Altrove Trattoria BF Homes: Authentic Brick Oven Pizza

Altrove Trattoria BF Homes Las Pinas

I remembered having seen Altrove Trattoria Pizza when we went to El Nido, Palawan last 2013. It was one of the popular restaurants over there and I was happy to see that this branch is very, very accessible to me! It was also nice to think that their ambiance is a bit similar to the one in El Nido. It was dim, chill, and relaxed. Here is a review about the restaurant.

Environment

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Altrove Trattoria had that earthy, natural vibe with dim yellow lights and chill ambiance. Upon entering, you’re required to remove your shoes. It’s a barefoot restaurant. When we went there, there was a pianist playing some blues and other old pop song covers. There was a garden just in front of the restaurant, and it has a homey feel to it. The restaurant is very open with no airconditioning which is perfect for cool summer nights.

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However, there were some guests commenting about the place being airconditioned in the future, which may be good for times that the restaurant needs to be opened at noon-time. Philippines is a tropical country so there might be instances where an open restaurant might be too hot. Overall it has a beautiful ambiance at night.

Menu

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They serve the classic pizza flavors and I was excited to try out what kind of pizza it would taste like. We ordered mushroom pizza and margherita. We also got a shrimp salad with parmesan and seafood pasta. I love their pizza margherita! I wish though that they used a different mushroom for their mushroom pizza. The dough was chewy and very authentic, which I first notice when it comes to pizza. The cheese on the pizza was just right. Their seafood pasta was tomato-based and I always loved tomato-based pasta when it is leaning a bit on the sour and tangy side. The shrimp salad was good too.

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Price ranges were fair, as we were satisfied with the sizes of our dishes and their corresponding value. I consider Altrove Trattoria as one of those medium to high-end type of Italian restaurants with competitive prices for the quality of the pizza they have.

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Service

The service was prompt and there were enough waiters and chefs to prepare our dishes at the right time. It would be better for us to have received all our dishes at the same time too, though. I especially loved the part where the restaurant had a pianist which added to the relaxing vibe of the restaurant.

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Overall

It’s a good place to take your family for a sumptuous Italian dinner! I recommend visiting this place on a weeknight or a later weekend night to avoid too much crowds and to have a good parking space.

Altrove Trattoria is located along BF Homes Tropical Avenue.

  • 858 Tropical Ave BF International
  • Las Piñas, Philippines
  • (02) 776 4388
 Visit their Facebook page.

Be Fit and Have Fun! Activity Cards for Kids

Are you running out of activities to do with your kids if you’re a parent or with your students if you’re a teacher? Here is an interesting material that I was able to buy from Teacher Julie Rimando, one of my senior colleagues, and a fellow speech therapist.

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What are these activity cards?

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Basically I got these cards with a travel theme, which is fun and ideal when you’re out to go to a beach or any recreational place where you can do the following exercise poses. Each card has a specific pose or a picture that you can imitate by reading or listening to the verbal instructions.

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For example, these poses can be copied by looking at the card and having a spacious area. It improves your child’s gross motor planning skills. Which makes them less clumsy and more physically organized. Also, being able have good motor planning skills (in gross, fine, and oral) improves your child’s speech skills, specially those with motor planning difficulties such as Apraxia. Apraxia is a speech motor issue that involves difficulty sequencing letter sounds to form actual words. This has nothing to do with the child’s ability to comprehend things in his or her environment, and is more of a motor difficulty. Copying movements or poses can help in improving your child’s motor skills.

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Aside from copying poses, there are other activities that can be done such as sequencing, matching, identifying concepts, etc. These cards are also handy and durable, and can be used during travel. Fun, isn’t it?

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Featured in Manila Bulletin! 🙂

Teacher Julie is a speech therapist and is currently a teacher in Yeasty Yogic Tribe, which offers fitness classes that focuses of special children. She also works with Teacher Roch, who is her co-teacher when handling classes in various schools and therapy centers.

