29 July 2013

Flipped! Caribbean Footwear

Hi guys! As I've mentioned a few days ago, it's my first midterms week in law school, thus, my lack of time for anything else that doesn't involve studying. I've been using my brain way too much the past week, exceeding more than what it was used to before I entered law school (I just hope it all pays off next week) but I'm taking a much needed break now. My brain can't recognize words anymore. -_-

So, over the weekend, I got not one, but two pairs of new flip flops. I don't know if I've mentioned this before but back in college, I was a flip flops girl. Jeans, shirt, and flip flops everyday. I even had a collection! They were just so comfy. :) Anyway, I was loyal to a certain brand (since I haven't really had the chance to try other brands then), but over the weekend, I was able to try something new.

I rarely look at other brands because I'm used to buying my usual. But since a friend mentioned this new brand, I decided to check it out. Normally, I wouldn't waste my time trying out unknown brands because the last time I did that, I got burns in between my toes. Yup, comfy flip flops weren't comfy at all. Anyway, I got a few pairs to try out and I was surprised. They don't feel foreign.

I don't mean to sound harsh but based on experience, not all inexpensive flip flops are actually comfortable. Most of them have hard innersoles (the part where our foot lies -- I don't really know what you call them) and some of the plastic material that goes in between your big toe and other toes are so hard and rough that they cause friction and burn the skin. This one's DIFFERENT.

Introducing my latest find: Caribbean Footwear.

Caribbean Footwear is a local flip flops brand that was launched in 2010. It uses top of the line technology to create flip flops that are durable, fashionable, comfortable, and most importantly, inexpensive. It is sold in leading department stores at a very affordable price. The price range of their flip flops? PhP179 to PhP250. Good, right? 

The best part is, they're not all talk! I checked their website to find out more about this new brand and true enough, their flip flops are what they described them to be. They have a wide range of really cool flip flops that are priced at about 1/4 of what I usually buy. The innersole is really comfortable too! Plus, the strap in between your toes doesn't rub against your skin. I'm actually pretty amazed at how comfortable and inexpensive it is.

If you don't believe me, check out Caribbean Footwear yourself. You can find it in any leading department store (SM, Landmark) and if you like it as much as I do, you can grab a pair for as low as PhP179!

Check out their other designs at Caribbean Footwear Collection. For more information about the brand, visit their website or their Facebook page.

Price Range: PhP179 - 250/pair

5 out of 5 for Caribbean Footwear

Caribbean Footwear
SM Department Store, Landmark Department Store

13 July 2013

Hello, Readers! :)

Hello friends! Penggora's Box is very much alive. I have nearly a dozen more entries waiting to be posted, I just have to finish them. I started law school last May, thus my sudden "disappearance" from the blogging world. But I did not disappear completely. As mentioned, I have many new and exciting food and make-up reviews coming very soon. Let me just finish my midterms and I promise to post most, if not all, of them. 

Thank you for all the comments. I'm glad I can be of some help to some of you. ^@^

See you in three weeks! Midterms start two weeks from now so I will be secluding myself for the meantime. 

05 July 2013

Kawayan Massage

Last night, I decided to try this new massage-at-home service that I found online. I really wanted to go to Ahavia but I was too lazy to get my ass up and drive to San Juan so I searched the net and tried to look for a decent, not-so-sketchy-looking massage website and stumbled upon Kawayan Massage.

Kawayan Massage's website is the most decent looking I've seen so far (that's why I clicked it). I haven't seen explicit massage sites but compared to the others, this one gets a G (suitable for young viewers) rating. No reference to Japanese girls, or pictures of men and women half-naked getting a massage. Their website was very straightforward -- services, locations, permits, and contact details. 

Now let's go to the massage. Since this was my first time, I opted to go for a safe choice -- a Swedish-Shiatsu Combo. I was very tired from all the reading and studying that I couldn't resist getting a 2-hour massage. But again, safe choices. Swedish and shiatsu are the two most common massages, who could get it wrong? I didn't have my own therapist yet so I asked them to send an experienced one since I preferred hard massages. 

When the therapist came, she immediately informed me of what she needed. She asked what kind of pressure I preferred and politely asked if we could begin. A few minutes after the massage started, she asked if the pressure was okay. She made sure I was comfortable the whole time. Now to the most important part.. The massage.


The therapist knew what she was doing. Every cold spot, every joint, every stressed muscle was de-stressed. The pressure was just the right kind of hard -- not painful, not annoying, very relaxing. She was able to break almost all my protein blocks a.k.a all my "lamig." Words cannot express how amazing that massage felt. It was the best at-home massage service I got.

Apart from the massage itself, their customer service person, who I believe is also the owner, was very nice. He was polite and accommodating. He takes note of your personal information and preference so they can just check it when you book another appointment. They try to make it personal so you'd feel very comfortable and at ease when you get your massage the next time. The overall experience from the booking to the massage to the post-massage service was just amazing. Oh, and they also check up on you after the massage and ask if there were any problems or any way they could improve. :)

How much? Excellent service for only P250/hour. 

