Friday, May 30, 2014

Thank you Leah!

I have no plans of blogging this week. I'm battling my deadliest deadline for the documentation project. While trying my best to apply my cramming skills, I'm really tested by my laziness hormones. Added to this some personal issues I have to endure. But somewhere along the way, someone made me the happiest!

I received one of the best gifts from the blogosphere! You don't often encounter a very kind and generous blogger. 

Thank you Leah!

And to all the pearl enthusiasts reading this, please visit Leah's blog here. She is currently hosting a bid for a great piece of Saltwater Pearls from Palawan. You can directly access her ebay listing here.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Beautiful Sunday # 109 - Worry no more

The week started with a lot of worries. The documentation project is still on-going. I received a little good news though. The deadline was extended by one day. Haha But really, I am more thankful for any kind of extension granted. Another thing that caused me minor panic attacks, my monthly period has been delayed for a week. And no, it's not all about a pregnancy scare. lol  I suddenly remembered my friends who were diagnosed with Amenorrhea as a result of being overweight. Oh Dear God! I cannot afford to be sick, physically and more importantly, financially. The sickness scare finally subsided last Friday. Instead of getting pissed off with my stained pants, I felt a great relief and happiness. I turned weird and crazy. Haha I used to hate my monthly periods because of the Dysmenorrhea and all the hassles attributed to it. This time however, I was suddenly begging and chasing for it to arrive.

Despite all the worries that came, here are the few good things that made my week.

The Documentation Project - You will soon be completed this week. I cannot wait for that day when I can finally see you submitted to the panel of accreditors. 

My current read! - While everyone is going crazy with Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park, I chose the other book. The synopsis of Attachment was more appealing to me.

Confessions of a shopaholic - I will forever say yes to flats with HUGE ribbon bows. Haha 

The daily dose of fruit box - This was made to counteract the unhealthy chicken intestines on the right. Haha

Shrimp and Squash Omelet - I don't often encounter nutritious food that tastes good. For those who can still remember, I already blogged about this several weeks ago. The squash and shrimp complement each other. This is best eaten when dipped on vinegar with onion and garlic. 

Crunchy Peanut Butter - I already tried the other variants of the crunchy peanut butter. My taste buds are convinced that Lotus's version is the best. Minus the hefty price tag, I want this to become a staple at home.

I managed to visit this pre-school as part of work. I enjoyed the tour! I never realized how Early Childhood Education evolved these days. All the facilities in this school were designed for the little ones. The toilet bowl and sink were installed to fit the height of the kiddies. There was even a kiddie gym equipped with all the exercise machines. Unfortunately, I failed to capture photos. :(

What's with the mini electric fan? The AC at the workplace unfortunately malfunctioned. How perfectly untimely! Good thing I inherited this mini electric fan from T. Most of the time I leave it on the floor with the lousy electrical cord. I was a bit surprised when our very responsible janitress made an initiative to provide this elastic binder. Thank you Ate and sorry if my niche is always giving you a headache. Haha

And before I end this post, 


God! Do Min Joo!! Your smile can kill all the hopeless romantics in the world. Haha How could you render that killer smile without even showing your teeth? You are not human. You are indeed from another star. :)

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Beautiful Sunday # 108 - Stressors and my Unlikely Trips

It's the third week of May. I barely have two weeks before my deadliest deadline. How I wish I could really relate everything here. I'm beginning to worry and feel nervous about everything. My cramming skills are being tested. :) I even took a leave last Friday because I wanted a break and a change in working environment. I would like to try the idea of working at home. I know, you should never bring work at home. However, I cannot discount my past freelance works. I accomplish them at home and I can finish an entire project for two consecutive nights. For some reason, I find myself productive in those wee hours when the entire environment is so quiet. I would like to try this set-up with my office work.

Setting aside that aspect of my life, let me share the few beautiful things that made my week.

Regent's ready to eat Belgian Waffle - I discovered this from my random trips to the supermarket. Yes, I make random trips especially when I had a not-so-good day. I have this habit of exploring the racks of the food section. I love to look for new products and this was my recent successful discovery.  The waffle does not exactly taste like what we purchase in food stalls. The bread was soft and a bit sweet for me. Solution? I have it toasted and spread butter to dilute the sweetness. 

Paotsin's Hainanese rice and Shark's Fin - You never fail to make me happy! This is comfort food that doesn't break my always limited budget. This is happiness that can be bought for only Php 50. I also have to say that the two male attendants at their Robinsons Metroeast branch are so accommodating. I hope they will get rewarded and recognized.