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If you’re interested about Yeasty Yogic Tribe, you may contact them or visit their Facebook page:

Yeasty Yogic Tribe

0921 671 0154

https://www.facebook.com/YYTribe/

Acuatico Beach Resort Review

Acuatico Beach Resort Review

Do you know someone whom you have a hard time buying a gift? I can really relate to that. In special occasions I really have to think hard on what to give to Charles. He seems to buy everything on his own, and his taste for material things are quite different from mine. So while looking over ideas (aside from DIY scrapbooks and all of those crafty stuff that girls do), I suddenly thought of giving him a classy vacation in Acuatico Beach Resort.

acuatico

Acuatico is a 3-hour drive away from Metro Manila. It’s one of the prime resorts, and I could probably say the best one in San Juan Laiya, Batangas. I decided to purchase him a day tour package which costs 2,700 per person. Yes, I admit it is quite pricey for just a day tour, but it was well worth it!

Here are the inclusions of the package:

  1. Complimentary drinks and souvenir from Acuatico upon arrival
  2. Buffet lunch at their Oceano Restaurant located at the 2nd floor
  3. Free use of all pools, game room, beach front and kayak.
  4. Free PM snack

Here are some notes:

  1. Day tour time is 8am to 5pm, however you can request to extend your stay for a little bit.
  2. Lunch time is 11-2pm.
  3. Pm snack can be served at 3pm.
  4. Kayak is free and unlimited use.

Here is a concise review of our day tour experience:

Resort facilities

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Acuatico’s resort facilities are superb! They have a breathtaking infinity pool that can be used for pictorials and other purposes. There’s a small pool on 2 corners and a larger pool towards the beach. There’s a mini-bar situated at the middle which adds to the novelty of the resort’s architecture. Looking over the resort’s facade, it’s modern but still in touch with nature. The Villas surrounding the pool look amazing as well.

Food

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Food in Acuatico is also pleasant. I love the Filipino dishes with a twist. We had some high quality bulalo, pancit, barbecue, seafood sweet and sour balls, russian salad, and many more to mention.

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My favorite of all was their mango with sago and buko pandan! I’m not a sweet tooth in general but these Filipino desserts are really the best. The PM snack was really good too, we had a tuna clubhouse sandwich.

acuatico

Swimming

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I love swimming in Acuatico’s pools! When we went there, the weather is a bit mixed. There was one moment that it was super sunny and another moment that it became overcast nearing a strong rain. During the afternoon, it appeared like it was about to rain so I was hesitant to swim as it might be too cold, surprisingly, the water in Acuatico is comfortably cool but not too cold.

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You can swim while overlooking the beach front which was one of the best views in the resort. You can watch and be amused with the people doing water sports from afar. We tried swimming in the beach but the waves were too strong that time, so we opted to stay in the pool.

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Overall I enjoyed my day trip in Acuatico resort. If you have a little bit of money to spend and one free day, give it a go!

Know more about Acuatico through their website and FB page:

http://www.acuaticoresort.com.ph/

https://www.facebook.com/AcuaticoBeachResort/?fref=ts

To The Lady in Waiting: Four P’s You Have to Remember

Lady in Waiting Guide

Hello to my readers! I have a big announcement! Somebody put a ring on it! Haha! I am finally engaged. As most of my friends know the story, I won’t go into too much details of how it happened because proposals happen in different ways and what is important is the love and commitment that the engaged couple have for each other. So instead of focusing too much on the details of my proposal, I would like to dedicate this post to the faithful lady in waiting, or in other words the single ladies who might come across what I wrote.

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My relationship with Charles is truly a work of God. I can attest to this because of so many differences in our circumstances. He lives in the states, I live in the Philippines. We have no mutual friends. He speaks English, and understands very minimal Tagalog, and Tagalog is my native language. He hates onions and I love onion rings. Haha! But I guess when God works, He weaves everything together to make us meet the right person at the right time. I wouldn’t say that I sat around and suddenly Charles popped into my life out of nowhere. Having faith, as well as acting on my faith led me to have an encounter with him. I could, however, say that God gave a beautiful blessing, though undeserved.

