Sunday, November 30, 2014

Beautiful Sunday # 136 - Last of November

Where did time go? I still remember how I dragged myself to report back for work last January. It took me months before I got used to writing 2014 from 2013. A month from now, another year will enter and as always, there will be another set of stories waiting to be documented here. Before I face the last month of the year, let me recount the few beautiful things that happened last week... the last of the pre-Christmas month.

Been to the Pink Kingdom - I was sent out to report to another place in the middle of the week. Before going home, I visited one of the largest malls in the world. I wasn't able to buy anything (whew, achievement!). I thought I will be able to leave home with nothing not until I discovered this Barbie exhibit for Xmas. I may not be a fan of color pink but I do appreciate the beautiful kingdom of the pink princess.

Mary Grace's Sans rival - is love! The only way to end a bad and frustrating day. Thank you Mary Grace for providing me the most affordable means to happiness.

Forever Favorite - Had a really bad morning at work so I ended treating myself with the crispiest and juiciest Chickenjoy from Jollibee.

Cello's Doughnuts - The need to stress eat really intensified this week. To my defense, I didn't finish the entire box. ;)

My most favorite time of the year housed in my favorite sinful beverage :)

It's a celebration!!! - My lone surviving grandfather celebrated his 90th birthday this weekend. We were reunited with my paternal relatives and before the day ended, the last guests were the surviving graduates of Batch 1937. Lolo and his classmates, everyone at 90 years old!!  And the youngest member of the Fun Fab Fam is always there to entertain everyone. The little man was claiming that he was a dinosaur out to scare everyone. ;)  

Saturday, November 29, 2014

30 Things Life Taught Me # 22 - Men gossip more

I cannot recall who was the first person who told me that men tend to gossip more than the females. I've encountered several articles such as this.  I didn't buy the idea not until I experienced it for myself. Heck, it was so true!!! I want to relate the details on how I first adhered to the generalization. The juicy story behind it would beat all those blind items in the showbiz section of the local tabloids. Hahaha Within the week, I actually had another personal experience with men who love to gossip. It may sound funny but the onion-skinned person in me was rather pissed off. I related my experience to my friend AFM a few hours ago. We later arrived at another conclusion. We both shared the belief that everyone is a natural gossiper. This can be attributed to the natural curiosity imbibed within us. Despite this commonality, we later realized that there's still a dividing line that segments the natural gossipers in us. Respect. 

When I was transferred to my current department, the distance between my Boss' area and my table was less than a meter. We were occupying a very small office space. Whenever my Boss has a visitor, I can hear and understand their conversations without any effort. This may sound tempting but during those times I was rather feeling uncomfortable. Hence, I always move out of the office whenever we have visitors. My female intuition hormones also helped. I can easily sense an upcoming discussion of something confidential and sensitive. 

When we moved to another office, my Boss opted for open spaces. No concrete barriers or separators from his area to our cubicles.  Despite the increase in space, it was still easy for us to eavesdrop conversations. Whenever I can sense discussions that shouldn't be heard, my initial line of defense was to move out of the office. As to my other colleague, oh well I don't want to detail HIS attitude. When I was discussing an issue to my Boss, I knew it. I knew that he was eavesdropping. I gave him the benefit of the doubt. When I returned to my table, it felt like a similar bomb exploded on me. My dearest colleague wasn't able to control his undesirable, out of place and disrespectful curiosity. He said something enough to convince me that indeed ... MEN LOVE TO GOSSIP MORE. 

If I have been in the shoes of my colleague, I will offer that space of RESPECT. I was fighting my tears and it became too obvious with my voice. To make things worst, I never received comforting words when I went back to my cubicle. All I heard was the distinct words of a hungry male gossiper. 

Friday, November 28, 2014

30 Things Life Taught Me # 21 - Me and My Mood Swings

I do admit that I belong to the percentile of women born with the  highest level of sensitivity. In local parlance, balat sibuyas (onion-skinned).