Price: P250* (now P300)

5 out of 5 for Kawayan Massage

Kawayan Massage

*The service is now at P300/hour. But it's still worth every cent. 

12 June 2013


Law school doesn't come cheap. Apart from the expensive (and heavy) books you need to buy for your first year, a freshman would also have to worry about budgeting his/her weekly allowance, especially if your school is in the middle of a posh business district. 

The first few weeks were either unhealthy or expensive. I usually ate fast food with my friends or real food in not-so-cheap restaurants. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy good food but if you're a student, P200-300 meals everyday will be a burden. Fortunately, I discovered a cheaper place with the help of my blockmates. 

If you know me, then you know that I would choose a good home-cooked meal over any fancy-shmancy dish. And P3 serves exactly that -- inexpensive, home-cooked dishes. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the different dishes they offered during lunch -- sinigang, tinola, afritada, fried chicken. They even have fruits and sweets for dessert. A complete meal for less than P100! A serving of rice and one viand cost around P60 (or less). Add a can of coke or dessert or both and it will still be cheaper than one dish in a restaurant around the area. Can you believe it? All this hidden in the heart of Rockwell. Well, under the Powerplant Mall, in the Basement 3 parking area (thus the name P3). 

I don't have pictures to prove it but trust me when I say that P3 is a sulit place to have lunch, especially if you love home-cooked meals. It may not be as fancy as the other restaurants in and around Powerplant but it's good enough, especially if you're on a budget. Plus, it's air-conditioned anyway. :D

Price Range: P50 - P80/meal

3.5 out of 5 for P3

Basement 3 Parking Area
Powerplant Mall, Rockwell

23 May 2013

Hidden Food Spot: Eat my GF

Last night, Gus and I went around Greenhills while waiting for his sister. We looked around for a place to eat since 1) I was very hungry after Intro to Law class, and 2) his sister was still in SLEX. If you're from Greenhills, you know how many restaurants can be found in just one street. There were quite a few new restaurants along J. Abad Santos (where Serenitea and Chicken Charlie can be found) so we decided to walk around first and explore the new restaurants we found.

After checking out a few of the new places, we stumbled upon something familiar -- Eat my GF. Upon seeing their big lighted sign, I knew I've already tried their food before. They had a stall back then in Mercato BGC, if I remember correctly. Since there were a few new restaurants in the area, we decided to look around some more until we finally decided to try out the rest of the menu of Eat my GF.

Eat my GF stands for Eat my Garlic Fries. Their specialty? You guessed it! Garlic Fries. Before you jump into any conclusion, let me say that this isn't what or how you think it is. This isn't your regular batch of french fries sprinkled with garlic powder or flavoring. Apart from their specialty, their menu also includes your usual burgers, sausages, rice meals, and some appetizers like buffalo wings, nachos, and jalapeno poppers.

19 May 2013

From BB Cream to CC Cream: Rachel K

I've known about CC creams since last year. I saw my first CC cream advertisement when I visited the Beauty Bar in BHS. I thought it was a joke at first, but then, I was in Beauty Bar. I don't think they'd carry fake cosmetics. I didn't really bother checking it out because I thought it was just the West's version of BB cream.

Fast forward to a few weeks back. I stumbled upon online articles about CC cream. It seems that a lot of people, both from Asia and the West, have been raving about the power of CC creams. This finally made me decide to do my own research and see what CC cream is all about.

For starters, CC cream stands for "color correcting" cream or "color control" cream, a supposed better version of the BB cream. The latter was originally developed as a skincare product, while CC creams were developed to provide all the skincare benefits of BB creams with added ingredients that could provide better skin coverage, sun protection, and even skin tone. With these in mind, one would assume that CC creams were improved BB creams. Unfortunately, most of the CC creams I checked out looked tinted but when I applied them on my skin, it was clear/transparent. It looked more like a make-up primer than BB cream.

13 May 2013

Kettle Korn: Poppin’ Fun All The Time!

My life has always been like the movies. There's just too much drama. There are times when I feel that if my life were a movie, I bet thousands would be able to relate that it would be an instant hit. Despite the possible future success of my oh-so-dramatic life, I would never dream of starring in it. But, if I were to star in my own movie, I would definitely choose a different storyline. Something less dramatic, but with just enough spice to make it interesting.

I'd play a lawyer who gets mixed up with one of her clients' business foes, turning her usually busy but routine-centric life into a whirlwind game of survival and of course, finding love. I'd be a lawyer with a successful career, who has started living a routine life. Yes, I dream of becoming a high-profile lawyer so I would want to play a lawyer in my own movie. She's forgotten how to live and has become a workaholic instead, until one day, her biggest (and most secretive) client (whom she has never seen before) disappears and a group of masked men ransack his office, where coincidentally, she would be. She barely escapes until the group discovers that she has all the documents their boss is looking for. As she hides from them, she meets her client, who turns out to be a retired spy protecting some valuable international secrets. As they try to eliminate the threat, she discovers that her client/spy is actually a former classmate who disappeared on her years ago. The movie becomes a fight not only to survive but to overcome the issues that have resurfaced from the past. 