So to the lady in waiting, to the hopeful single woman who is in anticipation of her very own God’s best, I dedicate this post by reminding them of the four P’s that I am encourage them to do in this season of their lives.

  1. Pray

A few months back before I met Charles, December 2014 to be exact, my friend Yna from church encouraged me to make a husband list to pray for every day. So I made this list on a paper and prayed for my husband, claiming that he is just out there, somewhere and God was preparing him too. I prayed with a bold heart because it was my desire to be married and have a family. At the end, I wanted God to know that His will is above all, but I was honest with Him and I laid down my desires. I prayed that when this happens, it will be something that will bring glory to Him. James 4:2-3 says:

You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”

Sometimes all we have to do is ask. And ask it with a pure heart.

lady in waiting

It is my great joy that the list is still in my purse, and I praise God because He allowed me to find somebody who scored a perfect ten, without a doubt! I am thankful to God every day for meeting my husband to be.

2. Prepare

I will be honest, I read a several books about how to have faith, and how to act on being single. Ladies, it is not enough that we pray but don’t have faith. If we have faith, we should also back it up with our actions. What stuck to my mind about books I have read is the story of Ruth and Boaz. When Ruth planned to be with her mother-in-law Naomi, she was uncertain of what lies ahead but she was prepared. She was ready to glean the fields for her and Naomi. When she met Boaz, she prepared by dressing herself and looking her best as well.

lady in waiting
trying our the bikes in Burnham Park Baguio! 😛

When we prepare, we prepare in all aspects of our lives. We do not let a single thing become left behind. We prepare physically and emotionally, we take care of our appearances, eat the right food, include fitness in our lifestyle, we check our hearts for unwanted baggage.

Mostly, we prepare our spirit. We equip ourselves with the Word. We study the Bible and we apply the Bible. We surround ourselves with people who do the same. We devote ourselves in ministering others. We don’t serve in the main motive to scout for a man, but we do it because of our love and obedience to God. And in doing so the preparation to make us godly women comes with it.

So to the lady in waiting, I encourage you to always prepare. Like the Parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25:1-13) who prepared extra oil for the arrival of the bridegroom, we are to prepare not only for our future husbands but also our conduct should be in preparation for Christ’s return.

3. Position

As women, our role is not to pursue men. But our role is to allow ourselves to be found. How can we do that? When we let ourselves be seen, and be approached in places where we can develop friendships with godly men, then we are positioning ourselves to be found. When Ruth was gleaning the fields, Boaz noticed her from afar. He saw her determination and found out about her story and love for Naomi. That made him admire her and he eventually had an interaction with Ruth later on. If Ruth just hid in the comforts of the home, even if she prepared herself, she wouldn’t have been seen by Boaz.

lady in waiting
with friends from VCF!

I met Charles in an unconventional way, but I believe that being positioned had something to do with how I met him. He was able to talk to me when he was still studying (Masters of Divinity) in Liberty University and they were knowing about big churches in Southeast Asia, particularly about the Philippines. He saw a picture of me with my Victory Group in Facebook and that’s how he was able to interact with me. If it weren’t for those connections, being associated and positioned, and of course God’s hand into our story, then I wouldn’t have met him.

4. Patience

Last but not the least, is patience. The Bible talks a lot about waiting on the Lord:

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12

“Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14

“But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” Romans 8:25

If we desire for something good, we wait for it patiently. That’s why you are called lady in waiting! We wait in hope. If we trust in God’s timing then we wait in faith that God will deliver. Sometimes we wait as if we’re not seeing anything, but God is working silently ahead of us. Sometimes we are focused too much on what we don’t have that we fail to see what He is already working on.

lady in waiting
Acuatico beach resort

Do not give your heart to a man who is unequally yoked in the faith, or someone whose personality gives you unrest and lack of peace from the Holy Spirit. Listen to what God is telling you. It is better to be patient than to settle and fall into regret.

