Travels

Staycation: Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu

Even though the Philippines enjoys a tropical climate all year long, there’s still something special about summer. It’s been years since I’ve enjoyed the mandatory two-month break from school for the season so you’d think I’m used to it by now, but for me, summer’s never really complete without a trip to the beach.

That said, with the past few months being extremely stressful with work and family obligations, I panicked when I realized June was upon us and I still haven’t gotten a dose of Vitamin Sea. With my brother being overwhelmingly tired about everything we’ve had to deal with and bemoaning the fact that he hasn’t had a proper vacation, I decided to hit two birds with one stone and planned an intimate beach outing to cap off the summer.

 

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After Mum vetoed the original idea of an island hopping, I switched tactics and booked a stay for us and our friends at the Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu, a.k.a. one of my favorite places. It’s a perfect place for a staycation, as it’s far enough from the city but it’s just a 30-minute drive away, and the beach is gorgeous. I’m no stranger to the resort, having been there several times over the years, but it was always somehow work-related and I never got chances to enjoy it with my brother. Until now.

Dining

Ilaputi: Not Your Usual Order

It’s time to admit that I’m a total creature of habit.

While this quirk has its share of frustrations, it’s mainly a good thing. If I see something I like, I’ll wear it a lot, use it again, order it over and over… you get the gist. That basically explains why my wardrobe staples are all in black and white, which makes dressing in the summer quite the challenge.

You’d think I would know myself better, but truthfully I only came to this conclusion recently (and amusingly, by the way), when I realized that the baristas at Brown Cup already knew I usually get a cappuccino (hot) or a white mocha java (cold), that I was on first-name basis with the barista in Starbucks (hi, Linus!) and the bartender at Politics (what’s up, Mark?), and heck the server at Dimsum Break anticipated my usual order of spicy-steamed-rice-with-plain-siomai-and-ginger-sauce-with-bottled-water.

In Ilaputi‘s case, it was The Stroganov. Because, seriously, it’s The Stroganov.

 

See what I mean? 😛

I have to hand it to Jan Rodriguez though. Instead of being perfectly content that I was already nursing an incurable addiction to The Stroganov, he’s continuously whipping up delicious ways to sway me into trying out other items on the menu.

And that is how I ended up eating something-else-not-Stroganov at Ilaputi one Saturday night.

Fashion

#MYOH2016: (Not) Lost in Translation

I’ve always had a fascination—albeit mild—with Japanese culture, stemming from eating ramen and watching Memoirs of a Geisha at an impressionable age. Though I’ve never been to the country yet, that’s not to say I don’t want to go there. I’m simply waiting for the right opportunity to do so.

That said, I was intrigued upon finding out that the theme for this year’s Make Your Own Havaianas (running until May 1) is Japanese-inspired. A quick chat with Leanne Florendo, half of the dynamic duo that makes up AL Amizade, informed me that the Havaianas’ heritage is partly rooted in Japanese culture, with the texture of the soles reminiscent of the traditional zori. Quite interesting, really, for a Brazilian brand.

Fashion

#OOTD: Racing heartbeat, leather jacket

Leather jacket: Forever 21 / White tee: Ralph Lauren /
Denim shorts: SM Department Store / Boots: Michael Kors

Photography: Mark Philip Dales of Madworld Photography
Makeup: Arnauld / Hair: Gino Fonghe

One of the perks of the job is working with extremely creative people who… mess around with you when they’re bored. Heh.

Case in point: A lull in between photo shoots for Zee Lifestyle‘s May 2016 issue led to my favorite makeup artist Arnauld weaving his magic on me, with hairstylist Gino Fonghe following suit, giving photographer Mark Philip Dales no choice but to take photos.

Hey, I’m not complaining. Nope, not at all. 😛

Wellness

The Crossfit Games 2016: How I went in way over my head

Confession time: In a fit of sheer madness, I went and joined The Crossfit Open.

When I signed up, I was doing Crossfit at Crossfit Subtero half-seriously for only about three months. While I’ve made some progress in that short amount of time, I was still hindered by lack of strength and mobility problems, both of which made me question my judgment about the decision to join. But alas, the $10 fee and my pride were already on the line, so as a last-minute self-preservation tactic, I kept my involvement under wraps except for a few good friends. “Whoa, seriously? You’re a total badass!” said one, sounding (I assume) impressed. “Don’t you think it’s a bit too soon?” said another, who (I assume) saw through my bravado.

Travels

Travels: Hong Kong + Macau

With the blistering heat in Cebu, it’s hard not to reminisce about the sweet, sweet coldness in Hong Kong and Macau this time last month.

I’ve always cherished traveling, and while I’m grateful work provides me with numerous opportunities to do so, it’s been quite some time since I’ve gone away for an actual vacation. An invitation from the great people at the Marco Polo Hotels in Hong Kong was the impetus of such a getaway.