Yes, it sounds a little melodramatic but it wouldn't be me if it weren't. At one point in time, we all wanted an adventure, something we know would never happen to us. Something exciting and crazy at the same time. Something we would only see in the movies. ;)

Speaking of watching movies, it wouldn't be as fun without a bag of Kettle Korn on hand. A little crunch every now and then is all we need to make things a whee bit more exciting. Or, to distract us from that really creepy girl starting to crawl out of the kitchen sink. Either way, we all need something good to munch on as we enjoy a great movie on a Friday night.

Etude House Moistful Collagen BB Cream

With only a few days left before law school starts, I started preparing the essentials. From notebooks, to markers, to clothes, and yes, even the make-up I will be needing to look alive in law school. Since I would have less time to experiment once school starts, I decided to buy another bottle of my favorite and most trusted BB cream -- Etude House's Moistful Collagen BB Cream. 

I fell in love with this product two years ago, a couple of months after Etude House opened its first store in the country. It was my first ever BB cream, and truth be told, I was actually a bit hesitant in trying it. BB creams were fairly new at that time, and I didn't really know much about them. In the end, I took the "risk" and tried it out. SO here's the 411 on Etude House's Moistful Collagen BB Cream.

This BB cream is bigger than others. Most BB creams I saw back then were 30g bottles only. This is a 50g bottle. It actually looks bigger than 50g, but I wasn't always good in math. :D

08 May 2013

K-Palette 1Day Tattoo Eyeliner

I'm back with an entry on eyeliners. A few months ago, I discovered a new liquid eyeliner. I've been a bit upset with my eyelining skills that I wanted to try out new products that will let me have more control since my hands have been a bit shaky recently. That's when I came across this supposed long-lasting liquid eyeliner that easy to apply because of its fine brush. I know some of you might have heard of this brand already, but for those who haven't, here's a little info about it.

K-Palette 24 Hour Eyeliner is an automatic, pen-type eyeliner. You don't have to twist or turn anything, no shaking required, the fluid comes out naturally.

02 May 2013

Kebab Depot

Late nights are usually when we discover new food spots in Manila. Most of the time, we end up eating somewhere instead of just going straight home. I guess we're gluttons that way. But at the same time, these nightly food trips lead us to new, mostly unsung of, hangouts that offer really great food. A new discovery is Kebab Depot in the new Greenhills Town Center.

Kebab Depot is located at the back of Greenhills Town Center. It's somewhat hidden compared to the more exposed restaurants and shops in the middle of the place. We found it because we were looking for it, otherwise, we wouldn't have known there was a kebab place there. If you miss the lighted ad before entering GTC, or if you don't go around the area, you probably wouldn't know it was there. It's a small restaurant that's half Persian, half Mexican (the area is shared by Kebab Depot and a Mexican (?) restaurant, Salsa Verde.) It's like Buffalo Wings 'n Things and Chubby's Rib Shack -- two different restaurants that share space. 

Anyway, the left half of the restaurant had a cathedral-ish vibe. It had colorful ornaments and glass windows that reminded me of European churches I've seen in movies. The set-up was very simple. There were around 5-6 tables that could accommodate 2-4 people each.

BULLCHEF: Bulalohan in Pasig

I received a Twitter notification yesterday saying that "bullchef" was following me. I don't usually get surprised whenever someone unknown follows me on Twitter since my profile's public. What made me wonder this time was the information under @weareBULLCHEF. It had a local address near my office. Out of curiosity, I googled the name and found out that Bullchef is a bulalo house in Kapitolyo, Pasig. Since I've been on a recent bulalo hunt/craving, I decided to check out Bullchef.

According to the online information I read, BULLCHEF is open until 12 MN everyday. We arrived there a little past 11, and looked around first before deciding whether or not we would try it for the night. I think they were about to close when we got to the store front but they suddenly opened up the place when they saw us. We actually felt surprised and shy when we saw the staff prepare the inside of the little hole-in-the-whole bulalo house. Since they already made us feel welcome, Gus and I decided to try it out. We were, already there, after all.

BULLCHEF is located at #4 East Capitol Drive, Kapitolyo, Pasig City. Yup, another hidden treasure in the heart of Pasig. It's a small hole-in-the-wall restaurant that opened a year and a half ago. Don't worry, you can easily spot it because it is in between what looks like a residential apartment stretch turned business establishments section.

The interiors of the restaurant were very simple. Nothing too fancy. Just big square tables and chairs that could accommodate 2 or 4 people per table. Oh, and there's a big graffiti of a cute bull on the whole left wall, and photos of celebrities who have visited BULLCHEF on the right. I guess this wasn't so hidden in the celebrity world.

01 May 2013

Glamourbox PH: April Box

Hello, Philippines! 

A few months ago, the Philippines was finally introduced to sample boxes. Two different brands came out with their own samples box -- BDJ or Belle de Jour (more famously known for their planners) and Glamourbox. I've already posted a review on the first BDJ Box I got last year (click here to read about it) but it took some time before I could finally post my first ever review of Glamourbox. Since this is fairly new in the country, I was a bit hesitant to try it out since I don't really like spending too much money on something I wasn't sure of. But after two months of thinking, I finally gave in and subscribed to my first ever Glamourbox.