Oriental Coco Spa BF Homes: Affordable Relaxation

Oriental Coco Spa, Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes

This post has been in my queue for quite a while, and since I am back from my vacation, I finally had time to sit down and blog about one of my new favorite spa place! Oriental Coco Spa is situated in BF Homes Aguirre Ave. They offer oiled massage, nail spas, body and foot scrubs, and all other pampering needs at reasonable prices. Here is a concise review about the Oriental Coco Spa.

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AMBIANCE

Ambiance is very important for spa establishments. When we went inside to reception area to check out the prices for their treatments, it’s very clean and cozy. They had this expensive-looking massage chairs, couches and benches which are around the reception area and can sit around 10 people comfortably. They also had pictures of some celebrities who went to the spa already.

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SERVICES AND PRICES

What sets it quite apart from other spa places is their wide array of massage oil scents. There’s lavender, Moroccan, green tea, eucalyptus among many other oils. I find all the prices reasonable compared to other spas in our area as well, which range from 300-700 pesos per treatment. As you can see from the list, they also have a variety of treatments and you can choose from various type of massages, scrubs, nail care, etc.

ACTUAL TREATMENT

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Upon the beginning of the treatment, they bring out this nice-looking wooden tub for foot cleansing. They will hand your your slippers and lead you to your massage room. Each room in Oriental Coco Spa can accommodate around 2-3 people with separating curtains. Better if you’re with your friends or family. Another good facility that they have is their lockers inside the room and the baskets where you can put your clothes and valuables during treatment.

oriental coco spa

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The massage was overall calm and relaxing, with the therapist confirming with you the pressure of your choice (light, medium, hard). So you can be sure that there’s no muscle pain afterwards. They also have a towel cleansing after the treatment (because some spa don’t have that!), and ginger tea afterwards (ginger tea is my favorite too).

OTHER PERKS

They have a promo where you can collect stamps in a card to earn a free massage or other treatment. You can also purchase their gift cards for your friends and family.

I enjoyed this place and I have been here several times already during stressed-out seasons. Let me know if you tried Oriental Coco Spa as well and your experience.

Here are their contact details:

Oriental Coco Spa

250 Aguirre Ave. BF Homes Paranaque City

0906-309-6000 / 02-501-7911

https://www.facebook.com/orientalcocospa/

Eyes and Lips Treat: NYX Lipstick and Etude House Play Liner

Nyx for Lips, Etude House for eyes

Hello guys! I have been quite busy lately during this month and I have more reviews and blog posts lined up. It’s just a matter of time where I have time to finally post them.

I am a big fan of good quality lipsticks. I like one that’s bright, long-lasting, also one that doesn’t cake! I received a lipstick from one of my students (thank you mommy Lally! :)) from one of the known lipstick brand called Nyx. I was really excited to try it because I rarely buy lipsticks which are in a bright shade.

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Nyx lipstick

Here is a smear sample in my hands:

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Nyx lipstick

It’s not too glossy and not too matte, just right. It also has a bright shade to it and is long lasting. Since the texture is not too moist during application, make sure to put on some lip balm or lip primer to help spread the lipstick evenly.

Here is a sample when applied:

nyx lipstick

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I love this shade because even if it’s bright red, it suits my skin color. Also when wearing this lipstick, I don’t have to put too much blush or eye makeup since most emphasis is on the lips.

I was also able to buy Etude House’s new product on sale! It’s called Play Stick. What’s so cool about it? It can function into anything you want it to be! It can be a lipstick, eyeliner, eyeshadow, even highlighter and concealer! The trick is you just have to pick a shade that suits the function you want it to be.