Potato Wedges - This is another product of my random trips to the supermarket. Heehee I've been looking for huge cut fries since last year?!? My favorite supermarket is finally supplying it. 

Hooray for another favorite, KFC!!! I tried their newest offering, the cheesy fried chicken. As seen in their ads, this is fried chicken with chicken powder spread. And my verdict, it was just fine. The reliable bucket of fries somehow saved the day.

Early this week, we visited a partner school situated in the Northern part of NCR. The school is housed in a 18-hectare land filled with trees, parks and beautiful pathways.

You'll never go wrong with old benches with intricate detailing. This can be a perfect spot to practice photography.

My first Sanuk! - I know, ugly shoes. Haha Other people who find Crocs ugly share the same perceptions with Sanuk. I don't know what convinced me to acquire one. I window shopped in one of their branches and found a cute design for Php 2,790?! However, my everyday online window shopping at Zalora made me discover other designs. I found this moon and owl design at a cheaper price. I even learned that my credit card offers 20% discount for Zalora. And the rest is another shopaholic history. Hahaha 

Cute yet very true reminders for the kiddies - I found this inside the school we visited. I hope the kids will be able to imbibe it. 

Here are more photos from the school

I find this pathway so romantic :)

Wishing everyone a Beautiful Sunday!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Reviewed! The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

I have been reading this book since March. Yes, I have been a lousy reader this year. I’m way off my target of 12 books in a year. If I’m not mistaken, I only finished three books, I need 2 more books to catch up with my self-imposed target. Nevertheless, I still have 6 months to achieve my reading goal. Good luck to me. Haha 

I discovered The Rosie Project from another blogger and as always, Goodreads. It received a number of great reviews. What made me decide to have the book is this consistent feedback: hilarious! My hopeless romantic hormones, that always long for romantic comedies, also convinced me to acquire the book. (Thanks to Book Depository. You gave me a cheaper paperback all the way from UK!)

In a nutshell the book presents the story of Don Tillman, a 40-year old professor from Melbourne. Single and as you can sense it, a very eligible bachelor. Unfortunately, Don is not the easiest man to please. If Don Tillman is a real man I met, I would have to say he is excessively obsessive compulsive. Beat that! Haha His entire life is structured. The meals he cook everyday have been planned and predetermined. The time he devotes for all his activities are strictly enforced and what I find both funny and annoying about him, his overanalysis of all things.

Finding the right partner for Don is obviously good as impossible. Don’s obsessive compulsiveness and being a researcher, led him to develop a questionnaire for The Wife Project. The questionnaire can supposedly determine a potential partner’s compatibility. Then here comes Rosie who is a perfect contradiction of the ideal wife. Along the way, Don becomes involved with Rosie’s Father Project. The project aimed to search Rosie’s biological father. In their quest to secure DNA samples, Don discovers the real Rosie. As predicted, Don falls to the trap he never imagined. It was too late for Don to realize that both the Father and Wife Project turned to The Rosie Project.

The Rosie Project has all the elements I’m looking for a book. Plot wise, I love the simple story line. Although it was obvious from the start that something great is about to unfold between Rosie and Don, the plot still bears the element of unpredictability. The transition of Don as a person and his love for Rosie were still creatively conceived and narrated. Added to this the humor element from Don’s weird personality. I literally LOL when Don described some woman as “unconventionally attractive.” My friend T and I realized that this was a modern and less harsh way to say that someone is "ugly." LOL

As for character development, I would like to believe that the author excelled in transforming his characters. The change in Don’s character was gradual and realistic. It was far from those drama series where a character’s transformation happens overnight. 

Overall, I would give the book 4 out 5 stars. You can consider it as a great beach read especially for the hopeless romantics. I also have to say that the book could become a perfect material for the big screen. And I'm already imagining who can be the Hollywood actors who can play the roles ;)  

A few quotes I love from the book

“I asked you here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”

“I haven’t changed my mind. That’s the point! I want to spend my life with you even though it’s totally irrational. And you have short earlobes. Socially and genetically there’s no reason for me to be attracted to you. The only logical conclusion is that I must be in love with you.”

“Humans often fail to see what is close to them and obvious to others.”

“Her argument was simple: there’s someone for everyone. Statistically, she was almost certainly correct. Unfortunately, the probability that I would find such a person was vanishingly small. But it created a disturbance in my brain, like mathematical problem that we know must have a solution. “

“And it dawned on me that I had not designed the questionnaire to find a woman I could accept, but to find someone who might accept me.”

