Made in the Philippines! :D

First of all, can I just say HELLO?! Not just to you, but to my blog itself! 😛 I know I’m not as active in the blogging world as compared to last year and the year before that… but here I am again! I already owe my blog seven entries (if I were to follow my “personal” blogging rule), so let this be one down and six more to gooo!

Anyway, I’ve been meaning to write about two brands — Snoe and Suelas — I’m patronizing for quite some time now. And then I watched Bakit Hindi Ka Crush ng Crush Mo? in the cinemas that I decided to include local movies on my list. Why? I know that they’re all not making sense as of now but if there’s one thing they all have in common, it’s that they’re all PROUDLY PHILIPPINE-MADE! 😀

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local movies

As mentioned earlier, I just recently watched Bakit Hindi Ka Crush ng Crush Mo? and boy, was I glad I did! It wasn’t just the laughtrip galore that I loved, it was also the locations they used — which are very dear to me. 😉

Let’s start with the first restaurant where Sandy (played by Kim Chiu) met up with his boyfriend Gardo (played by Kean Cipriano). That restaurant is named Lola Cafe + Bar. Just a piece of trivia, that exact same place was also where I spent most of my childhood Christmases, summers, and whatnot — only then, that whole restaurant used to be my late grandparents’ house in Quezon City. It was then decided that the place would be open for rent so it’s a looong story why it is what it is now but yeah, you can say that it’s a house-turned-restaurant. I just can’t believe that the place where me and my cousins used to play hide-and-seek is now a movie setting. Honestly, I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. Like I said, it’s a looong story. Haha.

On the other hand, another place that was featured was Nuvali in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. I’ve been a Nuvali “native” during the weekends for more than a year already, and Nuvali has been a frequent hangout for me and my family. It was just so funny that the two places were shown one after the other, considering that the former is in the North and the latter is in the South! Talk about an evening taxi road trip for Kim Chiu‘s character!

Anyway, this won’t be a review per se but I just want to say that the movie succeeded in what it was supposed to do: ENTERTAIN. And my point is that whether it’s mainstream or indie, I enjoy watching local films that I actually find it sad when people say that they’re just “a waste of money.” Okay, sure. There may be some titles that are only worth-watching on DVD or your local cable channel, but at least don’t overgeneralize. Just because one wasn’t made in Hollywood, doesn’t necessarily mean that it should be valued any less. Movies are made to entertain and inspire. To some extent, it’s a form of escapism. If the one you watched failed to give you at least one of those things, then sorry. But that doesn’t mean that you should write off local films completely. Ba’t mo sasabihing “corny” kung mag-eenjoy ka naman? Ang pagiging corny ng isang bagay ay nakapende sa tao. If a movie made an impact on you in any way, that’s not corny. Trust me, there’s a number of foreign films I’ve watched that I’d completely trade for a few kilig seconds of Xian Lim Ramon Bautista on the silver screen! Hahaha!

Just give local movies a try. And NO TO PIRACY. That’s all.

Suelas

Moving on, my love for Suelas first appeared on my blog more than two years ago. That was the time I had my first pair and from then on, I just can’t get enough of it! Of course I had to “overuse” my first pair before I decided to buy a replacement. But after my second purchase, I’ve always been a loyal follower of the brand’s official website and Facebook page — always on the lookout for new styles that’ll tickle my fancy. You see, there are a few reasons why I love this brand so much: it has my size (I’m a size 10!), it’s stylish but also very comfortable (it’s foldable, too), it’s a Cebu-based business that now has several branches in the metro, and most of all, it’s “promoted” by one of my personal idols, Patty Laurel-Filart. Hihihi. Fangirl mode din ‘pag may time! 😛

my Suelas pairs… and still counting.

Suelas’ Celebracion collection, created in collaboration with Patty Laurel-Filart, is perfect whether you’re wedding- or work-bound. 🙂

And oh, before I forget! The Suelas team has always been very accommodating. I prefer ordering my pairs online and whenever I have a transaction with them, it’s always smooth sailing. In fact, I recently had “an unfortunate event” with one of my pairs and when I reported it to them, they didn’t think twice about repairing it — FOR FREE! So yeah, consider me one very satisfied customer. Can’t wait for my next pairsss! Mwahahahahaha! 😀

Snoe

Last but not the least is a local beauty brand I just discovered a few months ago, which I now totally swear by its effectiveness and quality! ♥ And because of my support for the brand, one of my posts even got featured on their official Facebook page:

So, what’s your beauty pick of the week? 😉

From bath essentials to cosmetics to skin care, there’s something for every Filipina at Snoe (pronounced as “snowy”). Aside from the fact that their vintage-like packaging is very eye-catching, their products truly deliver.