Here is what I got:

Etude House Play Stick
Etude House Play Stick
Orange Etude House Play Stick
Orange Etude House Play Stick
White Etude House Play Stick
White Etude House Play Stick

It’s very functional! I use the orange occasionally for my lips and the white stick to line my eyes under to give that “cute eyebags” effect. If you have tried this or have any questions about these products, let me know with your comments below!

Test Kitchen Caffe: New Twist on Meals, Desserts

Test Kitchen Caffe: Desserts and Meals with a New Twist

Test Kitchen Caffe in BF Homes: I love trying out new things in BF Homes, but this time, it isn’t somewhere in Aguirre but in a more quaint and less crowded area which is Tropical Avenue. I have been hearing good feedback from netizens over this restaurant I visited a few months back.

AMBIANCE

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ambiance2

Test Kitchen Caffe is has a modern ambiance with some rustic details and is easy to the eyes. When I went there, it’s also well-ventilated and clean. I however noticed that there was not much people over here during prime time which is dinner time. It’s in a less crowded area which is a plus point for parking and service accommodation for us.

FOOD

Most food prices range from 100-300 pesos which is fairly affordable for a chef-owned cafe. Usually cafes owned by chefs are pricey and might reach 300-500 pesos. Here is what I ordered with my friend:

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  1. Liempochon

What is Liempochon? It’s a slab of pork belly or liempo cooked with a crisp skin but it isn’t as oily and greasy compared to other lechon! Hence the term liempochon. It’s stuffed with lemongrass, ginger and all other spices. It also came with a minced tomato salad on the side. It’s very appetizing and the freshness of the spices complemented the tastiness of the liempochon. For me, it’s a really good combination! It would also be better to add more flavor within the meat, because I really like the salty and tasty flavor of Cebu lechon.

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2. Chili Shrimp Gambas Pasta

The name got me curious because the Gambas is usually a food served as an appetizer. The gambas recipe I like are those with lots of garlic and chili flakes instead of the tomato sauce. I am happy that when the gambas was served, it was the kind I liked! And the special twist is that it’s with a pasta. I loved it! It’s one of the best pasta variations I was able to taste. It’s flavorful, garlicky, spicy and has lots of shrimps!

SERVICE

Some items we liked were not in the menu, but the staff was quick to suggest other good options too. I can see the cakes inside a fridge and some cookies too, but since there are limited choices when we arrived, we just preferred to have desserts on a different place. I didn’t use to be a coffee lover when I visited so it was a pity that I was not able to order their signature drip coffee. The staff were attentive to us, they also gave us soy sauce dip when we requested for it.

OVERALL

This is for foodies who want to try new specialty dishes made by chefs. The two dishes we ordered were a product of their ingenuity and passion for food! If you’re heading south, this restaurant is a good break from all your usual go-tos.

Test Kitchen Caffe

Block 6 Lot 7 Tropical Avenue,

BF International, Las Piñas City

25 Fulfilling Things I Was Able to Do Before 25

25 Fulfilling Things I Did Before I Turned 25

I guess being 25 is a pivotal point in most people’s lives. I could say that I am very much fulfilled with the things I did before I turned 25, not because of my own efforts, but through God’s grace and provision in my life. Looking in retrospect, every accomplishment was sweet, and every failure was a pavement that always leads me to His purpose. It’s not always an easy journey but I could see God’s hand continuously working in my life from past to the present. With that, I can be confident that I can face the future because He is with me. Here are 25 things I did that fulfilled me before I turned 25.

1. Traveled on a plane

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There’s something with being thousands of feet up in the air. I realize my smallness compared to the vastness of His creation.

2. Had a steady job

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I am blessed to have a job that not only helps other people but compensates well. Four years in my practice aren’t all sunny days but it sure was worth it.

3. Gave back to my family

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Whether it’s treating them for a meal or a vacation, there’s such joy in seeing them happy because you returned the sacrifices they made for you.