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Beautiful Sunday # 107 - Snippets from the Workplace

Before everything else, Happy Mother's Day!. My greetings particularly go to my namemate Diane, Janelle (even though you rarely blog haha), Jamie, Betsy, Kaith, and Jennifer. As for my own mother, I will be treating her for a mall date later. Yay!

Before my much awaited date with Nanay, let me share the few beautiful things that made my week.

The best way to end Friday! - I treated myself with Wendy's Pretzel bacon burger, juiciest fries and a tall glass of coke. I admit, It wasn't the best. I'm a bit disappointed but for the sake of belly cravings, I guess I had enough.

Daily dose of healthy treats - My ideal fruit box should have slices of mangoes and watermelon, above anything else. To my dear friends who are like me, exposed to all the threats and temptations of unhealthy food, I highly encourage a daily dose of this fruit box. You can never see the benefit in my widening and bulking belly hahaha but the fruits aid a lot in digestion. Take it from my personal experience! My appointments to the toilet have become effortless and less traumatizing. :) 

Sylvannas from the Big Boss - I'm very fortunate to have a Big Boss who knows how to give great gifts. These sylvannas came all the way from Dumaguete. Who ever thought that the best sylvannas in the Philippines can be bought down South. Anyone visiting Dumaguete? Oh please, drop by Sans Rival and Pastries (yep, that's the name of the shop) and treat me with another box :)

Personalized! - I'm loving Zalora Ph more and more! I bought a discounted belt bracelet that arrived in less than 3 days. I just wish that Zalora Ph will be able to attract more brands and merchants like their counterpart in Singapore and Hong Kong. Can we have Kenneth Cole, Tory Burch and Kate Spade bags please? :)

Some photo snippets from the workplace

View from the Toilet ;) - I swear! You can have a partial aerial view of this historical landmark in Manila from the secret toilet at the workplace.

Blooms of May - I grew up with this tree at the workplace. If the cycle still holds true, the blooms signify that summer will soon be over. Hello rainy season! It's time to dust off my jackets and plastic shoes again.

Anyone who can identify the tree? - The towering trees have been a constant view from my almost 10 years of working.

Cobblestones and grass - I have this weird habit of taking this pathway everyday. I don't mind the uneven floors and the spaces that serve as a trap for those heels and stilettos. I don't wear heels anyway.

I happen to work for a school who has produced a Catholic saint :) ... Maybe I could start praying and rendering my intentions through his intercession.

Wooden lamp posts and tables - This could have been a perfect spot for coffee and sweets. Everything is so quiet because of the summer break.

Wishing well no more - This used to be a nice wishing well. Unfortunately, the stagnant water is giving a home for dengue mosquitos. The area looks so beautiful during Christmas with all the lights and locally produced decors. This reminds me, they didn't anymore took off the Christmas Belen.

Too shabby and pretty - This area has been a witness to stories of sadness and laughter from both the students and employees. If only staying here won't make me look awkward, I would love to have my lunch breaks here.

Wishing everyone a great week ahead! I'm off to watch this famous Korean drama series before going out with Nanay :)

Saturday, May 10, 2014

30 Things Life Taught Me # 15 - Respect for who they are


A few weeks ago, a conversation with a few group of friends led to their sentiments about gays and lesbians. I can’t exactly recall how the topic emerged. The most I can remember, a friend uttered her reluctance of dealing with lesbians. She admits preferring gays than tomboys. She has this natural disinclination against lesbians. She swore never getting involved with them. I wanted to challenge her selfish conviction. I wanted to tell her how inconsiderate and discriminating she was. My intensifying desire to argue was taken aback because I remember the real intention of that night. We were gathered to unwind after an exhausting work week.

At some point, I regret my decision to keep quiet. Part of me feels guilty for my other friends. Yes, I have a handful of great friends, who are lesbians and tomboys. I don’t have gay friends of my age. The most I have are gay students who provide me that much needed comic relief in class. Some of them turned out to become a few of my good friends. (NOTE) I don’t mean discriminate but I had more negative experiences with gays than lesbians. Despite of everything, I don’t really consider gender as a requisite for friendship or even work.

The experience made me recall a great lesson life taught me. RESPECT and NEVER DISCRIMINATE. This particularly goes to the members of the gay and lesbian community. I’m a devoted Catholic and even though Bible interpreters keep on claiming that God despises them, my respect remains untainted. Even in my family, I’m proud to say that gender is not really a major issue. I grew up with parents, aunties, uncles and grandparents who whole-heartedly embraced and accepted every kid, regardless of who they are and what they chose to become. I guess this started my firm belief of respecting everyone.