This can actually explain why I'm more prone to suffer from that hellish BAD BAD BAD mood. God designed me that way. ;) If my self-diagnosis and jargon are accurate, my mood swings arise from two factors: biological and environment. 

Biological is caused by PMS-ing, lack of sleep, stress, exhaustion and the like. This type of bad mood is harder to explain but suffice to say, I can easily handle and survive. 


The other source of my mood swings is the culprit of everything. Environment is attributed to the situation and people around me. Something I cannot prevent and admittedly, the hardest to handle. When I'm pissed off to an uncooperative and annoying colleague, morning arguments, unsupportive superior, inconsiderate beings, gossipers, backstabbers, and when everything perfectly connives to disappoint me. Okay, I'll be honest. I'm currently suffering from the worst mood now. :'( And as you can sense it, this explains the post. 
In my 30 years of existence, I can claim that I have successfully managed this "blessing" / "struggle."  My mood swings have never caused any major destruction. Haha There maybe instances when I raised my voice and wore my screamingly irritated face. Other than these, I have never shouted or caused any physical harm to anyone. I would either isolate myself or maintain my silence for an entire day. Yes, I may sound too talkative here but in reality, I can survive a working day without ever talking to anyone. And I prefer to survive my struggle that way.

Ironic as it seems but my hyper-sensitivity is coupled with hyper-composure. Is there such word? This makes me realize how the Creator above messed up my genetic makeup. A very sensitive personality trapped inside the body of a very reserved being. Imagine Kris Aquino trapped and hampered inside Kate Middleton's personality. Pardon my ambitious analogy. Haha But really, I'm proud to say that my capability to keep my composure never failed to save me.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Christmas Wishlist

What's the point of making a wish list if no one will ever fulfill it? Hahaha Pardon my bitterness. Maybe I'm just PMS-ing or having one of those unexplained moody attacks. So before going to work, I decided to entertain myself by compiling another shopaholic list. There's no way for me to purchase these because I already made advanced Xmas purchases. Nevertheless, let me compile some items that remain in my wishlist. Who knows, I'll have a secret and surprise Santa... Oh well, I think that's another wish to begin with. ;)

Photos not owned by the author

Monogram Necklace - I've explored Etsy and local producers for this monogram necklace. There are a lot of excellent manufacturers to choose from. Unfortunately, the hefty price tag prevents me from investing to this piece of personalized jewelry. If I will have more freelance works next year, this can serve as my next project. I particularly prefer the version in white gold .... which is definitely more expensive.

Unique Wooden Dining Chairs - This has remained as a promise for my family. Late last year, I was about to purchase a similar wooden chair from a neighborhood sash factory. Unfortunately, the owner can't wait for my 13th month pay. He sold the design to another buyer.

Book Shelf and Working Table - Exactly like this! My books and my laptop are contained in one area.

Vita Fede's Leather Bracelet - Another very expensive want!!! The last time I checked, a simple leather bracelet from Vita Fede costs around Php 6,000?!?

Photos not owned by the author

This Cath Kidston Wallet - The blue version is already on sale on Cath Kidston's site. Blue is my favorite color but I'm beginning to prefer the lighter color.

Lacoste's Women Polo Shirt - Yes, it has to be in blue! When I have the money to acquire one, I hope there will be decent sizes available for me.

Kipling's Beonica Shoulder Bag - So expensive at Php 7,200 from Zalora Philippines!!! I'm trying to use my discount codes only to later discover that it will never happen. This item is excluded in Zalora's promos.

Tom's Ballet Flats in Shinny Ivory Burlap - My size is no longer available in Toms' online store. I checked local retailers and learned that this style is no longer available. My only hope is Amazon and the Black Friday Deal.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Beautiful Sunday 135 - Counting the days

Hello to the last week of November! In a few more weeks, it will be my favorite time of the year again. For my US friends, they still have thanksgiving to look forward. In my case, I look forward to the possibility of Black Friday Deals from my favorite US based online shops. Hahaha But seriously, someone has to get me off shopping. Yes, I'm guilty. I made advanced purchases already. This stress busting habit is not doing any good for my struggling wallet. So before my 13th month pay totally vanishes, I have to prevent myself from going inside my greatest temples of temptations. No more trips to the shopping mall for me.