So what's the difference between the two? The price. Glamourbox is a little bit more expensive, but it's pretty much the same thing -- a monthly box of samples from various local and international brands. However, one thing I noticed was that Glamourbox's selections were a little more high-end. They had samples from Kerastase, Pevonia, YSL, etc. They even had samples from brands I haven't heard of, which are actually expensive. Yes, it may be a little bit more expensive, but you get so much more than what you pay for.

Since I didn't have time to blog about the first two boxes I got, I decided to write about the most recent box first. I'll post a separate entry on the first two Glamourboxes I received soon. :) 

The April box had more useable products for everyday. Since I haven't been able to put on make-up the past couple of weeks, I haven't tried the other products on my previous boxes yet since most of them were cosmetics. This month, Glamourbox focused on Mother Earth and selected products which were green. The products I received in my box were:

30 April 2013

Nivea Fruity Shine Lipbalm

I'm sure you've experienced having chapped lips. It's a pain! Ever since I've experienced having chapped lips, I've relied on lip balms to help soothe the pain. I started with the then most famous lip balm (it started with a C) but then, I developed allergies for reasons unknown. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying this to glorify Nivea. I've been using that same lip balm for nearly three years when I developed allergies. I still don't know what caused it. Going back, since my allergies, I had to try other lip balms that will not give me the same reaction. I didn't know what Nivea was back then but I discovered it because of their lip balm. It was among the many others I've tried back then, which thankfully, did not give me any reaction. 

It was difficult for me to try Nivea's lip balm because of two primary reasons. 1) I was very much loyal to my first one, I still couldn't get over how I couldn't use it anymore, 2) Nivea was a little bit more expensive than my previous one. But it was either those two reasons or.. Suffer a long and painful relationship with chapped lips and windburns. I chose to get over my reasons and try out Nivea's Lip Balm.

29 April 2013

Red Hot: MAC Russian Red

I don't know a lot about the chemistry of make-up. I'm still trying to understand undertones. From what I've learned so far, our skin has undertones, and lipsticks also have undertones. Certain lip colors look better, or best, depending on the person's skin undertone. Lipstick colors also have different undertones which determine the shades that would look better or best on people. But as I said, I don't understand much about it yet. I do notice how some colors really do look great and awful on certain people though. 

Red is a very difficult lip color to deal with. Not everyone will look good with red lips. I'm not being a know-it-all or anything, but I've seen some girls with red lips that didn't look so great on them. Hey, I've had my fair share of those awkward looking red lips. That's exactly why I don't really wear lipstick often. But, there is always an exception. 

I tend to be loyal to certain brands, especially if they've proven themselves to me. One of these brands is the well-known brand, MAC Cosmetics. I've been using their concealer and powder foundation since I was in high school, and well, when it was time for me to grow up, I decided to look at their other products. That's when I discovered one of their most famous lip shade: Russian Red.

25 April 2013

My First "Real" Online Shopping Experience at Zalora PH

I discovered online shopping through coupon sites. Before trying these out, I never really bought anything online for, well, fear of being duped. Even after buying lots of coupons online, I still haven't tried (or though of trying) purchasing real products because apart form the possibility of being duped, 1) the actual photo may vary form the real product, 2) the size may not be the same size we have here in the Philippines, and 3) the courier may damage the product (I've had experience with products arriving broken/damaged after being sent through a courier). I just wasn't ready to take a risk. Yet.

But a few weeks ago, I received some really good news. I got into law school! Excited as I was, I knew that I had to go shopping for some new clothes and shoes since most of mine were very "casual" and "summery." I had to "grow up" in a few weeks and start wearing more formal and business attire-ish clothing. What was the problem? I can't just shell out thousands of pesos in a day just to prepare for school. I had to think smart and improvise.

I've been hearing of this new online shopping website from friends and well, trusted sources. When I say trusted sources, I knew that they wouldn't recommend anything which will affect their reputation.  Despite this supposed "reputable" shopping website, I still had my doubts. But they did offer good-looking and affordable shoes that it was very hard to say no to them. After thinking about it and visiting their website numerous times, I took a leap of faith and just "ordered."

I got four pairs of shoes from Zalora Philippines. According to their website, the products will be delivered within 1-3 days. True enough, I received my package on the 3rd day (I was actually expecting it to arrive later than what they posted because sometimes, these things fail you).

24 April 2013

Sun Coral Cafe at Pico de Loro

This is my separate post for our dinner at Pico de Loro's Sun Coral Cafe. As I've mentioned in my vacation getaway post, there were only two restaurants open at Pico de Loro that time -- the Pico Sands Hotel restaurant and Sun Coral Cafe. Since we read a lot of good reviews about Sun Coral Cafe, we decided to have dinner here.