My Snoe purchases in the last four months? Hahaha!

I’ve already tried some of their products (and I’m not finished yet!), but my top three purchases are the Hair Heroes Drunken Master shampoo, Rouge Deluxe lipstick in Chili Pepper, and Body Ritual Recipes fragrance in French Macaroons.

(photos courtesy of Snoe Beauty Inc.)

What I like about the shampoo is that it uses unusual ingredients (beer hops, anyone?), yet it doesn’t have a strong smell. I actually consider it as the best clarifying shampoo I’ve ever tried in my life. No exaggeration! After every wash, it just really makes my hair feel soft, light, and clean. If you have colored hair, this shampoo will just make your crowning glory all the more vibrant.

For the lipstick, I’m thankful that I discovered it at a time when I was in the hunt for that. perfect. red. shade! I like the fact that it complements my skin tone and it doesn’t dry my lips. Best of all, the color doesn’t come off easily — which is a good thing because I don’t have to reapply every now and then.

And the fragrance? Who can resist French macarons?! The scent is truly unique, sweet but not in the annoying way that you’d actually think of it as a dessert.

I’ve to admit though, Snoe‘s products are a bit pricey for a local brand (the shampoo alone already costs almost P600) but I think it wouldn’t hurt to try them once in a while. If you can spend on international brands, I’m pretty sure you can afford to support our homegrown products too. In fact, it’s the goal of Snoe to be internationally-recognized in the beauty industry, just like the Korean beauty brands we see popping just about anywhere we go these days. Besides, they say that “you get what you pay for.” Well with Snoe, I say you get what you pay for… and more! At least I did. 🙂

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Sooo. If there’s a theme for this post, that’d be PATRIOTIC. Or maybe it was shopping? Haha! Kidding aside, I felt strongly obliged to write about these local brands simply because I want others to know that things made in the country can also be high in quality. Nowadays, being patriotic doesn’t necessarily equate to wearing our baro’t saya and answering in Filipino when you’re asked in English. Of course it still pays to be respectful to our national language and traditions, but you can now show your love for the country in different and simple ways (i.e., support local brands, yes? HA HA HA).

Anyway, that’s all I can give you for now. Just always be proud of being a Filipino and make the Philippines proud anywhere you go. That — that’s patriotic enough for me. 😉

P.S: I have another featured traveler at the end of the month, so I hope you’ll visit my not-so-abandoned blog anymore again by then! Mabuhay! Wahahahaha!

Staycation Destinations

The heat we’ve been experiencing these days is truly undeniable and suddenly, all we can think about is it’s already summer! Like seriously, has it really been three months since the last time I heard “Jingle Bells” and marveled at colorful, twinkling lights? Oh well. Time flies sooo fast, indeed. And apparently, this post is three months overdue too! Hahaha!

It’s a good thing though that whether it’s Christmas, summer, or just about any holiday you can think of, these hotels in the metro definitely define what a “staycation” ought to be. 😉

FAIRMONT MAKATI

My family and I spent Christmas 2012 at Fairmont Makati — the newest addition to the number of properties the hotel chain owns around the world, located in the middle of the country’s business and shopping district: Makati (duh!). =))

Of course the Fairmont brand is already known for its world-class customer service but aside from that, the hotel also boasts of its “Pillow Menu” wherein guests can opt to request for additional pillows that are made of different materials, as well as give different sleep benefits — free of charge. I think that’s a signature of the hotel chain because the “Pillow Menu” was also one of the things I enjoyed when we stayed at Fairmont Singapore a few years back.

Anyway, the other things I loved about Fairmont Makati were their Willow Stream Spa, Fairmont Gold Lounge, and of course, Cafe Macaron! I swear, I’m a French Macaron addict and only three brands have passed my “taste” so far: TWG, Chez Karine, and Cafe Macaron. So trust me when I say that the ones served at Fairmont Makati’s Cafe Macaron are a must-try! Wahahahaha! 😀

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fairmont 2

fairmont 3

French Macarons at Cafe Macaron!!!

French Macarons at Cafe Macaron!!!

LIKE and SHARE Fairmont Makati’s Facebook page HERE.

RAFFLES MAKATI

And then just a tumbling away from Fairmont (you know what I mean!) is Raffles Makati. 🙂 Actually, this is both a residential area and a luxury hotel. Most of the floors are allotted to the former (so those are off-limits unless you know someone who owns a unit), and just a few floors for the latter. But of course, the hotel experience Raffles Makati gives also makes you feel like a unit owner — even their suites (yes, there are no “rooms”) are designed as if you’re staying in your own personal space… even for just a couple of days!

raffles 1

LIKE and SHARE Raffles Makati’s Facebook page HERE.