I have an unexpected work for next week. I have to report to another place. I just hope everything will turn out well. I cannot afford to mess up for the Bigger Boss. Honestly, the past week was spent almost worrying about this. I have this greatest talent of immersing myself to unnecessary stress, which later leads to either stress eating or shopping. ;)  Before facing another week, let me recount the few beautiful things I've encountered.

Graham Balls - My favorite snack at the workplace. If only I have interest in baking... in the first place, can anyone tell if this really needs baking?

Slammin Burgers - Whenever I had the chance to drop by Trinoma, I will surely have a take out from one of my favorite burger chains. 

Surprise from my fruit box -A very unusual selection for my daily dose of healthy treats

Bagaholic Hormones - I'm weak, sorry. Hahaha But this has to end my advanced Xmas purchases. My shopaholic hormones was fulfilled but my thrift hormones are suffering. For the record, this is currently the most expensive bag I own. Yes, I bought a bag again.

I'm beginning to love Kamiseta again. - I studied in an all girls school whose uniform remains unchanged since its foundation. I've worn ruffles and jumper skirts for 10 years. I guess this has intensified my love for ruffled blouses. 

Relic by Fossil Sling Bag - Scored this from a neighborhood bazaar. I love the colors and patterns. 

Hi Kate! - The only thing I can afford from Kate Spade is their Daycation Bon Shopper Bag. I don't know if I can still purchase another bag from this favorite brand. I have to stay away from the internet on Friday!!!

Photo not owned by the author

Till we meet again Fr. T! - In the middle of the week, the entire workplace community attended the neclorogical service for our dearest Fr. T. It was my first time to see the entire congregation gathered and united for his final blessing. The kids and the kids at heart will miss you forever Fr. T!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Beautiful Sunday # 134 - Out and About

Second and last week of my semester break! Reality will resume tomorrow. I have classes in the morning and office work in the afternoon. It's better that way because I'm looking forward going home early over the next months. I'm thankful because I no longer have evening classes. I don't know what happened but last semester was just too tiring. My stress eating intensified and the last time I checked, my overweight self gained more 5 lbs. This evil habit has to end. With lesser workload, I hope I'll be able to get back in shape or at the very least, no more weight gain please.

I finished my "delayed" project last week. My table is always reflective of my level of workload and self-imposed stress. :) But this week, everything is cleared to accommodate the new set of mess. Haha

It's Christmas! - Dropped by the mall in the middle of the week to check out what gift to purchase for myself. I'm eyeing a new bag (again) but decided to temporarily forgo the purchase. We ended watching the Xmas Tree's lighting ceremony. 

Left the mall with nothing but the next day, something tragic happened in my wallet lol

My second Levis - I used to believe that this brand is just all about name and prestige. When my friend C explained and showcased to me her collection of Levis, I decided to give it a try.  I now fully understand the reason behind the price tag. 

Thank you The Travel Club - A random day when I felt so fat and ugly, what happens next? My appetite surprisingly malfunctioned that day. So stress eating was not the antidote. In the afternoon, I received a text from The Travel Club that they are giving 20% discount for holders of this type of credit card. And you know what happened next. My low EQ hyperventilated. But really, the 20% discount already entailed a lot of money. Thanks The Travel Club for the discount and the best customer service too. No pun intended, the sales team of their Gateway Branch was the best. I hope my effort to appreciate their staff through their FB page will be noticed.

New product discovery - Random trips to7-11 lead to healthy and tasty selections

The joys of delivery - Thank you KFC for making my family's tummy happy and the consistent 15-minute delivery.

Another product discovery from 7-11 - Spicy squash seeds from Thailand, almost perfect if not because of the price. I find it expensive at Php 30 per small pack.