The restaurant was packed when we got there. It was around 7:30 then. The waiter informed us that our dishes will be served after 15 minutes given the current situation. We were okay with it since we really wanted to try the food here. Based on all the travel blogs we read, the cafe's Crispy Pork Belly is a must try. So that's what we got.

Since I couldn't really eat anything dry, we also ordered their Cream of Lettuce Soup. They had other soups, but this was new to us so we decided to try it.

We waited for more than 15 minutes for our food to arrive but all we can say is: IT WAS WORTH THE WAIT! Words cannot describe how good the pork belly was. It had a crisp outer layer, and the meat was just really tender and flavorful. I usually avoid eating the fatty portion of pork bellies because the taste usually makes me throw up, but this was one of the few exceptions. I didn't mind having small fatty portions still sticking to the meat or skin. Every inch of that belly was delicious!

Buffet at Cafe on the Ridge

As I mentioned in my previous getaway entry, I will be posting a separate blog entry for our dinner buffet at Taal Vista. Since I have had the same breakfast buffet here twice, I decided to make a comparison entry on Taal Vista's Cafe on the Ridge breakfast and dinner buffet. 

Cafe on the Ridge's breakfast buffet is not impressive, to be honest. It had the basic dishes we would expect in a typical Filipino home breakfast table -- fried rice, bacon, tapa, fried fish or daing, champorado, arroz caldo, fresh fruits, and cereals. But it lacked variety. Both times we were there, we saw and ate pretty much the same dishes we did the first time. We didn't even bother taking pictures of all the dishes because our pictures would look similar with our first visit. 

1st Visit

Wait! I am not saying it wasn't satisfying. All I'm saying is that I wouldn't pay PhP699++ for a spread like that. Some dishes were actually good, notable. A couple of our favorites include their champorado, scrambled eggs, and fried fish. The champorado was not so sweet and not from a box. It was traditional, home-cooked champorado made with cacao. Gus really liked the scrambled eggs, and as he is an egg person, when he says it's good, I trust him. The fried fish was crispy and just right. It wasn't too salty or too bland. But even if there were exceptions, we think the price for their breakfast buffet is too much. 

2nd Visit

22 April 2013

My Weekly Ritual: Simple Skincare Recipes

I haven't had time to really take care of myself the past few weeks. I guess I fell in love with work too much that I let go of myself. My skin was becoming too dry to the point that I actually felt rough patches on the side of my face/mouth. I freaked out! So a couple weeks ago, I told myself that I needed to get back to my skin care ritual and stick to it. Getting enough sleep at night is just as important as cleansing and moisturizing one's face.

To get rid of the rough patches on my face, I decided to try a homemade remedy. I've been reading a lot about do-it-yourself beauty remedies with ingredients that you can easily find in your kitchen. These are all-natural products with no added chemicals since you'll be making them from scratch using natural ingredients like fruits, vegetables, eggs, etc. With no time to spare shopping for beauty products, I decided to make one using the articles I've read as a guide. My inspiration? An unopened cup of Nestle yogurt in the refrigerator. Here is my simple rough patch remedy:

1/2 tbsp plain yogurt (preferably cooled)
1 tbsp white sugar (salt will be too rough for facial skin)

Cleanse your face thoroughly using a mild facial wash. Mix the two ingredients well and lightly rub the mixture on your face. Don't rush! Enjoy scrubbing away those impurities, and leave the mixture on your face for another minute before washing off with cool water.

Why use yogurt? Yogurt contains lactic acid, which helps smooth and exfoliate the skin. It also contains anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that help heal acne.

What about sugar? Aside from the mildly rough texture of sugar, which can help exfoliate the skin, it also contains glycolic acid. Glycolic acid is essential in conditioning and moisturizing the skin. It encourages a quicker turnover of skin cells, revealing younger-looking skin.

The rough patches on my face became smoother after just one scrub. This is the reason why I decided to continue using this yogurt scrub every week. It really does help make your skin more youthful and supple. 

For my second homemade remedy (I actually learned this from my co-worker), I use fresh, cooled, lemon slices. Lemon is known to have antimicrobial properties that help dry acne. Its acidity is also believed to lighten skin. However, some people experience mild irritation from lemon juice so it is best to try it out on a small area of your skin before applying it on your face. This very easy skin care routine will help brighten and clear your skin.

1 slice of lemon (preferably cooled)

Gently rub the slice of lemon on your face, carefully avoiding the eye area. Let it sit for around 5-10 minutes and rinse with cool water. I do this on a weekly basis since I barely have time to do this every day, but I'm NOT advising you to do it ever day. Keep in mind that lemon juice can dry skin easily because of its acidic property, so it's better to use with an interval. Based on my experience, results can be achieved even if you do this on a weekly basis only. I've been using this for almost a month and a half, and I have to say that my skin definitely improved. I haven't seen the changes in my complexion, but my skin is smoother and it looks fresher than before.

DISCLAIMER: I am in NO WAY a dermatologist or doctor. This article is based on my own experience after reading about the many benefits of homemade remedies for the skin, and after researching on the different properties of the ingredients I used. Experiences with these products may vary since we all have different skin types and allergens. If you wish to try any of my suggestions, PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU ARE NOT ALLERGIC TO ANY OF THE PRODUCTS before trying these recipes.