4. Volunteered for others

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One of the greatest feelings is helping others without asking for anything in return. You know that their gratefulness is genuine, and it’s good to know that you can do your own little part in making this world a better place.

5. Bought something for myself

The first thing that I bought for myself is a canon point and shoot camera, back when phones did not have too much photo-taking technology. Knowing that I did not depend on anyone to buy something is such a rewarding thought.

6. Participated and eventually led a cell group

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Trust me, it isn’t in my comfort zone to lead a cell group but I knew I needed fellowship, insight and accountability in my life. It was a good journey with my girls so far.

7. Participated in a retreat

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One of the events that God used as an instrument for me to grow in my walk was joining retreats during high school and college. It was such a fun experience one of the things I won’t ever forget.

8. Cultivated my friendships

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I used to be an aloof person who focused too much on my hobbies and how to earn money. But I realized that the things that are most important in life are the relationships you build. That’s how people will remember you.

9. Played an instrument

I learned to play guitar when I was in high school. Although I am not as good as other players, I am happy to learn a self-taught skill that I enjoyed doing.

10. Sought a new hobby

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December last year I bought an oven and I got excited to learn how to bake. I am still a beginner but it gives me happiness when I can make something that others can enjoy.

11. Went to a foreign land

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I have been to two countries outside Philippines, one is Singapore and the other one is Macau. It is such an ethereal feeling to witness again how every person and every culture is different. I get to learn how people are outside my comfort zone. I want to do more of this as I go through my life.

12. Committed to a godly man

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I prayed every day for a godly man to come into my life prior to meeting Charles. God has been gracious because not only was he a Christian, he is one who is passionate with loving and serving God. I am thoroughly proud and blessed to have him and there’s peace in my heart when I decided to commit to him. Now I am a witness that when God gives, He gives abundantly. Charles will forever be a reminder of that.

13. Organized an event

With the help from my closest friends, I was able to organize my last JS prom. It’s a nice feeling to see everyone enjoy with something that you put an effort to make possible

14. Took care of myself

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I felt happy and confident when I tried to lose weight, did my makeup, picked my clothes and all those other things because people noticed it. Not because I was trying to gain the approval of others but it made me happy that I looked pleasant and I gained confidence in interacting with others.

15. Had a pet

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Having a pet is a big responsibility. Having my dog Rusty around is a joy and a commitment at the same time. When he is excited to see me come home, it makes me so happy. I love Rusty!

16. Helped renovate the house

My mom always told me of the “broken window syndrome” where the mood and mindset of people change based on their environment. I realized it’s true when we renovated our home. When I come home, I am pleased because the house looks beautiful and tidy.

17. Saved money

My mom taught me to save money. It isn’t about depriving yourself but being wise in making purchases and forgoing unnecessary expenses. I am happy to have saved some of my money for emergency and future investments.

18. Shared my thoughts

I started having this blog with the goal of sharing my thoughts, and cultivating my desire for blogging. It was very fulfilling because it was a way for me to express myself and for others to know me too.

19. Learned to drive

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Learning to drive was a bold step for me considering the traffic situation in Metro Manila. As I was learning, my primary goal is to bring my family comfort and bring them to places they have never been before.

20. Applied to be a voter

I really didn’t care about politics that much when I was younger. Growing mature over the years, I realized that it’s a vital right for me to vote as this is my ticket to help my country choose a deserving leader. Seeing the pains of the ordinary Filipino motivates me to do my part and help this nation by exercising my right to vote.

21. Learned to forgive

I had regrets in my life that built unforgiveness in my heart towards people that have wronged me. However, the bitterness crept in my heart like poison. Forgiveness for me is a daily surrender and a process that only God’s grace can enable me.

22. Did something I was scared of – share gospel

Being an introvert who hates rejection, I am really scared to share the gospel. I did not know how to respond in the face of ridicule and rejection. But my desire to share what I know about God is my extend with how much I love the people around me so I took that bold step.