Sweet treats from Brownies Unlimited - The only thing I hate about cupcakes is their price tag. This one is the cheapest I can easily purchase from SM's Brownies Unlimited

One of the oldest houses in my hometown - This is the home of the Filipino who started the shoe industry in Marikina. Wish I could take more photos inside the house which is now used as venues for different events. 

Another old house in my hometown - I don't know the history of this white house, but this has to be one of the most beautiful structures in my hometown.

Saturday Gluttony - I met some friends for brunch last Saturday.

My favorite Divisoria Meal - Bagoong rice, sharksfin and a large coke or iced tea are perfect after a long and tiring day

Even the foot has to have an appeal ;) - I swear by the effectiveness of this product. If you want to have that "baby like" skin again, please try this "foot peeling" formula.

Assortment of Happiness - I didn't know that Ferrero has this white chocolate variant. I tasted the dark, regular and white and I just love everything.

Going Oriental - Despite having a broke weekend, my tummy cravings has to be fulfilled ;) Tried the famous Pad Thai and I didn't regret the splurge. On my next visit, I'll definitely be braver to try other Thai dishes.

Dearest namemate,  
The linky codes suddenly don't work in my blog. Sorry for this but I'm trying to find another site that provides free link up services. The same scenario actually happened last week. I can't figure out the source of the glitch.

30 Things Life Taught Me # 20 - Unconsciously leaving my comfort zone

Truth to be hold, leaving my comfort zone has been one of my continuing and intensifying struggles. I don't want to relate further details, but part of me already wants to make that move or decision. It has to happen or it will never happen. While I'm still in the process of over-analyzing everything, I'm trying to distract myself by venturing to other activities. These activities in my bucket list are surprisingly increasing every year. Haha One thing I learned about being stuck in this stage is the unconscious effort to leave it. I realized that in one way or another, I'm giving myself the opportunity to welcome changes. 

When I decided to attend the professional course I finished last week, I realized that this has become my unconscious effort to seek and welcome new opportunities. I have the chance to opt for a relaxing weekend. I didn't choose the easier option. I decided to forgo my weekend and face my apprehensions. Admittedly, the teacher in me has hidden fears of returning to school. I attribute the fear to my age and inability to catch up with the demands of the course. I joined a troop of young and bright professionals from other companies and true enough, part of me felt afraid and worrisome. These people are more equipped with the trends and practices in the industry. They have better communication and analytical skills. They have higher paying jobs and position. They know better. While me? I felt like I have nothing special to share and contribute.

I decided to accept whatever outcome I will experience from the short course. There was the nervousness and fear of being perceived as worthless. On the way home, I realized that allowing myself to feel challenged and shaken symbolizes my willingness to leave my comfort zone.  If I feel stability, I'm usually stuck with my routine. All the more I have to be alarmed  during this situation. Stability is good but always staying in the middle of my comfort zone means depriving myself of greater heights and opportunities. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Why I love The Master's Sun and some other Korean drama series

Indeed, this is my favourite Korean drama series for the year! While writing this, I checked my past posts and discovered that I haven't made any exclusive post for this favourite past time. If my memory still serves me right, I was able to finish Jang Ok Jung, The Heirs, My Love from Another Star and The Innocent Man. 

Jang Ok Jung and Innocent Man are literally and figuratively heavy drama. Literally because I'm also having a gloomy day when I reach the episodes that showcase the martyrdom of the lead character. Haha (Affected much ang lola)

I watched Jang Ok Jung mostly because of my girl crush, Kim Tae Hee. I may sound already biased but Kim Tae Hee's acting reached a higher level in this series. She was able to render an angelic portrayal of Korea's notorious royal concubine during the Joseon Dynasty. For those who have watched the drama series Dongyi, the wicked Jang hu-bin is actually the same person as Jang Ok Jung. The Innocent Man piqued my interest because of the twisted story line. During its local airing, my attention also caught the handsome lead character, Kang Maru. And yes, I admit it. I sometimes watch drama series because of the good looking leading man or villain.  Haha 

My Love from Another Star and The Heirs ... oh well, blame the bandwagon effect. Everyone around me was raving about it. Though to be honest, I didn't become a fan of The Heirs. It appealed to me as another version of Meteor Garden or Boys Over Flowers. Adding up to this, I'm not a fan of Park Shin Hye's acting. I watched Miracle in Cell no. 7 too and sorry so say, Park Shin Hye's acting was too flat and bland for me. 