If you do try any of my suggestions, please leave a comment in my comments box and tell me about your experience. :)

Some articles you might want to read/check out:
Yogurt and Skin
Health benefits of yogurt
Why sugar is good for you
Lemon Juice and Your Skin

21 April 2013

Hair Love: Dove Damage Therapy Intense Repair Deep Repairing Mask

I'm going to blog about my favorite hair mask treatment. Last year, I already blogged about a similar product, which I also liked, but I forgot to write a follow-up featuring the #1 on my list: Dove's Intense Repair Deep Repairing Mask.

As I've already mentioned in my other blog entries, I have really damaged hair because of my annual trips to the salon to have my hair straightened. Before I started having my hair straightened, my hair was already thin. Imagine torturing your already-thin hair with tons of chemicals every year just to look beautiful. Yup, it's not a pretty picture, especially when your hair has lost all its nutrients already.

A year ago, I decided to let my hair grow naturally. No hair treatments that involved chemicals AT ALL. I was able to succeed in that part but since I have very wild, wavy hair, I couldn't let go of the straightening iron completely. I would still use it to straighten my hair from time to time, especially if I have to attend events. Since I couldn't really stop using the iron, I knew that I had to do something to make sure my hair doesn't completely dry. I looked at different products that promised healthier hair, products that "healed" damage hair, and other products that promised to give you shinier, bouncier hair. 

Dove came out with their own line of damaged hair treatments. I heard some really good things about it, especially from some well-known ladies in the entertainment industry *cough*Delamar*cough* Since I trusted the opinions and views of some of those ladies, I decided to try Dove and see the results myself.

I tried Dove's Damage Therapy Intense Repair Treatment. Just like most hair treatments, it had a coagulated texture, somewhat viscous. It had a really nice smell, one that I would later find out, could last for more than a day. After trying it out for a month, using it once a week, I noticed how soft my hair had become. It also obviously looked healthier to me. It wasn't limp and dry anymore!

I really liked what I saw and decided to make Dove a part of my weekly beauty ritual. Ever since I started using Dove, my hair had become more manageable, even without the help of my trusty (but unhealthy) straightening iron. I would sometimes go out without ironing my hair anymore. Plus, as I've already mentioned, the smell is really nice. It wasn't a strong, flowery smell. It had a refreshing smell that wasn't irritating to the nose that could last until the next day. Your hair is sure to smell good even after walking under the sun for quite some time.

This product is a MUST HAVE. I didn't find any downside to the product. Even the price is reasonable. This big container costs only P239.75 (and that could still be lower, depending on where you buy it). 

If you want real healthier hair, try Dove's Damage Therapy Intense Repair Treatment. It really works! If you've tried this before, leave a message in the comments section below and tell me about your experience. Do we have the same experience/results? If not, try it and let me know what you think.

Price Range: +/- P239.75

5 out of 5 for Dove's Damage Therapy Intense Hair Treatment

***This is NOT a paid blog entry. I write what I feel like writing, based on personal experience. Besides, I'm not a huge blogger for companies to ask me to write reviews of their products. I'm just someone who really likes praising (or calling the attention of) products and services that are worthy (or not). :) ***

18 April 2013

Something New: Caffe Bene

As I mentioned in my introductory post on Caffe Bene, it has a wide range of pastries and new drinks. During our visit, we didn't really know what to get since we weren't able to familiarize ourselves with their pastries and beverage selection. Instead of wasting time trying to get to know each product on their menu boards, we decided to go with the first thing that caught our attention.

I ordered a scoop of their espresso gelato after trying out other flavors like green tea and strawberry. I also liked the other two flavors but I thought of getting the flavor which I rarely had. The espresso gelato was really good. The coffee flavor wasn't too strong to the point of overcoming the gelato's creaminess, but strong enough just to let you know it is made with coffee.

Gus tried one of their specialty drinks, the Misugaru Latte, a roasted multigrain based beverage . The multigrain part of this latte caught his attention so he wanted to know how it tasted. Luckily, the drink was very good, he and his sister enjoyed it.

Our first Caffe Bene products.

The best thing I liked about our first Caffe Bene experience is that they actually spelled my name correct. Such a shallow reason but this really made me smile.

Caffe Bene
Eastwood City Walk (along Coffee bean and Tea Leaf, across People are People)
Libis, Quezon City

Binondo Eats: Ang Tunay na Beef House

Another Chinatown post courtesy of my beloved Chinese boyfriend. 

A few weeks back, Gus and I found ourselves in Chinatown, again. This time, I was running an errand for my dad, who wanted to find out the price range of gold rings here in the Philippines (he's in the US).  He requested that we look for it in Chinatown. After going around Binondo, looking for daddy's gold rings, we decided to have lunch before heading home. Since Binondo is like a big pot of delicious, varying delicacies and dishes, we had to spend a few minutes walking around, deciding what and where to eat. We finally decided to eat where Gus' angkong usually eats every Sunday -- Ang Tunay na Beef House.

