Fashion, Lifestyle

Taking Time and Beating the Holiday Rush with G-SHOCK

Once again, it’s been a hot minute since I’ve been back in this space.

I tried to resist the urge to say that, considering that’s exactly how I opened my last post, but I figured it was actually quite fitting given what we’re writing about today.

For a few years, I’ve been a smartwatch girlie with my trusty Galaxy Watch Active 2 and Galaxy Watch 4, but since my Galaxy ZFlip 3… well, flipped out and I’m making the gradual transition to iOS in December, I found myself digging up my traditional watches.

My current collection isn’t much to write home about—a Lacoste Women’s Classic Quartz Watch, a Meister Ambassador MK III, and currently on loan from my aunt an unidentified Timex stainless steel watch—but these three on rotation have served me well these past few weeks.

If I’m being honest though, I was thisclose to buying a Casio.


Styling My New Bedroom

It’s been a hot minute since I wrote on this space. From late January to early June, I was basically bedroom-less while we tore our family home down and rebuilt it from the ground up.

As someone who thrives in privacy, the lack of personal space did a number on my mental health and productivity, as my team can attest with my entries on our weekly wins+challenges alignments (also, sorry!). For those long months, I sought solace in our dining room, which I barely got to mourn and thank for its comforts before it, too, got demolished just two weeks ago in the second phase of our ongoing renovation

The good news is that, as you can deduce by the current month, I finally have a new bedroom—and I have content to share about it! Having a blank space to start fresh made me more mindful about putting in things that made me happy.

Whether you’re in the same boat as I was, or just want to refresh your bedroom, I’m sharing some items you may want to consider adding to your space, along with the thought processes that went into choosing them. I opted to patronize homegrown businesses as much as I could manage to support them, and a lot of these are easily accessible to everyone!

Collaborations, Lifestyle

Why I Love Shopping at The Metro Stores

My earliest memories of shopping are rooted at The Metro Stores.

As a little girl, I remember going to Metro Colon with my grandfather, always stopping by Ding Qua Qua along the way. I would also accompany my mom when she would do the groceries at Metro Ayala Center, usually on Sundays—her lone day off in a week.

While I was allowed the occasional indulgence, I learned about the value of a great deal early on. I also began to associate The Metro Stores as a place where I can get my money’s worth, and would shop there by myself when I grew up. It’s become a pillar of sorts in my life, a True North for when I need to get something because it almost always has things I need to buy, and I knew exactly where to find them.

So yes, to say I was devastated when Metro Ayala Center was hit by a fire in January 2018 is an understatement.

But that’s all in the past, and now that it’s back and better than ever is worth celebrating—especially as the Metro Stores celebrates its 39th anniversary this weekend!


I Incorporated Primo+ Skin Products Into My Skincare Routine

One of the comments I would always get is that I have great skin.

It’s a compliment I take graciously, not because I’m bragging, but because I take my skincare seriously, dammit, and I accept all validation that it actually works.

Also, thank you. 🤗

If you read what I wrote about my favorite facial, you’d know I wasn’t always this dedicated. But here we are, with me fully committed to a full 10-step skincare regimen for the past three years and counting. A consistent routine has done wonders for my skin, not to mention my confidence. It’s certainly more empowering to go some days not hiding behind makeup, though that’s also a creative and emotional outlet.

I started my skincare journey with Korean products with the goal of getting that glass-skin effect. But as I gradually ran out and had trouble replacing them (they don’t come cheap!), I began replacing products with items that were more accessible, some from care packages sent by my mom in the U.S., and some from the malls.

I discovered I need not exclusively stick to K-beauty to achieve great skin. My arsenal of Clinique worked well enough, but more interestingly, skincare products manufactured in Cebu are just as great.

Enter Primo+Skin, the latest addition to my existing routine.

Dining, Lifestyle

Mucho Ado About Life

If there’s anything that perfectly encapsulates life these days, it’s that photo.

The past few months have been a blur of non-stop work, zero weekends whatsoever, and a lot of coffee. I highly doubt it’s the ideal lifestyle for someone who survived COVID just roughly a hundred days ago, but it turns out having a full-time job and running a magazine at the same time means you’re basically signing off your rights to take a break.

(Send help.)

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.


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.


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.