Culture, Dining

Lunar New Year 2021 at Radisson Blu Cebu

Gōng Xǐ Fā Cái!

I’ve been feeling a little weird about the Lunar New Year this particular year. I’m not full Chinese and feel like I can lay no claim over this holiday, but for the past ten years or so, I’ve always celebrated it in big ways thanks to being invited to events.

This time around, most Chinese New Year festivities are non-existent, if not significantly scaled down. So it really does feel like I’m missing a lot —the blinding sounds of the firecrackers, the elaborate Lion and Dragon Dances, the Yee Sang Toss, among others.

Still, there’s a lot to be thankful for in this new year: I’m in good health, my family and friends are safe and well, and work is picking back up again, slowly but hopefully surely *manifests mental Prosperity Toss*

Also, there’s Chinese food.

Cars, Reviews

It’s the MINI Things

Sometimes, I think I just really need to pick on someone something my own size.

As someone who has always driven a trusty subcompact sedan, the experience of bigger cars has eluded me save for the occasional test drives. This has only added to my fascination with them, that I rarely spare much smaller vehicles a glance—well, perhaps a glare because a bunch of them have those god-awful “Caution: New Lady Driver” stickers (… why).

The only exception is a MINI Cooper, because how could I look away? The vintage charm of its exteriors is enough to catch my attention, and also no one who owns one would have the right mind to stick those misogynistic signs on them.

At least, I certainly hope not.

Despite never straying too far from the classic looks that have made the MINI such an iconic vehicle, everything is completely modern on the inside, which lends to a very comfortable and enjoyable ride. It’s a great companion for navigating the streets of Cebu, even as a daily driver. I’ve said that before about the MINI Cooper F56, and I can definitely say it again with the all-new MINI Cooper S 3-door.

Beauty

I Found My New Favorite Facial

In the past two years, I started taking skincare more seriously.

A little too seriously, perhaps.

When I was in my early 20’s, it was something I took for granted. I only did it when I felt like it, or when I had new products to play around with. Otherwise, it was a terrible cycle of staying up late and sleeping with makeup on.

But then two years ago, I saw my first ever under-eye wrinkle and freaked.

Dining

MIXT Salad Bar: Toss It Up!

If only proper salads were as accessible and affordable as fast food, I’d likely be eating a whole lot healthier.

But until I can get a decent salad from a drive-through as a value meal, I’m more than happy to celebrate a new salad business, especially one that has such fresh and delicious offerings.

MIXT Salad Bar is an impressive addition to Cebu’s growing number of healthy food options, making tasty gourmet salads accessible to health-conscious locals. It was founded by Dr. Journey Joyce Yamyamin and Chef Noel Daigo Jr., and their collaboration on the menu results in product offerings that are not only healthy and filling but are also flavorful and enjoyable.

Beauty

Gorgeous Beauty: Makeup for the Empowered Cebuana

In all honesty, it’s been a while since I got excited about makeup.

The face needs to be covered with a face shield and face mask anyway, and it gets all hot and melty underneath, so most of the time I really couldn’t be bothered. In fact, the handful of times I actually applied makeup, it felt so foreign to my face I couldn’t wait to wash it off.

These past few days with Gorgeous Beauty single-handedly reminded me why I love makeup in the first place — to look good, and to feel good.

Dining

Quest Hotel Cebu: A Conquest of the Now Normal

Before anything else, I’d like to say my New Year’s Resolution for 2021 is to stop titling my posts with ‘New/Now Normal’. Until then, it’s fair game.

Given how this year has turned out, I didn’t have my hopes up for my annual Christmas Tree Lighting pilgrimage. I didn’t also realize how much I’ve taken these events for granted—sure, they’re really fun and a great excuse to drink champagne every night without being judged, but they can take up so much energy that my introvert tendencies demand I retreat to breathe and recharge for a while. Last year was particularly insane.

It was a bit saddening to see so many of the places I frequent forego tree lighting ceremonies completely, but that also makes the ones that did have events even more special—if a bit more mindful because of so many protocols we now have to observe.

Last month, I was fortunate to be invited by Quest Hotel & Conference Center Cebu for their annual Bell-Ringing. I didn’t really know what I was expecting—perhaps the significantly-reduced guest list would make it a somber affair? But to my delight, the festivities stirred the beginnings of some much-needed holiday cheer.

Culture

Il Corso: Weekends in the Now Normal

These days, crowds are so faux pas.

I know, I know—most establishments would really appreciate the foot traffic to kickstart business after the pandemic severely affected the economy. But while the number of cases in Cebu continues on a downward trend, it’s important to remember that the coronavirus is still around.

Beauty

Nailandia: The Promised Land for Beauty (+ Promo Code!)

One of the self-care indulgences I had completely thrown out the window over the pandemic was getting my nails done.

It used to be routine, one that I started when I was a teenager and would tag along with my Mom during her weekly visits to the salon. I love the look and feel of clean and polished nails, so I carried the habit all the way into adulthood.

Dining

Sugbo Mercado: The Definitive Guide to the New Normal

“Where to, next?”

I looked to my new acquaintance Emerson for actual literal guidance after placing my order for a Tom Yum (“As spicy as you can make it!”) at Dee Soi 40, which had opened recently.

It was a dreary October day and Emerson was my dream guy for that afternoon because of his ability to make decisions regarding something that has always rendered many a girl (and yes, guys too) indecisive when dining out: “What do I want to eat?” This is especially happenstance in Sugbo Mercado where there are currently 42 tenants—not only are there too many choices, but there are too many good choices.