Ang Tunay na Beef House is like a cleaner, more posh carinderia-style restaurant. It is air-conditioned with very simple tables and chairs. The different dishes they offer are posted on a menu board on the wall behind the food counter. Unfortunately, the prices are not posted.

Most of their dishes can be seen behind this long, stainless steel food counter. Dishes are placed either on plates or in rectangular chafing dishes. Other dishes are made-to-order and are not on display. A serving staff usually comes up to you to take your order once you reach the stainless steel counter. Just tell her which dish you want (and if you're not sure what the dishes are, just point and ask her what it is -- the serving staff are Filipinos.)

17 April 2013

Day 3 of 3: The Last Stop -- Kainan sa Dalampasigan

Before we went back to civilization, Gus and I made sure our vacation was worth more than the expense. We dropped by the famous Kainan Sa Dalampasigan for a late lunch to check out why this restaurant is the most talked about in Nasugbu.

Kainan sa Dalampasigan is along R. Martinez St. It's easy to miss unless you really are looking for the place. If you're coming from Manila-Tagaytay, the street will be on your left side. The restaurant is also on the left side of the street, just a few houses away from the corner where you turned.

You can't miss the entrance to the restaurant. It looks like an enchanted garden with greens hanging above the driveway, and trees and plants along the sides. But, cars give and take as they enter and exit the restaurant compound because the driveway is not wide enough for two cars. 

16 April 2013

Day 2 of 3: A Tale of Two Cities (From Tagaytay to Pico de Loro)

After a wonderful overnight stay, we packed our bags, looked at the view one last time, and bid goodbye to Taal Vista Hotel. We readied ourselves for our next adventure, which was a trip to Hamilo Coast in Batangas City. Our next stop? Pico de Loro.

We've been to other parts of Batangas but this is actually our first time in Pico de Loro. Armed with just a virtual map of Tagaytay to Hamilo Coast, we went on our way to our next destination.

3rd Stop: Pico de Loro Cove, Hamilo Coast, Batangas (Click here for Stop #2)

We didn't really know how to get to Batangas from Tagaytay City. I could vaguely remember going straight, just following the road and eventually finding a sign that says, "Welcome to Batangas City." But of course, my memory could be faulty. So we put our virtual map and my memory together to hopefully get to Batangas just in time for check-in.

12 April 2013

Taiwan Visa Application for Filipinos

Gus and I were supposed to go to Taiwan for a 6-day vacation. Unlike the more famous tourist destinations Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, a visa is required if you want to enter the beautiful land of F4. :)

We planned our vacation for three months. We bought plane tickets as early as January of 2013. We made reservations in this quaint little hostel in Taipei City. Our itinerary was fixed, packed with various tourist destinations that included traveling from the north of Taiwan (Yilan County) to the south (Kaohsiung). Everything was well-planned, including where we would have our first dinner, our first street food, our first night market visit. All we needed was the visa.

Unfortunately, we didn't get one. We had to cancel all the reservations me made, our plane tickets wasted. Why? Because contrary to most of the blog posts I've read about getting a Taiwanese visa, it is actually very difficult to get one. Especially if you're a fresh graduate or on your first job.

Because of our very unfortunate experience, I decided to blog about the process of attaining a Taiwanese visa, to at least prepare/warn those who really want to visit this beautiful country. The process is actually easy. The requirements are the difficult part.

So how do I apply for a Taiwan visa?

Day 1 of 3: Revisiting Tagaytay -- Taal Vista Hotel

Gus and I were supposed to go to Taiwan this summer, but unfortunately, the Taiwanese Embassy denied our visa application. Since we already had a 3-day leave from work, we decided to find an alternative summer getaway. Fortunately, I stumbled upon Taal Vista's tweet about the Ultimate Vacation Package. For PhP12,100, you get to stay overnight in one of Taal Vista's Premier Lake Wing rooms, which has a perfect and beautiful view of the Taal Volcano, and another overnight stay at Pico de Loro in Hamilo Coast, Batangas. It sounds a bit pricey for a 3-day/2-night holiday, right? But let me give you the breakdown of their regular room rates.

Taal Vista Premier Lake Wing Room = PhP8,000-10,000 (depending on the day -- weekday/weekend, peak/non-peak, with or without breakfast buffet)

Pico de Loro Premier Lagoon View Room = PhP6,699 + PhP500/head for non-members/guests of members

Had we availed of separate, regular rates for each room, we would've spent around PhP17,000. This is a PhP5,000 saving!

Day 1 of 3: Cecil's Cafe

1st Stop: Cecil's Cafe

Cecil's Cafe was the first stop on our 3-day vacation getaway. Gus discovered it by accident while he was browsing through various travel blogs. We didn't know whether this stop would break or make our first day on the road. We've been going to Tagaytay since college, but not once did we notice this quaint little cafe on the side of the Sta. Rosa Road. Being the adventurous duo that we are, we decided to just try it out and see if we made the right choice.

Cecil's Cafe is located along the Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay Road. You can find it on the right side, if you're coming from Manila, just a few blocks after Nuvali.