SEDA BONIFACIO GLOBAL CITY (BGC)

If our Christmas was spent in Makati, our New Year 2013 was celebrated at Bonifacio Global City — at Seda Hotel to be exact!

Before you even wonder why name a hotel “Seda,” well it’s actually the Filipino equivalent of “silk.” And according to the management, silk is “a lustrous yet strong fabric that perfectly represents our commitment to providing a seamless accommodation experience.” At least now you know! 😛

Located in the middle of Bonifacio High Street, Market! Market!, and Serendra (just imagine what a perfect location this is!), the BGC branch is only one of the Seda Hotels located all over the country; the others are in Cagayan de Oro (Centrio), Davao (Abreeza), and Laguna (Nuvali) — although this one’s still under construction.

seda 1

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LIKE and SHARE Seda Hotels’ Facebook page HERE.

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So the next time you plan to take a staycation, remember these three words: Fairmont. Raffles. Seda.

Now off you go and may you all have a blast this summer (or any staycation-worthy event for that matter!).

xoxo,
Mika

Of Beautiful Weddings, Family Reunions, and Sunset Limitations

The last time (also my first time) I was in Bohol was just last April.  I was with two of my college friends, we got left by our original flight to Cebu, our flight from Manila to Tagbilaran was delayed for two hours, and to top it all off, our luggage went to Cebu instead of Bohol — so go figure.  In fact, I wrote a very looong blog entry about it.  Hahaha!

And then last Friday, I was supposed to go to Bohol again for my cousin Brian‘s wedding…  I booked a flight with another cousin, Charlene, with her husband Ryan.

Thanks again, Ate Cha and Kuya Ry!!! 😀

So we arrived at the airport before lunch since our flight WAS SUPPOSED TO BE at 2PM.  But then again, it got delayed for two hours…  and then it eventually got cancelled.  CANCELLED!!!  To think that my first trip to Bohol was already jinxed!  How malas could I be? 😦

The Sunset Limitation Experience

The reason why our flight got cancelled was because of LIMITED SUNSET.  Tagbilaran’s runway isn’t equipped with lights and whatnot needed for a plane to land — hence, it’s not fit for night arrivals!  Okay, understood.  But as to why our flight got delayed in the first place, that still remains a mystery!  Kaloka diba?!

Luckily, our airline that time was Philippine Airlines (PAL).  So to turn our kamalasan into something good, our cancelled flight was exchanged for a new flight the following day — with a free overnight stay and buffet dinner at Diamond Hotel to boot!  Malas ba?  Well, hindi pala!!!  Wahahahaha!

It was then that Ate Cha, Kuya Ry, and I met the bride’s friends: Minnie and her husband Dao, and of course my roomie that night, Ate She! 🙂

my shared hotel room with Ate She

And since most of us are part of the bridal entourage (Ate She was in fact the Matron of Honor!), just imagine if we all didn’t make it to Bohol in time!  Whew.

making the most of our buffet dinner at Diamond Hotel – courtesy of PAL! 😉

Magrereklamo pa ba kami?  Even the transfers to the hotel and back to the airport were shouldered by the airline.  So really, THANKS PAL!!! 😀

Meet My Relatives

Of course, with weddings come family reunions!  ‘Nuff said. 😀 😀 😀

at the beach reception ♥

The Sanvictores Family

(photobooth photos courtesy of Artline)

with my young cousin from Sacramento, California – Katrina 🙂

The Sanvictoreses

with the California Girl again! Heehee. 😉

Miss Bridesmaid and The Newlyweds

This wedding was actually my fourth time to be a bridesmaid.  The first time was waaay back in high school (I think!) and I don’t even have a picture of that!  But after that, I made sure to document every dress I wore — just in case I collect 27 Dresses and be my very own Katherine Heigl!  Chos!

“Always the bridesmaid, never the bride!” (Patay tayo diyan! HA HA HA)

Anyway, back to the real reason why I was in Bohol in the first place!  Of course, CONGRATULATIONS TO THE NEWLYWEDS!!!

Michelle and Brian ♥♥♥ (photo courtesy of Artline)

I wish I took more photos!  But I was so caught up with all the happenings, so I’ll just rely on my relatives’ pictures when they finally upload them!  Haha!  But overall, I say Bri and Mich‘s wedding was a blast!  And that whole sky lantern thing at the end?  Totally epic!  As Katrina put it, “It’s just like the movie Tangled!”

Again, Bri and Mich…  Congratulations!

(photo courtesy of Artline)

May you live happily ever after! ♥