Going back to the real intention of this post, I intend to highlight the reasons why I'm declaring The Master's Sun as this year's favourite. I initially saw teasers of The Master's Sun during its local airing. My attention was specifically caught by the driving force of the series. Whenever Tae Gong-shil touches The CEO (Joo-Jong won) her special power of seeing ghosts vanishes. The reason for this was not explained in the series. Or did I just miss it? What was only clear to me was the obvious ending. The knight in shining armour will eventually become a love interest. Despite this point of weakness, I enjoyed the transition and the sub stories that led to the evident fairy tale ending. 

Photos not owned by the author 
There were a lot of ghost sightings and misadventures in the series. One thing I can assure to those who lack the bravery ;) to watch ghost films, The Master's Sun is HORROR-COMEDY. The photos above summarise my favourite ghost encounters. How a lost pair of shoes solved a crime,  the children who later found their way to heaven after living a miserable life, the rich matriarch who discovered the real love interest of her lone and dead grandson and the trash can that served as a guide to The CEO and Tae Gong-shil's love story. 

Photos not owned by the author 

Kang Woo is another cute guy who provided the element of my much needed crush interest love triangle. There was that symbolic necklace, very common among Korean drama series, and the last photo was one of my favourite light moments in the series. 

My overall rating for The Master's Sun is 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend it to everyone willing to awaken their hopeless romantic hormones ;) and those seeking a light and entertaining drama series.

Up to my list is Angel Eyes. I'm quite reluctant to watch the series because it belongs to the cluster of heavy drama. Any recommendations in the genre of romantic comedies? 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Beautiful Sunday # 133 - Back to school

Just woke up and realized that lunch time is already over ;) I had a tiring week despite reporting only for work last Wednesday. I failed to beat a project's deadline. All my fault, sorry :( Before the week ended, I finished the first level of the short course I won from a recent convention. I want to finish the entire course for myself. Unfortunately, I'm not prepared for the monetary expenses and the succeeding classes will surely demand a lot of my time. I have yet to discuss this to my Big Boss. Hopefully, we can work out a better plan for this.

I went back to school last week - Tiring yet so fulfilling! 

After a long school day, I treated myself to a slice of cake from my favorite, Banapple!

For this year, this has to be my favorite Korean drama series. I'm nearing the ending but I'm preventing myself to finish the series. The Master's Sun is just too good to end. (Hello Rose!)

The rare times I'm able to see Makati's business district. Despite almost getting dead tired from my short course, I decided to drop by Ayala Triangle to check out the famous light and sound show. Only to later discover that it is yet to start on November 20. lol

Home. The rare times I can see and experience daylight from home. It may still be early but I'm already looking forward to my next holiday break. These rare times also make me think of gradually building my career to freelancing. When the workplace does not anymore permit my age to work, I look forward on having this backup career. I also admit that at some point, I'm having second thoughts about this. Maybe I can spend my entire day working, I'll have my afternoon fitness schedule (I badly need it) and on weekends, I will have those food escapades with my friends and family. Decisions. Decisions. But honestly, I'm way far from this. I have debts and insurances to settle. I have yet to increase my investments. I have to fatten my savings account. I have to build my retirement fund. So many financial goals and targets.. sometimes, I just want to say, I'll figure things out when I get there. :)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Travel Diaries : The Floating Restaurant

My personal target every year is to see at least one new place. It may not necessarily be in another country. As long as it's an island, town or city I haven't seen, it can already qualify. Two years ago, I always dreamed of seeing a new country every year. Unfortunately, the wallet no longer permits and my usual travel buddies temporarily retired because of the same reason. This year, I think have hit my target courtesy of the annual summer outing of the workplace. Barely two months before the year ends, I was able to add another place in my list. Thanks to my dear friend A for initiating this trip.

