasasalamat to all our dear sari-sari store owners. :) If you want to know more about what Coca-Cola for us all you may visit their Pasko website over here: Merry Christmas from Coke!


Hay, feel na feel na talaga ang Christmas! Now I cannot wait to get my hands on some empty cola bottles to make my own parol for lighting. There really is something to this season, spirit, and our nation that makes me so merry. :) Sana kayo din and if you have the time, join na din kayo!

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