So whether you are girl, boy, bakla or tomboy, you are welcome to my life. As long as you can bear my hopeless romantic hormones, cheesiness, foodie indulgences, and occasional mood swings then welcome to my life :)

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Beautiful Sunday # 106 - First of May

And just like that, it's already May! If given the choice I would like to skip this month because I still dread the deadline for my documentation project. If I didn't meet my May deadline, (Don't worry, I will not be dead. haha) it might become a major setback in my career. It would make me sad and frustrated. It would take away my self-esteem, which I have been chasing so hard lately. Sounds like another source of negativity, this can be explained in another blog post. For the mean time, let me share the few good and beautiful things that made my week.

Hello May! - It's now or never for me.

My first pair of pink shoes - A pink shoes for the forever blue addict in me? Blame the online sale of Anthology flats and some moments of afternoon loneliness in my working niche. I was convinced to own one since I never had one in my entire lifetime. :P The shoes were comfortable except for the color. Hahaha I'm still not at ease wearing some evident pink.

Yay or Nay? for the blouse - It has been ages since I last wore this blouse. It used to be an oversized top that can be worn with leggings or super skinny jeans. Unfortunately, my weight gain problems caused this blouse to shrink. Heehee It turned out as a regular blouse now. Or maybe, it's only the blouse that shrunk at all? 

Tan Leather Bag - I purchased this from ASOS. (Blame Zigrid heehee) After a long wait, the bag arrived with a lot of side stories. I will blog about the entire shopping experience soon. 

Hello Ghost Town! - This area is always occupied by the students from June to March. When summer vacation comes, it's good as forever quite and deserted. Call me weird, but I appreciate the rare silence once in a while.

Army Navy! - Our failed trip to 8065 Bagnet landed us to Army Navy. Not a bad substitute since I've been craving for quesadilla and spicy fries.

Humongous French Fries from Mc Donalds -  So this is the BFF bundles promoted by Mc Donalds. It's really huge that it can be consumed by three people.

Kitkat Green Tea - It's easier to purchase this treat now. This is already available in Japan Home / Daiso stores for Php 200. Still pricey, but so much cheaper than prices of all those Instagram resellers.

Paotsin saves the day - I was too late to discover Paotsin. The full meal has kept me company in those lonely dinner after work. I'd rather surround myself with comfort food than drown myself with my recurring sadness, frustration and self-esteem issues. Life is good... with great food :)

Squash Patties (Okoy made from Kalabasa) - I don't often encounter great food from the workplace's canteen (Sorry Mr. G). This squash patty is now counted as an exception. I love that it tastes good and it's not meat.. therefore a healthier alternative for me.

French Macarons from A - Thanks A for sharing your blessings from Singapore :) These are macarons from TWG. The best is the dark chocolate (if I'm not mistaken). 

Ultimate Korean Girl Crush (photo owned by Drama Beans)  - Kim Tae Hee!!!! Anyone who can guess the drama series? I spent my entire Saturday for this. I'm in Episode 17 while having a break and typing this post. There are a lot of sub stories and the entire plot is too dragging and stressing! I guess I need to detoxify with the some light romantic comedy after this. 

Wishing everyone a Beautiful Sunday and a great week ahead!

UPDATE: Here's another beautiful reason to be happy this week. My favourite Papemelroti is hosting  a giveaway.  Win this

Visit their site here for more details!

30 Things Life Taught Me # 14 - How Best Emerges from the Worst


In my almost 10 years of working, I stayed in the same company, hopped to different offices and I guess the highlight of everything, survived four different bosses. It does not really count as an achievement or even an accomplishment. One thing I can be proud of myself though, I peacefully parted ways with them. I can still face my previous bosses without a drop of hate or apprehension, except for one because (God bless her soul) she already went ahead to heaven.

On the way home, I happened to land on an FX taxi tuned in to this local FM station. There was a caller ranting about her very strict and annoying boss. I was surprised with the response given by the DJ.

Here’s the edited and enhanced version:

You should be thankful for having a strict, demanding and unappreciative boss. There’s no point of recognizing tasks that has been successfully accomplished. You should never be commended for fulfilling your responsibilities. However, mistakes and shortcomings deserve all the criticisms. We need to be bombarded to improve.

I was expecting some words of sympathy or the very least, a little comic relief from the DJ. Surprise of surprises, the DJ appeared like a spokesperson of all the cursed bosses in the world.

Admittedly, part of me agrees with the response of the DJ. I will not deny that at some point, the strict and unreasonably demanding bosses brought out the best in me.

I had a boss who wanted everyone to speak English at workplace. The good side of such practice; I was able to exercise my communication skills to the language that dreads us even after 10 years of studying it. There were awkward moments but this gave me training before teaching.