To be honest, I wasn't highly interested with the place when A presented the idea. What pushed me to join was ... the sake of friendship. Haha Peer pressure that is. I don't want to disappoint a dear friend. My travel target later gave me another reason to join.  I have to mention that the trip has been rescheduled many times. I don't want to mention who to blame. Hello Inday! Haha We wanted the gang to be complete but our dearest Inday decided to decline. So despite being incomplete, the troop headed to Calauan Laguna for this much planned trip.

After almost a two-hour bus ride from Manila, we finally reached our destination.

We were greeted with a large open space ;) which is good news for motorists. Parking space is not a problem. There were towering structures and a very loud yet inviting music.

These humongous structures welcomed us as soon as we entered the restaurant. We were mesmerized so we ended exploring the place. We forgot our main intention, to have lunch after a long trip. ;) This later became a mistake because we didn't notice the restaurant's policy. Guests should report to the information area first before acquiring a seat. I initially find this fault on us. However, I later realized that the receptionists should have approached and asked us. No one from them bothered to inform us of this policy.

This is the information / waiting area I've been relating. We encountered a minor problem here. We were given a table right in front of the restaurant's musical performer. I wasn't comfortable so we requested for another place. This meant another 15 minutes of waiting. We were later given a better seat. It was a nipa hut that gives an aerial view of the entire restaurant. Yay for excellent view! Unfortunately, this advantage gives a little trade off.  Since the area is located in an elevated spot, expect some delays in the service.

Our nipa hut, almost perfect if only it was properly cleaned. Yes, we have minor issues with the cleanliness of the table and utensils. There were ants and some fragments from the nipa hut's roof. To compensate, the designated waiter voluntarily cleaned our table.

Here are more photos from our perfect view

Oh, hi there Spiderman! ;) 

We ordered a few dishes which include Pork Spare Ribs, Sauteed Shrimp, Bone Marrow Soup, Green Mango Salad and some fruit shakes. You can see the photos in my previous Beautiful Sunday post.If I will rate the food, I'll give it 3 out 5 stars. Yes, unfortunately my taste buds are not that impressed. If given the chance to revisit, I will surely choose another dish from the menu.

After taking our lunch, we decided to continue exploring the place.

A tip if you have plans visiting the place, please bring mosquito repellant lotion or spray. ;) 

This area gave me a feel of Bali

that later turned to Thailand ;)

One of the free amenities is the short boat ride

 The main attraction from the boat ride

I guess this is really the main attraction of the restaurant.

Yes, I tried the Tacsiyapo and IT FELT GOOD!! lol

The place has other attractions ideal for kids. 

Disneyland meets Universal Studios ;)

The Sankilo Bridge Challenge - Brave guests can take the challenge by crossing the bridge carrying a kilo of water. Winning challengers will take home a kilo of assorted fish as prize.

 A final reminder for those who have plans visiting Isdaan. Please bring plenty of Php 20 bills. Trust me, it can save you.

After spending almost half of our day in Isdaan, we moved to our next destination. We planned to visit the historical Nagcarlan Church. Unfortunately, we arrived too late. We were not able to see the interiors of the Church and the underground cemetery.  We left with this photo.

I'm not sure if the Church is maintaining this kind of appearance. In my opinion, the church needs some cleaning though. I find the dust, cobwebs, molds and wild plants a bit disturbing.

This tower houses the kampana (bell) of the church that is more than a hundred year old. This chapel has been used as the location for this local drama series.

Minus the rare yet major headache that attacked me on the way home, I was happy that I took this trip with my friends. It was a great way to start my short holiday break.. that is about to end tomorrow. :)