23. Tried to do a business

Though it wasn’t necessarily successful as I envisioned it to be, I learned a lot of things such as how to market, to manage my time and other resources to run a business. It also made me happy that I was able to have extra income to help in my expenses.

24. Attended seminars for my professional growth

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I was not fond of attending seminars since I don’t earn income from doing so and it ruins my routine momentum. But over time I realized that it is an important part of my professional growth to help my students better. So all in all it is still a gain for me and my clients.

25. Had a personal encounter and relationship with Jesus

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This is the best thing that happened to me. When I got to know Jesus, I experienced peace and joy that gave me the confidence to keep going with my life no matter how difficult it seems. Knowing Jesus and having a personal encounter with Him enabled me to be secure in this life and what else is to come.

My quarter life isn’t much of a crisis to me right now because I am blessed. Maybe not always with material things but with love from people, experiences that enriched me and my relationship with God. I look forward to many more experiences in my years to come.

The Broken Windows of Our Nation: My Insight on Philippine Elections

Everybody has been on the edge of their seats for the upcoming Philippine elections. In almost every person’s page, I can see paragraphs-long statuses and insight on articles regarding their preferred presidential candidates, or something against the candidate that they dislike. This post won’t be anything about that, but just my insight about the Philippine Elections that might help you shed some light on who to support, if you are still unsure.

Credit: Wikimapia.com
Credit: Wikimapia.com

Rotten System

Today I went to LTO Las Pinas to renew my license. Since my car was at the autoshop, I had no choice but to ride the jeep and tricycle on the way to Las Pinas. Upon getting there, I was told that I had to go to another LTO branch as their computers for license renewal were “offline”. It’s such an irony to see fixers outside the building with the guards just about a meter near them. It seemed that they were in a conspiracy to make people agree to pay a fixer so that they can get more money. To my dismay, I rode a jeep back to LTO Alabang and the intense late morning heat added to my uptight mood.

Time to Reflect

Little did I know that God somehow gave me this opportunity to reflect on my community, my city, and the Philippines in a small-scale level. I saw old Tatay still working to make ends meet, driving a beat-down jeep against the morning heat. He looked like someone who should be staying at home, resting and enjoying his retirement benefits. His poverty seemed to be a result of the lack of sympathy from the government to offer him anything despite his age.

I looked outside the jeep window and I saw several cars cutting past each other and endlessly honking. The jeeps stop at the middle of the road without a care to other motorists as they are trying to get passengers to make a living. I stared at the walls of buildings and they were filled with vandalism of gangs, roads that were picked, run-down walls and areas that smelled of urine and trash. In summary, I saw a lack of order, discipline and sympathy towards each other. People acted the way that they view their environment–dirty, smelly, disorderly and chaotic. Eventually, people imitated each other’s behavior and compromised just because it felt like it was the norm. Fixers offering their services for an illegal service in front of a “Beware of Fixers” sign. The motorists cut each other, people were shouting under the noontime sun. It’s what brought that small piece of place that I saw into a regressive state.

Broken Windows

The upcoming Philippine Elections and out nation’s status reminded me of what my mom told me years ago about the Broken Windows Theory. She told me that there’s a theory in criminology about an experiment where a piece of building facade was left broken and rugged. People eventually added to the mess that it was, and incidence of crime and disorder in that place increased. However, when an opposite facade was placed, an orderly place that was beautified and looked secure, it changed how people acted in the place. They had a sense of responsibility and did not place any vandals on that facade. I had a ‘lightbulb’ moment with how I can relate it the upcoming elections, our government and nation as a whole.

Credit: http://flyingpolack.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/14a.jpg
Credit: http://flyingpolack.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/14a.jpg

Who Should Be Our Leader?