Barely months after graduating from college, I had a boss who subjected me to baptism with fire. I was asked to present my first research to the community of employees. Some months passed, I was asked to present the results of a critical study to the members of the management committee. I forgot what stage fright meant. I realized that I was meant for greater things.

I had a boss who was very strict with attendance. Back then, I almost qualified for perfect attendance award. I developed good sleeping habits. I leave home early, I feel more relaxed and refreshed before starting another work day. I escape the unnecessary stresses from the unpredictable travel time from commuting. I was very observant and compliant with company rules.

I survived a boss who was very keen on details. Mastering perfection and infusing a little creativity in preparing technical reports became a habit. This demands time, patience and pressure but at the end of the day, I felt fulfilled for surpassing a great challenge.

I used to belong to an office who handles events and seminars. With a very obsessive compulsive boss, I learned coordination, collaboration and doing things without being told. I overcame my silent personality.

I also remember starting with an office that wasn’t allocated with working scholars or assistants. I managed to accomplish even the smallest detail of my job. I photocopied my own materials. I sort my own documents. I route letters and memoranda across offices and buildings. I do follow up calls on my own.  I survived without depending on other people.

Although at some point I also believe that excessive strictness does not always breed positive things. I had my own share of this injustice. I had a boss whose demands demeaned me. I was losing my self esteem. I suffered emotionally that translated to my health. I had unexplained sicknesses. I lost weight the unhealthy way. Had it not because of my concerned parents, I would not have discovered that I’m an inch away from developing a fatal blood related disease.

At the end of the day, I would like to believe that my strict bosses made me competitive. I didn’t become one of those employees who just exist for payday. My greatest gain and learning from my strict bosses, I was trained to make things happen.

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Playground of Coffee and Dreams

The original plan was to visit 8065's Bagnet. Someone is craving for bagoong rice and bagnet (crispy pork belly). Unfortunately, our hearts stomach became devastated when the the most awaited meal was not available. We opted for Army Navy and along the way, one of my friends introduced this one-of-a-kind coffee shop. It was love at first sight for me. I begged forced :) everyone to see the coffee shop before the day ends. 

Noriter Manila : Coffee and Dream
The facade does not look pleasing at all. The stained walls and all the loose electrical wirings are to blame. However, my weird preferences tell me that everything looks so attractive. I love the rustic wooden signage, blue painted letters and even the choice of font.

The actual site is situated on the second floor. You have to access this short and old staircase, which can fit an old or a horror movie.  Haha

The main entrance of the coffee shop is decorated with all the paper cups, which I believed were designed by the customers. 

Like I said, I love the font and the cute hot air balloon on the logo.

As we went inside the shop, I discovered that Noriter is a Korean word for playground. Hooray! I found another Korean place again. Last month, it was Hollys Coffee. I'm too fortunate to discover another place for my intensifying South Korean dream. I also learned from a few internet research that this was originally franchised from South Korea and their bigger branch is situated in down south Cebu.  

There a lot of interesting and quirky things inside the shop. Everything was eye candy for me. Among those that attracted me are these bunk areas or some would call as tree houses.  

You cannot find this kind of facility everyday. So we took off our shoes and enjoyed the remaining hours in this cute space. Another attraction from this facility, you can doodle anywhere within the wooden areas. 

Even the windows are filled with unique and pretty doodles.  

These are the other areas with tree houses. This has a mezzanine that can be better observed in the succeeding photos. 

A bird's-eye-view of the entire dining area. 

I love the uneven and variety of chairs which is reflective of my favourite, the mismatched design principle. There's no need to stick in the same colour scheme or theme. 

Face the wall! :)

I love the artificial tree where you can clip on photos and notes. 

And speaking of notes, here's a board where you can post and leave heartbreaking to inspiring messages. 

A few that caught my attention:

"I will move on promise" - Weh d nga? (Really?) Hahaha
Looks like someone is missing someone from Japan

Don't worry this table is covered by a clean and transparent glass top :)

And more paper cups designed by the customers

This reminded me of my growing up years. My love for writing and design is evident on the all the walls I have drawn and religiously erased and cleaned by my mother. :)

The Oreo Cheesecake that gave us the permission to take photos inside the shop Hahaha and my troop of colleagues who accommodated my Korean addiction. 

I found this in the area where we stayed. Anyone who can translate? I just hope that this is not a curse or something. Haha 

Cafe Noriter
2746 Reyes Bldg., Estrada St. 
Taft Avenue, Manila
(main landmark is DLSU- Taft)