02 April 2013

R&J Bulalohan and Tapsilogan: The taste of victory.

The past week has been hell for me and quite frankly, I had lost interest in everything, even blogging. But amidst the darkness that clouded me during what was supposed to be a "Holy Week," the Lord had given me some sunshine.

The results of the Law Aptitude Exam of the Ateneo Law School came out yesterday. I've been planning to apply to law school for the past two years but my fears of being rejected and failing prevented me from doing so. But after two long years, I finally conquered my fear and took the exam. And finally, the day came for me to know whether or not I was going to law school this year.

The 1st of April 2013 was a very long day for me. I knew that the results would come out, but somehow, fate decided to prolong my agony for a few more hours. I couldn't access the website so I still had no idea whether or not I passed. The day was about to end already and still, I was clueless. Until two of my closest friends sent me congratulatory messages.

That's when I knew.

Since I go home at 11:00 at night, Gus and I couldn't really celebrate yet. Most restaurants and malls were already closed. We didn't want to celebrate that night by getting drunk since we were both tired from work and doing errands, so we had to think of a good place to celebrate our little success. That's when I remembered this well-known bulalo house that was open 24/7.

R&J Bulalohan and Tapsilogan is located beside Petron, near the Mandaluyong City Hall. It is a famous bulalo house simply because their bulalo is made of real meat and bones, not beef bouillons. They have two kinds of bulalo -- regular and special. Since there were only two of us, Gus and I decided to order their regular bulalo. For PhP199 only, this was definitely a steal. We got a big bowl of pure meat and bones, with refillable bulalo soup. The only mistake we made was not knowing that the regular bulalo had no vegetables. It was just pure meat and bones.

 PhP 199.00

13 March 2013

Yves Rocher: My BB Cream Alternative

A few days ago, my mom asked me to try this free sample she and my aunt got from the Yves Rocher store in Trinoma. She knows I rely on my BB creams too much, and as impressed as she was with the functionality of BB creams, she can't help but try new beauty products, especially if they're given for free.

The sample she gave me was for a botanical liquid foundation. They got two kinds of sample, one with a matte finish, the other with a more supple-looking finish. I tried the latter -- the Yves Rocher Flawless Finish Fluid Foundation.

11 March 2013

Beauty in Every Cup: Caffe Bene

I don't really know the difference between American coffee shops and Korean coffee shops. For me, coffee is coffee no matter where you are. I enjoy drinking it in Manila, I enjoy drinking it in China. I enjoy drinking coffee from the US, I enjoy drinking coffee from Columbia. I enjoy drinking it from a recyclable cup, I enjoy drinking it from a glass cup. I just love drinking coffee and I pretty much don't care where it came from, as long as it's good and clean. :D

But of course, there are times when we just want to relax, enjoy our surroundings with a hot cup of delicious coffee in hand. Sometimes, we just need to get away from our beds to finish projects or study for exams in peace. At other times, we just want to meet up and catch up with friends over a good ol' cup of joe. For these different reasons, we tend to rely on the nearest coffee shop we know and enjoy our coffee there.

The usual coffee shops we go to are the more well-known establishments here in the Philippines, those that have built their name in the country. But for those people who are willing to try something new, I suggest you visit this new coffee shop in Eastwood City called Caffe Bene.

Caffe Bene is a famous coffee shop in South Korea. A few months ago, they opened their first branch here in the Philippines. As I mentioned earlier, I don't really care where I get my coffee, as long as it's good and clean. I've never tried Caffe Bene's products before since I haven't been to South Korea, but friends have been praising it so I had to try it out myself.

The first thing that will catch your attention when you visit this coffee shop is it's wooden interiors. It gives you a different feeling, nothing less of relaxing, but it is something refreshing. It's like being one with nature.

10 March 2013

Yen Yen: A Taste of Taiwanese Street Food

Since we've been planning to visit the hometown of the ageless F4, we decided to pay Yen Yen another visit to get a taste of authentic Taiwanese street food. We are really looking forward to trying out different Taiwanese street food once we get to Taiwan so we decided to familiarize ourselves with some Taiwanese street food made available here.

For those of you who are not familiar with Yen Yen, it is a small hole-in-a-wall type of snack house. It used to be located beside a car wash along Ortigas Road, but they've since transferred to a much bigger location along P. Guevarra in San Juan. They boast of authentic Taiwanese street food, a first in the metro (as far as I know).

The first time we ate in Yen Yen, Gus ordered one of their most famous dishes, Pork Chop Rice. But since we are planning to visit the home of beef noodle soup, we decided to try something different this time.

I ordered a bowl of their Taipei Beef Braised Noodle Soup. Since the first stop on our itinerary would be Taipei City, I decided to try their beef noodle soup so I can compare it with the real deal when we get to Taipei. As for Gus, he'd been craving for pork kidney so he decided to get Stir-fried Pork Kidney with Rice.

When we got our orders, we were so surprised. My beef noodle soup was in a very large bowl. There was a lot of beef, huge carrots and radishes, and a lump of noodles. I had already eaten half of the noodles but it still looked full after.