If I were to pick a leader, I would pick someone who can help restore that sense of order and dignity in the hearts of every Filipino. The reason why government officials are corrupt is because it has been what it was and it still is–the broken window of our system. Everyone is doing it so might as well just do it. In the small scale level, it’s also the reason why we throw trash on the road, why we cheat on our market scales, why our teenagers are out of school and vandal on the walls of our cities, why we do drugs and so senseless crimes that harm innocent people, why we are reckless on the road, why government services have an excuse to be lousy, why poor people have an excuse to commit crimes such as theft, murder, holdup, kidnap, carnap and all other kinds of “-naps”, why the greedy and rich businessmen and hacienderos squeeze what they can out of poor workers who are trying to make ends meet–it’s because everyone else like them is doing it.

Credit: http://www.altermidya.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/pilipinas-logo-1-3.png
Credit: http://www.altermidya.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/pilipinas-logo-1-3.png

If and Only If

If and only if, there’s a leader who can change the tide of how things are, someone who doesn’t owe anything to anyone, and someone who can uplift how Filipinos see themselves–to exemplify and bring them that sense of dignity, discipline, and compassion towards each other then they will be Filipinos who will be active participants in the nation’s growth. That’s how Japan is. That’s how Singapore blossomed into who they are right now. And we can have the chance to achieve that if we exercise our right to vote.

Leadership is a vital role in a country’s progress. Hand in hand it goes with each citizen’s sense of responsibility which is inspired by the leader and the culture and environment he or she creates. So this May 9 Philippine Elections, I challenge each voter to elect someone who can scrap the broken windows of our nation and replace it with strong, orderly and beautiful ones that will inspire the Filipinos to work together towards progress.

God bless our nation and the Philippine Elections. Lord, let Your will be done.

Summer Fashion Haul: Cute Tops I Love

Summer Fashion: Cute Multi-functional Tops, Styles I Love

I love summer fashion as much as I love summer! No, I definitely don’t like too much heat, but I love how colorful and cute summer colors and styles are. I also love going to the beach, taking a break, breathing in relief and marveling the beauty of God’s creation. What better way to celebrate it looking pretty and colorful? Here are some of the cute tops (and one dress) I found at good deals!

summer fashion
Sheer white top with tassels, Metro

I love the sheerness of this white top and the tassels below it! It’s fun to wear as regular top but it can also double as a cover-up when you’re swimming. It’s fun to wear with shorts or pants. I love anything white too because it makes me look clean and chic. I bought this at Metro Store Alabang on sale! Yay!

Green see-through top with floral patterns
Green see-through top with diagonal patterns, Yessica

This second top is a bit loose at the bottom, is see-through but it has these pretty diagonal patterns. I wore a tank top underneath. I love how breezy this top is even if I’m putting on two layers of clothing. Like the white top, this can also look good in shorts and pants.

Blue dress with lace back and tribal prints, Forever 21
Blue dress with lace back and tribal prints, Forever 21

I love fun prints! At the top of my list is floral or tribal prints with coordinated hues. Like this blue-light blue-pink-purple dress from Forever 21. I then decided to put my hair up with a matching blue pony tail because it was sooo hot! Whew!

Black mid-rib top, Bershka
Black mid-rib top, Bershka

I love the cut of this top because the neckline is not too low and it’s a cute mid-rib perfect as a swimsuit cover up at the beach. I won’t wear this out on a mall or a church on a regular day (too revealing since it shows a little part of the abdomen), but it’s good essential to have when you’re out in the sun or as a swimwear, it’s definitely a classy addition.

Summer fashion shopping tips:

  1. To have good deals, buy during mid-month or end of month sales. The boutiques usually coincide their sale with the mall sales.
  2. Also check out outlet stores! They have good brands for very low-price deals.
  3. Find inspiration on Pinterest or Instagram to know what clothes to mix and match before you shop. Be observant in details such as accessories, which patterns, colors and cut are most flattering to your body type. Trendy doesn’t always mean it looks good on you.
  4. Enjoy! Be comfortable on your style and you will definitely shine. If you look good, you will feel good about yourself.